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Jehovah’s Sky Vehicles

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER    

They took the form of Cherubims, Seraphims, and the “Glory of God” known as the Kabod!

Aircraft – skyborne vehicles of all sorts – were the primary means by which the Old Testament gods moved from place to place. It’s all very apparent in the Bible. Of course the Bible does not call them planes, choppers, or flying saucers because such terms didn’t exist then. In ancient times, any unusual object in the eyes of mankind was described in terms either of its closest resemblance in nature or a familiar man-made structure. Hence, sky vehicles were variously called eagles, wings, winds, whirlwinds, dragons, horses, chariots (horse-pulled carriages), sky/celestial boats, sky chambers, etc.  

There’s an English expression which says, “taking somebody under one’s wings”, that is, assuming their care, guardianship, apprenticeship, or any other such periodical responsibility.  Most people are not aware that the expression has its roots in the Bible. It had to do with the privilege on the part of Earthlings that came with riding in a rocket, chopper, jet, or flying saucers owned or operated by their Anunnaki gods.  

The Old Testament is replete with statements about Yahweh – any of the Anunnaki gods but Enlil fundamentally – taking to aerial flight. For instance, in EXODUS 19:4, Yahweh says to the children of Israel, his chosen people, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to Me”. Of course your preacher or brain-dead theologian will tell you this is all symbolic language. Well, it isn’t: what Yahweh was saying was that at least some of the elite Israelites had the opportunity of being transported in his jet or flying saucer in the great trek from Egypt to the Sinai.

When welcoming his  widowed relative Ruth into the broader family fold, Boaz, a wealthy landowner of Bethlehem in Judea,    says to her, “May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge”  (RUTH 2:12). It is likely that Ruth was brought along to Boaz’s place in Yahweh’s aircraft. A number of psalms (e.g.  PSALMS 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 61:4; and 63:7) talk about singing or taking refuge “in the shadow of thy wings”, that is, the shadow of Yahweh’s aircraft, figuratively meaning coming under Yahweh’s protection. PSALM 18:10 characterises Yahweh as “flying upon the wings of the wind” and PSALM 104:3 says, “He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind” – all of which assert loud and clear that the gods of Israel travelled in aircraft.

THE CHERUBIM AND SERAPHIM

In the Bible, there are three types of flying machines that have confounded so many a scholar they are largely mis-translated from the Hebrew into English. These are Cherubim (cherub for singular); Seraphim (seraph for singular); and Kabod. We will begin with the Cherubim. The term Cherubim occurs more than 100  times in the Bible. It can denote a whole host of  things. They include the Anunnaki themselves (generally called angels in the Bible); anything that symbolises the Anunnaki as minders of God’s throne, such as the two, golden graven images of winged beings atop the Ark of the Covenant (EXODUS 37:7);  

and demigods (part-human, part-Anunnaki) who were given a chance  to visit Baalbek and ride in a shem. In the latter sense, for instance, the King of Tyre was described as “an anointed cherub” (EZEKIEL 28:14).  In Akkadian, the Cherubim (Karibu) were intercessors – blessed/consecrated ones who spoke to Anunnaki gods on behalf of the human population. That is to say, the Cherubim were high priests.  

The term Seraphim is less frequent than Cherubim in the Bible. It occurs five times in the Old Testament (NUMBERS 21:6–8; DEUTERONOMY 8:15; and ISAIAH 6: 1-3, 14:29, and 30:6) and once in the New Testament (REVELATION 4:4-8). In ISAIAH 6:1-3 and REVELATION 4:4-8, the connotation is that of an angelic guard/choir of God. In the book of Enoch, the Seraphim are the highest-ranking angels followed by the Cherubim.

However, all the above meanings are secondary. They constitute evolutionary meanings and not original   meanings. The original meaning of both Cherubim and Seraphim had to do with flying machines. The original meaning of seraph was “something that burns”.  You will be aware by now that that is how the Sumerians described a shem, a rocket, because it billowed down fire as it upthrusted into the sky. When referring to Jets, or Mu’s, the term seraphim meant “flying fiery winged serpent”. If you recall, Ningishzidda was called Quetzalcoatl   by the Mayans because he rode in a flying craft that looked like a flying winged serpent – a seraphim. A jet of course does not billow out fire but the overriding assumption was that all flying craft were powered by fire.  The Seraphim as flying machines were also known as dragons.

YAHWEH’S KABOD

In the Bible, Yahweh could ride in a cherub (2 SAMUEL 22:11/PSALM 18:10).  Also in the Bible, the seraph is primarily an aircraft-type weapon of destruction as it “spouted fire” (DEUTERONOMY 8:15; NUMBERS 21: 6; and ISAIAH 30:6.) It is clear that the Cherubim and Seraphim were flying objects because they had connotations of  fire (like a rocket); wings (like those of a plane); wheels folded against them (like those of a plane in flight); noise (like that of a landing or taking off plane or rocket); and a cabin (called a “throne” in the Bible); protection (shems were deemed as ‘protecting” one from death as they were a means by which eternal life was conferred);  and communication (the Anunnaki gods sometimes proclaimed [that is, broadcast] messages from low-flying aircraft such as  choppers.

If there was a difference between Cherubim and Seraphim craft, it was primarily in their shapes and sizes.  Cherubims were smaller. In GENESIS 3:24, God stationed Cherubims on the peripheries of the Garden of Eden with a view to ensure that the banished Adam and Eve did not find their way back in. These were simply rotorcrafts (rotary wing aircraft, such as a helicopter). The Seraphim were bigger and took the form of a plane basically.

In time, the Anunnaki themselves came to be called cherubims/seraphims, just as they were called rocket men, after the machines they flew in. Moreover, since flying machines were associated with sanctity/perfection, a good-looking person was also referred to as a cherub (Kgarebe in Setswana). By the same token, since Seraphim sky vehicles were shaped like a flying snake or reptile, snakes too came to be known as seraphs or dragons. The Assyrians referred to Nergal, Enki’s second son, as sharrapu, meaning “a fire-breathing god” (by virtue of the role he played in the nuking of Sodom and Gomorrah), or simply dragon.  

There was also another airborne vehicle, smaller than both the Cherubim and Seraphim, that was used by Ishkur-Adad when he spearheaded the Israelites into the Sinai wilderness. This small craft was actually a mobile throne. Called a Kabod, wrongly translated as “the Glory of God” (e.g. EXODUS 24:15-18), it appears about 200 times in the Old Testament. The Kabod was camouflaged in a mass of fire/light veiled in a cloud. The Kabod was a short range craft: for long-haul trips, it was carried in the much bigger Cherubim, just as huge planes carry choppers in our day.

Zechariah Sitchin provides further context for us thus in relation to the experiences of Prophet Ezekiel:   “The Chariot, Ezekiel reported, was engulfed with a bright radiance; this, he said, was ‘the appearance of the Kabod of Yahweh’. On his first prophetic mission to the exiles dwelling at the River Khabur, he was addressed by the Lord in a valley where ‘the Kabod of Yahweh was stationed, a Kabod like the one seen before’. When he was carried aloft and taken to see Jerusalem ‘in divine visions’, he again ‘saw the Kabod of the God of Israel, as the one I had seen in the valley’. And when the envisioned visit was completed, the ‘Kabod of Yahweh’ stationed itself upon the Cherubim, and the Cherubim raised their wings and ‘lifted off the earth’, carrying the Kabod aloft.”

THE ANUNNAKI’S FLIGHT UNIFORM

Besides being called Eagles, the Anunnaki pilots/astronauts were known as Abgals (“master who points the way”) in Sumerian and Akpallu in Akkadian. Inanna-Ishtar’s principal pilot was known as Nungal, or Pushan in the language of the Indus Valley. According to one Vedas text, Pushan “guided Indra (Inanna) through the speckled clouds in the golden ship (flying saucer) that travels in the air’s mid-region”.  

Of the Anunnaki pantheon, it is Inanna who is most depicted in flight gear. Her twin brother Utu-Shamash may have been the god of the shems but it was Inanna with whom Earthlings were besotted with regard to flight.     The Sumerian records describe seven objects Inanna wore in relation to her sky-borne travels. They were a Shugarra (helmet); measuring pendants (earphones); chains of small bluish stones around her neck; twin stones on her shoulder; a golden cylinder in her hands; straps clasping her breasts; and the Pala or ruler’s garment, the clothing around her body.   

In 1934, archaeologists excavated a full-sized statue of Inanna at Mari, in modern Syria, that showed her dressed in pilot gear.  Zechariah Sitchin furnishes the following account on the statue:      “On her head she wears not a milliner's chapeau but a special helmet; protruding from it on both sides and fitted over the ears are objects that remind one of a pilot's earphones. On her neck and upper chest the goddess wears a necklace of many small (and probably precious) stones; in her hands she holds a cylindrical object which appears too thick and heavy to be a vase for holding water.

“Over a blouse of see-through material, two parallel straps run across her chest, leading back to and holding in place an unusual box of rectangular shape. The box is held tight against the back of the goddess's neck and is firmly attached to the helmet with a horizontal strap. Whatever the box held inside must have been heavy, for the contraption is further supported by two large shoulder pads. The weight of the box is increased by a hose that is connected to its base by a circular clasp.

“The complete package of instruments – for this is what they undoubtedly were – is held in place with the aid of the two sets of straps that crisscross the goddess's back and chest.” If you recall, when a disinvited Inanna dared to attend her husband Dumuzi’s funeral at the palace of Nergal in Cape Agulhas in South Africa, she had to go through seven gates and at each gate, one of seven objects on her person was confiscated.

What she had been brashly wearing was the same aeronaut’s uniform described above (worn only by ranked gods), which her estranged sister and hostess, Ereshkigal,  insisted she leave behind before she entered her presence just in case she was hiding a subtle weapon underneath. Ereshkigal wanted Inanna to stand before her stark naked to humiliate her. In sum folks, the Anunnaki not only flew aircraft but they wore a special airman’s uniform when they so did.

SIN’S BOUNTIFUL BROOD

Reading the Sumerian chronicles, and indeed the works of noted Anunnaki chroniclers themselves such as Zechariah Sitchin, one gets the impression, generally, that Utu-Shamash and Inanna-Ishtar were Nannar-Sin’s only kids. That simply wasn’t the case. The fraternal twins were his seniormost kids with his wife Ningal, Enki’s daughter who was known as Asherah to the Canaanites. Of all the Anunnaki here on Earth, Sin in fact had the largest number of children.

Sin, the future Allah of Islam (just as Enlil was the future Jehovah of Judaism and the tragically grafted-upon Christianity) had upwards of 70 children, the reason he was known as Aten, meaning the “Fertile Lord”. If you think Enki had a rabbit’s libido, maybe you should spare a thought for Sin. However, whereas Enki mounted and sired children with practically every breasted being of his fancy, Sin’s children all were official, meaning they arose in full conformity with the parameters of intra-marital and extra-marital procreation.   

Of the 70-plus children, 30 were with his official consort Ningal: surely, the stress of repeated childbirth must have worn the poor woman to a frazzle. The rest were born via a harem arrangement. We have already talked about the Gipar, Inanna’s night-time abode, within which was a Gigunu, her chamber of night-time pleasures. Sin also had his own Gipar and Gigunu at his sacred precincts in Ur, his cult city, where he could carouse with the hierodules, or pleasure priestesses, and sire children with a myriad of concubines with the full knowledge and sanction of Ningal.

In any case, Sin was renowned in two other respects. First, he was the best looking Enlilite. It is the reason the term Adonis (from Adonai, the Hebrew name for Sin, which stems from his other name Aten, also rendered Adon) came to mean a very handsome man. Second, he was enormously gifted south of the waistline, a trait Shamash inherited and was fond of flaunting. One poetic Sumerian text tells how two females who spotted Sin taking a leisurely stroll stark naked on a beach were charmed by his colossal member and following a threesome that same night in the Gigunu ended up bearing him two sons. Indeed, an ancient Phoenician coin depicts him with a very prominent prick.

Now, of the totality of Sin’s children, the eldest was Yam, who he had with a concubine. The fraternal twins Shamash and Inanna, with Inanna technically the older of the two since she arrived first, were next. The fourth was Mot, yet another son Sin had with Yam’s mother. According to the Anunnaki succession rules, the rightful heir was Shamash as not only was he male but he was born to the official spouse Ningal. But Nannar-Sin was equivocal as to his own preference and the upshot was serious feuding between Shamash, allied with his sister by blood Inanna, and Yam, allied with his blood brother Mot.

SHAMASH IS KILLED

Shamash clashed at least once with  each of his  two half-brothers. The first, with Yam,  was over the succession. The second, with Mot,  was over Baalbek. The initial conflict was sparked when Yam somehow prevailed upon Sin in some secret meeting to bestow the succession on him, a scenario not unlike the stunt Jacob pulled on his elder brother Esau. For some reason, Sin did not think Shamash had what it took to step into his shoes as he neared retirement from the public stage. At some stage, he even engaged in a showdown with Shamash to demonstrate to him that he, Sin, was still in charge and he had better toe the line, an event we shall go into in detail at the appropriate time.

The first to get wind of this private pact between Sin and Yam was Inanna. The moment she learnt about it, she rushed to Shamash to alert him that “El (Sin) is overturning the Kingship”. Alarmed, Shamash immediately appealed to the Enlilite Council of the Gods. Although the council invalidated Sin’s gesture and reinstated Shamash, Yam refused to take the matter lying down and declared war on Shamash.

When the two faced off, it was Shamash who had the upper hand. Inanna had helped him secure two formidable weapons from Ningishzidda, the “Craftsman of the Gods”.  The weapons were known as the “Chaser” and the “Thrower” which “swoops like an eagle”. Yam simply was no match and was in dire straits.  As Shamash poised to finish him off, his mother Asherah materialised from out of the blue and begged him to spare his half-brother. Shamash obliged but subject to one strong condition – that Asherah should prevail over Sin to declare him as the Lord of Zaphon (Baalbek) in perpetuity. Sin duly contacted Ishkur-Adad, the overall Lord of Lebanon, and underlined the point that only Shamash of all his sons was entitled to preside over Baalbek.  

Shamash’s encounter with Mot had to do with his installation at Baalbek of the “Stone of Splendour”, described as something that “Heaven and Earth it makes converse and the seas with planets”. It was a sophisticated contraption that could send or intercept secret message electronically relayed on the planet and therefore was in the realm of espionage, something akin to the USA’s National Security Agency’s global surveillance programme that was exposed by Edward Snowden.

Disturbed by this development, Mot demanded that he inspect the installation so that he exactly figures it out. Shamash showed him the middle finger, whereupon Mot requested that Shamash come to his place to at least explain the installation’s full ramifications. Shamash cooperated, only to walk into an ambush. The moment he showed up,   Mot took him on in a one-on-one fist fight and in the process Shamash was killed. All this happened long before the era of Gilgamesh, which means Shamash did not actually cross over. Exactly how did he once again live to be the Lord of Zaphon? Did he dramatically reanimate himself like the phoenix?

NEXT WEEK:  GILGAMESH Vs HUWAWA

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Hell Up in Judea

24th August 2021

A case can be made, General Atiku, that history’s most infamous Roman is Pontius Pilate. It was Pilate who condemned Jesus, the  “Son of God”, to the most cruel, most barbaric,  and most excruciating of deaths – crucifixion –  and cowardly at that as the gospels attest for us.  

Yet the exact circumstances under which the crucifixion took place and what followed thereafter far from jells with what is familiarly known. The fact of the matter was that there was a lot of political wheeling and dealing and boldfaced corruption on the part both of the Jewish authorities and the Roman establishment in the person of Pontius Pilate.  In this piece, we attempt, General, to present a fuller photo of Pilate as the centre of the whole machination.

Pilate’s historicity, General, is not in doubt. In 1961, an Italian archeologist unearthed a limestone block at Caesarea Maritima on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, which as of 6 AD was the Roman seat of government as well as the military headquarters.  The block bore the inscription, “Pontius Pilate, the Prefect of Judea, has dedicated this Temple to the divine Augusti” (that is, then Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar and his wife Livia).

Pilate also gets varying degrees of mention in the works of Roman senator and historian Cornelius Tacitus (56-117 AD); the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher and chronicler Philo of Alexandria (25 BC to 50 AD); and the legendary Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD).

Although his year of death (37 AD) is documented, his year of birth is a matter of conjecture, General. He came from the Pontii tribe (hence the name Pontius), a tough, warlike people. The Pontii tribe was of the equestrian class, the second-tier in the Roman caste system. Originally, the equestrians were those Romans with ample pocket power to bribe their way to knightly ranks in the Roman army. Pilate was born to Marcus Pontius, who had distinguished himself as a general in Rome’s military campaigns.

Following one of his particularly sterling military exploits, Marcus was awarded with the Pilum (javelin), a Roman decoration of honour for heroic military service.  To commemorate this medal of valour, the family took the name Pilati, rendered Pilate in English and Pilatus in Latin.

The son, Lucius Pontius Pilate, also distinguished himself as a soldier in the German campaigns of Germanicus, a prominent general of the early Roman Empire. Thanks to his scintillating military profile coupled with   strategic connections in the hierarchies of the Roman government, Pilate was able to wend his way into the heart of Claudia, the granddaughter of Caesar Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire and ruler from 27 BC to 14 AD.

Claudia’s mother was Julia the Elder, who was also the biological mother of the apostles John and James. When Claudia was about 13 years of age, Julia sent her to Rome to be reared in the courts of Emperor Tiberius Caesar, to whom Julia was once married from 11 BC to 6 BC.

Although Tiberius was not the biological father of Claudius, General, he gladly acquiesced to being her foster father in deference to the memory of her late grandfather Caesar Augustus.
Pilate arrived in Rome when Claudia was sixteen years of age. In AD 26, the two tied the knot. Needless to say, it was a marriage based not on love as such but on political opportunism.

ASSIGNMENT JUDEA

The high-placed connection who facilitated Pontius Pilate’s smooth landing into the inner sanctums of Rome’s royalty and put him on a pedestal that saw him take pride of place in the cosmic gallery of rogues was Aelius Sejanus. Like Pilate, Sejanus came from the subordinate equestrian class, who would never be eligible for a seat in the Senate, the legislative council of ancient Rome.

Sejanus, however, had over time become Emperor Tiberius’ most trusted lieutenant and to the point where he was the de facto prime minister.  He had been commander of the Praetorian Guard, the elite Special Forces unit created by Augustus Caesar as a personal security force, which developed under Sejanus’ command into the most significant presence in Rome.

In AD 26, the emperor was not even based in Rome: he had confined himself to the 10.4 km2 island of Capri, about 264 km from Rome, and left control of Rome and the government of the Roman Empire to Sejanus. It was Sejanus who recommended the appointment of Pilate as prefect, or governor/procurator of Judea. The appointment was pronounced right on the occasion of Pilate’s nuptials with Claudius.

Philo records that when the bridal party emerged from the temple where the marriage ceremony was celebrated and Pilate started to follow the bride into the imperial litter, Tiberius, who was one of the twelve witnesses required to attend the ceremony, held him back and handed him a document. It was the wedding present – the governorship of far-flung Judea – with orders to proceed at once to Caesarea Maritima to take over the office made vacant by the recall of Valerius Gratus.

Pilate was notified by Sejanus that a ship was in fact waiting upon him to transport him to Palestine right away. The only disadvantageous aspect about the assignment was that Pilate was to leave the shores of Rome alone, without the pleasure of spending a first night in the arms of his newly wedded wife: by imperial decree, the wives of governors were not allowed to accompany them in their jurisdictions. Pilate, however, was a royal by marriage and so this prohibition was waived. By special permission granted by His Imperial Majesty Tiberius Caesar, Claudia soon joined her husband in Judea. The wily Pilate had calculated well when he married into royalty.

A SADISTIC ADMINISTRATOR

The Judean perch was not prestigious though, General. The prefects of Judea were not of high social status. At least one – Felix, referenced by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles – was an ex-slave, which says a great deal on the low regard in which the province was held by Rome.

Pilate was only secondarily sent to Judea on account of having married into royalty: his posting to the volatile province stemmed, primarily, from his being of a inferior social pedigree. Be that as it may, Pilate relished the posting in that it gave him the chance to exercise power, absolute power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and in Pilate was the archetypal example, General.

Pilate’s brief was simple: to collect taxes, maintain law and order, maintain infrastructure, and keep the population subdued. Although he was born lowly, he positively had the power of life and death over his Jewish subjects. Let us, General, listen to Josephus in his allusion to Coponius, Judea’s first Roman governor and who like Pilate was from the same subservient social class: “And now Archelaus’ part of Judea was reduced into a province and Coponius, one of the equestrian order among the Romans, was sent as procurator, having the power of life and death put into his hands by Caesar.”

Pilate, General, was callous to a point of being sadistic. He was scarcely the scrupling judge with the rare soft spot that we encounter in the gospels. Philo charges him with “corruptibility, violence, robberies, ill-treatment of the people, grievances, continuous executions without even the form of a trial, endless and intolerable cruelties”.

He further declares him to be a “savage, inflexible, and arbitrary ruler” who was of a “stubborn and harsh quality” and “could not bring himself to do anything that might cause pleasure to the Jews”. The essentially humane character of the Pilate who presided over the trial of Jesus as portrayed in the gospels may not be wholly fictitious but is highly embellished, General.

Why did Pilate have such a pathological hatred of the Jews, General? Sejanus had more to do with it than the spontaneous leanings of his own nature. According to Philo, Sejanus hated the Jews like the plague and wished “to do away with the nation” – to exterminate it. In AD 19, for instance, he forced the Jews in Rome to burn their religious vestments and expelled them from the city without much ado.

For as long as Sejanus was in power, General, Pilate could do pretty much as he pleased. He didn’t have to worry about compromising reportage reaching the emperor as everything went through the implacably anti-Jewish Sejanus. Sejanus was unrivalled in power: golden statues of the general were being put up in Rome, the Senate had voted his birthday a public holiday, public prayers were offered on behalf of Tiberius and Sejanus, and in AD 31 Sejanus was named as Consul jointly with Tiberius.

The Judea posting also gave Pilate a golden opportunity to make money – lots of it. The governors of the Roman provinces were invariably rapacious, greedy, and incompetent: this we learn not only from Jewish historians of the day but from contemporary Roman writers as well such as Tacitus and Juvenal.

As long as the money skimmed from the provinces was not overly excessive, governors were allowed a free hand. It is said of Emperor Tiberius that, “Once he ordered a governor to reverse a steep rise in taxes saying, ‘I want my sheep shorn, not skinned’!” For those governors, such as Pilate, who had support from the very acmes of Roman power, General, they were practically a law unto themselves.

PILATE’S WINGS ARE CLIPPED

Pontius Pilate, General, was untrained in political office. Furthermore, he was a sycophant to the core who was prepared to go to any length in a bid to curry favour with and prove his loyalty to the powers that be in Rome.    Both these attributes gave rise to a series of blunders that brought him the intense hatred of the Jews.

The first abomination he committed in the eyes of the Jews, General, was to set up a temple dedicated to Emperor Tiberius, which he called the Tiberieum, making him the only known Roman official to have built a temple to a living emperor.  True, Roman emperors were worshipped, but Tiberius was the one exception. According to the Roman scholar and historian Suetonius, Tiberius did not allow the consecration of temples to himself. Pilate’s act therefore, General, was an overkill: it was not appreciated at all.

Throughout his tenure, General, Pilate had a series of run-ins with the Jews, some of which entailed a lot of bloodshed and one of which sparked an insurrection that paved the way to Calvary. Then it all began to unravel, General. On October 18 AD 31, his patron Sejanus was summoned to the office of Emperor Tiberius and an angry denunciation was read out to him. It is not clear, General, what caused Sejanus’ fall from the emperor’s good graces but circumstantial evidence points to the perceived threat to the emperor’s power.

As the ancient historian Cassius Dio puts it, “Sejanus was so great a person by reason both of his excessive haughtiness and of his vast power that to put it briefly, he himself seemed to be the emperor and Tiberius a kind of island potentate, inasmuch as the latter spent his time on the island of Capri.”  Sejanus, hitherto the most powerful man in Rome, General, was thrown into a dungeon.

That same evening, he was summarily condemned to death, extracted from his cell, hung, and had his body given over to a crowd that tore it to pieces in a frenzy of manic excitement. His three children were all executed over the following months and his wife, Tiberius’ own daughter, committed suicide.  The people further celebrated his downfall by pulling his statues over.  Meanwhile, General, Tiberius began pursuing all those who could have been involved in the “plots” of Sejanus.

In Judea, Pilate, a Sejanus appointee, must have been badly shaken, General. Were his friends and family under suspicion? Would he be purged like others? Imperial attitudes to the Jewish race seemed to have changed now with the riddance of Sejanus. Tiberius made sure this was the case by appointing a new governor for Syria (who went by the title Legate and to whom Pilate was obligated to report).

The governor, Lucius Pomponius Flaccus, arrived in Rome in AD 32. Philo records that Tiberius now “charged his procurators in every place to which they were appointed to speak comfortably to the members of our nation in the different cities, assuring them that the penal measures did not extend to all but only to the guilty who were few, and to disturb none of the established customs but even to regard them as a trust committed to their care, the people as naturally peaceable and the institution as an influence promoting orderly conduct.”

So Pilate, General, had lost his supporters at the top, his new boss was on his doorstep, and there had been a change of policy regarding the very people he was in charge of. Surely, he would have to watch his step. The fact of the matter, however, General, was that he hardly did so.  In November 32 AD, for instance, he provoked a mini-uprising by the Zealots led by Judas Iscariot, Theudas Barabbas, and Simon Zelotes. It was this revolt, General, that culminated in those three “crosses” of Calvary that are indelibly etched on the mind of every Christian.

NEXT WEEK: ZEALOT REVOLT AGAINST PILATE

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Hustle & Muscle

24th August 2021

Until as recently as the 1980s a career often meant a job for life within a single company or organisation. Phrases such as ‘climbing the corporate ladder’, ‘the glass ceiling’, ‘wage slave’ & ‘the rat race’ were thrown about, the analogies making clear that a career path was a toxic mix of a war of attrition, indentured drudgery and a Sisyphean treadmill.

In all cases you fought, grafted or plodded on till you reached retirement age, at which point you could expect a small leaving party, the promise of a pension and, oddly, a gift of either a clock or watch. The irony of being rewarded with a timepiece on the very day you could expect to no longer be a workday prisoner was apparently lost on management – the hands of time were destined to follow you to the grave!

Retirement was the goal at the end of the long, corporate journey, time on your hands – verifiable by your gifted time keeping device – to spend time working in the garden, playing with the grandchildren, enjoying a holiday or two and generally killing time till time killed you.

For some, retirement could be literally short-lived. The retirement age, and accompanying pension, was predicated on the old adage of three scores years and ten being the average life expectancy of man. As the twentieth century progressed and healthcare became more sophisticated, that former mean average was extended but that in itself then brought with it the double-edged sword of dementia. The longer people lived, the more widespread dementia became – one more life lottery which some won, some lost and doctors were seemingly unable to predict who would succumb and who would survive.

However, much research has been carried out on the causes of this crippling and cruel disease and the latest findings indicate that one of its root causes may lie in the former workplace – what your job entailed and how stimulating or otherwise it was. It transpires that having an interesting job in your forties could lessen the risk of getting dementia in old age, the mental stimulation possibly staving off the onslaught of the condition by around 18 months.

Academics examined more than 100,000 participants and tracked them for nearly two decades. They spotted a third fewer cases of dementia among people who had engaging jobs which involved demanding tasks and more control — such as government officers, directors, physicians, dentists and solicitors, compared to adults in ‘passive’ roles — such as supermarket cashiers, vehicle drivers and machine operators. And those who found their own work interesting also had lower levels of proteins in their blood that have been linked with dementia.

The study was carried out by researchers from University College London, the University of Helsinki and Johns Hopkins University studying the cognitive stimulation and dementia risk in 107,896 volunteers, who were regularly quizzed about their job.  The volunteers — who had an average age of around 45 — were tracked for between 14 and 40 years.  Jobs were classed as cognitively stimulating if they included demanding tasks and came with high job control. Non-stimulating ‘passive’ occupations included those with low demands and little decision-making power.

4.8 cases of dementia per 10,000 person years occurred among those with interesting careers, equating to 0.8 per cent of the group. In contrast, there were 7.3 cases per 10,000 person years among those with repetitive jobs (1.2 per cent). Among people with jobs that were in the middle of these two categories, there were 6.8 cases per 10,000 person years (1.12 per cent).

The link between how interesting a person’s work was and rates of dementia did not change for different genders or ages.Lead researcher Professor Mika Kivimaki, from UCL, said: ‘Our findings support the hypothesis that mental stimulation in adulthood may postpone the onset of dementia. The levels of dementia at age 80 seen in people who experienced high levels of mental stimulation was observed at age 78.3 in those who had experienced low mental stimulation. This suggests the average delay in disease onset is about one and half years, but there is probably considerable variation in the effect between people.’

The study, published this week in the British Medical Journal, also looked at protein levels in the blood among another group of volunteers. These proteins are thought to stop the brain forming new connections, increasing the risk of dementia. People with interesting jobs had lower levels of three proteins considered to be tell-tale signs of the condition.

Scientists said it provided ‘possible clues’ for the underlying biological mechanisms at play. The researchers noted the study was only observational, meaning it cannot establish cause and that other factors could be at play. However, they insisted it was large and well-designed, so the findings can be applied to different populations.

To me, there is a further implication in that it might be fair to expect that those in professions such as law, medicine and science might reasonably be expected to have a higher IQ than those in blue collar roles. This could indicate that mental capacity also plays a part in dementia onset but that’s a personal conclusion and not one reached by the study.

And for those stuck in dull jobs through force of circumstance, all is not lost since in today’s work culture, the stimulating side-hustle is fast becoming the norm as work becomes not just a means of financial survival but a life-enhancing opportunity , just as in the old adage of ‘Find a job you enjoy and you’ll never work another day in your life’!

Dementia is a global concern but ironically it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age and is the second biggest killer in the UK behind heart disease, according to the UK Office for National Statistics. So here’s a serious suggestion to save you from an early grave and loss of competencies – work hard, play hard and where possible, combine the two!

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The Lord Ties The Knot

18th August 2021
JUDAS

… as Judas Iscariot takes strong exception

The gospels which were excluded from the official canon, the New Testament, at the Council of Nicaea are known as the Apocrypha. One of these Apocryphal works, General Atiku, is the gospel of Phillip.  In this gospel, the intimate relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene is openly discussed thus:

“And the companion of the Saviour is Mary Magdalene. But Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on the mouth.  The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said unto him, why do you love her more than all of us? The Saviour answered and said to them, why do   I not love you like her? … Great is the mystery of marriage, for without it the world would never have existed. Now, the existence of the world depends on man, and the existence of man on marriage.”

It is clear from the above statement, General, that Jesus held marriage in high regard because he himself was part and parcel of it.  The disciples (that is, most of them) were offended not because he and Mary were an item but because they simply did not approve of her as she was a Gentile and a commoner.

Otherwise, the kissing was not offensive at all: it was a customary expression of mutual affection between the sacred bride and groom. This we gather from the prototypically romantic Old Testament text known as The Song of Solomon, which opens with the words, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.”  As the Davidic groom, Jesus was therefore entitled to kiss Mary Magdalene as his bride.

THE FIRST MARRIAGE

In September AD 30, General Atiku, Jesus and Mary Magdalene had their First Marriage ceremony. Jesus had turned 36 in that year, the appropriate marriage age for a Davidic heir, and September was the holiest month in the Jewish calendar.  Having been born irregularly himself (in the wrong month of the year because of his father Joseph’s intransigence), Jesus was determined that he himself follow the law to the letter so that his child would not suffer the same indignities as he did. The First Marriage is captured in LUKE 7:35-50.

The marriage took place at the home of Simon the Pharisee. This, General, was another name for Simon Zelotes, the stepfather of Mary Magdalene. Although Mary Magdalene is not directly named, she is described as a “sinner”. This was another term for Gentiles, as in the eyes of the Jewish God, they were unregenerate and therefore hopeless sinners.  Mary Magdalene, whose mother Helena-Salome was of Syrian origin (Syro-Phoenicia to be specific), was a Gentile.

On the occasion, Mary Magdalene performed three acts on Jesus as set out in LUKE 7:38. She wept; kissed his feet; and anointed him with ointment. This is what a bride was supposed to do to her groom as clearly evinced in The Song of Solomon, a series of love poems concerning a spouse and her husband the King.

Of the three rites, perhaps it is the weeping that require elucidation, General. This was at once symbolic and sentimental.  The First Marriage was simply a ceremony: the moment the ceremony was over, the husband and wife separated, that is, they lived apart until the month of December, when they came together under one roof.  This was in accord with Essene stipulations for dynastic marriages, that is, those of the Davidic Messiah and the priestly Messiah.

Prior to the First Marriage, the bride was known as an Almah, meaning a betrothed Virgin. After the First Marriage ceremony, the Almah was demoted to a Sister. This was because the ensuing three-month separation meant husband and wife would not indulge in sexual activity and so the wife was as good as a sister to her husband. The imagery of Sister also being a wife is seen in 1 CORINTHIANS 9:5, where the apostle Paul refers to his wife as Sister. In ACTS 23:16, Paul’s wife is again referred to as his Sister.

Now, when the Almah became a Sister, General, she was metaphorically called a Widow, because she was being separated  from her newly wedded husband. As such, she was expected to symbolically weep on account of this separation. That explains why Mary Magdalene had to weep at her first wedding. It is a pity, General, that most Christians and their clergy miss the real story so wrongly indoctrinated are they.

In December AD 30, Jesus moved in with Mary Magdalene to consummate the marriage. It was hoped that Mary would fall pregnant so that in March the following year, a Second (and final) Marriage ceremony would be held.  Sadly, conception did not take place. According to Essene dynastic procreational rules, the couple had to separate again. They would reunite in December AD 31 for another try at conception.

The reason they separated was because for a dynastic heir, marriage was purely for procreation and not for recreational sex. But even that year, General, Mary did not fall pregnant, necessitating another year-long separation. What that meant was that Mary would be given one more last chance – in December AD 32, by which time Jesus would have been 38.  If she did not conceive this time around, the marriage would come to an end through a legal divorce and Jesus would be free to seek a new spouse.

THE FINAL MARRIAGE

In December 32, Mary Magdalene, General, finally conceived. When Jesus was crucified therefore in April 33 AD, his wife was three months pregnant. By this time, the Second Marriage ceremony, the final one, had already taken place, this being in March. The Second Marriage is cursorily related in MATTHEW 26:6-13; MARK 14:3-9; and JOHN 12:1-8.The John version reads as follows:

“Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany, where was Lazarus, who had died, whom he raised out of the dead; they made, therefore, to him a supper there, and Martha was ministering, and Lazarus was one of those reclining together (at meat) with him; Mary, therefore, having taken a pound of ointment of spikenard, of great price, anointed the feet of Jesus and did wipe with her hair his feet, and the house was filled from the fragrance of the ointment.

Therefore said one of his disciples – Judas Iscariot, of Simon, who was about to deliver him up – ‘Therefore was not this ointment sold for three hundred denaries, and given to the poor?’ and he said this, not because he was caring for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and what things were put in he was carrying. Jesus, therefore, said, ‘Suffer her; for the day of my embalming she has kept it, for the poor you have always with yourselves, and me you have not always.’”

This story (also see JOHN 11:1-44) centres on four people primarily, General. They are Jesus; Lazarus; Mary; and Martha. “Mary” was actually Mary Magdalene.  “Martha” was a titular name for her mother, Helena-Salome.  In the Lazarus story, the two ladies are referred to as “sisters”. This denotes conventual sisters, like the Catholics refer to conventual nuns, and not sisters by blood. Helena-Salome actually headed a nunnery. By the same token, the reference to Lazarus as “brother” has a connotation akin to what Pentecostals refer to as “Brother in Christ”.

Thus, the story revolves around Jesus the groom; his bride Mary Magdalene; his father-in-law Simon Zelotes; and his mother-in-law Helena-Salome. This is a family affair folks, which provides strong hints as to the exact relationship between Jesus and Mary. The raising from the dead of a man called Lazarus, sadly, was not a miracle at all:  it was a ceremonial restoration from excommunication back to the Essene governing council, which comprised of Jesus and his so-called 12 disciples.

The “Lazarus” who was thus restored was actually Simon Zelotes, at the time the most “beloved” by Jesus of the entire apostolic band, who had been demoted under circumstances relating to a Zealot uprising against Pontius Pilate.  More will be said on the subject at a later stage.

The anointing of Jesus by Mary with “spikenard”, General, harps back to ancient married rituals as patently demonstrated in The Song of Solomon. This was the second time Mary had anointed Jesus, first at the First Marriage in September AD 30 AD and now at the Second Marriage in March 32 AD. On both occasions, Mary anointed Jesus whilst he sat at table.

In SONG OF SOLOMON 1:12, the bride says, “While the King sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof”.  The anointing in the gospels was therefore an allusion to the ancient rite whereby a royal bride prepared her groom’s table. Only as the wife of Jesus and as a priestess in her own right could Mary Magdalene have anointed both the feet and head of Jesus.

The anointing in effect had two purposes: first, to seal the marriage, and second, to officially announce to the Jewish nation that Jesus was the Davidic Messiah (and not his younger brother James, who had been so promoted by John the Baptist).  It all harped back to the tradition in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, where Kings or Pharaohs were anointed for office (in their case with crocodile fat) by their half-sister brides.

The King’s bride actually kept the anointment substance for use for one more time – when the King died. You can now understand, General, why Jesus said “the day of my embalming she has kept it” in reference to his anointing by Mary Magdalene and why the first person to feature at the tomb of Jesus was none other than Mary Magdalene!

Three passages in the Lazarus story     (in JOHN11: 1-44) are particularly telling.  They are Verses 20, 28, and 29. They read as follows: “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house … After Martha said this, she went back and called her sister Mary privately. ‘The Master is here,’ she told her, ‘and is asking for you.’ When Mary heard this, she got up and hurried out to meet him.”  The reason Mary (Magdalene) first kept her place before proceeding to meet Jesus, General, is not supplied in the Johannine gospel.

However, the Apocryphal document which has come to be known as The Secret Gospel of Mark sheds more light, General.  It explains that on the first occasion, Mary did come out to meet Jesus along with her mother Martha (Helena-Salome) but upon being rebuked by the disciples of Jesus, she repaired back to the house. Why was she lashed out at, General? Because according to the Essene matrimonial code, she was not permitted to come out of her own accord and greet her husband: she was to wait until he had given her express permission to emerge.

There is yet another element in the conduct of Mary Magdalene that has parallels with Solomon’s queen, General. In the back-and-forth romantic dialogue between the couple, the queen is referred to as a “Shulamite” (SONG OF SOLOMON 6:13). The Shulamites were from the Syrian border town of  Solam and we have already seen that Mary’s first foster father, Syro the Jairus, was a Syrian, as was her mother Helena-Salome.

JUDAS DENOUNCES THE MARRIAGE

The marriage of Jesus to Mary Magdalene was vehemently opposed by most of his so-called disciples. The most vociferous on this position, General, was Judas Iscariot. The writer of the John gospel characterises Judas as a “thief” who used to pilfer alms money but that is a smear.  The gospels were written post-eventual and therefore Judas’ name was already in ignominy.

His detractors therefore had a field day at sullying his character. Yet prior to the betrayal, Judas Iscariot, General, was one of the most respected figures among the Essene community. At the time of Jesus’ marriage, Judas was the second-highest ranking Essene after Simon Zelotes (that is the meaning of “Judas of Simon” in the passage quoted above, meaning “Judas the deputy of Simon”): Jesus was third, although politically he was the seniormost.

Judas opposed the marriage on grounds, primarily, that Mary Magdalene was not only a Gentile but a commoner. Judas had the right to pronounce on Jesus’ marriage because it was he who was in charge of the Essene’s order of Dan, to which Mary Magdalene belonged prior to her marriage to Jesus and therefore had the right whether to release her for marriage or retain her in the convent. Judas would rather the spikenard (the most expensive fragrance of the day, the reason it was only used by queens) was sold and the money generated donated to the Essene kitty (“the poor” was another name for Essenes: when Jesus in the Beatitudes said “blessed are the poor”, he was not referring to you and me: he meant the Essenes).

Sadly General, as high-standing as he was, Judas had no right of veto over the marriage of a Davidic heir: only Simon Zelotes had by virtue of his position as the Essene’s Pope. Simon Zelotes was Mary Magdalene’s step-father and there was no way he was going to stand in the way of the marriage of his own daughter. Moreover, Jesus had already begun to fancy himself as Priest-King.

As far as he was concerned therefore, he was at once the Davidic Messiah and the Priestly Messiah – the Melchizedek. Thus even if Simon Zelotes had perchance objected to the marriage, Jesus would have gone ahead with it anyway. It was Jesus’ highly unpopular appropriated role as the Melchizedek, General, that set him on the path to Calvary.

NEXT WEEK: A NEW GOVERNOR COMES TO TOWN

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