As much as DNA can spontaneously improve, it can also be manipulated mechanically, in the laboratory, because it can be isolated. DNA can be manipulated not only to improve a living organism but to make it less sophisticated, less effective, less capable, or less advanced than it ideally should be and therefore basically sub-standard or sub-par.
Enki instructed his son Ningishzidda to send away all the medics at the Shurrupak laboratory and to fetch Adam and Eve from Eridu. When the two Earthlings arrived, they were spruced up and taken to an operating theatre, where they took beds alongside Enki and Ninmah respectively. Enki recounts what followed thus in his memoirs: “Upon the four, Ningishzidda a deep sleep caused to descend, the four he made unfeeling (that is, he gave them anaesthesia which sent them into a trance).
From the rib of Enki the life essence (DNA) he extracted, into the rib of Adamu the life essence of Enki he inserted. From the rib of Ninmah the life essence he extracted, into the rib of Tiamat (Eve) the life essence he inserted. Where the incisions were made, the flesh thereon he closed up. Then the four of them he awakened. It is done, he proudly declared. To their Tree of Life (DNA) two branches have been added, with procreating powers their life essences are now entwined!”
A fictionalised version of the same event is found in GENESIS 2:21-22. The passage reads: “So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was asleep, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.” This deliberate distortion by the Genesis writers, who researched the creation story from Sumerian records when the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon in the 6th century BC, derived from their sexist proclivity.
Their aim, which is a recurring feature throughout the Bible, was to cast females as secondary human beings who were fashioned from man. Yet by this stage, Eve had long been created, not from Adam but through genetic cloning as we saw in earlier pieces. Note how the Genesis writers apply the term “God” to different Anunnaki personages. In the quoted passage, they are referring not to Enlil or Enki but to Ningishzidda, who performed the operation at the instruction of his father.
MODERN SCIENCE CORROBORATES ENKI
Now, what Ningishzidda performed was not an ordinary operation. It was what modern science calls stem cell transplant, also known as bone marrow transplant. The stem cells (blood-forming cells) were harvested from the bone marrow of Enki’s and Ninmah’s ribs and introduced into the bone marrow of Adam and Eve’s ribs respectively. That way, Adam and Eve’s DNA was altered, resulting in the increase of their chromosomes overall from 44 to 46 and their sex chromosomes from 22 to 23, just like the Anunnaki were.
The operation did not mean their entire physiology functioned like that of the Anunnaki, only aspects of it: DNA transplant does not necessarily mean you become exactly like your donor. Once again, we learn to our amazement just how advanced in biological engineering the Anunnaki were 300,000 years ago. Bone marrow transplant only became feasible in modern times relatively recently. In June 2007, I happened upon an article in the online version of The Washington Post which extolled the wonders of stem cell transplant. Titled “Scientists Report DNA Transplant”, it partly read as follows:
“Scientists said yesterday that they had transplanted a microbe's entire, tangled mass of DNA into a closely related organism, a delicate operation that cleanly transformed the recipient from one species into the other … The success confirms that chromosomes can survive transplantation intact and literally rewrite the identity and occupation of the cells they move into. That is a crucial finding for scientists who hope to make novel life forms by packing synthetic chromosomes into hollow, laboratory-grown cells.”
Now, bone marrow is found in every bone. But why did Enki instruct Ningishzidda to harvest stem cells from the rib cage in particular? In February 2009, Dr Georgia Purdom, a creation scientist HYPERLINK "http://creationwiki.org/Creation_scientist" o "Creation scientist" with a specialty in molecular genetics, wrote an article she titled “The Amazing Regenerating Rib”. This is what she said in the article: “Both men and women have 12 pairs of ribs … Ribs are one of the few bones that continue to make red marrow (and thus blood cells) in the adult.
Although all bones can repair themselves, ribs can regenerate themselves. Ribs are commonly removed during surgeries that require bone grafts in other parts of the body. The rib is removed from the periosteum (a tissue surrounding the bone) much like a banana would be removed from its peel while keeping most of the peel intact. The periosteum must remain, as it contains osteoblasts which build the new rib bone.” Enki chose the rib because ribs even when damaged or removed are capable of growing back like hair grows back when we cut it! DNA transplant works in roughly 1 in every 150,000 tries. Would Ningishzidda succeed at his first try?
JEHOVAH “POISONS” ADAM AND EVE
Although the happenings at Shurrupak were a closely guarded secret which Enlil was not to be made privy to, Enlil did come to suspect something fishy was going on. Enki had recalled Adam and Eve from their Eridu habitation on the pretext that the couple were due for their periodical medical examinations, which at surface was understandable enough. But why had Enki gotten rid of all other medical attendants whilst he examined the two Earthlings? And not only that: why had the two Earthlings this time stayed much longer in the health facility when in the past they had taken only a day or so?
Accordingly, not long after Adam and Eve were returned to their enclosure in the Eridu orchard, Enlil paid them a visit. Enlil was in the habit of checking on them once in a while not that he really cared for them: he did so, first, to embed in their minds that he was the planet’s Head Honcho and not Enki. Second, he wanted to ascertain that they were indeed as intellectually deficient as Enki promised they would be.
Third, he sought to be assured that Eve was not getting pregnant at all. Enlil, the Bible’s primary Jehovah/Yahweh, visited the couple at sunset – “in the cool of the day” as the Bible puts it – when the weather was much more palatable (Earth’s sunlight was just too intense for him) and when the two Lulus saw him, they would gleefully dash toward him and gambol around in the manner dogs do when they see their master, though he would issue a preemptive bark to keep them at bay (Enki, on the other hand, let them take as much liberties with him as they pleased).
Adam and Eve were at this stage more animal-like than human-like: they moved about naked, drank water with their mouths and not with cupped hands, and copulated animal-style. They were also rather matey with animals. What Enlil saw contented him, for it all seemed to bear out the fact that Enki had kept his undertaking to create a halfwit and not a mentally sophisticated Being.
Enlil, who was a stickler for protocol, took Adam aside and sat him under a tree in the centre of the garden whilst Eve watched at a distance. Enlil reiterated to Adam that here on Earth, he was the supreme Lord and Enki was his junior. He warned Adam to be wary of Enki, who was a “masquerade who poses as a God of Knowledge”. If anybody could lead them astray, it was Enki. In fact, if they tended to listen to him, Enlil would exact on them a death punishment in exercise of his executive power. The only person they should listen to was Enlil himself, who was their real creator: as long as they obeyed him, they would never die: they would live indefinitely, he assured Adam.
We encounter this scenario in GENESIS 2:16, which says, “And the Lord God (Enlil) commanded the man (Adam): You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (a metaphor for Enki), for when you eat of it you will surely die”. But there was another “tree” in the centre of Eden which Enlil did not make mention of to Adam. This was the Tree of Life. Just what was this tree and why did Enlil keep quiet about it?
THE SHEM, A GATEWAY TO “IMMORTALITY”
Let us at this juncture turn to GENESIS 2: 8-9. It reads: “8Now, the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden: and there he put the Man he had formed. 9And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
One similarity with the Sumerian clay-tablet records, which predated the Bible by at least 2500 years (and from which the Genesis scribes researched the creation story) is that Adam lived in a garden setting, a combination of an orchard and horticultural patch. In fact, the garden, as we have already noted, was more of a botanical and zoological garden since it also contained, we are told in GENESIS 1:19-20, corralled wild beasts.
This is not surprising given that the garden was owned by Enki, a versatile scientist and researcher. The garden was not Eden per se: it was in Eden, and Eden was in the “east”, that is, Middle East. As we have pointed out on more than one occasion in the past, Eden was the Edin, the sprawl of city states located in today’s southern Iraq, which indeed is found in the Middle East. The Edin was the Anunnaki hub on Earth. The Sumerian records, however, specify exactly where this garden was: it was in Eridu, Enki’s jurisdiction and the Anunnaki’s first settlement when they arrived on Earth from their planet Nibiru 450,000 years ago. Eridu roughly translates as “A Home Away From Home” , or simply “A Replica of Home”.
The Sumerian records, however, do not bear the factor of two trees standing at the garden’s centre. So where did the Genesis writers get the idea of a Tree of Life and a Tree of Knowledge from? Well, first, the Anunnaki, when they described the palace of Nibiru King Anu, said it was guarded by “a god of the Tree of Truth and a god of the Tree of Knowledge”. These “gods” (Anunnaki royals) were the ones who ushered visitors or arrivals into the presence of King Anu.
The Genesis scribes wanted to portray the garden of Eden as a microcosm of “Heaven”, or Nibiru, so they built into the story the existence of literal trees of Life and of Knowledge. Second, the idea of the two trees was plain misunderstanding of their symbolic meanings on the Earth scene. As we have already intimated, the Tree of Knowledge stood for Enki as the Anunnaki’s God of Knowledge, particularly life science. On the other hand, the Tree of Life had several meanings as is often the case with most lingual terms. In one sense, it denoted DNA.
The name of Ningishzidda meant “Lord of the Tree of Life”, which was a tribute to his mastery of genetic knowledge just like his father. The other sense of the term is the more relevant in the Eden story. As Earth’s top two executives, Enlil and Enki each had his own rocket, called a SHEM, just as every president normally has his own presidential jet. This was in addition to their personal jets, which they called a MU, or sky chamber. Enlil’s rocket was based in his cult city, Nippur, which was Earth’s spaceport at the time. But Enki’s was stationed at his Eridu base, on a centrally located quadrangular.
What was special about a Shem? To the Anunnaki, it was simply a means of interplanetary travel. But to mankind, it was a symbol of eternal life. How? Because Earthlings were given to understand that Nibiru was Heaven and to get there one had to use a shem (that was before the advent of religion).
Hence to live as long as the Anunnaki did (Mankind thought the Anunnaki never died when all they enjoyed was a considerably longer lifespan that was explained, primarily, by Nibiru’s much longer orbit around the sun, which lasted 3600 Earth years), Earthlings pined to get onto a shem and be transported to Nibiru, where they expected to be presented the Food of Life and the Water of Life and therefore live forever either on Nibiru itself or back on Earth. But at this early stage, a primitive Adam and Eve had no idea what the shem parked in Enki’s precincts in plain sight was actually the Tree of Life. Enlil therefore had no need to make mention of it.
The Genesis writers also employed the dual tree symbols to demonstrate that the affairs of mankind were a function of the never-ending contest between Enlil and Enki. And since Enlil was their god and Enki was not (he was the god of Africans), they chose to cast him as the villain, the reasons for which we shall explore in due course.
ENKI GOES THE EXTRA MILE
It was Enki’s turn to come and check on the couple as per routine (to administer lessons to them that would broaden their knowledge vista and heighten their intellect) but fundamentally to find out if there were signs Eve was expecting in the wake of the Shurrupak operation. To his surprise, Adam completely avoided him, so ingrained was his brainwash by Enlil. Eve too tried to keep at a distance without necessarily shunning Enki. Mystified, Enki wondered aloud to Eve as to what was the matter.
Eve: We have been told by Lord Enlil that we should avoid you at all costs.
Eve: We are told you are bad company who could lead us astray and consequently to damnation. The Good Lord Enlil says he will punish us with death if we hang around with you. He also said he is the one who created us and therefore we are obliged to listen only to him.
Enki couldn’t believe what he was hearing. So this is what Enlil was up to? These chaps were his own creation and Enlil now wanted to turn them against him! Enki was so livid he now decided he was going to go the extra mile in “opening their minds”. He was going to camp right with them for as long as it took to effect the change he now desired for them and put Enlil to shame. He at once pleaded with Eve to fetch her husband and convince him to come over and listen to his side of things.
It took some persuasion and a bit of cajolery for Eve to heed Enki and for she herself to prise her husband from wherever he was cloistered so he could come and see Enki.
Sitting the couple down under a tree, Enki told them Enlil was a back-stabber who was simply out to drive a wedge between he and they. The reason Enlil didn’t want the couple to listen to him was because he, Enki, had their best interests at heart. He wanted them to be like the Anunnaki themselves – to be capable of reproducing themselves, whereas Enlil was dead set against that. He wanted the couple to be as civilised as his own species; Enlil’s wish was to keep them in perpetual ignorance and benightedness. Listening to Enki would never bring destruction unto them; to the contrary, it would jerk up their intellectual quotient.
“In fact from now on”, Enki said, “I’ll work round the clock to ensure I firmly set you on the road to be like us – to have a sense of moral consciousness so that you are not easily manipulable. For example, don’t you know that the fact that you move about stark naked whilst we move about fully clothed makes you closer to animals than to us? You are not animals; you are humans! I will work on expanding your sense of self-awareness so that you feel and think more or less like we do.” Where in Genesis do we find a conversation of the sort?
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.