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Babylon

Discussion in 'Political Philosophy' started by Antóin Mac Comháin, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Antóin Mac Comháin

    Antóin Mac Comháin Posting Legend

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    To set the stage for our Genesis passage, I invite you on a journey through space and time. We'll be traveling back some 2500 years, give or take, to Babylon, the capital city of the Babylonian Empire, situated in what is now modern day Iraq. At that time, in the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, we find a powerful, ancient city with a ziggurat that extended up into the sky. Bab-ilu, or "the gate of god" was home of the Babylonian god Marduk, whose military conquests were sung in temple services every New Year as the people remembered the story of how their world was created. It was here that the people of Jerusalem and surrounding Judah found themselves after the Babylonians destroyed their Temple and exiled their people in 598 and 587 BCE.

    "By the rivers of Babylon—we sat down and we wept when we remembered Zion. On the willows we hung up our harps. For there our captors asked us for songs, and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying, 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion!' How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?" (Psalm 137:1-4)

    The Psalmist tells how the Children of Israel mourned in captivity, far from home, in a land of military conquerors whose great god had successfully destroyed Jerusalem's defenses and brought the Kingdom of Judah to its knees.

    For more than 400 years a series of kings had ruled in Jerusalem, until at last, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged their city until it fell. King Zedekiah watched with horror as his sons were killed before him. Then the Babylonians gouged out his eyes, placed him in shackles, and carried him off into exile in Babylon.
    [​IMG]The Babylonians were known for their military might. And under Nebuchadnezzar, they pursued a policy of imperial expansion that swept from Egypt to the Caspian Sea. Nebuchadnezzar claimed a grant of universal kingship from Marduk to whom he prayed that he would have "no opponent from horizon to sky" (Brit). While in exile under this military superpower, the Jewish people grappled with questions about their own God who it seemed had abandoned them. They thought about how they'd leaned on their military might. They came to terms with their pride and their false sense of security.


    But why start here? What's so important about Babylon? And how does it figure into the creation story of Genesis chapter one? I'd like to suggest that here, in this down and out place, the Jewish people came face to face with questions about the narratives they would choose to shape their worldview. Here, in the Exile, they would choose whether to embrace Marduk, the supreme deity of Babylon. Here, in the Exile, they would decide who their God was. They would decide who they were. They would decide how they would live.

    The Babylonian creation story begins:

    When skies above were not yet named
    Nor earth below pronounced by name,​
    Apsu, the first one, their begetter​
    And maker Tiamat, who bore them all,​
    Had mixed their waters together,​
    But had not formed pastures, nor discovered reed-beds;​
    When yet no gods were manifest,​
    Nor names pronounced, nor destinies decreed​
    Then gods were born within them.​
    Lahmu and Lahamu emerged, their names pronounced.​
    As soon as they matured, were fully formed,​
    Anshar and Kishar were born, surpassing them.​

    The names sound strange to us, so let's look at what they mean. In the beginning, Fresh Water and Salt Water were the first god and goddess. When they joined, they produced a god and a goddess of Silt, which in turn gave birth to the god Heaven and the goddess Earth. These in turn gave birth to Sky. Sky births Air. Air births a son, Marduk.

    At this point, a great battle erupts in which Marduk slays the ancient Father and Mother. From mother Tiamat's body he fashions the dome of heaven. Marduk gives marching orders to the other gods, setting Moon, Sun, and Stars in the sky and placing the Land and the Waters. Finally, Marduk kills one of the gods that rebelled against him. And from his blood he creates humans to be slaves to the gods.

    Marduk is declared king of all of the gods and commands that Babylon be built with a ziggurat that reaches to the heavens. And then a great chorus arises:

    "At the mention of his name we shall bow down!​
    [Gods] pay heed to what he says:​
    His command is […]priority above and below.​
    The son who avenged us shall be the highest!​
    His rule shall have priority; let him have no rival!​
    …Let him designate the black-headed people to revere him,​
    That mankind may be mindful of him, and name his as their god" (Dalley 264).​

    Against this backdrop, the Genesis creation narrative arises. Faced with utter defeat at Jerusalem and Exile in Babylon. Faced with the awesome force of Nebuchadnezzar and his armies. Faced with Marduk, who rises up and kills his forebears, ordering the gods of sun, moon, stars, earth and sea to take their places. Marduk, who creates human beings from the blood of an executed rebel. Marduk who built mighty Babylon. Marduk who is embodied in the person of Nebuchadnezzar, king over all the Babylonian Empire.

    Against this backdrop the priests of the Jewish Temple were inspired to write down a new narrative: a subversive narrative, a narrative that would stand in quiet but bold opposition to this savage Marduk and the gods over whom he reigned – a narrative that would defy the dominant story of the Babylonians and their might; a narrative in which humans are not slaves, but instead are created in the very image of God. - Male & Female Created He Them... - Bryce E. Rich

    I hear the words of the rasta man say
    Babylon your throne gone down, gone down
    Babylon your throne gone down


    Said, I hear the words of the higher man say
    Babylon your throne gone down, gone down
    Babylon your throne gone down


    And I hear the angel with the seven seals
    Babylon your throne's gone down, gone down
    Babylon your throne gone down


    I say fly away home to zion, fly away home
    I say fly away to zion, fly away home
    One bright morning when my work is over
    Man will fly away home


    One bright morning when my work is over
    Man will fly away home
    One brlght morning when my work is over
    Man will fly away home


    I say fly away home to zion, fly away home
    I say fly away to zion, fly away home
    One bright morning when my work is over
    Man will fly away home
     
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  2. Myles O'Reilly

    Myles O'Reilly Posting Legend Donator Political Irish

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  3. rightthented

    rightthented Well-Known Member Political Irish

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    Interesting thread, and quite thought provoking.

    How much is historical fact and how much is myth?
     
  4. Tobias

    Tobias Well-Known Member Donator Political Irish

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    Ive always wondered about this song, is it connected?



    I just presumed it was some corny bull shit, but actually reading the lyrics it has things such as Zion mentioned.

    By the rivers of babylon, there we sat down
    Ye-eah we wept, when we remembered zion
    By the rivers of babylon, there we sat down

    Ye-eah we wept, when we remembered zion
    When the wicked

    Carried us away in captivity
    Required from us a song
    Now how shall we sing the lord's song in a strange land
    When the wicked

    Carried us away in captivity
    Requiering of us a song
    Now how shall we sing the lord's song in a strange land
    Let the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart

    Be acceptable in thy sight here tonight
    Let the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts

    Be acceptable in thy sight here tonight
    By the rivers of babylon, there we sat down

    Ye-eah we wept, when we remembered zion
    By the rivers of babylon, there we sat down

    Ye-eah we wept, when we remembered zion
    By the rivers of babylon (dark tears of babylon)

    There we sat down (you got to sing a song)
    Ye-eah we wept, (sing a song of love)
    When we remember zion (yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah)
    By the rivers of babylon (rough bits of babylon)

    There we sat down (you hear the people cry)
    Ye-eah we wept, (they need their god)
    When we remember zion (ooh, have the power)
     
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  5. SwordOfStCatherine

    SwordOfStCatherine Posting Legend Political Irish

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    There is a whole anti-technology pro-wilderness polemic in the Old Testament in general but particularly the first five books that I'm constantly surprised that so many people miss. Ulster Calvinists are big into the Old Testament, Free Presbyterians for instance seem to concentrate on it more than on the New, yet they cling to the idea that Ulster is superior to the South because she is more technologically advanced (which I don't believe is true anymore or even has been for a good while now).
     
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  6. SwordOfStCatherine

    SwordOfStCatherine Posting Legend Political Irish

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    Ethiopia is a fascinating country that I would love to see someday. Apparently Puskin was part Ethiopian (remember that is one of the oldest Christian countries in the world). Rastafarians though just seem to me to be space cadet degenerates.
     
  7. Tobias

    Tobias Well-Known Member Donator Political Irish

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    Ethiopia is far from the wasteland of famine that we are led to believe, It is full of historical treasures and is rich in history. Unfortunately like most things in Africa the past has been forgotten and its glorious past has been cast into the books of history.
     
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  8. OP
    Antóin Mac Comháin

    Antóin Mac Comháin Posting Legend

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    When the wicked
    Carried us away in captivity


    It's plausible that Bobby Farrell's ancestors were deportees from West Africa and also from Ireland, although I can't say for certain, because they fought against the English during the Cromwellian conquest:

    Ó Fearghail - The Farrell or O'Farrell clan (Irish orthography: Ó Fearghail) is an Irish clan whose name can be traced back to the Legendary King Fearghail, who was killed fighting alongside Brian Boru in the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. O'Farrell surname is abundant in the present-day midland counties of Ireland, especially in County Longford, where it is second in number only to O'Reilly.
    Bobby Farrell - Farrell was born and raised on the island of Aruba in the Lesser Antilles.

    It's equally plausible that that particular branch of the Farrell Clan arrived in the Caribbean by other means.
     
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  9. OP
    Antóin Mac Comháin

    Antóin Mac Comháin Posting Legend

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    Ethiopia is the second country only after Armenia to have officially proclaimed Christianity as state religion (in 333 AD) though some argue it may even be the first. - Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

    I actually don't know to be honest, which is the oldest.
     
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  10. OP
    Antóin Mac Comháin

    Antóin Mac Comháin Posting Legend

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    I actually don't know, but Zion according to some Rastafarians, is not the Zion of what we accept as the Zionists. Some Rastafarians believe that Shashamane and Ethiopia is Zion, whereas others believe that Zion is the place we go to when our journey ends.



    Babylon, Babylon

    Sunday all the lights of London

    Shining , Sky is fading red to blue
    I'm kicking through the Autumn leaves
    And wondering where it is you might be going to
    Turning back for home
    You know I'm feeling so alone
    I can't believe
    Climbing on the stair
    I turn around to see you smiling there
    In front of me
     
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  11. OP
    Antóin Mac Comháin

    Antóin Mac Comháin Posting Legend

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  12. OP
    Antóin Mac Comháin

    Antóin Mac Comháin Posting Legend

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    Haile Selassie dismissed the Rastafarian belief that he was the re-incarnation of Jesus Christ. He was a member of the Tewahedo Church: 'To be made one.'

    In Chapter 47 of the Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela elaborates on the influence Haile Selassie and Ethiopia had on him, and indeed he refers to Selassie as the Conquering Lion of Judah, and SF claim that they have been influenced by Mandela, the ANC and the Peace Process in South Africa.


    [​IMG]

    To be made one?
     
  13. Myles O'Reilly

    Myles O'Reilly Posting Legend Donator Political Irish

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    Was it Craig or one of his senior ministers who said in the 20's: Lets see which does better, the Protestant or Catholic state.

    They both fukked up in their own way but as bad as the Free State is, if London pulled the plug on Norn Iron it would collapse in the morning.
     
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  14. SwordOfStCatherine

    SwordOfStCatherine Posting Legend Political Irish

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    Nelson Mandela was the Legitimate Monarch of the Xhosa so it is a bit funny Republicans supporting him so much but never the less it is very interesting that he was inspired by His Highness.
     
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  15. OP
    Antóin Mac Comháin

    Antóin Mac Comháin Posting Legend

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    'Although I was a member of the royal household, I was not among the privileged few who were trained to rule. Instead, as a descendant of the Ixhiba household, I was groomed, like my father before me, to counsel the rulers of the tribe.' - Nelson Mandela

    Democracy in Xhosa society meant everyone participated, and that may explain why Mandela lent an ear to everyone, including Communists and Godless Irish Republicans.
     
  16. SwordOfStCatherine

    SwordOfStCatherine Posting Legend Political Irish

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    Please forgive any offense but your are just swallowing his waffle....He ruled with a iron fist. Xhosa society is incredibly macho, authoritarian and patriarchal.
     
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  17. The Potato Mystic

    The Potato Mystic Posting Legend Political Irish

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    Gerry Adams is very much a monarch type.
     
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  18. OP
    Antóin Mac Comháin

    Antóin Mac Comháin Posting Legend

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    I had to bite my tongue, and think hard about this one. I came to the conclusion that Liberal Marxists & Militant Feminists are the root cause of the problem, and that makes me a sexist or somiv?
     
  19. OP
    Antóin Mac Comháin

    Antóin Mac Comháin Posting Legend

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    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  20. OP
    Antóin Mac Comháin

    Antóin Mac Comháin Posting Legend

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    Last edited: May 17, 2017