Know Your Enemy (Part 9 - The Birth of Tammuz & Polytheism)
Transcript of PART NINE:
rachel wrote: ↑Tue Jun 07, 2022 11:27 am In the end, we know that Nimrod met a violent and untimely death; but there are contrasting stories as to why and how it happened. Some have suggested it was at the hands of Shem's descendants who had become outraged at what Nimrod was attempting to do in Babylon. Other say it was an act of rebellion by a band of his subjects. The most intriguing and shocking version of events however, is he was killed by Semiramis, his wife.
Nimrod was, by all accounts, a brilliant tactician, but it seems he made a fatal flaw in allowing Semiramis to retain control over the religion. Because it was the religion that was the true source of power behind his rule. Through it, she won the hearts and minds of the people, and she used this to her advantage when a schism developed between herself and Nimrod. She had become pregnant with an illegitimate son. When Nimrod heard about this he threatened to dethrone her and expose her true origins as a prostitute; but Semiramis retaliated by devising a plot to overthrow him and retain power for herself. The story goes that she had the priests kill him on her behalf at an annual New Year feast. The Babylonian people were then given a cover story to explain his death. And when she eventually gave birth to her illegitimate son, she further claimed to the people that he was an immaculately conceived reincarnation of Nimrod. She called him Tammuz and presented him as the seed of the woman mentioned back in Genesis 3, the Messiah. We know that this verse really refers to Jesus Christ. And so Tammuz was the first Christ imposture, the first anti-Christ.
Semiramis's rule in the aftermath of this event appeared to be rather shaky, and because of the increased threat to her safety she took to building walls, towers and gates around the city of Babylon to defend herself. She was actually the first to build fortifications of this type, and therefore became so associated with this concept that in later times she was often depicted with a crown of turrets. To secure her position, she increasingly emphasised her position as the 'Mother of God' and the 'Queen of Heaven', in other words she continued to use religious motivation to keep power. As Tammuz grew up and reached maturity he began demanding to be installed as the new King. Not only did Semiramis refused this, but seeing that he was becoming a threat to her rule, concocted a plan to have him disposed off in the same manner she disposed of Nimrod. Tammuz however, caught wind of her scheme and ran her through with a sword before she had the chance to implement it. He then purged the priesthood of all who wouldn't swear allegiance to him to consolidate his position within the religion. This ended Semiramis's 102 year rule, it did not however end her relevance.
After death, Nimrod continued to be worshipped as the 'Sun God', and after Semiramis's death, she continued to be worshipped as the 'Moon Goddess'; and they continue to be represented by the leading lights of the sky. Semiramis, also known as 'The Great Mother', 'Divine Mother', 'Virgin Mother', etc. would often be depicted standing on a crescent moon with stars encircling her head. Both Nimrod and Semiramis were also given new names in their post life godly form. Nimrod was confirmed by the priest of the religion as a god called MARDUK, and Semiramis was confirmed as a godess called ASTARTE. These names however were never revealed to the masses, but instead their attributes were set forth under pseudonyms of various gods constructed for the public interest. For example, in Christian terms, we can call God, 'Jehovah-Jireh' meaning 'The Lord Who Provides', or 'Jehovah-Nissi' which means 'The Lord is my Banner', but we know these different names refer to the same God. In Babylon however, these different names which represented different parts of Nimrod's and Semiramis's character morphed into separate entities altogether, and polytheism, multiple God worship was truly born.
Some of MARDUK's alter-egos for example included, ENKI or APSU - who was the god of wisdom, incantations and deep water oceans; another was ASTALLUHI, the god of healing and exorcism. Another was NEBOU or BEL, who was believed to have come out of a cave or hole in the ground, and so worship ceremonies were held for NEBOU underground. This cave theme became significant in Babylonian beliefs and as a recurring theme, it also curiously echoes Revelation 13, which talks of a beast coming out of the ground.
The names NEBOU and BEL became the official names of MARDUK in later periods and are popular in these same periods among the ruling classes of Babylon as name-elements. In the same way that Muslims are often named Muhammad after their prophet, Babylonians often had names like NEBU-CHADNEZZAR and BEL-SHAZZAR. Finally and perhaps most importantly, MARDUK was known as BAAL. This was the primary name by which the other nations including Israel, were introduced to the worship of MARDUK. BAAL means 'Lord' or 'Master', and was from very early times known as the sun god, under this name with many prefixes and suffixes, he was worshipped by the Canaanites, Phoenicians, Syrians and to some extent by the Egyptians.
The name BAAL sometimes occurs in connection with the locality. For example, in Peor, he was known as BAAL-PEOR, or in Hermin, BAAL-HERMON, more frequently it occurs with compound attributes such as BAAL-ZEBUB, which means 'Lord of the Flies', still today one of the epithets of Satan. 'Zebub', meaning fly, comes from the root word that signifies 'restless motion' and so BAAL-ZEBUB has a double meaning as 'Lord of restless and unsettled motion'. This agrees precisely with the characteristics of Satan as described in Job 1:7. BAAL-ZEPHON, another famous version means, 'Lord of the Black North' or 'Lord of the Northern Void'; and MERI-BAAL translates as 'Lord of the Rebellion'. All these different names are just different sides of the same dice. They all originate with MARDUK, who is Nimrod.
Finally, because all pagan gods and goddesses originated with a dysfunctional human family of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz and the Babylonian system, this clearly affected the views of what the gods and goddesses were like in ancient times. The gods were given family type structures. The gods had affairs, they argued, they competed for a position. They were as prone to family and relational problems as any human. Like Babylon is first family they even killed each other. Put simply, they were humanised. The Babylonian religion developed in such a way that men began to envision their gods in conformity with the image of man, the gods of the Babylonians are not only understood to interact with each other and operate their affairs as humans do, but they also behave like humans or worse. As one modern poet wrote, 'The more the gods become like men, the easier it is for men to believe the gods when both have only human appetites, then rogues may worship rogues.'