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The land of the Amuru
The Land of the sand dwellers
The sons of Noah
Corruption by mankind
Hebrew years 1440 to 1560 (2320-2200 BCE)
By this time, several civilizations had established themselves across the known world: from Sumer in Lower Mesopotamia over the entire Fertile Crescent, across Canaan and down to Egypt, but also across Turkey into Greece and in the Aegean Sea with the Minoan islands. Further east, people had settled in the Hindus Valley and until the last shores of China.One of the early kingdom was Akkad which became prominent at the time of Sargon (of Akkad). The name Sargon is actually Sarru-kinu, which means the true king.
Sargon of Akkad (National Museum of Baghdad)
One of his grandsons, Naram-sin, also ruled Akkad and conquered the Near-East kingdom of Ebla (present-day Tell-Mardikh in Northern Syria). When he took this important city, he erected a victory stele boasting that never since the creation of man had any king (before him) conquered Ebla ! On this stele, Naram-sin is depicted like a giant, compared to his troops and his enemies, maybe as a proof of the existence of a race of giants (the Anakim) who are mentioned in the Bible as sons of the "fallen angels" (the Nephilim) and men of renown.
Victory stele of Naram-sin (Musee du Louvre)
The land which was at the west of the Euphrates was called Mar-tu in Sumerian texts. This name roughy encompassed the people who lived in Northern Syria until the Mediterranean Sea. The name later became Amuru in Mesopotamian texts and this is confirmed by the Bible which names them the Amorites.
Chant to him the holy song, the incantation sung in its chambers -- the incantation of Nudimmud: "On that day when there is no snake, when there is no scorpion, when there is no hyena, when there is no lion, when there is neither dog nor wolf, when there is thus neither fear nor trembling, man has no rival! At such a time, may the lands of Šubur and Ḫamazi, the many-tongued, and Sumer, the great mountain of the me of magnificence, and Akkad, the land possessing all that is befitting, and the Mar-tu land, resting in security -- the whole universe, the well-guarded people -- may they all address Enlil together in a single language! --- Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, lines 134-155, to read text online click here
At the other side of the Fertile Cescent, the Egyptians invaded the Levant for the first time during the reign of Pharaoh Pepi I. In these times, the land that was to become known later as "Canaan" was inhabited by nomadic tribes that the Egyptian called "the sand dwellers". Here is a text extracted from the inscription in the tomb of the army official who led the campaigns by sea and by land, a man called Weni or Una:
The king sent me 5 times to crush the land of the Heru-sa and suppress these revolts with this army. [...] I went again with these troops, on ships, and crushed this land even until the remote locations [or marshes] of this region, north from the land of the Heru-sa. --- Rouge, Emmanuel de, Recherches sur les monuments qu'on peut attribuer aux six premieres dynasties de Maspero, 1866, French translation in pp. 117-144; translation into English by Albert Benhamou (for another translation in English available online, click here)
The name 'Heru-sa' has been understood as the "Sand-Dwellers", although its meaning is closer to the "Lords of the Sands". It makes sense because most of the region of the Levant, until the Galilee, was covered either by sand (the Negev region and the southern coast) or marshes (the Sharon region).
Just before the end of this generation, in year 1556, Noah had three sons:
Tomb of Weni - "Land of the Sand Dwellers"
(source: Rouge, Emmanuel de, Recherches etc.)
For a complete copy of the text in Hieroglyphs, see Grébaut, Eugène, Le Musée Egyptien, Volume I
And Noah was 500-year old and Noah begot Shem, Cham and Yafeth. ---Genesis 5:32
It is the second instance of the Biblical text where the birth of three sons from one individual is mentioned. The previous occurrence was with Adam who begot Cain, Abel and Seth, at different times. Abel died and his life was therefore wasted. Cain turned to evil, and brought wickedness on earth. Seth was the worthy one who survived, and he had multiple sons and daughters, from which only one lineage stayed in the path of God. Similarly, with Noah’s sons: Cham will choose a sinful path; Yafeth, despite his pleasant physical looks (his name means beauty), will bring evil kingdoms and wars; and Shem will give birth to multiple people from which a small portion would eventually continue in the path of God.
The order of these births is actually reversed from the order in the Biblical text: first Yafeth was born, in year 1556, followed by Cham in year 1557, and then by Shem in year 1558 (Genesis 11:10). Because of the worthiness of Shem, God spared His creation from total annihilation. Indeed mankind got so evil that it made the entire creation unworthy. But one single person, who is good, has the power to change God's initial decree. The world had indeed become impossible for righteous people to live in:And the Earth corrupted itself in front of God and the earth was filled with violence. God saw the Earth and, behold, it was corrupted because it corrupted every flesh from its path on earth. --- Genesis 6:11-12
Corruption by mankind
Mankind ruined the earth and all the creatures that God created. In fact, there was no more mankind as the boundaries between man and beast became so blur that God had recourse to mention them as every flesh.
Looking at the two verses above from the Bible, in the first instance the Earth corrupted itself (תִּשָּׁחֵת הָאָרֶץ) and then it became irreversibly corrupted (הָאָרֶץ... נִשְׁחָתָה) and finally it corrupted (הִשְׁחִית) every flesh on Earth. This three times mention of the same verb indicates that the corruption was total, complete, because this is the meaning of the number three.
It is also noticeable that the word used for the total corruption of the Earth (נִשְׁחָתָה) uses the same three letters (נשח and נחש) that form the word Snake (הַנָּחָשׁ) which caused the original sin of Adam and Eve. In other words, it was one of the animals (the snake) who caused the corruption of the first man, who then produced corrupted mankind, who in turn corrupted the entire Creation, every flesh. The root of the word snake also gives use to copper and bronze (נחושת),which has been indicative of the Bronze Age and the era when the Earth became filled with violence. By mixing up different ores of metal found on earth, mankind created a new metal (bronze) so, in other words, he interfered with the elements of the Creation and corrupted it. But, as the Biblical text states: mankind was not the sole responsible from the deviation from the divine Creation because the Earth corrupted itself. In fact the Earth had already disobeyed God's orders in the course of the Creation (in the Third Day):And God said: "Let the Earth sprout vegetation, herbage producing seed, and fruit-tree making fruit according to its kind, containing its own seed, upon the Earth.' And it was so. And the Earth sprouted vegetation, herbage producing seed according to its kind, and tree making fruit, containing its own seed, according to its kind; and God saw that it was good. --- Genesis 1:11-12
Where did the Earth deviate from God's order? A careful comparison of the two above verses shows that, for example, God ordered that the trees would be fruit-trees themselves, meaning that the tree itself would be a fruit, and not simply a producer of fruit. Man would have been able to eat the fruit and the tree, if the Creation had been according to the divine plan. But the Earth, at a time when some free will existed in all elements of the Creation, diverted from God's will. Although the result was nonetheless pleasing as God saw it was good, it nonetheless represented a corruption from God's will, and the start of sin. The parallel between the Earth's corrupted way during the Creation and the corruption that continued later can also be understood in the number of these verses: Genesis 1:11-12 for one and Genesis 6:11-12 for the other.
God's punishment would not be directed at mankind only but at the entire Earth and what it contained. God would have to correct the ways His Creation was going, and stripped some of the original benefits from it so that the corruption of the created world would become harder, if not impossible, to achieve by itself.