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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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A “Virgin” Conceives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JOSEPH CALLED TO “DUTY”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A BINDING ENGAGEMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEXT WEEK: THE PANTERA INVOLVEMENT

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A crash course in publicity

2nd March 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pact with the Devil

2nd March 2021
THE LORD’S GREAT GRANDMOTHER

How Jesus’s grandfather sold his birthright to megalomaniac Herod

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JACOB’S PACT WITH HEROD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FALLOUT WITH ESSENES

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

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

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

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

THE SAGA OF JOSEPH

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEXT WEEK: HOW HEROD MINIMISED THE HOUSE OF DAVID

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