The Moon-god

The apostle Paul told us that our contest in this life is not against human opponents, but against “cosmic powers over this present darkness” and “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”[1] The prophets and apostles knew this. Their writings reflect this spiritual war, although it’s been downplayed in our churches to the point that most American Christians view Jesus as more of a life coach than as the commander of an invincible heavenly army.

Let’s dial in on one of the gods worshiped by an important group of people. He’s been overlooked by most Christians, even those of us who recognize that the pagan gods of the world aren’t make-believe.

Given the space we’ve devoted thus far to the Amorites and the fact that an Amorite tribe was responsible for founding Babylon, you might think that I’m referring to the chief god of that city, Marduk. That would be a logical guess. It’s not quite right, but we’ll spend a few minutes on him anyway.

We know quite a bit about Marduk from ancient texts discovered in Iraq. Around the time of the patriarchs, he was elevated from his status as the patron god of Babylon, which, remember, had been an unimportant river village for centuries. When the Amorite dynasty of Babylon fought their way to become the most powerful city-state in Mesopotamia, Marduk came along for the ride and became king of the Mesopotamian pantheon. It wasn’t a coincidence that this happened at the same time Hammurabi elevated Babylon from an unimportant river town to the most powerful state in the Near East. As Babylon grew in power, it surpassed Nippur, home city of the former chief god, Enlil, and Eridu, the oldest city in Sumer and home of Enki, god of the abzu—the abyss.

Marduk was described as the son of Enki, and he appears to have taken on some of the characteristics of the elder god. Marduk absorbed the identity of one of the gods of Eridu, Asarluhi, who passed on to Marduk his role as a god of magic. Likewise, as Babylon eclipsed Nippur politically, the role and authority of Enlil was handed off to Marduk.

This pattern of succession was repeated across the Near East as older gods were replaced or overthrown by younger generations. In Mesopotamia, the sky-god Anu was replaced as head of the pantheon by Enlil, who in turn was replaced by Marduk. By the time of the Greeks and Romans, the names had changed—Ouranos/Caelus to Kronos/Saturn to Zeus/Jupiter—but the outline of the story was the same. Other cultures, including the Hittites, Hurrians, and Amorites, had similar stories about their gods. In most cases, the storm-god emerged as king of the pantheon, but not in Babylon. Sumer, which is southeastern Iraq today, was mainly desert. The Sumerian storm-god, Ishkur, was a third-tier deity, much less important than the gods of sky, sun, moon, and magic, or the goddess of sex and war. Maybe a weather-god just wasn’t relevant in a place that depended on irrigation to grow crops.

All of that said, our focus here is not Marduk, nor is it the storm-god under any of his names, although he is a major player in the last days, as you’ll see.

It’s not the sun-god, either. Contrary to what you’ve heard about the solar deity, another member of the Mesopotamian pantheon was far more important, and he still influences the world today, spiritually, and geopolitically.

Even though Babylon’s political power lifted Marduk to the position of chief god in the pantheon, the personal god of the Amorite chiefs who founded Babylon was not Marduk. It was the moon-god, Sîn (pronounced “seen”).

The first king of Babylon, Sumu-Abum, swore oaths by Sîn, not Marduk. The year-names of Sumu-Abum’s reign, which is how scribes marked time back in the day, honored the moon-god.[2] Marduk was essentially a figurehead, with the moon-god the real power behind the throne of Babylon. Even the great Hammurabi, five generations later, credited Sîn in his famous law code with establishing his dynasty and creating him personally.

The moon-god, personal god of the founders of Babylon, inspired or encouraged the occult system that became a biblical symbol for evil and the pattern of the prophesied one-world religion of the Antichrist.

So, who was this moon-god? Why was he important to that particular band of Amorites, and why does it matter to us today? Let’s start with his biography.

Bad Moon Rising

The moon-god went by several different names. To the Sumerians, he was Nanna. Akkadians called him Suen, or Sîn, which is the name we’ll use most of the time. The Amorites called him Erah, or Yarikh. Remember that, because it’s relevant in an upcoming chapter.

The moon-god was the first-born son of Enlil, who was king of the gods before the rise of Marduk. In Sumer, Sîn was one of the “seven gods who decree,” with Anu, the sky-god; Enlil, the king; Ninhursag, mother of the gods; Enki, the god of wisdom; Shamash, the sun-god; and Ishtar, the goddess of sex and war.

Interestingly, not only was the moon-god more important than the sun-god to the Amorites who founded Babylon, Sîn was the father of the sun-god. The wild, violent, gender-fluid goddess Ishtar was also a child of Sîn, and in some accounts, the moon-god also fathered the storm-god, Ishkur.

The moon-god cult began at least five thousand years ago. The oldest example of the god’s Sumerian name, Nanna, was found at Uruk, dated to the Jemdet-Nasr period (3100–2900 BC).[3] For context, the Jemdet-Nasr period immediately followed the Uruk period, a run of about nine hundred years when the city of Nimrod and Gilgamesh dominated the Near East. So, let’s speculate: If the power of Uruk collapsed after the language of the people was confused at Babel, then evidence of the moon-god turning up in Nimrod’s hometown shortly thereafter suggests that Nanna/Sîn may have been one of the Watcher-class angels who persuaded Nimrod, whom I believe was the Sumerian king Enmerkar, to build Babel (at Eridu—Babylon wouldn’t be founded for at least another thousand years) as “the great abode, the abode of the gods.”[4]

The Sumerians apparently considered Nanna to be just slightly less important than Anu, Enlil, Enki, and Inanna (Ishtar). We’ll see, however, that the powerful influence of the lunar deity on the Amorites, who inherited the land and religious traditions of Sumer, is evident by how often Yahweh contended with the moon-god and his followers in the Bible.

Nanna/Sîn was depicted in Mesopotamian art, not surprisingly, by a crescent moon, often as part of a “cosmic triad” that included the sun-god Shamash, and Ishtar, who was represented by the planet Venus. Those three symbols are found together in many ancient inscriptions and cylinder seals.

Another common symbol of the moon-god was the bull. One of the moon-god’s epithets was the “frisky calf of Enlil” or “frisky calf of heaven.”[5] Not only does the crescent moon resemble the horns of a bull, but the moon’s link to fertility probably began with his role as the patron god of herds. The obvious connection between the regular phases of the moon and the menstrual cycle may have had something to do with that as well.

Mesopotamia ran on a lunar calendar long before Moses received the Law. So, each month began with the new moon, the sighting of the first sliver of the lunar disc after it spent a few days in darkness. Regular festivals were held monthly for Nanna/Sîn on the first, seventh, and fifteenth of each month, which corresponded to the new, first-quarter, and full moons in the lunar cycle.[6]

A more important festival, often attributed to Marduk and Babylon, was the akitu. It’s usually described as a new year celebration because the festival at Babylon was held near the spring equinox, on the first of Nisan, the first month of the year. Even today, Nisan 1 is the first day of the religious year on the Hebrew calendar. But, like the Tower of Babel, the akitu began long before Babylon was founded, probably originating around 2500 BC at the great city of the moon-god, Ur.[7]

We’ll dig into the significance of the akitu next time.

[1] Ephesians 6:12.

[2] Wu Yuhong and Stephanie Dalley, “The Origins of the Manana Dynasty at Kish, and the Assyrian King List.” Iraq, 52 (1990), 160.

[3] Mark G. Hall, A Study of the Sumerian Moon-God, Nanna/Suen (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1985), 33.

[4] Derek P. Gilbert, The Great Inception: Satan’s PSYOPs from Eden to Armageddon (Crane, Mo.: Defender, 2017), 59.

[5] Tallay Ornan, “The Bull and Its Two Masters: Moon and Storm Deities in Relation to the Bull in Ancient Near Eastern Art.” Israel Exploration Journal, Vol. 51, No. 1 (2001), 3.

[6] Jane R. McIntosh, Ancient Mesopotamia: New Perspectives (Santa Barbara, Calif.; Denver; London: ABC-CLIO, 2005), 223.

[7] Mark E. Cohen, The Cultic Calendars of the Ancient Near East. (Bethesda, Md.: CDL Press, 1993), 401.

1 Comment

  1. Could it be, the sun represents the Holy trinity and the moon represents not only the creation, the lesser light; but the great imitator, the one who strives to be like God and in some deluded manner surpass God. The moon is worshipped, and those who worship it worship at night, and like you said Derek the crescent moon is present on the Islamic flag. My mind flies to all these pieces of the puzzle that are hidden in the Word of God and all that archeology is revealing to us. The rocks are surely crying out!!

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