Just what was it that Enki’s son was marked with after he killed Adam’s son?
In Genesis, Cain and Abel are presented as brothers. In the Sumerian chronicles, the source material for much of the Genesis story, they are set down as twins. Why did the Genesis writers choose to mis-characterise the relationship between the two siblings? Venturing a definitive answer to such a question is not easy as the whole gimmick is actually absurd considering that Abel, who was killed by his brother, did not have to be politically dissociated from the “wicked” Cain. He had no heirs who had to keep a wide berth from the taint of Cain.
What is apparent, nonetheless, is that the Genesis writers were not comfortable with associating Jewish posterity with Cain. And this had nothing to do with the fratricide against Abel. It all had to do with the fact that Cain was an Enkite, the son of Enki, who was branded and vilified as the evil Serpent by the Enlilites. On the other hand, the Genesis writers, the Levites, were Jewish, Enlil’s chosen people. As such, any relationship with the infamous Enkite Cain had to be avoided like the plague. You cannot be Enlil’s people and openly admit your roots are in fact predominantly Enkite.
Yet however hard the Jews tried to steer clear of the stain of Cain, they just could not cleanly dodge the connection. They were stuck with him come rain or shine. Why? Because Cain did succeed to Adapa’s throne as a true-blue bloodline. He was a leading light of the Holy Grail, the dynastic ruling line that stretched all the way from Adapa to Jesus Christ and well beyond. So to have totally sidestepped him would have rendered all the Jewish kings who followed after him, including David and Solomon, counterfeit.
Note that although Genesis does highlight the killing of Abel by his brother Cain, it does not demonise or blacklist him as such. The only people who do so are the prejudiced pulpit men. The fact of the matter is that Genesis actually exalts Cain even after the murder of his brother. The notion that Cain was cursed by “God” and bore the brunt of that curse forever is purely a figment of the pulpit men’s laughable imagination. It belongs to the refuse bin, to put it mildly.
CAIN AND ABEL COMMISSIONED INTO SERVICE
Although Adapa (Adam in the Bible) was ordained by King Anu to be the provisioner of the Anunnaki through the institution of agricultural activities, he did not embark on the enterprise himself. Enki had decided that that role was going to be effected by his sons Cain and Abel. So it was that when Cain and Abel came of age, they were officially commissioned into the task by the Anunnaki pantheon chaired by Enlil, the primary Jehovah/Yahweh of the Bible.
Since at age 12 the twins were still young anyway, they first had to be trained into their occupations. It was decided that Cain was to specialise in arable farming, whereas Abel was to specialise in pastoral agricultural. Cain was going to be mentored in his occupation by Ninurta, Enlil’s firstborn son, and Abel was going to be mentored by Marduk, Enki’s firstborn son. However, Marduk would be standing in for Dumuzi, who was away on planet Nibiru and was not expected for about 3600 Earth years, equivalent to 1 Nibiru year, known as a shar. The primary mandate of the twins was to produce food for the gods every Earth year in sufficient quantities. Each was given a minimum production target by Enlil, which they were to meet without fail.
On what basis was the specialisation decided? Why was Cain allotted farming and Abel shepherding? The Bible is silent on this, as if it was an arbitrary decision, but the more ancient records do intimate a raison d’être. In Anunnaki modus vivendi, everything had to be symbolically apt. It had to sync energetically, if you know what I mean. When you were a “tiller of the land,” like Cain was, it meant you had dominion over that land. As the heir to Adapa, Cain was Earth’s King-in-waiting.
Thus he had dominion over Earth. That’s the reason he was allotted a responsibility that dovetailed with land ownership. It explains why according to Sumerian records, Cain’s role was not restricted to farming. He also had responsibility over laying down and maintaining infrastructure. It was Cain who built dams, roads, and canals.
Whereas Cain was to set up his grain and horticultural farm around the Eridu within the broader Edin (Eden in the Bible), Abel’s animal domestication activities were to be conducted at the foot of the Cedar Mountains in today’s Lebanon. There, at the mountain summit, Ninurta had set up for him a “Creation Chamber” along the lines of Enki’s Bit Shimti facility in East Africa. Also called the “House of Fashioning”, the Creation Chamber was used to genetically engineer for-meat animals such as sheep, goats, and cattle as well as to improve strains over time through periodic genetic tinkering.
A few years later, the two had settled into their occupational rhythms and were ready to present the first fruits of their labour to Enlil, Earth’s Chief Executive. It seemed Abel the shepherd had worked harder than his older brother the ploughman. Consequently, Abel met his production target and Cain fell considerably short. Abel was therefore highly extolled by Enlil whereas Cain, though commended too for his efforts, was censured and told in no uncertain terms that he had to produce more grain to meet his production quota.
A highly combustible man, Cain was wroth. And not only that: he was rancorous. He had a lump in his throat. For to him, it was not simply about being out-produced by his younger brother. Over and above that, it was about the threat Abel now posed to his prospects for inheriting after Adapa, a fact even savants of ancient history seem wholly ignorant of.
ABEL IS SLAIN
In Genesis, we’re told that Cain moved to kill his brother out of sheer jealous, that he was envious that God had embraced Abel’s offering whereas his had been rejected. The Sumerian records on the other hand say Cain’s offering was accepted too though frowned upon. And it was not only envy that drove Cain to get rid of his brother, it turns out: dynastic politics was central to the whole intrigue.
At the time, Lilitu, Adapa’s highly conceited, seniormost Anunnaki wife, had left him, preferring instead to be a mistress of his father Enki. Enki, who had an Achilles penis, had eagerly obliged and had produced two children with her. They were Luluwa, also known as Awah, and Alimath, both of whom daughters. Although the two girls were genetically senior to Cain, they were female and so they posed no obstacle to Cain as heir to Adapa’s throne.
That left Abel as the only contender. In truth, Abel was not in contention at all: he was Cain’s junior and was by rights ineligible. Potentially though, he was a possible threat. Abel was a protégé of the Enlilites and the Enlilites wielded a lot of political power. They could easily manoeuvre Abel into contention on the pretext that he was more agriculturally productive and therefore more dutiful than Cain and thus snatch the crown from under Cain’s nose. It was out of fear of such an eventuality that Cain decided the only safe Abel was a dead one.
If Cain was to kill Abel, it was important that he uses tact, he reckoned. He could not simply bludgeon him to death on a whim: he had to allow hostilities to naturally arise and then capitalise on that to tear into his brother. Then once the deed was done, he would have the excuse that, “It was not premeditated murder: I did it in the emotion of the moment”.
Now, although the two brothers’ main theatres of operation were miles apart, they had small holdings somewhere in the Edin which adjoined each other. Cain’s was a beautiful meadow bristling with green pastures and Abel’s was a hay-stacked area within which flocks roamed about. One day when both Cain and Abel were at Edin, Cain received a report from his workers that Abel’s men were trespassing on his pastures as they drove the flocks to the canals. Cain decided this was the time to pounce.
He made a beeline for Abel’s fields and angrily confronted him for the highly provocative encroachment, demanding that he withdraws his flocks forthwith. A slanging match ensued, with each making a case for the instrumentality of his role in catering to the needs of the Anunnaki. “I am the one who abundance brings, who the Anunnaki satiates, who gives strength to the heroes, who wool for their clothing provides!” Abel boasted. Cain shot back thus: “It is I who the plains luxuriates, who furrows with grains makes heavy, in whose fields birds multiply, in whose canals fish become abundant: sustaining bread by me is produced, with fish and fowl the Anunnaki's diet I variate!”
As they altercated, a fist fight ensued and picking up a stone, Cain bashed his brother hard on the head and Abel fell limply to the ground. His workers immediately gathered around him and frantically tried mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Meanwhile, a message was radioed to the Shuruppak health facility and a chopper was on its way over to airlift a comatose Abel. Ningishzidda was also sent for so that he could possibly do his “medical magic” in case all efforts at restoring Abel’s life proved futile. Sadly, Abel had suffered substantial and irreparable brain damage and there was nothing that could be done to bring him back to life.
CAIN SENTENCED TO A LIFE OF WANDERING
When Adapa and his wife Titi-Eve heard the news of Abel’s murder, they were gutted. Titi-Eve was inconsolable. An equally tenderhearted Enki wept like a baby. Marduk for one, who had mentored Abel, was incandescent with wrath. He wanted Cain slain on the spot. Enki and Adapa had to physically restrain him as he braced to take the law in his hands.
Thus far, Marduk was not aware that Adapa and Titi-Eve were in fact Enki’s children nor that Cain was his child too. Enki now decided to divulge the secret to him with a view to pacify him. In the event, Marduk was disarmed and jokingly teased his father that, “Of your lovemaking prowess much to me was rumoured, now of that convinced I am!”
The decision finally was that due process of law had to be followed. Cain had to be brought before the Anunnaki tribunal to face trial. In a paradoxical turn of events, Cain was genuinely remorseful of his brother’s killing, having sobered up after the fact. For days, he sat on the very spot at which he had killed his brother, regretting the barbarity of his actions. Maybe the abominable act ultimately served him well but the effect on his psyche would linger for long. Adapa and Titi-Eve mourned their son for 30 days, clad in sackclothes and ashes.
The judgement panel sat at Sippar, Utu-Shamash’s cult city. It was a seven-man bench, namely Enlil, his wife Ninlil, Ninurta, and Nannar-Sin of Enlil’s Lineage; Ninmah; and Enki, his wife Damkina, and Marduk from the Enkite clan. After deliberations that went on for days, judgement was passed.
First, a curse was pronounced on Cain by Enlil in his capacity as Earth’s Chief Executive for spilling the blood of his sibling. The sentence was banishment from the Edin. Cain was to go into exile and only be eligible to return after seven generations counting from Adapa. The number seven here is significant. First and foremost, it was both the number of planet Earth counting from Pluto and therefore the number of Enlil himself as head of the planet. Secondarily, it alluded to the number of people who presided over Cain’s case.
When Cain was given a chance to comment on his sentence as per the juridical procedure, he bemoaned the harshness of the punishment. He wondered aloud to the panel thus: what if during his wanderings somebody who wanted to avenge Abel’s death stalked him and struck him dead? Furthermore, did his banishment to the ends of the Earth mean he had also lost the right to inherit after Adapa?
The first concern was addressed by Enlil. Enlil told him he need not worry as anybody who would so much as lay a finger on him during his peregrinations would receive seven times the punishment Cain had received. That effectively amounted to capital punishment. The second question was addressed by Enki. Enki told his son that the right of succession did not have to be warranted: it was a right of primogeniture. One was born with it.
Therefore, Cain would remain heir to Adapa for as long as he, Cain, was alive. In the event that Adapa passed on, Cain’s son would ascend to the throne. In order to make it plain to everybody who encountered Cain anywhere that he was a King-in-waiting, Enki rose from his judgement seat and made his way into Cain’s dock. Then he made a declaration in relation to what would later become known as the Mark of Cain. Exactly what was this?
MARK OF CAIN WAS NO BLACK MARK
In every sermon belted out from Christian pulpits, the Mark of Cain is invariably described as a curse. The notion is absurd as the Bible itself says, in GENESIS 4:15, that, “Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him". The Mark of Cain was thus an insignia of protection: it was a preservative feature rather than a punitive measure. It was not a curse at all.
The curse was separate from the redemptive Mark of Cain. The curse is explained in GENESIS 4:11-12. It was expulsion from the Edin, the land where Cain had shed blood, and condemnation to a life of endless wondering into uncharted territory far and beyond. The Mark of Cain was meant to distinguish Cain for preservation during these wanderings. So exactly what was it?
The highly regarded Grail bloodline historian Laurence Gardner provides an answer that is corroborated by several other objective and meticulous sources thus: “As for the enigmatic mark placed upon Cain, this is probably the most important aspect of the story so far, because although not defined in the Bible, the Mark of Cain is the oldest recorded Grant of Arms in sovereign history.
In the Midrash and Phoenician traditions, the Mark of Cain is defined as being a cross within a circle. [Which is also the astronomical/astrological symbol for Earth.] It was, in principle, a graphic representation of kingship, which the Hebrews called the MalKhut (‘Kingdom’; from the Akkadian word malku = sovereign).”
As Crown Prince, Cain already had a mark that designated him as such, long before he killed Abel. This was a cross within a circle. The mark was also known as a Grant of Arms in that only a King or Crown Prince had the right to bear arms. In point of fact, all cultures of antiquity bore distinct birthmarks that defined their ancestry. In the African culture, these typically took the form of incisions on the face mainly but also on other parts of the body such as over the heart or between the shoulders. In the days of the Anunnaki, birthmarks took the form of tattoos as they had the technology to indelibly imprint them.
In those days, there was no DNA testing (among Earthlings) as we know it today. As such, they had to find a way of visually identifying somebody for who he claimed he was, particularly if he was a member of the nobility. If, for example, one claimed he was a Saili, he had to point to a mark on his body identifying him as a Saili.
Thus the Mark of Cain would identify Cain wherever he was on the globe that where he came from (that is, the Edin), he was actually a royal and a Crown Prince for that matter. That way, even if he met hostile people, he would be treated either respectfully or with great caution.
When Enki came down from the judgement seat to ratify Cain as Crown Prince, he was not bestowing on him the Right of Succession. He was confirming it – that it had by no means lapsed by forfeiture but was still in force and would always be in force. The Mark of Cain was an affirmation of an inborn right. It was not a stain or any such black mark.
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.