The River known in the Bible as Euphrates (or Perath in modern Hebrew) is fittingly the Zambezi is fourth longest River in Africa and the forth and last out in our inspection of the 4 Rivers of Paradise. As it coincides, The Biblical Euphrates is said in Scripture to be one of the Longest and most important Rivers of the whole lot.
The Mighty Zambeze, is the fourth longest river in all of Africa and the river that flows towards the east longer than any other river. We believe this is the Perath mentioned in the Bible. This River flows through eastern Angola, right down along the northeastern Namibian Border, then slides down the northern border of Botswana, then straight along Zambia, Zimbabwe and into Mozambique, crossing the country and flowing out into the Ancient Sea (today called Indian Ocean). Now the Greeks also called it Euphrates, and the Romans called it Ufratu (close to Akkadian Purattu). The Sumerians (Ugandans) called it Buranuna and Urudu, taken from Purattu used and recognised in different Semitic languages.
Now if we go to the Book of Revelation, we see that John the Apostle prophesied the River or parts of the River drying up in a series of events leading up to the coming of the Son of Man. We do find this mention of Euphrates being noted as a place where four angels are bound in Revelation 9,13-14:
13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before SoNiNi, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”
And furthermore in Revelation 16,12:
12 The sixth angel poured his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up in order to prepare the way for the kings from the east.
The last one is really interesting. Because has the water of the Euphrates, been dried up towards the East (of Jerusalem), being the place where the Zambezi might have used to pour in or out of one of the lost The Great African lakes?
Now for those of you that have been waiting for this sentence as it should be the only information we are to draw ANY weight and truth from, we can read in our SCRIPTURES... About The River Euphrates often called The RIVER or The Great River - we see that it actually forms the very boundaries of the northern territories of the Land of Promise given to Abraham and Jacobs children.
We can find this in places like Genesis 15,18:
18 On that day SoNiNi made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, 19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
In Deuteronomy 11,24:
24 Every place on which you set foot shall be yours; your territory shall extend from the wilderness to the Lebanon and from the River, the river Euphrates, to the Western Sea. 25
But also in Joshua 1,4:
4 From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory.
We can also find interesting geographical bits in Jeremia 51,60-64:
60 Jeremiah wrote in a scroll all the disasters that would come on Babylon, all these words that are written concerning Babylon. 61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah: “When you come to Babylon, see that you read all these words, 62 and say, ‘O SoNiNi, you yourself threatened to destroy this place so that neither human beings nor animals shall live in it, and it shall be desolate forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it, and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates, 64 and say, ‘Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the disasters that I am bringing on her."
Jeremia instructing Seraiah when he reached Babylon, bind them to a stone and trow them into the Euphrates as a sign of coming destruction. So we see that This River has been intrinsically involved with Babylon, and as we shall see later on, the city of Babylon would have been located on its banks.
Now in modern geographical terms, this river we known today as Zambezi (we sincerely think is the Euphrates) starts in Zambia, flows into Angola, then along the northeastern border of Namibia and Botswanas north border. Then it flows along Zambia and Zimbabwean border all the way to Mozambique before mouthing into the Ancient Sea (Indian Ocean). One of the landmarks of Zambezi is the Victoria Falls, but there is also Chavuma falls (between Zambia and Angola), and Ngonye Falls in western Zambia.
The ancient Greeks form of the Rivers name, Euphrates (Εὐφρᾱ́της), which means to announce or declare, seems to have been adapted from one of the old Babylonian languages (Ufratu or uipratuis), from the cuneiform tablets and the Sumerian (Purattu). The Hebrew form Perath reads 19 times in the Bible, and seems to be yet again an adaptation of either Babylonian or Sumerian. And as the quote above reads, the river is clearly extinct and no more... Really? We read in the previous post that SoNiNi would dry up the Nile (which it has been along with most of the land), does it say anywhere that the Euphrates wold be dried up? Now if the rive truly is the Zambezi, can it even be dried up?
As we said before, the Euphrates river begins its rise in Zambia, in strange but mineral rich circumstances in a black marshy part of the neighbouring but ever so close Congo Basin. It starts in the woodlands of Ikelenge District of Zambia some 1500meters above sea level. It runs between the basins of Zongo and Zambezi (the two Rivers defining Monomapata - the land in between rivers), first running east and west, until they very abruptly go North and South.
The Zambezi (or we as we see it the Euphrates), flows southwest into Angola then joins the Leuna and Chifumage, from the highlands to the Northwest. After that it turns towards the south and turns into various plains, that will be vastly influenced between rain and dry seasons. It then comes back into Zambia, and will become nearly 400m wide in the rainy season, with rapid flows (like our Scriptures foretell) that ends with Chavuma Falls. Kabompo River is one large tributary that conjoins in the North-West of Zambia, further south comes the Lungwebungu River, and its vary flat floodplains that spans 25km during the rains. Further down comes the Luanginga (then Lealui) and the Lozi people, in Barotseland in the western parts of Zambia. Check the festival where the chief actually moves the capital from Lealui to Limulunga (Koumboka), big event. After Lealui it goes relatively undisturbed to Ngonye Falls, and here it briefly borders Namibia and the Caprivi Strip (another colonial border that has a fascinating history). Below the Cuando River and its joining, the river bends east almost straight into the central and flat parts of Africa until Victoria Falls.
Now after the Victoria Falls, we find that the upper Zambezi kinda ends, and the the middle Zambezi starts. Going through the Batoka Gorge, and more rapids below the Victoria Falls, and soon enters into Lake Kariba (that came about after the completion of the Kariba Dam. A monster of a lake, today giving electricity to Zambia and Zimbabwe. There are two tributaries of the Zambezi, Luangwe and Kafue. And at Luangwe we are entering Mozambique, or the Land of Moab as it would have been known by in our beloved Scriptures.
Now comes the lower parts of Zambezi or River Euphrates, which is completely navigable by boat, from Cahora Bassa to the Ancient (Eastern) Sea. It ebbs and flows, growing and shrinking with the seasons as it makes its way to the now called Indian Ocean. During the rains it flows fast (like Scripture tells us) into one united and strong stream or massively fast flowing River. Not far from the Ocean, it goes into Lake Malawi through the Shire River, and makes a delta as it comes out of the lake slowly making its way to the Ancient Sea.
Now the first European eyes that saw the sight of this massive river was a Portuguese man by the name of Vasco da Gama (1460-1524), in 1448. As if Africans had not been there for years before that, he was indeed the person who made the first writings we know, from our contemporary historians. He called the river Rios dos Bons Sinais (River of Good Signs or Omens if you will), but the name that stuck for a while was Qua-Qua (after a smaller river in the north delta), and is found on old maps. This again morphed into Quama or Zuama, given by local Swahili coast tribes. Rivers of Cuama or Cuama River.
Now Portuguese friar João de Barros (1496-1570) noted that Cuama was called Zembere by the people of Monomapata (Mesopotamia or the Land Between the Rivers). Now this man de Barros visited these lands and said Zambeze was named so after a people (J.Santos Ethiopia Oriental, 1609):
"The River Cuama is by them called Zambeze; the head whereof is so farre within Land that none of them know it, but by tradition of their Progenitors say it comes from a Lake in the midst of the continent which yeelds also other great Rivers, divers ways visiting the Sea. They call it Zambeze, of a Nation of Cafres dwelling neere that Lake which are so called."
So the name Zambezi is said to be from a people who lived on the Great Lake to the north, up here we find the M`biza (Bisa People, Fish People cold also be Fish River like Chambeshi in Zambia, river with lots of fish) a people that now seems to have migrated. Who these people was Biblically, is hard to determine, but there are many many candidates.
Now this name Monomapata can be found on many maps and was used quite freely by the Portuguese explorers that came up the River. And there where talks of many inland lakes, and one would be the source of all these Great Rivers running out from Paradise. Gihon (The Nile), Pishon (Limpopo), Congo (Tigris) and last the Euphrates (Zambezi). The Lands in between or amidst Rivers, Mesopotamia. Now the region of Zambezi was known to geographers in these times as the Empire of Monomapata, which may possible be an inherited name from Arab conquest and trade. The first European that ventured up was a Portuguese named António Fernandes, that interestingly pointed out the flourishing East AFrican Gold Trade in the area was alive and kicking in the Upper Zambezi.
Now the first recorded explorations of the Upper Zambezi was done by none other than the Scottish physician David Livingstone (1813-1873), and his chartings and mappings from Bechuanaland between 1851 and 1843. Later on he went down the Zambezi and ended up "finding" Victoria Falls as if it was not already there or had not existed for YEARS AND YEARS prior. Still, for the west, this place became alive through Livingstones writings, but boy oh boy had these places existed long before then. Think of the wonders described by ancient authors, these are the places they were talking about. Now we do have a soft spot for Livingstone, because he was spreading the teachings of Christ, and anyone jealous or against that fact, does not have the right spirit we think. This man helped many people and spread hope in a dark and very violent region. Possibly spreading Christ teachings in Babylon areas itself. Remember that before judging this man or calling him a colonialist. After Livingstone many other explorers and traveler's came to explore the upper basin and the central parts of the Zambezi River. Little did these Bible reading and believing men know (or perhaps they secretly did know) that this was the Euphrates mentioned in the pages of the Bible, and the lands they were uncovering was ancient old places of Assyria, Babylon and northern parts of very The Promised Land itself. Aybo! Fear of SoNiNi is the beginning of knowledge !
Now if we can enable our minds to see through these contemporary sources, and start to imagine the Euphrates being the Zambezi, we see that this River would have been close to places like Syria and Babylonia. Now following the collapse of the oldest Assyrian Empire and Monomapata (Mesopotamia), larger parts of this River would have been within these old powerhouse dominions. So we can find from historical sources that city states such as Isin, Kish and Larsa (perhaps close to Kinshasa?) was territories that were absorbed into Babylonia under a guy called Hammurabi (Bible name uncertain, perhaps Amraphel a Mentioned King of Senaar in Genesis 14). So in these early times, most likely thousands of years before Christ, The River Euphrates (Zambezi) was divided between Babylonia in the South, Assyria (and the Hittites) in the north. Which geographically for believers of the Promised land being in Southern Africa, fits just perfectly. Now Babylon and Assyria would have many squabbles and disagreements, and the Euphrates would play a centre role in these wars and land grabbings. We see that the succession of conquerors goes like this, Assyria, taken over by Babylonia, then overrun by Alexander The Great (years later), who did defeat King Darius the 3rd in Babylon. Then we have different smaller contributors, before the Romans took over, then the Byzantines (todays Ethiopians?) all the way UNTIL Muhammad made Islamic conquest and cleansed much of the lands of Africa and forced other religions to either go underground or run from the continent itself. Few would have been spared from these times of Great Trouble. But SoNiNi did hide His people as He will hide them of the times of trouble yet again coming for this that Love Him.
Now for a recap of Babylon as a city, it plays a BIG role in the Bible, as a place where they truly rejected the notion of a One True God. This was one of the cities founded by Nimrod (hunter of men) as we read in Genesis 10,8-10:
8 Cush became the father of Nimrod; he was the first on earth to become a mighty warrior. 9 He was a mighty hunter before SoNiNi; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before SoNiNi.” 10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, and Accad, all of them in the land of Shinar.
11 From that land he went into Assyria, and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, Calah, and 12 Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. 13 Egypt became the father of Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 14 Pathrusim, Casluhim, and Caphtorim, from which the Philistines come.
So we see Nimrod even built Nineveh, which most have been within close proximity to the other cities mentioned here. Now Babel was located on the plains of Shinar (in Mesopotamia on the east bank of the Euphrates). Now it seems Babel as a city didn't really grown until King Hammurabi chose it as a capital, expanding the ever growing Babylonia. Now Babel must have had a series of channels (natural and man made) built around the Euphrates. We will talk more about that in the coming post on the Euphrates.
Now we know Babylon was not far from Shinar, and ancient Mesopotamia would lie on the eastern banks of the Euphrates. So then, if you look for the Tower of Babel, it is on the shores of the Zambezi you would find it. And quite the foundation it would have had as well, to support the structure that would be towering up into the Heavens.
Now Babylon as a city would have been a sight to see, placed perhaps on both sides of the Euphrates, effectively having it running through the ancient city. In the Bible, much of the constructions was done under King Nebuchadnezzar, with tall walls as wide and were big chariots 8 horses wide could pass one another. Those that came after King Nebuchadnezzar did not reach his heights of this King, and ultimately the Empire fell. Babylon did worship paan gods like Marduk (Merodach and Bel the Dargon) as noted in Jeremia 50,2.
Much of Babylons ways can be recorded in Daniel, where he account his encounters while taken into exile when Jerusalem was conquered. Now Nebuchadnezzar had himself a 90feet tall golden statue built of his image and commanded all to bow dow to it. We remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that walked into the fire and they never got burned ! We also remember the King walking on this palace roof and boasting about his glory, when the voice came down from Heaven, promising insanity and humiliation..
If we read Daniel 4,33:
Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
We know that Daniel actually lived in Babylon for years, during during which he missed Jerusalem dearly. King Nebuchanezzar made Daniel a ruler over the entire province known as Babylon for his right interpretation of the dream (Daniel Statue we remember). We also remember the writings on the wall (in an old African/Bantu Language): Mene Mene, Tekele, Uphanzile... Daniel was called to interpret again, and said Belshazzars Kingdom would come to and end. Belshazzar was killed and Darius of Media took over.
Now in our Bible, Babylon comes up time and again, like in the time of King of Juda Hezekia got the letter from the King of Babel called Baladan, and Hezekia showed him all his goods and judgment came out of it, as 200 years later Nebuchanezzar invaded Juda and sieged Jerusalem and sent Hebrews to Babylon. We see more Scriptures from Book of Isaiah, were it would become like Sodom and Gomorrah, not inhabited or lived in for all generations. WE find the same language in Jeremia, that no one will live there and a land in which no one of mankind passes. Sounds like areas of the Congo to me. Ancient old cities like Edom, Bozra, Moab, Tyre and Hazor, of the sons of Ammon, will become like Sodom and Gomorra, or uninhabited for all time.
Now in our Scriptures when we hear about Babylon its almost exclusively a as an example of foreboding warning of punishment for His People and the Land. So that Babylons examples deeply displeases SoNiNi, and becomes a symbol of mans ever increasing sinfulness and the coming judgement for such sins. We see mentions in Peter 5,13:
12 Through Silvanus, whom I consider a faithful brother, I have written this short letter to encourage you and to testify that this is the true grace of SoNiNi naNiNi. Stand fast in it. 13 Your sister church in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
You see, even in Babylon there are believers, that hold the line and forever serving SoNiNi. And furthermore there is allot of Babylon talk and references in Revelation, were Babylon certainly is Rome (Basically the modern West, spearheaded by the US - the whore that sits upon many waters / People). And just as back then Rome was the enemy of the Gospel, it will be the enemy of Christians in the end times. And from etymology we can see that Babylon actually means something like the Gate of God, or Gate to God... Now the cities and structures would have been destroyed and tore down immediately by the next conqueror. AS we have Persian (Indian) Darius and Xerxes, before Alexander The Great came in and took Babylon as his capital... Only to die in Nebuchadnezzars palace and at least he did not get to witness his generals tear apart what he had struggled for so long to build.
Now the city of Babel (Babylon), would have been the place to be at some point in time. A city, with a renowned reputation like New York City or LA, in todays measurements of grandeur. If we consult ancient historians, and not care to much about the excavations done in the Middle East where contemporary historians are dead set on what they are finding in the earth there, we can find some good information from Herodotus (but also Ctesias and Berossus). The city itself seems to have been along the Banks of the Euphrates and not Tigris, and other settlements around would have been Uruk, Kish, Nippur, Akkad, Mari, Haradum, Borsippa and perhaps not that far off in the distance would be the ancient city of Ninenveh (Capitol of Assyria).
Now ancient Babylonia, was described by MANY ancient historians, like Ctesias of Cnidus, Herodotus, Quintus Rufus, Strabo and Cleitarchus. Now Ctesias (wrote about Persica, Babylon and Assyria) seemed politically motivated and rather biased (they all had their agenda right), but is for an interesting read about the ancient world. Quintus Curtius Rufus was a Roman historian and mostly known for his writings on Alexander the Great. This is what he wrote (among many other things) about Babylon in History of Alexander the Great of Macedonia (Section 5.1.28-33):
[5.1.28] "The Euphrates passes through the city, its flow confined by great embankments. Large as these structures are, behind all of them are huge pits sunk deep in the ground to take water of the river when in spate, for when its level has exceeded the top of the embankment, the flood would sweep away city buildings if there were no drain shafts and cisterns to siphon it off.
[5.1.29] These are constructed of baked brick, the entire work cemented with bitumen. The two parts of the city are connected by a stone bridge over the river, and this is also reckoned among the wonders of the East. For the Euphrates carries along with it a thick layer of mud and, even after digging this out to a great depth to lay the foundations, one can hardly find a solid base for a supporting structure.
[5.1.30] Moreover, there is a continuous build-up of sand which gathers around the piles supporting the bridge, impeding the flow of water, and this constriction makes the river smash against the bridge with greater violence than if it had an unimpeded passage.
[5.1.31] The Babylonians also have a citadel 3,7 kilometers in circumference. The foundations of its turrets are sunk ten meters into the ground and the fortifications rise 24 meters above it at the highest point.
[5.1.32] On its summit are the Hanging Gardens, a wonder celebrated by the fables of the Greeks. note They are as high as the top of the walls and owe their charm to the shade of many trees.
[5.1.33] The columns supporting the whole edifice are built of rock, and on top of them is a flat surface of squared stones strong enough to bear the deep layer of earth placed upon it and the water used for irrigation.
Say what you want about Romans, these are detailed observations and for us poor souls trying to get these ancient historical maps right, very helpful. Traces of this bridge would not be hard to find at all, if someone endeavoured to try the undertaking of looking for it. Now lets do some more digging into these old historical works, they do tell much more truth then newer interpretations. Remember Ctesias (the Persian historian), he claimed to have access to manuscripts from the Babylonian archives.
Babylon was known by many other Names in our Bibles, and they would have been: Land of the Chaldeans (Ezekiel 12,13), Land of Shinar (Daniel 1,2 and Zecharia 5,11), or the Desert of the Sea (Isaiah 21,1 ; 9) or called a different name by the Prophet Isaiah Lady of Kingdoms (Isaiah 47,5), Jeremia called it Land of Merathaim (Jeremia 50,1 ; 21) and Sheshach (Jeremia 25,12 : 26). Or in popular culture and a phrase often told by the white explorers of the Area in and around The Congo, Heart of Darkness. We will do a separate post in the near future as it plays important parts of the End Times.
So now into the bones and marrow, the relationship between Babylon, Assyria and Persia (King Cyrus a man of SoNiNi (NOT a BANTU) was a Persian), are intertwined in our Scriptures so much so that these ancient superpowers would ALL have been on the continent, within reach of one another or at the very least close to the continent of Africa. You can find many good sources in the likes of Herodotus, Strabo, Ctesias and Berossus, and more importantly the Bible on these peoples and also how SoNiNi used them to chastise the People of Jacob. So let us be so bold as to call these areas known in the Bible as Mesopotamia to be the very same called Monomapata, by the locals, The lands in between the Two Rivers, Euphrates and Tigris. The Greeks would be responsible for the renaming from Monopomata and to become Mesopotamia, we have to come back to the locations of the Greeks and who they might historically have been as a people.
Now Genesis describes Babel (Babylon as being founded by Nimrod (Uruk and Akkad - all located in the plains of Shinar, an actual place in Ethiopia). We see more in Genesis 11, which describes the human race as united and in one language, where they went to Shinar and built the Tower of Babel. SoNiNi stopped the construction and scattered the human beings all over the earth, with a confusion of the tongue. And major language barriers.
Now then, not far closing up this lengthy post (finally) we will make more than mere play with the idea of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon being in these areas of where the two Mighty Rivers of Scripture meets. And the Garden was one of the (now lost apparently) Seven Wonders of the World, as ranked by the Greeks. In great details we have descriptions of these engineering feats with and ASCENDING series of gardens of trees upon a very large green mountain (built upon mud bricks).
Now if we look into the Greek word for `hanging` it is kremastos (κρεμαστός), which literally means overhanging, trees being planted on a raised structure or a raised one such as a terrace. So, we could be talking about a seriously terraced mountain or sided slope, feed by the Zambezi (Euphrates) on its side. The so-called Babylonian text (who are the wrong people certainly) does not mention the garden, even though its many places in historical literature. This should make people curious as to ancient history and its total blind eye to the continent of Africa. Like chuch the whole lot into the middle east, just make them fit right.
Look at these quotes from historians abound take your pick between Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, Quintus Rufus and even Josephus.
We can find a great quote from Josephus, that again quotes the Babylonian Berossus (a high priest of Marduk), a very early mention of the Garden (Josephus contra. Appia):
"In this palace he erected very high walls, supported by stone pillars; and by planting what was called a pensile paradise, and replenishing it with all sorts of trees, he rendered the prospect an exact resemblance of a mountainous country. This he did to gratify his queen, because she had been brought up in Media, and was fond of a mountainous situation."