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Excerpt From"The Riddle of the Sphinx"

by Douglas A. Elwell

Ah Egypt! The black land, the white land, the two lands that are one! Mother of mysteries, sovereign of secrets, in your bosom lies hidden the greatest of all the ancient mysteries of the world. Like a golden medallion hidden between the peaks, guarded by your wisdom, lies the greatest earthly secret of all — the great Hall of Records, wherein is encoded all of the secrets of the universe ... of man's past, present, and future.

The Sphinx has ever been the ultimate symbol of mystery, neatly and concretely symbolizing the most mysterious of all ancient lands — Egypt. Until recently Egypt was also the most tourist-friendly of the Near Eastern lands of the Bible. However, since the passionate intensity of the January 25th (2011) revolution reduced Egypt to mere anarchy, it is recommended that tourists avoid the ancient land, as terrorist organizations seek to undermine its national sovereignty and turn it into yet another Islamic state, where ancient wisdom is considered heresy, and those who seek it, heretics.

Yet Egypt was not always completely idolatrous and wicked, nor was it always ruled by those who are themselves ruled by their own passionate intensity. Father Abraham, progenitor of many nations, lived there for a time, fleeing the destruction of Sumer by fire from heaven. Joseph fled to Egypt also, and became the second man in the kingdom after Pharaoh himself — the vizier, chief counselor and master of mysteries. God so respected Egypt that He used it to host His own chosen people Israel, only destroying Egypt after they refused to let His people go after 400 years of captivity. At one time, it may be that before Egypt forgot the God of heaven and fell into idolatry, this ancient land once kept and revered the greatest of His mysteries.

It appears that the Sphinx may even have appeared in the Bible, though in an archetypally cryptic way. Carefully hidden in the prophesies of Jacob, specifically, the prophecy regarding the Tribe of Judah and their destiny in the End Times, is a clear allusion to the riddle of the Sphinx. Until this day, no one has ever figured out this very clear allusion to the Sphinx, and to the role that it will play in the End Times:

Judah is a lion's whelp:

from the prey, my son, thou art gone up:

he stooped down, he couched as a lion,

and as an old lion;

who shall rouse him up?

(Genesis 49:9, KJV)

To the Israelites, this would have been a clear allusion to the Sphinx, which "couched", or crouched at the center of the Giza necropolis, the most important part of the nation of Egypt, which was now their home. They had only recently moved to Egypt to live with Joseph, and thus, when the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, Jacob, pronounced his prophecy on his deathbed, it was actually done in Egypt. Jacob's son Joseph was now a prince second only to the Pharaoh over all Egypt, so they had effectively become royalty, and all the treasures of Egypt were now at their disposal, including the Sphinx and all it contained.

The tribe of Judah, the "Jews", the only tribe out of the original 12 tribes to twice return from captivity amongst the nations, is described here first as a young lion, then as an adult lion that is "couched", or sitting in repose. Finally, it is described as an old lion, which remains in repose, the rousing of which could incur great danger to those who dare to plumb its secrets. And though the description of Judah as being like a crouching lion may not be enough to definitively complete the link between Judah and the lion-man Sphinx, the Riddle of the Sphinx makes it clear that the lion, and the three ages of man as described in both the prophecy of Jacob and the Riddle, are somehow a part of the great mystery.

What animal is it

that in the morning goes on four feet,

at noon on two feet,

and in the evening on three feet?

The Riddle

The term "The Riddle of the Sphinx" has an ancient heritage. The most well-known reference to the Riddle, which you will encounter in most encyclopedias and historical works dealing with ancient history and myth, comes from the Greek legend of Oedipus. The legend describes a living, winged sphinx with the body of a lion and the head of a woman, whose lair was situated on a cliff along the highway to Thebes, one of the major cities of ancient Egypt. Whenever a traveler passed by her lair, the Sphinx would challenge them to answer a riddle, or else she would devour them.

Oedipus, however, realized the answer to the riddle: the "animal" was man who, in the "morning" of his life crawls on all fours as an infant, in the "noon" of his life walks on two feet, and in the "evening" of his life walks on three feet (counting a cane as a third foot). Realizing she was undone, the sphinx cast herself off of the cliff to her doom.

One wonders, however, whether or not this story was an allegory for something deeper. The Greeks were fascinated with Egyptian culture, and were forced to admit that Egypt's mathematical, architectural, and astronomical achievements dwarfed anything Greece had accomplished. Perhaps in their contacts with Egypt, and with the ancient but fading Egyptian priesthood, faint echoes of their original myths made their way into Greek philosophy and literature. And one of these, perhaps the most important scrap of information that the Greeks were able to glean from the Egyptians, was that there was a riddle to the Sphinx.

The Mysterious Origins of the Sphinx

In 1993, Serpent In the Sky was published, wherein maverick Egyptologist John Anthony West reiterated the idea first presented by the French mathematician R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz that the Sphinx might actually be thousands of years older than previously thought, based on what appeared to be water erosion on the Sphinx and on the walls of the Sphinx enclosure. West consulted Boston University professor of Geology Robert Schoch on the weathering patterns to be found on the Sphinx and the walls of the enclosure surrounding the Sphinx, and Schoch found distinct evidence of long-term water erosion, a form of water erosion that could only be caused by regular, heavy rainfall. This, of course, was quite shocking as, according to climatologists, the last time water fell in any kind of significant quantity on Egypt had been some 5,000-7,000 years earlier! And since the pyramids did not exhibit water erosion, the only conclusion that could be reached was that the Sphinx had been carved out of the Giza plateau between 7000-11000 b.c., at least 4500 years earlier than the accepted date for the building of the pyramids. In short, evidence now pointed to the idea that the Sphinx was not only not built at the same time as the pyramids, but was probably several thousand years older!

The walls of the Sphinx enclosure show a form of erosion that can only be caused by regular rainfall over a period of thousands of years. The climate of northeastern Africa has been arid for over 10,000 years, placing the age of the Sphinx as many thousands of years older than previously thought.

In 1995, The Orion Mystery was published. Robert Bauval, a Belgian engineer with a lifelong fascination with the pyramids, often visited them and speculated with friends about how they were built, and for what purpose. Studying aerial photographs of the pyramids, Bauval had wondered why the third major pyramid, the "Pyramid of Menkaure", was so much smaller than the other two. Moreover, he also noticed from aerial photographs of the Giza plateau that the Menkaure pyramid was also not in line with the other two much larger pyramids, the so-called "Pyramid of Khufu" and "Pyramid of Khafre" respectively. However, he filed this anomaly away with the numerous other questions he had about the pyramids, giving it no more precedence than any of the other mysteries surrounding the pyramids and Sphinx.

One night, he and a friend sat around a campfire talking about the rising of Sirius and its relationship with the constellation of Orion. Bauval's friend explained to him how one can find the rising point of the star Sirius on the horizon by following the line created by the three belt stars of Orion — Al Nitak, Al Nilam, and Mintaka — to the horizon. As an afterthought, Bauval's friend also pointed out that the third star in the belt, "Mintaka", was smaller than the other two, and also not quite in line with the other, brighter stars.

The three main pyramids of Giza mirror exactly the three belt stars in the constellation Orion. Bauval, Hancock and others believe that this was an attempt by the ancient Egyptians to create a "heaven on earth" in a very real sense.

This, of course, clicked in Bauval's mind, as he had been long wondering why the Pyramid of Menkaure was likewise noticeably smaller and off the line from the other two major pyramids. Could there be a connection? Bauval then set off to compare more closely the alignments of the three pyramids of Giza with the three belt stars of Orion, and found that the match was nearly perfect.

In 1996, Graham Hancock, an award-winning writer for The Economist, and Robert Bauval, author of The Orion Mystery co-wrote The Message of the Sphinx (released in the U.K. as Keeper of Genesis), summarizing all of these new findings and many new ones into a complete understanding of the "message" that they believed the pyramids and Sphinx were intended to communicate. Their thesis was that the entire pyramid complex, including the Sphinx, was intended to be a message written not in hieroglyphics, but in stone.

Armed with the knowledge that (1) the Sphinx had been created several thousand years earlier than the Pyramids, and (2) that the Pyramids were intended to be an earthly representation of the belt stars of Orion, Hancock and Bauval were able to decode the Egyptian religion and myths as described in the Pyramid Texts. Their conclusion was that the Egyptians, far from being the confused, backward pagans they are typically portrayed as, were a very ancient, highly sophisticated people with a religion based upon a very precise knowledge of astronomy.

Doug Elwell is the publisher of Mysterious World (http://www.mysteriousworld.com), an online journal focusing on exotic and mysterious travel destinations around the world. Doug has twin master's degrees in Biblical & Ancient Near Eastern studies and Marketing Communications from Wheaton College Graduate School, and voluminous amounts of experience in researching and writing on religion, history, mythology, travel, and related disciplines. Doug published and co-authored his first book, "Mysterious World: Ireland", a new kind of travel guide to Ireland, through his own imprint, "Mysterious World Press". His second book, "Planet X, the Sign of the Son of Man, and the End of the Age”, discusses Doug's theories regarding the mysterious Planet X theory and its central role in the creation of the Earth as we now know it. His latest work, "The Riddle of the Sphinx", explores the legend of a mysterious "Hall of Records" hidden under the Sphinx that, some believe, contains forbidden secrets from the world before the Flood.

The Riddle of the Sphinx can be purchased exclusively through Amazon Kindle at: http://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Sphinx-Mysterious-World-ebook/dp/B007PAFN46

Free Kindle e-book readers for PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and numerous other devices can be downloaded at http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=dig_arl_box?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

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