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Marduk’s Tower of Babel

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER  
 

… but it was not a stairway-to-heaven tower block: it was a rocket-launch tower

The astrological Age of Taurus lasted from 4380 to 2220 BC. Taurus was an Enlilite age, an age in which Enlil, the Bible’s Jehovah/Yahweh, and his brood were mandated to rule. If you recall, Galzu, who King Anu had exposed as a fraud but whose ordinances he declared binding anyway, had stipulated that the Enlilites were to rule Earth for the first three ages after Leo, that is, Cancer, Gemini, and Taurus, which amounted to a mathematical total of 6480 years (a zodiacal age spans 2160 years mathematically), or just under two shars.   Taurus was therefore the last age Enlil/Enlilites  would exercise supremacy over Earth, after which Marduk/Enkites  would take over in the Age of Aries.

Taurus, symbolised by a bull, was in particular dedicated to Enlil himself, the reason why he was known as  “The Bull of Heaven”. In 3760 BC, Enlil introduced the world’s first calendar. This was exactly 3600 years – a shar, amounting to 1 year on Nibiru – after the year of the Deluge and exactly 40 years (in honour of Enki, whose rank was 40 and who had tabled the idea of bringing civilisation to mankind)  since King Anu had so decreed.

Numerologically, the number 3760 added up to 7, the celestial number of Earth,  which was Enlil’s celestial counterpart  as the planet’s Chief Executive.  The calendar, called the Nippurian calendar since it was announced at Nippur, Enlil’s cult city,  was a compromise between the lunar year and the solar year. It comprised of 12 lunar months totalling 354 days (29.5 multiplied by 12) plus 11 days, which brought the number of days in a year to 365 days. To date, the Jews follow the Nippurian calendar: as such, to them the base year, or year 0, is 3760 BC.  Resultantly, the year 2017 in Israel is year 5776.

Now, kingship had been conferred on Earthlings  by King Anu, with the first human king post-the- Deluge being Nimrod, who ruled in Kish, which  was designated as the pilot city-state for human kingship. However, Enlil had decreed that Sumerian kingship was not going to be the preserve of only one city-state: it was going to rotate from city-state to city-state after a certain, appropriate  period of time. Kish would be the incipient seat of the human king, followed by Uruk and Ur respectively. The problem was that  all these three cities were power centres of Enlilites, a state of affairs  that did not sit well with Marduk.

MARDUK SEES RED OVER ENLILITE DOMINANCE IN SUMER

Marduk had only relatively recently returned to Earth after an absence of 4870 years. In 8670 BC,  when his younger brother Ningishzidda at the expense of Marduk  supplanted Horus as the King of Egypt on the basis of a peace pact between the Enlilites and the Enkites at the conclusion of the Second Pyramid War, Marduk had blasted off  from Earth in a fit of revulsion. But before he departed the planet, he had made it clear to Zidda that in truth, he was simply holding fort for him. “Thou art no more than a place taker,” Marduk underlined.   “Thou shalt be in my place: that’s all there is to it.”  Years later,  when Zidda inquired as to exactly where his eldest brother had gone, he received word from Marduk (through a sophisticated   inter-stellar communication device) that, “I’m here in the sky, in my proper place”.

The ancient Egyptian text that documents this  exchange does not elaborate but it is clear Marduk had gone on an indefinite sabbatical to the SSS World, the throne city of the Orion star system. Marduk was born on the SSS World, what he liked to refer to as “a pure place”. Like Enki, he regarded himself as an Arian (beings of the SSS World, also known as the Serpent race) primarily and a  Sirian (beings of the Sirius star system, where his mother Damkina came from) only secondarily. One interpretation of his very name, Marduk, says it means “Son of the Pure Mound”. The “Pure Mound” as per Robert Morning Sky was a metaphor for the pubis  of the Orion Queen. It was pure – in a putative sense – because  as  the Goddess of the Sirian-Orion Empire, the most  powerful in the Milky Way galaxy, she was  the “Holy Mother”, a title akin to the Pope’s “Holy Father”, or Mary mother of Jesus’s “Virgin Mary”.  

During his almost 5000-year absence (but only about 1 year and a third in Anunnaki terms), Marduk, who was the Africans’  most  respected  god after Enki,  became known as Amon to the Egyptians, meaning “The Unseen One” – ha-o-mmone in Setswana. That is to say, although he was present in spirit, he  was  absent in the physical, where he mattered the most.  And as Christians prospect about Jesus, Marduk was expected to return some day in a blaze of glory. He did indeed return but not as an all-conquering, White Horse-borne  redeemer with legions of warring angels.  

Marduk returned to Earth early in 3800 BC, when he heard that King Anu was on his way to Earth, his aim to air his grievances directly to the most powerful of Anunnaki sovereigns. Then in 3760 BC, Enlil made the troubling announcement  that kingship would remain in Enlilite territories after Kish and Uruk. Marduk had calculated that by the time the turn of Uruk was over, the Age of Aries will have either dawned or be on the horizon and he would be the new or imminent Enlil.  Marduk’s prospective city would then have to be the one to ideally house the Earthling monarch. But Enlil seemed to want to sidestep Marduk’s destiny when he declared that kingship would move to Ur, the cult city of Nannar-Sin, after Uruk, the cult-city of Ninurta. Understandably therefore, Marduk was incandescent with rage.   “When Marduk all this did hear, greatly he was enraged, his anger no bounds knew,” the Sumerian records relate.”  

Marduk got in touch with his father Enki and wondered aloud to him what on Earth was happening. “Why am I being kept on the peripheries in power politics whilst you just stand by and look?” he demanded of his father. “Aren’t you the one who promised me that you would smoothen the  way for me to land the Enlilship?”

Enki straightaway contacted Enlil to register his son’s concerns but  Enlil simply wasn’t budging. Marduk then vowed before his father that  he wasn’t going to allow himself to be so humiliated indefinitely: he was now going to set about  establishing his own fife in Sumer to pave the way for his ascendancy to supremacy in the Age of Aries  damn the consequences. After all, King Anu had pardoned all his transgressions of the past and had given him the green light to settle in Sumer in a place of his liking. “When Enlil to Marduk's appeal no heed paid, Marduk fate in his own hands grasped,” the Sumerian texts relate. “Enough has my humiliation been, to his father Enki Marduk shouted. A sacred city of his own in the Edin from Enlil he forthwith demanded.”

MARDUK IS PIONEER OF BABYLON

Kish was to be the seat of kingship for about 400 more years after the inauguration of the Nippurian calendar in 3760 BC.  In 3460 BC, there was about 100 more years remaining before kingship was transferred from Kish to Uruk. In that year, Marduk decided to act on his scheme to have a foothold in the Enlilite heartland of Sumer. He was going to found his own cult city in Sumer to bring the number of Enkites who had territory there to two, the other being his father Enki, who was the patron god of Eridu.

Accordingly, Marduk and his firstborn son Nabu set course for Akkad at the head of a huge caravan of followers – comprising of Earthlings and the Igigi – who numbered in the thousands, all armed with implements of all kinds with which to erect new infrastructure on virgin land. This great trek from Eridu, where Marduk had been based to date, to an area in the northwestern part of Akkad, where he was to establish his own city-state, is recorded in a GENESIS 11 passage thus: “And as they (Marduk and his people) travelled from the east, they found a valley in the Land of Shin'ar (Sumer) and settled there.”

The exact site Marduk chose was the one that initially had been earmarked for the construction of Anu’s temple-mansion before it was decided that it should be built at Uruk. This was the very site King Anu had pointed Marduk to when he visited Earth in 3800 BC, which explains why the Enlilites did not make the slightest attempt at thwarting him when he and his people processed into Akkad. Marduk’s city was to be built on the banks of the Euphrates River. Exactly what were his plans for the city?

First, it was intended to be his capital when he superseded Enlil as Earth’s supremo. Secondly, Marduk wanted his city to rival both Jerusalem, the Mission Control Centre, and Tilmun, the spaceport. This hint he did provide when he chose a location that was between Nippur, the prediluvial Mission Control Centre, and Sippar, the prediluvial spaceport.  To put it bluntly, Marduk’s desire was to make his city a Mission Control Centre and spaceport rolled into one and thus do away with the Jerusalem and Tilmun facilities when he was the new Enlil. 

The name he chose for his city was also a tell-tale. He called it Bab-ili, meaning, “Gateway of the Gods”. It would be a gateway of the gods – the Anunnaki – in that it was there they would ascend and descend in their “celestial chariots” (spaceships) as they to-ed and frong-ed between Earth on the one hand and other heavenly bodies on the other, particularly Nibiru, Mars, the Moon, and Earth’s orbit.     Bab-ili is Babel in the Bible and Babylon in English. Its remains are to be found in present-day Hillah in Iraq, about 85 km south of Baghdad.
 
MARDUK SPACEPORT TAKES SHAPE

But first, a temple-residence for god Marduk had to be built.   It was called the Esagila, meaning in paraphrase,  “House of the Lord of Lords”. The name embodied Marduk’s yearning to become the Enlil when the Age of Aries dawned. The Esagila, a seven-storey ziggurat,  “rose within a sprawling sacred precinct, where a plethora of priests hierarchically arranged ranged from cleaners and butchers and healers to administrators, scribes, astronomers, and astrologers”.

Then years later, in 3450 BC, Marduk was ready to embark on his principal, epoch-making project. GENESIS 11 dwells at reasonable length on this one.  A passage in there (properly translated) reads: “Come let us build ourselves a city (Babylon), with a tower that reaches to the heavens (a high-rise launch tower), so that we may make a shem (rocket) for ourselves … lest we be scattered upon the face of the Earth.” In the corrupt, English translation, the word “name” (implying “reputation”) is used instead of shem. 

Marduk undertook to construct a space facility atop a platform (launch tower)  raised for several feet, maybe hundreds of feet for rockets and jets to land and take off. In Anunnaki times, the spaceships were built and kept in underground silos. Spaceships are a mammoth affair: the Apollo 11 spacecraft, for instance, stood 364 feet (101.5 meters) tall. So if we are to assume, for argument’s sake,  that  half of this height was catered for by the underground bunker, then the space platform itself was about 50 to 60 meters high.

In order to motivate his people to devote to the project, Marduk told them it was primarily in their interests, that it was a human-empowerment project.  First, he wanted to give mankind an opportunity to explore space and visit other planets both in the Solar System and beyond, more so the Orion star system where they could meet their Goddess. Second, as they multiplied in number and spread all over the planet, they would need a faster, more convenient mode of transport to visit and cement links with each other. The spaceport would therefore also serve as the principal terrestrial airport, like Baalbek in Lebanon was. The Earthlings were sold on the idea: they assured their god that they were game.   

Says  Zechariah Sitchin and pointedly so:  “We believe that the answers … become plausible – even obvious – once we read ‘sky borne vehicle’ rather than ‘name’  for the word shem, which is the term employed in the original Hebrew text of the Bible. The story would then deal with the concern of mankind that, as the people spread upon Earth, they would lose contact with one another. So they decided to build a ‘sky borne vehicle’ and to erect a launch tower for such a vehicle so that they, too, could – like the goddess Ishtar, for example – fly in a mu (jet) ‘over all the peopled lands’."

I cannot help laugh my head off when I see the  popular sketches of the so-called Tower of Babel by “scholars”. It is a humongous, literally  skyscraping edifice that soars into the clouds (where the atmosphere is so thin everybody would die from lack of oxygen).  What hogwash! The Tower of Babel was far from a monumental stairway to the abode of God attempted by a whole horde of morons as your pathetically ignorant pastor would belt out from the pulpit. It was a space launch facility, period.  

MARDUK DARES ENLIL

Enlil, the Bible’s Jehovah/Yahweh, was alarmed by what Marduk was up to. As far as he was concerned, it was treachery – sin in the Bible.  A spaceport could only be built at the pleasure of Earth’s Chief Executive and that was Enlil himself. Moreover, the ramifications were serious. Marduk wanted to create two centres of power on the planet, which was a recipe for conflict and eventually another war between Enkites and Enlilites.  Enlil had to act forthwith before things spiralled out of control.

To his credit though, Enlil did not act rashly. First, he approached Enki and asked him to ram sense into his wayward son. “Well,” Enki responded, “You are right when you talk of a wayward son. Marduk no longer listens to me. I know he is deserving of his own cult-city but the idea of a spaceport boggles my mind too.”


Next, Enlil pleaded with Damkina, Marduk’s mother to prevail over his son to halt the abominable project.   Damkina, however, stood staunchly by her son. “It’s all your fault Enlil,” she said. “You have treated my son like a lowlife all the while when ideally he is supposed to be the Anunnaki’s highest ranking prince. You are simply reaping what you sowed!”

Finally, Enlil confronted Marduk and his son Nabu.  “To thwart the plan Enlil to the place (Babylon) hurried, to placate Marduk with soothing words he tried,” say the Sumerian chronicles. Marduk stuck to his guns. “This project is going ahead,” he insisted. “I’m not doing it as a dare to your authority. It’s simply a headstart project which will be fully operationalised when I am the new Enlil. So take it easy Lord Enlil. You are at liberty to make all the hay whilst the sun shines in the age of Taurus. My turn comes not now but in the Age of Aries. Do you hear me?”

“But the Age of the Ram, Marduk, is at the very least more than 1000 years from now,” Enlil countered. “Why should you be in a hurry to build your space, communications, and aviational facilities? Doesn’t Baalbek, Jerusalem, and Tilmun suffice? Won’t you be the one who will be overall in charge when you become the new Enlil in the Age of the Ram?”

“Well, I can’t trust you guys,” Marduk replied, referring to the Enlilites in general. “What if you renege on your promise? What if you opt to cling to power? What if you sabotage me? How many false starts have I suffered at your hands in the past? This time around, I’m not going to give you the benefit of the doubt. In fact, I’m not going to allow you to f… with me anymore, do you hear me Enlil? This planet, Earth, is the only bequest there’s for me. I am destined to rule it come what may. If you and your trigger-happy   boys try to stop me, woebetide you! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!”

“You must have gone raving mad Marduk,” Enlil said. “You must have gone off your rocker.” “I don’t care a hoot,” Marduk said before he rose and stormed out of the meeting. “To stop Marduk and Nabu in their endeavor Enlil did not succeed,” regrets the Sumerian texts.

What would be Enlil’s next course of action?

NEXT WEEK: JEHOVAH UNLEASHES NINURTA ON MARDUK   

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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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