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Anu Comes To Earth

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER  
 

“Our Father Who Art In Heaven” shows up for the first time in 7000 years

In 3800 BC, during the Age of Taurus (4380 to 2220 BC),  King Anu touched down on the spaceport apron at Tilmun in the Sinai Peninsula in the imperial  “Celestial Chariot”, the first time he had done so in 7000 years.

The mission was at the request of Enlil, Earth’s Chief Executive and the Bible’s central Jehovah. The King of Nibiru, the Solar System’s 10th planet which is seen only once in 3600 years, was accompanied by Antu, his seniormost wife before the Sirian and Orion thrones were merged (Enki’s mother, the Orion Queen, was Anu’s official main spouse but the marriage was a ceremonial one only: there were no sexual relations.). The great King was received by his great grandson Utu-Shamash in his capacity as executive commander of the spaceport and welcomed by Enlil (biological son, whose mother was Antu), Enki (stepson), and Ninmah (biological daughter by a wife junior to Antu).

“They embraced and kissed, they laughed and cried,” relates Enki in his memoirs, The Lost Book of Enki, which was compiled by Zechariah Sitchin. “All five of them with tears were filled; tears of joy with sorrowed tears were mingled.” In the intervening period since Anu last visited, his children had aged woefully courtesy of the much quicker circumsolar revolution of Earth compared to Nibiru.

Whereas Anu and Antu looked very youthful, as though they were nudging forty, their kids came  across as though they were nudging 70  or so, with Ninmah worse for wear being a lady. “Though greater in shars were the parents, younger than the children they looked,” Enki makes a point of underscoring this aspect. “The two sons looked old and bearded. Ninhursag (Ninmah), once a beauty, was bent and wrinkled.”

In anticipation of the visit, Ninurta, the overall boss of Sumer, had built a sacred precinct for King Anu on the banks of “a great mountain” in Uruk (Erech in the Bible). Called Unug-Ki, meaning “Delightful Place”, its interior was made of pure gold overlaid with carnelian stones. From the spaceport, Anu was flown straight to the Unug-Ki, where all the Anunnaki who were on Earth, including the Igigi, awaited him. The moment he arrived, the entire gathering broke out in songs, both vocally and instrumentally, as they escorted him into his brand new temple-house. Thereafter, “Anu washed and rested, then he was perfumed and clothed; Antu by female Anunnaki to the House of the Golden Bed was escorted: there she too washed and rested, then she was perfumed and clothed.”

At the evening banquet in the open and spectacularly lit courtyard, Anu and Antu sat on a lavishly decorated dais, with Enlil and Enki to Anu’s right and Ninmah to Antu’s left. Serving the foods and wines were Earthlings, all of whom were stark naked to underline their inferiority in the presence of the “Heavenly Father”, the first time on Earth Earthlings were allowed into the presence of Anu. The pomp and circumstance that accompanied the visit of “Our Father Who Art In Heaven” is painstakingly chronicled in the works of Sitchin. One account reads as follows:  

“Priests and other temple attendants served ‘wine and good oil’ and slaughtered in sacrifice a bull and a ram for Anu, Antu and all the gods … In the evening, a ceremonial meal began with a ritual washing of the hands on a celestial signal — the appearance of Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, Saturn. Mars, and the Moon. Then the first part of the meal was served, followed by a pause. While a group of priests began to chant the hymn Kakkab Anu Elellu Shamame ("The Planet of Anu Rises in the Skies"), an astronomer-priest, at the topmost stage of the tower of the temple, watched for the appearance of the Planet of Anu, Nibiru.

When the planet was sighted, the priests broke out in singing the composition  To the One Who Grows Bright, the Heavenly Planet of the Lord Anu  and the Psalm The Creator's Image Has Arisen.  A bonfire was lit to signal the moment and to pass the news to neighbouring towns. Before the night was over, the whole land was ablaze with bonfires … To music the Anunnaki clapped and danced, to music they danced and sang.” Once they had feasted on “a meal of bull meat and ram meat, of fish and fowl, with wine and beer accompanied”, the “divine couple”, who had been cheerily chatting with members of the Anunnaki pantheon, retired to bed.  

HEAVENLY FATHER  DISAVOWS GALZU

King Anu slept for six straight days before he woke up.  This was because Earth’s axial rotation and therefore day-night cycle was much quicker compared to that of Nibiru. A full day and night on Nibiru was equivalent to 30 Earth days, meaning on that planet, people slept for 15 Earth days assuming equal days and nights.  Thus the six days Anu spent in total slumber during his visit here did not even amount to half what he normally slept on his planet.

Upon rising up, the King first attended an assembly of the Anunnaki, where thanksgiving prayers were chanted in his honour. Then he went into a closed-door, Council of the Great Gods meeting, whose other attendees were Enlil, Enki, Ninmah, and Utu-Shamash. The Sumerian records do not explain why other notable Anunnaki princes such as Ninurta, Marduk, Nannar-Sin, Nergal, Ishkur-Adad, Ningishzidda and Ninmah were not invited, but it could be that the King didn’t want a situation where the deliberations became bogged down in argumentation after argumentation from too many mouths.

As they say, too many cooks spoil the broth.  As for Shamash’s presence in the meeting, he was probably meant to represent the third generation of Anunnaki royalty though he should have been balanced out with at least one third-generation Enkite. His presence was also crucial being the spaceport commander (and therefore with a great deal to report about) and the King’s personal pilot whilst he was on Earth. Enlil as Earth’s Chief Executive reported what had transpired during and after the Deluge – the heroic role of Noah and his elevation to sainthood, the discovery of new gold deposits in South America,  the distribution of Earth’s principal lands among the Anunnaki on the basis of Noah’s three sons, the two pyramid wars,  and how the peace was clinched.  

Once Enlil was done, it was Enki’s turn. Enki not only filled the gaps Enlil had left but confessed to the King as to how he and Enoch had contrived to have Noah sired by him and how he had heeded Anu’s emissary Galzu to get Noah to build a submarine with a view to preserve mankind in the great flood. “It was not that I deliberately set out to thwart Enlil’s designs that mankind be left to his own devices as the flood raged whilst we Anunnaki were safe and secure in space or other less vulnerable locations on Earth,” he explained to his step-father. “It was at the say-so of Galzu, who you had sent down to act on your behalf.”

Listening with rapt attention as the wise Enki spoke, King Anu was nonplussed at the mention of a messenger from Nibiru known as Galzu, who had so far been to Earth twice to deliver interventionist messages on his behalf.  “Who the hell is Galzu?” the King responded both angrily and dumbfounded. “I never, ever sent an emissary by that name to Earth. He’s just as mysterious to me as he was to you all.”

Enki nonetheless spoke favourably of Galzu. “On account of Galzu, Ziusudra (Noah) and the seed of life (animal and plant DNA) were saved,” he observed to Anu. Enlil, on the other hand, was scathing of Galzu for foiling his chance of returning to Nibiru. “On account of Galzu on Earth we remained,” he fumed. “The day to Nibiru you return, you shall die so did Galzu to us say.”  That was arrant nonsense, Anu returned sharply. Yes, the Anunnaki who returned from an extended tour of duty on Earth had pathological and physiological problems but there were elixirs that took excellent care of that so that their biological clocks were re-aligned with Nibiru cycles.

At this point, Enlil and Enki in unison asked Anu whose emissary Galzu was if he was not Anu’s. “Who was Galzu’s principal who wanted Earthlings to be saved and who desired that we stay here on Earth?” Enki further wondered aloud. Ninmah seemed to have an inspired answer to the jigsaw. Nodding her head with self-assurance, she said, “For the Creator of All did Galzu appear.” She went on to point out that if Galzu was sent by the Creator of All (God, First Source) to intervene so that mankind was preserved, then it was also his will that Enki brought mankind into existence.

Enki’s creation of Adam with her’s and Ningishzidda’s assistance was not fate, she said, but destiny. It was not the permissive will of mortal beings like the Anunnaki were: it was the unalterable will of God. A hush descended on the five as they contemplated the ramifications of Galzu’s actions. “For a while, the five of them were silent,” the Sumerian records state. “Each the past events (the goings-on on Earth to date) in his heart recounted.”


HEAVENLY FATHER DECREES CIVILISATION FOR MANKIND

After a long, meditative lull, King Anu finally spoke. Anu made the philosophical point that the will of God overrode that of his creation and therefore whatever had happened on Earth through Galzu’s interventions was predestined and it should not be interfered with.  The Anunnaki were simply instruments God used to people planet Earth. “While fates we decreed,” Anu said, “the hand of destiny every step directed. The will of the Creator of All is clear to see on Earth and for all Earthlings only emissaries we are. The Earth to Earthlings belongs: to preserve and advance them we were intended.”  

Enki, who had genetically engineered mankind into existence, was exhilarated at this outright vindication of what he had done. Rising to his feet, he took a bow to Anu then said: “If that is our  mission   here (that is, as guarantors of the welfare of mankind), let us accordingly act.” The great King nodded in agreement and thereupon moved a motion that the Anunnaki set about advancing mankind intellectually and civilly. A debate in respect of what exactly was to be done ensued, with the dovish Enki and Ninmah the more enthusiastic and the hawkish Enlil and Shamash somewhat tepid.      

When the debate concluded, it was suggested by Enki that that mankind be urbanised. Cities with modern civic facilities should be established for mankind’s sake. Secret knowledge – which simply was academics and which hitherto had been the preserve of the Anunnaki and privileged Earthlings who were tutored in what were called mystery schools and through secret societies – should   be taught to mankind with almost no reservation. Furthermore, two separate pre-eminent offices should be created for mankind – that of king and priest. The king was to rule mankind on behalf of the Anunnaki and dispense justice, whereas the priest was to spearhead mankind in serving and reverencing  the Anunnaki in their temple-abodes. 

Anu endorsed Enki’s motion and to that end the King presented to Enlil the insignias of majesty that he would confer on the Earthling monarch. These were a divine headdress (crown, tiara); sceptre of staff (symbol of power, authority); and coiled measuring cord (representing Justice). Finally, King Anu made a declaration that the Anunnaki were not to stay on Earth indefinitely as the planet was not their preordained home. They were to return to Nibiru once mankind had been sufficiently enlightened. “Give mankind knowledge, up to a measure of secrets of heaven and Earth,” he instructed. “Laws of justice and righteousness teach them, then depart and leave.”

HEAVENLY FATHER ON TOUR OF HONOUR

After the meeting concluded, King Anu was taken on a conducted tour of Sumer, which was still under construction. The King had the honour of naming it Ki-Engi, meaning “Land of the Lofty  Watchers”. The Lofty Watchers  were the Anunnaki as indeed they watched over the fate and affairs of mankind.  It was actually by the name Ki-Engi the Sumerians called Sumer (from Shem-Ur, meaning “Land of Rocket People”). Sumer is simply the name preferred by scholars.

The first city Anu visited was Eridu, Enki’s cult city, which had been the first to arise. The King was particularly struck by the grandeur of Enki’s mansion, which Ningishzidda had designed for him. Eridu had made great headway in a number of ways thanks to the MEs, from whose wonders only Eridu had benefitted to date in the broader Sumer. Whilst he was being shown around by Enki, Enlil registered a complaint to his father to the effect that actually everything in Eridu was a masterpiece simply  because Enki had selfishly kept to himself the ME formulas. Also known as the Divine Formulas, the MEs were said to encrypt more than 100 aspects of civilisation.

The rest of the Anunnaki pantheon, Enlil besought, needed access to these crucial computer chips particularly at this juncture when mankind was to be civilised across the body.  Anu politely asked Enki to share the MEs but confirmed his right to their custody as their inventor and for the exclusivity of Eridu lest they be filched by some sinister party.  Enki undertook to do just that. From Eridu, Anu was taken to Nippur, where Enlil resided. There, Enlil showed him the Tablets of Destiny, which tracked the trajectories and orbits of celestial bodies and served as a record of unalterable Anunnaki decisions. Next was Kish (“Sceptre City”, denoting the seat of monarchy).

Anu designated Kish as the first city mankind was to thrive in and mandated Ninurta to administrate it, meaning he was to move from Lagash. Anu and Enlil then jointly unveiled a special phosphorescent monument in Kish called the “Heavenly Bright Object”, a device enshrining the site of kingship as mankind’s first post-diluvial king was to be installed in Kish. Enki there and then promised to avail 50 MEs to Ninurta to help kick-start the civilisation process in Kish.  From there, Anu visited Lagash and in Ninurta’s own house, the Eninnu, the King  presented his eldest grandson with two ceremonial weapons, the Supreme Smitter and the Supreme Hunter,  in recognition of his military feats.

Finally, King Anu was flown to the “Golden Land”, today’s South America, accompanied by  Enlil, Enki, Ninurta, and Adad. There, Ninurta showed him how bronze, a metal he invented, was made, as well as how gold nuggets were collected. After sailing on a lake whose shores copper was mined, he renamed it Lake Anak. The King was also taken to the spaceport that was built in the wake of the Deluge to facilitate the transfer of newly discovered gold to Nibiru. There, Anu was presented with tonnes of gold for personal use.  “With gold to the brim was Anu’s celestial chariot  loaded,” say the Sumerian records. The visit was capped by a trophy hunting expedition in the Amazonian wilds. It was whilst the King was shooting at the horned bisons that he received a message of bereavement.

Marduk and his firstborn son Nabu flew over and reported to the King that Sarpanit, Marduk’s wife and the mother of all his kids, had passed away. Being a full Earthling, she was not genetically disposed to live as long  as the Anunnaki did. She did however enjoy a long life by the standards of mankind thanks to the ingestion of Ormus, the monoatomic white powder of gold. She died at age 76,000, having been born in the 101st shar (about 81 000 year ago) and having passed on in the 122nd shar, in 3800 BC.

Marduk also expressed concerns to Anu about his marginalisation in power politics by Enlil and the King took heed: from now henceforth, Marduk was pardoned for precipitating the Second Pyramid War along with  Seth, and he and his firstborn son Nabu now were free to roam or settle anywhere in Sumer. A city-sized swathe of land that had initially been reserved for the construction of “Anu’s City” was offered to him to develop at a time of his choosing.  

HEAVENLY FATHER BONKS GREAT GRANDDAUGHTER!

Returning to Sumer after touring all of the planet’s major landmarks, Anu made one revolutionary calendrical change. Up until now, the Anunnaki had been counting time in terms of the Nibiru calendar – in shars. From now on, they were to count time in Earth years. But it would take another 40 years before the decree was implemented by Enlil.  The King also endorsed the allocation of lands between the Enkites and Enlilites.

Another thing Anu did was to review the ranks of the Anunnaki royalty. There were no promotions and no demotions and Ninurta was incensed. He had been of the view that having been so lavishly decorated by his grandfather, he would be reinstated as official heir to Enlil and put Sin, who had supplanted him, to shame. Anu, however, let the status quo stand. Overcome with rancour and with a sense of gross injustice gnawing away at him, Ninurta approached his father and informed him he was relinquishing his succession rights to the throne of Nibiru and his word was final.

His rank of 50, the same as Enlil, didn’t make sense if he politically still remained a minnow to Sin, whose rank was 30. Like Marduk, he would now devote all his energies to ascending  to the supremacy of Earth.  Sin was accordingly declared second in line to the throne of Nibiru after Anu and Enlil. Meanwhile, the King’s amatory attentions were focused on his gorgeous but enfant terrible granddaughter Inanna. Inanna had always been Anu’s mistress every time he came to Earth.

But he did not bed her on a whim: there was always a pre-copulation ritual that was performed by Antu to officially sanction the extramarital dalliance. Writes one chronicler: “At Anu’s temple at Uruk, Sumer’s sacred precinct, Anu’s wife, Antu, taught Inanna tantric sexual meditations and how to channel the sexual energy she and Anu would share to elevate their whole clan. Then Antu ritually gave Inanna to Anu. Antu and the Nibiriuan elite meditated outside the love-chamber as Anu and Inanna coupled … The sexual experience was a merging of energies which enhanced the creative powers of both partners and the aggregate of their race.”

NEXT WEEK: ANUNNAKI SPARK NEW AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT

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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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