The Real Ark of the Covenant May Have Housed Pagan Gods - Haaretz
According to the Bible, the biblical Ark of the Covenant contained the Ten Commandments Tablets, but some Israeli archaeologists have a different view.
Haaretz media site publishes the story:
The Real Ark of the Covenant May Have Housed Pagan Gods
The holy ark was likely kept in Jerusalem for much less time than the Bible tells us. And it may have contained something other than the Ten Commandments.
Quote: "These biblical stories may all contain echoes of the ancient cults connected to the ark. It is difficult to completely untangle the many layers of history and myth contained in this story thousands of years later, but a broader message does emerge.
The Bible appears to describe the ancient Israelites, from Moses onward, as staunch monotheists who sometimes err towards paganism and are punished for their sins by God. But this picture may be the result of mostly self-serving propaganda by the priests and scribes of the late monarchic or post-exilic periods.
The reality emerging today from the combined work of biblical scholars and archeologists is much more complex and diverse. It indicates that Judaism as we know it today evolved slowly and organically, incorporating a variety of influences and religious traditions from the mosaic of cultures that lived side by side in the region."
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/1.809233
The exodus Moses story has a lot of elements of Egyptian god mythology in it. Moses is told gods name is I am that I am, yet the word were told is the word for "that" is very similar to one of the names of Osiris. Osiris was also born or came from MT Sinai . The Ten Commandments mostly come from the 42 negative confessions of the Osirisian cult. Moses after seeing god has what would seem like two horns or rays of light coming from his head, this could be a reference to the God Amun.
Another thing to note is the ark is very much an Egyptian Bark. A box the Egyptians used to carry around certain gods from one temple to the next during festivals etc.. We will probably never know who wrote this exodus story but it's a pretty god fairy tale of a story as long as you don't take it seriously.
Very good information FTS. Here is one region where"biblical scholarship" has validity and archaeologists like Israel Finklestein are doing a sterling job with a rigorous and impartial investigation into who the real Israelites were.
As he has found, it is a story far removed from the Biblical trope of monotheism. The people of the Levant were simple polytheists and Yahweh in the form of a bull was just one of many idols they worshipped.
I can't resist asking the question, How does the almighty creator of the universe Jehovah start out life as an ox headed idol?
The conclusion of the Haaretz article by Ariel David says:
The reality emerging today from the combined work of biblical scholars and archeologists is much more complex and diverse. It indicates that Judaism as we know it today evolved slowly and organically, incorporating a variety of influences and religious traditions from the mosaic of cultures that lived side by side in the region.
Yes not from mythical Moses but a mosaic of cultures!
Isn’t it quite interesting that the Hebrew God Yaweh had a divine consort, or wife, named Asherah.
It has been becoming quite clear to me that this Yaweh (or “El”) God is really just a Canaate/Baalite/Semitic mythological bull god, whose wife is Asherah. According to Egyptian mythology, Isis married her brother, Osiris, and bore a son, Horus. This only proves to me that the “gods” of the Old Testament were simply figments of ancient mythology.
The famous quantum physicist Stephen Hawking said that God is unnecessary for the origination of the universe.
My position is that whatever the real truth may be, the stark obviousness is that NONE of the world’s religions are rooted in any kind of actual reality. Religion is a projection of the human psyche.
Indeed, ALL religions are, as Sigmund Freud would say, merely a figment of human imagination, which seeks a reassuring father figure.
Monotheism was retrojected onto the earliest histories of the Israelites; early on, they worshipped El, the same as the Canaanites around them.
Some scholars feel they were Canaanites that isolated themselves and developed into the Hebrews; others feel they were the Hapiru that migrated in from elsewhere.
The change from worshipping El to worshipping Yahweh (really Baal, renamed) can be seen when the names changed, as in from Samuel, Ezekiel (samu-el, ezeki-el) to those with yah or jah suffixes, Elijah, Jeremiah.
It follows a similar change throughout the Levant at the time, from El to Baal.
Small household idols have been found in Israelite households; even in the texts we can see that the Israelites never really left off worshipping 'other' gods besides Yahweh.
Christine Hayes, Yale professor, has a great course on the history of the OT.
All of this research is very difficult for Israelis to take on board I would guess, it means that their Historical claims that they have a right to be where they are simply have no real substance.
And the Palestinians therefore have a strong claim to far better treatment.
You would think so, if we Jews were like Fundamentalist Christians or the Watchtower, but no.
This article in Haaretz is talking about data supporting the long-standing Jewish historical account supported by critical and progressive Judaism (and some in Orthodox Judaism) that has always been available in our authoritative publications.
For instance, "The Jewish Study Bible" speaks of this in its footnotes to the Torah books, and you can look this up online on many a religious Jewish source, including Orthodox, and online from JewishEncyclopedia.com to Aish.com to MyJewishLearning.com and Chabad.org. It was even highlighted in detail a few years ago on a famous PBS television series, "The Story of the Jews with Simon Schema" which still has a detailed page about it and can be ordered from Pbs.org.
The Jews understand that God gave the land to Abraham and his descendants, and that Moses gave the Law to unify Israel as a nation to worship this one God, but the Israelites would not. Even when King David made worship of the one God the State religion, the Israelites still refused.
Carried away to Babylon, the Jews believed they lost their land and shrine because of this constant refusal to worship God. There they began to develop what we today know as the Bible. But it is not viewed as a literal historic record.
Also, not all Jews today agree with the current government's treatment of the Palestinian population. Many Jews, like myself, believe they have a claim to the land as well and all should live in harmony there. Except for some fundamentalist Orthodox, most Jews believe the claims of the Bible to the land of Israel somewhat symbolic to stand for each human having a claim to a place on earth to call home.
While a JW I often wondered why Laban had teraphim or family idols which Rachael stole. There are also other mentions of teraphim in the Bible as household idols with religious significance.
I was also taken aback by the use of urim and thummim by the Israelite Priests – they were just as much into divination and hocus pocus like the nations around them.
David_Jay: Many Jews, like myself, believe they have a claim to the land as well and all should live in harmony there.
Yes, but that's not quite what has happened, is it?
Do you think there is a case to call the Palestinian/Jewish friction, fratricide?
Think about it. The Jews were eventually driven out of Jerusalem by the Roman army, but continued to live in the surrounding areas. And then came Islam - I think there is a very strong possibility that many people who may have worshipped as Jews, switched to Islam, some perhaps by force, but not necessarily by force. Islam did not always use force to convert. The population of the land became Muslim with the possible exception of brief periods during the Crusades.
Is there any evidence? Consider the evidence provided by genetics:
Blood Brothers: Palestinians and Jews Share Genetic Roots
"Confronted by the violence sweeping over Israel, it can be easy to overlook the things that Jews and Palestinians share: a deep attachment to the same sliver of contested land, ... a common tradition of descent from the patriarch Abraham, and, as scientific research shows - a common genetic ancestry, as well.
Ostrer’s research on “Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era,” published in The American Journal of Human Genetics, sampled 652,000 gene variants from each of 237 unrelated individuals from seven Jewish populations: Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Italian, Turkish, Greek and Ashkenazi. These sequences were then compared with reference samples from non-Jews drawn from The Human Genome Diversity Project, a global database of genetic information gathered from populations across the world.
Each of the Jewish populations, they found, “formed its own distinctive cluster,” indicating their shared ancestry and “relative genetic isolation.”
... Ostrer’s team also identified two major groups of Jews: Middle Eastern Jews (Iranian and Iraqi) and European/Syrian Jews. The split between these two groups of Jews occurred some 2,500 years ago.
... In addition, a “compact cluster” of Yemenite Jews “overlaps primarily with Bedouins but also with Saudi individuals.” Ethiopian and Indian Jews are more closely related to their own neighboring, host populations.
... Are these genetic ties between Jews, Palestinians, Bedouin, and Druze important in a contemporary context? “It doesn’t matter to me personally,” Skorecki says, “since I think that global human identity supersedes all other considerations.”
David_Jay: Except for some fundamentalist Orthodox, most Jews believe the claims of the Bible to the land of Israel somewhat symbolic to stand for each human having a claim to a place on earth to call home.
A pious hope, but one I agree with, except, does it really have to be based on developed ancestry.
Consider what is currently happening in Myanmar, where (maybe some of) Myanmar's Buddhists began a genocidal campaign against the country's Moslem Rohingyas. A persecution now being continued by Myanmar's Army.
It shares an ethnic connection with the Jewish problem also, in that Imperial Britain is at the root of both problems. In the case of Burma (as the Brits called it) they defined the border between India and contemporary Myanmar. I cannot argue that they purposely included unlike groups, although it is a common difficulty in many former British colonies, but there is an argument that the Brits liked to play different groups against each other, hoping that it would be easier to maintain control of the area.