Archive for patriarchs

Alleged Patriarch Jacob/Israel

Posted in Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, faith, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on October 16, 2010 by chouck017894

The Genesis account of Jacob revolves around the third person of the Hebrew Scripture’s trinity (Abram/Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel).  Jacob is regarded as a major patriarch in Hebrew scripture.  In considering stories from Genesis, we should always remember that the word genesis is Latin from the Greek, and refers to generation, origin, and birth—not history.  Jacob, like his grandfather Abraham before him, was allegedly promised that the multitude of his descendents were to be given possession of Canaan.  The 7th century BCE priest-authors of these tales made it sound as though the Israelites (never defined as Hebrew) had been issued holy land-title to a specific region on planet Earth.  When consulting the more ancient texts on cosmology and astronomy upon which these accounts were structured, it is shown that much of the Jacob myth revolves around ancient astronomical references dressed in occult style: so taking sacred language at face value is precarious. 

Jacob is cast as the twin brother of Esau, thus these characters are personification of the polar activity that is necessary for Creation.  Of the twins born to Isaac and Rebekah it is related that Esau was “first-born,” and like Adam was “red all over.”  Legend says he thrust out his hand from the womb and the midwife wrapped a red thread around his wrist, saying, “This came first.”  But Jacob, following after, “took hold on Esau’s heel” (Genesis 25:26), and thus the first hint of a struggle for domination is introduced into the tale.  And by eight short verses later Esau has sold his “birthright” to Jacob for a bowl of pottage.  With that sale of “birthright” the chapter ends.  Chapter 26 opens with a line that is vital in understanding world condition that influenced several Genesis myths; it says,  “And there was a famine  in the land, besides the famine that was in the days of Abraham.”    

The name Jacob is translated from the Hebrew Yakub, from, yak meaning “unity,” or “one,” in recognition of the singular source of all things.  His name being changed later to Israel signifies the plurality with which the Life Principle is to be expressed in matter-life.  For this reason the priest-authors personified Jacob as the father of the twelve patriarchal principles that had once been taught in ancient star lore.  We still know remnants of that star lore as the twelve signs of the zodiac.  What this means is that Jacob/Israel is not any verifiable historical ancestor of any specific people, but represents the Life Principle through which creative energy is brought forth as defined but diverse life forms.

Later (chapter 27), as father Isaac’s eyesight has failed and he thinks he is dying, he assumed it was time to bless his eldest son, Esau, with “birthrights.”  But Isaac’s beloved wife, Rebekah, counseled the son Jacob, whom she favored, to deceive Isaac so Jacob would receive the blessing intended for Esau.  Dishonesty was thus rewarded, and such is the ethics handed down  to us as holy writ.  By the next chapter Isaac learns of the deception but cannot retract it, which is not due to any code of honor of keeping one’s word; it simply underlines the irrevocable process of nature which declares what is done is done.  These story incidents are despicable when related to human conduct, but this is in Genesis so we are presented personifications of cosmological actions.  This is not, as implied, a sequential storyline; it is but a parallel situation that is used repeatedly in all Genesis myths because the action disguises pre-physical energy development toward matter.

After stealing Esau’s birthright, Jacob is sent away by Isaac to “…Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel (a variation of Bethel) thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughter of Laban thy mother’s brother” (Genesis 28:2).  By verse 10 “…Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.”  Hidden here are subtle clues of the myth’s inspiration.  The word beer refers to a “well,” and sheba means “seven.”  So Jacob starts his movement through the seven primordial energy dimensions on his way to becoming a self-defined energy form.  At this point we read that Jacob “…lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night (through the primordial dimensions) because the sun was set…”  Yes, energies were in the process of becoming set as the Sun—its predetermined form of concentrated energy was becoming visibly manifest.  As this was developing, the energy-form characterized by Jacob had to take “…of the stones of that place…” and use them for his pillow.  How strange.  Jacob is characterized as a deliberative and possessive individual, so it is out of character that he would not take with him something to sleep upon during an overnight journey.  No explanation is forthcoming; he makes-do by laying his head upon a pile of stones.  And then he has a mystifying dream in which a ladder is set upon the  earth “…and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it” (Genesis 28:12).  Strangely, Jacob’s dream was not exclusive to Jacob, for the Persians also had their scala coeli, or ladder of seven steps upon which the souls on earth descended and ascended. 

When Jacob awoke from his dream he declared, “How dreadful is this place! this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”  “This place” happened to refer to the pre-physical dimensions through which each energy-form takes up the hard responsibility of physical production.  The “gate of heaven” referred to the dimensions of creative energy through which the “Lord” (laws of Creation) causes energies to take on identity as matter form. 

Later at Haran, Jacob is supposed to have labored seven years for his uncle Laban in payment to marry Laban’s daughter Rachel (the name means “God’s ewe), but is tricked into marrying the older sister Leah.  (Again deception is the championed way to acquire something.)  So Jacob then labored another seven years to wed his beloved Rachel.  He is presented as so virtuous, but while he toiled for Laban, he managed to produce four sons by the “hated” Leah–Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.  But Jacob earned Rachel, and made ready to depart, but not before he acquired a goodly part of Laban’s herds through practiced deception before taking off with his spoils.  In morals Rachel was no better than Jacob for she stole her father’s household gods.  Laban, incensed at that, tracked them down and searched through all the baggage to no avail, for Rachel had sat on them and pretended impatience with her father as he searched.  All this drama, remember, is set in pre-physical energy dimensions, so the household gods of Laban represent archetypal forms that are being carried toward manifestation as matter forms.

  After Jacob married Rachel, she remained barren, so Jacob had another son by Rachel’s maid, Bilhah, and Rachel named the boy Naphtali.  Then jealous Leah gave her maid Zilpah to Jacob to breed, and the maid bore the son,  Gad, then bore another son who was named Asher.  The breeding marathon continued, and  Leah bore a fifth son, Issachar; then a sixth son, Zebulun.  The seventh union with the hated Leah resulted in a daughter, Dinah.  After all that, God finally “remembered Rachel” (Genesis 30:22).  By verse 24 Rachel has a son, Joseph.

After considerable intrigues through chapters 30 to 35, God then commanded Jacob to return to Canaan, and Jacob headed straight for Bethel, house of God, the very same spot that Abram had camped and had his name changed to Abraham.  And Jacob, like Abram, has his name changed and became Israel.  Jacob then receives the same “covenant” as extended to Noah, Abraham and every other mythic character that reaches this transitional point in creation activity; their “seed” is blessed so that they may pass over into energy-as-matter form. 

The changing of names was standard in Pagan mythic tales to indicate the transubstantiation of primordial elements into a different atomic value.  (Refer to Abraham, Sarah and India post, September 2010).  In older Greek myth, for example, the god Apollo spoke through a priestess to Alkeids, saying, “From this day forth thy name shall no more be Alkeids but Herakles.”  Why the Greek story is scorned as “myth,” but the Hebrew Scripture version is to be accepted as truth and “history” is, shall we say, eccentric.  To recognize the mythic quality in the Genesis stories brings into question the legitimacy of claiming such characters as Abraham and Jacob/Israel as having been historical persons.  And without Abraham as an alleged historical ancestor the whole foundation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam stand upon quicksand.

As noted, the wife of Jacob, his beloved Rachel, was long barren, just as was the beloved sister-wife of Abraham, Saraha.  Indeed,  all the “barren” women in scriptural tales—Sari, Rachel, Rebekah, Elisabeth, etc.—personify primordial substance that remains inactive until endowed with creative energy.  It is only when primal energies involve as energy-substance that they develop generative capacity to involve further as matter form.

When Rachel gave birth to Joseph it indicates that a prototype energy-form has been established and all related creative energies then act in compliance.  By chapter 35 Rachel bears a second son, Benjamin, but dies in childbirth, thus conveniently removing her from the plot.  And, too, father Isaac soon dies, the mess with the twin brother Esau is absolved, and by chapter 27 emphasis falls upon Joseph, the first-born son to Jacob/Israel by Rachel with whom the book of Genesis is to conclude.

Myth of the Patriarch Isaac

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, freethought, history, random, religion, science, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2010 by chouck017894

With the character of Isaac, we come to the second person of the Hebrew Scripture’s trinity (Abram/Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel).  The birth of Isaac (Genesis 21) is briefly covered in only eight verses.  He is depicted as having been born when Abraham and Sarah were in advanced years; something of an afterthought fulfillment of God’s promise to grant Abraham posterity.  And, typical of myth, little is recorded of Isaac’s formative years, jumping quickly, as myths always do, to how he was willing to be a sacrifice to Yahweh, but was spared that responsibility by the peculiar appearance of a ram provided by God to substitute as the ritual burnt offering (Genesis 22).  This attempted sacrifice is projected to have been sometime around 1898 BCE.  The story (the Agueda) of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only begotten son Isaac to the Lord has been of prime importance in Judaism, finding in it a reminder of the precariousness surrounding Isaac’s son, Jacob/Israel, having been chosen as progenitor: thus the Jewish New Year ritual commemorates the binding of Isaac.  And Christians accept the story as indicating the form of sacrifice that was expected of Jesus.  Strangely, few of these devout ones are aware of the story’s parallel to the Greek account in which Athamas attempted to sacrifice his son Phrixus to Zeus.  In that older tale, the sacrificial performance was interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Heracles and the miraculous appearance of a ram.  If the ram from that myth is recalled at all it is because it is the ram which had borne the Golden Fleece that in later myth inspired Jason and the Argonauts to undertake the holy quest of acquiring that pelt.  In Roman myth the god Saturn (god of sowing seed) was about to sacrifice his only begotten son to his father Uranus (who presided over primordial conditions), but was furnished a substitute.  In India, Siva, the third god of the Hindu triad, was about to sacrifice his son on a pyre when a rhinoceros was sent as a substitute.  But even older references to a ram caught in a thicket can be traced back to the fourth millennium BCE nation of Sumer where the theme was common in their art.

After Isaac’s dramatic escape from being an altar offering, and Sarah his mother dies to remove her from the plot, things jump quickly to how Isaac acquired his wife, Rebekah (Genesis 24).  Abraham was anxiously insistent that his son’s wife must come from his own people (primary elements), and to accomplish this Abraham’s older servant, Eliezer, was sent back to the city of Nahor where Abraham’s brother, Haran, lived.  Genesis 24:10 says, “And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed…” to go to Nahor in Mesopotamia.  The timeframe in which a bride was sought for Isaac is traditionally placed at c. 1857 BCE.  Isaac then gets shuffled into more of secondary role, with prime attention placed on the servant and Rebekah’s family.

Abraham’s servant Eliezer encounter the lovely Rebekah while she is drawing water from a well.  In all biblical tales that have a well scene, it refers in  some way to the waters of life, and here Rebekah is drawing water to nourish the dimensions of energy-substance necessary for development as defined life forms.  This also explains why in Genesis 26:18 Isaac is portrayed as the well-digger.

Oddly, Rebekah, like Isaac’s mother Sarah, remains “barren.”  For a people so proud of their “begatting” power, this seems strange.  But if the material upon which these “history” tales were constructed are again consulted, the divine mystery is explained: Female characters in these tales always symbolize primordial energy-substance that is not yet activated with the genetic principle of life.   This comes from ancient cosmological lessons which taught of primal energy-substance forming as planets—and biological life does not bud out of these until settled into a defined form.  Thus Rebekah remained barren for twenty years, and Isaac had to pray to God to lift the curse, after which she was soon pregnant with twins.  But the fetuses were so competitive and struggled so with each other that Rebekah yearned for death.  And again  God says to Isaac exactly what he allegedly had said to Abraham (in Genesis 22:18); “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (repeated to Isaac Genesis 26:4).  This is deliberately worded to make it seem that the Israelites, and by extension the Jews, glorify any nation they may inhabit.  History has not supported that idea.  Of the “seed” which is repeatedly stressed, God allegedly said this to Abram, not to Abraham: “And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered (Genesis 13:16).  This is cosmic seed that is being blessed, i.e. the earth, which is why it had been stated, “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and  to thy seed for ever” (verse 15).  It is, therefore, life which blesses all nations; it is not some land grant to some god-favored part of the human species as seems implied. 

 It is in chapter 26 that Isaac and Rebekah become embroiled in an episode involving “Abimelech king of the Philistines” that is like a distorted echo from the account of Abram’s wife, Sarai, taken into the king’s harem.  Isaac, like Abram, deceives the king, saying his lovely wife is his sister, but after the king discovers the immoral lie, Isaac is then rewarded with land ownership in Gerar!  From these examples from the “good  book” we are supposed to learn moral conduct and ethics?  The common excuse given for this alleged happening is that the use of deception was alright when Israelites were in danger abroad.  Huh?  All actions in the stories of Genesis take place in amoral primordial stages of Creation.

As is common in myth telling, time is surreal, and  Isaac has quickly become a near-blind old man (Genesis 27), and he is deceived by his son Jacob into giving Jacob the blessing of the firstborn that properly belonged to his twin brother Esau.  It is Rebekah that allegedly counseled Jacob into deceiving Isaac, and the reason for this assertion is that Rebekah, as we have seen, personifies the  process of energy-substance attaining materialization.  That process is not accomplished by deception, however,  but through involvement of primal energies.  Blind Isaac, although deceived, foresaw cosmological consequences, saying to Esau, “…and it shall come  to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck (verse 40).  There is a secret of Creation processes hidden in Isaac’s words: It is that breaking the devotion to matter is the means of gaining higher potential.  The spiritual value in Isaac’s words rests in recognizing that focusing one’s consciousness on material things is the cause of most of life’s pains, conflicts and “sins.” 

With this, Isaac’s role is fulfilled, but the saga of primal energies forming into mass must advance so they may pass over into defined matter form.  But the time of famine (energies not yet defined), mentioned at the opening of chapter 26, was not yet over.  There it had said, “…there was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham…”  It is here that Isaac’s son, Jacob, then moves to center stage.

Biblical Patriarchs

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, history, humanity, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2010 by chouck017894

Patriarchs: the names given to the alleged heads of families in early Scriptural “history.”  Any of the progenitors of the human race before the Deluge, from Adam to Noah: the post-Flood characters of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, or any of Jacob’s twelve sons, said to be the eponymous  progenitors of the twelve tribes of Israel. 

It has been noted in these Time Frame posts that the 8th and 7th centuries BCE covered a period of intense writing in Jerusalem of those “sacred” tales regarded as patriarchal narratives.  In this period of dynamic priest writing the nation of Assyria dominated much of the Mid East region; it was, we should note, only in this timeframe that camels became common enough as beasts of burden to merit mention only incidentally in trader’s reports.  Archaeology research has shown that camels were not domesticated until after c. 1000 BCE., which makes it awkward for some Genesis tales. 

In Genesis 37:25, for example, the story goes that Joseph, the eleventh son of the patriarch Jacob (generally claimed to have lived c. 1700 BCE) is alleged to have been sold into slavery by his brothers and taken to Egypt.  In the scene that is set with the slavery sale, there is mention of camels as beasts of burden as well as products such as “gum, balm and myrrh.”  In the 7th century BCE, at the time of the writing, these were main products in active  trade under Assyrian supervision—but not in the alleged time-setting of the Jacob-Joseph story.

Given mention in Genesis 20:1, in the alleged Isaac narrative, is found reference to a Philistine center named Gerar in connection with the Abraham saga, which implies it was a center of some importance in Abraham’s time.  By some accounts the time projected for Abram and Sarai was c. 2150-2100 BCE.  Others insist that Abraham departed from Ur in Chaldea around 2100 BCE.  And  others assert that Abraham made his way to Egypt c. 1935 BCE.  In the Isaac narrative Gerar is not actually identified as a Philistine center by the authors—probably because that location did not gain importance until about the time of the priestly composition of patriarchal lore—the 7th century BCE—when it was a heavily fortified Assyrian administrative stronghold.  Nonetheless, in Genesis 26:1, we are told that Isaac, son of Abraham, encountered King Abimelech of the Philistines, the very king who had taken to his harem Abraham’s wife Sarah.  And Isaac is said to have dwelt the Gerar because the Lord had told him, “Go not down into Egypt (verse 3).  But archaeological evidence shows that no city of the Philistines flourished until after c. 1200 BCE; they did, however, continue into Assyrian times.

Obviously the alleged patriarchal narratives were late compositions, for the incidental details that set the scenes, such as camels, non-existent cities, caravan products, etc, are out of  place for the timeframes of the alleged patriarchal characters.

The priests of Yahweh, in authoring their version of “history,” also freely indulged themselves in reproachful commentary on any and all cultural neighbors—especially those to the east such as Moab and Ammon.  With holy hatred they declared that the nations of Moab and Ammon arose from sons born to the two daughters of Lot who had an incestuous union with their father following the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:30-38).  This was clearly invented propaganda by the 8th-7th century BCE priests to inflame followers with hatred for those rival nations across the Dead Sea.

Thus today do the three organized religions of the west still dish out the legacy of crafted lies and practiced hatred as the sacred path into God’s acceptance!