The practice of divnation is one of the most distinctive features of the Babylonians. The Babylonian believed that their gods (mighty ones) communicated their intentions to mankind by means of signs in natural phenomena and worldly events and that it was possible to learn to read these signs through prolonged observation and deep study.
Notice the absence of determinism here; the gods could change their minds at anytime and often did so, but they would notify mankind of this. The vehicle of comunication could be anything in earth or heaven, and omens could be seen in the way smoke rose from fire, abnormal births among humans or animals, the sudden appearance of a lion in a city street, an eclipse of the moon, or an unusual dream. the Babylonian was surrounded by ominous happenings.
The Babylonians had many festivals and feasts. Probably the most important of these was the New Year's Festival. The festival was done in the first eleven days of the month Nissan, which meant that the feast coincided with the spring equinox. This was because the equinox marks the beginning of another cycle when the days get longer and shorter again until the winter equinox. The days shorter, then longer, and then the year ends when day and night are the same length.
On the first five days of the New Year's Festival, there were many ceremonies of purification. This culminated when on the fifth day the King was taken by the High Priest to Marduk in the Temple Esagila. The King had his insignia removed. He was then accused of crimes against the city of Babaylon. The King was then hit and forced to kneel and plead his innocence. The King then had his insignia restored.
On the sixth day the statue of Nabu was taken from its temple in Borsippa and brought to its father's Marduk's temple in Babylon. The tenth day was the great climax of the celebration. Marduk, Nabu and many other gods assembled and went by river and road, to a place called the Akitu House. Here a ceremonial battle took place showing Marduk overcoming the forces of evil. The gods would then return to their temple.
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Carmel - A mountain range extending approximately 13 miles from the Mediterranean coast southeast to the Plain of Dothan. The mountain range averaged over 1,000 feet above sea level, with a peak of 1,742 feet. Carmel was within the territory given to Asher. this location is most well known for Eliyah's victory over the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:19-20).