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Moses Vs Ramesses

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

Moses gets the nod as the two contend for the Egyptian  throne but …

Moses had been King of Midian for 40 years when Ramesses I became Pharaoh of Egypt. By this time, he should have had several more children with his Queen Zipporah but the Bible mentions only two, Gershom and Eleazer.  The name Gershom  meant “sojourner”, to underline the fact that although Moses was a sovereign in the land of Midian, he was not meant to live there forever as his real home  was Egypt. As for Eleazer, meaning “God has helped”, it was a tribute to Nibiru King Anu. Moses venerated Nibiru, which he called the Aten, because it was the abode of  Anu, “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”.  

Now, when Ramesses took over as Pharaoh, there were two key dynamics at play in Egypt. First, the persecution of  the Hykso-Hebrews had reached a new high. It was not on the scale of the Holocaust of Hitler’s day but it was austere anyway.  Second, the indigenous Egyptians were clamouring for the return of Armana rule. Their rallying cry was voiced through Aaron, who had stayed in Egypt after his 3-year stint as caretaker Pharaoh. Both Ramesses and his predecessor Horemheb were not royals but usurpers. In particular, Egyptians were rooting for the return of the “Royal Mosis”, as Moses was now nostalgically referred to – a term that informed his naming in the Bible when in his native Egypt he was known as Akhenaten.

When he became Pharaoh, or Pharaoh-designate in truth, Ramesses was very old, stopping just short of walking on a cane. And as we all know, people mellow with age. SO TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE RESURGENCE OF HIS POPULARITY IN HIS MOTHERLAND, MOSES SERVED NOTICE ON RAMESSES THAT HE INTENDED TO RETURN TO EGYPT TO RECLAIM THE THRONE IN HEED OF THE WISHES OF THE EGYPTIANS.  Of course Ramesses would have  given him the middle finger as he had the power that went with incumbency but he decided not to opt for that course of action and instead gave Moses the green light to come over. Why this openhanded gesture on his part?

Well, it was simple. The pitting of wits between Moses and Ramesses was to be witnessed by the Egyptian Council of Elders, also known as Wise Men, who at least in this state of affairs were vested with the right to vote for the bona fide pharaoh. And you know as much as I do that such people are typically in the pocket of the King as they enormously enjoy his patronage. So Ramesses was hundred percent certain that even if he wasn’t the genuine-article pharaoh, the vote would go his way anyway. And once that happened, he would be in a position now to demonstrate to the Egyptians that it was not he who kept Moses at bay: it was the collective wish of the Council of Elders.  The Egyptians would resultantly resign themselves to the outcome and begin to rally to Ramesses especially that he had acted so fairly and justly in the matter.

Arriving in Egypt, Moses did not head straight for an audience with Ramesses. He first fetched his cousin Aaron, the only other surviving Amarna King, and the two, along with their entourage of course, set course for the pharaoh’s residence. The meeting was held not at the official palace at Thebes in southern Egypt but at the pharaoh’s private mansion at Zaru, the mansion built for him by the slaving Hykso-Hebrews when he was Horemheb’s No. 2. It seemed Moses had insisted that Zaru be the rendezvous   because that was his birthplace and therefore it had an abiding sentimental and symbolic value. 

 

MOSES CHALLENGES  RAMESSES’ RIGHT OF SUCCESSION

 

The Wise Men, a kind of rubber stamp parliament, were gathered in the hall at the Ramesses mansion to witness and adjudicate the rhetorical showdown between the rightful Pharaoh in Moses and the aspiring Pharaoh in Ramesses. First, Ramesses proffered reasons as to why he was the right person to succeed Horemheb. He had been duly anointed by Horemheb as successor and so had the seal of approval of the departed king.

It was not that he had usurped the throne: Horemheb had no heir and this was the reason he had settled for Ramesses. If Horemheb had come to power by foul and crook, that wasn’t of Ramesses’ making: he could not be held accountable for a sin that was committed by his predecessor. In any case, Horemheb argued, none of the Armana Kings were genuine Egyptians: they were in truth Hykso-Hebrews either paternally or maternally.  On the other hand, Horemheb and he were full-blooded sons of the soil and therefore were deserving rulers of their beloved country.

Once Ramesses was done with his manifesto, Moses took the floor to make the case for his restoration as Pharaoh. Moses asserted that he was the linear pharaoh since his father Amenhotep III, that his rule was interrupted when Horemheb and company, who included Ramesses himself, leaned on him to step down and go into exile. In short, Moses was extra-legally removed from power.

Moses went on to denounce Ramesses as a commoner who therefore was not entitled to the institution of monarch. Both he and Horemheb did not have the merest drop of royal blood in them.  As for the matter of his carrying Hykso-blood, Moses argued that pharaohs typically married daughters of foreign kings as minor wives and therefore it was common to find pharaohs in the annals of Egypt who had foreign blood in them as even Tuthmosis IV’s mother was a foreigner. 

Above all, Moses produced incontrovertible evidence that he was indeed a pharaoh. Remember, when he went into exile 40 years before, he had taken with him his Pharaonic symbol of authority. This was a serpent rod made of bronze and shaped and engraved in the image of a scepter. The serpent was the symbol of Enki, the overall god of Africans and father to Egypt’s national god, Amen-Ra Marduk.   To further buttress his case, Moses performed the ritual of the withered hand, whereby he placed his right hand limply across his chest, while supporting it with his left hand. 

In the Bible, Moses’ actions (which it attributes to Aaron) before Ramesses are spun as magical feats. That is far from the truth: the “Word of God” lies folks. In Egypt, these rituals were part and parcel of a sitting pharaoh’s performance at the Sed festival, which was meant to  validate the pharaoh’s capacity to continue  ruling his people. The Sed  festival was first held on the pharaoh’s 30th thronal anniversary and every three years thereafter. Typically, the rituals were performed by the Pharaoh’s aides on his behalf.  The Koran documents the incident too and much more accurately in its case: Moses does not remotely come across as a magician but simply as someone who presents evidence of his authority. 

In his highly insightful book, MOSES AND AKHENATEN: THE SECRET HISTORY OF EGYPT AT THE TIME OF THE EXODUS, the Egyptian historian  Ahmed Osman puts the serpent rod and hand rituals in context thus: “In the tomb of Kheruef, one of Queen Tiye’s stewards, a throne scene shows the queen with her husband, Amenhotep III. Under the dais of the throne we see Kheruef and other officials, each holding something that he is about to hand to the king so that he can use it during the Sed  festival celebrations of his Year 30.

In one scene, Kheruef is followed by eight palace officials, the first of whom is wearing an apron. He puts his right arm across his chest and his hand over his left shoulder while he holds his forearm with the left hand. The fourth of these officials holds a bundle of clothes in his right hand and a curved scepter with serpent’s head in his left. 

So when Moses performed the serpent rod and hand rituals before Ramesses, he was demonstrating two things. First, he was challenging Ramesses’ right of succession and making the case for his own. Second, he was reenacting the Sed festival, for had his rule not been interrupted, he would today be on the throne for more than 30 years and therefore would merit performing the Sed festival. 

The authors of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) did not get it wrong: they simply deliberately  misrepresented the facts. Why? BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T WANT TO MAKE IT TOO OBVIOUS TO THE JEWS THAT MOSES WAS ONCE PHARAOH OF EGYPT, A NATION THAT WAS THE JEWISH PET HATE (it would be something akin to saying Adolf Hitler was in fact a Jew).  As such, they dramatised and doctored the incident and had  Aaron perform the “magic” when it was Moses who did so.  

 

MOSES GETS THE VOTE BUT RAMESSES REFUSES TO BUDGE

 

Both the  two contenders for the Egyptian throne had made their case and it was now up to the Wise Men to pass a vote indicating whose  deposition had convinced them. To Ramesses’ surprise, the Wise Men all voted for Moses.   The vote was  indicated by bowing their knees in front of Moses, thus confirming that he had a superior claim to the throne. Sadly, Ramesses was not having any of that.

He immediately put his army on the alert and when word seeped through that Moses was to be the new Pharaoh, Zaru erupted into jubilation on the streets. It was all in vain really, for when the pro-Moses elements in the Egyptian establishment tried to press their case for the enthronement of Moses, they were ruthlessly crashed by the highly partisan army.  Furthermore, all the members of the Council of the Elders were put to  the sword. 

Moses himself was untouched,  being a King already of the territory of Midian. Ramesses in fact tried to convince Moses to reintegrate Midian into Egypt once again but Moses stoutly refused. INSTEAD, AN ANGRY MOSES RENOUNCED HIS EGYPTIAN NATIONALITY AND DECLARED HIMSELF A HYKSO-HEBREW. He then demanded that all the Hykso-Hebrews leave Egypt with him not for good but for only three days to hold a special festival to his god, the Aten, in the Sinai Wilderness.

Ramesses not only rejected the appeal but revved up on affliction visited on the Hykso-Hebrews. “And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make bricks, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tale [number] of bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God" (EXODUS 5:6-8).

Since he could not have his bidding, Moses  departed Egypt for Midian. In the event, Ramesses was officially crowned as Egypt’s new pharaoh. But  as he was so advanced in age, he was no  more than a shadow of his old self: the person who wielded real power was his firstborn son Seti, who was also in charge of the army.  

MOSES CHOSEN TO SPEARHEAD JEWISH EMANCIPATION

Meanwhile, the Enlilites, the Anunnaki faction headed by Jehovah, were pressed for time.  The planet Nibiru was scheduled to return in about 700 years' time. By that time, three imperatives needed to have been accomplished fundamentally. First, the two space-related sites, Jerusalem and Baalbek in Lebanon, should have been under Enlilite control.  King Anu was expected to touch down on Earth by way of either Baalbek or Jerusalem. Thus either places had to be operational once again as the aeronautical Landing Place and Mission Control Centre respectively.

Second, Canaan, more so Jerusalem, should have been dominated populationwise by the Jews, Enlil’s chosen people, who he called his sheep. Presently, the whole of Canaan was occupied by non-Hebrew peoples who were largely pro-Marduk. They were Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites.  This was against the strategic designs of the Enlilites. All the non-Hebrew peoples should have been flushed out by the time Anu returned  and the Jews ensconced in their place. 

Third, Marduk, who was legally Chief Executive of Earth (although the Enlilites scarcely recognized him) should have been deposed and an Enlilite installed in his place. The Enlilites were  averse to  an Enkite receiving such an august figure as Anu. They wanted that privillege to fall to them. The overriding priority presently, however, was to populate Jerusalem with Jews. The Jews at the time were concentrated in two places – Harran in today’s Turkey and Zaru in Egypt. Whereas the Jews of Harran were free people, the Jews of Zaru were in bondage. It was the latter the Enlilite decided to  free and then remove to Jerusalem.    And the person they chose to spearhead the sequence of activities in this regard was none other than Moses. 

Moses had a number of qualifying attributes for this purpose. First, he was a military general of masses of experience. Second, he had been King of Egypt and King of Midian for a combined total of just under 60 years.  Third, he was of Hykso-Hebrew descent on his mother’s side and so would find resonance amongst the Hykso-Hebrews.

The express commissioning of Moses to the task was  assigned to Ishkur-Adad, Enlil-Jehovah’s second-born son. The Enlilites had decided that  they would no longer show or intimate themselves to mankind as individual gods but would do so using only  one representative on a rotational basis. This representative Anunnaki deity would go under the name ANKI, meaning, in paraphrase, “Lord of Heaven and Earth”.

IN OTHER WORDS, ANKI WOULD POSE AS BOTH ANU, THE GOD OF HEAVEN (NIBIRU), AND ENLIL, THE GOD (PUTATIVELY AND UNLAWFULLY) OF EARTH.  The first person they chose to play this role was Adad. Unlike in the past when humans could physically see a god, that was no longer the case. This time around, humans would hear the voice of a god alright but may not see him. The idea was to instill a sense of awe, a sort of mystique, in the minds of Earthlings. 

Thus it was that not long after Moses had returned from his rhetorical clash with Ramesses, Adad sent an “angel”, that is, a low-ranking Anunnaki, to summon him to his presence. Since this was Moses’ first encounter with an Anunnaki, he was overwhelmed and therefore acquiesced without much ado. 

MOSES COMES BEFORE ISHKUR-ADAD

At the time of Moses, in the 14th century BC, the Anunnaki had all but withdrawn from direct interaction with and interference into the affairs of mankind. That did not mean they had retired or that they had left Earthlings wholly to their own devices. They were very much around and exerting subtle influence from behind the scenes.  But the so-called senior gods – the likes of Enlil, Enki, Ninmah, Ninurta, and Nannar-Sin – were in semi-retirement. Only Marduk, being the executive ruler of Earth, was still active in answer to the call of duty but at a slightly diminished rate in his case too.

Nannar-Sin, Enlil’s second-born son, who would later be known as Zeus to the Greeks and Adonis to the Romans, was the  principal Canaanite god of the day. In Canaan, Sin was simply referred to as El, meaning “God”.  Sin and his wife Ningal, or Asherah to the Canaanites, had decided to settle in the southern parts of the Sinai Peninsula, in an area the Bible calls Horeb, near two twin mountain peaks known as the Mountains of the Elohim.

The Elohim, as you already know, was how the Sumerians referred to the ruling pantheon of the Anunnaki. In the Bible, the term Elohim is misleadingly translated as “God” when the right translation should be the plural “gods”, as the Anunnaki were called as a collective. Sin in particular was fond of setting up home atop or near mountain  peaks, the reason his other name was El Shaddai, meaning “Lord of the Mountains”. 

It was to Horeb, not very far from Serabit El-Khadim, Moses’ residential precincts, that Moses, so we’re given to understand by the authors of the Pentateuch, was taken by an “Angel of the Lord” – a Anunnaki messenger of Ishkur-Adad. According to the Bible, this happened when Moses, “a shepherd of the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian”, was “leading the flock behind the wilderness” (EXODUS 3:1).

This is all coded language as we have reiterated time and again. Being shepherd of Jethro’s flock simply meant Moses was the King of the Midianites. In the Bible, when the term shepherd is applied to a patriarchal figure, it means that figure was  King. In the language  of Enlilite gods, a shepherd was a member of the human race who ruled a people, the sheep, on their (Enlilites’) behalf.

Arriving at the scene of his summons, at about sunset, Moses, the biblical story continues, was treated to a wondrous and stupefying spectacle. A THICKET THAT GREW AGAINST A MOUNTAIN SIDE WAS BURNING RATHER BRIGHTLY BUT WAS NOT BEING CONSUMED BY THE FIRE (EXODUS 3:1-22/4:1-19).  Naturally, Moses was overcome with fear. But did things proceed exactly as Exodus relates them? And was the bright but seemingly cold flame a miracle? 

NEXT WEEK:   MOSES SIGNS PACT WITH THE DEVIL!

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Economic Resurgence Options: Is Export-Led Growth Tenable For Botswana?

22nd September 2020

The world in which we live is a criminally unequal one. In his iconic 1945 allegorical novella,  Animal Farm, a satire on the facetiousness  of the then Soviet Empire’s crackbrained experiment with a command economy, the legendary George Orwell in my view hit the nail squarely on the head when he said all animals were equal but some animals were more equal than others.

That’s the never-ending dichotomy of the so-called First World and its polar opposite, the so-called Third World as Orwell’s cleverly-couched diatribe applies as much to the tread-of-the-mill laissez faire economics of our day as it did to Marxist-Leninist Russia a generation back.

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Victory is Won

22nd September 2020

Israelites take Canaan under General Joshua

Even as the Nation of Israeli braced to militarily take possession of the Promised Land, General, its top three senior citizens, namely Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, were not destined to share in this god-conferred bequest. All three died before the lottery was won.

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Finance Bills: What are they about?

22nd September 2020

Financial Reporting (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and Accountants (Amendment) Bill, 2020 were expeditiously passed by parliament on Thursday.

What are these two Bills really about?  The Bills are essentially about professional values that are applicable to auditors and accountants in their practice. The Bills seeks to basically enhance existing laws to ensure more uprightness, fairness, professional proficiency, due care, expertise and or professional technical standards.

The Financial Reporting Act, 2010 (FRA) establishes the Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority (BAOA), as the country’s independent regulator of the accounting and auditing profession. BAOA is responsible for the oversight and registration of audit firms and certified auditors of public interest entities.

In the same vein, there is the Accountants Act, 2010 establishing the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) which is responsible for the registration and regulation of the accounting and auditing profession. This consequently infers that some auditors have to register first with BICA as certified auditors, and also with BAOA as certified auditors of public bodies. So, the Bills sought to avert the duplication.

According to Minister Matsheka, the duplication of efforts in the regulation of auditors, which is done by both BICA and BAOA, creates a substantial gap on oversight of certified auditors in Botswana, as the two entities have different review procedures. He contends that the enforcement of sanctions becomes problematic and, thus, leads to offenders going Scot-Free, and audit quality standards also continue to plunge.

The Financial Reporting (Amendment) Bill, 2020, in the view of the Minister, brings the oversight and regulation of all auditors in Botswana under the jurisdiction of the Accountancy Oversight Authority and that Bringing all auditors within one roof, under the supervision of BAOA would therefore reinforce their oversight and significantly enhance accountability.

He also pointed that the Bill broadens the current mandate of the Authority by redefining public interest entities to include public bodies, defined as boards, tribunals, commissions, councils, committees, other body corporate or unincorporated established under any enactment.

This covers any company in which government has an equity shareholding. In order to enable the process of instituting fitting sanctions against violation of its provisions, the Bill clearly lays down acts and lapses that constitute professional misconduct.

This Bill further strengthens the sanctions for breach of the Act by public interest entities, officers, firms, and certified auditors. Reinforcing the law with respect to such sanctions will act as an effective deterrent for breach of the Act.

The Accountants Bill also strengthens the current mandate of the Institute by making it obligatory for those who provide accountancy services in Botswana to register with the Institute, and for all employers to hire accountants who are registered with the Institute.

The Minister reasons that in line with the spirit of citizen empowerment, this Bill proposes reservation of at least 50% of the Council membership for citizens. This, he says, is to empower citizens and ensure that citizenries play an active role in the affairs of the Institute, and ultimately in the development of the accounting profession in Botswana.

The Bills come at a point when Botswana’s financial sector is in a quagmire. The country has been blacklisted by the European Union. Its international rankings on Corruption Perception Index have slightly reduced.  According to recent reports by Afro Barometer survey, perceptions of corruption in the public service have soured and so is mistrust in public institutions.

Rating agencies, Standard Poor’s and Moody’s have downgraded Botswana, albeit slightly. The reasons are that there continues to be corruption, fiscal and revenue crimes such as money laundering and general unethical governance in the country. There are still loopholes in many laws despite the enactments and amendments of more than thirty laws in the last two years.

One of the most critical aspect of enhancing transparency and accountability and general good governance, is to have a strong auditing and accounting systems. Therefore, such professions must be properly regulated to ensure that public monies are protected against white color crime. It is well known that some audit firms are highly unprincipled.

They are responsible for tax avoidance and tax evasions of some major companies. Some are responsible for fraud that has been committed. They are more loyal to money paid by clients than to ethical professional standards. They shield clients against accountability. Some companies and parastatals have collapsed or have been ruined financially despite complementary reports by auditors.

In some cases, we have seen audit firms auditing parastatals several times to almost becoming resident auditors. This is bad practice which is undesirable. Some auditors who were appointed liquidators of big companies have committee heinous crimes of corruption, imprudent management, fraud and outright recklessness without serious consequences.

There is also a need to protect whistleblowers as they have been victimized for blowing the whistle on impropriety. In fact, in some cases, audit firms have exonerated culprits who are usually corrupt corporate executives.

The accounting and auditing professions have been dominated by foreigners for a very long time. Most major auditing firms used by state entities and big private sector companies are owned by foreigners. There has to be a deliberate plan to have Batswana in this profession.

While there are many Batswana who are accountants, less are chartered accountants. There must be deliberate steps to wrestle the profession from foreigners by making citizens to be chartered.  It is also important to strengthen the Auditor General. The office is created by the constitution.

The security of tenure is clearly secured in the constitution. However, this security of tenure was undermined by the appointing authority in many instances whereby the Auditor General was appointed on a short-term contract. The office is part of the civil service and is not independent at all.

The Auditor General is placed, in terms of scale, at Permanent Secretary level and is looked at as a peer by others who think they can’t be instructed by their equivalent to comply. Some have failed to submit books of accounts for audits, e.g. for special funds without fear or respect of the office. There is need to relook this office by making it more independent and place it higher than Permanent Secretaries.

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