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Hebrews Seize Egypt

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER
   

Hyksos usurp power under General Abraham and in heed of Jehovah’s grand scheme of things

The captured Marduk saw out the entire 24 years in forced exile, adamant that there was simply no way he was going to sign up to the Enlilite skullduggery of a fake monotheism – getting mankind to believe they were dealing with only one God called Anki when in truth that god was no more than a mere spokesman for the larger Anunnaki agenda for mankind and of which the Anunnaki top brass themselves were not entirely in one accord.   

Meanwhile, the Babylonians could not desist from wondering  what was it  that had befallen their beloved god. Why should the planet’s seniormost god  fall victim to such a fate? When Jehovah-Enlil was Earth’s Commander-in-Chief, he was never violated in like manner once. Why Marduk? Was Enlil still wielding executive power behind the scenes?  Whatever the case, the Babylonian populace never gave up on their god.

They were aware he was safe wherever he was being held and they continued to pay homage to him by way of pilgrimages to his sacred precinct, the Esagil, and render prayers. These prayers were answered in  1571 BC,  for in that very year, which marked Marduk’s 24 years of captivity, a warrior tribe known as the Kassites descended on the district of Terka along the Euphrates river, laid siege to Hana, the city Marduk was held captive in, freed him, and returned him to Babylon, where he was welcomed like a conquering hero by a sea surge of singing and dancing subjects.  

At the time, the Hittites, who had seized Marduk in 1595 BC at the orders of their national god Ishkur-Adad for his refusal to pander to the sham monotheistic agenda, were a mighty fighting force. They had  attained imperial status, with their domains reaching as far afield southwards as the biblical Canaan and therefore incorporating the two space-related sites of the Landing Place at Baalbek and the post-Diluvial Mission Control Center at Jerusalem. Their control of Canaan made it a bulwark against possible seizure by Enkite-dominated Egypt.

But the Kassites albeit managed to tame the Hittites. It’s not clear from whence the Kassites sprang: they did however express a great affinity  for Babylonians. In the famous El Armana letters, their king referred to the Egyptian pharaohs as “my brother”, in all probability to underscore the fact that both kings and their peoples shared the same god in Marduk.

Unlike the Hittites, who seized Marduk and left Babylon to its own devices, the Kassites did not simply restore Marduk to power: they took over the rulership of Babylon, thus putting an end to  the First Dynasty of Babylon which had reached the height of its power under the legendary Hammurabi. They were to dominate Babylon for the next 400 years. That this time period coincided with direct Hykso rule of northern Egypt was no mere coincidence.  
 
JEHOVAH COUNTRIVES EGYPT COUNTER-PENETRATION

It’s perhaps imperative that we at this juncture recap on Hykso rule in Egypt and how it came to be, a theme we have dwelt upon in reasonable detail in an earlier piece but which we will  here briefly set down once again for the sake both of newcomers to this column and dot-connection. When Abraham, who was born in Nippur in 2123 BC,  was 12 years old (in 2111 BC), his father Terah sent  him to India,  his (Terah) birthplace,  to assume the role of the region’s spiritual father.  Abraham was to pick up from where Terah, known in India as Hara-Krishna, had left off in  evangelistic and ecclesiastical crusading circa 2140 BC.

Abraham was in India for 12 years. During this period, Enlil-Jehovah devised a strategy to counter-penetrate Egypt given the population explosion of the Canaanites (who were Enkites) in Canaan, which was legal Enlilite territory, just as Egypt was legal Enkite territory.  To attain this end, he used the Hebrews who lived in a part of India known as Maturea as the instrument of infiltration. These Hebrews were to leave India and set course for Egypt under the concocted pretext that they were fleeing oppression from the powers that be or that they had been expelled for one reason or the other.

The Egyptians, who were overwhelmingly Bantu, took the bait hook, line and sinker. They gladly received the Matureans with typical Enkite hospitality and in order to help them preserve their cultural identity, they allotted to them an own settlement in northern Egypt known as Goshen. The Matureans took the liberty of renaming it Maturea as a constant reminder of their place of origin. 

At the same time, the Matureans began to call themselves Hyksos (Hyk-Ku), which literally meant “Princely Sheep” but which was typically interpreted as “Shepherd Kings”. Like the rest of the Hebrew race, the Matureans had been designated “God’s Sheep” by Enlil. Since Enlil at the time was the foremost Anunnaki god on Earth, it meant the Hebrews were Earth’s “Elite Sheep” or “Elite Ewes”. The term ewes (“Jews” in  modern-day parlance)  as we have already explained was the ancient term for sheep. Thus Hebrews, Hyksos, Jews,  and Israelites  were simply alternative designations for the same people.      

Meanwhile, circa 2099 BC, Abraham’s brother Harran died in Ur. Abraham, Harran, and Nahor were born in the same year to the  same father Terah but to three different mothers. Their basically  simultaneous conception was the result of a long-term strategy by Jehovah-Enlil to produce the Shepherd-King (that is, the Chief Sheep, or human leader of Enlil’s human flock)  of the forthcoming Age of Aries with a view to contend with Marduk, who was the legally designated ruler of  that Age. That way, the odds that at least one of the three offspring would be a boy were enhanced. Enlil got more than he  bargained for as all three turned out to be boys. However, it was Haran who arrived first,  followed by Abraham. Accordingly, Haran was tipped as the future Shepherd-King of the forthcoming Age of the Ram.  

COMMENCEMENT OF HYKSO RULE IN EGYPT

Now that Haran was no more, Enlil chose Abraham to replace him as the future Shepherd-King,  at the expense of   Haran’s heir  Lot, an injustice that was to remain a sore point with the descendants of Lot, who now and again waged war against Abraham’s descendants for the control of the bequest known as Canaan. According to Enlil’s well-laid down plans,  Abraham was to join his fellow Hyksos in Egypt at an appropriate time and use Goshen as the springboard from which to seize power from the reigning pharaoh.

Why? Because in line with Enlil’s wishes, Abraham and his progeny were to take possession of all the lands “east of the Nile River all the way to the River Euphrates”. In terms of the modern-day setup, that would include half of Egypt and the whole of Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. To amply prepare him as a future conqueror, Abraham was trained as an elite warrior by Ninurta, the Anunnaki’s god of war. He would become the greatest military general of  his day.     

Thus it was that  in 2047 BC, General Abraham thrust into northern Egypt,  rallied the Hykso population at Goshen, and matched on Memphis, the most powerful city in northern Egypt, resulting in his becoming northern Egypt’s first Hykso Pharaoh. Northern Egypt was all the more prestigious because the Giza pyramids, a space-related  landmark, were located there.  Abraham ruled under the title Pharaoh Mehibre Kheti, the latter name meaning “Chosen One” to underline the fact that he was his god’s chosen Shepherd-King of the Age of Aries.  His seizure of northern Egypt  happened at a most opportune time, when Marduk, the god of Egypt, had cleverly  being lured out of Egypt by Ishkur-Adad and was now based in Harran in the Middle East.

NORTHERN EGYPT’S NEW BUT UNOFFICIAL NAME BECAME I-SIRA-EL, MEANING, “EL’S SHIELD”. El was how Nannar-Sin, Jehovah’s second-born son,  was called in Canaan, his Enlilite sphere of influence. Northern Egypt was El’s shield because it was a sort of Iron Curtain meant to ward off  Egyptian forays into Canaan and therefore deny them direct access to the all-important shems, the rockets, at the Tilmun spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula.  

Early in 2046 BC, Abraham contrived an official visit to Mentuhotep I, the black Pharaoh who ruled  southern Egypt and was based  in Thebes, that region’s capital. During the visit, he posed as a priest and merchant as Mentuhotep had never met him in person. To get Mentuhotep to be favourably disposed toward him, he  introduced his dazzlingly beautiful wife Sarah as his sister and soon a smitten Mentuhotep had made her his concubine wife.  Meanwhile, Abraham was gathering vital intelligence with the help  of Sarah and before long he had struck: Mentuhotep was overthrown and Abraham had become the undisputed King of Egypt. It was at this juncture that the term Hyksos was adulterated to Heqa Khasut by the indigenous Egyptians, meaning “Foreign Occupiers”.

But in 2041 BC, Enlil recalled Abraham from Egypt as he was needed to safeguard the spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula,  whose seizure was being plotted by the irrepressible Inanna-Ishtar using a Mesopotamian alliance of four kings. Abraham was not sure  how long his mission would take to accomplish so he handed over the rulership of Egypt to Sarah, who was to reign indefinitely as Pharaoh Serahetawy Intef. Arriving in Canaan, Abraham did manage to heroically repel the enemy on behalf of Enlil and therefore  prevent the spaceport from being overrun by Inanna.

Whilst Abraham lingered in Canaan, Sarah was overthrown in 2040 BC and the black indigenous Egyptians were back in power. Abraham quickly rushed back to mount a counter revolution. He managed to regain only northern Egypt, the bastion of the Hykso people. From that point on, he and Sarah jointly ruled northern Egypt till the year 2024 BC, when Abraham was again recalled  by Enlil to base himself in Canaan to see to it that a charging Marduk and his son Nabu did not come anywhere near the Sinai spaceport.      

ISAAC AN ADOPTED SON OF ABE

Who ruled northern Egypt whilst Abraham was in Canaan? The answer is not straightforward. What we can be sure of is that it wasn’t Sarah again given what had transpired last time around. It was most likely a care-taker ruler with proven military credentials. What we know for certain thanks to Egyptian records is that Abraham was in due course succeeded by his son Isaac, Shesi in Egyptian, who took the throne name of Pharaoh Mehibre II.

The saga of Isaac as related in the Bible is far from factual: it smacks of a deliberately contrived red-herring. According to Genesis, Isaac was born in Canaan. That is simply not true. Isaac was born in southern Egypt. Moreover, contrary to what Genesis would have you believe, Isaac was not Abraham’s biological son: he was conceived when Sarah was Pharaoh Mentuhotep II’s concubine. It is the real reason he is called Isaac, Itzhak in Hebrew, meaning “a laughing stock” in that he was technically a bastard child.

But since Sarah had Isaac in the context of a high-stakes Abrahamic scheme to grab the Egyptian throne, and not by way of sheer adultery, Abraham was under obligation to accept Isaac as his own son. In any case, Isaac was born to Sarah, Abraham’s half-sister wife, and succession to the throne was traced through the half-sister-wife and not any other.   

It is crystal-clear, however, that Abraham was not as emotionally invested in Isaac as he was in Ishmael, his flesh-and-blood child. The Bible says Ishmael was 13 years older than Isaac, but that is a stretch: he was at most 2 years older. For if Abraham became Pharaoh of northern Egypt in 2047 BC and hitched Hagar either in that year or early the following year, and Sarah conceived Isaac from Mentuhotep  in 2046 itself, the year he was overthrown by Abraham, then Isaac was most likely born in 2045 BC.

Again contrary to what Genesis would have you believe, Ishmael was not born to Sarah’s slave: according to The Book of Adam, his mother, Hagar, was a member of the Egyptian nobility who had Pharaonic blood in them. It was of critical importance that Abraham marries an Egyptian woman if he was to win both the moral and political support of indigenous Egyptians.

The fact that Hagar was  named (by Abraham) after the Hakar River, a notable river of India, the birthplace of Abraham’s father Terah, demonstrates quite clearly that Hagar was not of ordinary genetic pedigree.  It made her nearly as important as Sarah, after whom a prominent India river, the Saraisvati, was named and of which the Hakar was a tributary. The long and short of the argument is that it was Ishmael who was Abraham’s biological son and naturally it was Ishmael he cherished more.

ADAD REJECTS THE ISAAC OFFERING

A story is told in Genesis whereby Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac to “God” as a test of unquestionable faith. Once again, the story is over-embellished and over-spiritualised.     Firstly, the term used in the original Hebrew is not “God”: it is “Elohim”, which was a blanket term for the Anunnaki’s ruling pantheon. In this case though, it was only the Enlilite pantheon, represented by Ishkur-Adad, as since Marduk came to power, the original pantheon, which comprised of Enkites and Enlilites, had disbanded.   

Secondly, Genesis skirts the real reason Abraham was under obligation to sacrifice his firstborn son to Enlil. The underlying reason is found in EXODUS 13:2 (“Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me.”); EXODUS 22:29 (“You shall not delay the offering from your harvest and your vintage. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me.”); and NUMBERS 8:7 (“For every firstborn among the sons of Israel is Mine, among the men and among the animals …”).  

 
Few Christians bother to read much of the Bible. As such, they are not aware that the very gods they worship, THE OLD TESTAMENT GODS, DEMANDED HUMAN SACRIFICE AS PLAINLY INDICATED ABOVE. The firstborn child in particular, more so a son,  was to be presented to them as a sacrifice being the “first fruit” of one’s “produce”.  This is pure vampirism and therefore outright Satanism. These are the Enlilites, the clan of Jehovah, we’re talking about folks, not the Enkites, who Enlilites had unjustly and calumniously dubbed “Devils’.   They demanded the firstborn as he was typically the most precious child and one was supposed to give to the gods something they treasured the most.

But Abraham, who was one of only a few Earthlings who did not balk at arguing with and even pitting wits with his gods, was shrewd. Since he valued Ishmael, his firstborn and real son, greatly, he waited until Isaac, who was not his real child, was born before he rendered his sacrifice.  According to the Bible, Adad commended Abraham for this gesture but that is the varnish that was put on the story.  THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER WAS THAT ADAD REJECTED ISAAC AS A SACRIFICE BECAUSE ISAAC WAS NOT ABRAHAM’S FIRSTBORN SON, LEAST OF ALL HIS REAL SON: IT WAS ISHMAEL WHO WAS.

Accordingly, for failing Adad (read: for defying Adad), Abraham was to atone for that, to pay for the sin of both omission (not sacrificing the right child) and commission (bracing to sacrifice the wrong child). That’s how a ram came into the picture. The ram was not provided by Adad as the Bible suggests: gods did not provide sacrificial animals to their own subjects. A sacrifice was something one had to avail from his or her own personal resources.

One had to fend for themselves in this regard: otherwise, it would defeat the purpose of a sacrifice – something that made one feel the pinch of deprivation. Thus Abraham sacrificed his own ram to atone for his own sin against Adad.  Remember, sacrificial animals saved two purposes. First, they were meant to cover for the sins one had committed against the gods. Second, they were meant as food for the gods as well as the priesthood. 

    
The Anunnaki, however, had a clause that could exempt one from sacrificing their firstborn child.  This was called a redemption clause. To redeem is to buy back: thus one could buy back their firstborn child (that is, have him/her spared from sacrificing to the gods) if they offered recompense to the gods to that effect. This  was in the form of a sum of money. We find this in NUMBERS 18:14-17, which partly reads thus: “Nevertheless the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem … As to their redemption price, from a month old you shall redeem them, by your valuation, five shekels in silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs.”

The above law, however, came into effect during the time of Moses, which was six hundred years or so later. Abraham therefore had no option but to surrender the soul of his son to the gods. Luckily, the son was spared and would live to a ripe old age. It seems, nonetheless, that Adad still begrudged Abraham for withholding Ishmael. FOR IT WAS WITH ISAAC THAT HE RENEWED THE COVENANT ABRAHAM HAD MADE WITH ENLIL – OF INHERITING LANDS FROM EGYPT TO THE EUPHRATES – AND NOT WITH ISHMAEL THE FAVOURITE SON. It did not matter that Isaac was neither  Abraham’s firstborn son nor his biological son: what mattered was the inalienable fact that he was mothered by the half-sister-wife  and it was the half-sister-wife who produced the heir to the throne.

NEXT WEEK:   ESAU WARS AGAINST JACOB

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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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