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The Rise of Sargon the Great

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

   

Sexually fulfilled Inanna elevates her great Earthling stud to Sumerian throne

Let us now revert to the relevant timeframe in  which we are at this stage of The Earth Chronicles, that is, in the 3rd Millennium BC (3000 to 2000 BC) after fast-forwarding to the day of  the Nebuchadnezzars and Alexander the Greats of this world. It was during this period that Gilgamesh, the great King of Uruk, Inanna-Ishtar’s cult centre, waxed and waned. It was also during this time, circa 2760 to 2600 BC, that Enkidu, Gilgamesh’s best friend, destroyed the Gudanna, Enlil’s magnificent fighter craft, on the outskirts of Uruk. 

The destruction of the Gudanna was a telling blow to Enlil, the Bible’s principal Jehovah/Yahweh.  The Gudanna was synonymous with Enlil himself. It was the symbol of Enlil, who was the presiding god over the astrological Age of Taurus (4380-2220 BC), whose emblem was the bull. Enlil was thus known as the Bull of Heaven  and the Gudanna too was called the Bull of Heaven. The destruction  of the Gudanna therefore was a very bad portent  for Enlil, who was so incensed he engineered the subtle killing of Enkidu in  a shipwreck triggered by a hitman of his  around today’s Strait of Ormuz near Oman using a sophisticated directed-energy weapon.

The Anunnaki believed in fates and omens. As far as they were concerned, nothing happened by chance: every event had a karmic purpose or a message. It was either destiny (the unalterable will of God) or fate (the flexible will of God whereby man had a “say” through his own random actions). As such, the destruction of the Gudanna was interpreted as a severe dent to Enlil’s power and authority over Earth.

To Marduk, it signalled that Enlil’s days as Earth’s ruler were numbered, that his (Marduk) time to rule was more imminent than he had initially thought. In fact, in northern Egypt and other predominantly Enkite domains or population pockets, the “Slaying of the Bull”, as the downing of the Gudanna was dubbed, was celebrated like a carnival.

Now, when the Gudanna was destroyed, Inanna, who had been riding in it in pursuit of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, “in her abode set up a wail all the way to Anu in the heavens”. At a superficial level, this suggested she was saddened and hurt that  her grandfather’s aura of invisibility symbolically speaking had been pierced. But it was all a make-believe stunt. Inanna had schemed the Gudanna’s destruction with the unwitting assistance of her twin brother Utu-Shamash, who had provided Gilgamesh and Enkidu with a sophisticated, shoulder mounted surface-to-air missile which a quick-witted Enkidu employed to pinpoint precision. 

Why did Inanna want the Gudanna destroyed? Because she was positioning herself to become the new Enlil at the expense of Marduk in the forthcoming astrological Age of Aries. The destruction of the Gudanna was therefore her way of serving symbolic notice to Enlil that it was time he moved over and she took over as Earth’s sovereign, that he was ill-suited for the power politics of the day that needed the participation only of a fresher generation and not geriatrics like he was.  Sadly, a dim Enlil failed to read through Inanna’s cunning and instead directed his wrath at the mere pawn that was Enkidu. This Earth, My Brother …

ENLIL-IN-WAITING MARDUK DEPLOYS AMARU INTO SUMERIA

At the time of the destruction of the Gudanna, the two most powerful Enlilites, Enlil himself and his eldest son Ninurta, were nowhere near Sumeria. Where were they? The Sumerians records do not specify. The two could have been in South America or on a trip to either Mars or the Moon.

The destruction of the Gudanna, coupled with the absence of Enlil,  suggested Sumeria was in some chaos. There was a huge power vacuum there which needed to be filled instantly. In the event, Marduk,  the incumbent god of Egypt, had reason to salivate as to him it seemed like Enlil had stopped just short of abdicating. But Marduk chose to exercise tact instead of acting rashly.

He mobilised his followers who  were based in Europe, which at the time included Syria and Lebanon, as well as in Judea in southern Canaan, and ordered them to fan out into Sumeria to ready it for his eventual takeover. These people were known as the Amaru, meaning “Light-Skinned Ones”. In today’s English and in the English translation of the Old Testament, they are known as Amorites.   Europe is actually E-ru-pan, meaning “Land (pan) of White-Skinned People (Eru)”.

Exactly who were the Amaru? According to GENESIS 10:15-16, the Amaru were the offspring of a unnamed son of Canaan, Ham’s fourth-born son. Now, if you recall, we did aver in one of our earlier articles that Noah’s sons, namely Japheth, Ham, and Shem (who were born in the same year through artificial insemination) were not of varying races. None was black, white or brown: they all were brownish in their pigmentation, like what we today call coloureds.

It explains why the Amaru are described as light-skinned, just as the dark-skinned Bantus referred to the San people as BaSarwa (Ba-Se-Ru, meaning “Those Who Are Like The Europeans” by virtue of their yellow skin) when they encountered them here in southern  Africa following their (Bantus) great trek from Egypt.    If Ham and therefore his son Canaan were pitch black, they would not have given rise to light-skinned Amaru. 

The Amorites seemed to have plenty of Anunnaki genes in them, just like Noah their forefather. In DEUTERONOMY 3:11, Moses describes their King Og’s  bed as measuring 13.5 feet long, or just over 4 metres. The Amaru were giants, like the Nephilim, a derogatory term for the Igigis, or Anunnaki cosmonauts.  They are said, in the Bible, to be “of the height of the cedars” and  “of the remnants of the giants”. The Amaru, the first “Westerners”, were no doubt a formidable Enkite force. But were they capable of overrunning the whole of Sumeria and deliver it on a silver platter to their god Marduk as his appointed Age of the Ram dawned?
    
WAYWARD KING LUGAL RILES ENLIL

Sadly, when the Amaru gained dominion over much of Sumer, more so the northwest, they turned out to be an undisciplined and gravely fractured lot who revelled in warring against each other. In the process, Sumer was deeply balkanised and chaos rather than order took root. Initially, the Enlilite gods, who dominated Sumer in the form of Enlil, Ninurta, Nannar-Sin, Ishkur-Adad and Inanna-Ishtar, simply watched, delighted that with Marduk’s own people killing each other on Sumerian soil, they would end up annihilating each other and Marduk would be the loser at long last. But the chaos was such that the Enlilites finally decided they had had enough and  it was time they acted.

In a meeting of the Enlilite Council of the Gods, Inanna was tasked to find and groom a strongman, a demigod, to rule over all of Sumer like Cain and Etana before him had done. This man would be the sole intermediary between mankind and the gods and would devoutly serve the agenda of the Enlilites. “To Inanna, of Marduk the adversary, the task of the right man to find they entrusted”, say the Sumerian chronicles. 

As before, the city-state chosen for the resumption of overarching human kingship was Kish, which was fitting as Kish meant “Sceptre City”, or “Seat of Monarchy” (over the ages, kingship had moved scores of times from city-state to city-state though for the last 2300 years it had stayed put at Uruk, having waned after the advent of Gilgamesh and moved to Ur, Sin’s cult city, though presently it was in disarray courtesy of the thick-headed Amorites). But in moving towards that end, the first pilot king would be based in Uruk, Inanna’s cult city, which presently though was in the hands of the Amorites.

The resumptive human king chosen by Inanna was Lugalzagesi. Lugalzagesi was the Ensi, or “Priest King” of Umma, today’s Tell Jokha, about 400 km southeast of Baghdad in Iraq and midway between the Tigris and Euphrates, where he served as high priest to the goddess Ninsaba, a daughter of Enki and Ninmah.  Lugalzagesi, however, ruled for only 25 years before stepping onto the toes of Enlil. Lugalzagesi had his work cut out. 

He was to reconquer all the cities the Enlilites had lost to the Amorites and therefore spike Marduk. This he did with a flourish: in the 25 years he ruled, he had retaken for the Enlilites Lagash, Ur, Uruk (which he made his headquarters as per the Enlilite plan), Nippur, Larsa, Aksha, and Kish in that order. In his writings, he boasted that Enlil enabled him to overrun “all the lands between the upper and the lower seas", that is the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf.

Then he rubbed the very Enlil he was crediting for his conquests the wrong way. Like most people besotted with power, Lugalzagesi wanted Uruk to be the seat of kingship in perpetuity and not Kish as per the Enlilites’ ultimate designs. In order to see to it that Kish had no chance whatsoever of reclaiming kingship, he not only overthrew its King Ur-Zababa but recklessly and severely ravaged its infrastructure, reducing it from Sumer’s most spectacular city to its sorriest eyesore. 

Since Kish was the city Enlil had earmarked as the future capital of Sumer, he was incensed and when that happened the offender was a marked man. Indeed, Enlil immediately ordered Inanna as patron goddess of Uruk to set in motion a programme for Lugalzagesi’s ouster.    

SARGON’S BEGINNINGS GRAFTED ONTO THE MOSES STORY

The person Inanna settled for to replace Lugalzagesi is best-known in history as Sargon the Great.  As with everything involving Inanna, the circumstances that led to his choice are kind of dissolute. Exactly who was Sargon? As with most ancient royal personages, his real name is not known. Sargon is the English rendition of the Semitic Sharru-Kin. This can be interpreted in two ways. First, it could be the Semitic (Akkadian) equivalent of the Sumerian Ensi.

In that case, it should be interpreted as “Priest-King” or “Righteous Ruler”, just like Lugalzagesi was. Secondly, it could simply be Se-Ru-Kin, meaning “A European-born King”. Certainly, Sargon was of Amaru parentage and as we have seen above, the Amaru were European immigrants to Sumer. But Sargon was more than a European: he was a demigod, the son of an Anunnaki god and an Earthling woman. His mother was an Entu, a high priestess to the god Nannar-Sin, who fathered Sargon in a Gigunu setting as per godly privilege.

However, Sin did not intend little Sargon to be simply one of his scores of children: he had special future designs on him, into which he took Sargon’s mother in confidence. But fearing that victimisation of some sort might come to her son, from Sin’s legitimate sons with official wife Ningal, Sargon’s mother raised him in absolute secrecy with the connivance of one agrarian. In his autobiography, which scholars have titled The Legend of Sargon, Sargon himself relates his clandestine upbringing as follows:

“My mother was a high priestess.  I knew not my father. My mother, the high priestess who conceived me, in secret she bore me. She set me in a basket of reeds, its lid sealed with bitumen. She cast me into the river; it did not sink with me. The river bore me up; it carried me to Akki the irrigator. Akki the irrigator lifted me up when he drew water. Akki the irrigator as a son made me and reared me. Akki the irrigator appointed me as his gardener."

Where did you hear that? It’s in the story of Moses. Now you know that Moses’ infant story is not factual: it was lifted straight and unabashedly from that of Sargon, whose life preceded that of Moses by more than a thousand years. And Christians say the Bible is “inspired by God?” This Earth, My Brother …

SARGON’S GREAT PENIS WOOS INANNA

Having being raised under the auspices of a doting  agriculturalist, Sargon himself became an agriculturalist of note.  He particularly excelled at growing dates. In practically every royal meal of the day, gargantuan quantities of dates were consumed, which made date growers enormously rich. Since Sargon was not only rich but was a demigod, he was noticed by King Ur-Zababa of Kish (long before he was overthrown by Lugalzagesi). Ur-Zababa was of course tipped by the Anunnaki royalty that Sargon had the blood of the god Nannar-Sin coursing in his veins and therefore was deserving of a plum post in the corridors of power. Accordingly, Lugalzagesi made Sargon his Cup-Bearer.

What did the post of Cup-Bearer entail?  It was the most trusted and exalted position in the palace.  It was typically held by the heir to the throne. The Cup-Bearer was the chief advisor to the King. And not only that: he was the most trusted. Every food item or drink that was prepared  for the King was first tasted by the Cup-Bearer before the King partook of it. The Cup-Bearer was therefore at the side of the King all the while. If you recall,  Alalu, the Anunnaki pioneer of Earth and Enki’s father-in-law, was once Cup-Bearer and heir to Anu on the throne planet of the Sirian star system.

One day, circa 2400 BC, Sargon, after tending his backyard garden, decided to sun himself in a hammock stark naked. As he dozed off in the process, Inanna, who was riding in a chopper  overhead decided to swoop low so she could  make a close-quarters appreciation of his mighty prick. However, when Inanna descended, she pretended to fall  asleep in a backseat couch in her chopper.

Sargon, who had been awakened by the loud roar of the  chopper’s engine, decided to investigate who this intruder was  who had parked his or her chopper right in his yard and refrained from emerging. Although he did expect the intruder to be a “god”,  he was surprised as to exactly who it was – a completely naked Inanna dead asleep. Well, when a naked man encounters a naked woman, the inevitable must follow.

Dumbfounded by Inanna’s beauty and  tantalising, ageless  features, Sargon  did not even attempt to rouse Inanna from her apparent slumber: he mounted her straightaway so overcome with desire was he. We call this one-sided indulgence in the sexual act  rape, which indeed Sargon himself recognised it was.

“One day my Queen Inanna, after crossing heaven, crossing earth, after crossing Elam and Shubur  … approached weary, fell asleep,” he recounts in his famous memoirs referred to above.  “I saw her from the edge of my garden, kissed her, copulated with her.”

To his glee, when the bumping and grinding stirred Inanna to life, Inanna, who was Sargon’s half-sister in that they shared the same  father Nannar-Sin, did not scream or attempt to sink her teeth into his balls; instead, she flung her arms around his thick neck and wrapped her shapely legs around his waist  whilst she kissed him feverishly.  “Her eyes shone with pleasure”, Sargon writes.  From that day on, Sargon was in her bag.

Not only did she want him to be the daily satiator of her bedtime cravings: she wanted him to be king of her cult city-state of Uruk and eventually as a replacement for Lugalzagesi as overall king of human affairs.  To Inanna, when you were great in bed and was bountifully gifted below the belt, you were automatically entitled to anything of your desire plus much more besides.

SARGON IS KING OF SUMER

At the time of Inanna’s encounter with Sargon, Lugalzagesi was still the superintending King of Sumer though total tranquillity was still a far-cry with pockets of resistance here and there, and Ur-Zababa had been ejected by the same Lugalzagesi from the throne of Kish.   But Lugalzagesi as we have already noted above had angered Enlil and was consequently blacklisted. Thus when Inanna recommended Sargon as the fitting replacement for Lugalzagesi, that, with the added advantage of his being Nannar-Sin’s extra-wedlock  son, very favourably disposed Enlil towards him.  

Writes Zechariah Sitchin: “Sumer, its civilisation a millennium and a half old by then, needed a strong hand at the helm of its Kingship —a Kingship that, after the glorious one in Uruk, kept changing capitals; the changes led to conflicts among the cities and eventually between their patron-gods. Seeing in Sargon a man of action and resolve, Inanna recommended him as the next king over all of Sumer and Akkad … It is quite possible that Sargon's Amorite ancestry might have been a favourable consideration, in view of the pressures on Sumer by migrants from the west and northwest.”

Having been given the nod by Enlil and obtained the blessings of King Anu of Nibiru, Sargon moved to confront Lugalzagesi. With the formidable military arsenal provided Sargon by Enlil and with the strategic aid and battlefront participation of Inanna, it was a walkover. Lugalzagesi was captured and had his neck “forced under a yoke and led to the gates of the god Enlil at Nippur”, thus putting paid to Uruk’s Third dynasty, which was represented solely by Lugalzagesi himself. Soon Sargon had united all Sumer and was the undisputed King of Earthlings. He would rule for a total of 54 years, from circa 2400-2346 BC.

NEXT  WEEK: SARGON CROSSES MARDUK

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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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