Connect with us
Advertisement

The Hebrews Unplugged

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

They originate from Sumer and Ancient India

According to Genesis, there were ten major progenitors (ancestral pillars) of the Semitic people (that is, Shem’s people, today the Jews primarily) from Noah to Terah. These were Noah (Ziusudra in Sumerian); Shem; Arphaxad (Arbakad in Sumerian); Sheila; Eber (Ibri in Sumerian); Peleng; Reu; Serug; Nahor; and finally Terah (Tirhu in Sumerian) in that order. 

If we were to go by descent, all the Semites were Sumerians given that Shem was a Sumerian born in the city-state of Shuruppak. So at what stage did the Semites find themselves in India?  Frankly speaking, that question is not easy to answer considering that people those days kept moving from place to place and even back and forth  to flee from war zones; to escape famine;  to go and take command of newly annexed territory; or to simply evangelise, that is, to promote their god.

Yet of one thing we’re certain: Terah was born and raised up in India. His year of birth was 2193 BC. We know he was born into royalty because he was the Priest-King, the Melchizedek, of a region of ancient India (Mahabharata) known as Dwaraka. His father Nahor, after whom he inherited, was either born in India too or migrated there from Sumer once upon a time.

We know that Terah, who in India was known as His Holiness Hara Krishna, a type of Jesus, fought in the Mahabharata War, which pitted Inanna and her Reptilian allies against the rest of the Anunnaki   circa 2140 BC.  At the time, the Indian empire was officially under the “divine” rule, not executive rule, of Inanna-Ishtar, though her sway over the region had so considerably waned having devoted much of her time to the perpetually tumultuous affairs of Sumer that the Enkites had for all practical purposes taken over. Terah, however, did not fight under Inanna’s banner: he fought under the Anunnaki banner and as an Enkite philosophically.

That said, Terah’s forefathers, who included his own father Nahor, were not consistently Enkites through and through. This is a pattern we see throughout Old Testament times as even the Children of Israel kept shifting loyalties from one god (e.g. Ishkur-Adad) to another (e.g. Enki, Marduk, or Ninmah). For example, during the exodus from Egypt, Moses was at pains to get the Israelites to focus only on Ishkur-Adad, the lead Yahweh/Jehovah of the day.

One day, they forged an image of a calf and venerated it to symbolise the goddess Hathor, another name for Ninmah.  At another time, they forced Moses to erect a brazen serpent when Ishkur-Adad let loose snakes on them (for their recurrent acts of disobedience) so that they would be healed from the highly venomous snake bites. Needless to say, the brazen serpent represented Enki, who was the Anunnaki god of healing.     

According to JOSHUA   24:2, Abraham’s ancestors “served other gods” when they dwelt “on the other side of the Euphrates”. Abraham’s father Terah is particularly singled out in this regard. That is to say, at least Terah’s generation worshipped objectionable gods when they were denizens of the Indian empire, which  indeed lay well beyond the Euphrates River of Sumer. So who were the “other gods” that Abraham’s ancestors worshipped in the Indian sub-continent?

THE “OTHER GODS” WERE ENKITES

Let us return to JOSHUA 24:2. This is how it reads in full: “Joshua said to all the people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods.” The above statement is the religious version of the passage – call it the spin. In the uncorrupted Hebrew original, it reads thus: “Then Joshua said to all the people, thus says Yahweh Elohim of Israel: across the Stream your fathers dwelt from the eon of old, Terah father of Abraham and father of Nahor, and they served other Elohim.”

I need not restate that by now, we all know who the Elohim were: they were the ruling pantheon of the Anunnaki race.  Thus what the passage is trying to highlight is the fact that Abraham’s ancestors worshipped “other Anunnaki”. Who were these? Once again, we by now know that the Anunnaki were in two factions basically, the Enlilites, led by Enlil, the main Jehovah, and the Enkites, led by Enlil’s step brother Enki. Given that the nation of Israel was Enlil’s chosen race of mankind,  the “other Anunnaki” clearly were the Enkites. In short, Terah initially worshipped Enki or his son Marduk secondarily.  In fact, even Abraham and Nahor (the brother, not the grandfather as the two shared the same name)  at some stage worshipped Enki too as we shall soon  unpack.  

In the original version of JOSHUA 24:2, the term “Stream” is used instead of Euphrates. That can be easily explained. According to the authoritative Strong’s Concordance, the term Stream primarily referred to major water bodies, especially the Nile and Euphrates rivers. Indeed, in GENESIS 15:18, the river Euphrates is directly referred to as “The Great Stream”. The term “Stream” also referred to a river in flood. Now, how come that Terah initially worshiped Enki when his forefathers such as Eber were devout Enlilites?

First, let us appreciate the fact that ancient India was Enkite-dominated although it was never officially overseen by an Enkite god. The Rig Veda, one of the oldest sacred books of India, refers to a race of beings called the Nagas. The Nagas were known as the “Serpent People” because they worshipped Enki, the Serpent of Genesis.  As we keep saying time and again, “serpent” originally did not have the unsavoury meaning it is invested with by Christendom today – that of a foul being, the Devil, who assumed the form of a snake in the Garden of Eden. 

The term serpent meant a “royal race” and is derived from the ancient word Surbah, rendered sarpa in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India, and serpens in Latin.  The fact that ancient India was predominantly Enkite-inclined explains why Inanna failed to bring it firmly under her control when she ruled it and why Enlil authorised the use of nuclear bombs there on Harappa and Mohenjo Daro – the cities which had the largest concentration of the Nagas – in the Mahabharata War.    

     According to the Rig Veda, the Nagas were led by Ahi, who fought Indra (Inanna) in the Mahabhrata War. In his book, Nagas, the Ancient Rulers of India, Naval Viyogi says Ahi  belonged to a lineage of ruler-priests stemming from Sumer and that the Nagas god was known as Shiva, or Naga Natha, meaning “Serpent Lord”. It goes without saying that this was Enki. The religious symbol of the Nagas was the cobra, which was also the religious symbol of the Egyptian pharaohs, who were under Enki’s jurisdiction.

     The Nagas, also variously called Sarpa or Dravidians, are described as “dark-skinned with flat noses”, typical African features. Esoterically, the term Nagas meant “Wise Man” and we know that the Anunnaki God of Wisdom was Enki. The Book of Dzyan says the Nagas worshipped a “serpent race which descended from the skies and taught mankind”. Once again, this was Enki’s clan: Enki originated from the Orion star system and his ancestry evolved from a snake species as we explicated in our earlier articles. The same ancient Indian texts say the Nagas and the Aryans (demigods who were predominantly Enlilites) intermarried (with a view to forging peaceful co-existence), giving rise to Kings. It were these intermarriages that produced the likes of Terah and Abraham. 

Thus Terah, or one of his forbearers up the family tree, was a cross-breed between an Enlilite/Aryan and an Enkite/Nagas but he chose to side with the Enkites, just as Jesus would later do. As Krishna the holy man, the Jesus of ancient India, Terah preached    tender Enkite values as opposed to hard-line Enlilite values. This is the reason Genesis, which is an Enlilite document, pans  him as worshipping “other gods”.

OF EWES, JEWS, AND SHEEP

The Abrahamic Jews, or Brahmin Jews, came to be known as Hebrews. How did the name Hebrews come about? There are all sorts of fanciful theories by many a historian. This is because mainstream historians have totally ignored the most authoritative source on the saga of the Anunnaki and by extension the Hebraic Jews. Now, I so particularise because Jews never were one homogeneous race nor did they originate from one single place.

There were black Jews, white-skinned Jews, and even brown-skinned Jews, just as is the case in our day.  Each of these shades of Jews came from different and in some cases overlapping places of origin. Black Jews mainly came from Africa (which included today’s Arabia and all the countries to the south of Arabia) but also from India. White Jews came from India mainly but also from Sumer, particularly Ur. Brown-skinned Jews came from India in the main. 

It is in our present day that Jews are arbitrarily and misleadingly posited as white-skinned people or brown-skinned people (Sephardic Jews – Jews who look like Arabs) only. Israel actually decided to correct this distortion when in 1991 it officially recognised the dark-skinned Falashas of Ethiopia as Jews and airlifted them to Israel though fairer-skinned Israelites continue to discriminate against them and call them all sorts of names. 

Just to reiterate a point we have already underscored, Jews were ewes, or sheep. Enlil called his human subjects sheep.  In some scriptures, the term sheep and ewe are in fact used interchangeably, such as SONG OF SONGS 6:6, where the word used in the New American Standard Bible (NASB) is ewes, whereas the one used in both the King James Version (KJV) and the Biblos Interlinear Bible (NIT, my favourites) is sheep. Certainly, “Ewes” and “Jews” so swimmingly rhyme.  Remember, the letter J was introduced into the alphabet sometime in the 1600s AD.

Even the King Kames Version, which was first published in 1611,   did not contain the letter J at all. All words or names that today begin with the letter J began with either the letter Y or I prior to the 1600s, so that Jesus was Ieosous, Jacob was Yaakov, James was Iames, Judas was  Yehuda, and Jehovah was Yahweh. 

We should also be wary that we do not lose sight of the fact that the term sheep or Jew as applied to Enlil’s chosen people took hold in the Age of Aries ( 2220-60 BC) during the time of Abraham. This was between 4000 and 3100 BC, in the Age of Taurus. Prior to that, mankind was never referred to as sheep: we were simply  Lulu-Amelus, a worker race meant to toil for the Anunnaki. But Hebrews had been there from since before the  Deluge. That brings us back to the question we posed at the outset of this section: how did the name Hebrews arise?
   
WHO ARE THE HEBREWS?
    
The Hebrews, as we now know, constitute part of a people we call Jews. But exactly who were the Hebrews? The name of a people or a nation-state can arise from various premises. They include a founding father; a surpassing icon; a national landmark; a faith leader; a dominant ethnic group; and sheer geographical setting.  For instance, the Saudis (of Saudi Arabia) are named after Muhammad Ibn Saud, the country’s pioneer leader. The name “Columbians” was inspired by the legendary Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus. 

Zambians derive their name from the Zambezi River. The name ‘Salvadorians” (of El Salvador) is in honour of Jesus Christ: the country’s official name when translated to English reads,   “Province of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World”.   Ugandans are such courtesy of the highly influential Baganda tribe, just as “Batswana” reflects the dominance of the Tswana-speaking ethnic group. South Africans are so-called because their country is located in the southernmost part of the continent of Africa.

In the case of the Hebrews, they derive their name from a place of origin. This is Nippur in Sumeria. Nippur (modern Nuffar in southeastern Iraq) was Enlil’s cult city in Sumeria. It was one of the first seven cities the Anunnaki, the Old Testament gods, established on Earth when they arrived on the planet about 450,000 years ago. However, the Anunnaki did not call it Nippur: they called it Nibruki, meaning “Earth’s Crossroads”, or simply Ni-Ibru, meaning “The Crossing Place”. In Akkadian, the father of the Hebrew language, Nibruki/Ni-Ibru was rendered as Nippur.

Nibruki was so named because, first, it was at the geographical centre of southern Sumer, the hub of the whole of Mesopotamia, meaning “Land Between Two Rivers” (the Euphrates and Tigris) as ancient Iraq was known. Second, it was the place where the pre-Diluvial aeronautical grids that guided sky vehicles  in flight crisscrossed each other.  The denizens of Nibruki called themselves the Ibri, meaning, in paraphrase, “Natives of the Crossroads City”.

It was the Sumerian term Ibri which gave rise to Ibrim or Ibriyyim, which is Hebrews in English.  In Setswana, a  languages which is so breathtakingly akin to  Sumerian, Ibrim would be rendered as Ma-Ibri  (“The Ibri”) since unlike Hebrew, which places the noun indicator  (in this case “im”) at the end of a word, in Setswana the noun indicator is placed at the beginning of the word.

At least one of Abraham’s forefathers was directly named after Nibruki. This was Eber, a variation of Ibri.  That could suggest that it was during the time of Eber that the family’s association with Nippur began and as we have indicated above, Nippur was no city of ordinary significance. It was practically Earth’s capital in that the most powerful man on the planet, Enlil, was based there. And as a religious centre and therefore a consecrated city, Nippur was the Vatican of the day.

So what point are we trying to put across? It is that the Hebrews existed long before they became Jews, that is, Enlil’s sheep. Their origin was Nippur/Nibruki/Ni-Ibru in Sumeria. They became Enlil’s chosen sheep in the time of Abraham but they were designated as such in the era of Abraham’s father Terah. Yet Terah was not born in Sumer: he was born in ancient India. In fact, Terah’s Hebrews had such an overriding cultural influence on India that the Indian language has very striking similarities with Hebrew. 

HEBREW CONNECTION TO INDIA

According to Genesis, Eber had two sons, Peleg and Joktan. Of Joktan’s 13 sons, the second last was Havilah.  It appears that Havilah and his clan were the founders of India. The Jewish Encyclopaedia informs us that ancient traditions identify India as Havilah. The Book of the Cave of Treasures, written in the 6th century, also says, “And the children of Havilah appointed to be their king Havil, who built Havilah, that is, Hend”. In 6th century Europe, India was called Hend. Indeed, even today, there is a region in India known as Nagar Haveli.

GENESIS 2:10-11 says, “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pishon: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.”  The legendary Jewish historian Flavius Josephus identified Pishon with the Ganges River, India’s largest river in terms of water flow. Writing in the 2nd century, Pausanias the Periegete said, “The Indians have an enormous amount of gold”.

Eden (Sumeria, in modern Iraq predominantly)  and India of course were   3750 km apart  but we should bear in mind that Genesis was written in the 6th century BC, when the Jews were in captivity in Babylon,  and its writers, the Levites, decided to incorporate India into Sumeria for one reason only – to furnish the hint that the Jewish people originally straddled both India and Sumeria. In order to familiarise with his paternal heritage, a young Jesus (see The Jesus Papers) was sent not to Iraq but to India because India was the ancestral place of Father Abraham.

The similarities between Indian and Hebrew are telling. We will cite only a few examples. In Hebrew, the Jews are Yehudi; in India is a tribe known as Yutiya/Yahkhuda.  Yutiya very much sounds like Judea. When it comes to the names of God in Hindu Shaivism and Judaism, they are basically the same. Where Judaism says El Shaddai, Shaivisim says Saday, a variant of Shiva, a Hindu deity. In Hebrew, Hebrews are Ibri, whereas in Indian, they are  Abri. The Yadavas, a seemingly proto-Hebraic peoples still living in India today, say once they spoke a language called Abhiri (Hebrew) or Sabari. Today, Israeli Jews whose roots sink deep into Israeli soil are called Sabaras.

Today, the Brahmins of India, who sit at the apex of the country’s caste system,  proudly refer to themselves as “The Chosen People of God” and as a “Community of Priests”. This is exactly the way the Jews also characterise themselves. They say they are “God’s Chosen People” and they have since days immemorial  been  the veritable  “Kingdom of Priests”. The parallels are striking folks.

NEXT WEEK: ABRAHAM COMES INTO BEING

Continue Reading

Columns

A “Virgin” Conceives

2nd March 2021
IT’S THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS, STUPID

Princess Mary falls pregnant only one month after her betrothal to Prince Joseph

To put the lineage of Mary the mother of Jesus in context, General Atiku, it is in order that we begin with her grandfather Yehoshua  (Jesus in Greek) III.

Mary was offspring of two royal lines, the Davidic line and the Hasmonean line. Yehoshua III was the Herod–appointed High Priest of Israel between 36 and 23 BC.  He had no sons, only three daughters namely Joanna, Elizabeth, and Anna, all of whom he organised dynastic suitors.

Elizabeth would be married off into the House of Aaron, the legitimate priestly line, and Joanna and Anna would be married off into the House of David, the legitimate kingly line. That’s how Elizabeth became the wife of Zechariah of the tribe of Levi and in due course the mother of John the Baptist.

Mainstream Israel up to the level of the Sanhedrin had recognised Anna as the eligible mother of the future King of Israel and not the sitting impostor Herod (it is not clear what happened to first-born Joanna but she probably passed away before she got married). Anna was accordingly married off to Alexander III, a Davidic and Hasmonean prince who was best known as Heli as indeed the genealogy of Luke clearly attests.

Heli and Anna too had no sons. They only had daughters, the firstborn of whom was Dorcas, whose was born in 26 BC and whose titular name was Mary.  Mary was orphaned early in her childhood when her father Heli was killed in 17 BC at the orders of the increasingly paranoid Herod and when her mother Anna died a year or so later.

Since she was a dynastic heiress, it was likely that Herod would come after her. The Essenes thus secreted her somewhere in remote Galilee. It was actually in Galilee that most members of the Davidic royal line were concentrated not only to keep as far away from Herod as possible but to also enjoy the protective custody of the Zealots, who were the secret military wing of the Essenes and a thorn in the side of both Herod and the Romans.  Joseph was also officially based in Galilee although both he and Mary were in truth based at Qumran in the Judean wilds.

JOSEPH CALLED TO “DUTY”

Dynastic marriages are often more politically strategic than spontaneous, General. For example, the union of Prince Charles and Princess Diana was motivated by the need to fuse the Windsor genes with those of the Stuarts as the Windsors, being predominantly Reptilians, were finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their human form.

The Stuarts, the clan of Diana, had by far more human genes than Reptilian and they too were an aristocratic family. That’s why once Charles had produced a  “heir and a spare”, he completely sidelined Diana, who he had never loved, and devoted himself to his real love – Camilla Parker-Bowles.

The marriage of Joseph to Mary, General, was equally strategic. Although both were from the tribe of Judah and of the royal Davidic line, they were from different branches.  Joseph was a descendant of Solomon, whereas Mary was a descendant of Nathan, Solomon’s elder brother. The line of Solomon, as we once underlined, had been tainted by the Jeconiah curse.

The line of Nathan was clean. Since the son of Joseph and Mary would be the future King of Israel, it was important that he not be compromised by the baggage, rightly or wrongly, of the Jeconiah curse. Hence the desirability of the union of Prince Joseph and Princess Mary.

Now, both Joseph and Mary’s clans were Essenes. As such, their marriage process, formalities, and protocols had to strictly adhere to Essene dynastic rules. The Essenes were in ranks. Amongst the higher echelons were the two great dynasties, the Davids and the Zadoks, who had been the high priests and kings of Israel respectively before the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC.

The Davids and Zadoks lived a strictly holy life, typically in a monastery at Qumran, the reclusive headquarters of the Essenes. They were sequestered there so that they did not fall prey to the machinations of the bloodthirsty King Herod though officially their address was Galilee.  In fact, the major reason the Essene movement had come into existence was to preserve and safeguard the Davidic and Zadokite lines, the religio-politico haunt of Herod and the Hasmoneans initially.

According to the Essene code, General, the Zadoks and the Davids were not to engage in sex for recreational purposes because it was regarded as defiling: it diluted holiness. The only times they were supposed to do so was when need arose to produce heirs. In 8 BC, it was now opportune for Joseph, the David, to produce a heir and so he was excused from a life of chastity.

At this point in time in fact, the Essenes were focused on two dynastic figures. These were Joseph and Zechariah. The two were expected to produce the Messiah of David and the Messiah of Aaron, that is, the future King of Israel and the future High Priest of Israel.

According to Essene rules, the David had to marry at age 36, so that by the time he was 40, he had already sired a heir. The new heir had to be born when the David was 37. If the child was a daughter, she could not inherit, and so the David had to set about the procreation of a second-born, who hopefully would be a boy (copulation to that end was allowed only when the daughter was 3 years old).

The Davidic heir had to be born not in any other month but in September, the holiest in the Jewish calendar. In order to conform to these parameters, a betrothal ceremony was held at the beginning of June. During the betrothal period – the three months from beginning of June to end of August – sexual relations were not permitted.

Then at the beginning of September, a First Marriage was held. This was the beginning of the marriage proper as now the couple were allowed to become intimate. However, the intimacy began only in December, with a view to delivering a heir in September the following year. At the end of March, the Second Marriage was held for it was hoped that by that time the spouse was three months pregnant if there hadn’t been a miscarriage. With the Second Marriage, the wedlock was permanent: divorce was never allowed whatsoever.

Meanwhile, General, if the spouse hadn’t conceived in December, sexual relations were suspended till December the following year. The husband would then leave her spouse and return either to the monastery at Qumran or embark on a tour of duty elsewhere in furtherance of the Essene cause.

A BINDING ENGAGEMENT

According to the Dead Sea Scrolls, General, the Essenes were not only a spiritual, revolutionary, and philosophical movement. They were also ardent believers in astrology. They meticulously studied the stars and the movements of planets to read what they portended about the future.

Thus the reason a Davidic heir had to be born in September was not only because this was the holiest month of the year: it was also in recognition of the fact that September was ruled by the constellation Virgo. In other words, September was astrologically the month of the virgin. That was what Mary was.

Mary was both a virgin physically and a virgin titularly. A bride of the future king was required to be a virgin. As an Essene, Mary belonged to the Order (not the tribe) of Dan.  This was the Order of Nuns, or virgins, both legal and physical virgins. Thus in the Order of Dan, a woman was not a virgin only before she slept with a man: she was a virgin until she was six months pregnant. In the case of a dynastic spouse like Mary, this was up to end of June.  From then henceforth, she was promoted within the Order to the first stage of a Mother.

Joseph’s betrothal to Mary took place at Qumran in June 8 BC. Now, in our day, betrothal simply means engagement to be married. In ancient Israel up to New Testament times, betrothal was part and parcel of the marriage contract. It was definite and binding upon both groom and bride, who were considered as man and wife in all legal and religious aspects, except that sexual relations were not permitted.

For example, in 2 SAMUEL 3:14, King David refers to his betrothed woman as “my wife”. Also in DEUTERONOMY 22:24, a betrothed woman is referred to as “his neighbour’s wife”.  In the betrothal formalities, dowry and bride price were included. If a bride and groom for one reason or the other wanted to opt out of the betrothal after the betrothal ceremony, they had to seek a formal divorce.

Since the betrothal took place in June, General, Joseph and Mary were not supposed to make love till December, that is, six months after the betrothal ceremony and three months after the First Marriage ceremony in September. Just one month after the betrothal ceremony (that is, at the beginning of July 8 BC), however, Mary became pregnant. Was it Joseph, General? Was it rape by a Roman soldier called Panthera as some contemporary records suggest? Or was it simply the supernatural act of the “Holy Spirit” as Christendom holds?

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS

Those who hold that the circumstances of Mary’s pregnancy were supernatural, General, can be excused. This is because the language employed therein smacks of ethereality – Holy Spirit, Angel Gabriel, Son of the Most High, etc. To those who have read and rigorously studied the Dead Sea Scrolls, however, such terminology is well within the temporal context.

That is to say, it does not carry spiritual connotations as such. True, the idea of an angel speaking to Joseph and Mary in their sleep may seem supernatural but the dreams are theological interpolations, inserted into the gospels in onward editing to fit a contrived agenda – what Karl Marx called the opium of the masses.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are so named because they were discovered in caves around the Qumran plateau of the West Bank (about 40 km east of Jerusalem), at the northwest corner of the Dead Sea, in March 1947. The discoverer was a Bedouin shepherd kid who was looking for a lost goat. The scrolls were found hidden in jars.

The 1947 find was the initial discovery: more discoveries were made after further excavations on the same site spanning 11 years in a series of 11 caves. Altogether, 972 texts were   turned up. They are written in four languages, namely Hebrew (the majority), Aramaic, Greek, and Nabatean, mostly on parchment. Other texts were inscribed on papyrus and bronze.

Most of the Dead Sea Scrolls are fragments. Fragments of all the Old Testament books have been found save for the book of Esther. The only complete book is Isaiah.  There are also apocryphal books (those arbitrarily excluded from the Old Testament canon by the Constantine-convened Nicene Council of AD 325) such as the Book of Enoch and the Book of Jubilees, and sect-specific writings that embody rules and beliefs of the people who compiled them.

The latter include commentaries on the Old Testament, paraphrases that expand on the Law of Moses, rule books of the community, war conduct, thanksgiving psalms, hymnic compositions, benedictions, liturgical texts, and sapiential (wisdom) writing. These texts have been given appropriate titles such as the War Scroll; Manual of Discipline; the Community Rule; the Temple Scroll; the Copper Scroll; etc.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were written/preserved by the Essenes between 168 BC and 68 AD. We know this because Pliny, the first century Roman historian, wrote that, “On the west coast of Lake Asphaltitis (the Dead Sea) are settled the Essenes, at some distance from the noisome odours that are experienced on the shore itself.

They are a lonely people, the most extraordinary in the world, who live without women, without love, without money, with the palm trees for their only companions.”   The Essenes stashed away the scrolls sometime in 70 AD, when Roman General Flavius Titus overran Jerusalem and laid waste to the Temple following a catastrophic Jewish uprising – led by the Zealots, the military wing of the Essenes – that began in 66 BC.

This they did in heed of JEREMIAH 32:14, which says, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences … and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.” The Dead Sea Scrolls have given us invaluable insight into the beliefs, customs, rituals, politics, philosophies, and traditions of first century Palestine.

NEXT WEEK: THE PANTERA INVOLVEMENT

Continue Reading

Columns

A crash course in publicity

2nd March 2021

The rivalry between luxury German automotive marques Mercedes-Benz and BMW is legendary. Both brands offer high-end, high-priced desirable models, always at the forefront of cutting-edge driving technology and excellence. And in the annals of the advertising world, a campaign between the two rivals is equally legendary and it happened on our own doorstep.

Many of you will be familiar with the coastal road out of Cape Town called Chapman’s Peak. It is a beautiful, sightseeing attraction, the road winding through spectacular coastal-mountain scenery, with cliffs sinking into the  Atlantic ocean on one side, and steep mountains towering over the road on the other. However, the road is also notoriously dangerous, with its 114 sharp, meandering bends . It’s reputation is well-deserved . Several years ago, when a major coastal cleanup campaign was launched, a helicopter pulled a total of 22 wrecked cars out of the water adjacent to Chapman’s Peak and it was one such accident which prefaced the notorious marketing battle. The story is thus:

In 1988 an Irish businessman lost control of his Mercedes Benz when driving along this road, plunging 100 metres down the cliff. Miraculously, he not only survived the accident, but crawled out of the wreckage with hardly a scratch on his body.

When Mercedes heard the details, the marketing department decided to base a new advertisement on the story to promote the safety features and stability of the brand. In the video ad they intentionally drove an identical model off the road in the exact same location, having it plunge off the edge of the cliff, the driver stepping out similarly unscathed, proving the phenomenal survivability and strength of Mercedes Benz.

When the marketing suits at BMW saw this ad, they took a bold and ingenious decision to mimic it but with a twist. Only a week later, whilst the first ad was still fresh in the public’s minds, they shot their ad showing a BMW driving along the exact same stretch of road in the rain. However, when it reached the point at which the Mercedes plunged off the cliff, the BMW negotiated it safely, and continued driving along the road.

The catchphrase of the ad was “BMW beats the bends” . Or was it? It was cunningly recorded so that it could equally have been ‘beats the Benz’, implying that their cars had superior cornering and stability to their rival, Even more sneakily, they launched their campaign on a Saturday, mindful of the rules on competitive advertising in South Africa, safe in the knowledge that no objectionable actions could be taken till the new working week.

Mercedes-Benz wasted no time on Monday in issuing an injunction, the ad was swiftly pulled but the damage was done and the dog had had its day. The ad campaign ranks high in the history of advertising and can still be found online to this day. Meanwhile the rivalry between the two automotive greats goes on.

I reference this piece of marketing history in the light of this week’s horror crash by golfing great, Tiger Woods. Driving from a luxury holiday resort in California to a nearby country club Tiger Woods lost control of his vehicle on a downhill stretch of the road, smashed through a road sign, crossed over the central reservation and rolled his car several hundred feet. He had to be cut out and pulled to safety through the windscreen and the vehicle was so badly damaged, the attending police officers said he was ‘lucky to survive’.

The vehicle Woods was driving was a rented Genesis GV80 SUV. If you are unfamiliar with the brand that is not surprising since it is a relatively new spin-off from the South Korean Hyundai marque. The Genesis utility vehicle, not available locally yet, retails for around $50,000 or half a million pula, placing it in the higher end of town and country SUVs in the USA.

The model has certainly been widely publicised in the media coverage of the high-profile sportsman’s accident and I suspect that if asked to comment, Hyundai/Genesis would disagree with the police assessment, putting Woods’ survival down to build quality and in-built safety features such as crumple zones, anti-roll bars and airbags, which were deployed in the crash and would most certainly have played their part cushioning the effects of the rolling and ultimate impact. There is , of course, no suggestion that the manufacturers will capitalise on Woods’ survival but certainly it will have done the brand no harm that he did indeed emerge with recoverable injuries.

Comparing the two accidents, the driver of the Mercedes driving along Chapman’s Peak was, of course, an ordinary member of the public whilst Tiger Woods is a household name. That said, in humanitarian terms each tale of survival carries equal weight but the fact remains that the former was just another local story of yet one more victim of a notoriously tricky stretch of road whilst the latter went round the world in an instant because of the fame and name of the driver.

There is also no evidence that that stretch of Californian urban highway carried any inherent risk. His appears to have been just a loss of control and a freak accident. However, in the event that Hyundai/Genesis should consider making capital from that accident, a note of caution needs to be sounded.

In the advertising world, the use of celebrities to promote a product is a fall-back stance to sell anything from washing-up liquid to whisky but statistics have shown that it can be a double-edged sword in that yes, the ads are memorable and the public love them when the celeb is popular and personable. But…..what is often remembered is the name of the famous promoter, not the name of the product. In other words, they sell themselves far better than they sell the item.

In golfing terminology Hyundai/Genesis are not ‘out of the Woods’ yet and maybe they should go with a completely different Driver!

Continue Reading

Columns

Pact with the Devil

2nd March 2021
THE LORD’S GREAT GRANDMOTHER

How Jesus’s grandfather sold his birthright to megalomaniac Herod

If you were to ask a Christian to name the main Jewish sects, General Atiku, he would no doubt begin with the Pharisees (because Jesus had innumerable slanging matches with  them according to the gospels), followed by the Sadducees.  Yet there was a third, equally momentous sect – the Essenes.

Although there’s not a single, one mention of the Essenes in the Bible, General, the New Testament is filled with Essene-type language as anybody who has read the Dead Sea Scrolls would readily recognise.

In point of fact, it was the Essenes who produced Jesus as well as the infamous Jewish band of freedom fighters known as the Zealots. Furthermore, almost all the New Testament writers were either Essenes or champions of the Essene cause as is apparent in their language and the drift of their overall philosophy.   The Essenes have a palpable presence in the Bible, albeit a cloaked one.

The Essenes, General, were the most popular, the most esteemed, and the most influential of the Jewish sects. The Jewish historian Philo (20 BC-50 AD) devotes 90 percent of his description of the Jewish sects to the Essenes. He wrote that the Essenes  “dwell in many cities of Judea and in many villages and in great societies of many numbers”.

Hyppolytus of Rome (170-236 AD) devoted nine-and-half chapters to the Essenes and only one to the Sadducees.     The Essenes are the authors of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, which were discovered in 1947 in Israel at a place called Qumran and which have given us even greater insight into the happenings in the first century than the Bible itself.

How did the Essene movement come about, General?  The Essenes, meaning “puritans of the faith”, were the Jewish sect that was the most loyal to the Davidic dynasty. They set themselves apart from the mainstream Jewish community circa 175 BC and established their headquarters at Qumran,  about 40 km from Jerusalem.

Since the Jewish nation revered the Davidic royal line, the only legitimate and rightful rulers of Judah in their view, they rallied to the Essenes en masse. And because the Essenes were disparaging of the Hasmonean rule (140 BC to 63 BC), the mainstream Jews also took a dismissive view of Hasmonean rule too.

The Essenes were so highly regarded because of their virtue and spirituality. The legendary Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD) writes thus of them: “They are more mutually affectionate than the others (Pharisees and Sadducees). Whereas these men shun the pleasures as vice, they consider self-control and not succumbing to the passions virtue  … Since [they are] despisers of wealth –  their communal stock is astonishing – one cannot find a person among them who has more in terms of possessions.

For by a law, those coming into the school (that is, the Essene fold) must yield up their funds to the order, with the result that in all [their ranks] neither the humiliation of poverty nor the superiority of wealth is detectable, but the assets of each one have been mixed in together, as if they were brothers, to create one fund for all.”

In time, the Essenes, General, became quite influential even with occupying powers. For instance, when the Greek General Pompey installed Hyrcanus II as ruler of  Palestine in 63 BC,  he sought the opinion  of the Essenes. The Essenes recommended that Hyrcanus go by the titles High Priest and Prince, not King, to which Pompey paid heed. In  142 BC, when Simon was installed by the Seleucids as ruler of Palestine, the Essenes had insisted on the same titular style. To the Essenes, everybody who occupied Israel’s seat of authority was simply holding fort for the real deal – the Davidic  King.

In 37 BC, when Herod became King of Palestine, the potential Davidic King was Jacob-Eliakim – the father of the Joseph of the gospels – who was an Essene himself. It was in order to win the blessings of the historically popular Jewish royal family that Herod sought to curry favour with the Essenes.

JACOB’S PACT WITH HEROD

About the time Herod came to power, General, there were three citizens of considerable stature in Palestine – Hillel, Menahem, and Jacob-Eliakim, the grandfather of Jesus. Hillel is by all accounts ancient Israel’s greatest teacher and scholar.

He was the foremost spiritual sage in the development of the Talmud and the Mishnah, the most authoritative religious references of the Jews which are second only to the Old Testament in esteem.   The renowned “Golden Rule”, which is invariably attributed to Jesus, was actually coined by Hillel. It is not certain whether Hillel was an Essene but his teachings did have a profound influence both on Essene philosophy and that of Jesus, who was an Essene too.

It was Menahem, however, who was an incontrovertible Essene. The Essenes were of two main branches, General. First, there were the puritans, the Palestinian Essenes. Then there were the liberals, the Diaspora Essenes, who sneered at the Palestinian Essenes’ dogmatism and rather strict views on morality. Menahem was the leader of the  Diaspora Essenes.

He was also privilleged to be advisor to King Herod. Herod did hold Menahem in very high regard. Josephus relates that when Herod was a school-going lad, Menahem had patted him on his back and said to him, “one day you will be King young man.” Since the prophecy came to pass, Herod had a certain, atypical respect both for Menahem and the order of Essenes.

Jacob-Eliakim’s significance was by virtue of his pedigree. He was of the royal line of David and was therefore the uncrowned King of the Jews. Now, as we have already indicated, Herod had his own grand designs about rulership of the world notwithstanding the fact that he was in reality a vassal of Rome.

When he made overtures to the trio, they didn’t mince words: they told him that in the new Israel, the Israel that would rule Earth once the Romans had been toppled from the pedestal of world power, it was a Davidic King who would reign. Herod took very strong  exception to such a prospect. Herod was neither a full-blooded Jew nor of Davidic stock but he was royalty in his own right.

His father, Antipater,  had been the governor of Idumea and in due course Judea in  the Hasmonean government and was in fact the real ruler of the entire Palestine, with John Hyrcanus being a  mere figurehead king.  When he (Herod) was only 25 years old, his father had appointed him governor of Galilee.   Herod thus had strutted the corridors of power from the day he was born and he wasn’t going to give that up easily either for his own sake or that of his descendants.

As such, General, Herod maintained to the trio that in the new, overarching Kingdom of Israel, he was going to be the emperor and would be based in Jerusalem. Just like the Greek empire of Alexander had been a triarchy (a kingdom divided into three governments), the global Kingdom of Israel (“Thy Kingdom Come” in the Lord’s Prayer) was going to be likewise.

There was going to be a ruler in the east, a ruler in the west, and a ruler in the centre, that is Jerusalem, under the oversight of Herod himself. Hillel would rule in Jerusalem; Menahem in the east; and Jacob-Eliakim in the west. If these three happened to have disappeared from the Earthly scene by the time the Kingdom of Israel came into being, their descendants would observe the same setup.

The pecking order would thus be like this: Herod as the emperor; Hillel as the senior king; Menahem as the second-ranked king; and Jacob-Eliakim as the junior king. Put differently, Herod had by the stroke of a pen reduced the Davidic dynasty from foremost to least important as it posed the most serious threat to his office. Meanwhile, the three kings-in-waiting would go by the names of the Old Testament patriarchs.

Hillel would henceforth be called the Abraham, or the Father (or Papa, which later morphed into Pope), since Abraham was the Father of the Jewish nation; Menahem would be called the Isaac (Abraham’s son); and Eliakim the Jacob (Isaac’s son). Half a loaf was better than nothing at all and so Jacob-Eliakim meekly accepted this arrangement.

When Jesus later said, “Many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the new Kingdom of Heaven (MATTHEW 8:11),” he did not mean an afterlife kingdom: he referred to the Earthly setup proposed by King Herod.

FALLOUT WITH ESSENES

Those days, General, the Davidic heir used the title “Jacob” rather than “David” as the latter title was very risky, particularly under the Hasmonean government. Given that Joseph was the most beloved son of the Old Testament Jacob, the next in line, that is, the firstborn son of the Jacob, used the title “Joseph”.

In September 44 BC, a son was born to Jacob-Eliakim. As the crown prince to the Jacob, he was given the titular name Joseph, the name by which he became best-known.  Like his father Jacob-Eliakim, Joseph was a missionary. But he also had a trade. He was a carpenter, a boat builder primarily, and a master of his craft. The word translated “carpenter” in the Bible is the ancient Greek word “ho hekton” which means a master artisan or craftsman.

In 31 BC, Qumran, the Essenes’ Judean wilderness bastion, was struck by an earthquake. The hermitic Essenes had no choice but to trek back to Jerusalem, from where they operated indefinitely at a place they called the Essene Gate. Then in 23 BC, Herod struck again. He had Jacob-Eliakim killed on trumped-up charges of sedition, his motive simply being a continuation of a systematic purge of  the Davidic “pretenders” to his throne.

The Essenes were wroth. They now set about promulgating to the Diaspora Essenes that Herod would have no part to play in the coming Kingdom. Instead, the overall King would be Joseph, the son of Jacob-Eliakim. This, General, was the beginning of a permanent rift between Herod and the Essene sect.

THE SAGA OF JOSEPH

The prospective global world, General, was subdivided into ten provinces to facilitate governance and tax collection. Palestine would have two provinces, Judea and Samaria, the latter of which would include Galilee. Asia Minor (largely present-day Turkey), where the bulk of Diaspora Jews were concentrated, would have five provinces.

The last three provinces would be Babylon, Rome, and Alexandria in Egypt. The future capital of the West was not Rome: it was Ephesus in Asia Minor. Having been allocated the West, it was in Ephesus and Alexandria that Jacob-Eliakim spent most of his time evangelizing to fellow Jews about the future Kingdom of Israel. This was the beginning of the New Covenant, whereby Jews who converted to the ideal of a new Kingdom of Israel were baptised by immersion in water.

To mainstream Palestinian Jews, General, Jacob-Eliakim was a sellout. Herod had demoted his pedigree but to somewhat placate him, he gave him the honorary title of Patriarch or Prince of Jerusalem. By subordinating the Davidic throne-in-waiting to Herod, Jacob-Eliakim had  gone against what the nation of Israel’s God, Enlil, the Bible’s main Jehovah, decreed – that every King of Judah had to be a descendant of  David. So when the unpredictable Herod had him killed in 23 BC for “sedition”, as part of a pogrom against the line of David, there was very little sympathy for him.

In 44 BC, Joseph had been born to Jacob-Eliakim. Joseph was a title: it was not his real name. At the death of his father, Joseph became the Jacob. However, he preferred the title “David”, the more apt one historically. Joseph would become the father of Jesus. When Joseph attained 30 years of age in 14 BC, his uncles and the Essene sages sent him to Rome and Alexandria to do his part in missionary work, which was simply about promulgating to the Diaspora Jews the future Kingdom of Israel in which a Son of David, that is a descendant of King David, would rule.   Egypt was also a special place because Joseph’s maternal relations were Egyptians.

Jacob-Eliakim, General, had two wives. The one was called Euchariah, a Jewish princess, of whom very little is known, and the other, the dynastic wife, was an Egyptian princess, a daughter of Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Julius Caesar. Jacob-Eliakim and this princess had three sons: they were Joseph, the father of Jesus, and the twins Cleopas (after whom James, Jesus’ immediate younger brother, whose given name was Cleopas, was named) and Ptolas. Joseph was thus the Davidian Prince of Israel as well as contender to Crown Prince of Egypt. Despite pretences to the contrary on the part of the Jews, Egypt and Israel have always had ties of monarchical kinship.

In 8 BC, General, Joseph was required by Essene custom to return home and fulfill his obligations for a dynastic marriage. A wife-to-be had already been chosen for him by his uncles  and other patriarchal Essenes. This was Dorcas, better known today by her title name Mary.

NEXT WEEK: HOW HEROD MINIMISED THE HOUSE OF DAVID

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!