Inanna’s son launches quest to live forever like the “gods”
The one prize in life that has eluded man from the very foundation of the world is immortality, or eternal life. Man has always wanted to live forever but the enabling genie of this age-old wish has simply refused to show up.
The so-called Elixir of Life, in the main conjured up in the mind as either the Plant of Life or the Fountain of Youth, has so exercised man’s imagination he has launched quests for it from time to time only to draw a blank. Alexander the Great sought it. Christopher Columbus made two voyages to the Americas on behalf of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, the first being an exploratory voyage and the second being a quest for the Fountain of Youth.
In Anunnaki times, the quest for the Elixir of Youth was even more obsessive. The Sumerian records repeatedly tell how the so-called demigods, who were part-Anunnaki, part human – the ruling elite – undertook highly hazardous journeys in search of the Elixir of Life. Their Anunnaki fathers or mothers just never died of natural causes and even if they did age they did so almost imperceptibly. The demigods wanted to be like the Anunnaki too. They wanted to be like their “gods”.
Why did the Anunnaki live practically indefinitely? We have already pronounced on this subject but it merits restating. The one overriding factor was genetics. The Anunnaki’s Nibiru or Sirian-Orion genes gave them extraordinary longevity. However, here on Earth, they aged much faster compared to the rate at which they did on Nibiru and so they resorted to longevity-enhancing tricks. One such trick was Ormus, the monoatomic white powder of gold. Another was Ambrosia or Star Fire, an extract of menstruum.
The Anunnaki did avail Ormus or Star Fire to privileged Earthlings but they didn’t turn into the immortals the Anunnaki were. True, they did live considerably longer than ordinary humans courtesy of Ormus or Star Fire – in tens of thousands of years initially and in hundreds of years latterly – but they did die eventually. The demigods didn’t want to die: they wanted to live “forever” like the “gods”. And what was it they were certain would make them live indefinitely like the Anunnaki, the ultimate Elixir of Life? It was the shem, the rocketship.
Metropolitan Earthlings believed that if they travelled to Nibiru by rocket, which they called “Heaven”, they would be given the Plant of Life and the Water of Life by King Anu, “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”, and upon their return to Earth, they would live forever like the Anunnaki. The story of Enoch was one such inspiration. Now, to get on a shem, one had to do two things fundamentally. First, they had to seek permission for the opportunity to ride on it from the God of Aviation – Utu-Shamash. Second, they had to travel to Tilmun in the Sinai Peninsula. This was the spaceport, the nearest place rockets were found (the other was half a world away in South America around Lake Titicaca).
The Anunnaki did from time to time give demigods the green light to endeavour to get to Tilmun and ride into space in a shem, but they made the process so lengthy and the endeavour itself so perilous – by deliberate design – that very few demigods attempted the venture at all. It was the equivalent of what the Illuminati today call “A Most Dangerous Game” (in which according to video and bibliographical testimonies by surviving victims the likes of Bill Clinton and George H W Bush –read: “Reptilians” – have played their part in hunting their enslaved humans in a restricted grove for fun, capture them, and kill them: This Earth, My Brother …). Of the demigods who did venture, two names immediately come to mind. They are Lugalbanda and Gilgamesh.
LUGALBANDA HEADS FOR BAALBEK
When Lugalbanda set out on his own quest for the Elixir of Life, it was not a shem to enable him travel to Nibiru he sought. All he wanted was to be given his own “Bird of Heaven”, an aircraft. Apparently, Lugalbanda was told by his own mother Inanna-Ishtar that if he were to search long and hard right here on Earth, he’d find the Elixir of Life himself. All he needed was his own “Sky Chamber” to scour every inch of the planet.
Remember, all Earthlings, including demigods, were barred from owning flying vessels of any kind or even learn how to pilot them. The demigods could fly on them too but only as passengers: ordinary humans could fly on them too but only as cargo. The reason for this prohibition was that Enlil wanted to retain and embed in the psyche of mankind the mystique of flying vessels as “holy chariots” only pure Anunnaki were entitled too.
Besides, he didn’t want any kind of vehicular technology to be mainstreamed to Earthlings for fear that they might begin to harbour delusions of grandeur and set about challenging the supremacy of the Anunnaki. It explained why Marduk was loathed by the Enlilites as his aim when he became the new Enlil was to bring Earthlings on par with the Anunnaki knowledgewise.
If it was an ordinary aircraft he sought, Lugalbanda didn’t have to venture as far as Tilmun. Baalbek in Lebanon, the so-called “Landing Place”, sufficed for this purpose in that it was Earth’s principal airport. All Anunnaki aircraft, except personal ones, were kept there and all Anunnaki aircraft were maintained there. The Anunnaki did not need the across-the-globe proliferation of airports we have today.
Flying craft were the preserve only of Anunnaki royalty who were very few in number and passenger service was restricted only to the Anunnaki race, who numbered no more than 6000 on the entire planet. And most Anunnaki planes were designed in such a way that they could land anywhere – on flat land, on mountainous terrain, and even on a body of water – and not on a conventional runway only (most aircraft were equipped with antigravity devices which made it possible for them to come to a halt in mid-air and hover for a while).
So it was that Lugalbanda, accompanied by a sizeable retinue that included medics, the security detail, astronomers, navigators, and diarists, set course straight for Baalbek from Uruk, a distance of 1245 km, equivalent, approximately, to travelling from Gaborone to Monze in southern Zambia. Although the strictly overland journey was not exactly hazardous, it was policed in some spots.
Marduk had planted his chopper-borne intelligence spooks along the way just to make sure demigods with Enlilite blood were not unduly favoured by Enlil and Utu-Shamash with access to strictly Anunnaki privileges. The role of the spies, who were dismissively referred to as “snakes” or “scorpions” by Enlilites, was to deprive the traveller of any benefit he may have been conferred if he did succeed in reaching Baalbek or Tilmun, both of which were controlled by Enlilites.
“GET LOST YOU LULU”, LUGALBANDA TOLD
Lugalbanda managed to get to the “awesome place on Earth where the Anunnaki, gods of the mountain, inside the Earth like termites had tunnelled”, his own description of the Cedar Mountain – today known as Lebanon Mountain – atop which was the expansive Baalbek platform. Lugalbanda referred to the Cedar Mountain as “Mount Hurum, whose front Enlil as with a great door had closed off". When he was about 10 km away, he set off alone toward the mountain pass, leaving his entire entourage behind as per the protocols of approach. The mountain pass was manned by heavily armed Anunnaki.
Also within the precincts of the mountain pass was a huge paramilitary aircraft designed to instil instant fear, known as the Anzu Mushen, meaning the “Divine Black Bird”. Lugalbanda, or his scribe, naively describes the Anzu Mushen as, “a monster bird whose teeth are like those of a shark fish and its claws like a lion's and who can hunt down and carry a bull”. The allusion to a bull says something profound about Lugalbanda – he was an Enlilite to the core as the bull was the symbol of Enlil. After introducing himself, Lugalbanda was immediately challenged by the gatekeeper, maybe the inspiration to the legendary Simon Peter who mans the pearly gates of Paradise.
“If a god you be, the (pass) word to you I will tell, in friendship will I let you enter,” the gatekeeper declared. “If a Lulu you are, your fate I will determine myself for no adversary into the Mountainland is allowed.” Lugalbanda had to state under oath that he was a full-blooded Anunnaki to be admitted into the presence of Utu-Shamash. Otherwise, he’d be treated like a Lulu – a term which in the post-diluvial era had now assumed a derogatory connotation. Note that at this stage, the Enlilites regarded mankind as an “adversary”, another euphemism for an Enkite, because they tended to side more with Enkites than Enlilites.
Lugalbanda’s candid response was that he was a treasured son of Inanna, like “divine Shara”. Shara was Inanna’s firstborn son with an Earthling and therefore was better known to the Anunnaki than Lugalbanda. Lugalbanda went on to say that he had come to seek Shamash, his uncle, with a view to secure his own “Bird of Heaven”. He pleaded thus: “Like Utu, like Inanna, like the Seven Stormers of Ishkur in a flame, let me lift myself off and thunder away! Let me go wherever my eyes can see. Wherever I desire, let me set my foot: wherever my heart wishes, let me arrive.”
When asked as to who his father was, Lugalbanda replied with the same candour: he said Enmerkar, who was half-human, half- Anunnaki, was his father. That did it as far as the gatekeeper was concerned. Lugalbanda had flunked the “One-Drop-Rule”, which stipulated that if one had just a single drop of human blood in them, they were not Anunnaki but Earthling. Lugalbanda was there and then turned back and told point-blank that “you might reach far lands and even make Uruk and yourself famous but wherever you want to go, it will always be on your big flat feet.” Lugalbanda would never come to own a plane in his life. He wept as he turned round to rejoin his entourage and break the harrowing news.
EPIC OF GILGAMESH COMMENCES
If Lugalbanda had only sought an aircraft to employ as a means to make a reality of his search for the Elixir of Life, his more ambitious heir went a step further: he wanted to ascend to Nibiru in a shem to partake of the Plant and Water of Life and not simply to go on a wild goose chase in a “sky chamber” here on Earth. In fact, the story of Lugalbanda’s son’s quest for eternal life is the most famous in ancient annals. It is the most widely documented and referenced of mankind’s most spirited endeavours to attain immortality.
When Lugalbanda died, he was not immediately succeeded by his firstborn son. For reasons that are not fully explained in the Sumerian chronicles, there was an interregnum in which somebody going by the name Dumuzi ruled Uruk before Lugalbanda’s heir did. Since by this time Dumuzi had long been dead, this Dumuzi was in truth “Dumuzi Jr” – his son.
This is no doubt the King of Aratta, who the Sumerian tablets crystal-clearly refer to as Dumuzi’s son by an Earthling woman, not by Inanna. It appears that for some reason, Inanna asked Dumuzi Jr to base himself in Uruk and rule both Uruk and Aratta for a specified period of time. Perhaps fed up of shuttling forth between Uruk and Aratta just to be humped, Inanna now wanted him just next door to the Eanna and therefore at her immediate sexual beck and call.
Lugalbanda’s heir is best known as Gilgamesh but this is an abbreviated form of his full, theophoric name – Gishbilgamesh. According to the Anunnaki’s matrimonial decorum, it fell to the female spouse to name a child. As such, Ninsun, Lugalbanda’s goddess wife, named her firstborn son after her half-brother Gibil, Enki’s third-born son with his official wife Damkina. Indeed, Gishbilgamesh means, “To Gibil, God of Smelting/Casting Dedicated”.
The name is most fitting given that Uruk was a leading metallurgical centre and Ninsun obviously intended her son to grow to be a great metallurgist and a knowledgeable overseer of Uruk’s metal foundries. With a name that evoked a son of Enki, it goes without saying that Gilgamesh was looked upon favourably by the Enkites and possibly earmarked as a future ally. In the Sumerian chronicles, Gilgamesh is also described as “of the essence of Ninurta”. This should not be interpreted to mean he was Ninurta’s offspring as some of the scholars have wrongly posited.
What it all suggests is that he did have Ninurta’s genes in him. Remember, Ninurta and Ninsun shared a common mother – Ninmah: only their fathers were different, with Ninurta’s being Enlil, and Ninsun’s being Enki. But it was Shamash who was Gilgamesh’s godfather. Wary that the Enkites could try to brainwash and indoctrinate him with Enkite propaganda, Shamash took Gilgamesh under his wing from a very early age.
He thus grew up not under the tutelage of Uncle Gibil but under that of Uncle Shamash. Although he juggled several aviation-related portfolios that required him to be at the terrestrial Landing Place at Baalbek, Mission Control Centre at Jerusalem, and the two spaceports at Tilmun in the Sinai Peninsula and at Lake Titicaca in South America, Shamash did make sure he spared time to be with his charismatic and imposing Earthling nephew.
GILGAMESH SPURNS OOZY INANNA
In his formative years as the 5th King of Uruk, Gilgamesh almost overnight gained a reputation as a benevolent, pro-poor, and high-achieving monarch. Beyond fortifying Uruk further and adorning the Eanna, Inanna’s temple-house, he enhanced Uruk’s renown as an international trade crossroads and as a standout military power that made its neighbours quake in their boots. Better still, he was very much a man of the people who liberally wined, dined and sported with his subjects.
Unlike his Lilliputian father Lugalbanda, Gilgamesh was a man of vast proportion, having been favoured by his mother’s side of the gene pool. The Epic of Gilgamesh, a famous Sumerian text which documents his exploits, describes Gilgamesh as “lofty, endowed with a super-human size”, meaning he was of Anunnaki build, something of a cross between Samson and Goliath.
His favourite pastime was to challenge the hulks among Uruk youth to a formal wrestling match, all of whom he frequently defeated by pinfall, submission, or outright surrender. And once in a while, he would take on a beast, such as a bull, buffalo, or lion, and tear it to shreds with his bare hands. These extraordinary feats coupled with the common-touch camaraderie with ordinary folk would over time make him the most reminisced about of Uruk’s 12 kings.
Because of his great, graceful physique and sheer virility, it was a matter of course that he would no sooner attract the amatory attentions of who other than his own grandmother – the evergreen Inanna, who still had enormous sex appeal that belied her age of shars. One day, whilst Gilgamesh was taking a mid-day swim in a secluded brook in a nearby woods (he liked roaming the wilds), Inanna stalked him. She materialised just at the time when he was emerging from the water stark naked.
Transfixed by both his great, muscular body and his colossal groin apparatus, Inanna took off her clothes forthwith and sashayed toward him. “Glorious Ishtar raised an eye at the beauty of Gilgamesh,” the Sumerian epic says. “Come Gilgamesh, be thou my lover,” she propositioned, her face flushed with desire. “ Grant me the fruit of thy love. You be my man: I shall be your woman.” Inanna went on to promise Gilgamesh all sorts of treats if he responded to her advances in the affirmative and administered to her her first “fix” right on the spot so senselessly aroused was she.
They included a golden chariot adorned with lapis lazuli; a magnificent palace; and lordship over other kings and princes. “Kings, princes, and nobles would bow to you; your flocks would double and quadruple; the produce of field and mountain shall be your fill,” she assured him as she breathlessly stroked his mammoth manhood with two clasped hands. Above all, she undertook to give him that ordinarily unattainable prospect that was mankind’s greatest craving. “I will obtain for you eternal life,” she vowed, pointing to the skies as a metaphor for Nibiru, mankind’s idea of Heaven.
Gilgamesh, however, was no dupe. He was aware that although Inanna was unsurpassed as a romantic, her relationships never endured. In fact, the only single affair that lasted was the one with Dumuzi; otherwise, all others quickly fizzled out. She discarded lovers as easily as she seduced them. Worse still, she was never one to devote to a relationship. She shuffled men willy-nilly like a pack of cards. Spelling out the names of five such men Inanna had “as a shoe which pinches the foot of its owner” dumped unceremoniously for reasons only she knew, Gilgamesh countered thus:
“Which of your lovers lasted forever? Which of your masterful paramours went to Heaven? if you will ‘love’ me, you shall treat me just like them.” Inanna was hurt, disappointed, and chagrined by the Gilgamesh rebuff. But as far as she was concerned, that was not the end of the matter.
Princess Mary falls pregnant only one month after her betrothal to Prince Joseph
To put the lineage of Mary the mother of Jesus in context, General Atiku, it is in order that we begin with her grandfather Yehoshua (Jesus in Greek) III.
Mary was offspring of two royal lines, the Davidic line and the Hasmonean line. Yehoshua III was the Herod–appointed High Priest of Israel between 36 and 23 BC. He had no sons, only three daughters namely Joanna, Elizabeth, and Anna, all of whom he organised dynastic suitors.
Elizabeth would be married off into the House of Aaron, the legitimate priestly line, and Joanna and Anna would be married off into the House of David, the legitimate kingly line. That’s how Elizabeth became the wife of Zechariah of the tribe of Levi and in due course the mother of John the Baptist.
Mainstream Israel up to the level of the Sanhedrin had recognised Anna as the eligible mother of the future King of Israel and not the sitting impostor Herod (it is not clear what happened to first-born Joanna but she probably passed away before she got married). Anna was accordingly married off to Alexander III, a Davidic and Hasmonean prince who was best known as Heli as indeed the genealogy of Luke clearly attests.
Heli and Anna too had no sons. They only had daughters, the firstborn of whom was Dorcas, whose was born in 26 BC and whose titular name was Mary. Mary was orphaned early in her childhood when her father Heli was killed in 17 BC at the orders of the increasingly paranoid Herod and when her mother Anna died a year or so later.
Since she was a dynastic heiress, it was likely that Herod would come after her. The Essenes thus secreted her somewhere in remote Galilee. It was actually in Galilee that most members of the Davidic royal line were concentrated not only to keep as far away from Herod as possible but to also enjoy the protective custody of the Zealots, who were the secret military wing of the Essenes and a thorn in the side of both Herod and the Romans. Joseph was also officially based in Galilee although both he and Mary were in truth based at Qumran in the Judean wilds.
JOSEPH CALLED TO “DUTY”
Dynastic marriages are often more politically strategic than spontaneous, General. For example, the union of Prince Charles and Princess Diana was motivated by the need to fuse the Windsor genes with those of the Stuarts as the Windsors, being predominantly Reptilians, were finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their human form.
The Stuarts, the clan of Diana, had by far more human genes than Reptilian and they too were an aristocratic family. That’s why once Charles had produced a “heir and a spare”, he completely sidelined Diana, who he had never loved, and devoted himself to his real love – Camilla Parker-Bowles.
The marriage of Joseph to Mary, General, was equally strategic. Although both were from the tribe of Judah and of the royal Davidic line, they were from different branches. Joseph was a descendant of Solomon, whereas Mary was a descendant of Nathan, Solomon’s elder brother. The line of Solomon, as we once underlined, had been tainted by the Jeconiah curse.
The line of Nathan was clean. Since the son of Joseph and Mary would be the future King of Israel, it was important that he not be compromised by the baggage, rightly or wrongly, of the Jeconiah curse. Hence the desirability of the union of Prince Joseph and Princess Mary.
Now, both Joseph and Mary’s clans were Essenes. As such, their marriage process, formalities, and protocols had to strictly adhere to Essene dynastic rules. The Essenes were in ranks. Amongst the higher echelons were the two great dynasties, the Davids and the Zadoks, who had been the high priests and kings of Israel respectively before the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC.
The Davids and Zadoks lived a strictly holy life, typically in a monastery at Qumran, the reclusive headquarters of the Essenes. They were sequestered there so that they did not fall prey to the machinations of the bloodthirsty King Herod though officially their address was Galilee. In fact, the major reason the Essene movement had come into existence was to preserve and safeguard the Davidic and Zadokite lines, the religio-politico haunt of Herod and the Hasmoneans initially.
According to the Essene code, General, the Zadoks and the Davids were not to engage in sex for recreational purposes because it was regarded as defiling: it diluted holiness. The only times they were supposed to do so was when need arose to produce heirs. In 8 BC, it was now opportune for Joseph, the David, to produce a heir and so he was excused from a life of chastity.
At this point in time in fact, the Essenes were focused on two dynastic figures. These were Joseph and Zechariah. The two were expected to produce the Messiah of David and the Messiah of Aaron, that is, the future King of Israel and the future High Priest of Israel.
According to Essene rules, the David had to marry at age 36, so that by the time he was 40, he had already sired a heir. The new heir had to be born when the David was 37. If the child was a daughter, she could not inherit, and so the David had to set about the procreation of a second-born, who hopefully would be a boy (copulation to that end was allowed only when the daughter was 3 years old).
The Davidic heir had to be born not in any other month but in September, the holiest in the Jewish calendar. In order to conform to these parameters, a betrothal ceremony was held at the beginning of June. During the betrothal period – the three months from beginning of June to end of August – sexual relations were not permitted.
Then at the beginning of September, a First Marriage was held. This was the beginning of the marriage proper as now the couple were allowed to become intimate. However, the intimacy began only in December, with a view to delivering a heir in September the following year. At the end of March, the Second Marriage was held for it was hoped that by that time the spouse was three months pregnant if there hadn’t been a miscarriage. With the Second Marriage, the wedlock was permanent: divorce was never allowed whatsoever.
Meanwhile, General, if the spouse hadn’t conceived in December, sexual relations were suspended till December the following year. The husband would then leave her spouse and return either to the monastery at Qumran or embark on a tour of duty elsewhere in furtherance of the Essene cause.
A BINDING ENGAGEMENT
According to the Dead Sea Scrolls, General, the Essenes were not only a spiritual, revolutionary, and philosophical movement. They were also ardent believers in astrology. They meticulously studied the stars and the movements of planets to read what they portended about the future.
Thus the reason a Davidic heir had to be born in September was not only because this was the holiest month of the year: it was also in recognition of the fact that September was ruled by the constellation Virgo. In other words, September was astrologically the month of the virgin. That was what Mary was.
Mary was both a virgin physically and a virgin titularly. A bride of the future king was required to be a virgin. As an Essene, Mary belonged to the Order (not the tribe) of Dan. This was the Order of Nuns, or virgins, both legal and physical virgins. Thus in the Order of Dan, a woman was not a virgin only before she slept with a man: she was a virgin until she was six months pregnant. In the case of a dynastic spouse like Mary, this was up to end of June. From then henceforth, she was promoted within the Order to the first stage of a Mother.
Joseph’s betrothal to Mary took place at Qumran in June 8 BC. Now, in our day, betrothal simply means engagement to be married. In ancient Israel up to New Testament times, betrothal was part and parcel of the marriage contract. It was definite and binding upon both groom and bride, who were considered as man and wife in all legal and religious aspects, except that sexual relations were not permitted.
For example, in 2 SAMUEL 3:14, King David refers to his betrothed woman as “my wife”. Also in DEUTERONOMY 22:24, a betrothed woman is referred to as “his neighbour’s wife”. In the betrothal formalities, dowry and bride price were included. If a bride and groom for one reason or the other wanted to opt out of the betrothal after the betrothal ceremony, they had to seek a formal divorce.
Since the betrothal took place in June, General, Joseph and Mary were not supposed to make love till December, that is, six months after the betrothal ceremony and three months after the First Marriage ceremony in September. Just one month after the betrothal ceremony (that is, at the beginning of July 8 BC), however, Mary became pregnant. Was it Joseph, General? Was it rape by a Roman soldier called Panthera as some contemporary records suggest? Or was it simply the supernatural act of the “Holy Spirit” as Christendom holds?
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
Those who hold that the circumstances of Mary’s pregnancy were supernatural, General, can be excused. This is because the language employed therein smacks of ethereality – Holy Spirit, Angel Gabriel, Son of the Most High, etc. To those who have read and rigorously studied the Dead Sea Scrolls, however, such terminology is well within the temporal context.
That is to say, it does not carry spiritual connotations as such. True, the idea of an angel speaking to Joseph and Mary in their sleep may seem supernatural but the dreams are theological interpolations, inserted into the gospels in onward editing to fit a contrived agenda – what Karl Marx called the opium of the masses.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are so named because they were discovered in caves around the Qumran plateau of the West Bank (about 40 km east of Jerusalem), at the northwest corner of the Dead Sea, in March 1947. The discoverer was a Bedouin shepherd kid who was looking for a lost goat. The scrolls were found hidden in jars.
The 1947 find was the initial discovery: more discoveries were made after further excavations on the same site spanning 11 years in a series of 11 caves. Altogether, 972 texts were turned up. They are written in four languages, namely Hebrew (the majority), Aramaic, Greek, and Nabatean, mostly on parchment. Other texts were inscribed on papyrus and bronze.
Most of the Dead Sea Scrolls are fragments. Fragments of all the Old Testament books have been found save for the book of Esther. The only complete book is Isaiah. There are also apocryphal books (those arbitrarily excluded from the Old Testament canon by the Constantine-convened Nicene Council of AD 325) such as the Book of Enoch and the Book of Jubilees, and sect-specific writings that embody rules and beliefs of the people who compiled them.
The latter include commentaries on the Old Testament, paraphrases that expand on the Law of Moses, rule books of the community, war conduct, thanksgiving psalms, hymnic compositions, benedictions, liturgical texts, and sapiential (wisdom) writing. These texts have been given appropriate titles such as the War Scroll; Manual of Discipline; the Community Rule; the Temple Scroll; the Copper Scroll; etc.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were written/preserved by the Essenes between 168 BC and 68 AD. We know this because Pliny, the first century Roman historian, wrote that, “On the west coast of Lake Asphaltitis (the Dead Sea) are settled the Essenes, at some distance from the noisome odours that are experienced on the shore itself.
They are a lonely people, the most extraordinary in the world, who live without women, without love, without money, with the palm trees for their only companions.” The Essenes stashed away the scrolls sometime in 70 AD, when Roman General Flavius Titus overran Jerusalem and laid waste to the Temple following a catastrophic Jewish uprising – led by the Zealots, the military wing of the Essenes – that began in 66 BC.
This they did in heed of JEREMIAH 32:14, which says, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences … and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.” The Dead Sea Scrolls have given us invaluable insight into the beliefs, customs, rituals, politics, philosophies, and traditions of first century Palestine.
The rivalry between luxury German automotive marques Mercedes-Benz and BMW is legendary. Both brands offer high-end, high-priced desirable models, always at the forefront of cutting-edge driving technology and excellence. And in the annals of the advertising world, a campaign between the two rivals is equally legendary and it happened on our own doorstep.
Many of you will be familiar with the coastal road out of Cape Town called Chapman’s Peak. It is a beautiful, sightseeing attraction, the road winding through spectacular coastal-mountain scenery, with cliffs sinking into the Atlantic ocean on one side, and steep mountains towering over the road on the other. However, the road is also notoriously dangerous, with its 114 sharp, meandering bends . It’s reputation is well-deserved . Several years ago, when a major coastal cleanup campaign was launched, a helicopter pulled a total of 22 wrecked cars out of the water adjacent to Chapman’s Peak and it was one such accident which prefaced the notorious marketing battle. The story is thus:
In 1988 an Irish businessman lost control of his Mercedes Benz when driving along this road, plunging 100 metres down the cliff. Miraculously, he not only survived the accident, but crawled out of the wreckage with hardly a scratch on his body.
When Mercedes heard the details, the marketing department decided to base a new advertisement on the story to promote the safety features and stability of the brand. In the video ad they intentionally drove an identical model off the road in the exact same location, having it plunge off the edge of the cliff, the driver stepping out similarly unscathed, proving the phenomenal survivability and strength of Mercedes Benz.
When the marketing suits at BMW saw this ad, they took a bold and ingenious decision to mimic it but with a twist. Only a week later, whilst the first ad was still fresh in the public’s minds, they shot their ad showing a BMW driving along the exact same stretch of road in the rain. However, when it reached the point at which the Mercedes plunged off the cliff, the BMW negotiated it safely, and continued driving along the road.
The catchphrase of the ad was “BMW beats the bends” . Or was it? It was cunningly recorded so that it could equally have been ‘beats the Benz’, implying that their cars had superior cornering and stability to their rival, Even more sneakily, they launched their campaign on a Saturday, mindful of the rules on competitive advertising in South Africa, safe in the knowledge that no objectionable actions could be taken till the new working week.
Mercedes-Benz wasted no time on Monday in issuing an injunction, the ad was swiftly pulled but the damage was done and the dog had had its day. The ad campaign ranks high in the history of advertising and can still be found online to this day. Meanwhile the rivalry between the two automotive greats goes on.
I reference this piece of marketing history in the light of this week’s horror crash by golfing great, Tiger Woods. Driving from a luxury holiday resort in California to a nearby country club Tiger Woods lost control of his vehicle on a downhill stretch of the road, smashed through a road sign, crossed over the central reservation and rolled his car several hundred feet. He had to be cut out and pulled to safety through the windscreen and the vehicle was so badly damaged, the attending police officers said he was ‘lucky to survive’.
The vehicle Woods was driving was a rented Genesis GV80 SUV. If you are unfamiliar with the brand that is not surprising since it is a relatively new spin-off from the South Korean Hyundai marque. The Genesis utility vehicle, not available locally yet, retails for around $50,000 or half a million pula, placing it in the higher end of town and country SUVs in the USA.
The model has certainly been widely publicised in the media coverage of the high-profile sportsman’s accident and I suspect that if asked to comment, Hyundai/Genesis would disagree with the police assessment, putting Woods’ survival down to build quality and in-built safety features such as crumple zones, anti-roll bars and airbags, which were deployed in the crash and would most certainly have played their part cushioning the effects of the rolling and ultimate impact. There is , of course, no suggestion that the manufacturers will capitalise on Woods’ survival but certainly it will have done the brand no harm that he did indeed emerge with recoverable injuries.
Comparing the two accidents, the driver of the Mercedes driving along Chapman’s Peak was, of course, an ordinary member of the public whilst Tiger Woods is a household name. That said, in humanitarian terms each tale of survival carries equal weight but the fact remains that the former was just another local story of yet one more victim of a notoriously tricky stretch of road whilst the latter went round the world in an instant because of the fame and name of the driver.
There is also no evidence that that stretch of Californian urban highway carried any inherent risk. His appears to have been just a loss of control and a freak accident. However, in the event that Hyundai/Genesis should consider making capital from that accident, a note of caution needs to be sounded.
In the advertising world, the use of celebrities to promote a product is a fall-back stance to sell anything from washing-up liquid to whisky but statistics have shown that it can be a double-edged sword in that yes, the ads are memorable and the public love them when the celeb is popular and personable. But…..what is often remembered is the name of the famous promoter, not the name of the product. In other words, they sell themselves far better than they sell the item.
In golfing terminology Hyundai/Genesis are not ‘out of the Woods’ yet and maybe they should go with a completely different Driver!
How Jesus’s grandfather sold his birthright to megalomaniac Herod
If you were to ask a Christian to name the main Jewish sects, General Atiku, he would no doubt begin with the Pharisees (because Jesus had innumerable slanging matches with them according to the gospels), followed by the Sadducees. Yet there was a third, equally momentous sect – the Essenes.
Although there’s not a single, one mention of the Essenes in the Bible, General, the New Testament is filled with Essene-type language as anybody who has read the Dead Sea Scrolls would readily recognise.
In point of fact, it was the Essenes who produced Jesus as well as the infamous Jewish band of freedom fighters known as the Zealots. Furthermore, almost all the New Testament writers were either Essenes or champions of the Essene cause as is apparent in their language and the drift of their overall philosophy. The Essenes have a palpable presence in the Bible, albeit a cloaked one.
The Essenes, General, were the most popular, the most esteemed, and the most influential of the Jewish sects. The Jewish historian Philo (20 BC-50 AD) devotes 90 percent of his description of the Jewish sects to the Essenes. He wrote that the Essenes “dwell in many cities of Judea and in many villages and in great societies of many numbers”.
Hyppolytus of Rome (170-236 AD) devoted nine-and-half chapters to the Essenes and only one to the Sadducees. The Essenes are the authors of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, which were discovered in 1947 in Israel at a place called Qumran and which have given us even greater insight into the happenings in the first century than the Bible itself.
How did the Essene movement come about, General? The Essenes, meaning “puritans of the faith”, were the Jewish sect that was the most loyal to the Davidic dynasty. They set themselves apart from the mainstream Jewish community circa 175 BC and established their headquarters at Qumran, about 40 km from Jerusalem.
Since the Jewish nation revered the Davidic royal line, the only legitimate and rightful rulers of Judah in their view, they rallied to the Essenes en masse. And because the Essenes were disparaging of the Hasmonean rule (140 BC to 63 BC), the mainstream Jews also took a dismissive view of Hasmonean rule too.
The Essenes were so highly regarded because of their virtue and spirituality. The legendary Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD) writes thus of them: “They are more mutually affectionate than the others (Pharisees and Sadducees). Whereas these men shun the pleasures as vice, they consider self-control and not succumbing to the passions virtue … Since [they are] despisers of wealth – their communal stock is astonishing – one cannot find a person among them who has more in terms of possessions.
For by a law, those coming into the school (that is, the Essene fold) must yield up their funds to the order, with the result that in all [their ranks] neither the humiliation of poverty nor the superiority of wealth is detectable, but the assets of each one have been mixed in together, as if they were brothers, to create one fund for all.”
In time, the Essenes, General, became quite influential even with occupying powers. For instance, when the Greek General Pompey installed Hyrcanus II as ruler of Palestine in 63 BC, he sought the opinion of the Essenes. The Essenes recommended that Hyrcanus go by the titles High Priest and Prince, not King, to which Pompey paid heed. In 142 BC, when Simon was installed by the Seleucids as ruler of Palestine, the Essenes had insisted on the same titular style. To the Essenes, everybody who occupied Israel’s seat of authority was simply holding fort for the real deal – the Davidic King.
In 37 BC, when Herod became King of Palestine, the potential Davidic King was Jacob-Eliakim – the father of the Joseph of the gospels – who was an Essene himself. It was in order to win the blessings of the historically popular Jewish royal family that Herod sought to curry favour with the Essenes.
JACOB’S PACT WITH HEROD
About the time Herod came to power, General, there were three citizens of considerable stature in Palestine – Hillel, Menahem, and Jacob-Eliakim, the grandfather of Jesus. Hillel is by all accounts ancient Israel’s greatest teacher and scholar.
He was the foremost spiritual sage in the development of the Talmud and the Mishnah, the most authoritative religious references of the Jews which are second only to the Old Testament in esteem. The renowned “Golden Rule”, which is invariably attributed to Jesus, was actually coined by Hillel. It is not certain whether Hillel was an Essene but his teachings did have a profound influence both on Essene philosophy and that of Jesus, who was an Essene too.
It was Menahem, however, who was an incontrovertible Essene. The Essenes were of two main branches, General. First, there were the puritans, the Palestinian Essenes. Then there were the liberals, the Diaspora Essenes, who sneered at the Palestinian Essenes’ dogmatism and rather strict views on morality. Menahem was the leader of the Diaspora Essenes.
He was also privilleged to be advisor to King Herod. Herod did hold Menahem in very high regard. Josephus relates that when Herod was a school-going lad, Menahem had patted him on his back and said to him, “one day you will be King young man.” Since the prophecy came to pass, Herod had a certain, atypical respect both for Menahem and the order of Essenes.
Jacob-Eliakim’s significance was by virtue of his pedigree. He was of the royal line of David and was therefore the uncrowned King of the Jews. Now, as we have already indicated, Herod had his own grand designs about rulership of the world notwithstanding the fact that he was in reality a vassal of Rome.
When he made overtures to the trio, they didn’t mince words: they told him that in the new Israel, the Israel that would rule Earth once the Romans had been toppled from the pedestal of world power, it was a Davidic King who would reign. Herod took very strong exception to such a prospect. Herod was neither a full-blooded Jew nor of Davidic stock but he was royalty in his own right.
His father, Antipater, had been the governor of Idumea and in due course Judea in the Hasmonean government and was in fact the real ruler of the entire Palestine, with John Hyrcanus being a mere figurehead king. When he (Herod) was only 25 years old, his father had appointed him governor of Galilee. Herod thus had strutted the corridors of power from the day he was born and he wasn’t going to give that up easily either for his own sake or that of his descendants.
As such, General, Herod maintained to the trio that in the new, overarching Kingdom of Israel, he was going to be the emperor and would be based in Jerusalem. Just like the Greek empire of Alexander had been a triarchy (a kingdom divided into three governments), the global Kingdom of Israel (“Thy Kingdom Come” in the Lord’s Prayer) was going to be likewise.
There was going to be a ruler in the east, a ruler in the west, and a ruler in the centre, that is Jerusalem, under the oversight of Herod himself. Hillel would rule in Jerusalem; Menahem in the east; and Jacob-Eliakim in the west. If these three happened to have disappeared from the Earthly scene by the time the Kingdom of Israel came into being, their descendants would observe the same setup.
The pecking order would thus be like this: Herod as the emperor; Hillel as the senior king; Menahem as the second-ranked king; and Jacob-Eliakim as the junior king. Put differently, Herod had by the stroke of a pen reduced the Davidic dynasty from foremost to least important as it posed the most serious threat to his office. Meanwhile, the three kings-in-waiting would go by the names of the Old Testament patriarchs.
Hillel would henceforth be called the Abraham, or the Father (or Papa, which later morphed into Pope), since Abraham was the Father of the Jewish nation; Menahem would be called the Isaac (Abraham’s son); and Eliakim the Jacob (Isaac’s son). Half a loaf was better than nothing at all and so Jacob-Eliakim meekly accepted this arrangement.
When Jesus later said, “Many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the new Kingdom of Heaven (MATTHEW 8:11),” he did not mean an afterlife kingdom: he referred to the Earthly setup proposed by King Herod.
FALLOUT WITH ESSENES
Those days, General, the Davidic heir used the title “Jacob” rather than “David” as the latter title was very risky, particularly under the Hasmonean government. Given that Joseph was the most beloved son of the Old Testament Jacob, the next in line, that is, the firstborn son of the Jacob, used the title “Joseph”.
In September 44 BC, a son was born to Jacob-Eliakim. As the crown prince to the Jacob, he was given the titular name Joseph, the name by which he became best-known. Like his father Jacob-Eliakim, Joseph was a missionary. But he also had a trade. He was a carpenter, a boat builder primarily, and a master of his craft. The word translated “carpenter” in the Bible is the ancient Greek word “ho hekton” which means a master artisan or craftsman.
In 31 BC, Qumran, the Essenes’ Judean wilderness bastion, was struck by an earthquake. The hermitic Essenes had no choice but to trek back to Jerusalem, from where they operated indefinitely at a place they called the Essene Gate. Then in 23 BC, Herod struck again. He had Jacob-Eliakim killed on trumped-up charges of sedition, his motive simply being a continuation of a systematic purge of the Davidic “pretenders” to his throne.
The Essenes were wroth. They now set about promulgating to the Diaspora Essenes that Herod would have no part to play in the coming Kingdom. Instead, the overall King would be Joseph, the son of Jacob-Eliakim. This, General, was the beginning of a permanent rift between Herod and the Essene sect.
THE SAGA OF JOSEPH
The prospective global world, General, was subdivided into ten provinces to facilitate governance and tax collection. Palestine would have two provinces, Judea and Samaria, the latter of which would include Galilee. Asia Minor (largely present-day Turkey), where the bulk of Diaspora Jews were concentrated, would have five provinces.
The last three provinces would be Babylon, Rome, and Alexandria in Egypt. The future capital of the West was not Rome: it was Ephesus in Asia Minor. Having been allocated the West, it was in Ephesus and Alexandria that Jacob-Eliakim spent most of his time evangelizing to fellow Jews about the future Kingdom of Israel. This was the beginning of the New Covenant, whereby Jews who converted to the ideal of a new Kingdom of Israel were baptised by immersion in water.
To mainstream Palestinian Jews, General, Jacob-Eliakim was a sellout. Herod had demoted his pedigree but to somewhat placate him, he gave him the honorary title of Patriarch or Prince of Jerusalem. By subordinating the Davidic throne-in-waiting to Herod, Jacob-Eliakim had gone against what the nation of Israel’s God, Enlil, the Bible’s main Jehovah, decreed – that every King of Judah had to be a descendant of David. So when the unpredictable Herod had him killed in 23 BC for “sedition”, as part of a pogrom against the line of David, there was very little sympathy for him.
In 44 BC, Joseph had been born to Jacob-Eliakim. Joseph was a title: it was not his real name. At the death of his father, Joseph became the Jacob. However, he preferred the title “David”, the more apt one historically. Joseph would become the father of Jesus. When Joseph attained 30 years of age in 14 BC, his uncles and the Essene sages sent him to Rome and Alexandria to do his part in missionary work, which was simply about promulgating to the Diaspora Jews the future Kingdom of Israel in which a Son of David, that is a descendant of King David, would rule. Egypt was also a special place because Joseph’s maternal relations were Egyptians.
Jacob-Eliakim, General, had two wives. The one was called Euchariah, a Jewish princess, of whom very little is known, and the other, the dynastic wife, was an Egyptian princess, a daughter of Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Julius Caesar. Jacob-Eliakim and this princess had three sons: they were Joseph, the father of Jesus, and the twins Cleopas (after whom James, Jesus’ immediate younger brother, whose given name was Cleopas, was named) and Ptolas. Joseph was thus the Davidian Prince of Israel as well as contender to Crown Prince of Egypt. Despite pretences to the contrary on the part of the Jews, Egypt and Israel have always had ties of monarchical kinship.
In 8 BC, General, Joseph was required by Essene custom to return home and fulfill his obligations for a dynastic marriage. A wife-to-be had already been chosen for him by his uncles and other patriarchal Essenes. This was Dorcas, better known today by her title name Mary.