At Satan’s Command: A New Translation of The Mt Hermon Inscription

Corrupting the Image 2 chapter 8

In 1869 on the summit of Mt. Hermon, in Israel, British explorer Sir Charles Warren came across a sacred rectangular building made of hewn stone blocks, located at Qasr Antar, the highest temple in the ancient world (9,232 ft. or 2,814 m. above sea level, See Figure 1). In the temple, he found a limestone stele which may be the only extra-biblical and pagan memorial of Satan’s actual command to the Sons of God to create a hybrid race.

Schematic of Temple on Hermon, Palestine Exploration Fund, 1869-1936. London.

We know that this mountain has long been regarded as a holy place. E.A. Myers believes the finding of the inscription is very much in line with the pagan history of the mountain:

That such an enclosure, as first reported by Warren, exists on the summit of Hermon lends credence to a long tradition of the sacred high place, and supports the textual evidence for it as a holy mountain. It also provides evidence for the endurance of a people who must have made considerable effort to come and worship within such a harsh and cruel environment. That the mountain preserved its sacredness throughout is dramatically demonstrated by the presence of numerous temples and cult sites.[1]

The British Museum dates the inscription to the 3rd century, though I am persuaded it might have been written earlier, between the 8th – 3rd centuries BC. The earlier date is supported by evidence on the inscription and by the Messapic evidence that we will examine shortly. Thus, based on the long pagan history of the locale, it is likely that the pagan scribes chiseled the inscription with a phrase that had passed down orally for millennia.

The Inscription With Satan’s Command

We are indebted to Warren for finding and delivering the inscribed stele to the British Museum,[2] and as shown in Figure 2, we are provided a chance to view the inscription on the actual stele at the British Museum’s website.[3] Comparing the parallel translations of Warren and Harvard scholar, George Nickelsburg, with that of the British Museum, reveals discrepancies and even the omission of several words. Their translations are below; the omissions in the British Museum’s translation are represented by brackets. The inserted words in the Warren-Nickelsburg translation are in italics.

  • The British Museum’s translation, (written on the base of the inscription): “Hence by order of the [ ] God [ ] [ ], those who do not take the oath.”
  • Warren and Nickelsburg’s parallel translation:[4] Κατά κέλευσιν θεού μεγίστου κ[αι] άγιου οι ομνύοντες εντεύθεν “According to the command of the great a[nd] holy God, those who take an oath [proceed] from here.” [5]

Warren-Nickelsburg rightly connected the inscription with the oath taken by the angels under Semjaza[6] in order to take wives, according to the Book of Enoch.[7] Nickelsburg also skillfully realized “the name of God was supposed to be a Hellenized version of Baʿal or Hadad and … connected it with the place name of Baal-Hermon (Lord of Hermon).” [8]

Surprisingly, though, Warren-Nickelsburg inserted the words “a[nd] holy” which do not appear in the inscription. This interpretation gives the impression that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob gave the command to angels to create the race of Nephilim, but He did not.

Hermon Inscription, Courtesy of the British Museum 1903-0422.

Rather, the one who sent those angels was Satan; and this is a fact which we will see the inscription proves. In 1 Enoch, “the Holy and Mighty One” (1 Enoch 1:3) is mentioned. However, the angels that descended and took the oath acted in opposition to the Holy and Mighty One’s decrees—not in accordance, as evidenced in 1 Enoch:

3And now to you, O you holy one of heaven, the souls of men complain, saying, Obtain Justice for us …6Samyaza also has taught sorcery, to whom you have given authority over those who are associated with him. They have gone together to the daughters of men; have lain with them; have become polluted; 15To Michael likewise the Lord said, Go and announce his crime to Samyaza (1 Enoch 9:3, 6, 10:15)(Emphasis mine).

Clearly, the “holy one of heaven” is referring to God (YHWH / Jehovah), and He did not command the angels to make the Nephilim.

Need for a Retranslation

Due the wide divergences and omissions, I believe a reexamination of the inscription is necessary. I have tried to simplify the linguistic evidence, but if you do not care for it, I invite you to skip to the end of the chapter to read the conclusion.

Here is the uncial text transcribed with no spaces as it appears on the inscription:

ΚΑΤΑΚΕΛΕΥΣΙΝΘΕΟΥΜΕΓΙΣΤΟΥΒΟΒΑΤΙΟΥΟΥΟΜΝΥΟΝΤΕΣΕΝΤΕΥΘΕΝ

My normalized transcription of the text is as follows: 1Κατά 2κέλευσιν 3θεού 4μεγίστου 5βο 6βατιου 7ου 8ομνύοντες 9εντεύθεν [kata keleusin theou megistou bo batiou ou omnuontes enteuthen].

The British Museum ignored words four, five and six, skipping three out of nine words, which is 33% of the text. Warren-Nickelsburg’s translation: “a[nd] holy,” amended two words to read differently than what the text says, which we will discuss later. Here is a breakdown of each word according to my reading:

  1. Κατά [kata]: according to
  2. Κέλευσιν [keleusin]: command
  3. Θεού [theou]: of the god (genitive)
  4. Μεγίστου [megistou]: Greatness personified (genitive)
  5. Βο [bo]: uncertain, possibly a prefix for ox
  6. βατιου (Βατιοu): epithet (genitive)
  7. ου [ou]: where
  8. ομνύοντες [omnuontes]: those swearing an oath
  9. εντεύθεν [enteuthen]: [going] from here

My translation of the first three words Κατά κέλευσιν θεού agrees perfectly with the other translations. Liddell Scott Jones Classical Greek Lexicon notes how this three-word phrase is frequently found in inscriptions and papyri.[9]

With the fourth word, μεγίστου, megistou, the British Museum omitted it for unknown reasons. Warren-Nickelsburg rightly included it in their translation. BDAG notes it means: “Greatness, personified.”[10] It was a popular epithet for Zeus.

Since words five and six are enigmatic, we will consider them last because they require ample explanation.

Word seven, ΟΥ, Nickelsburg revised to ΟΙ, which seems ad hoc, as the text clearly reads as ΟΥ (See adjacent Figure 3.). A translator’s job is not to change the text to make it fit his idea, but to deal with the text “as is”. Translators are justified in creativity when something is missing from the text, but here, nothing is missing.

The British Museum translated ΟΥ as the lexical entry οὐ “not”, which is an option. However, a separate lexical entry is οὗ which means: “marker of a position in space, where … ” (BDAG). Context is the only way to know which translation is correct. When we pair this word with word nine εντευθεν ([going] from here), then “where” appears to be the better option, instead of “no.”

The word “ου” visible on the inscription.

Word eight ὀμνύω, is defined by BDAG as: “to affirm the veracity of one’s statement by invoking a transcendent entity, freq. w. implied invitation of punishment if one is untruthful, swear, take an oath …[as נִשְׁבַּע בְּ] in the OT .”[11]

Lastly, word nine εντευθεν is an adverb, according to BDAG, that pertains “to extension from a source near the speaker, from here”.[12] We see this word used in Scripture which provides us examples of the word meaning—going from one place to another:

  • “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from [ἐντεῦθεν] here (Luke 4:9).
  • And the LORD said to Moses, “Go, get down [ἐντεῦθεν]” (Exod 32:7).

Thus words 7, 8, and 9 agree with the translation of Warren and Nickelsburg which is what makes words 5 and 6 such a mystery that deserves our attention.

βο Bo the Bull

Words five and six βο Bo and βατιου Batiou are mysterious, which could be why they were completely ignored by the British Museum and amended by Warren-Nickelsburg; βο to “a(nd)” and βατιου batiou as άγιου hagiou. Frankly, it is a mystery to me how they justified their emendation. While “a(nd) holy” may be an easy fix, we must always ask, “What does the text say?” and, “Does the inscription warrant such renderings?” In the picture of the inscription in Figure 4, you will see a circle around βο and a rectangle around βατιου (batiou is the genitive of batios). Warren-Nickelsburg simply ignored the whole word ΒΟ (beta omicron). With word six, batiou, they changed the Τ (tau) to a Γ (gamma) even though the letters are clear, consistent and not garbled. As we noted already, they were right to see a similarity with 1 Enoch and the oath, per word eight; yet, if this is indeed a record of the imprecation the angels took before taking women and begetting the Nephilim, it was not by decree of the Holy God YHWH. Rather, the decree would have come from Satan.

A circle around “bo” and rectangle around “batiou” on the inscription.

βο bo does not appear as a proper lexical entry in any of the extensive literature I checked—which is likely why careful scholars like Warren-Nickelsburg amended it to “a[nd].”

Nevertheless, “Bo- (βο-), boo- (βοο-), and bou- (βου-) are prefixes meaning bull, ox, male cattle.”[13] Considering that there are no spaces between the letters in the original inscription, it is plausible to read the text as “βο-βατιου” and not do violence to the text. Furthermore, we know Mt. Hermon was also called Baal Hermon in Judges 3:3 and 1 Chronicles 5:23, and that Zeus and Baal are synonymous. Therefore, it follows that βο may be a prefix meaning “bull”, a reference to Baal / Zeus. You may remember Zeus, in Greek mythology, transformed himself into a white bull and carried away Europa, an image which agrees with “the tauromorphic appearance of Baal and other deities in Canaan,” [14] and which confirms that Baal (Zeus) appeared as a bull. Furthermore, “Moloch is merely another name for Ba’al, the Sacred Bull who was widely worshipped in the ancient Near East.”[15]

Thus, based on the bull motif of Baal / Zeus found in the area, βο bo meaning bull, stands as a strong candidate.

Batios in Messapia (Southern Italy)

The word βατιου Batiou is even more enigmatic (batios is nominative, batiou is genitive). I performed an exhaustive search through lexicons, dictionaries, encyclopedias, scholarly sites and journals, and not one had any information on the word batios. Batiou simply is not Greek (which again, is the only apparent justification good scholars, such as Warren-Nickelsburg, would have for changing letters). I did, however, discover that batios is believed to be an epithet of Zeus (Jupiter) in Messapian speech. (See Figure 5, next page.) “Messapian (also known as Messapic) is an extinct Indo-European language of South-eastern Italy.”[16] Yet, why?

5 Map of Messapia, South-east Italy 6th-2nd cent. BC. Courtesy salentoacolory.it.

So little is known about the Messapian language that the leading scholar Alf Torp (1853–1916) stated: “Hardly more than a few words can be said to have been separated and translated with certainty.”[17] The language has roughly 300 extant inscriptions dating from the 7th / 6th to the 1st century BC.[18] The majority of the inscriptions come from a cave called Grotta Porcinara.

There are several examples of Idde, Batas, and Atiaxte, or fragments of these, which are believed to be names or epithets of the god worshipped there. Several Greek inscriptions from the site are dedications to Zeus Batios … Batas may have been the Messapic name of the god, who also appears to have been equated with Zeus, appearing in a Greek inscription as Zeus Batios (βατιος εμι.)(Emphasis mine).[19]

Thus, we have material evidence in Messapic inscriptions of “Zeus Batios”  used by the Greeks.[20] The Romans made engravings venerating “Juppiter Optimus Maximus Batius (ouVatius).”[21] Both Greek and Roman inscriptions referenced Batios / Batius.

Nevertheless, scholars do not know what batios means. Annick Fenet suggests it could be the epithet of a local deity.[22] Yet, why would an almost unknown Messapian epithet, hidden in a cave of a localized god from south-eastern Italy, be inscribed on a stele 9,000-feet above sea level on the cold, unwelcoming accursed mountain in the land of Bashan?

Batios cannot be a local Messapian epithet because there is no location known as Batios in Messapia (See map in Figure 5 above). For example, we know “Baal Hermon” (Judg 3:3) is a local epithet for Baal because we have a mountain called “Hermon.” Annick Fenet, in Les Dieux Olympiens et la Mer, notes:

According to the cave dedications and ceramic graffiti, since the 6th century BC a Messapian Zis Batas was honored there, recognized as a Zeus Batios by the Greeks, designated also later as Juppiter Optimus Maximus. Caves are mainly devoted to Zeus, albeit under different epiclesis … These Messapian places of worship, dating back to some of the 7th century, were early frequented by Greek sailors who somehow appropriated them (Emphasis mine).[23]

The Grotto in which “batios” was found in Messapia.

Referring to the Grotto in Figure 6, Kathryn Lomas notes that “The sanctuary was clearly an important one, and attracted worshippers from beyond the region despite the difficulties of access (it may have been only accessible by boat in antiquity).”[24] She also notes that:

Grotta Porcinara may provide evidence for religious contact in action, as it offers evidence for the interaction of Greek and non-Greek cults and worshippers. The corpus of inscribed potsherds includes a number of sherds inscribed [idde], which has been identified as Messapic deity name or epithet. Another name or epithet that occurs there is Batas … Other pottery inscriptions, dedications written in Greek to Zeus Batas. The Latin inscriptions on the inside of the cave name the deity as Jupiter Batius. [25]

The attestation of Batas and Idde direct our attention to Hermon rather than Messapia since the worshippers were from outside the region. Annick Fenet comments that the “dual name of Palaistiné and Ourania suggests a Semitic and oriental character.”[26] The presence of sailors worshiping gods with Semitic character must mean they are Semitic-speaking sailors. In personal correspondence with Professor Paolo M. Gensini, University of Perugia, Italy, who is an expert in Messapian texts, he notes that “the Greek and Latin texts from Leuca are all written by or for sailors.”[27]

Thus, Semitic-speaking sailors, probably Phoenician from Tyre or Sidon, inscribed the word “batios” in a cave in southern Italy. If they were coming from the east, such as from Phoenicia, then they certainly would have thanked their home god that got them to their destination safely, rather than a foreign god. Which is to say, batios is not Messapian, but Semitic.

The Phoenicians were renowned sailors, who were Semitic speaking and had Mt. Hermon in their backyard, which is the only other place in the world where the enigmatic word “batios” has been found. Incidentally, in Greek, many people-group names end with ιος. For example: “the Hittites [ο χετταιος], the Jebusites [ο ιεβουσαιος ], and the Amorites [ο αμορραιος] dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites [ο χαναναιος].” (Num 13:29). Hence, the ιος ending demonstrates a typical Greek-language Semitic-people suffix (ending).

Batios means BAT (=IDIM) who is Enlil, et al

Our text says: “According to the command (Κατά κέλευσιν) of the greatness personified (θεού μεγίστου) βο-βατιου (bull) (of Batios).” There are two distinct possibilities of the origin of batios, though interestingly, they both lead us to the same entity: Enlil / Heilel / Satan.

The Sumerian language was first written using pictograms (AKA logograms). The logogram for BAD

was associated with Enlil, Dagan, Ug (death) and Nergal (god of death and the underworld). In a personal correspondence with Professor Amar Annus of University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden, he notes that:

The names of Dagan in Syria and Enlil in Mesopotamia sometimes share the logograms with which their names are written. dBAD and dKUR for both Enlil and Dagan, which points to a syncretism between their deities, and consequently for their families, including Dagan’s son Ba’al in Syria and Enlil’s son Ninurta in Mesopotamia. This cuneiform sign BAD has many logographic readings throughout history, including BAD for “dead” and BAD.BAD for ug in Sumerian, the latter is only orthographic as much as I can see … The sign BAD can be read as BE as well and taken as an abbreviation of bel – the lord.[28]

Franz Wiggenner expounds on the etymology of “Nergal’s planet … Mars (salbatanu).” He notes how “according to astrological omens Mars spreads death when he rises or flares up.” He goes on to provide a tentative etymology that explains “this role of MUL tzal (sal) bat-a-nu as mushtabarru (ZAL) mutanu (BAD-a-nu)” “(the planet) which spreads plague.”[29] In other words, BAD, also spelled “BAT” [30] is related to death and to Nergal, the god of death. In light of the inscription, it is of great interest that Wiggenner points out “The bull’s head denotes the god of … Nergal’s main cult center.”[31] We found “bo” in the inscription, which we determined meant “bull”; thus, “BAD / BAT” is in concert with that idea.

Amar Annus notes:

The god Dagan is already identified with Sumerian Enlil, father of Ninurta, in Old Babylonian times and they share the logogram BAD (=IDIM). The name of Dagan is written logographically dKUR in Emar as an alternative to the syllabic dDa-gan. dKUR is a shortened form of Enlil’s epithet KUR.GAL “great mountain,” which was borrowed by Dagan, and he is already described as the great mountain in a Mari letter.

The writing dNIN.URTA for a Syrian god in thirteenth century Emar thus attests a conscious syncretism which introduced Sumerian writing for the West Semitic god. The Emar god Ninurta is the son of Dagan, and the equivalence of Dagan and Enlil led the scribes trained in the Mesopotamian system to use this Sumerian writing for the name of his son [32] (Emphasis mine).

In other words, Ninurta is the son of both Enlil and Dagan, because those two gods were considered to be one, as clearly demonstrated by the same logogram BAD / BAT (=IDIM) being the identifier for them both. The “Idde” found in relation to Batios in Grotta Porcinara is almost certainly the “IDIM” related to the logogram BAD. Professor Annus points out:

The Emar god Ninurta most probably corresponds to Ugaritic Baal and the difference in writing the god’s name is simply the result of the use of different writing systems – cuneiform in Emar and alphabetic script in Ugarit. [33]

They have different sounding names due to the writing systems, but the gods are exactly the same.

The logogram BAD / BAT also was used for “Ištaran … the chief deity of Der (Logogram: BAD.AN).”[34] Steve Cole notes how “the logogram BAD is understood to be an abbreviation for the writing of the toponym BAD.AN.KI.”[35] “AN” means “Lord” and “Ki” means “Earth”, an epithet which means Lord of the Earth, which was also the meaning of the name of Nimrod, and we will see in later chapters refers to Ninurta. Thus, writing BAD / BAT was the same as writing out the names of multiple gods, which shows the conscious syncretism that Professor Annus mentioned. The scribes wrote BAD (=IDIM) as the equivalent to Dagan, Enlil, Ninurta and possibly others.

BAT (BAD) is a perfect match; and the ending ιος, which is ios, simply makes it standard Greek. Nevertheless, the general understanding of logograms is that they are not transliterated. Hence, the logogram BAD / BAT would be transliterated as “ug” for example but not as “bad.” Though a pictogram (logogram) was typically not pronounced (transliterated), it was not impossible. Walter Burkert notes how:

Alfred Boissier, who was the first to work systematically on Babylonian liver-omen texts, saw that liver in these texts was consistently written with the Sumerian ideogram HAR; and he at once concluded that this was the etymology for the Latin word haruspex, the first part of which had always defied explanation, while the second part must mean “seer of”; “seer of liver” would perfectly match its use in reference to those Etruscan specialists officiating in Rome[36] (Emphasis mine).

Amar Annus, whom I must thank for bringing this to my attention, notes that in this case “a logogram may have traveled between cultures as a certain learned word.”[37] We therefore have precedence of an otherwise unpronounced Sumerian logogram being transliterated in the West, as unlikely as it seems. Not only was the logogram transliterated, but it was fully Latinized as a compound word—half Sumerian and half Latin. We then draw the conclusion that the logogram BAD / BAT for Enlil, Dagan, Ištaran, dead, Nergal (Mars), Bel (Baal) etc. was understood and consciously syncretized by scribes. It was transliterated into Greek, then Hellenized with the ios ending, and then accompanied by “Idde” (IDIM) in a similar fashion to haruspex. In fact, BAD / BAT may have been the most efficient way to express all the epithets for this entity in just one name. Possibly, the Sumerian BAT was Hellenized with the standard “people group” ios-suffix, and became: BATios.

A Literal Translation of Hermon’s Inscription

In table 5, the inscription is in uncials (capitals) and then in standardized and accented Greek. Then, the translation of the British Museum, Warren-Nickelsburg, and my translations are presented side by side. I am indebted to the scholars who have gone before me, and I hope my translation and analysis contributes to the research of the Hermon inscription.


ΚΑΤΑ ΚΕΛΕΥΣΙΝ ΘΕΟΥ ΜΕΓΙΣΤΟΥ ΒΟ ΒΑΤΙΟΥ ΟΥ ΟΜΝΥΟΝΤΕΣ ΕΝΤΕΥΘΕΝ

 British MuseumWarren / NickelsburgHamp
Normalized Greek transcriptionNone found.Κατά κέλευσιν θεού μεγίστου κ[αι]* άγιου* οι* ομνύοντες εντεύθενΚατά κέλευσιν θεού μεγίστου βο-βατιου ου ομνύοντες εντεύθεν
TranslationHence by order of the god [*] [*] [*] those who do not take the oath.According to the command of the great a[and]* holy* God, those who take an oath [proceed] from here“According to the command of the great bull god Batios [BAD (=IDIM)], those swearing an oath in this place go forth.”
Variants[*] Omitted words: ΜΕΓΙΣΤΟΥ ΒΟ ΒΑΤΙΟΥ*words not in the text. 
Mt. Hermon Roman Inscription 3rd cent.[38]

Table Mt. Hermon Roman Inscription 3rd century

My translation is very close to Warren-Nickelsburg’s translation, despite a few variations.

As we saw earlier, the double superlative Iuppiter optimus maximus, meaningthe “best, greatest,” is in concert with the Hermon inscription θεού μεγίστου theou megistou “the greatness personified god” and was a common epithet for Zeus. βο remains uncertain. Yet, if βο is a prefix for “bull”, then it only underscores the reference to Zeus and is in complete harmony with a well-known phrase found in the Hebrew Bible, “bulls of Bashan.” “Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me” (Ps 22:12).

The translation: “According to the command of the great bull god Batios, those swearing an oath in this place go forth” has the advantage of not making alternations to the text. My translation further reveals the identity of Zeus Batios / Jupiter “Optimus Maximus Batios, AKA Baal / Melqart / Nergal / Heracles / Enlil / Marduk / Ninurta”, as the god who commanded those taking the oath to go forth from that place. In other words, we now have textual evidence that the descent of the sons of God into our realm was under the direction of Satan.

Thus, the angels that came down on the mountain, maledicting themselves lest they fail to complete their task, did so at the command of the great bull-god Batios who was represented as a dragon, whom we know is none other than Satan. These angels who took the oath did not act outside of the parameters of the one who sent them; they did “according to the command of greatness personified,”—even that title sounds like the boasting of Satan who corrupted his wisdom on account of his beauty. Satan gave the order to the watchers to come to Earth, take women, and create the Nephilim in order to keep the Seed of the woman from crushing his head.

Batios = Bashan

It is uncommon that scribes would transliterate the name of the logogram; yet, as we have seen, we have precedence. It also seems to be the simplest way to indicate that the god identified by the BAD / BAT logogram is the one they were invoking. However, it might simply be that Batios = Bashan.

Mount Hermon is in the vicinity of the region of Bashan, which was ruled by “Og king of Bashan … his territory … of the remnant of the giants, who dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei, (Josh 12:4) and reigned over Mount Hermon, over Salcah, over all Bashan” (Josh 12:5).[39]

Mt. Hermon is also known as Mount Bashan “A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan” (Ps 68:15).

Bashan was rendered in a number of different ways in the ancient near east. The B sometimes turned into a P, which is consistent with phonemes. The Š (SH) turned into a T or TH, again consistent. The M can swap with the N. By the time of the first century, the word Bashan became standardized in Latin and Greek as Batanea.


LanguageOriginalTranslit-erationAttested usageEra (approx.)
AkkadianMUL.dMUŠ mus-sa-tur or usumBašmu – BashmuSerpent-dragon3rd-1st Millennium BC
HebrewבָּשַׁןBashanSerpent-dragon2nd-1st Millennium BC
UgariticbthnBatanSerpent-dragon2nd-1st Millennium BC
AramaicפתןPatanSerpent1st Millennium BC
Greek (LXX)ΒασάνBasan3rd century BC
Greek Place nameΒατανίαBatanía Batanea4th century BC – 3rd century AD
Messapic inscriptionBatasBatasEpithet of Zeus6th-2nd century BC
Greek inscriptionβατιοςBatiosEpithet of Zeus6th-2nd century BC
Latin inscriptionBatius / VatiusBatius / VatiusEpithet of ZeusUp to 3rd century AD
Comparative Table of Bashan Usage

The proposed process to go from the Akkadian Bašmu to batios is as follows: Akk: Bašmu to Hebrew Bashan or Ugaritic Bathan (Ugarit was a coastal town south of Antioch, Syria). Charlesworth points out how “Ugaritic bthn become bšn in Hebrew and is equal to bašmu in Akkadian with the n to m shift.”[40] Why the N (nun / nu) fell off is not clear, though it is possible.[41] For example, Albert T. Clay notes how “the Aramaic vav [ו], as is known, representing m in Babylonian … Cf. Amurru written [אור] or Shamash written [שוש], Murashu, x. p. 8 and 9.”[42] Thus, there might be a similar situation here where the original Bašmu may have simply lost the M all together. Even with it converting from M to N, as noted, the assimilation of the nun in Hebrew is fairly common. The word “bat” [בת] (daughter) has a middle root letter of nun [בנת], which assimilated. The word [נתן] natan loses its final nun in conjugations such as “natati.” Thus, it is entirely possible that the N (nun) of Batan simply fell out, due to a phonetic constraint, as evident in Akkadian. The word was then rendered into Greek as batios, and then exported to Messapia.

The inscriptions in Messapia are dated anywhere from the 7th – 2nd century BC. According to the British Museum, the Hermon Inscription is dated as late as the 3rd century AD. The Septuagint Greek (3rd century BC) renders Bashan as Basan (βασαν). According to the Ancient World Mapping Center and Institute for the Study of the Ancient World Hellenistic Greek, the region was known as Batanea (Βαταναία) [43] in the Roman Republic (330 BC-30 BC) and in the Roman, early Empire (30 BC-AD 300).[44] That means before 330 BC, the area would have maintained its Semitic character, which could explain how the inscription left by sailors in the Porcinara Grotto had “Semitic character.” The Phoenician culture was in decline until about the second century BC, and the destruction of Tyre at the hands of Alexander the Great likely hastened its demise.

We know that Bashan was Bathan in Ugaritic and Patan in Aramaic. Thus, batios may be a shortened and Hellenized form of Batan (Bashan). βο βατιου could mean βο→  Bull, βατιου→  of Bashan, or the Great Bull of Bashan. The psalmist wrote prophetically, “Strong bulls of Bashan surround me” (Ps 22:12). If Batios is Bashan, we know Bashan has the meaning: snake-dragon. Therefore, we have two paths that take us to the same destination: Batios means BAD (IDIM), who was a snake-dragon, or Batios is Bashan which means snake-dragon. Both meanings point to Satan, the great snake-dragon. Either way, it was “According to the command of the great bull-god Satan, the great snake-dragon of Bashan that those swearing an oath in this place go forth.”

In the meantime, Satan continued his schemes to make this Earth his eternal kingdom. He focused his plan of passing on genetic information to one select representative who would champion the cause. This time, however, in an effort to avoid being thrown into the pit like the sons of God who came down on Hermon, he would take a man and make him into a god.

God Thwarted Satan’s Plan for World Domination

God was paying attention to the corruption and violence Satan had caused on the Earth by commanding the sons of God to take women and procreate the Nephilim. “God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Gen 6:12). God made it clear that all flesh everywhere on the entire planet would die. “I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die” (Gen 6:17).

Satan’s scheme failed. Upon the death of the host body, the spirit inside the Nephilim was separated and the fallen angel became disembodied once again. 1 Enoch 15:8–16:1 describes how they became known as evil spirits on the Earth:

“Now the giants, who have been born of spirit and of flesh, shall be called upon earth evil spirits, and on earth shall be their habitation. Evil spirits shall proceed from their flesh because they were created from above; from the holy Watchers was their beginning and primary foundation. Evil spirits shall they be upon earth, and the spirits of the wicked shall they be called. The habitation of the spirits of heaven shall be in heaven; but upon earth shall be the habitation of terrestrial spirits, who are born on earth.[45] (See Appendix 1 Demons).

The Flood ended Satan’s worldwide Nephilim plan, but it would not end his plan for eternal world-domination. We will see that he would modify his plan with an ancient rebel named Nimrod.


[1] E. A. Myers (11 February 2010). The Ituraeans and the Roman Near East: Reassessing the Sources. Cambridge University Press. Pg. 66–. ISBN 978-0-521-51887-1.

[2] Palestine Exploration Fund, 1869-1936. London, Pg. 426 https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=umn.31951p010211321&view=1up&seq=418

[3] https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_1903-0422-1

[4] WARREN PEFQS I [1869/1870] 210-215) and an inscription is dedicated tou theou megistou k(ai) hagiou, “to the greatest and holy god”. Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, eds. K. van der Toorn, Bob Becking and Pieter W. van der Horst (Boston, 1999).: Hermon

[5] E. A. Myers (11 February 2010). The Ituraeans and the Roman Near East: Reassessing the Sources. Cambridge University Press. Pg. 66–. ISBN 978-0-521-51887-1.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Nickelsburg, 1 Enoch 1. A Commentary on the Book of 1 Enoch, 1–36; 81–108, Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001.

[8] E. A. Myers (11 February 2010). The Ituraeans and the Roman Near East: Reassessing the Sources. Cambridge University Press. Pg. 65–. ISBN 978-0-521-51887-1. Retrieved 18 September 2012.

[9] κατὰ κέλευσιν θεοῦ OGI = Orientis Graeci Inscriptiones Selectae, ed. W. Dittenberger, Leipzig 1903-5. (Liddel Scott Jones)

[10] BDAG Μεγιστώ

[11] BDAG: ὀμνύω

[12] ἐντεῦθεν adv. pert. to extension from a source near the speaker, from here (En 22:13; Jos., Bell. 6, 299; 7, 22) Lk 4:9; 13:31; J 7:3; 14:31; 1 Cl 53:2 (Ex 32:7). ἄρατε ταῦτα ἐ. take these things away from here J 2:16. κατάβηθι ἐ. go home from here GJs 4:2. ἐντεῦθεν (for ἔνθεν) ἐκεῖ fr. here to there Mt 17:20 v.l. ἐντεῦθεν καὶ ἐντεῦθεν fr. here and fr. there = on each side (c Num 22:24) J 19:18. For this ἐντεῦθεν κ. ἐκεῖθεν Rv 22:2; ἡ βασιλεία ἡ ἐμὴ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐ. my kingdom is not from here=ἐκ. τ. κόσμου τούτου J 18:36.

[13] http://www.greekalphabeta.com/learn-about-beta-b-2.html, definitions culled from LSJ.

[14] Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, eds. K. van der Toorn, Bob Becking and Pieter W. van der Horst (Boston, 1999): Bashan.

[15] Molech, New World Encyclopedia https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Moloch

[16] http://www.altosalentorivieradeitrulli.it/nuova_pagina_17.htm

[17] http://dictionary.sensagent.com/Messapian%20language/en-en/

[18] http://www.altosalentorivieradeitrulli.it/nuova_pagina_17.htm

[19] https://journals.openedition.org/pallas/2208

[20] Splendor of the Magna Graecia art, the Zeus of Ugento … from the great Messapian city of Ozan (today’s Ugento)…530 BC. …the cult for Zis Batàs, https://www.salentoacolory.it/museo-archeologico-taranto/

[21] Ce sanctuaire, fréquenté depuis la fin du viiie s. a.C. jusqu’au début du iiie s. P.C., est consacré à Zis Batas, divinité indigène appelée Zeus Batios par les Grecs, puis Juppiter Optimus Maximus Batius (ou Vatius) par les Romains. Les cultes de l’Adriatique méridionale à l’époque républicaine Jean-Luc Lamboley. Pg. 133-141, https://books.openedition.org/ausonius/6837.

[22] https://books.openedition.org/efr/5584#illustrations; see also https://books.openedition.org/ausonius/6837

[23] Les Dieux Olympiens Et La Mer Annick Fenet pg. 83-138. https://books.openedition.org/efr/5584#illustrations

[24] Lomas, Kathryn. “Crossing Boundaries: The Inscribed Votives of Southeast Italy.” Pallas, no. 86 (2011): 311-29. Accessed October 19, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43606696.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Original French: La double dénomination de Palaistiné et d’Ourania souligne le caractère sémitique et oriental.” https://books.openedition.org/efr/5584#illustrations

[27]Paolo M Gensini University of Perugia, Italy , Physics, Emeritus, Personal correspondence, Aug 16th, 2020.

[28] Private email communication with Professor Amar Annus Mon, Sep 28, 2020. See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_(cuneiform)

[29] Frans Wiggermann, Nergal, Reallexikon der Assyriologie (RlA) 9 1999 Pg. 215-226.

[30] The cuneiform bad, bat, be, etc. sign is a common multi-use sign in the mid-14th-century BC Amarna letters, and the Epic of Gilgamesh. In the Epic it also has 5 Sumerogram uses (capital letter (majuscule)). From Giorgio Buccellati (Buccellati 1979) ‘comparative graphemic analysis’ (about 360 cuneiform signs, nos. 1 through no. 598E), of 5 categories of letters, the usage numbers of the bad sign are as follows: Old Babylonian Royal letters (71), OB non-Royal letters (392), Mari letters (2108), Amarna letters (334), Ugarit letters (39). The following linguistic elements are used for the bad sign in the 12 chapter (Tablets I-Tablet XII) Epic of Gilgamesh: Sumerograms: BE, IDIM, TIL, ÚŠ, ZIZ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_(cuneiform)#:~:text=The%20cuneiform%20bad%2C%20bat%2C%20be,(capital%20letter%20(majuscule)).

[31] Frans Wiggermann, Nergal, Reallexikon der Assyriologie (RlA) 9 1999 Pg. 215-226.

[32] Amar Annus, The God Ninurta in the Mythology and Royal Ideology of Ancient Mesopotamia, State Archives of Assyria Studies, Volume XIV Helsinki 2002. Pg. 178

[33] Ibid.

[34] https://aratta.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/the-snake-and-the-serpopard/

[35] Cole, S. W. (1996). The Early Neo-Babylonian Governor’s Archive from Nippur. Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

[36] Burkert notes: “In oral instruction, however, something such as HAR was most unlikely to have been pronounced … But even here a curious coincidence cannot be ruled out … Skeptics could draw the conclusion that the whole thing was nonsense; the historian, however, finds the clearest evidence of cultural diffusion precisely in correspondences of details that seem most absurd and unnatural, hence least likely to be arrived at independently. The Etruscan disciplina … has preserved more of its eastern origins. The similarities are nevertheless indicative of a common source, of some historical connection which binds all the individual forms together.” The Orientalizing Revolution, Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age By Walter Burkert · 1995, Pg. Pg. 50. https://www.google.com/books/edition/_/cIiUL7dWqNIC?hl=en&gbpv=0

[37] Private email communication with Professor Amar Annus October 5, 2020.

[38] https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_1903-0422-1

[39] “It stretched from the border of Gilead in the South to the slopes of Hermon in the North.” ISBE. See also (Deut 3:8)

[40] Charlesworth

[41] For example [כִּתִּ֖ים] Kittim is rendered κιτιοι (Kitioi) and Dodanim [דֹדָנִֽים] is rendered ροδιοι (interestingly the scribe most likely mistook the Hebrew dalet [ד] for a resh [ר] and hence it is rodioi. (Gen 10:4)

[42] Clay, Albert T. “The Origin and Real Name of NIN-IB.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 28 (1907): 135-44. Accessed September 11, 2020.

[43] “BATANAEA (Βαταναία), a district to the NE. of Palestine… It was added to the kingdom of Herod the Great by Augustus.” http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0064%3Aalphabetic+letter%3DB%3Aentry+group%3D3%3Aentry%3Dbatanaea-geo

[44] https://pleiades.stoa.org/places/678054/batanaia

[45] 1 Enoch 15:8-16:1.