Archive for Isaiah

Years of Heavenly Havoc

Posted in Astronomy, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, history, nature, prehistory, random, religion, science, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on July 1, 2010 by chouck017894

Of major importance in understanding how the priests of Yahweh could convince people that their staging of “history” was truthful, it all seemed to be supported by periodic disturbances that had dominated the heavens for generations.  The heavens had been in a state of instability that began around 1600 BCE with the passage of a huge comet into the solar system.  In the eighth century BCE, as Yahweh’s priests composed their version of history, planet Earth experienced exogenous disturbances in its rotation, and this coincided with a reverse in Earth’s magnetic poles.  Also at this time the young planet Venus had at last attained an established orbit, causing the “prophet” Isaiah (who kept watch of the heavens, meaning he was an astronomer) to allegedly say, “How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer (Venus), son of the morning!  How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12-13).  In this same general  timeframe other cultures around the world, such as Babylon and  China, found  it necessary to formulate a new calendar.  The newly established eight-year orbital cycle of Venus determined the schedule for the Olympic Games, the event being held every half cycle.  The orbital period of Venus was also of prime importance to the Mayans and Aztecs on the opposite side of the planet.

Other biblical astronomer “prophets” of this general timeframe were the minor “prophets” Joel, Micha and Amos.  It was Amos who began warning that a new terror was approaching “out of the north,” referring to the disturbed orbit of the planet Mars.  He predicted that a raash—a catastrophic commotion—was to fall upon Earth and that Syria, Edom, Moab, Ammon, Phisitia and other far-off countries would be devoured “…with the tempest in the day of the whirlwind.”  Both Amos and Joel warned that the whole Earth would be shaken (using the word shaog) as opposed to some local earthquake.  For all his warnings the astronomer Amos was persecuted and killed.  But all that he foretold came to pass, and the planetary jolt was so severe that Earth’s rotation was disturbed.  Assyro-Babylonian records confirm heavenly havoc took place and that there was no eclipse of the sun in the regions of Babylon or Assyria between the years 762 to 701 BCE.  Science has confirmed the reversal of Earth’s magnetic poles is clearly evident in the magnetic dip of the iron particles in the kiln-dried vases by the Greeks and Etruscans of this timeframe. 

The “prophet” Isaiah had an observatory-watchtower from which he pursued his calculations of heavenly activities.  In this timeframe the focus of his concern was the trajectory of planet Mars, which had had its previous calm orbital pattern disturbed by the movements of Venus.  Thus the portrayal of Isaiah as a “prophet” disguised and mystified his reliance upon the science of astronomy to warn of impending upheavals.  The priests later recorded in Isaiah 29:5-6 that “…a multitude of terrible ones” bombarded the Earth.  In other words, there was a rain of destruction caused by the inrush of meteors during the close passage of Earth’s two neighboring planets.  Mars passed close to Earth’s electrical field which resulted in “…thunder, and earthquake, and great noise, the storm and tempest and the flame of devouring fire…”  Thus when the “prophet” Isaiah warned of “stones falling  from the sky,” he meant exactly that.

Isaiah relied entirely on his skills in the science of astronomy, charting the times of likely heavenly turmoil.  The priestly authors of Judaic lore, however, preferred to render the scientific studies used by Isaiah into the illusion that God had showered him with the divine gift of prophecy.  That way even in times of terrifying turmoil the priests could pretend an especial insight of God’s plans.  Isaiah conducted his watch of the heavens through the reign of four kings of Juda  —Uzziah,  Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah.  In this period of time Assyria was at the height of its power, and Hezekiah’s priest advisors were urging the king to ally himself with the Egyptians against the possible Assyrian invasion.  Isaiah, however, thought it much wiser to ally with Assyria, for he reasoned that the coming natural disasters would be better met by having closer provisional support.  Hezekiah followed priestly advice and Assyria attacked.  The skies opened and according to 2 Kings an “…angel of the  Lord went forth and slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians.”  In other words, the unprotected Assyrians were driven off by the bombardment of meteorites. 

 The book of Isaiah is the first and longest book of the major “prophets,” consisting of a collection of “prophecies” attributed to Isaiah. The book, which is divided into five sections that are of similar length, is the result of a massive amount of editing and self-serving by the priest authors.  Each section begins with an attack on people’s arrogance and an appeal for (priestly) justice, and culminates with a hymn or prophecy of salvation—obvious  intrusions on what Isaiah had actually presented.  The books of the “prophets” extend from c. 750 to c. 450 BCE, and  include Amos, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Lamentation, and Daniel—a period in which the heaven adjusted to portray what we see today.

Neither religionists nor scientists of today give serious consideration to ancient accounts of interplanetary disturbances in Earth’s past.  Indeed, most accounts were systematically destroyed.  All of them could not be obliterated, however, and we have reference to those frightening times by several eminent writers.  One highly reputable one was Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE-65 CE), who wrote in what is called the Silver Age of Latin literature.  Seneca authored seven books under the title of Questiones Naturuleas dealing with meteorology and astronomy.  Pertinent to this post, Seneca wrote of frightening heavenly disturbances that once occurred in the Etruscan-Roman past, and he made careful distinction between the lightning discharges of  “lesser bolts” generated out of clouds and the Earth-scarring bolts that had taken place between planets “by which the threefold mass of mountains fell.”

And a contemporary of Seneca, Pliny the Elder (c. 23-79 CE), soldier, statesman and author, was familiar with older Etruscan books and referred to them in his Natural History regarding a great planetary lightning discharge from the planet Mars a few centuries previously which totally destroyed Bolsena, “the richest town in Tuscany” (in Etruscan territory).  As did Seneca, Pliny made studied distinction between lightning generated between clouds and the thunderbolts exchanged between planets.

What Marked Jerusalem as Holy

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, faith, history, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2010 by chouck017894

What was it about the location that became Jerusalem that inflamed Yahweh priests with the obsession that a temple must be built upon one certain mount in Judaea?  Even before the priests of Yahweh arrived at the mount, the site had been regarded as sacred by inhabitants of the region.  The earliest known name for the site was Ur-Shalem (or Yeru-Shalem), and from as far back as can be traced the hub area of Ur-Shalem encompassed three particular mounts.  The most ancient names of the mounts seem to point to some singular association that is yet to be discovered.  The southernmost mount had the name of “Mount of the Signal” in antiquity; the northernmost peak is said to have been known as “Mount of the Observers.”  The central mount, however, seems to have been central in more ways than one, for it bore the name “Mount of Directing.”  This is the mount which is claimed to have been seen by Abraham from a distance; he is alleged to have  witnessed a heavy cloud over this mount in which the glory of god was seen.  The word Ur translates roughly as fire or light, but the word Shalem is remarkably similar to the Hebrew shalom, the greeting or farewell meaning peace.  Jerusalem has thus been said, rather ironically considering its history of discord, to mean light and peace.  Another speculation is that shalem means something like the perfect place.

Curiously the barren mountain site that would become Jerusalem lacked the basic needs for a center of religious or political pursuits.  There was neither water nor food sources near the site, nor even any trade or military routes anywhere near.  One might be inclined to call it a god-forsaken place!  Around c. 2000-1800 BCE there was little in the region but small sparsely inhabited highland areas.  When the Yahweh priests arrived they were already determined that one particular spot there was marked out as a center that god favored.  What was the supposed special indicator that the place was blessed by heaven?  It was a massive artificially cut rock.  The priests were divinely certain that despite the stone’s antiquity it had all been fashioned just for them.

The sacred rock was  known in Hebrew as Eben Sheti-yah, and translates as the “Stone from which the world was woven.”  This reference seems to hold an intricate relationship to the more ancient names for the three mounts mentioned earlier upon which Jerusalem evolved.  The sacred rock can be deduced as once having served as a kind of platform that was put in place atop artificially cut massive stone blocks—in pre-diluvial times.  The sacred rock at the Jerusalem location has a startling similarity in age and structure to the more massive stone platform located at Baalbeck, in today’s Lebanon.  This sacred rock, therefore, existed for millennia before c 1000 BCE—which is the timeframe when David is alleged to have captured the sparse area (today’s Mount Zion) from the Jebusites (an early tribal league).

Tradition says that the sacred rock was cube-like, with its corners precisely facing the four directions of the compass.  In addition, it is said that two tube-like funnels had been bored out of the rock, and these connected to a subterranean tunnel.  How these feats could have been accomplished in prehistory times, or the purpose they served is unknown.  Tradition has it also that the construction plans for the temple that was erected later had been provided directly by an unnamed source which holy myth, of course, credits to “the Lord.”

We should also note that ancient names of the valleys in the area carried special implication as well.  For example, Isaiah spoke of one of them as the Valley of Hizzayon, which loosely translates as Valley of Vision.  Ugaritic texts tell of divine healers in a valley they called Valley of Repha’im (the healers).  Legends from prehistory times also tell of a subterranean region in “the Valley of Hinnom,” where the entrance could be discerned by a column of smoke that rose between two palm trees. 

Archeological research has shown that the biblical accounts of Canaan-Israel-Judah history are far from reliable.  A brief example: the character of Saul (c. 1025-1005 BCE), the alleged first king of Israel, was supposedly installed by the eleventh century BCE judge and “prophet” Samuel.  This places it in the Iron Age I period.  Nothing has ever been unearthed in archeological digs that even suggests that a prosperous united monarchy existed then.  And no archeological evidence has ever been found of David’s alleged kingdom, and no indication of the conquests attributed to David have been unearthed either.  In fact, evidence reveals that settlements in the Jerusalem region in this Iron Age I timeframe experienced no interruption of Canaanite culture.  Likewise, in regard to David’s alleged son Solomon (time setting c. 970-931 BCE), nothing has ever been brought to light of any monumental architecture in Jerusalem, Megiddo or Hazor in this timeframe as has been attributed to Solomon. 

The holy truth is that precious little reliable priestly accounting of Israel or Judah surfaces until around 800 BCE.  Even then much of the priest-written “history” has been freely embroidered upon.  It is wise to remember that Jews are never mentioned until the Maccabees (Hasmonaeans), a Jewish dynasty of “patriots,” high priests and kings of the 2nd and 1st century BCE who sought to rouse the Jews against their Seleucid ruler.

  •  See related posts, The David Saga, parts 1 and 2; and  Solomon’s Majesty, August 2009.

Heaven in Turmoil

Posted in agnoticism, Astronomy, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, history, life, prehistory, random, religion, science, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2010 by chouck017894

Curiosities abound throughout the “authorized” accounts of humankind’s history.  Few, however, are as baffling as to why the celestial body we know as planet Venus suddenly became the object of worldwide attention around the general timeframe 1650-1600 BCE.  In this timeframe the Babylonians were well-schooled in mathematics, calculations, algebra, and quadratic equations, and they had become increasingly nervous about disturbances taking place in the heavens.  Astronomical records were being kept in the reign of Ammisaduga, and from these it is clear that astronomers were fully aware that the routine rotation of stars around Earth was an illusion that was caused by Earth revolving on it own axis.  The plotting of heavenly mechanics such as the equinoxes and solstices were routine to them. 

So it was a situation of uneasiness to witness the looming presence in the sky of an unknown celestial object—especially since its presence coincided with an alteration in Earth’s rotation and tilt.  And there was also the small matter of the volcanic mountain Stroggili on the Isle of Thera (Santorin) having erupted in the Mediterranean—one of the planet’s oversized volcanic eruptions.  It was in this period that the new celestial entity began being addressed as a deity—a goddess of awesome beauty and terrifying power—an awe and fear that would possess the people of the world for many generations.  Indeed, this period of frightening and dramatic celestial changes is attested to in later Roman literature, such as the book Of The Race of the Roman People by Marcus Varro.  In this book the author related that the planet we know as Venus had “…changed its color, size , form, course, which had not happened before nor since…”  Varro backed up his account saying that renowned astronomers affirmed that the event had indeed happened to the “Morning star,” and it had never happened before or  since.  Varro also noted, “…we read from the divine books that even the sun itself stood still when a holy man Joshua, the son of Nun, had begged this from God.”  Let us note here that even “saint”  Augustine quoted from this man’s book. 

The timeframe in question here, c. 1600s BCE, is another period that has often been accepted as the period-setting for the Exodus story—as well as being the “time of Agog,” who allegedly laid the foundation of Thebes (Egypt).  It can be understood how recollections of such chaotic events could be confused, condensed and intermingled by later historians.  There is, as example, a Samaritan chronicle that relates that during the time period in which Joshua supposedly led an invasion into Canaan a new star was born in the east.   If this star-birth event took place in the time allotted to Joshua, then it predates the timeframe for the Moses tale by centuries.  The Samaritan account of the new star said it held power “against which all magic is vain.”  That pretty much discredits the claim that Joshua had any influence over the heavenly bombardment that took place. 

Of interest  in connection with this are the findings unearthed by recent archeologists that confirm that events of the Joshua story were in reference to celestial conditions and activities that took place earlier than events that make up the Moses epic.  The later priest-historians at work  in Jerusalem (c. 800 BCE) found it more beneficial to their purpose to reinterpret past events to provide themselves with a history that supported their claim to authority. 

There are other scriptural stories that tell of these heavenly happening and the continuing threats from the heavens that went on for generations.  Approximately fifty-two years after c. 1600 BCE, or around 1548, the celestial body that had so traumatized Earth seems to have emerged out of decades of clouded skies to appear as a radiant new member of the solar family—that is to say it had attained a fairly orderly orbital pattern among the neighboring planets. The Assyrians called the new planet Ishtar: the Greeks called it Aphrodite: the ancient Mexican records name it Quetzalcoatl: and the Romans would call it Venus. 

The heavens were not yet peaceful, however, and Earth had more to endure.  The awe and fear that the new planet still inspired is shown in it being addressed as beautiful but fearsome celestial deity.  Even some 750 years later(c. 800 BCE) the new planet still exerted strong influence upon planet Earth to trigger exogenous disturbances in Earth’s rotation, which coincided with a  reverse in Earth’s magnetic field.  And this is the timeframe of the “prophet” Isaiah who had this to say about the adjustment of the new-neighbor planet: “How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer (Venus), son of the morning!  How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12-13)

Even as late as c. 606 BCE, the timeframe of the “prophet” Jeremiah, the inhabitants of Earth were still apprehensive of the orbital irregularities of planets Venus and Mars—for the Venus intrusion had serious effect on the orbit of the once peaceful Mars.  In this period, even in spite of the recent Babylonian invasion and destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews still gave Venus devotion as “queen of heaven” and burned incense and offered wine to her on the roofs of buildings.  Jeremiah was an astronomer, and was portrayed as a “prophet” simply because he could chart the likely times of violent planetary interactions.  Thus in the book of Jeremiah, chapter 44, the account says all the men knew that their wives had burnt incense unto other gods (meaning to Venus).  And the women adamantly continued to “burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our father, our kings, and our  princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem…”

Reference to the heavens once being in disarray can be found in many ancient records and texts.  And even when they are part of accounts deemed sacred there is a peculiar self-inflicted blindness that such planetary caroming through the skies could have once taken place.  Even today’s science denies it.  And the heavens remain indifferent at mankind’s lack of curiosity.

Unicorns & Satyrs in Scriptures?

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, history, humanity, life, random, religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2009 by chouck017894

God has revealed in holy scriptures all the wisdom that man needs to know—or so claim the fundamentalists who insist that everything in scripture should be taken literally.  Generally they purposefully ignore a few things scattered through “holy word” that tend to jar the hard-line stance that it is man’s righteous duty to accept biblical teachings without question.  To take everything in the Bible literally means that we should believe in the behemoth, the cockatrice, and dragons, the Leviathan, satyrs, and unicorns.

Think not?  The behemoth is mentioned in the book of Job (40:15-24).  The word comes from Hebrew and is intensive plural, meaning “great beasts.”  The book of Job where this is found happens to have been taken from a Babylonian tale and reworked into Jewish scripture.  It is for that reason that the character of Job never condemns himself for the misfortunes that befall him: he knows that he is innocent—which is not the same thing as being without sin.  The ending of the priest-plagiarized version was altered for Jewish consumption with Job “repenting” and god winning a rather stupid test of character.  Biblical scholars have attempted to get around the mythic “beast” part by saying that possibly the tale was referring to a hippopotamus!  Since the beast remains unexplained it must be placed as a mythological beast.

In the books of Jeremiah and Isaiah there is reference to a creature called cockatrice, an alleged serpent-like living-thing reputed to be hatched from a cock’s egg and having the power of killing with a glance.  It is telling that the cockatrice is mentioned by two major “prophets” who happened to forecast world threatening terror that would at times rampage out of the skies in that era. (See Jeremiah 8:17, and Isaiah 11:8, 14:29, and 59:5.)

Dragons play a role in scripture as symbolic of how one is to be judged and reproved for not measuring up.  Christian mythology inherited the Hebraic concept of the dragon, which is prominent in all the important apocalyptic literature of the Bible.  But the distended dragon role in Revelation seems like a distorted echo of two short closing verses of Isaiah 13:21-22; “…dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.”

Leviathan is a term used in the Bible to designate an enormous scaly monster.  In Psalms 104 and in Isaiah 27, Leviathan is interpreted to mean “whale” because the creature is described in these verses as living in the great wide sea (waters of Creation).  But that is not what is said in much older writings upon which Genesis was crafted: in those ancient texts Yahweh battled with Leviathan, the dragon: a creation myth.  (The tale is reminiscent of Tiamat in Babylonian myths from which came the Old Testament expression T’hom, “deep.”)  Providing for newly created life is the meaning behind the words of Psalms 74 that says: “Thou breakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.”  Elsewhere, in the book of Job 41:10, “borrowed” from Babylonian literature, the truism is stated that God and Leviathan are as one.

Satyrs are spoken of in the book of Isaiah too (13:21-22), along with the aforementioned mythical dragon and cockatrice.  Satyrs of mythology referred to any class of woodland gods or demons, often depicted with pointed ears, and the short horns and legs of a goat.  What are they doing in the “revealed word of god”?

The fabulous unicorn, as fleshed-out in ancient Greek and Roman myths, supposedly had a body resembling that of a horse, but having a straight horn protruding from its forehead.  It is odd that this creature is spoken of in more than one of the books of the Bible: Numbers (23:22, 24:8), Deuteronomy (33:17), Job (39:9-10), Psalms (22:21, 29:6, 92:10), and Isaiah (34:7).

Funny—none of those creatures were ever mentioned as having been in Eden.

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.