They mean well, but Christians celebrating the newly translated tablet from ancient Babylon are mistaken. Contrary to the report by the Smithsonian Channel, the tablet is not evidence of the existence of the Tower of Babel.
Ba`al was the main enemy of Yahweh in the Old Testament. One could argue that he was even more of a villain in the Bible than Satan, who’s only mentioned in fourteen Old Testament verses, in the books of 1 Chronicles, Job, and Zechariah. Ba`al, on the other hand, appears 106 times in 88 verses (including personal and place names, like Baal-zephon).
Looking at the values of our modern society, it’s no stretch to say that Inanna–Ishtar, Aphrodite, or Venus, if you prefer–is the spirit of the age. The values of Inanna—immediate gratification and sex with whoever, whenever—are considered more open-minded, tolerant, and loving than the virtues of chastity, fidelity, and faithfulness introduced by Yahweh long after Inanna was first worshipped as the Queen of Heaven.
If we’d been interested in stopping at a nice biblical number to justify a catchy title, something like The Seven Mountains of the Supernatural War, we’d have ended the book at Mount Zion. But this book would be incomplete without bringing up an eighth holy mountain, one that’s had a tremendous and incredibly destructive impact on the world.
Jesus, of course, was fully aware of the ongoing war for his holy mountain. For him, the war was personal.
Let’s bring the timeline into focus: The Bible tells us that Abraham arrived in Canaan 430 years before the Exodus. With the Exodus at 1446 B.C., that puts Abraham in Canaan in 1876 B.C., just as the fog over the political situation in Mesopotamia lifted with Amorites in control.
Who were the Amorites, and why was the timing of the Exodus linked to their iniquity? What was their iniquity? What could they have done that was so bad that God made it a signpost on the road to Revelation?
By the time Moses arrived on the scene, around 1500 B.C., the Hebrews had been in Egypt for more than a hundred years. The days of Joseph serving as vizier to the pharaoh were long gone. The Hebrews had grown from an extended family of about six dozen to a couple million, but they were suffering under the rule of a nation that no longer valued their presence except as forced labor.
Abraham didn’t come from Ur in southeastern Iraq. It’s far more likely that Abraham was born and raised in a part of the world that was close to the Amorite heartland, near the border between modern-day Syria and Turkey.
The Tower of Babel was humanity’s attempt to force its way back into the divine council. At Babel, mankind tried to storm the castle of God.
Life after Eden must have been a crushing disappointment for early humans, especially the First Couple. The realization that they had disappointed their Creator and condemned humanity until the end of time to lives apart from Yahweh must have been nearly unbearable.
While the early Sumerians were figuring out how to grow crops without rain, interesting things—historic things—were happening far to the northwest. The second peak in the chronological list of spiritually strategic holy mountains is Mount Hermon.