Having secured Jerusalem and having accomplished his devotional ends at Hebron, Abraham, General Atiku, moved on. His destination this time around was the Negev Desert, the principal focus of his mission.
The Negev, which meant “The Dryness”, a name that suited its aridity, General, was a parched region where Canaan and the Sinai Peninsula merged. The specific place Abraham stationed was known as the Oasis of Kadesh-Barnea. Kadesh-Barnea went by several names, which included Ein-Mishpat, Bad-Gal-Dingir (the name by which Sumerians called it), and Dur-Mah-Ilani (what Sargon the Great called it).
Kadesh-Barnea was the gateway to Tilmun, the spaceport in the Sinai Peninsula. No Earthling was allowed to go beyond Kadesh-Barnea without special permission from the gods Utu-Shamash or Nannar-Sin. Kadesh-Barnea was the furthest place Shulgi reached when he militarily campaigned in Canaan. The iconic Gilgamesh also sought the green light to proceed into Tilmun at Kadesh-Barnea.
From Kadesh-Barnea, General, there was only one other place to touch before Tilmun. This was El-Paran, meaning “God’s Gloried Place”. Also known as Nakhl, El-Paran was the official retreat of Nannar-Sin (the future Allah, the god of Islam) and his wife Ningal (from whom the name Nakhl derived). It was an isolated and highly fortified oasis in the great, desolate plain that was the Sinai Peninsula. It was at El-Paran that Sin and Ningal eventually retired post-2024 BC, after the upheavaling of Sodom and Gomorrah.
It was at Kadesh-Barnea that Abraham ensconced himself with his troops, practically ring-fencing the spaceport from possible seizure by Nabu’s forces. It was whilst Abraham was at Kadesh-Barnea that two things happened, General.
First, Amar-sin was crowned as the new King of Sumer-Akkad, succeeding his father Shulgi, who had died in a death engineered by Enlil the previous year (2048 BC). In Genesis, Amar-Sin is referred to as “Amraphel King of Shinar,” Shinar being the Hebrew name for Sumer.
As can easily be gleaned from his theophoric name, General, Amar-Sin (meaning “Adorer of Sin”) was a protégé of the god Nannar-Sin. Second, Abraham received new instructions from Enlil. He was to advance on northern Egypt, sever it from the rest of Egypt, and append it to Canaan.
GENERAL ABE SETS FOR EGYPT
Regarding Abraham’s foray into Egypt, General, the Bible does own up on the event. It does state unequivocally that from the Negev Desert Abraham did head for Egypt. The story is related from GENESIS 12:10 to 13:2. The passage says Abraham left the Negev for Egypt to seek grain there as there was famine in Canaan. Flavius Josephus echoes that very closely in the following words:
“Now, after this, when a famine had invaded the land of Canaan, and Abram had discovered that the Egyptians were in a flourishing condition, he was disposed to go down to them, both to partake of the plenty they enjoyed, and to become an auditor of their priests, and to know what they said concerning the gods; designing either to follow them, if they had better notions than he, or to convert them into a better way, if his own notions proved the truest.”
What emerges as curious, General, is that when Abraham gets to Egypt, he’s received not by agricultural traders but by a Pharaoh. Even more curious, when Abraham returns from Egypt, he is not accompanied by wagons of grain or any other agricultural produce. Instead, what we’re told is that he emerges from Egypt as a filthy rich man – “heavily stocked with cattle, with silver and with gold”.
Clearly, General, there’s more than meets the eye here, which the Genesis writers deliberately skirted. They do not even state how long Abraham stayed in Egypt because had they done so, the readers would have become curious as to why a person who left in an emergency situation (in the midst of famine and the vital safeguarding of the all-important spaceport) should have taken so long in a foreign country.
It is only when we turn to the Egyptian records and read intimations in the Sumerian chronicles that we get the true circumstances of Abraham’s journey to Egypt, General. The insights we accordingly gain are that the Genesis story took place when Abraham travelled from northern Egypt (ironically called Lower Egypt in Egyptian chronicles) to southern Egypt (equally ironically referred to as Upper Egypt in Egyptian annals). At the time, Abraham was no longer a Canaan-based military general: in what turns out to be one of the Bible’s best-kept secrets, General, Abraham was a Pharaoh of Egypt.
ISRAEL WAS NORTHERN EGYPT!
Before Abraham, the crack Hebrew general, set out on an epoch-making campaign to conquer northern Egypt, General, Enlil, the Bible’s “Yahweh-Elohim”, meaning “Lord of the Anunnaki”, reiterated to him what was expected of him.
First, he was to create a buffer zone between northern Egypt and Canaan. This would serve one major purpose – to deny the Enkites, who were being rallied by Marduk and Nabu, immediate access to the all-important spaceport at Tilmun in the Sinai Peninsula. The spaceport was the Enkites’ prize target, without which their rightful rule of the planet in the near-at-hand astrological Age of the Ram would be nominal rather than substantive.
Since Canaan was under the godly jurisdiction of Nannar-Sin, Enlil’s second-born son, Abraham would be acting in the immediate interests of Sin, who in Canaan was simply known as El, meaning “Lord”. Hence the Enlilite buffer territory that Abraham would carve off from the Egyptian landmass would be known as I-Sira-El, which translates to “Sin’s Shield”. Isn’t that so sweetly interesting General?
It must be. When people read about Israel in the Bible, General, they automatically assume this is referring to the Palestine of first century times. One cannot fault them though as that is exactly the picture the Genesis authors wanted to portray as a kind of blindfold.
The fact of the matter, however, General, is that from the time of Abraham up to part of the time of David, the term Israel referred to northern Egypt. On the other hand, when the Bible uses the term “Egypt”, it is actually referring to southern Egypt, which being dominated by indigenous Egyptians was consequently referred to as “Upper Egypt”, meaning “Principal Egypt”.
The second brief Enlil reiterated to Abraham, General, was that once he had taken northern Egypt, he was to introduce monotheism – the worship of only one clan of gods, the clan being that of Enlilites. Every Egyptian living in northern Egypt was to be converted to Enlilite allegiance both politically and religiously as the two were inter-twinned. Observes the notable Egyptologist Ralph Ellis:
“This is the essential core conundrum of the three Judaic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). These religions wanted to project a new, fresh image of a religion that was descended directly from ‘god’. However, the history of their peoples indicated strongly that they were descended from the pharaohs of Egypt, a nation that they had begun to despise because of the later treatment of the Israelites at the time of the exodus.
What were they to do? If they admitted that their patriarch was a pharaoh, they admitted that they were part of the very regime that had rejected them and sent them into exile, and which they now hated with an unbelievable passion. That was utterly unacceptable.”
Once Abraham had fulfilled his assigned mission, General, he was to be installed as the Shepherd-King of the Hebrews with authority over all lands east of the Nile River all the way to the Euphrates River in Sumer. That was the reward promised him by Jehovah-Enlil.
GENERAL ABE’S TROJAN HORSE DEVICE
The conquest of northern Egypt by a “pale-skinned Asiatic race” known as Hyksos is well documented in ancient archives, General. But the role of Abraham in this regard is scarcely mentioned, if at all. This is because in Egypt, General, Abraham was known by a different name.
This was Pharaoh Mehibre (“Mo-Hibiru”) Kheti. In Sumerian, this translated to “The Exalted Hebrew”. Remember, the name Abraham (Ibru-um in Sumerian) as we demonstrated in earlier pieces was also rendered as Mo-Hibiru, meaning “The Main One of the Hebrew”, or in paraphrase, “The First Person of the City of Eber” (Nippur/Nibruki), where he was born and bred. You will also remember, General, that Abraham was “The Chosen One” in that he was Enlil’s choice for Shepherd-King of the astrological Age of Aries.
When historians relate the Hykso take-over of northern Egypt, General, they characterise it as an “influx”, a “sudden invasion”. That is far from the truth. Abraham, who was the Hykso leader, was of course armed to the teeth by his god Enlil, General. He was said to have “sophisticated weapons” that “could smite an army of ten thousand men in hours”.
But what made him seize northern Egypt with such ease was the overwhelming presence of the Hyksos, the progenitors of the children of Israel, in this part of Egypt. The proliferation of the Hykso population in Egypt was a key component of Enlil’s long-term strategy to subdue Egypt, with the Hyksos having been planted in Egypt as early as 70 years before General Abraham’s forces laid siege.
“Hyksos” was a term by which the Hebrews were known in Egypt. It meant “Elite Sheep” (Hyk-Ku) literally but “Shepherd Princes” figuratively. In antiquity, sheep were known as “Ewes”, which is “Jews” in modern parlance. The sheep symbolism derived from the emblem of the forthcoming astrological Age of Aries, which was the Ram, a male sheep. The Hebrews were therefore designated by Enlil as the Elite Sheep of the Age of Sheep.
However, General, the Bantus, who dominated greater Egypt at the time, did not call them Hyksos: they called them the Akhu, or Makgoa in Setswana. This was in mocking of their predominantly white, Caucasian skins, which made them turn red in the blazing Sahara sun.
When they first arrived in Egypt whilst Abraham was Pope of India (under the pretext that they had been expelled from a part of that country known as Maturea), the Hyksos were allocated their own settlement in a corner of the ancient city of Heliopolis in the Nile Delta east of the Nile River. They renamed the settlement Maturea in honour of their place of origin in India. Maturea is today known as El Matareya and is part of Greater Cairo.
It was the massed presence of Hyksos in northern Egypt, General, that Abraham utilised to full effect to overrun the region. The Hyksos were the Trojan Horse Abraham deployed to finally strike. They were the proverbial camel which after having been given shelter in a corner of the tent at long last ejected its Bedouin master to appropriate the entire tent to itself.
GENERAL ABE IS PHARAOH OF NORTHERN EGYPT
When Abraham’s forces thrust into northern Egypt, General, the city they first targeted was Memphis at the mouth of the Nile Delta, about 20 km south of today’s Cairo on the West bank of the Nile. Memphis was the strongest city in the region. It also had great religious symbolism being the bastion of Ptah worship, Ptah being the Egyptian name for Enki, the first god and ruler of Egypt for 9000 years before he handed over to firstborn son Marduk.
Having captured Memphis and effectively the whole of northern Egypt, General, Abraham declared Avaris, modern Tel El Daba, as the Hykso capital. He was then crowned as Pharaoh Mehibre Kheti of northern Egypt. This was toward the end of 2047 BC. Once again, Egypt was split into two nations, comprising of the Hykso-ruled north and the Bantu-ruled south, with its capital at Thebes. The fact that Abraham was able to take northern Egypt in a matter of months and not over years as was typical in most wars of conquest testifies to just what a genius of a military strategist he was, General.
If there was one thing going for Abraham as the new ruler of northern Egypt, it was that unlike him, his wife Sarah was not a total stranger. If you recall, General, Sarah was the daughter of Terah’s second wife Tohwait, who before marrying Terah had been the wife of Intef the Elder, the departed nomarch or governor of the province of Thebes. In a way therefore, Abraham had a bit of legitimacy in Egypt.
Be that as it may, General, to mainstream Egyptians, the Hyksos were usurpers. In time therefore, the name Hyksos was corrupted to Heqa Khasut, a derogatory term meaning “Occupier Rulers”.
What circumstantial evidence do we have that Abraham was indeed an Egyptian Pharaoh at some stage of his pilgrimage in life, General? There are several pointers to that effect but three particularly stand out. The first has to do with his concubine Hagar. The second is hinted in the name-title of his half-sister wife Sarah. The third is suggested by the name change on the part of Abraham himself.
PART-EVIDENCE THAT GENERAL ABE WAS AN EGYPTIAN PHARAOH
The Bible, General, is categorical that Hagar was an Egyptian slave, a clear-cut confirmation that Abraham had a stint in Egypt: he didn’t need an Egyptian woman in Sumer, his traditional base. However, General, we should not take this statement at face-value as it is obviously loaded with prejudice.
The Genesis writers, who were Jews, wanted to denigrate Hagar and therefore diminish her standing in the eyes of posterity given that it was through her that the Arab race, their mortal enemies, arose. It was a case of exalting Isaac, Sarah’s pre-eminent son, and scorning Ishmael, Hagar’s son and the direct progenitor of the Arab race. For the fact of the matter, General, is that Hagar was not a slave: she was part of the Egyptian aristocracy. A Pharaoh, as Abraham was, would never marry a slave.
There were so many beautiful women of high social standing who the monarch Abraham would have chosen from. Thus the idea that Hagar was a slave is pure hogwash. Abraham hitched her with a view to currying political favour with the indigenous Egyptian nobility, whose blessings he desperately needed as an occupying ruler. In antiquity, General, it was typical of kings to marry purely for political and strategic reasons, with King Solomon being an outstanding case in point: he married from practically every nation on the globe.
In GENESIS 17:5, General, we’re told that Abram at long last had his name changed to Abraham, which the Bible defines as “Father of a Multitude”. This was to formally ordain him as the Father of the Nation of Israel. That, however, is the spin. It was not the real or fundamental reason the name was changed. The name change was tactical: it was meant to obscure Abraham’s connection to the throne of northern Egypt.
The subterfuge paid off rather handsomely as even today, very few historians are able to relate the name Pharaoh Mehibre to Abraham. Again because the Genesis writers wanted to sever completely Abraham’s royal connections with Egypt, General, they presented him as a simple Jewish shepherd when he was in fact a royal personage of high pedigree and an iconic military general who conquered the great land of Egypt to boot.
The Egyptologist Ralph Ellis, General, underscores the same point thus: “Pharaoh Mam-Aybre (another rendering of Mehibre) was a Hykso Shepherd-King of Lower (that is, northern) Egypt, but the Israelites later despised the Egyptians and so Mam-Aybre’s pedigree was a bit of an embarrassment. But what should be done about this situation? The simple answer was to change the name Mam-Aybre to Abra-Ham and make him a pastoral ‘shepherd’ instead of a Shepherd-King.”
The Central Bank has by way of its Monetary Policy Statement informed us that the Botswana economy is likely to contract by 8.9 percent over the course of the year 2020.
The IMF paints an even gloomier picture – a shrinkage of the order of 9.6 percent. That translates to just under $2 billion hived off from the overall economic yield given our average GDP of roughly $18 billion a year. In Pula terms, this is about P23 billion less goods and services produced in the country and you and I have a good guess as to what such a sum can do in terms of job creation and sustainability, boosting tax revenue, succouring both recurrent and development expenditure, and on the whole keeping our teeny-weeny economy in relatively good nick.
Joseph’s and Judah’s family lines conjoin to produce lineal seed
Just to recap, General Atiku, the Israelites were not headed for uncharted territory. The Promised Land teemed with Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These nations were not simply going to cut and run when they saw columns of battle-ready Israelites approach: they were going to fight to the death.
Parliament has begun debates on three related Private Members Bills on the conditions of service of members of the Security Sector.
The Bills are Prisons (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Police (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and Botswana Defence Force (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bills seek to amend the three statutes so that officers are placed on full salaries when on interdictions or suspensions whilst facing disciplinary boards or courts of law.
In terms of the Public Service Act, 2008 which took effect in 2010, civil servants who are indicted are paid full salary and not a portion of their emolument. Section 35(3) of the Act specifically provides that “An employee’s salary shall not be withheld during the period of his or her suspension”.
However, when parliament reformed the public service law to allow civil servants to unionize, among other things, and extended the said protection of their salaries, the process was not completed. When the House conferred the benefit on civil servants, members of the disciplined forces were left out by not accordingly amending the laws regulating their employment.
The Bills stated above seeks to ask Parliament to also include members of the forces on the said benefit. It is unfair not to include soldiers or military officers, police officers and prison waders in the benefit. Paying an officer who is facing either external or internal charges full pay is in line with the notion of ei incumbit probation qui dicit, non qui negat or the presumption of innocence; that the burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies.
The officers facing charges, either internal disciplinary or criminal charges before the courts, must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Paying them a portion of their salary is penalty and therefore arbitrary. Punishment by way of loss of income or anything should come as a result of a finding on the guilt by a competent court of law, tribunal or disciplinary board.
What was the rationale behind this reform in 2008 when the Public Service Act was adopted? First it was the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.
The presumption of innocence is the legal principle that one is considered “innocent until proven guilty”. In terms of the constitution and other laws of Botswana, the presumption of innocence is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial, and it is an international human right under the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11.
Withholding a civil servant’s salary because they are accused of an internal disciplinary offense or a criminal offense in the courts of law, was seen as punishment before a decision by a tribunal, disciplinary board or a court of law actually finds someone culpable. Parliament in its wisdom decided that no one deserves this premature punishment.
Secondly, it was considered that people’s lives got destroyed by withholding of financial benefits during internal or judicial trials. Protection of wages is very important for any worker. Workers commit their salaries, they pay mortgages, car loans, insurances, schools fees for children and other things. When public servants were experiencing salary cuts because of interdictions, they lost their homes, cars and their children’s future.
They plummeted into instant destitution. People lost their livelihoods. Families crumbled. What was disheartening was that in many cases, these workers are ultimately exonerated by the courts or disciplinary tribunals. When they are cleared, the harm suffered is usually irreparable. Even if one is reimbursed all their dues, it is difficult to almost impossible to get one’s life back to normal.
There is a reasoning that members of the security sector should be held to very high standards of discipline and moral compass. This is true. However, other more senior public servants such as judges, permanent secretary to the President and ministers have faced suspensions, interdictions and or criminal charges in the courts but were placed on full salaries.
The yardstick against which security sector officers are held cannot be higher than the aforementioned public officials. It just wouldn’t make sense. They are in charge of the security and operate in a very sensitive area, but cannot in anyway be held to higher standards that prosecutors, magistrates, judges, ministers and even senior officials such as permanent secretaries.
Moreover, jail guards, police officers and soldiers, have unique harsh punishments which deter many of them from committing misdemeanors and serious crimes. So, the argument that if the suspension or interdiction with full pay is introduced it would open floodgates of lawlessness is illogical.
Security Sector members work in very difficult conditions. Sometimes this drives them into depression and other emotional conditions. The truth is that many seldom receive proper and adequate counseling or such related therapies. They see horrifying scenes whilst on duty. Jail guards double as hangmen/women.
Detectives attend to autopsies on cases they are dealing with. Traffic police officers are usually the first at accident scenes. Soldiers fight and kill poachers. In all these cases, their minds are troubled. They are human. These conditions also play a part in their behaviors. They are actually more deserving to be paid full salaries when they’re facing allegations of misconduct.
To withhold up to 50 percent of the police, prison workers and the military officers’ salaries during their interdiction or suspensions from work is punitive, insensitive and prejudicial as we do not do the same for other employees employed by the government.
The rest enjoy their full salaries when they are at home and it is for a good reason as no one should be made to suffer before being found blameworthy. The ruling party seems to have taken a position to negate the Bills and the collective opposition argue in the affirmative. The debate have just began and will continue next week Thursday, a day designated for Private Bills.