Archive for March, 2009

God Forgot to Say

Posted in Atheist, Bible, sex taboos with tags , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2009 by chouck017894

The priests and prophets of biblical lore claimed to have received all necessary information needed by man directly from an omnipotent, all-knowing being. It is astonishing, therefore, how much God seems to have neglected to explain to his favorites. In view of the fact that sex is the foundation of all material life forms, why did he not make clear the microscopic process by which he bestowed diversity within all life forms?

For example, male and female development is dependent upon the different determinants or segments or genes distributed along the X and Y chromosomes–X for female and Y for male. Every individual is “designed” or created with different and unique combinations of these, and they affect each person’s body structure, brain activity (including physical desires), and behavioral patterns.

The X and Y chromosomes demonstrate how the chemical process results in character traits and attractions that are of psychological and social interest. For instance, all males with an excess of either X or Y chromosomes tend to produce an increased amount of male hormones which tend to become expressed with a tendency toward aggressiveness and a lower threshold for committing violence in comparison with so-called “normal” male population. Perhaps the hardline religious leaders could possibly be accounted for by an extra X or Y in their chromsomal composition.

For YXX males it seems that violence generally begins early; around the age of 13 instead of around age 18 for the “average” male. The YXX males issue out of a fairly “normal” sample of the population, but they feel at odds with the “normal” environment.

The religiously obsessed choose to ignore the means by which life’s diverse “designs” are allowed and encouraged to manifest as physical form. The idea that human propagation is a sacred duty, for example, elbowed its way into western religious decree through the development of a self-serving Jewish “law,” said to be passed down by God, but clearly fashioned upon tribal mentality. The priest-authors who interpreted God’s “laws” sought to encourage reproduction of their followers to insure the increase of their followers to stand against the differently oriented societies around them. Any sexual activity that did not contribute to the desired growth of followers was deemed a threat to the social/political authority of those priests and prophets claiming divine guidance.

Thus it was claimed by the priest-authors of “holy word” that the Lord abhorred and condemned any nonproductive sexual activity such as masturbation, abortion, homosexuality, celibacy, etc. This was, to be blunt, politically and economically profitable for the priest class, as well as racially eugenic.

Today, with the human population on this little planet hovering over seven billion, for Judaism, Christian, Islam and even eastern “faiths” to continue to regard the propgation of more humans to be a sacred duty is hardly pursuing life’s  higher potential in a responsible manner.

“Father” of Christian Theology

Posted in Atheist, Bible with tags , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by chouck017894

A thin veneer of eroticism covers not only a number of O.T. myths but also spread an ugly scar over the early Christian movement. Much of that is traceable to Augustine (born 354 CE), often referred to as “The Father of Christian Theology.” It was “saint” Augustine who, around 386, figured out a means of luring spiritual seekers into a sacred scam: his inspiration was to turn each seeker against themselves by making them feel guilty about being imbuded with sexual desires or being grateful for physical blessings.

The caliber of this “saint’s” divine inspiration is displayed in his statement that all humans are born between feces and urine. Instead of accepting this means of embodiment as part of “intelligent design,” Augustine seized upon this perceived godly goof to startle and stampede the gullible into chains of guilt.

In other words, Augustine used suggestive anti-life propaganda, such as in his Confessions and his major work The City of God, to achieve respect and power for himself. It was a cunning scheme of inventing problems and disharmony where they need not exist.

Before switching over to the young struggling Christian movement, Augustine had been a Manichaean auditore, one of two classes of Manichaean disciples. As noted in my book Time Frames and Taboo Data: A History of Mankind’s Misdirected Beliefs, the clergy of the Manichaean sect were organized similarly to the Christian ministry and the sect condemned marriage and sexual indulgence of any type. This undoubtedly contributed to Augustine’s saintly interpretations. From his Manichaean involvement Augustine construed the doctrins of “sin,” divine grace, and predestination. With additional input by “saint” Jerome (c.340-420), who also preferred the perverse titillation of guilt-fear and lamentation to thoughts of creation’s unity, “sin” became enshrined as the main theme in the Christian message to the world.

And Augustine, like the religious fanatics of today, expressed his devotion to the Lord and Savior with outbursts of hatred for all the Creator’s diverse expressions of life. For example, the Gnostics, the seekers and keepers of truth and wisdom in his time, Augustine chose to portray as enemies and waxed indignately, “The enemies thereof I hate vehemently; O that thou wouldst slay them with thy two-edged sword!” Obviously he paid no attention to the early teachings that were attributed to Jesus, such as love one another.

Augustine always inferred that God kept him posted on everything, even of the inhabited areas of planet Earth. Thus he said authoritatively, “It is impossible there should be inhabitants on the opposite side of earth, since no such race is recorded in Scriptures among the descendants of Adam.”

This “Father of Christian Theology” demonstrates the depth of pretention that is still the hallmark of Christian extremists. He would, for example, declare with fundamental certainty that “…all diseases of Christians are to be ascribed to demons; chiefly do they torment first-baptized Christians, yea, even the guileless new born infant.”

Such is the “saintly” wisdom that is being clung to by fundamentalists and claimed as revealed truth and holy word.

Sex in Sacred Disguise

Posted in Atheist, Bible with tags , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by chouck017894

The information in this post is abridged from The Celestial Scriptures: Keys to the Suppressed Wisdom of the Ancients.

As noted in a previous post (Religion’s Sexual Roots), sexual references are often disguised in Holy Scriptures by a technique that may be termed sacred language, i.e. use of euphuism to pass secret meaning among the priest editors. That which was disguised in books such as Exodus will undoubtedly shock many devout Bible readers.

In Exodus the character of Aaron (whose name means “to conceive”) held the role of high priest and was allegedly instructed to costume himself with numerous curious items of clothing declared to be “garments for glory and beauty” (Exodus 28:40). A couple of verses further it says that the garments “…from the loins unto the thighs shall they reach.” With these “garments” Aaron and his sons were to “minister in the holy place.” The chapter then ends stating that these required “garments” are to be “…a statute forever unto him and his seed after him.” The required “garments” are listed as breastplate, the ephod, two onyx stones, and pouches of gold. The rites to be enacted with these “holy gaments” also included the liberal use of “holy anointing oil.”  The meaning of that will soon become apparent.  

What do other “garments” signify? The word ephod is derived from the Greek ephebos, which means entering upon early manhood–a time of raging hormones and acute sexual urges. Bluntly, the ephod therefore refers to an erect phallus, the organ of conceiving. That the ephod is the phallus is further admitted in verse 32 where it says, “And there shall an hole to the top of it, in the midst thereof; it shall have binding of woven work around the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent.” (Habergeon, a sleeveless coat of mail: one might say the coat is circumsized.)

Of the two onyx stones (verses 9 through 14) the instruction is that all the names of the children of Israel are to be engraved upon the two small stones. Although the implication seems to be that only six tribal names are to be written upon each of the two stones (the names of the descendants of Jacob/Israel), the phrase “children of Israel” means the entire countless descendants–millions upon millions. The reference to the two onyx stones as part of the “garment” is therefore in regard to the testes.

The “garment” inventory continues by saying that the “onyx stones” are “to set in pouches of gold.” Gold is symbolic of high regard–or sacred respect–for the scrotum and its contents.

The feminine aspect of this “garment” list begins with the mention of breastplate which Aaron is charged to wear (enter into) when ministering “unto the holy place.” This “garment” is outfitted with two gold rings “upon the two ends of the breastplate on the border thereof, which is in the side of the ephod inward.” Two other gold rings are placed “…on the two sides (in other words the ovaries) of the ephod underneath, toward the forepart thereof, over against the other coupling thereof, above the curious girdle of the ephod.” (Exodus 28:27)

Priestly talk is curious indeed!

The gold “rings” mentioned in connection with the ephod represent the female organs of conception and the place of fecundation. The instruction continues, “And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and Thummin…” Now these objects have been the source of bafflement for millennia, generally guesstimated as probably used to divine the will of god (as in Exodus 28:30 and Leviticus 8:8). That the Urim and Thummin are held to have specific attributes in the breastplate is a prime clue. Another clue is in the preface UR, which in prehistory times was a reference to light. “And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and Thummin…” and “judgment of the children of Israel” is determined by this placement. In other words, genetic factors (DNA) are determined by the coupling of the breastplate with the ephod. Thus Aaron, a personification of the conceiving force, is charged with the duty of bearing the light and the diversity of life “upon his heart.”

The symbolism used in describing these “holy garments” is astonishing, for the “judgment” is in regard to the segregation into different gametes of paired alleles in meiosis. In other words, the cell division in sexually reproducing organisms that reduces the number of chromosomes in reproductive cells to half that found in the somatic cells, leading to the production of gametes in animals and spores in plants. Thus the instruction for the decorations was that the hem was to be embroidered with pomegranates and bells–symbols of seed bearing and the fruition of life.

Religion’s Sexual Roots

Posted in Atheist, Bible, freethought, Pantheism with tags , , , , on March 23, 2009 by chouck017894

All organized religious sects of western cultures have their roots firmly entwined with sexual allusions. This, of course, is fervently denied by those who passionately seek association with the creative power that they imagine to be a humanlike being that is at once highly prejudicial yet blissfully indifferent.

But the sacred path has always tended to meander around in a labyrinth of camouflaged passageways. The alarming thing is that most of the time even the most devout of the “spiritual leaders” are oblivious as to the real message hidden under sacred words.

For a start, consider the word “sacred.” The words sacred, sacrament and sacrifice are all derived from the Hebrew word sacre, meaning “phallus” or “penis.” This should not be surprising, for the penis was regarded throughout all ancient cultures as symbolic of self-manifestation as activated through the creative source. This is why the three major religions of the west have a long history of denying women entrance into the ranks of priesthood.

And the holy testaments that are held out to us as divine pronouncements continue that sex association. We hold in high regard the such words as testament, testify, testimony, testification, testator, attest, etc. Guess what: the honored words are derived from the Latin testis, the testicles, the male reproductive organs situated in the external scrotum behind the penis. The respectful meaning accorded to these words today comes from the ancient custom prevelent through the ancient near-east in which the most solemn oaths were sworn by grasping their own testicles–or sometimes the testicles of the man sworn to–that what was declared was truth. It was regarded as asking for reproductive disaster to swear falsely upon the sac of life.

Of course it then becomes clear where the word seminary originated, although everyone today regards it as meaning a theological school for training priests, ministers or rabbis. But seminary is derived from the Latin seminarius, and referred to the seed carried in the seminal fluid. Again, women were thought to be  incapable of understanding this holy power carried by men and therefore women were barred from holy study.

And just to get the bottom of this, consider the words rector and rectory: Rector refers to a member of the clergy in charge of a parish (Protestant Episcopal and Anglican), or (Roman Catholic) a priest appointed to be administrative head of a church or institution such as a seminary: rectory can refer to either the house where the rector lives or the office of the rectore.  All these are derived from the Latin root rectus, meaning “straight.” It is telling that it is from this same root that we also get the word rectum.

Codes of Conduct

Posted in Atheist, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2009 by chouck017894

As far back in time as c.2600 BCE a ruler of Sumeria named Urukagina found so mujch immoral activity throughout his empire that it became necessary for him to enact prohibitions against the rampant corruption. The long inscription erected by this ruler for the people to comply with is regarded as the first-ever record of social reform, and the code of conduct that was expected of the people was anchored on an ideal of equality and justice.

A few of the many injustices that Urukagina addressed included the unfair use of their powers by supervisors to take the best of collections for themselves; the abuse of one’s official position; the practice of monopolistic groups to extort unbearable prices on needed goods–in short, the same practices that still taint the religio-political in-crowd of today.

By c.2300 BCE the Assyrian civilization had compounded out of the Babylonian and Hittie cultures, and the Akkadian leader named Sargon I had become the supreme ruler–under the designation as “regent of the god Assur”–his influence being over a broad territory that nonetheless remained dependent upon Babylon. Corruption, as usual, interfered with the ideal of keeping an element of balance in civil affairs. Thus around c.2350 BCE laws were being determined and recorded on clay tablets, laws that were declared to have been presented under the authority of the god Nannar.

Approximately eight hundred and fifty years after the Sumerian code of Urukagina, and some five hundred years after the Assyrian laws (or c.1758 BCE), a Babylonian king named Hammurabi decreed a similar code of justice and set up the means to enforce it. Hammurai’s code was engraved on a block of black diorite that stood nearly eight feet high, and the provisions set forth for the public to read and heed was an effort to protect the weak and the poor against injustices as the hands of the rich and powerful. Interestingly, a bas-relief under the 282 paragraphs of the civil code shows King Hammurabi recieving the code from the god Shamash.

It is upon this code of conduct that the priest-editors of the book of Exodus fashioned the abbreviated version of a code of conduct known as the Ten Commandments, and law (anchored in materiality and civil conduct) became enthroned as the soul and backbone of Judaism–as well as the grafted-on spine of Christianity. And of course, the priest-editors of Exodus written in Jerusalem c.800 BCE declared that the Ten Commandments had been written in stone and handed down to Moses by the god Yahweh.

There is a peculiar uncertainty of approach expressed with the opening lines, for omnipotent power should not be anxious about a possibility of being upstaged. But the first four of the ten directives have no moral instructions but do imply the authority of the priest class. And conspicuously absent from this god-given list is any instruction or requirements on treating all persons fairly in all interactions or transactions. Could this possibly be why fundamentalists periodically campaign to have the Ten Commandments poste in all judicial buildings and other public places?

Holy Adjustment of Justice

Posted in Atheist, freethought, Middle Ages, with tags , , , , , , , on March 21, 2009 by chouck017894

Seven hundred years is an unholy amount of time to absolve, or at least admit, a holy distortion of justice. But in 2007 a 300 page limited edition of 799 copies was released by the Vatican in which were reproduced entire documents concerning the trumped-up charges against the Knights Templar in the 14th Century–charges which amply benefitted Pope Clement V and King Philip IV or France.

In 1307 King Philip contrived to have English and French members of the Templar order arrested, imprisoned and tortured on fabricated charges of worshipping an idol Baphomet (probably a corruption of the word Mahomet i.e. Muhammad), and accusations that the Templars indulged in homoerotic sins. Fictional testimony had it that the idol was a small stone symbol of a human figure having two heads, male and female, and surrounded with serpents, the sun and moon.

Material greed motivated Philip more than any personal spiritual integrity, for Philip was in debt to the Templar banking system. False accusations and conviction would conveniently cancel out his debt and provide excuse for seizing Templar wealth. In the pope’s favor, Clement decided in 1308 to attempt saving the Templar order, and the document called “Parchment of Chinon,” reproduced in the limited edition in 2007, stands as proof. Indeed, Clement initially absolved the Templars of heresy, but still regarded them as guilty of immorality which he thought could be reformed. Thus many Templar Knights continued to be held in confinement and tortured in France.

But Pope Clement V, himself a Frenchman, soon recognized that conspiracy with Philip might prove profitable. Thus he sent three top cardinals on a long furitive journey to France to interrogate an unstated person. It is known that Jacques de Molay, the military grand master of the Templars, and other Templars were secretly imprisoned in a castle in “Chinon on the Loire.” The document called “Parchment of Chinon” thus indicates the destination of the cardinals sent by Clement.

Whatever caused the pope to reverse his decision and suppress the Templar order can only be speculated. What is known is that the persecution of the Templars dragged on until 1314 when Jacques de Molay was burned to death at the stake. (See Time Frames and Taboo Data, pages 286-287) Perhaps it is just coincidence that the pope acquired Avignon in France and then moved the headquarters of the Catholic Church there in 1309 where it would remain until 1377.

Biblical Crimes

Posted in Bible, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2009 by chouck017894

For thousands of years the Bible has been promoted as the ultimate in moral guidance. But anyone possessed with genuine respect for moral conduct often staggers away in bewilderment.

Indeed, the opening chapters of Genesis kicks things off with a highly questionable take on common ethics. Adam and Eve are apparently fashioned for fun and games for they are placed naked in a decievingly paradisical setting in which two trees hold center stage–two trees that they are forbidden to use as a source of food. The godly set up is a game of entrapment. When the inevitable happens and they eat of the tree, God feins outrage that they gave in to temptation and declares death to be their punishment–not just Adam and Eve, but all life forms! The divine rules of the game do not take into account that if the couple had no experience with life how could they comprehend the threat of death?

Kicked out of Paradise, Adam and Eve produce two sons. One, Cain, is an agriculturalist and the other, Abel, is a sheepherder. For all the blessings that God bestowed, He expected material offerings to be brought to him by Adam’s sons. Abel dutifully slit a sheep’s throat and God found it pleasing, but Cain’s gift so laborously tended from the soil was scorned.

Cain, not surprisingly, smarted at the discrimination and in frenzy at holy prejudice killed his brother. There were no laws established in Paradise so this act cannot technically be called murder or even manslaughter. The “justice” meted out to Cain by the Omniscient One was banishment from Cain’s native land and a command that he not till the ground any more. It was evolutionary for Cain one might say, for he was wonderfully successful after that. We are not supposed to ask; if God was all-powerful, why didn’t he simply resurrect Abel and give instruction on moral beahavior?

The same loose concept of moral conduct continues throughout the “Good Book” with material goodies being awarded by God to morally deficient persons. Aggression is highly praised in the divine tales, and war crimes regarded as acceptable–if carried out for God’s security. Examples: under Moses’ generalship the Israelites killed all the Midianite men, their kings and the prophet Balaam; Joshua loved holocaustic violence in which even thousands of noncombatant women, children and aged were slaughtered; deceitful David exterminated men, women and children in various stories, even sawing them and hacking them to pieces. He was also partial to penis trophies.

Other bibilcal characters are admired for homicide: the “prophet” Elijah, for example, killed 450 priests of Baal to “justify” Jehovah; the “prophet” Elisha sent out two bears to kill 48 children who had mocked his bald head; Esther is praised for scheming the murders of Persians; Jezebel admired for trumping up false charges against a father and his two sons so they would be slain. Etc, etc, etc…

Sexual escapades and misconduct, as long as they are strictly heterosexual, are sniffed over. Lot and his daughters merit no chastising for incest; the maltreatment of Sarah by Abraham benefitted Abraham; Isaac followed his father’s footsteps and profitted by passing his wife off as his sister to the king; deceitful David indulged in adultery and had the woman’s husband set up for assassination; Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, too young to give legal consent was defiled by her half-brother; etc. etc. etc.

Nowhere throughout these “holy” stories is it ever told how a seeker may achieve a personal state of grace. Maybe because that requires a high respect for true ethics and morality.

Pre-Biblical Hebrew Documents

Posted in Atheist, Bible, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2009 by chouck017894

Long before the Torah account became the official declaration–and well before the version known as the Old Testament became installed as the official accounting of how everything came into being, there were many documents written in Hebrew that were held as sacred but which over time became conveniently lost or purposely suppressed. Among those was a text known as The Book of the Story of Adam, which is alluded to in Genesis 5:1 (where it reads, “This is the book of the generations of Adam”) and which implies that the ten generations from Adam to Noah had been more detailed.

In spite of heavy censoring of pre-biblical texts, a few of those early poetic Hebrew-style writings have been discoverd, but most are known primarily through brief fragments that have been quoted from in authorized books such as Numbers 21:14 (“Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord…”); Joshua 10:13 (“Is it not written in the book of Jasher?”); and in Samuel 1:18 (“…behold, it is written in the Book of Jasher.”)

Among the documents that were shoved into oblivion were epic accounts such as The Book of the Wars of Yahweh; another was known as the Book of Yashar. Both of these covered a more in-depth account of the Israelites’ alleged desert ordeal and a more grandiose version of the invasion of Canaan than the account passed down as the authorized version now found in Exodus and Numbers. From the book of Joshua 18:9 it can be discerned that another seven-part version once existed which glowingly described the coveted land of Canaan and its cities. In the book of Isaiah, 34:16, it says, “Seek ye out the book of the Lord, and read…” The book referred to there was the text known as The Book of Yahweh which was likely a collection of allegorical fables about the habits and traits of animals from which moral significance could be drawn.

Other books which would probably throw a different light on things held sacred by their mythic references might well have been presented in documents known as: 1) Acts of Solomon, 2) the Book of Geneaology, 3) the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah, 4) Of Kings of Israel, and 5) Of the Sons of Levi.

It would be up to much later generations to add to the sacred accounts in attempts to clarify Mosaic Law and add moral, historical and anecdotal texts. But they, too, dipped into mythic material to validate the prescribed laws, social customs and rituals. With these little pieces of an ancient puzzle we are privileged to see how the so-called “revealed word of God” evolved.

Puzzles of Faith

Posted in Atheist, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 15, 2009 by chouck017894

The mid-eleventh century CE was a disquieting time for the Catholic Church, and events of that time are still coloring the Christian faith business. There was a virtual merry-go-round of papal figureheads from around 1044 through 1088, with the papal throne even being offered for sale by the deposed Benedict IX, which resulted in the dethronement of both Gregory VII and Benedict IX in 1046.

Pope Clement II was elected in 1046 to replace both the aforementioned popes, but he died soon in 1047, after which Benedict IX again took possession of “Peter’s Chair.” However, Benedict was again shunted aside when Damasus II was elected pope in 1048. Only twenty-three days later Damasus died unexpectedly. Leo IX then ascended the throne, remaining there until 1054. It was in 1054, with Pope Leo IX that the shameful turmoil roiled around the papal throne and scandals of clerical pederasty and the buying and selling of ecclesiastical pardons, offices or emoluments led to the “Great Schism” between Catholic and Orthodox churches. At issue, too, was disagreement over what constituted the claimed “primacy” of the pope.

After the death of Leo IX the papal throne remained empty for one year until Pope Victor II was elected in 1055; but he, too, died within two years and was succeeded by Pope Stephen IX. Then in a quick  parade there  passed Pope Stephen X (1058), Pope Benedict X (1058), Pope Nicholas II (to 1061), Pope Alexander II (to 1073), and Gregory VII (to 1085). Gregory VII displayed his worthiness as spiritual guide in his advice to Cursaders: “Cursed be the man who holds back his sword from shedding blood.” Gregory’s successor, Victor III, elected in 1087, soon died and Pope Urban II was elected in 1088, and directed the church for eleven years.

The “primacy” question raised in Pope Leo IX’s reign still divides Orthodox from Catholic, and disagreement still festers around just what that self-proclaimed “primacy” gives the pope. The meeting of Orthodox and Catholic representatives in Ravenna, Italy, October 8-15, 2007 again sought to agree on “primacy” matters to no avail. Haggled over was the manner in which that “primacy” is to be exercised, and how it can be said to relate to scriptural or theological basics.

Divine guidance and intervention seems necessary, but Heaven remains indifferent. No one seems to find it curious that hierarchical religious institutions are not proposed anywhere in scriptures.

First Israelites

Posted in Atheist with tags , , , , , , on March 14, 2009 by chouck017894

As mentioned in an earlier post, archaeological work in the Near East has shown that the Old Testament stories are not particularly reliable as a true recording of historical events. Certainly very little is ever presented in regard to the day-to-day life styles of the people that are supposedly represented. Where, for example, is there any information on the type of settlements that the “Israelites” favored? Where is it explained how the Israelites, fresh from a forty-year tromp through the wilderness and after many debilitaing battles, managed to support themselves after wresting the land from those who had dwelt there?

As history the Old Testament fails in presenting the how, why, where, and when of the take over of the Canaan region that would give support to the claims that are made. Ignored, for example, is any explanation of how the unkempt, bedraggled immigrants could have so quickly mastered the farming techiques that would be vitally necessary for successful settlement of the uplands and narrow valleys that they allegedly “conquered.” Instead, that which is offered as the “holy” accounting is a blindsided focus on more material things such as the alleged battle campaigns or the details of lands claimed by various tribes (as presented in Joshua). Or (as Judges) there is little but exaggerations of wars with enemies of the “kingdom” of Israel.

The seeming immediate adaptation of the forty-year wanderers to a sedentary way of life is nowhere explained. The reason for this omission is apparent when archaeological evidence is brought to light. The signs of “Israelite” arrival in the region is indisputable, but there has been found no supporting evidence that they marched in as a warring people. If any struggle took place, as the tales relate, it was in occassional scattered conflicts between desert herdsmen and established agriculturists, with the refugees gradually adopting the advantages of the sedentary way of life. Farmers and herders were not that difficult to evolve as components of a single society.

Sites that can be said to have been purely “Israelite” were located in the wooded regions of the central hill country of Canaan which were settled in the main during the Iron Age I (c.12th-11th centuries BCE), and the sites were continuously occupied into the period of the claimed Judaic  monarchies. Canaanite cities were beginning to break up in the Iron Age period and a transformation in lifestyle brought about the sudden establishment of over two hundred hilltop communities, and from a historical point these account for the first Israelites. These villages were not fortified, which is glaringly at odds with the biblical claim that there was almost continual warfare between the Israelites and their neighbors.