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KING OF KINGS

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Asar Imhotep

The MOCHA-Versity Institute of Philosophy and Research

luntu/lumtu/muntu

KING OF KINGS
Yeshua is known as the “King of Kings” throughout the Christian world (Rev. 17:14, 19:16). The question now becomes, was he a king because he actually lived and was revered as a king among the ancient Hebrews? Or is the title of King associated with Yeshua because part of his name belongs to a common root that the creators of the myth utilized to help facilitate his narrative? My vote is for the latter. Both Eṣu and Wsr in the Yorùbá and Egyptian traditions respectively are associated with royalty as either a prince and/or king. The root of their names, when referring to their royal status, derives from roots that deal with “commanding” and “authority.” It is my contention that the root of each name (Yeshua, Eṣu, and Wsr) is how we would pronounce in Yorùbá, àṣẹ. Àṣẹ: a coming to pass; law; command; authority; commandment; enjoinment; imposition; power; precept; discipline; instruction; cannon; biding; document; virtue; effect; consequence; imprecation.1 Àṣẹ is “the power to make things happen” and can be gleaned from analyzing all of the terms above. This term is cognate with Egyptian SA “to read, to authorize, to determine, to decree, to allot, to design, to ordain, to commission;” SA.t “something decreed, ordained by God; dues, revenues, taxes, impost;” SaA “the source of life, to begin;” SA.t “the goddess of primeval matter.” In Africa, it is the queen who gives legitimacy to the king. In other words, it is through the woman that a man becomes king. We have already mentioned before that Wsr and Ast are two sides to the same coin: the masculine and feminine to the same concept. In Coptic Ast is pronounced Ese which is close to the Yorùbá àṣẹ. This root can be seen in the following languages (derived from the Afro-Asiatic swh root): The -s- root of power
Hebrew To come to pass swh Yorùbá se Mende Tiv Nupe Chu-chewa

To command siwwah To cause to come to pass A command, authority The power to cause to happen Saw (imp.s)

Se (ekpe)

mi-sewah

ase

ase

tsav

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Dictionary of Yorùbá Language. (1913). Church Missionary Society Bookshop. Lagos, Nigeria.

magic witchcraft Ruler The angel who holds God’s staff of authority Eṣu

sawa

tsav tsav Etsu Ma-sawe

In ancient societies, it was the “commands” of the king, queen or elders that were considered the law of the land. This means the words for authority are synonymous with the power of speech. This concept is reflected in the ancient Egyptian language with the word hkA “words of power, spells, magic” (Coptic hako “magician,” Duala hango “magician, shaman”). The shepherd’s crook G in Egypt, the sign of kingship, is called hkA.t “crook, crosier, scepter.” It should be noted that all kings in Africa are priests, so the equation of the shaman, words of power and kingship is warranted. The word for the emblem of authority is the same word for the ability to command: words of power. Remember that the majority of the depictions of Wsr are with the shepherd’s crook. This provides us additional evidence of the crook’s meaning. When examining the glyphs for names As.t and Wsr, we notice that they both utilize the throne glyph with the js/As sound value. Egyptologists simply render the word As as “throne” but this is not an accurate reading. The throne is a symbol for the “seat” of authority where the queen and king make their commands for the kingdom.

Aset (js.t/As.t)

Aset (js.t/As.t)

Wsr

Examining Aset’s name provides additional insight. The first variation of Aset’s written name

consists of a throne with the phonetic value of As/jsm; the feminine suffix -t a represented by a loaf of bread; and the determinative of an egg9which is the symbol for motherhood (child in the womb) which carries the swḥ.t pronunciation matching our swh Afro-Asiatic root. Here we have the visual representations of the two types of àṣẹ mentioned previously. The thronemrepresents the àṣẹ of political power. The egg 9represents the biological, procreative power (àṣẹ); the egg is a symbol of new life to be (Egyptian SaA “to begin, the source of life;” SAa “to begin, be the first, spring, originate”). Eṣu also represents this principle of life (being a causal agent). As Thompson notes, “Eṣu represents the principle of life and individuality who combines male and female valences (Thompson, 1984: 28).2 We should note that in Kiswahili the name Eshe means “life” as well. I think this strengthens our case for the non-mytholized Yorùbá concept of àṣẹ as being the linguistic and conceptual equivalent to the Egyptian goddess As.t (Coptic Ese, Somali AySitu, ciLuba

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The feminine aspect of Eṣu is Oshun.

DiSwa/CyAsa3). It should be noted that there is an ancient Egyptian god by the name of SAw “the god of prosperity, good luck and good fortune” that may be relevant to our discussion and related to Yorùbá àjé. Oṣun among the Yorùbá is also the goddess of good fortune and prosperity; which we equate with Hebrew shuwa’ “riches, wealth.” Underlying all of these different renderings for this -sroot is the “ability to make things happen”: to “cause” something to be, to initiate something. Cross comparing this root in Yorùbá in the name Eṣu, we are reaffirmed that Eṣu is the personification of àṣẹ. Robert Farris Thompson in Flash of the Spirit describes an art object depicting male and female Eṣu with bulging eyes. In describing its meaning, Thompson notes that:
[the eyes] embody the power-to-make-things-happen, the gift Eshu received from God in heaven (Thompson, 1984: 28). (emphasis mine)

This is very interesting to note. The vast majority of the depictions of Wsr’s name utilize the “eye” glyph to represent the r sound value. Not only does this glyph mean “eye” (ir, ir.t), but ir/ir.t (with the eye glyph) has the following values:
ir/irw iri iri ir.t “doer” (of good), “maker” (of things) “create, beget, make, construct, manufacture, do, act, achieve, treat” “swear an oath” “administer, prepare, make”

All of these renderings are connected by the underlying idea of “making something happen” and the power to do so. Coincidence? What we are seeing in the rendering of Wsr’s name is a cryptographic/ideographic reading which states that the king is someone who “has exceptional insight, is a doer (nganga), a maker, someone who acts, who has the words of power to command (àṣẹ), to make come to pass, who has the authority to make things happen and have an effect for which these words of power are directed.” Although they are two different glyphs (the m and the ), with two different sound values, their conceptual values are practically the same. With that said, these concepts should transfer to anyone with authority and we can see this associated with our s-r root so essential to this conversation:
sr sr sr sr sr.t "nobleman, magistrate" "official" "foretell, make known, to promise, to reveal, to announce, to spread abroad, to challenge" "prophetize, to prophesy" "proclamation"

As we can see with this s-r root many concepts associated with Yeshua: “prophet, prophesy, promise.” In terms of being a king, in Yorùbá we have the title Awujale “supreme king” (w-j-r). The j and s sounds interchange frequently in African languages: especially in Yorùbá and Tshiluba. The awujale is a ruler of a kingdom or confederation in Nigeria.

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Ast is also known as the goddess of divine love. Our ciLuba rendering of diswa means “love, will, desire” (<swa “love, want”). DiSwa also means “love yourself, be proud, be self-satisfied.” We’ve already connected Ast with the Yorùbá concept of Àṣẹ. This homophonic root is in the god Eṣu and Eṣu’s mother is Oshun. Oshun is the goddess of “love” among the Yorùbá.

Wsr = Yorùbá Awujale “supreme king” Awujale contains the words ojú, iwaju “face” and alà “landmark, boundary, limit, confine, precinct” (related to ile “house, land”). The king is literally the “face” of the nation. This is cognate with Egyptian D3D3 “head”; Coptic djo, dje. This is another way to say the “head” and it is a metaphor for being out in the “front.” The word ojú can mean “eye, aperture, appearance, face, look, front, edge of a knife or sword.” The -j- root can be seen in such Yorùbá words as oje “lead” and aṣaju “leader.” Within this same root we have iwájú “forehead,” iwùjè “forehead,” ìwèjú “mystic vision,” àwùjè “top of the head, seat of mystic vision.” We discussed earlier, in regards to Eṣu and Wsr, the concept of the “eye” being a symbol of exceptional insight and the power to make things happen. In liturgical Ifa (the language of the priesthood of Ifa), the word iwájú-orí means “power center in the forehead, seat of mystic vision.” The word ori (Egyptian ir “eye”) means “head” and can also mean “consciousness, awareness and destiny.” In African languages, the word for “head” can be used for the features contained in or on the head (i.e., nose, eyes, lips, etc.) (Campbell-Dunn 2009a, 2009b). We point this out to say that Wsr exists in Yorubaland as a king. But not just any king, the “supreme king” over the entire confederacy. In other words, he is the “king of kings” (an emperor). Here Wsr (w-s-r) = Awujale (w-j-r). In the Ancient Egyptian tradition, Wsr is also considered the nsw nswtyw “King of Kings.” Below is a hymn to Wsr which explicitly states these words. HYMN TO OSIRIS UN-NEFER 4
A HYMN OF PRAISE TO OSIRIS UN-NEFER, THE GREAT GOD WHO DWELLETH IN ABTU, THE KING OF ETERNITY, THE LORD OF EVERLASTINGNESS, WHO TRAVERSETH MILLIONS OF YEARS IN HIS EXISTENCE. Thou art the eldest son of the womb of Nut. Thou was begotten by Keb, the Erpat. Thou art the lord of the Urrt Crown. Thou art he whose White Crown is lofty. Thou art the King (Ati) of gods [and] men. Thou hast gained possession of the scepter of rule, and the whip, and the rank and dignity of thy divine fathers. Thy heart is expanded with joy, O thou who art in the kingdom of the dead. Thy son Horus is firmly placed on thy throne. Thou hast ascended thy throne as the Lord of Tetu, and as the Heq who dwelleth in Abydos. Thou makest the Two Lands to flourish through Truth-speaking, in the presence of him who is the Lord to the Uttermost Limit. Thou drawest on that which hath not yet come into being in thy name of "Ta-her-sta-nef." Thou governest the Two Lands by Maat in thy name of "Seker." Thy power is wide-spread, thou art he of whom the fear is great in thy name of "Usar" (or "Asar"). Thy existence endureth for an infinite number of double henti periods in thy name of "Un-Nefer." Homage to thee, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and Prince of Princes. Thou hast ruled the Two Lands from the womb of the goddess Nut. Thou hast governed the Lands of Akert. Thy members are of silver-gold, thy head is of lapis-lazuli, and the crown of thy head is of One can see E.A. Wallis Budge’s translation with hieroglyphs in the Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Papyrus of Ani. Dover Publishing. 1967 (<1895). pp. 8-11.
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turquoise. Thou art An of millions of years. Thy body is all pervading, O Beautiful Face in Tatchesert. Grant thou to me glory in heaven, and power upon earth, and truth-speaking in the Divine Underworld, and [the power to] sail down the river to Tetu in the form of a living Basoul, and [the power to] sail up the river to Abydos in the form of a Benu bird, and [the power to] pass in through and to pass out from, without obstruction, the doors of the lords of the Tuat. Let there be given unto me bread-cakes in the House of Refreshing, and sepulchral offerings of cakes and ale, and propitiatory offerings in Anu, and a permanent homestead in Sekhet-Aaru, with wheat and barley therein- to the Double of the Osiris, the scribe Ani.

As we can see here, it is attested that Wsr (Jsr), before Yeshua is alleged to exist among the Hebrews, was called “King of Kings, Lord of Lords (nb nbw), and Prince of Princes (hq hqw).” This is not a “commonality” but an exactitude and cannot be easily dismissed by Christians. But let’s continue our conversation. In terms of an official, he/she is someone who acts on behalf of the king and relays the “commands” of the royal office. Therefore, the official “reveals, announces, spreads the news abroad, makes known” the desires of the king: he is a “messenger.” This is personified in Eṣu who is the “angel who holds God’s staff of authority.” In Africa messages were carved into royal message sticks which were sent with messengers to other kingdoms to be read by the king in that locale.5 In Yorubaland they have what we call alãru “carrier, bearer of burdens, porter.” The al- is a prefix, cognate with oni which means “one who has, a possesser of.” So an alãru is “one who carries the burden”: a messenger. In many places in Africa, the king doesn’t speak directly to the people. It is the royal linguist that relays the message to the community and the people speak to the king through the messenger. Kings are divine in Africa and this ritual imitates what we observe in creation. God doesn’t directly speak to its creation: it uses its messengers (the òrìṣàs, niombo, nTrw) to convey its desires. The belief is God is too “distant” to be dealt with directly. This is the idea behind the word “God” in the first place (*godo, *gudu, Kulu, Olu, Ilu, Mw-Ene, Gueno, Eloah, El, Allah): all the roots denoting “distance, height, age.” For these reasons and more, we observe in the Yorùbá, Egyptian and Christian traditions, that if anyone wants access to God, they must go through his messengers (Eṣu, Wsr, Yeshua respectively). The first messenger of the Bible was Moses. God didn’t speak to the people directly, he spoke through Moses. You don’t hear of God speaking to all of the masses at once: he always uses a messenger (human or angelic). With that said, we note the following terms, that upon further investigation, may prove to give the real meaning of the name Moshe (Moses): Egyptian ms.t "staff, rod (of Osiris); ms "bring, present, offer"; msw "carriers, bearers"; ms "to be admitted, to have access" (to the king? God?); msa "march, travel, journey"; ms "to extend" (hand); ms "to launch" (an exodus?); ms "bring, present, bring away booty, extend, take (aim).6 I think all of these terms can refer to one aspect or another of a messenger: one who “brings” something; who has access to authority, who carries the message rod or staff of authority; who marches, travels, and journeys far distances to “extend” trade alliances with kingdoms; one who is the “bearer” of good or bad news. Moses could simply mean “messenger.” A “close” reading in Hebrew would be the word basar “messenger, preach, publish, shew forth, bear, bring, titings, carry, tell good.” The /b/ and /m/ sounds interchange in African languages (i.e., Yorùbá Ìbarà / afárá “bridge, water ford” Egyptian mr “bridge, water channel, canal”).
For many examples of this in Southern Africa, see Credo Mutwa’s book Indaba My Children (1964). The Hebrews once they left Egypt, according to the Bible, also took with them “booty” from the Egyptian storehouses and treasury.
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It’s interesting also to note that one official term for “messenger” in the Egyptian language is wpwty/ipwty “messenger, agent, commissioner, bystander, emissery.” It derives from the word wpwt "orders, command, expedition, assignment, job, business, commission, matter, chore, errand, work, matter." It may further break down into wp "door" (a path one enters, an access point), and wAt “road, way, path, side.” There is a deity by the name of wpwAwt “the opener of the way” who is associated with Anpu and Wsr (the messenger). It is clear, that in our respective areas of focus, the messenger is someone who “clears the path, opens the way” for business, trade, communication, etc. As above, so below. This same process works in the spirit world as well. Not only do all three of our figures represent the ability to make things happen (the life principle), but they are all represent the “channel” or the “pathway” to God. It makes perfect sense in the grand scheme of things as the king was a representative of God on earth, so while he is at once the king, he is also a messenger himself: the knot of the anx D that binds heaven and earth. This leads us nicely into our next chapter.

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