Gold galore turns up in South America courtesy of the Flood!
At the time of the Deluge, Noah already had three sons. Born 6000 years (100 years in the Bible) before the Deluge, they were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. This is the order in which they are typically listed in the Bible, implying that Shem was the oldest and Japhet was the youngest.
But the Bible itself is not uniformly consistent in designating who occupied what position in the pecking order. GENESIS 10:21, for instance, says, “Sons were also born to Shem, whose older brother was Japheth”. This makes Japheth senior to Shem and Ham the lastborn as opposed to being the middle son.
Why do the authors of Genesis betray such unabashed uncertainty on the matter? The answer is simple: they had a vested interest in terms of who they wanted to project as the heir to Noah. Since Shem was the pick of the Enlilites and the authors of Genesis (the Levites, a Jewish tribe) were Enlil’s people, they exalted Shem.
Yet the fact of the matter is that all of Noah’s three sons were born in the same year. The Bible itself is matter-of-fact on this phenomenon. GENESIS 5:32 (literally translated as opposed to the paraphrase found in most versions of the Bible) says, “Noah was 500 years old (30,000 years old in Sumerian records) when he begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth”. The three sons were born in the same year. How and why?
There are two likely scenarios. Either the three were born to three different mothers in the natural way or they were Test Tube babies who had been genetically tinkered with to yield refined but distinctive traits. Both the Bible and the Sumerian records far from characterises Noah as a polygamist or a philanderer but he did certainly have concubines as all Biblical patriarchs did, making the Test Tube scenario the more plausible. And whose subtle hand do we see behind this clearly deliberate move to fast-track the emergence of a new generation? It’s Enki of course!
If you recall, the Deluge was anticipated about 25,000 years before it happened. Enki was aware of its full ramifications – that it could extinct the human race, his own creation. As such, he decided, 6,000 years before the Deluge struck, to use Noah, his biological son, as the medium through which the human race was going to be perpetuated post the Deluge.
In the event, Noah had three women (one of whom must have been Noah’s wife Emzara) implanted with Test Tube embryos arising from Noah’s seed, resulting in the birth of Shem, Japhet and Ham. Note that contrary to the commonly held belief, the three did not consist of different races – Caucasian, Semitic, and Hamitic. All were one colour and that colour was darkish, like Falashan Jews. As for the reason different skin tones that include paler races have come to be, that we will address at the appropriate time.
It should also be borne in mind that the names by which the three sons are best known are not original: they were given retrospectively by Jewish chroniclers to reflect what transpired in due course. Hence, Japheth, meaning “Fair One”, was so-dubbed because the Caucasians of the Caucasus region in Central Asia descended from him. Ham, meaning “brown” or “dark”, in the sense of being sunburnt, was so-dubbed because his descendants were dark-brown.
Shem is thought to mean “renowned” or “famous”, but that is a secondary meaning. The original meaning was “Rocket”. Shem’s descendants (the real “Shemites” or “Semites” as per popular spelling, now known as Jews) were chosen by Enlil to protect (by way of being foot soldiers) the Anunnaki spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula. They were thus, in a manner of speaking, the “Guardians of the Rockets”. So the Shem tag was intended to reflect this favoured status by Enlil.
NINURTA STUMBLES UPON PLENTIFUL GOLD
Long before the Deluge broke out, Enlil, the Bible’s main Jehovah/Yahweh, had sent an Anunnaki team led by his firstborn son Ninurta to what we today call the Americas to seek out the race of humans Cain had founded. The idea was to cultivate a rallying force to counter Marduk, who had commanded a huge human following due to his pro-human sympathies as opposed to Enlil’s hard boiled sternness that denounced the human population as little more than serfs.
Ninurta was accompanied by his immediate younger brother Nannar-Sin and his nephew (Sin’s son) Utu-Shamash. The three did find the Cainite civilisation there all right and went out of their way to ingratiate themselves to them. They taught them all the tricks in relation to modernising their lives and improving their standard of living.
Their base (that is, the Ninurta team) was two islands in South America known today as Titicaca and Coati respectively and which are situated around modern-day Bolivia and Peru. At the time, however, they were called the Island of the Sun and the Island of the Moon respectively. The Island of the Sun was named after Shamash, whose celestial counterpart was the Sun, and the Island of the Moon was named after Sin, whose prospective celestial counterpart was the Moon.
Whereas Sin decided to shelter from the Deluge by staying on the Moon and Shamash by going into orbit, Ninurta chose to ride out the watery disaster right here on Earth in South America, where its effects were reckoned to be minimal. In a way, Ninurta was to the Amerindians what Noah was to the people of Shuruppak. A fairly gifted craftsman, he taught them how to build a sophisticated type of raft that would keep them afloat when the Deluge hit.
Luckily as predicted, the Deluge was not as pronounced in the Americas as it was elsewhere and so those who had rafts, made makeshift homes in mountain caves or simply moved to high-altitude topography survived it. They were henceforth to refer to Ninurta as their “Great Protector”, a title of a deity.
After the Flood had subsided, Enlil called an assembly of the Anunnaki at Baalbek as we saw last week. Ninurta was detailed by Enlil to explore new sources of gold (for the sake of planet Nibiru, which again had lost its atmospheric shield of gold dust, also known as Ormus) in the Americas as that part of the world was not that inundated by the Deluge.
Ninurta did likewise and was surprised at what he discovered. Whereas in Africa the Deluge had clogged up the mines, it had exposed a mother lode of pure gold and copper in that part of the Andes mountain range overlooking Lake Titicaca in today’s Peru and Bolivia. This was what is called Placer Gold – gold which simply washed down the mountains and formed part of the alluvial deposit of the Lake Titicaca bed. The gold did not need smelting or refining: only panning and collecting.
An ecstatic Ninurta reported thus to Enlil: “The avalanche of waters deep cut into the mountainsides there and tore from the mountainsides uncounted gold, in nuggets large and small. To the rivers below (gold nuggets) fell down. Without mining can the gold be hauled!” The moment Enlil and Enki heard this, they flew to South America to assess the situation firsthand. The two seniormost Anunnaki “gods” were equally dumbfounded. “A miracle it is,” Enki said to Enlil.
“What by Nibiru was wrought, by Nibiru was amended!” On his part, Enlil imputed it all to First Source rather than the Celestial Lord that was planet Nibiru. “The unseen hand of the Creator of All is involved,” he said. “It is his desire to enable life on Nibiru!”
NEW SPACEPORT IN THE AMERICAS
When King Anu heard of this providential treasure trove of gold, he was greatly relieved. The solution to Nibiru’s resurgent ozone hole problem had practically overnight become a certainty. The King accordingly ordered that a new spaceport be established around Lake Titicaca forthwith so that the gold could easily be airlifted to Mars onward to Nibiru. The King was even all the more upbeat that there was ready manpower in the form of the Cainites to perform all the required manual tasks.
Enlil and Enki went to work straightaway. “For a new plain whose soil has dried and hardened they searched,” says The Lost Book of Enki. “In the proximity of the Landing Place, in a desolate peninsula, such a plain they found. Flat as a quiet lake it was, by white mountains (the snow-peaked Andes Mountain range) it was surrounded.” This was the beginning of a series of the enigmatic Nazca Lines of the Nazca Desert in southern Peru, which over the centuries have baffled archaeologists.
But the natives know better: they attribute them to the “gods”, that is, the Anunnaki, a claim dismissed as utter superstition by scientific (read: naïve) minds. The Anunnaki etched the Nazca lines onto the runway primary as aviational signals for landing spacecraft, although they did have a sacred geometrical purpose as well.
But it was not only Nibiru-destined gold that was critical at this juncture: the survival of the Anunnaki, as well as the worker race that was mankind, was too. Both the two races needed agricultural and animal products to live on. Once again, Enki and Enlil went to work. Although the Deluge had receded, the planet was still water-logged by and large and so there was need for large-scale land reclamation and drainage activity.
Since the Anunnaki were so few and far between, most of whom having returned to Nibiru pre-Deluge, it’s small wonder Enlil bid surviving mankind to be “fruitful and multiply”: he wanted them to reproduce rapidly and expeditiously and slavishly serve the needs of the Anunnaki, not to have dominion over Earth, has Enki had purposed when he fashioned Adam and Eve. To Enlil, humans were no more than a slave race: period.
Meanwhile, Enki and Enlil assigned specific tasks to various parties. Ninurta was pointed to the Cedar Mountains, where he was to embark on damming and drainage work to facilitate the cultivation of cereals, notably wheat and barley, on the mountain slopes. In the terracing work, he was to be assisted by Japheth, one of Noah’s three sons. Ishkur-Adad was to raise an orchard in the areas where the waters had sufficiently abated. He was to be assisted by Noah’s son Shem.
Dumuzi, Enki’s youngest son, was assigned shepherding activities. He was to be assisted by Noah’s son Ham. An ecstatic Dumuzi, who had always been the Anunnaki’s leading pastoral farmer after undergoing specialised animal husbandry training on Nibiru for a full shar, exclaimed: “Sheep for wool and meat will multiply, cattle for milk and hides will all have. Then with other living creatures the Earth we shall replenish!”
The raw materials for all agricultural products, in the form of reproductive cells, seeds, and DNA were provided by Enki’s son Ninagal, who had preserved them on Noah’s ark whilst the Deluge raged. Noah himself, who was still amongst his people pending his relocation to a soon-to-be-established new “Paradise” in the Sinai Peninsula, was tasked to plant a vineyard. He cultivated the very first food item after the Deluge – grapes. Grape wine also served as a gastro-intestinal medicine. So when the Bible says Noah got drunk after consuming too much wine, it may not necessarily have been intentional: he could simply have overdosed on his medicine!
JERUSALEM IS NEW HUB OF EARTH
Before the Deluge, the Anunnaki had three principal precincts. The first two were right in the Edin, Eden in the Bible, in modern-day Iraq. These were Nippur (or Nibruki) and Sippar. Nippur was the Mission Control Centre and as such was so crucial that Enlil, Earth’s Chief Executive, was based there. Next in strategic importance was Sippar, the spaceport, which was governed by Utu-Shamash, Enlil’s grandson. Finally, there was Baalbek at the summit of the Cedar Mountains.
This was the Landing Place, the major airport. Although it was not based in the Edin, Baalbek was overseen by Utu-Shamash, who was the Anunnaki’s maestro pilot and cosmonaut. After the Deluge, Nippur and Sippar both lay in ruins: only Baalbek survived. A new spaceport and Mission Control Centre had to be built from scratch.
The new spaceport, also known as the Place of the Chariots (Rockets), was set up in the Sinai Peninsula, with the instrument-equipped Mount Mashu as the key landmark for descending spaceships. The new Mission Control Centre, the so-called Bond-Heaven-Earth (that is, the electronic communications link between Earth and planet Nibiru) was to be Mount Moriah at Jerusalem, which Enlil named “Mount of Way Showing”.
Jerusalem had thus become the new “Navel of the Earth”, the new Nippur. It was the place Enlil, known as Yahweh/Jehovah in the Bible, was to be based. It explains why Jerusalem is such a moot point between the children of Abraham – the Jews and the Arabs. It still retains enormous symbolic value as the “City of God” and is also eschatologically significant as the one place on Earth that will serve as the HQ for Yahweh’s “New Earth” when he returns. Baalbek was to retain its erstwhile role as the Landing Place.
Meanwhile, the twin peaks of Mount Ararat were to serve as the northern aviational landmark, the same role they had played before the Deluge. But Enlil wanted another set of twin landmarks in the south to constitute part and parcel of the Landing Grid. To that end, he chose a site where “mountains there were none: only a flatland above the water-clogged valley from the ground protruded”.
This was in the Sahara Desert in today’s Egypt (at the time, the Sahara was not the barren wasteland it is today: it pulsated with lush vegetation). The proposition was clearly a no-brainer but Enlil insisted that it was the only ideal place in Egypt along the 30th Parallel for a landmark to be established. For reasons best known to the Anunnaki, the 30th Parallel (Latitude 30 degrees north) seems to have a certain mysterious significance as the so-called sacred cities from Egypt to Tibet have all been located on it.
ZIDDA HONOUR CAUSES A FRACAS
It was Ningishzidda, Enki’s genius son, who stepped forward and argued that Enlil’s idea was not absurd at all. Twin artificial peaks, he pointed out, could be raised from the Sahara plain. Within days, he had already come up with a scale model. The Giza pyramids (named after Ningishzidda himself, also known as Gizzidda or simply Zidda in short), comprising of one large one and two smaller ones, were in the making, but the focus was on the large one, the Giza Pyramid proper, which was the first to arise. It was to serve as a beacon to arriving spacecraft, just like the Ararat mountain peaks in central Asia.
When the Giza Pyramid was complete, Enlil commissioned it and called it the Ekur, meaning “House which is like a Mountain”. Its capstone, which was designed by Enki’s other son Gibil, was made of electrum. Enlil said besides its aviational purpose, the Giza Pyramid was a proclamation to posterity that the Anunnaki valiantly survived the Deluge.
In a poem recited and sang by Ninmah on the occasion of its commissioning, the Giza Pyramid was in part described in the following words: “For Heaven-Earth it is equipped, the handiwork of the Anunnaki it is. House bright and dark, house of Heaven and Earth. For the celestial boats it was put together, by the Anunnaki built. House whose interior with a reddish light of heaven glows, a pulsating beam that far and high reaches it emits … Beyond the understanding of Earthlings it is. House of equipment, lofty house of eternity … House that for the rocketships is a landmark, with unfathomable insides.”
From the above statement, it is clear that besides being an aviational landmark, the Giza Pyramid served several other purposes withheld from Earthlings, which we shall dwell upon at a later stage. Enki also came up with the proposal that another structure be built alongside the Giza Pyramid as a monument to mark the dawn of the astrological Age of Leo. Once again, Ningishzidda was assigned to erect it.
The monument is today known as the Great Sphinx of Giza, which has the body of a lion and the face of a man. To honour the person who fashioned it (out of an already existing rock), the Sphinx was to bear the face of Ningishzidda, a tribute that did not sit well with Marduk.
Marduk was irate. He confronted his father, Enki, and complained that he was being eclipsed in eminence by his younger brother. “To dominate the whole Earth to me did you promise,” he thundered. “Now command and glory to others are granted, without task or dominion I am left. In my erstwhile domain are the artificed mounts situated, on the lion the image mine must be!”
But it was all in vain: Marduk didn’t get his face to be etched into the Sphinx as the matter was not only up to Enki but the whole pantheon. Be that as it may, Marduk’s bone of contention set up a racket. Everybody now – Enlil and Enki’s sons – began to jockey for own personal honours. In particular, they wanted to be allocated new domains where they would reign supreme. The brouhaha was such that Ninmah was called upon to appeal for calm though to no avail. How were Enlil and Enki going to pacify their brood?
Princess Mary falls pregnant only one month after her betrothal to Prince Joseph
To put the lineage of Mary the mother of Jesus in context, General Atiku, it is in order that we begin with her grandfather Yehoshua (Jesus in Greek) III.
Mary was offspring of two royal lines, the Davidic line and the Hasmonean line. Yehoshua III was the Herod–appointed High Priest of Israel between 36 and 23 BC. He had no sons, only three daughters namely Joanna, Elizabeth, and Anna, all of whom he organised dynastic suitors.
Elizabeth would be married off into the House of Aaron, the legitimate priestly line, and Joanna and Anna would be married off into the House of David, the legitimate kingly line. That’s how Elizabeth became the wife of Zechariah of the tribe of Levi and in due course the mother of John the Baptist.
Mainstream Israel up to the level of the Sanhedrin had recognised Anna as the eligible mother of the future King of Israel and not the sitting impostor Herod (it is not clear what happened to first-born Joanna but she probably passed away before she got married). Anna was accordingly married off to Alexander III, a Davidic and Hasmonean prince who was best known as Heli as indeed the genealogy of Luke clearly attests.
Heli and Anna too had no sons. They only had daughters, the firstborn of whom was Dorcas, whose was born in 26 BC and whose titular name was Mary. Mary was orphaned early in her childhood when her father Heli was killed in 17 BC at the orders of the increasingly paranoid Herod and when her mother Anna died a year or so later.
Since she was a dynastic heiress, it was likely that Herod would come after her. The Essenes thus secreted her somewhere in remote Galilee. It was actually in Galilee that most members of the Davidic royal line were concentrated not only to keep as far away from Herod as possible but to also enjoy the protective custody of the Zealots, who were the secret military wing of the Essenes and a thorn in the side of both Herod and the Romans. Joseph was also officially based in Galilee although both he and Mary were in truth based at Qumran in the Judean wilds.
JOSEPH CALLED TO “DUTY”
Dynastic marriages are often more politically strategic than spontaneous, General. For example, the union of Prince Charles and Princess Diana was motivated by the need to fuse the Windsor genes with those of the Stuarts as the Windsors, being predominantly Reptilians, were finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their human form.
The Stuarts, the clan of Diana, had by far more human genes than Reptilian and they too were an aristocratic family. That’s why once Charles had produced a “heir and a spare”, he completely sidelined Diana, who he had never loved, and devoted himself to his real love – Camilla Parker-Bowles.
The marriage of Joseph to Mary, General, was equally strategic. Although both were from the tribe of Judah and of the royal Davidic line, they were from different branches. Joseph was a descendant of Solomon, whereas Mary was a descendant of Nathan, Solomon’s elder brother. The line of Solomon, as we once underlined, had been tainted by the Jeconiah curse.
The line of Nathan was clean. Since the son of Joseph and Mary would be the future King of Israel, it was important that he not be compromised by the baggage, rightly or wrongly, of the Jeconiah curse. Hence the desirability of the union of Prince Joseph and Princess Mary.
Now, both Joseph and Mary’s clans were Essenes. As such, their marriage process, formalities, and protocols had to strictly adhere to Essene dynastic rules. The Essenes were in ranks. Amongst the higher echelons were the two great dynasties, the Davids and the Zadoks, who had been the high priests and kings of Israel respectively before the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC.
The Davids and Zadoks lived a strictly holy life, typically in a monastery at Qumran, the reclusive headquarters of the Essenes. They were sequestered there so that they did not fall prey to the machinations of the bloodthirsty King Herod though officially their address was Galilee. In fact, the major reason the Essene movement had come into existence was to preserve and safeguard the Davidic and Zadokite lines, the religio-politico haunt of Herod and the Hasmoneans initially.
According to the Essene code, General, the Zadoks and the Davids were not to engage in sex for recreational purposes because it was regarded as defiling: it diluted holiness. The only times they were supposed to do so was when need arose to produce heirs. In 8 BC, it was now opportune for Joseph, the David, to produce a heir and so he was excused from a life of chastity.
At this point in time in fact, the Essenes were focused on two dynastic figures. These were Joseph and Zechariah. The two were expected to produce the Messiah of David and the Messiah of Aaron, that is, the future King of Israel and the future High Priest of Israel.
According to Essene rules, the David had to marry at age 36, so that by the time he was 40, he had already sired a heir. The new heir had to be born when the David was 37. If the child was a daughter, she could not inherit, and so the David had to set about the procreation of a second-born, who hopefully would be a boy (copulation to that end was allowed only when the daughter was 3 years old).
The Davidic heir had to be born not in any other month but in September, the holiest in the Jewish calendar. In order to conform to these parameters, a betrothal ceremony was held at the beginning of June. During the betrothal period – the three months from beginning of June to end of August – sexual relations were not permitted.
Then at the beginning of September, a First Marriage was held. This was the beginning of the marriage proper as now the couple were allowed to become intimate. However, the intimacy began only in December, with a view to delivering a heir in September the following year. At the end of March, the Second Marriage was held for it was hoped that by that time the spouse was three months pregnant if there hadn’t been a miscarriage. With the Second Marriage, the wedlock was permanent: divorce was never allowed whatsoever.
Meanwhile, General, if the spouse hadn’t conceived in December, sexual relations were suspended till December the following year. The husband would then leave her spouse and return either to the monastery at Qumran or embark on a tour of duty elsewhere in furtherance of the Essene cause.
A BINDING ENGAGEMENT
According to the Dead Sea Scrolls, General, the Essenes were not only a spiritual, revolutionary, and philosophical movement. They were also ardent believers in astrology. They meticulously studied the stars and the movements of planets to read what they portended about the future.
Thus the reason a Davidic heir had to be born in September was not only because this was the holiest month of the year: it was also in recognition of the fact that September was ruled by the constellation Virgo. In other words, September was astrologically the month of the virgin. That was what Mary was.
Mary was both a virgin physically and a virgin titularly. A bride of the future king was required to be a virgin. As an Essene, Mary belonged to the Order (not the tribe) of Dan. This was the Order of Nuns, or virgins, both legal and physical virgins. Thus in the Order of Dan, a woman was not a virgin only before she slept with a man: she was a virgin until she was six months pregnant. In the case of a dynastic spouse like Mary, this was up to end of June. From then henceforth, she was promoted within the Order to the first stage of a Mother.
Joseph’s betrothal to Mary took place at Qumran in June 8 BC. Now, in our day, betrothal simply means engagement to be married. In ancient Israel up to New Testament times, betrothal was part and parcel of the marriage contract. It was definite and binding upon both groom and bride, who were considered as man and wife in all legal and religious aspects, except that sexual relations were not permitted.
For example, in 2 SAMUEL 3:14, King David refers to his betrothed woman as “my wife”. Also in DEUTERONOMY 22:24, a betrothed woman is referred to as “his neighbour’s wife”. In the betrothal formalities, dowry and bride price were included. If a bride and groom for one reason or the other wanted to opt out of the betrothal after the betrothal ceremony, they had to seek a formal divorce.
Since the betrothal took place in June, General, Joseph and Mary were not supposed to make love till December, that is, six months after the betrothal ceremony and three months after the First Marriage ceremony in September. Just one month after the betrothal ceremony (that is, at the beginning of July 8 BC), however, Mary became pregnant. Was it Joseph, General? Was it rape by a Roman soldier called Panthera as some contemporary records suggest? Or was it simply the supernatural act of the “Holy Spirit” as Christendom holds?
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
Those who hold that the circumstances of Mary’s pregnancy were supernatural, General, can be excused. This is because the language employed therein smacks of ethereality – Holy Spirit, Angel Gabriel, Son of the Most High, etc. To those who have read and rigorously studied the Dead Sea Scrolls, however, such terminology is well within the temporal context.
That is to say, it does not carry spiritual connotations as such. True, the idea of an angel speaking to Joseph and Mary in their sleep may seem supernatural but the dreams are theological interpolations, inserted into the gospels in onward editing to fit a contrived agenda – what Karl Marx called the opium of the masses.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are so named because they were discovered in caves around the Qumran plateau of the West Bank (about 40 km east of Jerusalem), at the northwest corner of the Dead Sea, in March 1947. The discoverer was a Bedouin shepherd kid who was looking for a lost goat. The scrolls were found hidden in jars.
The 1947 find was the initial discovery: more discoveries were made after further excavations on the same site spanning 11 years in a series of 11 caves. Altogether, 972 texts were turned up. They are written in four languages, namely Hebrew (the majority), Aramaic, Greek, and Nabatean, mostly on parchment. Other texts were inscribed on papyrus and bronze.
Most of the Dead Sea Scrolls are fragments. Fragments of all the Old Testament books have been found save for the book of Esther. The only complete book is Isaiah. There are also apocryphal books (those arbitrarily excluded from the Old Testament canon by the Constantine-convened Nicene Council of AD 325) such as the Book of Enoch and the Book of Jubilees, and sect-specific writings that embody rules and beliefs of the people who compiled them.
The latter include commentaries on the Old Testament, paraphrases that expand on the Law of Moses, rule books of the community, war conduct, thanksgiving psalms, hymnic compositions, benedictions, liturgical texts, and sapiential (wisdom) writing. These texts have been given appropriate titles such as the War Scroll; Manual of Discipline; the Community Rule; the Temple Scroll; the Copper Scroll; etc.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were written/preserved by the Essenes between 168 BC and 68 AD. We know this because Pliny, the first century Roman historian, wrote that, “On the west coast of Lake Asphaltitis (the Dead Sea) are settled the Essenes, at some distance from the noisome odours that are experienced on the shore itself.
They are a lonely people, the most extraordinary in the world, who live without women, without love, without money, with the palm trees for their only companions.” The Essenes stashed away the scrolls sometime in 70 AD, when Roman General Flavius Titus overran Jerusalem and laid waste to the Temple following a catastrophic Jewish uprising – led by the Zealots, the military wing of the Essenes – that began in 66 BC.
This they did in heed of JEREMIAH 32:14, which says, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences … and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.” The Dead Sea Scrolls have given us invaluable insight into the beliefs, customs, rituals, politics, philosophies, and traditions of first century Palestine.
The rivalry between luxury German automotive marques Mercedes-Benz and BMW is legendary. Both brands offer high-end, high-priced desirable models, always at the forefront of cutting-edge driving technology and excellence. And in the annals of the advertising world, a campaign between the two rivals is equally legendary and it happened on our own doorstep.
Many of you will be familiar with the coastal road out of Cape Town called Chapman’s Peak. It is a beautiful, sightseeing attraction, the road winding through spectacular coastal-mountain scenery, with cliffs sinking into the Atlantic ocean on one side, and steep mountains towering over the road on the other. However, the road is also notoriously dangerous, with its 114 sharp, meandering bends . It’s reputation is well-deserved . Several years ago, when a major coastal cleanup campaign was launched, a helicopter pulled a total of 22 wrecked cars out of the water adjacent to Chapman’s Peak and it was one such accident which prefaced the notorious marketing battle. The story is thus:
In 1988 an Irish businessman lost control of his Mercedes Benz when driving along this road, plunging 100 metres down the cliff. Miraculously, he not only survived the accident, but crawled out of the wreckage with hardly a scratch on his body.
When Mercedes heard the details, the marketing department decided to base a new advertisement on the story to promote the safety features and stability of the brand. In the video ad they intentionally drove an identical model off the road in the exact same location, having it plunge off the edge of the cliff, the driver stepping out similarly unscathed, proving the phenomenal survivability and strength of Mercedes Benz.
When the marketing suits at BMW saw this ad, they took a bold and ingenious decision to mimic it but with a twist. Only a week later, whilst the first ad was still fresh in the public’s minds, they shot their ad showing a BMW driving along the exact same stretch of road in the rain. However, when it reached the point at which the Mercedes plunged off the cliff, the BMW negotiated it safely, and continued driving along the road.
The catchphrase of the ad was “BMW beats the bends” . Or was it? It was cunningly recorded so that it could equally have been ‘beats the Benz’, implying that their cars had superior cornering and stability to their rival, Even more sneakily, they launched their campaign on a Saturday, mindful of the rules on competitive advertising in South Africa, safe in the knowledge that no objectionable actions could be taken till the new working week.
Mercedes-Benz wasted no time on Monday in issuing an injunction, the ad was swiftly pulled but the damage was done and the dog had had its day. The ad campaign ranks high in the history of advertising and can still be found online to this day. Meanwhile the rivalry between the two automotive greats goes on.
I reference this piece of marketing history in the light of this week’s horror crash by golfing great, Tiger Woods. Driving from a luxury holiday resort in California to a nearby country club Tiger Woods lost control of his vehicle on a downhill stretch of the road, smashed through a road sign, crossed over the central reservation and rolled his car several hundred feet. He had to be cut out and pulled to safety through the windscreen and the vehicle was so badly damaged, the attending police officers said he was ‘lucky to survive’.
The vehicle Woods was driving was a rented Genesis GV80 SUV. If you are unfamiliar with the brand that is not surprising since it is a relatively new spin-off from the South Korean Hyundai marque. The Genesis utility vehicle, not available locally yet, retails for around $50,000 or half a million pula, placing it in the higher end of town and country SUVs in the USA.
The model has certainly been widely publicised in the media coverage of the high-profile sportsman’s accident and I suspect that if asked to comment, Hyundai/Genesis would disagree with the police assessment, putting Woods’ survival down to build quality and in-built safety features such as crumple zones, anti-roll bars and airbags, which were deployed in the crash and would most certainly have played their part cushioning the effects of the rolling and ultimate impact. There is , of course, no suggestion that the manufacturers will capitalise on Woods’ survival but certainly it will have done the brand no harm that he did indeed emerge with recoverable injuries.
Comparing the two accidents, the driver of the Mercedes driving along Chapman’s Peak was, of course, an ordinary member of the public whilst Tiger Woods is a household name. That said, in humanitarian terms each tale of survival carries equal weight but the fact remains that the former was just another local story of yet one more victim of a notoriously tricky stretch of road whilst the latter went round the world in an instant because of the fame and name of the driver.
There is also no evidence that that stretch of Californian urban highway carried any inherent risk. His appears to have been just a loss of control and a freak accident. However, in the event that Hyundai/Genesis should consider making capital from that accident, a note of caution needs to be sounded.
In the advertising world, the use of celebrities to promote a product is a fall-back stance to sell anything from washing-up liquid to whisky but statistics have shown that it can be a double-edged sword in that yes, the ads are memorable and the public love them when the celeb is popular and personable. But…..what is often remembered is the name of the famous promoter, not the name of the product. In other words, they sell themselves far better than they sell the item.
In golfing terminology Hyundai/Genesis are not ‘out of the Woods’ yet and maybe they should go with a completely different Driver!
How Jesus’s grandfather sold his birthright to megalomaniac Herod
If you were to ask a Christian to name the main Jewish sects, General Atiku, he would no doubt begin with the Pharisees (because Jesus had innumerable slanging matches with them according to the gospels), followed by the Sadducees. Yet there was a third, equally momentous sect – the Essenes.
Although there’s not a single, one mention of the Essenes in the Bible, General, the New Testament is filled with Essene-type language as anybody who has read the Dead Sea Scrolls would readily recognise.
In point of fact, it was the Essenes who produced Jesus as well as the infamous Jewish band of freedom fighters known as the Zealots. Furthermore, almost all the New Testament writers were either Essenes or champions of the Essene cause as is apparent in their language and the drift of their overall philosophy. The Essenes have a palpable presence in the Bible, albeit a cloaked one.
The Essenes, General, were the most popular, the most esteemed, and the most influential of the Jewish sects. The Jewish historian Philo (20 BC-50 AD) devotes 90 percent of his description of the Jewish sects to the Essenes. He wrote that the Essenes “dwell in many cities of Judea and in many villages and in great societies of many numbers”.
Hyppolytus of Rome (170-236 AD) devoted nine-and-half chapters to the Essenes and only one to the Sadducees. The Essenes are the authors of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, which were discovered in 1947 in Israel at a place called Qumran and which have given us even greater insight into the happenings in the first century than the Bible itself.
How did the Essene movement come about, General? The Essenes, meaning “puritans of the faith”, were the Jewish sect that was the most loyal to the Davidic dynasty. They set themselves apart from the mainstream Jewish community circa 175 BC and established their headquarters at Qumran, about 40 km from Jerusalem.
Since the Jewish nation revered the Davidic royal line, the only legitimate and rightful rulers of Judah in their view, they rallied to the Essenes en masse. And because the Essenes were disparaging of the Hasmonean rule (140 BC to 63 BC), the mainstream Jews also took a dismissive view of Hasmonean rule too.
The Essenes were so highly regarded because of their virtue and spirituality. The legendary Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD) writes thus of them: “They are more mutually affectionate than the others (Pharisees and Sadducees). Whereas these men shun the pleasures as vice, they consider self-control and not succumbing to the passions virtue … Since [they are] despisers of wealth – their communal stock is astonishing – one cannot find a person among them who has more in terms of possessions.
For by a law, those coming into the school (that is, the Essene fold) must yield up their funds to the order, with the result that in all [their ranks] neither the humiliation of poverty nor the superiority of wealth is detectable, but the assets of each one have been mixed in together, as if they were brothers, to create one fund for all.”
In time, the Essenes, General, became quite influential even with occupying powers. For instance, when the Greek General Pompey installed Hyrcanus II as ruler of Palestine in 63 BC, he sought the opinion of the Essenes. The Essenes recommended that Hyrcanus go by the titles High Priest and Prince, not King, to which Pompey paid heed. In 142 BC, when Simon was installed by the Seleucids as ruler of Palestine, the Essenes had insisted on the same titular style. To the Essenes, everybody who occupied Israel’s seat of authority was simply holding fort for the real deal – the Davidic King.
In 37 BC, when Herod became King of Palestine, the potential Davidic King was Jacob-Eliakim – the father of the Joseph of the gospels – who was an Essene himself. It was in order to win the blessings of the historically popular Jewish royal family that Herod sought to curry favour with the Essenes.
JACOB’S PACT WITH HEROD
About the time Herod came to power, General, there were three citizens of considerable stature in Palestine – Hillel, Menahem, and Jacob-Eliakim, the grandfather of Jesus. Hillel is by all accounts ancient Israel’s greatest teacher and scholar.
He was the foremost spiritual sage in the development of the Talmud and the Mishnah, the most authoritative religious references of the Jews which are second only to the Old Testament in esteem. The renowned “Golden Rule”, which is invariably attributed to Jesus, was actually coined by Hillel. It is not certain whether Hillel was an Essene but his teachings did have a profound influence both on Essene philosophy and that of Jesus, who was an Essene too.
It was Menahem, however, who was an incontrovertible Essene. The Essenes were of two main branches, General. First, there were the puritans, the Palestinian Essenes. Then there were the liberals, the Diaspora Essenes, who sneered at the Palestinian Essenes’ dogmatism and rather strict views on morality. Menahem was the leader of the Diaspora Essenes.
He was also privilleged to be advisor to King Herod. Herod did hold Menahem in very high regard. Josephus relates that when Herod was a school-going lad, Menahem had patted him on his back and said to him, “one day you will be King young man.” Since the prophecy came to pass, Herod had a certain, atypical respect both for Menahem and the order of Essenes.
Jacob-Eliakim’s significance was by virtue of his pedigree. He was of the royal line of David and was therefore the uncrowned King of the Jews. Now, as we have already indicated, Herod had his own grand designs about rulership of the world notwithstanding the fact that he was in reality a vassal of Rome.
When he made overtures to the trio, they didn’t mince words: they told him that in the new Israel, the Israel that would rule Earth once the Romans had been toppled from the pedestal of world power, it was a Davidic King who would reign. Herod took very strong exception to such a prospect. Herod was neither a full-blooded Jew nor of Davidic stock but he was royalty in his own right.
His father, Antipater, had been the governor of Idumea and in due course Judea in the Hasmonean government and was in fact the real ruler of the entire Palestine, with John Hyrcanus being a mere figurehead king. When he (Herod) was only 25 years old, his father had appointed him governor of Galilee. Herod thus had strutted the corridors of power from the day he was born and he wasn’t going to give that up easily either for his own sake or that of his descendants.
As such, General, Herod maintained to the trio that in the new, overarching Kingdom of Israel, he was going to be the emperor and would be based in Jerusalem. Just like the Greek empire of Alexander had been a triarchy (a kingdom divided into three governments), the global Kingdom of Israel (“Thy Kingdom Come” in the Lord’s Prayer) was going to be likewise.
There was going to be a ruler in the east, a ruler in the west, and a ruler in the centre, that is Jerusalem, under the oversight of Herod himself. Hillel would rule in Jerusalem; Menahem in the east; and Jacob-Eliakim in the west. If these three happened to have disappeared from the Earthly scene by the time the Kingdom of Israel came into being, their descendants would observe the same setup.
The pecking order would thus be like this: Herod as the emperor; Hillel as the senior king; Menahem as the second-ranked king; and Jacob-Eliakim as the junior king. Put differently, Herod had by the stroke of a pen reduced the Davidic dynasty from foremost to least important as it posed the most serious threat to his office. Meanwhile, the three kings-in-waiting would go by the names of the Old Testament patriarchs.
Hillel would henceforth be called the Abraham, or the Father (or Papa, which later morphed into Pope), since Abraham was the Father of the Jewish nation; Menahem would be called the Isaac (Abraham’s son); and Eliakim the Jacob (Isaac’s son). Half a loaf was better than nothing at all and so Jacob-Eliakim meekly accepted this arrangement.
When Jesus later said, “Many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the new Kingdom of Heaven (MATTHEW 8:11),” he did not mean an afterlife kingdom: he referred to the Earthly setup proposed by King Herod.
FALLOUT WITH ESSENES
Those days, General, the Davidic heir used the title “Jacob” rather than “David” as the latter title was very risky, particularly under the Hasmonean government. Given that Joseph was the most beloved son of the Old Testament Jacob, the next in line, that is, the firstborn son of the Jacob, used the title “Joseph”.
In September 44 BC, a son was born to Jacob-Eliakim. As the crown prince to the Jacob, he was given the titular name Joseph, the name by which he became best-known. Like his father Jacob-Eliakim, Joseph was a missionary. But he also had a trade. He was a carpenter, a boat builder primarily, and a master of his craft. The word translated “carpenter” in the Bible is the ancient Greek word “ho hekton” which means a master artisan or craftsman.
In 31 BC, Qumran, the Essenes’ Judean wilderness bastion, was struck by an earthquake. The hermitic Essenes had no choice but to trek back to Jerusalem, from where they operated indefinitely at a place they called the Essene Gate. Then in 23 BC, Herod struck again. He had Jacob-Eliakim killed on trumped-up charges of sedition, his motive simply being a continuation of a systematic purge of the Davidic “pretenders” to his throne.
The Essenes were wroth. They now set about promulgating to the Diaspora Essenes that Herod would have no part to play in the coming Kingdom. Instead, the overall King would be Joseph, the son of Jacob-Eliakim. This, General, was the beginning of a permanent rift between Herod and the Essene sect.
THE SAGA OF JOSEPH
The prospective global world, General, was subdivided into ten provinces to facilitate governance and tax collection. Palestine would have two provinces, Judea and Samaria, the latter of which would include Galilee. Asia Minor (largely present-day Turkey), where the bulk of Diaspora Jews were concentrated, would have five provinces.
The last three provinces would be Babylon, Rome, and Alexandria in Egypt. The future capital of the West was not Rome: it was Ephesus in Asia Minor. Having been allocated the West, it was in Ephesus and Alexandria that Jacob-Eliakim spent most of his time evangelizing to fellow Jews about the future Kingdom of Israel. This was the beginning of the New Covenant, whereby Jews who converted to the ideal of a new Kingdom of Israel were baptised by immersion in water.
To mainstream Palestinian Jews, General, Jacob-Eliakim was a sellout. Herod had demoted his pedigree but to somewhat placate him, he gave him the honorary title of Patriarch or Prince of Jerusalem. By subordinating the Davidic throne-in-waiting to Herod, Jacob-Eliakim had gone against what the nation of Israel’s God, Enlil, the Bible’s main Jehovah, decreed – that every King of Judah had to be a descendant of David. So when the unpredictable Herod had him killed in 23 BC for “sedition”, as part of a pogrom against the line of David, there was very little sympathy for him.
In 44 BC, Joseph had been born to Jacob-Eliakim. Joseph was a title: it was not his real name. At the death of his father, Joseph became the Jacob. However, he preferred the title “David”, the more apt one historically. Joseph would become the father of Jesus. When Joseph attained 30 years of age in 14 BC, his uncles and the Essene sages sent him to Rome and Alexandria to do his part in missionary work, which was simply about promulgating to the Diaspora Jews the future Kingdom of Israel in which a Son of David, that is a descendant of King David, would rule. Egypt was also a special place because Joseph’s maternal relations were Egyptians.
Jacob-Eliakim, General, had two wives. The one was called Euchariah, a Jewish princess, of whom very little is known, and the other, the dynastic wife, was an Egyptian princess, a daughter of Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Julius Caesar. Jacob-Eliakim and this princess had three sons: they were Joseph, the father of Jesus, and the twins Cleopas (after whom James, Jesus’ immediate younger brother, whose given name was Cleopas, was named) and Ptolas. Joseph was thus the Davidian Prince of Israel as well as contender to Crown Prince of Egypt. Despite pretences to the contrary on the part of the Jews, Egypt and Israel have always had ties of monarchical kinship.
In 8 BC, General, Joseph was required by Essene custom to return home and fulfill his obligations for a dynastic marriage. A wife-to-be had already been chosen for him by his uncles and other patriarchal Essenes. This was Dorcas, better known today by her title name Mary.