IS IT GOD'S WORD?
THE "TEN COMMANDMENTS" AND THE "LAW"
R RTHE "TEN COMMANDMENTS" AND THE "LAW" R R DIVERGENT DECALOGUES R R THE TABLES OF STONE R R THE FIFTH MOUNTAIN TRIP
R RTHE FIRST TABLES OF STONE R R THE INCIDENT OF THE GOLDEN CALF R R THE SECOND TABLES OF STONE R R THE ACTUAL "TEN WORDS"
R RTHE LAW OF THE DECALOGUE R R LAWS OF SLAVERY AND MURDER R R CANNIBALISM AND HUMAN SACRIFICES
R ROTHER DIVINE MOSAIC LAWS R R MOSES NOT THE "LAW-GIVER" R R THE "LAW" OF LATE PRIESTLY ORIGIN R R THE "FINDING" OF THE LAW
R RTHE LAW AND THE REFORMS R R POSITIVE PROOFS AGAINST MOSES R R BIBLE HISTORY DISPROVES THE "LAW OF MOSES"
R RRETURN TO THE INDEX OF CHAPTERS
EVERYBODY in Christian communities knows, supposedly, and many can even quote the "ten commandments" given by God to Moses on Sinai, and hung neatly framed in all well-conducted Sunday schools, Christian and Jewish alike, for here the two faiths are at one. But to discover the genuine "ten commandments" in the Hebrew Scriptures is an exercise for the ingenuity of Aristotle. Even more intricate and hopeless is the task of unravelling the mysteries of the "law of God by the hand of Moses," said to have been delivered amid the clouds and thunders and lightnings of Sinai. An examination of the texts of the "Five Books of Moses" demonstrates that Moses did not promulgate these commandments and laws; and even cursory review of the religious history of Israel confirms us in believing that they were quite unknown for nearly a thousand years after Moses. If any solid ground for judgment can be arrived at from the study, it is that some elementary precepts of law existed from earliest times in Israel, as everywhere, and were not unnaturally attributed to the traditional "lawgiver" Moses. Later the priests framed the very elaborate and cumbrous system of ritual and offerings, and to give it currency and sanction, affirmed it to be law given by Yahweh on Sinai through Moses; just as the laws of Hanimurabi were represented as given by the great god Bel through the sun god Shamash, and the Koran of Mohammed and the Book of Mormon, if not the Baker-Eddy "revelations" of Science and Truth, were God-given.
There are generally recognized to be two, but, as we shall see, there are actually three, versions of the "ten commandments"; and the giving of the "law" is quite variously reported by the Elohist and Jahvist scribes. As the decalogue is for the most part reported in the same language in the two usually recognized versions, 1 shall call attention only to the points of material difference in their texts, and then consider the third version.
It is first set out in Exodus 20: 2-17, and is repeated in Deuteronomy 5: 6-21. The first verse of the Elohist version begins: "And Elohim spake all these words, saying"; then follow the reputed "ten words"; and this is the first law recorded in the Book of Exodus, except as to the Passover and slavery in chapter 12. The fourth commandment, regarding the Sabbath day, contains several important differences in the two versions. In the Elohist version (Ex. 20: 8 ) it begins. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." The Yahweh version (Deut. 5: 12 ) reads: "Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as Yahweh thy God commanded thee."
The Elohist continues (Ex. 20: 10 )
"in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates."
But the second version, instead of simply "nor thy cattle," adds (Deut. 5: 14 )
"nor thin ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle"; and after the words "thy stranger that is within thy gates," adds:
"that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou."
This is not all. In the Exodus version, after the words "within thy gates," the reporter adds, as the "reason for the rule" (Ex. 20: 11 )
"For in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth. ... and rested the seventh day: wherefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it."
But the second version, after adding the words "may rest as well as thou," gives an entirely different statement of the "reason" (Deut. 5: 15 ) thus:
"And thou shalt remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh thy God brought thee out thence by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm: therefore Yahweh thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day."
There are several other noticeable differences between these two versions. In the first (Ex. 20: 12 ) it is commanded: "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which Yahweh thy God giveth thee." In the second version this is amplified, thus: "Honour thy father and thy mother, as Yahweh thy God commanded thee: that thy days may be long, and that it may go well with thee, upon the land which Yahweh thy God giveth thee" (Deut. 5: 16 ).
In Exodus the four commandments, "Thou shalt not kill, commit adultery, steal, and bear false witness," are stated in four separate verses (13-16 ) in both the English and the Hebrew texts; and each begins: "Thou shalt not"; in the English version of Deuteronomy the four commandments are stated in separate verses (5: 17-20 ), though they are all in one verse (5: 17 ) of the Hebrew text, and each, after the first, reads: "Neither shalt thou." The commandment "Thou shalt not covet" begins in Exodus (20: 17 ): "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife"; in Deuteronomy (5: 21; in the Hebrew, 5: 18 ) it begins: "Neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's wife; neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's house," and adds "his field," which is not in the Exodus version. These may seem small differences, but they are differences. Yahweh is not reported as having given two sets of "ten words"; and what he said only once, he could not have said in two ways; Yahweh himself asserted that he did "write upon these [second] tables the words which were in the first tables, which thou breakest" (Ex. 34: 1 ). Revelation should at least be consistent and accurate. But now to the origins and substance of the "ten commandments," if we may discover them.
Yahweh, as we have seen in Exodus 19, sent Moses immediately back down the mountain after their third conference, with a few curt words about sanctifying the non-existent priests and building the already built fence; and with not a word as to any law or commandments or tables of stone. "So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them" (19: 25 ) is the ending of the chapter.
Then immediately follows chapter 20, headed by the Bible editors "The Ten Commandments," and beginning with the words: "And Elohim spake all these words, saying" (20: 1 ); and what the Gods spake was the ten commandments, first or Elohist edition! Moses was not on the "Mountain of the Gods" at that time at all, but had just come down to report about the priests and the fence.
And "all these words" which Elohim "spake" were not only the so-called "ten words" of the decalogue (Ex. 20: 3-17 ), but four whole chapters (Ex. 43 ) of law on many subjects, much of it very puerile and barbarous. And as Elohim "spake all these words, saying" (Ex. 20: 1 ) them to Moses, clearly they were not written by the finger of Yahweh on two tables of stone -- not at this time anyhow.
These four chapters of other "law" immediately following the Elohist version of the ten commandments begin (Ex. 20: 22 ) with the words: "And Yahweh said unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel"; and chapter 21 begins: "Now these are the judgments [laws] which thou shalt set before them?' (21: 1 ). It is explicitly recorded that "Moses came and told the people all the words of Yahweh" -- the whole four chapters of law told to the entire 2,414,000 of them; "and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which Yahweh hath said will we do" (Ex. 24: 3 ), though they never did, in all their idol-worshipping Bible history.
Divine revelation then informs us that, after thus telling them to all the people, "Moses wrote all the words of Yahweh" -- evidently during that night, for he then "rose up early in the morning" (24: 4 ), and he "took the book of the covenant [which he had just then written], and read in the audience of the people" and the people again promised to perform it all (24: 7 ). And Moses immediately, after receiving orally, repeating orally, writing into a Book of Covenant, and promulgating the law forbidding the making of "any likeness of anything" in heaven, earth, or hell, and the bowing down to the gods of the heathen -- "but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images" (mazzeboth; Ex. 23: 24 ) -- rose up and builded his altar under the hill, "and twelve pillars" (mazzeboth, Ex. 24: 4 ). This is more evidence that the law denouncing this very thing was not given through Moses the very day before, and did not yet exist.
THE TABLES OF STONE
Evidently now the whole thing had been finished -- the so- called ten commandments, followed by four whole chapters of "law" (Ex. 43 ), had been duly spoken by Yahweh, while apparently Moses was down in the camp, after his abrupt dismissal from his third visit to Yahweh. And not yet a word about any tables of stone.
Here occurs an odd episode, a dinner-party or banquet given by the Gods to celebrate, apparently, the giving of the divine law. For as soon as the last words were spoken, Yahweh extends this invitation: "And unto Moses he said: Come up unto Yahweh, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel"; but he adds this curious limitation: "and prostrate yourselves afar off. And Moses shall come near unto Yahweh, but they shall not come near" (Ex. 24: 1, 2 ). Moses reported the invitation; then, as above related, he told the people all the new laws; then wrote them in a book; and then read the book to all the people. After this, Moses and the other invited guests, all seventy-four of them, went together up the mount (this being the fourth climb for Moses), quite disregarding the orders for all but Moses to stay afar off. And then and there, it is related, "they saw the Gods [ha-elohiml of Israel, and they ate and they drank" (Ex. 24: 11 ).
During this celebration of the "giving of the law" Yahweh very unexpectedly turns to Moses and summons him for a fifth conference, saying: "Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and," said Yahweh, here for the first time referring to this matter, "I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them" (Ex. 24: 12 ); though all these commandments are already on record as having been dictated by Yahweh and written in a book by Moses and taught to the people several chapters earlier, following his third mountain-climb and return to camp.
THE FIFTH MOUNTAIN TRIP
So Moses went up again, for the fifth time, into the Mount of the Gods, and Yahweh kept himself hidden from Moses for six days in a cloud (Ex. 24: 15, 16 ), while Moses had to pass the time as best he could in the dark. On the seventh day Yahweh called Moses into the cloud, "and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights," without anything to eat or drink (Ex. 24: 15-18 ). The next seven chapters (25-31 ) are entirely taken up by the almighty Architect of the universe in dictating minutest details of drafting plans, of carpentry, upholstering, tailoring, and general handicraft for making a most holy tabernacle and ark, gaudily adorned with, evidently, stolen Egyptian finery, for that is all they had. Full instructions are given for all the sacred ceremonials, such as killing a ram and putting some of its blood upon the tip of the right ear of Brother Aaron, and upon the tips of the right ears of his four sons, and upon their right thumbs and right big toes, and then sprinkling the blood on the holy altar of Yahweh (Ex. 29: 19, 20 ), and such like holy mysteries. And the Mighty God concocted a special kind of patent perfumery which should be "holy unto Yahweh," and laid down the fatal penalty: "Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people" (Ex. 30: 34-38 ) -- murdered for the glory of the God.
All this was the work of Infinite Wisdom for forty days -- instead of teaching these holy ones civilization and humanity, and common decency and honesty, and, most of all, to tell the truth, instead of the atrocious things they say about God in what they presumptuously call his Holy Word. Four times amid the awful fires and thunders of Sinai the fateful injunction was reiterated by the God: "Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk"; and reams of stone tablets, or whatever other writing material was used, were covered with childish medicine-man hocus-pocus for telling whether a poor victim had leprosy, or some other loathsome infection, with maudlin incantations for his "purification," if by chance he recovered from it, all alone and unattended, in the filthy lazaretto outside the holy camp; but there is never a single word from the All-Wise God, the "Great Physician," who calls himself "the Lord who healeth thee," about how to cure leprosy and other diseases, or how to prevent them; nor a word anywhere of hygiene, sanitation, useful sciences, or any of the common humanities. If a few of these things had been laid down for the Chosen, they might have been, to their lasting advantage, somewhat less of a "peculiar people" and have escaped the ravages of some of the plagues which have devastated their promised land from that time to the present time.
THE FIRST TABLES OF STONE
At the end of these forty days, Yahweh, we are told, "gave unto Moses two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of Elohim") Ex. 31: 18 ); and presumably containing all the "law and commandments which I have written" (Ex. 24: 12 ), about which Yahweh spake when he invited Moses up for this fifth meeting, and which Moses had already written in his book of the covenant (Ex. 24: 4 ) after his third mountain trip.
It is evident, if anything can be evident from these muddled records, that these first tables of stone did not contain the "ten commandments" of chapter 20; but contained only, if anything, the building plans and specification for the tabernacle and the ark (Ex. 25: 40 ), and the other matters set out, drawn up during the forty days of the fifth trip up the "Mountain of the Gods" and detailed in chapters 25-31, as we have seen.
THE INCIDENT OF THE GOLDEN CALF
While Moses dallied forty-six days on the "Mount of the Gods" conning all those precious revelations of Yahweh's holy will, the Chosen got restless, and "wot not what has become" of Moses, and they demanded of Brother Aaron that he "make us Gods, which shall go before us" (Ex. 32: 1 ). Aaron took their jewelry, probably that stolen from the Egyptians several months before with their Yahweh's help, and melted it up and made the celebrated golden calf, designed no doubt after the sacred bull Apis of the Egyptians. And Aaron, high priest of Yahweh, proclaimed: "These be thy Gods [Elohim], O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt" (32: 4 ); and said: "To-morrow is a feast to Yahweh" (32: 5 ) -- proving that the calf represented Yahweh, and was celebrated by naked Baal-orgies to Yahweh (32: 25 ).
Yahweh, looking down from the Mount of the Gods, saw this and got very angry, and said to Moses: "Now let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them and that I may consume them." But Moses cajoled the Lord Yahweh, saying that the Egyptians would mock Yahweh about it; and he reminded Yahweh of his promise, and asked him to "repent of this evil against thy people" (32: 12 ). So Yahweh, who "is not a man that be should repent," thereupon (repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people" (32: 14 )).
Moses thereupon rushed down the mountain into the camp, and in his own righteous wrath wilfully threw down and broke his two tables of stone (first edition), and smashed up the golden calf, ground it to powder, mixed the gold dust with water (where he got the water in the wilderness not being revealed), and made the 2,414,000 Chosen drink the very diluted mixture (32: 15-20 ). The breaking of the two tables "written by the finger of God" is the greatest loss to humanity which all history records; the only specimen of the very handwriting of God ever in existence -- the most wonderful treasure of archaeology -- was irretrievably lost to mankind by this one peevish act of Moses. Yahweh next commanded the sons of Levi to "consecrate yourselves this day to Yahweh, that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day" (32: 29 ), and to take their swords, and "slay every man his brother, his companion, and his neighbour" (32: 27 ), throughout the camp and 3000 [The Vulgate reads: "about 23,000."] of the naked Chosen (32: 25, 28 ) were murdered. This is the second wholesale massacre attributed to the God "whose name is Jealous" (Ex. 34: 14 ).
This fearful punishment was inflicted for the pretended offense of making a "graven image" of Yahweh himself, as to which there was as yet no law if we accept the tables of stone as containing the "ten commandments"; for Moses, according to that theory, was yet on Sinai receiving the law, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image," when the golden calf was set up; and he rushed down from the mount and broke his tables of stone containing that very law before he had promulgated it. This was a case, therefore, not only of ignorantia juris on the part of the people, but of lex post facto on the part of the God. And, as we have seen, this was not a case of idolatry to "other gods before me," for the golden calf expressly represented the great Yahweh, whom the whole people, naked as in Baal worship, proclaimed: "These be thy Gods [Elohim], O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt" (32: 4 ); and "Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to Yahweh" (32: 5 ), proving their belief that they were worshipping their Rescuer from Egypt, and that they had no idea that Yahweh was any different from any other god, either in identity or in his form of worship.
But these first tables, broken by Moses, assuredly were not the "ten commandments" of Exodus 20 and of the Sunday schools. The ten commandments are short; these first tables of stone broken by Moses, which Yahweh declared contained "two tables of testimony" (Ex. 31: 18 ), whatever that was, were evidently rather lengthy. For when Moses rushed from the mount down into the camp to destroy the golden calf, "the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written" (Ex. 32: 15 ). As Hebrew writing is very abbreviated, consisting entirely of consonants in words mostly of only three letters each, two stone tables written on both sides would not have been required to contain the brief ten commandments, but might rather have been for the extensive "testimony."
THE SECOND TABLES OF STONE
Chapter 33 of Exodus forgets all about the broken first tables; and in it Yahweh breaks his promise and tells Moses that Yahweh will not go with his Chosen into the promised land, but will send an angel along instead, together with other matters immaterial to the subject in review.
Chapter 34 returns to the tables, and opens with the command of Yahweh to Moses: "Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon the tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest" (34: 1 ). Moses was ordered to bring them up into the mountain the next day (34: 2 ). Moses went up, for the sixth time, and took along the two new stone tables that he had made; and Yahweh talked at length, giving the substance of previous "law," but not saying a word of the "ten commandments" reported in Exodus 20 or Deuteronomy 5. These commandments wind up with the awful and wonderful command of the God: "Thou shalt not seethe [boil] a kid in his mother's milk" (34: 26 )
But even these commandments Yahweh did not write on the second set of stone tables; but Moses did the work. They begin with the words (Ex. 34: 10 ): "And he [Yahweh] said, Behold, I make a covenant." Yahweh then states it orally (Ex. 34: 12-26 ); and then "Yahweh said unto Moses, Write thou these words [commandments]: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. ... And he [Moses] wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments" (34: 27, 28 ). Then Moses, after spending another forty days and forty nights with Yahweh without anything to eat or drink (Ex. 34: 28 ), brought the "two tables of the testimony" down, and "gave the people in commandment all that Yahweh had spoken with him in Mount Sinai" (34: 32 ).
THE ACTUAL "TEN WORDS"
Now, if there were ever any "commandments" written on tables of stone, these fifteen verses of Exodus 34 (12-26 ), contain them: it is expressly declared by Yahweh: "I will write upon these [second] tables the words that were written in the first tables, which thou brakest" (34: 1 ); and when Yahweh had finished the dictation, and told Moses: "Write thou these words," he verified their identity with the first tables by averring: "For after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel" (34: 27 ). The so-called "ten commandments" in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 are therefore not the genuine ten commandments written on the first and second tables of stone, nor was either set "written by the finger of God"; they were both, first and last edition, dictated to and written down by Moses. They were strikingly different from the so-called "ten commandments" of much later date. The original "tables" will be seen to contain only a ceremonial ritual, with but two commandments: the prohibition of "other gods," and the observance of the Sabbath, which are contained, among other things in the versions of Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5: in entirely different form and words. It is curious to note how nearly all the "laws of Moses," like many other ancient laws, run in series of tens -- the number being evidently derived from counting the fingers of the two hands -- as may be verified by checking them up in the Books of Exodus and Leviticus. The "ten commandments" most nearly resemble the "ten highest laws of Buddha"; there are also the "ten virtues of Brahma," enumerated by Manu.
We need not puzzle ourselves further with these inextricable tangles of inspiration. It suffices to show that the "ten commandments" as we are taught them in the Sunday schools are not the "ten words" of the two fabled tables of stone, and to demonstrate that the whole muddle of the "giving of the law" to and by Moses is a thing apocryphal and impossible.
THE LAW OF THE DECALOGUE
The very first avowal of the popular "ten commandments," reveals what in any other, "false" religion would be no doubt a terrible and iniquitous deity: "I Yahweh thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me" (Ex. 20: 5 ). A more hateful and diabolic character could not be drawn even by an inspired pen: the same implacable Deity who, according to the inspired fable of Eden, damned all humanity through the ages because an inexperienced woman, seduced by a talking snake, ate an apple in disregard of a whimsical prohibition, and then drowned nearly all creation in a fit of wrath over the misconduct of his own progeny, "the sons of the gods" (Gen. 6: 4 ), now writes in stone his stony-hearted decree that the unborn innocent shall pay the penalty of those guilty of not loving such a God! Thus Yahweh "repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them" (Deut. 7: 10 ).
The other enactments of the decalogue are mainly such as existed for ages in the codes of all the nations of antiquity and ever since, and needed no God to enact them; simply prohibitions against murder, adultery, theft, false testimony -- precepts common to all systems of even primitive law. The Babylonian code of Hammurabi, dating from about 2350 B.C., nearly a thousand years before Moses, may have been and probably was a model of them all. The only special feature of the reputed Mosaic code is that it was never obeyed, except in its most cruel and vicious precepts. In the supplementary legislation that followed, death was made the penalty for the slightest work on the voo-dooed seventh day (Ex. 31: 15; 35: 2 ).
LAWS OF SLAVERY AND MURDER
The very next law after the decalogue is a brutal one of human slavery for this nation but three months escaped from four hundred years of slavery -- just as the very first edict after their escape treated of slaves of these fugitive slaves (Ex. 12: 44 ). Saith Yahweh: "Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them: If thou buy an Hebrew servant," so and so; if the slave be married and have children, they may be torn apart and separated; if the slave loves his wife and children and does not want to be torn away from them, "his master shall bore his ears through with an awl," and hold him in perpetual slavery. A man may sell his own daughter to be a slave (Ex. 21: 7 ), and it is broadly hinted that her master might indulge his lusts upon her with impunity. If a child of Yahweh kills his slave, "he shall not be punished, for he is his money" (21: 21 ). No God of mercy ever gave these execrable laws. The brute ex-slaves, now turned brutish slave-masters, framed them to justify their own inhumanity, and to give them "divine" sanction attributed them to their God.
The bloody code, with its key-stone lex talionis -- "life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe" (Ex. 21: 23-25 ) -- reads as if dictated, not by a just and merciful God, but by the spirit of devils incarnate or of Apache Indians. Every man was made his own avenger: "The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him" (Num. 35: 19 ); there was no criminal court known among these barbarian children of their barbarous God. And dice, or sanctified craps, were the God-prescribed method of detecting the unknown criminal (Ex. 25: 3, 30; Lev. 7: 8; Num. 25: 2, 21; 1 Sam. 14: 41 ), as well as for deciding civil lawsuits (Num. 25: 1, 55, 56; Prov. 16: 33 ). The "law of God" superstitiously and wickedly commands the murder of harmless old women: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Ex. 22: 18 ), though God knows there was no such thing as a witch! Countless cruel priestly and judicial murders have resulted through the ages from this "inspired" Bible mandate. This one sentence alone totally discredits the whole Hebrew Bible as the "Word of God."
CANNIBALISM AND HUMAN SACRIFICES
The most execrable and diabolic of the divine laws of Yahweh are the repeated enactments condemning his Chosen to cannibalism, the eating of human flesh, and ordaining and sanctioning living human sacrifices to appease the fierce wrath of the holy God. These infernal ukases consign the Heavenly Father of Jew and Christian to eternal loathing, as well as the inspired book which enshrines them.
Text after text of the inspired word of God relates to the custom of burning children as living human sacrifices to this Hebrao-Christian Moloch. True, some texts forbid the practice, but they are very late in Hebrew history, and testify by their iteration to the inveterate cult of human sacrifice. The instance of the God's command to Abraham to murder his God-engendered Isaac to the whim of the Monster of Hebrew mythology is too well known to need narrating; it is no palliation of the barbarity that a billy- goat was substituted just as the deluded votary of Yahweh "stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son" (Gen. 22: 10 ); the god who would command a father to do such a thing and the poor obsessed fool who would obey are alike beneath contempt.
Jephthah was himself the "goat" of his God, as well as "a son of a harlot" (Judges 11: 1 ), when "the Spirit of Yahweh came upon Jephthah" (11: 29 ) to incite him to murder. "And Jephthah vowed a vow unto Yahweh ... that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me ... shall surely be Yahweh's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering" (21: 30, 31 ). The revolting murder of his own daughter as a burnt sacrifice to the Moloch of Israel, because "I have opened my mouth to Yahweh, and I cannot go back," is a blasting infamy to the God who instigated and accepted the murder, and who intervened with none of his usual meddlesome conjuring tricks to prevent it. It is recorded that the murdered maiden's father, in making this human sacrifice, "did with her according to his vow which be had vowed: ... and it was a custom [margin, ordinance] in Israel" (11: 39 ), thus testifying to the historical fact that human sacrifice was a customary thing in Israel, was established by divine "ordinance," and was practiced for ages among these barbarian people.
Here is the ordinance, the divine law of Yahweh, which commanded these sacrificial murders:
"When a man maketh a singular vow ... he shall not alter it, nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good. ... No devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto Yahweh of all that he hath, both of man and beast ... shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto Yahweh. None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death" (Lev. 27: 2, 10, 28, 29 ).
Commenting on this abhorrent law of God, the pious editors of the Biblical Encyclopaedia, [New York, George H. Doran Co., 1907. 5 vols. (This is not the Encyclopaedia Biblica.)] betraying the prostitution of mind of bibliolaters seeking to "justify the ways of God to man," far from venting their loathing, thus slavishly display their maudlin exegetical wit: "(28 ) Devoted -- anything which by the law belonged to the Lord could neither be sold ... nor be redeemed by the vower. (29 ) surely ... death, in extreme cases, where death was proper and right, there was no alternative" (Vol. 1, p. 344 ).
Yahweh vengefully sent one of his frequent famines upon his Holy Land, "flowing with milk and honey," and it grievously afflicted his Chosen for three years, until the "man after Yahweh's own heart," David, "enquired of Yahweh" what it was all about. "And Yahweh answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites" (2 Sam. 21: 1 ), heathen enemies whom Yahweh had ordered to be exterminated. David cast about for a form of sacrifice potent enough to conjure away the wrath of his benign God, and to this Yahweh divinely guided him. He took two sons of Saul by Rizpah, and five sons of Michal, Saul's daughter and David's own wife, "who loved him" -- and "they hanged them in the hill before Yahweh; and they fell all seven together, and were put to death. ... And after that God was intreated for the land" (2 Sam. 21: 8, 9, 14 ); glutted with the butchery of human sacrifice to him, he graciously ended the famine. But what heart will not be wrung by the mother's woe of Rizpah, who "took sack-cloth and spread it ... upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night" (21: 10 ); the heart-broken mother of the God's victims despairingly lying over the rotting bodies of her loved sons for several months under the open skies, fighting off the scavenger birds and beasts from the poor carcasses of the human sacrifices to the Christian's loving Heavenly Father.
Rizpah disobeyed her God's repeated commands to eat her dead sons. The holy God of Israel, in his sacred Mosaic law, time and again imposes cannibalism, and of the most revolting kind: "Ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat" (Lev. 26: 29 ). "And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and thy daughters" (Deut. 28: 53-57 ) -- the whole passage should be read for its refinements of gloating fiendishness. And again the holy God ordains these delicate repasts: "And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat everyone the flesh of his friend" (Jer. 19: 9 ). And again: "The fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers" (Ezek. 5: 10 ). There are other inspired passages of the same sort. The Bible commentators above cited reverently ratify the prediction with the comment, "Literally fulfilled" (Vol. 1, p. 340 ), pleased to be able to make citations to support their God's holy Word. Besides the testimony of the secular history of the Chosen People, concrete instances of cannibalism are related in God's book for confirmation of our faith and of our love for Yahweh: "The hands of the pitiful women have sodden [boiled] their own children: they were their meat" (Lam. 4: 10 ). Again Yahweh sent a "great famine" upon his people. "And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my Lord, O King. And he said, If Yahweh do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? ... What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give me thy son, that we may eat him to-day, and we will eat my son tomorrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son" (2 Kings 6: 26-29 ). And the king, by his messenger to Elisha, truly said: "Behold, this evil is of Yahweh"; and he pertinently added: "What should I wait for Yahweh any longer?" (6: 33 ) Why? Con, you Jews and Christians, these divine precepts and examples of your holy Bible God, and remember the query of Job's wife: "Dost thou still retain thine integrity?" Forgive her for her suggestion to poor Job: "Curse God, and die" (Job 2: 9 ). Then kneel with lifted face to this Ogre of Israel and pray: "Our Father who art in heaven: Hallowed be thy name."
Cannibalism and its abhorrent, though vicarious, practice are still enjoined by this God on the morons of his Son Christ: "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you" (John 6: 53 et seq.)!
OTHER DIVINE MOSAIC LAWS
The Holy Law is a reeking priestly code, decreeing death and maiming for every violation of its superstitious voodoos. Abject subjection to the priest is rivetted upon the people by this inspired ukase. "The man that will do presumptuously, and will not harken unto the priest, even that man shall die" (Deut. 17: 12 ), a bloody enactment reiterated in scores of variations of fiendishness. If one's nearest and dearest, even "the wife of thy bosom," entice one to worship some milder deity than Yahweh, "thine eye shall not pity, neither shalt thou spare; but thou shalt surely kill; thine hand shall be the first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people" (Deut. 13: 6-10 ). But why pursue these revolting atrocities further? They are not the "law of God," but the savage enactments of the priests of barbarous tribes of primitive people, branded with the name of their pagan God Yahweh to give greater terror to superstitious heathens.
These priests were supreme and final judges of all crimes and civil controversies: "by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried" (Deut. 21: 9 ); though this seems to contradict the "lex talionis" and adjudications by sacred dice before noticed. Beautiful women captives of war might be forced to shave their heads and become the lust-slaves of their holy captors; if these holy ones did not find the expected "delight in her," she might be turned out of doors after being "humbled" (Deut. 21: 10-14 ). Of a stubborn son, a glutton or a drunkard, it is commanded that his father accuse him to the elders, "and all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die; ... and all Israel shall hear, and fear (Deut. 21: 18-21 ), as well they might. Other undefined deeds judged by the priests "worthy of death" are ordered to be punished by hanging on a tree (21: 22 ).
If one of the Israelites finds a bird's-nest, Yahweh ordains that the mother bird and her eggs or young must not be taken together, but she may be robbed of eggs or young with divine approval (Deut. 22: 6, 7 ). If a man marry a woman and "go in unto her," and is disappointed, and reports: "I found her not a maid," the father and mother of the young woman must hale her before all the elders in the public gate of the city, bringing along "the tokens of their daughter's virginity" (the words "the tokens of" are not in the Hebrew text). These holy wise-acres must there hold a sort of solemn ogling inquisitio de ventre inspiciendo on her person, and if the "tokens" incite their condemnation, "the men of the city shall stone her with stones that she die" (Deut. 22: 13-21 ); and so in cases of adultery, if the woman be married (22: 23, 24 ). A man having the misfortune to be sexually crippled is forever excommunicated from the holy congregation of Yahweh, and an unfortunate bastard unto the tenth generation (Deut. 23: 1, 2 ). The whole races of Animonites and Moabites are accursed for fanciful reasons; "thou shalt not seek their peace nor their good all thy days forever" (23: 3-6 ).
Yahweh established trial by ordeal for cases of suspected infidelity of a woman to her husband. The priest before whom the woman was accused was to make up a horrid concoction of "holy water," filthy dust from the floor of the tabernacle, and barley meal, mixed up with "bitter water that causeth the curse" into a "jealousy offering"; the priest then should make some conjurations "unto the woman, if no man hath lain with thee," and "charge the woman with an oath of cursing," saying: "Yahweh make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when Yahweh doth make thy thigh to rot and thy belly to swell; And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell and thy thigh to rot." To all this holy incantation the woman shall complaisantly say: "Amen, Amen." The holy priest then makes the woman drink the loathsome concoction; "then it shall come to pass, that if she have done trespass against her husband, that the water which causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot. ... But if the woman be not defiled, then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. This is the law of jealousies" (Num. 5: 11-29 ). One would think this noxious dosing would be very efficacious to cause the belly to swell whether guilty or innocent, and the test worse than the suspicion or the offence.
Whole chapters of the "law of Yahweh" are filled with the incantations, purifications, and bans of fetishistic magic, such as conjuring sin and disease out of persons into animals. The inspired "law for leprosy and scall," in Levicitus 14 is a perfect jumble of twaddle for the "purification" of a cured leper and his clothes, house, and belongings. The priest is to take two live birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop; kill one of the birds "in an earthen vessel over running water"; dip the live bird and the other things into the blood of the killed bird; sprinkle the leper seven times; and "let the living bird loose into the open field," charged with the disease. Then the leper, rid of the disease, must "shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows" (Lev. 14: 9 ), and bring two he-lambs to the priest for a "trespass offering." The priest kills one of the lambs, takes the blood and some oil, smears them on the tip of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the big toe of the right foot of the leper, pours what remains of the oil over the leper, and presto, "he shall be clean." The poor live bird that has the dread disease is thus a sort of scapegoat for the sins, or misfortune, of the human victim. Chapters 12 and 15 are similar gems of maudlin incantations for the "purification" of the "uncleanness of women."
One of the strangest of the laws of Yahweh is that of the scapegoat sacrifice to the devil, as enacted in Leviticus 16. The word "scapegoat" is another false translation to hide what the New Standard Bible Dictionary calls "a vestige of primitive Semitic demonology"; the word used in Hebrew, and inserted in the margin of the Authorized Version, but frankly rendered in the Revised Version, is Azazel, a Hebrew name for the devil. The "sin offering" to Yahweh must also be offered to his great rival Satan. It is decreed that "the priest shall take two goats, and present them before Yahweh; ... And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two, goats; the one lot for Yahweh, and the other lot for Azazel" (Lev. 16: 7, 8 ); and on the scapegoat must the sins of the people be laid, and the goat then turned loose into the wilderness "to Azazel" (16: 10, 21, 22 ). This shows that the people of Yahweh also worshipped the devil. They continued to do so commonly at least as late as Rehoboam, who "ordained priests for the devils" (2 Chron. 11: 15 ).
Later a more dramatic scheme of ridding the holy people of sin was adopted by Yahweh. Two winged women, with "wings like the wings of a stork," gathered up all the sin they could get hold of, kneaded it into a "talent of lead," and passed it to "a woman that sat in the midst of the ephah" (a sort of big bushel-measure). Then the two winged females "lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven," and flew away with it to the land of Shinah, where they built a house for its permanent abode. Thus reads the sacred word of Yahweh by the mouth of the prophet (Zech. 5: 5-11 ).
Such are samples of the holy laws of the Infinite Wisdom of Yahweh. For enlightened legislation some might prefer even the Tennessee legislature to Yahweh and Moses.
MOSES NOT THE "LAW-GIVER"
From the innumerable "internal evidences" in the Hebrew Bible itself which we have pointed out here and there, it is demonstrated that Yahweh did not "give the law" to Moses on Sinai, or anywhere else, and that Moses did not write the "Book of the Law"; that Moses never even heard of the "law" attributed to him; in a word, that the books containing the "law" were not written until framed by the priests many hundreds of years after the time in which Moses is supposed to have lived, if he ever lived at all outside of legend. We have abundantly seen that the so-called "Five Books of Moses" relate many supposed historical facts which occurred, if they ever occurred at all, hundreds of years after the traditional time of Moses, who is said to have died in 1451 B.C. And we have seen many other such anachronisms in the other books of the Hebrew Scriptures, such as Joshua, Judges, Samuel, proving that they were not written until after the alleged facts had occurred, long after the times of the supposed writers. Better proof than that so plentifully furnished could hardly be desired to refute the claims of "inspired," or of very ancient, origin of these books.
THE "LAW" OF LATE PRIESTLY ORIGIN
What is true of the books containing the "law" is equally true, by internal evidences in the Bible, of the late and priestly origin of the "law" itself. The "Book of the Covenant," we are first told, in Exodus 24: 4, was written by Moses; later, in Deuteronomy, Moses several times (29: 20, 21, 27, 29 ) calls down upon the Chosen people "all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law" -- because they had "served other gods." Then, just before his death, he seems to have got out a new edition of his "compiled laws" for permanent record: "And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi which bare the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and unto all the elders of Israel" (31: 9 ); and he commanded them: "Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of [inside] the ark of the covenant of Yahweh your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee" (31: 26 ).
Moses also particularly commanded them to assemble all the people every seven years, and read to them all the words of this law (31: 10-13 ). This "Book of the Law" was evidently a very sizable tome. And, as if foreseeing a time when the Chosen would have kings over them (though the thing was written long afterwards), Moses orders every such king, "when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this Law in a book. ... and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear Yahweh his God, and to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them" (Deut. 17: 18, 19 ). And it is decreed that every such king shall not "multiply wives to himself. ... neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold" (17: 17 ). But, by the clearest negative evidences of the texts, no king (until Josiah) ever had or read such a book or ever saw or heard of or read this "law," which positively forbade under terrible penalties everything which was the common and daily practice of their idolatrous cult; and all the kings, following the example of David and Solomon, did very greatly "multiply wives unto themselves," and with all their people habitually did everything which is so fearfully forbidden in the Book of the Law. This clearly proves their entire ignorance of it, and the impossibility of its existence during all the ages from Moses to the futile "reforms" of the good king" Josiah, when the Book of the Law was "discovered" by the priests of Judah.
It was at Sinai, in the first year of the exodus, that Moses, it is recorded, wrote the first edition of his Book of the Covenant; and forty years later that he made his revised edition and ordered the bulky tome laid up as a testimonial against the people in the Ark of the Covenant. Yet, when next we hear of it, Joshua built an altar unto Yahweh, of unhewn stone, "over which no man hath lift up any iron"; and on this very rough surface, "he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses" (Josh. 8: 32 ) ; and "afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law" (8: 34 ), to all the people. This is about the last word in all the Hebrew Scriptures, for about a thousand years, until Josiah, of this famous "law of Moses." When Solomon had built the temple, he put into it the ancient Ark of the Covenant, made by Moses; and it is said: "There was nothing in the Ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeh, when Yahweh made a covenant with the children of Israel" (1 Kings 8: 9; 2 Chron. 5: 10 ). And of this Solomon more explicitly says: "The ark, wherein is the covenant of Yahweh" (1 Kings 8: 21; 2 Chron. 6: 11 ). This "covenant" was clearly the covenant of circumcision, or that regarding the sabbath and "other gods"; not the "ten commandments" or the "law," so unknown until the find of Josiah. Never once again is it mentioned, or a single command of it observed, or knowledge of it seemingly suspected, in a thousand years, till the Book of the Law was "found" by Hilkiah the priest.
THE "FINDING" OF THE LAW
All are familiar with the "finding" by the late lamented Joseph Smith -- led thereto by the angel Moroni -- of the golden plates containing the text of the Book of Mormon, in the nineteenth-century United States. History repeated itself. In 2 Kings 22 is the relation of an equally notorious discovery. In the eighteenth year of the "good king" of Judah, Josiah, while repairs were being made in the temple, Hilkiah, the high priest, of a sudden "found the book of the law of Yahweh given by Moses," and by him ordered to be preserved in the Ark of the Covenant (Deut. 31, 24-26 ). Hilkiah announced his "discovery" to Shaphan the scribe, and they took the great "find" to Josiah the king. This remarkable "discovery" was made in the year 623, B.C., 828 years after the death of Moses. So the first proof that this "Book of the Law" never existed until it was "found" by the priest is that for 828 years nobody had ever heard of it, nor is it once mentioned in Hebrew Holy Writ, and not one of its many holy laws and commands had ever been observed, by priest, king, prophet, or people of Yahweh. While the deadly Ark was at Beth-shemesh, the whole town peeked into it, and evidently did not find the sacred relics, Aaron's conjuring rod, the pot of manna, the two tables of stone, or the Book of the Law. Yahweh murdered 50,070 of the citizens "because they looked into the ark of Yahweh" (1 Sam. 6: 19 ). But the book evidently did not exist.
This is further proved by the positive statement of King Josiah, to whom the book was at once taken and read: "When the king had heard the words of the book of the law, be rent his clothes" (22: 11 ); and he sent to "enquire of Yahweh ... concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of Yahweh that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do after all that is written in this book" (2 Kings 22: 13 ). Huldah the priestess, who was consulted, reported that Yahweh was very angry, "because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods" (22: 17 ), exactly as they had done during their whole history. This is highly significant; it never once occurred to this female prophet, nor to any of the many inspired prophets who infested all the history of Israel, to prophesy that the Book of Law was laid away in the holy Ark, and could be found for the looking! Josiah at once called all the people and priests together, and read to them the Book of the Law, and pledged them to keep and perform all the laws and commandments thereof, which their fathers had never before known or observed.
Josiah at once began a great series of "reforms," related in 2 Kings 23 and in 2 Chronicles 34: each one of which corresponds exactly with the various commands of the Book of the Law, as may be verified by consulting the marginal references and the texts referred to. Even the great celebration of the Passover, purporting to commemorate the exodus from Egypt, was quite unknown; the king specially ordered: "Keep the Passover unto Yahweh your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant"; and it is added: "Surely there was not holden such a Passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah" (2 Kings 23: 22 ).
THE LAW AND THE REFORMS
Among the reforms made by the king he destroyed the idols, the "pillars and groves," the "high places," [See Chapter 8.] which filled the land, the places where children were sacrificed to Moloeb, the chariots of the sun, and all the accessories of the worship of the sun, moon, and stars. "He brought out the Asherah from the house of Yahweh [Solomon's temple] ... and he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of Yahweh" (23: 6, 7 ); he destroyed even the holy altar which Jacob himself had erected to Yahweh at Beth-el (23: 15 ); and he removed the wizards, and those that had familiar spirits, and the teraphim, and all such; in each instance carrying out the detailed commands of the "law" as contained in the book just "found" by the priest, "that he might confirm the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of Yahweh" (23: 24 ). This tallying of "reforms" with the new-"found" law may be verified at a glance by checking the laws against the reforms, as set out in 2 Kings 23. The verses cited of chapter 23 show the reforms corresponding to the laws of the Book of Law in Deuteronomy: 2 Kings 23: 7, as to sodomites, in Deut. 23: 17, ct seq.; 2 Kings 23: 8, 9, as to high places, in Deut. 12: 2; 2 Kings 23: 10, as to passing through fire, in Deut. 18: 10; 2 Kings 23: 11, as to horses and chariots of the sun, in Deut. 17: 3; 2 Kings 23: 14, as to phallic images and groves, in Deut. 16: 21, et seq.; 2 Kings 23: 21, as to the Passover, in Deut. 16: 5, 6; 2 Kings 23: 24, as to wizards, etc., Deut. 18: 11. In a word Josiah essayed to destroy at a blow the ancient religion and worship of the people, and to introduce quite a new system of worship devised by the priests, as described in the new book, a system never known or practiced in all the history of Israel from the days of Abraham, some 1500 years previously.
Now, it is quite impossible that this wonderful "law of Yahweh," said to have been given to Moses on Sinai, should have been in existence, right there in the Ark of the God, in the great temple, in the constant custody and care of the priests, and never have been known by any of the good judges, kings, or prophets of Yahweh for over eight hundred years. And the Hebrew Scriptures are full of conclusive proofs that every precept of this "law" was totally unknown to and unobserved by all the holy "men of God," prophet, priest and king, from Moses to Josiah, every one of whom continuously violated some or all of the most dreadfully prohibitory articles of the so-called Mosaic code.
POSITIVE PROOFS AGAINST MOSES
We will very briefly pass in review some of these proofs that this "law" was not instituted by Yahweh "by the hand of Moses," but was a priestly scheme written up about the time the Book of the Law was "found" by the high priest of Josiah, a millennium after the time of Moses. The first and most cogent proofs are to be found in the "Book of the Law" itself, said to have been laid down by Yahweh on Mount Sinai, written by Moses in the wilderness, and deposited in the Ark of Yahweh for a perpetual memorial and a law to the Chosen People in all their generations.
In the first place, the Book of the Law itself implicitly declares there was no such body of law in existence during the forty years' wandering in the wilderness, though it is supposed to have been given at Sinai in the very first year of the exodus from Egypt. And this declaration of the non-existence of the "law" is curiously put into the mouth of Moses himself, in the fortieth year, just before the Chosen were to pass over Jordan into the promised land. Moses says: "And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day" (Deut. 11: 32 ). "These are the statutes and judgments which ye shall observe to do in the land, which Yahweh thy God giveth thee to possess it. ... Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes" (12: 1, 8 ). More positive evidence that the "law" had not been enacted forty years before on Sinai could not be, for that "law" left nothing to be done according to "whatsoever is right in his own eyes," but minutely prescribed and regulated every act of life.
But there are a couple of other specific instances of the non- existence of the "law" which may be cited for further proof. Notice first the words introducing the first instance: "And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness," the thing happened. If Moses spent forty years rambling around in the wilderness, and wrote his "Five Books" there, it is preposterous that he would relate an incident as specially occurring "while in the wilderness" -- all the incidents occurred there, according to inspiration. Evidently some scribe of many ages later wrote an old tale and inserted it in the general collection, and to give it good standing fathered it upon Moses "while the children of Israel were in the wilderness."
While in the wilderness, "they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they ... brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward [jail], because it was not declared what should be dome unto him. And Yahweh said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp" (Num. 15, 32-36 ), and so they did. God never ordered a man to be murdered for picking up sticks, sabbath or no sabbath; and especially by a barbarous law which was not in existence when the offense was committed. The Constitution of every state in this Union forbids such an infamy. The text says there was no law on the subject when the man offended, so that he was held until Yahweh ordered his judicial murder. But the statement is wholly wrong, for it is also stated that two years before, at Sinai, it had been barbarously enacted: "Whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death" (Ex. 31, 15 ). Of course neither is true, and the two statements are totally contradictory; but the instance shows that the writer knew there was no "law" of Sinai for the murder of sabbath workers.
Again, a man "blasphemed the name of Yahweh"; he was put in ward, "that the mind of Yahweh might be showed them"; Yahweh decreed: "He that blasphemeth the name of Yahweh, he shall surely be put to death"' by stoning; and he was stoned (Lev. 24: 16 ). This shows there was no "law"; though the stone tables of Sinai decreed: "Thou shalt not take the name of Yahweh thy God in vain" (Ex. 20: 7 ).
BIBLE HISTORY DISPROVES THE "LAW OF MOSES"
That the "law of Moses" was not given on Sinai and preserved in a book kept by the high priest in the Ark of the Covenant, and that it did not exist until "discovered" by the priests of Josiah, and was in fact unknown and unobserved by all the holy "men of God" from Moses to Josiah may be further instanced. We will briefly review some of these manifold proofs.
Idols and idolatry were terribly forbidden in the "law of Moses." We may take the word of the prophet Ezekiel for proof of unbroken idol-worship of the Chosen People from the day they left Egypt with Moses to his own time -- all in violation of the pretended but non-existent "Mosaic" law. Ezekiel thus testifies: "Neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt" (Ezek. 20: 8 ); "their eyes were after their fathers' idols" (20: 24 ); and he quotes the Chosen as declaring: "We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone" (20: 32 ). This is conclusive that the Book of the Law, proscribing idolatry under penalties of punishment and death, was nonexistent through all those ages until it was "found" by the priests of Josiah; that idolatry was the "orthodox" religion of Israel from the exodus to Josiah (as of course it was from the days of Abraham and before till the exodus); and was practiced, with the full approval of Yahweh himself, by all his holy "men of God," as we shall see, in utter oblivion of any "law" proscribing it.
In the next chapter we shall see in detail that the patriarchs, from Abraham to Moses, were ordinary idolaters and phallic worshippers of Yahweh and Baal, with their teraphim, ephods, mazzebahs, asherahs, high-places of Baal-worship and Moloch child-sacrifice and their simple earth or stone altars, where Yahweh "put his name" as a local Baal or Lord. Never once, until the Book of the Law, pretended to be given to Moses on Sinai, was "found," is there the slightest hint against all these popular heathen practices. After Moses and the pretended "law" of Sinai, the identical practices continued unabated and unrebuked, though the Book of the Law denounced them one and all in scathing terms, and threatened every imaginable woe for disobedience to them.
The first thing Moses himself did after descending from Sinai and writing the "law" in his book and swearing the people to it was to erect the twelve phallic "pillars," or mazzebahs, for the twelve tribes of Israel, and send young men to offer sacrifices on earth- made altars (Ex. 24: 4, 5 ), though the very "law" he is said to have that day revealed enacts: "Thou shalt not plant an asherah nor set thee up a mazzebah, which Yahweh thy God hateth"; (Deut. 16: 22 ) and time and again decrees that no sacrifice shall be offered except by the holy monopoly of priests, and upon the sacred altar in the tabernacle of the congregation. His successor Joshua erected phallic pillars of stone, and built an altar of unhewn stone, on which he is said to have written the very "laws of Moses" forbidding such practices, and although Joshua was not a priest, he "offered thereon burnt offerings unto Yahweh, and sacrificed peace offerings" (Josh. 8: 30, 31 ), in violation of the "law." Joshua conjured the people to "put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the river [Euphrates], and in Egypt, and serve ye Yahweh" (24: 14 ) which proves idol-worship was unbroken from Abraham to the last days of Joshua. And he repeated: "Put away the strange gods which are among you" (24: 23 ); and the people promised they would, but they never did. Under the judges, continuously, the people "served Baalim," and "followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them; ... and served Baal and Ashtaroth ... they would not hearken unto their judges, they went a-whoring after other gods?' (Judges 2: 11-17, and throughout the book).
The story of Gideon and the fleeces (Judges 6 ), and the contest between Baal and Yahweh, are further proof of the popular cult persisting, contrary to "law." Even the "good" judges continued the forbidden sacrifices, as well as private persons, such as Manoah, father of Samson; and Yahweh sent down fire from heaven upon the altars to consume the acceptable sacrifices (Judges 13 ). Micah's golden ephod was a god in Israel, served by Levites for priests, "until the day of the captivity of the land" (Judges 18 ).
The great and good Samuel, when first met by Saul as he was hunting lost asses, was going "up to the high place," where the phallic "pillars and groves" were set up and Baal was worshipped, and where, on that day, the people were holding a sacred feast; "and the people will not eat until he come, because he blesseth the sacrifice" (1 Sam. 9: 13, 14 ); practices utterly banned by the "law" of Moses. Samuel sent Saul to meet and join "a band of prophets coming down from the high place [of Baal on the "hill of the gods"]; and they shall be prophesying [raving], and the spirit of Yahweh shall come mightily upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy [rave] with them" (10: 5, 6 ); thus showing the unity of the worship of Baal and Yahweh, and the entire "orthodoxy" of high-places and phallic worship. And all the days of his life, Samuel "went from year to year in circuit" to the principal high-places, or Baal- altars of the country, and judged all Israel (7: 16 ); and though no priest, he continually made sacrifices and offered up burnt- offerings, all forbidden by the Book of the Law.
Saul, made king over the Chosen People by Yahweh's own special selection, continued the same practices (1 Sam. 13: 9, 10; 14: 25; et passim), and consulted witches, and was troubled with an "evil spirit from Yahweh." David was a "man after Yahweh's own heart," the most murderous, adulterous, lustful, perfidious, mendacious character in the Hebrew Scriptures. He practiced the phallic rites of divination with ephods and teraphim, and danced naked in public the phallic Baal-dance before the Ark of Yahweh; and when Michal, his wife, who was herself a heathen and kept a phallic teraphim (carved images of ancestors) for her private use and worship, rebuked him for it, he shamelessly retorted: "I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight" (2 Sam. 6: 22 ); and he notified her then and there that she should never have a child by him, but that he would bestow his amorous favours upon "the hand- maids of his servants."
For many years during the time of David, Yahweh's special delight, "the tabernacle of Yahweh, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering," and presumably the holy Ark containing the "law" banning all such things, were "in the high place at Gibeon" (1 Chron. 21: 29 ), in charge of "Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests" (16: 39 ). David built an altar on the threshing-floor of Ornan, or Araunah, and offered sacrifices to Yahweh, which were so acceptable that Yahweh sent down fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering (21: 26 ). David christened it: "This is the house of Yahweh ha-Elohim [Yahweh of the Gods], and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel" (22: 1 ); all of which is forbidden in the Book of the Law, which was required to be copied and read by every king: but no king of all Jewry, until Josiah read the new-found book in his eighteenth year, ever saw or heard of "the Book of the Law of Yahweh." It was clearly not in existence.
Solomon was a worthy chip off the old block; he "loved Yahweh, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places" (I Kings 3: 3 ); and he "loved many strange women," besides his seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, all heathen. He built high-places and sacrificed to all the gods of his women, though Yahweh was "jealous" about all this, and threatened him trouble. And Solomon built the famous temple of Yahweh, erected by the heathen Hiram King of Tyre, which was adorned with the two notable phallic pillars, Jachin and Boaz, hung about with the phallic pomegranates, and surrounded with houses of sodomites and temple-whores, and abundantly provided with "pillars and groves" in the very house of Yahweh; and there they remained and were worshipped by all Israel till temporarily removed by Josiah, in accordance with the new-found Book of the Law, at the end of the period of Hebrew national existence.
The great prophet Elijah himself built up the ruined heathen altar at Carmel (I Kings 18: 30 ); and lamented to Yahweh because impious hands had "thrown down thine altars" in the land (19: 10 ), though all such altars were utterly tabooed by the Book of the Law as heathen Canaanitish devices. Isaiah declared, as a token of the triumph of Yahweh over the nations and their gods: "In that day there shall be an altar to Yahweh in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a mazzebah at the border thereof to Yahweh" (Isa. 19: 19 ).
While other prophets, Amos, Hosea, Micah, deplored the Canaanitish Baal practices performed at the altars of Yahweh, never once did they declare them illegal, as contrary to the "law of Moses," or seek to abolish them. Their efforts were solely directed toward bringing the Chosen People to devote these practices to Yahweh alone as a special God of Israel, to be worshipped by his Chosen to the exclusion of the gods of the other peoples. The kings of Israel and of Judah, from Solomon to Josiah, set up many other gods, and mazzebah and asherah, and the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, in the very temple of Yahweh at Jerusalem and in Samaria; and the people continuously and unquestioningly worshipped them.
All this could not have been rationally possible if any sort of monotheistic worship of "one God Yahweh," sole God of all the earth, had been the anciently established religion of Israel, decreed in a God-given "Book of the Law" to Moses, a holy legacy to the people, sanctioned by the fearful threats it contains against disobedience to its dread and holy commands.
It is needless to remark, with respect to the elaborate and intricate system of priestly functions and sacrifices contained in the Book of the Law and said to have been practiced in the forty- year wandering in the wilderness, that all this would have been utterly impossible in such surroundings, and during the centuries of struggling warfare and incomplete conquest of the promised land. It was all a priest-devised system, adopted late in the history of the kingdom, and given authority by being attributed to the direct command of "Yahweh by the hand of Moses."
Many other nations and peoples have had sacred books of law, revealed by gods or angels to pretended Prophets; the Koran of Mohammed and the Book of Mormon may be mentioned as more modern instances. This should suffice to demonstrate that the religion of the Hebrew Bible was none other than the universal phallic pagan worship, centered to a certain extent around a "jealous" Yahweh as the special, tribal El of his Chosen Israel, and forbidden by no extant 'law of Yahweh" given to Moses on Sinai.
RETURN TO THE CHAPTER INDEX
Free Zip Copy:IS IT GOD'S WORD?
RETURN TO THE WRITINGS OF:
RETURN TO:HARRINGTON SITES
Revealing the Spiritual duality of the Bible, for it serves neither God nor truth to try and rationalize irrational things the Bible has said of God.