THE DISPENSATIONS OF THE EARTH
The preceding discussions show a correlation between the myth stories
of four (or five) world ages and the ice ages discovered by modern geologists.
In order to bring out the meaning of those correlations more fully I shall
now consider the memories of a time when the earth knew a golden age and
was administered by the gods. This era is described by Plato in his Critias:
The place name and linguistic evidence we considered in previous chapters
shows plainly that a divine dispensation once ruled this world. Plato goes
on to tell how they apportioned the different regions and the things they
In those days
Plato had trouble finding words to describe
the bounty of those days. It was a virtual Garden of Eden. He also had
difficulty describing exactly how the present lands follow those of the
earlier days. Geological upheavals caused great changes. He goes on to
describe the wonder of the land and the clime. He also describes the decline
which led to the destruction of the land.
Here Plato confuses different episodes in our
planetary history. The divine beings who came down here to bring mankind
into a higher cultured state are mixed with the sons and daughters of Adam.
As the Adamic blood lines became diluted the human (evolutionary) nature
began to predominate, although the Adamic inheritance carried strong in
the physique and bearing of those people. An objective observer, with ability
to compare against the first generations, would easily recognize how the
Adamic blood was deteriorating.
Plato goes on to relate how Zeus, the Greek
King of the gods, perceived their condition. In order that they might be
chastened and improved he devised plans to inflict punishment upon them.
He called the gods together to discuss the course of action. See Psalm
82. Unfortunately, the fragment from Plato breaks off at that point and
we do not know the decisions made by the heavenly council.
This story is ancient in origin; it repeats
a theme from around the world: men lived in a beautiful and trouble-free
world; they went bad; chastisement was inflicted upon them. The chastisement
was a corrective action decided by the Ruler of Heaven, the King of the
gods, the Creator, whose purpose was to cleanse the earth and bring it
back from its condition of wickedness and evil. Plato says it happened
before; it is the fault of the inhabitants of the earth they cannot break
the cycles of the ages.
In Critias Plato goes on to describe
how Poseidon, the god of the sea, became the father of Atlantis. In the
distorted Greek memory Poseidon takes the place of Adam. He mated with
Clieto, the earth mother, enclosed the hill on which she dwelt, and fashioned
a garden home with alternating causeways and canals. In the biblical account
the Garden was watered by four rivers.
The issue of the mating of Poseidon with Clieto
was five sets of twin sons. Plato's story and the Navaho myths echo one
another. The myths are relevant for they provide three key features to
help us understand other planetary evidence:
1) The children are sired by a leading god
In the myths of the world one finds genealogies
of the gods. M. L. West briefly reviewed some of thoseTHEO.
They are included in Norse epic literature, and in Finnish, Keltic, Teutonic,
Japanese, and Polynesian, among others. Although various numbers of gods
are given, more often eight or ten are listed. The Hindu Manus were twelve
in number. Six had already come; one now was; five more were yet to come.
The greatest of the Manus was Svayambhuva; the earth belonged to
his spirit sons; to those spirit sons were born ten sons like themselvesCHM
In Egypt the great Ennead of Heliopolis listed
ten names for the genealogy of the gods. Eight names were pairedNEC:
In the Turin papyrusNEC the names
are listed as:
Ptah is the Father god, Ra the Sun god; Osiris
is the god who came down to earth and lived as a man; Horus is the god
who is destined to rule the earth. In the first list the four pairs of
eight gods reflect the four pairs of world cycles, four cold and four corresponding
warm periods. In the second list the long reigns assigned to Seth, Horus
(I) and Thoth reflect degraded memory of the long time spans of the ages.
The artificial nature of the lists is noted by the mention of Thoth and Maat, two gods who were not rulers but representatives of righteous conduct among the gods.
Joseph Campbell listed ten kings whom the Chinese
believed were their royal ancestors but who possessed extraordinary powersMOG.
They all lived prior to the Great Deluge. Refer also to K. C. WuTCH.
Although they are highly mythologized, with corrupt memory, I list them
in detail because they represent a tradition found all over the world.
1) Fu Hsi was the first on the list. As we
noted earlier, he is a distorted memory of Adam.
2) Shen Nung devised the plow and instituted
marriage. He lived seventeen human generations.
3) Yen Ti was a minor personage overshadowed
by his glorious brother Huang Ti.
4) Huang Ti was the great Yellow Lord, or Yellow Emperor. He had twenty-five sons, some of whom became the fathers of twelve feudal families of the Chou period. Huang Ti invented the fire drill, (already invented by the Fire-Driller Lords), burned the forests on the hills, cleared the brush, drained the marshes, and drove out the wild beasts. His virtue brought the barbarians of the four corners of the earth to allegiance. He consulted with his sages while deliberating on the "Bright Terrace;" he harmonized the five sounds. He drove in an ivory chariot drawn by six dragons when he assembled the spirits on the holy mount T'ai-shan. Many traditions said he was immortal; like Enoch, (or Elijah), a dragon descended from heaven and carried him aloftTCH. Although the Chinese believed Huang Ti was their mortal ancestor their folk memory betrays their belief. T'ai-shan is the holy mountain of heaven, the same mountain remembered
by the Egyptians as Manu, the Greeks as Olympus, and the Hebrews as Zion.
The "Bright Terrace" is a deliberation hall in those celestial realms.
5) Shao Hao followed Huang Ti but little is
recorded of him.
6) Chuan Hsu, also known as Kao Yang, had eight
talented sons, one of whom was the father of Yu. (See below.)
7) K'u had two wives, Chiang Yuan and Chien
Ti, both of whom conceived miraculously. The first became pregnant when
she trod on the big toe of God's footprint. Her child was Hou Chi who,
again in distorted memory, became Minister of Agriculture. He was brought
forth in a narrow lane, the oxen and sheep nurtured him, the birds covered
and protected him. The myth contains the elements of virgin birth, protection
among domestic animals, and primitive covering which took place with the
actual birth of Jesus. Does it reflect another prophetic memory from times
past? Compare also against the myths of the Roman eponymous ancestors,
Romulus and Remus.
The second pregnancy occurred when the two
young wives were in their pleasure tower of nine stories. God sent them
a swallow that sang. They caught the bird and covered it with a blanket.
After a time they lifted the blanket, whereupon the bird flew off, leaving
two eggs behind. The young women each swallowed an egg. Chien Ti then conceived
and her child became the father of the dynasty of Shang.
8) Yao is also known as Ti Yao, or Divine Yao.
He is the most celebrated monarch of the Chinese golden age. He was reverential,
accomplished, thoughtful, sincerely courteous, and obliging. His influence
was felt through the four corners of the world. He distinguished the able
and virtuous, thus bringing loving consideration to all people. His regulation
and clarification of the people caused them to be luminously intelligent,
thus uniting and harmonizing all provinces.
9) Shun married a daughter of Yao and became
emperor in turn, continuing the great administrative work of his father-in-law.
10) Yu was known as the Great Yu, the last
of the kings before the Flood. He came down from on highMAW.
He dug the soil and led the waters to the sea; he drove out snakes and
dragons, and otherwise restored order from the effects of the Flood. A
servant woman brought him excellent wine she had made but he sent her away.
He knew that "in the future there will be many who lose their states because
of drink,"MOG. Compare against Noah becoming drunk with wine
after the flood. In the mythologized accounts Yu made a grand tour of the
four corners where he met winged people, wizards, the land of immortals,
mountains of gold, the mountain of nine brilliances, and the holy mountain
of the north. These stories are based on a tour of the heavens but their
degraded form hides their true nature. They remind us of the journeys of
EnochAPOT. Later, in his severe toil to correct the ravages
of the Flood, Yu became lame and had to drag one leg past the other. To
this day the Chinese describe a lame man as having the "walk of Yu."
The Egyptian genealogical lists show the names
of the gods. The Chinese lists show ancestral emperors but many of their
attributes are divine, or superhuman. Yao is explicitly called divine.
These lists find parallel in the Hebrew biblical accounts. Chapter Four
of Genesis shows eight generations sired through Cain, the sinful son who
killed his brother Abel. Chapter Five list ten generations sired through
Seth. That list ends with Noah, the hero of the Flood.
Other features of the Genesis lists parallel
those of the Chinese ancestral kings. Lamech, the seventh name in the Cain
list, married two wives, as did K'u, the seventh name in the Chinese list.
The first wife bears two sons; the second wife bears a son and a daughter.
The total number of males in the Cain list is ten although only eight generations
are shown. Each of Lamech's sons is noted for his contribution to the civilization
of man. Jabal was the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle;
Jubal was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. Tubal-cain
was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron, Gen 4:19-22. In another
Hebrew myth not recorded in the Bible, Noah forgot to give a ration of
food to the lion; the hungry beast struck a blow that made Noah lame forever
afterMOG. Both Yu, the hero of the Chinese Flood, and Noah,
the hero of the biblical Flood, were thus afflicted with lameness. The
Chinese Yao was regarded as divine, a designation that sets him apart from
the other kings. But in the second Genesis list Enoch does not die; God
takes him because of his devout nature. The second Genesis list has ten
names as does the Chinese list. The ages in that list are more than mortal;
except for Enoch the individuals all live nearly 1000 years. Shen Nung
lived seventeen human generations.
Are the Hebrew parallels with the Chinese myths
accidental? Did the Chinese borrow from the Hebrews or did the Hebrews
borrow from the Chinese? What is the mystery behind these ancient accounts?
Insight into these questions is offered by other evidence from the Near
Berossus, a Babylonian priest who lived around
the time of Alexander the Great, wrote a number of works in Greek which
related the history of man. According to the later writings of Josephus,
Syncellus, Eusebius and others, Berossus obtained his information from
the ancient archives of the temple of Belus at Babylon. Included in his
writings was a list of kings who had reigned before the Great Flood. According
to his list Xisuthros was the hero of the Flood. One of the names
on the list was that of Daonos, an evident Don form. But most disconcerting
were the ages Berossus had assigned to his kings. Aloros, the first
king lived 36,000 years! Other kings reigned from 10,800 to 64,800 years.
The total span of time covered by the ten kings was a fantastic 432,000
years! (Compare against the 432 billion years of Brahma, a ratio of 1,000,000.)
What did the list from Berossus mean? Where
did it come from? How could such extreme lengths of time be sensible? According
to Berossus the kings were rulers who lived upon earth. How could they
possess such great power of life? For two thousand years scholars puzzled
over Berossus' list. It was regarded as mostly mythological and purely
imaginary, until excavations in Mesopotamia at the beginning of this century
turned up other lists of kings with similar fantastic agesSKL.
Those tablets date from around 1800 BC, or earlier, and if Jacobsen's estimate
of the Sumerian cuneiform script is correct, the originals predate 3000
Here, then, appeared to be the original source
of the kings list, for they contained elements from the Egyptians, the
Chinese, and the Hebrews:
1) Lists of eight and ten kings were found, as in Genesis.
2) A divine king, Dumuzi, was on the lists. This paralleled the divine Yao of the Chinese lists.
3) The kings all reigned prior to the Flood.
4) The fantastic ages found parallel in the
Chinese seventeen human generations, the long life ages of the Genesis
second list, and the Egyptian long reigns of the gods.
The tradition of the long-lived gods, kings,
or ancestors, must derive from a tradition that goes around the world.
The Egyptians knew them as gods; the Chinese as human emperors but with
superhuman and divine elements, the Hebrews as mortal ancestors with long
lives, and the Babylonians and Sumerians as kings who are not classified
as either human or divine but who reigned for fantastic periods of time.
Were the Hebrew accounts borrowed from the
Babylonian and Sumerian but adapted to their particular view of earth history?
The scribes who put the Genesis story together must have felt impelled
to include this information in their accounts; they could not simply ignore
it. But they were sufficiently uncertain they included both an eight and
a ten list. The "odd" eight list is sired through Cain, the sinful one,
while the "good" ten list is sired through Seth. The "good" list shows
the life ages while the "odd" list does not. It would appear the Hebrew
scribes were unwilling to accept the long ages of the earlier lists, in
contrast to the pagan priest Berossus, who, at least, was faithful to the
traditions. The Hebrew scribes felt impelled to include the information
of the generations before the Flood, but modified the ages to less objectionable
times. Plato, who died c 347 BC, lived after the Genesis writing date but
before the Berossus publication date, c 280 BC. According to Plato's dialogs
the story of Atlantis came from the Egyptians, not the Babylonians. He
probably was unaware of the Sumerian-Babylonian tradition, otherwise he
might have included those kings in his stories. Whatever his source, the
tradition obviously was maintained in Greece as late as 300 BC.
. . . their names are preserved, but
their actions have disappeared by reason of the destructions . . .
He recognized that five sets of twin sons were
sired through Poseidon, a leading god figure, and Clieto, the Earth Mother.
From that slim evidence we see a trace of the tradition of Adam and Eve
in the Greek tale. The world wide tradition brings us face-to-face once
again with the question of the origins and the forms of the tradition.
Since the Sumerians preserved explicit ages for the reigns we might believe
they were the source of the other myths. But from the clay tablets available
to us there is no strict justification for such belief. The Chinese obviously
have degraded accounts, euphemized to make them more tolerable to the Chinese
The proclivity of the Chinese mind is related
in a story attributed to Confucius, their famous philosopher, who lived
c 500 BC. One of his disciples asked about the age of Huang Ti, the Yellow
Lord. How had he reached an age of 300 years? To this Confucius replied
that there was a misunderstanding about the ages of the Great Ones. Huang
Ti had actually lived only one hundred years. For another hundred years
after his death they revered his spirit; for the next hundred years they
followed his teachings. Thus he was remembered as living 300 yearsMAW.
On the basis of the slim evidence it would not be possible for us to say that the Chinese myths came from the Sumerians, or that the Sumerians obtained theirs from the Chinese, or the Egyptians from other people. Rather the evidence indicates that a tradition was remembered throughout the world and that it probably predates all human memory, adapted by people according to their particular cultures, and remembered more precisely in some corners of the world than in others. From the evidence we can deduce that all old people believed the world experienced ten (or eight) ages and that those periods were associated with rulership that came down from on high. The kings are the folk memory of divine dispensations of the earth.