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 past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.
It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.
Youngest Maccabees scion Jonathan takes over after Judas and leads for 18 years
Going hand-in-glove with the politics at play in Judea in the countdown to the AD era, General Atiku, was the contention for the priesthood. You will be aware, General, that politics and religion among the Jews interlocked. If there wasn’t a formal and sovereign Jewish King, there of necessity had to be a High Priest at any given point in time.
Initially, every High Priest was from the tribe of Levi as per the stipulation of the Torah. At some stage, however, colonisers of Judah imposed their own hand-picked High Priests who were not ethnic Levites. One such High Priest was Menelaus of the tribe of Benjamin.
Parliament has rejected a motion by Leader of Opposition (LOO) calling for the reversing of the recent appointments of ruling party activists to various Land Boards across the country. The motion also called for the appointment of young and qualified Batswana with tertiary education qualifications.
The ruling party could not allow that motion to be adopted for many reasons discussed below. Why did the LOO table this motion? Why was it negated? Why are Land Boards so important that a ruling party felt compelled to deploy its functionaries to the leadership and membership positions?
Prior to the motion, there was a LOO parliamentary question on these appointments. The Speaker threw a spanner in the works by ruling that availing a list of applicants to determine who qualified and who didn’t would violate the rights of those citizens. This has completely obliterated oversight attempts by Parliament on the matter.
How can parliament ascertain the veracity of the claim without the names of applicants? The opposition seeks to challenge this decision in court. It would also be difficult in the future for Ministers and government officials to obey instructions by investigative Parliamentary Committees to summon evidence which include list of persons. It would be a bad precedent if the decision is not reviewed and set aside by the Business Advisory Committee or a Court of law.
Prior to independence, Dikgosi allocated land for residential and agricultural purposes. At independence, land tenures in Botswana became freehold, state land and tribal land. Before 1968, tribal land, which is land belonging to different tribes, dating back to pre-independence, was allocated and administered by Dikgosi under Customary Law. Dikgosi are currently merely ‘land overseers’, a responsibility that can be delegated. Land overseers assist the Land Boards by confirming the vacancy or availability for occupation of land applied for.
Post-independence, the country was managed through modern law and customary law, a system developed during colonialism. Land was allocated for agricultural purposes such as ploughing and grazing and most importantly for residential use. Over time some land was allocated for commercial purpose. In terms of the law, sinking of boreholes and development of wells was permitted and farmers had some rights over such developed water resources.
Land Boards were established under Section 3 of the Tribal Land Act of 1968 with the intention to improve tribal land administration. Whilst the law was enacted in 1968, Land Boards started operating around 1970 under the Ministry of Local Government and Lands which was renamed Ministry of Lands and Housing (MLH) in 1999. These statutory bodies were a mechanism to also prune the powers of Dikgosi over tribal land. Currently, land issues fall under the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services.
There are 12 Main Land Boards, namely Ngwato, Kgatleng, Tlokweng, Tati, Chobe, Tawana, Malete, Rolong, Ghanzi, Kgalagadi, Kweneng and Ngwaketse Land Boards. The Tribal Land Act of 1968 as amended in 1994 provides that the Land Boards have the powers to rescind the grant of any rights to use any land, impose restrictions on land usage and facilitate any transfer or change of use of land.
Some land administration powers have been decentralized to sub land boards. The devolved powers include inter alia common law and customary law water rights and land applications, mining, evictions and dispute resolution. However, decisions can be appealed to the land board or to the Minister who is at the apex.
So, land boards are very powerful entities in the country’s local government system. Membership to these institutions is important not only because of monetary benefits of allowances but also the power of these bodies. in terms of the law, candidates for appointment to Land Boards or Subs should be residents of the tribal areas where appointments are sought, be holders of at least Junior Certificate and not actively involved in politics. The LOO contended that ruling party activists have been appointed in the recent appointments.
He argued that worse, some had no minimum qualifications required by the law and that some are not inhabitants of the tribal or sub tribal areas where they have been appointed. It was also pointed that some people appointed are septuagenarians and that younger qualified Batswana with degrees have been rejected.
Other arguments raised by the opposition in general were that the development was not unusual. That the ruling party is used to politically motivated appointments in parastatals, civil service, diplomatic missions, specially elected councilors and Members of Parliament (MPs), Bogosi and Land Boards. Usually these positions are distributed as patronage to activists in return for their support and loyalty to the political leadership and the party.
The ruling party contended that when the Minister or the Ministry intervened and ultimately appointed the Land Boards Chairpersons, Deputies and members , he didn’t have information, as this was not information required in the application, on who was politically active and for that reason he could not have known who to not appoint on that basis. They also argued that opposition activists have been appointed to positions in the government.
The counter argument was that there was a reason for the legal requirement of exclusion of political activists and that the government ought to have mechanisms to detect those. The whole argument of “‘we didn’t know who was politically active” was frivolous. The fact is that ruling party activists have been appointed. The opposition also argued that erstwhile activists from their ranks have been recruited through positions and that a few who are serving in public offices have either been bought or hold insignificant positions which they qualified for anyway.
Whilst people should not be excluded from public positions because of their political activism, the ruling party cannot hide the fact that they have used public positions to reward activists. Exclusion of political activists may be a violation of fundamental human or constitutional rights. But, the packing of Land Boards with the ruling party activists is clear political corruption. It seeks to sow divisions in communities and administer land in a politically biased manner.
It should be expected that the ruling party officials applying for land or change of land usage etcetera will be greatly assisted. Since land is wealth, the ruling party seeks to secure resources for its members and leaders. The appointments served to reward 2019 election primary and general elections losers and other activists who have shown loyalty to the leadership and the party.
Running a country like this has divided it in a way that may be difficult to undo. The next government may decide to reset the whole system by replacing many of government agencies leadership and management in a way that is political. In fact, it would be compelled to do so to cleanse the system.
The opposition is also pondering on approaching the courts for review of the decision to appoint party functionaries and the general violation of clearly stated terms of reference. If this can be established with evidence, the courts can set aside the decision on the basis that unqualified people have been appointed.
The political activism aspect may also not be difficult to prove as some of these people are known activists who are in party structures, at least at the time of appointment, and some were recently candidates. There is a needed for civil society organizations such as trade unions and political parties to fight some of these decisions through peaceful protests and courts.