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“Bye Bye Mankind”

Benson C Sail
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

The Anunnaki, alias the gods, officially depart planet Earth

From about 610 BC to 560 BC, roughly 50 to 60 years before the reappearance of Nibiru, the Anunnaki were departing Earth. Writes Zechariah Sitchin in his book The End of Days: “The Departure is neither surmised nor speculative; it is amply documented.

The evidence comes to us from the Near East as well as from the Americas … The testimony is not hearsay; it consists of eyewitness reports … The reports are included in the Bible, and they were inscribed on stone columns — texts dealing with miraculous events leading to the accession to the throne of Babylon’s last king.”

A high priestess of Harran going by the name Adda-Guppi (the mother to Nabunaid, the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire), wrote on a stela that, “It was in the sixteenth year of Nabupolassar, King of Babylon, when Sin, Lord of the gods, became angry with his city and his temple and went up to heaven; and the city and the people in it went to ruin.”  The 16th year of Nabupolassar’s reign was 610 BC. This was the year, if you recall, when Babylonian forces seized Harran from the remnants of the Assyrian royal family who had decided to make the city as their last stand. Clearly, had Sin still been in the city, Harran wouldn’t have so easily fallen to the Babylonians. 

The ancient texts say the gods, as mankind received the Anunnaki by virtue of their extraordinary longevity and their technological feats – miracles in our eyes – “flew away like birds”. This was a figurative expression meaning they got aboard their celestial crafts, also called sky vehicles, and jetted off into the void. From mankind’s perspective, the gods left Earth because they were displeased with our relentlessly recalcitrant behavior.

The departure of the Anunnaki was also attributed to the need to escape a raging flood that seemingly was caused by Nibiru’s proximity. “A fierce surge of water, a violent flood like the Deluge, swept away the city,” notes a Neo-Assyrian text. “Its houses and sanctuaries, turning them to ruins. The gods and goddesses became afraid, abandoned their shrines, flew off like birds and ascended to Heaven.”

Of course both perceptions are dead wrong. Firstly, Nibiru caused a by far great flood during the Deluge of Noah’s day, but the Anunnaki did not abandon Earth forever like they did in the 6th century BC. Secondly, mankind had always tended to rebelliousness  from the day he was created (genetically engineered from the genes of mankind and a dark-skinned Anunnaki) by Enki. THE ANUNNAKI BEGAN TO DEPART EARTH AT THE TIME THEY DID BECAUSE KING ANU, “OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN”, HAD DEMANDED THAT THEY DO SO.

Why did the Anunnaki come to Earth in the first place? They came in search of gold, which was desperately needed for survival on their solar system planet known as Nibiru. On their planet, they had a serious ozone hole crisis and the solution to the problem, so the planet’s scientists rightfully reckoned, was to loft gold particles into the planet’s stratosphere.   Nibiru’s atmosphere was now on the mend and as such there was no need for the Anunnaki to linger on Earth.

In any case, the god façade about them was being seen through by the ranks of discerning mankind. For instance,  PSALM 182, written by a certain Asaph, is arguably the most daring dig at Anunnaki hypocrisy and vainglory. It exposes and lambasts them as creatures as opposed to deities.  “The gods know nothing, they understand nothing,” Asaph charged. “They  walk about in darkness.” Asaph proceeded to warn the Anunnaki that despite pretences to the contrary, their ultimate fate too was  six feet under. “You are ‘gods’;     you are all sons of the Most High.  But you will die like mere  mortals;   you will fall like every other ruler.”

Asaph appealed to the real God, First Source, “who renders judgement among the gods”, to “rise up” and “judge the Earth”. If Asaph knew the Anunnaki for what they exactly were – fake gods – then many other people of his day must have known that too. Sadly, the prevailing scenario in the Old Testament   is that of mankind bowing and scraping to the Anunnaki and not to First Source. 

PROPHET EZEKIEL SEES “GOD”

One of the authoritative eyewitnesses to the departure of the Anunnaki was the prophet Ezekiel. This happened in Harran in today’s eastern Anunnaki and only a few miles from the Syrian border. Harran is today no more than a “sleepy town” but in the 6th century BC, it was a flourishing commercial, cultural, religious, and political centre. It was in Harran, the “Ur away from Ur” in Sumerian times, that the god Nannar-Sin, Enlil-Jehovah’s second-born son and the first to be born on Earth, settled after an evil wind (nuclear radiation) ravaged Ur  courtesy of several nuclear bombs that were unleashed on Sodom and Gomorrah by Nergal, Enki’s second-born son, and Ninurta, Enlil-Jehovah’s firstborn son. 

Harran was to Sin and his cult following what Babylon was to Marduk and his cult following. Sin and Marduk were in fact the two most eminent gods in the Middle East in the countdown to the Anunnaki departure as with the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and the deportation of the Israelites to Babylon, Ishkur-Adad had become practically irrelevant.

Ezekiel, a trained priest,  was among the first deportees, who included Jewish King  Jeconiah, who were led away to Babylonia in 598 BC. His group was settled on the banks of the Khabur River,  only a heartbeat from Harran. Then on the fifth day of the fourth month in the 30th year of the exile (568 BC), Ezekiel encountered an Anunnaki flying chariot. THE  GOD SIN WAS LEAVING AND HE HAD DECIDED TO COMMISSION EZEKIEL AS A PROPHET.

What Ezekiel experienced is recorded in EZEKIEL 1:1–3:15.  Ezekiel’s account can be summarized as follows:

He saw a “kabod” or “cherub” which had sets of wheels. In past articles, we have explained what these terms mean – a flying craft. In the kabod was a pedestal or throne on which a being who looked like a “son of man” and had an aura about him sat. This was the  pilot’s cabin.  “Son of Man”, or “Black-headed People”,   was how the Anunnaki referred to mankind. It meant “mortal”, to distinguish themselves from us as  they fancied themselves as “immortal”. Put differently, Ezekiel saw that “God” had the form and likeness of a human being.

When it dawned on him that he had seen “God” (Nannar-Sin), Ezekiel was filled with a sense of overwhelming awe. “That was the appearance of the semblance of the Glory of Yahweh. When I beheld it, I flung myself down on my face” – EZEKIEL 1:28. Sin addressed Ezekiel before he departed, commissioning him as his prophet.  He called him “Son of Man”. About a year later, Sin returned and had Ezekiel board the flying craft, whereupon he flew with him to Jerusalem to show him what a cesspit of iniquity Jerusalem had become in the absence of the Temple, which  Nebuchadnezzar had razed to the ground in  588 BC. Ezekiel was at long last taken to Babylon, where he related  to the Jewish exiles his experiences with “Yahweh”.

The inhabitants of Jerusalem  were very much aware that the Anunnaki were gone.  “Yahweh sees us no more, Yahweh has left the Earth!” they bemoaned as per Ezekiel’s report. Zechariah Sitchin best sums up the sense of bereavement and nostalgia that gripped mankind in general in the wake of the Anunnaki’s departure from the Earthly scene in the following words in his book The End of Days: 

“And so it was, by the middle of the first millennium BC, in one part of the world after another, that mankind found itself without its long-worshipped gods; and before long, the question began to preoccupy mankind: Will they return? Like a family suddenly abandoned by its father, mankind grasped for the hope of a Return; then, like an orphan needing help, mankind cast about for a Savior. The Prophets promised it will surely happen—at the End of Days.

The awesome times when the gods resided in sacred precincts in the people’s cities, when a Pharaoh claimed that a god was riding along in his chariot, when an Assyrian king boasted of help from the skies, were over and gone. Already in the days of the Prophet Jeremiah (626–586 BC), the nations surrounding Judea were mocked for worshipping not a ‘living god’ but idols made by craftsmen of stone, wood, and metal—gods who needed to be carried, for they could not walk.”

SIN AND MARDUK RUN SHOW

Having officially departed Earth, where did the Anunnaki  head for? IT TURNED OUT THEY DID RETURN TO NIBIRU STRAIGHTAWAY. Some still stayed on Earth, but kept out of public view, preferring a shadowy, mystical presence. Even those who left Earth did not do so immediately: they lingered around for a while behind the scenes before they left for good. Some of those who left made periodical returns to Earth before they ceased to do so altogether.

It seemed they made the planet Mars their provisional  base and it was there they from time to time came to check on happenings on Earth before they eventually proceeded to Nibiru. Nannar-Sin for one set up base in South America,  where he lived for about 50 to  60  years.  Of the Anunnaki pantheon, those who left there and then were Enlil, Enki, Ninurta, Ishkur-Adad,  Inanna-Ishtar, and Nergal. Marduk and his son and heir Nabu stayed, and so did Sin and his heir Utu-Shamash. Seemingly, each faction of the Anunnaki ensured that they were represented by one major god, Marduk on the part of the Enkites, and Sin on the part of the Enlilites. 

Upon leaving Harran, Sin first settled in the broader Sinai region (before he proceeded to South America), on the shores of the Red  Sea and the Gulf of Eilat. He lived there with his spouse Ningal and his principal aide Nusku. The Ugarit texts describe Sin at this stage as a “retired god” who resided “near the clefts of two seas”. You will now come to understand why  the Sinai Peninsula is named after him and why Nakhal, the ancient capital of the entire Sinai Province, is named after his wife Ningal.

That Marduk and Sin were the main gods calling the shots as the astrological   Age of Aries wound down is evidenced by Nabunaid, the last King of the Neo-Babylonian Empire who reigned from 555 to 539 BC,  having been chosen by Sin at his cult centre of Harran (in a deal between Adda-Guppi and Sin whereby the former promised to restore the Ehulhul, Sin’s destroyed temple in Harran, renew the worship of Sin and Ningal, and declare Sin monotheism as a state religion)  needing the consent of Marduk as well as the celestial confirmation by Nibiru, which was known as Marduk to the Babylonians  (Nabunaid, a throne name, derived from Marduk’s heir Nabu). 

Once  Nabunaid had been enthroned and the Ehulhul Temple was rebuilt (this was some time post 555 BC, about 60 years since Sin was last seen in public), Sin made a sudden and dramatic return to the public domain when accompanied by Ningal and Nusku he arrived to commission the temple.

“Sin, lord of gods and goddesses, residing in the heavens, has come down from the heavens — in full view of Nabunaid, King of Babylon,” Adda-Guppi, who had been under the impression Sin had returned to Nibiru when he had simply retreated to South America,  inscribed on a stela. From that point on, Sin was never heard of. Where did he go? WELL, HE RETURNED TO  NIBIRU, WHERE A SPECIAL TREAT AWAITED HIM AND WHICH TOOK HIM BY SURPRISE. But more on that in a forthcoming article.  

NABUNAID PLANTS SEED OF ISLAM

Nabunaid and his high priestess mother Adda-Guppi had undertaken to make Sin the pre-eminent god on the planet. This they did their utmost to make a reality of.  Sadly, it was at the expense of the equally influential Babylonian god Marduk and that got Nabunaid in real hot  water. Nabunaid devoted his energies to the resuscitation of Ur, Sin’s Sumerian time cult centre,  to the absolute neglect and marginalisation of Babylon.

A raft of accusations against him by the Babylonian populace included civil matters (“law and order are not promulgated by him”), neglect of the economy (“the farmers are corrupted,” “the traders’ roads are blocked”), lack of public safety (“nobles are killed”), and religious sacrilege, which was the most heinous of all his sins. 

In a bid to diminish the stature of Marduk as a god, Nabunaid ordered that the Akitu festival, during which the near-death, resurrection, exile, and final triumph of Marduk were reenacted, not be celebrated any more. In furtherance of the same antagonistic stand against Marduk, Nabunaid committed what would become known as the “desolation sacrilege”.  He had an idolatrous image, which was flanked by two “guardians” in the form of a “Deluge demon”  and a “Wild Bull”, placed in the Esagil, Marduk’s temple, all in the name of his god sin.

Says a tablet known as Nabunaid and the Clergy of Babylon and which can be found in the British Museum: “He made an image of a god which nobody had seen before in the land. He placed it in the temple, raised it upon a pedestal. He called it by the name of Nannar. With lapis lazuli he adorned it, crowned it with a tiara in the shape of an eclipsed moon, made for its hand the gesture of a demon.”

The Babylonian clergy were not amused. They demanded that Nabunaid step down as King and since they had quite a sway on the national populace, Nabunaid simply had to play ball. But he struck up a compromise deal with them, whereby he would go into exile for at least ten years,  leaving his son Belshazzar as regent. 

The place Nabunaid chose for his self-imposed banishment was Taima, a caravan centre in now northwestern Saudi Arabia. Among his entourage were the Jews,  who had been part of the Jewish population who had been deported to Babylon in the days of Nebuchadnezzar. Nabunaid in due course established six other settlements for his followers. A thousand years later, five of these towns were listed as Jewish towns. One of these towns was the famous Medina, where  Muhammad founded Islam. Medina did not begin as an Arab settlement folks: it was originally a Jewish settlement.

In Nabunaid’s new fiefdom, only one god was worshipped as “God Most High”. This was Nannar-Sin. He was referred to as El, a term that would later morph into Allah, Islam’s god. Sin was known as the “Moon God”  as traditionally the moon had been his celestial counterpart. To this day, if you visit any mosque, you will see moon crescent symbology occupying pride of place. Every mosque is flanked by minarets imitative of multistage rockets ready to be launched.

None of the worshippers pause to wonder as to why a worship centre should be punctuated by rocket and moon imagery. But even if they were to pose questions to that effect, no one would be candid enough to tell them that the moon imagery represents Nannar-Sin and the rocket imagery is evocative of Sin’s heir Utu-Shamash, who was the god of the shems, as rockets were called in Sumerian.  “My Father and I are one” Jesus said. So are Sin and Shamash as encapsulated in the mosque-setting imagery.

NEXT WEEK:   END OF BABYLONIAN EXILE

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Hell Up in Judea

24th August 2021

A case can be made, General Atiku, that history’s most infamous Roman is Pontius Pilate. It was Pilate who condemned Jesus, the  “Son of God”, to the most cruel, most barbaric,  and most excruciating of deaths – crucifixion –  and cowardly at that as the gospels attest for us.  

Yet the exact circumstances under which the crucifixion took place and what followed thereafter far from jells with what is familiarly known. The fact of the matter was that there was a lot of political wheeling and dealing and boldfaced corruption on the part both of the Jewish authorities and the Roman establishment in the person of Pontius Pilate.  In this piece, we attempt, General, to present a fuller photo of Pilate as the centre of the whole machination.

Pilate’s historicity, General, is not in doubt. In 1961, an Italian archeologist unearthed a limestone block at Caesarea Maritima on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, which as of 6 AD was the Roman seat of government as well as the military headquarters.  The block bore the inscription, “Pontius Pilate, the Prefect of Judea, has dedicated this Temple to the divine Augusti” (that is, then Roman Emperor Tiberius Caesar and his wife Livia).

Pilate also gets varying degrees of mention in the works of Roman senator and historian Cornelius Tacitus (56-117 AD); the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher and chronicler Philo of Alexandria (25 BC to 50 AD); and the legendary Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD).

Although his year of death (37 AD) is documented, his year of birth is a matter of conjecture, General. He came from the Pontii tribe (hence the name Pontius), a tough, warlike people. The Pontii tribe was of the equestrian class, the second-tier in the Roman caste system. Originally, the equestrians were those Romans with ample pocket power to bribe their way to knightly ranks in the Roman army. Pilate was born to Marcus Pontius, who had distinguished himself as a general in Rome’s military campaigns.

Following one of his particularly sterling military exploits, Marcus was awarded with the Pilum (javelin), a Roman decoration of honour for heroic military service.  To commemorate this medal of valour, the family took the name Pilati, rendered Pilate in English and Pilatus in Latin.

The son, Lucius Pontius Pilate, also distinguished himself as a soldier in the German campaigns of Germanicus, a prominent general of the early Roman Empire. Thanks to his scintillating military profile coupled with   strategic connections in the hierarchies of the Roman government, Pilate was able to wend his way into the heart of Claudia, the granddaughter of Caesar Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire and ruler from 27 BC to 14 AD.

Claudia’s mother was Julia the Elder, who was also the biological mother of the apostles John and James. When Claudia was about 13 years of age, Julia sent her to Rome to be reared in the courts of Emperor Tiberius Caesar, to whom Julia was once married from 11 BC to 6 BC.

Although Tiberius was not the biological father of Claudius, General, he gladly acquiesced to being her foster father in deference to the memory of her late grandfather Caesar Augustus.
Pilate arrived in Rome when Claudia was sixteen years of age. In AD 26, the two tied the knot. Needless to say, it was a marriage based not on love as such but on political opportunism.

ASSIGNMENT JUDEA

The high-placed connection who facilitated Pontius Pilate’s smooth landing into the inner sanctums of Rome’s royalty and put him on a pedestal that saw him take pride of place in the cosmic gallery of rogues was Aelius Sejanus. Like Pilate, Sejanus came from the subordinate equestrian class, who would never be eligible for a seat in the Senate, the legislative council of ancient Rome.

Sejanus, however, had over time become Emperor Tiberius’ most trusted lieutenant and to the point where he was the de facto prime minister.  He had been commander of the Praetorian Guard, the elite Special Forces unit created by Augustus Caesar as a personal security force, which developed under Sejanus’ command into the most significant presence in Rome.

In AD 26, the emperor was not even based in Rome: he had confined himself to the 10.4 km2 island of Capri, about 264 km from Rome, and left control of Rome and the government of the Roman Empire to Sejanus. It was Sejanus who recommended the appointment of Pilate as prefect, or governor/procurator of Judea. The appointment was pronounced right on the occasion of Pilate’s nuptials with Claudius.

Philo records that when the bridal party emerged from the temple where the marriage ceremony was celebrated and Pilate started to follow the bride into the imperial litter, Tiberius, who was one of the twelve witnesses required to attend the ceremony, held him back and handed him a document. It was the wedding present – the governorship of far-flung Judea – with orders to proceed at once to Caesarea Maritima to take over the office made vacant by the recall of Valerius Gratus.

Pilate was notified by Sejanus that a ship was in fact waiting upon him to transport him to Palestine right away. The only disadvantageous aspect about the assignment was that Pilate was to leave the shores of Rome alone, without the pleasure of spending a first night in the arms of his newly wedded wife: by imperial decree, the wives of governors were not allowed to accompany them in their jurisdictions. Pilate, however, was a royal by marriage and so this prohibition was waived. By special permission granted by His Imperial Majesty Tiberius Caesar, Claudia soon joined her husband in Judea. The wily Pilate had calculated well when he married into royalty.

A SADISTIC ADMINISTRATOR

The Judean perch was not prestigious though, General. The prefects of Judea were not of high social status. At least one – Felix, referenced by Luke in the Acts of the Apostles – was an ex-slave, which says a great deal on the low regard in which the province was held by Rome.

Pilate was only secondarily sent to Judea on account of having married into royalty: his posting to the volatile province stemmed, primarily, from his being of a inferior social pedigree. Be that as it may, Pilate relished the posting in that it gave him the chance to exercise power, absolute power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and in Pilate was the archetypal example, General.

Pilate’s brief was simple: to collect taxes, maintain law and order, maintain infrastructure, and keep the population subdued. Although he was born lowly, he positively had the power of life and death over his Jewish subjects. Let us, General, listen to Josephus in his allusion to Coponius, Judea’s first Roman governor and who like Pilate was from the same subservient social class: “And now Archelaus’ part of Judea was reduced into a province and Coponius, one of the equestrian order among the Romans, was sent as procurator, having the power of life and death put into his hands by Caesar.”

Pilate, General, was callous to a point of being sadistic. He was scarcely the scrupling judge with the rare soft spot that we encounter in the gospels. Philo charges him with “corruptibility, violence, robberies, ill-treatment of the people, grievances, continuous executions without even the form of a trial, endless and intolerable cruelties”.

He further declares him to be a “savage, inflexible, and arbitrary ruler” who was of a “stubborn and harsh quality” and “could not bring himself to do anything that might cause pleasure to the Jews”. The essentially humane character of the Pilate who presided over the trial of Jesus as portrayed in the gospels may not be wholly fictitious but is highly embellished, General.

Why did Pilate have such a pathological hatred of the Jews, General? Sejanus had more to do with it than the spontaneous leanings of his own nature. According to Philo, Sejanus hated the Jews like the plague and wished “to do away with the nation” – to exterminate it. In AD 19, for instance, he forced the Jews in Rome to burn their religious vestments and expelled them from the city without much ado.

For as long as Sejanus was in power, General, Pilate could do pretty much as he pleased. He didn’t have to worry about compromising reportage reaching the emperor as everything went through the implacably anti-Jewish Sejanus. Sejanus was unrivalled in power: golden statues of the general were being put up in Rome, the Senate had voted his birthday a public holiday, public prayers were offered on behalf of Tiberius and Sejanus, and in AD 31 Sejanus was named as Consul jointly with Tiberius.

The Judea posting also gave Pilate a golden opportunity to make money – lots of it. The governors of the Roman provinces were invariably rapacious, greedy, and incompetent: this we learn not only from Jewish historians of the day but from contemporary Roman writers as well such as Tacitus and Juvenal.

As long as the money skimmed from the provinces was not overly excessive, governors were allowed a free hand. It is said of Emperor Tiberius that, “Once he ordered a governor to reverse a steep rise in taxes saying, ‘I want my sheep shorn, not skinned’!” For those governors, such as Pilate, who had support from the very acmes of Roman power, General, they were practically a law unto themselves.

PILATE’S WINGS ARE CLIPPED

Pontius Pilate, General, was untrained in political office. Furthermore, he was a sycophant to the core who was prepared to go to any length in a bid to curry favour with and prove his loyalty to the powers that be in Rome.    Both these attributes gave rise to a series of blunders that brought him the intense hatred of the Jews.

The first abomination he committed in the eyes of the Jews, General, was to set up a temple dedicated to Emperor Tiberius, which he called the Tiberieum, making him the only known Roman official to have built a temple to a living emperor.  True, Roman emperors were worshipped, but Tiberius was the one exception. According to the Roman scholar and historian Suetonius, Tiberius did not allow the consecration of temples to himself. Pilate’s act therefore, General, was an overkill: it was not appreciated at all.

Throughout his tenure, General, Pilate had a series of run-ins with the Jews, some of which entailed a lot of bloodshed and one of which sparked an insurrection that paved the way to Calvary. Then it all began to unravel, General. On October 18 AD 31, his patron Sejanus was summoned to the office of Emperor Tiberius and an angry denunciation was read out to him. It is not clear, General, what caused Sejanus’ fall from the emperor’s good graces but circumstantial evidence points to the perceived threat to the emperor’s power.

As the ancient historian Cassius Dio puts it, “Sejanus was so great a person by reason both of his excessive haughtiness and of his vast power that to put it briefly, he himself seemed to be the emperor and Tiberius a kind of island potentate, inasmuch as the latter spent his time on the island of Capri.”  Sejanus, hitherto the most powerful man in Rome, General, was thrown into a dungeon.

That same evening, he was summarily condemned to death, extracted from his cell, hung, and had his body given over to a crowd that tore it to pieces in a frenzy of manic excitement. His three children were all executed over the following months and his wife, Tiberius’ own daughter, committed suicide.  The people further celebrated his downfall by pulling his statues over.  Meanwhile, General, Tiberius began pursuing all those who could have been involved in the “plots” of Sejanus.

In Judea, Pilate, a Sejanus appointee, must have been badly shaken, General. Were his friends and family under suspicion? Would he be purged like others? Imperial attitudes to the Jewish race seemed to have changed now with the riddance of Sejanus. Tiberius made sure this was the case by appointing a new governor for Syria (who went by the title Legate and to whom Pilate was obligated to report).

The governor, Lucius Pomponius Flaccus, arrived in Rome in AD 32. Philo records that Tiberius now “charged his procurators in every place to which they were appointed to speak comfortably to the members of our nation in the different cities, assuring them that the penal measures did not extend to all but only to the guilty who were few, and to disturb none of the established customs but even to regard them as a trust committed to their care, the people as naturally peaceable and the institution as an influence promoting orderly conduct.”

So Pilate, General, had lost his supporters at the top, his new boss was on his doorstep, and there had been a change of policy regarding the very people he was in charge of. Surely, he would have to watch his step. The fact of the matter, however, General, was that he hardly did so.  In November 32 AD, for instance, he provoked a mini-uprising by the Zealots led by Judas Iscariot, Theudas Barabbas, and Simon Zelotes. It was this revolt, General, that culminated in those three “crosses” of Calvary that are indelibly etched on the mind of every Christian.

NEXT WEEK: ZEALOT REVOLT AGAINST PILATE

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Hustle & Muscle

24th August 2021

Until as recently as the 1980s a career often meant a job for life within a single company or organisation. Phrases such as ‘climbing the corporate ladder’, ‘the glass ceiling’, ‘wage slave’ & ‘the rat race’ were thrown about, the analogies making clear that a career path was a toxic mix of a war of attrition, indentured drudgery and a Sisyphean treadmill.

In all cases you fought, grafted or plodded on till you reached retirement age, at which point you could expect a small leaving party, the promise of a pension and, oddly, a gift of either a clock or watch. The irony of being rewarded with a timepiece on the very day you could expect to no longer be a workday prisoner was apparently lost on management – the hands of time were destined to follow you to the grave!

Retirement was the goal at the end of the long, corporate journey, time on your hands – verifiable by your gifted time keeping device – to spend time working in the garden, playing with the grandchildren, enjoying a holiday or two and generally killing time till time killed you.

For some, retirement could be literally short-lived. The retirement age, and accompanying pension, was predicated on the old adage of three scores years and ten being the average life expectancy of man. As the twentieth century progressed and healthcare became more sophisticated, that former mean average was extended but that in itself then brought with it the double-edged sword of dementia. The longer people lived, the more widespread dementia became – one more life lottery which some won, some lost and doctors were seemingly unable to predict who would succumb and who would survive.

However, much research has been carried out on the causes of this crippling and cruel disease and the latest findings indicate that one of its root causes may lie in the former workplace – what your job entailed and how stimulating or otherwise it was. It transpires that having an interesting job in your forties could lessen the risk of getting dementia in old age, the mental stimulation possibly staving off the onslaught of the condition by around 18 months.

Academics examined more than 100,000 participants and tracked them for nearly two decades. They spotted a third fewer cases of dementia among people who had engaging jobs which involved demanding tasks and more control — such as government officers, directors, physicians, dentists and solicitors, compared to adults in ‘passive’ roles — such as supermarket cashiers, vehicle drivers and machine operators. And those who found their own work interesting also had lower levels of proteins in their blood that have been linked with dementia.

The study was carried out by researchers from University College London, the University of Helsinki and Johns Hopkins University studying the cognitive stimulation and dementia risk in 107,896 volunteers, who were regularly quizzed about their job.  The volunteers — who had an average age of around 45 — were tracked for between 14 and 40 years.  Jobs were classed as cognitively stimulating if they included demanding tasks and came with high job control. Non-stimulating ‘passive’ occupations included those with low demands and little decision-making power.

4.8 cases of dementia per 10,000 person years occurred among those with interesting careers, equating to 0.8 per cent of the group. In contrast, there were 7.3 cases per 10,000 person years among those with repetitive jobs (1.2 per cent). Among people with jobs that were in the middle of these two categories, there were 6.8 cases per 10,000 person years (1.12 per cent).

The link between how interesting a person’s work was and rates of dementia did not change for different genders or ages.Lead researcher Professor Mika Kivimaki, from UCL, said: ‘Our findings support the hypothesis that mental stimulation in adulthood may postpone the onset of dementia. The levels of dementia at age 80 seen in people who experienced high levels of mental stimulation was observed at age 78.3 in those who had experienced low mental stimulation. This suggests the average delay in disease onset is about one and half years, but there is probably considerable variation in the effect between people.’

The study, published this week in the British Medical Journal, also looked at protein levels in the blood among another group of volunteers. These proteins are thought to stop the brain forming new connections, increasing the risk of dementia. People with interesting jobs had lower levels of three proteins considered to be tell-tale signs of the condition.

Scientists said it provided ‘possible clues’ for the underlying biological mechanisms at play. The researchers noted the study was only observational, meaning it cannot establish cause and that other factors could be at play. However, they insisted it was large and well-designed, so the findings can be applied to different populations.

To me, there is a further implication in that it might be fair to expect that those in professions such as law, medicine and science might reasonably be expected to have a higher IQ than those in blue collar roles. This could indicate that mental capacity also plays a part in dementia onset but that’s a personal conclusion and not one reached by the study.

And for those stuck in dull jobs through force of circumstance, all is not lost since in today’s work culture, the stimulating side-hustle is fast becoming the norm as work becomes not just a means of financial survival but a life-enhancing opportunity , just as in the old adage of ‘Find a job you enjoy and you’ll never work another day in your life’!

Dementia is a global concern but ironically it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age and is the second biggest killer in the UK behind heart disease, according to the UK Office for National Statistics. So here’s a serious suggestion to save you from an early grave and loss of competencies – work hard, play hard and where possible, combine the two!

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The Lord Ties The Knot

18th August 2021
JUDAS

… as Judas Iscariot takes strong exception

The gospels which were excluded from the official canon, the New Testament, at the Council of Nicaea are known as the Apocrypha. One of these Apocryphal works, General Atiku, is the gospel of Phillip.  In this gospel, the intimate relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene is openly discussed thus:

“And the companion of the Saviour is Mary Magdalene. But Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on the mouth.  The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said unto him, why do you love her more than all of us? The Saviour answered and said to them, why do   I not love you like her? … Great is the mystery of marriage, for without it the world would never have existed. Now, the existence of the world depends on man, and the existence of man on marriage.”

It is clear from the above statement, General, that Jesus held marriage in high regard because he himself was part and parcel of it.  The disciples (that is, most of them) were offended not because he and Mary were an item but because they simply did not approve of her as she was a Gentile and a commoner.

Otherwise, the kissing was not offensive at all: it was a customary expression of mutual affection between the sacred bride and groom. This we gather from the prototypically romantic Old Testament text known as The Song of Solomon, which opens with the words, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.”  As the Davidic groom, Jesus was therefore entitled to kiss Mary Magdalene as his bride.

THE FIRST MARRIAGE

In September AD 30, General Atiku, Jesus and Mary Magdalene had their First Marriage ceremony. Jesus had turned 36 in that year, the appropriate marriage age for a Davidic heir, and September was the holiest month in the Jewish calendar.  Having been born irregularly himself (in the wrong month of the year because of his father Joseph’s intransigence), Jesus was determined that he himself follow the law to the letter so that his child would not suffer the same indignities as he did. The First Marriage is captured in LUKE 7:35-50.

The marriage took place at the home of Simon the Pharisee. This, General, was another name for Simon Zelotes, the stepfather of Mary Magdalene. Although Mary Magdalene is not directly named, she is described as a “sinner”. This was another term for Gentiles, as in the eyes of the Jewish God, they were unregenerate and therefore hopeless sinners.  Mary Magdalene, whose mother Helena-Salome was of Syrian origin (Syro-Phoenicia to be specific), was a Gentile.

On the occasion, Mary Magdalene performed three acts on Jesus as set out in LUKE 7:38. She wept; kissed his feet; and anointed him with ointment. This is what a bride was supposed to do to her groom as clearly evinced in The Song of Solomon, a series of love poems concerning a spouse and her husband the King.

Of the three rites, perhaps it is the weeping that require elucidation, General. This was at once symbolic and sentimental.  The First Marriage was simply a ceremony: the moment the ceremony was over, the husband and wife separated, that is, they lived apart until the month of December, when they came together under one roof.  This was in accord with Essene stipulations for dynastic marriages, that is, those of the Davidic Messiah and the priestly Messiah.

Prior to the First Marriage, the bride was known as an Almah, meaning a betrothed Virgin. After the First Marriage ceremony, the Almah was demoted to a Sister. This was because the ensuing three-month separation meant husband and wife would not indulge in sexual activity and so the wife was as good as a sister to her husband. The imagery of Sister also being a wife is seen in 1 CORINTHIANS 9:5, where the apostle Paul refers to his wife as Sister. In ACTS 23:16, Paul’s wife is again referred to as his Sister.

Now, when the Almah became a Sister, General, she was metaphorically called a Widow, because she was being separated  from her newly wedded husband. As such, she was expected to symbolically weep on account of this separation. That explains why Mary Magdalene had to weep at her first wedding. It is a pity, General, that most Christians and their clergy miss the real story so wrongly indoctrinated are they.

In December AD 30, Jesus moved in with Mary Magdalene to consummate the marriage. It was hoped that Mary would fall pregnant so that in March the following year, a Second (and final) Marriage ceremony would be held.  Sadly, conception did not take place. According to Essene dynastic procreational rules, the couple had to separate again. They would reunite in December AD 31 for another try at conception.

The reason they separated was because for a dynastic heir, marriage was purely for procreation and not for recreational sex. But even that year, General, Mary did not fall pregnant, necessitating another year-long separation. What that meant was that Mary would be given one more last chance – in December AD 32, by which time Jesus would have been 38.  If she did not conceive this time around, the marriage would come to an end through a legal divorce and Jesus would be free to seek a new spouse.

THE FINAL MARRIAGE

In December 32, Mary Magdalene, General, finally conceived. When Jesus was crucified therefore in April 33 AD, his wife was three months pregnant. By this time, the Second Marriage ceremony, the final one, had already taken place, this being in March. The Second Marriage is cursorily related in MATTHEW 26:6-13; MARK 14:3-9; and JOHN 12:1-8.The John version reads as follows:

“Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany, where was Lazarus, who had died, whom he raised out of the dead; they made, therefore, to him a supper there, and Martha was ministering, and Lazarus was one of those reclining together (at meat) with him; Mary, therefore, having taken a pound of ointment of spikenard, of great price, anointed the feet of Jesus and did wipe with her hair his feet, and the house was filled from the fragrance of the ointment.

Therefore said one of his disciples – Judas Iscariot, of Simon, who was about to deliver him up – ‘Therefore was not this ointment sold for three hundred denaries, and given to the poor?’ and he said this, not because he was caring for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and what things were put in he was carrying. Jesus, therefore, said, ‘Suffer her; for the day of my embalming she has kept it, for the poor you have always with yourselves, and me you have not always.’”

This story (also see JOHN 11:1-44) centres on four people primarily, General. They are Jesus; Lazarus; Mary; and Martha. “Mary” was actually Mary Magdalene.  “Martha” was a titular name for her mother, Helena-Salome.  In the Lazarus story, the two ladies are referred to as “sisters”. This denotes conventual sisters, like the Catholics refer to conventual nuns, and not sisters by blood. Helena-Salome actually headed a nunnery. By the same token, the reference to Lazarus as “brother” has a connotation akin to what Pentecostals refer to as “Brother in Christ”.

Thus, the story revolves around Jesus the groom; his bride Mary Magdalene; his father-in-law Simon Zelotes; and his mother-in-law Helena-Salome. This is a family affair folks, which provides strong hints as to the exact relationship between Jesus and Mary. The raising from the dead of a man called Lazarus, sadly, was not a miracle at all:  it was a ceremonial restoration from excommunication back to the Essene governing council, which comprised of Jesus and his so-called 12 disciples.

The “Lazarus” who was thus restored was actually Simon Zelotes, at the time the most “beloved” by Jesus of the entire apostolic band, who had been demoted under circumstances relating to a Zealot uprising against Pontius Pilate.  More will be said on the subject at a later stage.

The anointing of Jesus by Mary with “spikenard”, General, harps back to ancient married rituals as patently demonstrated in The Song of Solomon. This was the second time Mary had anointed Jesus, first at the First Marriage in September AD 30 AD and now at the Second Marriage in March 32 AD. On both occasions, Mary anointed Jesus whilst he sat at table.

In SONG OF SOLOMON 1:12, the bride says, “While the King sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof”.  The anointing in the gospels was therefore an allusion to the ancient rite whereby a royal bride prepared her groom’s table. Only as the wife of Jesus and as a priestess in her own right could Mary Magdalene have anointed both the feet and head of Jesus.

The anointing in effect had two purposes: first, to seal the marriage, and second, to officially announce to the Jewish nation that Jesus was the Davidic Messiah (and not his younger brother James, who had been so promoted by John the Baptist).  It all harped back to the tradition in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, where Kings or Pharaohs were anointed for office (in their case with crocodile fat) by their half-sister brides.

The King’s bride actually kept the anointment substance for use for one more time – when the King died. You can now understand, General, why Jesus said “the day of my embalming she has kept it” in reference to his anointing by Mary Magdalene and why the first person to feature at the tomb of Jesus was none other than Mary Magdalene!

Three passages in the Lazarus story     (in JOHN11: 1-44) are particularly telling.  They are Verses 20, 28, and 29. They read as follows: “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house … After Martha said this, she went back and called her sister Mary privately. ‘The Master is here,’ she told her, ‘and is asking for you.’ When Mary heard this, she got up and hurried out to meet him.”  The reason Mary (Magdalene) first kept her place before proceeding to meet Jesus, General, is not supplied in the Johannine gospel.

However, the Apocryphal document which has come to be known as The Secret Gospel of Mark sheds more light, General.  It explains that on the first occasion, Mary did come out to meet Jesus along with her mother Martha (Helena-Salome) but upon being rebuked by the disciples of Jesus, she repaired back to the house. Why was she lashed out at, General? Because according to the Essene matrimonial code, she was not permitted to come out of her own accord and greet her husband: she was to wait until he had given her express permission to emerge.

There is yet another element in the conduct of Mary Magdalene that has parallels with Solomon’s queen, General. In the back-and-forth romantic dialogue between the couple, the queen is referred to as a “Shulamite” (SONG OF SOLOMON 6:13). The Shulamites were from the Syrian border town of  Solam and we have already seen that Mary’s first foster father, Syro the Jairus, was a Syrian, as was her mother Helena-Salome.

JUDAS DENOUNCES THE MARRIAGE

The marriage of Jesus to Mary Magdalene was vehemently opposed by most of his so-called disciples. The most vociferous on this position, General, was Judas Iscariot. The writer of the John gospel characterises Judas as a “thief” who used to pilfer alms money but that is a smear.  The gospels were written post-eventual and therefore Judas’ name was already in ignominy.

His detractors therefore had a field day at sullying his character. Yet prior to the betrayal, Judas Iscariot, General, was one of the most respected figures among the Essene community. At the time of Jesus’ marriage, Judas was the second-highest ranking Essene after Simon Zelotes (that is the meaning of “Judas of Simon” in the passage quoted above, meaning “Judas the deputy of Simon”): Jesus was third, although politically he was the seniormost.

Judas opposed the marriage on grounds, primarily, that Mary Magdalene was not only a Gentile but a commoner. Judas had the right to pronounce on Jesus’ marriage because it was he who was in charge of the Essene’s order of Dan, to which Mary Magdalene belonged prior to her marriage to Jesus and therefore had the right whether to release her for marriage or retain her in the convent. Judas would rather the spikenard (the most expensive fragrance of the day, the reason it was only used by queens) was sold and the money generated donated to the Essene kitty (“the poor” was another name for Essenes: when Jesus in the Beatitudes said “blessed are the poor”, he was not referring to you and me: he meant the Essenes).

Sadly General, as high-standing as he was, Judas had no right of veto over the marriage of a Davidic heir: only Simon Zelotes had by virtue of his position as the Essene’s Pope. Simon Zelotes was Mary Magdalene’s step-father and there was no way he was going to stand in the way of the marriage of his own daughter. Moreover, Jesus had already begun to fancy himself as Priest-King.

As far as he was concerned therefore, he was at once the Davidic Messiah and the Priestly Messiah – the Melchizedek. Thus even if Simon Zelotes had perchance objected to the marriage, Jesus would have gone ahead with it anyway. It was Jesus’ highly unpopular appropriated role as the Melchizedek, General, that set him on the path to Calvary.

NEXT WEEK: A NEW GOVERNOR COMES TO TOWN

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