Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nefertiti as "Semiramis"


An Attempt to Make Sense of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich’s Queen “Semiramis”


The AMAIC is taking great inspiration from the life and apostolate of German mystic, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, and her most intriguing and detailed accounts of Old and New Testament characters and events. Some of these persons are extremely well known, but others are not, with some of them seeming to be quite mystifying.

In response to a reader’s question as to the identity of Anne Catherine Emmerich’s “Semiramis”, an ancient queen of most evil disposition, I (Damien Mackey) submit the following for consideration: In the German mystic’s The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations, one finds an entire section (9. SEMIRAMIS) dedicated to this most notorious of queens. Who was she? Anne Catherine’s description of “Semiramis” is quite detailed. And so it could easily be believed that the mystic had really seen in vision this ancient queen, from when the latter was a child (and even then under Satanic influence, apparently), down to the queen’s violent death. But, though always extremely interesting to read, her account is also usually way too general for one to form from it any positive historical scenario on its own. As in the case of her “Job”, Anne Catherine locates her “Semiramis” very early in biblical history, to approximately the Babel era. She has the queen contemporaneous with a “Melchisedech” (10. MELCHISEDECH), who did indeed belong to the era of Babel if he were - as according to Jewish legend (and I fully accept this) - the great Shem, son of Noah. And once again, as in the case of Job, I think that her chronology here might be completely awry. For example, Anne Catherine’s “Melchisedech” seems to be quite anachronistic, as if he should really post-date Moses, who was in turn more than half a millennium after Babel. For her “Melchisedech” - who she thinks, along with some traditions, was an angelic being - apparently wore priestly robes just like those that Moses had “afterward ordained” for the priests. Thus: 10. MELCHISEDECH I have often seen Melchisedech, but never as a human being. I have always seen him as a being of another nature, as an angel, as one sent by God. .... His robes were such as Moses, upon the command of God, afterward ordained the priestly vestments should be. .... This information about the ‘priestly robes’ might help us to re-locate Anne Catherine’s “Melchisedech” right away from the era of Babel and even beyond Moses. And, with it, help us also to re-locate “Semiramis”, since, as we also read, she was his contemporary who had fancied marrying this same “Melchisedech” (strongly suggesting, too, that he was a real man rather than an angel): Thus I saw Melchisedech at the court of Semiramis in Babylon, where she reigned with indescribable grandeur and magnificence. .... Semiramis received Melchisedech with great reverence. She secretly dreaded him on account of his wisdom. .... She fancied that he might perhaps woo her for his bride. But he spoke to her sternly, reproached her with her cruelty, and foretold to her the destruction of her pyramid at Memphis. .... Here we have the Babylonian and Egyptian (“pyramid at Memphis”) connection, consonant with the Greco-Roman legends about “Semiramis”, a queen of immense power and influence, and cruelty, who was said to have ruled both Babylon and Egypt. Presumably this legendary figure is basically the same person as the “Semiramis” attested by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. The New Historical Context To keep it simple here (I have already, in various articles, examined and discussed these matters in some detail), I am going to propose a re-location in time of Anne Catherine’s whole scenario pertaining to her “Melchisedech” and “Semiramis” down to the C9th BC, approximately 1300 years from Babel. We know from history that there was in fact an historical queen, Semiramis (or Sammuramat), who was the wife of the C9th BC Assyrian king, Shamsi-Adad V (c. 825 BC), who also ruled Babylon. While this recorded information provides us with what I believe to have been basically the true historical era for “Semiramis”, very little is actually known from the Assyrian records, at least, about this queen. Certainly nothing to warrant her being the notorious “Semiramis” of the various legends. Turning to the Bible (since all of Blessed Anne Catherine’s significant characters are biblical), the stand-out queen by far for her “Semiramis”, now in the C9th BC, is undoubtedly Queen Jezebel, the ‘baddest’ woman in the entire Old Testament (with also a New Testament ‘reincarnation’ apparently, in Revelation 2:20). She, Jezebel, though localised to just Israel in the Old Testament account (quite typical of the biblical scribes), was also, I have argued, the same person as the even more famous Queen Nefertiti of Egypt. And though the text books would have this Nefertiti preceding Jezebel by some 500 years, we know, thanks to the research of Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky, Ages in Chaos I (who got this part of his revision right), that the supposed ‘C14th BC’ era of Nefertiti actually belonged to the C9th BC. On this fortuitous Velikovskian foundation I was able to reconstruct the life of the notorious queen and of her many famous contemporaries in an article, “THE SHATTERING FALL OF QUEEN NEFERTITI”. It is this potent partnering, JEZEBEL-NEFERTITI, that is, I suggest, the foundation for Anne Catherine’s “Semiramis”. And certainly that would account for the Egyptian aspect of the legends, upon which I have most concentrated. (But the Babylonian aspect will also come under consideration). Her “Melchisedech” would now basically be the (similarly mysterious as Melchizedech) prophet Elijah, a post-Moses priest. The ‘shattering fall’ here refers, not just to the queen’s fall from grace, but to her actual mode of death. In a rivetting account, so vivid that commentators think it must be based upon eye-witness observation, General Jehu, anointed at the command of Elijah to wipe out Baalism from the land, having disposed of the King of Israel, Jehoram, now comes after the mother, Jezebel (2 Kings 9:30-37). This most zealous reformer, Jehu, had been recognised as he had ridden towards Jehoram by his frenetic chariot driving (prompting a modern band to name itself Driving Like Jehu). The king’s sentinel had exclaimed: ‘It looks like the driving of Jehu ... for he drives like a maniac’ (9:20). Jezebel fully knew what was in store for her. The proud queen put on her make-up, “she painted her eyes” with Egyptian black kohl eye-liner (as clearly seen in Nefertiti’s famous bust), and looked out of the palace window, saying defiantly. ‘Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?’ ‘Zimri’ here is thought to represent a taunt against Jehu, by likening him to a previous general who had slain his king and had seized the crown. But I have argued elsewhere that Jehu was Zimri. ‘Throw her down’, was Jehu’s terse command. And the queen’s eunuchs obeyed. “So they threw her down; some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, which trampled on her … when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands …”. Jehu then calmly went inside “and ate and drank”. Knowing the distinctive manner of Jezebel’s death (Nefertiti’s is unknown), thrown down, trampled upon, and her body parts eaten by dogs, I was eager (following this identification) to read through to what Anne Catherine had said, if at all, concerning the death of her “Semiramis”. If “Semiramis” had, for instance, died in her sleep, or had been poisoned, my reconstruction would have been in trouble. I found to my satisfaction that the mystic’s account, though brief, was quite compatible with what is recorded in 2 Kings. She says: She came at last to a frightful end, her intestines being torn from her body. Now, taking certain key points about “Semiramis” from Anne Catherine Emmerich, I shall try to fit these into a C9th BC context. Her parents: The mother of Semiramis was born in the region of Ninive [Nineveh]. Outwardly demur, in secret she was cruel and dis¬solute. The father of Semiramis was a native of Syria and, like her mother, sunk in the most detestable idolatry. He was put to death after the child's birth, his murder being in some way connected with, or in consequence of their divinations. If “Semiramis” were Nefertiti, then her mother was the formidable Queen Tuya. Her husband (though not Nefertiti’s father, but his son, as I think) was Yuya, who was in fact the king of Babylon. More on him later. Blessed Anne Catherine goes on to say where “Semiramis” was born, at Ashkelon (Ascalon) in coastal Palestine: Semiramis was born ... at Ascalon ... and then taken by pagan priests to some shepherds in a wilderness. She spent much of her time during her childhood alone on a mountain. I saw ... the devil under various forms playing with her ... I saw near her birds of brilliant plumage. They brought her all kinds of curious toys. [Ravens would bring food to Jezebel’s contemporary and foe, Elijah (1 Kings 17:4, 6)]. I do not remember all that went on connected with her, but it was the most horrible idolatry. She was beautiful, full of intelligence and seductive arts, and everything succeeded with her. This “Semiramis” married more than once apparently: In obedience to certain divinations, she became the wife of one of the chief shepherds of the King of Babylon, and later on she married the King himself. .... Semiramis returning home from Africa after one of her hunting or military expeditions, went to Egypt. Semiramis was very highly honored in Egypt where, by her intrigues and diabolical arts, she greatly contributed to the spread of idolatry. I saw her in Memphis, where human sacrifices were common, plotting and practicing magic and astrology. It was Semiramis who here planned the first pyramid; it was built on the eastern bank of the Nile .... The whole nation had to assist at its construc¬tion. When it was completed, I saw Semiramis again jour¬neying thither with about two hundred followers. It was for the consecration of the building. .... Semiramis was honored almost as a divinity. Queen Nefertiti was so honoured in Egypt in fact that some think that she was regarded there as a goddess, even during her lifetime. The pyramid happened to be constructed on marshy ground; consequently a foundation of stupendous pillars was built for it. It was like an immense broad bridge. The pyramid was raised upon it. .... This building was the real center of Egyptian idolatry, astrology, witchcraft, and abominable impurity. Here children and the aged were offered in sacrifice. .... Astrologers and necromancers ... there had their diabolical visions. Near the baths was im¬mense machinery for purifying the muddy waters of the Nile. The baths witnessed the most infamous horrors of idol worship. I saw later on Egyptian women practicing the greatest abominations in them. This pyramid did not long exist; it was destroyed. .... In keeping with her early (Babel-ian) scenario, Blessed Anne Catherine has “Semiramis” creating the first pyramid of Egypt. Here, on the face of it, her account, chronologically, is wildly erratic. “Semiramis” was, according to my reconstruction, of Egypt’s 18th dynasty era; pyramid building had begun 900 years earlier with the 3rd dynasty, when Joseph (Imhotep) had built the Step Pyramid at Saqqara: what I have called a material icon of his father Jacob’s vision of “a stairway ... reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it” (Genesis 28:12). However, Akhnaton and Nefertiti built in different parts of Egypt, and they may have built their own pyramid near Memphis, later destroyed when the reaction against the Aton heresy kicked in (see next paragraph). A possible source of further confusion is the fact that there was a fort named “Babylon” in the eastern part of the Nile (where Coptic Cairo is today). This may be where was built the “pyramid” to which Anne Catherine was referring. The ancient historian Ctesias does date this “Babylon” to the time of Semiramis. Akhnaton and Nefertiti had also established the brand new city of Akhet-aton (modern Tell El-Amarna) where indeed there had been no former buildings. The virgin site had been ‘revealed by the Aton [or Sun Disc] himself’, and was to be called Akhet-aton (‘Horizon of the Sun Disc’). But this city “did not long exist; it was destroyed” by Horemheb (whom I have identified as Jehu) and his fellow reformers. The latter attempted to erase all trace of this heretic régime. Pharaoh Akhnaton is, despite his oddness, considered by many, since Sigmund Freud wrote of him in “Moses and Monotheism” (1939), to have been “the world’s first monotheist”, possibly even Moses himself (but an Egyptian, not a Hebrew). In the new context that I am proposing, he was instead an idolatrous worshipper of the Aton, the Sun’s Disc, and married to Jezebel, a fervent worshipper of Baal (Aton). Anne Catherine tells of “Semiramis” having been married twice. I had previously estimated that she (as Jezebel) had married king Ahab of Israel, and had then, after Ahab’s death in battle (I Kings 22:34-37), gone to Egypt, where she (as Nefertiti) had married pharaoh Amenhotep III ‘the Magnificent’ for that king’s last few years, and had then married Akhnaton himself. The Egyptians named her ‘NEFERTITI’, “The Beautiful Woman has Come”. More recently I have streamlined this marriage sequence view. I now think that Akhnaton was the wicked Ahab himself, a most powerful king (e.g. I Kings 20:29) who (as I believe) had come to rule even Egypt. His queen, as the biblical Jezebel, had certainly “contributed to the spread of idolatry”, as Anne Catherine says of “Semiramis”, Jezebel being the goad for her husband, Ahab. “Indeed there was no one like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the Lord, urged on by his wife Jezebel” (1 Kings 21:25). Why would she not have done the same in Egypt? And still persecuting the prophets? (18:4, 13). Indeed, it has often been suggested that Nefertiti was really the one urging on Akhnaton in his strange ways. But, according to the German mystic, “Semiramis” lived to be 107. So it is possible that, even before that, she had been married to the King of Babylon. Her brother, Yuya, I have identified with Ahab’s great foe, the Syrian king Ben-Hadad (20:1). He ruled both Assyria and Babylon, the latter as Kadashman-Enlil, who - as we learn from the famous ‘El-Amarna letters’ of this era - traded women with Pharaoh Amenhotep III for Egyptian gold. The C9th BC Semiramis mentioned earlier, married to Shamsi-adad V (the son of Burnaburiash, according to the revision, i.e. the ‘C14th’ enfleshed in the C9th), was probably a generation too late for Nefertiti. But she could perhaps have been Nefertiti’s oldest daughter, Meritaten, referred to (as is thought) by Burnaburiash in El-Amarna letter 11, as Shalmaiati. So the classical “Semiramis” may even be a fusion of Nefertiti and Meritaten. This is only surmise. However, I am going to suggest below that Amenhotep III also ruled Babylon. The Babylon of this era cannot yet be properly excavated, owing to the high level of the sub-surface water-table. This was the Kassite era of Babylon (or ‘Karduniash’), when kings of Indo-European background had ruled there. Admittedly, the Bible refers to Ben-Hadad (= Kadasman-Enlil) as ‘Syrian’ (as Anne Catherine also says of the father of “Semiramis”), but this I think was a geographical, not ethnic designation. These people appear to have had Indo-European origins, thus accounting for their ‘northern’ appearance, including the classical (some say Greek) appearance of Queen Nefertiti herself. Only one woman was notable enough to have figured in the worldwide El-Amarna correspondence. She was Baalat-neše (baalat being the feminine of Baal). Inverted, her name is Neše-baal[at] - so could this be Jeze-baal (Jezebel)? Like Jezebel, this Baalat-neše wrote official letters and (Jezebel) used the king’s seal (I Kings 21:8). During this terrible régime of Ahab and Jezebel, the king’s palace official, Obadiah, who “revered the Lord greatly”, had hidden the prophets in caves to save them from Queen Jezebel (18:3-4). I have tentatively identified this Obadiah with Jehu’s aide, Bidkar, in Jehu’s frenetic chariot (II Kings 9:25). Obadiah attests to Elijah’s elusiveness: ‘The spirit of the Lord will carry you I know not where’ (I Kings 18:12). So it is plausible that the prophet may have bobbed up, like Anne Catherine’s “Melchisedech”, now in Babylon, now in Egypt. An ageing Nefertiti The scenario that is developing is that, like Blessed Anne Catherine’s “Semiramis”, the major historical characters of this period were also notable biblical personages: Kadashman-Enlil was Ben-Hadad; Queen Nefertiti was Jezebel; Pharaoh Akhnaton was King Ahab; Horemheb was Jehu; {Atonism was Baalism} And Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned for about 40 years, was likely King Asa of Judah of the same approximate reign length. Asa was basically a good king (though with some ambivalence, I Kings 15:14), and so God blessed him with prosperity and power. “Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah, armed with large shields and spears, and 280,000 from Benjamin who carried shields and drew bows; all these were mighty warriors” (2 Chronicles 14:8). Early in his reign, Asa defeated a force of 1 million Ethiopians and Libyans (2 Chronicles 14:9-15; 16:8). So did Amenhotep III defeat a huge force of Libyans/Ethiopians, taking 30,000 captives. According to Joann Fletcher’s account of this (Egypt’s Sun King. Amenhotep III, Duncan Baird Publishers, 2000, p. 44): In the fifth year of his rule Amenhotep crushed a rebellion …. Aged 16, Amenhotep triumphed in what proved to be the only major military encounter in his reign of almost 40 years. Egyptian troops led by Amenhotep and his viceroy Merymose defeated the rebel forces of Kush [Ethiopia], Irem, Tiurek, and Weretj (or Weresh), taking 30,000 prisoners. His victory was commemorated on three stelae at Aswan and on Sai island in Sudan ... and fragmentary stela at Semna …. Thanks to these Egyptian records, we can now date this victory of his, as Asa, to his 5th year. Amenhotep III is also thought to have been married to the formidable Queen Tiy (Tiye) from early in his reign. Queen Tiy However, it is my recent view that two ‘pharaohs Amenhotep’, III and IV (the latter being Akhnaton), may have been confused here by the Egyptologists, and that it was, instead, Akhnaton who had married Tiy early in his reign, and that Tiy was Nefertiti herself. The name Tiy is considered to have been an abbreviation of a longer name, such as, for instance, Neferti-ti[ye]. Indeed, Queen Tiy fades from the historical scene at the very same time, and just as mysteriously, as does Nefertiti. Speaking of the Egyptologists, and their misconceptions, Blessed Anne Catherine has this wonderful crack at the Egyptology of her day (then still in its infancy): The scholars ... who write about Egypt are in gross error. They accept so many things concerning the Egyptians as history ... which nevertheless have no other foundation than astrology and false visions. That any nation could remain as stupid and beastly as the Egyptians is a proof of it. But these savants reject such demoniacal inspirations and practices as im¬possible. They esteem the Egyptians more ancient than they really are, because ... they appear to have possessed such knowledge of abstruse and hidden things. .... Since Tiy is known to have been the mother of Akhnaton, then my new scenario would seem, most controversially, to strengthen Velikovsky’s conclusion (in Oedipus and Ikhnaton, 1960) that Akhnaton had married his own mother (the tragic Jocasta of the Greek legends). Akhnaton is depicted hand in hand with Tiy. As (or if) Asa, Amenhotep III would have been a descendant of king Solomon, whom he resembled in his power and his wealth. If Solomon were also Hammurabi of Babylon, as I have argued, then so ought Amenhotep III have been a ruler of Babylon (pre-Kassite era). Before Tiy/Nefertiti married him, she must therefore have been married to Ahab’s father, Omri, a one-time servant of the king of Judah (I Kings 16:17?) (one of the chief shepherds of the King of Babylon), who became king of Israel. Omri may be Amenhotep III’s commander and viceroy, Merymose. Amenhotep III’s brief marriage to Nefertiti/Tiy in his last few years could well explain why this otherwise good king, Asa, had gone off the rails right at the end. He suffered a disease in his feet, and he turned to physicians (presumably magicians or wizards), and not to God (2 Chronicles 16:12) as he had done in the case of the Ethiopian and Libyan war, and, when chided by a prophet, he persecuted him, and he “inflicted cruelties on some of the people at the same time” (16:10). Cruelty was the trademark of “Semiramis”. And his marrying Nefertiti/Tiy would also explain why Atonism had begun to raise its ugly head even during his reign. Amenhotep III’s dominance also of Egypt and Babylon would be amongst those “the rest of the acts of Asa, all his power, all that he did, and the cities that he built ...” elsewhere recorded (I Kings 15:23), that the biblical scribe does not bother to detail. Akhnaton and Nefertiti were complete exhibitionists. Egyptian art quite lost its dignity at this time, often descending to the grotesque and cartoonish. Akhnaton was portrayed in distorted form (perhaps what he really looked like, with so much in-breeding going on), and sometimes Nefertiti accommodated this, by being depicted likewise, she and her children. Was there some magic connected with this? Queen Nefertiti (Queen Tiy) is also represented in a smiting scene, smiting a female captive. This is considered by Egyptologists to be only figurative. Perhaps not. Tiy is the first to have been depicted as a sphinx in female form - and vicious at that. Ahab and Jezebel despised the prophet Elijah, but they were also cautious of him. Jezebel outright persecuted him at one point, so that he had to flee for his life (I Kings 19:2-3). And similarly were evildoers apparently overawed by Blessed Anne Catherine’s “Melchisedech”, whom they nonetheless also criticised: Wherever [Melchisedech] appeared ... he exercised an irresistible influence by his mere presence. No one opposed him, and yet he never resorted to harsh measures; even the idolaters cheerfully accepted his decisions .... Although the wicked found fault with him, yet they humbled themselves in his presence. .... A similar respect, awe, can be found for Elijah, even by Ahab (1 Kings 19:41-42), who sometimes obeyed, but still hated, Elijah (18:17). Once after “Melchisedech” had sternly reprimanded her, “Semiramis” suffered a temporary insanity: Semiramis grew speechless from terror .... She became like a beast. She was for a long time penned up, and they cast to her in derision grass and straw in a manger; only one servant was faithful to her and furnished her with food. She was freed from the chastisement, but she carried on her disorders anew. .... The queen does in fact, as Jezebel, disappear completely from the biblical scene for the 12 years from the death of Ahab to her re-emergence in Israel at the death of Ahab’s son, Jehoram, when she herself will be slain. Her crushing death at the hands of General Jehu at Jezreel was depicted by the latter’s alter ego in Egyptian history, Horemheb, who turned upside down the talatat blocks in one of Nefertiti’s shrines, and slashed the Aton’s rays across the fingertips, eliciting this comment from R. Winfield Smith: “It is certain that the queen was held in contempt by those responsible for this undignified treatment. To turn a beautiful female upside-down, to slash her viciously, and to place her where she would be symbolically crushed by the enormous weight of massive, soaring walls, can hardly be explained otherwise” (as quoted by J. Tyldesley, Nefertiti, Penguin, 1998, p, 60). Jehu-Horemheb has thereby left a testimony for posterity, in Egypt, of the death of Nefertiti-Jezebel, that he himself had witnessed before the “massive, soaring walls” of the palace at Jezreel in Israel. The queen was thrown down from the window. As Nefertiti, she had often displayed herself at the “Window of Appearance” in Akhet-aton, to be admired by the throngs below. But as far as Jehu-Horemheb was concerned, she was a creature of “whoredoms and sorceries” (2 Kings 9:22). Egyptologists like Joann Fletcher can cease searching for the mummy of Nefertiti, because there would be no mummification for the evil queen as the biblical Jezebel. There could not be, as there was nothing left of her. Sic transit gloria mundi.

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