Meanwhile, back at camp...
Bible joke in the 7/15/11 WT (for nonChristians)
You mean that book of Tobit that was part of the Septuagint, and recognized as canon by the Catholic and Orthodox church? The one whose fragmenys were found among the Dead Sea scrolls?
Here is a little tip about why the society would want to discredit that book. It mentions the archangel Raphael, which would blow their little bit of fiction about there being only one archangel Michael, who also happens to be Jesus on his day off.
Aside from that, PC, your point about the talking snake and other narratives in the books they do accept is well made.
I'd like to put in a word for the foxes and snakes . . . where the hell was the SPCA during all of this??
One can't help but wonder what "absurd tales of magic and sorcery presented as truth" the book of Tobias contains.
Tobias contains 14 small chapters, that mostly covers the family history. The phrase 'praise god' or 'praise the lord' occurs many times in this book, so what is it exactly that the G.B. of JWs would have a problem with this book?
Tobias needed a wife, but the law said he must marry within his family, or die.
Tobias cousin wanted to hook Tobias up with his sister Sara. Sara was the only legal (family) female Tobias can marry without breaking gods law and getting put to death. She was the only available woman that met god's standard..... But Tobias cousin Sara, was already married 7 times before, and all 7 husbands were killed by an incubus, in the bed room, because the demon wanted to have sex with Tobias cousin sara.
Tobias was purplexed and afraid to marry Sara because of the previous 7 dead husband that ALL died in the marrage chamber.
Tobias catches a big ass fish, so big it could eat him. The angel Raphael appears to Tobias and tells him to cut out the heart and gall and save it, he then then ate the rest of the fish.
The angel Raphael tells Tobias that it is okay to marry Sara and that if he smokes the heart in gall in their bed room then it will drive the incubus away.
Tobias does what Rapheal tells him and it works. They are blessed have many children and live a long life together.
Seems like good old testament material to me!
I can see why the governing body of JWs would have a problem with the superstition and absurd tales of magic and sorcery presented as truth.
Everyone knows that the demons quit having sex with women after the flood of Noah's day! Duh!
Edited to add: The fish gall can also be used to cure the blind.
Dr. House says "Everybody lies".
That might be the only "real truth".
But Tobias cousin Sara, was already married 7 times before, and all 7 husbands were killed by an incubus
Is this the story that is echoed in the Sadducees question to Jesus?
Matthew 22:23-28 (New International Version, ©2011)
Marriage at the Resurrection
23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”
Sir82, that's EXACTLY what I was thinking!!
he somehow managed to grab 300 foxes, tie their tails together, and fasten a lit torch to every pair of tails, and send them into the Philistines vineyards,
a while back RunningMan broke down the steps necessary to collect all those foxes and then release them with tails afire.
I hope he doesn't mind that i cut and pasted his comments here, they are just to good miss.
Where do you get 300 foxes?
Like most wild animals, foxes are wary when it comes to humans. You can’t issue a fox call and expect droves of them to come running.
They generally live in pairs. Once a year, a typical fox family will expand from the two adults, adding from one to ten cubs. These cubs remain at home for about five weeks before leaving to make their own way. It is likely that Samson would have found his foxes in dens of two. The extended families are in existence for only a short time, and he would have had little use for baby foxes, anyway.
In the United States, the fox population density is approximately 0.39 foxes per square mile. In some areas, such as England, the density is higher. Although fox census data is not available for ancient Palestine, it would certainly be lower than the U.S., due to the heat and poor supply of food in the Middle East. I will give the Bible the benefit of the doubt and assume that the fox population in ancient palestine is the same as in the U.S.
This means that in order to gather three hundred foxes, Samson would have to depopulate an area of 769 square miles, or 27.7 miles by 27.7 miles. He would need to capture 150 dens in this area. If the dens were evenly spaced, there would be one den on every fifth section of land.
How long would this take?
Well, in order to simply travel across this grid, visiting each den in the most efficient manner, Samson would need to walk 443 miles. According to the standard measurements of Bible times, this would take 22 days.
But, it would not be that easy. The above calculation assumes that he knows exactly where every den is located, and could go directly to it. It assumes that every den is optimally placed, so that travel could be minimized. It ignores the fact that trapping foxes is a two step process - setting the trap, then checking back on it later. It also would require him to pick up each pair of foxes and take them along to the next den, so that by the time he was done, he would be leading a battalion of 300 animals. And, of course, it assumes that he has 300 traps and that every trap catches a fox every time.
So, it is not simply a matter of going out and scooping a bunch of foxes. The most efficient method to cover this territory would be as follows:
Samson establishes a base camp, where he builds cages. He then goes on a two day expedition, setting his traps over a 40 mile area. (It would take two days to reach the furthest parts of this territory and return). He would then double back over his steps, emptying the traps and taking the foxes back to the base camp. This is not without difficulty, since wild animals are known to gnaw off their foot in order to get out of a trap, and a lame, dead or absent fox is no good to Samson. We will ignore this minor problem.
Every two days he would be back at his cages, where he could feed and water his foxes, drop off the new ones, and set out for the next expedition. He would need to make eleven expeditions of this nature, bringing the total time spent to 44 days, assuming that every trap caught a fox every time, and none escaped or died. We are also going to ignore the time spent gathering food for all the animals that are kept in captivity, the building of the cages, the difficulty in walking up to 20 miles with as many as 27 live foxes in his care, and the gathering of food for himself.
Realistically, this process would probably take three or four months, but we will give the Bible the benefit of every doubt, and pencil in six weeks.
So much for the easy part of the job. The next task is really hard.
Binding the Foxes
The scripture goes on to say that after gathering the foxes, he then “turned them tail to tail and put a torch between each pair of tails”. This isn’t very descriptive, so we’re going to have to use our imaginations a bit.
In order to attach a torch to the tails of a pair of foxes, it would be necessary to line up the foxes side by side and tie the tails together. Then the torch could be tied to the bound pair of tails. You could not light the torch until all foxes were bound, otherwise, the fire would be out of control too soon.
This is easier said than done. Most animals, even domestic ones, do not like to have their tails handled. Tying two foxes together by their tails would undoubtedly cause the pair to squeal and thrash about, trying to free themselves by escaping, gnawing their tails, or killing their partner.
Picture in your mind a pair of frantic, squealing, thrashing, biting animals. Now, set them to one side, and do the next pair and the next. Could you imagine the commotion that would be going on by the time he neared the end, with 150 pairs of these foxes?
Now, he must go back and catch the first pair, assuming that they are both still alive, and light the torch. The pair could then be released into the fields.
I think you get the picture. Keep in mind, that in order for this prank of Samson’s to work, stealth would have to be of the essence. If the Philistines caught wind of what he was doing, it would all be over, so it must be done with no one noticing.
I have actually ignored yet another flaw in this story. Under my fox gathering scenario, in order to minimize travel time, Samson would have built his pens in the center of the territory where he would gather the foxes. He would then have to transport all 300 live foxes to an area where no one would have seen his activities. This would be an absolute minimum of 13.8 miles.
The rest of the story pretty much writes itself. After the foxes are released, they run, panic stricken, through the fields of the Philistines. Some of the foxes, undoubtedly, would have caught fire, turning into running, screaming, live torches. In the end, all of the foxes would have died. Either they would have burned in the fire or starved to death, since it would be pretty hard to sneak up on food with another fox tied to them. Where is the SPCA when you need them?
With regard to Samson, it is clear that he did not have a mental capacity to match his formidable physical strength.
Realistically though, there is no way that this story could have happened. Only an idiot would spend two months of hard work executing a plan that could be accomplished in one night. As well, we have underestimated the time required; overlooked multiple logistical difficulties in the gathering, storing, and transporting of the foxes; assumed that the binding and lighting of the foxes is actually possible; and most of all, believed that the Philistines would not notice 300 squealing, thrashing, flaming foxes that had been systematically built up in a huge cage complex.
Thank you, my good Sphere (and RunningMan, wherever you are)! That's a helluvan analysis.
"Absurd tales of magic and sorcery presented as truth", indeed.