FLYING SERPENTS AND DRAGONS
By R. A. Boulay 1990
Editorial Comments By Roberto Solàrion 1997
CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF THE DELUGE
The catastrophic event which resulted in the inundation of the Earth was so devastating that it is remembered in all the cultures of the world. The Judaeo-Christian religion is probably unique, for it blames the sinful nature of man. In Genesis the reason given for the Deluge was the moral depravity of man:
In the Sumerian epics, it was brought on by the caprice of the gods. The Gilgamesh Epic is silent on this point and merely states that it was decided by the gods in counsel. A more detailed explanation is provided in the fragmentary Atrahasis Epic where Mankind is blamed because he is noisy and deprives the gods of their rest:
The inundation that engulfed the Earth has been described in numerous sources. Probably the best known and most vivid description is contained in Genesis:
The Sumerian account seems to support this description. In the Gilgamesh Epic, the underworld footings collapsed, the dikes gave way, and a tempest swept the land. In the works of the Pseudepigrapha it was prophesied that "the great storages of the waters of heaven will come down to Earth."
From these accounts, therefore, the dynamics of the catastrophe can be described as twofold. First, there was a heavy sustained downpour that lasted for weeks, even months, and secondly, gigantic tidal waves generated by earthquakes swept the lands.
In the works of the Haggadah, the cloud cover is given as the major source of water. These ancient Hebrew legends refer to the Deluge as a union of water from the firmament above with the water issuing from the Earth. Therefore, the question arises, by itself would the collapse of the vapor canopy provide enough rain to engulf the world lands?
It has been estimated that if the atmosphere were composed of pure moisture and suddenly condensed, it would amount to no more than 30 feet [10 meters] of water, certainly not enough in itself to inundate the Earth. However, the oceans of the Earth hold more than 200 million cubic miles of water.
The sudden movement of this mass of water would be enough to drown about three-quarters of the present surface of the planet and in some cases as deep as 30,000 feet [10,000 meters]. The tidal movements, in addition to the condensation of the clouds, would certainly provide enough water to drown even the largest continent.
A number of theories have been advanced to explain the event which triggered the catastrophe, from planetary near-misses by the planets Mars or Venus to a shifting of the Antarctic icemass.
[Comment: That last sentence indicates that Boulay was well aware of the theories of Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky, because only Dr. Velikovsky discusses near-misses by Mars and Venus. In the Sitchin material the shifting of the Antarctic icemass is blamed, and this editor personally never felt that Sitchin was correct about that. In my opinion, the "Deluge" was caused by a Polar Axis Shift engendered not by Mars or Venus but by the arrival or departure of the Planet Nibiru - "Hyperborea".]
Rabbinical legends suggest it was a cosmic event which also caused changes in the positions of the stars. It states that two stars were removed from from the constellation Pleiades, and these were replaced by two stars from the constellation of the Bear. The legends also suggest there were other changes among the celestial spheres during the year of the Deluge, involving the sun and the moon, although these changes are not specified.
[Comment: This is most interesting. Pleiades or not, there are two important but mysterious stars in the Sirius System, Sirius A and Sirius B. This removal of a star could refer to the explosion of the red giant Sirius B and its collapse into an invisible brown dwarf neutron star, events which are closely related to the capture of the Planet Nibiru by this solar system.]
Whatever the cause, it was significant enough in intensity to divide the history of Mankind into two great periods. The antediluvian era is known as the time of the gods: the "golden age" in many mythologies. What had been achieved by man and god was washed away by the disaster.
It is generally accepted that the end of the Ice Age had liberated huge quantities of water; this may also have contributed to the increased flooding of the Earth. The date of the end of the Ice Age has been arbitrarily placed at various dates, generally around 10,000 BC. There is evidence, however, that it could have occurred as recently as 4000 BC.
In his book Worlds in Collision, Velikovsky introduced evidence to show that Niagara Falls, which was created at the end of the Ice Age, may be only 7000 years old or less. This was deduced by geologists studying the gradual wearing down of the rocks of the bed of the falls, creating today what is a horseshoe-shaped contour. At the rate of the yearly erosion, and even allowing for an increased rate in earlier days, they suggested that Niagara Falls were created about 4000-5000 BC.
[Comment: Mystery solved - he has read Dr. Velikovskyís books.]
Evidence from all over the world indicates that the antediluvian sea level was much lower than it is today. Lower sea levels would mean that the old coastlines would be different. If the continental shelf had been the original coastline of the continents, world seas would have been 150 to 200 feet [45 to 65 meters] lower than they are today. The continental shelf is of sedimentary origin, indicating that it had existed as the coastline for a very long time.
The collapse of the cloud or vapor canopy would in itself have supplied a part of this water, perhaps as much as 30 feet. But the mechanism which caused the vapor canopy to collapse and brought on the Deluge may have also ended the Ice Age or Glacial Period as well. The melting of the glacial ice and the cloud precipitation could have raised world sea levels to what they are today. The waters over the continental shelf of Eastern North America varies in depth up to 600 feet; but most of this is about 200 feet deep. A drop in the sea level of 200 feet would expose most of the continental shelf.
The same is true of the Persian Gulf, where a drop of 150 to 200 feet would uncover most of the land and leave a much smaller gulf, more like a large river in width. Thus, the original Sumerian cities built in the antediluvian era would presently be under the adjacent waters of the Gulf. In other words, the cities now being excavated in Mesopotamia were actually built on virgin soil and not on the ruins of previous cities.
A CHRONOLOGY FOR THE PERIOD FROM ABRAHAMíS BIRTH TO THE DEATH OF SOLOMON
(all dates are BCE - Before Common Era)
[Comment: In essence, there is nothing inherently incorrect with this chronology; however, it is slightly "off" here and there. For instance, the reign of Solomon actually began in the year 995 BCE, rather than 24 years later. Assuming that the rest of the chronology were fairly correct, then all dates earlier than the reign of Solomon would have to be pushed backwards by 24 years as well. That would put the date for the Exodus at 1461 BCE. The temple of Solomon was begun in his fourth year, which was said to be the 480th year after the Exodus. 995 - 4 = 991, + 480 = 1471 BCE, which is only 10 years "off" from the former date. However, it is the contention of this editor that the catastrophe that set off the Exodus, the Hyksos Invasion of Egypt and the Thera/Santorini Cataclysm should be correctly placed at the year 1588-87 BCE.]
THE DATE OF THE DELUGE AS ABOUT 4000 BC
There have been many attempts to date the catastrophe known worldwide as the Deluge, but so far none has proven to be generally acceptable. Since Sumer is considered to be the origin of Western Civilization, archaeological evidence in the Mesopotamian plain would seem to present the best evidence in establishing the date of the Deluge. The cities of ancient Sumer should provide a true and consistent record of the origin of these cities as found in the layers of silt laid down by the great flood.
But these silt layers are not consistent. Near the ancient city of Ur, archaeologists have dug down and found a layer of eight to eleven feet [2-4 meters] of clean silt between settlements. At Shuruppak, a two-foot layer was found but for a later period. The strata of clean clay at Uruk was found to be five feet deep, but again for a later period. It is evident that if these several strata are actually flood deposits, they still do not represent one and the same inundation since they occur at at different points in the stratagraphic sequence.
It would seem, therefore, that a common strata of virgin soil would have to be located deeper. The first cities of Sumer inhabited after the Deluge were Eridu, Uruk, and Nippur; therefore, evidence of the first settlement should be found at these sites.
Eridu was considered by the Sumerians to be the oldest city in the world and for this reason was probably the city which gave Earth its name. Its historicity is due to its being the headquarters of Enki, from where he conducted all operations to establish a civilization. Since it was the first city rebuilt after the Deluge, excavations here should provide evidence to the age of the Sumerian civilization.
Archaeologists digging at this site came upon a temple dedicated to Enki which appeared to have been rebuilt many times over. Digging deeper into the strata, excavators came upon a cross-section of the beginnings of Mesopotamian civilization. At a stratum equivalent to 2500 BC, archaeologists found the rebuilt ruins of Enkiís temple, than again at the level equivalent to 3000 BC. Digging further, they came upon the foundations of the first temple dedicated to Enki. It rested on virgin soil; nothing had been built here before. Time had been rolled back to 3800 BC. It is then that civilization began in Sumer. The date of the Deluge would then logically be sometime just before this date or about 4000 BC.
The origin of Sumerian culture at about this time has been confirmed by artifacts found at Uruk. The earliest known text found in Mesopotamia was at the ruins of Uruk and is dated to about 3500 BC. It is a tablet with small pictures, or pictographs, undecipherable but of a type which preceded cuneiform writing. Allowing for several hundred years for the plain to drain and the land to recover, in order to rebuild the cities, it also postulates a date of about 4000 BC for the Deluge.
The Deluge is remembered world-wide as a catastrophe that wiped out civilization and started a new era for Mankind. Many cultures date their beginnings from this time. The Jewish calendar counts time from an enigmatic beginning in 3671 BC or "the years that have passed since the counting of years began."
It is generally accepted that the First Egyptian Dynasty began about the middle of the Fourth Millennium BC, after a chaotic period of 350 years, which separates the human kings from the semi-divine kings of the Archaic Period. Elsewhere, the Fourth Millennium is also marked as the beginning date from which time is reckoned, as for example, in Mesoamerica where the Olmec calendar begins in the year 3373 BC.
Scholars agree that the key to establishing the time of events in Biblical times hinges on fixing the time of the Exodus. Many dates have been proposed, but they either contradict explicit statements in the Old Testament or they do not fit in with knowledge of the Egyptian dynasties of the period. Basically, the problem is correlating the Exodus with current and subsequent events in Egypt.
Only a few so-called absolute dates exist for Mesopotamia and Egypt; and when these are examined closely, they are not that absolute. The main anchor for Egyptian chronology is based on the rising of the star Sirius during the reign of Sesostris III of the 12th Dynasty. This astronomical event is identified as 1872 BC and from this date predecessors and successors were given "absolute" chronological identifications.
Anyone writing on the ancient Middle East is like a mountain climber tethered to a whole line of climbers at the head of which he hopes there is someone with his pick firmly anchored in rock. Unfortunately, the fixed points provided even by astronomy are not all that firm, and from time to time whole chains of carefully calculated data slither down into oblivion.
On the other hand, if the dates derived from the Bible are used to erect a chronology from Abraham to the Judaean kings, a period of about a thousand years, there arises the problem that nowhere in this millennium do the events coincide with the traditional Egyptian chronology. It is as if the two civilizations lived side by side without any contact. Obviously, something is amiss in this scheme of things.
It can be shown, however, that dates derived from explicit information in the Old Testament indicate that the early Judaean kings existed at the same time as the 18th Dynasty and that the Exodus coincided with the fall of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt.
Scriptural evidence places Moses and the Exodus in the middle of the 15th Century BC; other Biblical events occurring before and after the Exodus show the correctness of this date. A mid-15th Century date provides a sound benchmark to establish the time of events in the days of Abraham which relate to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the other cities of the Siddim Plain, to the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt and the supporting role of Saul and David, and to the identification of the Queen of Sheba as Queen Hatshepsut of the 18th Dynasty. The chronology of these Biblical incidents can be corroborated by both Egyptian and Mesopotamian data.
[Comment: This is straight out of Dr. Velikovskyís book Ages in Chaos. At this point in his book, Boulay presents a table of dates, comparing the chronologies of Israel, Egypt and Phoenicia from the reign of Saul through the death of Solomon. Essentially he is using the raw data from the Velikovskian School, data which this editor attempted to refine in the treatise June 15, 762 BCE: A Mathematical Analysis of Ancient History, mentioned earlier in this serialization.]
THE DATE OF THE EXODUS AND OTHER EVENTS
In order to establish the date of the Exodus, we must refer to the pertinent Biblical references. In 1 Kings 6 it is stated that the Exodus took place 480 years before the fourth year of Solomonís reign, when he began to build the Temple. This year would be 967 BC, considering he ruled from 971 to 931 BC. The chronology may oscillate a few years due to the uncertainty of the end of Solomonís reign and the division of the kingdom. We have chosen a middle date.
If the temple was built in 967 BC, we arrive at 1447 BC as the date of the Exodus, that is, 967 plus 480 years. Since the sojourn in Egypt lasted 430 years according to Exodus 12, this would place the entrance of Jacob into Egypt in the year 1877 or 1447 plus 430 years.
An analysis of the information in Genesis suggests that the Patriarchs were in Canaan for 215 years before entering Egypt. This figure is derived as follows: Abraham entered Canaan at the age of 75; Isaac was born to him at age 100; Isaac was 60 at Jacobís birth; Jacob was 130 when he stood before the Pharaoh. Thus 215 years (25 + 60 + 130 = 215) elapsed from Abrahamís entrance into Canaan and Jacobís into Egypt. Adding the 215 years to 1877 BC, we thus arrive at the date of 2092 BC as the time Abraham and Lot left Haran for the land of Canaan.
The establishment of the time of the reigns of the Kings of Judah is also critical to any attempt to synchronize Israelite and Egyptian chronology.
This provides us with a time scale for the period of over 1200 years which encompass the birth of Abraham and the death of Solomon. A 15th Century date also fits in well with information found in the Book of Judges.
EVIDENCE FROM THE PERIOD OF THE JUDGES
An earlier or later date for the Exodus would contradict information in Judges. For example, one of the later Judges was called Jephthah who had to deal with a powerful Ammonite king who claimed the land of Transjordan with had been seized and occupied by the Israelites for many years.
The king wanted the land of his ancestors returned to him "because Israel seized my land, when they came up from Egypt." He warns, "return them now peaceably, and I will go." Jephthah then describes the route they took in the Exodus and how Sihon would not let them pass through his territory and attacked them; thus, the Israelites captured the territory of the Amorites from Arnon to Jabbok, and he added,
Since Jephthah lived about 1100 BC, the event of the invasion of the Israelites must have been about 1400 BC, that is 1100 plus 300 years. The invasion of Transjordan occurred after the period of wandering or 40 years from their departure from Egypt. When totaled the figure is in agreement with the proposed date of 1447 BC.
The Book of Judges also provides the reign of the various Judges between the death of Joshua and the rise of Saul as the first king. This period when the Israelites were led by various Judges also adds up to a period of about 400 years.
In Judges 3 through 12, the reign of each Judge and intervening lawless periods, starting with Othneil and ending with the rule of the Philistines is given as 350 years. Adding 350 to the inauguration of the rule of Saul, we have 1021 BC plus 350 years or 1371 BC. An additional 35 or 40 years must be added for the period of rule under Joshua, providing a date span of 1406 to 1411 BC as the year of the Israelite occupation.