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28. Observations on the Biblical and Mesopotamian Pre-diluvian Traditions (§§458-463)

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28. Observations on the Biblical and Mesopotamian Pre-diluvian Traditions (§§458-463)




458. The text of Genesis itself describes the Flood as divine judgment for the intermarrying of two lines, one of the sons of God, the other of the daughters of man. The post-Biblical, Rabbinic, tradition that Naamah the daughter of the Cainite Lamech, was the wife of Noah, the son of the Sethite Lamech, is evidence of a belief that intermarriage occurred in this instance, at least, towards the end of the genealogies.


459. Two marriages account for the disjunctions evident in the Sumerian King List, as compared with the Biblical genealogies. One is the marriage of the Cainite Lamech (Sumerian [Enmen-a]lima) to Adah and Zillah, the mothers of Jabal (Enmen-lu-ana), Jubal (Enmen-gal-ana), Tubal-cain (Dumu-zi[d]), all of the Bad-tibira dynasty, and Tubal-cain’s sister Naamah. The other is this marriage of Noah to Naamah, the daughter of the Cainite Lamech. The effect of this was to bring down the Bad-tibira dynasty to a position in the Biblical genealogies contemporary with Noah.



1. The marriage of Lamech to Adah and Zillah and its effects


460. When the names of the pre-diluvian kings and patriarchs of Sumerian tradition are paired up with the Biblical names, the number of names on both sides matches perfectly (see the chart above). We find that the first of the Sumerian patriarchs (“apkallus” from Sumerian ab.gal), i.e. Adam and/or his immediate descendants in the line of Seth, arrived in Mesopotamia in the reign of the kings of the dynasty of Bad-tibira. This is the dynasty of Dumuzi who is the Biblical Tubal-cain. But in the Cainite genealogy Tubal-cain is located right at the end of the Cainite genealogy — a son of Lamech, a brother of Jabal and Jubal. Then again, the latter two Biblical names parallel those of the other members of Dumuzi’s dynasty of Bad-tibira in the Sumerian King List, viz. Enmen-lu-ana and Enmen-gal-ana. The Sumerian kings of this dynasty dwelt in a city called the “Wall (Bad) of the Metalsmiths (tibira)” and one of them was a herder (Dumuzi sipa). Similarly, according to the Bible, Jabal, Jubal and Tubal-cain were herders and metalsmiths. The redating of this dynasty, — which must, in that case, have existed already in the days when Adam and/or his immediate Sethite descendants first arrived in Mesopotamia, — to a later genealogical position in Genesis is explicable if Lamech married the mothers of the kings of this dynasty (called Adah and Zillah in the Bible) and hence became father of Jabal, Jubal and Tubal-cain, the already-existing children of the two women.


461. A relocation of this kind is possible given that the average lifespan then, at least in these genealogical lines, was approximately 10 times the norm today. The suggestion tends to be confirmed by the statement in Genesis that Adah was the mother of Jabal and Jubal, and Zillah was the mother of Tubal-cain — the only instance in the pre-diluvian genealogies of descent traced from named women, without a direct assertion of the father’s role as procreator. If the Bad-tibira kings reigned around 3200 BC, and their mothers survived their reigns, they would have been alive towards the end of the 930-year life of Adam as well as during the lifetimes of the following four patriarchs, and their mothers would have been contemporaries of Lamech, who was born in 3217 BC. A medieval Jewish tradition preserved in the Talmud and the Book of Yashar claims that Adah and Zillah were descended from the patriarch Seth, and that they were taken in marriage by the Cainite Lamech: (Sefer ha-Yashar, ed. Haktav Institute, Jerusalem, 1987 [www.hebrewbooks.org, 2009], p. 4f. = trans. Noah, 2. 10ff.) “10 And Enosh [the son of Seth] lived ninety years and he begat Cainan …. 15 And when Cainan was seventy years old, he begat three sons and two daughters. 16 And these are the names of the children of Cainan; the name of the first born Mahalalel, the second Enan, and the third Mered, and their sisters were Adah and Zillah; these are the five children of Cainan that were born to him. 17 And Lamech, the son of Methushael [the descendant of Cain, ibid. 30], became related to Cainan by marriage, and he took his two daughters for his wives …. [Later Adah and Zillah separated temporarily from Lamech because he and Tubal-cain had shot Cain with an arrow by mistake, and Lamech had then accidentally slain Tubal-cain. Lamech exhorted them to return using the words recorded in Genesis 4. 23f.] 36 And the wives of Lamech listened to him [Lamech] in this matter, and they returned to him with the advice of their father Adam, but they bore no children to him from that time, knowing that God’s anger was increasing in those days against the sons of men, to destroy them with the waters of the flood for their evil doings.” Here the intermarriage between the two lines is said to have taken place in the generation of Mahalalel, son of Cainan, and specifically also within the lifetime of Adam. Mahalalel corresponds to the Sumerian patriarch Anenlilda (Greek Anementos), who, according to Berossus, was a contemporary of Dumuzi (= Tubal-cain) of the dynasty of Bad-tibira. It thus provides support for the reconstruction proposed here, in which the ultimate Cainite generation is synchronized with an earlier generation within the lifetime of Adam, and with the dynasty of Bad-tibira in Sumerian tradition.


462. The “defiled” Oannes is said by Berossus to have appeared in Mesopotamia during the reign of Ammenon (Enmen-gal-ana, Jubal), and Annedotos in his second appearance in Abydenus in the preceding reign of A(l)melon (called in Abydenus “Amillaros,” viz. Enmen-lu-ana, Jabal). In one fragmentary text of the Sumerian King List (WB 62) an otherwise unattested pre-diluvian dynasty, consisting of two kings of Larsa, appears before the Bad-tibira dynasty. The second name, i.e. the name immediately preceding the Bad-tibira kings, is “[ a]lim-ma.” There is a break at the beginning which would leave room for an initial element, like “Enme-” or “Enmen-,” such as commonly appears in these names. The full form, then, would be “Enmen-alima.” The element alima means “heavy-laden, depressed with a heavy weight,” and matches the suggested meaning of the Hebrew Lamech. Here is the Cainite Lamech in the position immediately preceding the Bad-tibira kings, as supra. The name before this, the first of the Larsa dynasty, is Kidunnu-sha-kin-kin (with a small break before the first element). The Akkadian word kidunnu (otherwise kidinnu) means “(one under) protection,” sha means “of,” and kin kin = she’ û, search, look for. The Akkadian kidinnu translates the Sumerian ubara (= “protection, or one under protection”). Just as in the case of the Sumerian name Ubara-Tutu (Methu-shelah, Methuselah), where the element ubara is represented by the Hebrew “methu” (mtw), so in the name Methu-shael (= Kidinnu-sha-kin-kin, “Man, or adherent of the Searching God”) its Akkadian equivalent kidinnu is represented by the same Hebrew word “methu.” Methushael is the father of the Cainite Lamech, as Kidunnu-sha-kin-kin is the predecessor of (Enmen-a)lima.



2. A disjunction in the genealogy of Cain in the generation of Irad


463. Three generations stand at the head of the Cainite genealogy: those of Cain himself (Alulim), of his first son, Enoch (Alalgar), and of the latter’s son, Irad (En-sipa-zi-ana). There is evidence in the Bible that a disjunction occurred in the Cainite genealogy at the time of Irad (En-sipa-zi-ana). In the Cainite genealogy (Gen. 4. 17) it is said that Cain’s wife bore (the Hebrew verb yalad) Enoch. This is a straightforward assertion of genealogical descent, if not of direct sonship. The following statement (Gen. 4. 18) is not straightforward, however. The Hebrew reads: wayyiwwaled laḥanôk et-‘iyrad, which, — though it is sometimes translated as a straightforward statement of genealogical descent of Irad from Enoch, — is a rare grammatical construction and can only properly mean in the context: “And Irad was connected genealogically to Enoch.” The use of the Hebrew word “et,” as here, with what appears to be the subject of a passive verb, is not common. It has been thought that an impersonal sense is conveyed by the usage, so in this case the phrase would mean something like: “one engendered Irad on Enoch.” (See Gesenius-Tregelles, s.v. et I [2] [a] and following Note, which argues against an impersonal sense in every case.) Here, the sudden shift to an unusual grammatical construction, regardless of the precise meaning of that construction, is evidence of an atypical genealogical connection between the two named figures. Thereafter the word yalad is used as normal: “And Irad begat Mehujael …. etc.” An explanation is offered below: several generations in the genealogical line seem to have been omitted at this point, representing a series of kings of the city of Enoch, the descendants of Enoch (Alalgar) himself. Irad (En-sipa-zi-ana), the last of them, was king of the city of Larak in Mesopotamia. His descendant was Mehujael (Enmen-ushumgal-ana), and in the time of the latter’s dynasty Adam and the Adamic patriarchs arrived in Mesopotamia c. 3200 BC. Note that Adam spanned two different eras, one to which he was translated c. 120,000 BC, and in that era he was the contemporary of Cain and his son (hence Uana and Ha-an-duga [Uan-duga], that is, Adam and Abel, were the apkallus associated with Alulim [Cain] and Alalgar [Enoch]), the founders of the Enoch-Atlantis civilization, and the other being the era in which he was originally formed 4091 BC, and to which he was returned after the Fall, when he begot Seth and the Sethite patriarchs. Thus in the Sumerian tradition Alulim and Alalgar appear at the head of the pre-diluvian king-list, without a hint that there was a chronological gap between them and the succeeding kings, as, in fact, there was no chronological gap between the apkallu who was their contemporary, Uana (Adam), and the apkallus (Sethite patriarchs) of the succeeding kings, because of the afore-mentioned translation. The Sumerian tradition was derived from the apkallus, the divine sages, not the kings, and therefore represents their particular chronological perspective. A fragment of the chronological tradition survived in Berossus’ mysterious mention of the single “day” in the “first year” when Oannes appeared out of the Persian Gulf.