Bible Believers' Newsletter 692
"We focus on the present Truth – what Jesus is doing now. . ."
Christian greetings in the precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The conviction of Brother Youcef Nadarkhani for apostasy and the sentence of death have been upheld and confirmed by the Iranian Supreme Court. Upon request we will send you a copy of our special notification which contains contact details for the Authorities in Iran. All legal avenues are exhausted. Consequently the Authority can carry out his sentence at any time without prior notice, and with the hangman's noose around his neck this loyal Iranian father of a once happy family will be asked to recant His faith in Jesus Christ, and if he declines he will be executed. Please persevere: the prayer of the elect must at last be heard, for the redemption of the saints is God's eternal will. Pray for Brother Youcef. Pray for him, write to the Iranian government and ask your elected representative to address the authorities in Iran.
A CD of our PowerPoint presentation, The Second Coming of Christ, is available upon request to new subscribers to this Newsletter. Please view the on-line presentation and invite your friends to visit our home page and click "View the Second Coming of Christ".
The Chaldee language is the Aramaic dialect, as it is sometimes called, as distinguished from the Hebrew dialect of the same language. Aramaic was the language of commerce and of social intercourse in Western Asia, and after the Exile it gradually came to be the popular language of Palestine. It is called "Syrian" in II Kings 18:26. Some isolated words in this language are preserved in the New Testament (Matthew 5:22; 6:24; 16:17; 27:46; Mark 3:17; 5:41; 7:34; 14:36; Acts 1:19; I Corinthians 16:22). These are specimens of the vernacular language of Palestine at that period. The term "Hebrew" was also sometimes applied to the Chaldee because that had become the language of the Hebrews (John 5:2; 19:20) [following their Exile in Babylon, "the land of the Chaldees"] (Easton's Bible Dictionary).
When Abraham entered Canaan it is obvious that he found the language of its inhabitants closely allied to his own. Isaiah 19:18 calls it "the language of Canaan". . . For the thousand years between Moses and the Babylonian exile the Hebrew language underwent little or no modification. It preserves all through a remarkable uniformity of structure. From the first it appears in its full maturity of development. But through intercourse with Damascus, Assyria, and Babylon, from the time of David, and more particularly from the period of the Exile, it comes under the influence of the Aramaic idiom, and this is seen in the writings which date from this period. It was never spoken in its purity by the Judeans after their return from Babylon. They now spoke Hebrew with a large admixture of Aramaic or Chaldee, which latterly became the predominant element in the national language.
The Hebrew is one of the oldest languages of which we have any knowledge. It is essentially identical with the Phoenician language. The Semitic languages, to which class the Hebrew and Phoenician belonged, were spoken over a very wide area: in Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine and Arabia, in all the countries from the Mediterranean to the borders of Assyria, and from the mountains of Armenia to the Indian Ocean. The rounded form of the letters, as seen in the Moabite stone, was probably that in which the ancient Hebrew was written down to the time of the Exile, when the present square or Chaldean form was adopted [and as Brother Jonathan Gray discovered in the field] (Easton's Bible Dictionary).
After the return from the Captivity, the Jewsno longer familiar with the old Hebrewrequired that their Scriptures should be translated for them into the Chaldaic or Aramaic language:
The Language of our Lord was in most cases the language of the people with whom He lived. It is called Aramaic. Aramaic was the language of trade and business in Asia Minor, and in order to deal with the neighboring nations the Jews were forced to acquire it. The real Hebrew had become a dead language at the time of Christ, being only in use in the services of the synagogue. Yet it was there that Jesus astonished His hearers by reading the Book of Isaiah in the original (Luke 4:16-22). It was His custom to so read the original writings of Scripture and then to explain the text in the language understood by the people: Aramaic, as scholars prefer to call it (John 7:14-15). The words used by Jesus on the cross, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabactani," are Aramaic. The Bible, or at least the Old Testament, was translated into Aramaic very early. About two centuries after Christ it was complete. Such translations were called Targums (Facts of our Faith, p. 363-364).
We are particularly pleased you could join us in fellowship because we have a special treat from our contributing author, archaeologist Brother Jonathan Gray. In his fascinating article, "The First Tongue," Brother Jonathan presents an historic and polished explanation of the First Tongue by which you will be blessed. Brother Jonathan publishes a weekly Newsletter from his beforeus.com Website and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Newsletter serves those of like precious faith. Whoever will receive the truth is welcome to feed their soul from the waters of the River of Life. Everything here presented should be confirmed personally in your own Bible.
Your brother-in-Christ, Anthony Grigor-Scott
Nuclear Regulatory Commission colluded to weaken Safety Standards
June 28, 2011 Three US senators have called for a congressional probe on safety issues at the nation's aging nuclear plants following a pair of new exposés. In a special series called "Aging Nukes," the Associated Press revealed that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear power industry have been working in tandem to weaken safety standards to keep aging reactors within the rules. Just last year, the NRC weakened the safety margin for acceptable radiation damage to reactor vessels. The AP report also revealed radioactive tritium has leaked from 48 of the 65 US commercial nuclear power sites, often into groundwater from corroded, buried piping. Leaks from at least 37 of those facilities contained concentrations exceeding the federal drinking water standardsometimes at hundreds of times the limit. . .
Full story: truth-out.org Fukushima in Omaha
Russia showed Huge Support for 'Christian Crusader' Nazi Invaders
June 14, 2011 An extraordinary secret archive has revealed for the first time how thousands of Soviet citizens collaborated with Nazi invaders during World War II. The cache of documents, some retrieved from the files of the KGB, shows how many viewed the Germans as Christian liberatorsand their own masters as godless Communists. This view was reinforced when the soldiers of the Third Reich opened up 470 churches in north-western Russia alone and reinstated priests driven from their pulpits by Stalin. In turn, the clergy co-operated closely with SS death squads in betraying Communist officials, Jews and partisan resistance groups. . . Full story: dailymail.co.uk
Lord Victor Rothschild and Laurence Rockefeller hand picked 100 of the world's elite with the purpose of "regionalizing Europe," according to Giovanni Agnelli, head of Fiat: "European integration is our goal and where the politicians have failed, we industrialists hope to succeed."
According to Alden Hatch's biography of Prince Bernhard, the group gave birth to what is now the European Union (EU), with the ultimate goal of a one world government. . . Bilderberg Group . . . have a heavy cross-membership with the CFR, the English Speaking Union, the Pilgrim Society, the Round Table, and the Trilateral Commission. . . All American members of the Steering Committee are also members of the CFR. There are approximately 120 invitees to the Bilderberg meetings, about two thirds are European and the rest are North American. Approximately one third come from the government and political sector while the remaining two thirds are represent finance, industry, labor, education and the media. . .
Skeptics argue that members can spend their private time hatching plans to control world politics and economics, ensuring the wealthy and powerful maintain their powerful grip on an enslaved population that keeps the machinery running. Some have argued that Bilderbergers have withheld cancer cures so as not to anger the global pharmaceutical industry. (It is worth noting that the Rockefeller empire, in tandem with Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase), owns over half of the pharmaceutical interests in the United States). It is the largest drug manufacturing combine in the world. They've also kept technology out of the public domain that would allow cars to travel 75 kilometres on a litre of gas in the interest of "big oil". . . they also "turned NATO into the UN's standing army. It's a step on the road to creating world government".
Full story: sourcewatch.org
You have too many Housewives!
June 9, 2011 The EU wants Europe's biggest economy to avoid looming labour shortages in future by dismantling barriers to women entering the workforce. "Germany must better integrate women into the labour market," said the EU Commission, in a report on the German economy. "Germany, but also Austria and the Netherlands, should look at the example of the northern countries,"' said President José Manuel Barroso, in a reference to Scandinavia. "That means removing obstacles for women, older workers, foreigners and low-skilled job-seekers to get into the workforce. Excessive early retirement regulations need to be abolished". Full story: dailymail.co.uk
The First Tongue
By Jonathan Gray
Did you know that a poster of the new Europe portrays the ancient Tower of Babel, with the slogan, "Many Tongues, One Voice"? I was quietly pondering that when my wife Josephine asked, "What was the very first human tongue?"
As an archaeologist, I believe the answer has now been discovered. The biblical narrative tells of the exodus of a group of people from the area first settled by Noah and his descendants after the Flood, "as they journeyed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar: and they dwelt there" (Genesis 11:2). We accept the biblical narrative as the final authority. What this passage tells us is that the people who left the area of Noah's Ark travelled to the west. Common sense adds the additional information that they travelled along a rivera water supply for the people as well as their flocks and herds would have been an absolute necessity. It seems that the migrants began their journey at the beginning of one of the mountain streams that was a tributary of the Euphrates River near the area of the Ark, and followed it to the West until they came to a plain.
Topographical and flight maps of the region show where the Euphrates River exits the mountainous regionroughly 250 miles from the locality of the Ark. And there, where the mountains end, one finds a tremendous plain! Another route they could also have taken would have brought them to the same plain but by an easier and more direct path. This second route would have taken them in a south-west direction for about 140 miles until they reached the west side of Lake Van. From there they would have travelled along a river about 50 miles through a mountain pass, to exit onto the vast plain. Here they could travel west until they reached the Euphrates. These are the only two natural east-west routes across Anatolia. Which route they took, we may never know: both would have brought the group to the same general area.
"A plain in the Land of Shinar"
The term "land of Shinar" has been misinterpreted to mean only the area far to the south of the Turkish plainsthe area of Babylon. But, in fact, we have no firm evidence of the boundaries of this "land of Shinar." Akkadian cuneiform texts mention "Shanhara" as being in Northern Mesopotamia, west of Nineveh, the same mountainous region that is today called "Singar." The (Egyptian) Amarna Letters also mention a land called "Shanhar" which is also in northern Syria. These examples are in the same general region as our suggested site.
The next biblical mention of Shinar occurs at a much later date: "And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god" (Daniel 1:2). This passage refers to the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar's time, Babylonia between the Tigris and Euphrates in the far south that was dominated during Daniel's time by the Chaldeans who came from the more northerly region.
Baked bricks and "slime"
"And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar" (Genesis 11:3).
In 1995, when I first explored the region and examined a very large tell, I took samples of the baked brick and the mortar. The very black mortar consisted of a mixture of sand and tar (bitumen/asphalt) which hardens when dried. Since this is a petroleum product, we must enquire: Did this area have a supply?
The 1985 Encyclopaedia Brittanica states that the only oil fields in Turkey are in Ramana (west of this site) and Gaziantep (east of this site), both less than 100 miles away. However, the latest revision of the flight map shows oil wells in the immediate area, and the pipeline between Gaziantep and Ramana follows directly under the region.
In our 1995 expedition, we saw working oil derricks in the immediate vicinity. The presence of oil here, about 4,000 years after the time of Babel, indicates that an ample supply of bitumen most likely could have been obtained by the builders of this infamous city and tower. In fact, it may have been a major reason for selecting the area.
Babylon was not Nimrod's City
Brother Branham said, "Now in Genesis 10, speaking of the kingdom of Nimrod it says, "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Asshur and builded Nineveh, and Calah etc." But the translators made a mistake in translating Asshur as a noun for it is a verb, and in the Chaldee means 'to make strong.' Thus it is Nimrod, who having been made strong (he established his kingdom by building the world's first army which he trained by drilling and through the rigors of hunting) went beyond Shinar with his strong army and subdued nations and built such cities as Nineveh, which was named after him, for even today a chief part of the ruins of that city is called Nimroud (An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p. 186:1).
Nimrod established Babel, NOT Babylon. The city of "Babylon" and its region "the land of the Chaldeans" first mentioned in II Kings 17:24 in about 730BC1,000 years after Babel was founded in the northis NOT the city or kingdom of Nimrod. The southern city and the region later called Babylonia was actually founded by the Amorites.
The earliest inscription referring to Babylon appears on the Sargonic text of Sar-kali-Sarri and reveals that the Hebrew word is a Semitic pronounciation of the Hurrian word, "Papil/Papal" (New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology, Zondervan, 1983, p. 245).
In the Sumerian records, its oldest name was "ka-dingir," which meant "gate of god" in Sumerian. We then learn from the ancient inscriptions that Babylon was, at its beginning, NOT the capital of a powerful nation but a provincial centre under the so-called Third Dynasty of Ur (located far to the south near the Persian Gulf). It next became the nucleus of a small Amorite kingdom called the "Dynasty of the Martu"the famous Hammurabi was the sixth king of this dynasty. And from there, Babylon was conquered again and again by different people.
"Babylonia" was established by the Amorite branch of Canaan's family and came to be called "the land of the Chaldeans" when King Nebuchadnezzar's father, Nabopolassar (a Chaldean) defeated the Assyrians in the battle for Babylon and took the throne there in about 626BC (Jack Finegan, Archaeological History of the Ancient Middle East, Dorset Press, 1979, p. 124). With him began the supremacy of the "Chaldean" empire which took over Babylon (NOT Babel).
Where were these Chaldeans from?
The evidence shows that the Chaldeans' homeland included the area of south central Turkey, because inscriptions have been found which tell that both Nebuchadnezzar (second king of the Chaldean empire) and Nabonidus (last king of the empire, whose son Belshazzar was co-regent in Babylon) built temples to "Sin," the moon-god in HARRAN, about 80 to 100 miles south of our site for Babel in Turkey. Inscriptions also show that Nabonidus and his mother were both from Harran.
With reference to the term "Chaldees," the Urartuans or those from the greater Ararat region in Turkey, called their collection of gods "khaldis" and their supreme god "Khaldi." From the fact that in one Babylonian triad (or trinity) composed of Sin (the Moon), Shamas (the Sun) and Ramman (a weather-god), Sin is the lord of the heavens, scholars have concluded that Khaldi may have been also (or become) a Moon-god. The word "Chaldean" means Moon-worshiper (from the root "Khaldi"=Moon god)!
Why the Belief that Babylon was Babel
It has been assumed that Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon was the original Babel because "when the Jews were carried captive into Babylonia, they were struck with the vast magnitude and peculiar character of certain of the Babylonian temples, in one or other of which they thought to recognise as the very tower [of Babel] itself" (Smith's Bible Dictionary. Fleming H. Revelle Co., reprinted 1979, p. 68, "Tower of Babel").
Abraham's Family lived in Turkey, just South of Babel
In Deuteronomy 26:5, the Lord commanded Israel when you bring the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, "You shall testify before the Lord your God, My father [Jacob owing to his long residence in Mesopotamia whence Abraham departed] was a wandering Syrian (Aramaean) . . ." Aram means "highlands," as in northern Syria, now modern south-eastern Turkey.
In the Genesis record, the next biblical event relates to Abraham the progenitor of the Israelite and several of the Arab nations. The place names in this part of Turkey have preserved the history of the region close to Babel and there is evidence of Abraham's family living in this region. (Click on image to enlarge).
The Bible says Abraham was living in UR of the Chaldees (called URFA today) which is within 100 miles of Babel. Receiving a call to go southward to Canaan, he and his family set out IN THAT DIRECTION, stopping in HARAN about 35 miles south of Ur, where Abraham's father dies. The evidence shows conclusively that Abraham's family settled in the region a little south of our site for Babel, in the area of the Euphrates "loop" and the tributary, the Balikh River.
The town of SARUGI, today called SURUC, or SARUGI, is located halfway between the Euphrates and Harran is named after SERUG, Abraham's great grandfather.
A town called NAHURU (TIL-NAHIRI) commemorates Abraham's grandfather NAHOR, as well as a brother of the same name and is known from both the Cappadocian tablets and the Mari texts to be in the same region.
The name of Abraham's father, TERAH, is preserved at TIL-SA-TURAH, the "ruin of Terah" in the Balikh Valley.
"What is remarkable is that all these geographical names are found in the district of Haranaccording to the biblical traditions it is precisely in this region that Abram's family stayed" (Roland De Vaux, The Early History of Israel (translated). Westminster Press, 1971, p. 195-196). The Turkish people of the area are convinced that the patriarchs either founded these cities or took them over and renamed them after they moved in.
When you examine the map, there are two places called URone in Iraq, the other in Turkey. Since Abraham moved from UR to HARAN to CANAAN, it seems conclusive that the UR from which he was called (Acts 7:2-4) was the one in today's Turkey, near HARAN. This was also near BABEL. And this fits with the Scripture which says that TERAH, Abraham's father, was an idol worshipper (Joshua 24:2). They moved from UR to HARAN, because HARAN was on the way to Canaan, their eventual destination.
In northern Syria, in 1975, the archives of ancient Ebla (a city 150 miles south of Haran) were discovered. This city existed during the time of Abram. And mentioned in the Ebla texts, uncontested, are cities whose names reflect Abram's relatives: "Phaliga" (Peleg); "Til-Turakhi" (Terah); "Nakhur" (Nahor); and "Haran." They also mention "Ur in the region of Haran".
Babel "on the way" to Canaan
Eventually Canaan was settled by the Hebrews, Abraham's descendants. And here King Solomon began to erect a magnificent Temple in Jerusalem. Solomon's wisdom, as well as his fame, attracted worldwide attention. The splendour of Solomon's Temple would defy comprehension. Nowhere on the face of this planet did a structure of such size and beauty command the awe of man. Travellers from many lands would travel great distances just to set eyes on this Temple.
In this context, an ancient document of the Maya people of Central America throws some light on the location of Babel. Around 1000BC, Votan, the first historian of the Maya, recorded that he made four or more visits to his ancestral home of Chivim (present-day Tripoli in Syria). On one of these trips he visited a great city wherein a magnificent Temple was in the course of erection (thought by the researcher Ordonez to have been Jerusalem).
And here is the interesting bit: En route, he visited a place where men had erected a TOWER which had been intended to reach heaven, an object defeated by the SUDDEN CONFUSING OF THEIR LANGUAGE. Look at the map. The place often speculated as the site of Babel (near Babylon in Iraq) is by no means "en route" to Syria or Jerusalem, but our Babel site in Turkey can be said to be "en route".
Could Abraham understand the Original Language?
The theory that Abraham lived in Southern Mesopotamiaa long distance away from the Ark's landing region (where survivors of the Flood, such as Shem would still speak the original tongue)and that at such a far distance Abraham must have spoken a different language from Shem, just doesn't fit the facts now known.
Mesopotamia ("Land of the Two Rivers") stretched between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, which commenced flowing in the Ararat Mountains region of what is today eastern Turkey, westward to the plain of southern Turkey then south-east through what are today Syria and Iraq.
It is important to understand that Shem, who did not participate in the Tower of Babel rebellion, lived for 150 years after Abraham was born. Since their lives overlapped for such a long time, and since for the first 75 years of his life (Genesis 12:4) Abraham lived in Haran in south eastern Turkey, from which Noah's son Shem would be easily accessible, it is inconceivable that there was no communication between them. As a matter of fact, some ancient writings tell us that they did communicate. This being so, there can be no doubt they understood and spoke the same language, inherited from the pre-Flood world.
Why are the Hebrews called "Hebrew"?
According to the best concordances, the word "Hebrew" comes from the name "Eber." Hebrew means, simply, an "Eber-ite," a "descendant of Eber." The Genesis chronology informs us that Eber was a great grandson of Shem, son of Noah (Genesis11:10-14). Eber was also the great-great-great-great grandfather of Abram (Genesis 11:16-27).
We may ask, Why pick specifically on Eber as Abraham's ancestor and thus call him "Abram the Hebrew" (Genesis 14:13) Why not call him a "descendant of Shem" or of "Arphaxad" or of "Salah" or of "Peleg" or of "Reu" or of "Serug" or of Nahor" or of "Terah"all of whom were ancestors of Abram? Why "Eber" in particular?
I believe the answer lies in the fact that Eber's generation is a key milestone in historylanguage-wise. It was in the lifetime of Eber's son Peleg that "the earth was divided." That's why he was named "Peleg," which means "division." "And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided" (Genesis 10:25). The book of Jasher likewise states that "in his days the sons of men were divided, and in the latter days, the earth was divided." Speaking of the sudden confusion of languages which occurred at the Tower of Babel, the Bible again says, "So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city" (Genesis 11:8, 9).
The division of languages which at that time took place was memorialised in the name of Eber's son Peleg. Peleg represents the corruption of languages. Here lies the key as to why Abraham and his descendants are called Hebrews. Eber represents the last generation in which everyone on earth spoke the original, uncorrupted language, when "the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech" (Genesis 11:1).
The "Hebrew" issue pivots on the language factor. In identifying Abraham as a "Hebrew," the finger of God reaches back from Abraham and points us to Eber, who represents the pure, original language. It is linking Hebrew to the "First Tongue".
It matters not by what names the original language was known. In the beginning the "First Tongue" would not have been called Hebrew. The appellation "Hebrew" came later, to distinguish it from the other languages that had now arisen. This is not to say it was 100% identical in every respect to the originalbecause all languages do experience changes over the centuries. But we do see a deliberate link to Eber, who spoke the "First Tongue," in whatever form it existed in his day.
Why did Moses supply Revised Place Names?
The book of Genesis sometimes gives a particular locality two namesan old name followed by a newer name in brackets. The reason was simply because names themselves change over the centuries. In other words, it was not because of a change of language on the part of his readers, but rather because some older place names would no longer be recognised due to the fact that a locality now had a more modern name.
Under divine inspiration Moses was guided to compile the preserved records of his people. With the inspired tablets of his ancestors before him, tablets written from the earliest days, Moses is compiling his Book. Most reverently does he handle these tablets. The first thing that impresses us as we read them now, is that he regards the old wording as so sacred that usually he avoids making unnecessary alterations to the text, even to modernise words. He leaves the original ancient expressions and place names just as he finds them, though they are no longer in current use.
In order that they may be understood by his peoplea new generation just entering the landhe explains the ancient records by adding the contemporary place names alongside the ancient names, and sometimes he states that the name is retained "to this day".
Genesis contains references to towns which had either ceased to exist, or whose original names were now so ancient that the compiler of the Book had to insert the new names along with the old, so that the Hebrews living in his day could identify the locations. Many of the original place names given in Genesis were so old that the editor had to add an explanatory note to identify the locations. For example:
"Bela (which is Zoar)" Genesis 14:2, 8
"Vale of Siddim (which is the salt sea)" verse 3
"En-mishpat (which is Kadesh)" verse 7
"Hobah (which is on the left hand of Damascus)" verse 15
"Valley of Shaveh (which is the King's Dale)" verse 17
"Beer-lahai-roi (behold it is between Kadesh and Bered)" Genesis 16:14
"Sarah died in Kirjath-arba (the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan)" Genesis 23:2.
This last quote is of special interest. Hebron was where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the founders of the Hebrew race, were buried. Surely, after the Israelite entry into Canaan (Palestine) around 1400BC, every Israelite living in that land would know where it was. Yet, at the time this was written, it was necessary to give not only its modern name, but even to say that Hebron was in the land of Canaan. This surely indicates that the note in brackets was added at a very early dateand BEFORE the Israelites had entered Canaan, their future home.
In later times no one would need to be told where Hebron was. The Israelites must have known it quite well after its capture in Joshua's day, when Hebron was given to his colleague Caleb for an inheritance. It then became one of the famous cities of refuge, familiar to all throughout the land. Besides all this, David was king of Hebron for seven years.
On the other hand, it would be necessary for a people not yet entered into the land to be told, not only the name of the place where the founders of the race had lived, but where this place was situated.
The Book of Genesis also uses primitive geographical expressions, such as "the south country" (Genesis 20:1 and 24:62) and "the east country" (Genesis 25:6), in the time of Abraham. After the time of Genesis these ancient designations never appear as a description of the countries adjoining the south and east of Palestine. After the time of Genesis they have well-known and well-defined names. This suggests to us that "south" and "east country" were written down in early times. No writer after Moses (c. 1400BC) would have used such archaic expressions.
The notes and explanations referred to above fit in exactly with the circumstances of a people on the edge of the Promised Land, for whom Moses was writing, but who had not yet entered it. Those people were the Hebrews, who had escaped from their Egyptian slave masters in 1446BC, but had not yet made their entrance into Canaan (which occurred in 1406BC).
In a nutshell, Genesis contains references to towns which had either ceased to exist, or whose original names were now so ancient that the compiler of the Book had to insert the new names along with the old, so that the Hebrews living in his day could identify the locations. This was not a case of non-Hebrew names having to be translated into Hebrew because Hebrew was the new spoken language. Rather, to the archaic, unused locality names in the old tablets which Moses was collating, were now added the newer, current names for the same localities.
The Faithful in Shem's Line: their Language not Confounded
Did all of Noah's descendants participate in the Babel rebellion? Of course not! Who maintained their faithfulness to God? Righteous Shem, for one. As Noah's prophecy tells us: "Blessed be the Lord God of Shem" (Genesis 9:26). [Indeed, legend has it that Shem killed Nimrod, "having entered into a conspiracy with seventy-two of the leading men of Egypt, he got him into his power, put him to death, and then cut his dead body into pieces, and sent the different parts to so many different cities throughout the country" (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 63; Sir Gardiner Wilkinson, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, including their private life, government, laws, arts, manufactures, religion, agriculture, and early history, derived from a comparison of the paintings, sculptures, and monuments still existing, with the accounts of ancient authors, (1837-41). vol. iv. p. 330-332. This is not taught in the Message)].
Shem would certainly have taught the ways of God to his childrenand although many probably joined in the Babel rebellion and had their language confounded, we can be certain that others of Shem's faithful family did not participate in the Babel rebellion, and that their language was not confounded. The original language spoken by the faithful in Shem's line (inherited from Noah, back to Adam) would have continued unaffected by the Babel rebellion. Where is that original language given to Adam by God Himself and maintained by Shem? What happened to it?
Do we have a clue here?: It is interesting that the Egyptians, when speaking of the "sacred language," and citing examples of it, quoted words that are HEBREW.
Tablets in Original Language were understood by Moses
It is also noteworthy that pre-Flood writings were read, understood and compiled without difficulty by Moses who wrote and spoke Hebrew. In compiling the Book of Genesis, Moses had in his possession eleven tablets written successively by Adam (2), Noah (2), Shem, Terah, Ishmael, Isaac, Esau (2) and Jacob. After many excavations in the Middle East, archaeologists have found Ancient cuneiform writings that date back all the way to 3500BC. Adam was still alive at that time, and so writing could have gone back even farther. Adam could have recorded his eyewitness account of the garden of Eden!
It may be a surprise to some people, but the reference to writing is found in Genesis 5:1 which says: "This is the book of the generations of Adam." This suggests that the art of writing was known within the lifetime of Adam, which could make writing as old as the human race itself! Evidently, they wrote in a language the Hebrew Moses easily understood. (See my detailed documentation of this in The Weapon the Globalists Fear, chapters 17 and 18).
Worldwide, "First Tongue" Inscriptions are akin to Hebrew
Inscriptions from the period when there was a single worldwide language can be deciphered only by the use of a Hebrew dialect. Remote canyons of the Pergatoire River nestle in the Comanche National Grassland, just south of La Junta, Colorado. Ancient alphabetic symbols discovered here are virtually identical to those found in the Har Karkom region of the Negev desert of Israel, in South Australia, in Chile (South America), in Yemen, and in the British Isles! After numerous attempts at deciphering, successful translations were eventually made through an old Hebrew dialect. This was achieved by concentrating on words containing one, two or three consonants. The Colorado alphabet contains basic, distinct geometric shapes, 22 in all, and with some variations. It is in the "cursive" style, where individual letters are combined and are read from right to left, from top to bottom. This same ancient alphabet, now found on six continents, has been termed "The First Tongue."
The content of the translations, although not complete, suggests a common culture and religious belief system. Although not enough translation was yet completed to determine the specific message, multiple references to "breed" and "pedigree," as well as references to fleeing "poisonous powder" (dust) and "painful light" are interesting. Such references would be most pertinent in those early turbulent centuries which followed the Flood.
In Colorado's Pergatoire Canyon, two common petroglyphs represent the names of deity "EL" and "YAH". "EL" is the shortened form of "Elohim," the self-existent Creator and Sustainer, while "YAH" or "JAH" is a contraction of "Jehovah," our Covenant-keeping Lord God. Both concepts represent a single deityOne Godthere is no trinity of gods. Jesus of the New Testament is Jehovah or Elohim of the Old manifest in virgin-born flesh to fulfill the part of Adam's KINSMAN Redeemer. A successful translation has been made of the entire top row, reading, "YARE HA EL," or "PRAISE THE LORD." This indicates a faith akin to that of the later Hebrews. It hints at an original faith inherited from Father Noah . . . and reflected in the Bible. It matters not what name you give to the original language. That is not crucial. The fact is that these "First Tongue" inscriptions could be translated with the help of no other known language but an old Hebrew dialect. This indicates a special kinship between this earliest language and what we today call Hebrew.
Pre-Flood Star Names stem from Hebrew Roots
Star names can be traced backunchangedto as early as 4000BC, also with Hebrew roots. Yes, Hebrew roots . . . that old! And how do we know?
As you may already be aware, each year the stars rise and set some 50.2 seconds later. In 2,156 years they fall back 30 degrees. It has been calculated that when the earliest zodiac sphere was drawn, the position of the stars in relation to earth was almost 90 degrees different from now. The Southern Cross was visible in the Northern Hemisphere from 40 degrees N. latitude; Alpha in Draco was the North Pole Star; Taurus opened the equinoctial year in March; and the summer solstice was in the first degree of Virgoabout 4000BC. And other supporting testimony comes from the ancient world (Flavius Josephus, Book I, chs.1-3; Jonathan Gray, Modern Religious Myths About Genesis, p. 26-29).
Names and Signs Basically Unaltered
The Arabs are among the greatest astronomers and historians this world has seen. Albamazer, astronomer for the Caliphs of Granada, speaking of these constellation signs, says that:
None of these forms from their first invention have varied in coming down to us, nor one of their words [names] changed, not a point added or removed. (Albamazer, Flores Astrologias. Written in Arabic and translated into Hebrew by Aben Ezra. A Latin translation is in the British Museum Library).
Did you get that? The star maps of his dayabout AD850and which are in use today, have basically never been altered since their origin thousands of years ago. They were essentially the same as now. Not only the names, but also the figures drawn around these groups of stars, have remained basically the same. There are, to this rule, a few exceptionswhich can be traced (Jonathan Gray, Sting of the Scorpion, p. 44-45). And this same star chart was known across the whole ancient worldseparately among the different nations.
The earliest charts of the zodiac were Hebrew. The Greeks derived their knowledge of the zodiac from the Hebrews; the Romans got their information from the Arabs, who also had received it from the Hebrews (Troy Lawrence, The Secret Message of the Zodiac. Here's Life Publishers, 1990, p. 14). Yes, it's a fact! Most of the names on those ancient star charts have stemmed from Hebrew-Arabic-Noetic roots.
In the beginning, not only was there one global language, but the star names were identical worldwide. After the Babel dispersion, why did the nations of the whole planet, in preserving their ancient star names, continue to use names and meanings which were derived from proto-Hebrew? Was it because the "First Tongue" prior to Babel was akin to archaic Hebrew?
Please note this: The star maps of Persia, Egypt and other races, were not created to be used by Hebrews, but to be used by Persians, Egyptians, and so on. Yet, despite that the names on their star maps had Hebrew roots! They retained names and meanings which were derived from the original tonguenames which God gave BEFORE the Tower of Babel and the confusion of tongues.
Since so many of today's star names (unchanged from the earliest times) have Hebrew roots, this does indicate that the origin of such Hebrew roots goes back to before the Tower of Babel, before the nations separated. This can only indicate that the Hebrew tongue is older than the star names. If this be so, then a form of Hebrew (by whatever name it was then known) must have been the "sacred" language, divinely imparted.
It is probable that Shem (who definitely spoke the "First Tongue") and Abraham were in communicationand that they understood and spoke the same language, inherited from the pre-Flood world.
Unaffected by the Babel rebellion, the faithful of Shem's line would continue to speak in the "First Tongue" (the sacred language handed down from Adam, through Noah).
Deliberately pointing to Eber, the name "Hebrew" is thus linked to the "First Tongue".
The Egyptians, when speaking of the "sacred language," and citing examples of it, quoted words that are HEBREW.
Moses, who spoke the Hebrew tongue, had no difficulty reading, understanding and collating the "First Tongue" records.
Worldwide inscriptions in the "First Tongue" could be deciphered only by the use of an old Hebrew dialect.
The fact that many of today's star names among the different nations (unchanged from the earliest times) have Hebrew roots, indicates that the origin of such Hebrew roots goes back to before the nations separatedinto the period of the "First Tongue".
Were we to trace the footsteps of the first wave of migration, we would discover that it has left its traces in just ONE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE. This fact that the whole world once spoke the same language survives in the racial memory of many peoples. A fragmentary Sumerian tablet copied by the Oxford cuneiformist Oliver Gurney speaks of a time when "the whole universe [spoke] in one tongue."
The epic myth of Enmerker and the Lord of Araita, published by Professor S.N. Kramer, of the University of Pennsylvania, records that all mankind spoke one and the same language until Enki, the Sumerian god of wisdom, confounded their speech.
The idea that there was a time when all men spoke the same language is found also in ancient Egyptian and Indian writings. Likewise, the Popul Vuh, a book of the Central American Maya, records that "those who gazed at the rising of the sun [the ancestors who formerly lived eastward of the Americas] . . . had but one language . . . before going west."
These testimonies support the biblical book of Genesis statement that "all the earth was of one language, and of one speech" (Genesis 11:1).
Various peoples, such as the Mexicans, the Chaldeans, the Hindus, the Greeks, the Chiapa of the Americas, Australian Aboriginal tribes, and the Fijians, to name a few, were discovered with a tradition concerning this event in which each tribe received a new language.
So evidently, this is not just some biblical fairytale. This ancient event has been burnt into the racial memory of mankind as a whole. No society is known at any point in history which did not have a fully developed language (Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 15th ed., Macrop., vol.19, p. 1033). We find NO EVIDENCE for any kind of evolutionary development of language. The fact is, evolution cannot in any meaningful manner account for one language, much less hundreds of languages.
In any case, who had time to formulate grammar when we were all supposedly running around simply trying to survive the next few minutes of life?
I have lived with jungle savages. And did you know that the most primitive tribes possess the most sophisticated languages?
The family of the Indo-European languages is readily identifiable as a family, as are the Semitic tongues. The Hamites, however, have been so inventive, they devise terms with equal facility and their languages are in such a state of flux that within a few generations, even tribes living just across the river will find themselves scarcely able to converse.
This strange tendency which has prevented the Egyptians, Hittites, Sumerians, Chinese and Central American Indians from developing an alphabetical script may have been Providence, guaranteeing the quick dispersal of Ham all over the world. Many cuniform scholars have noted the similarities between Sumarian and Chinese (Genesis 10 the Table of Nations).
All Nations awaited the Redeemer
This, the world's oldest prophecy, our first parents claimed was given them, was handed down to all their descendantsthe prophecy of a coming Deliverer, no less. Among the ancient Babylonians, Persians, Chinese, Hindus, Germans, British, Romans, Egyptians and others, there was an expectation that this Great One was coming to cure all ills.
Roman historian Tacitus refers to this expectation among the nations (Tacitus, Histories, v.13. Suetonius, Vespasian, iv).
Dupuis, in L'Origine des Cultus, has collected a vast number of traditions prevalent in all nations concerning a divine person, born of a virginthat is, without an earthly father. He would come from heaven for the purpose of delivering mankind. He would lay down his life once for all, but rising to life again would ultimately bring a new world.
This prophecy appears to be as old as the human race. Notice how an ancient poet contemplated this prophecy:
A golden progeny from heaven descends,
O chaste Lucinda! speed the mother's pains,
And haste the glorious birth!
. . . virtue shall restore,
And crimes shall threat the guilty world no more. . .
The warring nations he in peace shall bind,
And with paternal virtues rule mankind.
And here are the words of another poet of old:
Hail, great Physician of the world! all hail!
Hail, mighty Infant, who, in years to come,
Shall heal the nations and defraud the tomb! . . .
Thy daring art shall animate the dead,
And draw the thunder on Thy guilty head;
For Thou shalt die, but from the dark abode
Rise up victorious, and be twice a God!
The Babylonians and Persians expected a king-redeemer and hero-sage, who would establish a new age of happiness.
The Chinese also believed that a great wise man would appear.
The Hindus believed that the supreme God would reveal himself to humans and that ultimately would come a new world.
The ancient Germans looked forward to the renewal of the present world.
The Druids of Britain expected the coming of the "Curer of all ills."
Likewise, in the earliest Egyptian texts are found prophecies proclaiming the coming of this Savior of the human raceprophecies that were already ancient.
In these Egyptian texts we are brought face to face with prophecies concerning a Messiah who was to come. It was held that "the teacher awaited since the creation of the world" had not yet been manifested on earth. His coming was to end in His sacrifice and bring about the regeneration of mankind. The ancient Egyptian messianic prophecies refer to the Messiah as "The Lord of Death and Resurrection".
In course of time these prophecies of Messiah became paganised by the substitution of Osiris (the god of Vegetational Decay and Regeneration) and other deities. Osiris then usurped the attributes and functions of the promised Messiah that had been known in earlier Egyptian prophecy. Only in the late Egyptian literature (from late in the 18th and early in the 19th Dynasty) did Osiris and other gods usurp the functions and attributes of the Promised One. But originally, the position of Osiris was not messianic. Osiris was at first no more than an allegorical figurehead, a patron of corn, a personification of the agricultural seasons (Stewart, The Witness of the Great Pyramid, 1928, p. 64-65).
Much, much later he became "a god who had been originally a mortal and had risen from the dead" (E.A. Wallis Budge, The Book of the Dead. London: British Museum Publications, 1920). Only then were the added attributes of the Promised One given to him.
Noted archaeologist Professor Budge points out:
"The beliefs which were conceived by the Egyptians in their lowest states of civilization were mingled with those which reveal the existence of high spiritual conceptions [at first]" (Budge The Gods of the Egyptians, 1969 Vol. I, p. 32).
Purer Faith at the Beginning
Although modern Hinduism recognises a multitude of gods (possessing different influences on human affairs), yet the Indian sacred books show that originally it had been far otherwise. Speaking of the Supreme God (known in their language as Brahm):
Of Him whose glory is so great, there is no image (Veda).
[He] illumines all, delights all, whence all proceeded; that by which they live when born, and that to which all must return (Veda).
He whom the mind alone can perceive; whose essence eludes the external organs, who has no visible parts, who exists from eternity . . . The soul of all beings, whom no being can comprehend (Institutes of Menu).
In these passages there is a trace of pantheism beginning to emerge, but the very language employed bears testimony to the existence among the Hindus at one period of a far purer faith. Brahm (the one infinite and eternal God) is just the original Hebrew Rahmwith the 'b' prefixed, which is very frequent in Sanscrit words derived from Hebrew or Chaldee. The Hebrew Rahm means "the merciful, or compassionate One." But Rahm also means "the Womb," or "the Bowels" as the seat of compassion.
Now we find such language applied to Brahm, as cannot be accounted for, except by realising that Brahm had the very same meaning as the Hebrew Rahm. Thus we find the god Krishna, in one of the Hindu sacred books (when asserting his high dignity as a divinity, and his identity with the Supreme) using these words:
"The great Brahm is my Womb, and in it I place my foetus, and from it is the procreation of all nature. The great Brahm is the Womb of all the various forms which are conceived in every natural womb".
It is very clear that Brahm comes from Rahm which means Womb or Merciful One. Brahm is just the same as Er-Rahman ("the all-merciful One"), a title applied by the Turks to the Most High. Thus the Hindus, despite the deterioration of understanding seen today, once knew the Creator as "the God of mercy," that is, "a just God and a rescuer." He was also called in India "the victim-man." And among the Buddhists he was commonly addressed as "Savior of the world" (Mahawanso, xxxi "apud." Pococke's India in Greece, p. 185).
Furthermore, the meaning of Deva (the generic name for "God" in India) is similar. Deva originally came from the Chaldean Thav ("Good"). Thav is also legitimately pronounced Thev and in the emphatic form is Theva or Thevo ("the Good"). 'Th' is frequently pronounced 'Dh.' Hence Deva. The 'v' is frequently dropped (just as 'novus' in Latin is 'neos' in Greek). Dheva, or Theva, or Thevo becomes Deva. It also becomes Deo or Devs ('God' in Latin) and Theos ('God' in Greek), or Theo-s or Thevo-s. This reflects the passage in the Bible that says, "There is none good but One, that is God [Theosthe Good]" (Matthew 19:17).
Gradual Increase in Gods
Ancient textual evidence shows that the trend was to increase the number of gods as time passed, rather than decrease them (Siegfried H. Horn, Records of the Past Illuminate the Bible, 1975, p. 12). It was only the later nations who were POLYtheists. As an example of how far this trend has developed over the past 4,000 years, it is calculated that today the Hindu religion has 600,000 gods.
The confusion of tongues was not random, but a systematic distribution of languages corresponding to racial differences. "By these were the . . . Gentiles divided in their lands, each with its respective language, by their families in their nations" (Genesis 10:5, 20, 31). It further confounded religious beliefs. The antithesis to Babel was at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost when the saints emerged from the upper room and addressed the assembled multitude of whom three thousand elect Hebrews and proselytes to Yahwism "UNDERSTOOD in their own tongues what the new-born Christians spoke in Galilean concerning the mighty works of God" (Acts 2:7-11).
For centuries scholars have debated over a Greek diphthong or Hebrew jot and tittle, oblivious to the fact that "the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." God speaks to the heart by inspiration in the "pure language [of] the common faith" so in order to be born-again one must be "in one mind in the present Truth." Hereby the "first tongue" imparts eternal Life (II Corinthians 3:6; Titus 1:4; II Peter 1:12; Acts 2:1-42; Zechariah 3:9). nl692.htm
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Brother Grigor-Scott is a non-denominational minister who has ministered full-time since 1981, primarily to other ministers and their congregations overseas. He pastors Bible Believers' tiny congregation, and is available to teach in your church.