Chaldean Genesis: The Secret Legacy of the Architect-Priests
Oct 21, 2004
Author: Boyd Rice
The genealogy of the Merovingian bloodline has for centuries been shrouded in mystery, and yet, we’ve been able to definitively trace it back to the “Shepherd Kings” of ancient Sumer. Subsequently, we’ve managed to fine-tune the focus of our investigation further still, and many indications (both ancient and modern) seem to suggest that the role played by Chaldea was of pivotal importance. For instance, in The Book of Genesis, we are told that the biblical patriarch Abraham was “a Chaldean from Ur.” For most readers, this seemingly insignificant factoid would undoubtedly slip by unnoticed, but to the student of ancient cultures, it is pregnant with portent, because Chaldea was known to be a Mecca of astronomy, astrology, and the black arts. So much so, in fact, that the word “Chaldean” in many ancient cultures was synonymous with “sorcerer.” Even so far away as Northern Europe, their term for sorcerer, “galdyr”, was rooted in “Chaldee.” The authors of Genesis obviously did their utmost to distance the figure of Abraham from the occult traditions of Chaldea, yet Abraham still appears to be an occultist both in biblical and extra-biblical texts:
“Abraham excelled all in nobility and wisdom; he sought and obtained the knowledge of astrology and the Chaldean craft... he traveled to Phoenicia and dwelt there. He pleased the Phoenician king by teaching the Phoenicians the cycles of the Sun and Moon, and everything else as well... [in Egypt] Abraham lived in Heliopolis with the Egyptian priests and taught them much: He explained astrology and the other sciences to them.”
- Pseudo Eupolemus.
“Abraham... came to Egypt with all his household to the Egyptian king Pharothothes and taught him astrology.”
“...before the coming of Abraham, the Egyptians were ignorant of these sciences, which thus traveled from the Chaldeans into Egypt, [and then] passed to the Greeks.”
- Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews.
Note that Abraham is traveling far and wide not to preach the gospel of the “one true God”, but rather to spread the wisdom of the Chaldean craft. These Chaldean sciences seem to echo the teachings of the Watchers, and pertained to geometry, astronomy, and the movements of the planets and stars. Compare the lore of the Watchers to what Philo records about the Chaldeans:
“The Chaldeans exercised themselves most especially with astronomy, and attributed all things to the movement of the stars, believing that whatever is in the world is governed by forces encompassed in numbers and numerical proportions... seeking out the numerical arrangement according to the cycles of the Sun and Moon, the planets, and the fixed stars… .”
- Philo, on Abraham.
The parallels between the Watchers and the Chaldeans become greater still when viewed in the light of a tradition cited by Eusebius, which said: “Abraham traced his ancestry to the giants. These dwelt in the land of Babylonia. Because of their impiety, they were destroyed by the gods.” So there you have it. These two traditions (of the Watchers and of the Chaldeans) sound so identical because they are identical - one and the same. Were the Chaldeans the descendants of the Watchers, and executors of their tradition? Such an idea is certainly reinforced by the fact that the Hebrew word for “Watcher” is “Ir”, which sounds the same as “Ur.” And the Watchers were called “the watchers of the heavens”, a very appropriate title for a people (like the Chaldeans) so preoccupied by astronomy. Could it be that Ur was the primordial city-state of the Watchers? Very possibly. Ur is considered so ancient that to the modern mind it has become synonymous with antiquity itself. All of this would appear to suggest that Abraham’s status as a Chaldean from Ur may well be one of the most telling anomalies in the Old Testament. It also seems that Abraham is far more than merely a man who “traced his ancestry to the giants.” Remember, it was said that “Abraham excelled all in nobility and wisdom.” In ancient times “nobility” didn’t refer to a man’s demeanor - it meant of noble birth. And as we will ultimately reveal, the figure known as Abraham was of very noble birth indeed.
For the time being however, we will continue our study of the Chaldean saga by looking into the story of King Gudia. Though one of the most illustrious of the Sumerian/Chaldean monarchs, Gudia remains a relatively obscure personage in terms of mainstream history. Gudia was both priest-king and architect, a builder of great cities and temples, not unlike Cain/Nimrod. And it just so happens that Nimrod was Gudia’s patron saint, as well as having been his ancestor. Gudia was like many of the Old Testament prophets, in that he was prone to dreams and vision. In one such dream, Nimrod himself appeared to the king, revealing to him the blueprints of a temple he wished to be erected in his honor. Upon waking, Gudia lost no time setting in motion plans to construct the Temple of Nimrod, a structure that would eventually be seen as one of the most significant edifices of its day.
In a well-known statue of Gudia, the base is emblazoned with the floor plan of this temple. Other statues frequently depict him with Masonic architectural tools, such as squares, rulers, and so forth. As mentioned in previous articles, the first priests were also the first architects. Their secret gnosis encompassed not only the sacred, but the functional as well. And they encoded their sacerdotal wisdom (sacred geometry, astronomy, etc.) into the structures they built, so that their shape, placement, and dimensions were all a reflection of divine principles. This is a pivotal concept, and constitutes a tradition central to our own ongoing investigation. There are those who assert that Christ was not a carpenter at all, and that the word translated as “carpenter” should have actually been translated as “architect.” Looking further back in the past, we note that the Babylonian/Phoenician god Marduk is often depicted bearing a trowel. Though commentators have speculated that this may be an agricultural tool (as Marduk was thought to have taught man the science of agriculture), it is far more likely to be an architectural tool. And indeed it looks identical to the trowel which appears in so much Freemasonic ritual and symbolism. From all appearances, this would seem to constitute the tradition from which the Knights Templar and the Freemasons derived their creeds.
At any rate, the reign of Gudia witnessed a flourishing of culture and civilization in his region. He wandered the full length and breadth of Mesopotamia (and often beyond) to amass lumber, blocks, and precious metals for his many projects. He not only built new cities and temple, but rebuilt old ones. Ruling from his capitols of Lagash and Ur, he preferred not to be seen as a king, but rather as a priest and prophet. He was known simply as the “Good Shepherd”, and may in fact have refused the title of “king” (although his name does appear in the King’s List).
Of all the many kings that reigned over Chaldea or Sumer, only a handful of their names are known outside of specialist circles, or from readings of the Old Testament. Those that come to mind are Sargon, Hammurabi, Assurbanipal, and a few others. Why, then (or how) could a man of Gudia’s stature have simply vanished into the mists of history? A possible answer was suggested upon reading that in Gudia’s time and culture there were no letters equivalent to “G” or “I.” Substituting the closest equivalent to those letters results in something both startling and altogether unexpected: Judea.(1)
Could it be possible that Judah, the son of Jacob from whom Jews derive their name, could in fact have been a Chaldean priest-king? Are Gudia and Judah one and the same? Turning to the Old Testament in search of information that would either corroborate or disprove altogether such a bizarre thesis revealed passages so scant and so strange as to be of no help whatsoever in either regard. Further searches in Josephus’ Antiquities and Louis Ginzberg’s Legends of the Jews proved equally fruitless. How could a man from whom an entire tribe of Israel adopted their name (the Jews) be so little documented in three such major works documenting Jewish history and folklore? It was both perplexing and mysterious, like trying to conceive of a New Testament that featured only a half-dozen off-handed references to Christ. It defied all logic. And it seemed that logic was the only means left to pierce this apparent conspiracy of silence.
So it was that the ancient king lists were consulted again, the reasoning being that the lists were so full of names that corresponded to biblical patriarchs that if Gudia and Judah were the same figure, perhaps other names in close proximity on the lists might have a familiar ring. Four lines above Gudia on the list was a king named “Irarum.” Though not precisely identical to “Abraham”, it was the only name on the list with so familiar an euphonic ring to it. Remember that these names were not only spelled and pronounced differently from culture to culture, but also often in the same culture. Irarum had a son named “Dar”, who also went by the title “Asahk” (literally, “son of God”). It was not uncommon for royal titles to proclaim the king’s divinity, or his status as the reincarnation of a popular king or god. Asahk’s son was “Khab” (or “Khabulum”), and his son in turn took the royal title “Akhab” (“son of Khab”). He in turn fathered Gudia. So if we take into account the sound of these names in their respective order, we arrive at something quite extraordinary:
Irarum = Abraham
Asahk = Issac
Akhab = Jacob
Gudia = Judah
So with one notable exception (the extra figure of Khab or Khabulum), we find in the Sumerian/Chaldean king lists an almost perfect reflection of the Old Testament line of patriarchs.
At this point it is virtually impossible to ascertain what any of this really means. Were the Chaldeans all Jews? Were the people who called themselves Jews really Chaldeans? Were both merely different nations or tribes of an essentially Sumerian populace? Could it be that the so-called “Shepherdic Jews” were not so named because they had been shepherds, but because they could claim descent from a priest-king known as the “Good Shepherd”?(2) Remember that this was the title used to refer to Christ, who acted in the capacity of a priest-king without a throne. Christ, too, is said in some early traditions to have been a Chaldean, an idea we will explore in due course.
The Chaldean tradition, and its secret gnosis, is intimately linked with astronomy, astrology, geometry, architecture, and magic; all topics central to our ongoing inquiries. But there’s more. It was said that Gudia practiced the “Chaldean rite” of bull sacrifice - a practice that passed from Chaldea to Egypt, and eventually many parts of the ancient world. Significantly, this rite is said to have originated in Atlantis, and Gudia, like the Atlantean kings, kept the sacrificial bulls in his own palace. Furthermore, when Gudia’s ancestor appeared to him in a vision and gave him specifications for the construction of a magnificent temple, the building thus erected was a seven-stepped ziggurat. Historians believe that Gudia’s Temple of Nimrod represented the very first ziggurat ever built. But mythology tells us that an identical structure one existed as the royal palace of Atlantis.
By reviving Atlantean architecture and religious ritual, Gudia seemed to be trying to build a bridge between the past and the present, or to reconstitute the past in the present. His chosen title, “Gudia” (“Lord/King Ia/Ea”) harkens back to Sumer’s first deified king. And to emphasize the point, he named his son “Nimrod”, an alternate title of Cain, the king’s firstborn son. Gudia’s son went on to become known as the “Lord of the Four Regions”, a title synonymous with “King of the World”, and his daughter married the King of Ur. Within two centuries of his death, Babylonians worshipped him as the “Divine Gudia”, and put statues of him in their temples. The reign of Gudia is reckoned by some scholars to have been around 2400 BC. By the time Judaism began to coalesce some 900 years later, Gudia and his illustrious forebears would have become mythic figures in an oral tradition. Though there is little proof beyond what we’ve presented to link the figures of Gudia and Judah, there are references to Judah being a ruling king in rabbinic lore, including descriptions of a crown, royal scepter, and royal signet ring. And although orthodox Judaism seems to have rejected most of what constitutes the Chaldean tradition, there are indications that these ideas were preserved on a sub rosa level, to reemerge later in a most unexpected context.
Christ the Chaldean
“And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountain green?
And was the Holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?”
- William Blake
As these lines from William Blake’s eighteenth century poem Jerusalem reveal, the tradition that Christ came to England is one that is both widespread and long-standing. Indeed, Roman chroniclers began referring to it as early as the reign of Tiberius Caesar, who died in 37 A.D. (only four short years after the presumed date of Christ’s own death.) It was in Glastonbury, Cornwall, that the first Christian church was built, purportedly by Christ himself.
For those unfamiliar with the story, it is well-documented that Christ’s uncle, Joseph of Arimathea made frequent trips to England in the course of his travels as a tin merchant. As the story goes, Jesus often accompanied his uncle on these journeys, and ended up spending a good deal of time in Cornwall during his well-known “lost years.” It was here that he conducted the early years of his ministry, and legend records that he constructed a rather large house for the habitation of his mother, Mary. It was this house which, pursuant to the crucifixion, became recognized as the first Christian church in the world. And this first Christian church was known by a number of names, such as “the wattle church”, “the old church”, and perhaps most significantly, “the Culdee church.” In other words, the Chaldean church.
In Thomas Campbell’s Reullura, we read:
“The pure Culdees
Were Alby’s (3) earliest priests of God
Ere yet an island of her seas
By foot of Saxon monk was trod.”
In E. Raymond Capt’s marvelous book The Traditions of Glastonbury, he states: “The first converts of the Culdees... were the Druids of Britain, who found no difficulty in reconciling the teaching of the Culdees with their own teaching of the resurrection and the inheritance of eternal life.” In addition, the Druids had long believed in the coming of a messiah - a messiah named Jesu. They also shared the Chaldean preoccupation with sacred geometry and astronomy. And too, they had the odd habit of referring to God as “the ancient of days.” Clearly these two groups’ traditions had a shared origin of some sort. Capt continues:
“Culdees are recorded in church documents as officiating at St. Peter, York, until A.D. 939. According to some church authorities, the Canons of York were called ‘Culdees’ as late as the reign of Henry II (A.D. 1133-1189). In Ireland, a whole county was named ‘Culdee.’ The names ‘Culdee’ and ‘Culdish’ cling tenaciously to the Scottish church and its prelates until a much later date.”
The Culdee phenomenon appears to be little known, little discussed, and even less understood. Nonetheless, over the centuries a fascinating number of theories and legends have become attached to them: theories and legends that are all the more fascinating in that they seem to overlap with much of our own research. What follows are some of the fundamental assumptions held about the Culdees, as collected and preserved by Arthur Edward Waite in his New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry:
- The Culdees were identical with the Chaldeans mentioned by the prophet Daniel.
- They were priests in Assyria and can also be traced to Babylon.
- They were Casideans, Essenes, Therapeutae, and Magi.
- Beneath their cloak of Christianity they concealed a secret doctrine.
- They were mathematicians and architects at the time of the early Roman emperors.
- They were the builders of King Solomon’s Temple.
- The Culdees of York were all Masons.
- They denied the personality of Jesus - meaning the historical personality - and also the existence of the Devil.
- The Culdee monks were the schoolmasters and architects of their time.
- It was thought that the historical allegory of the Round Table, as well as the quest for the Holy Grail, referred in mystical terms to Culdee rites.
If the foregoing statements are indeed accurate, it would appear that there was the presence of a Templar-like fraternity in England for a full thousand years before the advent of the Knights Templar, and not just in England, but throughout the British Isles. The Culdees had commandaries, schools and churches in Wales, Ireland and Scotland as well. It is said that despite pressure from Rome, the Culdees remained a very strong presence right up to the time of the Norman conquest (4), which began in 1066. The timeframe here seems highly significant, as 1066 is only a few decades before the founding of the Order of Sion by Godfroi de Bouillon in 1090; which in turn is only a few decades before the foundation of the Knights Templar.
Is it purely coincidental that an organization whose history spans over a thousand years should essentially vanish, and in a matter of mere decade a group whose outlook seems nearly identical should emerge in another part of the world? As you’ll recall, most of what the historians assert about the Culdees is incredibly similar to what was said of the Templars. Let’s compare: both groups were said to possess a secret doctrine which they concealed behind the facade of Christianity. Both groups denied Christ. Both groups were architects. And both groups were associated with the Holy Grail, as well as with Solomon’s Temple.
There definitely seems to be a continuity of belief, purpose and action between the two groups. Certainly the mystery surrounding both groups appears to be the same mystery. But if these two groups represent different manifestations of the same esoteric tradition, it is not simply a tradition whose origin came about after the crucifixion of Christ. The tradition of the architect-priest can clearly be traced to the Chaldean King Gudia, and further still to his role model and patron saint, Nimrod/Cain. As previously stated, Nimrod was legendary as a great king and as a great builder of cities. Remarkably, there are traditions within certain rites of British Freemasonry which claim that Nimrod was in fact the first Master Mason. So the notion of the architect-priest goes back to the dawn of recorded history, and to a time in which knowledge of the divine and knowledge of the practical were both different aspects of a very far-reaching Gnosis - at least for the elect.
(1) Editor’s note: Indeed, there were no vowels at all in most ancient alphabets.
(2) Editor’s note: Actually, this word is spelled “Sephardic”, and refers to Jews of Spanish or Portuguese ancestry. It stems from the fact that the region now known as “Spain” was referred to in the Bible as “Sepharadh.”
(3) England was then called “Albion.”
(4) In other locations, such as Ireland, their influence remained strong well into the fourteenth century.