Numbers 32 – Reuben & Gad Change the Plan. Moses Agrees with Conditions

In a sort of hat tip to a point I made in the previous blog post regarding the fixed amount of land and an increasing population of people, we find that the families of Reuben and Gad have asked Moses to grant them the land of Jazer and Gilead, as they are cattle men and the land is good for cattle.

Numbers 32:5 – Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan.

This is an important point to notice: the plan was for everyone to cross into the land, suddenly, the plan has changed. Where is Jehovah in this matter? The plan already seems to be falling apart, as a whole, as two of the tribes are asking NOT to cross the Jordan into Canaan. What other parts of the covenant/plan are going to falter?

Not sure why there is any doubt regarding the plan, after all Jehovah is supposedly all powerful and all knowing, but Moses reacts:

32:6 – And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which Jehovah hath given them?

So it’s all about war for Moses. Despite all the promises of Jehovah, Moses seems to not want to lose so much of his army moving forward. Moses tries to lay more of a guilt trip on them, reminding them that they should be grateful for Jehovah giving them the land, after all he was angry with their forefathers and kept them from entering the land he promised.

What’s important to note that Moses is still alive while the generation that preceded the current Israelites who were not allowed to enter the land are now gone. Just how old is Moses?

Moses reminds them of the threat Jehovah poses if they go against his will. The children of Reuben and Gad meet Moses halfway: they will stay in and build in the land they want to, but will not return to the land until the Israelites enter the land Jehovah gave them. They will move forward as soldiers.

Note that it is the children of Reuben and Gad that make the conditions. Not Moses. Not Jehovah.

Moses agrees, and Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh take land that once belonged to King Sihon and the Amorites, King Og of Bashan, and build multiple cities as laid out in verses 34 – 42.

A couple of observations:

  • Does the historical material record show any evidence of:
    • The Amorites and King Sihon?
    • King Og of Bashan
    • Giants?
  • Did the original inhabitants of this land completely die off? Or did the remnants scatter out past Canaan and enter the land of other peoples?
    • If so, is there historical record of this happening?
    • Just how different were the Israelites, culturally, than the Amorites or the people of Canaan in general?
  • I really hope future books will go into detail on how the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh being separate from the “inheritance” affect the inheritance over all.

 

 

 

 

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Numbers 28-31: Review of Laws; War against the Midianites

Numbers 28 – A review of Offering Laws (again)

Jehovah tells Moses to speak to the Israelites regarding offerings.

Numbers 29 – Holy Convocation

Jehovah tells Moses to speak to the Israelites regarding a holy convocation on the first day of the 7th month.

Numbers 30 – A review of Vows (again)

Once again we review a woman’s “vows” and how they are to be handled between a man and his wife, and a man and his daughter, and widows. Christian woman’s rights advocates, I’d be curious to know what you think about Numbers 30 (and the OT so far as it related to the treatment of women.)

Numbers 31 – War Against the Midianites

Moses has one more task before “being gathered unto his people”, which now seems to be a euphemism for dying and joining your ancestors who have died before you. Though aren’t the Levites still alive among the Israelites still “his people”? His task: Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites. One thousand of each group of the Israelites are set as soldiers and go to war. The end result:

  • All male Midianites were killed
  • The kings of Midian were killed:
    • Evi
    • Rekem
    • Zur
    • Hur
    • Reba
  • Balaam the son of Beor was killed

Wait! What? Balaam, the one who “blessed Israel” was killed? What was the saying:

“He who blesses you shall be blessed…”

So, despite blessing Israel, Balaam was killed? Is this rule just talk? Seems so. So far, there has only been one person who has blessed Israel, and he was killed at their hands. So this rule really has no past precedence of being legitimate.

More casualties: All the women, children, cattle, flocks, and goods were taken captive. The cities and their “castles” were burned.

Castles?

KJV discrepancy: the word ti*ro*tam (Strong’s Hebrew 2918) is translated as “castle” in KJV. In Interlinear Hebrew it is translated as “camps”. Camps vs Castles. That is a HUGE difference to us today. Were these kings and their people living in camps or castles?

This story worsens. When Moses finds out the Israelites took the women and children captive, ALIVE:

31:14 – And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host (army), with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?

Moses is angry because the women were not slain in battle. He blames the women for making the Israelites trespass against Jehovah. So here’s Moses solution:

31:17 – Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

That’s right: Kill innocent children. Kill every woman that is not a virgin. What happens to the virgin girls?

31:18 – But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Disgusting. I felt somewhat sorry for Moses because the way Jehovah treated him. Now I hate him (if he indeed was real and not just a character in a story.)

Today, we can distinguish between innocent and guilty. Back in the days of Moses, this concept was foreign. Today, most civilized people agree that a child of a guilty person should not face the death penalty for a murder the parent committed. This barbaric treatment was sanctioned by Jehovah, as he did not speak out against it. This is the god civil people worship today. The soldiers get to keep the virgin girls. Let’s not fool ourselves here, we are talking about little girls and teenagers. The soldiers get to keep them for themselves. What in the world do you think these soldiers are going to do with them?! Take them in as their own daughters? Or defile them? I hope future verse explains it, but I doubt it.

Why not just send the remnants of the Midianites, who Moses obviously blames for the transgressions of the Israelites, off to a foreign land? How wily and cunning are babies and children that Moses wants them dead so they don’t tempt the Israelites to transgress again? Why not make them slaves and enact heavy rules against their influence on the Israelites? Why is death the only answer for Moses and Jehovah? This is a death cult.

After the spoils of war and combat are done, the priesthood demands that the soldiers go through a series of “cleansing” rituals for themselves and their spoils. Chapter 26 then goes on to quantify the “spoils” in numbers. In a strange offering to a deity that supposedly created the heavens and the earth:

31:54 – And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tabernacle of the congregation, for a memorial for the children of Israel before Jehovah.

Why would Jehovah require an offering of gold? Didn’t he create gold and every other thing in this universe?

Chapter 31 was very insightful into the minds and culture of this tribal nation and their patron god. Nothing ethereal, universal, or global about it all. This belongs to a specific people in a specific time in a specific geographical location. This is becoming increasingly clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Numbers 11 – Complainers; Jehovah’s Wrath; Prophesy; More Death!

Numbers 11:1 – And when the people complained, it displeased Jehovah: and Jehovah heard it; his anger was kindled; and the fire of Jehovah burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

Let’s rephrase this with the KJV footnotes I have:

Numbers 11:1 – And when the people were as it were complainers, it was evil in the ears of Jehovah…

See that? Complaining is *evil*. Note that there is no mention of the devil BTW, who is supposedly the source of evil in modern church philosophy.

Remember, this is a god that boasts that he is “Righteous and Forgiving”

The spot where the burning of the people took place was named Taberah, because “the fire of Jehovah burnt among them”

The last time we heard the “fire of/from Jehovah” was Sodom and Gomorrah, where fire and brimstone rained down upon the city, again, like a volcanic eruption.

It must have been a serious set of circumstances because, despite some already being burnt to death:

11:4 – And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting; and the children of Israel also (returned and) wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?

Still think that the Israelites saw the Exodus and servitude to Jehovah as being better than living in Egypt?

11:5 – We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

Remember back in the Elohim creation story, as well as Elohim’s instructions to Noah and his family that left the ark? They were told that ALL plants and herbs and animals were there for them to subjugate and eat. This includes fish, and cucumbers, and melons, etc. NO MENTION OF MANNA.

What is happening here? This Jehovah deity is breaking the mandates of the Creation and the Replenishment of the earth by only providing manna for the people to eat. Isn’t this going against the mandate that was already put in place, supposedly by him?

So, ALL THIS TIME, all the people had to eat was manna, and they were not happy about it. This strengthens my argument that these people were taken out of “slavery” in Egypt and given a new form of slavery that they are not happy with.

Moses’ heard the cries of the people, and panic set in. He pleads with Jehovah, asking him what he did to deserve this affliction and burden, and he pleads that the burden is too heavy. Harking to the Moses of old:

11:15 – And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.

So, the supposedly almighty god, capable of ANYTHING in the universe, has a solution: spread the pain of the burden. He tells Moses to gather 70 elders and to bring them to the tabernacle to stand with him.

11:17 – And I (Jehovah) will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.

So, rather than providing the Israelites with what we would consider basic food (fish and vegetables), he decides to pass this spirit of “wretchedness” on to a bunch of elders so that Moses isn’t carrying it all by himself. So instead of one man being wretched, 70 elderly people will be wretched with him.

11:18 – And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of Jehovah, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore Jehovah will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.

In a sadistic and sarcastic manner, Jehovah continues:

11:19 – Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; But even a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised Jehovah which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?

Can we not continue to conclude that the people “worship” and follow the commands of this god, not out of loyalty and thanks, but out of fear?! Look at his response to a mere human condition of complaining? Would you stuff your children’s mouths and nostrils with food if they complained they were hungry?

Moses questions Jehovah, asking him just how Moses is going to supply all the “flesh” to eat, asking if cooking all their “flocks”.

So now we know the purpose of their flock, at this juncture, was NOT for food (as it was in previous verse in Genesis and as commanded during Creation and after the Flood), but the flock merely existed to supply Jehovah with offerings!

The event of “passing the spirit of wretchedness” took place. What happened to those who received the spirit:

11:25 – And Jehovah came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

The first mention of prophecy. So just what did they prophecy about? Does the word used here actually mean what we are told “prophecy” is?

Take a look at Strong’s Concordance (word 5012:naba) to this particular word. It can also mean “rave”, as in “raving lunatic”. Just what really happened to these elders? Were the speaking of the future, or were they, after receiving a “spirit”, possessed and raving? Will we see future events where people receive a “spirit” and then go into an unnatural state?

Apparently two elders, Eldad and Medad, began to prophesize/rave *outside* of the tabernacle, which must have been taboo, so Joshua tells Moses to forbid them:

11:29 – And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God* that all Jehovah’s people were prophets, and that Jehovah would put his spirit upon them!

Can we conclude that prophesying/raving was something that normally happened inside the tabernacle?

Back to the eating of “flesh”. In a telling statement that Jehovah does NOT want the flocks to be turned into food (meaning they were ALL for him and his offerings):

11:31 – And there went forth a wind from Jehovah, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.

So, while the people suddenly have meat to eat:

11:33 – And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of Jehovah was kindled against the people, and Jehovah smote the people with a very great plague.

“Righteous and Forgiving”

The place where the plague was kindled was then called Kibroth-hattaavah, because “there they buried the people that lusted” aka the “graves of lust”

Notice the word usage here: “lust”. The connotation of lust is negative. Go back to the beginning of the chapter and realize the people just wanted to eat regular food. Is that LUST?! Especially considering that Elohim creation and the family of Noah were told that all plant and animals were there for them to eat. ALL plant and animals.

So now we see the Israelites being punished for something mankind was told to do during Creation and Post-Flood. It almost seems Jehovah has hijacked these people away from the commands of the Elohim and made his own set of rules.

Yet I was taught that it was all one god in the Bible? Jehovah is proving that he is completely different than previous versions.

 

 

 

 

Leviticus – Redux

Leviticus must be frustrating for those wishing to learn more about the words in the Bible, and how it all meshes with modern religion.

Modern religion seems to be a frankenstein like beast, put together with fragments of dead stories which fit best with modern times and norms. The rest of the pieces of the stories are ignored or not discussed.

Who’s to blame them? There are so many foreign concepts and ideas in Leviticus, it’s almost as if the entire book of Leviticus, AND Genesis and Exodus, were clearly written for a specific set of people in a specific time in history in a specific geographic location. Which is one of my primary points in this blog, and Leviticus only solidifies my argument.

So why do modern Christians believe the bible, from beginning to end, is applicable to them as a whole? Is it the misused usage of words like “forever” and “the whole earth” when we see that “forever” ended A LONG TIME AGO (i.e. the Levitical priesthood) and the “whole earth” really only describes the geographic locations the author knew about at the time.

After all, it wasn’t until 1492 that people realized there was an entire Hemisphere between them and India. Suddenly, the concept of the “whole world” changed!

People today believe Jehovah is the creator of the universe. Yet Leviticus states that there are many rituals that are to be performed “for ever”. They have not been performed in thousands of years in the presence of the tabernacle. Yet the world moves on and progresses and the punishments Jehovah laid out in Leviticus 26 are not here.

Heave offerings, wave offerings, burnt flock, burning fat, altars, anointing, oils, priestly regalia. All foreign to most anyone outside the Middle East proper. Yet I’m supposed to believe this book is for all people throughout the world?

Oh, and who can forget the body count between Jehovah and the Devil at this point in the Bible, the end of Leviticus. All death and destruction has come at the hands of Jehovah. NOTHING from the devil. His only “evil” was telling Adam and Eve the truth about eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Bible is clear on this point.

I can almost hear the cry of Christians saying I am a devil apologist, etc. I’m only repeating what the Bible clearly states. Jehovah said they would die if they ate the fruit; The Serpent said they would only open their eyes if they ate the fruit. They ate the fruit and opened their eyes. Who is the liar in this story!?

Look at what happened to the two sons of Aaron, burnt to death by Jehovah. Look at how Leviticus treats medical issues like leprosy, no actual treatment, except through burnt offerings and priestly rituals. Does this pass in modern times? Does a parent kill their children for bringing them the wrong food? When you have a flu, do you burn a goat to heal yourself?

The dichotomy between Jehovah and Elohim is briefly touched upon in Leviticus. Elohim gave us the stars to track days and times; Jehovah says do not observe times.

The church tells us there are 10 main Commandments. Well the 10 they talk about are actually part of 13 total if you single out the specific chapter they are mentioned in. Conveniently those last 3 are left out in modern times (picking and choosing?) Not only that, there are HUNDREDS more commandments laid out.

The writing style of Leviticus seems to be continuous from Exodus, but oddly scattered, as we find smack dab in the middle of the constant commandments coming out of Jehovah, a story about a man who cursed Jehovah and was stoned to death.

Leviticus 26 is probably the most potent chapter of them all when studying the personality of this god, Jehovah. The brutality of his punishments tells me he is no better, nay, he is much worse towards the Israelites than the Egyptians were.

The Israelites are clearly still under slavery and servitude, except instead of to a Pharaoh and his nation, they are shackled under an invisible god working through an intermediary via Moses and a priesthood clan.

I still stand on my belief that either a) Jehovah at this time is NOT the same Jehovah in Genesis and Exodus, but the entity (or Moses) has hijacked his name; OR; b) The Jehovah concept is being used by a powerful magician via Moses, who utilizes volcanic and natural events to control his people through fear.

The idea that Jehovah walked among Adam, Abraham, etc. but can not appear to anyone but Moses in Exodus and Leviticus tells me they are not the same entity. The term “elohim”, despite being the entities credited for all the good creation in Genesis 1, have all but disappeared from the Bible at this point. Yet modern churches preach that it is the same entity from beginning to end.

If I was being proselytized to, in a foreign land far from the cultures of the historic (or even modern) Middle East, this book thus far would have absolutely ZERO applicability on my life. The majority of the story would be completely foreign and inapplicable to my survival.

YET! This story has spread all across the world like wildfire. Is it because it is, indeed, applicable to all the world?

OR! Is it because the manner in which it was initially spread (by book or sword) and the ultimate message (follow this or you are going to burn in hell forever) have put absolute fright into those who receive the message?

Millions have died as these Abrahamic religions that reference these early books in the Bible spread around the world. At some point, a parent is going to accept these teachings in order to save their children from death at the hands of the religious fanatic. The children grow up, and pass it on to their children, etc. At some point, we forget just HOW this doctrine was given to us and we accept it all as fact, never remembering the dismembering, torture, burnings, and death that accompanied these religions as they spread into distant lands.

Problem is, unlike the peoples of the past, TODAY we are free people, we can read for ourselves, we can research the past for ourselves, we can analyze what religions tell us is “true” and make decisions on our own. Is it any wonder people leave modern religions despite the promise of burning hell and fire and brimstone as punishment if they do?

At some point the Boogy Man no longer puts fear in the child who has become an adult when the adult realizes there really wasn’t an actual Boogy Man. Reading the actual words of the Bible is slowly removing said fear, despite the modern churches still teaching this fragmented doctrine of eternal hell and an angry vengeful god.

I could easily toss this book aside at this point in the Bible for all said reasons above, but I am continuing forward because I enjoy the process of discovery.

Leviticus 27 – The Monetary Value of People and Property

It took a few re-reads to try to figure out exactly what is happening in Leviticus 27. The chapter describes “man making a vow” and then a “cost” depending on who or what the vow is.

Assuming the vow is to Jehovah, it looks like Chapter 27 is laying down the monetary value of vows that are too be paid to purchase this vow.

The idea of purchasing favor, forgiveness, etc. is an odd concept, and it really doesn’t mesh with the teachings of modern Christianity. Notice I only said “teachings” because the concept of buying forgiveness and rank in modern churches is alive and well.

The idea that we “pay for our sins” seems to be traced back to these times where people paid for their sins with offerings, and it seems eventually these offerings were replaced with an intermediary who says “Ok, give me money, and we will make these offerings for you” cutting out the persons need to bring their own flocks for sacrifice.

Same goes with valuing someone’s house: A priest is basically a home assessor who estimates the value of a house, so that future transactions can take place with an official price.

In another sort of cultural foundation of rules, this chapter says the only currency that can be used is the shekel of the sanctuary, which equals 20 gerahs.

My take: the laws set out here clearly state that most things have monetary value, including people. This would be a barbaric concept today because of our past with slave auctions and dehumanization of fellow human beings for profit and cash flow. Leviticus is so era and culturally specific, I don’t understand how and why people can pull bits and pieces out of it and say “You MUST follow these laws or you are going to Hell!” What about the rest of the rules?

I’ll say it again, when comparing modern Christianity to the words found in Exodus and Leviticus, the modern churches are guilty of picking and choosing verses that fit, if barely, into modern times and cultural norms. The rest of the laws and commandments are ignored despite the fact nowhere in the text does it say that following these laws is an option.

Not a lot to say about this chapter, except it ends Leviticus in a sort of boring fashion especially after the brutal descriptions we find in Leviticus 26.

Leviticus redux coming soon…

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 26 – The Law: When the Israelites Obey

In a sort of summary of all that he has commanded thus far, Jehovah repeats a plethora of rules, but this time, tells them what happens when:

  • The Israelites follow his commandments
  • The Israelites disobey his commandments

Today we know that many scientific and biological factors are involved when it comes to growing good crops and harvests. To the Israelites? It all depends on Jehovah and how they follow his rules.

If the Israelites follow:

  • Rain will fall in due season; land and trees will yield their fruits
  • They will eat their bread in full and live in safety
  • There will be peace in the land; they will fear no one and there will be no war and he will chase evil beasts out of the land
    • Just what are these evil beasts?
    • Strongs Hebrew interlinear describes this as “living”
      • Evil living
      • All evil creatures? Man and animal? Other? (Genesis 6:4)
      • For the most part, “beast” has been translated as “animal”
      • Another KJV translation anomaly
  • They will chase their enemies and vanquish them by the sword with supernatural odds (5 men can subdue 100, etc.)
  • Jehovah will respect them, multiply them(*), and “establish” his covenant with them
    • Wasn’t the covenant already established with Abraham?
    • Are we going to see a new or revised covenant?
  • They will eat old store, and new store will replace the old
  • The tabernacle will be among them, and he will not abhor them
  • He will walk among them (?) he will be their le*elohim (god) and they will be his people
    • Will he really literally walk among them?
    • Something to watch out for in future verse

A basic rundown of the benefits of following this god. I have to ask though, just what is the end game? As people prosper and multiply, as he promised they would if the obeyed him, land will start to become scarce (see the story of Abraham and Lot and their flocks.) The land of Canaan, while somewhat vast, is minuscule in the scope of the land masses of the world as we know it.

(*) At some point the land would be full, and the people would need to expand. Just how realistic is this covenant? If the covenant was forever, how would the land deal with an exponentially growing population? How many generations would it take to fill the land of Canaan when all that happens within its borders is growth and fruitfulness? It would almost seem like population control (an easy way of saying famine, war, death) would be needed to make it perpetually viable. Was the plan for this Bronze Age people to stay in the Bronze Age?

This covenant sounds like a pipe dream being sold to people already in servitude (or their descendants generations later looking for hope), as if it’s some consolation they are no longer being held in Egypt (which they stated early on, they preferred.)

No mention of the rest of the world that Jehovah supposedly created. He created the entire world but decides he’s going to stay in this one little locale with a group of servants? Sorry, I’m not buying a) he created the universe and b) his covenant had any realistic way of succeeding for any long period of time.

So this is the best the people get if they follow his rules. What happens when they do not? Next blog post.

And you know human nature, it’s hard to follow rules when you are a truly free people. Not so hard when you are under duress of slavery and servitude with punishment of death all around you as we find the Israelites under Jehovah.

 

Leviticus 25 – Land Sabbath; Jubilee; Slavery

A strange thing occurred when I sat down to analyze Leviticus 25. My Bible app on my iPad would not let me focus on the chapter. The login window would pop up and down, up and down, obscuring the text every 2 seconds. Earlier today I had reviewed the chapter briefly with no issues. Very odd.

Leviticus 25 begins in regards to keeping a sabbath to the *land*, as in how crops are to be treated. After 7 years of sabbaths, a new ritual, the “jubilee” is explained, in which every man returns to his family, and what sounds like every debt is forgiven, if not already paid.

It also discusses how and why to raise and lower prices on crops of the field.

Much like with manna and days, the 7th year the land is to be left alone, at which point Jehovah will triple the output in the 6th year to help them cope with the 7th.

The Levites also receive preferential treatment in regards to redeeming possessions.

Leviticus 25:35 – And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee

In probably the first notable commandment in regards to humanity towards a fellow human being, I have to ask: Why did it take so long?

The next few verses talk about not charging interest (aka usury which today is frowned upon in Islam and Christianity, but strangely not Judaism who supposedly still follow the law of Moses.)

Here’s another look at how Jehovah views his ‘people’:

25:42 – For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondsman.

To Jehovah, they are servants. Why would an almighty, all powerful god need servants? Kings have servants. Rich people have servants. Interesting.

What about the people *around* the Israelites? The non-Israelites, the neighbors, the travelers, the strangers? Didn’t Jehovah create them too? They can be sold as bondsman.

Verse 46 tells us that any bondsman taken will be an inheritance to your children, and these bondsman must come from non-Israelite heathens. It’s illegal to take a bondsman from the Israelites.

Just in case the reader didn’t get the point the first time:

25:55 – For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am Jehovah your god.

Was that Jehovah’s reason for removing them from the servitude and slavery of Egypt? I reiterate my point that they went from one form of slavery and servitude to another. In Egypt, they toiled with hard work. With Jehovah, they face punishment of death at all corners regarding most of his rules.

Leviticus 25 is yet another chapter among many that has no bearing on life today. Servitude and slavery is frowned upon in most civilized societies. What does this say about Jehovah? What does this say about the followers of Jehovah today?

  • Religion of the past has stayed in the slave era yet society has advanced far beyond it (for the most part). Yet the world is still around not facing the wrath of this god.
  • Followers of Jehovah only follow what fits into this world, and quietly ignore the other hundreds of mandates he demanded of his people.
  • No where does it say that the rules Jehovah mandated are for ALL peoples, only those he brought out of Egypt (and the unfortunate slaves that they keep).

In modern Christianity, the focus on worldly possessions is frowned upon. In the Old Testament, possessing slaves and materials was not only well accepted there were all kinds of rules on how to deal with them.

In regards to slavery, can we step into the zone of reality and say owning and selling other human beings is EVIL? Why would a loving god allow ownership of other humans? I’ve heard people say it was the evil of humanity as influenced by the devil that allowed historical slavery as we know it today. That is completely wrong, Jehovah not only condoned it but he regulated it to his own people!