On Sunday, October 23, 2011, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey. Shortly after the quake this headline appeared:
“Turkey fears volcano eruption” – “Turkish seismologists fear that the earthquakes that hit the province of Van on Sunday can cause eruption of Nemrut volcano located northwards of Lake Van, PanArmenian reported.”
So I became curious as to what the volcano Nemrut is. Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program describes it as a stratovolcano whose last known eruption was 1650. Huh, I learn something every day. In the course of looking into the volcano Nemrut I discovered some interesting archaeological things. Now, I’ve posted before about the interesting tableau at Gobekli Tepe, also in Turkey, 300 miles from where the earthquake struck and the location of Volcano Nemrut Dagi. I’ve mentioned that tradition holds that the Garden of Eden was in Turkey as well. Nemrut is another interesting archaeological place. It is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is often called “Turkey’s Easter Island” because of the colossal statues. “The stone heads rise high over the surreal rocky scenery of Mount Nemrut in eastern Turkey, and what is most characteristic is that they resemble things that are thousands of kilometres away from Europe.”
They date from the Commagene-era, 1st century BC. Wikipedia explains their purpose and origin: “Antiochus is famous for building the impressive religious sanctuary of Nemrud Dagi or Mount Nemrut. When Antiochus reigned as king he was creating a royal cult for himself and was preparing to be worshipped after his death. Antiochus was inspired to create his own cult in the Greek form of the religion Zoroastrianism. Antiochus left many Greek inscriptions revealing many aspects of his religion and explaining his purpose of action. In one inscription, Antiochus wrote erecting his tomb in a high and holy place should be remote from people and should be close to the gods and be in rank with them…”
Leaving Mount Nemrut, ‘Turkey’s Easter Island’ for a moment, let’s look at the monuments at the real Easter Island. The statue heads are called Moai, and they actually have bodies. They’re not just heads.
“Moai are monolithic human figures carved from rock on the Polynesian island of Easter Island between the years 1250 and 1500. The 887 statues’ production and transportation is considered a remarkable creative and physical feat. The tallest moai erected, called Paro, was almost 33 ft high and weighed 82 tons.”
Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D., reports from The Easter Island’s Statue Project Excavation Season IV July-August 2011, “Our three main goals for statue (moai) RR-001-157 were to audit our drawings of very complex stratigraphic profiles, augment our existing photo-documentation as follow-up to Conservation Season II, and then to backfill the statue. We accomplished all of these goals.” They found unique petroglyphs on some of the statues’ backs.
Wow. Now that photo looks to be from a few decades ago but you get the idea of how tall the statues are.
Doesn’t that photo above from the blog Love These Pics remind you of the silent sentinels at Nemrut? Click on the link to see 24 more incredible photos of the Easter Island Moai.
It is so interesting that these monuments are erected at the four corners of the world. Most are false monuments to self as god, or to a false god. God has placed within us a desire to worship something greater than ourselves. (Acts 17:27; Ecc 3:11). What we do with that desire makes all the difference. Antiochus erected monuments to himself as a god at Nemrut, Turkey. Pagan worship at the High Places had become synonymous throughout the land- and the bible condemns it.
“The ancient Canaanites, and other nations, worshipped the heavenly bodies and their idols upon hills, mountains, and artificial elevations. The Israelites were commanded to destroy these places of idol worship, De 12:2, but instead of this, they imitated the heathen, and at first worshipped Jehovah in high places, 1 Samuel 9:12 1 Kings 3:4, and afterwards idols, 1 Kings 11:7 2 Kings 17:10,11. Here also they built chapels or temples, “houses of the high places,” 1 Kings 13:32 2 Kings 17:29, and had regular priests, 1 Kings 12:32 2 Kings 17:32. Different groves were sacred to different gods; and the high places were inseparably linked to idolatry.” (source)
Now about these monuments, I often wonder about the Great Pyramid at Giza. Is it a pagan monument, or an homage to the One True and Great God? There is an obscure prophecy about Egypt, the Hebrew name, Mizraim. (Gen 10:6) and a monument. The prophecy is from Isaiah:
“In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them.” (Isaiah 19:19-20).
The name Mizraim is thought to be a dual of matsowr; Mitsrajim, i.e. Upper and Lower Egypt. The land of Egypt used to be in two parts, Upper and Lower Egypt, and the Great Pyramid at Giza stands at the border of these. Nowadays, Egypt is one nation and the Pyramid is in the center of the nation. That is how a monument can be at the heart of the nation AND at the border. The Great Pyramid is at the center of the world, actually.
“The Great Pyramid stands at the exact centre of the world. It is midway between the west coast of Mexico and the east coast of China. Between the north cape of Norway and the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. It stands at the intersection of the 30th parallel, both latitude and longitude. The Great Pyramid was the highest buildings in the world for thousands of years until modern man began building skyscrapers such as the World Trade Center. If it were compared to a skyscraper, the Great Pyramid would be 42 storeys high. It contains enough stone to build a six foot high wall from New York to Los Angeles.”
The Great Pyramid is “different from all the other pyramids in Egypt. For one thing it’s made of stone, not bricks, and is the only one that’s not solid. There’s a series of passageways and several chambers inside. All of the 80 or so other pyramids came later, are grossly inferior copies, and unlike the Great Pyramid were used as gigantic headstones covering the tombs of the Pharaohs. (The Great Pyramid never served as a tomb.)”
“The Great Pyramid originally had a face of polished white limestone consisting of 115,000 stones finished on all six sides to within .01 inch of perfectly straight. Cut on a bevel, they fit together with seams of less than 1/50th of an inch. They were then cemented together and polished to a high sheen. It’s said that the pyramid shone as if made of light itself and could be seen from over a hundred miles away. The entire structure rests on 4 foundation stones that fit into sockets cut into the bedrock. These stones are designed to compensate for changes in temperature. They keep the pyramid square and level at all times, and in fact it’s square on every course. It faces due North more accurately than we can position buildings today so that each side faces the four cardinal points of the compass. Its shadow has predicted equinoxes and solstices.”
Jeremiah 32:20 says [O Great and Mighty God]… “who has set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and even to this day both in Israel and among mankind; and You have made a name for Yourself, as at this day.” Does this prophecy and the one from Isaiah 19:19-20 reference the Great Pyramid? If they do then the Great Pyramid is an appropriately erected monument to the LORD while all others are pale counterfeits. I researched for three hours this morning in attempt to resolve whether the Great Pyramid is pagan or Godly and was unable. Of course better people than I have researched these things. Let me know if you know the answer!
Since the bible tells us we have a God-sized hole inside, desiring to worship something greater than us, it makes sense that humankind would build monuments. The fact that these strange monuments litter the world from Easter Island to Asia and places in between are a testament to that. Whether the supernatural eerie perfection displayed in the Great Pyramid is Godly at least we know that the Temple Solomon built was the most beautiful and Godly-designed monument in the world. He was the architect. His very Being was present there. Soon we will be where He is, and His hands once again have made a monument to Himself as a jewel, which is New Jerusalem sparkling and holding His precious cargo inside: us.
Sorry to be so wandering in this blog entry. I just wonder about these monuments’ origins, and I ponder whether the Pyramid is the monument the prophesies mention as being the one that was set in Egypt for a sign and a wonder. Anyway, here is more information about Egypt in prophecy and in biblical history:
Egypt and the King of the South