Connect with us
Advertisement

Enki’s Wrangling Brood

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

Although Enki was a most benign and peaceable soul, his clan was a tumultuous lot. They scarcely came to terms and  feuded and warred more often than not.  Occasionally, some of them even allied with the Enlilites to wage war against a fellow Enkite.

When his brood scuffled or fought, the equable and gentle-natured Enki was largely a spectator. They were so intractable Enki simply locked himself in a closet to invoke the “Creator of All”, as the Anunnaki referred to the true God.

Enki, who had an Achilles prick, had children galore, some with fellow Anunnaki and others with Earthlings, but by far the overwhelming majority were female. This, arguably, was on account of the fact that like all the SSS males (the people of Orion, where Enki hailed from), he was born from an unfertilised egg and so his genetic proclivity was predominantly toward female offspring. 

Sumerian records list the following as Enki’s pure Anunnaki sons: Marduk, Nergal, Gibil, Ninagal, Ningishzidda, and Dumuzi in that order. Of these, the most chronicled are Marduk, by virtual of his being Enki’s heir, and Ningishzidda, by virtue of his surpassing exploits and milestones across a spectrum of disciplines.  

MARDUK THE GOD OF BABYLON

The name MARDUK is OME-ORI-DA-EKE in full, meaning “Supreme Divine Spirit/Master” (from ome [divine], ori [spirit or master], da [supreme], and eke [holy]). It was informed by the deity of the Orion Queen, Marduk’s paternal grandmother who was the most revered, venerated, and deified being in the Milky Way Galaxy at a time when Orion was the most powerful empire in our section of the cosmos. EKE was the title both of the Orion Queen and Enki himself. As Enki’s heir, it was fitting that Marduk bear the same title too.

Besides being Enki’s firstborn son, Marduk’s fame stemmed from two other attributes in the main.

First, he ruled Egypt, the capital state of Africa, for 1000 years (from 9670 to 8670 BC) under the title RA, meaning “The Bright One”. As Ra, Marduk was the  Sun God, that is, one who like the Sun was there at the very beginning. He was also known as  AMEN-RA. Amen meant  “The Hidden One” or “The Unseen One”. This was the title of the real God who brought the Sun about. Amen-Ra thus merged First Source and the Sun into one entity personified in Marduk.

Second, at some stage during the astrological Age of Aries (2160-0 BC), Marduk assumed the title of Enlil. In other words, he became Earth’s Commander in Chief, though for a very brief  spell only as the Enlilites soon spurned him and installed Enlil’s second-born son Nanna-Sin to rival him.  Exactly how Marduk became the Enlil we will relate at a later stage. As the Enlil, Marduk renamed planet Nibiru after himself and introduced the decimal mathematical system (Base 10) we use today.  

Marduk had from birth been tipped to inherit the Sirian-Orion throne after Enlil as per the terms of  the merger of the Sirian and Orion empires. But he was disinherited when he went against the Anunnaki matrimonial code and became the first Anunnaki to marry an Earthling known as Sarpanit, which set a precedent for rank-and-file Anunnaki to follow. The Anunnaki were permitted to copulate with Earthlings all right and even procreate with them but marriage was strictly prohibited.  For marrying Sarpanit, Marduk was also banned from ever returning to Nibiru or the throne planet of Sirius.

In earlier times, Marduk was based on Mars where he presided over the Igigi, the Anunnaki astronauts who manned the space stations and satellites in the orbits of  both Earth and Mars. After the defeat of Kumarbi, however, he was recalled for a while but was reinstated in due course.

Marduk was a go-getter, by means foul or fair, even if it meant slugging it out with his brothers. For example, he precipitated what has become known as the Second Pyramid War when he had his youngest brother Dumuzi accidentally killed. He was sentenced to a slow death by entombment in the Giza Pyramid but the pleadings of Sarpanit saved him and his sentence was ultimately commuted to exile. At around 3113 BC, Marduk ejected his other brother Ningishzidda from the Egyptian throne, forcing his departure to South America. 

During the zodiacal Age of Taurus, Marduk decided to build a spaceport in Babylon, where he was based,  to rival the one in the Sinai Peninsula which was controlled by the Enlilites.  A pro-Earthling dude like his father, Marduk wanted to train humans as astronauts too so that  they could explore space and visit other heavenly bodies such as Mars and the Moon, but Enlil was having none of  that. He had Marduk’s spaceport destroyed and Marduk’s people scattered all over the world where they were taught new languages and scripts that alienated them from each other.  In the Bible, this  incident is referred to as the Tower of Babel.

Marduk had three sons with Sarpanit. They were Shu, Tefnut, and Nabu. Of these, Nabu was the closest and the most ambitious on  behalf of his father.  It was through the instrumentality  of Nabu that Marduk decided to capture the Sinai spaceport in 2024 BC with disastrous results: his armies were intercepted by the Enlilite forces commanded by the now famous General Abraham, and the cities of  Sodom and Gomorrah which according to Abraham’s spies were sheltering Nabu were struck with nuclear weapons, causing Enki, who had brought mankind  into existence, to go into a period of  mourning that lasted seven years.  

Marduk never quite got along with his father Enki, who he panned as too meek and too docile compared to Enlil.

Initially, Marduk’s numerical rank was 10. It rose to 50 when he became the Enlil in 2023 BC. He is historically associated with the planet Mars as the god Ares. His emblem was the mus-hus, described as a “a scaly dragon with hind legs resembling the talons of an eagle, feline (lion-like) forelegs, a long neck and tail, a horned head, a snake-like tongue, and a crest” (see accompanying sketch).  

Marduk’s cult centre was Babylon, of which his name is largely invoked. In the Bible, Marduk is referred to as BEL (BA-AL in Akkadian, which simply meant “Lord”, in this case the Lord of the enemy – the Babylonians who were at odds with Enlil’s  Hebrews) or MERODACH. The Old Testament scriptures ISAIAH 46:1 (“Bel bows down, Nebo [Nabu, his son] stoops low; their idols are borne by beasts of burden. The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary) and JEREMIAH 50:2 ("Announce and proclaim among the nations, lift up a banner and proclaim it; keep nothing back, but say, 'Babylon will be captured; Bel will be put to shame, Merodach filled with terror. Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror) both are talking about Marduk.

NINGISHZIDDA THE GOD OF KNOWLEDGE

If Enki was the Anunnaki’s foremost genius, Ningishzidda was not far behind. Although he was best known as the God of Knowledge, Ningishzidda actually mirrored Enki in a whole host of respects, the only difference being that unlike his skirt-chasing dad, he had very strong moral scruples.   The Greeks invoked him as HERMES TRISMAGISTUS (“Thrice Greatest”: greatest of  kings, greatest of magicians [magic here referring to ancient technology], greatest of  priests). 

Ningishzidda is the builder of the iconic Giza Pyramids. The Anunnaki’s  Sinai spaceport and the famed Stonehenge were also built by him. It was Ningishzidda who carved the Sphinx, and the face it initially carried was his. When Enki genetically engineered mankind into existence in a laboratory in today’s East Africa, he was partnered by Ningishzidda.  Ningishzidda was also  capable of raising people from the dead if they had been dead for only a few days and this was just one of the many wonders he was capable of.

Like Nanna-Sin, the second-born son of Enlil, Ningishzidda was born on Earth. His mother was not Sarpanit though but Ereshkigal, the granddaughter of Enlil. That, coupled with his innate good-naturedness,  made him a bridge-builder between the Enlilites and the Enkites and therefore a rallying point. Indeed, the name Ningishzidda means “Great Soul”, something  he lived up to as he was the most spiritual and soulful of the Anunnaki.

When Marduk was banished to Babylon in 8670 BC, Enki and Enlil by a compromise  compact installed Ningishzidda as ruler of  Egypt. Ningishzidda ruled Egypt for 1560 years. During the Second Pyramid War, it  was Ningishzidda who rescued Marduk from deathly confinement in the Giza Pyramid on the pleadings of  his wife Sarpanit. This was in spite of the fact that the two brothers had long been estranged. The Egyptians called him THOTH, meaning “Teacher” as he was a seamless repository of  knowledge.

At the height of  his rivalry with Marduk over the Egyptian throne circa 3113 BC, Enki advised Ningishzidda to simply throw in the sponge and  head far afield in Mesoamerica, where a new Anunnaki colony was to be founded.  He took with him a band of faithful African followers  now known as the Olmecs, with whom he brought about  the Mayan civilisation. There, the Incas called him VIRACOCHA (“Creator of all there is”) whereas the Mayas and Aztecs called him QUETZALCOATL (“The Flying Serpent” because he was of serpentine evolutional ancestry through his father Enki and flew in a plane).  His other title was KUKULCAN (which can be paraphrased as “Wise Being Who Flew in a Bird-like Craft”).

Ningishzidda contended for hegemony in Mesoamerica with Enlil’s combustive son Ishkur-Adad. As a result, the troubleaverse Ningishzidda departed the place and settled in   Asia, where he sparked a new age of enlightenment as the first Buddha. The countries Nepal (“Nepa-El”, meaning  “Righteous God”) and Japan (whose name is actually Nippon, “NEPA-EN”, meaning “Righteous Lord”) are named after him. So too is the Himalayan Mountains (“Herma-Laya”, meaning “Great Teacher”). The principal tenets of  Tibetan Buddhism (to me the most truthful religion on Earth)   are based on the teachings of  Ningishzidda, who was a vegetarian through and through.

After his Mesoamerican exploits, Ningishzidda came to be associated with the number 52 after he promised the Mayans that he was going to return after  5200 years.  According to the Mayan prophecy, the return fell due in 2012,  but Ningishzidda was nowhere to be seen. Their calculations apparently were out by a very long shot. 

Ningishzidda’s consort was Geshtinanna, his half-sister, who was born to Enki and Ninmah.

MARDUK’S BLOOD BROTHERS

To us Africans, it seems the most influential of Enki’s sons was Nergal. It was from Nergal we get the term “negro”, the black race. Nergal, Enki’s second son with his official wife Damkina, initially ruled southern Africa but it seems he later moved to West Africa as the river Niger is obviously named after him. Because he ruled southern Africa, the Abzu, which over time was miscomprehended as abyss, and was in charge of  underground mines, he is in mythology referred to as the god of the underworld, also characterised as Hell.

His African warriors, the Kutheans, a formidable fighting force,  at one time conquered swathes of  Mesopotamia for a while during his short-lived alliance with Inanna-Ishtar, Enlil’s granddaughter. Circa 2024 BC, Nergal, who was also known as Erra, turned against his elder brother Marduk, resulting in the nuking of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by  Utu-Shamash, Enlil’s grandson, and he (Nergal).   Nergal was married to Ereshkigal, who in turn was  Ningishizidda’s mother. Enki had Ningishzidda with Ereshkigal before she married Nergal thanks to the Anunnaki’s labyrinthine incestuous relationships.

Gibil, Enki’s third son with Damkina, was a metallurgist who worked very closely with his father in the Abzu mines of modern-day Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Ninagal was Enki’s fourth son with Damkina. Known as “Lord of the Great Waters”, that is, the seas, he was the Anunnaki’s greatest navigator and superintended over the shipping of ores from the Abzu to the Edin in Sumeria. It was Ninagal who assisted in the construction of  Noah’s ark (actually a submarine) and it was he who piloted it throughout the duration of the floods, the only Anunnaki who remained on the Earth surface at that tempestuous time.

The ill-fated Dumuzi was Enki’s last born son with Damkina. Dumuzi, one of Enki’s most beloved sons, was an expert in animal husbandry. When he fell in love with Inanna-Ishtar and was in the process of  tying the knot with her, Marduk took very strong exception  and whilst Dumuzi was being pursued by Marduk’s men, he fell off a cliff and passed away, a death which precipitated the Second Pyramid War in which Inanna sought vengeance against Marduk. Most of  the love poems  in the Bible’s Song of Solomon are based on the Romeo- and-Juliet-like romance of  Dumuzi and Inanna.  When Adam was taken to Nibiru to be shown off to King Anu, he was accompanied by Dumuzi and Ningishzidda.

OSIRIS, SET AND HORUS

Osiris (Ashur), the most famous Egyptian “god” alongside Horus, was Enki’s most beloved grandchild. He was one of  four children of Geb and his wife Nut. Geb and Nut had married as half-siblings, being the children of  Marduk. Their four kids were sons Set and Osiris, and daughters Isis and Nephtys. But the state of affairs was not as straightforward as that.

 Although Osiris was legally the son of Geb, his real father was Marduk, again thanks to the incestuous proclivities for which the Anunnaki were famed. Isis too was only legally the daughter of Geb: her  real father was Ningishzidda. The only true children of Geb were Set and Nephtys. This had implications for the politics of succession for what it entailed was that Osiris, though younger than Set, ranked higher in the line of succession senior since Marduk was of senior pedigree. Moreover, Osiris was married to Isis, his half-sister, which further cemented his eligibility to the throne as according to the Anunnaki succession code, a half-sister took precedence over a full sister.   

 But in 8970 BC, Geb divided Egypt into north and south. The north he bequeathed to Osiris and the south to Set. Set, however, wanted all of Egypt to himself and therefore had Osiris murdered. To ensure the likes of Ningishzidda did not do a resuscitation job on him, Set had Osiris’s corpse cut into 14 pieces which he  scattered all over the Egyptian wilds, then a lush jungle. Isis launched a dogged search, assisted by her father/uncle Ningishzidda, and at long last managed to retrieve all the parts except the genitalia, which were crucial as she wished to extract  semen from the scrotal sac and impregnate herself with a view to raise a heir.

It was the inimitable Ningishzidda who did his “magic”. Using a process known as artificial meiosis (which still resides in the realm of theory in our day),  Ningishzidda was able to create sperm cells from Osiris’s retrieved non-sexual parts. These were inseminated into Isis when she was ovulating and that’s how the legendary Horus was born.

When Horus came of age, after being raised secretly by her mother, he waged war against Seth, the First Pyramid War, and drove him out of  Egypt.  Seth’s wicked act against Osiris would over time see his name, SET-EN in full, meaning “Prince Set”,   become a synonym of  SATAN.

NEXT WEEK:  THE GODDESSES

""LIKE MESSIAH LIKE JESUS: The mus-hus as depicted on the Great Gate of  Ishtar which stood at the entrance to Babylon. The mus-hus, from which Messiah, the title of  Jesus, derives, was the emblem of  Marduk,   Enki’s firstborn son who was the god of  Babylon in modern-day Iraq. It has been described as “a scaly dragon with hind legs resembling the talons of an eagle, feline (lion-like) forelegs, a long neck and tail, a horned head, a snake-like tongue, and a crest”. In addition to Marduk, Enki had five other sons, of whom Ningishzidda, a genius only second to Enki, is the most renowned. Enki’s most famous grandson and great grandson are Osiris and Horus, both of whom were prominent Egyptian gods.  The Enkites  were in the habit of  fighting each other, far much more so than the rival Enlilites.

Continue Reading

Columns

Hell Up in Judea

24th August 2021

A case can be made, General Atiku, that history’s most infamous Roman is Pontius Pilate. It was Pilate who condemned Jesus, the  “Son of God”, to the most cruel, most barbaric,  and most excruciating of deaths – crucifixion –  and cowardly at that as the gospels attest for us.  

Yet the exact circumstances under which the crucifixion took place and what followed thereafter far from jells with what is familiarly known. The fact of the matter was that there was a lot of political wheeling and dealing and boldfaced corruption on the part both of the Jewish authorities and the Roman establishment in the person of Pontius Pilate.  In this piece, we attempt, General, to present a fuller photo of Pilate as the centre of the whole machination.

Pilate’s historicity, General, is not in doubt. In 1961, an Italian archeologist unearthed a limestone block at Caesarea Maritima on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, which as of 6 AD was the Roman seat of government as well as the military headquarters.  The block bore the inscription, “Pontius Pilate, the Prefect of Judea, has dedicated this Temple to the divine Augusti” (that is, then Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar and his wife Livia).

Pilate also gets varying degrees of mention in the works of Roman senator and historian Cornelius Tacitus (56-117 AD); the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher and chronicler Philo of Alexandria (25 BC to 50 AD); and the legendary Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD).

Although his year of death (37 AD) is documented, his year of birth is a matter of conjecture, General. He came from the Pontii tribe (hence the name Pontius), a tough, warlike people. The Pontii tribe was of the equestrian class, the second-tier in the Roman caste system. Originally, the equestrians were those Romans with ample pocket power to bribe their way to knightly ranks in the Roman army. Pilate was born to Marcus Pontius, who had distinguished himself as a general in Rome’s military campaigns.

Following one of his particularly sterling military exploits, Marcus was awarded with the Pilum (javelin), a Roman decoration of honour for heroic military service.  To commemorate this medal of valour, the family took the name Pilati, rendered Pilate in English and Pilatus in Latin.

The son, Lucius Pontius Pilate, also distinguished himself as a soldier in the German campaigns of Germanicus, a prominent general of the early Roman Empire. Thanks to his scintillating military profile coupled with   strategic connections in the hierarchies of the Roman government, Pilate was able to wend his way into the heart of Claudia, the granddaughter of Caesar Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire and ruler from 27 BC to 14 AD.

Claudia’s mother was Julia the Elder, who was also the biological mother of the apostles John and James. When Claudia was about 13 years of age, Julia sent her to Rome to be reared in the courts of Emperor Tiberius Caesar, to whom Julia was once married from 11 BC to 6 BC.

Although Tiberius was not the biological father of Claudius, General, he gladly acquiesced to being her foster father in deference to the memory of her late grandfather Caesar Augustus.
Pilate arrived in Rome when Claudia was sixteen years of age. In AD 26, the two tied the knot. Needless to say, it was a marriage based not on love as such but on political opportunism.

ASSIGNMENT JUDEA

The high-placed connection who facilitated Pontius Pilate’s smooth landing into the inner sanctums of Rome’s royalty and put him on a pedestal that saw him take pride of place in the cosmic gallery of rogues was Aelius Sejanus. Like Pilate, Sejanus came from the subordinate equestrian class, who would never be eligible for a seat in the Senate, the legislative council of ancient Rome.

Sejanus, however, had over time become Emperor Tiberius’ most trusted lieutenant and to the point where he was the de facto prime minister.  He had been commander of the Praetorian Guard, the elite Special Forces unit created by Augustus Caesar as a personal security force, which developed under Sejanus’ command into the most significant presence in Rome.

In AD 26, the emperor was not even based in Rome: he had confined himself to the 10.4 km2 island of Capri, about 264 km from Rome, and left control of Rome and the government of the Roman Empire to Sejanus. It was Sejanus who recommended the appointment of Pilate as prefect, or governor/procurator of Judea. The appointment was pronounced right on the occasion of Pilate’s nuptials with Claudius.

Philo records that when the bridal party emerged from the temple where the marriage ceremony was celebrated and Pilate started to follow the bride into the imperial litter, Tiberius, who was one of the twelve witnesses required to attend the ceremony, held him back and handed him a document. It was the wedding present – the governorship of far-flung Judea – with orders to proceed at once to Caesarea Maritima to take over the office made vacant by the recall of Valerius Gratus.

Pilate was notified by Sejanus that a ship was in fact waiting upon him to transport him to Palestine right away. The only disadvantageous aspect about the assignment was that Pilate was to leave the shores of Rome alone, without the pleasure of spending a first night in the arms of his newly wedded wife: by imperial decree, the wives of governors were not allowed to accompany them in their jurisdictions. Pilate, however, was a royal by marriage and so this prohibition was waived. By special permission granted by His Imperial Majesty Tiberius Caesar, Claudia soon joined her husband in Judea. The wily Pilate had calculated well when he married into royalty.

A SADISTIC ADMINISTRATOR

The Judean perch was not prestigious though, General. The prefects of Judea were not of high social status. At least one – Felix, referenced by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles – was an ex-slave, which says a great deal on the low regard in which the province was held by Rome.

Pilate was only secondarily sent to Judea on account of having married into royalty: his posting to the volatile province stemmed, primarily, from his being of a inferior social pedigree. Be that as it may, Pilate relished the posting in that it gave him the chance to exercise power, absolute power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and in Pilate was the archetypal example, General.

Pilate’s brief was simple: to collect taxes, maintain law and order, maintain infrastructure, and keep the population subdued. Although he was born lowly, he positively had the power of life and death over his Jewish subjects. Let us, General, listen to Josephus in his allusion to Coponius, Judea’s first Roman governor and who like Pilate was from the same subservient social class: “And now Archelaus’ part of Judea was reduced into a province and Coponius, one of the equestrian order among the Romans, was sent as procurator, having the power of life and death put into his hands by Caesar.”

Pilate, General, was callous to a point of being sadistic. He was scarcely the scrupling judge with the rare soft spot that we encounter in the gospels. Philo charges him with “corruptibility, violence, robberies, ill-treatment of the people, grievances, continuous executions without even the form of a trial, endless and intolerable cruelties”.

He further declares him to be a “savage, inflexible, and arbitrary ruler” who was of a “stubborn and harsh quality” and “could not bring himself to do anything that might cause pleasure to the Jews”. The essentially humane character of the Pilate who presided over the trial of Jesus as portrayed in the gospels may not be wholly fictitious but is highly embellished, General.

Why did Pilate have such a pathological hatred of the Jews, General? Sejanus had more to do with it than the spontaneous leanings of his own nature. According to Philo, Sejanus hated the Jews like the plague and wished “to do away with the nation” – to exterminate it. In AD 19, for instance, he forced the Jews in Rome to burn their religious vestments and expelled them from the city without much ado.

For as long as Sejanus was in power, General, Pilate could do pretty much as he pleased. He didn’t have to worry about compromising reportage reaching the emperor as everything went through the implacably anti-Jewish Sejanus. Sejanus was unrivalled in power: golden statues of the general were being put up in Rome, the Senate had voted his birthday a public holiday, public prayers were offered on behalf of Tiberius and Sejanus, and in AD 31 Sejanus was named as Consul jointly with Tiberius.

The Judea posting also gave Pilate a golden opportunity to make money – lots of it. The governors of the Roman provinces were invariably rapacious, greedy, and incompetent: this we learn not only from Jewish historians of the day but from contemporary Roman writers as well such as Tacitus and Juvenal.

As long as the money skimmed from the provinces was not overly excessive, governors were allowed a free hand. It is said of Emperor Tiberius that, “Once he ordered a governor to reverse a steep rise in taxes saying, ‘I want my sheep shorn, not skinned’!” For those governors, such as Pilate, who had support from the very acmes of Roman power, General, they were practically a law unto themselves.

PILATE’S WINGS ARE CLIPPED

Pontius Pilate, General, was untrained in political office. Furthermore, he was a sycophant to the core who was prepared to go to any length in a bid to curry favour with and prove his loyalty to the powers that be in Rome.    Both these attributes gave rise to a series of blunders that brought him the intense hatred of the Jews.

The first abomination he committed in the eyes of the Jews, General, was to set up a temple dedicated to Emperor Tiberius, which he called the Tiberieum, making him the only known Roman official to have built a temple to a living emperor.  True, Roman emperors were worshipped, but Tiberius was the one exception. According to the Roman scholar and historian Suetonius, Tiberius did not allow the consecration of temples to himself. Pilate’s act therefore, General, was an overkill: it was not appreciated at all.

Throughout his tenure, General, Pilate had a series of run-ins with the Jews, some of which entailed a lot of bloodshed and one of which sparked an insurrection that paved the way to Calvary. Then it all began to unravel, General. On October 18 AD 31, his patron Sejanus was summoned to the office of Emperor Tiberius and an angry denunciation was read out to him. It is not clear, General, what caused Sejanus’ fall from the emperor’s good graces but circumstantial evidence points to the perceived threat to the emperor’s power.

As the ancient historian Cassius Dio puts it, “Sejanus was so great a person by reason both of his excessive haughtiness and of his vast power that to put it briefly, he himself seemed to be the emperor and Tiberius a kind of island potentate, inasmuch as the latter spent his time on the island of Capri.”  Sejanus, hitherto the most powerful man in Rome, General, was thrown into a dungeon.

That same evening, he was summarily condemned to death, extracted from his cell, hung, and had his body given over to a crowd that tore it to pieces in a frenzy of manic excitement. His three children were all executed over the following months and his wife, Tiberius’ own daughter, committed suicide.  The people further celebrated his downfall by pulling his statues over.  Meanwhile, General, Tiberius began pursuing all those who could have been involved in the “plots” of Sejanus.

In Judea, Pilate, a Sejanus appointee, must have been badly shaken, General. Were his friends and family under suspicion? Would he be purged like others? Imperial attitudes to the Jewish race seemed to have changed now with the riddance of Sejanus. Tiberius made sure this was the case by appointing a new governor for Syria (who went by the title Legate and to whom Pilate was obligated to report).

The governor, Lucius Pomponius Flaccus, arrived in Rome in AD 32. Philo records that Tiberius now “charged his procurators in every place to which they were appointed to speak comfortably to the members of our nation in the different cities, assuring them that the penal measures did not extend to all but only to the guilty who were few, and to disturb none of the established customs but even to regard them as a trust committed to their care, the people as naturally peaceable and the institution as an influence promoting orderly conduct.”

So Pilate, General, had lost his supporters at the top, his new boss was on his doorstep, and there had been a change of policy regarding the very people he was in charge of. Surely, he would have to watch his step. The fact of the matter, however, General, was that he hardly did so.  In November 32 AD, for instance, he provoked a mini-uprising by the Zealots led by Judas Iscariot, Theudas Barabbas, and Simon Zelotes. It was this revolt, General, that culminated in those three “crosses” of Calvary that are indelibly etched on the mind of every Christian.

NEXT WEEK: ZEALOT REVOLT AGAINST PILATE

Continue Reading

Columns

Hustle & Muscle

24th August 2021

Until as recently as the 1980s a career often meant a job for life within a single company or organisation. Phrases such as ‘climbing the corporate ladder’, ‘the glass ceiling’, ‘wage slave’ & ‘the rat race’ were thrown about, the analogies making clear that a career path was a toxic mix of a war of attrition, indentured drudgery and a Sisyphean treadmill.

In all cases you fought, grafted or plodded on till you reached retirement age, at which point you could expect a small leaving party, the promise of a pension and, oddly, a gift of either a clock or watch. The irony of being rewarded with a timepiece on the very day you could expect to no longer be a workday prisoner was apparently lost on management – the hands of time were destined to follow you to the grave!

Retirement was the goal at the end of the long, corporate journey, time on your hands – verifiable by your gifted time keeping device – to spend time working in the garden, playing with the grandchildren, enjoying a holiday or two and generally killing time till time killed you.

For some, retirement could be literally short-lived. The retirement age, and accompanying pension, was predicated on the old adage of three scores years and ten being the average life expectancy of man. As the twentieth century progressed and healthcare became more sophisticated, that former mean average was extended but that in itself then brought with it the double-edged sword of dementia. The longer people lived, the more widespread dementia became – one more life lottery which some won, some lost and doctors were seemingly unable to predict who would succumb and who would survive.

However, much research has been carried out on the causes of this crippling and cruel disease and the latest findings indicate that one of its root causes may lie in the former workplace – what your job entailed and how stimulating or otherwise it was. It transpires that having an interesting job in your forties could lessen the risk of getting dementia in old age, the mental stimulation possibly staving off the onslaught of the condition by around 18 months.

Academics examined more than 100,000 participants and tracked them for nearly two decades. They spotted a third fewer cases of dementia among people who had engaging jobs which involved demanding tasks and more control — such as government officers, directors, physicians, dentists and solicitors, compared to adults in ‘passive’ roles — such as supermarket cashiers, vehicle drivers and machine operators. And those who found their own work interesting also had lower levels of proteins in their blood that have been linked with dementia.

The study was carried out by researchers from University College London, the University of Helsinki and Johns Hopkins University studying the cognitive stimulation and dementia risk in 107,896 volunteers, who were regularly quizzed about their job.  The volunteers — who had an average age of around 45 — were tracked for between 14 and 40 years.  Jobs were classed as cognitively stimulating if they included demanding tasks and came with high job control. Non-stimulating ‘passive’ occupations included those with low demands and little decision-making power.

4.8 cases of dementia per 10,000 person years occurred among those with interesting careers, equating to 0.8 per cent of the group. In contrast, there were 7.3 cases per 10,000 person years among those with repetitive jobs (1.2 per cent). Among people with jobs that were in the middle of these two categories, there were 6.8 cases per 10,000 person years (1.12 per cent).

The link between how interesting a person’s work was and rates of dementia did not change for different genders or ages.Lead researcher Professor Mika Kivimaki, from UCL, said: ‘Our findings support the hypothesis that mental stimulation in adulthood may postpone the onset of dementia. The levels of dementia at age 80 seen in people who experienced high levels of mental stimulation was observed at age 78.3 in those who had experienced low mental stimulation. This suggests the average delay in disease onset is about one and half years, but there is probably considerable variation in the effect between people.’

The study, published this week in the British Medical Journal, also looked at protein levels in the blood among another group of volunteers. These proteins are thought to stop the brain forming new connections, increasing the risk of dementia. People with interesting jobs had lower levels of three proteins considered to be tell-tale signs of the condition.

Scientists said it provided ‘possible clues’ for the underlying biological mechanisms at play. The researchers noted the study was only observational, meaning it cannot establish cause and that other factors could be at play. However, they insisted it was large and well-designed, so the findings can be applied to different populations.

To me, there is a further implication in that it might be fair to expect that those in professions such as law, medicine and science might reasonably be expected to have a higher IQ than those in blue collar roles. This could indicate that mental capacity also plays a part in dementia onset but that’s a personal conclusion and not one reached by the study.

And for those stuck in dull jobs through force of circumstance, all is not lost since in today’s work culture, the stimulating side-hustle is fast becoming the norm as work becomes not just a means of financial survival but a life-enhancing opportunity , just as in the old adage of ‘Find a job you enjoy and you’ll never work another day in your life’!

Dementia is a global concern but ironically it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age and is the second biggest killer in the UK behind heart disease, according to the UK Office for National Statistics. So here’s a serious suggestion to save you from an early grave and loss of competencies – work hard, play hard and where possible, combine the two!

Continue Reading

Columns

The Lord Ties The Knot

18th August 2021
JUDAS

… as Judas Iscariot takes strong exception

The gospels which were excluded from the official canon, the New Testament, at the Council of Nicaea are known as the Apocrypha. One of these Apocryphal works, General Atiku, is the gospel of Phillip.  In this gospel, the intimate relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene is openly discussed thus:

“And the companion of the Saviour is Mary Magdalene. But Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on the mouth.  The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said unto him, why do you love her more than all of us? The Saviour answered and said to them, why do   I not love you like her? … Great is the mystery of marriage, for without it the world would never have existed. Now, the existence of the world depends on man, and the existence of man on marriage.”

It is clear from the above statement, General, that Jesus held marriage in high regard because he himself was part and parcel of it.  The disciples (that is, most of them) were offended not because he and Mary were an item but because they simply did not approve of her as she was a Gentile and a commoner.

Otherwise, the kissing was not offensive at all: it was a customary expression of mutual affection between the sacred bride and groom. This we gather from the prototypically romantic Old Testament text known as The Song of Solomon, which opens with the words, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.”  As the Davidic groom, Jesus was therefore entitled to kiss Mary Magdalene as his bride.

THE FIRST MARRIAGE

In September AD 30, General Atiku, Jesus and Mary Magdalene had their First Marriage ceremony. Jesus had turned 36 in that year, the appropriate marriage age for a Davidic heir, and September was the holiest month in the Jewish calendar.  Having been born irregularly himself (in the wrong month of the year because of his father Joseph’s intransigence), Jesus was determined that he himself follow the law to the letter so that his child would not suffer the same indignities as he did. The First Marriage is captured in LUKE 7:35-50.

The marriage took place at the home of Simon the Pharisee. This, General, was another name for Simon Zelotes, the stepfather of Mary Magdalene. Although Mary Magdalene is not directly named, she is described as a “sinner”. This was another term for Gentiles, as in the eyes of the Jewish God, they were unregenerate and therefore hopeless sinners.  Mary Magdalene, whose mother Helena-Salome was of Syrian origin (Syro-Phoenicia to be specific), was a Gentile.

On the occasion, Mary Magdalene performed three acts on Jesus as set out in LUKE 7:38. She wept; kissed his feet; and anointed him with ointment. This is what a bride was supposed to do to her groom as clearly evinced in The Song of Solomon, a series of love poems concerning a spouse and her husband the King.

Of the three rites, perhaps it is the weeping that require elucidation, General. This was at once symbolic and sentimental.  The First Marriage was simply a ceremony: the moment the ceremony was over, the husband and wife separated, that is, they lived apart until the month of December, when they came together under one roof.  This was in accord with Essene stipulations for dynastic marriages, that is, those of the Davidic Messiah and the priestly Messiah.

Prior to the First Marriage, the bride was known as an Almah, meaning a betrothed Virgin. After the First Marriage ceremony, the Almah was demoted to a Sister. This was because the ensuing three-month separation meant husband and wife would not indulge in sexual activity and so the wife was as good as a sister to her husband. The imagery of Sister also being a wife is seen in 1 CORINTHIANS 9:5, where the apostle Paul refers to his wife as Sister. In ACTS 23:16, Paul’s wife is again referred to as his Sister.

Now, when the Almah became a Sister, General, she was metaphorically called a Widow, because she was being separated  from her newly wedded husband. As such, she was expected to symbolically weep on account of this separation. That explains why Mary Magdalene had to weep at her first wedding. It is a pity, General, that most Christians and their clergy miss the real story so wrongly indoctrinated are they.

In December AD 30, Jesus moved in with Mary Magdalene to consummate the marriage. It was hoped that Mary would fall pregnant so that in March the following year, a Second (and final) Marriage ceremony would be held.  Sadly, conception did not take place. According to Essene dynastic procreational rules, the couple had to separate again. They would reunite in December AD 31 for another try at conception.

The reason they separated was because for a dynastic heir, marriage was purely for procreation and not for recreational sex. But even that year, General, Mary did not fall pregnant, necessitating another year-long separation. What that meant was that Mary would be given one more last chance – in December AD 32, by which time Jesus would have been 38.  If she did not conceive this time around, the marriage would come to an end through a legal divorce and Jesus would be free to seek a new spouse.

THE FINAL MARRIAGE

In December 32, Mary Magdalene, General, finally conceived. When Jesus was crucified therefore in April 33 AD, his wife was three months pregnant. By this time, the Second Marriage ceremony, the final one, had already taken place, this being in March. The Second Marriage is cursorily related in MATTHEW 26:6-13; MARK 14:3-9; and JOHN 12:1-8.The John version reads as follows:

“Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany, where was Lazarus, who had died, whom he raised out of the dead; they made, therefore, to him a supper there, and Martha was ministering, and Lazarus was one of those reclining together (at meat) with him; Mary, therefore, having taken a pound of ointment of spikenard, of great price, anointed the feet of Jesus and did wipe with her hair his feet, and the house was filled from the fragrance of the ointment.

Therefore said one of his disciples – Judas Iscariot, of Simon, who was about to deliver him up – ‘Therefore was not this ointment sold for three hundred denaries, and given to the poor?’ and he said this, not because he was caring for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and what things were put in he was carrying. Jesus, therefore, said, ‘Suffer her; for the day of my embalming she has kept it, for the poor you have always with yourselves, and me you have not always.’”

This story (also see JOHN 11:1-44) centres on four people primarily, General. They are Jesus; Lazarus; Mary; and Martha. “Mary” was actually Mary Magdalene.  “Martha” was a titular name for her mother, Helena-Salome.  In the Lazarus story, the two ladies are referred to as “sisters”. This denotes conventual sisters, like the Catholics refer to conventual nuns, and not sisters by blood. Helena-Salome actually headed a nunnery. By the same token, the reference to Lazarus as “brother” has a connotation akin to what Pentecostals refer to as “Brother in Christ”.

Thus, the story revolves around Jesus the groom; his bride Mary Magdalene; his father-in-law Simon Zelotes; and his mother-in-law Helena-Salome. This is a family affair folks, which provides strong hints as to the exact relationship between Jesus and Mary. The raising from the dead of a man called Lazarus, sadly, was not a miracle at all:  it was a ceremonial restoration from excommunication back to the Essene governing council, which comprised of Jesus and his so-called 12 disciples.

The “Lazarus” who was thus restored was actually Simon Zelotes, at the time the most “beloved” by Jesus of the entire apostolic band, who had been demoted under circumstances relating to a Zealot uprising against Pontius Pilate.  More will be said on the subject at a later stage.

The anointing of Jesus by Mary with “spikenard”, General, harps back to ancient married rituals as patently demonstrated in The Song of Solomon. This was the second time Mary had anointed Jesus, first at the First Marriage in September AD 30 AD and now at the Second Marriage in March 32 AD. On both occasions, Mary anointed Jesus whilst he sat at table.

In SONG OF SOLOMON 1:12, the bride says, “While the King sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof”.  The anointing in the gospels was therefore an allusion to the ancient rite whereby a royal bride prepared her groom’s table. Only as the wife of Jesus and as a priestess in her own right could Mary Magdalene have anointed both the feet and head of Jesus.

The anointing in effect had two purposes: first, to seal the marriage, and second, to officially announce to the Jewish nation that Jesus was the Davidic Messiah (and not his younger brother James, who had been so promoted by John the Baptist).  It all harped back to the tradition in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, where Kings or Pharaohs were anointed for office (in their case with crocodile fat) by their half-sister brides.

The King’s bride actually kept the anointment substance for use for one more time – when the King died. You can now understand, General, why Jesus said “the day of my embalming she has kept it” in reference to his anointing by Mary Magdalene and why the first person to feature at the tomb of Jesus was none other than Mary Magdalene!

Three passages in the Lazarus story     (in JOHN11: 1-44) are particularly telling.  They are Verses 20, 28, and 29. They read as follows: “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house … After Martha said this, she went back and called her sister Mary privately. ‘The Master is here,’ she told her, ‘and is asking for you.’ When Mary heard this, she got up and hurried out to meet him.”  The reason Mary (Magdalene) first kept her place before proceeding to meet Jesus, General, is not supplied in the Johannine gospel.

However, the Apocryphal document which has come to be known as The Secret Gospel of Mark sheds more light, General.  It explains that on the first occasion, Mary did come out to meet Jesus along with her mother Martha (Helena-Salome) but upon being rebuked by the disciples of Jesus, she repaired back to the house. Why was she lashed out at, General? Because according to the Essene matrimonial code, she was not permitted to come out of her own accord and greet her husband: she was to wait until he had given her express permission to emerge.

There is yet another element in the conduct of Mary Magdalene that has parallels with Solomon’s queen, General. In the back-and-forth romantic dialogue between the couple, the queen is referred to as a “Shulamite” (SONG OF SOLOMON 6:13). The Shulamites were from the Syrian border town of  Solam and we have already seen that Mary’s first foster father, Syro the Jairus, was a Syrian, as was her mother Helena-Salome.

JUDAS DENOUNCES THE MARRIAGE

The marriage of Jesus to Mary Magdalene was vehemently opposed by most of his so-called disciples. The most vociferous on this position, General, was Judas Iscariot. The writer of the John gospel characterises Judas as a “thief” who used to pilfer alms money but that is a smear.  The gospels were written post-eventual and therefore Judas’ name was already in ignominy.

His detractors therefore had a field day at sullying his character. Yet prior to the betrayal, Judas Iscariot, General, was one of the most respected figures among the Essene community. At the time of Jesus’ marriage, Judas was the second-highest ranking Essene after Simon Zelotes (that is the meaning of “Judas of Simon” in the passage quoted above, meaning “Judas the deputy of Simon”): Jesus was third, although politically he was the seniormost.

Judas opposed the marriage on grounds, primarily, that Mary Magdalene was not only a Gentile but a commoner. Judas had the right to pronounce on Jesus’ marriage because it was he who was in charge of the Essene’s order of Dan, to which Mary Magdalene belonged prior to her marriage to Jesus and therefore had the right whether to release her for marriage or retain her in the convent. Judas would rather the spikenard (the most expensive fragrance of the day, the reason it was only used by queens) was sold and the money generated donated to the Essene kitty (“the poor” was another name for Essenes: when Jesus in the Beatitudes said “blessed are the poor”, he was not referring to you and me: he meant the Essenes).

Sadly General, as high-standing as he was, Judas had no right of veto over the marriage of a Davidic heir: only Simon Zelotes had by virtue of his position as the Essene’s Pope. Simon Zelotes was Mary Magdalene’s step-father and there was no way he was going to stand in the way of the marriage of his own daughter. Moreover, Jesus had already begun to fancy himself as Priest-King.

As far as he was concerned therefore, he was at once the Davidic Messiah and the Priestly Messiah – the Melchizedek. Thus even if Simon Zelotes had perchance objected to the marriage, Jesus would have gone ahead with it anyway. It was Jesus’ highly unpopular appropriated role as the Melchizedek, General, that set him on the path to Calvary.

NEXT WEEK: A NEW GOVERNOR COMES TO TOWN

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!