According to the Sumerian records, the Anunnaki, the Old Testament gods, came to Earth from their planet Nibiru to prospect for and extract gold. Nibiru, so the story goes, was faced with an ozone depletion crisis (something Earth is experiencing in our day) and gold, an already exhausted commodity on their planet, was needed to plug the hole.
Although the Old Testament does not squarely hit the nail right on the head as regards the reason the Anunnaki (who are referred to as the Elohim or the Nephilim in Genesis in the original Hebrew), it does provide a sliver of a hint. Gold is the first metal to be mentioned in the Bible. GENESIS 2:10-11 reads, “A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first was the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold and the gold of that land is good …”
But was the plugging of the ozone hole the only reason the Anunnaki sought gold on our planet? The one thing we have to bear in mind is that the Anunnaki didn’t confide every secret to mankind. There was certain, privileged knowledge they held to themselves. Only a few, elite humans were made privy to this knowledge and these had to be members of the Anunnaki-founded secret societies. One such secret society was the Brotherhood of the Snake.
This was founded by Enki, though it was in due course infiltrated and corrupted by the Enlilites. The other was the Brotherhood of Gold. This was founded by Enlil, the primary Jehovah/Yahweh of the Old Testament. The Brotherhood of Gold was formed with a view to protect the secrets of the uses of gold and what are called the Platinum Metals. What was one of these secrets? It was that ingesting gold extended the lives of the Anunnaki both whilst they were on Earth and even on their own planet Nibiru.
BORN TO AGE
Everything in this world ages. Humans, creatures, plants, pathogens – they all grow old with the passage of time. All phenomena ages. Rocks, planets, stars, and other cosmic bodies do age too. Yet living things do not age at the same rate. Some organisms age faster than others and therefore die quicker. Cancer cells for one are capable of living forever! Even in one particular organism, such as a human being for example, specialised cells do not age at the pace.
Stomach-lining cells, for example, die every 5 days (by virtue of being exposed to hydrochloric acid, a permanent feature in the stomach pit), whereas cells of the intestinal tract live up to 15 years before they die. The red blood cells have an average lifespan of 4 months. Yet the entire body can keep chugging for up to 70 years simply because as these cells die, they are replaced by newly-born cells and the dying-replenishment cycle continues on and on.
Overall, however, our body deteriorates as we age since gradually, the rate of dying cells outpaces the rate of new cells being born. Some cells, in fact, no longer regenerate at all at some stage: they simply die off. A good example are pigment cells in our hair follicles. In most people and in particular race groups, pigment cells die by age 40, giving rise to permanent grey, silver, or white hair.
In my case, I have been using tint since age 30, a rather untimely crossroads at which my pigment cells began to die – a “curse” I inherited from my father. Thankfully though, I inherited a blessing from my relatively evergreen mum that makes me look considerably younger than most people of my age and younger still than my immediate younger sister and the brother who follows her. That’s yet another conundrum of life: we do not fade at the same rate even though we may be of the same age bracket.
FACTORS THAT DETERMINE AGING: GENETICS
Why do we age? Or rather, why do we as Earthlings age at the rate we do, which is blindingly quicker than the Anunnaki do? There are a number of factors but here we will only address the key ones. First, it has to do with genetic instructions in our DNA. As we discussed at reasonable length at some stage, DNA is like a computer programme, only a more advanced and sophisticated one by far. It has a designer who invented it (Lucifer in the case of every inhabitant of this universe) and tinkerers who gain mastery of it and thus are able to manipulate it to bring about a contrived outcome.
In our case, it was the Anunnaki who tinkered with our DNA when we were at Homo Erectus stage and encoded our age. In fact, the Anunnaki progressively reduced our lifespan, from about 70,000 years in the case of Adam/Adapa to the current threescore and ten on average (it has actually fluctuated since the days of Abraham).
Abraham lived for 175 years. In New Testament times, life expectancy was 45 years, so that when you were 30, you were regarded as a senior citizen! Only 4 percent reached the age of 65. By 1786, life expectancy had plunged to only 24 years. In 1886, it doubled to 48. Today, it is at 76. If you are programmed to die at a particular age, there is nothing you can do: you just have to go at that “appointed time”, finito. True, you can live beyond the average (Robert Gabriel Mugabe is 92; David Rockefeller, a Reptilian, is 100, albeit after 9 heart transplants; the Queen of England, another Lizard, is 90; Mandela died at 95) but that is simply within the margin of error.
The other factor has to do with heredity. Some people live comparatively longer thanks to the longevity genes passed to them by their forefathers. If you look at the ages of the earlier biblical patriarchs such as Adapa, Enoch, and Methuselah, you find that they lived for thousands of years (the ages shown in Genesis are not literal; they are multipliers, something we shall expand upon in due course), the reason being that they all had a considerable component of Anunnaki blood in them.
Sometime this year, I had occasion to chat with former Vice President Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe, now in his 70s. He told me that he comes from a family who live atypically long. He cited one uncle of his who is 114, walks straight, sees without the aid of glasses, and has virtually intact mental faculties. A further reason we age has to do with what are known as telomeres. The human body houses up to 100 trillion cells.
The greater majority of these cells divide into one or more cells at certain intervals at a pre-determined genetic time table; that’s how we grow and that’s how the body’s metabolic processes are sustained. Sadly, the vast majority of cells have a limited lifespan. On average, they can divide up to a maximum of 52 times. Once they stop dividing (that is, retire), we become susceptible to disease, infection, malfunctioning, and death.
What puts a stop to the dividing process? Each cell has 92 internal clocks – one at each end of its 46 chromosomes. These are called telomeres. Think of telomeres as the plastic caps at the ends of shoelaces, the tips or tails of a chromosome. Every time a cell divides, the telomeres become shorter and shorter till finally they shrink to a critical minimum size. At this stage, the cell takes notice and stops diving.
The telomere tip is made up of an enzyme called telomerase. It is telomerase which sustains telomeres and therefore protects the cell from fraying. As cells renew themselves over the years, the telomerase enzyme wears away: consequently the cells degrade and aging accelerates. One expert explained the phenomenon this way: “Compare the telomeres to the white margin surrounding an important type-written document.
In this analogy, the printed text is the vital DNA code while the white space is the ‘blank’ telomeres. Imagine that this paper is repeatedly slapped on a copy machine, a copy is made, and then that copy is used to make another copy. Each time the paper is copied, it is subject to errors of alignment and these errors accumulate with every copy. After enough copying, it is probable that the white space will diminish and some of the actual text will not be copied. That's what happens inside our cells and it is the reason we get old and die.”
FACTORS THAT DETERMINE AGING: PLANETARY CYCLES AND OXYGEN
A little-known determinant of age is the time the planet takes to complete its journey around the Sun, what we call a year. We will cite only four planets. One year on Venus takes 0.615 Earth years. Mars takes approximately 2 Earth years to revolve around the Sun; Neptune approximately 165 Earth years; and Nibiru 3600 Earth years. Let’s use our charismatic Republican President General Seretse Khama as an example. He is 63.
To calculate what age he would be on other planets, all we simply do is divide his age by the number of Earth years that particular planet takes to go around the Sun. Accordingly, his age on Venus would be 63/0.615, or 102 years. On Mars, he would be 32 years. Similarly, on Neptune he would be 0.38 years old, that is, a very small baby. On Nibiru, he would be 0.02 years, meaning he would still be at embryonic stage. In sum, the quicker a planet takes to go round the Sun, the faster its inhabitants grow.
On the other hand, the longer the planet takes to revolve around the Sun, the slower its inhabitants age. We can now understand why the Anunnaki lived far much longer than we do on their planet but aged much more rapidly when they came to Earth, although still slower than mankind. Another accelerator of age is the very element central to our survival – oxygen. In this way, it is much like the Sun, which is essential to life but can also destroy life with its cancer-causing ultra-violet rays. In her book, Freedom From Disease, Hari Sharma explains rather succinctly the horrors of oxygen. Let’s hear her speak:
“Oxygen, the atmospheric source of life, is also a source of degeneration, disease and, ultimately, death. We live surrounded by and suffused with oxygen. We take it completely for granted, walk through it thoughtlessly, breathe it in, sometimes greedily. Now, as if we suddenly discovered that water kills fish, we have discovered that oxygen kills cells, tissues, and, eventually, the entire body.
“The two-edged nature of oxygen is known as the oxygen paradox. On the one hand, oxygen bestows life-giving energy. Without oxygen a living cell can still extract energy from glucose molecules through anaerobic metabolism (anaerobic means ‘without air,’ or, more precisely, ‘not in the presence of oxygen’). With oxygen, however, the body can extract sixteen times as much energy from the same number of glucose molecules. Given the energy demands on the human system, the difference is life and death.
“Neurons in the brain are especially energy sensitive, and even minutes of oxygen starvation lead to rapid neuron death. On the other hand, as a moment’s reflection reveals, oxygen is extremely corrosive. A fine new automobile, left to the mercies of oxygen, will eventually rust down to a pile of dust. Oxygen, if given the chance, destroys the molecular components of the body just as surely as it rusts metal and burns buildings. At its most destructive, oxygen combines with hydrogen into various unstable and highly reactive free radical molecules, as well as other reactive oxygen species (ROS).
In these virulent forms, oxygen will systematically destroy a cell’s DNA, enzymes, proteins, and membranes, unless the body’s defenses keep the attack in check. “This is the dark side of oxygen. Seen from the most extreme point of view, in fact, oxygen is a poison gas. Anyone who breathes pure oxygen for 48 hours will die, a victim of oxygen’s damage to the tissues of the lung. Living in the earth’s atmosphere, we continue to survive only because inert nitrogen dilutes oxygen down to 20% of the air we breathe and the body has developed coping mechanisms to counter oxygen’s destructive effects at levels this low.
“Our use of oxygen is thus a Faustian bargain, life-giving boon with a lethal curse attached. Oxygen powers the chemical reactions that provide energy for motion, sensation, and thought for all that makes possible animal and human life on this planet. But the oxygen that saturates our cells is also a constant threat to our survival. It mounts a relentless attack that eventually wears down our defenses and destroys our biological machinery.
The body gets old because, in large part, oxygen wastes it away. The body suffers from a heart attack, or a stroke, or an outbreak of cancer because, in large part, oxygen has done its damage. “Oxygen gives life, and oxygen takes it away.”
FAMILIAR USES OF GOLD
Let us now return to gold, the most cherished of all metals. Most of its uses we’re familiar with. Let’s sum them up. Nearly 80 percent of all recycled or mined gold is used in the manufacture of jewellery. For over 6000 years (that is, dating back to the Sumerian days), gold has been used as a store of value, as itself (alongside silver) or as a medium of exchange. Gold coins, first minted in about 560 BC by King Croesus of Lydia in today’s Turkey, were commonly used in transactions until the early 1900s when paper currency was introduced.
In fact, all paper money was backed by gold held in safekeeping for every unit of money that was placed in circulation. The gold was held in the form of gold bars, also known as "gold bullion”. Until the onset of the 70s, most countries in the world used god as a standard to back every unit of currency in circulation.
The most important industrial use of gold is in the manufacture of electronics. As a conductor of heat and electricity, gold is third to diamonds and silver. As a highly efficient conductor, gold can carry these tiny currents and remain free of corrosion. Thus a small amount of gold is used in almost every sophisticated electronic device. This includes cell phones, calculators, global positioning system (GPS) units, television sets, and desktop and laptop computers.
Gold has many uses in the production of glass. The most basic use in glassmaking is that of a pigment. A small amount of gold, if suspended in the glass when it is annealed, will produce a rich ruby colour. Gold is also used when making specialty glass for climate-controlled buildings and cases. A small amount of gold dispersed within the glass or coated onto the glass surface will reflect solar radiation outward, helping the buildings stay cool in the summer, and reflect internal heat inward, helping them stay warm in winter.
In dentistry, gold alloys are used for fillings, crowns, bridges, and orthodontic appliances. Gold is also critical in aerospace technology. Space vehicles are fitted with gold-coated polyester film to reflect infrared radiation and to help stabilize core temperatures. Without gold, darker coloured parts of spacecraft would absorb significant amounts of heat. The visor on the helmet of an astronaut's space suit is coated with a very thin film of gold. This thin film reflects much of the very intense solar radiation of space, protecting the astronaut's eyes and skin.
Finally, gold is used as a lubricant (in place of oil) between mechanical parts in the vacuum of space. But as we pointed out above, the Anunnaki had classified uses for gold that had to do with human physiology. We delve into these in detail in the next instalment.
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.