Archive for Deluge

Threats From Heaven

Posted in Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, ecology, environment, freethought, history, nature, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , on September 18, 2010 by chouck017894

Planet Earth had billions of years of experience and trauma behind it long before it eventually noticed that the proliferation of the animal that called itself man was a possible menace.  And man, on the whole, is so self-absorbed that he prefers to believe that the planet exists solely for his exploitation.  As a result, human acknowledgement of what he considers significant events in Earth’s past do not extend back much further than around four thousand years BCE.  The first year of the Jewish calendar, for example, is placed in the year 3760 BCE.  For most humans, whatever their “faith,” they labor under a peculiar blindness in regard to planetary disturbances that played into mankind’s spiritual understanding of Creation and the unity of all life.

For example, there is seldom even a nod given toward any past planetary events in organized religious practice; historians wallow in man’s continuous attacks upon it own species; and only a slim subdivision of science examines evidence of the traumas endured by Earth in the planet’s distant past.  This across-the-board avoidance in giving recognition to ancient cosmological interactions and Earth traumas seem almost schizophrenic.  Even when “holy” texts do allude to some celestial activities, the references are always kept tightly muzzled.

Past planetary events present some curiosities; such as the oddity that prior to c. 3600 BCE no object was recorded as moving in the orbital  position now traversed by the planet Venus.  And why is Venus the only member in our solar family that revolves upon its axis in a clockwise direction when all other “family” members revolve in a counterclockwise manner?  This is not likely to have developed if the object we call Venus had been in the formative period of planets around the gravitational force of solar activity.  It is curious also that prior to this time the Sumerians had believed in only one god.  Something seems to have happened in this general timeframe that changed popular belief in how the universe seemed to be governed.  Thus around c. 3500 BCE there came to be recognition of a number of gods, and chief among them in Sumer was the planet-god Marduk.

The later Neolithic period in Western Europe is calculated from around this same period; c. 3500 BCE to about 1500 BCE.  For some reason there seemed to have been widespread building of megaliths during this era.  It is estimated that over 50,000 such megaliths were built in this period of unusual celestial activity.  Placid skies may invite wonder and awe, but they do not often inspire groups  of people over a wide region to raise such structures for the purpose of vigilant observation of celestial movements.  From Egypt to the Indus Valley, from China to South and Central America there were also being built structures dedicated to the study of heavenly movements.  It was in this troubled age that the site that would become known a Jericho struggled as a small village which would last until it was leveled by planet-wide quakes around 1580 BCE.

Earlier, by about 2772 BCE, the great disturbances in the heavens and planetary shifts had necessitated the establishment of a new means of calculating the passage of time.  Thus a new calendar was introduced in Egypt in this period.  The beginning of the Egyptian calendar opened on the date which we would regard as July 19, 2769 BCE.  Years of observation had revealed that the fixed star Sirius appeared in the morning sky simultaneously with the onset of the flood season, which occurred annually between July 17 and 19.  And in China, too, the calendar was changed to the variable Sun-Moon observance, and by c. 2500 BCE it had been upgraded on the newly recognized equinoxes and solstices.

It is interesting to note that the Hebrew interpretation of regional happenings that make up the early books of the Hebrew Testament do not extend back in time much further than 2500 BCE.  By biblical tradition it is implied that Creation occurred only a thousand or so years earlier; thus Jewish tradition has their history beginning in 3760 BCE—or somewhat prior to the c. 3500 BCE onslaught of celestial disturbances.  There is a three hundred year time gap between the setting of Genesis and that of Exodus, which is traditionally accepted as having taken place around 1390 BCE.  The Flood story of Genesis, alleged to have occurred in 2348 BCE (according to Ussher’s Biblical Chronology), thus gets placed within the board timeframe of the celestial disturbances.  However, the succession of kings in ancient Egypt can be traced from 3001 BCE and continues uninterrupted through twelve dynasties, ending in 2146 BCE, so obviously any Deluge was not worldwide.

The legendary cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar would have flourished in this broad timeframe; all except Zoar are said to have been destroyed by a rain of brimstone.  Geologists who have studied the earth structure of the alleged locations have shown that the sites could have existed only in a 500 year span between 2800 and 2300 BCE—the very time that Ussher had placed the Deluge.  If the “wicked” cities had been built in the assumed locations they would have been built upon sandy soil that is subject to liquefaction under severe earthquake activity.  And this was a period of serious planetary quakes.  Buildings in that location would have quickly sunk into the ooze by at least three feet and the whole expanse would have flowed into the salty depths of the Dead Sea.  The friction and the sudden release of methane gas would have resulted in the intense fires that were said to have  accompanied the cities’ destruction.

For generations global climate disruptions continued to bring misery around the planet.  In Egypt rainfall ceased for years, and conditions became so bad that even the earthworms perished.  The severe conditions  prevailed for nearly 300 years (c. 2200 to 1900 BCE), and agricultural cities were completely abandoned.  But this is the time traditionally allotted for Abram and Sari—before they materialized as Abraham and Sarah.  Only in the early part of the second millennium BCE did there arrive in the Palestine region the tall, course, barbarous herdsmen—the ancestors of the Hebrews.  These cattle-owning, flesh-eating Semites who wandered into the agrarian region were at this time worshippers of a bull-god whom they called El.

The biblical patriarch Jacob is alleged to have lived around 1700 BCE.  And he is said to have moved to Egypt because severe famine had swept the world.  By this period the celestial disturbances had lessened for a while.  It was in this timeframe that Stonehenge, in what is now Great Britain, took on its larger megalithic form.  But then once again Earth was buffeted by celestial disturbances.  And curiously around 1600 BCE, according to the “authorized” accounts of humankind’s history, worldwide attention abruptly became  focused again upon disruptions in space.  The movements and proximity of that celestial body was again the source of uneasiness which would continue for more generations.  And nearly a thousand years later this would still be recalled in ancient Roman literature; it was even commented upon by Augustus, who quoted from a book called Of the Race of the Roman People by Marcus Varro.  In that book it was related that the planet they spoke of as Venus had once “…changed color, size,  form and  course, which had not happened before nor since…”   Of course religious implication had to be linked with the information, and Varro added, “…we read from the divine  books that even the sun itself stood still when a holy man, Joshua son of Nun, had begged this from God.”  This raises a problem, for if this happened in the time of Joshua’s invasion of Canaan then it predates Moses by centuries.  In association with this, however, the plagues that supposedly affirmed God’s favoritism of the Israelites and his prejudice against the Egyptians as related in Exodus would not be peculiar to Egypt; plague-like conditions would have been happening all around the planet.

Around 1500 BCE (slightly before the alleged time  of Moses) planet Earth entered into a strong magnetic field, resulting in a period of very heavy meteor showers.  This is confirmed by the accretion of meteoric dust throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and represent several times greater an accumulation than would otherwise be found there.  In the timeframe c. 1548 BCE the clouds that had long cloaked Earth had begun to dissipate, and to the astonishment of the world a radiant new planetary member had positioned itself: the Assyrians would call it Ishtar; the Greeks, Aphrodite; the Central American Indians, Quetzalcoatl; and the Romans named it Venus.

From c. 1548 BCE down to about the 8th century BCE was the period when the astronomer “prophets”  were repeatedly warning of approaching catastrophic events.  The newly established planet had affected not only the orbit and rotation of Earth, but had jarred the planet Mars into an uneasy path.  It was in this period that Mars gained the reputation around the world as the god of war; until this period little attention had ever been given to the quiet red planet.  It is the likely time that Mars lost its reserves of water.  While this was going on, all kinds of turmoil was loosed on Earth and there were mass migratory movements everywhere.  Thus c. 1445  BCE is the approximate time most commonly given in Hebrew accounts for the entry of the alleged twelve tribes of Israel into Palestine.  However, there are no history records anywhere to confirm this; there is only mention that a band of people known as Habiru or Abiri had come into the region.

Celestial  disturbances began to ease slightly toward the close of the 8th century BCE.  But Earth was experiencing exogenous disturbances in it rotation, and this  coincided with a reverse in Earth’s magnetic field.  Venus was then in an established orbit between Mars and Mercury.  It is in this timeframe that the “prophet” Isaiah referred to Venus in its orderly orbit allegedly saying, “How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the  morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12-13)  Other astronomer “prophets” of this general time were the minor “prophets” Joel, Micah and Amos.  Meanwhile Mars was struggling to obtain a regular orbit, and its unsettled circumstance was causing problems on Earth.

As is only vaguely indicated in the book of Isaiah, the mid-eighth century BCE was a period of worldwide disturbances, and this is supported by accounts from the other side of the planet.  Mayan chronology, according to the “Vatican Codes A-3738,” listed five distinct cycles of Earth’s continuation.  The end of the fourth cycle was given as c. 751 BCE (by modern calculation), and is said to have culminated in worldwide starvation.  Even so, it should be noted that the founding of Rome is traditionally placed in 753 BCE, and understandably Rome’s patron god was regarded to be Mars.  But troublesome events did not cease; a sudden catastrophic change in world climate occurred c. 747 BCE, which was hardest felt across the northern hemisphere.  After 747 BCE the orbit of planet Earth became slightly wider, the year lengthened accordingly, and it became necessary to again compile a new calendar.  Severe climate conditions were repeated again in 702 and 687 BCE.  Of course the familiar positions  of all constellations had changed, and this was even  commented upon centuries later by the great Roman playwright Seneca (4 BCE-65 CE).

These earthshaking events in our planets’ distant past were trimmed down as having been only regional confrontations in scriptural tales, which has only served to disguise and trivialize momentous truths. Could this scriptural habit be what inspires the advocates for Bible-based government in the U.S. to use climate science as a political football?

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Examples for Bible-based Government

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, Government, history, humanity, life, politics, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2010 by chouck017894

By biblical clues it was once determined that the murder of Abel by his brother Cain occurred in 3875 BCE.  Interestingly, the first year of the Jewish calendar was set as beginning in 3760 BCE—or 115 years later.  The brief and incomplete list that follows here, taken from “Holy Bible” stories, make it clear that the respect for life was not an especially high priority among God’s favorites.

The Deluge, whipped up by none other than God himself with the sole intention of obliterating the human species, supposedly occurred in 2348 BCE.  Oddly, part of the Lord’s instruction to Noah (who escaped being done in) was that Noah and his progeny must, among other listed immoral acts, refrain from committing homicide—the shameless counseling of do as I say, not as I do.  Scanning over the following brief highlights from biblical tales, remember that the definition of murder is the unconscionable killing of a human being.

 In the time of Abraham (c. 1860 BCE), the alleged progenitor of the Hebrews, the Lord asked Abe to sacrifice his son Isaac.  Abe said okay, but then the Lord said that it was only a test and provided a ram for slaughter.  Why the all-knowing creator would have to test Abraham in this cruel manner is never explained.  What this tale does reveal is that any tradition about not killing handed down from the time of Noah 488 years before was not taken seriously.

By the most commonly accepted calculations, Moses did not receive any commandment against homicide until 1491 BCE—or 369 years after Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of his son, and 2384 years after Abel’s death.  It might be said that the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” given to Moses was a case of too little too late.  Even with this commandment as counsel, good old Joshua, the God-favored successor to Moses, is proudly presented as freely indulging himself in holocaustic slaughter of countless Canaanites.

Then there is the tale of Jephthah, a blustery Israelite who was called upon by the Israelite elders to head off a threatened Ammonite attack around 1143 BCE.  Jephthah, positive of God’s favor, swore that if he won in battle then whatsoever cometh forth out of the doors of my house to meet me…” he would offer it  up for a burnt offering to God (II Judges).  Well, Jephthah won the battle.  His “honor” supposedly demanded the ritual murder of his daughter, for in joy to see his safe return she had rushed out to greet him.  God is portrayed as knowing all, so was it Jephthah’s fault or God’s divine indifference that Jeph had to murder his own daughter by fire?  Even God seems to have ignored his own edict handed down to Moses only 348 years earlier, for he did nothing to save the girl.

412 years after the Commandment Thou shalt not kill had been handed down, King Saul of Israel indulged himself in a swift war of extermination against the Amalekites in 1079 BCE in which, the boast goes, every man, woman babe and child were “utterly destroyed.”  This was bad enough, but then King Saul’s pitiless “prophet,” Samuel, is recorded as having savagely chopped the captured and defenseless Amalekites King Agag into mincemeat with a sword.  Samuel also contributed  to Israel’s gory glory by then promoting David (1040?-973? BCE) for the throne.  And ultimately, 23 years later after the slaughter of Agag, David did succeed Saul as King of Israel.

David is  presented in Holy Scripture as a master of deceit, mendacity and bloodshed, and followed the traditional pattern of killing everyone among a conquered people, including women, babes and children.  He even had people killed “lest they should tell on us” (1 Samuel 27:11).  David’s list of slaughters and atrocities are too many to present here, but his open disregard for the sixth commandment makes it questionable as to why God could ever have considered him a worthy founder of a royal dynasty or to be the protector of the Holy Ark of the Covenant.  David is commonly excused under the pretext that he displayed unfailing devotion to Jehovah!

Next we have Elijah, c. 910 BCE, who had the Phenician prophets of Baal put to death to prevent them from muscling in on his hold on the official religion of Israel.  The myth goes that after the murder of the Baal priests, rain and dew which God had jealously withheld for three years finally returned.  Besides murdering the priests of  Baal, Elijah also caused the destruction of two companies of fifty innocent messengers that had been sent to him by King Ahaziah of Israel.  There was eager anticipation that this “holy man” was to return to Earth, and this was later incorporated into Christian myth as the spiritual fulfillment in John the Baptist.

The successor of Elijah was Elisha, c. 896 BCE, another typically short-tempered and irascible Israelite “prophet,” who displayed his disregard for the sixth commandment with 42 unruly children on the road to Bethel.  The young delinquents allegedly teased him about his bald head.  In angry retaliation, holy Elisha is said to have cursed the children in the name of the Lord and immediately two bears appeared and ripped the children to shreds.  The weak excuse for this god-assisted murder of  forty-two children is that the “prophet” was weary and agitated from his fifteen mile hike from Jericho.  Elisha was not weary, however, when he hatched the conspiracy to seize the throne of Israel and elevate Jehu, the last son of Joram, as king.

Jehu, allegedly appointed by God and anointed by murderous Elisha as king of Israel (c. 843? BCE), lost little time in setting out to exterminate his predecessor King Ahab’s seventy children as well as the priests of Baal.  How the murder of the priests was accomplished is a mystery, for Elijah had supposedly already done all that.  But true to form, here is what chapter 10, verse 30 of 2 Kings says: And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is  right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.  Thus  blessed by the Lord, Jehu, without an ounce of scruple, later ordered two or three eunuchs to throw his wife Jezebel out a window to her death.

This  brief and far from complete list of God-favored characters from “the good book” have been offered as spiritual inspiration for countless generations.  Do they really exemplify the most exalted way of attracting peace, love, justice, mercy or intelligence that is so yearned for in the world?  Are these really examples that an advanced nation should follow?

 

Bible-Based Examples for Governing

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, freethought, history, humanity, life, logic, politics, random, religion, thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2009 by chouck017894

By biblical clues it was once determined that the murder of Abel by his brother Cain had occurred in 3875 BCE.  Interestingly, the first year of the Jewish calendar is set as beginning in 3760 BCE—a mere 115 years later.  The brief and incomplete list that follows here, taken from  “holy Bible” stories, make it dishearteningly clear that the respect for life was not especially a high priority of too many biblical characters.  Perhaps this was inspired by god’s indifference.

The Deluge, whipped up by god himself with the sole intention of obliterating the human species, supposedly occurred in 2348 BCE—1,527 years after Abel was slain.  Oddly, part of the Lord’s instruction to Noah after unleashing the killing deed upon the Earth was the admonishment that Noah and his progeny must, among other listed immoral acts, refrain from committing homicide.  A case of do as I say, not as I do.  As you scan over these brief highlights from biblical tales, remember that the definition of murder is the unconscionable killing of a human being.  Of course there had been no code of law established in Eden; an embarrassing oversight for an all-knowing Creator.

In the time of Abraham, the alleged progenitor of the Israelites, the Lord is said to have saved Abraham’s son Isaac from being sacrificed by Abraham in 1860 BCE.  Obviously any tradition handed down from the time of Noah 488 years earlier did not include the admonishment to refrain from taking another person’s life.

By the most commonly accepted calculations, Moses did not receive any announcement against homicide until c. 1491 BCE—or 369 years after Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of his son, and 2384 years after Abel’s untimely demise.  It might be said that the commandment “thou shalt not kill” was a case of too little too late.  Even with this commandment as counsel, good old Joshua, the god-favored successor to Moses, is portrayed as happily indulging himself in holocaustic slaughter of countless Canaanites.

Then there is the tale of Jephthah, a blustery Israelite who was called upon by the Israelite elders to head off a threatened Ammonite attack in 1143 BCE.  Jephthah swore that if he won in battle then “…whatsoever cometh forth out of the doors of my house to meet me…” I will then offer it up for a burnt offering (2 Judges).  Well, Jephthah won the battle.  His “honor” supposedly demanded the ritual murder of his daughter, for in her joy to see his safe return his daughter had rushed out to meet him.  Was it Jephthah’s fault or god’s indifference that caused the girl to be burned to death?  Even god seems to have ignored his own edict not to kill that he had handed down only 348 years before, for he did nothing to save the girl.

412 years after the commandment not to kill had been handed down, King Saul of Israel is said to have indulged himself in a swift war of extermination against the Amalekites in 1079 BCE in which, the boast goes, every man, woman, babe, and child were “utterly destroyed.”  This was poor press for the children of god, but was made even worse by King Saul’s pitiless “prophet,” Samuel, depicted as having savagely chopped the captured and defenseless Amalekite King Agag into mincemeat with a sword.  Samuel also contributed to Israel’s gory glory by then promoting David (1040-973? BCE) for the throne.  And ultimately, 23 years after Saul’s slaughter of Agag, David is said to have succeeded Saul as King of Israel.

David was a master of deceit, mendacity, and bloodshed, and he followed the traditional pattern of killing everyone among a conquered people, including women, babes, and children..  He even had people killed “…lest they should tell on us…” (1 Samuel 27:11).  David’s list of slaughters and atrocities are too many to present here, but his open disregard for the sixth commandment makes it questionable why god could ever have considered him a worthy founder of a royal dynasty or to be the protector of the Ark of the Covenant.  David is commonly excused under the pretext that he displayed unfailing devotion to Jehovah.  Say What? 

Elijah, c. 910 BCE, had the Phenician prophets of Baal put to death to prevent them from muscling in on his hold on the official religion in Israel.  The myth goes that after the slaughter of Baal priests, rain and dew which god had grudgingly withheld for three years finally fell.  Besides destroying the priests of Baal, Elijah also caused the destruction of two companies of fifty innocent messengers c. 852 BCE who had been sent to him by King Ahaziah of Israel.  The eager anticipation of this “holy” man’s return to Earth became incorporated in Christian myth as spiritually fulfilled in John the Baptist.

Elisha, c. 896 BCE, another typically short-tempered and irascible Israelite “prophet,” displayed his disregard for the sixth commandment in his encounter with 42 unruly children on the road to Bethel.  The young delinquents allegedly teased him about his bald head.  In angry retaliation, holy Elisha is said to have cursed the children in the name of the lord and immediately two bears appeared and ripped the children to pieces.  The weak excuse for the god-assisted murder of 42 children is that the “prophet’ was weary and agitated from his fifteen mile hike from Jericho.  Elisha was not weary, however, when he hatched the conspiracy to seize the throne of Israel and elevate Jehu, the last son of Joram, as king.

Jehu, appointed by god and anointed by the “prophet” Elisha as king of Israel (c. 843? BCE), lost little time in setting out to exterminate his predecessor King Ahab’s seventy children as well as the priests of Baal.  (Hadn’t Elijah done away with Baal priests already?)  But true to form, here is what 2 Kings 10:30 says:  And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.  Thus blessed by god for his killing, Jehu, without an ounce of scruple, later ordered two or three eunuchs to throw his wife Jezebel out of a window to fall to her death. 

This brief and incomplete list of biblical characters from “the good book” have been offered as spiritual inspiration for countless generations.  Do these bloody tales really exemplify the most exalted way of attracting peace, justice, love, and mercy that is so yearned for in the world?  Do the citizens of the United States really aspire to use these “Bible based” or “Faith Based” examples as our principles of a just government?

Time Honored Holy Examples

Posted in Atheism, Atheist, Bible, culture, random, religion, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2009 by chouck017894

By biblical clues it was once determined that the murder of Abel by his brother Cain happened in 3875 BCE.  Interestingly, the first year of the Jewish calendar is set as beginning in 3760–a mere 115 years later.  The brief and incomplete list that now follows, taken from “holy Bible” stories, make it distressingly clear that the respect for life was not especially a high priority of too many biblical characters.  Perhaps this was inspired by god’s divine indifference.

The Deluge, whipped up by god himself with the sole intention of obliterating the human species, supposedly occurred in 2348 BCE.  Oddly, part of the Lord’s instruction to Noah after unleashing the killing deed was the admonishment that Noah and his progeny must, among other listed immoral acts, refrain from committing homicide.  A case of do as I say, not as I do.  So as you scan over these brief highlights taken from biblical tales, remember that the definition of murder is the unconscionable killing of a human being.

In the  time Abraham, the alleged progenitor of the Hebrews, the Lord allegedly saved Isaac, Abraham’s son, from being sacrificed to the Lord by Abraham in 1860 BCE.  Obviously any tradition handed down from the time of Noah 488 years earlier had not included the admonishment to refrain from taking another person’s life.

By the most commonly  accepted calculations, Moses did not receive any announcement against homicide until 1491 BCE—or 369 years after Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of his son, and 2384 years after Abel’s untimely demise.  It might be said that the commandment “thou shalt not kill” was a case of too little too late.  Even with this commandment as counsel, good old Joshua (from which the name Jesus was derived), the god-favored successor to Moses, indulged himself in holocaustic slaughter of countless Canaanites.

Then there is the tale of Jephthah, a blustery Israelite who was called upon by the Israelite elders to head off a threatened Ammonite attack in 1143 BCE.  He swore that if he won in battle then whatsoever cometh forth out of the doors  of  my house to meet me…” I will offer it up for a burnt offering (II Judges).  Well, Jephthah won, apparently with god’s help.  His “honor” supposedly demanded the ritual murder of his daughter, for in her joy to see his return, she had rushed out to meet him.  Was it Jephthah’s fault or god’s indifference that caused the girl to be burned to death?  Even god seemed to ignore his own edict handed down only 348 years before, for he did nothing to save the girl.

412 years after the commandment not to kill had been handed down, King Saul of Israel indulged himself in a swift war of extermination against the Amalekites in 1079 BCE in which, the boast goes, every man, woman, babe and child were “utterly destroyed.”  This was bad enough, but then Saul’s pitiless “prophet” Samuel is recorded as having savagely chopped the captured and defenseless Amalekite King Agag into mincemeat with a sword.  Samuel also contributed to Israel’s gory glory by then promoting David (1040?-973? BCE) for the throne.  And ultimately, twenty-three years later after the slaughter of Agag, David did allegedly succeed Saul as King of Israel.

David was a master of deceit, mendacity and bloodshed, and followed the traditional pattern of killing everyone among a conquered people, including women, babes, and children.  He even had people killed “lest they should tell on us” (1 Samuel 27:11).   David’s list of slaughters and atrocities are too many to present here, but his open disregard for the sixth commandment make it questionable why god could ever have considered him worthy of a royal dynasty or to be the protector of the Ark of the Covenant.  David is commonly excused under the pretext that he displayed unfailing devotion to Jehovah.  Say what?

Elijah, c. 910 BCE, had the Phenician prophets of Baal put to death to prevent them from muscling in on his hold on the official religion of Israel.  The myth goes that after the slaughter of Baal priests, rain and dew which god had withheld for three years finally fell again.  Besides destroying the priests of Baal, Elijah also caused the destruction of two companies of fifty innocent messengers c. 825 BCE sent to him by King Ahaziah of Israel.  The eager anticipation of this “holy” man’s return to earth was later incorporated into Christian myth as the spiritual fulfillment in John the Baptist.

Elisha, c. 896 BCE, was another short-tempered and irascible Israelite “prophet” who showed his disregard for the sixth commandment in his encounter with 42 unruly children on the road to Bethel.  The young delinquents allegedly teased him about his bald head.  In angry retaliation holy Elisha is said to have cursed the children in the name of the lord and immediately two bears appeared and ripped the children to pieces. The weak excuse for the god-assisted murder of 42 children is that the “prophet” was weary and agitated from his fifteen mile hike from Jericho.  Elisha was not weary, however, when he hatched the conspiracy to seize the throne of Israel and elevate Jehu, the last son of Joram, as king.

Jehu, appointed by god and anointed by Elisha as king of Israel (c. 843? BCE), lost little time in setting out to exterminate his predecessor King Ahab’s seventy children as well as the priests of Baal.  (How the priests had to be exterminated is a mystery, for Elijah had supposedly done all that before.)  But true to form, here is what chapter10, verse 30 of 2 Kings says:  And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in  executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.  Thus blessed by the Lord, Jehu, without an ounce of scruple, later ordered two or three eunuchs to throw his wife Jezebel out of a window to her death.

This brief and incomplete list of biblical characters from the “good book” have been offered as spiritual inspiration for countless generations.  Do they really exemplify the most exalted way of attracting peace, justice, love and mercy that is so yearned for in the world?