The Story of Everything: A Synopsis of The Urantia Book
Paper 95: Melchizedek Teachings in the Levant
In Mesopotamia, Salem missionaries failed to bring a permanent realization of monotheism. Mesopotamians believed in multiple gods and were especially fond of Ishtar and the sex worship that accompanied her devotions. When the Salem teachers tried to abolish temple harlotry Mesopotamians resisted; they subsequently rejected all of the spiritual and philosophic teachings of the Salemites.
In Egypt a strong moral code was already in place, and the Salem religion flourished. One of the few great Egyptian prophets was Amenemope. He taught that riches were a gift from God, that every moment should be lived in the realization of the presence of God, and that all things earthly were fleeting. Amenemope wrote the Book of Wisdom, much of which is preserved as passages in the book of Proverbs, and also the first Psalm. His writings were translated into Greek and Hebrew.
Ikhnaton, Pharaoh of Egypt, had been taught monotheism by his mother. Ikhnaton kept the doctrine of One God alive in Egypt. He had the clearest grasp of the religion of Salem of any person outside of Melchizedek's time. In his determination to swing the nation from polytheism to monotheism, Ikhnaton broke with the past, changed his name, abandoned his capital, built a new city, and created new art and literature for his people. Ikhnaton taught that God made not only Egypt, but all the lands and all the people in the world. This teaching was too much for the nationalistic priests, who sprang back into power after Ikhnaton's death. Although his teachings did not remain in force after he died, the concept of monotheism never again entirely died out in Egypt. Ikhnaton wrote 137 hymns, twelve of which are recorded in the book of Psalms.
In Iran, Melchizedek's doctrines advanced for five hundred years until a change of rulers led to the persecution of monotheistic teachers. Monotheism had become practically extinct in Iran when Zoroaster, the great prophet of Persia, appeared to revive the Salem gospel. He used the flame as a symbol of the wise Spirit of universal dominance. Zoroastrianism is the only religion on earth that retained the concepts of the Seven Master Spirits, which Zoroaster learned about in Ur. Jewish beliefs in heaven, hell, and devils all derived from Zoroastrianism.
The Salem teachers failed most completely in Arabia, so near to Salem itself. This desert region continued as it had for thousands of years, with each tribe worshipping its ancient fetish and many families praying to their own household gods. Long did the struggle continue between the Babylonian Ishtar, the Hebrew Yahweh, the Iranian Ahura, and the Christian Father of Jesus. Never was one concept able fully to displace the others; the people of Arabia did not universally embrace monotheism until the times of Islam.