Revelations, Noah and the Great Flood

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This article explains an idea I wrote about originally in 2010 in my first self-published book, 'The Golden Web: Part1'. More recently, I discovered that that Prof LaViolette also discussed the idea in his excellent book 'Earth Under Fire' but I thought it would be worthwhile to explain it again, here on my website, as it still seems to make sense.
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At the end the New Testament in the Bible is a very odd 'book'. It doesn't naturally belong in the rest of the Old Testament; it's very much an oddball addition. It is also very memorable in its content and it revolves around 'God' explaining some very strange and dramatic events to a person called 'John' on an island in Patmos.

The first unique aspect of the Book of Revelations is that it is (as far as I can tell) the only moment in the Bible where God is described in human terms. In the rest of the Bible, He is depicted as a burning bush or a voice or presence. God's attributes of human appearance, snow-white hair and beard therefore seem to come entirely from this one encounter.

But was it really God that John encountered on the island of Patmos? If this is the only place in the Bible where God is depicted in human form, it seems logical to wonder if John or the person recounting this tale had a case of mistaken identity. But if the person with snow white hair and shining face isn’t God in Revelations, who is he?

There is a tantalising clue and it comes from the Book of Noah. The Book of Noah is an apocryphal text. In other words, the early Christian leaders didn't want it to be part of the Bible. It almost disappeared from history but it was found again amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls - parchments found in caves on the coast of the Dead Sea in the early 1950’s, as well as other recovered texts.

The Book of Noah talks about Noah, seemingly from the point of view of another famous ancient Jewish writer known as Enoch. Much of the Book of Noah overlaps with the Book of Enoch but there are passages that occur only in the Book of Noah. One of these passages includes an actual description of Noah:
And after some days my son Methuselah took a wife for his son Lamech, and she became pregnant by him and bore a son. And his body was white as snow and red as the blooming of a rose, and the hair of his head and his long locks were white as wool, and his eyes beautiful. And when he opened his eyes, he lighted up the whole house like the sun, and the whole house was very bright.
Let's compare this with the description of 'God' at the beginning of Revelations:
I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me; and when I turned I saw seven standing lamps of gold, and among the lamps one like a son of man, robed down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
Revelations 1:12 (New International Version)
The two descriptions are surprisingly similar. If we consider that God is never described in human form anywhere else in the Bible (as far as I can tell), it seems more likely that it was Noah that appeared to John in a cave on Patmos, rather than God or Yahweh. But if it was Noah talking to John, then how does his tale link with other things that Noah said in the Bible?
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To answer this, it's worth studying who Noah was and how tales or reports about his life and activities got into the Bible. Many people are aware of the story of Noah in the Book of Genesis (Chapter 6), and how God warned Noah that He was going to inflict a Great Flood on the whole of humanity. Noah heeded the warning and built a huge Ark, into which he placed two of every animal. The Flood came, after forty days and nights of rain, and deluged the world. Noah survived in his Ark with his family and animals and he eventually repopulated the world.
But there is a lot of evidence that the Book of Genesis is based on much earlier stories or reports. Modern scholars agree that a lot of the earliest Jewish tales - the stories that make up Genesis - have probably come from the Israelites’ time in bondage in Mesopotamia (the land around the Tigris and Euphrates) after they were conquered and enslaved by the Babylonians. While the Israelites were enslaved for centuries, they picked up a lot of the stories from their captor civilisation, Babylonia and Babylonia was itself a successor to the most ancient civilisation of all, Sumer.
What is also interesting is that there is evidence that a Great Flood did devastate Sumer, in the Tigris-Euphrates valley, in 2800 BC, a date that is compatible with the flood described in Genesis, at least according to modern Biblical dating. This flood was severe enough to leave metres of mud covering everything in that river valley. Such an inundation would have killed most, if not all of the inhabitants living there at that time. In the minds of the people living in those river valleys, the world would have ended with a deluge following weeks of rain. There is therefore compelling evidence that there was a real flood, as described in Genesis. The flood wasn’t global but it did rain for forty days and forty nights.
There is, though, a fascinating extra fact. Sumer also had a much older and more significant flood story. In Sumerian mythology there were two brother gods; Enki and Enlil. Enlil was the storm god, thrower of thunderbolts, a hard judge and autocrat, a role very similar to Amurru and Zeus. His brother, or half brother, was very different. Enki was a fertility god, compassionate and supportive of humanity, a role similar to the Egyptian god Hapy. Enki became the zodiacal figure Capricorn; half goat, half fish. The Flood story that involves these two gods is known as the Legend of Atrahasis.
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In the Legend of Atrahasis, Enlil, the king of the gods, sets out to eliminate humanity, the ‘noise of whose mating is offensive to his ears’. He successively sends war, drought, famine and plague to try and eliminate the human race but Enki thwarts his half-brother's plans by teaching Atrahasis about irrigation, granaries and medicine. After three disasters, humans again proliferate. Enraged, Enlil convenes a Council of Deities and gets them to promise not to tell humankind that he plans their total annihilation. Enki does not tell Atrahasis, but instead tells the walls of Atrahasis' reed hut of Enlil's plan, thus covertly rescuing Atrahasis by giving him the opportunity to build a boat. The Deluge takes place. Afterwards, Atrahasis frees a swallow, a raven and a dove in an effort to find if the floodwaters have receded. He finds out that there is dry land. On the boat landing, a sacrifice is organized to the gods.
The Atrahasis flood story clearly shows many similarities to the Book of Genesis flood story. It may be that the Israelites drew upon both flood stories and amalgamated them into a single flood story. If this is correct, then the Genesis flood story is an amalgamation of two Mesopotamian flood stories; one in 2800 BC and the other from a much earlier time. Sumer was established in around 4,000 BC, or possibly even earlier. In fact, its astonishingly rapid development from seemingly nothing is a bizarre enigma. It makes little sense that a civilisation could appear from virtually nothing, replete with writing, pottery, metalworking, a complex society, castes, specialised jobs, a standing army, sophisticated crop management, animal husbandry and other assets, all in a very short time. A far more likely scenario is that that civilisation was a new colony, established by a core group who already had all those skills and simply trained and instructed the locals in these skills, technologies and roles.
If that is correct, then the Legend of Atrahasis may have been brought by that core group. The truly Great Flood mentioned in that legend did not even take place in the Tigris-Euphrates region. Instead, it was the reason that core group had had to re-establish a new colony in the Tigris-Euphrates region. The civilisation of Sumer was not the first civilisation on Earth, it was the first civilisation after the truly Great Flood. That would mean that Noah is a much older character than Sumer itself. He is a character from a much more ancient time.
At this point, it's worth investigating if a truly Great Flood did actually occur on our planet in the thousands of years before Sumer began.

To have a truly Great Flood on Earth, you need an awful lot of water to appear. The last time a massive amount of water 'appeared' on Earth was at the end of the last ice age, in around 9650 BC. That water hadn't appeared from nothing. Before 9650 BC, it had been frozen in huge, permanent ice sheets. These ice-sheets were so huge, they covered the whole of Scandinavia and nearly all of Canada, along with all of Northern Russia. They were also a mile-or-more thick. As a result of this massive store of ice, our planet Earth was, on average, ten degrees cooler. Also, the sea levels of Earth were about a hundred metres lower, the depth of a thirty-storey building.
There was therefore more than enough water released at the end of the last ice age to drown humanity and flood mountains, if it happened quickly. If it happened very slowly, there wouldn’t be a disaster as such, just a slow migration inland by the people inhabiting the land as the coastline crept inwards. If that vast amount of water, locked up as ice, was released rapidly, it would be a cataclysm. The coastal waves would probably have been at least twice as high as the change in sea level, the height of a skyscraper or more. Any civilisation on Earth present at that time would have been wiped out, its coastal cities drowned beneath the waves. Little would even be left to indicate that a civilisation had ever existed, apart from the foundations of buildings, most of which would be tens of metres underwater.
But a sudden and catastrophic end to our last ice-age would seemingly need some sort of major, triggering event. Interestingly, there is evidence that a major event did take place in around 10,500 BC or around 12,500 years ago, when one or more meteorites smacked into Earth, causing massive damage and a sudden cooling of our climate. This is known as the Younger Dryas Impact Event. An early proponent of this theory was Douglas J Kennett. He and his 17 strong team produced a paper that showed that a whole pile of meteors hit North America at around 10,500 BC, about a thousand years before the end of the last ice age. Some of those meteorites impacted on the ice sheets that covered vast stretches of that continent. Others impacted on the ground and more exploded in the air. The researchers worked this out by studying the earth beneath our feet, in particular the layers of sediment laid down during that time. In those layers of sediment, they discovered lots of nano-diamonds, tiny diamonds invisible to the naked eye that have been formed during a moment of intense heat and pressure, such as when a big pile of rock hurtles into the ground from outer space, arriving at a speed of around a kilometre a second.
The Younger Dryas Impact Theory has been controversial. Many scientists have tried their best to refute the whole idea as false, or based on insufficient evidence, but more recent research has actually added more support to the theory, as explained in this very useful YouTube video:

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In addition, Dr Paul LaViolette has explained in his very interesting book, 'Earth Under Fire', that 10,500 BC was the moment when a burst of energy and particles from the centre of our galaxy hit our solar system. LaViolette puts forward the case in his book that the centre of our galaxy is a massive matter and energy creator, rather than a mass of black holes. Periodically, every 26,000 years, it emits a massive burst of high-energy particles and electromagnetic radiation. This periodic bursting has entrained our planet to rotate its axis every 26,000 years, our planetary precessional cycle. Our ancestors were aware of this periodic calamity and encoded information about it in our zodiac and our myths.
According to the research, the Younger Dryas Impact event did several things. Firstly, the impact lifted a lot of dust and ice-particles into our atmosphere, cooling the planet. This cooling delayed the natural end of the ice-age, which was coming to an end as a result of long-term cycles, such as the Milankovich cycle. Secondly, the impact created a ticking bomb, the creation of huge lakes of water trapped by walls of ice. As the particles from the impact fell from the sky, our planet would have been given a much more rapid warming period. This accelerated warming would have eroded the ice-walls holding in the lakes of water. When the ice-walls broke, massive amounts of water would have flooded the lands to the south of the ice-sheets, an event that seems to have created the Minnesota Scablands. This vast re-distribution of water would have caused crustal movement, which would, in turn, have triggered earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, which would in turn have destabilised more ice-walls. In this way, our ice-age could certainly have ended catastrophically, rather than gradually. Studies of sea-level rises at the end of our last ice-age do show that the rises did happen in bursts, with huge jumps occurring very rapidly. It would not have been a hospitable period at all.
And so, if there was a human civilisation in existence at the end of our last ice-age, then there is lots of evidence that they would have suffered calamities that nearly wiped them out. The logical next question to ask is; is there evidence that there was an advanced human civilisation in existence at that time?
According to the official line, the idea that human-kind did have technological civilisations in our last ice-age is impossible, Our scientific establishment states quite clearly that before Sumer developed in around 4,000 BC, all humans on Earth were simple hunter-gatherers. In some ways, this is only one step away from the Catholic religious belief that the whole of Earth didn't exist before 4,200 BC, because that was the date that God created our planet and everything on it.

But in terms of the development of homo-sapiens as a species, it would be an incredible situation if nothing had happened before 4,200 BC. Modern Cro-Magnon man has not changed for at least 100,000 years. In fact, there is evidence that homo-sapiens was involved in mine-working as far back as 300,000 BC, based on evidence discovered at a site in Morocco. The idea that our species did virtually nothing for almost its entire history, for at least 90,000 years and very possibly 300,000 or more years, and then in 6,000 went from basic farming to moon rockets, seems ridiculous. A more likely possibility is that our species developed civilisation a very long ago but faced one or more setbacks; catastrophes that drove us back down to hunter-gathering levels. After these catastrophes, we’ve had to develop from scratch all over again.
The most likely scientific and logical situation, therefore is that there was at least one advanced civilisation in existence during our last ice-age. It is also reasonable and logical to conclude that some of these people survived the catastrophic end to our last ice-age. Many survivors almost certainly reverted to hunter gathering and eke out an existence as Earth returned to a post-glacial normality. But others, who survived as a size-able group, with their technology and tools, could have then re-colonised an area of Earth and started a new civilisation. Such a civilisation would show exactly the type of attributes that Sumer possessed; sudden appearance with all facets of civilisation seemingly fully developed. The only delay in development would be the time taken for construction, and for that core group of colonists to train and educate the locals in the relevant skills.
What's more, leading figures in that new civilisation, created from a seed of a previous civilisation, would have told stories about their own past and what happened to their forebears when our last ice-age came to an end. The population at that time would have recorded and re-told those stories. The stage is therefore set for exactly what we find in our ancient books, that a heroic figure survived a Great Flood. His name was Atrahasis in Sumer and he later became Noah in the Bible. But if the figure in Revelations is Noah, as postulated earlier, then does his account match with the evidence put forward so far in this article, that a cometary impact actually started the end of our last ice-age, a process of breakdown that finally resulted in a massive flood?
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The Book of Revelations is a very strange account. It begins with lots of talk about churches, then talks at length about a Lamb suffering. It's interesting to note that the Lamb in this section bears a lot of similarities to the god Tammuz, a popular god of the Near East who was often depicted as a lamb and supposedly suffered greatly at the hands of an enemy. Worshippers of Tammuz were widespread in the Holy Land. The prophet Ezekiel reports on Tammuz worshippers saying prayers for Tammuz outside the Second Temple. Tammuz later evolved into the Greek god Adonis.

Tammuz was based in turn, according to evidence, on the Sumerian shepherd god Dumuzid, who according to Sumerian texts, lived before the Great Flood and survived it. Dumuzid, in a similar way to Christ and Osiris, is said to have 'died' and then returned from death. In this way, a story of a heroic Lamb, suffering, dying and being reborn connects directly with an antediluvian hero.
Returning the story in Revelations, the memorable part of its account is when seals are opened. As these seals are opened, humanity suffers plague and war (events that are also mirrored in the Legend of Atrahasis, the Sumerian version of the Noah story). This is the period in Revelations when the Four Horsemen are galloping around, the bony jaws rattling, while they sow Pestilence, War, Famine and Death. It is when the sixth seal is opened that a global catastrophe occurs:
Then I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
Revelations 6:12
The passage above seems to be describing the impact on Earth of a shower of comets or a single asteroid impact broken up into many pieces. This terrible event triggers a period of eruptions, war and strife in Revelations. The misery is only ended with a final, cataclysmic event:
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.
Revelations 16:17
The above description fits well with a rapid sea-level rise and the accompanying weather chaos, where 'every island to fled away', 'the mountains could not be found' and 'huge hailstones fell on people'. Eventually, at the end of Revelations, God creates a new city, arriving back on the surface of Earth from Heaven, an event reported at length in the Sumerian creation accounts.
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Hopefully, this article has put forward a good case for the idea that the Book of Revelations is not an account of a possible or impending future, described by God. Instead, it is an account of our ancient, antediluvian (pre-Flood) past described by Noah, a person who is highly likely to have been a senior figure in the Sumerian civilisation which itself was created by survivors from an antediluvian civilisation. There are many consequences if this is true. One clear result is that we should stop thinking of God the Creator as an old Caucasian bloke with a white beard. As for the others, do please check out other articles on this site for pointers.