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  • Dr. David Neiman

Genesis, Chapter 5 – Aruru and Adapa

Let us now compare the names in the Babylonian King List with those in Genesis 5.

The first name in the Babylonian King list is Aruru. Aruru, as we know from other Babylonian texts; for example, from the Epic of Gilgamesh, is an immortal.19 The second name, Adapa, is the name of the hero of a Babylonian poem, the Legend of Adapa, which presents the central figure as an in-between, a demi-god if you will, who is offered the opportunity to acquire immortality, but is misled, fails to grasp it, and remains mortal.20

The suggestion in the legend is that Adapa is the ancestor of humans. Thus, he is the one who is the transition figure between gods and men. Certainly, in the Babylonian King-List of Berossus, he is the figure of transition between the ultimate divine ancestor of humanity; namely Aruru, and the first true mortal ancestor of all men; namely, Awelu.21 Adapa is one figure, but he represents the many in the Sumerian King List who preceded the Flood. Incidentally, many are the demigods or heroes in ancient literature who are mortals. They may be the children of cohabitations between men and goddesses or gods and women; they are "demigods" in their remarkable, outstanding qualities of strength, courage, and personality, but they too die in the end.22

Too numerous are the products of divine-human interrelations to list, but Hesiod, in his Theogony devotes a poem to heroes who are the children of men and goddesses, or gods and women.23 And a brief statement, closely parallel to Hesiod's account is the one we find in Genesis 6:1, 2 and 4, where the account tells us that "The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of the gods came into the daughters of men and they bore children to them. These were the heroes of old, the men of renown." 24 Moreover, throughout the Iliad and the Odyssey we are told about the divine-human parentage of one or another of Homer's heroes.25

Once again, examining the Babylonian King List, we see that the first three names on the list are Aruru, Adapa, and Awelu. Aruru is the name of a an immmortal, Adapa is the demi-god, and the name Awelu is simply the Babylonian word "Man," or "Human," if you will. Thus the Babylonian King List as transmitted by Berossus gives a condensed version of his Sumerian predecessor. His simple listing of "God, Demigod, Human" is the standard Pagan view of the origins of humanity.

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