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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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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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