Connect with us
Advertisement

Jehovah Turns Up Heat

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER
    

Disease, starvation plague mankind as Enlil unleashes wrath in bid to teach Marduk “a lesson”

About 75,000 years ago, in the time of Enoch, a new Ice Age dawned on Earth. It did not hit abruptly: it was gradual. About 25,000 years later, it was biting hard. Earthlings and Anunnaki alike were reeling from it. Enki characterises this dire situation thus courtesy of Zechariah Sitchin’s The Lost Book of Enki:  “In those days the Anunnaki for their own surviving were concerned; their own rations were diminished, by Earth's changes they themselves afflicted became …  The tribulations were increasing, fear and famine their heads reared.”


By this time, Enoch had spawned two generations. They were that of his son Methuselah and his grandson Lamech.   Now, although Enoch lived in luxury in a facility hollowed out of a mountain at Sippar in the Edin, Eden in the Bible, he kept regular touch with his family directly and was well-attuned with happenings around him. He may have had a sheltered life but he was concerned about the welfare of his family under the prevailing climatic circumstances. Their fate so exercised his mind they were always in his prayers.


As he obsessively contemplated the wellbeing of his family, he had a “vision” in which he saw a mighty flood inundate the Earth. What were these so-called visions that are such a constant feature in the Bible and the Sumerian records? One cannot say for sure since they are not explained, but the impression one gets is that of something like a movie which is shown not on a screen but holographically in the surrounding air in a dark setting.  Who was behind this hologram? On the basis of what would later transpire, it was Enki himself.


For just after he had this vision, Enoch sent for Enki. Why Enki when he, Enoch,  was a protégé of the Enlilites? The reason is simple: Enoch knew that if the globalwide flood was an avoidable catastrophe, it was Enki who could do his utmost to avert it, not Enlil. Enki was mankind’s creator and therefore had a heart for humans. On the other hand, Enlil regarded mankind as expendable. To him, humans were like roaches crawling all over the place and who therefore had to be Doom-sprayed into oblivion. If Enoch loyally served the Enlilites, it was by virtue simply of the privilege they had made possible for him – of settling on Nibiru and living happily ever after Amen.


Enki made haste to Enoch’s redoubt. Enoch recounted the vision to him along the following lines:


“What I saw in the vision Lord Enki could or could not happen but whatever the case, we ought to make a contingency plan. And for that I’m counting on you. If the flood were to take place soon, I personally would be flown to Nibiru but what about my children and grandchildren? They would perish. And you know as much as I do Lord Enki that your brother Lord Enlil wouldn’t care an iota about them.  Only you, Benevolent Lord, has a heart for mankind.”


Even as Enoch was speaking, the quick-thinking Enki, who had the sharpest brain of any Anunnaki, was already weighing several options. From the satellite pictures provided by the Igigi who were in orbit around Earth, Enki did detect that the mountain of ice that had built up on the continent of Antarctica was a disaster waiting to happen.  If Nibiru were to draw too close to Earth than it ordinarily did, the colossal ice sheet would tip over into the Antarctic Ocean, giving rise to a globalwide Tsunami capable of extincting life on the planet.


Enki thus resolved that Nibiru’s trajectory had to be watched very closely. The mathematics of its orbital positions had to be scrupulously calculated so that precise predictions on its impact on the planet could be made at least a shar in advance. Meanwhile, Enoch and he came up with a strategic plan in which Enki’s role was both primary and salivating as it involved bumping and grinding – the kind of action Enki relished greatly.  

LAMECH’S STRANGE SON

Like his grandfather Enoch, Lamech was an Enlilite lapdog. He was based at Sippar, Utu-Shamash’s cult city, where he was known as Ubar-Utu, meaning “Utu’s Understudy/Intercessor”. In other words, he ruled the human residents of Sippar on behalf of Shamash. In short, Lamech was Sippar’s priest-king.


An occupational specialty of Lamech was architecture.  He was simply outstanding in infrastructural design.  Enki thus used this forte of his as an excuse to get him to Egypt, where he was presently based. Enoch was hired by Enki to teach humans the art of design and construction. Of course Enki himself, who the Egyptians called  Ptah – meaning “Creator/Developer”, and his phenomenally gifted son Ningishizidda could easily have done this but the idea of roping in Lamech was a clever means to a strategic end.


Lamech was married to his cousin Batanash. But whilst fulfilling his contract with Enki, he had left Batanash with Ninmah at Shuruppak. Not long after Lamech arrived in Egypt, Enki decided to pay a visit on Ninmah. It so happened that one day, Batanash, a staggering beautiful and curvaceous woman, was taking a shower in a roof-top bathroom and Enki was peeking at her through a window to his bedroom. Enki’s bedroom was on a floor that was one storey higher than the level at which Batanash was bathing and since the bathroom was roofless though walled,  Enki saw every inch of her and all her eye-popping postures as she tried to spruce up every contour of her body. Blood flowed to Enki’s nether regions – he was in bonking mood.  


Soon he had made his way into the hallowed privacy of Batanash’s cubicle and according to Sumerian records, “his semen into her womb he poured”. No woman on Earth was capable of turning down the advances of Enki, whose way with words coupled with dynamically good looks they found irresistible. Besides, Sumerian records suggest that Enoch had conjugally neglected his wife, like most men do when they have been with a woman for a long time. Note that the copulation only partially stemmed from lust: Enki and Enoch had planned it all.


Enki, a most virile man who hardly ever fired blanks, had scored with his first attempt at goal. Nine months later, Batanash had a child, a boy. Since the boy looked somewhat unusual, Ninmah radioed Lamech to rush to Shurrupak pronto. The moment Lamech set his eyes on the boy, he was stunned.

 

“White as the snow his skin was, the colour of wool was his hair: like the skies were his eyes, in a brilliance were his eyes shining,” says The Lost Book of Enki. In other words, the child resembled the typical Anunnaki, who were of a chalky-white skin, had blue eyes, and “shone” thanks to their ingestion of Ormus on a daily basis.   As if that was not strange enough, the child was able to talk from the moment he was born. “He arose in the hands of the midwife, opened his mouth, and conversed with the Lord of Righteousness,” the latter being Enlil, who had also been invited over by Ninmah to come and see this extraordinary little bundle of joy.



STRANGE SON BOTH A BAD AND GOOD OMEN

The first thing Lamech did was to confront his wife. According to a fragment of The Book of Noah,  found amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls stash, Lamech related thus about his plight:


“I thought in my heart that the conception was from one of the Watchers, one of the Holy Ones … And my heart was changed within me because of the child. Then I, Lamech, hastened and went to Bath-Enosh, my wife, and I said to her: ‘I want you to take an oath by the Most High, the Lord Supreme, the King of all the worlds, the ruler of the Sons of Heaven, that you will tell me the truth whether …’”.


Lamech suspected that Batanash was impregnated by a Nefilim and made her swear by King Anu that that indeed was the case as the child clearly did not have strictly human features. First, Batanash responded in a round-about way but with some subtle signal. She said, “The situation is indeed alarming but remember my delicate feelings”. In other words, she was saying that whilst she understood his concern, he nonetheless   had to bear in mind that he had been starving her sexually.

 

The evasive answer did not satisfy Lamech so he pressed on: he said he wanted the full truth and nothing but the truth. This time around, Batanash was more direct. “Ignoring my delicate feelings, I swear to you by the Holy and Great One, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, that this seed came from you, this conception was by you, and this fruit was planted by you,” she vowed.


The emphasis on “delicate feelings” perturbed Lamech. It was inconsistent with the notion of the child indeed being categorically his. Lamech thus took off in a fit of anger and frustration to seek the advice of his father Methuselah. This is what he reported: “I have begotten a strange son, diverse from and unlike Man, and resembling the sons of the God of Heaven; and his nature is different, and he is not like us … And it seems to me that he is not sprung from me but from the angels.” The terms “sons of the God of Heaven” and “Angels” refer to the Anunnaki, who were indeed Nibiru King Anu’s people.


Methuselah too was dumbfounded but he didn’t say much; instead, he referred Lamech to his grandfather Enoch. Enoch was to conduct a DNA test on the baby and if he found that indeed the baby was fathered by a Nefilim, he was to investigate who exactly it was. Methuselah knew that Enoch, being the head of the Enlilite’s equivalent of the CIA, would easily find out who had committed adultery with Batanash. Certainly, Enoch must have had a Anunnaki DNA database at his disposal.


Lamech rushed to Sippar in a chopper accompanied by Anunnaki escorts who knew exactly where Enoch lived in a “dwelling place among the angels at the ends of the Earth”. However, he was not allowed to enter the premises. Instead, Enoch came out to meet him. After relating the object of his calling, Enoch, who had masterminded everything along with Enki, pacified him straightaway. He said there was no need to conduct a DNA test on the baby as he indeed was Lamech’s.

 

But the baby was certainly special. His unusual appearance and precocity (talking straight after birth) betokened an omen of sorts. “There shall come a Deluge and great destruction for one year, but your son and his family are destined to be saved. The Lord has showed me and informed me, and I have read it in the heavenly tablets.”

Having said this, Enoch enjoined Lamech to keep the secret to himself, an admonition he inviolably honoured. Thus it was that Batanash gave the child the name Atrahasis, meaning “extremely wise.” This had to do with the fact that the child could speak from the day he was born and sensibly so, unlike ordinary babies who verbally matured through the gears. In future,  Atrahasis would come to be best-known as Ziusudra (in Sumerian) or Utnapishtim (in Akkadian, the forerunner to the Hebrew language). Both the terms mean “He of long bright life days”, which was very fitting  as it was Atrahasis who preserved life during that watery calamity and so ushered in a bright new day.


In the Bible, Atrahasis is known as Noah. This is from the Hebrew Noach, meaning “comfort”. Again this is apt in view of the fact that his birth heralded good tidings on the flipside of the coin: he was to be the saviour of mankind and all life forms as the Deluge raged.
Noah was born in the 110th shar, that is, 396,000 years after the Anunnaki first landed on Earth. That is roughly 49,000 years ago and about 12 shars (43,200 years) before the Deluge.

 

The moment Enki heard of his birth, he offered himself as his godfather and Lamech, who was unaware that the boy was in fact Enki’s son, gladly obliged him. From a very early age, Enki set out to groom him as his priest and recited to him the writings of his iconic forefather Adapa, who had been dead now for 7000 years.

 

Noah grasped whatever Enki taught him like a dictaphone, that’s how brilliant he was.  However, Ninmah insisted she also wanted a piece of the child prodigy and Enki co-operated: Noah was raised at Shuruppak, the Anunnaki medical centre that was under the patronage of Ninmah.

ENLIL’S MACABRE STRATEGY NO. 1: PANDEMICS

Meanwhile, Enlil was very intent at decimating the population of the Nefilim, their Anakim offspring, and mankind for their brazen pro-Marduk stance. Since Enki and Enoch withheld their forecast of the Deluge from him, Enlil decided to take rash measures to bring about the disaster he desired.  


The first weapon he used was the infliction of disease. “In the days of Ziusudra plagues and pestilences the Earth afflicted, aches dizziness, chills, fevers the Earthlings overwhelmed,” relates Enki in The Lost Book of Enki. These travails may have been simply one of the ravages of the Ice Age Enlil decided to capitalise on, but chemical and biological weaponry did certainly play its part too.  In the face of this pathological calamity, Ninmah, who physically incubated Adam, the father of mankind, approached Enlil and suggested that humans be taught the art of curing themselves using herbaceous plants. But Enlil was having none of that. “This by decree I forbid”, he thundered.


Next to plead for an easing of the human predicament was Noah, who was now a grown man. He approached Enki and besought him to reason with his all-powerful step-brother. “Ea (Enki), O’ Lord, mankind groans,” Noah entreated.  “The anger of the gods consumes the land. Yet it is thou who hast created us! Let there cease the aches, the dizziness, the chills, the fever!"  Enki did find a way to circumvent Enlil’s decree and answer to mankind’s plight but whatever course of action that was we can only guess since the Sumerian tablet on which the story is related is partly damaged. The action plan was effective though because Enlil is later heard to complain that, “The people have not diminished; they are more numerous than before”.

ENLIL’S MACABRE STRATEGY NO. 2: FAMINE

Next, Enlil decided to exterminate the world population by way of starvation. "Let supplies be cut off from the people,” he pronounced before the Anunnaki pantheon. “In their bellies, let fruit and vegetables be wanting …  Let the rains of the rain god be withheld from above; below, let the waters not rise from their sources.

 

Let the wind blow and parch the ground; let the clouds thicken, but hold back the downpour.” What Enlil was ordering into use here was what we today call HAARP technology, which has the capacity to control and modify weather all of sudden. The rank wielder of this technology was his youngest son Ishkur-Adad, who was the storm and rain god.


In order to ensure that his orders were carried out, Enlil gave members of the pantheon specific briefs. Enki was to monitor the oceans in flying saucers as well as ocean liners to make sure no one fished from there; his second-born son Nannar-Sin and Enki’s second-born son Nergal were to police the equator and the tropics; and Ishkur-Adad  was to patrol the northern hemisphere. Lamech, Noah’s father, was also ordered by Utu-Shamash, Enlil’s grandson and for whom Lamech was a priest-king, not to provide any rations to humans who were based at Sippar. All bases were covered: Enlil wanted no less than globalwide genocide.


“In those days the sufferings on Earth were increasing,” the Sumerian records say of what transpired thereafter. “The days colder grew, the skies their rains were holding back, fields their crops diminished, in the sheepfolds ewe lambs were few … The earth shut its womb, vegetation did not sprout.” Initially, the morning mists and night time dew compensated for the absence of rains but these two petered out.  According to a Sumerian text known as The Epic of Astrahasis, “The fertile fields became white … People walked hunched in the streets, their faces looked green …” A raging drought “began to spread devastation. From above, the heat was not … Below, the waters did not rise from their sources. The womb of the earth did not bear.”


The next six shars (36,000 years) were a real horror as man’s plight aggravated. People ate “the earth’s grass” and their faces were “encrusted with hunger”. By the fifth shar, “Human life began to deteriorate. Mothers barred their doors to their own starving daughters. Daughters spied on their mothers to see whether they had hidden any food.”  When  the sixth shar dawned, “Cannibalism was rampant. They prepared the daughter for a meal; the child they prepared for food.  One house devoured the other.” And the one person behind all the purgatory in which mankind was wallowing was none other Enlil, the being Christendom worships as its God under the name Jehovah/Yahweh. This Earth, My Brother …

NEXT WEEK: A MYSTERIOUS MESSENGER FROM “HEAVEN”

Continue Reading

Columns

A “Virgin” Conceives

2nd March 2021
IT’S THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS, STUPID

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.

NEXT WEEK: THE PANTERA INVOLVEMENT

Continue Reading

Columns

A crash course in publicity

2nd March 2021

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!

Continue Reading

Columns

Pact with the Devil

2nd March 2021
THE LORD’S GREAT GRANDMOTHER

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.

NEXT WEEK: HOW HEROD MINIMISED THE HOUSE OF DAVID

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!