Updated 5 February 2009
Genesis 6:1-4 reads:
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose... There were nephilim in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” [emphasis added]
Nephilim is often translated as “giants”, a legitimate and appropriate interpretation, but one which may be only partially accurate. A better definition might be “those who came down”, “those who descended”, or “those who were cast down.” The Anunnaki of ancient Sumerian texts is similarly defined as “those who from heaven to earth came”. Sitchin , Gardner , and Bramley  have all identified the Nephilim as the Anunnaki, more specifically, essentially the rank and file.
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Virtually all open-minded historical and theological scholars agree the Old Testament’s book of Genesis was extracted from the older Sumerian records, if only because of the similarity in their Comparative Religions. The Enuma Elish, the Sumerian Epic of Creation, and Genesis have a variety of common elements. Stories of a Great Flood and Deluge, among other stories, are also common to both Sumerian and Biblical accounts. An inevitable conclusion is that the Anunnaki were as real as Noah, Moses or Abraham.
Laurence Gardner  has written: “Every item of written and pictorial attestation confirms that the ancient Sumerians were absolutely sincere about the existence of the Anunnaki, and those such as Enki, Enlil, Nin-khursag and Inanna fulfilled earthly functions with designated community duties. They were patrons and founders; they were teachers and justices; they were technologists and kingmakers. They were jointly and severally venerated as archons and masters, but there were certainly not idols of religious worship as the ritualistic gods of subsequent cultures became. In fact, the word which was eventually translated to become ‘worship’ was avod, which meant quite simply, ‘work’. The Anunnaki presence may baffle historians, their language may confuse linguists and their advanced techniques may bewilder scientists, but to dismiss them is foolish. The Sumerians have themselves told us precisely who the Anunnaki were, and neither history nor science can prove otherwise.”
The Sumerian records recorded in great detail the stories of the Anunnaki, and among these, that of Enki, Enlil, Ninki, Inanna, Utu, Ningishzida, Marduk, and many others. Chief among these stories was the continuing conflict between Enki and Enlil, the sons of the supreme god of the time, Anu. Much of ancient human history, and the Biblical Genesis, can be explained as the militant differences between these two half-brothers, and how they affected the life of all sentient beings on Earth.
But the Anunnaki were more than just a pair of squabbling half-brothers. They were the council of Gods and Goddesses, who periodically met to consider their future actions with respect to each other, and probably as a smaller, nondescript item on their agenda, the fate of mankind. The Anunnaki, depending upon the context, were the Nephilim, the gods that Abraham’s father, Terah, (according to the book of Joshua) was reputed to have served, the fallen angels, the lesser individuals of the race from which Anu, Enki, Enlil, Inanna and the other notables had sprung, and the “judges” over the question of life and death. They were in fact the bene ha-elohim, which translates as “the sons of the gods”, or equally likely, “the sons of the goddesses.” For example, from Psalm 82:
“Jehovah takes his stand at the Council of El to deliver judgment
among the elohim.” “You too are gods, sons of El Elyon, all of you.”
The Anunnaki have also been equated with the “Watchers” (who are also mentioned in the books of Daniel and Jubilees), i.e. “Behold a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven.” -- Daniel 4:13
According to Zecharia Sitchin  and his interpretation of ancient Sumerian texts, the Anunnaki were extraterrestrials (aka “angels”?), who were an extremely long-lived race, potentially living as long as 500,000 years. Laurence Gardner  reduces this to more on the order of 50,000 years, and notes specifically that the Anunnaki were not immortal. He point out that no records are currently extant which relates to their natural deaths, but the violent deaths of Apsu, Tiamat, Mummu, and Dumu-zi are provided in some detail. (Sitchin and Gardner also disagree on the date of the Great Deluge/Flood; Sitchin assuming a time frame of 11,000 B.C.E., while Gardner assumes one of 4,000 B.C.E.)
Sitchin’s book, The 12th Planet, published in 1976 was the first modern volume to begin to describe the Anunnaki, their arrival on Earth supposedly some 485,000 years ago, and from where they had come -- a planet called Nibiru. Sitchin believes Nibiru to be in an orbit about our sun, but in a strongly elliptical orbit which requires 3,600 Earth years to make a complete orbit. Nibiru’s perihelion (closest point of approach to the Sun) is thought to be within the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, at a distance from the Sun of approximately 2.75 A.U. (an A.U. being the distance from the Sun to the Earth). (the Annals of Earth include a detailed description of how Nibiru created the asteroid belt by destroying a planet, Tiamat, in roughly the same orbit, and which created the Earth in the aftermath, the Earth being a remnant of the greater, destroyed planet.)
Nibiru is not known to modern astronomy primarily due to the extreme elliptical nature of its orbit and the fact its aphelion (furthest point in the planet’s orbit from the Sun) is more than eight times the distance from the Sun to the planet Pluto (the latter being some 40 A.U. away, and thus the former, some 320 A.U. distant). Furthermore, Nibiru may be now far out in deep space and unlikely to be detected. (Or close by, e.g. Planet X.)
While Sitchin and Gardner may disagree with the extent of the long lives of the Anunnaki, it is clear that these gods and goddesses, baring accidents or “Anunnaki-cide”, lived a very long time. It has also been theorized that because of their long lives, they do not quite move in “the fast lane” -- at least to the extent humans do.
This could be fundamentally important in that, quite possibly, the human life span, while enormously brief as compared to the Anunnaki gods and goddesses, might nevertheless be compensated by the humans possessing the ability to achieve a great deal in a relatively short time. The creativity of a shortened, and thus highly motivated lifespan is likely to be enormously greater than that of a god or semi-god resting on their laurels. This may also relate to the idea of why the gods and goddesses of the Anunnaki even bother with mankind. Humans may, on the one hand, act as workers to accomplish the Anunnaki’s agenda, but an accelerated creativity may be well worth the trouble for the Anunnaki to manage a crew as motley as the human race.
But the connection between humans and the Anunnaki is much more profound than that of masters and slaves. All the evidence strongly advocates the concept that Adam and Eve and their ancestors, cousins, and what-have-you were created by genetic engineering and mixing the DNA of Anunnaki with that of Homo erectus, the reigning progenitor of man at the time. Fundamentally, this was because the Anunnaki needed someone to work the mines in search of gold and other Precious Metals, and in all likelihood the ORME.
http://www.vibrani.com/Anunnaki.htm provides what just may be an insider view of the Anunnaki -- but from the perspective of Enki. The advantage of this link is that it provides extensive details on pre-Anunnaki history. While such channeled information is always speculative, it is nevertheless worthy of serious consideration.
(2/5/9) Another speculative source of possible implications is William James' website, Zero Point - Power of the gods in which he has provided a possible answer to the logical question of what was the Anunnaki's energy/power source. In effect he has linked physics and ancient history by means of "an adventure series which focuses on the unlimited potentials of Zero Point Energy and the ancient gods of civilizations long past." By means of supporting evidence, this combination of science and history effectively provides greater credibility to both. Additionally (and in many respects importantly, Mr. James' writings can also "stir the reader’s imagination to consider the possibilities of this fantastic energy source"... not to mention giving an intriguing insight into the practitioners of the energy source, the Anunnaki.
The most fundamental question with respect to the Anunnaki is whether or not they’re still on Earth! Sitchin  has pointed out that he never said they left (and there is no evidence that they did). There was, however, an apparently fundamental Anunnaki policy shift circa 600 B.C.E. wherein the overt, day-to-day interference in human affairs by the Anunnaki disappeared. There is also the scenario encapsulated in Richard Wagner's classic opera The Ring of the Nibelung, which included Night Falls on the Gods and the Entrance of the Gods Into Vahalla -- titles which are suggestive of possible changes in status of the Anunnaki. Finally, there is evidence to suggest that this state of affairs may be temporary, and may be scheduled to end with the end of the Mayan Calendar on or about 2012. A.D.
From mankind’s point of view, the dysfunctional nature of the Anunnaki family, and the continuing rivalry of Enki and Enlil, may still be ongoing and having enormous effects on the quality of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual lives. It’s a very important question, and one that needs to be answered by each of us.
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 Zecharia Sitchin, The 12th Planet, 1976, The Wars of Gods and Men, 1985, Genesis Revisited, 1990, Divine Encounters, 1995, Avon Books, New York.
 Bramley, William, The Gods of Eden, Avon Books, New York, 1989, 1990.
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