Fourth Commandment pays homage to Saturn, Lucifer’s HQ planet in the Solar System
As Ishkur-Adad, the frontman Jehovah of the Exodus touched down on Mount Sinai in his sky vehicle, the sound of a siren (trumpet in the Bible) rent the air. We did elucidate at one point in time that this sky vehicle, typically translated as the “Glory of God” in the Bible, was actually KABOD in Hebrew. Zechariah Sitchin assists us in unpacking the term thus: “It will be helpful to trace the Akkadian and Sumerian roots from which the Hebrew term had derived.
While the Akkadian KABBUTTU meant ‘heavy, weighty,’ the similar-sounding KABDU (paralleling the Hebrew Kabod) meant ‘Wing-holder’ – something to which wings are attached, or perhaps into which wings can retract. And the Sumerian term KIBADDU meant ‘to soar to a faraway place’.” Clearly, the Glory of God was a flying craft. The prophet Ezekiel says the flying craft was enveloped in a cloud but it emitted a luminosity that shown through the cloud (EZEKIEL 10:4). When it was at full calibration, this luminosity had a harmful effect on those who came too close or simply touched the edge of a platform on which it rested. This was Adad’s way of both keeping humans at bay and embedding in them the sense of awe that “God dwells in unapproachable light”. The Israelites were excited as the siren wail was a signal that they should ascend the mountain and meet their god. Adad, however, had a rethink as the only people he called up the mountain were Moses and Aaron. Moses and Aaron were told to maintain order amongst their people: the boundaries they had set should be maintained at all costs lest the people suffer the effects of the flying craft’s illumination if they came within a certain radius. Adad now reckoned that there was no need for the entire crowd to ascend the mountain as addressing them through Moses would suffice. Moses and Aaron were accordingly briefed by Adad and Moses for one was electronically kitted out so that he and Adad would communicate wirelessly. He was also given a powerful loud speaker with which he would relay Adad’s instructions to the congregation. Note that Moses and Aaron did not deal with Adad directly: they did so through the god’s officials. Since the Enlilites now rotated as a solitary god of the Jews, they didn’t want to be identified as that would give away the game. They wanted the Israelites to embed the fallacy that they only had one god when in fact several gods took turns to interact with them although in the greater majority of cases this was Adad.
THE FIRST THREE COMMANDMENTS
Having climbed down to the base of the mountain, Moses set about proclaiming what Adad was relaying to him using what the Bible describes as a SHOFAR in the original Hebrew, meaning “sound amplifier”. Exactly what language Adad used to communicate with Moses is not stated. We may assume that he used Hebrew in that Aliens are very adept at expeditiously capturing a language.
A hint on this versatility is furnished by Dr Jamisson Neruda, a renegade whistleblower who worked for ACIO (Advance Contact Intelligence Organisation), a top-secret outfit that interfaces with ETs. Dr Neruda informs us that the Corteum, an ET race who originate from Sirius B, are capable of speaking “perfect English or French, Italian, Spanish, or most any other language for that matter. They’re very gifted linguists and can acquire average language skills in a matter of a few weeks, and operate as masters of the language within a few months. Their minds are like sponges …”
Speaking through Moses, the first thing Adad did was to spell out the now famous Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments were nothing novel: they were very familiar. They were first adduced by Ningishzidda, also known as Thoth, Enki’s genius son. In his book, THE BOOK OF THE DEAD, which is acknowledged as the world’s first complete book, Zidda lists the entire Ten Commandments in a passage titled Spell Number 125.
In fact, in The Book of the Dead, the ten declarations are not presented as universal codes of conduct: they are confessions a pharaoh made upon his coronation. What is stated as “Thou Shall not kill” in the Bible” actually is “I have not killed” in The Book of the Dead, and “Thou shall not steal” is “I have not stolen” in The Book of the Dead … and so forth and so on.
Adad’s first three commandments decreed monotheism as the new religious orientation of the Jews (in Egypt they had worshipped several gods). The FIRST COMMANDMENT demanded that Israelites worship only one god, Adad (though unbeknownst to the Israelites, “god” was a clan – the family of Jehovah-Enlil) because it was he who freed them from Egyptian bondage (EXODUS 20:1-2). Worshipping other gods was strictly prohibited because Adad was a “jealous god” (EXODUS 20:6) who did not wish to share human adoration with other gods. Who were the “other gods”? That we glean from the second commandment.
The SECOND COMMANDMENT further qualified the first. The Israelites were banned from bowing to and therefore deifying “idols”. Like most biblical precepts, the term idols has been grossly misinterpreted by the Christian clergy. True, it means graven images – images carved in wood or sculpted in stone. BUT THAT DID NOT MEAN THESE IMAGES WERE AN END IN THEMSELVES: THEY WERE SIMPLY A SYMBOLIC REPRESENTATION OF THE REAL GOD (ANUNNAKI) WHO WAS REVERED OR WORSHIPPED BY A PEOPLE.
As we keep repeating, our ancestors did not worship fanciful gods like religious “stalwarts” (read: “fanatics”) of our day: they worshipped a god they had seen with their eyes or whose presence was demonstrable in one way or the other. Since gods very rarely directly interacted with humans, humans devised a way of invoking them in time of desperate need. This was in the form of graven images. For example, when Christians kneel down before a cross and utter prayers, they are not worshipping the cross as such: they are worshipping the spirit associated with the cross, that is, Jesus.
Adad’s emphasis in relation to the second commandment is instructive. He said no graven images were to be made whatsoever, “whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” , EXODUS 20:4. This represents three categories of objects of worship – “other gods”. The heavenly or cosmic gods obviously comprised of Anu, the King of the Sirian-Orion Empire; Antu, the Queen of the Sirian-Orion Empire; and the heavenly bodies.
The latter were planets, constellations, the moon, and the sun basically. Remember, celestial bodies and constellations were symbolic of Anunnaki gods. For example, the sun was the celestial counterpart for Utu-Shamash. The moon was a symbol for Enki initially and Nannar-Sin latterly. As for constellations, Pisces represented Enki, Virgo represented Inanna-Ishtar, Taurus represented Enlil, Aries represented Marduk, etc. In the case of planets, Mars was associated with Marduk, Neptune with Enki, Venus with Ninmah at first and Inanna-Ishtar in due course, Earth with Enlil, etc.
As for Earthly gods, these were physical Anunnaki beings – the members of the ruling pantheon. Some of the Anunnaki gods had symbolic equivalents that took the form of animals. For example, Enki, Marduk, and Zidda were associated with the snake because their race evolved from the snake species. Enki was also associated with the goat because he once presided over the astrological Age of Capricorn, whose symbol is a goat. Ninmah was associated with the cow. Enlil was represented by a bull.
Coming to the matter of the sea, it is no secret that Enki was known as the god of the sea. He was thus represented by a fish or a dolphin. Marduk was represented by the crocodile, the equivalent of the enigmatic Mus-Hus, his official emblem, because to the Egyptians it was a sacred animal and pharaohs were anointed with crocodilian oil (messeh, the source of the term “messiah”) at their enthronement. THUS ADAD BANNED THE MAKING OF GRAVEN IMAGES BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WANT THE ISRAELITES TO DILUTE THEIR WORSHIP OF HIM WITH THAT OF ENKITE GODS.
Adad was aware that the Israelites were not fully converted to him. In fact, the greater majority of them hated him for his harshness and for demanding human sacrifice. As such, they were nostalgic of the gods they used to worship in Egypt, particularly Enkite gods and goddesses who were remarkably benevolent. It was therefore plausible that they could resort to making graven images of the likes of Enki and Zidda with a view to invoking these gods, in the process relegating Adad to the very fringes of their devotion. It was to forestall such an eventuality that Adad banned graven images and not that they were inherently evil.
In the THIRD COMMANDMENT, Israelites were warned to desist from bolstering up lies by using Adad’s name, either to somehow defend themselves or elicit a favour or advantage. This simply was misrepresenting the god’s name by way of an act of corruption. This commandment largely applied to the leadership – the kings, the prophets, and the priesthood – who, were the intermediaries between the Anunnaki god and the nation of Israel and were therefore expected to be aboveboard in all they said and did.
The Israelite leadership, however, read so much into the Third Commandment that THEY PROHIBITED THE VERY UTTERANCE OF THE NAME YAHWEH OR ELOHIM. Instead, Adad and his fellow Enlilte gods were mostly referred to as Adonai. This was Aten in Egyptian or Sumerian. Aten had several meanings depending on the context. In this context, however, it meant “The Transcendent One”.
You will recall that that was how Moses referred to the planet Nibiru when he introduced the Cult of the Aten as Pharaoh Akhenaten. In future, Adonai would mainly apply to Nannar-Sin, who was the seniormost Enlilite of his generation. But Initially, Adonai was a general name for whichever god was directly interacting with the Israelites, who primarily was Adad.
ADAD HONOURS HIS GOD LUCIFER!
The FOURTH COMMANDMENT was the Sabbath commandment. The Jews were to observe the seventh day in a very special way by abstaining from all kind of work. This applied to slaves, maids, and visitors. Even animals were not to be put to work on this special day. Note that Adad did not say that he was to be worshipped on the Sabbath day. All he said was that the day had to be kept holy, meaning it was to be dedicated to good and godly acts (as if he himself had any virtue in him).
The idea thus of conducting worship services on the seventh day was the Jews’ own interpretation of the Adad ordinance. A god could be worshipped on any day of the week, but the Sabbath was set aside as a dedicated worship day simply because all kind of work was prohibited, which enabled people to focus on invoking, exalting, and honouring their god.
Why was the Sabbath declared a holy day? Adad did provide a reason for that. He said it was the day on which he rested after he created the world. All this was pure brainwash: neither Adad nor any of his fellow Anunnaki created the world. The Anunnaki were creatures like you and I are and were born just like you and I were. Therefore, the reason Adad advanced for hallowing the seventh day reeked of absolute falsity. What then was the real reason for consecrating the Sabbath?
Well, Adad dedicated the Sabbath to the real creator of this world and whom he dutifully served, such as through the mass sacrifice of children he demanded from the Israelites. This god of Adad was known as Lucifer. Of course in so reverencing Lucifer, Adad had to use tact. He had to use symbology. THIS SYMBOLOGY TOOK THE FORM OF THE PLANET SATURN, WHICH IS ACTUALLY THE PLANET OF SATAN, AS SATURDAY ACTUALLY MEANS SATURN’S DAY!
HOW THE WORLD GLORIFIES SATURN
In Hebrew, Sabbath is SHABBAT. Shabbat derives from SHABTAI, which is planet Saturn in the same Hebrew. The Sabbath was therefore dedicated to Saturn. Now, Saturn is the most sinister of all the planets in the Solar System. It is the headquarters of Reptilian or demonic elements in our planetary system. It is not called Saturn by happenstance: it is deliberate. The name Saturn derives from SATU. Satu (SETEN in Sumerian, SET or SATAN in English, SHAITAN in Arabic, SETH in Hebrew) is a byword for prime evil. That’s why the Devil, or Lucifer, is also referred to as Satan.
The first Satu was Marduk’s grandson Set. Set ’s name became synonymous with evil when he seized Canaan, which was then under the control of the Enlilites, after pretending to have switched loyalties from the Enkites to the Enlilites. This was circa 8970 BC. From that point onwards, Seten, meaning “Truth Lord”, took on a new meaning – Satan the Devil. So when the ancients gave the name Saturn to the seventh major celestial body in the Solar System counting from the sun, they knew what they were talking about.
Saturn is said to be the second largest planet after Jupiter but that is not exactly true. Saturn is the largest planet by volume of space occupied because of its enormous rings which reaches far and wide, extending up to 120,000 km from Saturn’s equator. The ancients were very much aware of this fact. The Sumerians, for instance, called it ANSHAR, meaning “Foremost of Heaven”, whereas Jupiter was called KINSHAR, meaning “Foremost of Firm Lands”.
In his writings, the great Greek philosopher Seneca says the astronomers known as Epigenes “estimate that the planet Saturn exerts the greatest influence upon all the movements of celestial bodies”. Writing either in the second or third century, the Roman historian Tacitus also said Saturn had the largest influence on human life. Saturn’s overarching influence on Earthly affairs is evidenced by the omnipresence of Saturn symbolism all around us.
This includes cube structures, such as the KAABA in Mecca, around which pilgrims move about like the rings that surround Saturn; the two black cubes at Ground Zero in New York, the scene of the infamous 911; and others in California, Germany, Denmark, Australia, and even the United Nations building. The most familiar Saturn symbols are seen in the form of corporate logos, such as Toyota, Boeing, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, and Google search engine.
One of the Saturn symbols that stare us in the face all-day-long is that of the Hexagon (six-pointed star). Very few people are aware that this denotes Saturn, which has a perennial hexagon storm that dominates its north pole. The cube is actually a hexagon compacted into a three-dimensional shape. Individuals who represent certain eminent institutions also flaunt Saturn like a badge. The Pope, for instance, is in the habit of wearing a broad-brimmed capello hat, which denotes homage to Saturn.
Many a time, Pope Benedict was photographed wearing a mitre with a six pointed star, a hexagon, emblazoned on it – a clear-cut reverencing of Satan and his Solar System bastion, Saturn. And when people graduate from varsity, what do they sport on their heads? A mortarboard – a flat square cap. Little do they know that the square hat is a bow to Saturn, including the black robe they turn out in. Black is the colour of Saturn, which in antiquity was known as the Black Sun. That’s why you have judges wearing black robes and people wearing black at funerals: it is all salutation to Saturn.
AND PRACTICALLY EVERY MARRIED MAN OR WOMAN IS A UNWITTING WORSHIPPER OF THE PLANET SATURN AND THEREFORE SATAN. Saturn is known as the Lord of the Rings. The ring that adorns a married couple’s fingers is the archetypal symbol of Saturn. No wonder many marriages end in divorce because they are sealed by some trinket that glorifies the Devil.
SATURN AS THE MAN-EATING KRONOS
In the so-called Greek mythology (which actually constitute dramatised accounts of real historical happenings), the god Saturn was also known as KRONOS. In his Kronos guise, Saturn was the god of time, the reason we have such words as chronometer (a timepiece) and chronology (a time sequence). In medieval paintings, Kronos was depicted in several forms (since uniformity would have been too obvious to the masses). In one vein, he was shown as the Grim Reaper – the skeletal angel of death – wielding a scythe.
In another vein, he was shown as an old man with a white beard riding a cloud. Today, during every festive season, Kronos shows up with great pomp and circumstance in the guise of Santa Claus, the so-called Father Christmas, lovingly holding a baby. That by no means symbolises patriarchal love for children: it is a metaphor for the Devil’s appetite for the blood of children. When we see Father Christmas cuddling an infant, it is actually Satan salivating over his favourite meal.
In Greek mythology, Kronos ate his own children. That’s why human sacrifice, particularly of pre-pubesecent children, was such a common feature in antiquity. When the Old Testament gods, such as Adad, demanded human sacrifice, it was to feed the insatiable appetite of their god Lucifer. In the Bible, all guises of Saturn/Satan are presented. He’s the Angel of Death who killed the Israelites’ firstborns in Egypt. He’s the Molech to whom Canaanite children were sacrificed in a bonfire. Molech, as we have already underscored, was Ninurta, Enlil-Jehovah’s firstborn son. Which planet did the Sumerians associate Ninurta with? Saturn!
It is said the Devil hides in plain sight. The truth of the matter is that he doesn’t even pretend to hide at all in our day and age. Those who dutifully and devoutly serve him, the Illuminati, keep thrusting him right in our faces day in and day out. In the Matrix movie trilogy, for example, confirmation is made of a point we have been trying to put across all along – that this universe is Lucifer’s creation. The Matrix is another reference to this Internet-like, counterfeit universe. In the Matrix trilogy, the creator of the Matrix is revealed as an old bearded man – the Ancient of Days. His title in the movie is actually the “Architect”. It’s no coincidence that Freemasons refer to their ultimate master as the Grand Architect of the Universe, aka Lucifer.
Alexander and Aristobulus thrown behind bars on charges of treason against their own father
Of Herod the Great’s sons, General Atiku, the principal one was Antipater II. Born in 46 BC, he was named after his grandfather Antipater I and was Herod’s only child with his first wife Doris. As firstborn son, he should have been first in line to the Herodian throne but he was sidelined after Herod divorced Doris around 43 BC to hitch Mariamne I, the Hasmonean princess who was more politically expedient.
Doris was banished from the palace along with the then three-year-old Antipater. With Mariamne now elevated to wife No. 1 and having been espoused at the time of Herod’s coronation, it followed at least theoretically that it was her male offspring who would be the presumptive heir. That was how Alexander came into the frame.
Alexander, Herod’s first child with Mariamne, was born in 35 BC. Upon turning 22, he was sent to Rome to pursue studies in sciences at the Imperial Court, where he was under the tutelage of Caesar Augustus. He was later joined by his younger brother Aristobulus IV, who was born in in 31 BC. Because of their pedigree, the lads made a splash from the get-go. “As soon as the young men were come from Italy,” Flavius Josephus writes, “the multitude were very desirous to see them, and they became conspicuous among them all, as adorned with great blessings of fortune, and having the countenances of persons of royal dignity.”
Alexander and Aristobulus graduated in 17 BC and 12 BC respectively and upon their return to Judea, marriages were speedily arranged for them by their father, with Alexander tying the knot with Glaphyra, a daughter of King Archelaus of Cappadocia (in modern-day Turkey), and Aristobulus leading his cousin Berenice, a daughter of Herod’s youngest and most beloved sister Salome, to the altar.
The charismatic and good-looking Alexander cast a spell over the Jewish masses. Notes one chronicler: “Alexander’s handsome presence and frank bearing made him a favourite with the people, and they longed for the day when the House of the Maccabees should mount the throne instead of the half-Jew Herod.”
PHERORAS ESCAPES BROTHER’S WRATH
The heir and the spare, however, were unable to come to terms with the murder of their mother by their father way back in 29 BC, when they were only 6 and 3 years old respectively. They immensely abhorred their father for this unconscionable act and were themselves unsure of their continued wellbeing, for if their father could not hesitate to kill his own wife, what would stop him from eliminating his own children since to him nobody was sacred?
Then there was the Salome factor, General, Salome being Herod’s youngest and most cherished sister. Salome had hated Mariamne with a vengeance and this same visceral loathing she extended to Mariamne’s kids. Salome’s hatred for the two young princes stemmed from an obsessive feeling of insecurity on behalf of her brother. She just could not contemplate the possibility of Alexander ousting his father and the throne reverting to the Hasmoneans, who were more popular to the Jews compared to Herod.
Salome’s concern was not far off the mark, for that was exactly what the two princes set out to do – to scheme the death of their father both to avenge their mother’s death and to secure their own lives. In plotting their father’s demise, the two kids were not without sympathisers and willing collaborators, who included Pheroras, Herod’s youngest brother.
Exactly what beef Pheroras had with Herod is not clear. Herod had gone to every length to win his loyalty but to no avail. First, Herod had him marry his sister-in-law, Mariamne’s younger sister. Upon her death, he offered him his own eldest daughter Salampiso but Pheroras rejected her in favour of one slave girl who had melted his heart. At some stage, Herod tried to get Pheroras to hitch Salampsio’s younger sister Cypros and Pheroras acceded, only to renege on the act sooner rather than later.
That Pheroras was involved in the weaving of machinations against him Herod learnt from Alexander himself in one of the four letters Alexander wrote his father imploring him to desist from his habit of subjecting many a people to torture in a bid to extract confessions of treason from them. Upon learning of this, Herod braced to punish his brother but later relented thanks to Archelaus’ fruitful mediation efforts though only after Pheroras had owned up to his guilt.
It seemed Herod’s forgiveness of his brother was genuine as in 20 BC he persuaded Caesar Augustus to make Pheroras tetrarchy of Perea (part of today’s Jordan) with a tidy yearly allowance. It was there Pheroras was banished after his conspiracies against Herod were unearthed.
ROMAN EMPEROR ACQUITS HEROD’S SONS
Not very long after the execution of Mariamne I, General, Herod’s second and most adored wife, in 29 BC, Salome and Pheroras prevailed over Herod to reinstate his first wife Doris and her son Antipater, who was now 11 years old, to his good graces.
Their motive was two-fold. First, they thought Herod desperately needed her to lift his gravely sagged spirits following the demise of Mariamne and whose loss he just was unable to come to terms with. Second and even more crucial, they hoped that Antipater would serve as a bulwark against the thronal ambitions of Alexander and Aristobulus, who they hated being of part- Hasmonean blood, unlike Antipater whose mother was a full-blooded Arab and therefore much closer to them kinshipwise. Herod, however, did not pay heed to this entreaty until 15 years later, when he had his divorce with Doris rescinded and mother and son restored to the palace in 14 BC.
Like Alexander and Aristobulus before him, Antipater was straight off sent to Rome too to receive an education befitting a prince and patrician. Now, Antipater, General, was a clever political operator. Although he was effectively his father’s principal spy against his half-brothers, he at the same time egged on the latter to scheme against their father without Herod suspecting it in the least.
He told Herod that Alexander and Aristobulus were sworn never to rest until they had avenged their mother’s death by liquidating Herod. Salome too had with Antipater’s contrivance set a booby trap for Alexander by enticing him into bedding her, though this auntie-nephew sexual dalliance was perfectly normal in the culture of the times: it scarcely mattered that Salome was 30 years Alexander’s senior and was at the time 50 years old, though still glitteringly gorgeous anyway given the invariably plush circumstances of the nobility.
She would pretend to abhor her own brother over pillow talk, hear Alexander’s take on the matter and the length to which he was prepared to go just to get rid of his father, and feed all this dope to a raptly attentive Herod.
Thus it was, General, that sometime in 13 BC, Herod had Alexander and Aristobulus indicted before the court of Caesar Augustus for plotting to overthrow him (Herod). Though Herod sought the death penalty for his kids, Augustus found no hard enough facts that the kids were guilty of the charge preferred against them. He thus ruled that Herod and his sons should kiss and make up.
Herod was also mandated to name a heir and if it pleased him to parcel off pieces of territory to his seniormost sons. In order to placate Herod for the setback in respect of his sons’ acquittal, Augustus had him richly rewarded. Says Flavius Josephus: “Caesar made him a present of half the revenue of the copper mines in Cyprus, and committed the care of the other half to him, and honoured him with other gifts and incomes; and as to his (Herod) own kingdom, he left it in his own power to appoint which of his sons he pleased for his successor, or to distribute it in parts to each one of them, that the dignity might thereby come to them all. And when Herod was disposed to make such a settlement immediately, Caesar said he would not give him leave to deprive himself, while he was alive, of the power over his kingdom, or over his sons.”
Soon after this episode, Herod, General, announced before a congregation in Judea that further to Caesar’s ruling, he had designated Antipater as his heir. However, he was not in position yet to apportion parts of his kingdom to his sons as Augustus had suggested: that had to wait until he was on his death bed, which was a long way off anyway as he still was in physically good shape.
Herod was 60 years old at the time and eager to look evergreen, he even took to dying his year to disguise a shock of grey. He however reneged on this undertaking and allotted a territory to Antipater which generated a sizeable annual GDP.
HEROD IMPRISONS HIS TWO SONS
Now that Alexander and Aristobulus had been bypassed as heirs, General, they became even more emboldened in their desire to erase their father from the face of the earth so deeply resentful were they. This time around, they had a wide array of sympathisers, who included Herod’s most trusted confidantes and some kings of neighbouring nations. The manner of death they conceived of Herod ranged from poisoned food to a lancing with a spear in an ambush deep in the woods.
Although Herod had spies and tipsters all around, General, he just could not gather tangible enough incriminating evidence against his sons that would stand up before a notoriously perspicacious Augustus, before whom he was obliged to appear and argue whatever case he had against his children that prima facie entailed capital punishment.
As such, he resorted to his well-honed device – excruciating torture to elicit confessions or pointers to the merest intrigue against him. In the process, one of three eunuchs who served him as butler, cupbearer, and palatial chief of staff respectively avowed to him that Alexander had given them sizeable bribes to see to it that the poison weapon got into their father’s system.
He even produced evidence of the very poison that was to be employed in the murder. And sometime in 10 BC, A famed skilled marksman also confessed that he had been detailed by Aristobulus to “lie in wait for their (Alexander and Aristobulus) father, as they were hunting, and kill him”. The same marksman even presented a cache of letters Alexander had written to Aristobulus carping about Herod’s partiality toward Antipater.
When Herod confronted his two sons over these developments, General, Alexander on his part owned up to it all and even besought his father to refrain from torturing people unduly and focus on him only. Now that Herod had heard it from the horse’s mouth, he ordered that Alexander and Aristobulus be detained whilst he took steps to again indict them before Augustus.
Meanwhile, a number of people, about 300 in all, were rounded up in connection with the same conspiracy and everybody who was deemed close to or simply matey with Alexander both historically and contemporaneously were banished in one way or the other. Writes Josephus: “He (Herod) expelled Andromachus and Gamellus, men who had of old been his friends, and been very useful to him in the affairs of his kingdom, and been of advantage to his family, by their embassages and counsels; and had been tutors to his sons, and had in a manner the first degree of freedom with him.
He expelled Andromachus, because his son Demetrius was a companion to Alexander; and Gamellus, because he knew that he wished him well, which arose from his having been with him in his youth, when he was at school, and absent at Rome. These he expelled out of his palace, and was willing enough to have done worse by them; but that he might not seem to take such liberty against men of so great reputation, he contented himself with depriving them of their dignity, and of their power to hinder his wicked proceedings.”
Once again, General, King Archelaus of Cappadocia, Alexander’s father-in-law, prostrated himself before Herod and begged him to pardon his sons. Once again, Herod paid heed, only for his rancour to resurface in 8 BC, when this time around he put the two sons behind bars and refused to grant Archelaus an audience to plead for clemency. Did the two boys have a prayer, General?
Before I get started on this week’s rant I want to put it out there that I am a tolerant guy, believe that black lives matter, common decency and I am sensitive that there is some privilege associated with being a white male although more so in Europe than ,Africa these days (smiley face in case I offend anyone).
But, I find myself staring at my children’s bookshelf wondering if I can still read books like Peter Pan, Dumbo and The Jungle Book since Disney slapped racism warnings on these and other classic stories due to ‘negative racial depictions and mistreatment of people or cultures.’ Disney is remaking them so that they can be more correct.
For example Aladdin’s story is effectively changed so that Jasmine is no longer a helpless damsel who is a trophy to be won. In today’s politically correct Disney movie she’s a strong independent “girl boss” who sings about how she won’t be silenced although this doesn’t stop the main villain capturing her shortly afterwards. I guess at least she did not go down without a fight! There are other examples…in Dumbo the “racist” singing crows are gone, in Beauty and the Beast remake, Belle tries to teach little girls how to read.
This is all good and I have no problem that Ariel in the little mermaid is now black but cancelling old movies as if they didn’t happen and dismissing Aladdin as racist, well let’s get down to the nitty gritty. And if I offended you by the use of the term nitty gritty then you are not alone (although I suspect you’re in the vast minority).
News flash – don’t be throwing that around anymore in case the politically correct censors catch you and you land up in trouble. That’s what happened to political editor Laura Kuenssberg who used the term during a BBC talk show. The remark sparked a complaint from a listener about the use of the phrase which some anti-racism campaigners claim originates from Transatlantic slave ships, used by slave traders to refer either to the women or to the remains at the bottom of the transport ships that were covered in lice and grit.
Not according to the respected Chambers dictionary, which states that its origin is ‘ETYMOLOGY: 1960s: originally US; perhaps rhyming compound of grit’. That others dispute this is neither here not there for this story but the fact that the BBC complaints even investigated the issue is in my opinion, asinine. But whether its BBC or Disney, being politically correct(or PC) is very much in vogue.
The problem with living in this age of political correctness is you have to double think before any word comes out of your mouth for fear of offending someone. It a phenomenon to get people to “mind what they say” and is directed mainly at language that refers to women, black people, gay and disabled people – groups traditionally disempowered by the dominant white male and physically able majority, as the oppression these groups endured, it is said, was perpetuated in the very language used to describe them.
Fair enough! Obviously being PC is a noble cause against which no sane, rational 21st century man, white or other would disagree. So, we can no longer say “jump the dyke”, “manhole cover” and “accident blackspot”. You can no longer use the terms “rule of thumb” because of its racist and sexist origins (a law that said you couldn’t beat your wife with an instrument bigger than your thumb) and so it continues, all the way down to the nitty gritty.
What amazes me is the outrage that it seems to cause with people and how companies, governments, and people like overreacting for fear of being on the wrong side of public fashion opinion. But before you argue that being PC it is just being polite, it’s more like a weapon used to destroy normal people who display normal behaviour and say normal things – even when the haters want to package it as a hate crime. Just think about James Damore, the Google engineer who was fired a few years back for simply publicly musing about the differences between the sexes.
Just last week in the most famous office in the planet Joe Biden removed a Churchill bust. Maybe not so much of a surprise as in the UK the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament square in London is repeatedly covered in graffiti and attacked by people claiming that he was a racist and that his statue, should be no more ignoring the period he found himself in and the norms of those days – the fact that he was arguably the worlds most ardent anti-fascist leader and the role he played in defeating the Nazi’s, is forgotten. Had they won the war there certainly wouldn’t have been any tolerance at all. Just saying.
In 2015 The University of Michigan spent $16,000 advising students not to say “I want to die” because it’s offensive to the suicidal, nor “That test raped me” because some people actually have been raped, although probably not by calculus exams. At Minnesota’s Macalester College, posters and social media warned in 2014 against using the words “crazy,” “psycho,” “schizo” and “derp.” Excuse the pun but that’s nuts!
This year, ending the prayer opening the new session of Congress in the US, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) intoned, “ Amen and a-woman.” Eyeroll. Last week the Democratic-controlled lower chamber voted along party lines to approve new official language guidelines. Words such as “himself” and “herself” are to be replaced by “themself.” Out with “father,” “mother,” “son,” “daughter,” “brother,” “sister,” “uncle,” “aunt” and other familial terms, and in with “parent,” “child,” “sibling” and so forth. Madness.
The ridiculousness of it all was emphasised when the speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi made a speech a few days later where she referred to herself as ‘mother, daughter, woman’. She clearly didn’t get the memo! But when erasing “mothers,” and “women,” because the concepts are insufficiently inclusive to gender ideologues, the irony is not lost about the rights which women struggled to attain a vote, much less enter politics.
Salman Rushdie, author of the of the controversial The Satanic Verses, states that ‘No-one has the right not to be offended’ but the core of the ‘woke’ argument appears to be the exact opposite. Yet there is always another side to any argument and in the interests of free speech it has been the accepted norm to ‘agree to disagree’. This new culture of silencing that freedom is insidious and menacing – look to any dictatorship past and present and that is the dictator’s first move – silence the press, silence any voice of dissent, and punish the transgressor.
I suspect that poor old Walt Disney is spinning in his grave, unable to plead the case for his supposed sins but if new-age Disney wants to take this whitewashing (probably shouldn’t say that) to its logical conclusion, rather than worrying about Belle having a do-gooder occupation, let’s start with the title, Beauty and the Beast.
So Belle should no longer be the quintessential fair maiden and thus she can no longer be described as beautiful. As for the poor old Beast, i.e. ugly monster, that word is about as non PC as it comes, so better to steer clear of any and all ancient fables and fairy stories.
I would tell those Disney suits to put that in their pipe and smoke it but I suspect that’s off limits too as it is a clear reference to the Red Indians’ (oops again, Native Americans’) smoking of the peace pipe. In the words of Hamlet’s Ophelia ‘That way madness lies’, though I suppose even that should probably be ‘mental illness’!
A wife, uncle, and two in-laws fall at the hands of Judah’s despot
The pre-eminent Jewish chronicler, Flavius Josephus, said of Herod the Great that he was “blessed with every gift of looks, body, and mind” but he was a “slave to his passions”. This was in the context of a gloating bloodlust.
His sword knew no sacred cows: neither his own kids, wives, in-laws, next of kin, nor bosom friends were immune from it. He is on record as pestering Caesar Augustus with a barrage of letters seeking permission to execute his own flesh and blood, prompting the Roman emperor to at one time quip that, “It is better to be Herod’s pig than his son”, which was apt: as a “Jew”, Herod did not eat pork and therefore in the event that he kept any pigs, they would never have to be killed.
You are by now well-apprised of the death of Hyrcanus II by the same Herod, General Atiku, in 30 BC. Hyrcanus, a Hasmonean ruler of Judah twice over, was actually the grandfather of Mariamne I, Herod’s most beloved wife and his second of up to 10 wives. It was Mariamne’s own mother Salome, who dreading Herod’s pathological savagery, pitched Mariamne to Herod in the hope that that would insure her family from Herod’s murderous caprices.
Now, Mariamne, General, was as much a stunning beauty as her younger brother Aristobulus III was breathtakingly good-looking. Having tied the knot with Herod in 37 BC, Mariamne had prevailed over her husband to install Aristobulus as High Priest. The post had fallen vacant on the death of Antigonus in 37 BC and Herod had appointed one Ananel, who had no ties whatsoever to the Hasmoneans, the first such in more than a century, in his place. Unable to resist the spirited entreaties of his beloved wife, who had also lobbied Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and her beau Mark Anthony, Herod gave in and replaced Ananel with Aristobulus, who was only 16 years old, in 36 BC.
Because of his enormous charisma and overall affability, Aristobulus was a hit with the masses despite his tender age and Herod was envious of the young man’s rock star-like popularity. To make doubly sure the young man did not harbour a seditious ace up his sleeve, the morbidly paranoid Herod had his spooks watch on both Aristobulus and his mother round the clock. Sensing imminent danger, Aristobulus contacted Cleopatra, asking for a pre-emptive safe passage to Egypt and there enjoy absolute freedom. When Herod got wind of this, he decided to get rid of Aristobulus as he did not wish him to be a perennial thorn in his flesh from the utter safety of self-imposed exile.
The opportunity came at a banquet in Jericho which was organised by Aristobulus’ mother. There, Herod had one of his henchmen cause Aristobulus to drown during a dusk time horseplay in a swimming pool. Of course Herod would forever maintain the drowning was accidental when everybody knew it was in truth a tactical elimination. Poor Aristobulus was only 17 years old having been born in 56 BC. He was the last Hasmonean High Priest and was replaced by the previously deposed Ananel, who was to remain in that position till 29 BC.
HEROD ACQUITTED OVER THE ARISTOBULUS DEATH
It need not be over-emphasised, General, that Mariamne and her mother Alexandra did not take Herod’s line over the all too untimely demise of Aristobulus lying down. If he had reckoned that with the death of Aristobulus he had gotten rid of potentially the most potent threat to his omnipotence, he was totally mistaken. Herod had actually simply fanned the flames of intrigue against him, for mother and daughter confronted him and accused him of murdering their boy in cold blood.
Nor did the two Iron Ladies end matters there: Alexandra wrote a lachrymal letter to Cleopatra to get her to bring her influence to bear on Mark Anthony so that Herod paid dearly and likewise for his nefarious act. Anthony, who at the time was the Roman colossus in charge of the whole of the Middle East, was persuaded and during a visit to Laodicea (in modern-day Turkey, though some accounts say it was Rhodes in Cyprus), he commanded Herod to report to him forthwith and exculpate himself over the affair.
Although Herod put a brave face on the matter, General, he was rather unsure of his eventual fate after the trial. He also suspected rightly or wrongly that Anthony had a thing for the voluptuously beautiful Mariamne and the last thing Herod wanted was for any other man to bed his beloved Mariamne even in death. So before he set off for Laodicea, Herod instructed his uncle Joseph, who was married to his sister Salome, to make sure that in the event that Anthony sentenced him to death, he should immediately put her to the sword. He also detailed a certain Sohemus, a most trusted aide, to stand sentry over the entire womenfolk at the palace.
Herod, however, had the nine lives of a cat, General. Using his immense rhetorical skills and the time-honoured palm greasing, he won himself an acquittal. Meanwhile, the Judean rumourville was abuzz with chatter that Herod had been summarily executed by Anthony, as a result of which people became spendthrifts of their tongues.
Both Joseph and Sohemus disclosed to Mariamne the instructions Herod had left them with in relation to her fate once he was no more. Mariamne was both livid and distraught that her husband regarded her as so easily expendable when outwardly he cherished her beyond words. To her mind, his arrangements with Joseph had nothing to do with love but sprang from sheer monstrosity. She probably thanked God that he was dead, but the fact of the matter was that he was not and when he at long last turned up, she did not want to have anything to do with him, including the conjugation which he so eagerly pined for after such an extended absence.
HEROD KILLS HIS WIFE AND HIS UNCLE
Now, if Herod had a kind of Svengali, General, it was his youngest sister Salome. Salome (65 BC-10 AD) was the most powerful woman at Herod’s court. A sly, scheming, and manipulating vixen, she arguably more than any other living being had the most sway in a negative sense on her brother, who took practically whatever she said as gospel truth.
Let us nevertheless, General, take stock of the fact that the bulk of what we learn about Salome comes from Flavius Josephus, who himself relied on the writings of Herod’s court historian Nicolaus of Damascus. For one reason or the other, Nicolaus did not see eye to eye with Salome and it is therefore possible that much of what Nicolaus relates of her is embellished to smear her before the court of history. Upon his return, Herod was told of the rumours of his death and so was surprised to find Mariamne alive when Joseph and Sohemus should in the circumstances have had her killed if indeed they were loyal to him. In fact, Joseph had even put Mariamne and Alexandra into the safe custody of Roman legions stationed in Judea just in case Jewish malcontents who abhorred Herod turned their wrath on them.
But there was more. Salome reported to Herod that Mariamne, who she hated like the plague, had had sexual relations with both Joseph and Sohemus, this being Mariamne’s reward to them for dishing out to her the dirt on Herod, and that she had on several occasions before attempted to poison him. Now, no one would hump Herod’s most beloved wife and get away scotfree. It is therefore small wonder that Herod straightaway ordered the execution of Joseph and Sohemus. Joseph was 61 years old at the time of his death in 34 BC, having been born in 95 BC. In the case of Mariamne herself though, he had her subjected to a formal court trial not on charges of adultery but of attempted regicide.
Herod had hoped that the court would acquit her, whereupon he would make bygones be bygones so great was his love for the woman, but sadly for him, General, she was found guilty and sentenced to death. Even then, Herod tactfully dilly-dallied on signing the writ of execution and simply had his wife detained at a fortress for some time until Salome prevailed over him to execute her at long last. Writes Josephus: “Thus, with the death of the noble and lovely Mariamne ended the glorious history of the Hasmonean High Priest Mattathias and his descendants.”
For a long time to come though, General, Herod was haunted by the death of his wife to the point of even sometimes coming across as if he had lost his mind. “When Herod realised what this meant (the death sentence passed on Mariamne), he tried in vain to have the verdict changed, but Salome did not rest until the death penalty was carried out,” Josephus informs us. “Herod was heartbroken; nothing could comfort him for the loss of his lovely wife.
For seven years he refused to have her body buried, and held it, embalmed, in his palace. Afterwards, he became so melancholy and despondent, nothing interested him or could arouse any enthusiasm in him for living … He was so far conquered by his passion, that he would order his servants to call for Mariamne, as if she were still alive, and could still hear them … He tried hard to forget his trouble by going hunting and banqueting, but nothing helped. Herod built new cities and erected temples and palaces. He also named a tower in honour of Mariamne.”
HEROD SLAYS SISTER’S EX-HUBBY
Mariamne’s death was not the only one which Herod perpetrated through the instrumentality of Salome. There were actually several and included those of her own husband Costobarus. Salome was married four times, to her uncle Joseph (45 BC); Costobarus (34 BC); Sylleus (circa 27 BC); and Alexas (20 BC).
Like the Herod clan, Costobarus was of Idumean stock. It was Costobarus Herod had made governor of Idumea and Gaza and upon Joseph’s death had him tie the knot with Salome, with the couple eventually siring two children, Berenice and Antipater III. Costobarus, though, soon began to harbour monarchical ambitions of his own and wrote to Cleopatra beseeching her to persuade Mark Anthony to make Idumea independent of Herod and install him (Costobarus) as Rome’s client King of the territory.
Of course upon learning of this, Herod was not amused. It was Salome who pleaded with him not to put her husband to the sword. Next time, however, a dumped Costobarus was not so lucky. Seven years after their marriage, Salome and Costobarus parted ways and a possibly hurt Salome decided to exact vengeance. She informed her brother that he had been harbouring two fugitives from Herodian justice for a full 12 years at his own farm.
The two were simply known as the Sons of Baba. Baba ben Babuta, their father and clan patriarch, was related to the Hasmonean ruler Antigonus, who Herod had replaced and killed in 37 BC with the help of Roman legions. Baba and his sons had resisted Herod at the time, with his sons henceforth persisted in insurrectionist activity against Herod. Baba himself had been captured and blinded by Herod but spared anyway as he no longer posed any threat. Writes Josephus: “Now the Sons of Babas were of great dignity, and had power among the multitude, and were faithful to Antigonus, and were always raising calumnies against Herod, and encouraged the people to preserve the government to that royal family (the Hasmoneans) which held it by inheritance.”
Costobarus had provided the Sons of Baba an indefinite lair “supposing that their preservation might be of great advantage to him in the changes of government afterward”. Following the Salome tip, Herod had Costobarus and the Sons of Baba summarily executed “so that none was left alive of the family of Hyrcanus (the Hasmonean), and the kingdom was wholly in Herod’s power, there being no one of high rank to stand in the way of his unlawful acts” per Josephus.