How the celestial arc we call the Zodiac was figured out
Although Alalu was the first royal Sirian to set foot on Earth and even ruled the planet for the most part of 28,800 years, he did not at the end of the day make that much of a historic mark as he relatively quickly fell into disgrace and was forever tainted. It was Enki, his designated deputy, who eclipsed him and who is today “honoured”, albeit unwittingly, as the planet’s founder: this tribute is indeed borne out in the very word “Earth”, which is prefixed with his other name “Ea”. Of course his step-brother Enlil, the Bible’s main Jehovah, is religiously the more revered but that is simply because he extorted this preeminence by hook and crook. As we shall soon demonstrate, it is Enki who is to all intents and purposes the father of mankind from a material point of view.
Enki was a versatile scientist, acknowledged by the Anunnaki as Nibiru’s greatest intellect ever. It is not surprising, therefore, that when he arrived on Earth about 432,000 years ago, he did not merely restrict himself to the critical imperative of gold extraction: he also devoted himself to studying the planet’s flora and fauna, its geography and seasonality, and its firmament. It did not take him long to divide a day into 12 x 2 hours of 60 minutes each; a week into 7 days; a month into 30 days on average; and a year into 12 months amounting to roughly 360 days (The ancients used a 360-day calendar, which was reconciled with the natural solar year of 365.25 days every 6 years through adding a 30-day leap month). Why these particular reckonings, which were based on the numbers 6, 7, 12 and 30?
CORRELATING NIBIRUIAN AND EARTHLY MATHEMATICS
We did casually touch on this subject in an earlier piece, but it does bear repeating and further elucidation anyway. Whilst in modern-day mathematics we base our calculations on the Decimal System, or simply the number 10, Nibiru mathematics was based on the number 6. Nibiru’s Base 6 was owing to the fact that the Anunnaki, unlike Earthlings, were born with 12 digits – six fingers and six toes. Earthlings are born with a total of 10 digits – five fingers and five toes. On very rare occasions, some people come into the world with 12 digits, as happened with a late maternal cousin of mine, and are immediately operated upon to remove the extra ones. These incidences bear out the fact that humans indeed do carry Anunnaki genes.
Enki divided the day into 12 double hours of 60 minutes each. The number 12 primarily derived from the composition of the Solar System’s principal celestial bodies – the Sun; the Moon; Mercury; Venus; Earth; Mars; Jupiter; Saturn; Uranus; Neptune; Pluto (NASA in 2006 demoted Pluto to a minor planet without obtaining permission from Lord Enki!), and Nibiru. The number 60 represented ultimate authority in Anunnaki lore, as it stood for Anu, the ruler of Nibiru and the greater Sirian-Orion empire. Mathematically, it was the lowest common multiple of 10 and 6 and so best reconciled Earth’s and Nibiru’s natural mathematical base numbers. It is in this light that Sumerian mathematics, the Sumerians being the world’s best known civilisation of old, was sexagesimal, that is, based on the number 60.
As he observed the heavens, Enki noticed that the Moon was seen only once in about 28 days. Ideally, he should have divided a year into 13 lunar months totaling 364 days. Instead, Enki divided a month into basically 30 days of four ill-fitting weeks constituting 7 days each. Why did he do this? Well, Enki intended a closer correlation between Earthly phenomena and that of Nibiru. On Nibiru, a year was equivalent to 3600 Earth years; a month was equivalent to 360 Earth years; a week was equivalent to 36 Earth years; and a Nibiru day was equivalent to 30 Earth days.
It was to relate a Nibiru day with an Earth month that Enki allotted 30 days to an Earthly month (A 12-month-year also matched the 12-man Pantheon of Anunnaki “Gods”). As for a 7-day week, this, as we have already seen, principally had to do with the fact that Enki and his Heroes toiled for six “days” whilst setting up Eridu, their first settlement on Earth, and rested on the seventh “day”.
The number 7 ultimately came to denote Earth, being the 7th planet from Pluto’s direction. It explains why 7 and its derivative numbers like 17 and 70 bear such Biblical significance, witness Jesus’ impassioned appeal to “forgive 70 times 7 times”. (The Bible is fraught with numerology and other mystical symbolism whose meaning, significance, implication, and ramifications are best understood only by the Illuminati and dedicated researchers.)
MAPPING THE GREAT YEAR
What names did Enki give to each of the 12 months of our year? This is a brain teaser as history shows that the names appear to change from age to age and even between the great metropolises of Sumerian and Babylonian times. Nor are we any wiser as to exactly what names Enki gave to each of the 7 days of the week. The names we use today are of Roman origin and were assigned sometime between the Ist and 3rd centuries.
They all derive from celestial bodies as follows: Sunday (from the Sun); Monday (from the Moon); Tuesday (“Day of Mars” in Latin); Wednesday (“Day of Mercury” in Latin); Thursday (“Day of Jupiter” in Latin); Friday (“Day of Venus” in Latin); and Saturday (from Saturn).
The Romans chose these 7 celestial bodies because at the time, they were the only ones known of the Solar System: the Sumerian civilisation, which was aware of all the 12 principal members of the Solar System including Nibiru, had long disappeared along with the bulk of its scholarly as well as astronomical knowledge.
After living on Earth for seven straight shars, or over 25,200 years, Enki concretised a celestial study he had been patiently making all along – that roughly every 2160 years, there was a different band of stars – a constellation – in Earth’s evening skies.
Indeed, at the beginning of the eighth shar, Enki noted that the constellation that he observed during his first 2160 years on Earth reappeared. In other words, the cycle had begun all over again. The constellations were of course not uniform in their duration: some lasted slightly longer or shorter than others.
Enki, therefore, took the average duration, 2160 years, as the base mathematical figure, especially that it was divisible by both 6 and 60. Altogether, he counted 12 varying constellations. Why did the evening sky’s starry backdrop alter every 2160 years?
As the Earth revolves around the Sun, the Sun is at the same time revolving around the centre of the Milky Way galaxy and therefore is carrying the Earth and other planets with it. What this entails is that the Earth, once it has completed one year around the Sun, does not return to the same exact spot it was the previous year, for it is actually moving from one constellation to another, or from one zodiac house to another in a celestial arc.
The Earth, Enki calculated, spent an average of 2160 years, also called an age, in each house, which was equivalent to 30 degrees of the celestial arc – the great circular path it made in its motion in space. Because 30 degrees amounted to 2160 years, then one degree amounted to 72 years.
To completely traverse all the 12 houses, the Earth spent an average total of 25,920 years, or one complete revolution of 360 degrees. Thus the Earth, in its journey through the zodiac houses, returned to the same exact spot in space only once in 25,920 years. Enki called this duration the Great Year or the Grand Circle. In our day, we call it the precession of the equinoxes.
NAMING THE CONSTELLATIONS
Having ascertained the Great Year, it was now time for Enki to allocate names to each of the 12 Houses of the Zodiac. What would be the basis for their naming? Enki decided the cue would be the most apparent shape each constellation made in the evening sky.
For instance, he recalled that in his first 2160 years on Earth, the evening sky’s starry background resembled that of a lion. So he called this constellation URGULA, or Leo as we call it today. By the same token, he thought Cancer’s pattern resembled a Crab; Taurus looked a lot like a bull; Pisces’ was like two fishes; and so forth and so on.
The 12 constellations were observable mainly in the skies over the part of the Earth that lies between latitudes 30 degrees north and 30 degrees south. Enki called this celestial band the Way of Anu, after his step father.
The northern skies, that is those seen north of the 30th parallel, he called the Way of Enlil to accord with Enlil’s base in the EDIN, whereas the southern skies, those seen south of the 30th parallel, he named the Way of Enki as indeed he himself was now to be based in the Abzu, today’s southern Africa, to oversee gold mining activities. It was Enki who marked the lines of latitude as well as the meridian lines.
Conventional history, of course, will throw up such names as Amerigo Vespucci and, in relation to pointing mankind to the zodiac phenomenon, Hipparchus, but that is a red herring – a device meant to conceal the fact that there were technologically advanced peoples on Earth who figured these out long before mankind emerged.
By most calculations, the last Great Year, the one still in progress, began in 23820 BC with the constellation Aquarius. We are now in the Age of Pisces, which began in 60 BC. In the next 90 years or thereabouts, Pisces will be bidding farewell to us to again give way to the Age of Aquarius: the conclusion of the Great Year is upon us.
That is speaking mathematically. In actuality, we may as well be in the age of Aquarius already as signs abound that there is a great deal of water symbolism in happenings around us – the ice bucket water challenge, capsizing ferries on seas as people from the Third World attempt to emigrate to Europe to escape wars and economic hardships at home, and repeated incidences of airliners plunging and disappearing into the sea.
History shows that when a new constellation had relatively recently been ushered in, its symbol came into vogue in human affairs. I will provide just one example in this connection. In the first three centuries of the Age of Pieces, the fish motif was practically all around.
This phenomenon is nowhere better illustrated than in the New Testament, where Jesus is said to have formed the core of his apostolic band from fishermen; multiplied a couple of fishes to feed the multitudes listening to his countryside sermons; alluded to prophet Jonah spending three days in the belly of a fish; and himself fed on a boiled fish post-resurrection.
In point of fact (which fact most Christians do not know), in the first three centuries, the Christian symbol was not the cross: it was fish! In his book The End of Days, the legendary Zechariah Sitchin shows a picture of a mosaic floor of an ancient Christian church date to the 3rd century AD. In the centre of the floor is a depiction of two fishes – the zodiacal sign of Pisces.
You will also note that the ceremonial headdress worn by the Pope and other Catholic bishops – called a mitre – is in the shape of a fish. The Jesus story is steeped in fish symbolism as the Bible lays bare.
ASSIGNING ZODIACAL AGES
Just as the members of the Anunnaki pantheon of the 12 did have celestial counterparts – planets which symbolised them – they also had zodiacal counterparts – constellations that symbolised them. However, the symbolism was not particular to one person in every epoch: it differed according to Anunnaki political dynamics. As such, if Leo, for example, represented Enki in one Great Year, in the next year it might represent Utu-Shamash.
When Enki first came to Earth, he did so in the age of Leo – URGULA in Sumerian, meaning “Lion”. The lion is a sign of royalty. Initially therefore, Leo was dedicated to Enki as the God of Africa.
In future epochs, Leo was associated with Utu-Shamash, Enlil-Jehovah’s grandson to coincide with his status as a Sun God since the lion also symbolised the Sun, with its mane representing the Sun’s corona.
In yet another epoch, Leo was the zodiacal emblem of Inanna-Ishtar, Shamash’s twin sister. This we glean from ancient depictions of Leo, which variously show Inanna riding a lion, holding the lion by its tail, or keeping a lion on a leash, all triumphant gestures.
It all allegorised her theft of the ME’s (tiny objects encoded with formulas for all aspects of science and civilization) from Enki at one time, after which she briefly wielded a command of general knowledge that rivalled Enki’s.
Cancer (DUB, meaning “Pincers”) was associated with Ninurta, Enlil-Jehovah’s firstborn son who was a formidable warrior, particularly in view of his vanquishment of Kumarbi, the “evil Zu”. Gemini (MASHTABA, “The Twins”) obviously commemorated the twins Inanna and Shamash, who the Egyptian zodiac indeed depicted as male and female. Taurus (GUANNA, “The Heavenly Bull”) was primarily the symbol of Enlil, who was indeed known as the Bull of Heaven.
But the fact that the Taurian bull was depicted with the symbol of the planet Saturn on its back could also point to Ninurta, Enlil’s firstborn son whose celestial symbol was Saturn. Ishkur-Adad is yet another candidate as not only did he set up residence in the Taurus mountain range that stretched all the way from Turkey to Iraq but he too did adopt the bull as his secondary symbol as a prospective Enlil.
Aries (KUMAL, “Field Dweller”) would have been dedicated to Marduk, who took Abel under his wing to teach him shepherding, or his youngest brother Dumuzi, whose expertise in animal husbandry in today’s Sudan was lauded.
The last age of Aries (2160-0) was plainly dedicated to Marduk. Pisces (SIMMAH, “Fishes”) was Enki’s fundamental symbol as attested by his other name Ea, which means “He Who Lives in Water”. Enki in fact had a fishpond at his dwelling at Eridu. But in some epochs, Pisces could have been dedicated to Ereshkigal, Enki’s granddaughter who was a prolific breeder of fish in today’s Great Lakes region of Africa as a spouse of Nergal, Enki’s son.
Whereas Aquarius (GU, “Lord of the Waters”) could have been Enki’s emblem in some epochs, the argument is persuasive that it largely applied to Ninagal, his fourth son with Damkina. For Ninagal’s epithet was “Lord of the Great Waters” – the seas.
This was because he was the Anunnaki’s maestro maritime navigator, who was in charge of transporting ores by sea from the Abzu, southern Africa, to the Edin in Sumeria. Capricorn (SUHURMASH, “Goat-Fish”) is clearly Enki’s symbol. Enki’s principal emblem was that of fish but he was something of a goat too.
In ancient times, a goat represented reproductive power (it has the biggest balls of any animal in proportion to its body and produces the hugest amount of semen in a single ejaculation). We know that Enki was a serial philanderer who planted children all over the place.
Moreover, Enki was dubbed the Devil by Enlil-Jehovah for imparting privilleged knowledge to Adam and Eve. Enki therefore has since been the scapegoat for all the evil that wracks the world. His Capricorn symbolism was most likely intended as a resounding protest at this most glaring injustice.
Sagittarius (PABIL, “Defender”) is presented as an archer, a hunter. It could have represented Ninurta, who was the god of hunting. But in some epochs, it may have represented Enki, the only one of the Anunnaki pantheon who was a full-blooded Aryan (a being from Orion).
The Orion constellation is also known as the hunter. Scorpio (GIRTAB, “which claws and cuts”) no doubt was the zodiacal counterpart of Utu-Shamash for it was he who was in charge of both the pre-flood and post-diluvial Anunnaki spaceports in Sippar and in the Sinai peninsula respectively. Indeed, the syllable GIR connotes rockets. In any case, the Anunnaki rank and file who guarded the spaceports were called “scorpion men” as they were always primed to “sting” trespassers.
The most probable candidate for Libra (ZIBAANNA, “Heavenly Fate”), represented by scales, is again Utu-Shamash, who was the Anunnaki god of justice. His cult city Sippar in fact housed the Anunnaki supreme court. Finally, Virgo (ABSIN, “Her father was Sin”) clearly was emblematic of Inanna, whose father indeed was Nanna-Sin, Enlil-Jehovah’s second born son and the Allah of Islam. Virgo is depicted as a beautiful maiden, which Inanna once actually was.
Princess Mary falls pregnant only one month after her betrothal to Prince Joseph
To put the lineage of Mary the mother of Jesus in context, General Atiku, it is in order that we begin with her grandfather Yehoshua (Jesus in Greek) III.
Mary was offspring of two royal lines, the Davidic line and the Hasmonean line. Yehoshua III was the Herod–appointed High Priest of Israel between 36 and 23 BC. He had no sons, only three daughters namely Joanna, Elizabeth, and Anna, all of whom he organised dynastic suitors.
Elizabeth would be married off into the House of Aaron, the legitimate priestly line, and Joanna and Anna would be married off into the House of David, the legitimate kingly line. That’s how Elizabeth became the wife of Zechariah of the tribe of Levi and in due course the mother of John the Baptist.
Mainstream Israel up to the level of the Sanhedrin had recognised Anna as the eligible mother of the future King of Israel and not the sitting impostor Herod (it is not clear what happened to first-born Joanna but she probably passed away before she got married). Anna was accordingly married off to Alexander III, a Davidic and Hasmonean prince who was best known as Heli as indeed the genealogy of Luke clearly attests.
Heli and Anna too had no sons. They only had daughters, the firstborn of whom was Dorcas, whose was born in 26 BC and whose titular name was Mary. Mary was orphaned early in her childhood when her father Heli was killed in 17 BC at the orders of the increasingly paranoid Herod and when her mother Anna died a year or so later.
Since she was a dynastic heiress, it was likely that Herod would come after her. The Essenes thus secreted her somewhere in remote Galilee. It was actually in Galilee that most members of the Davidic royal line were concentrated not only to keep as far away from Herod as possible but to also enjoy the protective custody of the Zealots, who were the secret military wing of the Essenes and a thorn in the side of both Herod and the Romans. Joseph was also officially based in Galilee although both he and Mary were in truth based at Qumran in the Judean wilds.
JOSEPH CALLED TO “DUTY”
Dynastic marriages are often more politically strategic than spontaneous, General. For example, the union of Prince Charles and Princess Diana was motivated by the need to fuse the Windsor genes with those of the Stuarts as the Windsors, being predominantly Reptilians, were finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their human form.
The Stuarts, the clan of Diana, had by far more human genes than Reptilian and they too were an aristocratic family. That’s why once Charles had produced a “heir and a spare”, he completely sidelined Diana, who he had never loved, and devoted himself to his real love – Camilla Parker-Bowles.
The marriage of Joseph to Mary, General, was equally strategic. Although both were from the tribe of Judah and of the royal Davidic line, they were from different branches. Joseph was a descendant of Solomon, whereas Mary was a descendant of Nathan, Solomon’s elder brother. The line of Solomon, as we once underlined, had been tainted by the Jeconiah curse.
The line of Nathan was clean. Since the son of Joseph and Mary would be the future King of Israel, it was important that he not be compromised by the baggage, rightly or wrongly, of the Jeconiah curse. Hence the desirability of the union of Prince Joseph and Princess Mary.
Now, both Joseph and Mary’s clans were Essenes. As such, their marriage process, formalities, and protocols had to strictly adhere to Essene dynastic rules. The Essenes were in ranks. Amongst the higher echelons were the two great dynasties, the Davids and the Zadoks, who had been the high priests and kings of Israel respectively before the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC.
The Davids and Zadoks lived a strictly holy life, typically in a monastery at Qumran, the reclusive headquarters of the Essenes. They were sequestered there so that they did not fall prey to the machinations of the bloodthirsty King Herod though officially their address was Galilee. In fact, the major reason the Essene movement had come into existence was to preserve and safeguard the Davidic and Zadokite lines, the religio-politico haunt of Herod and the Hasmoneans initially.
According to the Essene code, General, the Zadoks and the Davids were not to engage in sex for recreational purposes because it was regarded as defiling: it diluted holiness. The only times they were supposed to do so was when need arose to produce heirs. In 8 BC, it was now opportune for Joseph, the David, to produce a heir and so he was excused from a life of chastity.
At this point in time in fact, the Essenes were focused on two dynastic figures. These were Joseph and Zechariah. The two were expected to produce the Messiah of David and the Messiah of Aaron, that is, the future King of Israel and the future High Priest of Israel.
According to Essene rules, the David had to marry at age 36, so that by the time he was 40, he had already sired a heir. The new heir had to be born when the David was 37. If the child was a daughter, she could not inherit, and so the David had to set about the procreation of a second-born, who hopefully would be a boy (copulation to that end was allowed only when the daughter was 3 years old).
The Davidic heir had to be born not in any other month but in September, the holiest in the Jewish calendar. In order to conform to these parameters, a betrothal ceremony was held at the beginning of June. During the betrothal period – the three months from beginning of June to end of August – sexual relations were not permitted.
Then at the beginning of September, a First Marriage was held. This was the beginning of the marriage proper as now the couple were allowed to become intimate. However, the intimacy began only in December, with a view to delivering a heir in September the following year. At the end of March, the Second Marriage was held for it was hoped that by that time the spouse was three months pregnant if there hadn’t been a miscarriage. With the Second Marriage, the wedlock was permanent: divorce was never allowed whatsoever.
Meanwhile, General, if the spouse hadn’t conceived in December, sexual relations were suspended till December the following year. The husband would then leave her spouse and return either to the monastery at Qumran or embark on a tour of duty elsewhere in furtherance of the Essene cause.
A BINDING ENGAGEMENT
According to the Dead Sea Scrolls, General, the Essenes were not only a spiritual, revolutionary, and philosophical movement. They were also ardent believers in astrology. They meticulously studied the stars and the movements of planets to read what they portended about the future.
Thus the reason a Davidic heir had to be born in September was not only because this was the holiest month of the year: it was also in recognition of the fact that September was ruled by the constellation Virgo. In other words, September was astrologically the month of the virgin. That was what Mary was.
Mary was both a virgin physically and a virgin titularly. A bride of the future king was required to be a virgin. As an Essene, Mary belonged to the Order (not the tribe) of Dan. This was the Order of Nuns, or virgins, both legal and physical virgins. Thus in the Order of Dan, a woman was not a virgin only before she slept with a man: she was a virgin until she was six months pregnant. In the case of a dynastic spouse like Mary, this was up to end of June. From then henceforth, she was promoted within the Order to the first stage of a Mother.
Joseph’s betrothal to Mary took place at Qumran in June 8 BC. Now, in our day, betrothal simply means engagement to be married. In ancient Israel up to New Testament times, betrothal was part and parcel of the marriage contract. It was definite and binding upon both groom and bride, who were considered as man and wife in all legal and religious aspects, except that sexual relations were not permitted.
For example, in 2 SAMUEL 3:14, King David refers to his betrothed woman as “my wife”. Also in DEUTERONOMY 22:24, a betrothed woman is referred to as “his neighbour’s wife”. In the betrothal formalities, dowry and bride price were included. If a bride and groom for one reason or the other wanted to opt out of the betrothal after the betrothal ceremony, they had to seek a formal divorce.
Since the betrothal took place in June, General, Joseph and Mary were not supposed to make love till December, that is, six months after the betrothal ceremony and three months after the First Marriage ceremony in September. Just one month after the betrothal ceremony (that is, at the beginning of July 8 BC), however, Mary became pregnant. Was it Joseph, General? Was it rape by a Roman soldier called Panthera as some contemporary records suggest? Or was it simply the supernatural act of the “Holy Spirit” as Christendom holds?
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
Those who hold that the circumstances of Mary’s pregnancy were supernatural, General, 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 sometime in 70 AD, when Roman General Flavius 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.
The rivalry between luxury German automotive marques Mercedes-Benz and BMW is legendary. Both brands offer high-end, high-priced desirable models, always at the forefront of cutting-edge driving technology and excellence. And in the annals of the advertising world, a campaign between the two rivals is equally legendary and it happened on our own doorstep.
Many of you will be familiar with the coastal road out of Cape Town called Chapman’s Peak. It is a beautiful, sightseeing attraction, the road winding through spectacular coastal-mountain scenery, with cliffs sinking into the Atlantic ocean on one side, and steep mountains towering over the road on the other. However, the road is also notoriously dangerous, with its 114 sharp, meandering bends . It’s reputation is well-deserved . Several years ago, when a major coastal cleanup campaign was launched, a helicopter pulled a total of 22 wrecked cars out of the water adjacent to Chapman’s Peak and it was one such accident which prefaced the notorious marketing battle. The story is thus:
In 1988 an Irish businessman lost control of his Mercedes Benz when driving along this road, plunging 100 metres down the cliff. Miraculously, he not only survived the accident, but crawled out of the wreckage with hardly a scratch on his body.
When Mercedes heard the details, the marketing department decided to base a new advertisement on the story to promote the safety features and stability of the brand. In the video ad they intentionally drove an identical model off the road in the exact same location, having it plunge off the edge of the cliff, the driver stepping out similarly unscathed, proving the phenomenal survivability and strength of Mercedes Benz.
When the marketing suits at BMW saw this ad, they took a bold and ingenious decision to mimic it but with a twist. Only a week later, whilst the first ad was still fresh in the public’s minds, they shot their ad showing a BMW driving along the exact same stretch of road in the rain. However, when it reached the point at which the Mercedes plunged off the cliff, the BMW negotiated it safely, and continued driving along the road.
The catchphrase of the ad was “BMW beats the bends” . Or was it? It was cunningly recorded so that it could equally have been ‘beats the Benz’, implying that their cars had superior cornering and stability to their rival, Even more sneakily, they launched their campaign on a Saturday, mindful of the rules on competitive advertising in South Africa, safe in the knowledge that no objectionable actions could be taken till the new working week.
Mercedes-Benz wasted no time on Monday in issuing an injunction, the ad was swiftly pulled but the damage was done and the dog had had its day. The ad campaign ranks high in the history of advertising and can still be found online to this day. Meanwhile the rivalry between the two automotive greats goes on.
I reference this piece of marketing history in the light of this week’s horror crash by golfing great, Tiger Woods. Driving from a luxury holiday resort in California to a nearby country club Tiger Woods lost control of his vehicle on a downhill stretch of the road, smashed through a road sign, crossed over the central reservation and rolled his car several hundred feet. He had to be cut out and pulled to safety through the windscreen and the vehicle was so badly damaged, the attending police officers said he was ‘lucky to survive’.
The vehicle Woods was driving was a rented Genesis GV80 SUV. If you are unfamiliar with the brand that is not surprising since it is a relatively new spin-off from the South Korean Hyundai marque. The Genesis utility vehicle, not available locally yet, retails for around $50,000 or half a million pula, placing it in the higher end of town and country SUVs in the USA.
The model has certainly been widely publicised in the media coverage of the high-profile sportsman’s accident and I suspect that if asked to comment, Hyundai/Genesis would disagree with the police assessment, putting Woods’ survival down to build quality and in-built safety features such as crumple zones, anti-roll bars and airbags, which were deployed in the crash and would most certainly have played their part cushioning the effects of the rolling and ultimate impact. There is , of course, no suggestion that the manufacturers will capitalise on Woods’ survival but certainly it will have done the brand no harm that he did indeed emerge with recoverable injuries.
Comparing the two accidents, the driver of the Mercedes driving along Chapman’s Peak was, of course, an ordinary member of the public whilst Tiger Woods is a household name. That said, in humanitarian terms each tale of survival carries equal weight but the fact remains that the former was just another local story of yet one more victim of a notoriously tricky stretch of road whilst the latter went round the world in an instant because of the fame and name of the driver.
There is also no evidence that that stretch of Californian urban highway carried any inherent risk. His appears to have been just a loss of control and a freak accident. However, in the event that Hyundai/Genesis should consider making capital from that accident, a note of caution needs to be sounded.
In the advertising world, the use of celebrities to promote a product is a fall-back stance to sell anything from washing-up liquid to whisky but statistics have shown that it can be a double-edged sword in that yes, the ads are memorable and the public love them when the celeb is popular and personable. But…..what is often remembered is the name of the famous promoter, not the name of the product. In other words, they sell themselves far better than they sell the item.
In golfing terminology Hyundai/Genesis are not ‘out of the Woods’ yet and maybe they should go with a completely different Driver!
How Jesus’s grandfather sold his birthright to megalomaniac Herod
If you were to ask a Christian to name the main Jewish sects, General Atiku, he would no doubt begin with the Pharisees (because Jesus had innumerable slanging matches with them according to the gospels), followed by the Sadducees. Yet there was a third, equally momentous sect – the Essenes.
Although there’s not a single, one mention of the Essenes in the Bible, General, the New Testament is filled with Essene-type language as anybody who has read the Dead Sea Scrolls would readily recognise.
In point of fact, it was the Essenes who produced Jesus as well as the infamous Jewish band of freedom fighters known as the Zealots. Furthermore, almost all the New Testament writers were either Essenes or champions of the Essene cause as is apparent in their language and the drift of their overall philosophy. The Essenes have a palpable presence in the Bible, albeit a cloaked one.
The Essenes, General, were the most popular, the most esteemed, and the most influential of the Jewish sects. The Jewish historian Philo (20 BC-50 AD) devotes 90 percent of his description of the Jewish sects to the Essenes. He wrote that the Essenes “dwell in many cities of Judea and in many villages and in great societies of many numbers”.
Hyppolytus of Rome (170-236 AD) devoted nine-and-half chapters to the Essenes and only one to the Sadducees. The Essenes are the authors of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, which were discovered in 1947 in Israel at a place called Qumran and which have given us even greater insight into the happenings in the first century than the Bible itself.
How did the Essene movement come about, General? The Essenes, meaning “puritans of the faith”, were the Jewish sect that was the most loyal to the Davidic dynasty. They set themselves apart from the mainstream Jewish community circa 175 BC and established their headquarters at Qumran, about 40 km from Jerusalem.
Since the Jewish nation revered the Davidic royal line, the only legitimate and rightful rulers of Judah in their view, they rallied to the Essenes en masse. And because the Essenes were disparaging of the Hasmonean rule (140 BC to 63 BC), the mainstream Jews also took a dismissive view of Hasmonean rule too.
The Essenes were so highly regarded because of their virtue and spirituality. The legendary Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD) writes thus of them: “They are more mutually affectionate than the others (Pharisees and Sadducees). Whereas these men shun the pleasures as vice, they consider self-control and not succumbing to the passions virtue … Since [they are] despisers of wealth – their communal stock is astonishing – one cannot find a person among them who has more in terms of possessions.
For by a law, those coming into the school (that is, the Essene fold) must yield up their funds to the order, with the result that in all [their ranks] neither the humiliation of poverty nor the superiority of wealth is detectable, but the assets of each one have been mixed in together, as if they were brothers, to create one fund for all.”
In time, the Essenes, General, became quite influential even with occupying powers. For instance, when the Greek General Pompey installed Hyrcanus II as ruler of Palestine in 63 BC, he sought the opinion of the Essenes. The Essenes recommended that Hyrcanus go by the titles High Priest and Prince, not King, to which Pompey paid heed. In 142 BC, when Simon was installed by the Seleucids as ruler of Palestine, the Essenes had insisted on the same titular style. To the Essenes, everybody who occupied Israel’s seat of authority was simply holding fort for the real deal – the Davidic King.
In 37 BC, when Herod became King of Palestine, the potential Davidic King was Jacob-Eliakim – the father of the Joseph of the gospels – who was an Essene himself. It was in order to win the blessings of the historically popular Jewish royal family that Herod sought to curry favour with the Essenes.
JACOB’S PACT WITH HEROD
About the time Herod came to power, General, there were three citizens of considerable stature in Palestine – Hillel, Menahem, and Jacob-Eliakim, the grandfather of Jesus. Hillel is by all accounts ancient Israel’s greatest teacher and scholar.
He was the foremost spiritual sage in the development of the Talmud and the Mishnah, the most authoritative religious references of the Jews which are second only to the Old Testament in esteem. The renowned “Golden Rule”, which is invariably attributed to Jesus, was actually coined by Hillel. It is not certain whether Hillel was an Essene but his teachings did have a profound influence both on Essene philosophy and that of Jesus, who was an Essene too.
It was Menahem, however, who was an incontrovertible Essene. The Essenes were of two main branches, General. First, there were the puritans, the Palestinian Essenes. Then there were the liberals, the Diaspora Essenes, who sneered at the Palestinian Essenes’ dogmatism and rather strict views on morality. Menahem was the leader of the Diaspora Essenes.
He was also privilleged to be advisor to King Herod. Herod did hold Menahem in very high regard. Josephus relates that when Herod was a school-going lad, Menahem had patted him on his back and said to him, “one day you will be King young man.” Since the prophecy came to pass, Herod had a certain, atypical respect both for Menahem and the order of Essenes.
Jacob-Eliakim’s significance was by virtue of his pedigree. He was of the royal line of David and was therefore the uncrowned King of the Jews. Now, as we have already indicated, Herod had his own grand designs about rulership of the world notwithstanding the fact that he was in reality a vassal of Rome.
When he made overtures to the trio, they didn’t mince words: they told him that in the new Israel, the Israel that would rule Earth once the Romans had been toppled from the pedestal of world power, it was a Davidic King who would reign. Herod took very strong exception to such a prospect. Herod was neither a full-blooded Jew nor of Davidic stock but he was royalty in his own right.
His father, Antipater, had been the governor of Idumea and in due course Judea in the Hasmonean government and was in fact the real ruler of the entire Palestine, with John Hyrcanus being a mere figurehead king. When he (Herod) was only 25 years old, his father had appointed him governor of Galilee. Herod thus had strutted the corridors of power from the day he was born and he wasn’t going to give that up easily either for his own sake or that of his descendants.
As such, General, Herod maintained to the trio that in the new, overarching Kingdom of Israel, he was going to be the emperor and would be based in Jerusalem. Just like the Greek empire of Alexander had been a triarchy (a kingdom divided into three governments), the global Kingdom of Israel (“Thy Kingdom Come” in the Lord’s Prayer) was going to be likewise.
There was going to be a ruler in the east, a ruler in the west, and a ruler in the centre, that is Jerusalem, under the oversight of Herod himself. Hillel would rule in Jerusalem; Menahem in the east; and Jacob-Eliakim in the west. If these three happened to have disappeared from the Earthly scene by the time the Kingdom of Israel came into being, their descendants would observe the same setup.
The pecking order would thus be like this: Herod as the emperor; Hillel as the senior king; Menahem as the second-ranked king; and Jacob-Eliakim as the junior king. Put differently, Herod had by the stroke of a pen reduced the Davidic dynasty from foremost to least important as it posed the most serious threat to his office. Meanwhile, the three kings-in-waiting would go by the names of the Old Testament patriarchs.
Hillel would henceforth be called the Abraham, or the Father (or Papa, which later morphed into Pope), since Abraham was the Father of the Jewish nation; Menahem would be called the Isaac (Abraham’s son); and Eliakim the Jacob (Isaac’s son). Half a loaf was better than nothing at all and so Jacob-Eliakim meekly accepted this arrangement.
When Jesus later said, “Many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the new Kingdom of Heaven (MATTHEW 8:11),” he did not mean an afterlife kingdom: he referred to the Earthly setup proposed by King Herod.
FALLOUT WITH ESSENES
Those days, General, the Davidic heir used the title “Jacob” rather than “David” as the latter title was very risky, particularly under the Hasmonean government. Given that Joseph was the most beloved son of the Old Testament Jacob, the next in line, that is, the firstborn son of the Jacob, used the title “Joseph”.
In September 44 BC, a son was born to Jacob-Eliakim. As the crown prince to the Jacob, he was given the titular name Joseph, the name by which he became best-known. Like his father Jacob-Eliakim, Joseph was a missionary. But he also had a trade. He was a carpenter, a boat builder primarily, and a master of his craft. The word translated “carpenter” in the Bible is the ancient Greek word “ho hekton” which means a master artisan or craftsman.
In 31 BC, Qumran, the Essenes’ Judean wilderness bastion, was struck by an earthquake. The hermitic Essenes had no choice but to trek back to Jerusalem, from where they operated indefinitely at a place they called the Essene Gate. Then in 23 BC, Herod struck again. He had Jacob-Eliakim killed on trumped-up charges of sedition, his motive simply being a continuation of a systematic purge of the Davidic “pretenders” to his throne.
The Essenes were wroth. They now set about promulgating to the Diaspora Essenes that Herod would have no part to play in the coming Kingdom. Instead, the overall King would be Joseph, the son of Jacob-Eliakim. This, General, was the beginning of a permanent rift between Herod and the Essene sect.
THE SAGA OF JOSEPH
The prospective global world, General, was subdivided into ten provinces to facilitate governance and tax collection. Palestine would have two provinces, Judea and Samaria, the latter of which would include Galilee. Asia Minor (largely present-day Turkey), where the bulk of Diaspora Jews were concentrated, would have five provinces.
The last three provinces would be Babylon, Rome, and Alexandria in Egypt. The future capital of the West was not Rome: it was Ephesus in Asia Minor. Having been allocated the West, it was in Ephesus and Alexandria that Jacob-Eliakim spent most of his time evangelizing to fellow Jews about the future Kingdom of Israel. This was the beginning of the New Covenant, whereby Jews who converted to the ideal of a new Kingdom of Israel were baptised by immersion in water.
To mainstream Palestinian Jews, General, Jacob-Eliakim was a sellout. Herod had demoted his pedigree but to somewhat placate him, he gave him the honorary title of Patriarch or Prince of Jerusalem. By subordinating the Davidic throne-in-waiting to Herod, Jacob-Eliakim had gone against what the nation of Israel’s God, Enlil, the Bible’s main Jehovah, decreed – that every King of Judah had to be a descendant of David. So when the unpredictable Herod had him killed in 23 BC for “sedition”, as part of a pogrom against the line of David, there was very little sympathy for him.
In 44 BC, Joseph had been born to Jacob-Eliakim. Joseph was a title: it was not his real name. At the death of his father, Joseph became the Jacob. However, he preferred the title “David”, the more apt one historically. Joseph would become the father of Jesus. When Joseph attained 30 years of age in 14 BC, his uncles and the Essene sages sent him to Rome and Alexandria to do his part in missionary work, which was simply about promulgating to the Diaspora Jews the future Kingdom of Israel in which a Son of David, that is a descendant of King David, would rule. Egypt was also a special place because Joseph’s maternal relations were Egyptians.
Jacob-Eliakim, General, had two wives. The one was called Euchariah, a Jewish princess, of whom very little is known, and the other, the dynastic wife, was an Egyptian princess, a daughter of Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Julius Caesar. Jacob-Eliakim and this princess had three sons: they were Joseph, the father of Jesus, and the twins Cleopas (after whom James, Jesus’ immediate younger brother, whose given name was Cleopas, was named) and Ptolas. Joseph was thus the Davidian Prince of Israel as well as contender to Crown Prince of Egypt. Despite pretences to the contrary on the part of the Jews, Egypt and Israel have always had ties of monarchical kinship.
In 8 BC, General, Joseph was required by Essene custom to return home and fulfill his obligations for a dynastic marriage. A wife-to-be had already been chosen for him by his uncles and other patriarchal Essenes. This was Dorcas, better known today by her title name Mary.