Jesus Wore the Purple




I suspect Jesus entered the city of Tyre riding a donkey. The Canaanite population saw him as Melqart, the King, or Lord of the city and cried “Hosanna!”

“Save us now!”

Jesus went into the temple of Tyre and was seen as Alexander the Great. He was wearing a laurel wreath.

“I have overcome the world!”

When he came to Jerusalem he claimed he was the king of that city. He was arrested while reading from the Book of Ruth on the Mount of Olives. His laurel wreath was replaced by a crown of thorns.

Jesus descends from king Ahab who married Jezebel who wore the purple. The genocide of king Jehu, did not happen. Nor was Jehu crowned by Elisha, the disciple of Elijah, who John was the embodiment of, and thus, crowned Jesus, who was like the Phoenix Bird, an Eagle say some.

Many Canaanites fled to Carthage and fought against Rome. Paul was a Roman citizen and Pharisee who tortured the disciple of Lord Jesus of Tyre in order to get them “to denounce their Lord.” It is alleged Paul had a friendly visit with disciples of Jesus in Tyre, but, this is a lie. He went there to kill them because Rome hated the Carthaginians, as did the descendants of Jehu and many Jews who enslaved the Canaanites after taking their land.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2014

Beginning with David, the Tyrian connection became prominent. Hiram, king of Tyre, offered cedar trees, carpenters and masons to build David’s palace (2 Sm 5:11). To what extent cedars were used in David’s house is unclear, but David did consider his abode to be a palace of cedar (2 Sm 7:2), and God seemed to agree (2 Sm 7:7). Later David utilized the help of Sidonians and Tyrians to provide cedar trees for the Temple (1 Chr 22:4).
Hiram also offered to bring cedars down from the mountains and float them down the Mediterranean coast to Joppa for Solomon’s royal construction projects (1 Kgs 5:8–11; 2 Chr 2:16), which included both his palace and the Temple. Interestingly, while Hiram continued to be the dominant Lebanese contact, Solomon spoke of the woodworking skills of the Sidonians (possibly just a generic term for Phoenicians?) and builders from Gebal, known by the Greeks as Byblos (1 Kgs 5:18).
Ethbaal was the father of Jezebel and king of Sidon (1 Kgs 16:31). Many scholars follow Josephus (Against Apion 1.121-24; Antiquities 8), who was quoting Menander, and identify Ethbaal with Ithbaal (Hebrew “Man of Baal”), priest of Astarte who killed the king of Tyre and seized the throne (Jidejian 1996:73, 306). In fact, during many periods, the king of one city seemed to be considered king of the other city by outsiders.

Thus, New Testament Tyre and Sidon were prosperous Roman port cities. Yet there was great spiritual hunger in the region. Early in Jesus’ ministry, people from Sidon and Tyre heard about the things He did. They came to see Him (Mk 3:8) and be healed by Him (Lu 6:17).
Later in His ministry, Jesus visited the region of Sidon and Tyre. There He healed the Canaanite (Syrophoenician) woman’s daughter (Mt 15:21–28; Mk 7:24–31). This was the same area where God sent Elijah when the widow fed him (1 Kgs 17:9). Elijah’s visit was to the port city of Zaraphath (Serepta to the Greeks and modern Sarafand), almost mid-way between Sidon and Tyre. Both these Old and New Testament visits to the region may be a reminder that the Promised Land extended as far north as Sidon. While full of non- Israelites, it was still part of Israel’s inheritance.
Jesus pronounced judgment on Chorazin and Bethsaida suggesting that if the pagan cities of Tyre and Sidon had experienced what Chorazin and Bethsaida did, they would have long ago repented in sackcloth and ashes (Mt 11:21–24).
The inhabitants of Sidon and Tyre offended Herod Agrippa I and came to visit him at Jerusalem. While both were significant Roman cities on the eastern Mediterranean, their leaders felt the need to keep in Herod’s favor. This visit was the occasion of Herod’s death at God’s hand (Acts 12:20–23).
When Paul returned to Palestine from his third missionary journey, he sailed into Tyre. He met with a group of disciples there and spent seven days in the city (Acts 21:3–7). He probably walked the colonnaded street, passing the hippodrome.
After his arrest in Jerusalem and imprisonment in Caesarea, Paul was taken as a prisoner to Rome. From Caesarea his ship stopped at Sidon and Paul was allowed to meet with a group of disciples in that city (Acts 27:3).

During the late 12th century, Joseph became connected with the Arthurian cycle, appearing in them as the first keeper of the Holy Grail. This idea first appears in Robert de Boron’s Joseph d’Arimathie, in which Joseph receives the Grail from an apparition of Jesus and sends it with his followers to Britain. This theme is elaborated upon in Boron’s sequels and in subsequent Arthurian works penned by others. Later retellings of the story contend that Joseph of Arimathea himself travelled to Britain and became the first Christian bishop in the Isles.[6]

4Pilate came out again and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” 5Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold, the Man!” 6So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.”…

After being flogged with a dreadful Roman scourge, Jesus was taken by Pilate’s soldiers into the governor’s headquarters where the whole garrison gathered around Him. It was here that the soldiers placed a crown of thorns on His head, a reed in His hand, and a robe on His body. Skeptics maintain that a contradiction exists between the Gospel accounts because they describe the color of the robe differently. Whereas Matthew says that the soldiers “put a scarlet robe” on Jesus (27:27-28), Mark says that “they clothed Him with purple ” (15:16-17), and John states that the soldiers put “a purple robe” on Him (19:1-2). These differences have lead some to believe and advocate that the Gospel writers wrote under their own power with no help from a Higher Being, and thus they contradicted one another in their narratives.

Melqart (Phoenician: ??????, lit. Milk-qart, “King of the City”;[1][2] Akkadian: Milqartu) was the tutelary god of the Phoenician city of Tyre. Melqart was often titled Ba‘l Ṣūr, “Lord of Tyre”, and considered to be the ancestor of the Tyrian royal family.[citation needed] In Greek, by interpretatio graeca he was identified with Heracles and referred to as the Tyrian Herakles.
As Tyrian trade and colonization expanded, Melqart became venerated in Phoenician and Punic cultures from Syria to Spain. The first occurrence of the name is in a 9th-century BCE stela inscription found in 1939 north of Aleppo in northern Syria, the “Ben-Hadad” inscription, erected by the son of the king of Arma, “for his lord Melqart, which he vowed to him and he heard his voice”.[3]

Melqart is likely to have been the particular Ba‘al found in the Tanach,[4] whose worship was prominently introduced to Israel by King Ahab and largely eradicated by King Jehu. In 1 Kings 18.27, it is possible that there is a mocking reference to legendary Heraclean journeys made by the god and to the annual egersis (“awakening”) of the god:
And it came to pass at noon that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry out loud: for he is a god; either he is lost in thought, or he has wandered away, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.”
The Hellenistic novelist, Heliodorus of Emesa, in his Aethiopica, refers to the dancing of sailors in honor of the Tyrian Heracles: “Now they leap spiritedly into the air, now they bend their knees to the ground and revolve on them like persons possessed”.
The historian Herodotus recorded (2.44):
In the wish to get the best information that I could on these matters, I made a voyage to Tyre in Phoenicia, hearing there was a temple of Heracles at that place, very highly venerated. I visited the temple, and found it richly adorned with a number of offerings, among which were two pillars, one of pure gold, the other of smaragdos, shining with great brilliance at night. In a conversation which I held with the priests, I inquired how long their temple had been built, and found by their answer that they, too, differed from the Hellenes. They said that the temple was built at the same time that the city was founded, and that the foundation of the city took place 2,300 years ago. In Tyre I remarked another temple where the same god was worshipped as the Thasian Heracles. So I went on to Thasos, where I found a temple of Heracles which had been built by the Phoenicians who colonised that island when they sailed in search of Europa. Even this was five generations earlier than the time when Heracles, son of Amphitryon, was born in Hellas. These researches show plainly that there is an ancient god Heracles; and my own opinion is that those Hellenes act most wisely who build and maintain two temples of Heracles, in the one of which the Heracles worshipped is known by the name of Olympian, and has sacrifice offered to him as an immortal, while in the other the honours paid are such as are due to a hero.
Josephus records (Antiquities 8.5.3), following Menander the historian, concerning King Hiram I of Tyre (c. 965–935 BCE):
He also went and cut down materials of timber out of the mountain called Lebanon, for the roof of temples; and when he had pulled down the ancient temples, he both built the temple of Heracles and that of `Ashtart; and he was the first to celebrate the awakening (egersis) of Heracles in the month Peritius.[5]
The Macedonian month of Peritius corresponds to our February, indicating this annual awakening was in no way a solstitial celebration. It would have coincided with the normal ending of the winter rains. The annual observation of the revival of Melqart’s “awakening” may identify Melqart as a life-death-rebirth deity.
The Roman Emperor Septimius Severus was a native of Lepcis Magna in North Africa, an originally Phoenician city where worship of Melqart was widespread. He is known to have constructed in Rome a temple dedicated to “Liber and Hercules”, and it is assumed that the Emperor, seeking to honour the god of his native city, identified Melqart with the Roman god Liber.

The acronym INRI (Latin: Iēsus Nazarēnus, Rēx Iūdaeōrum) represents the Latin inscription which in English reads as “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews” and John 19:20 states that this was written in three languages—Hebrew, Latin, and Greek—during the crucifixion of Jesus. The Greek version reads ΙΝΒΙ, representing

Mark 11:1-11
When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Jehu Kills King Ahab’s and King Ahaziah’s Heirs
10 Ahab had 70 male heirs in Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters to the officials of Jezreel, the respected leaders, and the guardians of Ahab’s descendants in Samaria. The letters read, 2 “Your master’s heirs are with you, and you have chariots, horses, fortified cities, and weapons. As soon as this letter reaches you, 3 choose the best and most honest of your master’s heirs, and put him on Ahab’s throne. Fight for your master’s family.”
4 But they panicked. They said, “If two kings couldn’t stand up to him, how can we stand up to him?” 5 So the official in charge of the palace, the mayor of the city, the respected leaders, and the guardians sent this message to Jehu: “We are your servants. We’ll do everything you tell us. We won’t make anyone king. Do what you think is best.”
6 So he wrote them a second letter. It read, “If you are on my side and ready to listen to me, bring the heads of your master’s heirs to me in Jezreel about this time tomorrow.”
The 70 male heirs were staying with the city’s most powerful men. These men had raised them. 7 When the letter came to the men, they slaughtered all 70 heirs. They put the heads in baskets and sent them to Jehu in Jezreel. 8 A messenger told him, “They’ve brought the heads of the king’s heirs.”
Jehu said, “Put them in two piles at the entrance to the gateway until morning.” 9 In the morning he stood there. He told the people, “You are innocent. I plotted against my master and killed him. But who killed all these men? 10 You can be sure that the word of the Lord spoken about Ahab’s family will be fulfilled. The Lord will do what he said through his servant Elijah.”
11 Jehu also killed every member of Ahab’s household who was left in Jezreel: all the most powerful men, friends, and priests. Not one of them was left.
12 Then Jehu left for Samaria. When he came to Beth Eked of the Shepherds, 13 he found some relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah. “Who are you?” he asked.
They answered, “We’re Ahaziah’s relatives. We’ve come to greet the families of the king and the queen mother.”
14 Jehu ordered, “Capture them!”
Jehu’s men captured and slaughtered 42 of them at a cistern near Beth Eked. They didn’t leave any survivors.
15 When he left that place, he met Jehonadab, son of Rechab, who was coming to meet him. Jehu greeted him and asked, “Are you as loyal to me as I am to you?”
“I am,” Jehonadab answered.
So Jehu said, “If you are, give me your hand.”
When he gave Jehu his hand, Jehu helped him up into the chariot. 16 Jehu said, “Come with me. See how devoted I am to the Lord.” So he had Jehonadab ride on his chariot. 17 When they arrived in Samaria, Jehu killed the rest of Ahab’s family, every member who was left in Samaria. He wiped them out, as the Lord had told Elijah.
Jehu Kills Baal’s Prophets
18 Then Jehu brought all the people together. He said, “Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him a lot. 19 Summon all the prophets, servants, and priests of Baal. Make sure no one is missing because I have a great sacrifice to offer Baal. Whoever is missing will not live.” (Jehu was deceiving them. He actually wanted to destroy those who worshiped Baal.)
20 Jehu said, “Call a holy assembly to honor Baal.” So they did. 21 Jehu sent messengers to all the Israelites. All the worshipers of Baal came, and there wasn’t one who didn’t come. They went into the temple of Baal and filled it from one end to the other.
22 Then Jehu told the man in charge of the priests’ robes, “Bring out the robes for all the worshipers of Baal.” So he brought out robes for them. 23 Jehu and Jehonadab, son of Rechab, went into the temple of Baal and said to the worshipers of Baal, “Make sure that there are no worshipers of the Lord here with you. Only the worshipers of Baal should be here.” 24 So they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. But Jehu had stationed 80 of his men outside. He said to them, “If any of the people I’m putting in your hands escape, you will pay for their lives with yours.”
25 When the burnt offerings had been made, Jehu said to the guards and attendants, “Kill them. Don’t let anyone get away.” So they used swords to kill the Baal worshipers and threw out the bodies until the guards and attendants came to the stronghold in the temple of Baal. 26 Then they brought out the large sacred stone of the temple of Baal and burned it. 27 They destroyed the sacred stone of Baal and the temple of Baal and made it into a latrine. It is still a latrine today.
28 So Jehu got rid of Baal worship throughout Israel. 29 But Jehu did not turn away from the sins that Jeroboam (Nebat’s son) led Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan.
30 The Lord said to Jehu, “You did what I consider right, and you did it well. You did everything I wanted done to Ahab’s family. That is why four generations of your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel.”
31 But Jehu didn’t wholeheartedly obey the teachings of the Lord God of Israel. He didn’t turn away from the sins that Jeroboam led Israel to commit. 32 So in those days the Lord began to take away some of Israel’s territory. Hazael defeated Jehu’s army throughout Israel’s territory 33 east of the Jordan River: the entire region of Gilead (the territory belonging to Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh) from Aroer, which is near the Arnon River, to Gilead and Bashan.
34 Isn’t everything else about Jehu—everything he did, all his heroic acts—written in the official records of the kings of Israel? 35 Jehu lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz succeeded him as king. 36 Jehu ruled as king of Israel in Samaria for 28 years.

The writer of the Book of Kings tells that when the captains of the Israelite army were assembled away from the king’s eyes, the prophet Elisha sent one of his students to the gathering. Elisha’s student led Jehu away from the others, anointed him king in an inner chamber, and then departed (2 Kings 9:5-6). Jehu’s companions asked where he has been. When told, they enthusiastically blew their trumpets and proclaimed him their king.[4]

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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