Russian Orthodox Church Transfiguration of Our Lord Версия на русском языке
Baltimore, USA Transfiguration of Our Lord
Online Orthodox Library
Christian Teaching
Our Lord Jesus Christ
Holy Mother of God
Lives of the Saints
Christian Family
Science and Religion
World of the Angels
The Royal Martyrs
Modern-day Life
Church and Services

Contact us Spiritual poetry Transfiguration of Our Lord Church choir Our church Home
Back to the list
E-mail this page
(in the light of most recent excavations)


Immeasurably greater discoveries than in the past have been made in the middle of our century in many fields of science. These discoveries have completely changed our knowledge of the world and of the history of mankind. The conversion of matter into energy (atomic fission) has been proven in actuality and not only in theory. From the knowledge of the material world was eliminated the myth of the eternity of matter. It turned out that the Universe had a beginning, although the many millions of years of the existence of Earth and the millions of years of the existence of stellar worlds may appear similar to eternity.

In mankind’s history the myth of the half-a-million-year-old existence of mankind must also collapse, although it was never genuinely proven, but simply assumed. On the contrary, there are many facts which completely exclude this erroneous theory.

Now, with the aid of radioactive testing of excavated bones and coals from fires, it has been established that mankind’s antiquity does not go back beyond the limits of Biblical chronology, and the stunned archaeological world has been forced to stand still in bewilderment; however, by inertia it continues to insist upon the mythical theory of counting the ages of mankind according to old data. Yet this theory must inevitably be discarded.

The many thousand years of antiquity of Egyptian and Babylonian dynasties have been rejected. It turned out that their first dynasties appeared not earlier than 3,000 B.C., while the remains of the first people in mankind’s homeland – Mesopotamia – have been dated at 5,000 B.C. or just a little bit earlier. Amazing discoveries were made by archaeologists in mankind’s common homeland – in southern Mesopotamia and Palestine, and the composite data of archaeological excavations for the past 30 years was for the first time translated into Russian.

This is only the beginning of research; many more things will be discovered in the future. But even the data already obtained is sufficient to be synchronized with the Biblical narrative on the first people on earth.

With great spiritual interest we may now augment our knowledge of what is spoken of so little in the Holy Scriptures – of the first, antediluvian mankind, and of the first people after the Deluge. For this truly constitutes the first Old Testament Church – from Adam to Abraham.

All the Old Testament books are dedicated to the period of the Old Testament Church from Abraham to the Nativity of Christ, and only the first pages of the Bible are dedicated to the initial period before Abraham. The first Old Testament Church remained a mystery and could even appear to be a legend. And only in our times this mystery has begun to be revealed in all its entrancing beauty.

Our church age, the age of man as Seraphim, the Seraphim of wisdom, wishes to know all that has been unknown up to now. We are fortunate to be living in a time of great discoveries in the sphere of knowledge about the initial Old Testament Church.

We who are living at the end of human history are linked to the first mankind by the forthcoming great miracle: one of the first people on earth, the seventh after Adam – Enoch, who was taken up into heaven alive, will return to earth to preach to mankind about Christ and will denounce the arriving Antichrist. Together with the Prophet Elias, who was also taken up into heaven alive, Enoch will come down to earth before the end of the world, as it is written in the Apocalypse (Rev. 11:3-12).

We should be interested in facts which confirm the occurrence of the Deluge and that all of mankind perished in the waters, because the second destruction of mankind – from fire – is also near, as has been prophesied by Apostle Peter regarding the end of the world: “But the day of the Lord will come… in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). Apparently universal fission will occur, after which will come the Last Judgment and a new heaven. “The heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:12).

In what other words could one talk about universal atomic fission at that time? “Nevertheless we, – continues the Apostle, – according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ compared the mankind before the end of the world with the mankind before the Deluge. Just as people then were occupied only with their worldly interests and did not want to know anything spiritual, “for they were flesh,” and just as there were few chosen ones then, so shall it be at the end of the world.

During the Deluge the elect were saved in the Ark, while of the last chosen ones Apostle Paul has said: “We which remain shall change and shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord, Who comes to judge the living and the dead” (1 Thess. 4:17).

Enoch, the first one to prophesize the Lord’s coming with a multitude of angels to effect the Last Judgment over mankind, is due to return once again to earth before this Last Judgment. He will testify to the last generation of men about the coming end of the world, so that at least some would repent before it is too late.

How wonderful this all is, how remarkable is God’s foreordainment to have one of the first people on earth serve as a living witness and provide the last warning to the last generation of mankind.

How remarkable that the only words of the righteous Enoch to have reached the Christian world from the depth of ages speak precisely of the end of the world and of the Lord’s coming with an innumerable multitude of angels to judge mankind. These words of Enoch were recorded by Christ’s apostle Jude, the Lord’s brother. Perhaps Apostle Jude heard a confirmation of Enoch’s prophecy from Christ the Saviour Himself, and wrote about it. Here is what Apostle Jude writes in his general epistle: “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying: Behold, the Lord cometh with a multitude of His angels, to execute judgment upon all, and to denounce all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all the blasphemies which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him” (Jude 1:14-15).

The Old Testament Church is divided into two periods: the initial one from Adam to Abraham, and the one from Abraham to the coming to earth of the Son of God.

Little is known of the first period and a great deal of the second one, but the significance of the first period is no less than that of the second, both by nature of the events which occurred therein – the creation of the immortal Adam and the salvation of the family of righteous Noah during the destruction of all mankind in the Deluge, – and by the majesty of God’s elect who were living then, His interlocutors, one of whom – Enoch – was even taken up to heaven alive.

Out of 24 names of the first people on earth belonging to the initial Old Testament Church, eight were canonized by Christ’s Holy Church. It may be assumed that the remaining ones, though not canonized, were righteous people nevertheless. By God’s Providence Noah became the father of the entire new mankind. Only he and his wife, sons, and their wives were allowed to enter the Ark, while all others perished. Noah married when he was 500 years old, and 100 years later the Deluge came upon the earth. Had Noah married at a different age, his father Lamech and his grandfather Methuselah, who had died several years before the Deluge, would have also perished in the Deluge, while his grandsons were born already after the Deluge.

Other great forefathers, though not canonized, were relatives to the saints: Jared was the father of the holy denizen of the heavens Enoch, Cainan was Enoch’s son, while Maleleel was his grandson.

Just as after the description of the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob there is a break in the Biblical narrative until the times of Moses, so in the account of the life of Noah and his sons there is a break until the time of the last representatives of this period – the high priest and king Methuselah, and the progenitor of the new period – the forefather Abraham.

This opus is dedicated to a description of the first period of the Old Testament Church. On the basis of the latest archaeological excavations and research we will follow the distant past of the first mankind and see God’s wise management, revealed to the God-seer Moses by the original Old Testament Church, whose righteous ones the Church of Christ has included among its select saints.


Paradise and its location

Paradise is the beginning and end of creation, a perfect beginning and an even more perfect end, the Garden of Eden and the eternal Heavenly Kingdom. “And He that sat upon the throne said: Behold, I make all things new. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21, 1:5).

Was the Paradise in which the immortal Adam lived really located on earth? Where is that desirable place in which man lived in bliss? Where is it – the sacred site of mankind’s origin? God’s mystery is sealed and will nevermore be revealed. Nevermore will the foot of man step on the land of Paradise. A Cherubim with a fiery sword has been placed to guard the gates of Eden, so that no mortal can ever enter it. Neither Adam, nor his descendants, nor any mortal man. God’s mystery. In vain do the Muslims point at the bend between Tigris and Euphrates to the south of Baghdad as the site of Paradise. This is a groundless fantasy meant to feed the vanity of the caliphs of Baghdad, similar to the one in which the supposed meeting site of Adam and Eve after their expulsion from Paradise was somewhere near Mecca. This traditional site was even indicated on a Biblical map published in the mid-20th century. Here is what the God-seer Moses wrote down concerning the location of Paradise: “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden… And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pheison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel (Tigris): that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates” (Gen. 2:8. 10-14).

“A river went out of Eden” should be understood as “a river flowed through Eden,” for a river flowing out of Eden cannot “thence” branch into four rivers. It is clear that the ancients counted not from the source, as we do, but from the delta; thus the river which irrigated Paradise had four large tributaries or four rivers. It can be said both ways, i.e. that during the time of Paradise these were tributaries, and afterwards they were rivers, since they emptied separately into the ancient contours of the Persian Gulf.

The location of Paradise should be sought not between these rivers (as it is said in the Bible), but at the river at which all the aforementioned rivers or tributaries came together: Tigris on the territory fronting Assyria, Euphrates, Gihon (or Geon) which encompassed the land of Cush (the site of the ancient and famous city of Kish), and the fourth river Pheison, “where there is gold,” obviously the Karkheh River with its old riverbed, flowing down from the northern mountains of the land of Elam, since there are no other places in the region of Mesopotamia where gold can be found.

Now it is a left-hand tributary of the Tigris River, but back in Roman times it emptied directly into the Nar-Maratu (Persian) Gulf, just as did Tigris and Euphrates (Professor Turayev. “History of the Ancient Middle East”, p. 59).

Thus it is perfectly clear that Paradise was geographically situated at the outermost Middle East, fronting the Persian Gulf, on the shores of the confluence of four great and at that time prominent rivers.

Currently this entire region is the territory of the huge Lake Hor-al-Hammar. Extremely interesting is the topography of this region in the times of the adamites, as reconstructed by archaeologists. This entire territory was flooded by a sea gulf, which from the times of Abraham gradually began to recede, but in the 1st century B.C. all four rivers were still emptying directly into it. And only in much later times did the water recede even further into the contemporary contours of the Persian Gulf, remaining only in the abovementioned lake and a multitude of marshes.

Thus it may be assumed that after Adam’s expulsion from Paradise this entire territory descended about a dozen and a half meters, and the waters of the Persian Gulf covered the lowlands. Such are the paleographic contours of this region in the times of the adamites.

The borders of the Persian Gulf at the river’s delta are receding even now at a rate of 7 km every 100 years. According to modern geological data, this entire large territory has colossal oil lakes with hidden gases under it, which explains the aforementioned up-and-down movements of the surface of the earth. The God-seer Moses writes: “And He expelled Adam, and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden a Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the Tree of Life.” At the time of the Sumerians (the culture of the cities of Ur, Eridu, and Obeida, divided by an intermediate 3-meter layer of sediment into antediluvian and postdiluvian periods), the huge territory was flooded by water; there existed an enormous sea gulf, on whose shores stood elevated the first cities in the world: Eridu and Ur. These were the settlements of Adam and his closest 136 descendants. Paradise, Eden was flooded by water and became forever inaccessible. Even now it is impossible to search for it, since it is located at the bottom of the opaque Lake Hammar, which is white as milk from the lime salt dispersed in it. And what remains could one find on the territory of Paradise? This mystery is sealed forever. Interestingly enough, all Iranian peoples preserve the traditional knowledge of the site of Paradise being located under water, at the bottom of the sea (gulf).

However, another discovery has been made which sheds light on the life of Adam: he apparently lived at the seashore and could always look towards the East, where under the azure blue waters lay the beautiful Paradise of the sweetness of unearthly existence. Adam prayed, having deep faith in that the time would come when his Descendant would “bruise the serpent’s head” and return Paradise to mankind. The Holy Fathers interpreted God’s words, spoken to the devil in Adam’s presence, in the following manner: “It (in the translation of the 70 it is said ‘He’) – the seed of Adam’s wife – shall bruise you in the head” (Gen. 3:15).

For Adam it was not as important that the devil be punished for being the origin of the Fall as that he – Adam – be forgiven his sin.

In reconstructing the contours of the ancient shores of this gulf, paleogeography established another interesting fact: Euphrates had an old riverbed not to the left of Eridu and Ur, as it does now, but flowed between them, so that Ur stood on the left shore, where the river flowed into the gulf, while Eridu stood on the right shore, opposite Ur.

This is of great significance, which we will discuss later, when we review which of these two cities has the greater basis to be regarded as the very first city in the world, as Adam’s first place of settlement after his expulsion from Paradise.

The Immortal Adam

Adam was a man not born, but created directly by God. He was created immortal, like unto the angels, king and ruler over all the other creatures that lived in Paradise, both on land, and in the water, and in the air. Adam knew neither illness, nor death; this was the sinless Adam, whose image was shown to us by the second Adam – Christ.

After the days of creation a great static condition became established in nature, in the kingdom of living creatures, in the sea, in the air, and on land; no new creations appeared. Man was the crown of creation.

And God gave man a great mission – to reign over all creation and live in Paradise, where God had established a wondrous world order, having subjected all living beings to man. In this kingdom of grace there was an established peace, where blood did not flow in front of the immortal Adam, where there was no violent death in the animal world, “for to all in Paradise God gave all kinds of grasses and fruit,” and all animals, birds, and fish were subjected to man, and God gave Adam such great wisdom, that he could call each creature by its name.

God gave his blessing to humans to multiply, populate the earth, and be masters over it and all living creatures on it, and spread the kingdom of grace all over the world. But Adam did not fulfill this mission, through his sin death came into the world, and Adam himself became mortal.

The mystery of Adam’s immortal human nature has been carried by him into the grave and has not been preserved among his descendants. Neither did God reveal it to men through His great seer of mysteries, the Prophet Moses.

This mystery, like the mystery of Eden, has remained sealed forever. Even in the days of grace, when the Holy Spirit descended upon mankind, instructing Christ’s apostles and the Holy Fathers and teachers of the Church in God’s mysteries, even then the mystery of immortality was not revealed. In what manner were Adam’s human body, flesh, and organism immortal, not subject to illness, or old age, or depletion, or death? We can only have faith in that this mystery will be revealed after the resurrection of the dead, when our bodies will arise anew and will live eternally with our immortal soul, not needing food or drink, and never growing old. Such precisely was Adam, in the opinion of the Church Fathers.

Adam possessed divine reason, since the words about Adam knowing all creatures by name should be understood in the sense that all the physical laws of the universe and the animal world, at which his descendants arrived with great difficulty and will still be arriving in the future, were originally revealed to him.

The Heavenly Kingdom is Paradise regained, and the state of righteous souls is paradisiacal bliss, which also includes perfect knowledge, for it is truly a majestic quality and is worthy even of angelic minds, which hymn in continuous glorification the wisdom of the Creator and His creations.

Adam became completely different after his expulsion from Paradise, similar in everything to us mortals, who are subject to illness, old age, death, and corruptibility, only the human age in those days was different – a thousand years.

But let us return to the originally-created Paradise. Was it simply one of many sectors of lands with common flora and fauna? The Bible says: “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed” (Gen 2:8). Consequently, Paradise was created by God’s special providence, with especially beautiful trees and flowers, and not all the living creatures existing then in the world became its residents, but only those chosen by God for their king – Adam.

The God-seer Moses did not tell us anything about which living creatures populated Paradise, and all our assumptions would be baseless. However, it may be said with assurance that within the confines of Paradise all creatures were subservient to Adam and Eve. This stamp of subservience has remained in the so-called domestic animals which God left to Adam after his expulsion from Paradise. Domestic animals differ biologically from similar wild ones, which remains one of the world’s mysteries. All domestic animals began to spread from the territory of the Middle East, from the place where Eden had stood – from Sumer and South Mesopotamia.

The Tree of Life

What was the Tree of Life like, that eating of its fruit Adam could live forever? What was this food for eternal life? According to ancient patristic opinion, the fruits of the Tree of Life were a paradisiacal representation of the Heavenly Bread that had come down from Heaven, and eating of which man would live eternally. This was a heavenly meal; just as under the guise of earthly fruit – bread and wine – man receives the heavenly food of Christ’s Body, so in Paradise Adam received the food of incorruptible and eternal life in the form of the fruits from the Tree of Life.

Having lost this heavenly food, Adam also lost eternal immortality: “And He drove out Adam, and placed a Cherubim to guard the way to the Tree of Life.”

Adam’s lament for the lost Paradise is above all a lament for the Tree of Life, a lament for immortality.

The Serbian Church has preserved an ancient custom: the lament over the Tree of Life that was in Paradise. On the feast of Christ’s Nativity, a tree with lives is brought out in Serbian churches – an oak, which symbolizes eternity, since it can live for thousands of years; the oak is adorned with a few apples, and the people sing mournful hymns, full of reverence, and then lower the trunk into a fire, while the leaves immediately become scorched. These leaves the faithful piously take home in memory of the Tree of Life. No one, however, touches the apples.

By what unfathomable paths, through many millennia, have the Serbian people preserved to this day this traditional Adamite mystery and, by the testament of the Holy Fathers of the Serbian Church, are due to preserve it even until the end of the world.

Thus probably lamented the Adamites, commemorating the paradisiacal Tree of Life.

In Christian times the paradisiacal Tree of Life has been replaced by the Life-giving Tree of the Lord’s Cross, which also grants eternal life.

The First Service to God on Earth

The first Adamite settlements were in Eridu and Ur on the shores of the gulf which had submersed the huge territory of the lost Paradise. From the high shore the Adamites looked directly towards the east, to the place where Paradise had been situated, and prayed facing the east, facing the place where God had appeared to Adam and spoke with him.

Let us allow ourselves, on the basis of the Biblical narrative, a brief discussion on the expulsion of Adam.

Adam settled “across from Paradise.” Adam’s desire to remain within the vicinity of Paradise is quite understandable. An angel with a flaming sword stood at the gates of Paradise. Something had to force Adam to leave this place and go elsewhere. And so it happened. By the will of God the gulf began to push forward and flooded the territory of Paradise and the entire surrounding area. But where could Adam go? The way to the north was barred by the high waters of the Euphrates River. From the east advanced the waters of the gulf, which in geology is called a sea transgression. To the west stretched the barren sands of the Al Khajar desert. The only way left was to go up along the right shore of the Euphrates, and as soon as the gulf waters ceased to advance, stop at an elevation.

The first settlers of Sumer regarded themselves as the people, or perhaps even the children, of God, on Whose bounties depended their well-being. In any case, the most ancient structure known to us on the territory of Sumer in Eridu was a shrine, which was subsequently replaced by a whole series of sacred buildings. The erection of these edifices was crowned in the beginning of the third millennium B.C. by the building of a real “cathedral.” The first farmers who settled in Eridu erected a square shrine on a sandy hill near the sea (temple XVI, i.e. the most ancient one, from 5,000 years B.C.), with an area of only 3 square meters; it was built from long gum-state bricks, prismatic in form. Except for this remembrance of their piety, the first settlers apparently left nothing else besides painted ceramics and several clay beads. As a result of its seventh reconstruction, the shrine turned into a spacious temple (temple XI), which preserved the greatly-honored remnants of more ancient shrines (Gordon Childe, The Most Ancient Near East, 1956, p.180).

Eridu was the sacred site of the first Adamites, the site where the first temple on earth was erected, and this was reflected in the name of the settlement – Hier-Idu (Hier – sacred, phonetically changed to “Er”). At the same time, according to the most ancient cuneiform tablets, Eridu was also the capital of the “ten antediluvian kings,” the last of them being Noah – Utnapishtim in Babylonian terminology. There is no doubt that the “ten antediluvian kings” are the ten antediluvian patriarchs, from Adam to Noah.

All data confirms that of the three most ancient cities – Eridu, Ur, and Obeid, – it was specifically Eridu which was Adam’s first place of settlement.

Cuneiform records called the ten antediluvian patriarchs kings. But the terminology does not matter. Both concepts – eldest in the generation or king – are close in meaning, but most importantly, Eridu was named as the capital of the first king, the first elder in Adam’s lineage.

I believe that the word and concept of “king” appeared considerably later, when people multiplied, when cities and regions appeared, and the concept of “king” was then applied to the elders of the first mankind as well.

Adam was the patriarch of the entire antediluvian mankind, its supreme leader and elder, its “king,” but was he the first high priest? Apparently not, since the first service to God began only with Adam’s son Seth.

Adam did not consider himself worthy after his fall, after mankind had suffered a catastrophe because of him, to call upon the Lord on behalf of all the people.

Originally Adam, Abel, and Cain performed sacrificial offerings. Under Seth this was replaced by universal calling upon the Lord God and universal singing of hymns to God, united with the same sacrificial offering. The sacrifices served as a prototype of the slaughter of the Eternal Lamb for the sins of the world. It is interesting to note that the custom of sacrificial offerings existed among all the peoples in the ancient world. Seth was the first to raise his hands to Heaven as a high priest for the entire human generation, still very small at that time. It was specifically Seth who established the first communal altar to God.

Was this altar preserved? Was it not on that same hill – the site of the first altar – that the most ancient temple in Eridu was built, 3 square meters in size and dated 5,000 years B.C.? This temple was subsequently rebuilt 16 times over the course of millennia, but the original structure remained in the center untouched.

Why did ancient mankind preserve it so carefully? The answer suggests itself; however, decades of archaeological excavations would have to pass before a convincing discussion of this could take place. But in the meantime let us again turn to Gordon Childe’s book: “In any event, the most ancient of all the structures known to us on the territory of Sumer is the shrine in Eridu.”

If over the course of millennia the Sumerians were able to preserve the sacred remnants of the first temple, there were sufficient reasons for this. Perhaps it was not in this 3-meter temple, or rather altar that Seth performed his services to God, but in any case it may be presumed that it was precisely on this site. It should be noted that Seth lived for 912 years and died 12 years before the birth of Noah (see the table of the lifespan of the patriarchs). 900 years was a long term, and during this while the temple could have been expanded and decorated several times.

We have already noted and will repeatedly dwell on the fact that in Eridu, as in other cities, were found additional cultural layers of the Adamites, and after the Deluge the subsequent layers of the Sumerian culture.

It would be interesting to know whether many people attended the first service. Of course there would be Adam, Eve, Seth, his son Enos, and who else? The first service was naturally attended by the many sons and daughters of Adam, and perhaps with their own children. The God-seer Moses says: “Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and began a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth. And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years; and he begat sons and daughters” (Gen. 5:3-4). About the first service it is known that it took place after the birth of Enos. Enos was born in 235, when Seth was 100 years old. In this interim of one hundred years Adam could have had not only many sons and daughters, but grandchildren as well.

All the patriarchs, including Noah, lived for over 900 years. Only Enoch lived on earth a short while – a total of 365 years, after which he was taken up into heaven alive. Such a lifespan for the patriarchs was not so great, if one takes into account the fact that Adam and his descendants were due to live in Paradise eternally.

Shem lived for 600 years, and apparently so did Japheth. Afterwards the lifespan gradually began to be reduced to 400-300 years, and by the time of Abraham his lifespan of 175 years was already regarded as a blessedly long life. Even in our times there are people who live to the age of 150. In general, man’s biological life should last 150 years, but it is reduced through illnesses arising out of abnormal nutrition and behavior.

Let us now turn to an amazing fact that is not often noticed in the history of the Old Testament, but which, nevertheless, is of enormous significance in understanding many events. It should be remembered that all the patriarchs from Adam to Lamech, Noah’s father, lived simultaneously. Adam was able to – and, apparently, did – converse with Lamech for 60 years of latter’s life, and also with Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah, and Adam could tell them everything he himself knew about Paradise and the creation of the world. Lamech and Methuselah undoubtedly passed this information on to Noah, while in Noah’s grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s times there already appeared the most ancient Sumerian cuneiform – in 3,000 B.C. according to archaeological data, which corresponds to the age of Noah’s grandchildren.

Here is a table of the patriarchs’ lifespans:

Year of birth Patriarchs Year of death Lifespan (in years) Age of father in the year of first son’s birth
1 Adam 930 930 130
130 Seth 1042 912 105
235 Enos 1140 905 90
325 Cainan 1235 910 70
395 Mahaleleel 1290 895 65
460 Jared 1420 962 162
622 Enoch 967 365 65
687 Methuselah 1654 967 167
872 Lamech 1651 777 182
1056 Noah 2006 958 500
1556 Shem 2156 600  


According to this data, the Deluge took place in the year 1656 from the creation of the world.

How wisely everything was provided for by God’s Providence – none of the patriarchs perished in the waters of the Deluge, neither Noah’s father, nor his grandfather. The Deluge occurred two years after the death of Noah’s grandfather Methuselah, while Noah’s father Lamech died even earlier. Thus none of the righteous ones perished in the waters of the Deluge.

Thus we see that besides Moses’s knowledge based upon Divine Revelation, all the accounts of Paradise, the Fall, the Tree of Life, the ten patriarchs, the Deluge, Noah and his three sons could have been known to people through direct transmission from generation to generation. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact that all the above-listed events were known to the Sumerians and recorded by them. These events came down to us in Babylonian cuneiform tablets, albeit in a highly distorted form. At that time true worship of God was forgotten, and to the records was added the pagan mythology of those times and, therefore, the names of all the patriarchs were changed, and many dates and events were garbled.

Founding of the first cities

It is up to future excavations, whose present results are greatly inadequate for drawing any conclusions, to establish exactly when the Adamite settlements began to turn into cities.  It may be assumed, however, that cities began to appear in the middle of the first millennium after the creation of Adam, approximately in the time of Jared, the great-great-grandson of Seth.  Jared was born in 460, lived for 960 years, and died 320 years before the Deluge.  At that time mankind numbered more than several thousand people, which is the reason why the need arose to create large settlements and to build cities.  The most ancient, or rather the first city in the world known to archaeology was Eridu or Hieridu – it is natural to assume that the prefixes “hier,” which means sacred, and “er” are one and the same.

 Jared’s son Enoch was taken up alive into heaven after the birth of his own son Methuselah (grandfather of Noah), in order to again return to earth during the reign of the Antichrist and be slain together with the prophet Elijah.  Thus all of Adam’s descendants will necessarily taste death, since immortality was lost in Paradise through the Fall.

 Now let us turn to the first cities in the world – Eridu, Ur, and Obeid.  Here is what is written about them on the archaeological map of Mesopotamia, published in 1954 by the scholarly National Geographic Society in the U.S.:

Eridu.The first capital of Lower Mesopotamia existed in approximately 4,000-5,000 B.C.  The temple that was excavated here is the oldest religious structure known to man.”

Ur. During excavations in 1929 there were three cultural layers of settlements found, covered by 11 pounds of silt that had settled down from the water or had been deposited by a great flood similar to the one described in the Bible (the Deluge).  Below this layer (diluvium) of the Deluge lie the cultural layers of pre-historic Ur.”

Obeid. The Obeidian period (the most ancient in the history of mankind) begins in the fifth millennium B.C. and represents an early Babylonian civilization.  Bricks made out of clay form the first walls of the city.”

“There is another very ancient city up the Euphrates River, and that is Erech (or Uruk) on the shores of the vanished gulf.  Very effective cylindrical seals were used here back in the 4th millennium.”

“Sumerian inscriptions from 3,000 B.C. are samples of the most ancient writing known to man.”

 All of these cities, except for Uruk, were located within an area of visibility of each other, on the shores of the ancient sea gulf that existed in the time of the Adamites.  The cities stood at the mouth of the “great Euphrates River,” as Moses frequently called it, where it flowed into the gulf.


The culture of Adam’s descendants


What were the Adamites like?  Similar to Neanderthal cavemen or highly-cultured people?

 Let us see what the Bible says about this, and what archaeological data tells us.

 The Book of Genesis says: “Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground” (Gen. 4:2).  One of Cain’s descendants, Jubal, “was the father of all such as play the harp and pipes” (Gen. 4:21).

 What has archaeology found out?  Excavations have shown that both the Obeidian and the Jerichovian cultures, the initial human cultures of Mesopotamia and Palestine, from their earliest period had agriculture and cattle-raising, worked on metals, built cities and temples with mosaics.  Other signs of the high culture of the people of those times were also evident.  Thus both in Mesopotamia and in Palestine there was no such division as existed in Europe, where the culture of the Cainite branch developed independently and went sequentially from one Paleolithic period to another, from the Shellian culture to the Magdalenian, knowing neither the Neolithic, nor metal.

A study of fossilized human remains found in Europe created the impression of the so-called Stone, Iron, and Bronze Ages, but this can only be attributed to Europe, and provisionally at that.  In general, even in the 19th century the Stone Age was still prevalent in many corners of the globe.       

 In the cradle of mankind that we are describing, everything existed simultaneously: both the Paleolithic-type sharp stone tools, and the polished instruments we see in Europe during the Neolithic age, and metal items.

 In the table shown below, terms such as Paleolithic, Neolithic, and the Bronze Age are absent, since all of this occurred simultaneously; for this reason the concepts of “periods” and “culture” are used.

 Now let us look at the extraordinarily interesting chronological table of the most ancient cultures of the Middle East, cited in Gordon Childe’s book.  It represents a summary of contemporary archaeological data, in which of greatest interest is the chronology.

 As we can see, the most ancient cultures known to archaeology existed not earlier than 5,000 years B.C.

 The earliest cultures are as follows: in Palestine – the Natufian, in Southern Mesopotamia or Sumer – the Proto-Obeidian.  The Tasian culture in Egypt, a somewhat later one, came from Mesopotamia.


Years B. C. Egypt Palestine Northern Mesopotamia Souther Mesopotamia,
– " –
–" –
– " –
– " –
– " –
Period of burial in cysts.
Era of Sargonids.
Early Dynastic period.
Ninevian period.
Ghassulian culture.
Yamukian culture.
Tahumic culture.
Natufian culture.
Havre period.
Obeidian period.
1st Ur
Late Uruk period.
Early Uruk period.
Late Obeidianperiod.
Early Obeidian period.
Proto-Obeidian period.


 Gordon Childe’s table is a revolution in the fields of Egyptology and Assyriology.  It sheds light on the pre-history of mankind in its cradle in Mesopotamia and the Palestine, and coincides with the Biblical chronology in not indicating a greater ancientness of human culture than 5,000 years B.C.  Moreover, the existence of the supposedly many thousand years old first Egyptian cultures has been set at a time later than 2,850 years B.C., which entirely accords with the Bible.

 This means that the so-called “scientific” fantasies about the amazing antiquity of the Egyptian dynasties, presumably contradicting Biblical chronology, have been conclusively disproved.  This is a good lesson for the future to adopt a critical approach to all kinds of scientific sensations about the antiquity of one discovery or another.  The time has come to cease making up improvable dates and base science only on facts.

 Let us look at the most interesting epoch of the first cultures, the first archaeological traces of man in mankind’s ancestral home: the Early Obeidian period in Sumer and the Jerichovian and Natufian periods in Palestine, i.e. the first Adamite settlements.  Jericho is contemporary with Obeid, which means it is also contemporary with the period of Adam’s life.  Consequently, at the end of his life Adam could have easily lived in Jericho or its environs, on the territory of the future Jerusalem.  This is very important for us, because it provides a fully realistic substantiation for the church tradition that the redeeming sacrifice on Golgotha was fulfilled over Adam’s grave, where even at the present time there is an altar to the holy forefather Adam.

 Let me present excerpts from the archaeological research of the past decades, pertaining to the first human cultures on earth.

 “The quantity of radioactive carbon (C-14) contained in one of the bowls from Jarmo forces us to attribute the absolute date of this settlement to 5,000 B.C.”

 Unfortunately we are still incapable of describing in any detail the culture of the Early Obeidian period in Sumer; however, there is a great deal of data on its contemporary cultures in northern Mesopotamia – Halaf, Sammara, Kasuno, and Jarmo.

 “The seeds of wheat and barley, and the grain bruisers and sickles found in Jarmo attest to highly-developed agriculture; at the same time, 95% of the excavated bones belong to domestic animals: sheep, cows, pigs, dogs.”

 Let us not forget that Cain was a farmer, while Abel was a shepherd.  “The residents of the Halafian culture settlements skillfully worked on obsidian and other hard metals, out of which they made vases and other artifacts, and carved out ornaments in different geometric shapes” (p. 161).

 “The residents of settlements built simple adobe homes.  Their tools were of stone with polished blades; moreover, they used knife-shaped blades made from obsidian, and sculpted baked animal figurines and statuettes of women” (p. 166).

 A great number of such excerpts may be presented in confirmation of the high culture of the Adamites.

Here is what is known about the Obeidian culture, about the culture of Eridu and Ur.

“It is important to note that the temple acknowledged to be the most ancient one in Mesopotamia was discovered in 1948 in Eridu, while Eridu is named in the cuneiform tablets as the first residence of the antediluvian kings” (p.37). The cuneiform source lists ten antediluvian kings/patriarchs, attesting to the fact that Eridu was the first residence of the antediluvian forefathers. Moreover, all cuneiform tables of both Sumer and Babylon always divide history into “before the Deluge” and “after the Deluge.”

The Obeidian potters possessed a more sophisticated technique of clay-processing than the potters of the Halafi culture, since their ceramics were distinguished by a great variety of forms. “The clay was mixed with hay and made into bricks, for the purpose of erecting really fundamental buildings.”

Furthermore, the North Obeidian culture represents a singular and late peripheral variant of the culture of Sumer (which had appeared earlier than in other regions), and it was in Sumer that the North Obeidian culture was first discovered. “In fact, in this culture’s most ancient settlement – Eridu, which according to Sumerian tradition was considered to be the first city of the kings, the ancient ceramics were noticeably different from those of southern Babylon.”

We must note yet another essential detail: the Adamites of the Obeidian (antediluvian) period in Sumer had very beautiful painted ceramic pottery made of calcite, as well as mortars made of basalt and small-grained limestone.

“This is easily explained: there were no solid layers in Sumer suitable for such artifacts, but instead there were primarily various thin clays. Jericho, on the other hand, had rich deposits of crystalline layers: calcite, balsamite, and also dense small-grained limestone.

In Jericho there is an empty four-meter layer lying over the layer of the Natufian (antediluvian) culture, above which lie cultural layers containing fragments of ceramic pottery; this means that after the Deluge people from Sumer came to Jericho and brought with them the tradition of making clay pottery. This data allows us to say with certainty that Adamites lived in Jericho and were destroyed there during the Deluge. In Jericho there is a complete break between the Natufian culture and the empty four-meter layer and the layer above, and thus archaeologist Robert Braidwood, who conducted explorations there, believes that the Neolithic culture of Jericho (i.e. the one lying above the empty layer) cannot have issued from the Mesolithic Natufian culture (Gordon Childe, The Most Ancient Near East).

The cultures are provisionally called Neolithic and Mesolithic, in order to denote the epoch and not the stone industry, as is done in Europe.

From whence arose the high culture of the first most ancient settlements in mankind’s ancestral homeland? Gordon Childe does not write about this. It is naturally hard for a scientist reared on firmly entrenched views of man’s evolutionary provenance to explain the sudden appearance of the high culture of the Proto-Obeidian period by its having been brought in “from somewhere.” Who and from where is unknown. An atheist brain cannot think otherwise. To presume that the high culture of the Adamites was worthily preserved by Adam’s family, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, for Gordon Childe was unthinkable.

Interestingly enough, the Sumerians themselves believed that they came from Delmun, which was located somewhere on the shores of the Persian Gulf, in other words on the territory of Paradise; by the time that written language appeared after the Deluge, the location of Paradise was erased from human memory, and only an approximate idea of it remained.

Thus all the most ancient cultures Halaf, Sumer, and Khasum were offshoots of a single common root – Eridu.

Despite the fact that we do not yet possess complete archaeological data, we may still have a fairly reliable idea of the culture of the Adamites and of the first-created Adam himself.

Adam lived on the shores of the sea, and all his closest descendants founded cities on the shores of the sea, close to each other. They had boats, caught fish, bred cattle, and with great difficulty tilled the earth.

Here is what Gordon Childe writes: “The lands of the Obeidian culture were annually enriched by new deposits of silt, but the exploitation of this natural paradise, this primeval Eden, demanded intense work and the organized cooperation of a great number of people. Arable land literally had to be created out of the chaos of marshes and sandbars” (p. 180).

This fully accords with what God said to Adam: “In sorrow shalt thou eat of it (the earth) all the days of thy life. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” (Gen. 3:17-19).

The suitability of the terrain for agriculture became the decisive factor for human settlements. In fact, we will subsequently see that the first civilizations arose in the valleys of the fertile lands of Euphrates and Tigris, Jordan and Nile, along the so-called “fertile crescent” of the Middle East. The other areas were deserts or mountainous regions unsuitable for the first agriculturalists.

The arid climate of these regions forced the residents to make use of irrigation canals and the flooding of the rivers, which each year brought in a new layer of silt.

The Adamites lived in tents or simple adobe homes made of unfired bricks. No caves were found in the area of these cities.

According to the Bible, Jabal was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle (Gen. 4:20).

The Adamites had strongly developed arts: they used paints, made colored ornamented pottery and even mosaics, and they had their own music and singing. The only thing they did not know was high technology, but at their level of knowledge it was not even needed.

Of their spiritual culture we may judge only from the Biblical narrative, although archaeology has not produced any information whatsoever that would raise doubt of their profound religious knowledge of the True God. Paganism appeared much later, after the Deluge, among the descendants of Ham who had intermixed with Semites in the Ninevehian and Babylonian cultures.

Adam lived for almost one thousand years, and all the people heard his account of God, the Creator of heaven and earth, of Paradise, of the Fall, of the expulsion from Paradise, of the fiery Cherubim, of the devil, of the fact that a time will come when Adam’s Descendant will strike the devil’s head, and of hope in the afterlife. Were there some among Adam’s descendants with a burnt conscience like Cain’s? Of course there were, and they were apparently becoming more and more numerous, the earth was becoming full of their iniquities, and when sons were born to Noah, God said to Noah about these evildoers: “Behold, I will destroy them from the face of the earth” (Gen. 6:13) – (this was when Noah’s father and grandfather had already died) – “but with thee will I establish My covenant” (Gen. 6:18).

The great antediluvian forefathers lived for over 900 years, but this does not mean that absolutely all Adamites lived so long. Longevity was granted to the righteous as a reward. To depraved people the Lord said: “Their days shall be 120 years” (Gen. 6:3).

After the Deluge even the lives of the righteous became curtailed. Shem lived for 600 years, his sons and grandsons lived for 400-300 years, and afterwards longevity gradually diminished. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived for about 150 years.

The Paleogeography of the Ancient East


 In the Middle or Ancient East there exists a so-called crescent of fertile lands: the territory between Tigris and Euphrates – Palestine and Egypt – the ancestral home of mankind.  Here in the time of the Adamites only the valleys of the Jordan and the Nile Rivers were inhabited.

 All the territories of this locality are non-homogenous.  The large-sized Mesopotamia was the site of the formation of the most ancient cultures, initially the Obeidian culture of the Adamites, then the cultures of Sumer and Accadia, and later those of Babylon and Assyria.

 The relatively small Palestine and Lebanon (ancient Phoenicia, the seashore of the Gospels’ Tyre and Siddon) – a hilly and mountainous terrain with small sections suitable for farming, but more suitable for cattle raising – was the territory of Adamite settlements and the site of the flourishing of the Natufian culture of farmers and herdsmen of the Jordan River valley and contemporary Galilee with Mount Carmel.  In postdiluvian times these territories were inhabited, just as were the first Adamite cities on the southern shores of the Euphrates.  In contrast to the plains of Mesopotamia, where large monarchies were continuously established, Palestine in pre-Abraham times was a land of small principalities, one of which was the princedom of Melchisedec, where archaeologist have recently found a temple in the southernmost part of the so-called city of David in Jerusalem.

  The other territories of the Ancient Middle East, both desert and mountainous, were unsuitable for habitation by early mankind.  Therefore, it is quite natural that the most ancient civilizations were concentrated precisely within this crescent of fertile lands.

 Archaeological data shows that all these lands were inhabited simultaneously or almost simultaneously; beginning with the 5th millennium B.C. there existed the Obeidian culture along the Euphrates, the Natufian culture in Palestine, and the Tasian culture along the Nile – the three most ancient cultures known to mankind.

 Traces of civilization found in other places, including Europe, go back with their roots to the East (Gordon Childe, A Study of Indo-European Origins), and their supposedly incredible antiquity has absolutely no proof.  Analyses done with the radioactive method have repudiated all the suppositions that had been made by analogy.

 But even prior to the discovery of this irrefutable method of radioactive analysis, we found dozens of facts proving that the entire Paleolithic Age in Europe lasted not more than 2,000 years or even less, and together with the Neolithic Age could be easily placed within the Biblical chronological timeframe.

 Contemporary natural and climatic conditions that exist on the territory of Sumer (the site of Paradise and its surrounding locality) are absolutely different from those that existed in Adam’s time.

        First of all, the current geography there is totally different.  A map of those times shows a gulf which jutted deeply into the territory of current Mesopotamia;  the gulf existed in this form until the times of Abraham, and afterwards, at the end of the 2nd millennium B.C., it began to recede.  By the time the Romans appeared in this region the gulf became greatly diminished and soon assumed its current contours.  Only the small Lake Hammer, colored milky white from the layer of white clay and other loose chalky strata deposited along its shores, was left over the territory indicated by the Bible as the site of Paradise.

Four rivers flowed into what we may call Adam’s gulf: Euphrates, Gihon, which has now practically disappeared, Tigris, and Pishon, the current Karnakh, which in our times disappears into the marshes of the southern shore of Tigris.

In those times the climatic conditions were favorable, not arid and hot as they later became, turning this region almost into a desert.  A huge ice sheet then lay in the north of Europe, covering all of Scandinavia, Finland, the Baltics, and northern Germany.  The presence of this colossal ice sheet created a humid climate in the region of Tigris and Euphrates.  The appearance of the first people in Europe, the so-called Chellian Paleolithic culture, can be placed at the end of the third interglacial period.  The term “interglacial” has currently lost its meaning, because it was used on the supposition that there were four glacial and three interglacial periods, when in reality – as has now been established – there was only one ice sheet which had four melting phases, and these phases were erroneously regarded as interglacial periods.  The last, the so-called Würm ice sheet melted within a single year during the global Deluge.

Thus on the shores of Adam’s gulf there was a temperate and warm climate with luxuriant vegetation.  The most fertile land in the Euphrates valley did not require much work from its cultivators.

Here Adam settled down after the flooding of the territory of Paradise by the waters of the advancing gulf.  There were fertile lands at the mouth of the Euphrates River, on whose right shore was situated the city of Eridu and on the left shore – Ur and Obeid – the first settlements of Adam and his descendants.  What do we know about Adam after his expulsion from Paradise?  Very little.  However, the fact that he and the other first people were seashore dwellers attests to much.  Knowing this, we may approximately imagine his life: for example, the scenery which Adam enjoyed – the sea, at times calm and beautiful, at times stormy and fearful.  Also the valley of the large and copious Euphrates River with its fertile and eternally-green shores; the abundance of fish in the mouth of the river; the multitude of birds that even to this day exist in this region – river birds, marsh birds, and many other different species of beautiful singing birds.  This is what surrounded Adam.  Paradisiacal beauty was not entirely lost, although the procurement of food became laborious: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread.”

It is interesting to note each detail which provides us with a picture of this cradle of mankind: Ur and Eridu were situated on different shores of the Euphrates where it flows into the ancient gulf, and in sight of each other at a distance of 2 km.  These first Adamite settlements later became cities.

Let us note that the depth of the three strata of the cultural layer of the Adamites that lies under the stratum of the Deluge is only a meter-and-a-half.  And within it are found not the implements of troglodytes, but refined articles made of clay, ivory, horn, and copper, as well as polished tools of stone that could have belonged to fishermen, farmers, and cattlemen.

Thus we have a picture not only of the region in which Adam settled down with his descendants, but also of the nature of their activities and their cultural level.  The Cainites, barbaric people with the seal of Cain, who lived in Europe, died out to a great extent during the first millennium of the early Paleolithic, while the descendants of Seth that came to Europe, the Cro-Magnons of the later Paleolithic, possessed a high level of culture and even fine arts.  But they, too, perished together with the Neanderthals, together with the entire European fauna, when the entire territory of Europe sank below the ocean level, which is known as the Biblical Deluge – the period of time between the European Paleolithic and Neolithic.

We must note yet another feature of the issue of the Deluge in Mesopotamia, which was brought up by some archaeologists.  During the first stage of the Deluge, when unceasing rains poured down for 40 days, causing an unprecedentedly turbulent overflow of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, this gave rise to a supposition on the part of some scientists that the Deluge was just a local affair which inundated the area between Tigris and Euphrates, because riverine sediments from flooding due to high water were quite distinctive.  As to the second stage of the Deluge, when the “waters of the great abyss” (ocean) came upon the earth, there were no longer any high water sediments, but diluvial deposits were found that even to this day cover northern Europe and northern Africa.


Two lands chosen by God: the territory of Paradise –
the cradle of humanity – and Palestine


 There were two God-chosen territories known in the history of the Old Testament Church.

 The first was the territory near Paradise, where God often appeared to Adam and Eve and conversed with them.  This territory became mankind’s cradle; here lived God’s greatest conversationalists: the righteous Abel, the first high priest Seth, Enoch, who was taken up into heaven alive, the righteous Noah – all ranked by the Church among saints.  They are also buried in this same territory, together with the other progenitors of mankind.  In this same place God commanded Noah to build the salvific Ark and made His Covenant with him.

 On this land, near the great Euphrates River, the prophet of God Ezekiel was granted a vision of God’s Throne and the One sitting upon it like unto the Son of man, surrounded by four divine Seraphim, and this image of God was recorded for all eternity (Ezekiel 1:1-28).

 It is precisely here that the desired Paradise was located, to where the Lord God descended from His Heavenly Throne and conversed with immortal Adam.

 On this same shore of the great Euphrates River the righteous Abel made his sacrifices to God, and here was shed his first innocent blood.  Christ the Saviour praised Abel, calling him righteous.

 Enoch became the first celestial denizen, having been taken up into heaven alive, as subsequently the prophet of God Elias likewise ascended into heaven in a fiery chariot.

 Christ’s redemptive sacrifice opened the doors of Paradise and the entire fullness of the grace-filled Kingdom to the Old Testament righteous ones.

 In addition to the territory near Paradise there also existed a second chosen land – Palestine.  Why did God choose this practically unfruitful, with the exception of the small Jordan valley, and arid land for His chosen people and made it the site of the coming down to earth of the Son of God?

 The Church gives us a clear answer – there, on the hill of Golgotha, was Adam’s grave.

 Is that truly so?  Let us consider this matter.  There is nothing said about this in the Bible; therefore, we must follow a complicated path to approach the resolution of this quite important issue.

 Let us consider it first from the point of view of God’s Providence and His wise management of the Divine Kingdom on earth.  “And God said unto Abraham: take now thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee unto the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (Gen. 22:2).  Abraham lived with the Philistines of Beersheba, far from the mount of Moriah: he had to travel there for three days.  Why did the Lord command Abraham to travel so far?  Could he not offer this terrible sacrifice somewhere nearer, for example at the oak of Mamre?

 God led Abraham to the grave of the forefather Adam, so that there, near it, would be offered in sacrifice to God Abraham’s readiness to rend his fatherly heart – to slay his only-begotten and beloved son, as a prefiguring of the Sacrifice of the Heavenly Father, Who gave up His Only-begotten Son to be slain.  Even the angels were awed by such an unfathomable mystery.

 Abraham traveled for three days with a bleeding heart.  Perhaps it would have been easier for him to live with a bleeding wound in his heart than to consciously offer such a sacrifice, but with this sacrifice Abraham earned from God a most precious treasure: the Kingdom of God is called Abraham’s Bosom.

 The place destined for the sacrifice – a hill, the mount of Moriah, – later became the temple of Jerusalem, the center of the Old Testament Church.  Solomon’s majestic temple could not be built upon Adam’s grave – the Golgotha, since Christ could not be crucified in the temple of Solomon, upon the site of the Holy of Holies.  Adam’s grave was destined for another, an immeasurably greater purpose, but it was located not far off, on the rocky ridge of the right bank of the Brook of Cedron.

 This is why God initially commanded Abraham to leave the holy places of Paradise, mankind’s homeland; this is why He commanded him to go from the land of the Philistines to Mount Moriah.

 Let us take another example.  Abraham, together with his 300 warriors, saved the small kingdom of Salim, saved its king and high priest Melchisedec from his enemies.  Melchisedec came out to meet Abraham, who was returning victorious, and offered him a repast: bread and wine – which was a prefiguring of the repast of the Body and Blood of the Lord, Who had sacrificed Himself for the salvation of the world.

 And this happened in that same Jerusalem, most probably on Mount Zion, where Melchisedec went out to meet Abraham; afterwards the Mystic Supper took place at this same site on Zion.  Actually the city gates, as was discovered by the latest excavations of the ancient Salim of Melchisedec’s time, were located in the southern part of the city, but it is quite possible that Melchisedec met Abraham not at the city gates, but came out to the neighboring hill of Zion, specifically to the future site of the Mystic Supper.

 Let us look at a third example.  Jacob sees a dream at Bethel – a ladder stretching from heaven down to earth, and God’s angels descending and ascending it.  Bethel is a chain of hills at a few kilometers’ distance from Bethlehem, where subsequently was in truth established a ladder from heaven to earth and earth to heaven (the Nativity of Christ).  And these examples suffice to trace the path of God’s Providence, which preordains all the great events that must come to pass throughout the millennia.

 This is also the essence of the issue we are reviewing.  The Lord wished to have the Blood of Christ shed on the Golgotha over Adam’s grave, in order to wash away his original sin.

 There is unlikely to be any other explanation for God’s choosing Palestine as the Holy Land.


Jericho.  Was Adam’s body buried on the Golgotha?


 Why would Adam at the end of his life leave the vicinity of Paradise, in order to move to the site of the future Jerusalem, where he died and was buried?

 On the surface this can be explained quite easily: there, in the fruitful valley of Jordan, existed a city similar to Eridu and Ur, the city of Jericho, where lived the 8th and 9th generations of his descendants.  Adam wished to see them, to personally tell them about God and Paradise.  Primarily, however, he was undoubtedly commanded to go there by God.  Why?  We must consider this question from all sides.

 At that time, in view of the Adamites’ existing way of life, only three regions were suitable for their dwelling: the valleys of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, the valley of the Jordan River, and the valley of the Nile River.

 By the unfathomable paths of God’s Providence, the Lord wished to choose and prepare another place for the coming down to earth of the Son of God.  The Lord chose the valley of Jordan and commanded Adam to resettle there.

 This new and blessed site was due to become the historical center of the universe – the site of the coming down to earth of the Son of God, the site of the Mystic Supper, and the redemption on the Golgotha of Adam’s sinful fall.

 All of these three great events were prefigured.

 The Mystic Supper took place where erstwhile Melchisedec, coming out to meet Abraham, offered him the high priest’s repast of bread and wine.  The coming down to earth of the Son of God took place within the same chain of hills where Jacob saw a ladder descending down to earth and said: “This place is holy, these are (the Lord’s) gates of heaven.”

 And it is natural to assume, as Church tradition does assume, that the Golgotha is the site of Adam’s burial.

The history of the early Old Testament Church is not connected with Palestine – all the events of those times took place in Paradise and in Sumer. Afterwards the site chosen for the Old Testament Church would be Palestine – new skins for new wine. From the time of the coming of the Son of God down to earth, Palestine would become the spiritual center of the universe.

By that time the desert had overrun the ancient God-chosen land: only ruins were left on the site of the great first cities. The first Holy Land of Paradise was buried and gave way to the new Holy Land, where the Kingdom of God once again “came into power.”

The glory of the truly “eternal city” of Jericho – “eternal” because it has existed just as long as mankind has existed – is still to be discovered by archaeologists in the future.

It is possible that originally Adam settled specifically in Jericho, where he was honored as the forefather of mankind. But he, who for his almost thousand-year-long life had fled from power and glory, from high priesthood, departed from here as well. Adam apparently then settled on the site of the future Jerusalem and, when he reposed, was buried in a cave under the hill of Golgotha. This cave possibly collapsed during an earthquake, and Adam’s grave was revealed.

All of this was foreordained by God’s Providence, while the Church has always held the belief that Adam’s grave was located under Golgotha. For this reason a side altar in honor of St. Adam was built under Golgotha, since the Church possesses not only its tradition, but also Divinely-revealed knowledge.

Thus if one believes the Holy Church tradition that Adam’s grave is located under Golgotha, that that is genuine reality and not only a symbol; this means that somewhere in the vicinity one should also look for the site where Adam lived before the end of his almost thousand-year-long life.

In this case his dwelling must be somewhere within the confines of Jerusalem.

It would be hard to image that the last site of Adam’s life was abandoned or forgotten by his nearest descendants, but it would be even more unbelievable to suppose that this site would not become the place of subsequent great events in the history of the God-chosen people.

The Lord instructed Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on the top of Mount Moriah, directly upon the site of the Holy of Holies of the future temple of Jerusalem. Was not this specific site indicated because the entire subsequent history of the Old Testament was the result of Adam’s fall and his loss of Paradise and, therefore, for His redeeming sacrifice the Lord chose the place of Adam’s tears and solitary prayers? That is quite possible. In truth, such an answer comes to mind automatically, although it is hard to substantiate scientifically. It is quite probable that Adam’s dwelling stood precisely upon Mount Moriah. It is natural to assume that on this hill there was a cave, into which Adam withdrew to be alone, and that not far from it there was a spring of water. This spring still exists. It is located 200 meters to the west of the hill and is called the Sacred Spring. There are four springs in Jerusalem, but none of them, except for this one, are called sacred: neither Bethesda, where an angel troubled the waters once a year (and the first person to enter this water was healed of illness), nor the pool of Siloam (in which the blind man washed his face in accordance with Christ’s words and regained his sight), nor the spring of the Holy Virgin Mary. But it is specifically this unknown spring not far from Mount Moriah which is designated as “sacred,” and this name was known since the most ancient times – it apparently existed even before Melchisedec.

But what is quite amazing is the fact that on Mount Moriah itself, in the Holy of Holies of the temple of Jerusalem, there is in fact a cave, which was perhaps a natural one, but no one knows when it was reconstructed, and it now exists in the form of a square room of the following dimensions: the height is somewhat higher than the average human height, the length and width are 6 meters each. The entrance is narrow and leads down a staircase situated inside the cliff. Everything is built roughly and in primitive fashion.

This is now the most sacred site of the Moslem world, entry into which is forbidden. Within it are the sword of David, the original Koran, and the shield of Mohammed. Thus this site is closed to excavations. Everything there remains intact, as it was originally. No decorations or alterations, either outside or inside.

Neither Solomon dared redo the cliff of Abraham’s sacrifice, nor did the sultan Omar when he built a mosque on this spot. The cliff stands completely open in its initial untouched form. Around it stands a golden gate adorned with precious marble, gold, and mosaics, while in the middle stands a plain gray cliff, approximately twenty square meters in size.

Thus we may consider two totally amazing facts: the untouched cliff of Moriah and the cave in the form of a square room directly underneath it.

How to explain the fact that Solomon, erecting a majestic temple the like of which did not exist either before or after, until the construction of the Hagia Sophia by Constantine the Great, did not touch this cliff, but left it in its original state? This means that there were sound reasons for him to do so. It is unlikely that only the thousand-year-old tradition which held that this was the place of the sacrifice of Isaac could have influenced Solomon’s decision, particularly since how could the Israelis accurately indicate the site, if they had been away from Palestine for over 400 years? Could such a remote tradition really have influenced Solomon’s decision?

It is absolutely clear that this site was reverently venerated during all times continuously, beginning with Isaac who, one may assume, often brought his sons Jacob and Esau here, in order to show them this sacred site. And when Jacob’s sons left for Egypt, Esau’s sons remained on the spot and, not having gone anywhere, continued to maintain the sacred place. It is clear that their branch of the family was also pleasing to God, since from it there issued such an amazing saint as Job the Long-suffering, who was Esau’s great-grandson.

By the time the Israelis returned to Palestine, it was the Jebusites who lived there, the descendants of Esau and the people of the principality of the King of Jerusalem Melchisedec, who were not destroyed even after Jerusalem had been conquered by King David, and who remained there. It was they who had handed down until the days of Solomon such a strong tradition of venerating Adam’s grave, that even Solomon himself did not dare contravene it.

Now another question arises. When was the small cave under the cliff of Moriah excavated (or expanded)? It can hardly be supposed, in view of such careful maintenance of the cliff in an untouched state, that anyone would have been allowed to set up a dwelling there, particularly since with ground work being done, the ceiling in this room could easily collapse, and the surface of the cliff could cave in.

It may be supposed that the cave existed even before the sacrifice of Isaac. Who had created it and when? We are not in possession of historical facts, of course, but there is God’s testimony to this. The Lord said to Abraham, who was living near Hebron at that time: “Go forth, I will show thee the place on Mount Moriah, where thou shall sacrifice thy son to Me.” For three days Abraham walked towards this elevation, and the Lord showed him the exact place on the hill, specifically over the cave.

The question arises: why did the Lord command Abraham to go to this site? Why was it worthier to be the site of the great sacrifice than other sites, particularly since Abraham had to travel a long way? May it be supposed that this was just someone’s dwelling, the burial place of some local prince, or something else? Of course not.

If the Church is correct in its belief that Adam’s grave is located under Golgotha, – and the Church does possess Divinely-revealed knowledge, – then the place to which the Lord directed Abraham was Adam’s dwelling, the site of his prayers and tears over original sin. It is possible that there overhead stood his sacrificial altar as well. Only within such a context can one understand why the Lord commanded Abraham to proceed to this specific site.

Thus was forged a continuous chain: the sacrificial altar and Adam’s prayer, the sacrificial altar upon which Isaac was laid, being the pre-image of the Son of God, Who was sacrificed for the sin of Adam and the sins of the world, and afterwards, upon this same site, for one thousand years the chosen people of Israel offered their sacrifices.

And here, finally, came to pass all the hopes of the Old Testament, from Adam to Simeon the God-receiver, for it is precisely to this place that the Infant Who was to be the future Redeemer of original sin was brought, and here He was met by the greatest mystery-seer of the Old Testament, Simeon the God-receiver, who said: “Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to enlighten the Gentiles and the glory of Thy people of Israel.”

Christ, Adam’s descendant, promised by God, came to the site of Adam’s dwelling, the site of his tears, prayers, and hopes, and here the Son of God announced to the world that Paradise was being returned to mankind, and that the Kingdom of God was coming into power.

The majority of the Jews did not accept the long-awaited Messiah, and Christ said to them: “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Luke 13:35) – the sun of the Old Testament temple has set, and people have begun to worship God “in spirit and in truth” everywhere, in all corners of the earth.

Were the mysteries of the future revealed to Adam? Saint Seraphim of Sarov says: “Many mysteries pertaining to the future salvation of mankind were revealed to Adam after the Fall, and equally to Eve.” “Adam was created not subject to the action of any of the elements created by God, so that he could neither be drowned by water, nor burned by fire, nor could the earth engulf him within its abysses, nor could the air harm him with any of its manifestations. Everything was subordinated to him as to God’s favorite, as to the king and possessor of all creation.”

“When the Lord God breathed the breath of life into Adam’s face, it was then, according to Moses, that Adam became a living soul, alike to God in all, and immortal like Him for ages unto ages. From this breath of Life from the mouth of God the Almighty Creator, Adam became so wise that there never was and probably never will be a wiser and more knowledgeable man on earth than he” (from St. Seraphim’s discourse with Motovilov).

But everything that pertains to the life of Adam and his communion with God is hidden forever, and the Bible says nothing about it.

Before examining from an archaeological point of view the issue of whether the territory of the future Jerusalem was inhabited during the first millennium of mankind’s existence, i.e. during Adam’s lifetime, let us consider the issue of why nothing is said about this in the Book of Genesis.

Moses does not indicate Adam’s place of residence throughout his 900-year-old life, saying only that after his expulsion from Paradise he settled near to it. Moses does not indicate where Noah lived, nor where Adam was buried.

Let us suppose that the Lord revealed to the God-seer Prophet, among many other mysteries, the location of Adam’s grave, but could Moses let others know about this grave? For in such a case a monumental tomb would have been built to the father of mankind, and the redeeming Sacrifice – the crucifixion of Christ the Saviour – could never have taken place on this site. Remembrance of Adam’s grave could not have survived naturally either, with the destruction of mankind during the Deluge being responsible for the loss of such remembrance. The new mankind after the Deluge no longer knew the exact place of Adam’s burial.

The Book of Genesis mentions the graves of Abraham, Isaac, and other saints, the place of Jacob’s vision of the heavenly ladder, and many historical sites. Were these graves and memorials neglected during the 400-year stay of the descendants of Jacob’s sons in Egypt? Were these sites forgotten? No, the memory of them remained, because the sons of Abraham, together with their descendants, still remained on this earth. “Then again Abraham took a wife (after the death of Sarah), and her name was Keturah, and she bore him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah” (Gen. 25:1-2).

Their families are then enumerated, as well as the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s son out of Hagar. They were the ones who safeguarded Abraham’s grave, having remained in Palestine and having later intermingled to some degree with the Israelis.

Now let us consider the scientific side of the issue of the location of Adam’s grave. Could it have historically been located on Mount Moriah?

At this point we are aided by archaeological data. It turns out that the initial cultural layers of Jericho and Eridu are absolutely identical, contemporaneous, and besides, both have like names with the particle “hier,” i.e. sacred: Eridu (Hieridu) and Jericho (Hierichon), and likewise the later Jerusalem (Hierusalim).

Consequently, if at the end of his life Adam lived in Jericho, he could have been buried on Golgotha, which is located 20 miles from Jericho. Here apparently lived a group of his descendants, and Adam came here to pray in solitude. There are indirect indications of this.

Tradition has it that Adam’s grave was located in Hebron, where it was considered to be the grave of “four great men” – Adam, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Before being occupied by the Israelis, this site was called Kiriath-arba, which translates as “four great men.” How could such a tradition have arisen prior to the arrival of the Israelis? Joseph brought Jacob’s body over from Egypt, and having buried it in the burial cave of Abraham and Isaac, returned to Egypt. The guardians of these graves, Esau and Ishmael, who were married to local residents, Canaanite women, became related to these people and learned from them that the grave of the father of mankind Adam was located somewhere in this area, but that the exact spot was unknown. For this reason the closest descendants of Esau and Ishmael had Adam’s grave coincide with the site of the burial of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and called it Kiriath-arba. Having returned after 400 years of Egyptian captivity, the Israeli people brought back with them the remains of Joseph the Fair. After occupying Hebron, the Israelis buried these remains in front of the cave of Mamre as well, but the name Kiriath-arba, i.e. the “four great men,” existed before the return of the Israelis.

Adam’s grave had to be assigned to a specific site, while the tradition of the elders held that Adam was buried somewhere in the vicinity, without indicating the precise spot. Noah probably knew where Adam’s grave was located, either from the elders’ stories, or perhaps he even went there himself when he visited his relatives in Jericho. However, after the Deluge, when Noah’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren came to Palestine, they were unable to find Adam’s grave, because no one was alive who could remember its location. And tradition turned out to be too imprecise to discover the hill of Golgotha, since tradition retained only the general area and not the exact spot.

This was naturally in keeping with God’s Providence, for it was necessary to keep in secret the place where forefather Adam was buried, in order to subsequently have the redeeming Sacrifice offered there.

Adam’s sojourn in Jericho or its environs – near the River Jordan – is indicated more specifically by the very ancient city named Adam, situated on the left bank of Jordan above Jericho. Joshua the son of Nun attests to it in his book: “And as they that bore the ark were come unto Jordan, the waters which came down from above stood at a very great distance from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan, and people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan” (Joshua 3:15-17). Moreover, Joshua says elsewhere that “the city Adam was fortified” (Joshua 19:35-36), which means that it was not a settlement, but a large ancient fortified city in glorious remembrance of the father of mankind.

This fact merits the most serious attention, because the name of the city Adam existed long before the Israelis’ coming to the land of Canaan and their passage through Jordan. Jericho was the first city to which they came after their 40-year wandering in the desert.

The city Adam is not connected with Abraham, or otherwise it would have been mentioned in the fairly detailed description of Abraham’s life. The city Adam goes back deep down into millennia. The Canaanites, residents of Palestine, were the direct descendants of the family of Noah, and they came to Jericho as to a land known to them from their forefathers by tradition. Jericho was again resettled after the Deluge, and possibly the city Adam was reconstructed at the same time, because all the Semites venerated the memory of forefather Adam, and wrote in their cuneiform tablets of Paradise, of the Fall, and of other events in his life.

According to archaeological data, from 3000 to 2000 B.C. Jericho was under the rule of Babylon, under the rule of the Semites. Jericho 1 and 2, in 1900-1600 B.C., were under the rule of the Canaanites and represented individual principalities. Jericho 3, from 1580 to 1400 B.C., was under Egyptian dominion. Jericho 4, between the years 1400-1395, was destroyed by Joshua the son of Nun. The period of time between the coming to Jericho of Noah’s descendants and until 3000 B.C. (the years 4000-3000 according to archaeological data) is part of the so-called Neolithic period in Palestine – this is the period of Noah’s first descendants (“History of Jericho,” John Garstong. 1948, London). Both the Neolithic (post-Noah) and the Mesolithic (Adamite) Jericho are still poorly studied. This is not to be wondered at, since there were few people at that time, and their traces are covered by the later layer of a 10-meter deep cultural stratum.

The city Adam could have been the place of Adam’s temporary sojourn, when he came to visit his descendants who lived in Jericho (the Natufian antediluvian culture) and to tell them as a living witness about God, Whose commandments the people before the Deluge began to forget.

This does not mean, however, that the city Adam was Adam’s sole place of residence. He could have lived in Jericho and in other Natufian settlements, including one near the future Jerusalem, somewhere in the vicinity (on Mount Moriah), and after his death could have been buried on Golgotha. Jericho is an eternal city, established at the dawn of mankind, perhaps by that very great Adamite king, Jared. From its most ancient layers it belongs to the original Natufian culture, which is contemporaneous with the Obeidian culture in Sumer. The city of Jericho exists for almost 7,000 years. Is there any other city to equal it? Only Jerusalem is equal to Jericho, having existed long before (the exact period of time is unknown) the reign in it of King Melchisedec, the high priest of the Almighty God. In any case, Jerusalem is a great deal more than 4,000 years old. Babylon, on the other hand, existed for only 3,000 years. Of great interest are the seven mysterious sculptured skull that were kept in the temple as a sacred item, which were found in the most ancient postdiluvian layers of Jericho. This mystery is yet to be revealed in the future.

Excavations have confirmed the fact of the tumbling down of the wall of Jericho in the time of Joshua. They fell due to an earthquake onto their external side, and during the reconstruction of Jericho the new walls were built right on top of the ruins.

Archaeology will reveal to us many more facts which illustrate the Biblical narrative.

Moses approached the eternal city of Jerusalem just to see it from the mountains, because from here began the Promised Land. The prophet saw in the distance a barely noticeable city, which was destined to have such a great future; he saw the future Holy Land and reposed in the Lord.

Here too, near Jericho, Joshua saw the Archangel Michael, who commanded him to carry the ark of the Lord’s Covenant around the walls of Jericho, and the walls fell down from a sudden earthquake. The Archangel appeared so clearly that Joshua even took him for a warrior and asked: “Are you ours or the enemy’s?”

Here, near Jericho, in the Transjordanian desert, there lived a man who was the greatest of all those born of women – Saint John the Baptist. Here too, in the waters of Jordan, not far from Jericho, took place the Divine appearance of the Holy Trinity after the Baptism of the Lord.

Our Lord the Saviour loved these holy places and often visited them.

The Jordan Valley is the great and historical site chosen by God for His wise management of mankind.

Protopriest Stefan Lyashevsky
Home    Our Church    Services    Church Choir    Contact Us
Transfiguration    Spiritual poetry    Library
Top page
© 2000-2010 Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church.