A PRICELESS ARCHIVE: Donald Parry, author of Illuminating the Dead Sea Scrolls, pores over a text of what has been described as the greatest manuscript find of all time. Discovered at Qumran in the West Bank in March 1947 and availed to the public in September 1991, the Dead Sea Scrolls were a meticulously kept library of a basically ascetic Jewish sect called the Essenes, of whom Jesus was a member. They shed radically new light on the times and happenings of the gospel era and reveal a scribal code called pesher, which unveils a new layer of meaning beneath the familiar language of scripture.
Those who hold that the circumstances of Mary’s pregnancy were supernatural can be excused. This is because the language employed therein smacks of ethereality – Holy Spirit, Angel Gabriel, Son of the Most High, etc. To those who have read and rigorously studied the Dead Sea Scrolls, however, such terminology is well within the temporal context. That is to say, it does not carry spiritual connotations as such. True, the idea of an angel speaking to Joseph and Mary in their sleep may seem supernatural but the dreams are theological interpolations, inserted into the gospels in onward editing to fit a contrived agenda – what Karl Marx called the opium of the masses.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are so named because they were discovered in caves around the Qumran plateau of the West Bank (about 40 km east of Jerusalem), at the northwest corner of the Dead Sea, in March 1947. The discoverer was a Bedouin shepherd kid who was looking for a lost goat. The scrolls were found hidden in jars. The 1947 find was the initial discovery: more discoveries were made after further excavations on the same site spanning 11 years in a series of 11 caves. Altogether, 972 texts were turned up. They are written in four languages, namely Hebrew (the majority), Aramaic, Greek, and Nabatean, mostly on parchment. Other texts were inscribed on papyrus and bronze.
Most of the Dead Sea Scrolls are fragments. Fragments of all the Old Testament books have been found save for the book of Esther. The only complete book is Isaiah. There are also apocryphal books (those arbitrarily excluded from the Old Testament canon by the Constantine-convened Nicene Council of AD 325) such as the book of Enoch and the book of Jubilees, and sect-specific writings that embody rules and beliefs of the people who compiled them. The latter include commentaries on the Old Testament, paraphrases that expand on the Law of Moses, rule books of the community, war conduct, thanksgiving psalms, hymnic compositions, benedictions, liturgical texts, and sapiential (wisdom) writing. These texts have been given appropriate titles such as the War Scroll; Manual of Discipline; the Community Rule; the Temple Scroll; the Copper Scroll; etc.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were written/preserved by the Essenes between 168 BC and 68 AD. We know this because Pliny, the first century Roman historian, wrote that “On the west coast of Lake Asphaltitis (the Dead Sea) are settled the Essenes, at some distance from the noisome odours that are experienced on the shore itself. They are a lonely people, the most extraordinary in the world, who live without women, without love, without money, with the palm trees for their only companions.”
The Essenes stashed away the scrolls some time in 70 AD, when Roman General Titus overran Jerusalem and laid waste to the Temple following a catastrophic Jewish uprising – led by the Zealots, the military wing of the Essenes – that began in 66 BC. This they did in heed of JEREMIAH 32:14, which says, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences … and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.” The Dead Sea Scrolls have given us invaluable insight into the beliefs, customs, rituals, politics, philosophies, and traditions of first century Palestine.
In their writings, as well as in the interpretation of Old Testament scriptures, the Essenes employ a technique called pesher (pesharim in plural). The present-day authority on this subject is Barbara Theiring, who after studying the Dead Sea scrolls for years on end fathomed the trick. According to the pesher technique, certain scriptures have two layers of meaning. There is the surface meaning, which is religious in orientation and is intended for lay people.
Then beneath the veneer lies the real meaning, which only those privy to pesher would tell. “The pesharist implies two levels of meaning,” Theiring says. “The surface containing a general religious matter, suitable for ordinary readers, and beneath it specific historical matter, available only to those with special knowledge, knowledge of the events which fitted the text handled in this way. The surface remains valid: it is not negated by the other meaning, and it meets people’s general religious needs. But it does set up a mystery, capable of solution by experts.”
Jesus, who was an Essene, did drop hints on the pesher secret when he said, “To you (his disciples) is given the mystery of the Kingdom of God but for those outside everything is in parables” (MARK 4:11). Theiring found that the four gospels, the book of Acts, and Revelation were written in pesher code. Theiring has explicated the pesher principle in her books Jesus of the Apocalypse (1995); John’s Gospel: The Book That Jesus Wrote (1998); and Jesus the Man (2006). Her only undoing is that her books are complex and require a special attention span, enormous reserves of patience, and a highly retentive mind to really grasp what they say.
Anyone who is not familiar with pesher and the traditions and customs of the Essenes as set out in the Dead Sea Scrolls will never understand the Jesus story: it is as simple as that. It explains why all the bible-thumping guys who rant and rave in the pulpits every Sunday and on religious television channels spew utter drivel. They preach nonsense because they run away only with the surface message of scripture. They are practically ignorant.
JOSEPH’S DELIBERATE BREACH
We have already made the point that a dynastic heir – that of the Davidic or Zadokite line – was supposed to be born in September, this being both the holiest month of the year as far as the Jews were concerned and the most astrologically appropriate as it was ruled by the constellation Virgo, the virgin. Joseph, however, decided to throw away the script. The Age of Aries (2160 BC-0) was transitioning to the Age of Pisces (0-2160 AD). Joseph’s son would come into the world at this crossroads. As the future King of the World, his son would be symbolically ushering in a new world order simultaneous with the advent of the Age of Pisces. Joseph therefore decided that his son must arrive not in a month ruled by Virgo but in a month ruled by Pisces. This was March.
Now, the overall global agenda as we now know is driven by two factions of Anunnaki royalty, the Anunnaki being the Sumerian term for the Old Testament gods, and the Sumerians being the world’s first-known civilisation that thrived in Mesopotamia in modern-day Iraq 6,000 years ago. The Enlilites, led by Enlil, called Jehovah in the Bible, are the hawks, whereas the Enkites, led by Enki, the Serpent of Genesis, are the doves. Joseph, as did Jesus, subscribed to the Enkite agenda. Pisces had always been the age in which the Enkites exercised hegemony as per the pact between the two factions. Hence the idea of Jesus being born in a month ruled by Pisces perfectly conformed to the Enkite agenda.
At their betrothal ceremony in June 8 BC, Joseph and Mary were told in no uncertain terms that dynastic procreational rules demanded that they not indulge in sexual relations till December, the least holy month on the Jewish calendar. Remember, the Essenes frowned upon sex: to them it was defiling and therefore desecrating. On the occasion that it was sanctioned – and only for those members who had to produce heirs, namely the Davids and the Zadoks – it had to take place only in December.
Since Joseph had a scheme, he could not wait: he slept with Mary bang on the very night of the betrothal ceremony and “scored”. The following month, Mary announced to her husband that she was carrying his seed. Joseph was ecstatic. At the same time, he was worried sick as he was not sure how the Essene sages were going to receive this blatant breach of royal procreational norms.
JESUS, MARY DISOWNED
If Joseph were an ordinary Joe, his sexcapade with Mary would hardly have made a ripple. It would actually have been a non-issue. But he wasn’t: he was the prospective heir to the Jewish throne. Everybody – the Essenes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the ordinary man in the street either knew him or had heard of him. The rumour thus spread like a wild fire practically overnight. His transgression became a national scandal that reverberated all the way from Galilee, his place of residence, to every nook and cranny of Palestine. The scandal was to dog his unborn son for the rest of his life.
The reason the indiscretion so rapidly became public was largely because the Sadducees, the rich Jewish elite of the day who profited gargantuanly from Roman patronage, were content with the status quo. They were therefore just too eager to pounce on the merest whiff of scandal on the part of the Davidic heir – a veritable threat to the perks of privilege they presently enjoyed. If the scandal had happened in our day, the Sadducees would have made sure it was splashed on the front page of every major newspaper across the country. For according to dynastic procreational rules, what Joseph had committed was not a mere breach: it amounted to fornication, sleeping with a woman you are not married too (JOHN 8:41).
Joseph, who had not anticipated the thunderclap splash his misdemeanour created, began to have second thoughts. The evangelist Matthew puts it this way: “Then Joseph, her husband being a just man and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily (MATTHEW 1:9).” This is pure male chauvinism on the part of Matthew, a trait that was prevalent among the Jews of the day. This sexist stance where women were the ones invariably in the wrong in matters of this nature went back all the way to Genesis, when Eve was unjustly blamed for causing Adam to disobey God. The fact of the matter is that it was all the fault of Joseph, the result of his personally devised scheme having boomeranged back horrendously.
In order to at once extricate himself from blame and appease the disquieted and disapproving public, Joseph decided to do two things. First, he was to privately divorce Mary. Second, he was to place her in monastic custody: that is the meaning of the term “put her away privily” in pesher language. Now, Qumran had several quarters. One of these was called the Queen’s House. The Queen’s House was a place where newly-born babies who had been abandoned by their mothers on a wayside were philanthropically raised. Girls were groomed as nuns and boys were groomed as monks. These two classes of celibates served the Qumran priests. Joseph decided that his unborn son be classed as illegitimate and be raised as an orphan-cum-monk. The spirit of the unborn Jesus must have uttered a sigh of desperate protest in its mother’s womb.
HOLY SPIRIT CONSULTS ANGEL
The contemplations of Joseph were all his own: poor Mary had no say whatsoever. In gospel times, women simply did not matter. Their only role was to produce children and do household chores. In fact, women were so looked down upon that they were not even allowed to testify in court. However, the final say rested not with Joseph alone but the Essene top brass.
Now, according to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Essene order had a hierarchy comprising of 19 grades (that is, 0-18 in descending order, with 0 being the top grade). I will confine myself to the top three as these bear the most relevance in the nativity story.
If you recall, the main reason the Essene movement came into being was to champion the cause of the House of David (the royal lineage) and the House of Aaron (the priestly lineage). From the time of King David, the line of Zadok was the senior priesthood and the line of Abiathar was the second in rank. Thus in the Essene order, the High Priest was the Zadok and his Number 2 was the Abiathar. The priests also had angelic designations. The Zadok was called “Archangel Michael”, whilst the Abiathar was called “Angel Gabriel”. You can read all about this in the Community Rule document as well as the War Scroll of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
In 8 BC, the year of the Joseph scandal, the Archangel Michael, also referred to simply as “The Lord”, was Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. The Angel Gabriel, also referred to as the “Angel of the Lord” in that he was the Michael’s deputy, was Simeon (LUKE 2:25-35).
Simeon was the priest in charge of Grade 4 celibates, that is, those of the House of David and House of Aaron who had to be given leave at specified intervals so that they can produce heirs. He was also mentor to the Grade 2 Essene, called the Sariel (another angelic title), who was third in the hierarchy. As the Davidic heir, Joseph was the Sariel. According to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Sariel also went by the title … Holy Spirit.
Since Joseph the Holy Spirit was under the direct supervision of Simeon the Angel Gabriel, it was to the latter he headed for advice on his predicament.
In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.
It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.
… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan
With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.
Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.
If I say the word ‘robot’ to you, I can guess what would immediately spring to mind – a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and tv shows. Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name, Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama, Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…
Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator, Box in Logan’s Run, Police robots in Elysium and Otomo in Robocop.
And that’s to name but a few. As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves. And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of robotics in the workplace.
ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.
A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles. It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.
DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.
AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,
AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.
INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour
These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.
This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count! For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars. It’s a theory, at any rate.
Already,customers at the South-Korean fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic. The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners. Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.
‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP.
Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions.
Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders. Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.
These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.
And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth. Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.
But there may be more redundancies on the way as well. Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable? So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid? Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!