Journey Unto Shiloh: Part 10
As we saw from my previous articles in this series, the events of August 1998 were bringing everything to a focal point. Strange messages had been resolved, world events were plunging us towards a predetermined path, and reluctantly, I had begun to accept that no matter how far I decided to run, I was not going to escape the tasks assigned to me. However, acceptance did not mean that I necessarily was going to do anything faster, and procrastination is an art form that can be easily mastered if one practices hard enough. Unfortunately, so many of our historical prophets have attempted the same delaying tactics and avoidance techniques that I should have known it wasn’t going to work. It was 2008 and I still had not recognized the existing frequency pattern to my ‘epiphanies’ that involved decreasing intervals by two years from the original start of my revelations. Had I done so, I would have realized that what I had assumed to be clever avoidance on my part was just a false sense of security and I was due for another episode without ever acting on my previous visions. That was a mistake. A very big mistake! The recession hit in 2008 and neither myself nor my business was immune from it. The home front, work situations, family relationships, all began to pale as if the life blood was being sucked from them. Every decision and effort on my part to stem the bleeding was equally met with a countering measure that sank me deeper into the quagmire that was drawing everything into its gaping maw like a black hole. There are times we you have no other choice but to assume you have been cursed as the string of successive disasters seems never ending and you know that there is no longer a natural order of events but instead a massive finger pressing down and grinding you into the dust. It became clear to me that I was being deliberately punished, and I most certainly knew the reason why. My string of good fortune prior to the downturn came about because following 1998 I had made the promise to perform as instructed and accept the mission that had been assigned to me but with successes in other endeavours comes a degree of lethargy and sloth in actually achieving the tasks that suddenly became less important. There was always tomorrow. After all, we have been waiting for the saviour for a couple of thousand years, what would matter if we waited a few more? Clearly, I had brought about this sudden demise in the quality of my life and unless I changed my attitude, things were only going to get steadily worse. As if they could sink any lower than they were! I began to pray harder than I had ever done before. I submitted myself to the tasks, willing to bear the consequences of doing so. I began writing articles, seeing that they got distributed, and beginning this mission of teaching a world that didn’t appreciate that it was standing at the edge of the precipice. I promised to adhere more closely to the laws of the Torah and do whatever I am instructed to do in order to follow in the footsteps of my Lord. I would seek not a smooth path, bearing any burden that fell upon my shoulders. I prayed for forgiveness. I prayed that I would hear His voice once more. I prayed for the silence to end!
WALK WITH ME
“Koom Kahana”, the voice resounded in my head one evening while I sat alone in reflection. The same words that I originally heard way back in 1972 when I experienced my first ‘epiphany’. Those same words that began an entire series of events, which not only identified my heritage but also began me on this journey towards Shiloh’s coming. Then I was asked simply to “walk with Me”. Though I went nowhere physically, in my mind it was if we were strolling leisurely through fields, carefree, as we all have done when we were children without a worry in the world. Though I walked alone, I knew that I was not alone, overwhelmed by a sensation of comfort and well-being that caressed me every step of the way. To those of you that have experienced the ‘calling’ you will know exactly of what I speak. You know of the feelings that tingle through you body and how you wish they would never stop. It is as if you had become part of something bigger, surrounded by physical manifestations of love and affection and for the first time in your life you know that you are not alone and you are part of something far greater. You will never be alone.
Then came the big question, which I must admit I was not prepared for. Even when you’re walking around within the recesses of your own mind, you don’t expect that the Lord would actually start asking you questions as if you were some preschooler. Normally, you think it would be most likely that He would be giving commands and orders, so this new approach I had not anticipated.
“Why do you think it is said that your ancestors did not go back to Jerusalem when they had every opportunity to leave Persia?”
I had never thought about it. I don’t think anyone has ever thought about it. Yet, it is a valid question when you do think about it and one that we as a people should have asked a long time ago. Is there something askew with our interpretation of our return from Babylonian exile? It was also a reaffirmation that I wasn’t talking to myself since it wasn’t a priority question that I had at the top of my list for self-discussion if I had been schizophrenic. It made me think about Ezra and Nehemiah and wonder if what we have passed down to us within the Tanakh is an accurate reflection of events or more of what Ezra wanted us to believe for a particular reason that we no longer appreciated. As some of you may recall, I called into question Ezra’s legislation concerning property and wife issues upon his return in a previous article. The reason for my doubts as to his integrity all had to do with this conversation of 2008 because the Lord had planted this seed of doubt in my mind. Suddenly this historic figure from a related priestly family, whom I looked upon proudly in the past had gone from hero to zero. My first initial reaction was to challenge and say, “They did go back. How else could the House of Phiabi have served in the Temple only to flee back to Parthia when the Romans sacked the city?” Those were established fact in my family’s history and well recorded. For those of you not knowledgeable about the House of Phiabi, he was the founding father of one of the four priestly families that finally replaced the Hasmoneans that had usurped the authority. Living around 100 BCE, Phiabi was the son of Eleazar, the son of Eliud, the son of Achim, the son of Sadok, the son of Eliakim, the son of Matitah, the son of Eleazar, the son of Onias, the son of Juddua, the son of Jonathan, the son of Hilkiah, the son of Asahel (Elias), the son of Judas, the son of Elishib, the son of Joacim, the son of Jeshua. For those now looking in their books of Ezra and Nehemiah, that is the Jeshua, who returned at the time that Cyrus the great released the Jews from exile in Persia, in 558 BCE. You need to remember this list as it becomes crucially important in the discussions to follow.
I don’t think one can actually say that the Almighty was laughing but it did seem that he was having a private joke at my expense. He finished our conversation by saying, “Does not Ezra the Scribe claim that there was a shortage of priests that returned with him from Persia? Read all that is written by he and Nehemia and I will give you eyes by which to see all that truly happened.”
The list of names from Jeshua to Phiabi, I realized should not have been. As we read in Ezra Chapter 9, Jonathan, son of Asahel, actually his grandson as you can see from my list (often we used the reference of son to a more illustrious grandparent) defied Ezra and refused to bow to his will for which he was stripped of power and most likely executed as I’ll discuss later. That being the case, then how did the House of Phiabi ever come into existence. For the first time I read the Book of Ezra, for what it really was about, noticing all the incongruities, the intentional errors, the misrepresentation of facts. It is not something they will teach you in either the Rabbanite or the Karaite schools. Both have mistakenly accepted the book as is without ever looking deeper. But with these new eyes that the Lord had given me, I could see it all!
EXODUSES FROM PERSIA
What would you do in my situation? Obviously, I had been asked the question in order to make me look deeper into all that Ezra had described and search for the actual truth of events. When the Almighty asks you to do something, as I had already learned from my downward spiral from the previous year, you don’t refuse a heavenly instruction. Ever! Of course, I had no reason to doubt the version of my instructor as He guided me through each chapter, which I mulled it over and truthfully images suddenly popped into view, like a movie running within my mind, exactly as He said they would. I could see things that I had never seen before regarding Ezra’s mistelling of events. Question after question filled me with doubt of his veracity and most notably his concealment of what was really happening. It was so obvious and yet none have ever seen it before or even raised the most benign of questions that would express doubt. Why had my teachers never pointed it out? Surely, they could have seen it too, couldn’t they? Right from the first chapter events weren’t stacking up either historically or methodically. They were twisted, convoluted, intentionally misleading. There was not one departure from Persia but in fact at least two. Possibly even three when we read Nehemiah. Separated by a hundred years and each with the same purpose: to resurrect the priesthood and regain control over the hearts and minds of the people. But why would a second be necessary if the first had been led by the true and rightful heirs of the family of Aaron. Was there an ulterior motive on Ezra’s part? Who was he any way? He says he was the son of Seraiah but that would be a little difficult since Seraiah lived around the beginning of the 6th century BCE and Ezra wouldn’t have been born until about the beginning of the 5th. Unless Seraiah was still maintaining an active sex life at the age of 100, it wouldn’t be possible. We do know that Seraiah had two sons, Jehoiadah and Meraiah but neither of these are mentioned by Ezra as being his ancestors. Seeing an issue here, I made inquiries from some Rabbinic experts for an explanation. The best I received was that Ezra was the son of Meshullum, who in turn was the son of another Ezra who was the son of Seraiah. This would account for the time frames but would not explain why other registers make no mention of Seraiah having a son named Ezra along with his two other sons, nor why this Ezra when recording his history would forget that he was the second Ezra in the family, not the first. Perhaps when you are a scribe, in charge of all the community documents, you can take some liberties when recording your family’s genealogical charts. I’m not saying that Ezra couldn’t be whom he claims to be, only that from his very first line I had my suspicions now that my eyes had been opened.
By his own words he admits there was fighting that occurred upon his arrival in Judea. He had arrived with not only enough gold and silver to bribe his way through the local officials but with letters from King Artaxerxes that said he was to be given full cooperation by the local governors and that he had been invested with the authority to order executions of any and all that resisted him. What should be obvious is that he was leading a coup, a purge of the first priesthood that had returned in the days of Cyrus, 100 years earlier, and he had the authority to do it by force of arms. The proof is in his own writing which I will point out in the next article. This intentional replacement of the priests that had returned with Jeshua and were the legitimate heirs to the high priesthood were an immediate concern to me. It was one of the primary reasons I decided to have my own DNA tested for what they call the Cohen Modal Haplotype that was being paraded around by scientists the likes of Hammer, claiming that it was evidence of primary descendancy from Aaron. My results were J2a4h, which is described as a secondary priestly line, not equivalent to the touted J1e line that is proposed as evidence of this true descendancy. What these pseudo scientific historians won’t explain is how those with my haplotype have a proven history going back 4000 years, (time of Levi the Patriarch) whereas the J1e’s can only be traced back 2500 years (time of Ezra). That alone was proof that Ezra, this Master Scribe, had juggled the books and replaced the true heirs of Aaron with certain families of his own selection. But more importantly, what had happened to those lineages that had returned in this first exodus from Persia in 558 BCE, and why are our numbers today merely a fraction of this secondary and inferior J1e line? By examination of the recorded history in both Ezra and Nehemiah, we returned numbering more than 4000. How is it that we were now the minority frequency as determined by the genotyping? Why is it that Ezra would make mention in the Book of Nehemiah that he could not find enough Priest and Levites to fill all the positions and had to requisition members of lesser families. Where had all of them gone from this earlier Persian Exodus?
WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHILDREN GONE
We only have to look at the opening lines of the Book of Ezra to recognize that he has telescoped two different stories, separated by a hundred years and four Kings of Persia to realize that he was purposely rewriting history. Our history! This was not accidental but done with purpose and intent, not a careless handling of historical documents by a reputable Scribe. The same is true when we approach the Book of Nehemiah Chapter 7 onwards and realize that we have either ghosts and spectres standing alongside both Ezra and Nehemiah as the scribe reads the Torah to the congregation of Israel, or else some of the people identified as being present were living out lifespans in the order of two or three hundred years. There is even doubt as to whether Nehemiah was actually there to share the podium as described, once we recognize that he did not return to Jerusalem until 13 years after Ezra had made the journey back to the homeland. This would imply that the Scribe had waited all that time before bothering to address the people or read the Torah aloud to them. Somehow, I doubt this very much. From what we read about Ezra in his own words, he does not impress me as the kind of person that would procrastinate on an issue as important as this for such a long time. Especially since it all had to do with his enforcement of the laws to separate the men from their foreign wives and the children they produced, not to mention the establishment of a priesthood and government that was totally loyal and obedient to his will.
It had become clearly evident as I read the books closely that something was definitely amiss. The Lord did open my eyes to all the incongruities, the impossibilities and the panoply of events began to unfold rapidly as the meanings and occurrences hidden behind the Scribe’s words unravelled. I’ve already bent your ears for a considerable length of time and this article is becoming exceedingly long. I will save the full investigation into the events of that time until the next chapter in this series. For many, I believe it will not only surprise you but shock you as well. Not until receiving my instruction from above in 2008 to review all that I studied regarding our return to the land of Israel after our exile in Babylon did I realize how we as a people have been manipulated, misguided, and separated from our true path to God. Those in positions of power have abused their privileges, changed the course of our history and in many ways caused our demise as a nation. There was a specific reason why the Lord insisted I understand this and recognize exactly what had occurred in the fifth century BCE. It impacted directly on everything we believe today, who we are currently, and how we will find our way back to that road that leads us on our journey unto Shiloh.
Until the next article, let me leave us here with the thought that not all words come from God. Often the words of men have twisted that which is true and honourable. Even my Karaite brethren have relied too heavily on accepting all that is written as being infallible. When it comes to the Tanakh they must recognize that these are books written by men with specific purposes. History is written by the victors and that translates as those with power. Men of power are always easily corrupted as I will demonstrate as we journey further into the content of these two books.
Avrom Aryeh-Zuk Kahana