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Legends, Mysteries, Light and Darkness: The Secret History of the Biblical Cave of the Patriarchs

Legends, Mysteries, Light and Darkness: The Secret History of the Biblical Cave of the Patriarchs


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The Cave of the Patriarchs is a very famous site in the Middle East. Known as Ibrahim Mosque or the Sanctuary of Abraham today, it appears in the Bible, the Torah, and the Quran. Legends tell of a secret entrance leading to the graves of biblical figures, however, the tunnels which are said to run below are closed off to modern tourists and researchers. Thus, one must turn to ancient texts and decipher the myths surrounding this shadowy site.

The Cave of the Patriarchs was covered by a Judean structure during the Herodian era. Later, Saladin changed it into a mosque. Through history, the old caves bore witness to mysterious meetings and were the main backdrop for legendary plots and pilgrimages. The burials of patriarchs including Abraham, Sarah, and many more are said to be located inside the underground tunnels.

It is a tomb symbolizing ancient ideas, and may even be called the basis for spirituality in the Middle East. But nobody knows for certain if the Cave of the Patriarchs is a legendary or real cemetery for ancient patriarchs and spiritual masters. The bible claims that some of the individuals buried inside the cave died when they were very old. For example, Isaac is said to have lived 180 years, Jacob 130. This information seems to be unrealistic.

The tomb of Abraham. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Caves of Forgotten Stories

The cave mentioned in the bible is known from records dating to the reign of Herod the Great. He built a structure on the site which was strongly related to Hellenistic Judaism. It was an enclosure that had a secret entrance (which still hasn’t been found). This construction made by the order of the famous king added to the legends and interest in the mysterious caves.

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The stone canopy above a more visible known entrance to the caves ( CC BY-SA 2.5 )

Jews and Christians shared the site in the Byzantine period when it had a small church or basilica. But the temple was always tied to legends concerning the Cave of the Patriarchs. It is impossible to verify many of the ancient and medieval theories related to the site because the caves are not accessible to visitors, and it is very difficult for professionals to explore them too. Apparently, the tunnels that belonged to the system of caves are partly ruined.

The Muslim history of the cave started in 614. Then the caves seem to have been forgotten for many decades. But they were rediscovered by a monk in 1119 AD. This monk, known in history as Arnoul (not his real name, but what he is called), is said to have entered the narrow passage of the cave and discovered a large, round room.

Before the exploration in 1119, the cave’s story reads even more like a legend and there are no records suggesting exploration. However, there is a very interesting text dated to the 11th century by Benjamin of Tudela who described some known facts about the caves at the time:

Benjamin of Tudela in the Sahara.

“At a distance of six parasangs is St. Abram de Bron, which is Hebron; the old city stood on the mountain but is now in ruins; and in the valley by the field of Machpelah lies the present city. Here there is the great church called St. Abram, and this was a Jewish place of worship at the time of the Mohammedan rule, but the Gentiles have erected there six tombs, respectively called those of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah. The custodians tell the pilgrims that these are the tombs of the Patriarchs, for which information the pilgrims give them money. If a Jew comes and gives a special reward, the custodian of the cave opens unto him a gate of iron, which was constructed by our forefathers, and then he is able to descend below by means of steps, holding a lighted candle in his hand. He then reaches a cave, in which nothing is to be found, and a cave beyond, which is likewise empty, but when he reaches the third cave behold there are six sepulchers, those of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, respectively facing those of Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah. And upon the graves are inscriptions cut in stone; upon the grave of Abraham is engraved “This is the grave of Abraham”; upon that of Isaac, “This is the grave of Isaac, the son of Abraham our Father”; upon that of Jacob, “This is the grave of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham our Father”; and upon the others, “This is the grave of Sarah,” “This is the grave of Rebekah,” and “This is the grave of Leah.” A lamp burns day and night upon the graves in the cave.”

Woodcut by Gustave Doré depicting the burial of Sarah in the cave.

Tomb of Isaac, c. 1911.

Remembering a Religious Space

The site was restored during the time of the Ottoman Empire. Suleiman the Magnificent’s reign was especially good for the Holy Land’s ancient sites.

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The next time the world was reminded of the Cave of the Patriarchs importance was when the site became part of Israel in 1967. The location sits in a space of conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, but it is still very attractive for religious tourism. However, in 1994 the Cave of the Patriarchs caught worldwide attention for a terrible event. It was the site of a massacre committed by an Israeli-American settler who killed 30 Palestinian Muslims.

Entrance to the caves ( CC BY-SA 2.5 )

Nonetheless, the site has remained a sacred space for many generations. It has never lost its place amongst legends. Now it is known as the site of the Ibrahimi Mosque along with the Cave of the Patriarchs. Future research, if permitted, may prove it as one of the most remarkable cemeteries of the world, but for now, it is still a fascinating site for biblical archaeology.


The "fire" which left no traces when they went to take a closer look.

* This is a long read but it covers a very important truth about the history and connection to Almighty God of the Jewish nation and the Bible! Like it or not!

- The Cave of Machpelah
written by Ron Wyatt

We are presenting this subject out of its Biblical chronological order because the events connected with it’s discovery, as well as the significance of it, necessitate our placing it with the Ark of the Covenant.

The story of this project must begin in 1979, for it was then that Ron met a young Arab man in Jerusalem at a restaurant he and his boys frequented -- and this young man told Ron of something very strange that was happening at his family’s home in Hebron.
(To protect the family’s identity, we will call the young Arab man "James.")

James explained to Ron how members of his family kept seeing what looked like a fire off in the distance from their residence -- at a site on their property. But, he explained that whenever they would see this fire and go to examine it, they would find nothing when they got there. No charred wood -- nothing. He was insistent that Ron come and see it, but Ron felt it was just a "side-track"- a way for James to get Ron to go with him and perhaps stop off at a family member’s shop, where he would be offered a 10% discount. Ron and his sons were working on the Ark of the Covenant site and he didn’t want to waste any precious time, so he did the only thing he knew to do -- he prayed about it. If it rained and he wasn’t able to work the next day, yes, he would go with James. And the next day it rained. Ron never depends on his own wisdom in these matters but asks for a direct sign of God’s will as to what to do.

Surprisingly, James led him right to his family home with no stops. The family is very large- many brothers- and they all lived in the area, some at home with their mother, and some had their own homes. He took Ron to the site and Ron saw nothing. Nothing, that is, except limestone swelling up from beneath the surface of the earth like a giant balloon buried under them. To Ron, this suggested perhaps a cave under their feet. He picked up a large rock and threw it down hard upon the limestone and the resulting thump resounded through the area like a large hollow drum. So he asked James if there was a cave anywhere in the area. The answer was yes. He showed Ron an entrance to a cave which was too small to enter a site which had become a depositary for discarded junk, just as the site he was excavating in Jerusalem. (When he first pointed to the area he later excavated for the Ark, it too was a junk pile area.)

The family was serious about their story -- they were a bit frightened about the lights they had seen there. And Ron was puzzled - he couldn’t do anything to help them. But he knew the circumstances that had led him here were not of the ordinary sort. And from the beginning, Ron suspected that this was probably the site of the real cave of Machpelah - the burial site of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives. But for the next 14 years, he never saw the site again.

"James" Entered the Chamber with the Ark

In 1982, James worked with Ron in the cave system in Jerusalem after both of Ron’s sons had gotten sick and had to go home. Being quite small and slim, James was able to easily enter the small areas in the cave system and tell Ron if anything was there. In January, he entered a darkened chamber that Ron thought just another dead end. As James crawled in, Ron was about to hand him the flashlight when suddenly James came scurrying out of the small hole: "What’s in there?! What’s in there?! I’m not going back in there!!" He was terrified- completely. And he never worked in the cave again. But if he hadn’t come scurrying out of that hole like he had seen the devil himself, Ron would have never paid it a bit more thought. He never would have enlarged the hole and crawled in himself on January 6, 1982 at 2:00 in the afternoon- he never would have found the Ark of the Covenant if it hadn’t been for James’ reaction of complete and total terror.

James went back to work in the restaurant where Ron had met him. But in the mid 1980s, James had the misfortune of visiting in Jordan at the wrong time. Ron later learned that he happened to be there at a point in time when a mandate was passed that all Arabs out of the country of Israel at that time could not return. And to this day, Ron has never seen James again, although he has spoken with him numerous times by telephone.

A Most Fortuitous Reunion

In late 1992, another fortuitous event occurred. Ron ran into some people he had known back during that time who also knew James and his family. Ron asked them if they knew about James’ family- if they were still there, etc. The memory of the events in Hebron never left Ron’s mind. Amazingly, Ron ended up visiting the family in Hebron that very trip. And even more amazingly, the family remembered him and were very happy to see him. But things had changed over the years. The brothers had all married and built homes in the area. Other relatives had homes behind them- the site Ron examined years ago was surrounded by homes, all within "spitting distance". When he had been there in 1979, the area was basically a vineyard. The way things had worked out, Ron figured it was time to see what was really here. So, he sat down with the family- some members of the family speak very good English, and they translated for the rest of the family.

Ron began by explaining to them that he believed that Abraham and his family were buried on their land- a potentially sensitive thing to tell this Moslem family who lived quite near the traditional "Cave of Machpelah". He carefully explained his research and why the traditional site cannot be the actual site. Interestingly, they told Ron that they believed the traditional site wasn’t authentic. They were interested in finding out what was on their property and told Ron they would arrange to enter the cave by excavating it themselves. Ron needed to survey the site with his electronic equipment to locate the chamber before they began to dig, and as he was working on another project and only had a short time to visit, he told them he would be back soon. So they bid him farewell and said they looked forward to seeing him again.

In April of 1993, Ron returned to Israel. I went with him, as did Lloyd Hiler, a surgeon from Memphis, Tennessee. Leaving Lloyd and I in Jerusalem, Ron went alone for the initial visit, then came and told us to get our bags- we were going to stay at the site. Now, Hebron is an area of a great deal of tension. An American woman would be very conspicuous, so I had to stay out of sight most of the daytime hours. Even Lloyd and Ron had to be careful about being seen. We stayed indoors the rest of the day. That night, under the full moon, we all went to the site in the midst of all the homes. It was a garden area and the brothers had planted fruit trees and all sorts of herbs in the area, so we had to watch carefully where we walked. We stood up on that high plain and looked out where we could see Tel Aviv off in the distance. The brothers told us how they were able to see the scud missiles fall there during the Gulf war. But as we chit-chatted, Ron was nonchalantly doing electronic scanning of the site.
After about 1 1/2 hours, we went back in the house we were to stay in. Ron, Lloyd and I all camped in one room- Ron and I on a mattress on the floor and Lloyd on a couch. In the next room was one of the wives and the daughter of a brother who had 2 wives. He told us he would stay with his other wife that night, who lived in a house just about 20 feet away. I had a hard time with that situation- I liked both wives equally and I couldn’t imagine living in such a situation. But I must say, they seemed quite happy, although I never saw the 2 wives together.

Finally morning came and we all awoke, anxious and a bit nervous. The brothers had been busy even before we awoke. A plan had been formulated the night before. The family would dig underground into the site- their "cover story" for curious onlookers would be that they were digging a well. They did not want other prying eyes to know what they were really doing. This meant that Ron couldn’t participate in the actual excavation, at least not for the time being.

Before we awoke, one brother had arranged for a backhoe to come that very day and begin the dig! I couldn’t believe it- there is no way we could get a backhoe here in our country on such short notice! But by about 1:00 that afternoon, it was digging the hole. I was so amazed at this- to us it seemed that the Lord was working one miracle after another. We were praying constantly that the Lord’s Will would be done and for Him to let us know what to do. After all, the only reason Ron believed this site contained the Cave of Machpelah was because of the strange events which led to his coming to the site. I managed to video the backhoe through the window, since I couldn’t go outside. When all was said and done, I wanted as much documentation of the events as I could get. We were trying not to act excited and at the same time, I admit to being a bit nervous.
After all, no one knew where we were if anything happened to us. We were not exactly on friendly turf- Hebron is a dangerous area for tourists of any kind, but especially Americans. But the family was very gracious to us and I felt very safe with them. We had to rent an Israeli rental car for driving in Israeli territory and then we had to rent one from a Jordanian rental company to drive in Arab sectors. And we also had to place a certain item in the front dash which we were told would be a signal not to throw rocks at us. We’re not sure what it all meant, but we did it and it worked.

I never got to go back to the site in the back yard again that trip, even though it was only about 100 steps from the house. Work had begun and I had to stay out of sight. Ron and Lloyd would each go back there at times, but they didn’t dare take cameras. The trick was going to be in avoiding attention of the neighboring family members. We all knew that the motivation of the family was more than just finding Abraham’s burial site- they sensed that this could be something that could bring good fortune to the family. And that was fine with us. After all, it is their land.

Finally, we decided to come back home, If we changed our airline tickets, it would cost a lot extra. The initial work of digging would be slow and we could do nothing to help. The entire family was extremely gracious to us all and we grew to love the children, especially the little 4 year old girl who lived in the house we were staying in. She had been so shy with us the first day. But the second day, when I began to talk "bird talk" to her little pet finches like she did, she warmed right up. She recited both the Arabic and the English alphabet and tried desperately to teach me the Arabic alphabet.
I was a total failure- she would repeat the Arabic letters to me, pressing my cheeks together with her little hands exactly like I’m sure her teacher did to her when she was learning her pronunciation. When I would say it all wrong, she and her mother would just giggle and then- so as not to make me feel embarrassed- they would repeat it over and over again for me. I videotaped this entire scenario and I will never forget how stupid I felt. This little 4 year old knew my alphabet by heart, but I couldn’t even say hers. And to think, we have children in this country who can’t even read when they graduate.

It had been decided before we left that when the brothers entered the cave, they would call us. If not, Ron would return in June. When no word came, he arranged his tickets for late June. And just after he arranged for them, the call came: "Hello, Mr. Ron- when are you coming?" Ron replied "About June 22nd". The only reply was "Welcome!" The oldest brother, and spokesman for the family, did well- Ron had asked him not to discuss the project over phone lines and he didn’t. And we were excited! We called Lloyd and "yes", he wanted to go.
But there was one problem- Ron would be alone in Hebron the first few days as Lloyd’s surgery schedule wouldn’t allow him to come until the 28th. Ron and I didn’t discuss it much, but I was praying for someone to go with him. And 9 days before he was to leave, we had a young couple visit our home, Marty and Julie. Marty had told us several months ago that he wanted to go to Turkey and help work on Noah’s Ark if the chance ever came up and Ron needed him, but as he and his wife are expecting their first child in August, we didn’t even mention this trip to him. But he asked the magic question- "Do you have any trips planned in the near future and do you need any help?" To make a long story short, in 9 days, Marty got his passport and ticket and went along. I was so very thankful that the Lord had arranged for Marty to go- not only would Ron not be alone in Hebron, but Marty’s profession is drilling into the earth and checking underground structures- the very method Ron was expecting to employ on this cave with fiber-optic type cameras.


When they arrived in Hebron, Marty later told us, the atmosphere was tense. The family didn’t react too well to a stranger in the midst. They had gotten to know Ron, Lloyd and I, and for a short while, Marty said, the brothers acted very suspicious. But Marty very quickly won their confidence and the brothers proudly showed them the work they had been doing- they showed them the cave. The excitement at entering the cave was offset for Ron and Marty by the sudden realization that the work was just beginning. The cave had been damaged by an earthquake and lots of dirt was in the bottom. Ron had them dig one place to see how far down the floor of the cave was- it was about 5 1/2 feet. But most disappointing was the fact that there were no bones there. In fact, there was nothing except broken pieces of a very large flattish bowl which dates from the time of Abraham. But, there were what appeared to be 3 giant-sized crypts and a smaller, shelf-like section carved into one wall which was a little above waist level. There were holes in the walls around the cave entrance which clearly looked like attachments for some type of door. There were holes which were set in the wall at an angle, which appeared to be for torches to be set in the wall.


Ancient Structure Directly Above the Cave


But of equal interest was the ancient building above the cave. Ron had seen this structure years earlier but since he didn’t know exactly where the cave was, he didn’t associate the building with the cave. But once inside the cave, they found what looked to be a "vent" hole in the ceiling of the cave, and discovered that the building was built directly over this hole. While the "vent" hole is now plugged with rocks, it may be that initially the building was built to cover this open vent and prevent rain, snow and debris from falling into the tomb. At the same time, the building’s design indicates that it was erected as a type of monument, as it is about the same size as the cave.

In a few days, Lloyd arrived and all three men carefully documented the evidence. They videoed and photographed. They measured everything. Samples of the material from the floor of the cave and each crypt were taken, which will be examined in laboratories for evidences. And then, Ron, Marty and Lloyd headed home.

The work is not near finished. The brothers are, as I write this, sifting through the soil and debris in the floor of the cave, searching for anything that will give evidence. Now, we will share with you the evidence at the site, and hopefully by the next newsletter, we will have the evidence we believe is there.
As we all reviewed the video tapes and photographs, we realize we are in the same situation we were at in 1990 with Sodom and Gomorrah- we believed without a doubt that those were the ashen remains of the cities of the plain. But we didn’t have the definitive evidence until we found the sulfur capsules throughout the ash. Today, we really believe this site to be the cave of Machpelah- the evidence has revealed nothing which would negate that conclusion. And we won’t stop work until we find the evidence we believe is there, or until the Lord intervenes.


AN EXAMINATION OF THE EVIDENCES

The first consideration must be location- the site we are working on is in the suburbs of present day Hebron. Hebron is situated in a valley which runs north/south, surrounded by beautiful, terraced hills. The cave is situated on a plain atop one of the many, many hills. The information given in the Bible as to location is scant- the cave is spoken of as being "before" Mamre, which indicates that it is adjacent to it. And all we know of Mamre is that it is a plain area and it is in the Hebron area:
GENESIS 13:18
Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.

The site of the cave is on a plain, near its edge, at the top of a high hill. Just a few hundred feet from it, the hill begins its descent and goes straight down. It is breathtaking to look out from the site in the direction of the fertile, green valley.

The next clue, we learn from the time the Lord comes to visit Abraham, accompanied by the angels who go on to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah:
GENESIS 18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day

Abraham was "in the plains of Mamre" when the Lord visited him. The next day, after the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed, Abraham was able to look out and see the smoke arising from the entire area, which is consistent with his being atop a high area: GENESIS 19:27 And Abraham gat gat early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: 28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

When you are in the valley below this site, you can’t see anything off in the distance except the surrounding hills. To be able to see what is described in this verse, Abraham would have needed to be high up, not in the valley. Again, our site meets this criteria.

Who was buried in the cave?

What should we expect to find in the Cave of Machpelah? Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah were all buried in the cave (Genesis.49:31). We knew that Jacob had been mummified in Egypt:
GENESIS 50:2
And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm this father: and the physicians embalmed Israel. 12 And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them: 13 For his sons carried him unto the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a burying place of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.

Our greatest hope was to find an Egyptian mummy in the cave. But they didn’t find one. Several possibilities come to mind as to why no bones or mummy was found: there is always the distinct possibility that the remains of the deceased have completely decayed away- the cave was not airtight although it appears to have been sealed tightly enough to keep out wild animals. It may be that evidence will be found of linen wrap such as was used in mummification in the debris from the cave, as well as decayed bones. Or, there is another possibility, which we will discuss in the article- "The Ark and the Cave- What’s the Connection?" There is a great deal of dirt which still has to be sifted through, so the conclusion on this subject is not yet known for sure. But I will state that we really didn’t expect to find the bones. You’ll understand why when you read the later article.

Jewish Burials- Machpelah a "Prototype"?

We studied carefully everything the Bible tells us about the burials of the followers of the true God. Abraham was the "father" so to speak, of the Jewish nation and his tomb would be the prototype for future Jewish burials. What we learned was that the Jews placed a great deal of importance on preserving the actual bones in the burial. We know of their later practices- how they buried all members of a family in one area: as each person died, their body was interred in a family sepulchre. When the rest of the body was completely decayed away, they placed the bones in an ossuary, a box or chamber for the family bones. This way, many, many generations could be buried in one family tomb.

Before we entered the cave, we wanted to understand what should be in the burial cave of the first ancestors of the Israelites. But as no specifics are given as to the burial of the patriarchs, we studied burials in general- and this is what we learned:

1) Burial with ancestors was important if it was possible- Genesis 47:30 Judges 16:31 2 Samuel 2:32, 17:23, 19:37.

2) Being deprived of a proper burial is viewed as evidence of divine punishment- Ecclesiastes 6:3 Deuteronomy 28:26 1 Kings 13:22 2 KJn.9:10 Jeremiah 7:33.

Then we learned that little of the ceremonies of the burial was known except (these are from various time periods throughout the Bible):

1) The eyes of the deceased were closed at death- Genesis.46:4.

2) Spices were used in preparing the body- 2 Ch.16:14.

3) The deceased was carried to the grave in sight of the people- 1 Kings 13:29,30 2 Kings 23:30.

4) Monuments were erected over the burial site- 2 Kings 23:17.

5) The deceased was placed directly in contact with the bones of the previously buried inhabitants- 2 Kings 13:21.

We have provided only a few scriptures. If you wish to study the subject further, look up the words "bones", "sepulchers", "bury and buried", etc.

Heathen Burials Differ from Jewish


It is important to rule out the possibility of this being a heathen burial because Hebron was inhabited by the heathens during the time of Abraham. In fact, it was the inhabitants of Hebron that scared the 12 spies whom Moses sent out to scout the Promised Land. With such a history of heathens in the area, a heathen burial must be ruled out. If this cave was a heathen tomb, it would reflect their burial practices.
Almost everyone is familiar with the ancient practices of placing objects in the tombs of the dead- this practice is based on their belief in the after-life. The objects range from small trinkets, to jewelry, to real food for the dead to presumably consume. In fact, it is through studying the objects in ancient heathen tombs that archaeologists get most of their information on ancient people and their customs. But there would be none of this if this was a burial of a believer in God. In this case, what is not present in the cave is as important as what is in it. And again, our site passed the test. The large, broken bowl was all that was found. It dates to the early Bronze Age- the time of Abraham. It’s size and shape- very broad and very shallow- indicate that it may have been used in preparing the spices for the burial or held water for washing the body.

Many graves have been found in Hebron which contain a great deal of funerary items that show them to have been heathen burials. And the vast majority of these graves do still have the bones in them.

1) The cave is in the correct location- in Hebron, at the edge of a plain atop a very high hill.

2) There are no artifacts in the cave except for the bowl we discussed above.

3) There is a shelf-like niche carved into a wall of the cave, which could have acted as a table on which to prepare the spices for the burial (photo below). This shelf is 1.43 meters longs and .78 meters wide. The area above the


"table-top" is also chiseled out which indicates that it was used as some type of work area.

4) There are holes carved into the upper portion of the walls of the cave which are angled downward- they are consistent with holes made to hold torches (burning pine knots).

5) There are 3 crypts carved into the 3 sides of the cave (the forth side is the entrance to the cave). These measure:


a) 3.5 meters long by 1.25 meters wide


b) 3 meters long (one end is not cleaned so it appears to be a bit longer) by 1.20 meters wide


c) 3.75 meters long by 1.33 meters wide.

The size of each crypt can be seen to be relatively uniform. The fact that there are just 3 and not 6 could indicate that the wife of each patriarch was buried in the same crypt as her husband.


6) There was a doorway to the cave (photo left) as its outline can be seen chiseled into the entrance. The rock sealing the doorway seems to be missing, although it could be under the debris in the cave floor. However, the outline which was chiseled for the door can still be easily seen, as well as the matching holes on each side of the doorway, which would have secured the door.

7) There is an ancient structure directly on top of the cave. This structure, what is left of it, indicates that it was some type of shrine. It has a sort of fenced enclosure on one side, just below the terrace upon which the building sits, and this enclosed area surrounds the entrance to the cave, just beneath the little building. There is also remains of an object in the midst of the area which resembles an oblong altar made of stones.

8) There is an entrance-way into the cave from inside of this building, but as it lets out straight down into the cave, its purpose cannot be exactly understood. It may be where the cave was fractured by an earthquake, as many large stones are plugging this entrance.

9) Inside the cave, there is a wall section plugged with rocks which appears to be an entrance into another chamber. There is a strong tradition among the Jews that the cave of Machpelah was a "double chambered" cave. When Ron threw down the rock on the site in 1979 and heard the reverberation under his feet, it indicated a large chamber under him. This area was adjacent to the building or monument which is erected just over the chamber they entered, and thus indicates the presence of another cave or chamber in the direct vicinity.

Many other Burials In the Area

The family which owns this land has built on most of the land, or farmed it. As a result, they have dug on most of the surrounding land directly adjacent to the cave. They showed Ron, Marty and Lloyd numerous burials they had dug up in the course of cultivating their land. These were very deep and when they found these graves, they placed the bones in plastic bags and reburied them where they found them. One brother told Ron they had found 51 burials directly around the cave- and he said that they found nothing in the graves but bones. This is a strong indication that the deceased were worshippers of God because of the lack of funeral items. We found a reference in Josephus about the ancestors of Jacob and Joseph which may actually give us some information on these burials: "At length, his [Joseph’s] brethren died, after they had lived happily in Egypt. Now the posterity and sons of these men, after some time, carried their bones and buried them at Hebron. " Antiq. of the Jews, Book II, chapter VIII, para. 2.

Joseph’s "brethren", the sons of Israel, are here said to have been buried at Hebron. If we remember that even Abraham wasn’t living here at the time of his death or Sarah’s, we can know that the only land in Hebron they could have been buried on was the land Abraham had purchased- the field with the cave. We also know that Abraham had many servants who would have wanted to be buried along with him and so perhaps these are their burials. We can be sure that anyone who was of his household would have been a believer in the true God, simply because Abraham knew of God’s command to stay separated from the heathen.

The Cave should have Hewn Sepulchers

So, thus far, there is nothing that rules out the possibility of this cave being the actual cave of Machpelah. There is also one other statement from the scriptures which fits the cave. Joseph speaks to the pharaoh and requests permission to bury Jacob in Canaan:
GENESIS 50:5
My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up. and bury my father, and I will come again.

The Hebrew word for "grave" (qeber) and "digged" (karah) are literal here- Joseph is saying that his father, Jacob literally dug his own sepulchre. The 3 separate sepulchers are each hand-hewn, as the chisel marks are still visible.


The Building above the Cave

When we read Josephus, we found another interesting reference to the cave of Machpelah and that there was knowledge that a shrine was erected there. In speaking of Isaac’s burial, he tells of a monument existing in Hebron which was erected by Isaac’s "forefathers". The only land the family owned there was the cave and the field. Since Isaac was buried in the cave of Machpelah, Josephus may be telling us about the very building above the cave: "Isaac also died not long after the coming of his son, and was buried by his sons, with his wife, In Hebron, where they had a monument belonging to them from their forefathers." Antiq. of the Jews, Bk. II, chapter XXII, para. 1.
GENESIS 49:30
In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying place. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife and there I buried Leah.

As we mentioned, there is an opening from the building into the cave, which has been sealed by very ancient stones. There is evidence that the cave was fractured by an earthquake at some unknown point in time. There are other numerous places where rocks have been inserted in the cracked areas to seal it back up, so we don’t fully understand the hole from inside the building into the cave yet.

There is what appears to be a type of altar within the fenced-in area. Our studies of the Bible showed that Abraham built altars wherever he went:
GENESIS 12:6
And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. 8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
GENESIS 13:3
And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai: 4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD. GENESIS 13:18 Then Abram removed his tent, and cattle and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD. Thus far, it is consistent to have an altar at a place that was sacred to Abraham, and it wouldn’t be taking too much liberty to expect that Abraham would certainly consider the final resting place of his wife, himself and his descendants to be worthy of an altar to the Lord. So here is one more evidence which points to this cave as the true cave of Machpelah.

The "Traditional" Cave of Machpelah

The final observations we can offer in consideration of this site as the true cave of Abraham’s burial is that the site that is presently considered the cave of Machpelah is known to be incorrect. In fact, we found no references to the cave which emphatically state it to be authentic. In fact, most recognize the impossibility of the site as it meets virtually none of the requirements, and it is from a much later date. For example: "The only indisputable fact in all this is that the cave at Hebron cannot possibly be the Biblical Cave of Machpelah it is in fact a man-made water-cistern, once carefully plastered to prevent the water seeping into the rock." Archaeology of the Bible, by Magnus Magnusson, p. 42.

It seems most likely that the true location of the cave was lost sight of many, many years ago- possibly when the Jews were in exile, or even earlier.

As far as we are concerned, the strongest evidence for this being the cave of Machpelah to us is the manner in which the whole thing came about. It was brought to Ron’s attention 14 years ago because of very strange events which were occurring on this family’s property. Ron has not actively sought to work on the site- in fact, he has been hoping to be able to finish all the overseas work soon- a new project was not in our plans. But suddenly, things fell in place. With no more "evidence" than that to go on, we proceeded, and found a cave which certainly meets every qualification required to be the cave of Machpelah, except that the "deceased" are not there. We’ll keep you posted on further developments.

THE ARK AND THE CAVE- WHAT’S THE CONNECTION?

(The Cave is Empty- Where is Abraham?)

We were all very disappointed when we found that there were no bones in the cave, nor was there the mummy of Jacob. But we had already considered and discussed this possibility at length. In fact, we had studied this a great deal even before we began work on the cave. Let’s go back to a verse we discussed earlier:

MATTHEW 27:50
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent 52 And the graves were opened and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
** Did you get the picture? **

We felt it was a distinct possibility that Abraham and those buried in the cave were among those resurrected with Christ. The site of the cave is certainly within walking distance of Jerusalem as it is 19 or 20 miles away. No one could doubt that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would certainly qualify as "saints".
Could they have been commanded to life when Christ arose? There is a verse in the Bible which may reflect the fact that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are already in Heaven when the righteous arrive with Christ:
MATTHEW 8:11
And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. This verse almost sounds like they will be there waiting for the righteous to arrive, similar to the verse about Christ sitting down with His Father, who is waiting for Him:
HEBREWS 1:3 .
when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

Of course, the Jewish legends are completely silent on events connected with Christ. The Bible is very clear on the fact that the priests and rulers tried to cover up the true events of Christ and His resurrection, so there would be no Jewish records of these resurrected saints. And supposing Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were among those resurrected, what happened to these risen saints? Did they go back into their graves when Christ ascended to heaven? NO- they were taken to Heaven:
EPHESIANS 4:8
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

This verse clearly refers to an event which occurred when Christ ascended- not when He died on the cross, nor did it occur when Christ arose (which was when the saints came also out of their graves). The event which is spoken of as occurring "when He ascended up on high" was the physical fulfillment of His promise- the assurance of eternal life for man was proven when He took back with Him to heaven the saints who arose with their glorified bodies when He arose. This had been foretold by Isaiah hundreds of years earlier: ISA 26:19
Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

God the Father, in addition to resurrecting Christ, provided extraordinary evidence that Christ’s Sacrifice was accepted! He resurrected a group of saints as proof! The death of Christ, the great, final Sacrifice, took place on that cross almost 2,000 years ago and until He died, man was without hope:
1 Corinthians 15:17
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain: ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

Paul made it clear that if Christ had not arisen, we would all be lost. Until then, Satan had legal claim over all those who lived on this planet, as all had sinned. Remember how he contended over the body of Moses?

JUDE 1:9
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. Satan had legal right to the body of Moses at that time- notice, he isn't told that he has no claim over Moses, but simply that the Lord is over-ruling him in this case- "The Lord rebuke thee".

But, after Christ died, things changed- Satan no longer could protest that all men were his legal captive. Christ had paid the price.
Between Christ’s death and His resurrection, something happened which ratified the covenant- His Blood fell on the Mercy Seat. His Father saw that the offering was perfect in every way and also that it was presented to Him in a manner that was consistent with His requirements.
It was accepted! Christ was resurrected and a group of saints also came out of their graves! And although we do not know who they were, it would seem that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would certainly be worthy candidates- these men through whom the promise was actually given- those who had participated in the blood sacrifices in faith of the coming redeemer.

The absence of the bones is a very important evidence. Both the heathens and the believers of God placed a tremendous importance on the sacredness of a person’s grave. They went to great lengths to preserve all graves. It was simply taboo to disturb a grave among all peoples and beliefs. This cave was not disturbed, as far as we can tell.

We cannot help but be of the thought that the discovery of the cave is associated with the Ark because of the way the cave was brought to Ron’s attention while working on the Ark- the man who told Ron about the cave is the man who entered the chamber where the Ark is near Jerusalem back in 1982.

The family wanted Ron to examine the area of the cave because of supernatural occurrences that they had seen- the "fire" which left no traces when they went to take a closer look. Strange events- yes, but we do know that the cave meets the criteria to be the authentic site. We know it contains the proper number of crypts. We know there is evidence that the cave was cracked open by an earthquake. And we know that those crypts are empty.

To Abraham had been given the knowledge of the coming Redeemer, Christ:
JOHN 8:56
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. The only man called in the Bible, "the Friend of God", Abraham was a special person in the history of God’s people:
JAMES 2:23
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

And we will never know for sure if they were resurrected until we get to Heaven. But the subject of the resurrected saints was recorded in the Bible by Inspiration, so it is a subject worthy of our study and understanding. God is drawing attention to great Truths which have been overlooked for many years- subjects which focus on the mysteries of eternal life and the complete accuracy of His Holy Word.

This planet is very quickly becoming unfit to live in. We have the Word of Christ that those who love Him will be persecuted and perhaps even killed for their faith:
JOHN 15:20
Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you

But we can endure all things because we have the assurance of eternal life through Him and with Him, as Paul so forcefully states:
ROMANS 8:36
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.


THE CAVE OF TREASURES

[ Fol. 3 b , col. 1 .] By the might of our Lord Jesus Christ we begin to write the "Book of the Succession of the Generations," that is to say, M E`ÂRATH G AZZÊ , which was composed by S AINT M ÂR A PHRÊM ( i.e. Ephraim, commonly known as "Ephraim Syrus," or "Ephraim the Syrian," who died A.D. 373). O our Lord, help Thou me in Thy Mercy. Amen.

[THE FIRST THOUSAND YEARS: ADAM TO YARÊD (Jared).]

In the beginning, on the First Day, which was the holy First Day of the Week, the chief and firstborn of all the days, God created the heavens, p. 44 and the earth, and the waters, and the air, and the fire, and the hosts which are invisible (that is to say, the Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Lords, Principalities, Powers, Cherubim and Seraphim), and all the ranks and companies of Spiritual beings, and the Light, and the Night, and the Day-time, and the gentle winds and the strong winds ( i.e. storms). All these were created on the First Day. And on the First Day of the Week the Spirit of holiness, one of the Persons of the Trinity, hovered over the waters, and through the hovering thereof over the [ Fol. 3 b , col. 2 ] face of the waters, the waters were blessed so that they might become producers of offspring, and they became hot, and the whole nature of the waters glowed with heat, and the leaven of creation was united to them. As the mother-bird maketh warm her young by the embrace of her closely covering wings, and the young birds acquire form through the warmth of the heat which [they derive] from her, so through the operation of the Spirit of holiness, the Spirit, the Paraclete, the leaven of the breath of life was united to the waters when He hovered over them.

[ NOTES.--According to Solomon, a Nestorian bishop of Perâth Mayshân, or Al-Ba s rah, a city on the right bank of the Sha tt al-`Arab, about p. 45 A.D. 1222, the creation of the heavens and the earth has been planned from everlasting in the immutable mind of God. He created SEVEN substances (or natures) in silence, without voice, viz. heaven, earth, water, air, fire, the angels, and darkness. The earth was plunged in the midst of the waters, above the waters was air, and above the air was fire. Water is cold and moist, air is hot and moist, fire is hot and dry, but it had no luminosity until the Fourth Day, when the luminaries were created. The angels are divided into nine classes and three orders. The upper order contains Cherubim, Seraphim, and Thrones, and these are bearers of God's throne. The middle order contains Lords, Powers, and Rulers. The lower order contains Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. (Compare the "thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers" of Col. i. 16.) The Cherubim are an intellectual motion, the Seraphim are a fiery motion, the Thrones are a fixed motion, the Lords are a motion which governs the motions beneath it and controls the devils, the Powers are a motion which gives effect to God's will, the Rulers are a motion which rules spiritual measures and the sun, moon and stars, the Principalities are a motion which rules the elements, the Archangels are a swift operative motion which governs every living creature, p. 46 except man, and the Angels are a motion which has spiritual knowledge of everything which is in heaven or on the earth. The guardian angel of every man belongs to this last class. The number of each class of angels is equal to the number of all mankind from Adam to the Resurrection. The heaven in which the angels live is above the waters, which are above the firmament, and they minister to their God there, being invisible to bodily eyes. The angels are not self-existent beings--they were created on the other hand, darkness is a self-existent nature (or substance). Solomon of Al-Ba s rah does not accept the view that the spirit which hovered over the waters was the Holy Spirit. (See Book of the Bee, ed. Budge, chapters i-vii.) ]

And on the Second Day God made the Lower Heaven, and called it R EK Î`A [that is to say, "what is sold and fixed," or "firmament"]. This He did that He might make known that the Lower Heaven doth not possess the nature of the heaven which is above it, and that it is different in appearance from that heaven which is above it, for the heaven above it is of fire. And that second heaven is N ÛHRÂ ( i.e. Light), and this lower heaven is D ARPÎ T ÎÔN [ Fol. 4 a , col. 1 ], and because it hath the dense nature of water p. 47 it hath been called "R ek î`a." And on the Second Day God made a separation between the waters and the waters, that is to say, between the waters which were above [R ek î`a] and the waters which were below. And the ascent of these waters which were above heaven took place on the Second Day, and they were like unto a dense black cloud of thick darkness. Thus were they raised up there, and they mounted up, and behold, they stand above the R ek î`a in the air and they do not spread, and they make no motion to any side.

[ NOTES.--According to the "Book of the Bee," the creation of the firmament enabled God to allot a dwelling place to the angels, where also the souls of the righteous could be received after the General Resurrection. The great abyss of water which God created on the First Day was divided by Him into three parts one part He left on the earth for the use of man and beast, and to form rivers and seas of the second part He made the firmament, and the third part the place above the firmament. After the Resurrection all these parts will return to their original state. The word Darpî t îôn is a difficulty, and I cannot explain it. The variant forms Dûrî k ôn and Dertê k ôn appear in Ethiopic books, wherein it is said to be a name of the sixth heaven. ]

And on the Third Day God commanded the waters that were below the firmament (R ek î`a) to be gathered together in one place, and the dry land to appear. And when the covering of water had been rolled up from the face of the earth, the earth showed itself to be in an unsettled and unstable state, that is to say, it was of a damp (or moist) and yielding nature. And the waters were gathered together into seas that were under the earth and within it [ Fol. 4 a , col. 2 ], and upon it. And God made in the earth from below, corridors, and shafts, and channels for the passage of the waters and the winds which come from within the earth ascend by means of these corridors and channels, and also the heat and the cold for the service of the earth. Now, as for the earth, the lower part of it is like unto a thick sponge, for it resteth on the waters. And on this Third Day God commanded the earth, and it brought forth herbs and vegetables, and it conceived in its interior trees, and seeds, and plants and roots.

[ NOTE.--On this day the waters gathered together in the depths of the earth, sand was set as a limit for the waters of the seas, and the mountains and hills appeared. The sages say that Paradise was created on this day, but the p. 49 Rabbis held the view that it existed before the world. Solomon of Ba s rah says that the earth produced herbs and trees by its own power, and that the luminaries had nothing to do with vegetable growth. Book of the Bee (chapter ix.) ]

And on the Fourth Day God made the sun, and the moon, and the stars. And as soon as the heat of the sun was diffused over the surface of the earth, the earth became hard and rigid, and lost its flaccidity, because the humidity and the dampness [caused by] the waters were taken away from it. The Creator made the sphere of the sun of fire and filled it with light. And God gave unto the sphere of the moon and the stars bodies of water and air, and filled them with light. And when the dust of the earth became hot, it brought forth all the trees [ Fol. 4 b , col. 1 ], and plants, and seeds, and roots which had been conceived inside it on the Third Day.

[ NOTES.--The cases of the sun, moon, and stars were made of aerial material, after the manner of lamps, and God filled them with a mixture of fire, which had no light in it, and with light which had no heat in it. The path of the luminaries is beneath the firmament they are not fixed, as the ignorant think, but are guided p. 50 in their courses by the angels. The Ethiopians have a tradition that when the sun was first made its light was twelve times as strong as it is to-day. The angels complained that the heat was too strong, and that it hampered them in the performance of their duties, whereupon God divided it into twelve parts, and took away six of these parts, and out of three of them He made the moon and stars, and the other three He distributed among the waters, the clouds, and the lightning. ]

And on the Fifth Day God commanded the waters, and they brought forth all kind of fish of divers appearances, and creatures which move about, and twist themselves and wriggle in the waters, and serpents, and Leviathan, and beasts of terrible aspects, and feathered fowl of the air and of the waters. And on this same day God made from the earth all the cattle and wild beasts, and all the reptiles which creep about upon the earth.

[ NOTES.--According to the Book of the Bee (chapter xii), beasts and animals were created on Friday evening, and they can therefore see at night as well as in the daytime. In the Book of Mysteries of Heaven and Earth , "whales" and the Behemôth are mentioned with Leviathan. ]

And on the Sixth Day, which is the Eve of the Sabbath, God formed man out of the dust, and Eve from his rib.

And on the Seventh Day God rested from His labours, and it is called "Sabbath."

Now the formation of Adam took place in this wise: On the Sixth Day, which is the Eve of the Sabbath, at the first hour of the day, when quietness was reigning over [ Fol. 4 b , col. 2 ] all the Ranks [of the Angels], and the hosts [of heaven], God said, "Come ye, let Us make man in Our image, and according to Our likeness." Now by this word "Us" He maketh known concerning the Glorious Persons [of the Trinity]. And when the angels heard this utterance, they fell into a state of fear and trembling, and they said to one another, "A mighty miracle will be made manifest to us this day [that is to say], the likeness of God, our Maker." And they saw the right hand of God opened out flat, and stretched out over the whole world and all creatures were collected in the palm of His right hand. And they saw that He took from the whole mass of the earth one grain of dust, and from the whole nature of water one drop of p. 52 water, and from all the air which is above one puff of wind, and from the whole nature of fire a little of its heat and warmth. And the angels saw that when these four feeble (or inert) materials were placed in the palm of His right hand [ Fol. 5 a , col. 1 ], that is to say, cold, and heat, and dryness, and moisture, God formed Adam. Now, for what reason did God make Adam out of these four materials unless it were [to show] that everything which is in the world should be in subordination to him through them? He took a grain from the earth in order that everything in nature which is formed of earth should be subject unto him and a drop of water in order that everything which is in the seas and rivers should be his and a puff of air so that all kinds [of creatures] which fly in the air might be given unto him and the heat of fire so that all the beings that are fiery in nature, and the celestial hosts, might be his helpers.

God formed Adam with His holy hands, in His own Image and Likeness, and when the angels saw Adam's glorious appearance they were greatly moved by the beauty thereof. For they saw [ Fol. 5 a , col. 2 ] the image of his face burning with glorious splendour like the orb of the sun, and the light of his eyes was like the light of the sun, and the image of his body was like unto the sparkling of crystal. And p. 53 when he rose at full length and stood upright in the centre of the earth, he planted his two feet on that spot whereon was set up the Cross of our Redeemer for Adam was created in Jerusalem. There he was arrayed in the apparel of sovereignty, and there was the crown of glory set upon his head, there was he made king, and priest, and prophet, there did God make him to sit upon his honourable throne, and there did God give him dominion over all creatures and things. And all the wild beasts, and all the cattle, and the feathered fowl were gathered together, and they passed before Adam and he assigned names to them and they bowed their heads before him and eveything in nature worshipped him [ Fol. 5 b , col. 1 ], and submitted themselves unto him. And the angels and the hosts of heaven heard the Voice of God saying unto him, "Adam, behold I have made thee king, and priest, and prophet, and lord, and head, and governor of everything which hath been made and created and they shall be in subjection unto thee, and they shall be thine, and I have given unto thee power over everything which I have created." And when the angels heard this speech they all bowed the knee and worshipped Him.

[ NOTES.--The Jews consider that the words, "Come, let Us make man," refer to God and the p. 54 angels, but the Fathers of the Syrian Church understand that God refers to the Three Persons of the Trinity. Some Fathers believe that Adam was formed on the morning of the Sixth Day, outside Paradise, but others think that the formation of Adam took place in the evening in Paradise. According to some, Paradise was created before the world, and, according to others, on the Third Day. Bar Hebraeus says that Adam was created on Friday of the first week of Nîsân (April), the first month of the first year of the world. The Egyptian and Ethiopian Churches have a tradition that the angels were not all created at the same time. The great archangel Michael, who is called the "Angel of the Face," and all his Rank of angels were created in the first hour of Friday, the Priests in the second, the Thrones in the third, the Dominions (or Sul t âns) in the fourth, the Lords in the fifth, the Powers in the sixth, the Tens of Thousands in the seventh, the Governors in the eighth, the Masters in the ninth. After the Governors the Rank of angels governed by Satan were created, and then the Tenth Rank.

According to a Coptic tradition preserved in the Discourse on Abbatôn, the Angel of Death , by Timothy, Archbishop of Rakoti (Alexandria), the clay of which Adam was made was brought by the angel Mûrîêl from the Land of the East. p. 55 When God had made his body He left it lying for forty days and forty nights without putting breath into it. At the request of our Lord, Who promised to become Adam's advocate and to go down into the world, God breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life three times, saying, "Live! Live! Live! according to the type of My Divinity." Thereupon Adam rose up, and worshipped the Father, saying, "My Lord and my God." (Budge, Coptic Martyrdoms , page 482.) ]

[THE REVOLT OF SATAN, AND THE BATTLE IN HEAVEN.]

And when the prince of the lower order of angels saw what great majesty had been given unto Adam, he was jealous of him from that day, and he did not wish to worship him. And he said unto his hosts, "Ye shall not worship him, and ye shall not praise him with the angels. It is meet that ye should worship me, because I am fire and spirit and not that I should worship a thing of dust, which hath been fashioned of fine dust." And the Rebel meditating these things [ Fol. 5 b , col. 2 ] would not render obedience to God, and of his own free will he asserted his independence and separated himself from God. But he was swept away out of heaven and fell, and the fall of himself and of all his company from heaven took place on the p. 56 Sixth Day, at the second hour of the day. And the apparel of their glorious state was stripped off them. And his name was called "Sâ t ânâ" because he turned aside [from the right way], and "Shêdâ" because he was cast out, and "Daiwâ" because he lost the apparel of his glory. And behold, from that time until the present day, he and all his hosts have been stripped of their apparel, and they go naked and have horrible faces. And when Sâ t ânâ was cast out from heaven, Adam was raised up so that he might ascend to Paradise in a chariot of fire. And the angels went before him, singing praises, and the Seraphim ascribed holiness unto him, and the Cherubim ascribed blessing and amid cries of joy and praises Adam went into [ Fol. 6 a , col. 1 ] Paradise. And as soon as Adam entered Paradise he was commanded not to eat of a [certain] tree his entrance into heaven took place at the third hour of the Eve of the Sabbath ( i.e. on Friday morning).

[ NOTES.--The Fathers of the Egyptian and Ethiopian Churches treat the story of the Fall of Satan in great detail. According to them, Satan, or Sa t nâêl, was greatly astonished at the beauty and splendour of the sun and moon, and on the Fourth Day of the week he declared to himself that he would set his throne above the stars, p. 57 and make himself equal to God. One week after the creation of Adam, Satan declared war on the hosts of Almighty God. These were commanded by Michael and consisted of 120,000 horsemen, 600,000 shield bearers, 700,000 mail-clad horsemen in chariots of fire, 700,000 torch bearers, 800,000 angels with daggers of fire, 1,000,000 slingers, 500,000 bearers of axes of fire, 300,000 bearers of fiery crosses, and 400,000 bearers of lamps. The angels uttered their battle cries and began to fight, but Satan charged them and dispersed them they reformed, but again Satan charged them and put them to flight. Then God gave the angels the Cross of Light, which bore the legend, "In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost." And when they attacked the hosts of darkness under this Cross, Satan became faint, and he and his forces withdrew, and Michael hurled them down into hell. The Abyssinian legend says that Satan was 1,700 cubits high, and his hand 70 cubits long, and his foot 7,000 cubits long his mouth was 40 cubits in width, his face was as broad as the distance of a day's journey, and the length of his eyebrows was a distance of three days' journey. [From the Book of the Mysteries of Heaven and Earth .] The prototype of the great fight in heaven between the powers of light and darkness is found in p. 58 ancient Egyptian religious texts, in more than one form. In the oldest form Set, , the Devil, rebels against H er-ur, , the god of heaven, whose chief symbols are the sun and moon, and is utterly defeated. In the next form Set attacks the Sun-god R¯a, , and is destroyed by him the great ally of Set, called ¯Apep (Apôphis), , and all his fiends and devils (the Sebau), , are defeated and burnt up daily. In another form Set makes war on Horus, the son of Osiris, and on Osiris himself, and is defeated utterly. The Coptic version of the legend was borrowed from the old hieroglyphic texts, and then Christianized. Compare the following:--

When Satan saw Adam seated on a great throne, with a crown of glory on his head and a sceptre in his hand, and all the angels worshipping him, he was filled with anger. And when God said to him, "Come thou also, for thou shalt worship My image and likeness," Satan refused to do so, and, assuming an arrogant and insolent manner, he said, "It is meet that he should worship me, for I existed before he came into being." When the Father saw his overbearing attitude, He knew that Satan's wickedness p. 59 and rebellion had reached their highest pitch. He ordered the celestial soldiers to take from him the written authority that was in his hand, to strip off his armour, and to hurl him down from heaven to earth. Satan was the greatest of the angels, and God had made him the Commander-in-Chief of the celestial hosts, and in the document which Satan held in his hand were written the names of all the angels under his command. Knowing their names, his authority over them was absolute. When God saw that the angels hesitated to take the document from him, He commanded them to bring a sharp reaping-knife, and to stab him on this side and that, right through his body to the backbone and shoulder blades and Satan could no longer stand upright. And a Cherub smote him, and broke his wings and his ribs, and having rendered him helpless he cast Satan down from Heaven upon the earth. Then he became the Arch-Devil and the leader of those who were cast out of heaven with him, and who henceforth were devils. (From Budge, Coptic Martyrdoms , page 484.) ]

And God cast a sleep upon Adam and he slept. And God took a rib from the loins on the right side of Adam, and He made Khâwâ ( i.e. Eve) from it and when Adam woke up, and saw Eve, p. 60 he rejoiced in her greatly. And Adam and Eve were in Paradise, and clothed with glory and shining with praise for three hours. Now this Paradise was situated on a high range of hills, and it was thirty spans--according to the measurement of the spirit--higher than all the high mountains, and it surrounded the whole earth.

[ NOTES.--God did not make Eve of earth, that she might not be considered something alien to Adam in nature and He did not take her from Adam's fore-parts, that she might not uplift herself against him nor from his hind-parts, that she might not be accounted despicable nor from his right side, that she might not have pre-eminence over him nor from his head, that she might not seek authority over him nor from his feet, that she might not be trodden down and scorned in the eyes of her husband but [He took her] from his left side, for the side is the place which unites and joins both front and back ( Book of the Bee , chapter xiv, and Bar Hebraeus, Au s ar Râzê ). Further, God did not form Eve from Adam's head, that she might not carry her head proudly nor from his eye, that she might not be curious nor from his ear, that she might not be an eavesdropper nor from his mouth, that she might not be gossiping p. 61 nor from his heart, that she might not be quarrelsome nor from his hand, that she might not touch everything with her hand nor from his feet, that she might not rove about ( Berêshîth Rabbah on Gen. ii. 23). ]

Now Moses the prophet said that God planted Paradise in Eden and placed Adam there (Gen. ii. 8).

[ NOTES.--Paradise was situated on Mount Eden, beyond the Ocean, and it was filled with fruit-bearing trees. The great river which sprung up in it was parted into four heads, viz. P ISHÔN , which flowed through H avilâ, where there were beryls, and gold, and stones of price G ÎHÔN , or the Nile of Egypt D E K LATH (the Tigris), which flows through Assyria and P ERATH (the Euphrates). The keepers of Paradise were Enoch and Elijah, and in it dwelt the souls of the righteous. The souls of sinners dwelt in a deep place, outside Eden. The tree of good and evil that was in Paradise did not possess these properties naturally, but only through the deed which was wrought by its means. Adam and Eve did not become naked and die the death of sin because they desired and ate of the fruit of the fig-tree, but because they transgressed the law. The tree of which they ate may have been the fig-tree, or the date-palm, or the vine or the p. 62 ethrôg (citron). Mount Eden is probably the original of Jabal Kâf of the Arabs, a mountain range which surrounds the whole world. ]

Now Eden is the Holy Church, and the Church [ Fol. 6 a , col. 2 ] is the compassion of God, which He was about to extend to the children of men. For God, according to His foreknowledge, knew what Satan had devised against Adam, and therefore He set Adam beforehand in the bosom of His compassion, even as the blessed David singeth concerning Him in the Psalm (xc), saying, "Lord, Thou hast been an abiding place for us throughout all generations," that is to say, "Thou hast made us to have our abiding place in Thy compassion." And, when entreating God on behalf of the redemption of the children of men, David said, "Remember Thy Church, which Thou didst acquire in olden time " (Ps. lxxiv. 2), that is to say, "[Remember] Thy compassion, which Thou art about to spread over our feeble race." Eden is the Holy Church, and the Paradise which was in it is the land of rest, and the inheritance of life, which God hath prepared for all the holy children of men. And because [ Fol. 6 b , col. 1 ] Adam was priest, and king, and prophet, God brought him into Paradise that he might minister in Eden, the p. 63 Holy Church, even as the blessed man Moses testifieth concerning him, saying, "That he might serve God by means of priestly ministration with praise, and that he might keep that commandment which had been entrusted to him by the compassion of God" (Gen. ii. 15, 16 ?). And God made Adam and Eve to dwell in Paradise. True is this word, and it proclaimeth the truth: That Tree of Life which was in the midst of Paradise prefigured the Redeeming Cross, which is the veritable Tree of Life, and this it was that was fixed in the middle of the earth.

[SATAN'S ATTACK ON ADAM AND EVE.]

And when Satan saw that Adam and Eve were happy and joyful in Paradise, that Rebel was smitten sorely with jealousy, and he became filled with wrath. And he went and took up his abode in the serpent, and he raised him up, and made him to fly through the air to the skirts of Mount [Eden] whereon was Paradise [ Fol. 6 b , col. 2 ]. Now, why did Satan enter the body of the serpent and hide himself therein? Because he knew that his appearance was foul, and that if Eve saw his form, she would betake herself to flight straightway before him. Now, the man who wished to teach the Greek language to a bird--now the bird that can learn the speech of men p. 64 is called "babbaghah" ( i.e. parrot)--first bringeth a large mirror and placeth between himself and the bird. He then beginneth to talk to the bird, and immediately the parrot heareth the voice of the man, it turneth round, and when it seeth its own form [reflected] in the mirror, it becometh pleased straightway, because it imagineth that a fellow parrot is talking to it. Then it inclineth its ear with pleasure, and listeneth to the words of the man who is talking to it, and it becometh eager to learn, and to speak Greek. In this manner ( i.e. with the object of making Eve believe that it was the serpent that spoke to her) did Satan enter in and dwell in the serpent, and he watched for the opportunity, and [when] he saw Eve by herself [ Fol. 7 a , col. 1 ], he called her by her name. And when she turned round towards him, she saw her own form [reflected] in him, and she talked to him and Satan led her astray with his lying words, because the nature of woman is soft (or, yielding).

And when Eve had heard from him concerning that tree, straightway she ran quickly to it, and she plucked the fruit of disobedience from the tree of transgression of the command, and she ate. Then immediately she found herself stripped naked, and she saw the hatefulness of her shame, and she ran away p. 65 naked, and hid herself in another tree, and covered her nakedness with the leaves thereof. And she cried out to Adam, and he came to her, and she handed to him some of the fruit of which she had eaten, and he also did eat thereof. And when he had eaten he also became naked, and he and Eve made girdles for their loins of the leaves of the fig-trees and they were arrayed in these girdles of ignominy for three [ Fol. 7 a , col. 2 ] hours. At mid-day they received [their] sentence of doom. And God made for them tunics of skin which was stripped from the trees, that is to say, of the bark of the trees, because the trees that were in Paradise had soft barks, and they were softer than the byssus and silk wherefrom the garments worn by kings are made. And God dressed them in this soft skin, which was thus spread over a body of infirmities.

[ NOTES.--The Fathers of the Ethiopian Church emphasize the difficulty which Satan found in entering Paradise. He knew that he could not carry out his plan for ruining Adam if he entered Paradise in his own form, and he decided that he must assume the form of some bird or animal or reptile if he was to succeed. He applied to the white bird Arzel, and the green bird Besel, and a red bird, but each refused to take him to the place where Eve was. Then he applied to p. 66 the elephant, and the lion, and the leopard, and the hyena, and the wild boar the first four refused point blank to do what Satan wished, and the wild boar attempted to gore him with his tusks. On this Satan took to flight. He then went to the animal Sereg, which was commonly known as the "digger of graves," but this animal refused to help him, and then Satan approached the animal called "Taman," "the front part of which was like a camel's foal." This creature agreed to help him, and, mounted on his back, Satan entered Paradise and stood before Eve. The serpent became spokesman for him, and Eve hearkened to him and ate of the fruit. According to the "Book of the Mysteries of Heaven and Earth," the tree was called "Sezen," and each fruit cluster contained, 150,000 grains, or berries. It is described as a large and handsome tree, and it has been identified with the "Sendâlê," or sandal-wood tree. According to the same authorities, the Tree of Life was the prototype of the Cross on which our Lord was crucified. ]

At the third hour of the day Adam and Eve ascended into Paradise, and for three hours they enjoyed the good things thereof for three hours they were in shame and disgrace, and at the p. 67 ninth hour their expulsion from Paradise took place. And as they were going forth sorrowfully, God spake unto Adam, and heartened him, and said unto him, "Be not sorrowful, O Adam, for I will restore unto thee thine inheritance. Behold, see how greatly I have loved thee, for though I have cursed the earth for thy sake, yet have I withdrawn thee from the operation of the curse. As for the serpent [ Fol. 7 b , col. 1 ], I have fettered his legs in his belly, and I have given him the dust of the earth for food and Eve have I bound under the yoke of servitude. Inasmuch as thou hast transgressed my commandments get thee forth, but be not sad. After the fulfilment of the times which I have allotted that you shall be in exile outside [Paradise], in the land which is under the curse, behold, I will send my Son. And He shall go down [from heaven] for thy redemption, and He shall sojourn in a Virgin, and shall put on a body [of flesh], and through Him redemption and a return shall be effected for thee. But command thy sons, and order them to embalm thy body after thy death with myrrh, cassia, and stakte. And they shall place thee in this cave, wherein I am making you to dwell this day, until the time when your expulsion shall take place from the regions of Paradise to that earth which is outside it. And whosoever shall be left in those days shall take p. 68 thy body with him, and [ Fol. 7 b , col. 2 ] shall deposit it on the spot which I shall show him, in the centre of the earth for in that place shall redemption be effected for thee and for all thy children." And God revealed unto Adam everything which the Son would suffer on behalf of him.

[Adam's expulsion from Paradise.]

And when Adam and Eve had gone forth from Paradise, the door of Paradise was shut, and a cherub bearing a two-edged sword stood by it. [According to the Book of the Bee , the cherub, or, as some think, a "terrible form endowed with a body," was armed with a spear and sword, each being made of fire.]

And Adam and Eve went down in . . . . . . . of spirit over the mountains of Paradise, and they found a cave in the top of the mountain, and they entered and hid themselves therein.

[ NOTES.--When Adam and Eve left Paradise they no longer had fruit and wine and bread and flesh to live upon, and they subsisted on cooked grain and vegetables and the herbs of the earth, of which they ate sparingly. Moreover, the four-footed beasts and fowl and reptiles rebelled against them, and some of them became enemies and adversaries unto them. Book of the Bee (chapter xvii.) ]

Now Adam and Eve were virgins, and Adam wished to know Eve his wife. And Adam took from the skirts of the mountain of Paradise, gold, and myrrh, and frankincense, and he placed them in the cave, and he blessed the cave, and consecrated it that it might be the house of prayer for himself and his sons. And he called the cave "M E`ÂRATH G AZZÊ " ( i.e. "CAVE OF TREASURES") [ Fol. 8 a , col. 1 ].

So Adam and Eve went down from that holy mountain [of Eden] to the slopes which were below it, and there Adam knew Eve his wife. [A marginal note in the manuscript says that Adam knew Eve thirty years after they went forth from Paradise.] And Eve conceived and brought forth Cain and Lebhûdhâ, his sister, with him and Eve conceived again and she brought forth Hâbhîl (Abel) and K elîmath, his sister, with him. [The Book of the Bee makes K elîmath the twin sister of Cain, and Lebhûdhâ the twin sister of Abel.] And when the children grew up, Adam said unto Eve, "Let Cain take to wife K elîmath, who was brought forth with Abel, and let Abel take to wife Lebhûdhâ, who was brought forth with Cain." And Cain said unto Eve his mother, "I will take to wife my twin sister Lebhûdhâ, and let Abel take to wife his twin sister K elîmath" now Lebhûdhâ was beautiful. When Adam heard these words, which were p. 70 exceedingly displeasing unto him, he said, "It will be a transgression of the commandment for thee to take [to wife] thy sister, who was born with thee. Nevertheless, take ye to yourselves fruits of trees, and the young of sheep, and get ye up to the top [ Fol. 8 a , col. 2 ] of this holy mountain. Then go ye into the Cave of Treasures, and offer ye up your offerings, and make your prayers, and then ye shall consort with your wives." And it came to pass that when Adam, the first priest, and Cain and Abel, his sons, were going up to the top of the mountain, Satan entered into Cain [and persuaded him] to kill Abel, his brother, because of Lebhûdhâ and because his offering was rejected and was not accepted before God, whilst the offering of Abel was accepted, Cain's jealousy of his brother Abel was increased. And when they came down to the plain, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and he killed him with a blow from a stone of flint. Then straightway Cain received the doom of death, instead of curses, and he became a fugitive and a wanderer all the days of his life. And God drove him forth into exile in a certain part of the forest of Nôdh, and Cain took to wife his twin sister and made the place of his abode there.

[ NOTES.--Adam carried Abel to the Cave of Treasures and buried him therein, and he set by p. 71 the side of the body a lamp which burned day and night. Abel was fifteen and a half years old when Cain, who was seventeen and a half years old, murdered him. Adam and Eve mourned for Abel, in great grief, for one hundred and forty days. Book of Adam and Eve (II, 1.) ]

And Adam and Eve mourned for Abel [ Fol. 8 b , col. 1 ] one hundred years ( sic ). And then Adam knew his wife again, and she brought forth Seth, the Beautiful, a man mighty and perfect like unto Adam, and he became the father of the mighty men who lived before the Flood.

[ NOTES.--Seth was born in the 130th year of Adam's life (Gen. v. 3), but the Book of the Bee says it was the 230th year. Adam and Seth and his sons dwelt on the top of Mount Eden, while Cain and his children lived on the plain below. ]

And to Seth was born Ânôsh (Enos), and Ânôsh begot K ainân (Cainan), and K ainân begot Mahlâlâîl (Mahalaleel) these [are] the Patriarchs who were born in the days of Adam.

And when Adam had lived nine hundred and thirty years, that is to say, until the one hundred p. 72 and thirty-fifth year of Mahlâlâîl, the day of his death drew nigh and came. And Seth, his son, and Ânôsh, and K ainân, and Mahlâlâîl gathered themselves together and came to him. And they were blessed by him, and he prayed over them. And he commanded his son Seth, and said unto him, "Observe, my son Seth, that which I command thee this day, and do thou on the day of thy death give my command to Ânôsh, and repeat it to him, and let him repeat it to K ainân, and K ainân shall repeat it to Mahlâlâîl [ Fol. 8 b , col. 2 ], and let this [my] command be handed on to all your generations. And when I die, embalm me with myrrh, and cassia, and stakte, and deposit my body in the Cave of Treasures. And whosoever shall be left of your generations in that day, when your going forth from this country, which is round about Paradise, shall take place, shall carry my body with him, and shall take it and deposit it in the centre of the earth, for in that place shall redemption be effected for me and for all my children. And be thou, O my son Seth, governor of the sons of thy people. And thou shalt rule them purely and holily in an the fear of God. And keep ye your offspring separate from the offspring of Cain, the murderer."

And when the report "Adam is dying" was known generally, all his offspring gathered p. 73 together, and came to him, that is to say, Seth, his son, and Ânôsh, and K ainân and Mahlâlâîl, they and their wives [ Fol. 9 a , col. 1 ], and their sons, and their daughters and Adam blessed them. And the departure of Adam from this world took place in the nine hundred and thirtieth year--according to the reckoning from the beginning--on the fourteenth day of the moon, on the sixth day of the month of Nîsân (April), at the ninth hour, on the day of the Eve of the Sabbath ( i.e. Friday). At the same hour in which the Son of Man delivered up his soul to His Father on the Cross, did our father Adam deliver up his soul to Him that fashioned him and he departed from this world.

And when Adam was dead his son Seth embalmed him, according as Adam had commanded him, with myrrh, and cassia, and stakte now Adam's dead body was the first [body buried] in the earth. And grief for him was exceedingly sore, and Seth [and his sons] mourned for his death one hundred and forty days and they took Adam's body up to the top of the mountain, and buried it in the Cave of Treasures. And after the families and peoples of the childreh of Seth had buried Adam, they separated themselves from the children of Cain, p. 74 the murderer. And Seth took Ânôsh [ Fol. 9 a , col. 2 ], his firstborn, and K ainân, and Mahlâlâîl, and their wives and children, and led them up into the glorious mountain where Adam was buried and Cain and all his descendants remained below on the plain where Cain slew Abel.

And Seth became the governor of the children of his people, and he ruled them in purity and holiness. And because of their purity they received the name, which is the best of all names, and were called "the sons of God," they and their wives and their sons. Thus they lived in that mountain in all purity and holiness and in the fear of God. And they went up on the skirts of [the mountain] of Paradise, and they became praisers and glorifiers of God in the place of that host of devils who fell from heaven. There they dwelt in peace and happiness: there was nothing about which they needed to feel anxiety, they had nothing to weary or trouble them [ Fol. 9 b , col. 1 ], and they had nothing to do except to praise and glorify God, with the angels. For they heard continually the voices of the angels who were singing praises in Paradise, which was situated at no great height above them--in fact, only about thirty spans--according to the measure of the spirit. They suffered p. 75 neither toil nor fatigue, they had neither seed [time] nor harvest, but they fed themselves with the delectable fruits of glorious trees of all kinds, and they enjoyed the sweet scent and perfume of the breezes which were wafted forth to them from Paradise. [Thus lived] those holy men, who were indeed holy, and their wives were pure, and their sons were virtuous, and their daughters were chaste and undefiled. In them there was no rebellious thought, no envy, no anger, no enmity. In their wives and daughters there was no impure longing, and neither lasciviousness [ Fol. 9 b , col. 2 ], nor cursing, nor lying was heard among them. The only oath which they used in swearing was, "By the blood of Abel." And they, and their wives, and their children used to rise up early in the morning, and go up to the top of that holy mountain, and worship there before God. And they were blessed by the body of Adam their father, and they lifted up their eyes to Paradise, and praised God and thus they did all the days of their life.

[ NOTES.--According to the Book of the Bee (chapter xviii), Adam lived 930 years, and Seth lived 913 or 905 years. Seth was 250 years old (105 years in Gen. v. 6) when he begot Enos. "In the days of Seth the knowledge of books went forth in the earth but the Church does p. 76 not accept this." According to the Book of Adam (ii. 5), Seth knew good and evil when he was seven years of age, and he spent his days and nights in fasting and prayer, and he made an offering to God daily. Satan appeared to him, and tried to persuade him to leave the holy mountain, and to go and live with him, and to marry one of his women, but Seth resisted him and mounting the altar of God, drove him away. When Seth was fifteen years old Adam married him to Aklia, the sister of Abel, and when he was twenty years old he begot Enos. ]

And when Seth had lived nine hundred and thirteen years he became sick unto death. And Ânôsh his son, and K ainân, and Mahlâlâîl, and Yârêd (Jared), and Henôkh (Enoch), and their wives and their sons, gathered together and came unto him, and they were blessed by him. And he prayed over them, and commanded them, and made them to take an oath, and said unto them [ Fol. 10 a , col. 1 ], "I will make you to take an oath, and to swear by the holy blood of Abel, that none of you will go down from this holy mountain to the children of Cain, the murderer. For ye know well the enmity which hath existed between us and Cain from the day whereon he slew Abel." And Seth blessed Ânôsh, his son and gave him commands p. 77 concerning the body of Adam, and he made him ruler over the children of his people. And Seth ruled them in purity and in holiness, and he ministered diligently before the body of Adam. And Seth died when he was nine hundred and twelve years old, on the seven-and-twentieth day of the blessed month of Âbh (August), on the second day of the week (Monday), at the third hour, in the twentieth year of the life of Enoch. And Ânôsh, Seth's first-born son, embalmed his body and buried him in the Cave of Treasures, with his father Adam and they made a mourning for him forty [ Fol. 10 a , col. 2 ] days.

[ NOTES.-- The Book of Adam (ii. 12) says that Seth was embalmed with sweet spices, and laid on the right side of Adam's body, but there is no evidence that the Hebrews were acquainted with the art of mummification before they had intercourse with Egypt. ]

And Ânôsh rose up to minister before God in the Cave of Treasures. And he became the governor of the children of his people, and he kept all the commandments which his father Seth had commanded him, and he urged them to be constant in prayer.

[ NOTES.--According to the Book of the Bee (chapter xviii), Ânôsh was two hundred and ninety (ninety years in Gen. v. 9) years old when he begot K ainân and Ânôsh first called upon the name of the Lord. Some say that he first composed books upon the course of the stars and the signs of the Zodiac. ]

And in the days of Ânôsh, in his eight hundred and twentieth year, Lamech, the blind man, killed Cain, the murderer, in the Forest of Nôdh. Now this killing took place in the following manner. As Lamech was leaning on the youth, his son [Tubal-Cain], and the youth was setting straight his father's arm in the direction in which he saw the quarry, he heard the sound of Cain moving about, backwards and forwards, in the forest. Now Cain was unable to stand still in one place and to hold his peace. And Lamech, thinking that it was a wild beast that was making a movement in the forest, raised his arm, and, having made ready, drew his bow and shot an arrow [ Fol. 10 b , col. 1 ] towards that spot, and the arrow smote Cain between his eyes, and he fell down and died. And Lamech, thinking that he had shot game, spake to the youth, saying, "Make haste, and let us see what game we have shot." And when they went to the spot, and the boy on whom Lamech leaned p. 79 had looked, he said unto him, "O my lord, thou hast killed Cain." And Lamech moved his hands to smite them together, and as he did so he smote the youth and killed him also.

[ NOTES.-- The Book of Adam (ii. 13) says that Lamech was armed with a bow and large arrows, and a sling and smooth stones. An arrow pierced one side of Cain, and a stone from Lamech's sling knocked out both his eyes. Lamech smote the youth who led him about accidentally, but afterwards he smashed his head in with a stone. There are many versions of the story in Arabic, Ethiopic, and Hebrew, but they all agree in essential details. According to the Book of the Bee (chapter xviii), the anvil and hammer and tongs were invented by Tubal-Cain and Jubal, who also constructed musical instruments, harps and pipes devils lived in the pipes, and sang therein. ]

And when Ânôsh had lived nine hundred and five years, and was sick unto death, all the patriarchs gathered themselves together, and came unto him, viz. K ainân, his first-born son, and Mahlâlâîl, and Yârêd, and Enoch, and Matûshla h (Methuselah), they, and their wives, and their sons. And they were blessed by him, and he prayed over them and commanded them, and spake unto them, saying, "I will make you p. 80 to swear by the holy blood of Abel that not one of you shall go down from this mountain to the plain, nor into the encampment of [ Fol. 10 b , col. 2 ] the children of Cain, the murderer and ye shall not mingle yourselves among them. Take ye good heed unto this matter, for ye well know what enmity hath existed between us and them from the day whereon Cain slew Abel." And he blessed K ainân, his son, and commanded him concerning the body of Adam, that he should minister before it all the days of his life, and that he should rule over the children of his people in purity and holiness. And Ânôsh died at the age of nine hundred and five years, on the third day of the month of the First Teshrîn (October), on the day of the Sabbath, in the fifty-third year of the life of Methuselah. And K ainân, his first-born, embalmed him and buried him in the Cave of Treasures, with Adam and Seth, his father. And they made a mourning for him forty days.

[ NOTES.-- The Book of Adam (ii. 14) says that Ânôsh was 985 years old when he died, and that he was laid on the left-hand side of Adam in the Cave of Treasures. ]

And K ainân stood up before God to minister in the Cave of Treasures. He was an honourable p. 81 and pure man, and he governed the children of his people in the complete [ Fol. 11 a , col. 1 ] fear of God, and he fulfilled all the commandments of Ânôsh his father. And when K ainân had lived nine hundred and twenty years [in the Book of Adam and the Book of the Bee 910 years], and was sick unto death, all the Patriarchs gathered together and came unto him, viz. Mahlâlâîl his son, and Yârêd, and Enoch and Methuselah and Lamech, they and their wives and their children, and were blessed by him. And he prayed over them and commanded them, saying, "I will make you swear by the holy blood of Abel that not one of you shall go down from this holy mountain into the camp of the children of Cain, the murderer, for ye all know well what enmity hath existed between us and them since the day whereon he killed Abel." And he blessed his son Mahlâlâîl, and admonished him concerning the body of Adam, and said unto him, "Behold, O my son Mahlâlâîl, minister thou before God in purity and holiness [ Fol. 11 a , col. 2 ] in the Cave of Treasures, and depart not thou from the presence of the body of Adam all the days of thy life. And be thou the governor of the children of thy people, and rule thou them purely and holily." K ainân died, being nine hundred and twenty years old, on the thirteenth day of the month of H ezêrân (June), p. 82 on the fourth day of the week (Wednesday), at mid-day, in the five and sixtieth year of [the life of] Lamech, the father of Noah. And Mahlâlâîl, his son, embalmed him, and buried him in the Cave of Treasures and they made mourning for him forty days.

[ NOTES.--According to Gen. v. 12, K ainân was 70 years old when he begot Mahlâlâîl, but the Book of the Bee gives 140 years. The Book of Adam says that the people made "offerings for him, after the custom of their fathers," a statement that seems to suggest that the Hebrews not only mummified their dead, but presented funerary offerings to them, after the manner of the Egyptians. ]

And Mahlâlâîl rose up and ministered before God in the place of K ainân his father. He was constant in prayer by day and by night, and he urged earnestly the children of his people to observe holiness and purity, and to pray without ceasing. And when Mahlâlâîl had lived eight hundred and ninety-five years [ Fol. 11 b , col. 1 ], and the day of his departure drew nigh, and he was sick unto death, all the Patriarchs gathered together and came unto him, viz. Yârêd, his p. 83 first-born, and Enoch and Methuselah, and Lamech, and Noah, they and their wives and their children, and were blessed by him. And he prayed over them, and commanded them, saying, "I will make you to swear by the holy blood of Abel, that not one of you shall go down from this holy mountain. And ye shall not permit any one of your descendants to go down to the plain, to the children of Cain, the murderer, for ye all well know what enmity hath existed between us and them from the day whereon he slew Abel." And he blessed Yârêd, his first-born, and he commanded him concerning the body of Adam, and revealed unto him the place whereto he should make ready to go. And he also commanded him, and made him to swear an oath, saying, "Thou shalt not depart from the body of our father Adam all the days of thy life, and thou shalt be [ Fol. 11 b , col. 2 ] the governor of the children of thy people, and shalt rule them in chastity and holiness." And Mahlâlâîl died, [being] eight hundred and ninety-five years old, on the second day of the month Nîsân (April), on the first day of the week (Sunday), at the third hour of the day, in the four and thirtieth year of the life of Noah. And Yârêd, his first-born, embalmed him, and buried him in the Cave of Treasures and the people made a mourning for him forty days.

[ NOTES.--According to Gen. v. 15, Mahlâlâîl was 65 years old when he begot Yârêd, but the Book of the Bee gives 165 years the Book of Adam (ii. 16) says he fell sick when he was 870 years old. The latter work makes the Patriarch tell Yârêd that the people will go down from the mountain, and mingle with the children of Cain, and perish with them. ]

And Yârêd his son rose up and ministered before God [in the Cave of Treasures]. He was a perfect man, and was complete in all the virtues, and he was constant in prayer by day and by night. And because of the excellence of his life and conversation, his days were longer than those of all the children of his people. And in the days of Yârêd, in the five hundredth year of his life, the children of Seth broke the oaths which their fathers had made them to swear. And they began to go down from that holy mountain to the encampment of iniquity [ Fol. 12 a , col. 1 ] of the children of Cain, the murderer, and in this way the fall of the children of Seth took place.

[ NOTES.--The Book of Adam (ii. 17) says that Yârêd continued to govern the people successfully until the end of the 485th year of his life. p. 85 At this time Satan and thirty of his devils appeared to Yârêd in the form of handsome men, and called him from the Cave of Treasures. He came out to them, and thought they were strangers, and asked them who they were. In answer, Satan told him that he was Adam, and that among his companions were Abel, Seth, Enos, Cainan, and other kinsmen of Yârêd. He invited Yârêd to come with him, and live with him in the garden which God had given him, and at length Yârêd was persuaded to leave the Cave and go with him. When they arrived at the top of the mountain of the sons of Cain, Satan pretended that he had left a garment for Yârêd by the Cave, and sent one of his devils back to fetch it, telling him at the same time to extinguish the lamp which was burning in the Cave near Adam's body. Satan and Yârêd rested by a fountain, and food was brought out to them by the sons and daughters of Cain, but Yârêd refused to eat or drink. Satan entreated him to put aside his sadness, and to do as he was going to do. Thereupon Satan and five of his devils each seized a woman and committed fornication with her, and on seeing this exhibition of iniquity Yârêd burst into tears and began to pray to God to be delivered from that place. When he began to pray the devils took to flight, and God sent an angel, who brought him back p. 86 to his holy mountain. When he returned to the Cave his people told him that the lamp had been extinguished, and that the bodies of the Patriarchs had been scattered about, and that voices had come from them. On entering the Cave a voice came to him from Adam's body, and warned him to beware of Satan and his wiles, and told him to relight the lamp from the fire on the altar at which Adam had ministered. The lamp was relighted at the end of the 450th year of Yârêd's life. Eighty years later his people began to go down to the children of Cain, and to mingle with their women. ]

AND IN THE FORTIETH YEAR OF YÂRÊD THE FIRST THOUSAND YEARS, FROM ADAM TO YÂRÊD, CAME TO AN END .

And in these years the handicraftsmen of sin, and the disciples of Satan, appeared, for he was their teacher, and he entered in and dwelt in them, and he poured into them the spirit of the operation of error, through which the fall of the children of Seth was to take place.


Legends, Mysteries, Light and Darkness: The Secret History of the Biblical Cave of the Patriarchs

Die Kaaba in Mekka 2008, Foto deendotsg -CC BY 2.0

Eine Reihe von römischen Gebäuden zeigte, wie eng verknüpft Zahlenmythologie und astronomische Ausrichtung verbunden sein können. Doch auch nach dem Ende Roms wurde diese Tradition bei Bauwerken aller drei großen Religionen weiter verfolgt. In Mekka wird dies bei der heiligsten Stätte des Islams, der Kaaba, sichtbar.Ihr Name seht für den Würfel und auch ihre Kubatur gleicht diesem platonischen Körper.

Schematische Darstellung: Schwarzer Stein (1), Eingangstür (2), Regenrinne (3), Sockelvorsprung (4), Hatīm (5), Multazam (6), Maqām Ibrāhīm (7), Schwarze Ecke (8), Jemenitische Ecke (9), Syrische Ecke (10), Irakische Ecke (11).…

Foto Mbenoist (M. Benoist) at fr.wikipedia,CC BY-SA 3.0

Obwohl ihre Maße keinesfalls einem Würfel entsprechen, erhielt das Bauwerk dennoch die arabische Bezeichnung ka’b, der Würfel. Das heutige Bauwerk wurde nach einem Brand im Jahr 1630 neu errichtet und trägt seitdem den Namen Kaaba. Dabei geriet aber der zweite Name, das befreite Haus, völlig ins Hintertreffen. Diesen Begriff gebrauchte der Prophet, weil Gott das Gebäude davor bewahren würde, jemals unter die Herrschaft eines Tyrannen zu fallen. Im Gebäude selbst wird der schwarze Stein, der zentrale Kultstein des Islam, aufbewahrt. Er soll im Rahmen des Tawāf, der rituellen Umkreisung des Heiligtums, durch Küssen, Berühren oder Zeigen mit der Hand, verehrt werden. Den Überlieferungen zufolge soll er direkt aus dem Paradies stammen. Dazu schildert eine Erzählung, wie er vom Engel Gabriel einst dem Patriarchen Abraham überreicht wurde. Ursprünglich soll der Stein sogar noch weißer als Milch gewesen sein und erst im Laufe der Jahrhunderte die schwarze Farbe angenommen haben.

Mohammed beim Anbringen des Schwarzen Steines, Buchillustration des Dschami’ at-tawarich, 1315

Doch die Verwehrung von Meteorsteinen blickt im Orient auf eine lange Tradition zurück und war keine Erfindung des Islam. Diese Steinkulte waren schon in der Antike weit verbreitet . Diese besonderen Steine wurden in Kanaanitischen Religion, wie auch in der griechischen Welt verwehrt. Dort wurden sie logie baítyloi genannt, ein Wort das sich aus dem aramäischen bet el, das Haus Gottes ableitete. Erst im 1. Jhd findet das Wort Einzug in die Literatur. Dort erwähnt es Plinius der Ältere in seiner Schrift Naturalis historia, wo er von schwarzen, runden Steinen berichtet. Er beschreibt sie als heilige Steine , denen eine magische Wirkung zugesprochen wird.Sie fand bei Belagerungen von Städten wie auch beim Seekrieg Verwendung. Auch er Gelehrte Philon von Byblos verwendete den Begriff. Nach seiner Darstellung gab es `beseelte“ Steine´, die baitýlia, die der Gott Uranos erzeugt hatte, um sie in seinem Kampf gegen seinen Sohn Kronos zu verwenden. Tatsächlich lässt sich ein Bezug zu den damaligen Göttervorstellungen herstellen, denn die meisten Meteore stammen aus den Asteroidengürtel, der sich zwischen den Planetenbahnen des Mars und des Jupiter befindet. Nur der gewaltigen Anziehungskraft des Jupiter ist es zu verdanken, dass die Erde nicht wesentlich mehr dieser himmlischen Gaben erhält.

Der Raum der Kaaba, der eine Reihe zugemauerter Fenster enthält, erinnert stark an einen frühchristlichen Kirchenbau. Er weist nach Nord-Nordwest, ohne einen Visierpunkt erkennen zu lassen. Allein die Gradzahl der Abweichung aus der Ost-Westachse zeigt aber, dass bei dieser Ausrichtung wohl auch eine Ideelle Botschaft im Vordergrund stand. Sie verweist wieder auf den bereits erwähnten Namen des Gebäudes. Die Verdrehung um 121° entspricht auch dem Produkt aus 11吇. Damit entsprechen die Zahlen auch dem Zahlenwert dem ersten beiden Buchstaben des Alphabets und damit mit AA der Abkürzung für den Ruf `Allahu Akhbar´, was so viel heißt wie `Gott ist am größten´. Hier steht Akbar noch als eine Steigerungsform von kabir, groß. In der Form Takbie, einem Verbalnomen des arabischen Verbs kabbara, groß werden, steht es in er 74 Sure des Korans, die 56 Verse besitzt. Beide Zahlen verweisen auch hier mit ihrer Quersumme wieder auf die Zahl 11. Aber auch die nach Süd-Südost weisende Richtung der Kaaba hat mit einer Abweichung von 59° aus der Ostwestachse eine Zahlenwert mit vielschichtiger, symbolischer Bedeutung. Sie kann auch als Summe von 40 und 19 gesehen werden und enthält damit mit der 19 die Ordnungszahl des Koran. Wie die Bibel, folgt auch der Koran einen exakten mathematischen Aufbau, der sich an einer konsequenten Zahlensymbolik orientiert. So besteht diese Schrift aus 114, also 6吏 Suren. Die Basmalah, der Spruch, `Im Namen Gottes, des Gnädigen, des Barmherzigen´, aus 19 Buchstaben. Eine Erklär- ung für die faszinierende Ordnungsmacht der 19 veranschaulicht das Tetraktys-dreideck als Symbol einer göttlichen Macht. Mit jeweils drei Elementen, 2 Punkte und einer Stecke steht es für die 9 und die alles ausfüllende Fläche für die Zahl 1. Gleichzeitig stellt die Zahl 19 aber auch einen wichtigen astronomischen Zyklus dar.

Galileo’s drawings of the Moon and it’s phases , Galileoyh

Der nach dem griechischen Astronomen Meton benannten Zyklus hat 19 Sonnenjahre, oder auch 235 Mondmonate, nach denen Sonne und Mond wieder vor den gleichen Sternen stehen. Auch dieser Zyklus bietet ein Beispiel für die großartigen Gesetzte des Kosmos. Schon immer herrschte im Islam ein Bilderverbot und so wurde die Mathematik zu einem der bevorzugten Ausdrucksmittel des Glaubens. Aber auch hier, verlor sich wie im Christentum das Wissen um die Symbolik der Zahlen, deren Grundlage einst das pythagoreische Weltbild schuf.

Bilder: Wikepedia / Die Kaaba in Mekka 2008, Foto deendotsg -CC BY 2.0 / Zeichnung Kaaba, Foto Mbenoist (M. Benoist) at fr.wikipedia,CC BY-SA 3.0 / Mohammed beim Anbringen des Schwarzen Steines, aus einer Buchillustration des Dschami’ at-tawarich (1315), Rashid Al-Din – Jami al-Tawarikh („The Compendium of Chronicles“ or „The Universal History“) This illustration is in a folio in the Oriental Manuscript Section of the Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives /


The Cave of Machpelah

6) There was a doorway to the cave (photo left) as its outline can be seen chiseled into the entrance. The rock sealing the doorway seems to be missing, although it could be under the debris in the cave floor. However, the outline which was chiseled for the door can still be easily seen, as well as the matching holes on each side of the doorway, which would have secured the door.

Summary

A groundbreaking, controversial dive into the role psychedelics have played in the human experience of the Divine throughout Western history, and the answer to a 2,000 year old mystery that could shake the Church to its foundations。

The Immortality Key connects the lost, psychedelic sacrament of Greek religion to early Christianity—exposing the true origins of Western Civilization。 In the tradition of unsolved historical mysteries like David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon and Douglas Preston's The Lost City of the Monkey God, Brian Muraresku’s 10-year investigation takes the reader through Greece, Germany, Spain, France and Italy, offering unprecedented access to the hidden archives of the Louvre and the Vatican along the way。

In The Immortality Key, Muraresku explores a little-known connection between the best-kept secret in Ancient Greece and Christianity。 This is the real story of the most famous human being who ever lived (Jesus) and the biggest religion the world has ever known。 Today, 2。4 billion people are Christian。 That's one third of the planet。 But do any of them really know how it all started?

Before Jerusalem, before Rome, before Mecca—there was Eleusis: the spiritual capital of the ancient world。 It promised immortality to Plato and the rest of Athens's greatest minds with a very simple formula: drink this potion, see God。 Shrouded in secrecy for millennia, the Ancient Greek sacrament was buried when the newly Christianized Roman Empire obliterated Eleusis in the fourth century AD。

Renegade scholars in the 1970s claimed the Greek potion was psychedelic, just like the original Christian Eucharist that replaced it。 In recent years, vindication for the disgraced theory has been quietly mounting in the laboratory。 The rapidly growing field of archaeological chemistry has proven the ancient use of visionary drugs。 And with a single dose of psilocybin, the psycho-pharmacologists at Johns Hopkins and NYU are now turning self-proclaimed atheists into instant believers。 No one has ever found hard, scientific evidence of drugs connected to Eleusis, let alone early Christianity。 Until now。

Armed with key documents never before translated into English, convincing analysis, and a captivating spirit of quest, Muraresku mines science, classical literature, biblical scholarship and art to deliver the hidden key to eternal life, bringing us to what clinical psychologist William Richards calls "the edge of an awesomely vast frontier。"

Featuring a Foreword by Graham Hancock, the New York Times bestselling author of America Before: The Key to Earth's Lost Civilization


Primitive Freemasonry's Invaluable Gifts

All that can be claimed for the system of Primitive Freemasonry, as practiced by the patriarchs, is, that it embraced and taught the two great dogmas of Freemasonry, namely, the unity of God, and the immortality of the soul. It may be, and indeed it is highly probable, that there was a secret doctrine, and that this doctrine was not indiscriminately communicated.

This system of Primitive Freemasonry,—without ritual or symbolism, that has come down to us, at least,—consisting solely of traditionary legends, teaching only the two great truths already alluded to, and being wholly speculative in its character, without the slightest infusion of an operative element, was regularly transmitted through the Jewish line of patriarchs, priests, and kings, without alteration, increase, or diminution, to the time of Solomon, and the building of the temple at Jerusalem.


Watch the video: 78:Σκοτάδι ψηλαφητό η 9η πληγή του Φαραώ. (May 2022).


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