[Chapter Five: Abraham and the Kingdom of Ugarit]


Chapter Six: Ham, Shem, and the First Dynasty of Babylon

Dr. Geiger, speaking of the old Parsi calendar observes that
"probably the half-year was more employed in civil life than the complete year."
Now whether the observation be entirely correct or not, we can,
I think at any rate, assume that the division of the year
into two equal halves is an old one.
—Bâl Gangâdhar Tilak, The Orion

We have already had occasion to quote from Johann Kepler in regard to the 20-year conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn. The authors of Hamlet's Mill also reproduce the following table of his:




Creatio mundi




Latrocinia, urbes, artes, tyrannis








Exitus es Aegypto. Lex




Aera Graecorum, Babyloniorum, Romanorum




Monarchia Romana, Reformatio orbis

We see that Kepler was barking up the wrong cosmic tree, so to speak, for the cycle that we have noticed in the current work is based on 600 years and not 800 as he thought. Isaiah, therefore, should be replaced by Cyrus at 600 BC, but some of the other members of this gallery of ancient personages are correct, at least as far as Noah and "Christ" are concerned, though, as we shall see in Chapter Eight, their dates are off. We have already seen that the birth of Moses occurred in the year 1225 BC, though here, surprisingly, he has the wrong man, the actual avatar being Joshua, namesake of a later one named Yeshua.

Chronology of the Patriarchs from the Beginning of the 1st Dynasty of Babylon until the Birth of Abraham



Year BC


Founding of (Amorite) First Dynasty of Babylon. Sumuabum becomes king

ca 1830


Sumulael becomes king of Babylon

ca 1816


Shamshi-Adad I becomes king of Assyria

ca 17861


Sabium becomes king of Babylon

ca 1780


Apil-Sin becomes king of Babylon

ca 1766


Ishme-Dagan becomes king of Assyria

ca 1753


Cometary event



Sin-muballit becomes king of Babylon

ca 1748


Birth of Shem (revised biblical chronology)



Ham (Hammu-rabi) becomes king of Babylon (Low Chronology)



Hyksos invade Lower Egypt



Ishme-Dagan flees to Babylon under Hammurabi. Asshur-dugul becomes king of Assyria

ca 1713


Bel-bani becomes king of Assyria

ca 1707


Libaya becomes king of Assyria

ca 1697


 Birth of Arpachshad (revised biblical chronology)



Shem (Samsu-iluna) becomes king of Babylon (Low Chronology)



Sharma-Adad becomes king of Assyria

ca 1680


Birth of Shelah



Iptar-sin becomes king of Assyria

ca 1668


Bazaya becomes king of Assyria

ca 1656


Birth of Eber (Ibiranu I of Ugarit)



Lullaya becomes king of Assyria

ca 1628


Arpachshad (Abi-eshu) becomes king of Babylon (Low Chronology)



 Birth of Peleg



Tree-ring event. End of Middle Bronze. End of Xia Dynasty, rise of Shang in China. Events described in book of Job



Birth of Reu



Arpachshad dies at age 67 (revised biblical chronology)



Shu Ninua becomes king of Assyria

ca 1622


Shu Ninua builds Nineveh

after 1622


Abi-eshu dies (Low Chronology). Ammi-ditana becomes king of Babylon



Birth of Serug (Sharru-kinu, "true king")



Sharma-Adad II becomes king of Assyria



Shelah dies at age 67. Erishum III becomes king of Assyria



Birth of Nahor ben Serug (Niqmepa II of Ugarit)



Shamshi-Adad II becomes king of Assyria


Ishme-Dagan II becomes king of Assyria



Eber dies at age 71



Ammi-saduqa becomes king of Babylon



Birth of Terah



Venus Tablet of Ammi-saduqa



Shamshi-Adad III becomes king of Assyria


Asshur-nerari I becomes king of Assyria


Birth of Abraham


End First Dynasty of Babylon. Egyptians defeat Hyksos at Sharuhen. Begin Egyptian 17th Dynasty on Crete


1641 years before Tiglath-Pileser I (1145-1106).

The reader deserves an explanation at this point, for we have obviously massaged the data in a manner not unlike that used by the great M. Baillie, which earned him and others the not so flattering title of "calculators." I will make no apologies here. Baillie was essentially right and everyone else was, and still is, wrong. The following is basically a mathematical extension of our previous discovery of the application of an unnoticed multiplication of the biblical timeline by a factor of 2. I noticed the first clue to this pattern when I looked at the age of Terah when he died at Harran before the departure of Abraham. There is no way he could have been 102 if he was born in 1580 and Abraham left Harran in 1508. No matter what scale one uses, we are still looking at a mathematical impossibility. Fairly obviously, the age at Terah's death must have been multiplied here by 3 rather than 2. What positively amazed me was that all of the peculiar ages and periods encountered in the chapters of Genesis before Abraham could be explained by the introduction of succeedingly larger multiplications by even factors of the number 12, just another indication of a sexagesimally oriented Mesopotamian hand in this little mathematical puzzle.

The early books of the bible are not the only places where king-lists have been artificially extended by factors derived from the base-60 numbering system. An analogous process occurred with the early "mythical" dynasties of Mesopotamia, though the factors there are much larger, 1200 and 90, so that these dynasties appear even more mythological than those of the bible. They do, however, underscore the resort to a sliding time scale where early Middle Eastern records are concerned, serving to confirm our own interpretation of the absurdly long lifespans of the Hebrew patriarchs, as well as the smaller, though no less anomalous, expansions of the overall timeline. The following should clarify what is going on, chronologically, in the bible without necessarily explaining exactly why its authors went to so much trouble to obscure the true dimensions of the history presented there. That, however, is a matter of some import, for it serves as a key to determining which chronological documents are genuine and which are forgeries, rationalizations, or simply wishful thinking. The nature of this key is cryptographic, or kabbalistic, to use a Medieval term.

Decryption and Correction of the Ages and Lifespans of the Patriarchs

Lived (BC) Name Age at Death Factor Actual Age Age at Birth of Son Factor Actual Age
3262–3185/ca 3565? Adam (Atum/Adamu) 930 x12 77.5 130 x4 32.5
~400 years? [gap in record?]            
3230–3154 Seth (Set) 912 x12 76 105 x4 26.2
3204–3129 Enosh 905 x12 75.4 90 x4 22.5
3181–3106 Kenan/Cain 910 x12 75.8 70 x4 17.5
3164–3090 Mahalalel/Mehujael 895 x12 74.5 65 x4 16.2
3148–3068 Jared/Irad 962 x12 80.1 162 x4 40.5
3108–3078 Enoch 365 x12 30.4 65 x4 16.2
3091–3011 Methuselah/Methushael 969 x12 80.7 187 x4 46.7
3045–2981 Lamech 777 x12 64.7 182 x4 45.5
2999–2920 Noah (Menes) 950 x12 79.1 500 x12 41.6
~1200 years [gap in record]            
1740–1657 Shem (Samsu-iluna) 500 x6 83.3 100 x2 50
1690–1623 Arpachshad (Abi-eshu) 403 x6 67.1 35 x2 17.5
1672–1605 Shelah 403 x6 67.1 30 x2 15
1655–1584 Eber (Ibiranu I) 430 x6 71.6 34 x2 17
1640–1571 Peleg 209 x3 69.6 30 x2 15
1625–1556 Reu 207 x3 69 32 x2 16
1609–1543 Serug 200 x3 66.6 30 x2 15
1594–1555 Nahor (Niqmepa II) 119 x3 39.6 29 x2 14.5
1580–1512 Terah 205 x3 68.5 70 x2 35
1545–1458 Abraham (Ibiranu III) 175 x2 87.5 100 x2 50
1495–1405 Isaac (Mempsasthenoth) 180 x2 90 60 x2 30
1465–1392 Jacob (Yaqaru) 147 x2 73.5      
  Solomon and Before   x2     x2  
  Rehoboam and After   x1     x1  

It is apparent that the original records from which this chronological sequence was taken were not denominated in years. Take, for example, Peleg and Reu. They both lived to be 69 years old. Yet the records were detailed enough to allow us to learn that they lived to be 209 and 207 4-month Egyptian-style seasons respectively. Though the Egyptians did in fact have three seasons—spring, summer, and winter—this does not necessarily mean that the progressively larger units we find in the bible are the result of sheer accident or mistranslation, for there is a pattern here, a progression, that can only be explained by a conscious effort to encode and protect the relevant data. Someone with knowledge of the cryptographic arts on a par with the Phoenicians intentionally encoded the data to prevent its corruption or intentional alteration. A mere glance at Talmudic, apocryphal, and pseudepigraphical documents where the absurd ages of the patriarchs have been woven into the narrative gives ample demonstration of the tendency toward such falsification and the efficient manner in which this hidden device renders them detectably defective. From this point on, the minimum test for possible legitimacy in these documents must be that they either give figures in realistic units or their use of unrealistic units must be innocent—that is, like the bible, there is no internal evidence that the author actually realized the absurdity of the timescale, that lunacy having been added later as a security device (and a means of closing the gap between Noah and Ham). There can be no better evidence than this that the biblical timeline is not simply the family history of a rude assembly of wandering shepherds but a secure repository of the genealogical birthright of the rulers of a nation, descended from kings, princes, and hereditary high priests.

Returning to the table, note that "Age at Birth of Son" does not necessarily indicate the birth of the first son. This table represents the ancestors of its later members. In this sense it is a family history. It is not a genealogy in the classical sense, though the overall structure represented by the old testament is genealogical, i.e., it presents the descendants of a single antecedent and not the ancestors of a single individual. Also, from internal evidence, primogeniture was not always practiced among the people described. 

We can draw some preliminary conclusions. The most obvious is that Noah was meant to stand out. Only he is not treated identically to everyone else. Only his sons do not follow the smoothly decreasing pattern from x4 to x2 to x1. Only in his case has his age at the birth of his son been multiplied by the full factor of 12. Noah obviously marks a critical point in the development of the narrative, and of the history of the world described. We may find a fairly cogent explanation of the importance of Noah and his ark in Hamlet's Mill.

The first ark was built by Utnapishtim in the Sumerian myth; one learns in different ways that it was a cube ... measuring 60 x 60 x 60 fathoms .... In another version, there is no ark, just a cubic stone, upon which rests a pillar which reaches from earth to heaven. The stone ... is lying under a cedar, or an oak, ready to let loose a flood, without obvious reasons. Confusing as it is, this seems to provide the new theme. In Jewish legends, it is told that "since the ark disappeared there was a stone in its place ... which was called foundation stone." ... And it is said to lie above the Waters that are below the Holy of Holies.

Hildegard Lewy's researches on Eben Shetiyyah brought up a passage in the Annals of Assur-nasir-apli in which the new temple of Ninurta at Kalhu is described as founded at the depth of 120 layers of bricks down "to the level of the waters," or, down to the water table. This comes back to the waters of the deep in their natural setting. But what people saw in them is something else again. If David and the Assyrian king dug down to subsoil water, so did the builders of the Ka'aba in Mecca. In the interior of that most holy of all shrines there is a well, across the opening of which had been placed, in pre-Islamic times, the statue of the god Hubal. Al-Biruni says that in the early Islamic period this was a real well .... The statue of Hubal had been meant to stop the waters from rising. According to the legends, the same belief had once been current in Jerusalem.... But Mecca tells more.... Lewy points out that ... the god Hubal was Saturn, and that the Holy Stone ... had the same role, for it was a cube, hence originally Saturn.

Noah is generally considered to be mythological, the last of the 10 antediluvian kings. An equivalent list is found in various Mesopotamian sources and, though their first member varies, he is fairly transparently the prototype for the biblical Adam—Aloros, Alulium, Aialu. Intermediate between these two extremes would appear to be the Greek Atlas, the first king of Atlantis in their mythology. Various examples of this list are given in Chapter Eight. What we appear to be looking at in the early chapters of the bible is a set of three people, perhaps kings, certainly individuals of some renown, all of whom claim to be descendants of the final antediluvian king. Whether these three gentlemen were actually brothers is not immediately obvious. What we may reasonably begin to suspect at this point is that Shem, the progenitor of Abraham and his descendants, lived somewhere in the neighborhood of the Persian Gulf. We might even climb farther out on this limb and entertain the notion that it was Abraham who brought the story with him that would later be incorporated, along with material from the Egyptian records of a similar local flood, in the bible.

I wrote the above before I became aware of the work of A. H. Sayce. He says in his Monument Facts and Higher Critical Fancies, "The Biblical writer must have had the Babylonian version before him—if not in its literary form, at all events in some shape or other—for he has deliberately excluded and implicitly contradicted the polytheistic elements contained in it.... The Babylonian account ... must have been known in Canaan long before Moses was born. Indeed, it must have been familiar to Abraham himself before he migrated from Ur." Sayce also describes the similarities and differences between the Code of Hammurabi and the laws of Moses.

The codification of the law, therefore, was no new thing in the days of Moses. On the contrary, it was a very old fact in the history of Western Asia, a fact, too, with which Abraham and Jacob must alike have been acquainted. Not only could the Hebrew leader have compiled a code of laws; we now see that it would have been incredible had he not done so.

The contrast which a comparison of the Babylonian and Israelitish codes ... shows to exist between them is enhanced by another and significant fact. Usages and laws are referred to in the patriarchal history as described in the Book of Genesis for which we can find no parallel in the Mosaic legislation. They are explained, however, by the newly-found code of Khammu-rabi. I have long since pointed out that the details of the purchase of the cave of Machpelah by Abraham are in strict conformity with the requirements of Babylonian commercial law as it was administered in the Abrahamitic age. Even the technical term 'shekels of silver' was borrowed from Babylonia, as well as the description of the property as consisting of 'field,' 'rock-chamber,' and 'trees.'

But we are now learning that in other respects also the law which lies behind the narratives of Genesis is the law, not of Moses, but of Khammu-rabi. Thus the action of Sarah in giving Hagar to Abraham and of Rachel in giving Bilbah to Jacob when they themselves were childless was in strict accordance with the Babylonian code. This ordained that the wife could present her husband with a concubine, and if she had had no children it was even permitted him to take a second and inferior wife....

Equally striking is the explanation now afforded us of the words of the childless Abraham when speaking of his house-servant, Eliezer, as his heir. Adoption plays a prominent part in the code of Khammu-rabi as well as in the family life of later Babylonia, and by the act of adoption the heir to the property of a free man became himself free, even though his status originally was that of a slave. Adoption, in fact, whether of the slave or of the free man, was as familiar to the Babylonian code as it was unfamiliar to the code of Israel.

At present it is the civil law alone which we can compare with that of Babylonia. The Babylonian ritual code has not yet been discovered. But many of its provisions are known to us from the religious and magical texts, and their resemblance to the provisions of the ritual law of Israel is at times startling. Even the technical terms of the Mosaic ritual are found again in Babylonia.... There was, in fact, a closer connexion between the ritual code of Babylonia and that of Israel than there was between their civil codes.

What is suggested by the chronology that we have elucidated in the current work is that Ham was Hammu-rabi. As the bible says shortly after describing the Flood, "And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there." Shinar is commonly associated with Sumer. Now Hammu-rabi's father is known, and he was not Noah. This is nothing more than another example of the penchant of temporal rulers to claim descent from the gods or from celestial heroes. There is no indication so far whether Samsu-iluna was the son of Hammu-rabi or his brother, though their relative ages would tend to indicate that the bible is incorrect and that they were father and son. This Babylonian Shem had a son named Abi-eshu, apparently the prototype for Arpachshad. In Jewish tradition, Arpachshad or a near descendant was the founder of the city of Ur, most likely not the city in Lower Mesopotamia but a location near Harran, and explaining, at least mythologically, the intermediate connection between Ham's Babylon and Abraham's Ugarit.

That both Ham and Shem would have claimed descent from the Babylonian version of Noah would not be surprising. And, as Godfrey Higgins has pointed out, there is a long history of one or another primordial avatar having three sons that formed what would later come to be called a trinity. As for how Hammu-rabi fits into Higgins' notion of a chres, we may quote from nothing less than the memorial stone upon which the Code of Hammurabi is inscribed: "The great gods have called me, I am the salvation-bearing shepherd, whose staff is straight .... I have in Babylon ... set up these my precious words ... as king of righteousness."

I should point out here, parenthetically, that the death of Arpachshad in 1623 is in rough agreement with the Low Chronology of Babylon, in which Abi-eshu loses the throne, presumably at his death, to Ammi-ditana in 1619. Before Arpachshad/Abi-eshu, the lives of Ham and Shem do not fit well chronologically with those of Hammu-rabi and Samsu-iluna. We can assume that this misalignment results from the mythologizing tendency that saw Ham and Shem become sons of Noah and that the dates given by the Low Chronology, based on one of four possible interpretations of the Venus Tablet of Ammi-saduqa, are essentially correct. We can thereby assume that the dates given for the descendants of Arpachshad, down to Abraham, are accurate to within four years.

With the appearance of Hammu-rabi and his son Samsu-iluna, we are finally beginning to catch a glimpse of the dynastic origins of the obviously genealogical underpinnings of the bible, a foundation that even extends to the Christian documents that were appended to it during the early centuries of the Common Era. With the inclusion of the early kings of imperial Babylonia, the kings of Judea and Israel beginning with Saul could claim descent from the ancestors of the very eastern forces of whom they continuously lived in fear as they attempted to rule their local kingdoms free from foreign interference. Beyond this, as J.C. de Moor informs us, it is the very familiarity of the Jewish leaders with the rulers of Egypt that has led many scholars to reject the complex interactions between the two groups described in the bible. He counters with his identification of Moses with Beya and Miriam with Tausret. We have already seen the very real Yuya serving under Thutmosis IV. But what is beginning to emerge here is a much deeper connection between the early characters of the bible and the rulers of the ancient Middle East. This has implications not only for the problem of why so much attention is paid in the bible to hereditary affiliations but to the most important foundation stone of all those that underpin the Yahwistic religion itself, the very notion of the "chosen people of God."

As for the above noted Noachian anomaly, as it now stands there remains a structural gap in the bible between the events surrounding and following the Deluge and the resumption of the genealogical sequence with Shem. We shall see in Chapter Eight that this gap amounts to a full pair of neros cycles totaling approximately 1200 years, much wider even than the gap between Joseph and Moses. One wonders if this earlier lacuna conceals events as contradictory to the established theological line as the one that hides Akhnaton and the Amarna period.

The gap between Noah and Ham, and the anomalous presence of the story of the Tower of Babel somewhere between the two that we shall examine in detail in Chapter Eleven, is mirrored in the Assyrian Royal Chronicle as translated by Jean-Jacques Glassner in his Mesopotamian Chronicles. The Chronicle claims that the Assyrian king Samsi-Addu was the son of Ila-Kabkabu, who was the father of Aminu, the Assyrian version of Menes/Noah who appears at the end of their list of ten antediluvian kings. Between Aminu and Samsi-Addu, there are twelve kings that include Sargon and Naram-Sin, the latter the prototype of the biblical Nimrod. The son of Samsi-Addu was Ishme-Dagan, who sought refuge with Hammurabi after his involuntary removal from office.

Comparison of Early Assyrian and Biblical King-lists

Biblical Patriarchs


Assyrian Kings









Tribes, gods, eponyms, etc./dwelt in tents







10 more kings, total of 12









Dwelt in tents















Apiashal, total of 5 kings






7 more patriarchs


7 more kings

Kings who were ancestors

Lamech (Mekha)




Noah (Menes), total of 9 excluding Adam


Aminu, total of 9 kings






Gap in timeline


Gap in timeline








More kings, total of 6

Names were on bricks







Erishum I






Period of the Table of Nations








Nimrod (Naram-Sin)






Erishum II, total of 6 kings






Gap in timeline


Gap in timeline








Samsi-Addu (Shamshi-Adad I)

"Son" of Ila-Kabkabu

Ham (Hammurabi)

"Son" of Noah


Took refuge with Hammurabi





Red=Common elements of the two chronologies.  Blue=Supposed father/son pairs that span a gap in the timeline.
Descriptions are from the translation of Jean-Jacques Glassner.
Despite scholarly opinion, these are the same kings that ruled at Akkad.


[Chapter Seven: Jewish Kingdoms—Israel and the House of David]


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