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Anu Reapportions Responsibilities

Benson C Saili
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER

Enki is tactfully demoted as Enlil is elevated by “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”

When the information Alalu had relayed to Nibiru was analysed, General Atiku, it was a cinch: evidence abounded that gold was indeed aplenty on Earth. Alalu was quick to follow up on this ratification with these words: “Now that proof has been delivered, declare me King, bow to my command!”

Enlil had already spoken so it was now Enki’s turn. Revered for his seamless all-round knowledge and surpassing wisdom, everybody was at maximum attention when the Sage of Nibiru, the Anunnaki’s greatest intellect, spoke and to the extent where his sibling rival Enlil must have made a wry face. “Let me be the one in this conflict unity to bring,” Enki thundered before the assemblage. “Let me Anu’s emissary to Alalu be, let me be the one Alalu’s discoveries to uphold! Let me in a chariot to Earth journey. On Earth, from the waters let me the precious gold obtain; to Nibiru back it will be sent. Let Alalu be King on Earth.”

The princes, the counsellors, the sages, and the commanders were wowed by Enki’s propositions: they all gave their nod. Only Enlil had reservations but there was nothing he could do as King Anu himself subscribed to them too. The message was accordingly transmitted to Alalu, who welcomed it in its entirety. Alalu particularly cooperated because the mediator was Enki, his son-in-law, and somebody who was renowned for his sense of justice and fairness and his pacifist bent overall.

EARTH IS EARTH COURTESY OF ENKI

Enki and his 50-man-strong team, General, arrived on Earth during the second Glacial Period, which ran between 480,000 to 430,000 years ago (Earth’s climate undergoes periodic icing and de-icing phases). It is no surprise, therefore, that as they circled Earth whilst bracing to land, the first thing the so-called Heroes noticed was that huge swathes of the planet were ice-bound. It was only around the tropics that it was “dark-hued”. Because of the presence of extensive ice sheets both in the northern and southern hemisphere, the Anunnaki sometimes referred to the planet as “Snow-hued Earth”.

Alalu, General, wasted no time in officially designating Enki as Earth’s Chief Executive. Enki would also be the liaison man between Earth and Nibiru at the pleasure of King Alalu. It was on the 7th day of Enki’s arrival on Earth, General, that he coined a name for the Anunnaki’s first city on Earth, around where the Iraq city-province of Basra is found today. He called it Eridu, which means “A Home Away from Home”, or put differently, a settlement well away from home planet Nibiru. It is a name, General,  that over time evolved into “Earth” and which has taken root in practically every major language on the planet.

“To this very day,” writes Zechariah Sitchin, “the Persian term Ordu means ‘encampment’… The settled Earth is called Erde in German, Erda in High German, Jordh in Icelandic, Jord in Danish, Airtha in Gothic, and Erthe in Middle English. And going back geographically and in time, Earth was Aratha or Ereds in Aramaic, Erd or Ertz in Kurdish, and Eretz in Hebrew.” Thus, every time we utter the word “Earth” (which, intriguingly, incorporates Enki’s other name “Ea”, General), we commemorate Enki’s arrival and settlement on a lonely outpost on our then half-frozen planet! It is just as well, anyway, for as we demonstrated in The Earth Chronicles, General, Enki is our God in a manner of speaking.

On the same 7th day, Enki and his party ceremonially instituted Alalu as the King of Eridu – and by extension King of Earth. On his part, Alalu was so impressed by the dizzying civil engineering feats Enki put on parade in laying the overall infrastructure of Eridu that he conferred on him the title Nudimmud, which means “The Artful Fashioner”. It turned out Enki, General, was not only capable of fashioning structures; he could also fashion life!

ENKI’S GOLD CONSIGNMENT AVAILS LITTLE

Not long after their arrival in Eridu, Enki’s team, General,  set out to extract gold first from the marshes and when this proved inadequate from rivers and the surrounding seas. The Heroes laboured for six “days” and on the seventh “day” analysed the yield. They turned up reasonable quantities of copper and iron but not gold, which was disappointingly paltry. Enki reckoned that if they had to obtain meaningful amounts of gold, they should resort to prospecting for “Tiamat’s golden veins” on the firm lands, Tiamat being the Solar System’s first, gold-endowed planet that Nibiru destroyed 4 billon years ago to bring about Earth and the Asteroid Belt in what Enki, the Anunnaki genius who fathomed this cosmic phenomenon, dubbed the Celestial Battle.

Accordingly, the Heroes assembled what they called a “Sky Chamber” from the parts they had brought with them in the Celestial Boat, or spaceship, and Enki and another pilot called Abgal took off to scour for gold deposits on the continents using high-tech scanning instruments. Meanwhile, panic was taking hold on an incoming Nibiru, General. Enlil, the ruler of Nibiru, sent word to his father King Anu in Sirius complaining of the inordinate delays in the delivery of gold, and Anu in turn relayed this concern to Enki.

Why had shipments of gold not commenced, he wondered to his step son. Enki replied that the gold accumulated thus far was insignificant in amount: sizeable quantities would only be possible after a shar – a year on Nibiru which is equivalent to 3600 Earth years. Anu said he was having none of that: whatever gold there was had to be dispatched to Nibiru forthwith as the gold dispersal technique that had been devised there had to be tested.

Enki accordingly gave instructions that Alalu’s spaceship be repaired for a return trip to Nibiru. And so it was that  Abgal, the master astronaut in the delegation delivered the gold to King Anu. Anu was so excited he dubbed the gold “The Salvation of Nibiru”. But the euphoria was short-lived General: as Nibiru neared its perigee, disaster again struck. “When Nibiru near the Sun came, the golden dust was by its rays disturbed; the healing in the atmosphere was dwindled, the breach to its bigness returned.”

The Ozone hole had rebounded. It was back to square one. A disillusioned and frantic Anu hurriedly dispatched Abgal back to Earth to collect more gold. Accompanying him was co-pilot Nungal and 50 other Heroes to reinforce the gold extraction effort.

ENLIL PRIMED FOR EARTH TRIP

The process of obtaining alluvial gold was notoriously slow General: 3600 years since the last delivery, Enki and his team hadn’t made much headway. The gold yields remained a pittance. The quest for land ores had yet to bear fruit either. Enki and King Alalu pondered endlessly thus: “If Earth the head of Tiamat was in the Celestial Battle cut off, where was the neck, where were the golden veins cut asunder? Where were the golden veins from Earth’s innards protruding?”

The gold ingots that Abgal took to Nibiru again were minuscule: they could not provide a sustainable solution to Nibiru’s Ozone hole problem. Enki continued to criss-cross the Earth in his sky chamber and at long last the search registered a stunning success: he happened upon rich deposits of gold in modern-day Zimbabwe. The potential was so breathtaking, General,  Enki characterised the place as the “Birthplace of Gold”.

The need to extract gold from the sea was now redundant. But the terrestrial gold was deep into “the bowels of the Earth” and therefore required suitable underground mining equipment. An ecstatic King Anu, when he got word of this development, General, convened a special assembly to discuss the next course of action. The assembly decided that there was need to first ascertain the size of the deposits before a long-term strategy was devised.

Enki would also need executive assistance in the event that large-scale mining became inevitable and the best fit for the purpose was Enlil. Besides being ruler of Nibiru (on behalf of the Sirian-Orion monarch) and Crown Prince to the Sirian-Orion throne, Enlil was once a general in the Sirian Air Force, which encompassed the cosmic army, and had demonstrable credentials as an able administrator. Meanwhile, Anu decided to base himself on Nibiru till the Ozone hole problem was resolved.

ENLIL JOINS ENKI

Enlil, General,  arrived on Earth in the 7th shar after Alalu did, that is, after Alalu had been King of Earth for 25,200 Earth years. Enki wasted no time in taking him to the southern part of Africa, which Enki had named the Abzu. Abzu meant a “primeval deep source”, in this context a source of metal ore or simply Mineral Belt.

Having established that gold did indeed abound in the Abzu, Enlil now suggested to Enki and Alalu that a permanent settlement be established on Earth as more Anunnaki would be needed in the arduous and painstaking mining process. A spaceport had to be built as well to handle the higher traffic of spaceships carrying loads of gold to Nibiru. What this entailed was that both Enki and Enlil would now be based on Earth practically indefinitely. Now, the moot point was this: who would be in charge of the base camp in Eridu and the new operations thereof and who would be in charge of the mining operations in the Abzu?

Regrettably, King of Earth Alalu fell flat in allotting responsibilities to the two brothers, both of whom had colossal egos. Enlil then proposed that King Anu come to Earth and help break the impasse, to which King Alalu reluctantly agreed. It meant the onset of mining activities would have to wait for another shar as at the time Nibiru had left the perigee and was on its way back to its apogee.

ANU JETS IN TOO

King Anu, General, set off from Nibiru to Earth with a 50-man entourage. Upon arrival, he  was first taken on a familiarisation tour of the Abzu, the region of modern-day Africa where Enki had detected subterranean gold ores. Anu then chaired a meeting at Eridu, the Anunnaki headquarters on Earth, during which he spelt out what he envisaged of the Earth mission.

Full-scale, high-tech mining was to commence in the Abzu: Enki, like the gifted engineer he was, was tasked to devise the requisite equipment. A permanent settlement, an extension of Eridu, was to be established and a spaceport, an aerodrome and all the allied logistical infrastructure such as maritime vessels for shipping the ore from the Abzu to Eridu, were to be constructed. Further, bases were to be set up on every habitable planet in the Solar System or where that was not feasible one or more of its satellites.

“Way stations from Nibiru to Earth to establish, all the Sun’s family in one Kingdom encompass!” Anu declared. “The first on Lahmu (Mars) to be fashioned, the Moon for the plans also to be considered. On the other planets or their circling hosts stations to set up.” Anu’s decree explains why the Anunnaki to date maintains a presence on Mars, on the Moon and on Saturn’s largest moon Titan (There are arguably several other Anunnaki colonies on planets and/or their moons we are yet to discover, or which we are not aware of but the Illuminati do). Once again, it was the quick-thinking Enki who suggested a name for the proposed expanded Eridu.

“Let it the Edin be called,” he said. Edin (or Aten in alternative renderings) meant “Abode of the Pure Ones”. The Anunnaki referred to themselves as the pure ones (also as righteous, upright, bright, or illuminated ones) to distinguish themselves from the Earthlings they would later create. They were “pure” because they came from the “pure” planet Nibiru or the “pure” region of the Sirius-Orion star system and therefore possessed a purer gene pool compared to ordinary mankind.

The Edin is the Eden of the Bible. Contrary to what the Bible may have us believe, General, Eden (the first one, as there would later be a second one in Africa) was not a zoological and botanical garden fashioned by “God” as a dedicated haven for Adam and Eve. It was part of a collection of city-states established and dwelt by the Anunnaki, who mankind would later come to call “gods”.

The Levites, who wrote the first five books of the Bible, did so when the Jews were in captivity in Babylon in the 6th century BC. Thus they incorporated a lot of data on the origins of man they happened upon there that Sumerians had set down on cuneiform clay tablets and cylinder seals.

ENKI MADE SUBORDINATE TO ENLIL

At the Eridu indaba, General,  it was Enki who spoke after Anu, rather than Alalu, who remained curiously quiet. Enki’s turn preceded Enlil because at the time, Enki was Earth’s Chief Executive. In other words, on Earth Enki was senior to Enlil. Regarding the proposed Edin, Enki said, “The commander of the Edin let me be, let Enlil the gold extraction perform.”

Enki was an innately creative person and so he preferred making a showcase of the Edin to superintending over mining activities in the blistering hot Abzu, a hostile environment to an albino-white ruling race that was used to the perennial cold of Nibiru. He also knew that in terms of executive authority, the overseer of the Edin would carry more clout and command more respect and the goodwill of the Anunnaki, whereas the exacting tasks of underground mining would turn the Abzu overseer into a kind of pet hate.

Enlil, however, took strong exception to Enki’s pitch. An ex Air Force General and a trained aeronautical engineer, Enlil thought it was he who was best suited for the tasks of the Edin: “Of commanding and tasks to perform I am the better; of skyships I have the knowledge. Of the Earth and its secrets my brother Ea is the knower. The Abzu he discovered: let him of the Abzu be the master.”

When Enki tried to counter him using plain logic and tools of analysis, General, Enlil, who habitually operated on a short fuse, fired back angrily and abrasively and a slanging match between the two step brothers ensued. King Anu, who had the quiet and calm demeanour of Enki, finally intervened. He reminded his sons to not be oblivious of the fact that they were effective joint rulers of Nibiru rather than mere princes: when he replaced Alalu as King of the Sirian Empire, he did declare to the Nibiru nation that he was going to rule that planet in particular with his two sons.

Since the three of them were co-equal, Anu proposed that they settle the matter by casting lots. The outcome would determine who among the three would go back to preside over Nibiru, who would go to the Abzu and who would stay in Eridu. The two sons nodded in concurrence. “The three, father and two sons, clasped their hands together,” recalls Enki in his memoirs as ghost-written by Zechariah Sitchin. “They cast lots; by the lots the tasks they divided.”

The result redounded to Enki’s displeasure, who was not that lucky a being. King Anu was to return to Nibiru; Enlil was to run the Edin; and Enki was to take charge of the Abzu. Enki was so crestfallen he shed tears: he had such an attachment to Eridu, which he had built from scratch (Alalu was of the view, which he aired at a later stage, that Anu had rigged the outcome in favour of Enlil given that Enlil was his biological son whereas Enki not only was his step son but a son-in-law of his nemesis Alalu). He was only consoled by the assurance by Anu that although he would operationally be based in the Abzu, he would still remain the Lord of Eridu, though Enlil would be overall-in-charge of the Edin.

The new scenario thus was this: Enlil had now supplanted Enki as Earth’s Chief Executive. He was now “Lord of the Command”, that is, Earth’s Commander-In-Chief, though he would in due course be better known as Jehovah/Yahweh. Enlil was also put in overall charge of the Igigi, the Anunnaki fighter astronauts in orbit around Earth. That way, he  became the “Prince of the Power of the Air” (EPHESIANS 2:2).

Enki, on the other hand, would have authority over all of Earth’s seas as he would be in charge of maritime shipments of ores from the Abzu to Eridu. Hence, his other characterisation in due course as Poseidon, the God of the Sea. Enki would also be in charge of all of Earth’s firm lands except the Edin. This was very fitting in that prospecting for mineral ores, particularly those of gold, all over the Earth was his responsibility.

As such, when Enki is referred to as “Lord of the Earth”, it means two things (a point most scholars including Zechariah Sitchin have missed). First, he was the Eridu (stem of the English term “Earth”) Lord. Second and even more important, he was overall in charge of the firm lands, where mineral prospecting and mining activities were taking place. Otherwise, the real Lord of the Earth was Enlil, General.

NEXT WEEK:  ENKI SQUARES UP TO FASHION MANKIND

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A “Virgin” Conceives

2nd March 2021
IT’S THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS, STUPID

Princess Mary falls pregnant only one month after her betrothal to Prince Joseph

To put the lineage of Mary the mother of Jesus in context, General Atiku, it is in order that we begin with her grandfather Yehoshua  (Jesus in Greek) III.

Mary was offspring of two royal lines, the Davidic line and the Hasmonean line. Yehoshua III was the Herod–appointed High Priest of Israel between 36 and 23 BC.  He had no sons, only three daughters namely Joanna, Elizabeth, and Anna, all of whom he organised dynastic suitors.

Elizabeth would be married off into the House of Aaron, the legitimate priestly line, and Joanna and Anna would be married off into the House of David, the legitimate kingly line. That’s how Elizabeth became the wife of Zechariah of the tribe of Levi and in due course the mother of John the Baptist.

Mainstream Israel up to the level of the Sanhedrin had recognised Anna as the eligible mother of the future King of Israel and not the sitting impostor Herod (it is not clear what happened to first-born Joanna but she probably passed away before she got married). Anna was accordingly married off to Alexander III, a Davidic and Hasmonean prince who was best known as Heli as indeed the genealogy of Luke clearly attests.

Heli and Anna too had no sons. They only had daughters, the firstborn of whom was Dorcas, whose was born in 26 BC and whose titular name was Mary.  Mary was orphaned early in her childhood when her father Heli was killed in 17 BC at the orders of the increasingly paranoid Herod and when her mother Anna died a year or so later.

Since she was a dynastic heiress, it was likely that Herod would come after her. The Essenes thus secreted her somewhere in remote Galilee. It was actually in Galilee that most members of the Davidic royal line were concentrated not only to keep as far away from Herod as possible but to also enjoy the protective custody of the Zealots, who were the secret military wing of the Essenes and a thorn in the side of both Herod and the Romans.  Joseph was also officially based in Galilee although both he and Mary were in truth based at Qumran in the Judean wilds.

JOSEPH CALLED TO “DUTY”

Dynastic marriages are often more politically strategic than spontaneous, General. For example, the union of Prince Charles and Princess Diana was motivated by the need to fuse the Windsor genes with those of the Stuarts as the Windsors, being predominantly Reptilians, were finding it increasingly difficult to maintain their human form.

The Stuarts, the clan of Diana, had by far more human genes than Reptilian and they too were an aristocratic family. That’s why once Charles had produced a  “heir and a spare”, he completely sidelined Diana, who he had never loved, and devoted himself to his real love – Camilla Parker-Bowles.

The marriage of Joseph to Mary, General, was equally strategic. Although both were from the tribe of Judah and of the royal Davidic line, they were from different branches.  Joseph was a descendant of Solomon, whereas Mary was a descendant of Nathan, Solomon’s elder brother. The line of Solomon, as we once underlined, had been tainted by the Jeconiah curse.

The line of Nathan was clean. Since the son of Joseph and Mary would be the future King of Israel, it was important that he not be compromised by the baggage, rightly or wrongly, of the Jeconiah curse. Hence the desirability of the union of Prince Joseph and Princess Mary.

Now, both Joseph and Mary’s clans were Essenes. As such, their marriage process, formalities, and protocols had to strictly adhere to Essene dynastic rules. The Essenes were in ranks. Amongst the higher echelons were the two great dynasties, the Davids and the Zadoks, who had been the high priests and kings of Israel respectively before the destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC.

The Davids and Zadoks lived a strictly holy life, typically in a monastery at Qumran, the reclusive headquarters of the Essenes. They were sequestered there so that they did not fall prey to the machinations of the bloodthirsty King Herod though officially their address was Galilee.  In fact, the major reason the Essene movement had come into existence was to preserve and safeguard the Davidic and Zadokite lines, the religio-politico haunt of Herod and the Hasmoneans initially.

According to the Essene code, General, the Zadoks and the Davids were not to engage in sex for recreational purposes because it was regarded as defiling: it diluted holiness. The only times they were supposed to do so was when need arose to produce heirs. In 8 BC, it was now opportune for Joseph, the David, to produce a heir and so he was excused from a life of chastity.

At this point in time in fact, the Essenes were focused on two dynastic figures. These were Joseph and Zechariah. The two were expected to produce the Messiah of David and the Messiah of Aaron, that is, the future King of Israel and the future High Priest of Israel.

According to Essene rules, the David had to marry at age 36, so that by the time he was 40, he had already sired a heir. The new heir had to be born when the David was 37. If the child was a daughter, she could not inherit, and so the David had to set about the procreation of a second-born, who hopefully would be a boy (copulation to that end was allowed only when the daughter was 3 years old).

The Davidic heir had to be born not in any other month but in September, the holiest in the Jewish calendar. In order to conform to these parameters, a betrothal ceremony was held at the beginning of June. During the betrothal period – the three months from beginning of June to end of August – sexual relations were not permitted.

Then at the beginning of September, a First Marriage was held. This was the beginning of the marriage proper as now the couple were allowed to become intimate. However, the intimacy began only in December, with a view to delivering a heir in September the following year. At the end of March, the Second Marriage was held for it was hoped that by that time the spouse was three months pregnant if there hadn’t been a miscarriage. With the Second Marriage, the wedlock was permanent: divorce was never allowed whatsoever.

Meanwhile, General, if the spouse hadn’t conceived in December, sexual relations were suspended till December the following year. The husband would then leave her spouse and return either to the monastery at Qumran or embark on a tour of duty elsewhere in furtherance of the Essene cause.

A BINDING ENGAGEMENT

According to the Dead Sea Scrolls, General, the Essenes were not only a spiritual, revolutionary, and philosophical movement. They were also ardent believers in astrology. They meticulously studied the stars and the movements of planets to read what they portended about the future.

Thus the reason a Davidic heir had to be born in September was not only because this was the holiest month of the year: it was also in recognition of the fact that September was ruled by the constellation Virgo. In other words, September was astrologically the month of the virgin. That was what Mary was.

Mary was both a virgin physically and a virgin titularly. A bride of the future king was required to be a virgin. As an Essene, Mary belonged to the Order (not the tribe) of Dan.  This was the Order of Nuns, or virgins, both legal and physical virgins. Thus in the Order of Dan, a woman was not a virgin only before she slept with a man: she was a virgin until she was six months pregnant. In the case of a dynastic spouse like Mary, this was up to end of June.  From then henceforth, she was promoted within the Order to the first stage of a Mother.

Joseph’s betrothal to Mary took place at Qumran in June 8 BC. Now, in our day, betrothal simply means engagement to be married. In ancient Israel up to New Testament times, betrothal was part and parcel of the marriage contract. It was definite and binding upon both groom and bride, who were considered as man and wife in all legal and religious aspects, except that sexual relations were not permitted.

For example, in 2 SAMUEL 3:14, King David refers to his betrothed woman as “my wife”. Also in DEUTERONOMY 22:24, a betrothed woman is referred to as “his neighbour’s wife”.  In the betrothal formalities, dowry and bride price were included. If a bride and groom for one reason or the other wanted to opt out of the betrothal after the betrothal ceremony, they had to seek a formal divorce.

Since the betrothal took place in June, General, Joseph and Mary were not supposed to make love till December, that is, six months after the betrothal ceremony and three months after the First Marriage ceremony in September. Just one month after the betrothal ceremony (that is, at the beginning of July 8 BC), however, Mary became pregnant. Was it Joseph, General? Was it rape by a Roman soldier called Panthera as some contemporary records suggest? Or was it simply the supernatural act of the “Holy Spirit” as Christendom holds?

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS

Those who hold that the circumstances of Mary’s pregnancy were supernatural, General, can be excused. This is because the language employed therein smacks of ethereality – Holy Spirit, Angel Gabriel, Son of the Most High, etc. To those who have read and rigorously studied the Dead Sea Scrolls, however, such terminology is well within the temporal context.

That is to say, it does not carry spiritual connotations as such. True, the idea of an angel speaking to Joseph and Mary in their sleep may seem supernatural but the dreams are theological interpolations, inserted into the gospels in onward editing to fit a contrived agenda – what Karl Marx called the opium of the masses.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are so named because they were discovered in caves around the Qumran plateau of the West Bank (about 40 km east of Jerusalem), at the northwest corner of the Dead Sea, in March 1947. The discoverer was a Bedouin shepherd kid who was looking for a lost goat. The scrolls were found hidden in jars.

The 1947 find was the initial discovery: more discoveries were made after further excavations on the same site spanning 11 years in a series of 11 caves. Altogether, 972 texts were   turned up. They are written in four languages, namely Hebrew (the majority), Aramaic, Greek, and Nabatean, mostly on parchment. Other texts were inscribed on papyrus and bronze.

Most of the Dead Sea Scrolls are fragments. Fragments of all the Old Testament books have been found save for the book of Esther. The only complete book is Isaiah.  There are also apocryphal books (those arbitrarily excluded from the Old Testament canon by the Constantine-convened Nicene Council of AD 325) such as the Book of Enoch and the Book of Jubilees, and sect-specific writings that embody rules and beliefs of the people who compiled them.

The latter include commentaries on the Old Testament, paraphrases that expand on the Law of Moses, rule books of the community, war conduct, thanksgiving psalms, hymnic compositions, benedictions, liturgical texts, and sapiential (wisdom) writing. These texts have been given appropriate titles such as the War Scroll; Manual of Discipline; the Community Rule; the Temple Scroll; the Copper Scroll; etc.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were written/preserved by the Essenes between 168 BC and 68 AD. We know this because Pliny, the first century Roman historian, wrote that, “On the west coast of Lake Asphaltitis (the Dead Sea) are settled the Essenes, at some distance from the noisome odours that are experienced on the shore itself.

They are a lonely people, the most extraordinary in the world, who live without women, without love, without money, with the palm trees for their only companions.”   The Essenes stashed away the scrolls sometime in 70 AD, when Roman General Flavius Titus overran Jerusalem and laid waste to the Temple following a catastrophic Jewish uprising – led by the Zealots, the military wing of the Essenes – that began in 66 BC.

This they did in heed of JEREMIAH 32:14, which says, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences … and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.” The Dead Sea Scrolls have given us invaluable insight into the beliefs, customs, rituals, politics, philosophies, and traditions of first century Palestine.

NEXT WEEK: THE PANTERA INVOLVEMENT

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A crash course in publicity

2nd March 2021

The rivalry between luxury German automotive marques Mercedes-Benz and BMW is legendary. Both brands offer high-end, high-priced desirable models, always at the forefront of cutting-edge driving technology and excellence. And in the annals of the advertising world, a campaign between the two rivals is equally legendary and it happened on our own doorstep.

Many of you will be familiar with the coastal road out of Cape Town called Chapman’s Peak. It is a beautiful, sightseeing attraction, the road winding through spectacular coastal-mountain scenery, with cliffs sinking into the  Atlantic ocean on one side, and steep mountains towering over the road on the other. However, the road is also notoriously dangerous, with its 114 sharp, meandering bends . It’s reputation is well-deserved . Several years ago, when a major coastal cleanup campaign was launched, a helicopter pulled a total of 22 wrecked cars out of the water adjacent to Chapman’s Peak and it was one such accident which prefaced the notorious marketing battle. The story is thus:

In 1988 an Irish businessman lost control of his Mercedes Benz when driving along this road, plunging 100 metres down the cliff. Miraculously, he not only survived the accident, but crawled out of the wreckage with hardly a scratch on his body.

When Mercedes heard the details, the marketing department decided to base a new advertisement on the story to promote the safety features and stability of the brand. In the video ad they intentionally drove an identical model off the road in the exact same location, having it plunge off the edge of the cliff, the driver stepping out similarly unscathed, proving the phenomenal survivability and strength of Mercedes Benz.

When the marketing suits at BMW saw this ad, they took a bold and ingenious decision to mimic it but with a twist. Only a week later, whilst the first ad was still fresh in the public’s minds, they shot their ad showing a BMW driving along the exact same stretch of road in the rain. However, when it reached the point at which the Mercedes plunged off the cliff, the BMW negotiated it safely, and continued driving along the road.

The catchphrase of the ad was “BMW beats the bends” . Or was it? It was cunningly recorded so that it could equally have been ‘beats the Benz’, implying that their cars had superior cornering and stability to their rival, Even more sneakily, they launched their campaign on a Saturday, mindful of the rules on competitive advertising in South Africa, safe in the knowledge that no objectionable actions could be taken till the new working week.

Mercedes-Benz wasted no time on Monday in issuing an injunction, the ad was swiftly pulled but the damage was done and the dog had had its day. The ad campaign ranks high in the history of advertising and can still be found online to this day. Meanwhile the rivalry between the two automotive greats goes on.

I reference this piece of marketing history in the light of this week’s horror crash by golfing great, Tiger Woods. Driving from a luxury holiday resort in California to a nearby country club Tiger Woods lost control of his vehicle on a downhill stretch of the road, smashed through a road sign, crossed over the central reservation and rolled his car several hundred feet. He had to be cut out and pulled to safety through the windscreen and the vehicle was so badly damaged, the attending police officers said he was ‘lucky to survive’.

The vehicle Woods was driving was a rented Genesis GV80 SUV. If you are unfamiliar with the brand that is not surprising since it is a relatively new spin-off from the South Korean Hyundai marque. The Genesis utility vehicle, not available locally yet, retails for around $50,000 or half a million pula, placing it in the higher end of town and country SUVs in the USA.

The model has certainly been widely publicised in the media coverage of the high-profile sportsman’s accident and I suspect that if asked to comment, Hyundai/Genesis would disagree with the police assessment, putting Woods’ survival down to build quality and in-built safety features such as crumple zones, anti-roll bars and airbags, which were deployed in the crash and would most certainly have played their part cushioning the effects of the rolling and ultimate impact. There is , of course, no suggestion that the manufacturers will capitalise on Woods’ survival but certainly it will have done the brand no harm that he did indeed emerge with recoverable injuries.

Comparing the two accidents, the driver of the Mercedes driving along Chapman’s Peak was, of course, an ordinary member of the public whilst Tiger Woods is a household name. That said, in humanitarian terms each tale of survival carries equal weight but the fact remains that the former was just another local story of yet one more victim of a notoriously tricky stretch of road whilst the latter went round the world in an instant because of the fame and name of the driver.

There is also no evidence that that stretch of Californian urban highway carried any inherent risk. His appears to have been just a loss of control and a freak accident. However, in the event that Hyundai/Genesis should consider making capital from that accident, a note of caution needs to be sounded.

In the advertising world, the use of celebrities to promote a product is a fall-back stance to sell anything from washing-up liquid to whisky but statistics have shown that it can be a double-edged sword in that yes, the ads are memorable and the public love them when the celeb is popular and personable. But…..what is often remembered is the name of the famous promoter, not the name of the product. In other words, they sell themselves far better than they sell the item.

In golfing terminology Hyundai/Genesis are not ‘out of the Woods’ yet and maybe they should go with a completely different Driver!

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Pact with the Devil

2nd March 2021
THE LORD’S GREAT GRANDMOTHER

How Jesus’s grandfather sold his birthright to megalomaniac Herod

If you were to ask a Christian to name the main Jewish sects, General Atiku, he would no doubt begin with the Pharisees (because Jesus had innumerable slanging matches with  them according to the gospels), followed by the Sadducees.  Yet there was a third, equally momentous sect – the Essenes.

Although there’s not a single, one mention of the Essenes in the Bible, General, the New Testament is filled with Essene-type language as anybody who has read the Dead Sea Scrolls would readily recognise.

In point of fact, it was the Essenes who produced Jesus as well as the infamous Jewish band of freedom fighters known as the Zealots. Furthermore, almost all the New Testament writers were either Essenes or champions of the Essene cause as is apparent in their language and the drift of their overall philosophy.   The Essenes have a palpable presence in the Bible, albeit a cloaked one.

The Essenes, General, were the most popular, the most esteemed, and the most influential of the Jewish sects. The Jewish historian Philo (20 BC-50 AD) devotes 90 percent of his description of the Jewish sects to the Essenes. He wrote that the Essenes  “dwell in many cities of Judea and in many villages and in great societies of many numbers”.

Hyppolytus of Rome (170-236 AD) devoted nine-and-half chapters to the Essenes and only one to the Sadducees.     The Essenes are the authors of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, which were discovered in 1947 in Israel at a place called Qumran and which have given us even greater insight into the happenings in the first century than the Bible itself.

How did the Essene movement come about, General?  The Essenes, meaning “puritans of the faith”, were the Jewish sect that was the most loyal to the Davidic dynasty. They set themselves apart from the mainstream Jewish community circa 175 BC and established their headquarters at Qumran,  about 40 km from Jerusalem.

Since the Jewish nation revered the Davidic royal line, the only legitimate and rightful rulers of Judah in their view, they rallied to the Essenes en masse. And because the Essenes were disparaging of the Hasmonean rule (140 BC to 63 BC), the mainstream Jews also took a dismissive view of Hasmonean rule too.

The Essenes were so highly regarded because of their virtue and spirituality. The legendary Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD) writes thus of them: “They are more mutually affectionate than the others (Pharisees and Sadducees). Whereas these men shun the pleasures as vice, they consider self-control and not succumbing to the passions virtue  … Since [they are] despisers of wealth –  their communal stock is astonishing – one cannot find a person among them who has more in terms of possessions.

For by a law, those coming into the school (that is, the Essene fold) must yield up their funds to the order, with the result that in all [their ranks] neither the humiliation of poverty nor the superiority of wealth is detectable, but the assets of each one have been mixed in together, as if they were brothers, to create one fund for all.”

In time, the Essenes, General, became quite influential even with occupying powers. For instance, when the Greek General Pompey installed Hyrcanus II as ruler of  Palestine in 63 BC,  he sought the opinion  of the Essenes. The Essenes recommended that Hyrcanus go by the titles High Priest and Prince, not King, to which Pompey paid heed. In  142 BC, when Simon was installed by the Seleucids as ruler of Palestine, the Essenes had insisted on the same titular style. To the Essenes, everybody who occupied Israel’s seat of authority was simply holding fort for the real deal – the Davidic  King.

In 37 BC, when Herod became King of Palestine, the potential Davidic King was Jacob-Eliakim – the father of the Joseph of the gospels – who was an Essene himself. It was in order to win the blessings of the historically popular Jewish royal family that Herod sought to curry favour with the Essenes.

JACOB’S PACT WITH HEROD

About the time Herod came to power, General, there were three citizens of considerable stature in Palestine – Hillel, Menahem, and Jacob-Eliakim, the grandfather of Jesus. Hillel is by all accounts ancient Israel’s greatest teacher and scholar.

He was the foremost spiritual sage in the development of the Talmud and the Mishnah, the most authoritative religious references of the Jews which are second only to the Old Testament in esteem.   The renowned “Golden Rule”, which is invariably attributed to Jesus, was actually coined by Hillel. It is not certain whether Hillel was an Essene but his teachings did have a profound influence both on Essene philosophy and that of Jesus, who was an Essene too.

It was Menahem, however, who was an incontrovertible Essene. The Essenes were of two main branches, General. First, there were the puritans, the Palestinian Essenes. Then there were the liberals, the Diaspora Essenes, who sneered at the Palestinian Essenes’ dogmatism and rather strict views on morality. Menahem was the leader of the  Diaspora Essenes.

He was also privilleged to be advisor to King Herod. Herod did hold Menahem in very high regard. Josephus relates that when Herod was a school-going lad, Menahem had patted him on his back and said to him, “one day you will be King young man.” Since the prophecy came to pass, Herod had a certain, atypical respect both for Menahem and the order of Essenes.

Jacob-Eliakim’s significance was by virtue of his pedigree. He was of the royal line of David and was therefore the uncrowned King of the Jews. Now, as we have already indicated, Herod had his own grand designs about rulership of the world notwithstanding the fact that he was in reality a vassal of Rome.

When he made overtures to the trio, they didn’t mince words: they told him that in the new Israel, the Israel that would rule Earth once the Romans had been toppled from the pedestal of world power, it was a Davidic King who would reign. Herod took very strong  exception to such a prospect. Herod was neither a full-blooded Jew nor of Davidic stock but he was royalty in his own right.

His father, Antipater,  had been the governor of Idumea and in due course Judea in  the Hasmonean government and was in fact the real ruler of the entire Palestine, with John Hyrcanus being a  mere figurehead king.  When he (Herod) was only 25 years old, his father had appointed him governor of Galilee.   Herod thus had strutted the corridors of power from the day he was born and he wasn’t going to give that up easily either for his own sake or that of his descendants.

As such, General, Herod maintained to the trio that in the new, overarching Kingdom of Israel, he was going to be the emperor and would be based in Jerusalem. Just like the Greek empire of Alexander had been a triarchy (a kingdom divided into three governments), the global Kingdom of Israel (“Thy Kingdom Come” in the Lord’s Prayer) was going to be likewise.

There was going to be a ruler in the east, a ruler in the west, and a ruler in the centre, that is Jerusalem, under the oversight of Herod himself. Hillel would rule in Jerusalem; Menahem in the east; and Jacob-Eliakim in the west. If these three happened to have disappeared from the Earthly scene by the time the Kingdom of Israel came into being, their descendants would observe the same setup.

The pecking order would thus be like this: Herod as the emperor; Hillel as the senior king; Menahem as the second-ranked king; and Jacob-Eliakim as the junior king. Put differently, Herod had by the stroke of a pen reduced the Davidic dynasty from foremost to least important as it posed the most serious threat to his office. Meanwhile, the three kings-in-waiting would go by the names of the Old Testament patriarchs.

Hillel would henceforth be called the Abraham, or the Father (or Papa, which later morphed into Pope), since Abraham was the Father of the Jewish nation; Menahem would be called the Isaac (Abraham’s son); and Eliakim the Jacob (Isaac’s son). Half a loaf was better than nothing at all and so Jacob-Eliakim meekly accepted this arrangement.

When Jesus later said, “Many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the new Kingdom of Heaven (MATTHEW 8:11),” he did not mean an afterlife kingdom: he referred to the Earthly setup proposed by King Herod.

FALLOUT WITH ESSENES

Those days, General, the Davidic heir used the title “Jacob” rather than “David” as the latter title was very risky, particularly under the Hasmonean government. Given that Joseph was the most beloved son of the Old Testament Jacob, the next in line, that is, the firstborn son of the Jacob, used the title “Joseph”.

In September 44 BC, a son was born to Jacob-Eliakim. As the crown prince to the Jacob, he was given the titular name Joseph, the name by which he became best-known.  Like his father Jacob-Eliakim, Joseph was a missionary. But he also had a trade. He was a carpenter, a boat builder primarily, and a master of his craft. The word translated “carpenter” in the Bible is the ancient Greek word “ho hekton” which means a master artisan or craftsman.

In 31 BC, Qumran, the Essenes’ Judean wilderness bastion, was struck by an earthquake. The hermitic Essenes had no choice but to trek back to Jerusalem, from where they operated indefinitely at a place they called the Essene Gate. Then in 23 BC, Herod struck again. He had Jacob-Eliakim killed on trumped-up charges of sedition, his motive simply being a continuation of a systematic purge of  the Davidic “pretenders” to his throne.

The Essenes were wroth. They now set about promulgating to the Diaspora Essenes that Herod would have no part to play in the coming Kingdom. Instead, the overall King would be Joseph, the son of Jacob-Eliakim. This, General, was the beginning of a permanent rift between Herod and the Essene sect.

THE SAGA OF JOSEPH

The prospective global world, General, was subdivided into ten provinces to facilitate governance and tax collection. Palestine would have two provinces, Judea and Samaria, the latter of which would include Galilee. Asia Minor (largely present-day Turkey), where the bulk of Diaspora Jews were concentrated, would have five provinces.

The last three provinces would be Babylon, Rome, and Alexandria in Egypt. The future capital of the West was not Rome: it was Ephesus in Asia Minor. Having been allocated the West, it was in Ephesus and Alexandria that Jacob-Eliakim spent most of his time evangelizing to fellow Jews about the future Kingdom of Israel. This was the beginning of the New Covenant, whereby Jews who converted to the ideal of a new Kingdom of Israel were baptised by immersion in water.

To mainstream Palestinian Jews, General, Jacob-Eliakim was a sellout. Herod had demoted his pedigree but to somewhat placate him, he gave him the honorary title of Patriarch or Prince of Jerusalem. By subordinating the Davidic throne-in-waiting to Herod, Jacob-Eliakim had  gone against what the nation of Israel’s God, Enlil, the Bible’s main Jehovah, decreed – that every King of Judah had to be a descendant of  David. So when the unpredictable Herod had him killed in 23 BC for “sedition”, as part of a pogrom against the line of David, there was very little sympathy for him.

In 44 BC, Joseph had been born to Jacob-Eliakim. Joseph was a title: it was not his real name. At the death of his father, Joseph became the Jacob. However, he preferred the title “David”, the more apt one historically. Joseph would become the father of Jesus. When Joseph attained 30 years of age in 14 BC, his uncles and the Essene sages sent him to Rome and Alexandria to do his part in missionary work, which was simply about promulgating to the Diaspora Jews the future Kingdom of Israel in which a Son of David, that is a descendant of King David, would rule.   Egypt was also a special place because Joseph’s maternal relations were Egyptians.

Jacob-Eliakim, General, had two wives. The one was called Euchariah, a Jewish princess, of whom very little is known, and the other, the dynastic wife, was an Egyptian princess, a daughter of Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Julius Caesar. Jacob-Eliakim and this princess had three sons: they were Joseph, the father of Jesus, and the twins Cleopas (after whom James, Jesus’ immediate younger brother, whose given name was Cleopas, was named) and Ptolas. Joseph was thus the Davidian Prince of Israel as well as contender to Crown Prince of Egypt. Despite pretences to the contrary on the part of the Jews, Egypt and Israel have always had ties of monarchical kinship.

In 8 BC, General, Joseph was required by Essene custom to return home and fulfill his obligations for a dynastic marriage. A wife-to-be had already been chosen for him by his uncles  and other patriarchal Essenes. This was Dorcas, better known today by her title name Mary.

NEXT WEEK: HOW HEROD MINIMISED THE HOUSE OF DAVID

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