Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

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  • The Fertile Crescent

    The Fertile Crescent is a term for an old fertile area north, east and west of the Arabian Desert in Southwest Asia. The Mesopotamian valley and the Nile valley fall under this term even though the mountain zone around Mesopotamia is the natural zone for the transition in a historical sense.

    As a result of a number of unique geographical factors the Fertile Crescent have an impressive history of early human agricultural activity and culture. Besides the numerous archaeological sites with remains of skeletons and cultural relics the area is known primarily for its excavation sites linked to agricultural origins and development of the Neolithic era.

    It was here, in the forested mountain slopes of the periphery of this area, that agriculture originated in an ecologically restricted environment. The western zone and areas around the upper Euphrates gave growth to the first known Neolithic farming communities with small, round houses , also referred to as Pre Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) cultures, which dates to just after 10,000 BC and include areas such as Jericho, the world’s oldest city.

    During the subsequent PPNB from 9000 BC these communities developed into larger villages with farming and animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood, with settlement in the two-story, rectangular house. Man now entered in symbiosis with grain and livestock species, with no opportunity to return to hunter – gatherer societies.

    The area west and north of the plains of the Euphrates and Tigris also saw the emergence of early complex societies in the much later Bronze Age (about 4000 BC). There is evidence of written culture and early state formation in this northern steppe area, although the written formation of the states relatively quickly shifted its center of gravity into the Mesopotamian valley and developed there. The area is therefore in very many writers been named “The Cradle of Civilization.”

    The area has experienced a series of upheavals and new formation of states. When Turkey was formed in the aftermath of the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians perpetrated by the Young Turks during the First World War it is estimated that two-thirds to three-quarters of all Armenians and Assyrians in the region died, and the Pontic Greeks was pushed to Greece.

    Israel was created out of the Ottoman Empire and the conquering of the Palestinian terretories. The existence of large Arab nation states from the Maghreb to the Levant has since represented a potential threat to Israel which should be neutralised when opportunities arise.

    This line of thinking was at the heart of David Ben Gurion’s policies in the 1950s which sought to exacerbate tensions between Christians and Muslims in the Lebanon for the fruits of acquiring regional influence by the dismembering the country and the possible acquisition of additional territory.

    The Christians are now being systematically targeted for genocide in Syria according to Vatican and other sources with contacts on the ground among the besieged Christian community.

    According to reports by the Vatican’s Fides News Agency collected by the Centre for the Study of Interventionism, the US-backed Free Syrian Army rebels and ever more radical spin-off factions are sacking Christian churches, shooting Christians dead in the street, broadcasting ultimatums that all Christians must be cleansed from the rebel-held villages, and even shooting priests.

    It is now time that the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians is being recognized, that the Israeli occupation, settlements and violence against the Palestinians stop, and that the various minorities in the area start to live their lifes in peace – without violence and threats from majority populations, or from the West, and then specificially from the US.

    War in the Fertile Crescent

    Everyone is free to use the text on this blog as they want. There is no copyright etc. This because knowledge is more important than rules and regulations.

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The trumpets of war and prophecy: doomsday

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on July 26, 2018

Primitive trumpets of one form or another have been in existence for millennia; some of the predecessors of the modern instrument are now known to date back to the Neolithic era. The earliest of these primordial trumpets were adapted from animal horns and sea shells. For the most part, these primitive instruments were “natural trumpets”: that is to say, they had none of those devices (fingerholes, keys, slides or valves) by which the pitch of an instrument might be altered.

The simplest – and presumably the earliest – type of trumpet was made from the hollowed-out horn or shell of an animal, into the end of which a hole was bored for the mouth. Cattle, sheep, goats and antelopes are among the animals whose horns are – or have been – most frequently used to make such trumpets.

This “trumpet” had neither a mouthpiece nor a bell, and was not so much a musical instrument as a megaphone into which one spoke, sang, or shouted. The intention was to distort the voice and produce a harsh, unnatural sound to ward off evil spirits or disconcert one’s enemies. Only later was the trumpet used to invoke friendly gods or to encourage one’s own warriors on the battlefield.

In Norse mythology, Heimdallr is a god who is attested as possessing foreknowledge, keen eyesight and hearing, and keeps watch for the onset of Ragnarök while drinking fine mead in his dwelling Himinbjörg, located where the burning rainbow bridge Bifröst that reaches between Midgard (Earth) and Asgard, the realm of the gods, meets heaven.

According to the Prose Edda, the bridge ends in heaven at Himinbjörg, the residence of the god Heimdallr, who guards it from the jötnar. He possesses the resounding horn Gjallarhorn (“yelling horn” or “the loud sounding horn”), a horn associated with the god Heimdallr and the wise being Mímir.

During Ragnarök (“final destiny of the gods”), a series of future events, including a great battle, the enemies of the gods will gather at the plain Vígríðr. Heimdallr will stand and mightily blow into Gjallarhorn, the gods will awake and assemble together at the thing.

Ragnarök is foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures (including the gods Odin, Thor, Týr, Freyr, Heimdallr, and Loki), the occurrence of various natural disasters, and the subsequent submersion of the world in water.

Thor kills Jörmungandr but is poisoned by the serpent, and manages to walk only nine steps before falling to the earth dead. Fenrir swallows Odin, though immediately afterward his son Víðarr kicks his foot into Fenrir’s lower jaw, grips the upper jaw, and rips apart Fenrir’s mouth, killing the great wolf. Loki fights Heimdallr and the two kill each another. Surtr covers the earth in fire, causing the entire world to burn.

The bridge’s destruction during Ragnarök by the forces of Muspell is foretold. Scholars have proposed that the bridge may have originally represented the Milky Way. Parallels between the bridge and another bridge in Norse mythology, Gjallarbrú (literally “Gjöll Bridge”), which spans the river Gjöll in the underworld and must be crossed in order to reach Hel, have been noted.

Afterward, the world will resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet, and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors. This reminds of the scriptural story of Noah and his Ark that describes the end of the corrupted original civilization and its replacement with a remade world. Noah is assigned the task to build the Ark and save the lifeforms so as to reestablish a new post-flood world.

Numerous other societies, including the Babylonian, had produced apocalyptic literature and mythology which dealt with the end of the world and of human society. Many of which also included stories that refer back to the Biblical Noah or describe a similar flood.

The Epic of Gilgamesh, written ca. 2000–1500 BC, details a myth where the angry gods send floods to punish humanity, but the ancient hero Utnapishtim and his family are saved through the intervention of the god Ea. A similar story about the Genesis flood narrative is found in Sura 71 of the Quran, where the Islamic counterpart of Noah, Nūḥ, builds the ark and rebuilds humanity.

According to the Matsya Purana, the Matsya avatar of Lord Vishnu, informed the King Manu of an all-destructive deluge which would be coming very soon. The King was advised to build a huge boat (ark) which housed his family, nine types of seeds, pairs of all animals and the Saptarishis to repopulate the Earth, after the deluge would end and the oceans and seas would recede.

At the time of deluge, Vishnu appeared as a horned fish and Shesha appeared as a rope, with which Vaivasvata Manu fastened the boat to the horn of the fish. Variants of this story also appear in Buddhist and Jain scriptures.

Gimlé is a place where the worthy survivors of Ragnarök are foretold to live. Snorri presents Gimlé as a pagan heaven. Scholars including Hollander and Rudolf Simek have seen the description of Gimlé as influenced by the Christian Heavenly Jerusalem.

Ursula Dronke suggested that while the concept of a heaven in which “hosts” of the righteous lived together was based on the pagan Valhalla, the “Völuspá” poet or his associates invented the name “Gimlé” with reference to its protecting the blessed from the fires both of Surtr at Ragnarök and of the Christian Hell.

Gabriel’s horn (also called Torricelli’s trumpet) is a geometric figure which has infinite surface area but finite volume. The name refers to the biblical tradition identifying the Archangel Gabriel as the angel who blows the horn to announce Judgment Day, associating the divine, or infinite, with the finite.

The trope of Gabriel blowing a trumpet blast to indicate the Lord’s return to Earth is especially familiar in Negro spirituals. However, though the Bible mentions a trumpet blast preceding the resurrection of the dead, it never specifies Gabriel as the trumpeter.

Different passages state different things: the angels of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:31); the voice of the Son of God (John 5:25-29); God’s trumpet (I Thessalonians 4:16); seven angels sounding a series of blasts (Revelation 8-11); or simply “a trumpet will sound” (I Corinthians 15:52).

In Judaism, trumpets are prominent, and they seem to be blown by God himself, or sometimes Michael. In Zoroastrianism, there is no trumpeter at the last judgement. In Islamic tradition, it is Israfil who blows the trumpet, though he is not named in the Qur’an. The Christian Church Fathers do not mention Gabriel as the trumpeter; early English literature similarly does not.

In the Book of Revelation, Seven trumpets are sounded, one at a time, to cue apocalyptic events received in the Revelation of Christ Jesus, by John of Patmos, also called John the Revelator, John the Divine or John the Theologian, the suffixative descriptions given to the author named as John in the Book of Revelation, the apocalyptic text forming the final book of the New Testament.

An apocalypse (literally meaning “an uncovering”) is a disclosure of knowledge or revelation. Historically, the term has a heavy religious connotation as commonly seen in the prophetic revelations of eschatology a part of theology concerned with the final events of history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, and were obtained through dreams or spiritual visions. Also, it is the Greek word for the last book of the New Testament entitled “Revelation”.

In the Hebrew Old Testament some pictures of the end of the age were images of the judgment of the wicked and the glorification of those who were given righteousness before God. In the Book of Job and in some Psalms the dead are described as being in Sheol, awaiting the final judgment. The wicked will then be consigned to eternal suffering in the fires of Gehinnom, or the lake of fire mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

The seven trumpets are sounded by seven angels and the events that follow are described in detail from Revelation Chapters 8 to 11. According to Revelation 8:1-2, the angels sound these trumpets after the breaking of the seventh seal. These seals secured the apocalyptic document, that was in the right hand of Him who sits on the main throne.

The trumpets are referred to in Koine Greek as salpingos, salpinx (the word salpinx is thought to mean “thunderer”). This was a straight, narrow bronze tube with a mouthpiece of bone and a bell; they do not resemble modern trumpets. Before the invention of the brass trumpet, God had Moses make two silver Trumpets (Numbers 10:2), but the traditional sacred horn of the ancient Hebrews was the shofar made from a ram’s horn.

It has been used since Moses’ day (Exodus 19:13) to get the attention of the Israelites, signal, or to prelude an announcement and/or warning from God. Joshua had 7 priests carry 7 horns for 7 days and circle Jericho 7 times, then the priest sounded the horns, the people shouted and the walls came down. (Joshua 6:4). In St. Paul’s letter of I Thessalonians 4:16, “the trumpet of God” heralds the Second Coming of Christ.

The seven seals are one of a series of end-times judgments from God. The seals are described in Revelation 6:1–17 and 8:1–5. In John’s vision, the seven seals hold closed a scroll in heaven, and, as each seal is broken, a new judgment is unleashed on the earth. Following the seal judgments are the trumpet judgments and the bowl or vial judgments.

The Seven Seals is a phrase in the Book of Revelation that refers to seven symbolic seals (Greek: sphragida) that secure the book/scroll, that John of Patmos saw in his Revelation of Jesus Christ. The opening of the seals of the Apocalyptic document occurs in Revelation Chapters 5-8 and marks the Second Coming. In John’s vision, the only one worthy to open the book/scroll is referred to as both the “Lion of Judah” and the “Lamb having seven horns and seven eyes”.

The opening of the first four Seals release The Four Horsemen, each with his own specific mission. The opening of the fifth seal releases the cries of martyrs for the “word/Wrath of God”. The sixth seal prompts earthquakes and other cataclysmic events. The seventh seal cues seven angelic trumpeters who in turn cue the seven bowl judgments and more cataclysmic events.

The seventh seal obviously introduces the next series of judgments, for John immediately sees seven angels who are handed seven trumpets ready to sound (verse 2). An eighth angel takes a censer and burns “much incense” in it, representing the prayers of God’s people (verses 3–4). The angel then took the same censer, “filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake” (verse 5).

Once the seven seal judgments are finished, the next part of the tribulation, featuring the seven trumpet judgments, is ready to begin. The seven trumpets are described in Revelation 8:6–9:19 and 11:15–19. The seven trumpets are the “contents” of the seventh seal judgment, in that the seventh seal summons the angels who sound the trumpets (Revelation 8:1–5). The judgments heralded by the seven trumpets will take place during the tribulation period in the end times.

The angel declares that the mystery of God would be revealed on the sounding of the seventh trumpet. Immediately after the seventh trumpet (and the third woe) sounds there are loud voices in heaven saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). The twenty-four elders say, “The time has come for . . . destroying those who destroy the earth” (verse 17).

Obviously, God is about to wrap things up once and for all. At the sound of the seventh trumpet, the temple of God is opened in heaven, and “within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm” (verse 19).

Thus end the seven trumpet judgments. All is set for the seven angels with the seven bowls of God’s wrath. These angels stand inside the now-open temple, ready to step forward and bring the final judgments on earth (Revelation 15).

The seven bowl judgments are called forth by the seventh trumpet. The seven bowls (Greek: phialas, sing. phialē; also translated as cups or vials) are a set of plagues mentioned in Revelation 16. They are recorded as apocalyptic events that were seen in the vision of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, by John of Patmos. Seven angels are thus given seven bowls of God’s wrath, each consisting of judgements full of the wrath of God.

These seven bowls of God’s wrath are poured out on the wicked and the followers of the Antichrist after the sounding of the seven trumpets. When the seventh bowl is poured out, a global earthquake causes the cities of the world to collapse. All the mountains and islands are removed from their foundations. Giant hailstones weighing nearly 100 pounds plummet onto the planet. The plagues are so severe that the wicked’s hatred of God intensifies while the incorrigible continue to curse God.

The seven bowl or vial judgments are the final judgments of the tribulation period. They will be the most severe judgments the world has ever seen. The seven bowls are described in Revelation 16:1–21, where they are specifically called “the seven bowls of God’s wrath” (verse 1). Under the Antichrist, the wickedness of man has reached its peak, and it is met with God’s wrath against sin.

One of the angels of the seven bowl judgments then shows John the fate of Babylon the Great (Revelation 17), as God avenges “the blood of prophets and of God’s holy people, of all who have been slaughtered on the earth” (Revelation 18:24). The world mourns the fall of Babylon (chapter 18), but heaven rejoices (chapter 19). Jesus Christ then returns in glory to defeat the armies of the Antichrist at Armageddon (Revelation 19:11–21) and to set up His kingdom on earth (Revelation 20:1–6).

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