Eclipses of the moon happen so regularly that even astrologers think of them as regular features of the heavens. However, the appearance of four “blood moons,” or eclipses where the moon seems to turn red, in an eighteen month period beginning early this morning have led to bizarre prophecies that this marks the end of the state of Israel or even the Second Coming of Jesus. According to Pastor John Hagee, who previously announced that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for a planned gay pride rally in New Orleans, the blood moons fulfill the prophecy of Joel (2:31), reiterated in Acts 2:20: “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.” There will be a solar eclipse on April 29. He isn’t sure that this is the Second Coming, but he believes a “world-changing” event is upon us and that it is intimately connected with the Jews.
Michael Heiser has some informative commentary and links to YouTube videos explaining just why these claims are beyond silly, but I’d like to use this opportunity to share something I stumbled across in reviewing Seneca’s discussion of the end of the world in his Natural Questions (3.29). Embedded in that discussion is a fragment of Berosus on the end times that has something very interesting to say—though not about when the world will actually end.
Some suppose that in the final catastrophe the earth, too, will be shaken, and through clefts in the ground will uncover sources of fresh rivers which will flow forth from their full source in larger volume. Berosus, the translator of [the records of] Belus, affirms that the whole issue is brought about by the course of the planets. So positive is he on the point that he assigns a definite date both for the conflagration and the deluge. All that the earth inherits will, he assures us, be consigned to flame when the planets, which now move in different orbits, all assemble in Cancer, so arranged in one row that a straight line may pass through their spheres. When the same gathering takes place in Capricorn, then we are in danger of the deluge. (trans. John Clark)
To dispense with the date: Graham Hancock, in Fingerprints of the Gods (1995), asserted that Berosus was referring to the conjunction of five planets on May 5, 2000—which included Uranus and Neptune, planets unknown to Berosus. Hancock, who had read and endorsed Richard Noone’s 5/5/2000: Ice, the Ultimate Disaster (1982, rev. ed. 1997), calling it “brilliant,” followed Noone in suggesting that a pole shift might occur on that date. Obviously, it didn’t happen.
But did you catch the really interesting thing in the Berosus fragment? Berosus said that Babylonian astrology predicted both a flood and a fire that would end the earth when the stars were right. Where did we hear that before?
Flavius Josephus reported that the Jews believed in “Adam’s prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and at another time by the violence and quantity of water” (Antiquities 1.2.3, trans. William Whiston). Again, in the Latin Life of Adam and Eve: “Our Lord will bring upon your race the anger of his judgement, first by water, the second time by fire” (49.3, trans. R. H. Charles). And of course this follows with all of the derivatives I discussed in my post on the prophecy of Adam. Similarly, the Arab pyramid myth not only preserves the dual destruction but also relates it to astrology, albeit in the deep past: “After a thorough review, it was recognized that a deluge would occur after which would appear a fire out of the constellation Leo which will burn the world” (al-Maqrizi, Al-Khitat 1.40, my trans.).
I don’t recall reading about Berosus’ discussion of Babylonian End Times beliefs in any of the literature on the prophecy of Adam, at least not in any significant depth, but it would seem to be highly relevant given the close connection between the Enochian literature and Mesopotamian mythology and astrology. In a quick literature review, I see a brief mention of the connection in a piece by J. Estlin Carpenter in a 1912 article called “Buddhist and Christian Parallels,” though it is not terribly developed. It is mentioned in a footnote to Guy Stroumsa’s Another Seed (1984), a book about Gnostics, though only by citation; Stroumsa prefers to discuss a parallel text in Plato’s Timaeus, where the Egyptians state that “There have been, and will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes; the greatest have been brought about by the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable other causes” (trans. Benjamin Jowett). The conclusion is that the fire and water dual destructions were a broad theme found across the ancient Near East. I am sure there must be other discussions, though I do not have any at my fingertips right now.
It’s interesting, anyway.
Heiser also has another important point that speaks toward the discussion Scott Wolter wants to have about the way peer review suppresses his truths. Heiser points out that Discussions in Egyptology, a peer-reviewed journal, published in 1995 an article debunking the so-called Orion Correlation Theory. This isn’t news except, as he notes, that same journal published Bauval’s original peer-reviewed article on the correlation in 1993, in issue 27: “Cheops’s Pyramid: A New Dating Using the Latest Astronomical Data.” This contradicts two of Wolter’s claims: First, it shows that alternative or fringe material, presented with sufficient academic rigor, can be published in a peer-reviewed journal, and, second, that peer-reviewed journals can and do publish articles that disagree with one another rather than publishing only articles that conform to a fixed dogma.
So, if Robert Bauval can publish his Orion Correlation in a journal, what is the problem with Scott Wolter publishing his findings? I, for one, would welcome a thorough discussion of the solid facts that prove that Oreo cookies are secret Templar-Freemason goddess-worship communion wafers. I found his current published account, in Akhenaten to the Founding Fathers, to practically demand a more thorough analysis.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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