Archive for Isaac

Abraham, Sarah and India

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, freethought, prehistory, random, religion with tags , , , , , , , on September 22, 2010 by chouck017894

Did the Hebrew priests of Yahweh in 7th century BCE Jerusalem get religious ideas not only from Babylonia and Egypt, but from India as well? Few persons in the three western Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) ever seem to notice the anagrammatic relationship of the name Abraham to the supreme being known as Brahma in Hindu religion and philosophy.  In the earliest part of Hindu texts the name of the Hindu initiator of life was spelled Brama, but later the letter H is added thus making it Brahma.  To understand the value behind Brahma’s name, the Creator-being of Hinduism, it is found encoded in the word used for the Source and Cause of everything; Parabrahm.  There is insider information for the addition of the letter H to the names Brama and Abram—and it was also added to the name Sari, Abram’s sister/wife, as well, changing her identity to Sarah.  The letter H or h is inserted to indicate the accomplishment of life with defined matter form. 

The story of Abram and Sari appearing in Genesis, the book of beginnings, continues in mythological style the dimensional advance of pre-physical energies that were earlier represented with the characters of Adam and Eve, and which personified primal elements being moved out of Source.  In other words, Adam and Eve represent polar activity that is necessary for primal elements to be energized toward life.  Abram and Sari literally flesh out the story elements as personifications of the pre-physical energies advancing into material identity.  These biblical characters, therefore, were not based on any historical persons; they represent the two polar developmental aspects within creative energy that are responsible for all life attaining matter form.

Abram’s “ancestry” is recorded in chapter 11 of Genesis, the book of beginnings, with a listing of much begatting which ends, finally, with the terse verse 27; “Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.”  That’s it.  No angelic announcements, no signs in the sky, nothing that commonly attends the introduction of such a major mythic character.  Just splat! there he is.  For a man held to be the alleged seed bearer of all Israelites this is rather a short shrift.  Abram’s father’s name, Terah, has a curious phonetic and suggestive echo to the Latin word terra, which means “earth.”

Abram is depicted as having been the patriarch of “Ur of the Chaldees,” and the name of the city, Ur, means “light” or “fire.”  One of the identities in the Chaldean trinity was known as Aur, the god of light.  Thus Abram symbolically represents the Life Principle which is active within Creation’s Source, so he represents the same light that all theological interpretations say accompanies energy manifestation toward a defined form.

Abram is thus the personification of the Genetic Principle, and Sarai is the related primal energy-substance that is acted upon.  It is identical in plotline and meaning as the earlier Adam and Eve story.  Abram was told to leave “…from thy father’s house…” just as Adam was given the bum’s rush out of Eden.  And Abram departed “…not knowing whither he went.”  Hidden in this line is a scientific truth: genetic energy is not dynamic for the purpose of any particular destiny.  Abram departs from Ur and, the authors assert, winds up in Canaan, which is used as a metaphor for energy in proto-matter formation.  And he then has a layover at Beth-el, which happens to mean “house of God;” so the characters have not yet left the primal planes of Creation.  The source material from which the priest-authors drew inspiration for this claim is obvious, for beth is Egyptian meaning “house,” and el is Babylonian meaning “god.”  So Abram and Sarai are still “in the house of god” and not yet endowed with physical identity.

We should note here that the Hindu goddess Saraswati (saras means “flow”) was said to be the sister-consort of Brahma.  The Yahweh priest-authors who knew of the Hindu texts were not exactly confident as to what Brama and his sister-consort Saraswati represented.  The priest-authors, not knowledgeable of the polar aspect within Creative activity, felt morally bound to refine the idea of a marriage of brother and sister by recasting Sarai as Abram’s half-sister, which was then acceptable according to their law.  In doing so the authors wound up mystifying and suppressing the more scientific ancient teachings of how life becomes manifest as matter.  The authors did not feel any particular moral guilt in reinterpreting that knowledge into theological-historical context, however.

Thus the story continues that at the alleged age of 75 Abram set out with Sarai, Lot, their servants, cattle and treasures, and journeyed southward to Shechem, a major Canaanite hill country city.  There God allegedly appeared to Abram to tell him that his offspring would possess the material future.  At this point the priest-authors then had Abram journey into Egypt.  But Egypt was commonly used as a metaphor for energy as matter in scriptural myth, and since Abram and Sarai have not yet had the letter H added to their names, the plotline of them temporarily entering the energy plane of matter is out of sequence—they are not yet matter beings!  Nonetheless, their priest-inspired adventures illustrate how to gain by deceit, for by having Abram not telling the Pharaoh that Sarai was his wife, and the Pharaoh desired her for his concubine, they gained considerable material wealth.  Abram and Sarai are portrayed as using the same scam again on King Abimelech of Gerar.  (These episodes were “borrowed” from the Egyptian Tale of the Two Brothers—which also provided a similar storyline regarding Joseph and the wife of Potiphar, in Genesis also, 39:1-20.)

Even after years of marriage Sarai was barren, and so she provided eighty-five year old Abram with her Egyptian bond-woman that he might conceive a son.  Thus began the myth of Ishmael.  (We should note here that Sarai’s long barrenness is paralleled in the later Genesis myths of Rachel, wife of Jacob, and Rebekah, wife of Isaac.)  But then when Abram was ninety-nine, according to biblical reckoning, Abram evolved into Abraham, and Sarai was transformed into Sarah.  The transformation into definable matter had occurred.  It was then that God is alleged to have told Abraham that his descendants would rule all the land of Canaan.

In Hebrew myth the physical Sarah was said to have remained irresistibly beautiful even after her ninetieth year, which is when she conceived and bore Isaac.  And, legend asserts, she even was capable of suckling all her neighbors infant children as well as Isaac.  This is not within human capacity, but it underlines the mythic atmosphere that covered the ancient lessons that once taught how energy takes form as matter. “Barren” Sarai personified primordial energy-substance, which can and does suckle all developing life, but Sarah represents matter-life; so these two different personifications of matter-life development are again blurred.

Few who take the  Bible literally seldom ponder the implication of this transformation into Abraham and Sarah, or that aging of the body never occurred in any prior biblical tale.  And to Abraham and Sarah the son Isaac was born, and it was only after this that conditions of lingering death began to be portrayed.  There is no account of Eve dying, for example, because she represents the primal and eternal energy-substance out of which all matter is to be projected into manifestation.  On the other hand, Sarah “…died in Kirjath-arba; the same is in the land of Canaan…”  (Genesis 23:2), for she represents the energy-substance through which matter-life achieves its expression.  With the birth of Isaac, Sarah soon exits the story.  Strangely, Isaac is in turn about the most shadowy figure among the other alleged patriarchs.

Isaac fulfills the means for Abraham’s descendents to claim rule of all the land of Canaan, as Yahweh allegedly promised.  There is, however, a bizarre last-minute stipulation for them to receive this bequest, the priest-authors recorded, and that was the covenant that every male child was to be circumcised.  Ancient Creation lessons from which this practice was instigated had taught that consciousness in matter is to be cut away in order for higher potential to advance into refined being.  Circumcision of males offers wise health advantages for males, but it is hardly a reasonable mark of godly favoritism.  If God deemed the foreskin to be superfluous or offensive to him, he could, being omniscient, easily eliminate it without imposing pain and scars.  Indeed, twelve starring characters in scriptural myths are claimed to have been born already circumcised: Adam, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Terah, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David, Isaiah and Jeremiah.  Thus the illusion of God’s tendency to favoritism is made to prevail.

Will literalists ever wake up to the fact that such stories as these are not based on historical events?  The mythical style used throughout Hebrew scriptures is acceptable only when understood that it illustrates the non-moral genetic nature of Causation.

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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?

 

Spring Equinox and Religious Myths

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Christianity, culture, faith, history, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2010 by chouck017894

In astronomy (the scientific study of the universe beyond the Earth) the point in Aries (about March 21-22 in the Northern Hemisphere) at which the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator, and the length of day and night are approximately equal all around Earth, is known as the Vernal Equinox or Spring Equinox.  This is one of four times of year that terrestrial position relative to the universe have been commemorated since most remote prehistory times.

The remote but documented Time Frame c. 3000-2000 BCE:  The  ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Elamites, Mesopotamians, Persians, etc. customarily celebrated their New Year at the time of the Vernal Equinox, and the custom remains in Iran to this day.  The Chaldeans also recognized the period  following the Spring Equinox, which lapsed over into Taurus, as the harbinger of spring.  Their festivity echoed the earlier Sumerians’ reference to Taurus as the “Bull of Light,” the charging force that maintained the cycle of the seasons.  Out of this understanding the Bull constellation came to symbolize the renewal of the world after winter’s “death,” and its appearance was honored with annual resurrection rites.  In ancient Egypt on the occurence of the full moon at the Vernal Equinox (the point in Aries) the nation celebrated in joy the domination of the Ram.  The Egyptian holiday Sham El Nessim, can be traced back to at least 2700 BCE, and it is still one of Egypt’s holidays.

Time Frame c. 1500-1200 BCE:  A pre-Mosaic festival marking the advent of Spring was celebrated among the nomadic Hebrew people.  This early observance recognized the Ram (Aries) as symbolic of the spring period, as in Egypt, and this symbolism is echoed in the Genesis myth where Abraham is told to sacrifice his “only begotten son” to God, but at the last moment a ram is miraculously provided by God as a substitute.  The son Isaac thus equals the lamb “slain from the foundation of the world.”  What this and other similar prehistory literary subterfuges refer to is the creation process in which the first elements are given up to allow prototype formation to begin—the developmental process when elementary particles are activated so they may pass-over into matter development.

Time  Frame c.25 BCE:  Mystery cults that were  popular in Greece began to influence the Roman culture in this period, and by 200 Before our Common Era the cult of Cybele, a Phrygian/Greek nature goddess, was ensconced on what was later to became known as Vatican Hill.  The cult also honored Cybele’s consort Attis (nearly identical to older cultures’ gods such as Tammuz,  Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus).  Her festival began on “Black Friday,” so-called because of bloodletting that took place  during the self-emasculation ceremony of aspiring priests, known as Corybantes.  Attis, Cybele’s consort, was presented as having been born of a virgin (Nana), and was meant to be a sacrificial victim and savior of mankind.  The celebration in his honor was on March 25—or exactly nine months before his annual rebirth (December 25).  Curiously, in Roman Catholicism the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is held on March 25, and celebrated the alleged time when the angel Gabriel told Mary that she had been made pregnant (Luke 1:26-38).

Time Frame c. 100+ CE:   Ancient Saxons, a Germanic people who first appeared in history in the writings of Ptolemy in the second century CE, held a feast day for the goddess Ostara (the Saxon version of the German lunar goddess Eostre) on the full moon following the Spring Equinox.  It is from this Pagan goddess that Christianity absorbed its name Easter, which is celebrated in near-identical season calculation to the Saxon festival.

At the Vernal Equinox, due to the Earth’s movements, the Sun seemingly remains suspended in one position for three days where the ecliptic and equator cross.  This is the “cross” upon which the Sun is figuratively crucified every year.  This  apparent lack of motion accounts for the three days following the alleged crucifixion of Jesus after which he is said to have risen from the dead to appear to Mary Magdalene and some disciples.  From this part of the account we could conclude that Jesus performed his “Second Coming” at that time.

These brief (and far from complete) times-gone-by anecdotes are meant to show how disguised Pagan awe for nature and the wonder workings of the universe have subtly colored the rites and ceremonies of every organized western religion of today.  The honesty at the heart of Pagan respect for the interrelated elements at work  throughout the universe has been tramped down to pulp in the stampede of building hierarchical-style “faith” systems.  That loss has not been exactly for the betterment of anyones personal spiritual understanding or guidance.

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?

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.