Enki fashions “creature” to tame wayward Uruk King
The Gilgamesh rebuff so rankled with Inanna-Ishtar that she straightaway set about plotting to either teach him a lesson or inveigle him into bed at long last. The great physical specimen he was, coupled with his mind-blowing endowment south of the navel, haunted her non-stop. It wasn’t long before she flexed muscles as the Goddess of Uruk and introduced a yearly ritual she called Little-Jeopardy Tantra Test of Seed-Withholding.
This was a sex ritual in which the King of Uruk faced off with Inanna. This is how it went according to one source: “Each year, in a ritual for which priests groomed and scented him, Gilgamesh penetrated Inanna 50 times as she, suspended on ropes, lowered her vagina onto his penis while he maintained his erection but did not ejaculate. If he petered out or ejaculated in this ritual, she’d kill him with her laser. But when he passed the test, she invited him to her bed for a night of more varied sex.”
Gilgamesh was not only expected to endure Inanna’s “sexual sweetness”; he was to refrain from jetting off his seminal fluids, which was equivalent to chomping on a tasty morsel of barbecue on a thoroughly empty stomach but forbidden to swallow. Furthermore, he was not expected to tire no matter how long she extended him. It was a miracle that from the day the ritual was instituted, Gilgamesh passed the test with flying colours. He was also arguably the only man who steeled himself against getting infatuated with the licentiously dogged Inanna. During the rest of the year, she pursued him non-stop but he remained as elusive as quicksilver.
Meanwhile, Gilgamesh had found a way of sexual snacking that nevertheless was frowned upon by all and sundry. Exactly how did it come to that? Gilgamesh, like his departed father Lugalbanda, loved himself and loved life. He was so dynamically hunky, fearfully and wonderfully built, and as a royal had been born into a life of privilege. Even more important, he was a demigod with much more to spare. Since his mother Ninsun was a Goddess and his father Lugalbanda had more Anunnaki than Earthling blood in him, Gilgamesh was said to be between two-thirds to three-quarters “divine”, making him more than a demigod.
So the question he began to ponder was this: if he was so genetically close to the Anunnaki, why shouldn’t he be immortal like them? Why should he be subject to death when he was way in excess of a 50-50 genetic god threshold? Why should he age instead of remaining a spring chicken in general as the Anunnaki were? His own grandmother Inanna was as old as the hills and yet she looked as though she was in her early forties! Why wouldn’t he be like her?
LIKE INANNA, LIKE GILGAMESH
In order to help unravel this dilemma, Gilgamesh turned to his uncle and godfather Utu-Shamash. This is the remonstration he enunciated forth before his uncle god: “In my city man dies: oppressed is my heart. Man perishes: heavy is my heart … Man, the tallest, cannot stretch to Heaven; Man, the widest, cannot cover the earth. Will I too 'peer over the wall'? Will I too be fated thus?”
Utu’s response was a candid one: Gilgamesh should stop building castles in the air as he too would go the way every other Earthling did – six feet under. The preponderance of Anunnaki genes in his blood did not at all exempt him. “The Life that you seek, you shall not find! When the gods created Mankind, Death for Mankind they allotted; Life they retained in their own keeping,” Utu said.
Shamash proceeded to advise his nephew that instead of fretting about death, an inevitability in his case, he should make the most of his sojourn in this world by living life to the full. “Let full be thy belly, Gilgamesh. Make thou merry by day and night! Of each day, make thou a feast of rejoicing. Day and night, dance thou and play! Let thy garments be sparkling fresh, thy head washed. Bathe thou in water. Pay heed to the little one that holds thy hand. Let thy spouse delight in thy bosom, for this is the fate of mankind.”
That was a straightforward enough statement, but Gilgamesh read something else into it. When Shamash said, “Make thou merry by day and night”, Gilgamesh interpreted that as code for bedding young women 24/7 if he was to stay young indefinitely. Before long, he had turned himself into a social despot, demanding sex with newlyweds before the groom did. He decreed that wherever there was a wedding in Uruk, he should be informed well in advance so that he scheduled a timeous showing and accordingly satiated himself. It seems like he had a torn a page from some book entitled Inanna’s Sexual Shenanigans, hadn’t he?
For just as Inanna sexually abused grooms, Gilgamesh was sexually abusing brides – both through blatant abuse of the seamless power at their disposal. In fact on some nights when he was really hard up, Gilgamesh would patrol the promenades and when he happened upon a gorgeous teenage girl, he would invite her into his chariot and sweet-talk her into doing it with him. Being at once King and gorgeous, he was irresistible. The people of Uruk were appalled at their King’s overnight transformation from a good man hitherto to a fiend of sorts. “Unbridled in his arrogance, he left not a maiden alone,” the Sumerian chronicles say. Soon they were staging protests and the city’s elders were filing petitions, but Gilgamesh had grown horns and just wasn’t budging. Soon he would want to grow wings too.
ENKI PROPOSES CREATURE TO TAME GILGAMESH
The outcry of the Uruk populace over Gilgamesh’s sexual perversion was such that his mother Ninsun was greatly troubled. Hopeless to rein in her beloved but now monster of a son, an anguished Ninsun went to see her mother Ninmah so she could advise on a viable way to tame him. Having wracked her brains and come up with nothing meaningful, Ninmah suggested that they see “Wise Enki” on the matter and soon the two ladies were on their way to Eridu, Enki’s base in Sumer.
The quick-thinking Enki didn’t flog his brains overmuch. What Gilgamesh needed, Enki said, was a physical equal, somebody either as powerful or more powerful than him to exert him in a concatenation of wrestling matches and inflict on him a series of defeats. That way, his energies would be constructively diverted from sexual fixation to a compulsive desire to confront his opponent and undo the stigma of loss. Considering that being a freak of nature Gilgamesh was invincible as a gladiator, that no single human alive would stand up to him, Enki suggested that a kind of Strong Man, a creature that could contain Gilgamesh, be fashioned artificially. Listening raptly, the two ladies endorsed the Enki alternative and soon Enki, with the assistance of Ninmah as usual, was at work in the Eridu laboratory.
How exactly did Enki bring about Strong Man? Reading the Sumerian records, one finds that the story is somewhat convoluted, with elements that sound very plausible and those that border on fantasy. Both Strong Man and Gilgamesh were men of extraordinary feats and naturally aspects of legend were certain to grow around their saga over time. However, to a discerning person, as I believe I am, it is easy to separate the wheat from the chaff and piece together a sensible and credible sequence of events.
Somewhere in the steppes of Uruk roamed Wild Man. Wild Man must have grown up amongst wild life, possibly abandoned amongst them when he was an infant. He co-habited with beasts and behaved like them. He was to all intents and purposes a throwback to the Adama, the primitive stage of the being that was later upgraded to Adam, the first viable human being.
The Sumerian tablets say, “When Mankind was created, they knew not the eating of bread, knew not the dressing in garments, ate plants with their mouth like sheep, drank water from a ditch”. That was the kind of life Wild Man led. Having lived through the rigours of a wild environment probably since he was an infant, Wild Man was a colossal figure and tremendously strong and powerful. His civilised like would be just the sort of being to pit the equally humongous Gilgamesh against.
ENKIDU COMES INTO EXISTENCE
Now, when Enki created Adam, he blended Anunnaki genes with those of Ape Man. In fashioning Strong Man, he combined the genes of Wild Man with those of an Anunnaki. We know this was the case because there is mention of “copper” coming into the mix, which some rather naive scholars have interpreted to mean Strong Man was a transhumanoid, that is, part-human, part machine. That was far from the case. The copper association arises from the fact that Strong Man was meant to be blue-blooded, like a demigod.
Demigods were blue-blooded, like the Anunnaki, in that they were at least 50 percent Anunnaki. The blue-bloodedness was the result of their blood being copper-based as opposed to iron-based, like we full humans are. When copper-based blood is exposed to oxygen, it turns bluish-green. Enki didn’t take long to evolve Strong Man, who was incubated in purely artificial conditions in a laboratory setting, into a fully-formed, adult-size human being: in just under two years, Strong Man was up and running.
We know this is possible from what we learnt in the Zeta Series – that the Ebens of planet Serpo in the Zeta Reticuli star system were able to create a cloned, full-grown being in an artificial incubator in a laboratory within 18 months. When fully grown, Enkidu was genetically programmed to be slightly shorter than Gilgamesh so as to give the latter a psychological advantage in the event that they faced off. He stood at about 6-foot-6, or 2 metres, against Gilgamesh’s 8-foot-2, or 2 1/2 metres. He was below the average Anunnaki size but compared to fellow humans he was a mountain of a man.
Enki called Strong Man Enkidu, meaning “By Enki Created”. However, since Enkidu was so speedily fast-tracked, his mental development lagged his physical development by far. He had the capacity for speech all right, but he was uncomfortable being in the company of fellow humans and therefore spent all-day-long amongst animals in Enki’s zoological garden. At this stage at least, the genes of Wild Man were more expressive than Anunnaki genes. He conducted himself like an animal and even copulated with them.
This is the way he’s described: “Shaggy with hair is his whole body. He is endowed with head-hair like a woman … He knows neither people nor land: garbed he is like one of the green fields. With gazelles he feeds on grass; with the wild beasts he jostles at the watering place. With the teeming creatures in the water his heart delights.” On Sumerian cylinder seals, where he’s often shown in the company of animals, Enkidu is depicted naked, bearded, and with lush but unkempt locks of hair.
ENKI COMMISSIONS ENKIDU
A time came when Enki decided Enkidu must be civilised and be put to the use for which he was created. This was to be a step-by-step process. First, a woman was to be staked out around him with a view to re-orientate him away from bestiality to human heterosexuality. Enki hired a tantric priestess known as Shamhat to help accomplish this end. Not only was Shamhat well-paid for this role but she relished it greatly as Enkidu was at once a hulk of a man and a hunk of a man.
Shamhat approached Enkidu as he was frolicking with some antelopes and straightaway began to make erotic moves on him – sweet-talking him, caressing him, lap-dancing on him, romancing him, playing with his great prick. Noting that he was getting aroused, she led him to a cabin in the zoological garden that was originally meant for him but which he had shunned in favour of sleeping in the open air with animals. There, she cocooned herself with him for up to seven straight days. Over the course of these seven days, she had him make love to her as often as either of the two desired. This was in addition to dressing him up, bathing him properly, and preparing cooked food for him.
At long last, she gave him a chance to go mix with the animals just to gauge how he was shaping up in the rehabilitation drills. This time around, animals did not cosy up to him. In fact, they avoided him and even ran away when he attempted to be intimate with them. It seemed he had lost animalistic vibes and he now energetically repulsed them. The Shamhat trick had worked: Enkidu had been won back to the human fold.
The next stage was to train him in wrestling, not with fellow humans, who were too small for him, but with apes and bears. He acquitted himself very well, tossing them about like a rag doll in every bout. Finally, he was put in a classroom situation to refine his speech and communication skills, which had waned owing to spending too much time among animals. Now he was ready for his intended deployment. The following was Enki’s brief to him:
“Enkidu, you are to settle in Uruk. Your target is Gilgamesh, the King of Uruk. You are to ensure you stand in his way when he primes to sexually abuse a bride anywhere. He will of course confront you and challenge you to a fight as he’s in the habit of doing. You are expected to defeat and therefore shame him. He’ll be so chagrined as to never approach a woman again in that you will have made a laughing stock of his virility and taken the shine off the psychological charm he casts on women. Once you have vanquished him, you are to befriend him. You are to be his bosom friend. That way, you’ll be the round-the-clock check on whatever excesses he contemplates. Do you hear me Enkidu?”
“I’m at your service Lord Enki,” Enkidu replied. “I undertake to deliver on the assignment you have given me. I will not disappoint you Great God.” Enki also told Enkidu that some tips on forthcoming events would be relayed to Gilgamesh by way of dreams. The Anunnaki were capable of projecting dreams in the human subconscious folks though exactly how they did this is a mystery. GILGAMESH INVITED TO “HEAVEN”?
And it came to pass … As Enkidu was being primed for the ultimate encounter with Gilgamesh, the latter had two successive, same-night dreams whose meanings were obscure. Although he himself had an idea as to what the first dream for one evinced, he decided to pick the brain of his mother, “Beloved and wise Ninsun who is versed in all knowledge”. This is how he recounted the first dream:
“During the night I felt joyful and I walked about among my nobles. Something from the heavens kept coming at me. The handiwork of Anu descended towards me! It became embedded in the ground as it fell from the skies. I sought to lift it; it was too heavy for me. I sought to shake it; I could neither move nor raise it. I pressed strongly its upper part; I could neither remove its covering, nor raise its Ascender … With a destroying fire its top I (then) broke off, and moved into its depths.
Its movable part, That Which Pulls Forward, I lifted, and brought it to thee. The populace jostled toward it, the nobles thronged about. The whole of Uruk land was gathered around it. My companions were kissing its feet. The heroes (Anunnaki) grabbed its lower part. I pulled it up by its forepart. I was drawn to it as to a woman. I placed it at your feet; you made it vie with me.”
As for the second dream, it was simple enough: all that happened was that Gilgamesh found an axe “on the ramparts of Uruk” and decided to bring it to his mother to unravel its mystery. Thus it was the first dream that was the more complex. Exactly what was the “Handiwork of Anu?” Of course that was not the name of the object: it was the name by which Gilgamesh called it for to his mind it represented an invitation by King Anu to travel to “Heaven”, or Nibiru. The object itself was a spent rocket booster. This is the part of a space-bound rocket that is made to drop back to Earth when the rocket is in low orbit with a view to make the rocket lighter as it proceeds in flight. It is meant to boost the rocket’s take-off thrust and then detach when the fuel is expended.
Ninsun parried Gilgamesh’s own interpretation of the dream. Instead, she explained that both dreams had the same underlying message. “That which was coming toward you from Heaven foretells the arrival of a stout comrade who rescues,” she said. “A friend is to come to thee. He is the mightiest in the land … He will wrestle you with his might, but he will never forsake you. This is the meaning of thy vision. The copper axe that you saw is a man, one equal to you in strength. A strong partner will come to you, one who can save the life of a comrade. He was created on the steppe, and he will soon arrive in Uruk.”
Clearly, Ninsun’s take was premeditated. The dream was contrived by Enki and its interpretation was therefore specifically tailored to sensitise Gilgamesh to the imminent arrival in town of Enkidu. But Gilgamesh was not in the least bit stirred by Enkidu. It was his own interpretation of the dreams with which his mind would be preoccupied for some time to come.
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.