Ishkur-Adad, the Jehovah of the Exodus, casts a stubborn spell over Egyptian Pharaoh
What did Ishkur-Adad, the Jehovah of the Exodus, mean when he referred to himself as “EHYEH ASHER EHYEH”, this being the name by which Moses should introduce him to the Hykso-Hebrews in Egypt, at the scene of the Burning Bush? Note that Moses, who was a naturally assertive person like the great intellect he was, did not quiz Adad as to what he meant. Clearly, he did comprehend the meaning of the name. Still, the Hebrews never used that name at all: instead, they generally referred to their god as ADONAI, or ATEN in Sumerian. Why this particular denomination we shall unpack at the appropriate time.
In the Bible’s multiple versions, EHYEH ASHER EHYEH has been translated variously as “I am who am”; "I am what I am"; or "I will be what I will be". In some versions, it is shortened simply to “I am”, or “Yahweh”. Some scholars posit that what actually Adad said was, “Who am I? I am who I am, and never you mind”. In other words, Adad was telling Moses to mind his own business and not bother with what was a preposterous matter. That kind of response, however, is unseemly: a god who wants to sell himself to a people who pay allegiance to other gods cannot afford to be so dismissively impolitic. You don’t win followers by coming across as vain, haughty, and impudent.
Note that contrary to what the Bible would have you believe, this was not the first time the Anunnaki employed the name Yahweh. Long before Moses came to Midian, the Midianites already had a god they called Yahweh, who was apparently their main god beside the goddess Ninmah, who was known as Hathor to the Egyptians. To the Egyptians, Midian was known as “The Land of the Shasu of Yahweh”.
This we learn from an inscription from the time of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, Moses’ father. “Shasu”, meaning a nomadic people, was the Egyptian term for Midianites, who like Hebrew-Hyksos were a Semitic people. Thus Yahweh-Adad was already known in Midian for at least 70 years before Moses relocated there. Why did Moses’ personal encounter with Adad take up to 40 years to happen? It could have been that Moses was reluctant to embrace Enlilite gods, preferring, instead, to stick to venerating the Aten, the planet Nibiru. As a sort of puffed up person, he was very set in his ways.
So what did Adad exactly say to Moses? It was to tell his people that “I AM WE ARE has sent me”. That is to say, a collection of gods who he, Adad, represented was the one that had commissioned Moses. In theosophy, the I AM WE ARE concept is known as the Sovereign Integral. Its meaning is simply that one is not an individual as such but a composite of constituent entities. Whatever he says or does represents the wishes of a collective of which he is part.
The I AM, therefore, is the individual being directly interacting with an audience at that particular point in time. But as a representative, ultimately, of a larger banding, he is the I AM WE ARE. Adad was the I AM. But he along with his fellow Enlilites – Enlil, Nannar-Sin, and Utu-Shamash – comprised the I AM WE ARE. In other words, “God” was a plurality and not a single entity. “God” was the “Elohim”, the ruling pantheon of the Anunnaki, and not simply “El”, an individual Anunnaki. The concept of multiple gods was not alien to the Hebrews. They were very much aware that their gods, the Anunnaki, were a clan. What was unusual was the idea of a single god representing several others. This would take a lot of convincing.
MOSES SACRIFICES HIS SON TO LUCIFERIAN FORCES
Once the proceedings at the scene of the Burning Bush were complete, it now fell to Moses to fulfill his part of the contractual bargain to recompense for the magical powers he had been endued by the forces of darkness. When you sign a contract with the Devil, invariably in your own blood, you seal it by shedding another’s blood. This is not the blood of an ordinary person: it is the blood of somebody very dear to you. This must be your child, wife, father, mother, brother, or sister in the main. Your child or parent is the one who carries the most weight as you are invested with greater powers when you kill either of these.
In Anunnaki times, one was required to sacrifice his firstborn son to either appease the gods (the basically diabolical Enlilites: not the generally benevolent Enkites) to bring about a desired result. THE MOST PRECIOUS SACRIFICE TO THE GODS WAS A KING’S FIRSTBORN SON. (In the “sacrificial death” of Jesus, an offspring of David, Israel’s greatest King, and therefore the first century’s Davidic heir, we see this ethos at play.)
For example, Abraham, the father of the Hebrew nation, was asked to sacrifice his firstborn son Ishmael by Adad though he defied the god and instead offered his second-born son Isaac (who was not his biological child), who Adad procedurally rejected. Since Moses had been appointed by Ishkur-Adad as the King of the Hebrews, it was necessary that he sacrifice his firstborn son both on his own behalf and that of the Hebrew people.
A hotheaded Moses, however, was reluctant to sacrifice his own flesh and blood. He made that very clear to Adad and hastened away in a huff. As a descendant of Abraham, Moses was all too aware that Abraham had also taken very strong exception to sacrificing his own son. But having fulfilled an initiation ritual, Moses had already crossed the Rubicon and he was under obligation to do his part. As he made his way home, the demon that now indwelt him threatened that if he did not co-operate, he would be killed. This is what is implied in EXODUS 4:24, which reads: “It came to be on the way, in the lodging, that a messenger of Yahweh encountered him and sought to put him to death.”
Moses finally acquiesced and did sacrifice his son with Zipporah. This son is not named but he was certainly his firstborn, meaning Gershom and Eleazer were not the only sons he had with Zipporah: there must have been a firstborn who was sacrificed and that’s the reason he is not named. LATER EDITORS OF EXODUS, HOWEVER, DECIDED TO GLOSS OVER THE SACRIFICE BY SPINNING IT AS NO MORE THAN A MERE CIRCUMCISION OF HIS SON (EXODUS 4:25).
Maybe circumcision was indeed involved, but it must have been deliberately botched to result in the death of the child. The fact that Zipporah was the person who performed the circumcision (which is bizarre as women never are or were involved in the circumcision process) clearly exposes the story as a fabricated one, or at the very least attests to the contrived fatal result of the circumcision as indeed an innocent woman forced to perform the act would make a mess of the process. It was only after the sacrifice was done that the demon desisted from badgering and barking threats at Moses (EXODUS 4:26).
EGYPTIAN HYKSO-HEBREWS SPURN MOSES
When Moses set course for Egypt this time around, he was accompanied by his first cousin Aaron. Moses was 80 going on 81, whilst Aaron was 83 going on 84. Once again, the man they were going to meet was Pharaoh Ramesses I. This was Moses’ second encounter with Ramesses although the Pentateuch authors have fused the first and second mission into one as is often their hurried tendency. The year was 1333 BC, Ramesses’ second year in office.
To his credit, Ramesses did not receive Moses hostilely. By this time, Ramesses was resigned to the fact that Moses, who had been the King of Median for about 40 years now, was his equal. In any case, Moses had renounced his Egyptian citizenship and so was no longer regarded as an aspiring Come-Back-Kid by the Egyptian establishment. He was thus received as a Hykso-Hebrew.
Initially, all Moses asked for was to introduce himself to his people, the Hebrew-Hyksos, who were concentrated in the land of Goshen in northern Egypt. Ramesses gave him the green light without much ado. Meanwhile, Ramesses had his troops at the ready just in case the Goshenites became excited at the sight of their leader and set about mischief-making of a provocative kind.
Arriving at Goshen, Moses did not address the entire Jewish population. He only picked a select few, who according to the Book of Exodus numbered 29 (EXODUS 6:14-24). Of course they must have been larger than that but the Exodus authors left out precious many names and retained only those whose descendants were prominent at the time Exodus was written, that is, in the 6th century BC.
All the 29 names were the offspring of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi – the first three sons of Jacob. But the dominant ones numerically were members of the tribe of Levi, who numbered 20 in all. What that seems to suggest is that at this point in time, THE LEVITES WERE THE PRE-EMINENT JEWISH TRIBE. This is one of two surprises, the other being the total absence of representatives of the tribe of Judah, which had superseded that of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, after the three patriarchs were cursed by Jacob (Reuben for sleeping with one of his father’s younger wives; and Simeon and Levi for causing the expulsion of the Hykso-Hebrews from Egypt after they had SeqenenreTao, southern Egypt’s black Pharaoh, murdered).
How did the Levites, a cursed tribe, bounce back and become the leading tribe of the day during the Egyptian bondage? AARON HAD A LOT TO DO WITH THIS STATE OF AFFAIRS. Remember, when Moses went into exile after being forced to step down as Pharaoh Akhenaten by the Egyptian army acting in concert with the Theban priesthood, Aaron not only took over as interim Pharaoh but stayed in Egypt for another 40 years.
Aaron was therefore for a long time the elder statesman of the Hykso-Hebrews in Egypt and resultantly had enormous socio-political sway. Aaron, if you recall, was the son of Joseph’s second-born son Ephraim (Aye to the Egyptians: also known by his titular name Amram in the Bible) and Tey, whose Hebrew name was Yokarba (Jochebed in the English version of the Bible). Yokarba was of the House of Levi, a Levite.
That makes Aaron a Levite essentially since one’s tribal identity was ordinarily traced through the mother. Since Aaron was at once a Levite and patriarch of Egypt’s Hykso-Hebrews, he made sure that his tribe took pride of place. THIS IS THE MAIN REASON THE LEVITES BECAME ISRAEL’S PRIESTLY TRIBE AND WHY ONLY MEMBERS OF AARON’S CLAN WERE ELIGIBLE FOR THE POSITION OF HIGH PRIEST. It was Aaron who masterminded and orchestrated their rehabilitation and restoration to “God’s” favour.
Why was the tribe of Judah now sidelined? Well, again if you recall, Judah was not meant to be the substantive leader of the Israelites (the nation Jacob, who was also known as Israel, gave rise to): he was imply holding indefinite fort whilst Jacob’s anointed heir, Joseph, was growing up. By the time of the exodus, Joseph not only had become a Hykso-Hebrew legend but he had spawned at least three generations – Ephraim’s, Aaron’s, and Nadab’s. Thus Joseph had now reclaimed his rightful position as Jacob’s heir, meaning the tribe of Judah no longer counted.
Be that as it may, the tribe of Judah did not take their relegation to the fringes lying down. They did bounce back by and by, becoming the largest and most powerful Jewish tribe. That, however, is another story, which we shall address at the appropriate time. Sadly for Moses, the Hykso-Hebrew elders were not persuaded to depart Egypt. One of the reasons given had to do with “hard service” (EXODUS 6:9). In other words, they were not prepared to undergo the rigours of dislodging several nations that now inhabited Canaan.
It would entail several years of warfare and the Hykso-Hebrews of the day had never taken part in a war. Furthermore, the Hykso-Hebrew cast aspersions on the god Moses claimed to represent. What evidence was there that he would indeed see them to victory? How would they be assured that he was mighty enough to keep them safe and sound?
BUT THE MAIN REASON THE HYKSO-HEBREW ELDERS REJECTED MOSES’GOD HAD TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT HE DEMANDED THAT THEY SACRIFICE THEIR FIRSTBORN SONS IN RETURN FOR FREEING THEM FROM THE EGYPTIAN YOKE. In the Bible, this is not vividly set out: it’s only when you read between the lines that you get the photo. But don’t you worry: we shall demonstrate to you soon how we were able to decipher that on the basis of collaborative extra-biblical sources.
ISHKUR-ADAD “HARDENS PHARAOH’S HEART”
According to the Bible, Moses was able to contact Ishkur-Adad whilst he was in Egypt pleading the cause of his people. Exactly how the Pentateuch authors do not elaborate. There was likely a secret rendezvous in the Egyptian wilds where he and Adad met considering that the Anunnaki gods had airborne vessels which could land on any terrain.
So when Moses, accompanied by Aaron, reported to Adad that his people had given him the middle finger, Adad instructed him to approach Ramesses and ask him to order an expulsion of the Hykso-Hebrews from Egypt. Adad told Moses point-blank that Ramesses would turn him down but only because he, Adad, would “harden his heart”. This would give Adad the opportunity to perform “miracles” that would help Moses convince the Hykso-Hebrews that Yahweh was a great god who indeed could do wonders for them.
“HARDENING THE PHARAOH’S HEART” IS NOT A MERE FIGURE OF SPEECH: THIS IS THE FIRST DIRECT INDICATION WE HAVE OF AN ANUNNAKI GOD CONTRIVING TO INFLUENCE A HUMAN BEING BY MEANS OF HIGH-TECH MIND MANIPULATION. Mind control, which is a favourite Illuminati device even in our day, was not pioneered by Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich as we have been made to believe: it was introduced by the Anunnaki 3000 years ago, if not earlier.
Mind control is a device whereby a person is mentally influenced to act according to the wishes of his mind manipulator using sophisticated mind programming technology or harsh, heavy-handed mental access methods which make the victim easily susceptible to mental programming. For direct mass mental programming, this can be achieved through mobile phone masts, smart metres, chemtrails, broadcasting equipment, space satellites, vaccinations, foodstuffs such as GMOs, and the chemicals with which the water we drink either directly from the dams or rivers, or the mineral water that has become so fashionable today, is laced.
At the individual level, mind programming can be administered by way of hypnosis or metaphysical devices, which a layman like you and I would term as witchcraft, black magic, or demon-possession (more on this subject in a future series). Moses was reluctant to follow through on Adad’s instruction and he made that clear to the god. But Adad insisted that he just had to as he was bound by the terms of the initiation he underwent at the scene of the Burning Bush and which obliged him to obey Adad robotically.
Arriving at Ramesses’ courts, Moses accordingly delivered the message from “my God Yahweh”. Yahweh, he said, had demanded that Ramesses “dismiss” the Hykso-Hebrews from Egypt so they retrace their way back to the legal land of their heritage, Canaan. Ramesses’ initial response was to scoff at Yahweh, who, so he said, he did not even know. Of course this was a deep blue lie: Ramesses was aware that in the Land of the Midianites loomed large a god known as Yahweh. Be that as it may, Ramesses decided to consult his team of advisors on the matter.
Adad’s mind control stratagem was already at work. The Pharaoh’s advisers were adamant that the Hykso-Hebrews must not be let go. This is the reason they gave: “Behold, a nation, Children of Israel, is greater and mightier than us; Let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply and, when war shall be called, they will join our enemies, and fight against us, and leave the land” – EXODUS 1:9–10.
Let us put Egyptian anxieties in context. At the time, a powerful kingdom on the upper reaches of the Euphrates River had arisen. This Kingdom was called Mitanni (“The Weapon of Anu”) and belonged to a people known as the Hurrians. Mitanni, an arch-enemy of Egypt, encompassed today’s Syria and Lebanon. In Mitanni was a region in the Khabu River area known as Aram-Naharayim, meaning “The Western Land of the Two Rivers”. Mitanni’s principal urban centre was Harran, a bastion of the Hykso-Hebrews.
Harran’s main Hykso-Hebrew tribe were the Ben-Yamins – the descendents of Benjamin, Jacob’s youngest son. Benjamin was the only one of Jacob’s 12 sons who was a full brother to Joseph as the duo’s mother was Rachel (Rachel died after giving birth to Benjamin.) Both the mothers of Jacob (Rebecca) and Joseph came from Harran.
Now, if the Hykso-Hebrews were to be let go by Ramesses, their most obvious destination would be Harran – to rejoin their kith and kin. Once the Hykso-Hebrews of Egypt reunited with the Hykso-Hebrews of Harran, they would form Mitanni’s Fifth Column and reinforce the regular Mitannian army, thus making a doubly formidable force with which Egypt would have to contend. That was what Ramesses feared and that was why he was dead set against giving Moses the green light to take his people with him.
NEXT WEEK: ISHKUR-ADAD’S TEN PLAGUES: WHERE THEY MIRACLES?
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.