The Bridegroom

Read Chapter 2, The Bridegroom, in The Woman With the Alabaster Jar, the following essay by Mark Raines, and then answer the questions at the bottom of this page.

We’ve established in lesson 1 that in order to be king, Yeshua had to be anointed by a priestess of the temple. He would be anointed in order to be both married – espoused to the Divine Goddess – and in order to be buried, fulfilling his archetype of dying and resurrecting God.

Only through union with a priestess could one become the Anointed One – in Greek, “Christ,” in Hebrew, “Messiah” – which Yeshua has been proclaimed to be for two thousand years. This process of anointing the king was not foreign to Israel. A Psalm attributed to King David spoke of his own anointing, and we know that other cultures of the Near East definitely practiced this rite.

It is clear that Yeshua fulfilled Israel’s prophecy of a coming Messiah, which the Essenes of Qumran and the Zealots were anxiously awaiting. The Gospel of Mark most closely shows Yeshua as Bridegroom/King/Messiah, especially when he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey fulfilling an earlier prophecy of Zechariah. Yeshua proclaimed his mission of king of peace when he rode in a donkey, whereas had he ridden in on a warhorse, he would have been proclaiming that he was Israel’s new warrior king. (Dr. Katia had a theology teacher once who said Yeshua’s choice of “vehicles” is equivalent to riding into the capitol city on a peace-mobile VW bug rather than in a tank. Tanks are too aggressive, and Yeshua was not a soldier-warrior.)

Yeshua also fulfilled another prophecy of Zechariah when he constantly returned to the Mount of Olives to pray. Zechariah prophesied this: “On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem …” Yeshua was constantly going to Bethany to pray, and Bethany was on the southeast spur of the Mount of Olives. It was in Bethany, on the Mount of Olives, that Yeshua went to pray after the Last Supper. It was also here that he was anointed king by the Woman With the Alabaster Jar, a story found in Mark 14:3. (This is why many such as Margaret Starbird, believe Mary Magdalene may also have been Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus. Our Order of Mary Magdala keeps the jury out on this one, there were SO many Marys back then, we can never truly know if those two were one in the same or two separate women.)

Instead of using the Sacred Olive Oil, which was prohibited by the Temple to be used outside the Temple, Yeshua was anointed with spikenard – a very rare and expensive perfume from a plant grown in India. In Palestine, wealthy women wore a small amount in an alabaster vial around their necks. It was custom to break the bottle and anoint the body of the deceased with the contents, leaving the fragments of the jar in the tomb.

In Song of Songs 1:12, spikenard is mentioned. This is the only other place in the Bible that it is mentioned. Make sure to read Song of Songs 1:12 or at least look at it on pg. 41 of the textbook, _Woman with the Alabaster Jar_.

The Song of Songs itself is very much like the love poetry of the ancient fertility religions practices in Canaan, Sumer, and Egypt. It is believed that the Song of Songs was a liturgial litany for performance during the hieros gamos, or Sacred Marriage. The Song of Songs was popular at the time of Yeshua, especailly among the Essene community of Qumran. Rabbi Aqiba, a noted Jewish scholar, is quoted as saying, “The whole world is not worth the day on which the Song of Songs was given to Israel, for all Scriptures are holy, but the Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies.” It was approved by priests and rabbis because they believed in its allegorical interpretation, God-the-Father’s love for his people, Israel. The ancient people so loved this book that portions of it were publicly reenacted annually, as a sort of outdoor religious theater, at the Jerusalem Temple itself. The Song of Songs, also called the Song of Solomon was quoted in every wedding, including in Jewish weddings to this day.

Similarly, we find in the myths of Inanna and Dumuzi that Dumuzi also fulfills the role of dying and resurrecting God. He is called “shepherd” and “faithful son,” terms that later spread to Palestine. Dumuzi is slain and laid in a tomb, and Inanna weeps for him. We see a parallel to this when Mary the Magdala weeps for Yeshua as he is laid in the tomb. Dumuzi is resurrected, just as Yeshua, and Inanna is the first to see him, just as Mary the Magdala.

When Yeshua admonished the disciples for saying that the woman had wasted her perfume, he tells them that the story will be told and retold “in memory of her.” And it has been. The woman is named “Mary of Bethany” in the Gospel of John. It is probable that the Gospel of John was written by the disciple John or by some of his disciples. Therefore John and Mary the Mother – whom Yeshua had put under the protection of John – would certainly have known the name of the woman that anointed Yeshua. She was his bride. This is another piece of evidence used to support the theory that Mary of Bethany was also Mary Magdalene.

Copy and paste the following questions into an e-mail, insert your answers, and send to the Esoteric Mystery School with the subject line reading: “Alabaster Jar, Lesson 2 ¬†from ______________ ¬†”

1. T/F – The anointing of a king by a priestess was probably common at the time of King David.

2. All of ancient Israel longed for the Messiah, but which two groups were most anxiously awaiting the coming Messiah?

3. T/F – Yeshua riding into Jerusalem on a donkey proclaimed his mission as warrior king.

4. Which other prophecy of Zechariah does Yeshua fulfill? How?

5. T/F – The oil used to anoint Yeshua was Sacred Olive Oil.

6. Besides the Gospel of Mark, what is the only other place in the Bible spikenard is mentioned? Why is this significant?

7. T/F – The hieros gamos is the Sacred Marriage.

8. What is the Song of Songs (also called Song of Solomon) a litany of?

9. T/F – Yeshua’s and Mary the Magdala’s relationship parallel the relationship between Inanna and Dumuzi.

10. Which Gospel names the woman that anointed Yeshua Mary of Bethany?

Essay Question: Yeshua spent a lot of time in Bethany. Mary of Bethany (the Magdalene) anointed him. Ancient priest-kings were supposed to be anointed with sacred olive oil. Allegorically at least, Yeshua was anointed both for burial with the spikenard and for sacred kingship with “olive oil.” Symbolically, how do you think Yeshua was anointed with “olive oil?”

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