Archive for Promised Land

The Lord’s Tough-Love Tactics

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, Hebrew scripture, history, humanity, politics, random, religion, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , on April 6, 2011 by chouck017894

The Lord allegedly became frustrated and angry a lot in the Old Testament.  And rather than just guide his chosen ones through omniscient psychological counseling, the Lord was prone to strengthening those who opposed his darlings in order to inflict punishment upon his chosen ones!  At least that is the imagined motivation as presented by the priest-authors who aspired to chronicle God’s holy mood swings.  The favored excuse for explaining away any Israelite defeats was that they “…went a whoring after other gods.”  The priest-authors were very fond of belittling whoever displeased them. 

A typical but lesser known example of this favored excuse comes from the book of Judges, which purports to cover the “history” of Israel from the time of the settlement of Canaan until just before the establishment of the monarchy.  (Related post: Fables From the Book of Judges, August 2010.)  According to the priest-authors of Judges, the fall of the Israelites was due to a series of desertions from the faith.  By that the priest-authors meant that the people resented priestly indulgences imposed upon them as an alleged condition for receiving the Lord’s conditional love.

The book of Judges was an attempt to connect and continue the priestly saga of the alleged battles for the “Promised Land” that had been introduced with the book of Joshua.  Sadly, no leader who was comparable to Joshua had been provided by God after Joshua died, and thus the unity of the tribes supposedly weakened and degenerated into apostasy followed by military defeat to Mesopotamia.  Thus the book of Judges continued the blood and guts stories, which seems a peculiar documentation to express the alleged love, grace and favoritism supposedly showered upon the Israelites by the Lord.

The ways of the Lord are mysterious, and so after the Israelites suffered defeat to Mesopotamia, the Lord determined that the Israelites must be made to endure eight years under Mesopotamian rule before he would raise up a warrior (Othniel, Joshua 10:15:17 and Judges 3:9) to deliver them.  But after the typical forty years of  Othniel’s supervision the people again “went a whoring after other gods.”  This, of course, was the alleged cause for Israelite defeat c.1406 BCE by Eglon, king of the Moabites, who had allied with the Ammonites and Amalekites against God’s darlings.

After eighteen years under the harsh thumb of King Eglon (Joshua 10:3; Judges 1:12, 14, 15,17), a self-appointed rescuer named Ehud (Joshua 3:15; 4:1) from the tribe of Benjamin decided to redeem his people by assassinating King Eglon.  Ehud was convinced that getting rid of the tyrant Eglon was his godly calling, and so he fashioned a two-edged dagger about eighteen inches long, hid it in the  folds of his cloak, and managed to get into the presence of the obese King Eglon.  Ehud implied that he had a secret errand, so the king allowed Ehud a private meeting in the king’s summer parlor.

According to the priest-authors it is deception that, for some mysterious holy reason, is the honored way to serve God, so Ehud came close to the king, saying, “I have a message from God unto thee” (Judges 3:20).  As the king bent near, Ehud then drew with his left hand the dagger hidden beneath his cloak on Ehud’s right thigh, and thrust the long blade into the obese king’s belly. 

The lethal attack is adoringly detailed: “And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed in upon the blade, so that he (Ehud) could not draw the dagger out of his (Eglon’s) belly; and the dirt came out.”  Skulking away and locking the door to the summer parlor behind him, Ehud managed to depart the crime scene just as the servants arrived and hovered outside the parlor door, for they were afraid to impose upon the king’s  privacy.  Then from verse 27 to 30 Ehud raises an army, leads them into battle, and allegedly slays “…ten thousand men, all lusty and all men of valor; and there escaped not a man.”   There is no further narrative.  There is only the statement that Ehud, inferring that Ehud had God’s blessing, “delivered Israel.”  Thus Ehud is ensconced as the second of the revered “judges” of Israel.

If such a premeditated, cold-blooded murder as so graphically detailed in holy scripture of Eglon’s murder was carried out in modern societies of today, would it be so callously brushed aside as in this savage tale presented in the book of Judges?  Well, perhaps—in the blow-’em-apart movies made for immature audiences.

Could any sane person possibly believe that such practiced betrayal and plotted taking of human life (even of a tyrant) can in some way be carried out as fulfillment of some divine commission?  Unfortunately, yes.  There are still religious fanatics who hold up tales such as these as examples of “biblical values” which they wish to install upon the masses as guidance for conducting a democratic government!

Covenant of Special Favor

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, history, humanity, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2010 by chouck017894

…or Promises Not Kept

At Mount Sinai, Moses allegedly received directly from God the list of Laws under which the Israelites were to forever abide.  But when Moses trudged down the mountain to the Israelite camp with the stone tablets of  Law he found the Israelites had fashioned a golden calf idol to lavish their attention upon.  In anger Moses hurled the tablets of Law at the dejected Israelites and the Laws became rubble.  There was no backup technology in those days so Moses had to camber back up the mountain again to get a second batch of commandments that spelled out the rules by which the Israelites could make themselves worthy of receiving God’s conditional love.  This set of stone tablets survived and were then lugged around in an ark for years and served as the Israelites’ battle standard during their weary wanderings, for there had been no map included with the commandments.

The rest of the Old Testament pivots upon the alleged covenant that Yahweh is said to have established with the Israelites at Sinai.  For some never explained reason Yahweh pledged to make  the Israelites—out  of all the people on the planet—his chosen ones and bestowed special favors upon them.  Yahweh’s promises included a peaceful and affluent homeland.  Oddly, that land was already occupied!  But all  they had to do to receive the “Promised Land” was to indulge in a bit of genocide to show their worthiness of the gift.  According to the priest written “history,” the Israelites thus received their “inheritance” by cleansing the land with Canaanite blood as Yahweh cheered them on. 

Once the Israelites were in possession of the coveted land, the Israelites had every expectation, according to their understanding of the Sinai contract, to live peacefully in their enclosed, uncontaminated region.  But even Moses apparently neglected to note the fine print clauses attached to the Sinai Covenant.  The inherited land was not as peaceful as anticipated.  After years of guidance under assorted Judges, the Philistine armies routed the Israelite tribal levies in battle and took the Ark of the Covenant as booty.  The priests and “prophets” came to the conclusion that the reason for their problem was because Yahweh had expected them to set up their inherited land as a kingdom.  Sure enough, the “prophet” Samuel avowed that indeed such was the wish of Yahweh, and the Lord’s selection was Saul to be first king of Israel.  Saul proved to have been the Lord’s spur of the moment decision, for it proved to be a not-so-omniscient choice; and even as Saul continued to reign, God was directing the “prophet” Samuel to select the youngest son of Jesse (of the Benjamin tribe), David, to be groomed for king.  The timeframe for David is traditionally placed as 1040?-973 BCE.

So how did the Lord show his favor for David?  In a combat situation with a Philistine giant named Goliath.  Priest “history” asserts  that the youth David, who was too young to serve in the military but brought supplies, was the only one connected to Saul’s defence forces who was brave enough to meet Goliath in one-on-one combat.  The priest authors noted that David shouted, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with javelins; but I come to you in the name of the Lord.”   And the Lord made certain that the single small stone from David’s slingshot struck the most vulnerable spot on Goliath’s helmeted skull.  Later on, however, the Lord did nothing to assist all those in dire need who joined with David when he became the renegade leader of fugitives and soldiers.  After Saul’s death some 23 years later, traditionally placed about 1013 BCE, David was allegedly anointed king of Israel. 

The “word of the Lord,” according to the minor “prophet” Nathan, was relayed to David with another glorious covenant promise (1 Kings 7:12-16); that the house, the kingdom and the throne of David “…shall be established for ever.”  The only restrictive clause in this covenant was that if the king did wrong in the Lord’s sight, then the king, not the people, would be punished; even so, God would not take the kingdom away from David as he had done with Saul.  This sounds like an unconditional promise—the house of David was to continue for ever.

Genuine history seems not to have followed the Lord’s plan: the kingdom of the Israelites was conquered and completely destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 BCE, never to be resurrected as a monarchy ruled over by a descendant of David.  (Incidentally, something time-altering occurred in 587 BCE that forced every nation on Earth to begin recalculating its chronology.  It was not because David’s kingdom fell.)  Today, of course, there is the nation of Israel, but it is not under the rule of a descendant of David; it functions loosely as a democracy.  This means that the greatest covenants that God extended to the Israelites were sacred promises that was not kept.

That fact does not seem to register with the army of Bible thumpers who choose to cherry pick verses out of scriptures that will inflate their egos.  Ignoring the unfulfilled promises of the covenants that were avowed to have been extended to the Israelites allows them the privilege of accepting the present day democratic nation of Israel as the fulfillment of God’s promises.  The reason  for their self-inflicted blindness is that it allows them to indulge in spiritual lust over the New Testament book of Revelation and the alleged  “prophecy” of Armageddon—the promised first step to Christian domination of Earth.

A Counterfeit Messiah

Posted in Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, freethought, history, life, random, religion, science, thoughts with tags , , , , , on July 8, 2010 by chouck017894

The “conquest” of the Near-East region of Canaan by Israelites is presumed to have occurred between 1230 and 1220 BCE.  It was, so the scriptural “history” account claims, a destiny that God had preordained.  Thus Moses led the Israelites to the borders of the “Promised Land” where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were said to have dwelt.  But it was up to Joshua to mount hard-striking military campaigns to defeat powerful kings to gain possession of the land which God promised was just for them.  Why the Lord did not or could not keep Canaan a virgin territory for his chosen ones is not too clear.  Anyway, the Israelites had to fight tooth and nail to “inherit” their “Promised Land.”

Joshua was an eager messiah, concocting holocuastic strategy that only fanatic priest-authors could invent or approve.  Interestingly, the saga of the conquest of Canaan begins with the book of Deuteronomy, a book claimed to be linked with the Moses chronicles, but which did not see the light of day until c. 629 BCE, or around 600 years after “inheriting” Canaan, when the book was conveniently “discovered” in the Temple wall during remodeling.  (More on this in Scripture’s Contrived History, June 2010.)  And what an eye-opening discovery it was, telling of the famished Israelite “army,” accompanied by women, children and aged, achieving stunning and murderous victories in rapid succession over heavily fortified Canaanite cities.

According to scriptural “history,” God commanded that Joshua should establish a bridgehead for the invasion of Canaan at the city of Jericho, which was across the Jordan River from the land of Moab.  The tale of the walls of Jericho falling to the Israelites after priests marched around the city seven times blowing trumpets is too well-known to detail here.  But is it not strange that priests would provide the frontline of an invasion attack?  Not if the authors of the tale were priests.

There followed in rapid succession the storming and defeat of other alleged fortified cities, such as Ai, Gibeon, Lachish, Hazor, etc.  Apparently God had watched it all as a sports fan would watch and cheer for his favorite team: and when the Israelites at last moved in a surprise attack against the Jerusalem coalition, God became so excited that he hurled great stones from heaven at the assembled Canaanite kings!  The priestly account brags, “…they were more which died because of the hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.” (Joshua 10:11)

In rapid  follow-up Joshua then commanded the Sun to stand still upon Gibeon and the Moon to stand still in the valley of Ajalon so the Israelites could continue their bloody rampage.  The kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and of  Eglon were alledly defeated and then publicly ridiculed and slain, their bodies strung up in trees for display.  And the holocaust continued, “And the Lord delivered them (Israelite enemies) into the hand of Israel, who smote them…” (Joshua 11:9)  Thus did the Israelites and God himself ignore the 6th Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.”  The final carnage is depicted as having taken place in the north where the Israelites met a Canaanite coalition headed by Jabin of Hazor; a coalition consisting of “…a great host, in number like the sand that is upon the seashore, with very many horses and chariots” (Joshua 11:4).  But of course the capital city of Hazor fell to the Israelites, and it was subsequently reduced to ashes.

So the story goes.  The priest-authors could never have imagined that ages later an investigative science, archaeology, would expose the fabrication that the priest-tales presented as holy truth.  An armed invasion of Canaan never occurred between 1230 and 1220 BCE.  There was, however, a group named Israel established there by 1207 BCE that endured a defeat by Egyptians according to the Egyptian upright stone slab known as the Merneptah Stele.  Indeed, in the timeframe of 1230 and 1220 BCE, the Canaanite “kings” of Jerusalem, Shechem, Megiddo, Hazor, and Lachish were vassals of Egypt.  Furthermore, the “cities” of Canaan in this age were only small villages, and being under the protection of Egyptian forces they had no need for fortified city walls. 

In the timeframe of the 13th century BCE, presented as the era of the Joshua-led invasion of Canaan, careful archaeological digs have revealed a dramatically different setting than is presented in Deuteronomy or in the book of Joshua.  We must repeat: archaeological research has shown that the cities of Canaan were not wall-fortified.  More disturbing to the faithful than a lack of Jericho’s walls is the revelation that in the timeframe of the 13th century BCE no settlement at all existed at the site claimed for Jericho.  So the walls did not come tumbling down as priests sounded trumpets and paraded around Jericho with the Ark of the Covenant. 

Joshua’s second conquest is alleged to have been the city of Ai, a name that translates in meaning as “ruins.”  By the 13th century BCE, whatever settlement that had once stood there had already been reduced to ruins.  Nonetheless, Joshua is said to have ambushed the inhabitants of the ruins in order to capture the site.  The rest of Joshua’s alleged campaigns may be judged accordingly.

As noted in an earlier post, Years of Heavenly Havoc, June 2010, unsettling events in the heavens had occurred from at least c. 1600 BCE until around 750 BCE, and all of planet Earth was periodically shaken—literally.  In the Bible the focus of events is kept upon the land of Israel.  The 13th century BCE was one of the rough times in the planet’s history, and people around the world experienced  upheaval, social breakdown, mass migration, cities and villages ignited and burned to the ground: in short, the Bronze Age kingdoms everywhere, not just in Canaan, were plunged into momentous transformations.

The Backside of God

Posted in Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, history, humanity, life, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , on May 28, 2010 by chouck017894

In the magic show atmosphere that prevails in most biblical accounts, that which is imaginatively disguised is often some creative principle of life manifestation.  In the book of Exodus, for example, there is presented a curious conversation between Moses and God in which God tells Moses, “…Thou canst not see my face…” but “…thou shalt see my back parts…”  (Exodus 33:20-23).  We may, perhaps, safely assume that God did not moon Moses, but that the priest-authors of this myth used sacred language to relay ancient scientific knowledge that was not comprehensible to the ordinary masses.  The mythical Moses could never witness God’s front parts for the simple reason that Moses is a personification of primal energy development up to the pass over point where energy activates as matter manifestation.  Moses represents primal energy movement after its inaugurate phase.  It then passes through the first  four developmental stages (disguised as 40 years), which sacred language always refers to as the “wilderness.”  In more ancient teachings this pre-matter energy activity was referred to as involution—where primal energies involve.  The face or front parts of God alluded to in the tale are the energy developments after primal energies have involved sufficiently to initiate manifestation (or pass over) as a dense matter event.  This resultant evolutionary side (or front side) of God (the Life Principle) is not observable in the process of involution.  The secret in this presentation is that Moses himself represent the backside of God!

What this peculiar Exodus scene attests to is that advanced knowledge had once been taught in distant antiquity in regard to how primal energies interact in the Creation process and how energy becomes matter.  But due to worldwide catastrophic events, that knowledge had survived among only a few.  Attempts to provide insight into the process of matter manifestation was a serious commitment for early teachers, but over time that knowledge became submerged in myths in an anxious attempt to make it at least somewhat comprehensible to the unschooled.  Unfortunately, the greater scientific  implications became lost even to those who would follow and teach from the adaptation.  And the biblical version of “history” evolved from that means of interpretation.

The story elements of Exodus, however, show that the character of Moses was intended to represent symbolically (personify) the energy-action of what may be termed the Life Principle within the dimensions of involution up to the transformation of pre-physical energies into structures of physical matter.  This is also the reason why Moses had to die just when he reached the point where he was in sight of the “Promised Land.”  Being representative of the elemental energy conditions in the Creation process, Moses could not proceed further than the edge of the energy plane where primal energies coalesce and become dense matter forms.

Another clue  to the hidden meaning in the Moses myth is in regard to the Mount upon which Moses  is alleged to have played out his final scene.  The name of the Mount is taken directly from the Babylonian god Nebo who was revered as the god who “announces the fate of humankind,” and “the upholder of the world,” and “the opener of the ears of understanding.”  As the prophet-god of the Babylonians, Nebo was presented as beholder of that which was destined to be, which is imitated with Moses beholding the Promised Land.

One more curiosity:  The name Moses carries the numerical value of 345, and the numerical value of Jehovah is 543.  This slyly confirms, as noted here earlier, that Moses himself represents the backside of God.

Walls of Jericho

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, history, humanity, random, religion with tags , , , on August 6, 2009 by chouck017894

In the priest-written version of the chosen people’s “history,” the first city to fall to the Israelites in their invasion of Canaan was Jericho.  Basically the plot-line of Joshua’s leading Israelites into the “Promised Land” is strangely similar to the Moses tale.  The differences are in minor details that reveal major fabrication.  The parting of the waters of the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds) by Moses is echoed in Joshua leading the Israelites across the Jordan River (symbol of the flow of life).  Remember, parting waters is the opening scene of scriptural Creation myths.  There is, however, a big inconsistency with the Moses/Joshua episodes: it is the crafty upsetting of time frames.

Archaeology has shown conclusively that the fall of Jericho did indeed occur c. 1400 BCE, so the Joshua character has to be placed at c. 1400 BCE.  On the other hand, the Moses tale is commonly accepted as having occurred in the general time of Rameses II, c. 1300-1224 BCE—which means the Moses tale used events that happened from one hundred to two hundred years after the events used to fashion the Joshua tale.  Only holy priests could make time turn backwards.

As mentioned, the little town of Jericho did fall: and it did fall to vibration.  In the explanation given in the book of Joshua we are told (6:3-4), “And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once.  Thus shalt thou do six days (echoing the six days of Creation).  And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of ram’s horns…and the priests shall blow the trumpets.”  Of course after the seventh traipsing around the perimeters of Jericho while tooting ram’s horns the walls came tumbling down.  The priest-authors, as usual, take credit for doing what god could have done with a mere sigh.  Not content with destroying Jericho, the priests then placed a curse upon it.  The only person saved in Jericho was the harlot, Rahab, who lived in the wall of Jericho.  (The reason for and the meaning of this is explained in The Celestial Scriptures.)  In typical priestly compassion the story relates, verse 21: “And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.”

Wait a minute, dude!

Rationality falls flat with the walls.  Didn’t Joshua and his holocaustic hoard just come out of the wilderness?  Hadn’t they been starving and emaciated?  Wouldn’t they not only want  life-supporting things, but desperately need them to survive?  If we are to believe scripture, however, “…the silver and gold and vessels of brass and iron…” were more important!  The reason?  To “consecrate unto the Lord…”  Like, maybe the Lord was running a pawn shop?

No: this is another take on the Creation myth, so the precious metals are symbolic of the mineral and chemical elements through which life is to be made manifest (just as in the Genesis account where gold, bdellium and the onyx stone are said to be in Eden even before biological life is created: see earlier post Inner Relationship of All Things, July 27.)

Anyway, according to priest-authors, the walls of Jericho fell flat (much like the priestly rationality for Joshua’s heartless carnage); and the priests could not  legitimately take credit for the earthquake that did actually rumble through the area.  In fact, the Israelites could have been nowhere in the vicinity when it happened either.  Even more damning to the story,  archaeological research has shown irrefutably that villages or cities of Canaan did not have fortifying walls.  Furthermore, extensive archaeology research has shown that in thirteenth century BCE there would have been, at most, only an insignificant settlement at that location.

The tragedy of such holy stories is the encouragement of hatred and inhumane behavior toward others that they have inspired and which now roils through the species of  life called man.

Hanky-Panky in the Promised Land

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, Bible, culture, freethought, history, nontheism, prehistory, random, religion, sex taboos with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2009 by chouck017894

As the stories in the Bible have been passed down from the editing pens of priest-authors, the deliberate misinformation that was incorporated as “holy word” has well served them as the core of a mind control system that is held in regard as religion. We have also seen in previous web postings that modern archaeological and anthropological finds have proven that a heady amount of revered “holy” accounts simply do not jibe with evidence that has been systematically unearthed and studied. The conquering of the “Promised Land” known as Canaan, it is shown, did not occur through an invasion of war as the “holy book” stories imply.

This means that all the blood and guts of Joshua’s holocaustic indugences was simply priestly abuse of facts–probably fabricated in the hope of intimidating the more powerful neighbor-nations around them.

The priest-authors were often sloppy about characterization and plotlines, and certainly would have made lousy generals. But taking of Canaan–supposedly promised to them by god, of course–was made into an epic with a cast of thousands. Moses and Aaron are portrayed as leading the Israelites out of Egypt under god’s promise that “…you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and an holy nation.” Exodus 19:6. Curiously, the Creator of all things seems always to have to rely on the bestial side of his favorites to accomplish anything of merit among humans.

There are a number of things that are rather sidestepped in the epic of “capturing” Canaan for god–and his priests. After the invasion was set, Moses appointed twelve men to advance and reconnoiter the land to be occupied. Among those men selected were Joshua, son of Nun, and Caleb, a member of the tribe of Judah. Much is made over Joshua’s bloodlust as a heroic obsession which propelled him into virtual savior status among Jews. (So admired was he that even the name Jesus is derived from the name Joshua.) But of Josua’s buddy, Caleb, there are some tolerable references but a sparse storyline.

Part of the priest-authors’ downplay of Caleb rests in the name itself, which is Keleb in Hebrew, and means “dog.” Although Caleb had been admitted into the tribe of Judah, the later account says that Caleb “…again separated himself from god, while remaining faithful to the q’deshim” (or “holy ones”). The part that is brushed aside with this statement is that Caleb adopted Canaanite religious customs, the q’deshim cult in particular, according to Deuteronomy.

Genuine history shows that early Hebrews had sacred prostitutes in their temples–a common custom in Babylonian, Assyrian and other neighboring cultures of the time. Female prostitutes were known as q’deshah–and the male equivalents were the q’deshim, who were known as dog-priests for the positions they assumed for their service. That Caleb was an acknowledged member of the tribe of Judah is consistent with the legend that Judah himself was an unashamed user of temple prostitutes.

Apparently in that historic age the Lord had not yet gotten all his prejudices sorted out, for a personal favorite of his, David, came from the tribe of Judah (and he had loved Johathan), and David had used Caleb’s territory, Hebron, as his capital until he supposedly captured Jerusalem.