Earth, Mars, and Moon in turmoil as planet of the gods approaches
The offspring of Adam and Tiamat (Eve in Genesis) were teeming in line with the wishes of Enki, their creator. Enki purposed that the Lulus “be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the Earth”, much to the horror of Enlil, the Bible’s primary Jehovah/Yahweh. Earth, after all, was their rightful planet.
It was the Anunnaki who were aliens to the planet. Enlil, however, was alarmed and perturbed: he feared that if the Lulus proliferated, they could stage an uprising at some point in time in the foreseeable future against the dismally few Anunnaki and disrupt the vital gold extraction project. The Lulus would never come to have the technological wizardry or military might of the Anunnaki but there was strength in numbers. Besides, with sympathisers amongst the ranks of Enkites, it wasn’t a stretch that the Lulus could spring a surprise.
Meanwhile, the Anunnaki royal ranks were also increasing in number. Nannar-Sin had been the first Anunnaki to be born on Earth, to Enlil and his wife Ninlil. Now Nannar-Sin himself and his wife Ningal were blessed with the fraternal twins Utu-Shamash, a boy, and Inanna-Ishtar, a girl. There were now three generations of Anunnaki royalty on Earth.
The “divine” twins, it emerged, were born at a most portendous time. At this juncture, which was 80 shars (288,000 Earth years) after the Anunnaki’s arrival on Earth, there was geophysical turmoil on Earth, Mars, the Moon, and the Asteroid Belt. On Earth, global warming was upping, the snow caps around the Arctic and Antarctica land masses were ebbing, and thunderstorms, tsunamis, and gale force winds were raging.
As if that was not chilling enough, there were earthquakes and earth tremors, with volcanic activity in overdrive, and meteors were hurtling into the planet without let-up. “Into flaming fires in the skies they were bursting,” Enki observed of the meteors and other rocky projectiles from the cosmic neighbourhood. “In a clear day darkness they were causing … Like stone missiles the Earth they were attacking.”
At the time, Marduk, Enki’s firstborn son was in charge of the Mars outpost. He reported that “strong winds are disturbing, annoying dust storms they are raising: in the Hammered Bracelet (Asteroid Belt) turmoils are occurring.” The Anunnaki top brass were in a fine state of trepidation. Enki’s second-born son Nergal and his wife Ereshkigal were working round the clock at Cape Agulhas, the astronomical, climate and Earth-monitoring station in South Africa.
At Nibruki (Nippur) in the Edin, Enlil and his firstborn son Ninurta were busy monitoring planetary orbits in our Solar System in a special-purpose facility known as the Duranki. Shamgaza, the leader of the Igigi, the Anunnaki astronauts in orbit around Earth and Mars, was burning the midnight oil superintending over the scanning of the heavens from the international space stations of both planets.
The professorial Enki, the jack of all trades as well as master of all, had suspended his life-science experiments at Bit Shimti in East Africa to devote all his energies to help unravel the conundrum at hand. What the deuce was happening in this section of the ecliptic?
DREADED MUSHOSHOSHONO LOOMS
At long last, the Anunnaki were able to fathom the cause of the climatic and terrestrial upheavals besetting our planet. Nibiru, aka “The Lord”, was on its way back to perigee, its closest orbital position to the Sun, known as the place of the crossing and of which the name Nibiru, meaning “Planet of the Crossing”, arose. This was not the first time Nibiru’s approach had triggered such cataclysms in the ecliptic but it was the most tempestuous since the Anunnaki came to Earth. “The Earth and the Moon and Lahmu (Mars) a calamity unknown are facing,” lamented Enki.
The Sumerians, the world’s best-known civilisation of old, did not call Nibiru The Lord for the fun of it: they meant what they said. For starters, Nibiru was the abode of Anu, “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”, who was the planet’s ruler and the leader of the Anunnaki in the greater Sirian-Orion empire.
Nibiru was also referred to as The Lord or The Celestial Lord because it was the “creator” of planet Earth 4 billion years ago (from the original planet Tiamat which lay between Jupiter and Mars and of which Earth and the Asteroid Belt are remnants, a phenomenon dubbed the “Celestial Battle”) as well as the primeval propagator of its life forms.
When Nibiru loomed in Old Testament times, the prophets presaged not glory and bliss but gloom and doom for poor Earthlings. The comet-like reddish planet, which is seen only once in 3600 years – the time it takes to complete one circuit around the Sun – is said to have last appeared in 556 BC (its two appearances prior to that reportedly occurred circa 4000 BC, circa 7450 BC, and circa 11000 BC.) Two hundred years before its last appearance, the Hebrew prophets began to warn the nation of Israel about its calamitous advent. The first one was Amos, who began to prophesy in Judea (southern Palestine) around 760 BC. He was followed by Hosea in Israel (northern Palestine), whose prophecies began in 750 BC.
All the prophecies were dire “beholds” regarding what was going to transpire on “The Day of Judgement”, this being the return of Nibiru to Earth’s vicinities. The return of Nibiru was described as the Day of Judgement because it was associated with every tragedy and tribulation in the book engendered by the gravitational and slingshot effects of the giant planet – floods, earthquakes, fires, meteorite plunges into Earth, volcanic activities, polar shifts, sudden climatic switches from generally warm weather to an ice age, etc. That’s why the prophet Amos would say, “Woe unto you that desire the Day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? For the Day of the Lord is darkness and no light” (AMOS 5:18).
In the 6th century BC (between the years 600 BC and 500 BC), the prophets upped the tempo as Nibiru was practically around the corner. “The Day of the Lord is at hand”, the prophet Joel frantically announced. “The Day of the Lord is near”, the prophet Obadiah declared. Circa 570 BC, about twenty-five years before Nibiru finally showed up, the prophet Ezekiel was given the following urgent divine message by the god Yahweh (that is, Enlil): “Son of Man, prophesy and say: thus sayeth the Lord: Howl and bewail for the Day is near – the Day of the Lord is near!” (EZEKIEL 30:2-3).
Whereas Nibiru and the hell it entailed were not known to much of the modern world until relatively recently when the iconic Zechariah Sitchin popularised its knowledge beginning with his 1975 classic The 12th Planet, Africans were aware of the planet. The Zulus for one called it Mushoshonono.
Says the legendary Zulu shaman Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa: “I am told by the great storytellers of our tribes, that … at one time, many thousands of years ago, a terrible star, or the kind called Mu-sho-sho-no-no, the star with a very long tail, descended very close upon our skies. It came so close that the earth turned upside down and what had become the sky became down, and what was the heavens became up. The whole world was turned upside down. The sun rose in the south and set in the north.
Then came drops of burning black stuff, like molten tar, which burned every living thing on earth that could not escape. After that came a terrible deluge of water accompanied by winds so great that they blew whole mountaintops away. And after that came huge chunks of ice bigger than any mountain and the whole world was covered with ice for many generations … And we are told that this thing is going to happen again very soon. Because the great star, which is the lava of our sun, is going to return on the day of the year of the red bull …”
What the prophets foretold about Nibiru 3000 years ago and what Credo Mutwa underscores are both affirmed in the Sumerian chronicles, both in the days of Adam and in the days of Noah. The upheavals of the time Enki relates were particularly dire in that there was a rare conjunction of seven planets from Earth to Pluto. That is to say, the seven planets had aligned and as such Nibiru’s orbital path was slightly muddled.
Consequent to that, there was a huge gap in the Asteroid Belt, the “Celestial Bar”, as some asteroids were scattered by the now erratic Nibiru. One huge comet had its path deflected by Nibiru and it pitched into the Moon, causing some of those craters we see that lend to Earth’s only satellite that famous face of a man.
And since Nibiru drew so close to the inner planets, all were agitated by its mighty gravity, resulting in the apocalyptic havoc highlighted above. The planet Venus actually moved further away from the Sun than it had been to date. Enki and company were hopeless and helpless. All they could do was invoke the “Creator of All” to tame “The Lord”.
ENKI TRAVELS TO THE MOON
Of the most telling disasters Nibiru had wrought was the destruction of the gold transhipment warehouse facilities on Mars and the space station infrastructure overall. Mars was primarily a way station where gold ingots were first shipped from Earth, stockpiled, and finally taken to Nibiru by way of the mothership. It was easier to airlift vast quantities of gold at once from Mars thanks to its less potent gravity compared to Earth. Under the prevailing circumstances, there wouldn’t be much work for Marduk to do. Accordingly, he asked to be redeployed to Earth.
Meanwhile, it was decided by Enlil, Earth’s chief executive, that gold be transported to Nibiru direct from Earth. Enki objected, arguing that that represented a daunting technological challenge in light of Earth’s rather strong gravitational pull. It would gravely affect the momentum of the flow of gold to Nibiru.
Enki therefore counter-proposed that prospects for an alternative way station on the much smaller Moon be investigated. The proposition was beamed to King Anu on Nibiru and it was okayed. So to the Moon did Enki and Marduk travel, accompanied by fifty Anunnaki. Altogether they spent six Earth years on the Moon, which was equivalent to a week in Nibiru time.
Whilst Enki was fascinated by the Moon, which he regarded as a better vantage point to study the Solar System than Earth – the reason they took six years – Marduk wasn’t. Marduk hated the fact that because of the thin atmosphere and possibly perilous solar radiation levels, they had to be garbed in a space suit all the time.
For the first time as an adult, Marduk had the opportunity to be with his dad all alone and for a lengthy time. He therefore decided to sit him down for a heart-to-heart, father-son talk. Marduk had concerns to air that stemmed from his marginalisation in Anunnaki matters when he was in fact of a very high standing in the Anunnaki cosmic pantheon. If you recall, Marduk was second in line to the Sirian-Orion throne after Enlil as per the terms of the merger between Sirius and Orion. Yet in Earthly matters, he was peripheral: he was not even among the Anunnaki’s 12-man ruling council.
Marduk had three main gripes that he brought to his father’s attention. First, he wondered why Ningishzidda seemed to be his favourite son and the only one Enki had taught practically everything he knew. Second, he wanted to know why Ninurta was given charge of Badtibira, a position of high clout since it entailed control over Nibiru-bound gold, a most strategic asset.
Third, Marduk asked why Enki had to settle for the number 2 position on Earth when it was he who established Eridu, the pioneer settlement on Earth. Why was he so meek? Why should he play second fiddle to Enlil when he was the Anunnaki Big Brain? For how long was he going to continue to offer the other cheek?
“Now to Earth we are returning; what will my task be?” Marduk sobbed before his great dad. “Am I to fame and kingship fated, or again to humiliated be?” In other words, Marduk wanted a plum position in the pantheon that was befitting of his status and potential and he wanted Enki to make that a reality come rain or shine.
Having pondered the matter over, Enki sat down to work on the zodiacal permutations. It was he who had mapped the entire celestial cycle of the zodiac 25,000 years after his arrival from Nibiru and it was he who assigned names to them. Enki now undertook to Marduk that he was going to see to it that one of these fine days he, Marduk, would be the Enlil, Earth’s Commander-in-Chief. “The supremacy I have been deprived (that is, command of the Earth) shall be yours my son. That I guarantee,” Enki rendered assurance to his dispirited firstborn son.
SHAMASH GIVEN CHARGE OF NEW SPACEPORT
Upon their return to Earth, Enki reported to Enlil that for now it was not feasible to use the Moon as a way station in that it was not sufficiently conducive to life. An underground base, a virtual subterranean world, first had to be established but that was a long-term project. Thus pending the reconstruction of warehouse facilities on Mars once Nibiru had retreated, gold should be carried directly to Nibiru from Earth.
Plans were soon afoot to establish a spaceport in the Eridu to be called Sippar. The moot point, however, was who would be in charge of the spaceport. Enlil proposed Ninurta, which was rapacious really as he already was chief administrator of Badtibira, whilst Enki rooted for Marduk, who had the requisite experience from Mars. It was a stalemate. The matter was referred to King Anu on Nibiru as happened every time opinion was divided among the Anunnaki top brass.
Although King Anu was a good man on balance, he was not without partiality. He tended to side with the Enlilites more often than not. Did that have to do with the fact that Enlil was his flesh-and-blood whereas Enki was a step son? Anu ruled that the spaceport should be commanded not by a first- or second-generation Anunnaki royal but a third-generation.
At the time, the seniormost third-generation royal Anunnaki was Utu-Shamash, Enlil’s grandson and so it was he who was entrusted responsibility. And since Marduk had refused to return to Mars, Utu-Shamash was also given command over the Igigi both on Mars and in orbit around Earth.
The construction of the Sippar spaceport began in the 81st shar and was completed in the 82nd shar. That is to say, it took 3600 Earth years. What this clearly demonstrates is that the Anunnaki followed the Nibiru timetable even whilst they were here on Earth. Had they followed Earth time, they would have been done within a year or two at most.
King Anu came down from Nibiru to commission the spaceport. On the occasion, Anu was smitten by what a staggering beauty his great granddaughter Inanna-Ishtar was. He there and then designated her as his official mistress every time he came to Earth. He christened her with the name Anunita, meaning “Anu’s Beloved”. The affair, which was legal in Anunnaki culture, was consummated on the first night. (In most cultures in Africa too, a grandfather can marry his granddaughter, but whether that extends to a great granddaughter is a contentious point.)
In his speech to a gathering of both the Anunnaki and the Igigi, King Anu gave assurance that in only a few shars, they would be back home as Nibiru’s atmosphere was on the mend. In the midst of all this though, Marduk was wroth. He refused to take any official responsibilities. Instead, he set out to globetrot the world in his flying saucer with a view to explore the planet in detail. “Over all the lands he wished to roam,” writes Enki. “In his skyship the Earth to comprehend.”
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.