What made the Israelites so deplorable?
I started thinking about how the bible describes ‘god’s people’, the Israelites. Most of the time god was very pissed off at them. Most of the Old Testament, or Hebrew scriptures if you like, is about prophets sent to the Israelites to warn them or to curse them for their shitty behavior. Was that the inherent behavior of all nomadic tribes? Or was it the just them? And more importantly, why would ‘god’s people’ be such belligerent butt holes?
IMHO, I think that the god that the Israelites invented, YHWH, drove them to such madness. Starting with the patriarch Abraham, “god’s friend”, he was willing to slaughter his own son because YHWH told him to do so. Bet ya Sarah was not in favor of that command!
Then there is Lot, (not and Israelite per se) a man that the bible calls a “righteous man”, has incestuous relations with his 2 daughters and knocked them up. Daddy dearest. Wonder if the kids called him dad or grandpa, or both?
God, supposedly, kills all the Egyptian first born and then drowns the entire Egyptian army as the Israelites, including women and young children, witness the marvelous event. Can you here the Israelites chanting, Kill, Kill, Kill!
They enter the ‘promised land’ only to execute genocide on the other nomadic tribes. I’m sure that didn’t affect the psyche of the Israelite soldiers. What nice stories they had to share with their wives and children about how they executed innocent women and children because YHWH told them to do it.
Then you have other meaningful events, like the inauguration of Solomon’s temple. Now that must have been a joyous occasion to witness the massive slaughter of hundreds of thousands of animals. The blood must have been everywhere. I’m sure the young ones especially enjoyed that event. Ya gotta know that YHWH was well pleased. All that burning animal flesh was a “restful odor” to YHWH.
I could go on but I think that you see where I’m going with this. When you have such a kind, loving god as YHWH it’s no wonder that the Israelites where the way they were. Why wouldn’t everyone want to be part of such a wonderful people?
My conclusion is that the Israelites were the a**holes they were, not despite the fact that YHWH was their god, but because YHWH was there god.