Exodus 37 & 38 – The Ark and Table of Incense. Parallels to Egypt culture.

Exodus 37 is a description of the Ark, Mercy Seat, and the various materials used to construct them and the items around them.

ark
Modern Rendition

Where did this concept come from? Could it have been picked up from the time the Israelites spent in Egypt?

egypt ark2

Here’s more: the Altar of Incense

altar incense

Egypt:

egypt altar

Here’s the problem: We have no physical record of the Ark of the Covenant or the Altar of Incense. Yet in Egypt we have archaeological evidence of these items (or at least their concept) in existence in their hieroglyphics.

Did these Israelite items really exist? Or were they just copied from sacred objects found in Egypt during the time of their “captivity”? I put this in quotation marks because the story of the Israelites living in Egypt in Exodus is a far cry from why they live in Egypt in Genesis.

As powerful and sacred as the Ark of the Covenant was to these people, surprisingly there is very little evidence, and a lot of theory and conjecture, that these items ever existed or still exist today.

How about some more similarities:

ark cherub
Modern rendition of the Israelite Ark and Cherubim
egypt cherub
Egypt. Hmmmm…

It’s not uncommon for a group of people to take ideas and concepts from their neighbors, captors, enemies, or allies and mix it into their own culture. For me, these similarities are not shocking or surprising, however it does weaken the argument that all these great things as described in Exodus were the first of their kind or divinely inspired.

So, let’s say these concepts and items were borrowed from the Egyptians, what can this infer? My theory that Moses was a great magician who led the Israelites around in the name of a god that, ironically, they could not see, gains strength. He then introduces their OWN version of the great material culture of Egypt that they are familiar with: arks, incense, winged cherubim, altars, etc.

Suddenly the reality of the Ark becomes mystical. As we will see this ark wielded great power, yet it is no where to be found today. Can we compare it to a battery that also stores power, but as time and use go by, the power diminishes until the battery is nothing but a shell?

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Discovery: Exodus 20 vs Exodus 34…Will the Real 10 Commandments Please Stand Up!

Here are the commandments we find written in Exodus 20 compared to what we find written in Exodus 34. Remember, ONLY in Exodus 34 is the term “10 Commandments” mentioned:

10 Com compare

Exodus 20 CLEARLY has more than 10 commandments, in FACT, it looks like someone might have chosen the best 10 out of the total 16 that fit in to more modern times. Was this to sell the idea of Jehovah and his rules to modern peoples? Is it because making stone and earth altars and gods of gold, silver and brass would be considered ridiculous today, if not 200 years ago? So, to keep the religion viable, pick and choose commandments that are applicable to the modern peoples, and HIDE the others? These hidden commandments are CLEARLY coming from the words of Jehovah!

Exodus 34 has a total of 12 give or take a few that could be lumped or separated because the context is ambiguous, and with a little bit of fudging of repetitive commandments, can EASILY be made into 10:

  1. Do not make covenants with the people of the new land; destroy their altars, images, groves.
  2. You shall no worship no other god
  3. You shall not make molten gods
  4. Keep the feast of the unleavened bread
  5. All that open the matrix is mine (firstborn and animal)
  6. Six days you work, 7th day rest
  7. Observe the Feast of Weeks
  8. Three times a year all man children appear before Jehovah
  9. First of the firstfruits of the land belong to me
  10. Do not seethe a kid in its mothers milk

In fairness, I’ll try to do the same with Exodus 20 by isolating verbs and context to group or keep separate these commandments (in brief):

  1. No other gods before me
  2. No graven images, etc.
  3. Don’t take Jehovah’s name in vain
  4. Honor father and mother
  5. Remember the Sabbath, etc.
  6. Do not kill
  7. Do not commit adultery
  8. Do not steal
  9. Do not bear false witness, etc.
  10. Do not covet, etc.
  11. Make no gods of gold, silver, etc
  12. Make an earthen altar
  13. If you make a stone altar, unhewn stone only
  14. Do not go up the steps of my altar

So what gives? Are we witnessing the hand and work of man squeeze a concept named ONLY in Exodus 34 between multiple commandments found in Exodus 20 and 34 to make it fit into more modern times, and thus, the modern Bible (which DID NOT exist at those times as a cohesive, singular book, only a collection of books)?

One might say, well the original 10 Commandments were those mentioned before the thunderings, lightnings and noise of the trumpet in Exodus 20:18, but I say, sure, but if you look at actually commands, in terms of distinct verbs, there are still more than 10!

The ignored 4 commandments in Exodus 20 are CLEARLY distinct from each other and from what are now called The 10, yet those four lastly listed commandments are NOT included today (from what I know about modern Christian churches).

Take this into consideration: The first covenant defined by commandments in stone were BROKEN INTENTIONALLY by Moses in his anger. The commandments of the first covenant defined by the stone tablets will be broken multiple times by these Israelites as the enter the land to drive out the native peoples (they kill and “spoil” with no consequence). Is this a foretelling that because the stones were broken, this covenant of 16 commandments is null and void?

Do we have evidence of man using and mixing concepts in the Bible to sell this historical, ancient, incompatible religion with the modern Western world?

So who wins this one, Exodus 20 and the modern churches? Or Exodus 34 where the actual phrase 10 Commandments was used.

My Score: Exodus 34 wins the match. Verse affirms this as well.

 

Exodus 34 – Jehovah hypocrisy; Inherited Ones? Not Chosen?! Another 10 Commandments?

In another attempt at laying rules down in stone, Jehovah tells Moses to cut two tablets as he had done before, and in the morning to come up to the mount. No man or animal should get near the mount except him. Jehovah descends in the cloud, stood with Moses, and proclaimed his own name and explains the covenant.

Let’s get a good look on how Jehovah describes himself:

Exodus 34:6 – And Jehovah passed by before him, and proclaimed, Jehovah, Jehovah El, merciful and gratious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

Stop right there… how has he been merciful and gratious? The people had to beg for food and water and it annoyed him and Moses. Longsuffering? He is quick to anger and ready to wipe the entire population out and pass the covenant to Moses. Goodness and truth? He seems to be claiming that the creation of the multiple deities in Genesis 1 as his own, which is not true. He also lied about the Egyptians hardening their hearts, as if they decided to do so on their own, when in fact it was HE that was hardening their hearts, in turn making the Israelites hate the Egyptians.

Exodus 34:7 – Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving the iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and fourth generation.

Isn’t the contradiction here clear on a literal and expressed level?! He keeps mercy for thousands (despite slaughtering thousands of first born Egyptians). Where is the mercy up to this point?! He says he forgives iniquity and transgression yet then goes and say he will visit iniquity into the 4th generation of children! That is NOT forgiveness! He hasn’t shown one iota of forgiveness, because even though he passed on the major transgression of the molten calf, he told the people he would kill them if he was among them, is that forgiveness? Some would call this HYPOCRITICAL.

Wow.

Children will be born suffering for the sins of their parents and grandparents. Mercy? Forgiveness? Righteousness? Gratious? Longsuffering? Abundant in goodness and Truth? He proves otherwise, even in the same verse!

Moses worships Jehovah, and asks Jehovah to make his way down among the people and forgive them. In a contradiction to the idea that Jehovah “chose” these people, Moses tells Jehovah to “take us for thine inheritance.” Inheritance from who?

Did Jehovah “inherit” this people and their covenant from the previous “Jehovah” or another entity? You can’t inherit something from nobody, the concept of inheritance means something is passed down or passed along. Keep note of this term “inheritance”. It will show up again and prove my point. This makes sense under my theory that Exodus Jehovah is different from Genesis Jehovah. So could Jehovah be a TITLE as opposed to an actual name? The way Pharaoh is used in the Bible without giving the actual name of the Pharaoh? The bible explicitly states that there were multiple Pharaohs so it wasn’t just a name.

Jehovah reiterates his plans for the various -ites peoples of the land they are about to enter, he is going to drive them out.

34:12 – Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: For thou shalt worship no other god: for Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous god:

So now Jehovah has given himself two names I AM I AM, and Jealous. He also claims to be El*Shadday of the book of Genesis. Does this prove that Jehovah is merely a title? Why would he need multiple names? More importantly, why would he acknowledge the presence of other gods? If they weren’t real, why acknowledge them? Is he admitting that there are indeed other gods besides him? So far he hasn’t said he is the *only* god, only that he is the only that should be worshiped. Big difference.

Also, it’s ironic that a Jealous god makes jealousy a sin to his people! Back to warning about the people of the land they are about to enter:

34:15 – Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;

Ok, in this verse Jehovah is admitting that one of these gods could actually call the people, which would make them eat of “his” (note the word choice) sacrifice. Other living gods exist and are similar to Jehovah in that they can form covenants, require sacrifices, call upon people, and allow the people to eat of the sacrifice. Not too different from Jehovah and a far cry from the wooden ‘gods’ Abram chastised his father for in Genesis.

34:16 – And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.

Notice the word choice here: He does not want the sons of the Israelites taking the daughters of these people. What about the daughters of the Israelites? Also, no mention of the punishment for these transgressions?

More cultural and geographical specific commandments get laid out, once again: Rules about the Sabbath, unleavened bread, scheduling feasts, etc.

34:19 – All that open the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male.

Can we assume the matrix is what we could call a first birth? Why does the supposed creator of heaven and earth require the male first born of man and beast? This concept of a “first birth” doesn’t really have a term to describe it today. Dare I say, could this be what could be described as a virgin birth to the peoples of this time? It obviously has extreme cultural importance.

The Ten Commandments?

We are told the 10 commandments of Exodus 20 are specific, despite the FACT that Jehovah laid out hundreds of other commandments beyond those 10, and in fact, they were never really labeled as THE 10 (see Exodus 20). In fact you could almost make the argument that in verses 34:13 – 34:28, he has laid out another 10 Commandments that are not the 10 Commandments of Exodus 20:

  1. Destroy the altars of the other people, Hittites, etc.
  2. Don’t worship any other god
  3. Don’t make a covenant with any other god
  4. Make no molten gods
  5. Keep feast of unleavened bread
  6. All that open the matrix is mine
  7. Work six days, Sabbath the 7th
  8. 3 times a year all men shall appear before Jehovah
  9. Do not offer the blood of Jehovah’s sacrifice with leaven
  10. First of the firstfruits go to the house of Jehovah
  11. Do not boil a kid in its mothers milk

Notice that 2 and 3 could become single, thus making the total listed 10 commandments. What comes next in verse?

34:27 – And Jehovah said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with Jehovah 40 days and 40 nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

Remember the first set of commandments was written on the first set of tablets, then destroyed by Moses when he threw them on the ground and they broke. Chapter starts off with Moses with another set of tablets, writing down the words of the covenant on the stone. Did the first 10 get replaced? Will they get mentioned again?

What’s interesting from a cultural perspective is the number 10. Why not 12? After all there were 12 tribes of Israel, 12 pillars representing 12 sons of Israel, etc. etc. Interesting food for thought.

<fast forward a few hours later of research>

Go back to Exodus 20: There is ZERO mention of THE “10 Commandments”, in fact, if you follow the entire Chapter, we see a strong case for 12 Commandments! This dictates a new blog post for Discovery. The only mention of the “10 Commandments” verbatim is in Exodus 34 which actually lists 10 different commandments than Exodus 20! Are the commandments in Exodus 34 the REAL 10 Commandments? Did man/or the church manipulate verse to turn the 12 commandments of Exodus 20 into the 10 commandments of Exodus 34?

A Supernatural Appearance

Moses comes down from the mountain and the “skin of his face shone” and Aaron and the people were afraid of him. Was Moses’ face glowing? Was it emanating light? Was it burnt and shiny from heat, sunlight and dehydration?

So Moses put a veil on his face, whether to hide the light or the ugliness of burnt shiny flesh (have you seen the face of someone who has not eaten or drank in 40 days or 40 nights? While grotesque, you could make the argument the skin becomes waxy and shiny). He passed on the commandments from the stone to the people. Moses would put the veil over his face when talking to the Israelites, and remove it when talking to Jehovah.

 

 

 

Exodus 33 – Evil from Jehovah; Israelites shamed; Moses TELLS Jehovah to show himself!

Jehovah tells Moses to leave Mt Sinai and go to the new land, and that he will send an Angel before him to “drive out” (note the language, this is different from what is going to actually happen) to the Canaanite, Amorite, the Hittite, Perizzite, Hivites, and Jebusites. It’s one thing to push people out, it’s another to commit genocide.

The land sounds so beautiful, yet the threat of the presence of Jehovah among them is real and, IN HIS OWN WORDS: Evil:

33:3 – Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.

Once again the author reiterates the source of this particular evil, and there is ZERO mention of the Devil or Satan:

33:4 – And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments.

The entire situation seems tense:

33:5 – For Jehovah had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.

Why couldn’t Jehovah tell them himself? Would this be more effective at the Israelites learning their lesson instead of passing it on to Moses to tell them?

The Israelites were one step away from death-by-Jehovah. Yet at this time Moses distanced himself and all the wondrous items created for the tabernacle by setting up the Tabernacle OUTSIDE of the camp, away from the people. In a somber scene of what could be remorse, the way a punished child stands at the door of his room where he is forced to stay in, watching his siblings eat a treat…

33:8 – And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle

Again, the Israelites are given that human trait of remorse and wonder. Brutally chastised already, they stand in their doorways as Moses poetically disappears into the Tabernacle that is supposed to be a glorious covenant between said people and their patron god. Yet their god stands ready to murder them all in anger, and the people still smart from the punishment already deemed out so they cower in their doorways.

Suddenly, the pillar of cloud appears at the door of the Tabernacle, and the people standing in their doorways worship. How do they worship? Not specified. I picture people falling down on their knees and waving their arms up and down. Not out of true worship and praise, but out of fear.

Grace In Thy Sight

The dialogue and even writing style suddenly shift. The rest of Exodus 33 start and end in a giant contradiction, which to me says the author or the interpretation is leaving very important information and context out, whether purposefully or that the text just a victim of a few thousand years of language and culture evolution.

I reiterate my idea that Jehovah in Exodus is different from the Jehovah that appeared to Adam and the rest of the patriarchs up to Jacob. The characteristics are very different. Keep note of the language of the following verse:

33:11 – And Jehovah spake unto Moses, face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. *

Ok, this sounds like how Jehovah appeared before the patriarchs of Genesis, face to face. The story continues with Moses then leaving the tabernacle towards the camp, but Joshua son of Nun stays in. BTW, I need to see if Joshua is qualified to be in the Tabernacle as laid out by Jehovah’s rules mentioned before.

33:12 – And Moses said unto Jehovah, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight.

Moses seems to be putting Jehovah on the spot, the same Jehovah who tried to kill him, but NOW finds grace in his sight. Moses seems to be increasingly bolder in how he speaks with Jehovah, as if he’s pushing his boundaries little by little against the god who supposedly created the heavens and the earth.

Moses continues his quiz to Jehovah, telling Jehovah that if Jehovah is not present, he should not send them forward:

33:16 – For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

Moses is asking for affirmation that he and the Israelites have found grace in the sight of Jehovah, by telling Jehovah that he should be going with them. Also noting that as Jehovah goes with them, they will be separated from everyone else on the earth.

Jehovah replies in the affirmative, Moses has found grace in Jehovah’s sight. Moses goes a step further:

33:18 – And he (Moses) said to he (Jehovah), shew me thy glory

Moses is telling, NOT ASKING, Jehovah to expose his “glory”. This term seems to have taken on it’s own definition these days, however in the past it’s been used to describe light, and Strongs Concordance also calls it splendour, honor. In what contradicts what we know about Jehovah supposedly appearing before the patriarchs:

33:20 – And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

Adam, Cain, Abraham, etc. all, we are told, saw Jehovah and lived. Is this the same god that appeared before them? Or do we have another entity taking on the identity but unable to appear in front of man? If so, just what kind of creature, being, entity is this?

*Also, see how verse 33:20 contradicts 33:11? According to 33:20 Moses should be dead.

In what seems like an effort to hide the majority of his identity to Moses, Jehovah also appears to somehow put Moses in a position to protect him from his glory:

33:22 – And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by; and I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

The patriarchs never had to go through such a process. What gives? Also, is Jehovah emanating some sort of energy that is dangerous to humans? Some sort of fatal radiation? What comes to mind is the type of regalia and breastplate that those who near the Ark must wear, as if they are wearing protective suits.

Unfortunately, we are not told what exactly Moses saw, so it’s left to our imagination and to search out further clues in future verse. When Jehovah appeared with 2 others before Abraham, it was described as “3 men”. Just what appeared to Moses in Exodus 33?

What should also be noted is the ability for Moses to dictate to Jehovah certain things, when to change his mind about performing evil on his people, when to show himself, etc.

Just who is in charge here?

Is Moses harnessing the powers of this deity yet proclaiming to the Israelites that it is the deity, and not Moses, who is attributed all these strange and wondrous powers? Is Moses merely a magician leading these people to follow a god that they, ironically, are not allowed to see or be near? A god who has wonders that today we would call natural cataclysmic events?

After all, Moses came out of Egypt, and we know there were powerful Egyptian magicians who could match the powers demonstrated by Moses and his staff. I hope this will be put into better context in future verse. What happens if Moses loses his staff? If the Ark is not around?

 

 

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.

Exodus 13: Pillar of Cloud by day; Pillar of Fire by night!

YWHW

Possible definition: Pressurized Eruption; Expulsion

Mt. Horeb

horeb wiki

A “Burning Bush”

burning bush

Pillar of Cloud by Day

cloud by day

Pillar of Fire by Night

fire by night2

 

  • A mountain of glowing heat aka Mt. Horeb can also reference a volcano
  • In the daytime, the glow of the lava and heat would not be as visible due to the sunlight, but the smoke would definitely be visible
  • In the night time, the glow of the lava and heat would shine bright, but the smoke would not be as visible without the light of the sun reflecting on it
  • Did a volcanic cataclysm kick off a chain events that drew the Israelites out of Egypt? As they leave Egypt and enter the wilderness an amazing sign begins to¬† appear before them, and surely it must be from their god, a sign perhaps to follow it since it is always visible.

They could have been following a volcano off in the distance!

  • Remember the fire and brimstone of Sodom and Gomorrah?
  • Remember the fire and hail that fell upon the Egyptians?

I KNEW when I was reading about Sodom and Gomorrah I was getting a strong feeling I was missing something, missing a clue that was very subtle. Put yourselves into a person’s shoes who witness fire falling from the sky, you’ve never seen it before, you have no words to explain it, so surely it must be from “god”.

How else to explain a indescribable volcanic eruption that can destroy everything in the sky and on the ground aka “heaven and earth”, only a god would have that power! Imagine: “Surely the people down below who were wiped out had to have deserved such a punishment, so their sins must have been exceedingly wicked! Our god saved OUR patriarch (Abraham) because he was a good man but wiped the other people all out. This is a story to pass down to the generations so that they follow the rules of our god.”

Thus, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is created and passed down to the generations. This is par for the course AROUND THE WORLD when it comes to how natural cataclysmic disasters (and the evidence of past cataclysms) meld and mesh with cultural and religious ideology. IF THIS IS THE CASE, then the Bible up to this point is no different from religious creation stories around the world that Christians call fictional, (if not outright Satanic by the way). So in other words, for Christians “My fantastical story of my god and his miracles is real and your fantastical story of your god and his miracles is NOT!” Is this not the case my Christian brethren?

Surely this is a mystery to ponder on, and for the non-believers out there, they might agree with the volcano theory and it may engage them to understand more about the historical Israelites as regular human beings with the same types of superstitions and wonderment we have even to today. Believers will stand down and say it was Jehovah in the form of smoke and fire and that’s it!

If the definition of Yahweh above is correct, then both believer and non-believer would be right!

WOAH! Take a look at YouTube, type in Yahweh and Volcano and it looks like I’m not the only one! This is exciting! The titles are absolutely controversial which is even better. Were Moloch and Saturn volcano gods? By passing a child sacrifice through the Arms of Molech equal to passing a child sacrifice between the peak of a volcano and into the lava fire? Looks like I have some videos to watch.

volcano youtube

 

Genesis: A quick redux. Genesis grade: A-

Genesis was an interesting read in that I started to find tangents and parallels taking place that I was not aware of before. I’ve heard people say the Bible is perfect, infallible, and the “word of God”. Well to be honest, I would think the word of God wouldn’t come off like a typical incomplete novel that was still in the works. Sounds critical of me to say but that is the truth. The timeline is erratic, a lot of information and data is missing, and I almost get the impression it was a series of stories squished together to try to fit into one.

Some major observations and questions I come across as I quickly review my findings:

  • Creation. Two stories and they do not match
  • Why is it important that precious stones exist in the lands where Jehovah and the Garden of Eden are placed?
  • Adam and Eve are assumed to be the first two people on earth but after reading the story again and comparing Genesis books 1 and 2, I no longer think that is the case: Cain is afraid of ‘whosoever’ he comes across will want to kill him despite the insinuation of modern translation that he is only the 3rd person on earth.
  • Elohim and Jehovah: Different traits, characteristics, actions
    • Elohim seems cosmic, universal, ethereal, spiritual “Elohim’s spirit floats over the waters”
    • Jehovah seems earthly, worldly, physical “he walks in the cool of the evening”
    • They give different instructions to Noah regarding animals to bring on the Ark and what animals they are allowed to eat
    • Elohim’s offerings are of bread and wine, oil and drink offerings
    • Jehovah’s offerings are beasts and blood, and rejected Cain’s offerings of first fruits
  • The patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Esau, the sons of Jacob and Esau) are all well off, lot’s of flocks and land. They live lives that TODAY would be considered sinful and evil
    • Lying and cheating their brethren
    • Having multiple wives, including wives of slave women
    • Having multiple children with multiple wives
    • Treating their children unequally in terms of their inheritance
    • Disobeying their fathers
    • Not paying heed to the promises of Jehovah “do not fear” yet they do and bring chaos to those around them (Pharaoh, Abimelech, etc.)
    • The non-Jehovah special lineage (Ishmael and Esau) really didn’t do anything wrong compared to their counterparts
  • There is no mention of a priesthood until we find out about Melchizedek, King Priest of the Most High God, who gives thanks with bread and wine (Jesus like) but not the blood and burning flesh of Jehovah
  • There is no mention that evil done by man is caused or influenced by the Devil/Satan.
  • Jehovah is not omnipotent or omniscient “I came to see for myself if the evil of Sodom and Gomorrah is true”
  • With all the knowledge we know about ancient Egypt, many data points are missing in the Genesis description of Egypt (Pharaoh names for example)
  • For one event to happen (the reunion of Joseph with his brothers which saves them from the drought) a WHOLE LOT of other steps were put into place to cause this event, as claimed by Joseph that it was all part of a master plan. Why would an omnipotent god need to do such a thing?
  • Big questions pop up why many of the events and geographical sites mentioned in Genesis are all big mysteries. Where is the evidence?
    • Where was the Garden of Eden and why is it not around today with Jehovah walking around it. Where is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Where is the “flame of a sword” that protects the Tree of Life? Where are the rivers Havilah and Pishon?
    • Do we know where Sodom & Gomorrah really were?
    • Where was the Tower of Babel?
    • Did the Nephilim who were offspring of the sons of Elohim and the daughters of man leave remains behind? Why do we not know the whole story of how that took place and what happened to those that “fell” in Genesis?
    • Is there physical evidence of the great war of kings in Genesis 14? It was of a grand scale and surely something would be left behind. And where did these kings come from?
  • “Israel” was NOT monotheistic, they CLEARLY worshiped other gods, they KNEW of other gods, they POSSESSED other gods (Jacob hiding his family’s idols from Elohim)
  • The patriarchs and the 12 sons of Israel are not boasted about, they clearly are human teetering on a wickedness that modern Christians would condemn. Will this be the case in future books ahead? SPOILER ALERT: I’m jumping ahead and spoiling the narrative by saying no, they get special treatment in future books and their wickedness still exists, if not worsens. This tells me there are yet more authors with different intentions in our future.

Some odd impressions about Jehovah I took that conflict with modern church teachings that I think the bible clearly insinuates:

  • Jehovah was a surrogate father, after all it was until “he did that thing when he visited Sarai” who the bible clearly says both her AND Abraham were beyond child birthing age, did she give birth to Isaac. Was Abraham really the father when it was only by a visit from Jehovah that she gave birth? The precedent was set in Genesis 6 when we are clearly told the spiritual/heavenly beings ARE able to breed with the daughters of man.
  • Jehovah clearly starts to sound like an earthly, tribal god. His physical form means he can walk the earth but is not always on earth because other times he appears in dreams to the patriarchs. He needs physical specificity in the case of: sacrifices (he enjoys the smell of burning flesh), Sodom & Gomorrah (he needs to see the evil for himself)
  • The 12 sons of Jacob and Jacob himself were pretty wicked, yet were protected by Jehovah despite their sins.
  • Jehovah has dragon and/or volcano traits to his being and I think we will see more of this in Exodus.

The “sins” of Adam and Eve all the way down to Jacob (who admitted to the Pharaoh his days have been short and evil) do give a very humanistic aspect to these early peoples, an aspect that even modern man can associate with: deceit, family conflict, land issues, weather related catastrophes, widespread wickedness, and much more.

Some points I’m looking to get clarified in future books:

  • The devil was not accused of involvement in any of the evil actions taken by the peoples of this day (save for the serpent who people insinuate is the devil but Genesis does NOT specify this). The evil comes from man himself, no credit is giving to the devil/Satan
  • The difference between El*elyon, El Shaddai, Elohim, and Yahweh. I no longer believe they are one in the same and have multiple Genesis verses to prove my point. I’m hoping it gets clarified in further verse.
  • When the flood occurred it was (again, different reasons were mentioned pertaining to the difference between Elohim and Jehovah) because the world was overly wicked. There is NO mention of CORRECTION to keep the world from becoming overly wicked again. All we have is a flood that wiped out the wickedness but no measure to prevent it from happening again.
    • SO, BIG QUESTION: Can the world ever become as wicked as described in the pre-flood days?
    • Just how did the author(s) of Genesis define “the world”? Was it the entire globe? The middle east specifically? The eastern hemisphere which we find that not until at least 1492 people thought was the entire world?

Overall my latest study into Genesis really opened my eyes about details NOT discussed by any church officials, bible studies, or conversations with fellow Christians of many denominations. All I get from them is broad assumptions (Adam was first man; Jehovah is the only god; the patriarchs were faithful and role models).

Let me say this, the patriarchs get a big NO WAY in terms of being role models. It can not be denied that their lifestyle would not mesh with modern times, whether the lifestyle of a modern Christian or an average US citizen (polygamy is now illegal).

The big hypocrisy between modern church goers and Genesis: Today it is frowned upon, if not outright illegal, to own slave servants or to marry multiple wives. But that’s what the patriarchs did and it was not frowned upon by Jehovah or Elohim! So why do people point to Genesis and say there are things in there that we should be doing? Isn’t it all or none? Do we get to pick and choose which rules we follow listed in the bible? I know future books of the Bible are really going to hammer this point home.

There is much much more to discuss regarding Genesis, but I need to move on to Exodus for the purpose of this blog. Genesis complete. Overall status: Confused but still open to the word of the bible, not convinced modern science meshes with Genesis, but I know there are many more themes to come in future books so I move on.

I give Genesis an A- because it is absolutely fascinating, but mysterious (thanks to all the missing information) so it puts me in detective and critical thinking mode. I think there are multiple authors and multiple stories squished into one, which is glaringly obvious, but because it warrants more questions it incites my imagination and critical thinking skills in looking for more proving data. Flaming swords, magic trees, Nephilim, giant sea and land creatures (Leviathan and Behemoth), tribal war gods: sorry to say it has a Lord of the Rings feel to it all. If someone does not take it serious I can see why, it’s not that hard to see. I loved the imagery I got from it all (Jehovah, who is given no physical description, “walking” in the cool of the evening in the Garden of Eden, or the Elohim floating over the cosmic waters) so I give it an A- in terms of its effect on my mind and how I place myself in this world.

Let’s see what Exodus does.

Genesis 30 – Jacob’s son of Leah, Rachel, and their handmaids. Man dragons?

Rachel, envious of her sister’s births, angers Jacob by demanding he give her children, when Jacob lays the blame for her closed womb on God. In another common occurrence, Rachel demands that Jacob impregnate her hand maid, and now we are told that Jacob has lain with a woman for the purpose of bearing children.

Sons of Bilnah and Jacob (Words of Rachel who named the sons):

5. Dan – “God hath judge me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son”

6. Naphtali – “With mighty wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed”

Rachel claims she has prevailed over Leah despite having to resort to her handmaid for her sons and being outnumbered 4 to 2. Leah, who had left off bearing, answers back by having Jacob impregnate her handmaid, Zilpah.

Son of Zilpah and Jacob (Words of Rachel who named the son):

7. Gad – “Fortunate!”

Reuben, the oldest son, finds mandrakes in the field during wheat harvest and brings them to his mother Leah. His aunt Rachel demands Leah give them to her (they must have had some serious value) and Leah refuses, telling Rachel that not only has she taken her husband, now she wants to take her sons mandrakes. In a telling verse, Rachel offers a trade: Reuben’s mandrakes and Leah is allowed to sleep with Jacob (does this answer the previous question: Was Jacob the father of the first four sons of Leah?)

Genesis 30:16 And Jacob came from the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for I have surely hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.

Lely, Peter, 1618-1680; Reuben Presenting Mandrakes to Leah
Depiction of a young Reuben bringing mandrakes to his mother Leah. Note the ‘handmaid’ with child, most likely Dan, Naphtali, or Gad borne to handmaid Bilnah. Also note the (collared) dog in the painting, because there is correlation (warning on pursuing this connection)

We are told God hearkened unto Leah (who was no longer able to give birth aka “left off bearing” but now she was?)

Sons of Leah with Jacob (Words of Leah who named the sons:)

8. Issachar – “God hath given me my hire, because I gave my handmaid to my husband”

9. Zebulun – “God hath endowed me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons”

Daughter of Leah (no indication Jacob was the father): Dinah.

God “remembers” Rachel, who has been barren all this time, and opens her womb (no indication Jacob was the father though it’s a good assumption).

10. Joseph – “God hath taken away my reproach; Jehovah add to me another son”

Back to mandrakes: can also be translated as “man dragons”, they seem to be a plant found in parts of the middle east. It could also be a general term for a group of hallucinogenic plants. An internet search will show that some of these tubers called mandrakes actually look like humans. The context of it in this book is unknown, however the idea that Leah would trade mandrakes to Rachel for the privilege of sleeping with her/their husband means that these items were highly valuable to Rachel, enough where she’d let another woman (even though it was his wife) sleep with him. Twice.

mandrake root
Hallucinogenic? Collectible? Why would Rachel, who was highly envious of Leah for having an open womb, allow Leah to sleep with Jacob for the mandrakes that Leah’s son Reuben had gathered? Here is an example of a creature figure like root of what is commonly known as mandrake. The mandrake in this book could be an entirely different plant however.

 

Genesis 29 – Jacob seeks a familial wife, Canaan follows suit; Jacob, Rachel, Leah

Isaac commands Jacob not to find a wife of the people of Canaan, instead he sends him to marry one of his first cousins, daughters of Laban.

Esau follows suite, after taking wives of the Hittites which bothered his mother and father, he goes to somewhat more distant relatives to marry within: Mahalath, the daughter of his uncle Ishmael.

Jacob leaves Beer-sheba on his way toward Haran when he experiences a dream: A ladder connects the top of heaven set upon the earth, with angels ascending and descending it. Jehovah stands at the top and repeats his promise to Isaac (this is your land, your seed will be plenty in all directions, all families of the earth will be blessed.

Genesis 29:15 – And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee whithersoever thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

So there is a “completion” to this promise, that Jehovah will leave him once he has done all he has promised for Jacob.

29:16 – And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely Jehovah is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

Afraid, dreadful. Words to describe the house of God and the gate of heaven? The concept that Jehovah is not at places at once looks to be a belief Jacob carried. Is this why Jacob would travel and “fear” despite being told not to?

Jacob arrives in the land of his uncle Laban. He meets Rachel at a watering hole with her sheep and everyone is introduced. Laban offers Jacob wages for his work as Jacob stays with him, and Jacob requested the hand of his younger daughter, Rachel (described as beautiful and well favored) over Leah his eldest daughter (described as tender eyed, sore to the eyes?)

Jacob promises 7 years of work for the hand of Rachel.

After the 7 years, he calls in his promise and in the midst of the wedding night, Laban switches Rachel with Leah, and Jacob sleeps with her that night. Was she veiled the whole time where Jacob could not tell? Was he drunken the way Lamech was when his two daughters were able to sleep with him? Laban exclaims that it’s not his culture to give away his youngest daughter before the eldest to explains his guile.

Jacob is offered 7 more years of work for the hand of Rachel.

Jacob prefers Rachel over Leah, aka “Jehovah saw that Leah was hated” so what does Jehovah do? He closes Rachel’s womb and opens Leah’s. Leah begins to give birth:

  1. Reuben – “Because Jehovah hath looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me”
  2. Simeon – “Because Jehovah hath heard that I am hated, he hath give me this son also”
  3. Levi – “Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have borne him three sons.
  4. Judah – “This time I will praise Jehovah”
Leah pregnant
Four births for Leah while Jacob loved Rachel. Once again Jehovah intervenes for these births. Can we say for certain Jacob was the father while he “hated” Leah?

Was she not praising Jehovah before? Seems like she was, but maybe she wasn’t giving proper thanks for the previous 3 children Jehovah had given her. Is it possible that Jacob was NOT sleeping with Leah (after all we know he loved Rachel more) so, with Jehovah’s intervention (as with Sarah and Rebekah), Leah gives birth? After all, after Levi was born, Leah exclaims “Now this time will my husband be joined unto me.”

Are these 4 children another example of a heavenly being mating with a daughter of man? The Bible does not indicate, again, that Jacob contributed his seed to these 4 births, only Rachel’s words that Jehovah “gave her” these children. No mention of Jacob’s reactions though if she had to give birth to a third before proclaiming “NOW Jacob would join her, it’s possible he had nothing to do with these conceptions.

It’s not uncommon for married couples not to procreate, especially when one prefers the company of another, so it’s not that far fetched to believe. After Judah, it is said she left off bearing. So now we have 1 group of 4, will the remainder of the 12 also be split into groups of 4?

Also of note, she didn’t give birth to any females? Another work of the hand of Jehovah to ensure all male births? Or, as with previous examples, it just wasn’t important to mention, i.e. daughters of Adam and Eve who were said to have been born, but given no names or order within the children.

Genesis 11 – The Tower of Babel

Genesis 11:1 – And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed east … 11:4 and they said, Come, let us build a city, and a tower, and let us make us a name; let we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

The whole earth spoke one language, and they were journeying east. Notice the direction constantly mentioned is east: there is gold to the east, Adam and Eve were placed east of Eden, Cain was banished east of Eden.

The last part of that verse is intriguing, they want to make name, otherwise they would be scattered abroad. So they build a tower to reach heaven. Are they looking for a heavenly name?

Unfortunately, unlike Noah’s ark, we have no description or dimensions to describe the Tower. It must have turned into dust over time because we have no archaeological evidence of the Tower existing, so all we are left with is renditions of the imagination:

Tower Babel
An interesting rendition of the tower, which solves the spiral affect of building upward and thinning out. Also, it represents some currently existing structures found on the earth. The magnitude of such a tower is mind boggling.

While it’s not directly stated, it’s almost implied that they want to be gods or god-like. An interesting parallel to Adam and Eve who, if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, would also become “like gods”.

So, in answer similar to Adam and Eve, Jehovah responds:

11:6 – And Jehovah said, Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do: and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do. Come, LET US go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one anothers speech.

There is the “us”‘ again, pointing not to one being in heaven, but multiples as we saw in Genesis Book 1. The idea that they would become like gods if they succeeded: “…nothing will be withholden from they, which they purpose to do.” So, it sounds like they were doing it so they could be gods or god like.

So not describing who or how or where these languages went, Jehovah confounded their languages so they could not understand each other. A cultural explanation of why other nations speak different languages put into myth? An actual event which spread the descendants of Noah who once traveled in one group all over the world?

Then Genesis 11 continues on with the lineage of Shem (is this an allusion to the idea that the lineage of Shem are the people in said story?) The roots of Abram are put into place. One verse of interest to note: Abram was by birth, a Chaldean:

11:27 – Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

So now we get some locality, Ur of Chaldees being in Babylon. Is this where Abram’s ancestors were scattered to during the Tower of Babel fiasco? And now Abram is being told to come back? Conjecture at this point.