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Noah Builds Enki’s “Ark”

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER     

It was in fact not an ark but a “submersible boat” – a submarine

Not long after Galzu, the ostensible emissary from Nibiru who had been sent to deliver a final prediluvial preparatory message to the Anunnaki top brass had left, Enlil, the Bible’s main Jehovah/Yahweh, called a special-purpose meeting at Nippur, the Mission Control Centre. In attendance were the Anunnaki leading lights, their children, and the Igigi commanders.


At the hot-tempered meeting, Enlil announced that a great tidal wave was to engulf Earth in only a matter of years and he had decided that mankind, the Nefilim, and the Anakim perish in it and that they be given no advance notice of its imminence whatsoever. This possibly globalwide inundation was an opportunity he was going to seize to settle scores with all dissident forces ranged against him as well, who included   the bulk of mankind.


Enlil said the reason he had decided to end life on Earth were manifold. First, the Anunnaki had karmically defiled themselves by intermarrying with Lulu’s and he could no longer stand that corruption. Second, the Lulu’s had so reproduced that it could be very easy for them to rise up against the Anunnaki and drive them all into the seas. Third, much of the fissures amongst the Anunnaki arose on account of the Lulu’s. The infighting amongst the Anunnaki, the Igigi descendance from Mars to Earth, the bastard Nefilims, the jockeying for supremacy on Earth – all were thanks to  the existence of Lulu’s. It was a great mistake for Lulu’s to be caused to come into existence and the blame must be laid squarely on the shoulders of the recalcitrant and incorrigible Enki.    

 
“From the very beginning, at every turn, the decisions by you modified were!” Enlil thundered, tearing into Enki. “To Primitive Workers procreating you gave, to them Knowing (copulation) you endowed! The powers of the Creator of All (God, First Source) into your hands you have taken. Thereafter even that by abominations you fouled.

 

With fornication Adapa you conceived, understanding (illumination, privileged knowledge) to his line you gave! His offspring to the heavens (Nibiru, Mars, and the Moon) you have taken, our wisdom (scholastic and metaphysical knowledge) with them you shared! Every rule you have broken, decisions and command you ignored: because of you by a civilized Earthling brother (Cain)  a brother (Abel) murdered. Because of Marduk your son the Igigi like him with Earthlings intermarried. Who is lordly from Nibiru, to whom the Earth alone belongs, to no one no longer knows. Enough! Enough! – to all that I say. The abominations cannot continue! Now that a calamity by a destiny unknown has been ordained, let what must happen, happen! … Let the Earthlings for the abominations perish.”


In short,  what Enlil was saying was that if Enki  had not created mankind, there would be relative peace and tranquillity  on Earth. Enki created a problem, making himself the underlying problem. The remonstrations of Enlil are summed up in GENESIS 6-8 as follows: “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 3068.

 

Yhovah (yeh-ho-vaw') — the proper name of the God of Israel" The LORD  5162. nacham (naw-kham') — to be sorry, console oneself" was sorry "6213a" that He had made 120. 'adam (aw-dawm') — man, mankind" man "776. 'erets (eh'-rets) — earth, land" on the earth,  "6087a" and He was grieved "3820. leb (labe) — inner man, mind, will, heart" in His heart. The LORD said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.’”


The above passage, that sees an All-Knowing God owning up to the fact that he was “sorry” for having created mankind,  has been such a constant source of embarrassment to the Christian clergy that they either skirt it altogether or put a spin on the diction employed.  Some versions of the Bible in fact have doctored the passage to remove the aspects that reduce God to a mere mortal.  


The fact of the matter anyway, courtesy of Sumerian records, is that it was not God, First Source, who uttered those ignominious words: it was an Anunnaki god, Enlil. And Enlil didn’t regret having created mankind: he regretted that Enki, his step-brother, had created mankind, the source of the troubles besetting the Anunnaki at the time.     

ENLIL IMPOSES OATH OF SILENCE

Enlil and Enki for some time traded verbal jabs before Ninmah calmed them down. “A wondrous Being by us was created, by us saved it must be,” Enki insisted to his step-brother. Enlil parried the notion vehemently, reiterating the fact that Earthlings were no longer an asset but a liability. Then dismissing Enki, Enlil underlined to the assembly that now that the “bitter end” was upon them, it was up to every Anunnaki to choose whether to weather the storm on Earth or return to Nibiru.

 

The only Anunnaki who qualified to return to Nibiru were those who were “pure” and “righteous”, that is those who had not offended against King Anu’s interplanetary rules. The Nefilim – the Igigis who had settled on Earth and married Earthlings – were not eligible. The eligible Anunnaki were to return to Nibiru minus their spouses and offspring even if they were procedurally married to Earthlings.    


As for he himself, Enlil said he was to stay on Earth as the planet’s Chief Executive to foster continuity.  He was going to take refuge in the “Boats of Heaven (spacecraft) in Earth’s skies (orbit)” with other Anunnaki who elected to stay. “The calamity to outwait, the fate of Earth to witness”, he said. Then he asked that everybody present declare what their decision was.


The Enlilites were the first to take the floor. None of them chose to return to Nibiru. Ninurta, Enlil’s firstborn, said once the Deluge was over, he was going to settle in the “Lands Beyond the Ocean”, that is, today’s Americas. Nannar-Sin, the second-born, said he was going to take up residence not in orbit but on the Moon pending the cessation of the Flood. Enki, who at the time was the symbolic Moon God, looked askance at him.


The Enkites too chose to stay. “The Igigi and Sarpanit I shall not desert!”Marduk declared impassionedly and matter-of-factly. He and his family were to squat on Mars during the course of the Deluge. The Nefilim and their families could come with him if they so decided. Finally, in order to ensure that Earthlings were not made aware of the impending disaster, Enlil demanded that everybody present take the Oath of Silence. “All leaders should solemnly swear to let events unhindered occur,” he spelt out. Accordingly, everybody took turns to do likewise.

 

“Ninmah was in tears,” recounts Enki in Zechariah Sitchin’s The Lost  Book of Enki. “The words of the oath she faintly whispered.” Marduk also took the oath but not before qualifying his action. He said he was doing so only because it was a command by the most powerful person on Earth; otherwise, it was not “worthy it”. Enki’s turn was the very last. First he asked Enlil why “you would bind me with an oath. Am I to raise my hand against my own humans?” Enlil’s reply was that it was the decision of King Anu and his council.

 

Enki sardonically countered that assertion. “The decision by you was made, on Earth it is a commandment! The floodwaters I cannot arrest, the Earthling multitudes I cannot save; so to what oath to bind me you therefore desire?” Enki made it clear that everything that would unfold was solely Enlil’s responsibility. “To let it all happen as if by fate decreed, let it as Enlil's Decision be known, on Enlil alone let the responsibility forever rest.”  Having registered his indignation, Enki listlessly took the oath before he stormed out of the meeting, with Marduk close at heel.    

ENKI’S BRIEF BY ENIGMATIC GALZU

In the midst of all this feverish goings-on, Enki approached his half-sister Ninmah, with whom he agreed on virtually everything, and suggested that they preserve all major life forms genetically in the face of the forthcoming watery avalanche. “Let us, you and me, their seed of life preserve, their life essences for safekeeping extract!”


Ninmah endorsed the idea and the two immediately went to work, with Ninmah at the Shuruppak laboratory and Enki, assisted by his genius son Ningishzidda, at his Bit Shimti facility in East Africa.  The genetic banks were to be taken with them in a shuttlecraft in orbit as they waited for the Deluge to run its course. “Male and female essences and life-eggs they collected,” the Sumerian records say. “Of each kind two by two, two by two they in Shuruppak and the Abzu preserved. For safekeeping while in Earth circuit to be taken, thereafter the living kinds to recombine.”


 Enki also suggested to Enlil that all the “tablets of record” be removed from Nippur and buried deep under the sands of Sippar (modern Tell Abu Habbah in Iraq, some 30 km southwest of Baghdad) for the sake of posterity. “If ever the calamity might be survived, let all that had happened be remembered,” he said. Enlil gave assent and accordingly all the records and computer programs in diorite crypts were stored in golden chests, which were in turn buried in the bowels of Earth beneath Sippar.


One day, as Enki turned and twisted in his bed whilst contemplating the gory fate that awaited his creation, he had a visitation from Galzu, the gray-haired wise man who now was a familiar figure. The visitation was not corporeal: Enki thought it was either a dream or a vision: he couldn’t say  for certain. Galzu delivered this message to Enki: “Summon your son Ziusudra (Noah). Without breaking the oath to him, the coming calamity reveal. A boat that the watery avalanche can withstand, a submersible one, to build him tell. Let him in it save himself and his kinfolk, and the seed of all that is useful, be it plant or animal, also take. That is the will of the Creator of All!”

 

Galzu this time was not acting under the auspices of Anu: he came as a messenger of the “Creator of All”, that is, First Source, the real God. Enki was to instruct Noah to construct a “submersible boat”, a submarine. He was to use this submarine to preserve the life of his family and next of kin, as well as major plant and life forms.


Since Enki held Galzu in great esteem, he decided he was going to do exactly as what he was bid. The dilemma though was that this amounted to a flagrant breach of the Oath of Silence administered by Enlil. Just how was Enki going to break the news of the coming flood to Noah without incurring the wrath of Enlil? Whatever the case, the will of God had to prevail and not that of a mere mortal like Enlil.

ENKI DESIGNS  SUBMARINE

The first thing Enki did when he  woke up was to hunker down before the computer and set about designing a submarine. As the Anunnaki’s greatest engineer, the task was a walk in the park. For a man of his genius, it must have taken him only weeks rather than months to complete the task. That done, he loaded the sketches onto a computer file and sent it along with a voice message to Noah’s computer bank in the latter’s “Reed Hut”, a backyard cottage which was equipped with a roof-top antenna. Below is the message in the voice mail:
    

“To my words pay attention, to my instructions heed pay! On all the habitations, over the cities, a calamitous storm will sweep, the destruction of Mankind and its offspring it will be. This is the final ruling, the word of the assembly by Enlil convened. Now heed my words, observe the message that to you I am speaking:


“Abandon your house, build a boat; spurn possessions, save the life! The boat that you must build, its design and measurements on a tablet are shown … In seven days build the boat, into it your family and kinfolk gather. “In the boat food and water for drinking heap up, household animals also bring. Then, on the appointed day, a signal to you shall be given: a boat guide who knows the waters, by me appointed, to you that day will come.  On that day the boat you must enter, its hatch tightly close you must.


“An overwhelming Deluge, coming from the south, lands and life shall devastate. Your boat from its moorings it shall lift, the boat it shall turn and tumble. Fear not: to a safe haven the boat guide will navigate you: by you shall the seed of Civilized Mankind survive. “The purpose of the boat, a secret of the Anunnaki with you must remain! When the townspeople will inquire, to them you will so say: ’The lord Enlil with my lord Enki has angry been, to Enki's abode in the Abzu I am sailing, perchance Enlil will be appeased!’” Noah, who was the brainiest human of the day, understood the design very well and wasted no time in making a scale model of the submarine. Once he was done, he gathered fellow Earthlings at the town square in Shuruppak to announce to them what he was up to.

NOAH BUILDS THE SUBMARINE

As per Enki’s brief, Noah told the gathering that he had been the centre of the rift that had polarised Enlil and Enki and consequently the cause of the hardships mankind had been undergoing to date.  But a rapprochement between the two gods had been reached, whereby he, Noah, would relocate from the Edin to Africa. In the event, Enlil would relent and withdraw the wrath that he had visited upon mankind. Noah proceeded to say he was to travel to Africa in a submersible boat which he was to embark on building that very day. It would be complete within seven days and on the very seventh day, he would depart.


The people were excited about such glad tidings. Not only did they eulogise Noah for acting in the interests of the broader masses but they avidly and diligently participated in the construction effort. The Sumerian texts say the submarine was completed in five days, which of course is absurd: you cannot build such a sophisticated thing as a submarine in five days, not even in fifty days. You can therefore be sure that the number five was more symbolic than real. In the US, for instance, the Virginia- Class Submarine took 2 years to build. But that was a military submarine and was way too complex technologically.  Noah’s was a civilian one and could therefore have taken a mere five months.


Just how big was Noah’s ark? First, let us underline the fact that it was not an ark: it was a submarine, designed in such a way that two-thirds of its size would be below the waterline. The Sumerians called it a Magurgur, meaning “a boat that can turn and tumble”. In the Babylonian and Assyrian records, it was described as a Tzulili, which translates to Tzolet in Hebrew. Both the two terms denote a submersible boat. In Genesis, the complete boat is called Teba in the Hebrew, which derives from the Akkadian Tebitu. “It is considered by some scholars to signify a ‘goods vessel’, a cargo ship,” says Zechariah Sitchin.  “But the term, with a hard ‘T’, means ‘to sink’. The boat was thus a ‘sinkable’ boat, hermetically sealed, so that even if submerged under the tidal wave of the Deluge, it could survive the watery ordeal and resurface.”  


According to GENESIS 6:15, the vessel had a length of 300 cubits; a width of 50 cubits; and a height of 30 cubits. This is 137 × 22.9 × 13.7 metres in the metric system. This was a vast structure.  Pundits reckon that it was taller than a 3-storey building; had a total deck area the size of 36 lawn tennis courts or 20 basketball courts; and was as long as a football field goalpost to goalpost and about as wide. Be that as it may, the ill-fated Titanic ocean liner was just under two times lengthier and more than five times weightier.


Unlike modern maritime vessels which are made of metal, Noah’s was made of gofer wood though it certainly did have a lot of high-tech equipment and fixtures and fittings on board. Building a submarine entirely from wood attests to just how technologically advanced the Anunnaki were. They didn’t need complex inputs, like we do today, to build something phenomenal.  Since it was a wooden structure, it couldn’t have taken more than a year to build but certainly must have taken considerably longer than the five days suggested in the Sumerian texts.


NEXT WEEK: ENLIL’S WATERY HELL UP ON EARTH

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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

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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!

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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

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