Benson C Saili THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER Nergal’s, Jehovah-instigated nefarious proposition endorsed by Council of Gods
The Council of the Gods, the Anunnaki ruling pantheon, met in Nippur. It constituted Enlil, Enki, Ninurta, Nannar-Sin, Nergal, Ishkur–Adad, Utu-Shamash, and Inanna-Ishtar. It was clearly padded with Enlilites as only two Enkites – Enki and Nergal – were invited. Another outspoken peacenik, Ninmah, was deliberately kept away. Nergal strictly speaking was an Enlite as he almost always sided with them.
“By his (Marduk) appeal for their (all other Anunnaki gods) submission, the Anunnaki gods were disturbed and alarmed,” say the Sumerian records. “To a great assembly, counsel to take, Enlil them all summoned. All the Anunnaki leaders in Nibru-ki (Nippur) gathered.” The principal subject of the impromptu, ad hoc meeting, Marduk, was also invited but he declined, insisting that as the planet’s head honcho now, it was his summoning of them they ought to heed, and not the other way round.
His son Nabu, who wasn’t a full-god being the son of an Earthling mother, the late Tsaparnit I, was not invited too. Instead, in the week before the proceedings commenced, a summons for Nabu to appear before the Council as a defendant was issued by Enlil, with Nergal and Ninurta assigned to deliver it.
Ninurta and Nergal straightaway detailed men to comb every inch of Borsippa, Nabu’s Sumerian base, but to no avail: they later reported that he was not there but was playing hide and seek somewhere in Canaan and the Mediterranean islands. Then when the meeting was hardly underway, Nabu sprang a surprise: he pitched all of a sudden at the rendezvous and announced that he was ready to defend himself and his beloved father. “Before the gods, the son of his father came,” the Sumerian archives say.
The meeting droned on for twenty-four hours. “Meeting in Council, the leading Anunnaki debated what to do, discussing the alternatives a day and a night, without ceasing," the Sumerian records inform us. “In the council of the great gods, accusations were rampant, recriminations filled the chamber.” Zechariah Sitchin also relates thus: “The die was cast. Of the various extant sources dealing with the fateful chain of events, the principal and most intact one is the Erra Epos.
It describes in great detail the discussions, the arguments for and against, the fears for the future if Marduk and his followers should control the spaceport and its auxiliary facilities. Details are added by the Khedorlaomer Texts and inscriptions on various tablets, such as those in the Oxford Editions of Cuneiform Texts.”
ENKI, NERGAL IN SLANGING MATCH
The first to be quizzed though was not Nabu: it was Ninurta, who hierarchically was Enlil’s de facto deputy on the side of the Enlilites being his firstborn. Ninurta was asked why he had allowed the Elamites, the mercenary warriors from Africa he himself had trained, to run rampage in Sumer and cause untold carnage and destruction whilst Enlil was away. This was a serious dereliction of duty since he was expected to take charge of Earthly affairs during his father’s absence.
Defending himself, Ninurta attributed all the evils that had taken place in Sumer during his absence (he had been in Peru, in South America, all the while) to Marduk and Nabu for their unbridled ambition. “They are very rash and self-seeking people,” Ninurta charged. “They want to rule the world when it is not their time to do so.” Nannar-Sin and his son Utu-Shamash, both of whom spoke after Ninurta, heaped all blame on Nabu in particular. “All this Nabu has caused to happen,” Shamash said.
“It is he who has been his father’s instrument of the mayhem witnessed in Sumer.” Standing up, and quivering with rage, Nabu posited before the pantheon what his father called the Celestial Oracle argument, meaning testimony in his favour not by an oracle priest but the signs of heaven itself. Paraphrased, this is what Nabu said: “With the passage of time – with the crucial shift of the precessional clock (zodiacal time) by one degree (equivalent to 72 years) – the Age of the Bull, the zodiacal age of Enlil, is coming to an end, and the Age of the Ram, Marduk’s Age, is looming in the heavens. Ninurta can see it coming at his Eninnu temple in Lagash. Ningishzidda can confirm it from all the stone circles that he has erected elsewhere on Earth. And the people know it too.”
It was Nergal, Marduk’s immediate young brother, who stood up to angrily counter Nabu. “The celestial omens are being misread,” he thundered. "Let Shamash – the Sun god – see the signs and inform the people. Let Nannar – the Moon god – at his sign look and impart that to the land." In other words, what Nabu was saying was that Nannar-Sin and Shamash, whose celestial counterparts were the Moon and Sun respectively, were better qualified than everybody else to state whether or not the Age of Aries had dawned. Of course this was balderdash as Zidda, an all-round genius, was actually the most knowledgeable in these things.
In the process of making his case, Nabu affronted Enlil by accusing him of “injustice and of condoning destruction” since he was not an impartial leader but a prejudiced one who put the interests of his clan first and those of Enki last. “There is no justice,” Nabu vented. “Destruction was conceived: Enlil against Babylon caused evil to be planned (in relation to the Tower of Babel incident).” No one had ever spoken so caustically and directly at Enlil, the Bible’s principal Jehovah. On hearing this, what he called a “blasphemy against the Lord of the Command”, Nergal got into a shouting match with Nabu and the two just stopped short of manhandling each other.
At this juncture, Enki, the father and grandfather of the two adversaries, decided to speak up to. His point of order was specially directed at Nergal. Enki scoffed at the futility of Nergal’s histrionics and put it to him that he just could not stop the march of history. “Why do you continue the opposition?” he asked coolly. “Now that Prince Marduk has risen, now that the people for the second time have raised his image, let us Marduk's supremacy accept. What is coming no one can prevent.”
As Enki was talking, Nergal kept interjecting and heckling him rudely. Enki at long last exploded and ordered Nergal to “get out of my presence!”, whereupon Nergal took off in a huff. The meeting there and then broke up as Enlil adjourned the proceedings to allow for tempers to cool.
COUNCIL OF GODS VOTE FOR NUCLEAR ASSAULT
The pantheon reconvened in the evening. Whilst the meeting was in recess, Enlil had secretly approached Nergal and prevailed over him to propose very radical measures against Marduk. “Let us Marduk of the Bond Heaven-Earth (spaceport) deprive,” he pleaded with him. Nergal promised to do likewise for as long as Enlil expressly supported him in the meeting. Enlil said he definitely would.
In the evening meeting, which Nabu declined to attend as he could not stand Nergal showing so blatant and brazen disrespect to his grandfather, Nergal offered to speak first and Enlil granted him the floor. Nergal this time seemed to agree with Enki’s and Nabu’s earlier observation – that there was nothing that could stop Marduk from becoming the new Enlil. But since Marduk’s intention was to empower Earthlings so that they were on an equal footing with the gods in every sphere of their endeavours, he had to be taught a lesson.
Nergal was anxious that once militarily and technologically empowered, Earthlings could rise against the Anunnaki and even expel them both from Earth and the Solar System as a whole. “We have to activate that which with a mantle of radiance is covered and make the evil people perish," he coldly proposed. What Nergal was referring to were the so-called “Awesome Weapons” or “Weapons of Terror”. In our day, we call them nuclear weapons. The “evil people” were the residents of the two Canaanite cities in which Marduk and Nabu had rock star popularity. These were Sodom and Gomorrah.
It was a diabolical idea which Enki vehemently opposed. "The lands would make desolate, the people will make perish,” Enki pointed out. Sin, who was the dove of the Enlilites, and his son Shamash were non-committal: they voted neither for nor against the strike. Enlil, Ninurta, and Inanna were stoutly for the strike. Since it was basically a stalemate, the matter was referred to King Anu on planet Nibiru. That was accordingly done by Enlil using a sophisticated interstellar communication device. “There was constant communication with Anu: Anu to Earth the words was speaking, Earth to Anu the words pronounced.”
King Anu gave his nod to the motion. However, he demanded that Enlil see to one precondition basically. This was that a seven-day notice should be given to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah so they prepare to escape to safety. “Under no circumstances should innocent people be harmed,” insisted “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”. “Mankind must be spared. Only the battlefront combatants, their arsenals, and potentially strategic sites should be targeted.” The latter referred to the spaceport mainly. “The targets must be specifically approved. Igigi gods manning the space platform and the shuttlecraft have to be forewarned.”
Upon hearing Anu’s affirmation of the nuclear strike, Enki stormed out of the meeting in vain protest. “What was destined to be, your decision cannot undo,” the wise Enki mouthed off as a parting shot. The moment Enki made his exit, Enlil announced that the council would henceforth be known as the Council of War as it was strictly war against Marduk and his people they would now discuss.
The council proposed Nergal and Ninurta, the aptly named God of War, as the joint commanders of the knockout war against Marduk and Nabu. Inanna appealed to fellow members of the War Council to make sure that Enki, Marduk, and Nabu were not made aware of the exact day of the attack. “Cover your lips” she entreated them.
LORD NINURTA CALLS ON GENERAL ABE
The War Council, however, did not entirely heed King Anu’s wishes. They made their own additions and subtractions. For example, an attack against Nabu and his temple Ezida in Borsippa was also penciled in. The only people it decided to alert in advance were the few key, Canaan-based Earthlings who were pro-Enlilite, as well as all the Earthlings and Anunnaki who manned the spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula.
Once everything had been scheduled, Ninurta was detailed to fly to Canaan forthwith and evacuate General Abraham, who was presently camped in Hebron, ready to tackle Marduk’s warriors, who had rallied in force again for the final tilt at seizing the spaceport. Setting off for Hebron, Ninurta was accompanied by two other “gods”, that is, fellow Anunnaki. These were actually Mal’akhim, meaning “roving ambassadors”, with considerable discretionary powers as we shall see but described as “angels” in Genesis, which is not exactly far-fetched anyway as in Sumerian angels (An-Gal) meant “Great Ones of the Lord”.
Ninurta and his two companions touched down at Abraham’s encampment in a stealth, silent flying saucer as Abraham did not hear the sky vehicle at all as it swooped down, that’s how sophisticated Anunnaki technology was. “Yahweh (Ninurta) appeared to him (Abraham) among the oaks of Mamre as he was sitting at the opening of the tent when the day was brightly warm. When he lifted up his eyes, behold, he saw three men standing by over against him. As he saw them, he ran from the opening of the tent to meet them and bowed down before them” – GENESIS 18:1-3.
The first thing Abraham, who was now 99 years old (but still physically fit since he had a great deal of Anunnaki blood in him) was to wash the feet of his three VIP guests. That done, he held a banquet for them. Thereafter, the gods invited him into the flying saucer for an aerial survey of Sodom. It was during the flyover that Ninurta made known to the general Enlil’s decision to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah using nuclear weapons.
“Because the outcry regarding Sodom and Gomorrah has been great, and the accusations against them being grievous, I decided to come down and verify,” Ninurta said. “If it is as the outcry reaching me, they will be destroyed completely. If not, I wish to know anyway.” Although as a military general Abraham was used to shedding blood, he was not without a heart.
He thought the decision was too extreme since the vast majority of the peoples of Sodom and Gomorrah were innocent people who were simply caught up in the euphoria of the Marduk factor. But as far as Ninurta was concerned, there was scarcely any “righteous” people in Sodom and Gomorrah: everybody was a “sinner” and so deserved to die. Enlilites defined a righteous person as one who deferred to Enlilite gods and a sinner as one who deferred to Enkite gods.
Abraham spiritedly argued against his god. He impassionedly implored him to spare the two cities for as long as at least 10 people in there were pro-Enlil but Ninurta just could not budge. As far as he was concerned, the only pro-Enlilite people in the whole of Sodom and Gomorrah were Lot and his family. These were the only ones who were to be evacuated from there. Abraham, his family, and his forces too were to leave Hebron immediately so as to be way clear of the effects of the radiation cloud arising from the nuclear blast that was certain to billow over the entire Canaan.
A dogged Abraham at least managed to convince Ninurta to send a fact-finding team – call it an espionage team for that was what it actually was – to Sodom just in case the people there were not as pro-Marduk as Ninurta supposed they were. Accordingly, a commission to that effect headed by the two Anunnakis who had accompanied Ninurta was dispatched forthwith to Sodom. They were to be hosted by Lot, who lived there.
DIE IS CAST AS LOT IS EVACUATED
In the Bible, there’s a litany of falsehoods in relation to what transpired with Ninurta’s spies when they got to Sodom. This is not surprising in that the Bible is essentially an Enlilite document. Genesis for one was authored by the Levites, who Enlil had appointed as his scribes. The Bible says when the “angels”, the espionage emissaries of Ninurta, were at Lot’s place, where they intended to spend a night, the men of Sodom swarmed in on the compound and asked that they have sex with them. In other words, the men were homosexuals as Sodom was reportedly said to be riddled with homosexuality.
“As the two stayed in Lot's house,” Genesis says, "the people of the city, the people of Sodom, young and old, closed in on the house; and they called out unto Lot: 'Where are the men who had come to thee tonight? Bring them out to us so that we may know them’.” To “know them” is a euphemism for having sex with them. But that is a pure lie: yes the Bible lies, sorry “Brothers and Sisters”. Sodom is what gives us the word sodomy, meaning homosexuality. However, the Sumerian records, from which the Levites researched and which predated the Bible by at least 2000 years, make no such scurrilous claims about Sodom and Gomorrah.
The people who descended on Lot’s place where what we today would call intelligence agents, who of course were pro-Marduk. Marduk’s spooks knew that Lot was a die-hard Enlilite and so they kept tabs on him round the clock. Hence when they saw white-skinned men travelling in a UFO arrive at his place, they knew who they were – they were Anunnaki Enlilites. Rightly, therefore, they decided to interrogate them.
The Anunnaki team, however, feared that indeed as spies, they would be detained if they simply gave in and so they opted to resist. They had on them very sophisticated, hand-held laser beam weapons which they directed at Marduk’s intelligence agents and rendered them blind. “And when the people persisted, even attempting to break down the door to Lot's house, the angels smote the people at the door, young and old, with a blindness, and they gave up finding the door."
Ninurta’s spies did not need further evidence: Marduk had literally captured Sodom. The programme changed there and then: they had to return to Hebron and report their findings to Ninurta. “Lot, pack up what you can,” they said. “We’re taking you out of the city right away – you and your immediate family as well as your relatives who are resident in this city. For we’re about to destroy it.”
Lot, who was so much in love with the rich and prosperous city, hesitated. His son-in-laws, who were his only other relations in Sodom, outrightly refused, saying there was no way they were going to leave such a paradise as Sodom, whose prosperity and individual wellbeing of its citizens had been greatly enhanced by the use of Ormus, which Marduk had mainstreamed there. The Anunnaki therefore grabbed hold of Lot, his wife, and his two virgin daughters and hurriedly commandeered them into the UFO. There simply was no time to waste.
NEXT WEEK: “FIRE AND BRIMSTONE” REIGNS ON “SINNING CITIES”
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.
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.
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!
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.