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Battle of the gods... Ephesians 6:12

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Today, I want to give a ‘THANK YOU” to Brian B for correcting my take on who the Anunnaki were. Up until his message to me, I considered the Anunnaki the offspring of the fallen angels. However, after more research, and Brian’s guidance, I am convinced the Anunnaki are indeed the Fallen Angels.

First, I will share Brian’s message, then I will dive into the research that has led me to agree with Brian. He writes: "Anu, was the creator god in Sumerian mythology" which would make him the 'Most High" in the terms of Sumerian Mythology, "the first god", So the biblical equivalent would be, "Elohim" and that would make the "Sons of Anu", the equivalent of the bene ha Elohim of Genesis 6.

The Nephilim are the offspring of the bene ha Elohim and the daughters of men. Presently, they would be the demons. When we approach extra biblical sources such as the Sumerian tablets, ancient historians, or any other work, we should be firmly grounded in the 'clear teaching of the Word'. By that I mean, "what the Bible says, regardless of what any modern person says". So, let’s explore more.

A cradle in time, Iraq is said to be the birthplace of the Assyrian and the Babylonian society. The territory became part of the growing Ottoman Empire by the 16th century, until the British seized control in 1918 under the Treaty of Sevres. July 14, 1958, saw the fall of the long-running Hashemite monarchy, leading to radical political reforms and the legislation of political parties.

After the revolution, the Soviet Union became Iraq’s main commercial and arms supplier. Abdul Kassem, the leader of the coup against the Hashemite monarchy, was himself overthrown in 1963, an event which shifted political power into the hands of the Ba’ath Party. Internal factions began to form until another uprising led by Ahmad Hassan al Bakr brought some stability to the parties.

A rift with the Soviet Union caused Bakr to resign in July 1979 and he was succeeded by his right-hand man, Saddam Hussein. Hussein cleaned out his enemies and established a dictatorship almost overnight, imposing a 25-year tyrannical reign on the country. Long wars plagued the country, robbing it of billions of dollars and millions of lives. Even more people died during the Kuwait invasion and the ensuing Gulf and Civil wars. In 2003, US and UK-led forces removed Hussein from power, marked a turning point in Iraq’s history.

Political turmoil still plagues the country though the situation has greatly improved from a decade ago. From Ancient Mesopotamia to the recent Western confrontation, Iraq’s history is truly one of the most colorful in the Arab world. It is the birthplace of history itself and home to the world’s oldest civilizations.

The Iraqi culture is a rich mix of traditions from all different civilizations that have sprung up from the territory. While many Iraqis identify with the Arabs (Islam is the state religion), the Kurds in the north follow their own drummer. Other ethnic groups in various areas of the country like the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, the Turkomans, the Yazidis, the Jews, and the Armenians, have also preserved their own norms.[1]

Iraq is the state that currently partially encompasses the territory of the civilization of ancient Mesopotamia. This civilization came into being between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. These rivers flow into the Persian Gulf, through the State of Iraq. It is centered in Lower Mesopotamia (corresponding to historical Babylonia) but also includes part of Upper Mesopotamia (corresponding to historical Assyria) and of the Syrian Desert and the Arabian Desert.

The history of this area has witnessed some of the world's earliest writing, literature, sciences, mathematics, laws and philosophies; hence its common epithet, the Cradle of Civilization. [2]

Ezekiel 8:14-15: Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.

So, who was Tammuz, according to the evidence? Who would he have been in the 6th century BC when Ezekiel saw the abominations in the Temple? Did he have anything to do with the “image of jealousy?” – probably not. Any idol placed within the Temple grounds would have qualified as an image of jealousy – it could have been a statue of Ba’al, the Canaanite storm god, or Asherah, the mother goddess, El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon, or any number of others.

I want you to imagine what “image of jealousy” meant during those times, and specifically what it meant to the One giving Ezekiel the vision, namely Creator Father God. The jealous One in the case of the Temple being defiled is God Himself, who couldn’t care less what type of idol it was – only that there was an idol. I

want you to take yourself into the Covenant context of scripture – Judah (Israel was now long since exiled) was still married to YHVH through Covenant only out of God’s faithfulness to David and the Patriarchs. The Temple was the very House and Throne of God upon Earth. Bringing an idol into His inner court and setting it up at the northern sacrifice gate was tantamount to a spouse taking a picture of someone they are committing adultery with and putting it on their spouse's bedside table. It would be an “in your face” image that would provoke jealousy.

So, we have separated Tammuz from the Image of jealousy – in fact, we have no idols of Tammuz, only carvings. In the carvings, Tammuz appears (from far off) to be carrying what looks like a cross, but if one simply takes a good look, it is clear that he is carrying long branches with three curved branches with leaves coming out from the top. In fact, it is only when the image is obscured that it looks like a cross.

So why was Tammuz carrying a branch? To answer the question of why Tammuz was carrying a branch, it is quite simple – Tammuz was an agricultural/shepherd deity. In a roundabout way, it might also explain why the women were weeping for him – there are actually two possible explanations since we have no absolute evidence. Different stories about Dumuzi (Tammuz) describe either his death or non-death.

In Inanna and Bilulu, Tammuz the shepherd husband (who seems to become some sort of demi-god in the epics) went out with his sheep and was killed by an evil woman Bilulu and her son Girgire during a livestock raid – his head beaten in with a mace. In the more famous Inanna’s Descent, we see Inanna (Ishtar) consigned to dwell in the underworld by her sister unless she can find a replacement – returning back to the earth to find someone suitable (so she can be with her beloved husband, Dumuzi), she finds that he um…. isn’t mourning her. Tag – you’re it.

Tammuz is sent unceremonially down to the underworld by his angry wife (after being hunted down by demons), not even dead but just consigned to live down there for six months out of every year. In Dumuzi’s Dream, an alternate version, His mother and sister, Sirtar and Gestinanna, go down to the underworld searching for him and weeping for him the entire time – when Gestinanna finds him, she nobly agrees to take his place in the underworld for six months out of every year.

So, what’s with the “living in the underworld for six months” motif all about? Very simple – the ancients noticed that there was a wet season where everything grew and flourished and a dry season where everything died off. There must be a reason. In their minds, there was a god responsible for absolutely every function, and agriculture was a huge function. So why was the god not doing his job for six months? Why was everything dying? He obviously must be gone and unable to perform his cosmic function.

So, for six months (the time of no rain and dead plants – a big deal in desert societies which generally had a very limited ability to store up produce and grain for future use – they were a subsistence society, making enough food for this year and maybe the next), Tammuz had to be gone – now where could he go that he could not do his job? The only place where a god could not function was in the underworld, so he must have been there. So, we see in the ancient graphics women baking cakes for Inanna/Ishtar, Dumuzi’s (Tammuz’s) wife and we see women weeping for Tammuz. Why are they weeping?

Two possible explanations – one is that they are sympathetically acting out the role of the faithful Sirtar and Gestinanna as they wept for their son/brother (notice that no men are involved, only women, so this is plausible). Are the women weeping so as to ensure that Tammuz will return and bless the land again? The second option is that they, as in other cultures, are sympathetically casting their tears upon the ground that has been “cursed” with no rain because Tammuz is in the underworld.

Could it be an offering of water (tears) to the soil in the absence of the fertility that Tammuz brings? Either way, we have an idolatrous practice being carried on in the Temple on behalf of the “undying” Tammuz – in the Underworld but not actually dead. On the Babylonian calendar, we see that the month of Tammuz roughly corresponds with July – the time when the pasture lands wither and die. The women for certain would have been weeping in the summer/fall. [3]

Encyclopedia of Gods is an exhaustive survey of the gods of the world. It includes major and minor deities from every culture and spanning time from 60,000 years ago to the present. You can read of the ancient gods of the Mesopotamian culture right alongside their modern descendants. The listings are arranged alphabetically. They vary from a two-sentence description to a lengthy narrative that includes physical description, powers, domain, relatives and associates, adversaries, titles, known period of worship, other names, region of worship and where the god is found in literature and art. [4]

The Sumerians were a non-Semitic, non-Indo-European people who lived in southern Babylonia from 4000-3000 B.C.E. They invented cuneiform writing, and their spiritual beliefs influenced all successive Near Eastern religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. [5]

The Sumerians, the pragmatic and gifted people who preceded the Semites in the land first known as Sumer and later as Babylonia, created what was probably the first high civilization in the history of man, spanning the fifth to the second millenniums B.C. [6]

The composition Enki and the World Order mentions the Anunnaki several times, they ‘do homage’ to Enki and sing his praise, they ‘take up their dwellings’ in the midst of the people of Sumer, in the cities and in the country side and twice it is said that they ‘decree the fates of mankind; The Anunnaki also appear in the Underworld in Inanna’s Descent where they ‘pronounce judgement’. In the late Erra-myth they are called the brothers of Nergal and are ranged against mankind. Marduk also divided the Anunnaki into three hundred ‘heavenly’ and three hundred ‘underworld’ Anunnaki. In other compositions, they have much less clearly defined roles.

They often emphasize the prevailing mood or action of the gods in general; so, for instance, they first join in the destructive fury and are later repentant at the flood in the eleventh tablet of the Gilgames epic. In a similar manner they could serve as a poetic juxtaposition – the collective Anunnaki and the individual god or hero. The Anunnaki are broadly synonymous with the Igigi [7]

Ephesians 6:12 - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

We read in Isaiah 14:12–15, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most-High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” These powers and principalities of the air that fell have satan as their ruler. [8]

The supreme gods typically bore names signifying height, the celestial vault, meteorological phenomena, or simply “Sky Dweller” or “Sky Ruler”. All cosmologies included air along with every other natural phenomenon. In Egyptian mythology, for example, out of the primeval chaos Atum is said to have begotten Shu and Tefnut (Air and Moisture), who in their turn brought forth Geb and Nut (Earth and Sky). Heaven had originally been lying upon earth, but the two were separated, and the sky was lifted to its present position by the god of the air Shu.

Since the apparent levitation of heaven over earth appeared impossible (or dangerous), the ancient Egyptians posited that the function of Shu was to stand firmly on earth and carry the weight of heaven. There also emerged the breezes, “the hidden and concealed ones: (Amon and Amaunet), and the Egyptians did express their appreciation to the benevolent north wind by making it a minor deity. The Egyptians no less than the Greeks recognized how essential air was to life. [9]

Eventually, as his power grew, God was seen as the equal to, the true mate, of Goddess, who was still associated with Earth. In this role God was often equated with the sky itself with little attempt on the part of his worshippers to personalize him or to provide him with a mythology of his own. In ancient Sumer, Anu, the relatively abstract god of the sky (Anu means “sky”), lived in the “Sky House” and the stars were his army. In Vedic India, Dyaus is a personification of the Sky, who in union with Prthivi (Earth) is literally Sky-Earth.

The name Dyaus in Sanskrit is obviously related to other Indo-European words for the male divinity, such as Dios with spelling variations and Zeus, all of which are rooted in Sanskrit terms meaning “bright sky.” Dyaus was supplanted in early Vedic times by the god Varuna, who with Mitra was considered, among other things, god of the sky. The Mitra-Varuna figures in pre-Zorastrian ancient Persia were Ahura Mazda (who later developed more complex characteristics), sometimes associated with the day sky, the Mithra, the night sky.

It was said that Ahura Mazda wore the “vault of Heaven.” The idea of God as the sky is especially present in African mythologies. He is known Sonhaskan (the Sky Being) or Nyankupon (the Thundering One), Ngai (Rain), Olurun (Sky Owner) - and there are many other names. [10] Ephesians 2:2 tells us that the fallen angels are ruled by the “prince of the powers of the air,” who is satan himself.

One of the handful of Akkadian literary texts found at the Egyptian capital of Amarna is the short story of Adapa. By the fourteenth century, the composition was known outside Babylonia, which must be its region of origin.

We don’t have any manuscripts from Mesopotamia proper until the seventh century library of Ashurbanipal, however. Altogether only four fragmentary manuscripts are known so far, but they do allow us to reconstruct the outlines of the story. The main character, Adapa, was one of the seven antediluvian sages who brought civilization to humankind according to their texts.

In this story Adapa appears as the priest of the god Ea in the city of Eridu near the Persian Gulf, and is responsible for the care and feeding of his god, having to procure fish for the offerings. In the course of his duties, he disturbs the natural order, and is invited by the god Anu in heaven to justify himself. There he misses the opportunity to gain immortality by refusing the food and drink offered him. This story is a foundational myth to explain human mortality. [11]

An/Anu frequently receives the epithet "father of the gods," and many deities are described as his children in one context or another. Inscriptions from third-millennium Lagaš name “An” as the father of Gatumdug, Baba and Ningirsu. In later literary texts, Adad, Enki/ Ea, Enlil, Girra, Nanna/Sin, Nergal and Šara also appear as his sons, while goddesses referred to as his daughters include Inana/Ištar, Nanaya, Nidaba, Ninisinna, Ninkarrak, Ninmug, Ninnibru, Ninsumun, Nungal and Nusku.

An/Anu is also the head of the Annunaki, and created the demons Lamaštu, Asag and the Sebettu. In the epic Erra and Išum, Anu gives the Sebettu to Erra as weapons with which to massacre humans when their noise becomes irritating to him. [12] Hmmm... seems we must be too noisy lately.

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