The Babylonian King List substantiates the ideas we find in the Sumerian King List. It also seems to be the antecedent of the list in Genesis chapter 5. We do not have the Babylonian King List in its original form; no cuneiform tablets have been discovered which compare with the Sumerian. But we do have fragments of the writings of Berossus, a Babylonian scholar who wrote his history of Babylonia in Greek in the third century B.C.E. While we do not have his original text, t
The fifth figure in the Babylonian list is written in the Greek version as Megalaros. The biblical name is Mahalal-El, which I interpret as the one "who praises God." This to me represents the sacredotal figure of the priest, a very important member of a settled society. In the Sumerian list it is Dumuzi, who in Babylonian is Tammuz, the god of grain who dies at the end of the harvest and comes back to life with the appearance of the first sprouting shoots of the new grain.
What is the meaning of the the exaggerated ages of the first names in the Sumerian King List, of those figures who reigned before the universal flood ? It is a reflection of views of the peoples who composed these genealogies who believed, as most of them seemed to, that human beings are descended from the gods. The logic of human descent from immortals demands an answer to the question: How did human descent from the gods take place; what was the nature of the transition f
Now as we examine the biblical list in Genesis 5, which closely follows the Babylonian king list, we find a rejection of the former view. The biblical author will not accept the Babylonian concept, shared by all the other nations of the ancient Near East, of humanity descending from the gods, but simply eliminates the first two names of the Babylonian list and substitutes two others which are more in keeping with the Israelite view; namely, the first is Adam, meaning "Human,"
According to the Greeks and all those with whom they shared these ideas, human beings are descended from the gods. The genealogy of the Greeks is clearly expressed in their literature. The Greek peoples are all Hellenes. The Hellenes are descendants of Hellenos, the eponymous ancestor of the Hellenic peoples.8 Hellenos, in Greek mythology, is the son of Deucalion who, with his wife Pyrrha, survived the universal flood.9 Deucalion is the son of Prometheus,10 an immortal who
As we continue to read the Sumerian King List, we finally begin to see numbers that reflect what we would call historical reality. Ur-Lugal, who is number 37 on the list, is listed as having reigned for 30 years. Following him, the length of the reign of the Sumerian Kings ranges from a maximum of 36 years to the shortest, which is 6 years. None of the kings following Ur-Lugal, who is the first of the "historical" names is called divine. It is obvious that we have, in the