Enlil Thwarted from Opening the Gate of the Gods 

Chapter 13 of Corrupting the Image vol 2: Enlil Thwarted from Opening the Gate of the Gods

Just as God intervened with a Flood when the sons of God came down on Mt. Hermon to create hybrids, God also had to intercede to prevent an extinction level event at Babel. Satan created a scenario so cataclysmic that God had to intervene, once again, before it was too late.  

But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them (Gen 11:5–6).  

Genesis gives us an incredible window into what was really happening. God observes the Tower and notes that with all humans speaking one language, there is nothing they cannot do. “The tower is called by the Rabbis ‘the house of Nimrod,’ … a house of idolatry which the owners abandoned in time of peace.”l We recall that the word for idols is elilim, which is plural and means “Enlils”. God was not against tall buildings or mankind working together; indeed, Jesus even prayed, “Father, let them be one” (John 17:21). The problem was the intent behind the Tower: To open a portal and inaugurate a reign of terror, similar to the days of Noah which corrupted the whole Earth. Hence, God came down and confused [בָּלַ֥ל balal] the languages. 

“Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused [בָּלַ֥ל balal] the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth (Gen 11:7–9). 

The Hebrew word for “confusion” is a different root than Babel. It is significant that the original meaning of “babel” was not confusion, but because of what happened at Babel, the meaning was altered to denote “confusion”.li We might liken it to Chernobyl (which ironically means wormwood), a city in northern Ukraine, which lies completely abandoned and is synonymous with “a major nuclear-energy accident.”lii We sometimes speak of not having another “Chernobyl”. In the same way, “Babel” became a “Chernobyl” because it had a “linguistic meltdown” which resulted in that “gate of the gods” becoming known as “confusion”. 

THE MESOPOTAMIANS RECORDED GOD’S ATTACK  

God’s strike against the city was recorded by the Mesopotamians. According to the famous Epic of Gilgamesh, the building of a certain ziggurat-temple was an offense and had to be stopped:  

“The building of this temple offended the gods. In a night they threw down what had been built. They scattered them abroad, and made strange speeches. The progress they impeded.”liii 

Why would building such a tower and temple offend the gods of Babylon? In truth, it did not. The reality is the building of the Tower was impeded by the God of Israel, but the Babylonian theologians scrambled to find a way to explain the theological conundrum by re-writing history. It is the same kind of excuse Sennacherib wrote on his prism when explaining that he shut up King Hezekiah in Jerusalem “like a caged bird.” The Assyrians were not known for just coming to town and leaving peaceably. They were ruthless predators who had no inhibitions when it came to torturing their prey in heinous, inhuman ways. According to the Bible, God defended Jerusalem by sending just one angel to kill 185,000 Assyrians (2 Kings 19:32–35). The doubtfulness of Sennacherib’s flimsy story gives credibility to the Bible’s account. In the same way, the doubtfulness of the Babylonian account of attributing the halting the Tower’s construction to an act of their god, gives credibility to the Bible’s account.  The Mesopotamian gods seemed to thrive on ziggurats and temples being built in their honor. Why would the Etemenanki (Tower of Babel) upset them? They were not displeased; it was only the true God of Israel who was offended. A Babylonian inscription in the British Museum reports:  

Babylon corruptly proceeded to sin, and both small and great mingled on the mound … All day they founded their stronghold, but in the night, he put a complete stop to it. In his anger he also poured out his secret counsel to scatter them abroad, he set his face, he gave a command to make foreign their speech.”liv 

The biblical account of the confusion of languages is confirmed from a hostile witness—that is, one who is not trying to confirm our point of view, but yet does corroborate the biblical rendition of events. The ancients treated the narrative as real history. In the epic of Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta inscription, we read: 

In those days, the lands of Subur (and) Hamazi, 

Harmony-tongued (?) Sumer, the great land of the decrees of princeship, 

Un, the land having all that is appropriate (?), The land Martu, resting in security, The whole universe, the people in unison (?) 

To Enlil in one tongue [spoke].[…] 

(Then) Enki, the lord of abundance (whose) commands are trustworthy, 

The lord of wisdom, who understands the land, 

The leader of the gods, 

Endowed with wisdom, the lord of Eridu 

Changed the speech in their mouths, [brought (?)] contention into it, 

Into the speech of man that (until then) had been onelv (Emphasis mine). 

Incredibly, the text reveals that mankind, until then, had been speaking one language which was changed in the course of one night. Not only was the one tongue turned into many, but it was brought about through the building of a tower! God stopped short the dastardly plan Satan concocted.  

There is solid evidence from texts as early as the second millennium BC that this tower, called the Etemenanki, existed. In Sumerian, Etemenanki, meaning “temple of the foundation of heaven and earth”, is the name of the ziggurat dedicated to Marduk. This is the same tower that Nebuchadnezzar’s family repaired in the 6th century BC during the Neo-Babylonian dynasty. Construction of the tower was started 42 ages before Nebuchadnezzar and was most likely the actual Tower of Babel. A model-reconstruction of the Etemenanki, depicted in Figure 37 which originally measured 91 meters in height is at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.  

Figure 37 Reconstruction of the Etemenanki, Courtesy Pergamon Museum, Berlin. 

Andrew George explains, saying:  

The reference to a ziqqurrat at Babylon in the Creation Epiclvi is more solid evidence … a Middle Assyrian piece of this poem survives to prove the long-held theory that it existed already in the second millennium BC. … There is no reason to doubt that this ziqqurrat, described as ziqqurrat apsî elite, “the upper ziqqurrat of the Apsû”, was E-temenanki.lvii  

REMAINS OF THE GATE OF THE GODS (TOWER OF BABEL) 

Satan’s attempt to create a portal was a huge undertaking, and we find extrabiblical, textual, and archaeological remains of it even today. All of the evidence is a powerful witness to the veracity of the Bible and the audacity of Satan’s schemes.  

In the 7th– 6th century BC, Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar, the one who performed repairs on the tower, stated:  

At that time, my lord Marduk told me in regard to E-temen-anki, the ziggurat of Babylon, which before my day was (already) very weak and badly buckled…lviii 

Nabopolassar did not begin the construction of the tower or lay its foundations; he tried to repair what someone long before him had abandoned. His next statement: “to ground its bottom on the breast of the netherworld, to make its top vie with the heavens”, echoes the purpose of the ziggurat as a bridge between heaven and Earth. He then states how it was “Through the craft of exorcism, the wisdom of Ea and Marduk, I purified that place and made firm its foundation platform on its ancient base.” Thus, Nabopolassar was attempting to reconstruct an ancient tower that had been abandoned ages before him. In addition, He used exorcism in the name of Marduk, a god whom we know is a syncretism for Enlil (Satan). The king is so dedicated to building the tower that he personally gets involved in the project:  

In its foundations I laid out gold, silver, gemstones from mountain and sea. …I bowed my neck to my lord Marduk. I rolled up my garment, my kingly robe, and carried on my head bricks and earth (i.e. mud bricks). I had soil-baskets made of gold and silver and made Nebuchadnezzar, my firstborn son, beloved of my heart, carry alongside my workmen earth mixed with wine, oil, and resin-chips.lix  

Both King Nabopolassar and his son, Nebuchadnezzar, get into the work. They do not just have the slaves do it, but they themselves roll up their sleeves and go to work. He then, talks about his younger boy:  

I made Nabûsumilisir, his brother, a boy, issue of my body, my darling younger son, take up mattock and spade … I constructed the building, the replica of E-sarra, in joy and jubilation and raised its top as high as a mountain. For my lord Marduk I made it an object fitting for wonder, just as it was in former times.”lx 

Nabopolassar did not create the Tower of Babel, he simply repaired it. But of course, these things would take a long time; hence, Nebuchadnezzar continued the work.  

Figure 38 Tower of Babel Courtesy Google Earth. 

THE TOWER OF BABEL STELE (NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S OWN WORDS) 

His son Nebuchadnezzar II, likewise, recorded in an inscription at Borsippa, seen in Figure 39 on the following page, how he worked on the tower and repaired it, but was not the original builder. The tower was already incredibly ancient and had been abandoned for a long time. He says:  

The tower, the eternal house, which I founded and built. I have completed its magnificence with silver, gold, other metals, stone, enameled bricks, fir, and pine. The first which is the house of the earth’s base, the most ancient monument of Babylon; I built and finished it. I have highly exalted its head with bricks covered with copper. We say for the other, that is, this edifice, the house of the seven lights of the earth, the most ancient monument of Borsippa. A former king built it, (they reckon 42 ages) but he did not complete its head. Since a remote time, people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words.lxi 

Figure 39 Inscription on Borsippa, by Nebuchadnezzar II, Courtesy schoyencollection.com 

Amazingly, Nebuchadnezzar admits that he did not build the tower, but it had been built “42 ages” earlier by a former king. We do not know exactly what he meant by 42 ages, though we could speculate that an age was a generation, which could be twenty years from the time a child is born until the child might have their own, or it could be speaking of the lifetime of a person, maybe 70 years? In any event, that would give us a figure of 840 years on the low end and 2,940 years on the higher end.  

Figure 40 Inscription on Borsippa, by Nebuchadnezzar II, Courtesy schoyencollection.com 

Nevertheless, he reported he was simply trying to repair the tower because “people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words,” a phrase that strongly implies something catastrophic happened. Did Nebuchadnezzar believe it was the same tower that had displeased the “gods” and that caused the confusion of languages? His statement, “without order expressing their words,” very much gives us the impression that he did. The ancients did not record a reason for abandoning the work because their speech was confused.  

With language remarkably similar to Genesis: “Let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly” (Gen 11:3), his inscription continues: 

Since that time, the earthquake and the thunder had dispersed the sun-dried clay. The bricks of the casing had been split, and the earth of the interior had been scattered in heaps. Merodach [Marduk], the great god, excited my mind to repair this building. I did not change the site, nor did I take away the foundation.lxii 

Is it possible that Satan was trying to get both Nebuchadnezzar and his father to rebuild the Tower of Babel for another nefarious scheme? It seems plausible.  

BABYLON ABODE OF THE GODS 

While God clearly threw down Satan’s hopes of building a gateway of the gods, Satan did, nevertheless, create a cosmic mountain where worship was directed to him. He ensured that man’s attention would be drawn away from the true source of life and blessings. Satan tried to overtake God’s mountain, and when he failed, he used it as a model for his own mountain city of pleasure which would serve as the abode of the gods.  

Satan created a believable counterfeit, a “copy and shadow of the heavenly things” (Heb 8:5), because he knows the heavenly things intimately. When he said, “I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north” (Isa 14:13), he did not need to “go” anywhere; he was already there! It was from the “holy mountain of God” (Ezek 28:14), that Satan was expelled. We see that God’s holy mountain was (and is) called “Mount Zion … the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb 12:22). It is on the sides of the north, a phrase found in Isaiah 14, where Satan boasted that he would occupy: “I will also sit on the mount of the congregation [בְּהַר־מוֹעֵ֖ד be’har moed] On the farthest sides of the north” (Isa 14:13)—like a phrase the Psalmist used, “the city of our God … Mount Zion on the sides of the north” (Ps 48:1–-2).lxiii 

One of Enlil’s major epithets was KUR.GAL, Sumerian for “great mountain”, which is also a title for Dagan and Amurru. Revelation tells us that the dragon has seven heads and ten horns and that the “seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits” Rev 17:9. Micha F. Lindeman, in the Encyclopedia Mythica, says, “Enlil … is sometimes referred to as Kur-Gal, the great mountain. And in one of the texts, ‘The Great Mountain Enlil cried to Ninlil.’”lxiv Amazingly, Satan is getting his wish of reigning on the holy mountain—so much so, that he casts himself as the mountain! 

Satan offers man a counterfeit mountain in place of the New Jerusalem. God has declared: “the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord [הַ֣ר בֵּית־ יְהוָ֤ה har-beit-YHWH] shall be established as the highest of the mountains” (Mic 4:1 ESV, also Isa 2:2–3). By contrast, Amar Annus speaks of Enlil’s mountain (ekur):  

Ekur is the temple of the supreme god Enlil in Nippur, the temple to which Ninurta returns after performing his great exploits. The name means ‘mountain house’ and it is the Assembly of the gods.lxv 

Creating counterfeit cosmic mountains was just another way to contravene God. Though Satan was expelled from the holy mountain, he, nevertheless, stole the Earth and would still get to be king of the mountain of his making. He succeeded in getting man to worship him and perform in dramas like the Akitu festival, the reenactment of the killing of the Creator and the usurpation of his authority. 

However, in the Book of Jeremiah, God says he is going to destroy this mountain and calls him, not a great mountain, but “O destroying mountain, Who destroys all the earth” (Jer 51:24–25). Of course, referring to anything in Babylon as a mountain is illogical since there are zero natural mountains there. Thus, the only mountain to which God could be referring is Enlil the “great mountain”. This conclusion is underscored by God also saying, “I will punish Bel in Babylon”(Jer 51:44). 

PLEASURE PALACE OF THE GODS 

Consequently, it was also believed that Babylon was the abode of the gods and the temple known as ‘E-sangil,’ was “‘the palace of the gods’ … the temple of Marduk … was no ordinary sanctuary … it was the cosmic abode of the king of the gods, the place from where he ruled the universe.” lxvi 

Andrew George notes that the E-Sangil was the “archetypal cosmic abode, modelled exactly on the cosmic abodes of … the Apsû of Ea and the E-sharra of Enlil,” which he notes was not only a temple but “the city of Babylon … not just the tower, but the whole city … [was] the abode of the gods.” lxvii The E-sangil was the whole city of Babylon, the pleasure-palace of the gods of heaven. George notes how, according to ancient Babylonian commentary, there are ceremonial meanings in the names of Marduk’s temples. Of great interest is the fourth temple, which is “E-sangil = Pleasure-palace of the gods of heaven [and underworld],”lxviii which demonstrates how Satan was using pleasure to seduce man to worship at his temple. In fact, “Babylon, then, is the home of the pantheon because it is where all the gods of the universe gather for the divine assembly.”lxix 

Satan (Enlil) set himself up at Babylon where man would worship him and experience heaven-on-earth through the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life. Satan wants us to be satisfied on an Earth without God, yet he understands God has put eternity in the heart of man (Eccl 3:11), and therefore our hearts crave to be home with God where there are pleasures at His right hand forevermore (Ps 16:11). The Psalmist declared we will be “abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures” (Ps 36:8). Isaiah stated, “In this mountain The LORD of hosts will make for all people a feast” (Isa 25:6). 

Thus, there are two cities—God’s city, Mount Zion, which is pure, holy, true and original and where there are joy and pleasures without end. God created the Garden of Eden: Eden means pleasure. God wanted to give Adam and Eve pleasure. The afterlife in Hebrew is referred to as Gan Eden, hence, a return to the garden of pleasure. He wants to give us joys beyond our comprehension. 

Then there is Satan’s city of Babel, with its perversions of what is good, true and right. The pleasures therein are real and feel good, but are gone in a moment leaving people stuck in the cycle of chasing the dragon. Ironically, it would seem like God’s promise of true joy and pleasures would win hands down. However, mankind has bought Satan’s lies from the beginning; and Babel, brimming with its fleeting pleasures, has historically been more appealing than God’s city. Satan’s city is here now, tactile and fleshly; it feeds the self—whereas God’s city is a paradise of selflessness, where lusts of the flesh have no place. Satan’s city is the ultimate rebellion to God’s order, and it was started by Nimrod, the Rebel.