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The Roberts Trap is Sprung

By:  Bill Dunne
One of the most overlooked aspects of the year just ended is the vindication of Chief Justice John Roberts -- a vindication that showed up as the national catastrophe known as ObamaCare got rolling.  Roberts may have also doomed Hillary Clinton's chance to live in the White House again... click here to read whole editorial


Moses, Sargon & Karna: 

Babies in a Basket

By:  David Deschesne

Editor/Publisher, Fort Fairfield Journal

June 7, 2017


   Many Jews and Christians are familiar with the story of Moses where, as a three month-old child he was placed in a reed basket which was lined with pitch or bitumen, placed on a river bank, to be eventually found by the Pharaoh’s daughter.1  He was subsequently raised by her and became a great leader.

   While this is truly an inspiring story, it is not unique in the pantheon of great leaders of the world.  In fact, most Bible scholars are blissfully unaware of  similar, parallel stories occurring with great leaders much earlier than the Moses story.  Those leaders were the historical King Sargon, of Sumer and Karna of Hinduism, both of which predate the Moses story by centuries.

King Sargon

   Sargon - a Semitic, not Sumerian name - was not his given name, but one he chose for himself later on.   

   According to his biography, which was found on fragments of clay tablets from an excavation at Kouyunjik in the 1800’s, he was born an illegitimate son of a temple priestess of the goddess Innana.  As the story goes, he never knew his father. His mother could not reveal her pregnancy or keep the child, and so he was set adrift by her in a basket on the Euphrates River where he was later found by the gardener for King Ur-Zabba, King of the Sumerian city of Kish. The gardener, named Akki, raised the young boy as his own. 

   Like the Moses story, the rescued Sargon would then rise to become a great leader.  He ultimately would conquer all of Mesopotamia and create the first multi-national empire in history.

   In her book, Isis Unveiled Vol 2, Helena Blavatsky cites a book by George Smith on the discovery of those clay tablets

On page 224 of Assyrian Discoveries, Mr. George Smith says:  ‘In the palace of Sennacherib at Kouyunik, I found another fragment of the curious history of Sargon, a translation of which I published in the Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, vol. i., part i., page 46.  This text relates that Sargon, an early Babylonian monarch, was born of royal parents, but concealed by his mother, who placed him on the Euphrates in an ark of rushes, coated with bitumen, like that in which the mother of Moses hid her child (Exodus ii.).  Sargon was discovered by a man named Akki, a water-carrier, who adopted him as his son; and he afterward became King of the Semites Akkad -- mentioned in Genesis as a capital of Nimrod (Genesis x.10), and here he reigned for forty-five years.  Akkad lay near the city of Sippara, on the Euphrates and north of Babylon.”2

   The cuneiform tablets written in about 650 BC were called The Legend of Sargon. These tablets were discovered as part of the library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh in the 19th Century AD.

   The George Smith translation of the opening part of the story contained on those tablets is as follows:


1.  Sargona, the powerful king, the king of Akkad am I.

2.  My mother was a princess, my father I did not know, a brother of my father ruled over the country.

3.  In the city of Azupirana, which is by the side of the river Euphrates,

4. My mother, the princess conceived me; in difficulty she brought me forth.

5.  She placed me in an ark of rushes, with bitumen my exit she sealed up.

6.  She launched me in the river which did not drown me.

7.  The river carried me to Akki, the water-carrier it brought me.

8.  Akki, the water-carrier, in tenderness of bowels, lifted me...



  Karna, also known as Vasusena or Radheya, was a great warrior and ultimately king of Anga in the epic Hindu story, the Mahābhārata

   Karna was born from a divine union between the sun god, Surya and Kunti, the aunt of Lord KRSNA.  

   Unwilling to bear the embarrassment of keeping a fatherless child, Kunti placed the newborn Karna in a basket and set him afloat in the Aswa river.  From there he floated to the Charmanwati river, on to the Yamuna river and ultimately to the Ganges.

   Karna was found by Adhiratha, charioteer of King Dhritarashtra of Hastinapur.  He ultimately became a great and powerful warrior and king of Anga (present day Bhagalpur and Munger).

   The relevant part of the story of the baby Karna in the Mahābhārata  is as follows:3

   ...The sun deva was tall, jewels fell across his bare chest and his golden hair framed his face. "Stay," whispered Kunti.

   The next day, the son of the sun deva was born to Kunti. He wore gold earrings and a gold armour and his very body shone. Kunti placed the baby in a basket and sent it floating down the Yamuna.

   The basket floated down the Yamuna  into the Ganges  which washed it ashore in the land of Anga  where it was found by the charioteer Adhiratha.

   Adhiratha took the child to his wife and said, "the deva has given us this child, who wears golden armour and earrings. We shall raise him a warrior, even though I am but a lowly charioteer."

   They named this child Karna and he became the pupil of Drona...



   Now contrast the Sargon and Karna stories you just read with the one found in Exodus regarding Moses’ childhood;

Exodus 2 (KJV)

1.  And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.

2.  And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.

3. And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s bank.

4.  And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.

5.  And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent for her maid to fetch it.

6.  And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children.

7. Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?

8.  And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother.

9.  And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages.  And the woman took the child, and nursed it...


Similarities and Parallels

   You will notice in all three stories we have a child being placed in some sort of basket made out of reeds coated with pitch for a sealant.  They are all abandoned by their mothers by being placed either in the river or on the riverbank.  Then the children in all three stories are found by someone connected to the royalty of the area and finally, they each respectively rose to become great leaders.


The Datelines

   Sargon was a historical figure who reigned from 2334 BC until his death in 2279 BC.  Moses was born over 700 years later, in 1571 BC.4  The clay tablets containing Sargon’s biography are dated to around 650 BC but were quite likely passed down by oral tradition and writings that have not yet been discovered or are no longer extant.

   Karna’s story is from the Hindu, which is one of the world’s oldest religions and, like Sargon, date back nearly 4,000 years.  As with the books of the Old Testament of the Bible, the Mahābhārata was passed down by oral story telling until around 400 BC when it was finally recorded in print—about the time the Torah began to be archived in printed form.  The Mahābhārata is the longest epic  currently known to humanity. Its longest version consists of over 200,000 individual verse lines. About 1.8 million words in total, the Mahābhārata is roughly ten times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined.

   The Moses story, similarly, was passed down by oral tradition from antiquity to around 400 BC when the first five books of the Bible—the Torah—began to be actually written down.  The official Hebrew text of the Bible was finally copied and codified by the Masoretes in 900 AD—around 1,300 years after the Torah began to be written.5

   This places the earliest written version of the Moses story, as well as Karna’s, around 250 years after the oldest known Sargon written story.  To give you a frame of reference for that timeline, the United States is only 241 years old.  The Sargon story would have been around at least that long, as the Moses and Karna stories were being retold orally.  The three stories then could perhaps have influenced each other’s key points prior to their being written down in their final form.

   I know some fundamentalist Christians are choking back the word, “heretic” at this point (or perhaps screaming it into this page, ready to burn me at the stake, lighting the fire with this newspaper!) but please take a moment and put your brain back into that time period and imagine what life was like then.  In and around 650—400 BC and earlier there was no internet, no newspapers, magazines or really books of any quantity like there are today.  The only archiving of information was done by the Kings and Pharaohs and the common people, if they even were literate, mostly passed stories of their history—as they knew it— down by word of mouth.  I know some fundamentalists would argue their belief—based on tradition, not the Bible—that the entire first five books of the Bible were written directly by Moses all at once but most serious Bible scholars today cannot find any verifiable, Biblical archeological evidence to support that position so they have pretty much abandoned the idea of a single author, especially Moses.6

   I’m not suggesting here that Moses was Sargon, he obviously wasn’t.  But it does appear that the Moses story either borrowed from, or was influenced by, the Sargon or Karna stories in its early development.  It’s hard to tell at this point which influenced the other and that perhaps the ideas of the story line were all melting together amongst their respective religious societies as the stories were being archived in printed form.


But wait, there’s more!

   It seems the concept of a child being abandoned by his mother, being dumped in a river, then found by a person connected to the local king and becoming a great leader is too good a plot to pass up.

  In Buddhism, which is an offshoot of Hinduism, there is the story of King Nyatri Tsenpo, the first king of Tibet.  King Tsenpo began his reign in 127 B.C.  However, as the Buddhist story goes, Tsenpo was abandoned by his mother as a child because his appearance was so hideous.  He was placed in a copper box and floated down the Ganges river (like Karna).  He was found by a peasant who adopted him as his own son and brought him up.  He then ascended the holy Mt. Bonri, met a group of native priests and went on to become a great leader.7

  The Greek myth of Oedipus offers a slight variation.  Rather than being abandoned on a riverbank, the infant was to be abandoned, with his ankles tied together, on a mountaintop.    The story of Oedipus is subject of Sophocles' tragedy Oedipus Rex and is recounted in the Odyssey and Iliad.  According to the Wikipedia entry, “Oedipus was the son of Laius and Jocasta, king and queen of Thebes. Having been childless for some time, Laius consulted the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. The Oracle prophesied that any son born to Laius would kill him. In an attempt to prevent this prophecy's fulfillment, when Jocasta indeed bore a son, Laius had his ankles pierced and tethered together so that he could not crawl; Jocasta then gave the boy to a servant to abandon ("expose") on the nearby mountain. However, rather than leave the child to die of exposure, as Laius intended, the servant passed the baby on to a shepherd from Corinth and who then gave the child to another shepherd.”

   According to the myth, Oedipus ultimately became king of Thebes. 

   This is all very interesting stuff indeed, and I promise you will never learn about it in church or Sunday school because it challenges entrenched 2,000 year-old church traditions.  I’m just now learning it and it all started with me researching the intriguing Moses parallels in the Buddhist King Tsenpo story.   I then wound up with Sargon and Karna as the primary thrust of this editorial teaching—not what I was expecting!  But I have to report what I learn.  Just think what you can learn when you turn your brain on and do a little research, letting go of entrenched church tradition and dogma for a few minutes and look back to the world at the time the Bible’s books were first being written. 

   I’m sorry if this challenges the notion that the Bible is the literal, inerrant (without error) and infallible Word of God, but I never said it was—church tradition did (see what Christ said of your traditions at Matthew 15:6 & Mark 7:13).  For anyone who wants to challenge my research and somehow declare that I’m “wrong” please refer to the footnotes below, because they’ll have to be wrong, too. 



1.)  Exodus 2

2.)  Isis Unveiled Vol. 2, ©1877 Helen Blavatasky, Forgotten Books reprint 2008, p.441

3.) cited from:

4.)  Smith’s Bible Dictionary, ©1948 Zondervan Publishing House, p. 418

5.)  The Torah:  A Modern Commentary, W. Gunther Plaut, ed. ©1981 Union of American Hebrew Congregations, p. XXIV.

6.) op cit., p. XXIII.

7.)  The Diamond Path; Tibetan and Mongolian Myth, ©1998 Time Life Books, p. 82.


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