Numbers 33 – A Review of the Journey from Exodus to Numbers

Numbers 33 is a good review of the events that have taken place from when the first born of Egypt were supposedly killed by Jehovah to the current time in this chapter of Numbers. We are reminded of Jehovah slaying the first born, and get a little more insight on what the aftermath was:

Numbers 33:4 – For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which Jehovah had smitten among them: upon their gods also Jehovah executed judgements.

Take note: Jehovah executed judgement on the gods of the Egyptians. If the gods of the Egyptians were not real/fake/idols, etc. then why would Jehovah need to exact judgement on them? Is the author telling us that these are living gods? Are there more living gods coming up in future verse? (Spoiler alert: Yes)

We get a very specific list of geographical locations where the Israelites camped in their journey from Egypt to Canaan. Here’s some verse to note:

33:5 – And the children of Israel removed from Rameses, and pitched in Succoth

Finally we get some detail on Egypt.

33:9 – And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim: and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there.

Reminder that Marah was named so because the water there was bitter. When the thirsty Israelites complained to Moses, they were punished (Exodus 15:24).

33:11 – And they removed from the Red Sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin.

Note there is a land called Sin. Is there any correlation to the name place Sin and the verb “sin”?

Numbers 33:5 – 22:47 lists a handful of geographical locations. Can these locations be placed on any map, current or historical?

We find that Jehovah spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho (all currently named locations)

  • Can we be sure the Jordan mentioned in the Bible is the same Jordan we know today?
  • Same with Jericho?

We get a review of the commands Jehovah gives to Moses to give to the Israelites regarding what they are to do when they enter the land Jehovah has given them, Canaan.

33:52 – Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places.

Note that in the Interlinear Hebrew, “pictures” in verse 52 can also mean “carved images.”

We get a reminder of what happens when the Israelites do not follow Jehovah’s commands and do not wipe out the people they encounter:

33:55 – But if  ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.

A stern chastising from Jehovah. He leaves it up to the Israelites to deal with these people, and in a sense, he is telling them to commit complete genocide on them.

More importantly, Jehovah is admitting that as much as he wanted to punish the original inhabitants of Canaan, he didn’t. But the things he “wanted” to do to the Canaanites, he will absolutely do to the Israelites if they don’t follow his orders. Why didn’t he just do these things he “thought” to do on the Canaanites? Is he powerless to do so?

What’s good to know is that the fulfillment of the covenant/promise is coming soon, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Hopefully the repetitious and mundane reviews of the law can come to an end, and we see just how this covenant works out.

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Numbers 16 – A Rebellion; Death Toll from Jehovah Increases

After all the bad things that have happened to them, the thirst, starvation, death at the hands of a god they can not see and who will not talk to them, death at the hand of their chief priest, and the forcing of them to kill their own people, some Israelites had enough.

Korah (Levite) and On (Tribe of Reuben) gathered 250 “men of renown” against Moses and Aaron. It seems that these men are now questioning why Moses and Aaron are so much above them when “seeing all the congregation are holy”, that they should be more equal.

Moses tells these men to gather the next day with incense censers, and to burn them in front of Jehovah, and Jehovah will proclaim just who is holy.

Numbers 16:8 – And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the *elohe* (god) of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of Jehovah, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them?

I can’t imagine this “task” they were all forced to do, in all pomp and ritual, is something Moses should make them feel appreciative of. We have an entire “tribe” of people, and if you think about mankind in general, you have all different walks of life even within small families. While some family trades do carry on through generations, not ALL end up doing so as well. In a family of doctors you may find some plumbers. In a family of plumbers  you may find a nuclear scientist. What do you find in this family?

Everyone does the same thing, every day, in and out. If they don’t do it, they are punished with death. Is it any wonder at this point the Levites aren’t as grateful as Moses thinks they should be?! Is it any wonder at some point, the man who wished to be a plumber but instead became a doctor, snaps? Of course, we can’t use this example today because it rarely happens. Why? BECAUSE WE HAVE FREE WILL!

Moses reaches out to the sons of Eliab, who refuse to partake in this incense ritual, again, repeating to Moses what I’m sure the majority of Israelites are afraid to speak out on:

16:13 – Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us?

So not only are they angry at their situation, they are also resentful against Moses who has elevated himself above them in rank, and by doing so, put them all in a precarious situation. Can you not understand why the Israelites are rebelling?

The next day the ritual is performed in front of the door of the Tabernacle. Jehovah speaks to Moses and Aaron:

16:21 – Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.

Once again Moses has to change the mind of Jehovah, asking him not to punish the entire congregation for the sins of one man

Note that Jehovah’s default punishment in cases like this: wipe the entire congregation of people out.

Moses separates the congregation. Note how it is separated and who stands with Dathan and Abiram:

16:27 – So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children.

Moses explains to the people that two things will happen:

  1. The families of Dathan and Abiram will die normal deaths
    1. This will prove that Jehovah did NOT send Moses to perform his deeds
  2. The families of Dathan and Abiram will be swallowed up by the earth
    1. This will prove that Jehovah DID send Moses to perform his deeds

16:31 – And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.

This “Righteous and Forgiving” deity has just murdered women and children because their fathers stood up for what they felt was right. Now you can add women and children to Jehovah’s body count. To make things worse, these were his own people!

In a state of panic, and what I imagine most people would do who were under the tyrannical rule of an angry deity, the Israelites reacted:

16:34 – And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.

These were their own relatives they watched die, children who they probably helped raise. Swallowed up by the earth by a deity who boasts he has rescued them. If they, moving forward, worship this god, is it out of sincerity, or out of fear that they too may be swallowed up by the earth if they don’t?

The punishment wasn’t over, the 250 men that were told to be part of bringing their censer of incense were next:

16:35 – And there came out a fire from Jehovah, and consumed the 250 men that offered incense.

Jehovah’s body count increases.

16:36 – And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the censers out of the burning, and scatter thou the fire yonder; for they are hallowed. The censers of these sinners against their own souls, let them make them broad plates for a covering of the altar: for they offered them before Jehovah, therefore they are hallowed: and they shall be a sign unto the children of Israel.

“a sign” aka a WARNING that death is around the corner if they mess up.

Jehovah again reminds Moses to tell the Israelites that the punishment for the wrong ritual regarding incense equals death. We already know that Aaron’s sons brought strange incense and Jehovah burned them to death. Jehovah tells Moses to tell the Israelites that anyone who is NOT of the tribe of Levi who brings him incense will receive the fate of Korah (burned to death).

The Next Day: More Rebellion

As if not understanding that the deaths of their people the previous day were due to Jehovah:

16:41 – But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of Jehovah.

This is an interesting verse:

  • We are told Jehovah killed all these people, but to the Israelites it was Moses and Aaron that did it
  • Why is there such a large gap in understanding between what we are told by the author and what the Israelites believe?
  • What is the author trying to tell us when the subjects of his story are not privy to the information the author is telling us?

As this all happens, the cloud appeared above the Tabernacle, in a repeat of what we were told before:

16:45 – And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.

If you dispute my thesis that this deity really does want to commit genocide against his own people, in his own words he’s repeated it, TWICE. This time Moses and Aaron are unable to persuade him to change his mind.

16:46 – And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from Jehovah; the plague is begun.

Here’s what we should note about the Tabernacle, from it comes “fire” and “plague”. Aaron runs to the congregation with his censer of burning incense and made an “atonement for the people”

  • So now we have a precedent where “atonement” is merely an act of protecting the people with incense
  • How does this interfere with Jehovah’s actions? How does incense prevent the plague from spreading?

16:48 – And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.

So, despite Jehovah (the supposed creator of the universe, almighty) spreading the plague, the mere action of protecting the people with burning incense halted Jehovah’s actions. Does this make sense?

Jehovah’s Body Count

Even the author is trying to tell us something, he finishes Numbers 16 with a death toll at the hands of Jehovah:

  • 14,700 of Jehovah’s own people died from the plague he sent them
    • Would everyone have died (as Jehovah himself admits was his goal) if Aaron had not interceded with incense?
    • Why did Moses and Aaron intend to save lives? Was it because if all the house of Jacob were murdered off, Jehovah had already stated his intention to pass the covenant on to their family? Which would submit Moses and Aaron’s family to the brutal treatment of Jehovah?
  • Unknown men, women and children in the Korah incident added to this death toll

“Righteous and Forgiving” – What is the author trying to tell us about Jehovah?! Numbers 15-16 have been brutal so far, and this is not information I was taught about in bible school. What gives modern Christian churches?! Why leave this information out?!

 

 

 

 

Numbers 15 – The Law in the New Land; Death for Picking Up Sticks!

Jehovah tells Moses to tell the Israelites how to make offerings once they enter the land.

But wait, who is Moses going to tell this too, considering Jehovah, in Numbers 14, has banished everyone except Caleb and Joshua from entering the land?

The story has broken at this point, but I continue…

Numbers 15:22 – And if ye have erred, and not observed all these commandments, which Jehovah hath spoken unto Moses, Even all that Jehovah hatch commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that Jehovah commanded Moses, and henceforward among your generations…

Notice the phrase “from the day that Jehovah commanded Moses”… what about the commands BEFORE Moses? The ones like “go forth and multiply replenish the earth” and all plant and animals were for them to eat? Those commands came from the earlier god, Elohim.

Jehovah has once again distinguished himself from the Elohim and the Jehovah pre-Moses/pre-Exodus. I reiterate, are we dealing with another entity that has hijacked the Jehovah title? The more distinctions Jehovah creates the more I believe it to be true.

Jehovah makes a distinction between those who improperly obey his law about sacrifices out of innocent ignorance and those who do it knowingly.  The one who disobeys out of ignorance, must perform a ritual sacrifice to appease Jehovah. The one who disobeys knowingly will be cut off from his people.

It is at this point that I would feel being cut off from his people and being cut off from Jehovah would actually be a good thing.

The Man Who Picked Up Sticks

In another odd writing style switch, we go from explanation of the law to a narrative about a man who was found picking up sticks on the Sabbath, who is imprisoned until Jehovah is consulted on the matter (Remember: “Righteous and Forgiving):

Numbers 15:35 – And Jehovah said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.

For picking up sticks on the Sabbath, a man is to STONED TO DEATH. Why would anyone want to follow, worship, or praise this god unless they are doing it under duress and out of fear for punishment if they don’t. To me, this is the Theme of the post-Genesis story of Jehovah and the Israelites so far. There is NOTHING righteous about this deity, or his judgement against this man who picked up sticks. There was no offer to atone via sacrifice, no trial, no discussion, only straight to a death sentence.

15:36 – And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as Jehovah commanded Moses.

As if having a man stoned to death for picking up sticks was no big deal, Numbers 15 continues on with Jehovah instructing the Israelites on how and why to add fringes and a blue border to their garments, to remind them of the commandments he’s given them:

15:39 – And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye make look upon it, and remember all the commandments of Jehovah, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:

Ask yourself, if the Israelites followed this command of putting a blue ribbon and fringes on their garments, is it out of their own free will, or out of their fear of being taken outside the camp and stoned to death?

“seek not after your own heart and your own eyes”

No free will at all. They have to perform ritual after ritual under the watchful eyes of a priesthood who also are chained to ritual. They are only eating manna, and have been punished in the past for complaining about being thirsty and hungry. Their chief priest has slaughtered them for various reasons, and their god has slaughtered those who, like most humans, showed fear and doubt, with a deadly plague. Their children 3-4 generations down are being punished for things they did not do.

Yet this god is boasting he “rescued” them from Egypt? If they had a chance they’d already said they would run back to Egypt. Jehovah and Moses and the modern church want us to think Egypt was evil, which is why Jehovah punished them. Who’s demonstrated the most evil and wickedness so far? Not Egypt!

The answer is becoming clearer in my eyes and mind: Jehovah

Jehovah’s boast of being “righteous and forgiving” has become a lie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leviticus 26 – The Law: When Israelites Disobey

Before we proceed, remember that Jehovah called himself a “loving and forgiving” god.

So what happens when the Israelites disobey the rules mandated them by Jehovah, through Moses, IN JEHOVAH’S OWN WORDS:

Leviticus 26:16 – I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of the heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

Ok so right off the bat, there is definitely ZERO forgiveness. Neither is their no trial, no sit down and consult, no mediation, straight to PUNISHMENT. Get the picture?

More punishments:

  • Jehovah will set his face against them, their enemies will kill them and reign over them, and they will flee wildly
  • They will be punished SEVEN TIMES for their sins
  • He will break the pride of their power; their heaven/skies will be as IRON, and their earth as BRASS
    • IRON and BRASS, two concepts to remember as we move forward to the prophecies found in the books of the prophets and the book of revelation.
  • Their strength in planting will be in vain, the land nor the trees will not yield
    • Today, the majority of Jehovah’s rules are not followed
    • Yet we see land and trees yielding their crops
  • Seven times more plagues according to their sins
  • Wild “beasts” (man and animals and other?) will:
    • Rob them of their children. WHY DOES JEHOVAH ALLOW THE CHILDREN TO SUFFER?
    • Destroy cattle
    • Decrease their population and make their “high” ways desolate (high places?)
  • A sword will avenge the quarrel of the covenant, and pestilence will be among them, and they will be delivered to their enemy
  • Leviticus 26:6 is of note, numerology and symbolically, for more research into this culture.
    • Quick glance, 10 women bake their quantity of bread, but it will not satisfy one mans hunger
  • Jehovah will walk contrary to them in FURY.

Please note the following verse in bold. The concept of starvation as punishment has already been established in verse 26:26. Jehovah tells them they will break bread and still be hungry, THEN, he says THIS. Do not tip-toe around this:

Leviticus 26:29 – And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.

THEY WILL EAT THEIR OWN CHILDREN AS PUNISHMENT.

Try as you may to say this is symbolic, allegorical, or taken out of context. But the context has already been put in place: the bread they cook will not make them full, they will have to eat their own children!

Can we make the obvious assumption that Jehovah DOES NOT care about children? In fact he uses them, innocent as they are, to punish their parents through death and cannibalism?!

As if this horrid treatment of children is nothing more than a basic judgement, Jehovah moves on with his list of punishments for disobedience:

  • The “high” places, images, and idols will be cut down, and the carcasses of the people will be thrown upon the carcasses of the idols
    • Any physical, archaeological evidence this actually happened?
  • Their cities will be wastes, desolation to their sanctuaries, and their burnt offerings will not be smelled (“sweet savours”)
  • Land will fall into desolation, and even their enemies will be astonished at the desolation
  • READ 26:31 – 26:33 and tell me this set of verses is NOT written in some sort of writing style unique to this historic author and culture!
  • After all the punishment, the land is going to enjoy its rest/sabbath
  • Any left over people are going to die at the sound of a shaken leaf, and they will flee when no one is chasing them; they will fall dead upon each other
  • They will die among the heathen, and the land will eat them up
  • Those left after all the genocide will pine away in the lands of their enemies, as well as those whose fathers screwed up, they will also suffer and pine away (AKA no forgiveness for the children)

So after all the death, cannibalism, and destruction, we FINALLY see the “forgiveness” Jehovah boasted about:

If the remnants of the people repent (and seriously, unless you are complete slaves, who is going to want to go back to be under the duress of Jehovah), then they have an opportunity for penance:

If they confess, are humbled, and accept their punishment:

  • Jehovah will remember the covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob; the land will rest
  • Jehovah will not COMPLETELY destroy them (only partially)
  • That’s it

With so many punishment and very few benefits, it can not be argued these people are NOT free, but under duress of slavery and servitude via Jehovah. Their punishments are truly seven times over, if not seven thousand times more brutal then their transgressions:

Eating your own children because Jehovah won’t let you fill from the bread you make?

Study the verses of this chapter. ALL OF THEM. Observe the context and understand exactly what is being said in Leviticus 26:29 and tell me this god is “loving and forgiving.”

Leviticus 24 – Lamps, cakes. VENGEANCE! (huh?)

Leviticus 24 describes rules regarding the Tabernacle. How to prepare lamps and cakes for the table. Keep lamps and cakes in mind as you progress through chapter 24.

In an odd break in the narration of these rules, we are suddenly given a story!

Leviticus 24:10 – And the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelite woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp; And the Israelite’s woman’s son blasphemed the name of Jehovah, and cursed.

We find out he is from the tribe of Dan, and even given his lineage by naming his mother and her father. So what does the forgiving and righteous god do? He tells Moses:

24:14 – Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.

How do we go from cakes and eternally lit lamps to this? Who knows. The seriousness of this matter, while interrupting the narrative of mundane rules regarding the tabernacle, takes a new turn. A few points to note here from verse 10:

  • OF COURSE, the “bad guy” was part Egyptian
  • The Israelites were not pure blooded, they were obviously intermingled
  • Despite being part Egyptian, he was still said to be of the tribe of Dan, through his mother, so this culture was matrinlineal
  • How much past their time in Egypt did this take place for a MAN to still have an Egyptian father. Was he fathered in Egypt? Or were the Israelites still in contact with Egyptians in their travels?
  • I still conclude these people weren’t isolated from the rest of their world.

Here’s more from this “forgiving” god:

  • Whoever curses his god shall bear his sin
  • Whoever blasphemes the name of Jehovah will be put to death (stranger or Israelite)
  • He who kills a man will be put to death
  • He that kills a beast will make it good, beast for beast
  • A man that blemishes his neighbor, the same will be done to him

So here’s the verse that has sent many Christians into the deluge of cognitive dissonance when they learn of Jesus’ teachings and suddenly realize they are not compatible with the rules of Jehovah in the Old Testament:

24:20 – Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.

Jesus spoke directly to this verse in the New Testament, but this Old Testament verse is STILL used today, by modern Christians, to justify violence or evil against other people. What is interesting is the concept of “eye for an eye” was discussed in previous verse, being the rule to follow when a pregnant woman was injured in the event of two men fighting with each other. Now it’s a general rule regarding just about any harm done.

Here’s the problem: Jehovah does not close the loop with this concept, he does not close the judgement. If I take my neighbors eye, then my eye should be taken. So doesn’t the person who took my eye also deserve his eye to be taken out? And so on and so on? How is this logical? Do we ASSUME that once the second eye is taken that justice is served and the case is closed, despite not being explicitly stated by Jehovah?

Take murder for example, if  a man murders another man, then the killer is murdered. Problem is is that family may want to murder his murderer, and the cycle can continue through the generations. This mandate from Jehovah lacks moral balance, and this verse has caused many lives to be taken and destroyed for the last two thousand years, and continues to this day.

Which is surprising that, for many Christians, this verse usurps Jesus recommendation of “turn the other cheek”. Well I wouldn’t say surprising, but definitely disappointing.

For those who reference this verse to justify murder or violence towards another man, why are you only picking this verse out of the mountain of commandments stated in Leviticus? Who are you to pick and choose which commandments to follow? If you are going to follow this verse word by word, follow the rest of Leviticus. Show me your altars, your flock of unblemished animals for sacrifice, your olive oil lit lamps, your fields, your tents. You get my point.

Who are you to pick and choose which verse to follow and which to ignore?!

The folly of modern religion today, man picking and choosing his verses to fit the modern church and modern society, yet claiming the Bible, in its entirety, is valid for all the world at all times in the past and in the future.

Side note: This is a really odd chapter, to start off with mundane rules and then break off into a story that has nothing to do with the tabernacle, and then concludes with the rules of distribution of vengeance. Whoever numbered these verses did a very odd job when it came to this chapter. Yet we are told the Bible is perfect and inspired by the holy spirit. The only inspiration I see is someone mixing two completely different writing structures into one chapter (expository and narrative) making it worse by making both structures completely out of context of each other.

Leviticus 20 – Molech, Spirits, Curses, Incest, Bestiality

While not much is known about Molech, the fact that offerings are made to him, the fact that his name gets a capital letter, tells me this is some sort of deity, and not just a non-threatening wooden idol of Terah.

  • If you give your children to Molech, you will be stoned
    • Notice that the punishment is not meted out by Jehovah, only by the Israelites who stone him.
    • Why can’t Jehovah directly interact with the people the way he did in Genesis?
  • If anyone knows but ignores/conceals/looks away from the man who gives his children to Moloch and do not kill him, then that man AND his family will be cut off
  • If you go to those with spirits, wizards, you will be cut off
  • If you curse your parents, you will be put to death
  • Committing adultery with your relatives or your neighbor’s wife all guilty parties will be put to death
  • Homosexual men who lay with other men are to be put to death
  • If a man sleeps with his wife AND her mother, they are to BURNT to death
    • Why the distinction with fire in this case, versus stoning?
  • If a man lays with a beast, the man and beast are to be put to death
    • I can’t imagine there would be a case where the beast was nothing more than an unwilling participant in this event
    • However, considering beasts are what are sacrificed as offerings, I can see why the beast would be considered for death as well.
    • UNLESS! We are talking about another “beast” type creature/hybrid
  • If a woman lays with a beast, they both die
  • If a man sleeps with a woman who is unclean due to her period “he hath discovered her fountain” and they are to be cut off
  • Many more incest based commandments, some repeat, some more detailed.

I still get a sense that much of this can go back to the Genesis 6 “wickedness”.

Lastly, in case it wasn’t clear:

Leviticus 20:27 – A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

How many thousands of innocent lives have been taken over the past 2,000 years, just for being ACCUSED of being a witch/wizard/having familiar spirits? The text is very lacking in details, on just what a wizard of familiar spirit are, which leaves interpretation up to the people at the time, who then justify THEIR TRANSLATION to murder other people. Even false accusations, as we learned in Salem, led to trials of death regardless of innocence or guilt.

This is why I say the Bible is incomplete as a moral compass, especially in regards to laws and punishments. When you leave it up to interpretation of a corrupt mankind, these laws punish the innocent and allay the guilty.

Can we add up all the innocent dead killed throughout history, because these commandments were incomplete and vague, to the Jehovah body count?

Besides, where in the world did these people get the power to become wizards, or the use of familiar spirits? I know, I know… modern Christians say: THE DEVIL!

But the text does not say that at this point. In fact, I’ve made the argument, complete with verse that proves it to be true, that the good AND evil at this point in the Bible come from one source only: Jehovah.

And even he is incomplete, scattered, incorrect, and contradictory to his own words and actions. And you want me to believe the Bible is infallible and applicable to the world today?

Leviticus 10 – The “Errors” of the sons of Aaron; Jehovah’s body count of Death

In a brutal chapter that continues to tell us more about Jehovah (and proves my point he is not a righteous or forgiving deity), we learn the tale of Aaron’s sons:

Nadab and Abihu

Leviticus 10:1 – And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense therein, and offered strange fire before Jehovah, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from Jehovah, and devoured them, and they died before Jehovah.

“Righteous and Forgiving” he describes himself.

Again, a fuel (incense) is presented and consumed before the Ark, and fire shoots out from it and this time devours Aaron’s sons. Moses basically tells Aaron to hold his tongue, because he reminds him that Jehovah wants those before him/approaching him, to be sanctified.

Moses tells two of Aaron’s cousins to pick up the charred remains of the brothers, so they put the brothers remains in their coats, and carried the ashes outside of the camp.

Imagine this: You have to carry out the charred carcasses of two of your nephews for a mistake they made that, today at least, would be considered highly trivial. You have to see their burnt bodies and smell their burnt flesh. You probably saw them when they were born, as babies when they laughed and cried innocently, watched them grow up, you most likely helped raise them and loved them. Now you carry them in your arms to dispose of them like garbage outside of the camp. This is what Moses instructed them to do and this is at the hands of a so called loving, righteous, and forgiving god!

Moses continues to instruct Aaron’s family, this time the remaining sons of Aaron, to not do what is usually done in such events of death or times of mourning:

Leviticus 10:6 – And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which Jehovah hath kindled.

In other words, let the people mourn only, because if Aaron and his family do, as priests they will bring death upon themselves and wrath upon ALL the people. Even Moses admits the burning came from Jehovah.

Oh, and if they leave the tabernacle, they will DIE. No forgiveness, no time out, no jail, the only punishment is DEATH.

Not one peep out of Jehovah in regards to the burning to death of the brothers. Moses neither, except to warn the rest of the priesthood.

The lesson Moses wants them to learn: the difference between holy and unholy; clean and unclean.

Moses tells them to continue with the ritual of the meat offering, as if nothing happened. Then we find that Moses is unhappy with the goat of the sin offering being burnt, and not eaten, because it was put upon Aaron’s remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, to bear the iniquity of the people, for their forgiveness, to properly perform the ritual. After seeing your own kin die at the hands of the god you are supposed to worship, is it not surprising the ritual was interrupted? If you have to perform precise rituals under duress, is it not surprising the end result is flawed?

Leviticus 10:19 – And Aaron said unto Moses, Behold, this day have they offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before Jehovah; and such things have befallen me: and if I had eaten the sin offering to day, should it have been accepted in the sight of Jehovah? And when Moses heard this, he was content.

This verse needs more analysis… is Aaron saying that his all happened because the sin offering was handled wrong? Or is he saying because his first two sons, burnt to death by Jehovah, made a mistake, that even if he did eat the sin offering would it even be accepted? Whatever it is, Moses was content (?).

In other words, Aaron is blaming himself/his sons, as opposed to blaming Jehovah. So Moses doesn’t have to contend with the idea that Jehovah was responsible for the tragedy.

I didn’t think I’d read about so much death at the hands of Jehovah when I started this blog. Through all my years in the church I was never told that the body count was so high. If I had known about it I would have made the body count of death a part of the blog. So, in the interest of catching up, I’m going to try to go, off of memory, all the people that died at the hands or works of Jehovah. Note some were considered evil and some just made mistakes:

Those killed by Jehovah up to Leviticus 11:

  • EVERY man and animal (except Noah and family), nephilim and their children during the Great Flood
  • Lot’s wife
  • Everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah
  • Er, the first born son of Judah
  • Onan, Er’s brother, who refused to impregnate Er’s wife
  • 3,000 Israelite men slain for the golden calf incident
  • All the first born of Egypt
  • Pharaoh’s army and the Pharaoh himself
  • Almost Moses (Jehovah appeased by a foreskin, let Moses go)
  • Nadab and Abihu who made the fatal mistake of bringing “strange” incense before Jehovah

Those explicitly forgiven by Jehovah, or the times Jehovah said “I forgive you” up to Leviticus 11:

Those killed by the Devil/Satan up to Leviticus 11:

The new part of my blog: To tally up Jehovah’s body count of death and compare it to his self-boasting and praise he receives in the future, as well as the death toll Satan brings in the Old Testament.

 

 

 

 

 

The Book of Exodus – Redux

After reading Exodus I came across two major conclusions:

  • The author of Exodus was not the same as the author of Genesis, or,
    • The author of Exodus was the same as Genesis, but since he/she was not around at the time, they could only aggregate the knowledge available to him/her via oral tradition or separate scrolls
    • Their knowledge source of information was incomplete, hence the giant hole in the timeline and narrative between Genesis and Exodus
  • Jehovah of Genesis is COMPLETELY different than Jehovah of Exodus
    • The only common theme was the “covenant” being passed down
    • Jehovah of Exodus, for some odd reason, is unable to appear to ANYONE
    • Jehovah of Genesis, was able to appear as a man to the patriarchs

Jehovah

I made my argument that it’s quite possible the Exodus Jehovah inherited the covenant and the people from Genesis Jehovah, which could entail that Jehovah is merely a TITLE, like the word Pharaoh.

Exodus Jehovah carries many human traits that are frowned upon, even today: Jealousy, quick to anger, dishonesty, hypocrisy, materialism, self consciousness, and arrogance. He boasts about characteristics he does not show (he is forgiving, he is gratious) while at the same time clearly demonstrating behavior antagonistic to these boasts.

His self consciousness regarding how the Egyptians viewed him was mind boggling. Surely the creator of heaven and earth wouldn’t care what part of his supposed creation (the Egyptians) thought of him? But he did! And Moses was able to convince Jehovah that he would look bad in the eyes of the Egyptians if he slaughtered his own people, so Jehovah changed his mind. Is this a trait of the true creator of the universe? Or of a lesser deity with strong human like characteristics of indecisiveness and spite?

Jehovah’s long winded, mundane, repetitious displays of his “powers” in Egypt were enough for me to close the book up, move on and never look back. They weren’t as impressive as I was told they were, after all the Egyptian magicians were able to recreate the majority of them, it’s just that Jehovah’s powers were one step above. One small step, not enough for me to say or conclude he is the most powerful god.

Israelites

The Israelites of Genesis are completely different than those of Exodus. In Genesis, the 12 sons, including Jacob their father, perform wicked deeds, murder, soliciting prostitutes, carrying gods that they need to hide, commit adultery, break oaths, etc. and YET, no punishment from Genesis Jehovah.

The Israelites of Exodus are weak and timid, fearing thunder and lightning, and don’t seem to be convinced of Jehovah’s powers as being absolute. They show little trust in Moses, and they clearly stated they preferred the slavery of Egypt where they at least had good food to eat, over the slavery of Jehovah. A captivity with Jehovah where they starved and thirsted in the desert, and when they spoke out, they were chastised. Their punishments have been swift, abundant, and harsh. No time outs, no prison time, no forgiveness… straight to death.

I loathed the arrogant Israelites of Genesis, and felt sorry for the Israelites of Exodus.

They went from one slave owner to another, except that this new one is quick to sentence them to death for just about any reason and by their own words they wished they were back in Egypt. Who’s the bad guy in this situation? Pharoah or Jehovah?

Moses

A great magician, almost killed by the deity he reluctantly served, who, we must not forget, TRIED TO KILL HIM. In the beginning it felt as if Moses was performing his service to Jehovah out of fear, and no doubt about it, he doubted himself as a viable servant. But towards the end, Moses seems to become sadistic, cocky and angry, even to the point where he COMMANDS Jehovah to show himself. This, of course, is after he realizes that he has the ability to change Jehovah’s mind regarding certain decisions about acting out on his anger towards the Israelites. It’s an interesting relationship, where Moses seems to be finding his boundaries and slowly crossing them. Moses is no longer the self doubting, uncooperative servant to Jehovah, he’s almost become an equal by being able to change Jehovah’s mind while also balancing the ability to harness Jehovah’s power to control the people and retain his elevated status as the sole intermediary between man and their god.

No doubt Moses has powers, but again pointing to the question that his power comes from an omnipotent god, he needed a rod/staff to perform his powers. Not only that, his staff was more like a ranged weapon, where it needed to be raised/aim to truly work.

The fact that Jehovah does not appear before the Israelites, and that Moses is the sole intermediary started to give me the idea that Moses was using the concept of Jehovah to fear the Israelites into servitude, and leveraged natural events like volcano eruptions, thunder, lightning, lava, smoke, fire, and brimstone to point to the powers of the god that just couldn’t appear to anyone but him. Yet, again, Jehovah supposedly appeared multiple times in Genesis in the form of  man without all the thunder and demonstrations of power.

On that note, it no longer seems preposterous that Moses also manipulated man’s fear of natural cataclysmic events, in this case a volcano, to lay fear and control a population. If you tell the people that the god exists in the volcano, and if you approach it you will die, thus you can not see the god, and that volcano continues to display its cataclysmic powers, you can bet that controlling the people would be feasible. I’ve laid out my theory on the volcano, and I will strengthen this theory in upcoming verse.

Exodus Overall

If I knew NOTHING about the bible, the morals and dogmas, the modern interpretations, and was handed the book to read and was told “Here, read this, this is the one true god and the one true path”, by the end of Exodus I would return the book and say “No thanks”.

There is NOTHING about Jehovah that I, if I was in search of a god to follow, would find appealing. There is no evidence he created the universe beyond his own claims. There is no evidence he even created the people he leads around or the land he is leading them to, only that he *inherited* it all. He is severely flawed, to the point he makes himself look bad while trying to display godly powers. He seems to be more of a Devil than the Devil himself (which is a side topic all together and I WILL revisit this idea). After all, all source of evil is from him, and he even says so himself, and so far there’s been very little good to balance out the evil, destruction, and death.

There is absolutely NOTHING in Exodus that would tell me that this book was meant for the world, especially with all the specific cultural and geographical details that make no sense anywhere but in the Middle East at that time, and in the minds of modern Christians who tend to bend and twist the Bible to fit into the current era.

Exodus gets a big thumbs down for the mundane and incessant Jehovah boasting in regards to his dealing with Egypt and his boasting regarding his righteousness. The down to the thread details of the ark and the tabernacle and the FACT these items and rituals no longer exist AS INSTRUCTED tells me Exodus is a book of history, not a book for today.

We don’t need drawn out rituals with sprinkled blood and flayed animal carcasses and burning flesh placed upon gold encrusted furniture for modern man to know that it’s not OK to lie, cheat, kill, steal etc.

If I was a potential convert, Exodus has completely turned me away, there would be nothing more to read. I would not want to follow or worship this god, nor do his instructions regarding bullocks, rams, sprinkling blood, altars, punishments of death have any meaning to life today. Time has proven this to be true, without all these instruments, life has moved on. No one is being sentenced to death for working on the Sabbath, yet that is what Exodus has proclaimed “for ever”. The priesthood of Aaron was “for ever”. The covenant “was for ever”. The rituals were “for ever” Etc.

I journey on, because I know the story gets better and my arguments will solidify. I no longer fear to be honest about the Bible, because my only source is the Bible itself.

Exodus 19: Eagle’s wings? Pledge between Israelites & Jehovah; Drawn to death?

Jethro has returned to his land, obviously not part of the “covenant” that is the destination of the path of the Exodus. The Israelites have left Rephidim and entered the desert of Sinai where they camped.

Exodus 19:3 – And Moses went up unto the mountain of ha*elohim (Mt. Horeb I assume), and Jehovah called unto him out of the mountian, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine.

This is the type of verse where I nearly throw my hands up in the air.

  • How noble does it sound that Jehovah bare his people up on eagle’s wings?
    • There were no eagle’s wings, Jehovah (or whoever is writing for him) surely enjoys flowery metaphors.
    • Jehovah manipulated the situation and then took credit for the outcome
    • This verse ignores the factual  hardships the Israelites were suffering through at this time. There were no wings, they walked out of Egypt experiencing starvation, thirst, and fear.
  • Jehovah has claimed that ALL the earth is his:
    • Does this include the land in Egypt, where at this point, the hated Egyptians still live?
    • Why would he have to boast about this?
    • Is this another case of the infamous “ALL” word being misused?
    • We were told, by Moses, that Jehovah INHERITED his mountain. That’s a bit different from being the owner of all the earth.
    • Another lie?

Regardless of the questions posed, looks like an important engagement between the people, their intermediary, and their god is about to take place. Jehovah tells Moses to address the people (as seen in the verse above), the people accept the deal, and then Jehovah instructs Moses on what should be done next.

Jehovah tells Moses to sanctify the people and have them wash their clothes for two days, for on the third day Jehovah will come down in the sight of all the people on Mt. Sinai

  • Is Mt. Sinai the same as Mt. Horeb?
  • We were told Mt. Horeb was the mountain of elohim, is Mt. Sinai the mountain of Jehovah?
  • Is this another case where a transitional phase changes names, in this case Mt. Horeb becomes Mt. Sinai?

19:12 – And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whoseover toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death.

So the people can not go into or even touch the border of the mountain without the repercussion of death. Why would someone need to die for doing such a thing? Looking at the volcano theory, surely anyone getting to close would most likely die, or get burned. But in this case the punishment is death! It gets worse…

19:13 – There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.

Who shall come up to the mount when the trumpet soundeth? Isn’t the punishment for going upon the mount death? Who is going to die when the trumpet soundeth? Or does the sound of the trumpet mean that people can approach the mountain safely? Shot through? Is this merciful and kind?

19:15 – And he (Moses) said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.

Assuming Moses is telling the men not to interact with their wives in that “unclean” sense, I have to point to the language used here. “Said unto the people” is equivalent to “Said unto the men”. So in the future when we see “Said unto the people” can we assume he is speaking to the men only?

19:16 – And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

It’s not uncommon for the plumes of smoke billowing from a volcano to reach high enough into the atmosphere to create thunder and lightning. I’ve seen forest fires do so.

19:18 – And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because Jehovah descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

This is a perfect description of a volcano eruption! Reference verse 19:13 above when you read this verse:

19:19 – And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and ha*elohim answered him by a voice.

According to Jehovah’s initial instructions, when the people hear the trumpet sounding longer and longer, they were to come up to the mountain. However, as the trumpet sounds long, Jehovah tells Moses to charge the people to stay away. Moses reminds Jehovah that he had already set a boundary for the people to stay away.

  • Does Jehovah have a short memory? Why would he say one thing, and then turn around and contradict himself?
    • Jehovah tells Isaac his son Jacob will grow to be a great seed, the next day? He tells Jacob to sacrifice his son (which, if it occurred, would have negated that promise)
    • Jehovah tells Moses to take his family and go to Egypy because he will lead the people out of Egypt. Then we hear that on the way Jehovah attempts to kill Moses (which, if it occurred, would have negated the promise)
    • This is the 3rd contradictory instance of Jehovah’s instructions
  • Jehovah gave two sets of instructions, the initial one would have destroyed the people as the extended sound of the trumpet would have led them like a pied piper straight to death.
  • The second set of instruction would save them. Contradictory mandates.
    • Moses chose the mandate that would save them.
    • Was this a test? OR
    • Was Jehovah trying to kill the Israelites with his first mandate?
      • The idea that the 2nd is greater than the 1st is prevalent in the Old Testament so far
        • Isaac over Ishmael
        • Jacob over Esau
        • Jacob’s blessings over Joseph’s sons where Jacob blessed the 2nd first
        • In Genesis 1 there are two creation stories. Jehovah is the 2nd creation story and now we are being told he is the ultimate.

Moses basically corrects Jehovah by reminding him of the 2nd mandate, and Jehovah tells Moses to get off the mountain, but return with Aaron, and keep the priests and the people away “lest he break forth upon them.”

Can we say that “break forth” is similar to “eruption”?

Odd chapter. I get the feeling Jehovah was trying to kill his people by tricking Moses with instructions. Unfortunately we know this wasn’t the first attempt and it won’t be the last for Jehovah to kill either his people or his intermediary. A discombobulated chapter. It is going to require a few re-reads to make sure I’m not missing anything.

Genesis 34 – Dinah and Shechem, genocide of the Hivite males

Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite defiles Jacob’s daughter from Leah, Dinah, and he falls in love with her. Shechem asks his father Hamor to go through the steps to make Dinah his wife. Hamor the father communed with Jacob the father in this matter, Jacob knowing his daughter was defiled but keeping it from his 12 sons.

Genesis 34:7 – And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter; which thing ought not to be done.

Observations:

  • The concept of Israel not being solely Jacob, but Israel being the collective group that differentiates itself from outsiders, in this case the Hivites.
  • Jacob’s sons at this point were “men”, not just children
  • A man has defiled a daughter and the writer insists this is a thing “which thing ought not to be done”. Fair enough. Will it happen again? Will the guilty parties be one of the twelve sons of Jacob, or related? The fact the writer noted an absolute statement, let’s see if it holds up in future verse.
  • The cultural concept of a communing in regards to a man/woman marriage is described in some detail. Father communes with father and a bargain or agreement is created.

Hamor, in bargaining for Dinah’s marriage to his son Shechem, offers all to Jacob, as long as he can arrange the marriage. Jacob’s sons, still angry:

34:13 – And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister: And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing; for that were a reproach unto us: But in this will we consent to you: If ye will be as we, that every male of you be circumcised; Then we will give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.

Interesting that it’s the sons, not Jacob, that lay the groundwork for a gentleman’s agreement. Hamor and his son approve of this agreement, but, we soon find out that Jacob’s sons didn’t plan on keeping this arrangement. Hamor and his son were quite serious about it however, as they pleaded to their people to honor the arrangement:

34:20 – And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying, These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters. Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.

In another what seems like a logical step stemming from an affront of defiling a man’s daughter, Hamor and Shechem plead to their people to accept this arrangement with an egalitarian view that they all become one people. The Hivites accept, and all men become circumcised as per the arrangement.

On the 3rd day, Simeon and Levi, two of Jacob’s sons, then slew all the male Hivites in the city, despite the “consent” and agreement they made with the Hivites. This includes the slaying of Hamor and Shechem and taking spoils of the entire city. Wives and children were taken captive.

Jacob is displeased with their actions, but the brothers defend themselves by alluding to the fact that their sister was defiled.

Observations:

  • No mention whether the original agreement was falsely claimed by the 12 sons, though by Simeon and Levi’s actions that seemed to be the case.
  • As terrible as the defilement of Dinah was, the Hivites offered their entirety to Jacob and his sons and his people in what might be assumed as a penance to affront of defilement.
    • No mention of what Dinah thought of the whole situation, almost as if she did not have a voice, nor was it important.
    • Another clue to the role of women in this biblical culture
  • Israel is used as a term in this chapter to describe the collective group, not just Jacob which is what the mandate was in Chapter 32.
  • The sons come off as renegades, endangering their father and their collective, and breaking an agreement they made with those who were ready to make great changes to their way of life to accept Jacob and his people as equal.
  • No mention of the meddling hand of Jehovah AND
    • 34 chapters into Genesis, plenty of wickedness and deceit, but none of it has been equated with the Devil/Satan.
    • All actions up to this point can be attributed to simple human nature, good and bad. Nowadays we blame the bad on the Devil. Was this the case at this time in Biblical history?

In summary, while we might equate “defilement” with rape, we also need to understand that the culture of these peoples was much different than ours 2000+ years later. While the actions of Shemech would anger any father/brother, the consequential agreement and violation of that agreement would also be a defilement of mans ability to negotiate with his fellow man. Jacob’s two sons put their father in a serious bind, one which Jacob acknowledges threatens their entire collective.