Determined to teach Gilgamesh a lesson he’d never forget – that is, if at all he survived – for spurning her not only once but multiple times now, Inanna called upon a “sky monster” and set it loose on him. The official name of the monster was the Gudanna, meaning “Bull of Heaven”.
Just like Huwawa, the Gudanna was not an organic monster: it was a mechanical monster parked somewhere in the Cedar Forest. It was Enlil-Jehovah’s personal plane meant for use only in wars. If you recall, the bull was the symbol of the astrological age of Taurus (4380 to 2220 BC), which was dedicated to Enlil. Enlil himself was also referred to as the Bull of Heaven. The Gudanna was therefore synonymous with Enlil.
Inanna used bluster to commandeer the Gudanna to the satiation of her own personal ends: she did not seek the permission of Enlil at all. Some accounts intimate that she bypassed Enlil and sought permission straight from King Anu on Nibiru but that is highly improbable. With a host of important matters to attend to, there was no way Anu would deign to embroil himself in personal vendettas and matters of ego. In any case, even if Inanna cabled him in relation to the use of the Gudanna, Anu’s plausible cause of action would have been to refer her to Enlil, who not only was the proprietor of the plane but Earth’s Chief Executive.
With the Gudanna bearing down on his party, Gilgamesh’s priorities changed on the spur of the moment – from a quest for eternal life to fleeing for his life as a psycho Inanna meant business. Now, as godfather of Gilgamesh, Utu-Shamash could not just stand by and watch Inanna blow him to smithereens. Inanna had effectively declared war on a hapless Gilgamesh and therefore he needed his help. As Inanna was in the process of operationalising the Gudanna, Shamash acted swiftly.
He provided Gilgamesh with a levitating vehicle that could enable him make it back to Uruk in only three days when ordinarily he would have taken about a month and fifteen days. Shamash also provided Gilgamesh with sophisticated weaponry with which to counter missiles spewing forth from the Gudanna.
Gilgamesh and Enkidu had a headstart on the Gudanna but as they neared the ramparts of Uruk around the banks of the Euphrates River, the Gudanna, which was captained by Inanna and manoeuvered by two of her ace pilots, caught up with them. As the Gudanna swept low, Inanna pressed a button and a missile sailed forth. Over 200 of Gilgamesh’s men perished instantly. Gilgamesh dashed off into Uruk to mobilise fighters, leaving the quick-witted Enkidu and a few of the surviving men to tackle the Gudanna.
As the mobilised warriors flooded to what was now a battlefield, Inanna laid into them, felling them in their droves. The crazed and trigger-happy goddess was firing non-stop, causing widespread trepidation throughout Uruk. At some stage, she relented a bit and taking advantage of this lull, Enkidu deployed the anti-missile weapon Shamash had provided them and aimed at the Gudanna as it showily did acrobatics in the air.
The Gudanna’s sophisticated sensors alerted Inanna as to the incoming danger in a split second and being trained fighters she and her pilots ejected from the Gudanna. Only seconds after they had done so, and with their parachutes yet to unfurl, the Gudanna began to descend erratically in a spiral. Enkidu’s missile had not struck it clean; only brushed it but the damage was potent enough to bring it down.
A huge cheer went up from Gilgamesh’s warriors on the ground as they thronged Enkidu and hoisted him shoulder-high. Soon the whole of Uruk had basically emptied to come and see with their own eyes the fallen monster, which Gilgamesh’s warriors set about wrecking and vandalising as they chanted songs of triumph. “After the Bull of Heaven was defeated,” says The Epic of Gilgamesh, “Gilgamesh called out to the craftsmen, the armourers, all of them, to view the mechanical monster and take it apart. Then, triumphant, he and Enkidu went to pay homage to Shamash.”
ENKIDU, GILGAMESH INDICTED
The whole of Uruk partied throughout the night to celebrate the downing of the “sky creature” which had laid waste to hundreds of its sons. Enkidu for one became the toast of the town for almost single handedly terminating the Gudanna. But what Gilgamesh and Enkidu didn’t know was that through their heroic acts of resistance, they had sown the wind and would reap the whirlwind.
Aware that she had landed herself in hot soup for causing the destruction of Enlil’s fighter craft, Inanna raised a self-serving hue and cry, demanding that Gilgamesh and Enkidu be arrested and indicted for destroying a special machine belonging to the most important figure on Earth. She held a mock funeral at her Eanna abode in honour of the Gudanna and decreed several days of national mourning in Uruk, which almost nobody observed.
It didn’t take long for Enlil to learn about the destruction both of his plane and Huwawa. To say he was wroth is an understatement: he was apoplectic with rage and overcome with melancholy. “When Enlil this heard, with agony he cried, in the heavens of Anu was his wailing heard,” says The Epic of Gilgamesh. “For in his heart Enlil well knew: bad indeed was the omen!” Which it indeed was as we shall demonstrate in due course: it was an allegory of the end of Enlilite rule!
Enlil moved quickly to issue a warrant of arrest for Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Although Inanna too was at fault for unauthorised access to the Gudanna, she was not indicted given the special place she occupied in King Anu’s heart. Gilgamesh and Enkidu were charged for the “murder” of Huwawa and Gudanna, which was absurd indeed as these were mechanical creatures and not organic beings.
It just goes to show how the Anunnaki, or the Enlilites in particular, belittled the life of an Earthling. To them we were beneath artificial things they prized highly. Being an Enkite, Enkidu for one was so tortured by Enlil’s callous sheriffs that he was rendered comatose from the savage beatings. Seeing his bed-ridden friend, Gilgamesh was inconsolable. “Enkidu was afflicted with a coma. Distraught and worried, Gilgamesh paced back and forth before the couch on which Enkidu lay motionless. Bitter tears flowed down his cheeks.”
ENKIDU SENTENCED FOR “MURDER”
It was not until Enkidu was fully recovered that the trial commenced before the Enlilite Council of the Gods. The majority verdict initially was a death sentence for both Gilgamesh and Enkidu. The two contested the sentence and on appeal, Shamash recused himself from the ranks of the bench to act as counsel for the appellants.
In his deposition, Shamash argued that both he and Inanna were complicit in what had transpired and so they were equally culpable. He went on to say that Gilgamesh and Enkidu were attacked “by the monsters” and so had the right to defend themselves. “They had to kill before they were killed,” Shamash put it before the bench. “None of the two deserves to die.”
Although Shamash’s arguments were well-reasoned, all he managed to do was to secure the acquittal of Gilgamesh. Enkidu’s death sentence was upheld, with the bench holding to the view that in the demise of both Huwawa and the Gudanna, it was by his direct hand alone that they perished. Shamash denounced the decision as nonsensical. “Why should Enkidu die alone?” he wondered aloud. “The killings of Huwawa and the Gudanna were done with his (Gilgamesh’s) concurrence.”
Sadly, the bench was not persuaded. Enkidu was headed for the gallows. The only option was for him to file for clemency before the high offices of Enlil, which he did at the advice of Shamash although if it were up to him alone, he would rather he died as a martyr. But Shamash held him in very high esteem being his future son-in-law.
Enlil relented thanks to the concerted pleadings of Enki, Ninmah and Ninsun and commuted Enkidu’s death sentence to lifelong toil in the “Land of the Mines,” that is, Tilmun in the Sinai Peninsula, “a place where copper and turquoise were obtained by backbreaking toil in dark tunnels”. But deep down, Enlil still begrudged Enkidu. One way or the other, he vowed to himself, he’d get even with Enkidu. Enlil simply was not the forgiving type.
Enkidu was accordingly summoned to Enlil’s courts and informed of his fate. Then Enlil rendered him the following instructions: “Two emissaries clothed like birds, with wings for garments, shall appear unto you. One of them, a young man whose face is dark, who like a Bird-Man is his face, shall transport you to the Land of the Mines. He will be dressed like an Eagle. By the arm he will lead thee. Follow me, he will say.
He will lead you to the House of Darkness, the abode below the ground, the abode which none leave who have entered into it. A road from which there is no return, a House whose dwellers are bereft of light, where dust is in their mouths and clay is their food.”
Underground mining in those days was the equivalent of Hell. One lived there for life, never to resurface. They died right underground and were buried right there. Once again, Gilgamesh shed copious tears for his most cherished friend. But Enkidu himself was stoic: if that was how fate willed it, he said to Gilgamesh, then so be it.
GILGAMESH’S SECOND SHOT AT ATTAINING IMMORTALITY
Shortly after Enkidu’s sentence was passed, Gilgamesh once again began to muse about his mortality and the possibility of eschewing it. Then an idea dawned in his mind. The Land of Mines, where Enkidu was now destined, was cheek by jaw with the Land of the Living in the Sinai Peninsula and of which Shamash was in charge. The latter was the spaceport, the place where those who had dutifully served the gods – the Anunnaki – lived in eternal bliss.
These folk, who included Noah, the hero of the Deluge, had ridden a shem to Nibiru, so it was believed, and had returned to Earth invested with immortality. The spaceport teemed with rockets: maybe it was time Gilgamesh had his second stab at riding in a shem by going to Tilmun! He’d ask Shamash to arrange for him to travel with Enkidu as he was headed to the same place basically.
Hence it was that Gilgamesh yet again prostrated himself before Shamash for permission to undertake the venture and for his blessings as his godfather. “O, Shamash, the Land I wish to enter: be thou my ally!” Gilgamesh entreated Shamash in the company of his mother Ninsun. “The Land which with the cool date palms aligned, I wish to enter; be thou my ally! In the places where the shems have been raised, let me set up my shem!”
Shamash at first equivocated as he didn’t want a replay of the Cedar Mountain scenario: Enlil had made it clear to him that if such an abomination were to happen again, Shamash would be stripped of his post as the overseer of the Anunnaki’s space-related facilities. But after meticulously prescribing a code of conduct along the way for Gilgamesh, he finally gave him the green light but not before he warned him of the hazards and difficulties of the land route.
Gilgamesh proposed that he travel by sea for most of the journey, and drop off Enkidu on the way. He would sail down the Persian Gulf, around the Arabian Peninsula, and up the Red Sea till he reached Tilmun City (today called El-Tor), the most important port on the Sinai coast. It was there he would part with Enkidu, who would proceed to the Land of Mines not very far off to slave for the rest of his life, whilst Gilgamesh himself would proceed to Paradise.
MAGAN VESSEL SHIPWRECKS
A month later, Gilgamesh and Enkidu, accompanied by 50 men comprising sailors, body minders, and medical attendants, set sail in a chartered Magan Boat, a “Ship of Egypt”. This was a decoy boat – to give the impression that they were headed for Egypt when their destination was actually the Sinai Peninsula.
For part of the way, Shamash escorted them. Then wishing them a safe journey, he sailed back in the opposite direction, his heart heavy with the harrowing thought of seeing Enkidu for the last time. It galled him that such a man of valour and such a fine physical specimen would no longer be his son-in-law. As he sailed along, he cursed his grandfather Enlil, who more often than not came across as a devil than a virtuous, above-board being.
Gilgamesh and Enkidu meanwhile continued with their journey. They were not too far gone from Sumer and were sailing through the narrow strait leading out of the Persian Gulf, today known as the Strait of Ormuz, when dusk fell. “The mountains along the distant coast became dark, shadows spread over them.” Shortly thereafter, they noticed a watchtower far afield on the right-hand shore of a strip of land which is today part of a country called Oman.
What they saw atop the watchtower gave them the creeps. “Standing alongside the mountain was someone who like Huwawa could emit rays from which none can escape. Like a bull he stood on the great Earth house.” The creature beckoned them to come to a halt. Clearly, it wanted to accost them.
Gilgamesh was all too aware that such a creature had to be fought and tamed before it erased them from the face of the Earth with its death-ray emitting device. The memory of Cedar Mountain was still fresh in his mind: if Enkidu hadn’t killed Huwawa, he and him would not be alive today. So Gilgamesh there and then gave orders that the ship anchor ashore so that they confront the mechanical watchman.
Enkidu on the other had seemed to have a presentiment of what could transpire. He countered that they keep clear of the shore, postpone the journey, make u-turn, and head back to Uruk. Gilgamesh refused to budge. “Whether the watchman be a god, a mortal, or otherwise, I’ll fight him,” Gilgamesh vowed as he instructed his men to have their arms at the ready.
Then all hell broke loose. “A sudden wind, as though driven by the watchman's beam, tore the ship's sail and overturned the boat. Next, the ship itself was thrust on its side and capsized. It sank fast, like a stone in water. All in it sank down.” Unbeknownst to them, it was all the work of Enlil. Remember what he had said about sorting Enkidu out when the prerogative of mercy over Enkidu was wrung from his lips by Enki, Ninmah and Ninsun? Enkidu was the Jonah of the Magan ship. It was he Enlil had plotted to be rid off for destroying his beloved Gudanna: everybody else was collateral damage. No one held a grudge like Jehovah.
ENKIDU IS NO MORE
Only two survived the shipwreck and these were none other than Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Gilgamesh for one was essentially unscathed. But Enkidu sustained internal injuries which compromised his ability to swim. Seeing his body drifting limply, Gilgamesh swam over and dragged him along towards the shore, well away from the location of the watchtower, praying for a miracle. Gilgamesh then laid him down and began to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and Enkidu came to at long last and sat up.
Outwardly, Enkidu didn’t look in a particularly bad shape and spoke coherently. Since the winds were blowing in the direction of the shore, the flotsam soon began to wash ashore, including the wreckage itself. Gilgamesh and Enkidu rose to their feet and ambled toward the wreckage so they could take a closer look at it. “They could see the ship with its crew still at their posts, looking amazingly alive in their deaths. In the sudden death (from the death rays fired off by the mechanical watchman and not from drowning), they just froze in whatever position they were.”
The two survivors spent the whole night arguing as to what should be their next of action. Enkidu, who not hundred percent, wanted them to hitch a ride back to Uruk on the first passing boat but Gilgamesh was determined that come what may, he had to get to the Sinai Peninsula by any means necessary. The idea of making a retreat was simply inconceivable. Then in the early hours of the morning, Enkidu took a turn for the worse.
“His limbs became numb, his insides were disintegrating.” Gilgamesh was thrown into panic. He there and then changed his mind and now inclined to return to Uruk for the sake of his best friend. “My friend," he cried, "Please stay alive. To our land I will bring thee.”
Sadly, Enkidu’s number was up. He opened his eyes for the last time and unable to utter a single word as his vocal chords were numbed stared fixedly at Gilgamesh as if to bid him farewell. Then breathing his last, he gave up the ghost. Gilgamesh could not believe his bosom friend, who was closer and more dedicated to him than any of his brothers, was gone. He dug a grave right on the shore and buried Enkidu. For six days and seven nights, he sat by the grave, mourning the man he esteemed as the hero of Uruk.
The Lord’s wife seeks refuge in a European“Wilderness”
In March 37 AD, General Atiku, Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar died after 23 years in office. He was succeeded by his nephew and adoptive heir Gaius Caligula.
Caligula had forged a fraternal bond with Herod Agrippa, a grandson of Herod the Great, whilst hitherto cash-strapped Agrippa worked at Emperor Tiberius’ court in some capacity. It was on the basis of this mutual affinity that Caligula installed Agrippa as King of the Middle East territories his uncle Phillip the Tetrarch, who passed on in AD 34, had ruled over.
In 39 AD, Agrippa’s regal tentacles spread even wider when he was given the Herod Antipas domains after he politically poisoned the latter to Caligula. Thus it was that Agrippa became Rome’s client King of the whole of Palestine minus Judea. Meanwhile, the tiny territory of Chalcis in Syria was given to Agrippa’s brother Herod, best known to history as Herod of Chalcis, on the pleadings of Agrippa.
It so happened, General, that during the rather short, six-year reign of Agrippa, four Jewish High Priests took turns in office, all appointed by he himself as per authority vested in him by the Emperor. One particular appointment, of a Boethusian High Priest at the expense of the incumbent Mathias Ben Ananus (the apostle Matthew), rankled with radical Jews.
Mathias was replaced in 43 AD, when he was scarcely one year in office. Given that the Boethusians held the Davidic dynasty in contempt, it goes without saying that the apostolate band were irate. In the event, Simon Peter and James the son of Zebedee with typical Zealot radicalismconveniently saw common cause with Simon Zelotes and set about plotting the assassination of Agrippa.
Somehow, General, the Herod establishment got wind of the plot and Herod of Chalcis had James executed and Simon Peter thrown into the slammer pending his own turn at the scaffold.Simon Zelotes and Theudas Barabbas were quick to hit back. First, Simon used his guile and connections to have Peter spirited out of prison, whereupon Peter sought refuge in Rome.
Simon Zelotes is the “Angel of the Lord” spoken of in the relevant passage (ACTS 12:7) asthat was his emeritus title as one of the Essene top brass. Second, Simon Zelotes had Agrippa assassinated by way of snake poison. Although Simon Zelotes got away with this intrigue, Barabbas, General, was not so lucky: as he made his getaway across the Jordan River and bogged down by age-related lethargy, he was seized and summarily executed by decapitation on the orders of Herod of Chalcis.
Simon Zelotes set up a new base in Cyprus, leaving his step-daughter Mary Magdalene in the lurch in Judea. What would be her fate, General, now that she was associated with a fugitive from justice?
SCHISMS IN THE CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT
The accession and rather untimely demise of King Agrippa, General Atiku,had quite significant ramifications on the nascent Christian movement. Of particular import was the relocation of the Qumran community to Damascus in Syria. Indeed, the Dead Sea Scrolls’ Damascus Document makes a point of highlighting “the New Covenant in the Land of Damascus”, which now the Essenes propagandised as the place where the awaited Jewish Messiah would appear and not in Jerusalem as the Old Testament prophets had foretold.
The change of scene, General, was spearheaded by James the Just, the immediate younger brother of Jesus and the incumbent leader of the Christian movement. It was necessitatedby the fear that the perpetually impecunious Agrippa (whilst he was alive, that is), who at some stage had been declared bankrupt, might eventually deplete the Qumran kitty (a portion of which the Herods were entitled to), of which James was the custodian following the ignominious death of Judas Iscariot.
James had also served notice that the Herods wouldhave no part to play in a sovereign Israel, that the conduct of its affairs would be the preserve solely of the Davidic dynasty, which he now headed. As if to underscore this apartness,James even went on to reprise the Star &Sceptre political tag team with Theudas Barabbas (before his assassination), which harked back to a similar partnership of yesteryears between his father Joseph and the same Barabbas, who was still revered as the iconic Zealot revolutionary.
The likes of Simon Peter (who had returned from Rome a free man since his alleged crime had lapsed with the death of King Agrippa as was the practice those days),however, set up their base at Antioch in Syria, which suggests that there was a bit of dissonance between James and Peter at the time. Peter was reinforced by Paul and the latter’s personal doctor Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. The Peter faction was also anti-Herod but in its formative stage it touted Peter as the successor to Jesus at the expense ofJames.
In sum, General, there was a three-way split in the Christian movement after Jesus went into obscurity. This was the James party at Damascus, the Peter party at Antioch, and the Simon Zelotes party in Cyprus. It was the Peter party that with the benefit of hindsight stole the thunder in that it was at Antioch that members of The Way began to call themselves Christians. This was in AD 44.
MARY MAGDALENE IN FRANCE
Meanwhile, General Atiku, Mary Magdalene was in a very precarious position. At the time, she was already pregnant with Jesus’ third child, having conceived in December AD 43.It is not clear though whether she too had incurred the wrath of the Herods in view of what her step- father Simon Zelotes had done to King Agrippa, but taking precautions, she sought the protectionof Agrippa’s eldest son, Agrippa II. Agrippa II was only 17 years at the time and was based in Rome under the auspices of Claudius, who had become Roman Emperor in AD 41.
A former student of the Apostle Paul, Agrippa II was well disposed toward the Jesus family and so he readily acquiesced to Mary’s entreaty, whereupon he arranged for her safe passage to the famed Herodian estate in Gaul, France, in collaboration with his other brother Aristobulus. It was in Gaul that the brothers Herod Archelaus and Herod Antipas had by turns been banished by the Roman Emperor after their ouster in AD 6 and 39 respectively .
Mary Magdalene, General,was not all alone on the ship that conducted her to France. She was accompanied by her step-father Simon Zelotes; her mother Helena-Salome; the apostle Philip; the three sisters of Jesus; the wife of James the Just; and Trophimus, who is mentioned in ACTS 20:4; ACTS 21:29; and 2 TIMOTHY 4:20. In his book The Life of Mary Magdalene, Archbishop Rabanus Maurus partly documents the voyage thus: “And favoured by an easterly wind they travelled on across the Sea between Europe and Africa, leaving the city of Rome and all the land of Italy to the right. Then, happily changing course to the right, they came to the city of Marseilles in the Gaulish province of Vienne.” Upon arrival in France, Mary Magdalene had the privillege of being welcomed by the Queen of Marseilles. Once in
France, Simon Zelotes, whobecame known there as Lazarus the Great One, wasted no time in setting up a mission in Provence in south eastern France.
MARY MAGDALENE Vs ROME
Unbeknownst to much of Christendom, including the Christian clergy itself, General, the fate of Mary Magdalene is cryptically documented in the Book of Revelation! It is unfortunate that Revelation is placed last in the New Testament corpus when by rights it should have come immediatelyafter the Book of Acts and not after the21 epistles in between since it is actually a continuation of the Jesus story. Although it is called the Revelation of Saint John, that is a misnomer.
It is a revelation by Jesus Christ himself, who we now know was very much in existence and in circulation more than fifty years after his sham crucifixion. That is exactly what REVELATION 1:1 states,although Christians have naively taken this to be no more thanfigurative language. It was Jesus in his physical, blood-and-fleshform who related much of the contents of Revelation to the apostle John, the literal author of the book. Jesus dictated the account; Johnsimply was the scribe.
The relegation of Revelation (literally “The Unveiling”, the true meaning of the Greek world apocalypse from which the term “Revelation” is translated) to the very extremity of the biblical canon, General,was contrived by Roman Emperor Constantine as the teachings of the Roman Church were founded, primarily, on the writings of Simon Peter and the apostle Paul. Says authoritative historian Laurence Gardner in his book The Magdalene Legacy:The Jesus and Mary Bloodline Conspiracy: “At first glance it appears baffling that The Revelation was included in the New Testament at all, since it follows the post-Resurrection lives of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and their offspring through a balance of the 1st century.
However, the inclusion of The Revelation proved to be a remarkable strategy in that its very esoteric nature enabled Rome to turn it to considerable advantage by misrepresenting its text from the pulpits; this, of course, was at a time when the general populace did not have Bibles to read for themselves.” Gardner goes on to say, “The Church has done its best to put people off this book ever since by portraying it as a sinister work of foreboding and doom. By way of propaganda from the 1662 Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, even the very word apocalypse has become emblematic of disaster.”
REVELATION CHAPTER 12, General, is particularly pertinent with regard to the saga of Mary Magdalene. It talks about a pregnant woman“clothedwith the sun” and with a “wreath of 12 stars on her head” (Verses 1 and 2).This woman is being pursued and tormented by a “great fiery-red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads seven diadems” (Verse 3). The dragon’s aim is to “devour her child when it is born” (Verse 4). The woman “fled into the wilderness, there where she has a place made readyby God” (Verse 6).
Despite her trials and tribulations, the woman at long last “brought forth a son, a male, who is about to be shepherding all the nations with an iron club. And her child is snatched away to God and to His throne” (Verse 5). The dragon, though, will never relent: itis “angry with the woman, and came away to do battle with the rest of her seed, who are keeping the precepts of God and who have the testimony of Jesus” (Verse 17).
As wehave reiterated time and again,General, much of the New Testament was writtenin a coded language with a view to keeping the Romans in the dark. Thus in the Book of Revelation, Mary Magdalene is simply referred to as “the woman” and Rome as “the dragon” or “the serpent”.History documents that the Romans did display a reddish dragon on their imperial banner.Moreover, Rome itself was known as the City of the Seven Kings in that this was the total number of Roman emperors before the empire became a Republic in 509 BC.
The woman is of royal pedigree because she is “clothed with the sun”,anage-old symbol of both royalty and divinity. The 12 stars on her head obviously refers to the 12 tribes of Israel, for whom she was the de facto queen being the wife of Jesus,the Davidic King, and the wreath on her head denotes the fact of the nation of Israel’s enduringsubjugation to the Roman yoke.The “wilderness” in this context is France, where Mary Magdalene as related above sought refuge with the assistance of Agrippa II.
The pursued woman did give birth to a male child, which Mary Magdalene did as we shall relate in the next instalment. As a youngster, the child himself met no harm, but his relations, the broader Jesus family and their scions,who became known as the Desposyni or the Sangreal, were continuously harassedby Roman emperors, with some of them put to death, a detail we shall go into at the appropriate stage.
Curiously, General, the Revelation passage indicates that the woman was transported to safety on “two wings of a large vulture”. This suggests an aircraft, and a hideous, military-type for that matter, and not a ship as official history documents. This is not exactly far-fetched considering that the Anunnaki, who flew in aerial vehicles, have been ruling Earth from behind the scenes despite their official departure in the 6thcentury BC. If Mary Magdalene had been earmarked as the progenitor of the planet’s blue blood, which she indeed was, then the Anunnaki had cause to ferry her to France in an aeroplane to make doubly sure she got to France inone piece. It may explain, General, why upon her arrival in France she was welcomed by no less a figure than the Queen of Marseilles herself.
When I was growing up dinosaurs didn’t exist.I don’t mean I’m so old I pre-date the days of the prehistoric beast, simply that in those days, nobody bar a few nerdy scientists, gave them much of a second thought.
But in 1993 all that changed.Movie buffs amongst you will immediately recognise that year as the release year of the original Spielberg Jurassic Park movie.That’s not to say there hadn’t been films portraying these ancient beasts before – several had come and gone, seemingly without a trace, the oldest being from 1933 and filmed in black and white.But what set Jurassic Park apart, aside from the impressive special effects and the sprinkling of magic Spielberg dust, was the relatively recent discovery of DNA and its genetic significance.
The scriptwriters exploited this concept with the quasi-credible discovery of a living lizard species, derived from dinosaur DNA, captured from an ancient mosquito, and preserved for millennia in a chunk of amber.From there several other species are cloned and kept on an island which acts as a dinosaur game reserve, now open to the public.But that wouldn’t have made much of a story, so of course some of the more dangerous dinosaurs had to escape and cause mayhem and murder in the modern world.
The film grossed over a billion dollars and won 3 Oscars for sound and visual effects.And more importantly it generated so much interest in dinosaurs that the study of palaeontology experienced a record increase in applications.
So that’s where all the dinosaur hype and fascination started and since then it has spawned more movies from the same franchise, animated series such as Ice Age, andled to a global fascination with finding out more about these beasts of the past.
But only recently something quite fascinating emerged concerning these creatures, and that is that they began life as much smaller creatures and it was a major climate event on earth which led to their monster growth.This finding is the result of a study between scientists from the UK’s Birmingham university in conjunction with their Chinese counterparts at the China Institute of Mining & Technology. Their joint team of researchers recently presented compelling evidence that massive volcanic events probably helped the dinosaurs diversify and thrive, reaching their monumental sizes.
Their results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and explain that the Triassic Period, which began roughly 250 million years ago, was a time of massive ecological change after the largest mass extinction event on record.Earlier dinosaurs had been skinnier, more reptilian, less of the massive, marauding Spielberg monsters but it was during this time period that dinosaurs diversified until they became wondrous beasts such as T. Rex and Triceratops, dominating ecosystems all over earth.
Scientists looked at a phase spanning 2 million years during the Triassic Period known as the Carnian Pluvial Episode or CPE, ‘pluvial’ deriving from the Latin word for rain, meaning it was a period of warm, moist, cloudy meteorological activity . During that episode, from 234 million to 232 million years ago there was a huge increase in global temperature, humidity and rainfall — a climate often referred to as a “mega-monsoon.”
Researchers analysed sediment and plant fossil evidence from a lake in Northern China and were able to match four intense phases of volcanic activity with the changes of the Carnian Pluvial Episode.The study links the timing of the episode with four distinct peaks in mercury levels, a well-established indicator of volcanic activity,which led to changes in the vegetation.
“We’re often able to link volcanism to global warming, but our study is unusual in that we’ve also linked it to periods of intense rainfall,” said Jason Hilton, a paleobotanist at the University of Birmingham in England and co-author of the study. “With each pulse of volcanism, we see an increase in plants adapted to wet and aquatic… settings.” Jing Lu, a researcher at the China University of Mining and Technology and also a co-author of the study, added that these eruptions “were powerful enough to drive evolutionary processes during the Triassic. During the episode, plant species that couldn’t adapt to the more humid environment went extinct, as did a number of animal species, from large reptilian herbivores on land to small gastropods in the water. “These changes freed up ecological space for other groups of organisms such as dinosaurs, to thrive”
But every dog, and every dinosaur, has their day and the dinosaurs also faded away, most likely due to a massive meteor strike on the surface of the earth in what is now modern-day Florida, which set up a massive tsunami and eventually resulted in a global Ice Age, temperatures too cold for dinosaurs to survive.
If there’s a moral to all this paleo-historical research it is that earth’s climate is governed by many factors, one of which may indeed by petrol fumes in the atmosphere but many of which are completely beyond our control.Another massive meteor strike may occur next week or it may not. We could see a sudden surge in volcanic activity again or we might not.But most of all the lesson is that talk of what is good or otherwise for the planet is based on a false premise.Whatever happens on the surface of the earth, it keeps on spinning round and round the sun every 365 ¼ daysas it has done since the Big Bang and there isno reason to suppose it will cease to do so, even if it were to transform into a an arid desert in its entirety.That is the embodiment of perpetual motion, a force which man has yet to master.
No, what people really mean is ‘good for trying to keep the planet just the way we like it’ which is rather different and may be a complete impossibility.Indeed mankind, like the dinosaur, may become extinct at some point in the future as part of the natural way of the world.
Jesus is admitted into the “Kingdom of Heaven”, which was a metaphor for the Essene priesthood
At Qumran, General Atiku, there were a number of caves on the cliffside (Qumran overlooked the Dead Sea), located not very far from the site where the crucifixion had taken place. Two of these caves were particularly important. One was Cave 4. Cave 4 was called Abraham’s Bosom. It was the burial cave for the Davidic King and the Pope, the Father of the Essene community. Across the chasm from Cave 4 was Cave 8. This was the burial cave of the Davidic Crown Prince. It was also known as Paradise.
Putting politics aside, the rightful Davidic King was Jesus and the Crown Prince was his immediate young brother James. Thus Cave 8 was owned and taken care of by James. The Dead Sea Scrolls confirm this. One text thereof, called the Copper Scroll, says ‘there was a tomb of the son of the third Great One”. In the Essene hierarchy, the third-ranking person was the Davidic Messiah, Jesus. But Cave 8 would not have belonged to his son in that he had no heirs yet. As such, it belonged to James, who was next in line till Jesus produced a heir. Also in Pesher, the term “son of” meant “next in line” or “deputy”.
Cave 8 had another purpose – a storage of money that was in the custody of James. This was Essene initiation fees paid by Gentiles. It was entrusted to the care of the more cosmopolitan Davidic princes, who directly received the money because coming from Gentiles it was regarded as unclean money. Because James was in charge of these funds, he was cynically referred to as “The Rich Man”. This explains why Joseph of Arimathea (James) is characterised in the gospels as a rich man.
Cave 8 and Cave 7 were adjoined. The two caves had one entrance through the side of the roof, with steps leading from the entrance down to the floor of the cave. The entrance was covered with a huge stone that only people on the outside could roll away. The remains of the two joined caves can be seen even today in the ruins of Qumran. When Jesus was brought down from the crucifixion tree by James, he was laid in Cave 8 in keeping with his Davidic status. Judas and Simon Zelotes were laid in Cave 7. Note, General, that had he actually died, Jesus would have been placed in Cave 4.
Since this was the eve of the Sabbath, guards were posted around the caves to see to it that when the Sabbath took effect at midnight, Sabbath rules were not infringed upon in any way, shape or form. Ananus, the youngest son of former Jerusalem Temple High Priest Annas, was one of those who stood guard. In particular, he wanted to ensure that none of the three men in the tomb was removed during the Sabbath. He was to alternate with Theudas Barabbas, who had been strategically posted there as shall become clear shortly.
THE DEATH OF JUDAS
At midnight, when Ananus took leave of his vigil and Theudas Barabbas replaced him, the latter stole into the cave (of course he had help to remove the huge stone cover). In the Passion story, Barabbas is disguised under the name Nicodemus (meaning “Conquering One,” exactly as Barabbas was hyped in his capacity as a leading Zealot revolutionary). The gospel of John says Nicodemus brought with him myrrh and aloes. From the nature and workings of these herbs, General, it is easy to tell what exactly transpired in Cave 8.
Myrrh is used as a sedative (a drug that calms a patient, easing agitation and permitting sleep). This of course was used on Simon Zelotes, who along with Judas had been brought down from the crucifixion trees fully conscious. Both had received substantial scourging from the Roman soldiers and were therefore in acute pain. They badly needed some sleep as a form of provisional escape from the pain.
Aloes are a strong and fast-acting purgative (a substance used to induce rapid bowel movements so that the bowels are quickly emptied). No doubt these were used on Jesus to expel the poison that he had been fed as he hung on the tree. This was a task to which Theudas Barabbas as head of the Theraputae was best suited. The Theraputae specialised in knowledge of medicines and poisons, including snake poison. In fact, one of their assassination “weapons” was snake poison. In 44 AD, for instance, Herod Agrippa I was murdered by the Zealots with snake poison. In his second volume, the Acts of the Apostles, Luke ascribes Agrippa’s death to having been “eaten with worms”. The term worms was a metaphor for snakes and snakes was a metaphor for the Theraputae top brass.
Now, the emplacement of Jesus, Judas, and Simon Zealotes in the cave, General, was not only about hoodwinking Pilate. It was primarily about fulfilling a ritual. This was excommunication of the three from the Essene fold. However, the excommunication of Jesus and Simon in particular did not have the blessings of Herod Antipas, who was very close to Simon and held Jesus in high esteem, who he recognised as the bona fide Davidic King.
So Antipas had schemed with Simon Zelotes that while in the cave, he should reclaim the status ofPope, currently held by Nathaniel, and invoke papal powers to reinstate both and Jesus and he himself. This had to be done within three days of the crucifixion as beyond that excommunication would be irrevocable. This explains, General, why there were such frantic efforts to medically attend to the men in the cave.
The herbs and therapeautic methods employed by Barabbas worked like a charm and the following day Simon and Jesus felt much better. Accordingly, Simon Zelotes wasted no time in reclaiming the papacy and exercised it by lifting the excommunication ofJesus and he himself. This gesture was communicated to the Jewish establishment by Barabbas. Sadly, Judas Iscariot, General, received the short end of the stick.
He never benefitted from the medical attention Jesus and Simon received. Simon denounced him as a traitor for betraying his colleagues. The adjoining cave – Cave 7 – had a ventilational window. Judas, who had been weakened by scourging, was thrown out the window. Hurtling headlong down the cliff, he landed on some jagged rocks and with his stomach punctured his bowels spilt out. His death is recorded partly accurately by Luke in ACTS 1:18.
SIMON FORMS OPPOSITION PARTY
Early on the morning of the first Sunday after the Passover Sabbath, Mary Magdalene, pregnant with Jesus’ first child, pitched up at Cave 7. She could have come on Saturday but movements of a certain radius were forbidden on Sabbath Day. Mary as the wife of Jesus was anxious as to his condition: she wanted to ensure that he indeed was safe, that he had indeed survived the crucifixion ruse.
The gospels say she encountered two angels. Of one such angel, MATTHEW 28:3 says: “His countenance was like lightning and his raiment white as snow.” This, General,is either cryptic language or simply a distortion on the part of the translators. We already know by now that Simon Zelotes was nicknamed “Lightning”. We also have seen that he had at this juncture challenged Nathaniel for the status of Essene high priest, that is, that ofthe Archangel Michael, and so had garbed himself in priestly attire with a view to reinstating to the Essene fold both Jesus and he. Thus, the correct translation should read, “His countenance was like that of Simon Zelotes in his priestly vestments”.
MATTHEW 28:2 reads, “There was a great earthquake and an angel appeared”. Ancient records do not mention a single earthquake in Palestine in the first century. Once again, General, this was pure allegorical language. Earthquake was another of the nicknames of Theudas Barabbas. He was an angel because Simon Zelotes had designated him his No. 2 in the Essene hierarchy, that is, the Angel Gabriel. Thus, the two angels Mary saw were Simon Zelotes and Theudas Barabbas.
Mary also saw another man who at first she mistook for a gardener. Garden was another name for Cave 8. It was likened to the Garden of Eden, or Paradise – another of its nicknames – because the person in its charge, James the brother of Jesus, became the second Adam when he challenged Jesus for the status of the Davidic King. James was thus the gardener Mary thought she had seen. But it wasn’t James: it was Jesus. Apparently, Jesus and James looked very much alike.
Realising that it was Jesus and not James, Mary was overcome with emotion and fervidly reached out to hug him but Jesus kept her at bay. Why, General? Because according to Essene dynastic protocols, she was not, as a pregnant spouse, allowed physical contact with her husband for at least three years.
All in all, General, the three men at Cave 8 had, with the blessings ofHerod Antipas, declared themselves as the heads of the new Essene shadow council of the 12 in opposition to the official one led by Nathaniel pending official elections. Simon Zelotes was the shadow Michael; Barabbas the shadow Gabriel; and Jesus the shadow Sariel. But it would take six more months before they became formally so.
JESUS FINALLY IS PRIEST-KING
Although the so-called crucifixion took place in the relative quiet and seclusion of Qumran, General, it was not meant to be kept under wraps for long. Pontius Pilate wanted to demonstrate to his subjects that the key people in the AD 32 uprising had been dealt with decisively. The crucifixion though was publicly announced after the Passover celebrations were done with. This was tactical on the part of Pilate: he did not wish to foolishly provoke another uprising at a time when Jerusalem was teeming with the highly radical Galilean pilgrims.
By the time the crucifixion became common knowledge, however, General, Jesus was sufficiently fit to make appearances to people who were close to him – his family members and his so-called disciples. He would later appear to a gathering of over 500 at Qumran, most of whom were Diaspora Essenes. To those who did not know about the crucifixion ruse, he had conquered death.
He was therefore hailed as a veritable Messiah. Voices now clamoured to make him Priest-King – the Melchizedek, the very status that he had laid claim to and that had put him at odds with the Jerusalem establishment. Jesus was careful though in his post-crucifixion appearances: he tactfully picked his audience and cautiously timed his showings. He didn’t wish Pilate to get wind of the fact that the crucifixion was a hoax. In fact, very few Jews were aware he had survived the crucifixion.
Meanwhile, General, Simon Zelotes decided to make political capital out of what had transpired. In his campaign for the papacy, he boasted that it was he who was responsible for “the miracle in the tomb”. Hence, his marks of respect too grew exponentially. From that point on, he became known as “Simon Magus”, that is, Simon the magician. With his popularity reaching such dizzying heights, he was in September 33 AD elected as Pope, thus replacing Nathaniel.
With his accession to the papacy, he decided to heed the wishes of the people and have Jesus installed as the Melchizedek. This event is what has come to be known as the Ascension although it has been wrongly interpreted as a physical entry into Heaven, the abode of God. It is captured by Luke in ACTS 1:9, which reads, “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight”.
The incident, General, is nothing more than the admission of Jesus into the priesthood as Priest-King of Israel. The “Kingdom of Heaven” was the inner sanctum of the Essene priesthood. Jesus was conveyed into this inner sanctum by his brother James, who now unequivocally recognised him as such, and ordained by Simon Zelotes and Theudas Barabbas (the “two men who stood by in white apparel” as per ACTS 1:10–11). It was the Exodus imagery at play here General. “Cloud” was another title of James.
It was a cloud that had led the ancient Israelites into the Promised Land (EXODUS 13:21-22) and the appearance of God on Mount Sinai had been accompanied not just by thunder and lightning but by a cloud as well (EXODUS 19:6). Thus, the terms “Thunder” (Nathaniel); “Lightning” (Simon Zelotes); “Earthquake” (Theudas Barabbas); and “Cloud” (James) were retained as symbolic designations in the Essene community.
If Jesus didn’t die in AD 33, what was his life like in subsequent years and when did he actually die? Thanks to the Pesher device, this we can partly glean from the book ofActs, the Pauline epistles, and the book ofRevelation.
NEXT WEEK: THE LORD SETS ABOUT PERPETUATING THE JESUS STOCK!