GENESIS 4 and 5, General Atiku, talk about the genealogies of the Cainite and Sethian lines. There are two features that are particularly arresting about the two genealogies. The first is that the names are so uncannily similar, an aspect we have already noted and pronounced upon. The second is that the writers of Genesis show a unabashed ambivalence towards the Cainite line. They at once exalt it and scoff at it.
Since the Cainites (the descendants of Cain) were Enkites, General, they were extraordinarily gifted thanks to Enki’s super genes. Jubal, for example, was a most entrancing musician, like Enki was, and Tubal-Cain was the most accomplished craftsman of his generation – that is, a master metallurgist – again like Enki was. This the Levites, the authors of Genesis, duly recognise, General.
On the other hand, they make a point of calling attention to the fact that the Cainites were a wicked lot. A certain Lamech is recorded as boasting to his wives that he killed two men and that anybody who would be so foolhardy as to exact vengeance on him would earn himself 70 times the wrath of God. What is ironic, though, is that Lamech was of the conjoined Cainite and Sethian (the descendants of Seth) lines, the reason he features on both lists. How did the two lines merge and why, General?
AN ENKITE HYBRID MARRIES AN ENLILITE HYBRID
The Levites were Jews and the Jews were Enlil’s chosen people, Enlil being the most prominent Jehovah/Yahweh as he was Earth’s Chief Executive, initially substantively and in due course only in a patriarchal sense as other members of the Anunnaki pantheon also had their chances at being an Enlil (remember, General, Enlil was simply a title for the Anunnaki ruler of Earth: his own name according to some ancient records was Anen).
We have already related that Adapa, Enki’s son with an Earthling woman, was the first Priest-King of the Earthlings, the Sanga-lugal or Melchizedek. When he died, he was succeeded by Cain. Cain was in turn succeeded by his firstborn son Etana. However, General, Etana’s line did not lead to Noah, the hero of the Deluge. The line that led to Noah was that of Enoch I, Cain’s second-born son. This is the line that in turn led to Shem, whose descendants, the Jewish people, found favour with Enlil.
As such, Etana’s line became obscure and Enoch I’s line became preeminent, just as Esau’s line became obscure and that of Jacob, his younger brother who appropriated the birthright from him, became preeminent. It was all politics at play rather than merit, General, consistent with the Enlilites’ characteristic divide and rule stratagem.
Meanwhile, Cain’s younger brother Seth began his own line through his firstborn son Enshi, Enosh in the Bible. Seth also had a second-born child, a daughter called Noam. Now, Seth was the favourite of the Enlilites because unlike Cain, who was fathered by Enki, he was fathered by Adapa and so was easier to co-opt into their faction. The Enlilite thus wanted Seth’s offspring to have a genetic stake in the ruling line. That was only possible if his line merged with Cain’s royal line. As such, a uniting intermarriage was orchestrated. Enoch I and Noam came together in holy matrimony. It is the resultant conjoined line, General, that led to Noah and to Shem.
You will now understand, General, why in Genesis the Cainite line and Sethian line for the most part carry identical names. They were the same people. But since Cain was an Enkite, the pro-Enlil authors of Genesis wanted to give the spurious impression that the Jews sprang from Seth alone and had nothing to do with Cain. In order to create and embed this fiction, they gave two separate Cainite and Sethian lines when in truth the two lines did integrate into one bloodline from the very beginning with the marriage of cousins Enoch I from the Cainite line and Noam from the Sethian line.
If Cain hadn’t been the carrier of the royal gene, General, his name wouldn’t have come into the mix in the genealogical passages. He would have been ignored altogether. But it was essential to feature him because it was he who lent legitimacy to the conjoined line. Sadly, General, Christendom has missed this most fundamental of truths and simply dismissed Cain as no more than a cold-blooded murderer.
From Adapa to Noah, there were ten generations General. Adapa (born about 110,000 years ago) fathered Cain (legally, that is, as Cain was Enki’s biological son), Abel, and Seth. The trio constituted the second royal generation. Cain begot Etana and Enoch I, whereas Seth (born 103,000 years ago) begot Enosh (95,000 years ago). These three marked the third generation.
Enoch I married Noam, Seth’s daughter, to integrate the Cainite and Sethian lines. About 92,000 years ago, the couple had a son Kunin (Cainan in the Bible). Kunin marked the fourth generation. “Kunin, He of the Kilns, his name had the meaning,” relates Enki in The Lost Book of Enki. “For by Ninurta in Bad-Tibira he was tutored, of furnace and kiln there he learned. How with bitumens fires to make, how to smelt and refine he was taught; in the smelting and refining of gold for Nibiru he and his offspring toiled. In the 98th shar did this matter come about.”
Approximately 89,000 years ago, Kunin fathered a son with his half-sister Mualit. His name was Malalu (Mahalaleel/Mehujael in Genesis). “He Who Plays, his name meant,” says Enki. “In music and song he excelled. For him Ninurta a stringed harp made, a flute for him he shaped. Hymns to Ninurta Malalu played, with his daughters before Ninurta they sang.” Malalu was the fifth generation Adapite.
Malalu married his paternal cousin Dunna, by whom he had a son called Irid (Jared/Irad in the Bible). This was 85,000 years ago. Jared meant “He of the sweet waters”. Of him, Enki says, “Dumuzi how wells to dig had taught, for flocks in distant meadows water to provide”. Jared marked the sixth generation since Adapa.
Like Malalu, Jared married his paternal cousin Baraka and about 79,000 years ago the couple had a son they named Enkime, known as Enoch in the Bible and the apocryphal books. We may as well dub him Enoch II to distinguish him from Enoch the son of Cain. Enoch II marked the seventh generation. Just under 71,000 years ago came a eighth generation Adapite, born to Enoch II and his wife Edinni. He was named Matushal (Methuselah in the Bible). His name meant “God’s Helper”.
Enoch II fathered Lumach (Lamech in the Bible), born about 56,000 years ago, when Adapa died. Adapa thus was alive through the first nine generations of his progeny. The name Lamech meant “Mighty Man”. Lamech was the ninth-generation Adapite. Finally, General, came the tenth generational, the most famous of Adapa’s offspring. This was Ziusudra, meaning “Wise Man”.
In the Bible, Ziusudra is known as Noah, the hero of that infamous globalwide flood that decimated the population of mankind. Noah was born to Lamech and his wife Batanash 49,000 years ago, but there is a biological twist to the circumstances surrounding his conception courtesy of Enki that we will address at the appropriate time. We see, therefore, General, that between the birth of Adapa and the birth of Noah, about 61,200 years passed. The progenitor of the line himself, Adapa, lived for about 55,800 years.
The year of Cain’s death is not known but since he was alive when Adapa died, he too must have lived for nearly as long as Adapa. As we have long pointed out, General, the ages we read in Genesis were microscoped by a certain mathematical factor: they were not literal as the Adapite line lived for thousands of years thanks to the ingestion of Star Fire, or processed menstruum.
ENKI AND ENOCH SCHEME SOMETHING
About 75,000 years ago, in the time of Enoch, a new Ice Age dawned on Earth, General. It did not hit abruptly: it was gradual. About 25,000 years later, it was biting hard. Earthlings and Anunnaki alike were reeling from it. Enki characterises this dire situation thus courtesy of Zechariah Sitchin’s The Lost Book of Enki: “In those days, the Anunnaki for their own surviving were concerned; their own rations were diminished, by Earth's changes they themselves afflicted became … The tribulations were increasing, fear and famine their heads reared.”
By this time, Enoch had spawned two generations, General. They were that of his son Methuselah and his grandson Lamech. Now, although Enoch lived in luxury in a facility hollowed out of a mountain at Sippar in the Edin – Eden in the Bible – he kept regular touch with his family directly and was well-attuned with happenings around him. He may have had a sheltered life but he was concerned about the welfare of his family under the prevailing climatic circumstances. Their fate so exercised his mind they were always in his prayers.
As he obsessively contemplated the wellbeing of his family, he had a “vision” in which he saw a mighty flood inundate the Earth. What were these so-called visions that are such a constant feature in the Bible and the Sumerian records, General? One cannot say for sure since they are not explained, but the impression one gets is that of something like a movie which is shown not on a screen but holographically in the surrounding air in a dark setting. Who was behind this hologram? On the basis of what would later transpire, it was Enki, General.
For just after he had this vision, Enoch sent for Enki. Why Enki when he, Enoch, was a protégé of the Enlilites? The reason is simple: Enoch knew that if the globalwide flood was an avoidable catastrophe, it was Enki who could do his utmost to avert it, not Enlil. Enki was mankind’s creator and therefore had a heart for humans. On the other hand, Enlil regarded mankind as expendable. To him, humans were like roaches crawling all over the place and who therefore had to be Doom-sprayed into oblivion. If Enoch loyally served the Enlilites, it was by virtue simply of the privilege they had made possible for him – of settling on Nibiru in the forseeable future and living happily ever after Amen.
Enki made haste to Enoch’s redoubt. Enoch recounted the vision to him along the following lines: “What I saw in the vision Lord Enki could or could not happen but whatever the case, we ought to make a contingency plan. And for that I’m counting on you. If the flood were to take place soon, I personally would be flown to Nibiru but what about my children and grandchildren? They would perish. And you know as much as I do Lord Enki that your brother Lord Enlil wouldn’t care an iota about them. Only you, Benevolent Lord, has a heart for mankind.”
Even as Enoch was speaking, the quick-thinking Enki, who had the sharpest brain of any Anunnaki, was already weighing several options, General. From the satellite pictures provided by the Igigi who were in orbit around Earth, Enki did detect that the mountain of ice that had built up on the continent of Antarctica was a disaster waiting to happen. If Nibiru were to draw too close to Earth than it ordinarily did, the colossal ice sheet would tip over into the Antarctic Ocean, giving rise to a globalwide Tsunami capable of extincting life on the planet.
Enki thus, General, resolved that Nibiru’s trajectory had to be watched very closely. The mathematics of its orbital positions had to be scrupulously calculated so that precise predictions on its impact on the planet could be made at least a shar in advance. Meanwhile, Enoch and he came up with a strategic plan in which Enki’s role was both primary and salivating as it involved bumping and grinding – the kind of action Enki relished greatly!
LAMECH’S ODD SON
Like his grandfather Enoch, General, Lamech was an Enlilite lapdog. He was based at Sippar, Utu-Shamash’s cult city, where he was known as Ubar-Tutu, meaning “Utu’s Understudy/Intercessor”. In other words, he ruled the human residents of Sippar on behalf of Shamash. In short, Lamech was Sippar’s Priest-King.
An occupational specialty of Lamech, General, was architecture. He was simply outstanding in infrastructural design. Enki thus used this forte of his as an excuse to get him to Egypt, where he was presently based. Enoch was hired by Enki to teach humans the art of design and construction. Of course Enki himself, who the Egyptians called Ptah – meaning “Creator/Developer” – and his phenomenally gifted son Ningishzidda could easily have done this but the idea of roping in Lamech was a clever means to a strategic end.
Lamech, General, was married to his cousin Batanash. But whilst fulfilling his contract with Enki, he had left Batanash with Ninmah at Shuruppak. Not long after Lamech arrived in Egypt, Enki decided to pay a visit on Ninmah. It so happened that one day, Batanash, a staggering beautiful and curvaceous woman, was taking a shower in a roof-top bathroom and Enki was peeking at her through a window to his bedroom – a spectacle you would have relished too General if I know you! Enki’s bedroom was on a floor that was one storey higher than the level at which Batanash was bathing and since the bathroom was roofless though walled, Enki saw every inch of her and all her eye-popping postures as she tried to spruce up every contour of her body. Blood, General, flowed to Enki’s nether regions – he was in bonking mood.
Soon he had made his way into the hallowed privacy of Batanash’s cubicle and according to Sumerian records, “his semen into her womb he poured”. No woman on Earth, General, was capable of turning down the advances of Enki, whose way with words coupled with dynamically good looks they found irresistible. Besides, Sumerian records suggest that Enoch had conjugally neglected his wife, like most men do when they have been with a woman for a long time. Note, General, that the copulation only partially stemmed from lust: Enki and Enoch had planned it all.
Enki, a most virile man who hardly ever fired blanks, scored with his first attempt at goal, General. Nine months later, Batanash had a child, a boy. Since the boy looked somewhat unusual, Ninmah radioed Lamech to rush to Shurrupak pronto. The moment Lamech set his eyes on the boy, he was stunned. “White as the snow his skin was, the colour of wool was his hair: like the skies were his eyes, in a brilliance were his eyes shining,” says The Lost Book of Enki.
In other words, General, the child resembled the typical Anunnaki, who were of a chalky-white skin, had blue eyes, and “shone” thanks to their ingestion of Ormus or its equivalent on a daily basis. As if that was not strange enough, the child was able to talk from the moment he was born! “He arose in the hands of the midwife, opened his mouth, and conversed with the Lord of Righteousness,” the latter being Enlil, who had also been invited over by Ninmah to come and see this extraordinary little bundle of joy.
Methuselah too was dumbfounded but he didn’t say much, General; instead, he referred Lamech to his grandfather Enoch. Enoch was to conduct a DNA test on the baby and if he found that indeed the baby was fathered by a “Nefilim” (as the Anunnaki or Earthlings with substantial Anunnaki blood are referred to in the Bible), he was to investigate who exactly it was. Methuselah knew that Enoch, being the head of the Enlilite’s equivalent of the CIA, would easily find out who had committed adultery with Batanash. Certainly, Enoch must have had a Anunnaki DNA database at his disposal.
BOY CHILD BEOMES KNOWN AS NOAH
Lamech, General, rushed to Sippar in a chopper accompanied by Anunnaki escorts who knew exactly where Enoch lived in a “dwelling place among the angels at the ends of the Earth”. However, he was not allowed to enter the premises. Instead, Enoch came out to meet him. After relating the object of his calling, Enoch, who had masterminded everything along with Enki, pacified him straightaway. He said there was no need to conduct a DNA test on the baby as he indeed was Lamech’s.
But the baby was certainly special. His unusual appearance and precocity (talking straight after birth) betokened an omen of sorts. “There shall come a Deluge and great destruction for one year, but your son and his family are destined to be saved,” Enoch said. “The Lord has showed me and informed me, and I have read it in the heavenly tablets.”
Having said this, Enoch enjoined Lamech to keep the secret to himself, an admonition he inviolably honoured. Thus it was that Batanash gave the child the name Atrahasis, meaning “extremely wise.” This had to do with the fact that the child could speak from the day he was born and sensibly so, unlike ordinary babies who verbally matured through the gears. In future, Atrahasis would come to be best-known as Ziusudra (in Sumerian) or Utnapishtim (in Akkadian, the forerunner to the Hebrew language). Both the terms mean “He of long bright life days”, which was very fitting as it was Atrahasis who preserved life during that watery calamity and so ushered in a bright new day.
In the Bible, Atrahasis is known as Noah, General. This is from the Hebrew Noach, meaning “comfort”. Again this is apt in view of the fact that his birth heralded good tidings on the flipside of the coin: he was to be the saviour of mankind and all life forms as the Deluge raged. The name also had the connotation of snake – “Noga” in your national language General – which suggested it was an open secret that he was Enki’s kid and only putatively Lamech’s.
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.
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.
It used to be that a phone number was fixed item in a fixed location (your home, your office, etc.) Call someone and they’re not there, no problem, leave a message or call again later. Not any more.
Now we associate a phone number with a person, and the expectation is that wherever you are, whatever time of day or night it might be, you’re accessible. It’s astonishing and alarming that we feel we should be constantly available. This morning I sent a message to a colleague asking if it was convenient to call (remember the days when you would just do it without asking permission?) and half an hour later I received his apologetic response, “Sorry I was not looking at my phone.” His guilt was tangible as he considered 30 minutes too long to have not checked his device. That’s where the bar has been set nowadays.
Like many I have been working remotely on and off for the past year. It’s the new normal, the changing nature of the world of work, blah, blah, blah. Twitter told its employees they can work remotely forever. Coinbase has proclaimed themselves to be a “a remote-first” company and according to Microsoft, Facebook, Google they have told workers they don’t need them back in the office for a year. But, while many are embracing what looks like a workable and easy solution, I am having some doubts and not just about meeting the expectation of being available 24/7.
A few weeks ago, I was facilitating a strategy session remotely for a company with which I have a management contract. Because I am conscious of the research which suggests that video conferencing requires more focus than face-to-face chats and because of the energy required to stay ‘connected’, it was designed as 4 half-day Zoom sessions. It’s a small team which I know well and intimately yet by the third session I halted the process and boarded a plane the following week to roll up my sleeves and do the work that quite simply could not in this instance be done remotely.
There were several reasons why I felt my physical presence was necessary, not least of which was that on Zoom I was missing so much of the non-verbal cues like facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, and body language. As the facilitator tasked with achieving an objective, it felt like I was climbing a mountain single handed, dragging each participant along. The disconnect was palpable – our minds may have been together, but our bodies were not – and that dissonance was having a huge negative effect.
If you’re a leader you know very that your ability to communicate is critical and it is likely to be one of your most important assets. You can do that on Whatsapp, Zoom or over the phone but the power of being present, not just psychologically but physically, is necessary – at least occasionally or when the work to be done is critical.
Looking back on what ended up being a highly positive engagement which achieved the desired results, I know that it could never have been achieved on the video call. It scares me now that I thought it could and I will have to re-set. That may change in the future but for now, for me, a remote approach to team facilitation involving complex work where participation, commitment and creativity is required has serious limitations even with a homogeneous group.
What worries me however is how much we have bought into the notion that working remotely is the way to go. I have been an advocate of it and, may have carried on merrily down that road (perhaps because the narrative suits me at the moment) rarely questioning if I was missing something or being ineffective, but my experience has really called its efficacy into question.
Remote working is not all dubious for me now. )ne of the most significant changes and benefits is with performance management. Having employees work remotely has forced me to focus attention on work done, not on hours worked. A change that staff have reported to me is that they feel more compelled to produce work instead of getting caught up on the busy-ness of being at the office where they are pulled this way, then that and down a dozen different rabbit holes, resulting in them exhibiting super frenetic behaviour, albeit with very little to show for it. Instead, staff report they are more likely to prioritise now and think about what to produce for the day.
When remote working started, I knew that we would have to figure it out as we went along but maybe weighing the pros and cons is a little more complicated than I realised. I have not even mentioned people who don’t want to or can’t work remotely because of a host of socio-economic reasons. And, besides the fact that tele-driven work is not feasible for all sectors and jobs, what about the work life balance, the gender divide and employees’ need for separation of home and office.
The other thing which feels obvious is when people work together physically, they are more likely to feel part of a team sharing a joint purpose. That’s difficult to recreate online. Trust me, it is exactly the problem I ran into. You may talk about online engagement but, it’s hardly the same thing as being in someone’s space, looking into their eyes, sensing, and intuiting through an experience which is wholly human and natural. It’s not easy to get the model right. Much needs to be taken into consideration.
Maybe it boils down to one simple thing. Real human interaction is familiar. It’s comfortable. It’s easy to use. And it has fared us well in for generations up until this moment. If we take it too much of it away it might just end up being the biggest killer of results and productivity in the office today. Because if working together is key, how is that to be fully achieved apart