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Jehovah Throws in Towel!

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

   

Enlil agrees to step down as Earth’s Chief Executive in deference to Marduk

As a dumbstruck Endubasar stared in awe at the unveiled scribal instruments for his use, the disembodied voice of the great god thundered again.  “Endubasar, son of Eridu city, my faithful servant. I am your lord Enki. I have summoned you to write down my words, for I am much distraught by what has befallen Mankind by the Great Calamity. It is my wish to record the true course of the events, to let gods and men alike know that my hands are clean.

Not since the Great Deluge had such a calamity befallen the Earth and the gods and the Earthlings. But the Great Deluge was destined to happen, not so the Great Calamity. This one, seven years ago, need not have happened. It could have been prevented, and I, Enki, did all I could to prevent it; alas, I failed.”  Enki simply didn’t want to tell a story: he sought absolution too. He didn’t want future human generations to attribute the subjection of Sodom and Gomorrah to a one-sided atomic onslaught to him in the slightest, an evil that was totally uncalled-for.

Listening raptly to the Anunnaki’s brainiest, kindest, and warmest god, Endubasar could hear him choke back tears. Endubasar wept too in solidarity with his highly esteemed Lord. “And was it fate or was it destiny?” the great god asked a rhetorical question. The Anunnaki distinguished between destiny – the unalterable will of what they called “The Creator of All”, that is, First Source – and fate – the permissive will of the Creator of All which allowed creation to intervene and alter or influence the course of events. 

“In the future shall it be judged, for at the end of days, a Day of Judgment there shall be. On that day,  the Earth shall quake and the rivers shall change course, and there shall be darkness at noon and a fire in the heavens in the night, the day of the returning celestial god will it be. And who shall survive and who would perish, who shall be rewarded and who will be punished, gods and men alike, on that day shall it be discovered.  For what shall come to pass by what had passed shall be determined; and what was destined shall in a cycle be repeated, and what was fated and only by the heart's will occurring for good or ill shall for judgment come.”

Enki looked forward to the day  when King Anu would come to Earth not for a routine visit but to dispense justice to the likes of Elli, Ninurta, and Nergal. At the time, Enki thought the Anunnaki would remain on Earth through thick and thin and that one day they would be judged by “Our-Father-Who-Art-In-Heaven” as Anu was otherwise referred to.

ENKI INSRUCTS ENDUBASAR

Next, Enki specified the duration of his dictation and the numerology behind it. “For forty days and forty nights, shall I speak and you will write. Forty shall be the count of the days and the nights of your task here, for forty is my sacred number among the gods …  I will tell the true account of the Beginnings and of the Prior Times and of the Olden Times, for in the past the future lies hidden.”

The Anunnaki defined the “Beginnings”  as the rearranging of the Solar System by a primordial Nibiru, then an interloper planet, in what they dubbed the “Celestial Battle”, in the process of which Earth was cleaved off the parent planet Tiamat (which lay between Jupiter and Mars) to become the new planet Gaea; the “Prior Times” as the events which transpired on Nibiru and the Sirian-Orion star systems before they came to Earth; and the “Olden Times”  as the phase of their saga here on Earth from the landing 450, 000 years ago to the Deluge of Noah’s day 13,000 years ago.  Enki wanted to give context to all these happenings for the sake of posterity.

The great god added that throughout the duration of his dictation, Endubasar’s  only sustenance would be what he provided him for consumption once and for all.  “For forty days and forty nights, you shall neither eat nor drink. Only this, once, of bread and water you shall partake, and it shall sustain you for the duration of your task.”  This, of course, was Ormus in both its liquid and solid form: only Ormus, we have long learnt, is capable of keeping the body metabolism going on for days on end without eating conventional food. 

The god paused yet again, and the moment he did this, another part of the exquisite, cosy chamber began to shed a dull glow. A table upon which was set a cup and a plate emerged as if out of thin air. Endubasar noted that there was what looked liked bread on the plate and what looked like water in the cup. He immediately rose to his feet, trudged in the direction of the place setting, and took his seat at table. At this very juncture, the great god again spoke.  “Endubasar, eat the bread and drink the water, and be sustained for forty days and forty nights.”

Endubasar did as he was instructed. Enki then directed him to relocate to the scribal table.  “The glowing there intensified,” Endubasar writes. “I could see neither door nor aperture where I was, yet the glowing was as strong as the midday sun.”Clearly, Endubasar was a stranger to what sounds like fluorescent lighting.  Enki asked him, “Endubasar, what do you see?” He replied thus: “I see stone tablets, and their hue is blue as pure as the sky.

And I see a stylus as I have never seen before, its stem unlike any reed and its tip shaped like an eagle's talon.” What Endubasar is talking about here are electronic tablet computers (called phablets) which can be written upon using a digital pen and which have become a commonplace classroom feature in Western citadels of higher learning.  Indeed, when Endubasar touched the tablets, “the surface thereof felt like a smooth skin, soft to the touch”.

Enki then said, “These are the tablets upon which you shall inscribe my words. By my wish they have been cut of the finest lapis lazuli, each with two smooth faces provided. And the stylus you see is a god's handiwork, its handle made of electrum and its tip of divine crystal. It shall firmly fit in your hand and what you shall engrave with it shall be as easy as marking upon wet clay. In two columns you shall inscribe the front face, in two columns you shall inscribe the back of each stone tablet. Do not deviate from my words and utterances!”

ENKI DICTATES BOOK TO ENDUBASAR

After another brief interval, Enki finally set about dictating the text to Endubasar. “And then the great god Enki began to speak, and I began to write down his words, exactly as he had spoken them. At times his voice was strong, at times almost a whisper. At times there was joy or pride in his voice, at times pain or agony. And as one tablet was inscribed on all its faces, I took another to continue.”

The dictation was non-stop. Enki was in such a hurry to record his words that bar the inevitable calls of nature,  he did not adjourn for purposes of sleep or simply rest.  Both he and Endubasar had partaken of Ormus, which kept them going without getting bored, fatigued, or otherwise mentally side-tracked. As per Enki’s initial brief, the whole session lasted 40 days and nights.

“And when the final words were spoken,” Endubasar writes,  “the great god paused and I could hear a great sigh. And he said: Endubasar my servant, for forty days and forty nights you have faithfully recorded my words. Your task here is completed. Now, take hold of another tablet, and on it you shall write your own attestation, and at the end thereof as a witness mark it with your seal, and take the tablet and put it together with the other tablets in the divine chest.

For at a designated time, chosen ones shall come hither and they shall find the chest and the tablets, and they shall learn all that I have dictated to you; and that true account of the Beginnings and the Prior Times and the Olden Times and the Great Calamity shall henceforth be known as The Words of the Lord Enki. And it shall be a Book of Witnessing of the Past, and a Book of Foretelling the Future, for the future in the past lies and the first things shall also be the last things.”

The highly esteemed scribe did likewise after a pause by Enki. “I took the tablets, and put them one by one in their correct order in the chest. And the chest was made of acacia wood and it was inlaid with gold on the outside. And the voice of my Lord said: Now close the chest's cover and fasten its lock. And I did as directed.”

Next, Enki pronounced blessings on Endubasar, projected a scenario of the future, and commissioned him to some noble task.  “And as for you, Endubasar,” he said, “ with a great god you have spoken, and though you have not seen me, in my presence you have been. Therefore, you are blessed, and my spokesman to the people you shall be. You shall admonish them to be righteous, for in that lies a good and long life. And you shall comfort them, for in seventy years the cities will be rebuilt and the crops shall sprout again.

There will be peace but there will also be wars. New nations will become mighty, kingdoms shall rise and fall. The olden gods shall step aside and new gods shall decree the fates. But at the end of days,  destiny shall prevail, and of that future it is foretold in my words about the past. Of all that, Endubasar, to the people you shall tell.”      But Endubasar still was in a dilemma.  Bowing down on the golden carpet, he asked: “But my Lord, how will I know what to say?”

The great god replied straightaway, in words evocative of some eschatological biblical passages. “The signs will be in the heavens, and the words to utter shall come to you in dreams and in visions. And after you, there will be other chosen prophets. And in the end there will be a New Earth and a New Heaven, and for prophets there will be no more need.”

Suddenly, lights went out and in the ensuing total tranquility, Endubasar passed out just out of a sense of trepidation. “There was silence, and the auras were extinguished, and the spirit left me.”  When he came back to his senses, he found himself in the woods of Eridu, the same place he had been fetched 40 days before, alive and kicking but without the tablets.

The electronic tablets have never been found. But thanks to the power of Ormus, Endubasar was able to recall every word Enki had dictated to him and re-write them on clay tablets.  Sadly, the original clay tablets have not been found either: only scattered copies of the text thereon. Luckily, the great Sumerologist Zechariah Sitchin was able to retrieve about 800 copies of parts of the full text and reproduced them in a book he titled The Lost Book of Enki: Memoirs of an Extraterrestrial God.

Enki’s commissioning of Endubasar to document his recollections recalls to mind what Yahweh (Ishkur-Adad, Jehovah-Enlil’s third-born son) said to the prophet Isaiah in the 7th century BC: “Now come, write it on a sealed tablet. As a book engrave it: let it be a witnessing until the last day, a testimony for all time” – ISAIAH 30:8

“BABYLON’S SURVIVAL GOOD OMEN FOR MARDUK”

Endubasar’s encounter with Enki took place in the year 2017 BC , exactly 7 years after the nuclear abomination of 2024 BC.  So let us return to what immediately transpired after the Evil Wind, Nergal’s nuclear cloud, had ebbed completely some time in 2024 BC according to the chroniclings of  Endubasar.  About a month after the  ravages of the Evil Wind, Enki invited his step-brother and arch-rival Enlil to Eridu. The two got into a flying saucer and conducted an aerial survey of the whole of Sumer-Akkad.

They noted that it was largely  desolate: the people had moved out of the region in their droves to other parts of the world. But of particular note was their observation  that of the major Sumerian centres, which included Ur, Uruk, Nippur, Lagash, Larsa, Badtibira, Eridu, and   Babylon, Babylon  was the territory least affected by the Evil Wind as evidenced by its still teeming and healthy population. “Babili (Babylon), where Marduk supremacy declared, by the Evil Wind was spared,” writes Endubasar.  “All the lands south of Babili,  the Evil Wind devoured, the heart of the Second Region (Egypt)  it also touched.”

Enki called Enlil’s attention to this rather unusual occurrence,  which he regarded as a deliberate wish by God, First Source. “When in the aftermath of the Great Calamity Enlil and Enki to survey  the havoc met, Enki to Enlil the sparing of Babili as a divine omen considered.” To Enki, this was a clear-cut signal by God Almighty that time had come for Marduk to become Earth’s Chief Executive. “That Marduk to supremacy has been destined, by the sparing of Babili,  is confirmed, so did Enki to Enlil say.”

The survival of Babylon was not necessarily the result of divine intervention: Babylon simply happened to be at the edge  the northernmost  extent of the Evil Wind. Yet Enlil agreed with Enki’s take on the matter – that Babylon had remained practically unscathed owing to divine intervention.  “The will of the Creator of All it must have been,” Enlil concurred with  Enki without much ado. In order to buttress this acknowledgement, Enlil proceeded to disclose to Enki  what Galzu had said to him in a dream-vision – that Marduk was indeed destined to become the new Enlil at the onset of the Age of Aries.

Upon hearing this, Enki was enraged. He asked Enlil why, if he was aware of Marduk’s inevitable destiny,  he kept throwing spanners in his way. Sounding almost tearful, Enlil replied that  he did so because he was not sure of the bonafides of Galzu. “Was he truly the Creator of All's emissary, was he my hallucination? Therefore to keep to myself the words of Galzu I decided. Let whatever has to happen, happen, so to myself  said.” But despite being revolted at  what Enlil had told him, a tender-hearted Enki did not explode. “To his brother's words Enki listened, his head up and down he nodded,” Endubasar underscores.

ENKI AND ENLIL CLOSE CHAPTER

Enki’s flying saucer touched down back on the Eridu apron and the two great gods both alighted. As Enlil headed toward his own sky vehicle, Enki intercepted him. “Look hither Brother,” he said, almost tugging Enlil at his sleeve. “The First Region (Sumer) is desolate. The Second Region (Egypt)  is in confusion. The Third Region (Indus Valley)  is wounded.

The Place of the Celestial Chariots (the spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula) is no more:  that is what has happened! If that was the will of the Creator of All, that is what of our Mission to Earth remained! By the ambitions of Marduk was the seed sown, what the crop resulted is for him to reap!” In other words,  Enki was saying whatever had happened was preordained, that the mission of Enlil and Enki vis-à-vis the Earth was over, and that it was time now for the two to withdraw from centre stage and allow the younger generation, headed by Marduk, to conduct the planet’s affairs.   

Once again, Enlil did not equivocate in his response: uncharacteristically humbled, he expressly affirmed the triumph of Marduk. “Let the rank of fifty, by me for Ninurta intended, to Marduk instead be given,” he said with a catch in his voice. “Let Marduk over the desolation in the Regions (all four, which constituted Earth’s hub) his supremacy declare!” Marduk had become  the new Enlil, which went with the conferment of the hierarchical rank of 50, which was only second to Anu, “Our Father Who Art in Heaven”.

For a moment, there was  silence as Enki shed tears of glee. Then Enlil reiterated his affirmation to Enki. “As for me and Ninurta, we will in his (Marduk) way no longer stand. To the Lands Beyond the Oceans (the Americas) we will depart. What we had  come for, the mission to obtain for Nibiru gold,  we will complete!” Enlil, so reports Endubasar, was saying this with “dejection in his words”.

Speaking with a mild tone,  Enki wondered aloud to Enlil if he was nonetheless not contrite over the nuking of Canaan. “Would different matters have been were the Weapons of Terror (nuclear weapons) unused?” With a rasp in his voice, Enlil replied that it was no use crying over spilt milk  as with the benefit of hindsight,  the Great Calamity   would not have arisen had the Anunnaki effected certain courses of action.  “Should we have the words of Galzu to Nibiru not return heeded? Should Earth Mission been stopped when the Anunnaki mutinied? I what I did did, you what you did did. The past undone cannot become.”

As Enlil made for his flying saucer, Enki stopped him in his tracks and extended his arms to him. “Let us lock arms as brothers, as comrades who together challenges on an alien planet confronted,” he said. Enlil did likewise. “Grasping his brother's arm, he hugged him as well.” As they unwrapped, Enki posed this nostalgic question to his step brother.  “Shall we meet again, on Earth or on Nibiru?” Enlil’s response was a cheeky one.

“Was Galzu right that we die if we to Nibiru go?” Without waiting for Enki’s response, he turned and trudged toward his flying saucer. Enki felt on  overwhelming sense of desolation as he watched his step brother depart. “Alone was Enki left,” concluded Endubasar. “Only by the thoughts of his heart was he accompanied.”

NEXT WEEK:  “GREAT SERPENT”IN CHARGE

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Hell Up in Judea

24th August 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ASSIGNMENT JUDEA

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

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

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

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

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

A SADISTIC ADMINISTRATOR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PILATE’S WINGS ARE CLIPPED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEXT WEEK: ZEALOT REVOLT AGAINST PILATE

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Hustle & Muscle

24th August 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Lord Ties The Knot

18th August 2021
JUDAS

… as Judas Iscariot takes strong exception

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

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

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

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

THE FIRST MARRIAGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE FINAL MARRIAGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JUDAS DENOUNCES THE MARRIAGE

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

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

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

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

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

NEXT WEEK: A NEW GOVERNOR COMES TO TOWN

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