Thousands of years ago, the Earth was a battlefield. These were the wars that would shape man's destiny—terrible conflicts that began lifetimes earlier on another planet.
Parting the mists of time and myth, the internationally renowned scholar Zecharia Sitchin takes us back in this volume to the violent beginnings of the human story, when gods—not men—ruled the Earth.
In a spellbinding reconstruction of epic events preserved in legends and ancient writings, he traces the conflicts that began on another world, continued on Earth, and culminated in the use of nuclear weapons—an event recorded in the Bible as the upheaval of Sodom and Gomorrah.
About the Author
Zecharia Sitchin is an internationally acclaimed author and researcher whose books offer evidence that we are not alone in our own solar system. One of a handful of scholars able to read the Sumerian cuneiform tablets, he has combined archaeology, ancient texts, and the Bible with the latest scientific discoveries to retell the history and prehistory of mankind and planet Earth. His trailblazing books have been translated into more than twenty languages; his first one, an oft-quoted classic, celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of its publication. A graduate of the University of London and a journalist and editor in Israel for many years, he now lives and writes in New York.
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The Wars Of Man
In the spring of 1947, a shepherd boy searching for a lost sheep in the barren cliffs overlooking the Dead Sea, discovered a cave that contained Hebrew scrolls hidden inside earthenware jars. Those and other scrolls found in the area in subsequent years -- collectively spoken of as the Dead Sea Scrolls -- had lain undisturbed for nearly two thousand years, carefully wrapped and hidden away during the turbulent years when Judea challenged the might of the Roman empire.
Was this pail of the official library of Jerusalem, carted away to safety before the city and its temple fell in A.D. 70, or -- as most scholars assume -- a library of the Essenes, a sect of hermits with messianic preoccupations? The opinions are divided, for the library contained both traditional biblical texts as well as writings dealing with the sect's customs, organization, and beliefs.
One of the longest and most complete scrolls, and perhaps the most dramatic, deals with a future war, a kind of Final War. Titled by scholars The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness, it envisages spreading warfare -- local battles that will first involve Judea's immediate neighbors, which shall increase in ferocity and scope until the whole ancient world would be engulfed: "The first engagement of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness, that is against the army of Belial, shall be an attack upon the troops of Edom, Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistine area; then upon that of the Kittians of Assyria; and upon those violators of the Covenant who give them aid...." And after thosebattles, "they shall advance upon the Kittians of Egypt" and "in due time...against the kings of the north."
In this War of Men, the scroll prophesied, the God of Israel shall take an active role:
On the day the Kittians fall, there shall be mighty combat and carnage, in the presence of the God of Israel;
For that is the day which He appointed of old for the final battle against the Sons of Darkness.
The Prophet Ezekiel had already prophesied the Last Battle, "in the latter days," involving Gog and Magog, in which the Lord himself shall "smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thine right hand. " But the Dead Sea scroll went further, foreseeing the actual participation of many gods in the battles, engaged in combat side by side with mortal men:
On that day, the Company of the Divine and the Congregation of the Mortals shall engage side by side in combat and carnage.
The Sons of Light shall battle against the Sons of Darkness with a show of godlike might, amid uproarious tumult, amid the war cries of gods and men.
Though Crusaders, Saracens, and countless others in historical times have gone to war "in the name of God," the belief that in a war to come the Lord himself shall be actually present on the battlefield, and that gods and men would fight side by side, sounds as fantasy, to be treated allegorically at best. Yet it is not as extraordinary a notion as it may appear to be, for in earlier times, it was indeed believed that the Wars of Men were not only decreed by the gods but were also fought with the gods' active participation.
One of the most romanticized wars, when "love had launched a thousand ships," was the War of Troy, between the Achaean Greeks and the Trojans. It was, know we not, launched by the Greeks to force the Trojans to return the beautiful Helen to her lawful spouse. Yet an epic Greek tale, the Kypria, represented the war as a premeditated scheme by the great god Zeus:
There was a time when thousands upon thousands of men encumbered the broad bosom of the Earth. And having pity on them, Zeus in his great wisdom resolved to lighten Earth's burden.
So he caused the strife at Ilion (Troy) to that end; that through death he might make a void in the race of men.
Homer, the Greek storyteller who related the war's events in the Iliad, blamed the whim of the gods for instigating the conflict and for turning and twisting it to its ultimate major proportions. Acting directly and indirectly, sometimes seen and sometimes unseen, the various gods nudged the principal actors of this human drama to their fates. And behind it all was Jove (Jupiter/Zeus): "While the other gods and the armed warriors on the plain slept soundly, Jove was wakeful, for he was thinking how to do honor to Achilles and destroy much people at the ships of the Achaeans."
Even before the battle was joined, the god Apollo began the hostilities: "He sat himself down away from the ships with a face as dark as night, and his silver bow rang death as he shot his arrow in the midst of them [the Achaeans]...For nine whole days he shot his arrows among the people....And all day long, the pyres of the dead were burning." When the contending sides agreed to postpone hostilities so that their leaders might decide the issue in hand-to-hand combat, the unhappy gods instructed the goddess Minerva: "Go at once into the Trojan and Achaean hosts, and contrive that the Trojans shall be the first to break their oaths and set upon the Achaeans." Eager for the mission, Minerva "shot through the sky as some brilliant meteor...a fiery train of light followed in her wake. " Later on, lest the raging warfare cease for the night, Minerva turned night into day by lighting up the battlefield: She "lifted the thick veil of darkness from their eyes, and much light fell upon them, both on the side of the ships and on where the fight was raging; and the Achaeans could see Hector and all his men."Ec 3: Wars of Gods and Men. Copyright © by Zecharia Sitchin. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Table of ContentsForeword
1 The Wars of Man
2 The Contending ofHorus and Seth
3 The Missiles of Zeus and Indra
4 The Earth Chronicles
5 The Wars of the Olden Gods
6 Mankind Emerges
7 When Earth Was Divided
8 The Pyramid Wars
9 Peace on Earth
10 The Prisoner in the Pyramid
11 "A Queen Am I!"
12 Prelude to Disaster
13 Abraham: The Fateful Years
14 The Nuclear Holocaust
The Earth Chronicles: Time Chart
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