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Zidda Illumines America

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER  
 

Meanwhile, Marduk has a new rival to contend with courtesy of Inanna

Ningishzidda’s departure from Egypt to Babylon in August 3113 BC was significant in his own view.  In that very same month, he introduced a new calendar to toast to the peace of mind that came with his move. Zidda though did not intend to stay in Babylon for long: it was simply a whistle-stop on his way to the Americas. The moment he arrived in Babylon, he sent an advance party of a loyal team of Olmecs – the dark-skinned, Bantu-like  Anunnaki – to the Americas so they could prepare for his arrival there as per Enki’s urging. Then three years later, in 3110 BC, Zidda himself set off for the Americas after the Olmecs had signalled to him that he was being awaited there with bated breath as their prospective god.  

In the Americas, Zidda’s legal domain encompassed Mesoamerica (Mexican-speaking territories which included the whole of Mexico and parts of today’s US) and Central America but his influence permeated all the way down to the northern parts of South America.  The people he ruled over were the Aztecs, today known as Mexicans ; the Yucatans, who are found in the northern parts of Mexico;  the Mayans, who today inhabit southern Mexico, El Salvador, Belize, and Honduras;  and the Incas of ancient Peru.

The Mayans document that their “white-skinned, bearded god” arrived during the Fourth Sun, which they called “The Era of the Black-Headed People”.  We know by now that the Black-Headed people was how the Anunnaki referred to mankind in general but to the Sumerians in particular. The Codex Rios, which was written in 1566, says the Fourth Sun began “5042 years ago”. Counting from our day, this dates back to approximately 6,000 years ago, when the Sumerian civilisation blossomed.

As god of the Americas, Zidda was known by several names. The Aztecs called him Quetzalcoatl, meaning “Flying Reptile”. This was because he was an Enkite – the Serpent race – and he flew in a huge aircraft. The Incas called him Viracocha, meaning “Creator of All”. The Mayans called him Kulcan, meaning “Great Bird of the Snake”, again in reference to both his flying craft and his genetic pedigree. The Yucatans called him Votan, whose meaning is obscure. But they do give us a clue as to who Votan was.

He’s characterised as “the first man whom God had sent to this region to people and parcel out the land that is now called America”. The Yucatans go on to say, “…  his emblem was the Serpent. He was a descendant of the Guardians, of the race of Can. His place of origin was a land called Chivim … At the tributary of a great river he built a city which was the cradle of this civilisation …  He called the city Nachan, which means Place of Serpents."

There are a lot of tell-tales in the above pieces of data. The “Guardians”, or Neteru, was how the Anunnaki were referred to by Egyptians. The Serpent was the insignia of the Enkites, in particular Enki and Zidda: even Marduk was scorned as “The Great Serpent” by the Enlilites. The notion of Votan having descended from the race of “Can” – the biblical Cain, the founder of the Indian race – is a mix-up but only slightly so as Cain, having been sired by Enki and Titi-Eve, had more Anunnaki than human blood in him. Chivim was in Canaan and the Canaanites were found in both Egypt and Palestine. Nachan jells very well with Nachash – the Hebrew word for Serpent.   

There was a yet another little-known name by which Zidda was called by the Peruvians but which today carries  more resonance geopolitically than the rest. This was Amaruca. Amaruca derived from the ancient compound word  Ome-Ori-Eke, which meant  “Divine Creator Spirit”, or simply God. It was Amaruca/Ome-Ori-Eke which through a linguistic twist and the evolution simply of words became America. The official version of how the name America came about is that it was in honour of the pioneering Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512).

However, researchers have long debunked this claim. It has been found that Vespucci actually changed his first name from Alberigo, his original name, to Amerigo after his return from the Americas (North and South America). In other words, the continents were already known by the name America long before he turned up there. In any case, if the two continents were to be named after him, they would have been called Vespucca, after his surname. Landmarks are named after a legend’s surname (or both names in some cases) and not his first name. One example is America’s political capital, which is known as Washington and not George.

BLACK ANUNNAKI CIVILISE AMERICA

In the Mayan annals, Quetzacoatl has been described as “tall of stature, bright of countenance, bearded, and wearing a long tunic. His staff, shaped like a serpent, was painted black, white, and red; it was inlaid with precious stones and adorned with six stars”. He was the great benefactor of the Hispanics in all manner of ways. He inaugurated his own civilisation for that region of the world when he arrived there  in 3110 BC. He was “master of wisdom and knowledge” who “introduced learning, crafts, laws, and time reckoning according to the fifty-two-year cycle.”

But the white-skinned Zidda was simply the figurehead: the people who actually civilised the Americas were his loyalist men, the Olmecs, who even today remain immortalised in stone in various parts of that region. The Olmecs were the first to arrive in the Americas in 3113 BC and by the time Zidda joined them in 3110 BC, they had made mammoth strides in revolutionalising the region. Writes Zechariah Sitchin in his War of the Gods: “The first Mesoamerican glyphic writing appears in the Olmec realm; so does the Mesoamerican system of numeration, of dots and bars.

The first Long Count calendar inscriptions, with the enigmatic starting date in 3113 BC; the first works of magnificent and monumental sculpted art; the first use of jade; the first depictions of hand-held weapons or tools; the first ceremonial centres; the first celestial orientations—all were achievements of the Olmecs. No wonder that with so many ‘firsts’, some (as J. Soustelle, The Olmecs) have compared the Olmec civilisation of Mesoamerica to that of the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, which accounted for all the ‘firsts’ in the ancient Near East.”

It’s small wonder the meticulously sculpted Olmec stone heads are so colossal – to testify to the fact that they wrought great accomplishments in Mesoamerica. One such sculpture “measured about eight feet in height, twenty-one feet in circumference, and weighed about twenty-four tons. It depicts without question a Negroid African wearing a distinct helmet.” The latter part, of the Olmecs being “Negroid Africans”, is a mere assumption owing to the fact that indeed the Olmecs bore features that were African in every respect. But the fact of the matter is that they were not Africans at all: they were dark-skinned Anunnaki.

If you expected Caucasian chroniclers who write much of Earth’s history to state categorically that these great, gigantic dark-skinned people were from another planet, you would be deluding yourself. They would rather say the Anunnaki were “blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and white-skinned”. Yet the Anunnaki, as we keep emphasising, were not a homogeneous race: they came in all hues – black, white, Indian-like, Chinese-like, Semitic-like, Hispanic-like, etc. The white-skinned Anunnaki are famous only because they were the ruling clique. It were the Olmecs who did much of the gold mining in Africa before Enki fashioned mankind as their skin pigmentation was more amenable to the climactic conditions of the planet  obtaining at the time, which the white-skinned Anunnaki found oppressive in the extreme. And it was the gene of an Olmec that Enki blended with that of Ape Man to create Adam.

Of particular significance was  Zidda’s now famous Mayan Calendar, known as the Long Count.  Writes Zechariah Sitchin. “The oldest of the three Mesoamerican calendars is known as the Long Count: it counted the number of days from a ‘Day One’ that scholars have identified as August 13, 3113 BC. Alongside this continuous but linear calendar there were two cyclical calendars. One, the Haab, was a solar-year calendar of 365 days, divided into 18 months of 20 days each plus an additional 5 special days at year’s end.

The other was the Tzolkin, a Sacred Calendar of only 260 days, composed of a 20-day unit rotated 13 times. The two cyclical calendars were then meshed together, as two geared wheels to create the Sacred Round of 52 years, when these two counts returned to their common starting point and started the counts all over again.”

Zidda introduced three calendars in Mesoamerica, the  most famous being the Long Count, which  brought  the year 2012  to the fore of global discourse. A Long Count is a cycle of 5126 years. The starting point of this calendar was what the Mayans called Point Zero – the very year Zidda devised the Long Count, or 3113 BC. The Long Count can be measured in days (a  kin); 20-days (1 uinal); 360-days ( 1 tun); 7,200-days (1 katun); and lastly 144,000-days (1 baktun). 

Typically, the Long Count is measured in baktuns. Now, if  you count the number of years that will have passed from 3113 BC to the end of 2012, you will arrive at exactly 5126 years. A Long Count equals 13 baktuns, or  1,872,000 days (144,000 x 13). The 13th Baktun ended on December 22  2012, such that in January 2013, the cycle began all over again. Since 13 is a unlucky number to the wider world (yet a lucky number to the Illuminati), it explained the trash talk that ran riot about the end of the world on 22 December 2012. It was all bollocks really as we rightly predicted in one of our Weekend Post articles of April 2012.

EXIT ZIDDA, ENTER DUMUZI

If Marduk thought by getting Zidda out of the way he was now firm in the saddle, he was greatly mistaken. For no sooner had Zidda left the scene than another contender emerged to try and throw a spanner in the works.  This was none other than his youngest brother Dumuzi.  Dumuzi was Enki’s youngest son and automatically the dearest as all lastborns are. “Greatly beloved was Dumuzi,” the Sumerian records relate. “By Enki after the death of Asar (Osiris)  he was favoured.” But as much as Enki doted on Dumuzi, the Enlilites were enamoured of him too. They looked upon him as a possible political ally.

To date, they had to a degree won over two Enkites. These were Nergal, Marduk’s immediate younger brother, and Zidda, the fourth   brother. Nergal was won over when he was enticed to marry Ereshkigal, Enlil’s granddaughter  through his second-born son Nannar-Sin. Zidda was  to all intents and purposes a direct Enlilite stake: he was Ereshkigal’s son, having arose in the course of a romantic liaison between Enki and Ereshkigal that predated the latter’s marriage to Nergal. The Enlilite eyes now were set on Dumuzi too. Why him rather that other siblings of Marduk in Gibil and Ninagal?  

Gibil and Ninagal were not that politically ambitious and were very far from the scene of the tug-of-war that was Egypt. Dumuzi on the other hand was based right in Egypt. Although he had never ruled Egypt as a whole, Enki had seen to it that he had a semi-autonomous enclave known as Meluhha, or Nubia, which encompassed today’s central Sudan and southern Egypt and where all Tswana-speaking people originate. Meluhha was not only one of the most fertile and richest parts of ancient Egypt but it was also well-endowed mineral-resourcewise.  Say the Sumerian chronicles: “In the Land of the Two Narrows (Egypt) for Dumuzi and the shepherds a habitation did Enki fashion. To Dumuzi, his youngest son, Enki a large domain above the Abzu allotted. Meluhha, the Black Land, was its name. Highland trees there grew, its waters abundant were. Large bulls among its river reeds roamed, greatly numbered were its cattle. Silver from its mountains came, its copper bright as gold was aglitter.”

Even more significant, Dumuzi and Inanna-Ishtar, Enlil’s granddaughter, were madly in love. Their love affair, which was initiated through the gallantry of the sex-crazy Inanna herself, is arguably the world’s first Romeo and Juliet affair and the inspiration to King Solomon’s Song of Solomon love canticles of the Old Testament. Solomon never had a devoted, sizzling love affair to write about: what you read in Song of Solomon was purloined from the Dumuzi-Inanna romance. The couple’s affair  blossomed when Horus was ruling Egypt (between 8970 and 8670 BC). When the war between Horus and Seth for the control of Egypt, where Inanna was known as Ashtoreth, was at feverpitch, Inanna fought at the battlefront on the side of Horus for the sake of Dumuzi, who was backing Horus in the confrontation.

What exactly attracted Inanna to Dumuzi? For starters, Dumuzi had a potent enough libido (primarily because he was young and therefore hot-blooded) to satisfy the seamless sex-craving of Inanna.  Dumuzi was also filthy rich, from both his pastoral exploits (the reason he was known as “The Herder” or “The Shepherd”) and his mineral wealth. But the reason that overrode all others was that Inanna wanted to use Dumuzi as a foil on Marduk’s ambitions and as the fulfiller of her own. 

It was  Dumuzi she wanted to take over as the  Enlil when the Age of Aries dawned at the expense of Marduk so that she could realise her age-old yearning to become the “Queen of Earth”. As for Dumuzi, he was smitten by Inanna because she was at once a stunning beauty, a courageous warrior, and a feared fistic fighting machine at just five-foot-five, a midget in Anunnaki terms.  “Beautiful beyond describing she was,” say the Sumerian tablets. “In martial arts with Anunnaki heroes she competed.”

INANNA AND DUMUZI TIE KNOT

Dumuzi and Inanna, who had an on-and-off relationship despite their fabled love affair, dated for almost 6000 years before they decided to tie the knot. Why did they take that long? Bear in mind that in Anunnaki terms, this was hardly a long time: it was just over one-and-half years. Of the duo, it was Inanna who prevailed over Dumuzi that it was time he led her to the altar. The timing on the part of Inanna was strategic. It was circa 3100 BC, when civilisation took effect in Egypt. Thus if Dumuzi was to ascend to the reins and Inanna was queen, the couple would preside over a country with enormous economic and technological potential.

Inanna was the first to inform her clan of the planned nuptials. Sin, her father, and Ningal, her mother, were ecstatic. Utu-Shamash, her twin brother, who had always nudged his sister in the direction of Dumuzi, gave her the thumbs-up to. As for Enlil, the Bible’s main Yahweh/Jehovah, the marriage was very politically apt. “Perchance the espousing peace between the clans truly will bring,” he reasoned as he gave the intended union the nod. The Enkites too were over the moon when Dumuzi broke the news to them. True, Inanna wasn’t a woman of particularly good standing morally: she was famed for her outrageously loose sexual morals.

What counted in her favour, however, was the fact that she carried a lot of political clout among the Enlilites. To give just one example, she had been promised rulership of the Indus Valley and so if she were to marry Dumuzi, it meant the Enkites would have considerable sway in an Enlilite sphere of influence. Moreover, as King Anu’s favourite female relation, she enjoyed his support, albeit qualified, and more often than not,  she got away with just about every transgression in the book  owing to this backing. Finally, there was the matter of cementing peace between the Enlilites and the Enkites, a factor that outweighed any other.   

At Dumuzi and Inanna’s engagement party, “a bethrothal bed of gold by Gibil was fashioned, Nergal blue-hued lapis stones sent”. As the two love flames prepared for the big day, Inanna seemed to make it clear to Dumuzi that their forthcoming marriage was as much about politics as it was about spontaneous mutual affection. Every time they made love, Inanna cooed her agenda for Egypt into Dumuzi’s ear whilst emphasising that  it was her who would be calling the shots. “Subdue the rebellious country, let the nation multiply,” she urged. “I will direct the country rightly”. When the wedding day arrived, Dumuzi’s half-sister Geshtinanna was her chaperone. As she touched and spruced her up, Inanna confided in her her designs on Egypt.

“A vision of a great nation I have, as a Great Anunnaki Dumuzi there will rise,” she gushed prospectively. “His name over others shall be exalted, his queen-spouse I shall be. Princely status we will share, rebellious countries we shall together subdue. To Dumuzi I will status give, the country I will rightly direct!”

Geshtinanna was disturbed upon hearing this. If Inanna persuaded Dumuzi to oust Marduk, what would prevent her from persuading him to do the same with Nergal and  other Enkites so that Dumuzi ended up the sole ruler of the vastly rich continent  of Africa? So it was that on the very day the wedding concluded, Geshtinanna took Marduk aside and divulged to him what Inanna had told her in confidence. Marduk, who initially had supported the idea of the marriage, now rued his folly. Did Inanna’s cunning know any bounds? And now that she had dug her hooks into Dumuzi,  could she ever be tamed?

 NEXT WEEK: MARDUK INDICTED FOR MURDER

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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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