They were not twins but siblings with different mothers
Not long after the birth of Ishmael and long before Isaac was born, Jehovah-Enlil, now strictly the principal god of the Jews, issued a decree to Abraham to the effect that he should institute the rite of circumcision. The following is what Enlil said as per GENESIS 17:10-14: “This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.
Throughout your generations every male among you shall be circumcised when he is eight days old, including the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring. Both the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money must be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
Circumcision, so said Enlil, was to be the mark of a covenant between he and the Jewish people. It would be the fundamental sign that the Jews were Enlil’s chosen people. Any Jew who was not circumcised was automatically excluded from the fold of “God’s People”. The fact that Enlil chose to covenant in this manner meant circumcision was a novelty: it was the very first time mankind would be subjected to this form of genital mutilation and that made it special.
In due course, other nations, such as the Egyptians, would practice circumcision too but in their case it would be optional rather than mandatory and for hygienic purposes only, conducted at puberty and not during infancy as is typically the practice among some Bantu cultures today. Why did Enlil choose circumcision as the basis of his apotheotic compact with the Jews? And why did he demand that it be administered at the time when one was literally fresh from their mother’s womb?
RAISON DE TRE FOR THE INSTITUTION OF CIRCUMCISION
First, we know by now that the Anunnaki, the Old Testament gods, who were Aliens to this planet, differed from us in several respects. One of these was that unlike us, they were born with a penis without a foreskin – already circumcised by nature! The Anunnaki “created” us by blending their own genes with that of Homo Erectus, our hominid (ape-like) ancestor everybody who has been to high school is familiar with. It is from Homo Erectus we inherited a sheath that “clothes” the whole penis when it is in a flaccid state.
It is probable that had Homo Erectus been allowed to run his evolutionary course in full, his foreskin would have permanently retracted to permanently expose the glans penis (penis tip) since a foreskin was a natural safeguard against injury to the glans penis as Homo Erectus moved through dense, tall grass, which could be prickly, in an erect and therefore very susceptible posture
A case can be made, therefore, that Enlil’s imposition of circumcision on his chosen people was meant to make them look like their god down under! He desired that as his elite sheep, the Jews should have something much more intimate in common with him. Second, CIRCUMCISION WAS LIKELY A PURELY SYMBOLIC GESTURE THAT IDENTIFIED JEWS WITH PLANET EARTH ITSELF. In other words, circumcision was the Mark of Earth that was etched on the body of “God’s Own People”. It was like Enlil was saying to the Jews that, “Blessed are you, for you shall inherit the Earth”. How do we so deduce?
Once again, you need not be reminded that Earth was originally a part of the primordial planet known as Tiamat, which lay between Jupiter and Mars. In the famous “Celestial Battle”of 4 billion years ago, Nibiru, then a new immigrant to the Solar System, smashed into Tiamat and split it into a merry-go-round train of drifting debris we today call the Asteroid Belt and one intact piece which was slung-shot into a new orbit and became our beloved Earth. In figurative terms, we may say Tiamat was circumcised, with the Asteroid Belt being the foreskin that was cleaved off and Earth being the residual appendage.
A clue to what circumcision symbolised can be gleaned from the original term that is translated “circumcise” in Genesis. This is MUL. When Jews were circumcised, they were “MUL-ED”. It is telling that Earth’s full name in the Sumerian language was “MUL-KI”, meaning “a cleaved off landmass”, or figuratively, a “circumcised celestial body”. It is a pity that the prefix MUL is frequently ignored in ancient records so that Earth is, in compound words basically (such as KISIRI, meaning “Mineral Resource Centre”), simply referred to as KI, or GE in modern spelling, which is GAEA (Eke-Ea) or GAIA in full.
Earth was Enlil’s celestial counterpart, even after Marduk became the new Lord of Earth. Thus by having the Jews circumcised, or “MUL-KED”, Enlil was symbolically vesting the planet in them so to speak. Remember, these are the same people he had dubbed a “Royal Priesthood”. To him, they were a nation of priests fully at his service. THE MARVEL OF THE EIGHTH DAY FACTOR!
In our day, circumcision for a non-Jew is done purely for hygiene purposes. Did you know that every male member of the British royal family undergoes circumcision performed by a Jewish mohel (a Jew who administers the rite of circumcision)? It is common knowledge that Prince Charles was circumcised by Rabbi Jacob Snowman, then the official mohel of London’s Jewish community. One authority on the subject puts the desirability of circumcision in perspective thus:
“In every part of the body, the skin is flush with the layers below it, thus shielding against the intrusion of various types of bacteria. Only with regards to the foreskin, however, does the opposite apply – it actually engenders a significant increase in disease-causing bacteria, spores, and fungus. The skin of the foreskin is not securely flush with the corona, and the small gap near the head of the male member allows various infectious agents to enter the empty space. This warm, dark and moist area is highly susceptible to the cultivation of germs and infectious disease. Removal of the foreskin allows the area to be maintained in a hygienic and safe manner.”
But it is the insistence on the part of Enlil that the circumcision be performed on the 8th day of the baby’s birth we find intriguing. This edict by the God of the Jews turns out to be physiologically spot-on. The Anunnaki were no dunderheads folks: they were very well-grounded medically. A Professor of Pediatrics at the Faculty of Medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem had this to say in an article titled PROBLEMS WITH BLOOD CLOTTING AND BLEEDING IN NEWBORNS:
“In the first days after birth, the liver is not yet developed enough to survive any surgical operations, which could cause massive bleeding and lead to the death of the newborn, whose body simply does not have the ability to stop the blood flow on its own. Physiologically, until the eighth day, the liver slowly develops, until on the eighth day itself, when it is mature enough to fulfill its role to create the clots necessary to stop bleeding.”
Blood clotting is dependent on three substances, namely platelets, prothrombin, and Vitamin K. The first two are produced by the liver, whereas Vitamin K is produced in the intestinal tract. On the 8th day, all three are at their peak. It is the only time in the life of a human being that the three are 110 percent of their normal levels. Post- the 8th day, they plummet to 100 percent or below and will never go beyond the 100 percent ceiling at any other stage of one’s life.
What that means is that the 8th DAY IS THE PERFECT DAY TO PERFORM A CIRCUMCISION AS BLOOD CLOTTING SUBSTANCES, WHICH FACILITATE HEALING, ARE AT THEIR MAXIMUM EVER. Prior to the 8th day, a small cut to any part of the baby’s body could entail serious damage to the internal organs, especially the brain, and therefore may be life-threatening. The 8th day is the earliest and safest day medically for circumcision to take place.
BASEBORN ISAAC SUCCEEDS ABE AS HYKSO PHARAOH
If Ishmael, Abraham’s firstborn son was born in 2046 BC, as seems plausible, it meant Abraham, who was born in 2123 BC, was 77 years old at the time. It was unusual for dynastic men to wait for so long before they sire a heir. They were actually expected to have a heir by age 30 or by 40 if they were late. Even in our day, Prince Charles had William at age 34 and William himself had Prince George at age 31.
But human beings are not robots: once in a while, they do break with tradition for one reason or the other. For example, Zechariah had John the Baptist when he was “advancing in age”, which in those days could mean he was 40 years and above. Joseph, who was born in 44 BC, had Jesus at age 51 years of age in 7 BC. Both had valid reasons for procreating unusually belatedly. Zechariah was too busy with his ecclesiastical duties as the Zadokite priest at the Qumran temple.
Joseph had at age 30 been commissioned by Qumran’s Essene community to market the Davidic bloodline to the Diaspora Jews in Rome and Alexandria. This was in order to assure them that the bloodline was alive and kicking and so they should not tire in lending it material support for the eventual takeover of Palestine from the usurpist Romans. It was not until 8 BC that the Essene community demanded that both Joseph and Zechariah produce heirs so as to perpetuate the Davidic (royal) and Zadokite (priestly) lines in light of their age.
In the case of Abraham, he was not in a hurry to produce a heir. Firstly, he did adopt Lot following the death of Haran, his older brother and Lot’s father, circa 2099 BC. So for as long as Lot was alive, Abraham was not without heirs. Second, it is probable that Abraham did have daughters before he had Ishmael. He was therefore quite busy under the sheets. Then in 2046 BC, he had Ishmael by his new Egyptian wife Hagar, and in 2045 Isaac arrived too. But Isaac as we have explained was not his biological son: he was the son of the black Pharaoh Mentuhotep I of southern Egypt, who had hitched Sarah when Abraham strategically introduced her as his sister and not his wife.
Isaac therefore was what we would today call a coloured since Sarah, a Hykso-Hebrew, was white skinned. Indeed, the Talmud, which the Jews regard as only second in religious authority after the Old Testament, states it categorically that the nobility poured scorn on Abraham when at a special banquet he introduced Isaac as his son. Certainly, the fact that Isaac was not Abraham’s son was public knowledge.
There’s yet another strong clue that Isaac was of a stigmatic birth. Genesis relates that Sarah had Hagar and her son Ishmael banished from the royal palace when she saw Ishmael “mocking Isaac”. Of course the mocking must have been something really outrageous for Sarah to resort to such a measure. Ishmael must have been told by her mother that Isaac was not her real brother as he was somebody else’s son and not Abraham’s. With typical childish mischief, Ishmael took to deriding Isaac over the matter and when Sarah overhead him, she was incandescent with rage. Hell must have broken loose at the palace in northern Egypt.
Sarah was irate because the bigamous marriage with Mentuhotep that gave rise to Isaac was not of her own desire: it was all part of a noble plan for Abraham to seize the throne of Egypt as a whole and of which Sarah was like any obedient spouse heedful. So to suggest that Isaac was the product of infidelity on her part was grossly unfair. Abraham indeed did synpathise and side with his wife over the Ishmael profanity considering that Hagar and her son never returned to the palace after that. They did not become the destitutes Genesis portrays them as though: Hagar was a scion of the Egyptian nobility and there was simply no way she could end up living a rootless, vagrant life.
It was Isaac who succeeded Abraham as Pharaoh Mehibire II though exactly when that happened we cannot be sure. Abraham died in 1948 BC, aged 175 years, but by that time, he had long abdicated as Pharaoh. Isaac was 97 in 1948 BC. Note that the patriarchs lived much longer than commoners largely because they partook of Ormus and that they had a significant proportion of Anunnaki blood in them. They therefore aged very slowly.
JACOB IS CROWNED AS HYKSO PHARAOH
Long before Isaac became Pharaoh, he had married an Egyptian wife (most likely a cousin on the mother’s side), just as his father Abraham had married Hagar. But a Hykso Pharaoh was under obligation to wed a fellow Hebrew spouse by whom to raise heirs. This was typically a half-sister. In the case of Isaac, it should have been a daughter of Hagar or Keturah, the latter of whom was Abraham’s third wife. Since Hagar was ejected from the palace, she was deprived of the chance of having another child with Abraham. Even if she had, her daughter would not have qualified as she would have been an Egyptian on her mother’s side. Remember, heirs arose through the mother, not the father. As for Keturah, she only had sons with Abraham, six in all.
With his son’s options being so limited, Abraham arranged for Isaac to marry Rebecca. Rebecca was a pure Hebrew: in her veins flowed the blood of Abraham’s older brother Haran (her great-uncle); Abraham’s younger brother Nahor (her grandfather); Haran’s daughter Milcah (her grandmother); and Nahor and Milcah’s son Betheul (her father). Rebecca lived at Harran, then the domicile town of the Abrahamic clan: indeed, the annals of the Assyrian kings, describing their conquests and domains in the Harran area, identify by name a city named after Nahor and another one named after Laban, a brother of Rebecca.
Being two generations removed from Isaac, Rebecca was the equivalent of a granddaughter to Isaac age-wise and so was very, very young on her marriage. Now, if we are to take the Genesis line on face value, Isaac had twins with Rebecca, namely Esau and Jacob. That, sadly, is a manufactured story. ESAU AND JACOB WERE NOT TWINS, NOR WHERE THEY BORN TO THE SAME MOTHER. Esau was the firstborn and he was born to Isaac’s first wife, an Egyptian woman. It was Jacob who was born to Rebecca. Circumstantial evidence to the effect that Esau was an Egyptian abounds.
First, we know that Esau’s descendants were Edomites, who are Arabs. And who did Esau choose for his first wife? It was Basemath, the daughter of Ishmael, the father of the Arab race. It seems Esau and Ishmael contrived to engender their own race. Second, the way Esau is characterised at birth is a resounding tell-tale. He had red hair and a generally hairy body. THESE CHARACTERISTICS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS APPEARANCE: IT ALL WAS CODED LANGUAGE THAT HE WAS A PRETENDER TO THE PHARAONIC THRONE OF NORTHERN EGYPT.
The pharaonic seat of northern Egypt was known as the Red Crown, Djesher-t in Egyptian, a word that connoted red. If Esau had been Isaac and Rebecca’s son, he no doubt would have inherited the Hykso throne after Isaac since he was older than Jacob. Being none of the above, he was obliged to give way to Jacob, who duly qualified in that he was Hebrew having been mothered by the bloodline brood mare in Rebecca.
It is clear, therefore, that the Genesis story of a famished Esau selling his birthright to Jacob in exchange for a bowl of tasty stew is a pathetic and unsophisticated attempt at explaining why Jacob was the one entitled to the Hykso throne. Jacob did not wrest the inheritance from, or cajole it off Esau: he congenitally merited it. The Talmud affirms this state of affairs, when it says all Esau inherited from Isaac’s estate were domesticated animals: the kingdom (northern Egypt and potentially all the lands up to the river Euphrates) he “gave” to Jacob.
Jacob was crowned as Pharaoh Yakuber of northern Egypt in 1865 BC, when Isaac died at age 180 years, although he had been co-regent with his aged father for some time. His coronation was not without polemics though as Esau’s Egyptian constituency, which was quite formidable, thought Esau had been robbed of the throne. They never recognized Jacob as their pharaoh. In fact, Esau launched a war of words against Jacob in the months leading up to the coronation in a desperate but vain attempt at thwarting his accession.
0Y00akuber was what Jacob was known to the Egyptians. To the Hyksos, he was called I-Sira-El, or simply Israel, meaning “El’s Shield”or “God’s Rampart”. This was a name he was given by the Enlilite god Nannar-Sin, who was known as El in Canaan, his main fiefdom after Ur and Haran. Why is it that of all the four Hykso pharaohs to date (Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob) only Jacob was designated as God’s Rampart?0
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.
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!
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.