In this part I am discussing the Deuteronomic Code.
Deuteronomy discusses the laws that the Israelites are to follow once they have their own land. They can eat meat wherever they want, but they can’t eat the firstborns. Those are to be taken to a specific place and sacrificed. They still can’t drink blood, they’re to pour it out like water. This is said to be because it is the life. What does that actually mean? It’s not scientifically accurate. Is it meant as symbolism? If so, what is its importance?
How is sacrificing good and right?
Don’t ask about other religions. Okay, so, in fear of possible conversion, it is bad to so much as ask about another religions practices. I guess that means it’s best to remain ignorant. But what is god so afraid of? If he’s so powerful and is so much better than those other gods, why would he need to be worried about the Israelites turning against him? What do those other gods have that this one doesn’t?
Don’t listen to any prophet that tries to get you to worship other gods. Again, why is Yahweh so worried about this? What do the other gods have that he doesn’t? Why does God keep testing the Israelites? And why does he keep demanding the Israelites kill people.
Who speaks like this? It sounds like someone commanding a child. Did the Israelites really need to be told what they’d say if they were possibly contemplating worshiping other gods?
Murdering a town full of people because some of them worshiped other gods is good in Yahweh’s eyes. Got it.
The Israelites are Gods treasured possession?
Birds not to eat include the bat. Um…bats are mammals Yahweh. So much for all knowing.
Feed already dead things to foreigners.
At the end of every seven years you must cancel depts. This is something that I wouldn’t mind having implemented today. Also, since this was commanded by God, isn’t it sinful for Christians to not bide by this? It specifies that it’s for Israelites, but so do most of the laws, and I’ve heard Christians claim that other such laws are supposed to be followed (Leviticus 18:22, etc.).
God hates sacred stones.
An Israelite king is not to take many wives. How many wives can they take?
Priests aren’t to inherit. They get food directly from sacrifices.
Prophets are okay, but divination and witchcraft are bad. How are they any different?
If the message of a prophet doesn’t come true, then that person is a false prophet. Then why do people still listen to many of the people who tell us that the end is nigh? They’ve been saying that for 2000 years, but we’re still here.
If God differentiates between intentional and unintentional killing, and different sins are worthy of different punishments, how can anyone think that all sins are equal?
Non-Israelite women are plunder.
Kill the non-Israelites because there is the possibility that you may learn some of their religious practices, which will lead you to sin. Well this is a dangerous slippery slope argument.
Taking and raping non-Israelite women is acceptable if you find them beautiful…so long as you marry them first.
Stoning rebellious sons to death is acceptable.
Don’t ignore lost property. Make sure it gets back to its rightful owner.
Women aren’t to wear men’s clothing and men aren’t to wearing women’s clothing. I’ve heard people argue that this means that transgender people are sinners. However, this says nothing about transitioning. If a transgender woman is wearing women’s clothing, then how is she sinning? The same goes for transgender men. This is just anti-cross-dressing. But we’re not given any reason for why it’s wrong beyond that God doesn’t like it. But why does God care what anyone wears? What harm does it do?
Don’t plant two different seeds in your vineyard.
How do you prove that someone is a virgin? And why is virginity so important? How many women who were virgins were stoned to death simply because there was no proof of their virginity?
If a woman is raped while in town, she’s to be stoned to death because she didn’t scream for help. They did realize that it’s not always possible to scream for help, or to be heard, before being raped, right? How many rape victims were stoned because they were blamed for their own rape?
God sees human excrement as detestable.
Interest is only to be charged to foreigners.
Men can divorce women, women can remarry, but the man can’t marry a woman a second time.
God said he will punish people for their father’s sins, up to 7 generations, earlier, but is now saying that people can’t be punished for their parent’s or children’s sins. Which is it?
If a woman grabs a man’s penis while two men are fighting, because that’s always my first response, her hand will be cut off. Why? What’s the reasoning behind this?
Tag Archives: Judaism
In this part I am discussing the Deuteronomic Code.
Before I begin, I feel I must add something. This project is not an attack on Christians or anyone else (namely Jews and Muslims) who accept the Bible (or Torah). This is my own personal review of the Bible meant to show believers how non-believers read the Bible. Obviously different people will get different things out of it that I have, but I can only show you what catches my eye. I am happy to discuss my readings with those reading this post (otherwise, why make it public?), but please don’t tell me that I just want to sin. This is not about sin. This is not about reaffirming my atheism or making fun of believers. This is about asking questions and thinking critically. If you believe that I am reading something incorrectly, or that I am otherwise wrong about something, please tell me. But don’t tell me that I’m wrong because you say I am. Support your claim with evidence. And do not tell me what I believe. I know what I believe. You, however, do not. Feel free to ask me questions. I am open to having honest discussions. But do not insult me. Do you really think that your going to convince anyone that you’re right by being insulting? If you show me respect, I will show you respect. Again, feel free to discuss things with me, but be respectful. I’m human too.
The first bit of Deuteronomy that jumped out was this: “The children, who do not yet know good from bad.” But wait, I thought that children were born in sin? If they don’t know good from bad, then aren’t they innocent? Aren’t they like Adam and Eve before they ate the fruit?
The beginning of Deuteronomy summarizes everything that the Israelites went through after leaving Egypt. Throughout the description there are small details that don’t match Exodus and Numbers. It’s almost as Deuteronomy was written by a different person who read the earlier tales of Moses and added their own details/preferences to it.
At one point, Moses says “What god is there in heaven or on earth that can do the deeds you do?” I see the Israelites are still polytheistic. This suggests that there are gods both walking the Earth, or maybe in the form of figures, and in heaven.
Later, Deuteronomy claims that the Israelites didn’t see God, they just heard his voice, but earlier the Bible said that they saw the face of God. It was after that when God got mad at the Israelites and refused to let anyone but Moses see him. This seems to be a major contradiction.
Deuteronomy says that at no point are the people to create an idol. Not of man, woman, or animal. Moses mentions that this includes figures to be worshiped. Does Jesus count as an idol. Not just in the crucifix form the Catholic Church uses, but the very ideal of Jesus? And what about crosses? Are those idols?
Moses then says that God is merciful and will not destroy the Israelites even if they turn away from him. But didn’t God threaten to destroy the Israelites many times up to this point? And not even for turning away from God. He threatened to destroy them because they were tired of eating bread after 40 years of nothing but bread! What changed?
And another contradiction: Moses says “The lord spoke to you face to face above the mountain.” But early you said they didn’t see God face to face! So was Moses just lying before?
The commandments have also changed slightly. First it was don’t kill, now it’s don’t murder. I wonder if that’s because the Israelites have been told to kill many times since the commandments were first introduced. At this point, they’ve done a lot of killing and will be doing more.
Moses then says “Do not follow other gods.” More polytheism. Also, Moses tells the Israelites that if they do they will be destroyed. Seriously? But you just said! This is another major contradiction. Moses said that God won’t kill the Israelites but then he says God will. Is Moses a liar?
Moses said that God would make sure that the Israelite women would never miscarry so long as they were faithful to God. That sounds horribly manipulative. How must women have felt when they miscarried? Miscarriages are quite common, and we’re talking about a time when infant mortality was high. How many women blamed themselves for something they had no control over? How many women pleaded forgiveness when they did nothing wrong?
God claims to have humbled the Israelites by starving them, then he claims to have come to their rescue by feeding them. This is more abusive boyfriend shit. “People do not live on bread alone, but on the word of the lord.” Really? Words can keep me full? I highly doubt that. And how does this make starving people okay? The main argument here seems to be “You can’t do anything without God, so thank him profusely and don’t take credit for your own work. Oh, and don’t forget how terrible you are. You are terrible, terrible people. I am awesome. But you suck. Don’t forget that.” How loving and merciful this God is…
Wait…the Israelites are Gods inheritance? That’s creepy…
I have managed to finish Numbers. Here is what I have determined. The Israelites followed a cloud. Why would God want the Israelites want to stay in one place for a year? Why did God suddenly decide that trumpets would be a good idea halfway through the journey? That sounds more like humans trying to better organize themselves. Why does it matter who was in charge of each group? None of those people seem to matter. God gets angry very easily. Why does he get so angry with people who have every reason to complain? They have been chased from their homes and have spent 40 years travelling through a desert with little food. “Now the lord has given you meat to eat, and you will eat it. Not just today, but tomorrow and every day for a month. You will eat it until it comes out of your nostrils.” Well that’s a bit of an overreaction. “I’ve eaten nothing but bread for 40 years. I’d really like something else to eat for a change.” “You want something else? Fine! I’ll shove something else down your throat until it makes you sick! Ungrateful bastards! I feed you! You should be happy I do so much for you!” There’s no way this father wouldn’t lose his children in today’s society. Moses comes across as more whinny than all the other Israelites combined. God claims that his arms aren’t too short to feed the Israelites nothing but meat for a month. God sends a plague because the people wanted meat. Why does Miriam get a skin condition for sinning, but Aaron doesn’t? They both sinned equally. And why would a father spitting on a daughter lead to the daughter being viewed as unclean? How can anybody be the son of no one? Why not just identify them by their mother if their father is unknown? The nephilim live in the Canaanite land. The people are so big that the Israelites looked like grasshoppers to them. God threatens to kill the Israelites and promises to give Moses’ descendants a land of their own. Apparently other nations had seen and heard about God’s travelling with the Israelites and them seeing him face to face and his following them as a cloud of fire, but none chose to write these events down. Moses has to remind God that he’s supposed to be slow to anger. God tells the Israelites that they will stay in the desert for 40 years, and everyone over 20 will die, because the people were afraid. The Israelites and the foreigners will be seen as the same to God. The Israelites stoned some random guy to death for collecting wood on the Sabbath. “Anybody who touches the water of cleansing will be unclean until evening.” In that case, I think it’s time to find new water to clean with. The cleansing water sucks. Moses and Aaron are told that they won’t enter the promised land because the Israelites complained…again. They did what they were supposed to, yet somehow they didn’t. If God is so angry at the Israelites, why does he keep helping them defeat their enemies? I can’t say I blame the people who refused to let the Israelites into their territory: they keep capturing territory. Why is it okay for Balaam to do divination? Why is God angry that Balaam went with Balak’s men when God told him to go with them? Balaam repeats Gods message with one line stating “Do I promise and then not fulfill?” I dunno. Do Abraham’s descendants have their own country yet? Phineas killed a man and woman with a spear and is considered righteous. Moses: “now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Keep all the women who have never slept with a man for yourselves.” This guy is supposed to be moral? What did the women and boys do? They weren’t in the army. And even if the women did entice the men, this is a time when women had few legal rights. How can they be punished for their actions when a woman can’t even make a vow without male approval? And why is having sex with them fine now that they’re slaves? Based on the number of women “given to the lord” we can assume that Eleazar raped 32 women at least. Why are the Egyptians still burying their firstborn after 40 years? God again threatens the Israelites. “6 of the towns you have given the Levites will be refuges in which a person who has killed someone can flee.” But killing is a sin. Accidentally? Why are you adding that now, God? Why not add it initially? First it was killing that was a sin, now it’s murder. Why the change? So revenge killing is okay? What’s moral about that? A person can only be killed as a murderer if they have more than one witness, but someone who kills accidentally can be revenge killed with no trial. How moral. Overall, it’s really hard to believe something that gives such unbelievable numbers. First we’re supposed to believe that people lived for a ridiculous amount of time. then we’re supposed to believe that a city’s worth of people left Egypt together, then we’re supposed to believe that those people traveled for a ridiculous amount of time, then we’re supposed to believe that they won battles while ridiculously out numbered, and the we’re supposed to believe that they captured ridiculous amounts of booty. Where’s the evidence? Why should I believe such extraordinary claims?
I don’t have a whole lot to say about Numbers as of yet. So far it’s mostly just talking about the process of making the Levites pure so they can serve God.
It claimed that there were 603,550 Israelite men over the age of 20 to fight in Israelite army (not counting Levite men). This seems hard to believe. The total number of people claimed to have fled the Egyptian army is incredibly large. This number of people should have left behind enough evidence of their exodus out of Egypt that the event would be impossible to question and yet there’s counter evidence that suggests that there was never anywhere near this many Hebrew slaves in Egypt.
God really seems to like to claim things. The land is his, the people are his, the Israelites are even more his, the first born sons are his, the first born male animals are his, and now the Levites are his. The Levites replaced all the first born males as God’s. Their animals replaced all the first born animals. The Levites became God’s. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Why did God pick out the Levites from the others?
The discussion of the Levites as God’s seems to be interrupted to tell us of the consequences required for certain actions. Such as cheating. A woman who is accused of cheating is to drink a cursed water. If she has cheated, she’ll miscarry. This seems to be an odd way to determine if someone has cheated. Most pregnancies end in a miscarriage, but this generally happens so early in the pregnancy that the woman doesn’t even know it happened. What if the woman drinks the water and miscarries, but nobody recognizes the miscarriage as a miscarriage? And what if the miscarriage happens months after drinking the water? Is the woman then found guilty, or does it only count if she immediately miscarried? Did the Israelites ever test this out by getting a woman who was well into her pregnancy and had been caught in bed with another man to make sure that it actually worked? I imagine a number of women got away with cheating because they didn’t miscarry and other women got labelled as cheaters when they’d been faithful. Of course they don’t say anything about cheating husbands. If a husband slept with a woman who wasn’t his wife, was it still acceptable?
The last bit that I listened to pertained to the rules around celebrating the Passover. Not celebrating the Passover results in being cut off from the Israelites, at least if one is clean. The unclean are also supposed to celebrate the Passover, but at a later date. Foreigners must also celebrate the Passover. Again, there is this idea that the Israelites should be allowed to force others to believe what they believe. Why should a foreigner have to celebrate Passover? Simply because God is jealous? What if their religion forbids them from celebrating Passover?
I have finished going through the last 10 chapters of Leviticus. I have discussed more of the laws this time because they are more pertinent to my disagreement with the Bible.
Again, a good portion of the book talks about sacrificing animals and proper conduct for the Israelites. It begins with discussing anyone who kills an animal for any reason. Any kill is owed to God. If anyone kills an animal and doesn’t sacrifice it, they are cut off from their people. So basically, if you eat, you must first feed God. This seems quite selfish of God.
God again shows his jealousy in Leviticus. Worshiping other gods is considered prostitution. I don’t really see any problem with prostitution in and of itself, but, assuming it’s wrong, I don’t see how worshiping other gods is equivalent.
We are finally told why God doesn’t like the people touching blood. Life is blood apparently. I don’t know why that makes touching blood bad. It’s also an inaccurate statement, so, again, God isn’t all knowing.
No sex with relatives because…God is the lord? It was okay before, but now it’s a no no. This makes sense for the fact that the more you sleep with relatives the more likely your children are to get a genetic defect. But God’s reasoning is silly. “Do it because I said so,” basically. Though other similar laws are just plain silly. Don’t sleep with your wifes sister while your wife is still alive. You can marry other women, but they can’t be your wifes sister, and you can sleep with other women as long as they’re not your wife’s sister. But that only applies when your wife is alive. Once she’s dead, you can sleep with her sister…unless her sister is married. This shows women as mere property, which I don’t like. But there is no real reasoning for this other than that you’ll disgrace your wife. But what if the wife’s fine with it? And why wasn’t it wrong for Jacob? He married two sisters. Don’t have sex with a woman during her period. Because blood is icky…or life…or something. This is silly. The blood has nothing to do with the woman’s life. It only really makes sense if you have no understanding of how reproduction works.
Then we get to the bit about sacrificing children. Don’t sacrifice your children to Molech…whoever that is. Can’t we just leave it at “don’t sacrifice your children”? That seems like the most moral option.
And of course I couldn’t skip Leviticus 18:22: “Don’t have sexual relations with a man as you would with a woman.” See, this doesn’t say don’t have sex with a man, it says don’t do it as if that man were a woman. That sounds much better than “homosexuality is a sin.” Though it could be taken as transphobic, but that depends on how you define man and woman.
But God just seems to be getting weirder as we go: “Even the land was defiled, so I punished it for its sin.” WTF? Seriously, WTF?
And then we get to the treatment of foreigners. When discussing how people should behave once the Israelites have taken over the Canaanite land, God says “The native born and the foreigners must not do any of these things.” I’m sorry God of the Bible, but you’re not my god. How is it okay to go into somebody else’s land and start telling them how to live? I mean, historically this has happened a lot, but don’t people complain about this very thing a lot now a days? Of course it’s usually in the form of “If you want to come live in my country, you better learn to speak my language and follow my laws,” but we still see it as morally problematic to go into someones country and then tell them how to behave. Though there is some level of equality that people today seem to struggle with: “The foreigner living among you must be treated as your native born.” But they’ll steal all our jobs! And they don’t know English! How could I ever show respect to any foreigner? And then there’s this: “Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart.” Anyone else is fine though.
Though many of these new laws contradict what was previously just fine. “Do not lie.” But…but…Abraham got to! “Do not practice divination or seek omens.” Why is that only wrong now? It wasn’t wrong in Exodus. “If a man has sexual relations with his daughter-in-law both will be put to death.” Didn’t that very act make a woman righteous in the previous book?
Many of these laws I just don’t understand: So if you go into a new land and you plant a fruit tree, you must wait five years to eat it. Why? How will your harvest be increased? “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists.” What’s a spiritist? Why are these things bad? I doubt it’s because they’re scammers…
Also, God really hates this Molech…
Why is it that when it discusses men having sex with animals the Bible talks as though the man is responsible for the action and must be punished while the animal is only put to death because icky, but when it talks about women sleeping with animals it talks as though the woman and the animal both have the same level of ability to consent so they are both equally responsible?
So God is going to drive people out of the land because they did things that God didn’t like. The Israelites did the same things, but they get to inherit the land. They just have to stop doing the things. Did God ever tell the others not to do these things, because the Israelites are just now being told?
Witch hunt! Kill the mediums!
God doesn’t like people who don’t look “normal” or are sick, or if they just have crushed testicles. What an example of morality. Seriously, he doesn’t want them anywhere near him. He doesn’t even like animals that are any way not normal. Why?
“This is to be a lasting ordinance to the generations to come.” Again, sacrificing animals is supposed to keep happening.
God, I get it: you like to eat and smell cooked meat. And God likes presents.
“Anyone who blasphemes the name of the lord, whether Israelite or foreigner, is to be put to death.” Does that include those that don’t worship this God? Because that seems to be exactly what is meant? Personally, I’m glad that’s illegal because I shouldn’t be held to the religious standards of others. Seriously, can you imagine if we all had to follow the doctrines of religions that we don’t follow? That would be impossible.
“An eye for an eye” is not a moral justice system.
We don’t do very well with following God’s laws today: The land is God’s so it can’t be sold permanently. Tell that to the government. Don’t take interest from the poor. Tell them that too. And the Christian (political) right. They suck at understanding this one.
The Israelites can’t be made slaves, only foreigners. They can be made slaves for life. Foreigners are supposed to follow the slave creed of the Israelites. How did that work for them? Why would they give any special credence to Israelite laws? Especially when the Israelites were fine with making them permanent slaves.
God promises to let the Israelites destroy all their enemies. Great, so now they can violently take over. How moral.
God is a controlling, sadistic bastard. “If you don’t do exactly as I say, I will punish you 7 times worse than you deserve. I will starve you and kill you. I will hate you forever.” Does this scream abusive to anyone else?
“I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies, the sound of a wind blown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing the sword. And they will fall even though no one is perusing them.” Is this where the “help, I’m being oppressed” attitude and belief comes from? Because if so, yes, you are, but God is your oppressor.
Women are worth half of what men are worth.
I hope no one reading this is hoping that reading the Bible will make me Christian, because it’s only having the same effect that it had last time: it’s making me more sure that the God of the Bible doesn’t exist. Or, at the very least, isn’t worth worshiping.
At this point the Israelites are travelling. They have escaped the Egyptians and are travelling to the Canaanite land.
At one point the Israelites look up and see the glory of the lord. What is “the glory of the lord”? There’s no explanation as to what they’re looking at and why it matters.
The people are given very clear instructions about how they will survive. They are told to go out and collect the magic bread to eat. They can only collect so much of it. They are also told not to save any. Why did Moses get angry because some of the people saved their bread? Isn’t it their loss when it goes bad? Later, they are told that they must save some because none will form on the Sabbath day. Why did Moses get reprimanded because some people are forgetful? It hardly seems like a big deal. They had to go out every other day and weren’t allowed to save any. One day the rules change. Who wouldn’t be likely to forget?
The length of time that it took the Israelites to get to the Canaanite land makes no sense. Why did it take 40 years to get to the land of Canaan? It didn’t take Joseph very long to get to Egypt from Canaan. At that rate they could have walked around the Earth and ended up back in Egypt…several times.
Then the Israelites are attacked. This event also makes little sense. So God sent the Israelites to the Canaanite lands the long way so that they would not get scared back to Egypt by an attack, but when an attack comes Moses sends Joshua to fight the attackers off while he stands on a rock with his hands in the air? Why didn’t they just do that to start with? Surely the Israelites wouldn’t run back to Egypt after watching one man defeat an army.
How did Jethro hear about what God had done for Moses? Jethro says “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all other gods.” Did Jethro doubt this before? And we once again see evidence of polytheistic beliefs among the Hebrew people.
We later see more evidence of God’s lack of omnipresence. The Israelites are said to have ate in the presence of God. This means that it is possible to not eat in the presence of God. So he’s not always there.
Thousands of Israelites left Egypt. We know this because Moses needed help managing all the issues. He has people who handle thousands. How did that work? Logistically that would have been a nightmare.
Why did God choose the Israelites over all others? What was so special about them? They seemed to just annoy God.
God makes some odd rules along the way. Why would God decree that anyone who touches the mountain should die? Why is he concerned about animals touching it?
All of the Israelites met God. They saw the smoke and heard his voice, but Moses is told to not let the people near him. It sounds like he’s saying “I dare you.” It also goes against the belief that nobody has ever seen God. Clearly thousands have. At least, they have if the Bible is true.
How is it moral to punish a child for their parent’s actions? Or their grandparent’s and great-grandparent’s? How is it moral to reward thousands for one person’s love? How does that even make sense. If one parent is godly and the other angers God, what happens to the child?
The people already heard God, but they were afraid that they would die if they heard God. Moses response was that they were being tested and that God meant to put fear in them so they wouldn’t sin. How is it moral to scare somebody into obeying you? Isn’t that called bullying? If he doesn’t want the Israelites to sin, why doesn’t God try a better method? Like reasoning? And what is with all the tests? How paranoid is God?
A good portion of Exodus is given over to laws. Many of the laws are odd. “Do not make any gods to be beside me.” So people create gods then? “And do not go up to my alter on steps or your private parts might be exposed.” What? Seriously, what? Is God 12? “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.” Right…that seems logical. God seems to really like killing though. He seems to think a lot is deserving of the death penalty. And slaves (at least the male ones) seem to have more rights than women. So many of these laws go counter to today’s moral standards. They fit perfectly into a historical perspective, but they challenge the view that God’s law never changes and God is always the same. Either God has changed, our society has gone so far from God’s path that even the most fundamentalist of Christians or Orthodox of Jews is screwed, or there is no god. “Do not allow a sorceress to live.” But magicians are okay. And are these just Israelite sorceresses or all sorceresses? Seriously, magic was fine a little while ago, what’s wrong with sorceresses? “Whoever sacrifices to any other god than the lord must be destroyed.” This only applies to those who follow this god…right? It doesn’t apply to none Israelites (the being destroyed, not the doing the destroying)? “You must give me the first born of your sons.” In what sense? Do they have to sacrifice them? Or are they supposed to become priests?
Some of God’s laws make the Republicans look bad. “Do not show favoritism to a poor person.” That parts easy for them. But then it says “Do not deny justice to your poor people.” At least these laws show some real morality.
God goes on to say “Be careful to do everything that I have said to you.” We definitely don’t follow half of these laws today. Luckily they only applied to the Israelites. But, if someone believes that the Bible is the literal word of God, shouldn’t they make sure to follow all of these laws? “Do not invoke the names of other gods.” More polytheism. Clearly the Israelites were worshiping other gods. Why would God care if they didn’t exist?
Why does God want to wipe out the other Hebrews? The genealogy says that they are as much decedents of Abraham as the Israelites. And why do they worship other gods? Didn’t their parents pass down the same religious beliefs as the Israelite’s parents?
“I will take away sickness from your land and none shall miscarry or be barren among you.” This is incredibly easy to falsify. This is all that is needed to say that this God is a liar.
“Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods.” So they can talk to the other gods?
At one point it talks about Moses and the elders going up and seeing God. It talks about Gods feet. They ate and drank with God. God wrote the ten commandments. God is given very human features.
This God would be very easy to prove.This is a very physical God. This God has physical features. And the people can talk to this God. It sounds like the other gods are the same. This means that they can be tested for and proven to exist. It also means that it makes more sense to be an atheist until the gods show themselves than it does to be a theist until the gods are disproven.
I left off last time before Moses got to Egypt. This time I will discuss Moses’s time in Egypt and the Israelites escape.
Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh initially to ask him to allow the Israelites to go into the woods to hold a festival. Why would Pharaoh need to let the Israelites go just so they can hold a festival? It seems odd that Moses would ask for their freedom. Why not just ask to take the slaves for a few days to hold a festival?
Moses is told beforehand that his request will be denied. God says that he will harden Pharaoh’s heart. Since God hardens Pharaoh’s heart, does that meant that God is responsible for the Israelites being made to work harder and getting beaten? After all, if God didn’t harden Pharaoh’s heart, then they may have been released. Why does God need to prove that he has a mighty hand by making Moses’s task harder?
At one point, the story stops and there is a genealogy given, then the story continues. What is the point of the genealogy in the middle of the Moses story?
At one point God says that Moses is like god in Pharaoh’s heart, but that doesn’t seem to be true at all. And why does God want Moses to be viewed as a god? Doesn’t that make him jealous?
Moses seems to have a competition with the Pharaoh’s priests. How did Pharaoh’s priests manage to turn their staffs into snakes? Did God turn them into snakes? Or did the Egyptian gods exist to turn the sticks into snakes? Or was it simply because the Egyptian priest’s were magicians and were able to do the tricks themselves? Doesn’t that suggest that God isn’t really more powerful than a human mage? What’s the point of sending Moses to Pharaoh when Pharaoh can’t change his mind? Why is God willing to prevent Pharaoh from exercising his freewill? This whole story seems to be immoral and contradictory. It seems to go against much of what is taught in church.
The way the Egyptians are portrayed seems to defy history. The Egyptians had their own gods, so why did they refer to the Israelite God as “God”? Pharaoh uses phrases that don’t make sense. He wouldn’t say “the lord your God,” because he wouldn’t consider that god his lord, or even a lord. He also says “I have sinned.” Unless the Egyptian religion believes in sins and they believe that going against another group’s god constitutes a sin, Pharaoh would not consider himself to have sinned. The Bible writes about the Egyptians as if the Egyptians share the beliefs of the Israelites, but we know that this isn’t true.
God goes out of the way to destroy the land of Egypt. He says that he spares the Israelites stuff, but they’re slaves. Can’t the Egyptians just take the things from them? Doesn’t ruing the land of Egypt also hurt the Israelites?
At one point, Pharaoh tells Moses that the Israelites can have their festival within the city. But Moses says no. Why would the Israelite sacrifices grotesque the Egyptians? Why would the Egyptians stone the Israelites for doing something that Pharaoh said they could?
There is more lying on the part of the people who are supposed to be God’s chosen. Why are Moses and Aaron asking for the Israelites to be free to perform sacrifices when they really want to free the Egyptians to take them to a new home? And why does God tell them to say this? How can anyone tell children that lying is wrong when they ae teaching these stories to children which clearly offer examples of cases where lying is perfectly acceptable?
When the gnats attack, we are told that the Israelite land is untouched. If the Israelites are slaves, why do they have their own land?
At one point, Moses tells Pharaoh that he knows that Pharaoh doesn’t fear God. How does Moses know that Pharaoh doesn’t fear God? Doesn’t Pharaoh wonder why he can’t let the Israelites go? If I were in Pharaoh’s position, I’d be afraid.
Throughout the entire story it seems like God is fighting himself. He’s forcing Pharaoh’s hand and then punishing Pharaoh for the actions that Pharaoh had no choice in performing. He’s basically playing chess against himself.
God later says that he has made the Egyptians like the Israelites. Why would the Egyptians like the Israelites after all the problems that they have caused?
The bit about the Passover is also confusing. Why does God care so much about how the Israelites eat the lambs? Why does he care so much about the yeast? These are such minor details. Shouldn’t they be irrelevant?
At one point we are told how long the Israelites were in Egypt. Why did God allow the Israelites to stay in Egypt for 430 years? How much of that were they slaves for? Why does it take God so long to make good on his promise to Abraham? These all seem like important details to the overall story, but they are barely even mentioned.
While the Israelites are escaping, it says that God kept vigil. This is more evidence that this God is not omniscient or omnipresent.
The Passover meal can only be eaten by the Israelites and those non-Israelites who have circumcised their male household. This is made very clear. But Christians celebrate Passover, and they have no rule about circumcision. Why is this allowed?
So the Israelites are supposed to sacrifice the first born males of their livestock to represent how God freed them from Egypt with his mighty hand despite Pharaoh’s stubbornness. But Pharaoh was only stubborn because God made him stubborn. The Israelites are supposed to consider their own first born sons as “for God,” as sacrifices that don’t have to be sacrificed, because God killed the first born males of Egypt. And God killed the first borns of Egypt because of Pharaoh’s stubbornness. But Pharaoh was only stubborn because God made him stubborn. So what are the Israelites actually celebrating? An unnecessary event?
When the Israelites are finally allowed to escape, Moses makes sure that Joseph’s bones are taken with the Israelites. How could there be any bones for Moses to take? Joseph was buried over 300 years ago. Was he mummified?
Why are we only learning about an angle travelling with the Israelites while God is parting the Red sea? Isn’t that worth mentioning? None of the angles up to this point have been named. Where do their names come from?
Why would the Israelites put their trust in someone they fear? Why does God want to be feared?
The Israelites sing “Who among the gods is like you lord?” So there are other gods.
Mariam is a prophet? Why don’t we learn more about her then? Aren’t the prophets kind of important to the religion?
Why does God still have to test the Israelites? Why does he still not know if they’ll follow his instructions?
A lot of these questions only matter if you take this story as based on a real event. But many of the questions also have to do with morality. Why follow a story as a moral guide if it’s not moral?