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Inanna Is Queen!

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER   

Jehovah’s granddaughter given dominion over Indus Valley in today’s Central Asia

The MEs were the equivalent of the proverbial Rosetta Stone. When one had the MEs in their hands, or had knowledge of how they could be decrypted into everyday use, it was like they were the keystone to every mystery. It was the reason the possession of the MEs conferred a new name suffixed by the very term ME. For example, Adapa, who Enki had taught how to decipher the MEs, earned himself another name – NunME.

When Ninurta requested 50 MEs from Enki, this was only for a limited scope of purposes – mathematics, smithing, pottery, brewing, manufacturing wheels and wagons, and enacting laws basically. But the haul Inanna went away with – in excess of 100 MEs – was virtually the whole caboodle.  The Inanna steal comprised MEs for “Lordship … Godship, the Exalted Sceptre and Staff, the Enduring Tiara, the Throne of Kingship , the Exalted Shrine, and Righteous Rulership.” There were MEs  “embracing the functions and attributes of a Divine Lady, her temple and rituals, its priests, eunuchs, and prostitutes; lovedressing; statecraft; justice and courts; music and arts; masonry; woodworking and metal working; precious stones; leatherwork and weaving; scribeship and mathematics; and last but not least, weapons and the art of warfare” – all the essentials of a high civilisation.

Such a ME endowment made Inanna potentially the most powerful and efficacious Anunnaki on the planet as almost nothing was unattainable to her. Imagine, Enki had never even allowed himself to confer such seamless power on his own sons: not Marduk, not Nergal, not Ningishzidda. Thus when he regained his senses and realised the enormity of the blunder he had committed, he immediately ordered his chamberlain Isimud to go after Inanna with a deputation of sheriffs. Being the Anunnaki’s greatest engineer, Enki had the fastest flying saucer on the planet.

The saucer touched down on the runway of the Eanna, Inanna’s plush residence in Uruk, just as she was disembarking from her own craft. She was just emerging from the restroom when she was set upon by Isimud’s sheriffs, handcuffed, whisked to Enki’s saucer, and flown back to Eridu.   

This time around, Enki was in no mirthful mood. With his tall and still dignified form bearing down on a diminutive Inanna, he demanded that she return the MEs she had coaxed out of him whilst he was in a kind of drunken stupor. “In the name of King Anu and on my own behalf, I command you the MEs to return,” a now fully sober Enki thundered. But Inanna had outwitted the Anunnaki’s greatest intellect: in the brief period she had been inside the Eanna, she had passed the MEs over to her foreign affairs secretary Ninshubur and instructed him to practically vanish into thin air.   But Enki was having none of what to him was a cock-and-bull story.  He immediately had Inanna locked up till she produced Ninshubur along with the MEs.

Meanwhile, Ninshubur had informed Enlil on the fate of Inanna. Soon Enlil had jetted over and was sitting across from his forlorn and fuming step-brother with an expressionless Inanna standing by in manacles.  After Enki explained all that had transpired to his brother, Enlil proceeded to interrogate Inanna, who straightaway testified that, “By right the MEs I obtained; Enki in my hand placed them.” Having been done with Inanna, Enlil told Enki point-blank that he had no case. Inanna did not steal the MEs from him: he obligingly gave them to her. It was irrelevant that he did so whilst he was drunk on the very booze he was hosting her with for that matter, or that she used sex as a bait with which to soften him up. Clearly therefore, if Inanna were to be tried before an Anunnaki tribunal, she’d win the case hands down.   

“You are such easy pickings for them lasses my brother,” Enlil, who is known as Jehovah in the Bible, chided Enki as he rose to depart. “Just what is it with your penis that cannot keep it in a flaccid state at least momentarily? How come such an inconceivably gifted being as you are is so liable to suffer a brain freeze when you scent a woman? Women will be the cause of your eventual downfall Enki. Why can’t you make the slightest effort to emulate me at least morally? Since I married my wife Ninlil about 120 shars ago, I have never strayed, not once. It’s not impossible to tame a penis Enki no matter the ease with which blood rushes to it.”

Enki thought it was easier to give such advice than receive it. He refrained from vocalising the thought though. In any case, Enlil was laying it a little bit too thick. His own son, Nannar-Sin, had more than 80 children in total, all of whom bar three or so with concubines. But Sin had these children with an official harem, whereas Enki shagged anybody he fancied,   including daughters, daughters-in-law, granddaughters, and just about any willing beautiful lady who crossed his path.  

NEW EPOCH DAWNS FOR INANNA

Soon after Inanna’s fracas with Enki ended, she held an ME investiture ceremony at the Eanna, where she invited all the Anunnaki top brass who included Enki himself to come and toast to her  induction into high-stakes Anunnaki power politics. On hand to “fasten the divine ME attire about my body” was her paternal grandfather Enlil, the most powerful figure on the planet.

The ME attire was a ceremonial garb that was won as an aviational uniform by members of the royal Anunnaki who wielded at least a few MEs. It was won both in Earth’s skies and on long-haul voyages to other Solar System planets, Nibiru, and the far-flung regions of our immediate cosmic neighbourhood such as the Sirian and Orion star systems.    With 7 monarchical MEs in her possession and 94 various others for good measure, Inanna had more than qualified to take her place among the great Pantheon of 12.  

By virtue of her possession of the MEs, Inanna’s elevation to the zenith of the Anunnaki ranks, which had hitherto stalled dismally, and for which she huffed and puffed but all in vain, was instantaneous. Not only did she replace the aging Ninmah in the Council of the Twelve Top Anunnaki: she was also assigned the planet Venus as her celestial counterpart.  Venus was at various times prior the celestial counterpart of Enki initially and Ninmah latterly.  She also had previously shared the constellation Gemini with her twin-brother Utu-Shamash.

As the goddess of Uruk, over which she was patron for 1000 years, Inanna did not disappoint, what with the all-purpose MEs to bring about every facet of progress she desired. She so radically transformed and revolutionised the city-state that venerational  hymns were composed for her and sang on festive occasions.  A particularly popular hymn, which underlined her synonymity with the planet Venus – which is also known as the Morning Star or the Evening Star – went like this: “The holy one stands out in the clear sky.

Upon all the lands and all the people the goddess looks sweetly from heaven's midst …  At eve time a radiant star, a great light that fills the sky: The Lady of the Evening, Inanna, is lofty on the horizon.” Her abode, the Eanna, also earned itself Venus-related epithets. It was described, in song and verse, as “House full of brightness, a pure mountain, a shrine whose mouth opens at dawn and through which the firmament is made beautiful at night”.       

Meanwhile, the Inanna cult was in overdrive. A testament to this euphoric, if not delirious, state of affairs is  what Zechariah Sitchin highlights for  us as “an exquisitely carved alabaster vase from Uruk, one of the most prized objects in the Iraq Museum in Baghdad, which depicted a procession of worshippers, led by a giant-like naked king, bringing offerings to the ‘Mistress of Uruk’”, the latter being one of Inanna’s slew of titles. One panegyric, an all too fawning   stretch of the truth really,  put her on par with  Anu and  Enlil thus:  “In Heaven she is secure, the good ‘wild cow’ of Anu.  On Earth she is enduring, Mistress of the lands. From Eridu, she received the MEs: her godfather Enki presented them to her, Lordship and Kingship he placed in her hand. With Anu she takes her seat upon the great throne.

With Enlil she determines the fates in her land . In all the land, the black-headed people (Earthlings) assemble when abundance has been placed in the storehouses of Sumer … They bring disputes before her. She renders judgment to the evil and destroys the wicked.” All this undue exaltation was courtesy of Enki, whose act of  foolish indiscretion catapulted a woman of execrably loose morals, who thought with her snatch as opposed to her brains, to superstardom in the twinkling of an eye. Why Lord Enki? Why? This Earth, My Brother …

INANNA BAGS INDUS VALLEY AT LONG LAST

Circa 2900 BC, about a dozen or so years after Inanna made off with Enki’s MEs, the Anunnaki at long last decided to designate and urbanise a Third Region in addition to Sumer (The First Region) and Egypt (The Second Region). This was the Indus Valle civilisation, which flourished in the basins of the Indus River and encompassed much of today’s Pakistan, India, and northeastern Afghanistan. It is from the Indus River India derives its name.

The Indus region  had two  economic bastions that gave it vitality and the prestige that earned it the privilege  of modernisation.  This was Harappa, also known as Aratta,  in the northern highlands, and Mohenjo-Daro, also known as Zamash in the southern lowlands. In Sumerian times, however, the Indus Valley civilisation was generally referred to as “The Land of Aratta” or “The Domain of Aratta”, Aratta being its principal city and described in the Sumerian chronicles as “the capital of a land situated faraway in the eastern lands, beyond seven mountain ranges and beyond Anshan (northeastern Iran)”.

The Indus civilisation was entrusted to none other than Inanna in fulfilment of a pledge made to her by King Anu of Nibiru when he visited Earth in 3800 BC. This was a wait of exactly 900 Earth years but which in Anunnaki terms neatly amounted to a quarter of a shar –  a Nibiru  year which is equivalent to 3600 Earth years. It goes without saying that Inanna was over the moon. She straightaway unilaterally declared herself the Queen of Earth. "A Queen I am!" she tooted her own horn like the braggart and blabbermouth she naturally was. Was she deserving of such a lofty appellation?

In a sense she was. For starters, of the three major civilisations to date (there was a fourth, the Mayan civilisation in Mesoamerica which was engendered by Enki’s genius son Ningishzidda,  but it was not official), the Indus land mass was the most expansive geographically. It dwarfed Egypt and Sumer many times over. Secondly, it was ridiculously mineral-rich. “Zamash”, the alternative name for Mohenjo-Daro, meant “Land of Sixty Precious Stones”.

This was in addition to gold, silver, bronze, lead, carnelian, and lapis lazuli. Arguably no other region of the planet  was endowed with such a wide vista of minerals as the Domain of Aratta. Thirdly, it was a thriving agricultural hub, with grains being its chief crop and principal agricultural export. The “grain silos of Aratta” were folklore everywhere as indeed in Aratta, “wheat was growing of itself, beans were growing of themselves”.     

ENKI CRAFTS NEW LANGUAGE FOR ARATTA

With Inanna installed as the patron goddess of Aratta, Enlil  assigned Enki to devise a new language which would be unique to that region in line with the strategy of divide-and-rule that was instituted in the immediate wake of the Tower of Babel. “The Lord Enki, Lord of Wisdom, for the Third Region a changed tongue devised, a new kind of writing signs he for it fashioned,” the Sumerian texts confirm. “A tongue of man heretofore unknown, for Aratta Enki in his wisdom created.”  In so doing, Enki was not pandering to the Enlilite agenda for mankind: he was simply acting in obedience to Earth’s Chief Executive, which he was under obligation to.

At the same time, Inanna approached Enki with cap in hand to solicit for further MEs to help  her kickstart the Indus civilisation. Enki did not exactly snub her: all he did was tell her that the 100 MEs already in her possession sufficed – end of story. “But the ME's of civilised kingdoms for the Third Region Enki did not give. Let Inanna what for Unug-ki (Uruk) had obtained with the new region share, so did Enki declare.”

Meanwhile, Inanna became a “commuting goddess,” shuttling back and forth in her “Boat of Heaven” between Uruk in Sumer and Aratta in Central Asia. “In her skyship from Unug-ki to Aratta Inanna journeyed, over mountains and valleys she flew. The precious stones of Zamush she cherished, pure lapis lazuli with her to Unug-ki she carried.” Rather than establish a new HQ in her new and by far more prestigious fiefdom of Aratta, she opted to continue with Uruk as  her main base purely because of the sentimental value she attached to the Eanna, which was bequeathed to  her by King  Anu  and for which reason she was known as “Mistress of Anu”.

Inanna, already famed as the Goddess of War and the Goddess of Love (that is, love-making) would become known as Venus to the Romans, Aphrodite to the Greeks, Ashtoreth to the Egyptians, Astarte to the Canaanites and Hebrews, Ishtar to the Akkadians, and as Irnin or Anunitu (Beloved of Anu) to the Sumerians.  

INANNA HUMPS TWO KINGS

Now, Enmerkar was not simply a king ruling Uruk under the aegis of Inanna. He was also Inanna’s paramour – a sexual partner. Inanna  would in time bear Enmerkar a son  known as Lugalbanda. As Inanna’s beau and chief executive rolled into one, Enmerkar exerted a lot of influence over Inanna. A good round of sex that made her speak in tongues and issue a long, loud orgasmic squeal was enough to get Inanna to do your every bidding, including murder!  Now, Inanna had intended that Aratta be the equal of Uruk in civic status.

Thus when she was given charge of the Indus region, she immediately installed as King of Aratta a son Dumuzi had with an Earthling woman out of wedlock. But Enmerkar was not comfortable with this parity, more so that he was shafting the goddess and she and he were forever bound together by a son. What he didn’t know was that Inanna had not spared the King of Aratta either: she was shagging him too, her stepson, the main reason she repeatedly commuted between Uruk  and Aratta.

Anyhow, Enmerkar convinced Inanna that Aratta periodically pay tribute to Uruk in the form of precious stones being, so he argued,  of lesser standing than Uruk. “It was he who the wealth of Aratta coveted,” the Sumerian texts inform us. At  first,   the King of Aratta flashed the middle finger at Enmerkar. He bragged out to him that he could not push him around as he had the “blessed privilege”  of sleeping with the great goddess herself and that it was just a matter of time before Inanna moved in with her at Aratta.

This was his taunt to Enmerkar: “I will live with Inanna in the lapis-lazuli house in Aratta. I will lie with her sweetly on an ornate bed. As for you, you will gaze upon Inanna’s vulva only in a dream.” But with Enmerkar’s persistence coupled with Inanna’s spin on the matter, the King of Aratta did cave in at long last.  After all, he was giving not out of meagre resources but out of superabundance. Some of these Aratta minerals Enmerkar used to refurbish and further decorate the Eanna so that it was “worth of a goddess”.

Meanwhile, revolted by the unabashed  way (as if she had any scruples) with which  Inanna  was two-timing him with his opposite number in Aratta, Enmerkar reported her indiscretions to her parents, Sin (the future Allah of Islam) and Ningal, and her twin-brother Shamash. All  were mortified by, though not surprised at, Inanna’s double-dealing and took turns to scold her. Inanna’s response was as blunt as her very sexual shenanigans she was being accused of were overt. She wondered aloud to them who would take care of her sexual needs in the event she toured Aratta. “Who will plough the hillock of my vulva  for me? My vulva, a watered ground, who will place the ox there? Is it you Dad? Is it you Shamash?”

To Enmerkar, Inanna’s response, when it was conveyed to him, was like a dagger through the heart. But he should have known better: when was Inanna ever a paragon of virtue?  Whatever the case, Enmerkar was not fazed.  The King of Aratta remained in his cross-hairs. What would be his next course of action to further diminish his opposite number’s stature and further wound him psychologically?

NEXT WEEK:  DEBACLE OVER ARATTA

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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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