Why didn't God also reveal himself to the Canaanites just as he did to Moses in the burning bush?

by deegee 34 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • deegee

    LOL OUTLAW........A picture, er no, a meme is more than a thousand words.


  • TheWonderofYou

    The jewish bible (called in hebrew "Tanach") has another order as christian bibles.

    The Tanach is divided into three parts called in hebrew

    1. 5 Books of Moses called Chumash (=fifth) [five fifths] also known as Pentateuch ( 5 books) or often referred to as the "Torah" (= Mosaic Law in JW-language),[[but Torah doesnt mean law in the sense of an federal state laws but rather "basic guidance".
    2. 8 Books of the prophets called Nevi'im (hebrew Prophet) including the 12 minor prophets
    3. 11 Books of the writings called Kesu'vim (hebrew Writing)

    This was the bible as known to Jesus Christ and the apostels in the first century.

    As you see the books follow a different order than in christian bibles of today.


    >>>Now my question for all knowers of jewish liturgy.
    In the jewish liturgy the torah is read weekly in the synagogues.
    Are the other parts of the bible the prophets and writings also part of the weekly liturgical readings at the synagogue? Was it always so and how was it in former times?

    If a jew visits regularly the synagogue would he ever hear a portion of the prophets or scriptures or only the laws/Torah portions.

  • David_Jay

    There is a basis to the Bible story of historical truth, and yes, some Jews (but never all) have at certain times held a more literal interpretation of the stories in Torah. But the stories have never been universally held as totally literal, at any time, despite the claims you sometimes read in what is generally Christian literature. Comparing the Mishnah and other non-Biblical religious sources, Jewish historical identity is far more fluid than what is understood by outsiders like the Watchtower society.

    But why all these problems in Israel today? There isn't an easy answer, and oddly enough, it isn't really a religion problem, not exactly. It is, however, a Zionist problem. And the Shoah (Holocaust) just made it worse.

    Since the Jews were banished from their land in 135 C.E. by the Romans, the Jews have been without a homeland. In the 1890s a movement called "Zionism" came to the fore. It is a secular movement that strives for the return of all Jewish people to their homeland, regardless if they are religious or not. Zionism includes a belief in the re-establishment of national Jewish rule and political control in the Land of Israel from which the Jews were removed by the Romans in 135.

    The struggle you see today is part of the displacement arguments that are created when you move one people out of land to give (or return) to the (alleged) original peoples. Zionists believe the Jews have a historical claim to the land. Those who were living in the land when Zionism came to birth in the 1890s did not, of course, agree.

    When the Shoah occurred and ended, no one could have predicted the outcome. With virtually no army, no money, no political control, and having suffered through one of the most horrendous genocide machines ever imagined in world history, the Jews survived. Not only did they survive, but all their enemies were crushed. Again without army, political power, or control, the Jews literally walked over the bodies of their now dead enemies, the nations of which were literally dismantled and shamed, one of which suffered the first and only nuclear attacks in history, and the Jews were given their land back by the United Nations to which they returned.

    Zionism was now seen as necessary, not only by the Jews, but by nations of the UN. In order to keep something like the Shoah from ever happening again, the Jews, like any other people, were believed to deserve to develop a state in order to raise a national army. Because we have a historical claim to Israel, and because it had been under the control of Britain at the time, the nations could not argue against the Zionist arguments. Many of them had failed to listen when we claimed the Shoah was happening, and now they weren't going to be deaf to such cries any longer.

    So Britain moved out and the Jews moved in. Those who were already in the land, of course, did not like it. But they weren't too pleased with British and UN rule before either. They had a claim to the land too, of course. They had eventually settled over generations of time since the Jewish Diaspora of 135, and had therefore been in the land for centuries. Was it theirs? Was it the Jews'?

    Upon returning to the land, the Catholic Church led a movement throughout Christianity to study how the Shoah could have been possible in the first place. It has started in Christian nations, and the questions raised seemed weighty. The answer was a failure on the part of all Christendom, and the response was a formal dialogue between Judaism as a religion and Christianity on the other side, with the Catholic Church taking the lead. The document Nostre Aetate would be the first in a series of changes in Christianity that currently has theologians on the verge of claiming that the return of the Jews to Israel is the fulfillment of prophecy.

    While only small groups, mostly Fundamentalist Christians, have made this their official doctrine, the events tied to what next happened, namely the Six-Day War in 1967 in which Israel recaptured Jerusalem, turned Christianity and the secular war on its head. The former residents of Palestine suddenly lost all control to the land of Israel (Jerusalem was assigned as a neutral zone up until them). Christianity as well as the nations became extra cautious. Some began asking if this was all just secular history unfolding or if this was prophecy being fulfilled? From victims of the Holocaust to recapturing their state capital and their holiest of sites in less than a generation, the world of secular nationalism and religion had suddenly mixed. Nobody since then has wanted to get too involved with the the fight on the ground level lest, just in case, the religious writings of a tiny, virtually-nothing nomad nation prove true and there is this God watching over them.

    The events made it harder for Zionism, however, as the Orthodox Jews who have a literalist view of Judaism began to make claims in favor of the religious interpretation of events. This has sparked an unfortunate behavior, not unlike that of other religious extremists which is fomenting the violence between the Jews who live there and the Palestinians who have been displaced. Add to this, the Palestinians have their own religious views which give them divine claim to the land, and you are left with a paradox, indeed.

    Surprisingly, most Jews don't agree with the Orthodox extremists in Israel. The recent government leaders have seemed to pander to them, however, and the Post-denomination, post-rabbi movements in Judaism around the world has been the response. Many Jews believe we should live in peace, and help settle all who have a claim to the land of Israel/Palestine. But with the way extremists have been interpreting events, and the fact that it is hard to imagine even for a religious Jew like myself how events written by a minority of people in what was probably one of the smallest and insignificant religions in history could seem to have told the future.

    I have a wait and see attitude, like many Jews. Let God do what God is going to do, if God is doing any of this at all. Don't start attributing things to God, in God's name, that you have not been assigned by Heaven to claim are so.

    But alas, I am not the one with political control. And there are now extremists and violent hatred on both sides, each calling the other the Devil. Even if all the Jews stopped demonizing the Palestinians, could we get their extremists to stop doing the same?

  • Crazyguy

    History shows that the only major exodus from Egypt was the Hyksos. They were pushed out of Egypt by a king named Ahmose and a ancient historian named Manetho according to Josephus said they went to Jerusalem.

    I don't think the archaeological record confirms that these people went to Jerusalem do to its small size and population but these people must of traveled east. Anyway legends can sometimes are based on some truth.

  • David_Jay

    Yes, Crazyguy, the Hyskos are considered to be connected to the very same I have been speaking of, with some variations of course (and the possibility that there could be something more literal possible in line with the Jewish tradition than critical research has yet revealed).

    The Hyskos, we're the ruling party however. When their dynasty ended, the Hyskos were ousted. The Hyskos were known for welcoming refugees, and it is from these refugees that later were turned into servants, it is suggested, that the slave exodus came forth. The refugee/slaves are sometimes referred to as Hyskos, but they are in actually not the same. The Hyskos were the rulers when Joseph is supposed to have entered Egypt.

    But do understand two things: one, I am speaking only in generalities encompassing a wide spectrum of theories and two, I do not have a personal opinion on the matter or believe a definitive outline of the details can be established at present via any approach. As such I am not debating your view and necessarily advocating another. I am merely adding food for thought and letting you know I am quite studied in my own people's history.

  • Finkelstein

    One should take into account that the Hebrew religious traditions, the monotheistic worship of Yahweh, grew out the Canaanite religious traditions and practice which were polytheistic..

    Yahweh worship was not the first or oldest religious practice in the ancient world by far.

    A little history into where and how the Hebrews grew into the monotheistic worship of Yahweh.

    The Israelites originated as Bronze Age Canaanites, but Yahweh was not a Canaanite god.[10][11][Notes 2] The head of the Canaanite pantheon was El, and one theory is that the name Yahweh is a shortened form of el dū yahwī ṣaba’ôt, "El who creates the hosts", meaning the heavenly army accompanying El as he marched beside the earthly armies of Israel.[12] But Yahweh's earliest possible occurrence is as a place-name, "land of Shasu of YHW", in an Egyptian inscription from the time of Amenhotep III (1402–1363 BCE),[13] the Shasu being nomads from Midian and Edom in northern Arabia.[14] In this case a plausible etymology for the name could be from the root HWY, which would yield the meaning "he blows", appropriate to a weather divinity.[15][16]

    There is considerable but not universal support for the view that the Egyptian inscriptions refer to Yahweh.[17] The question that arises is how he made his way to the north.[18] A widely accepted hypothesis is that traders brought Yahweh to Israel along the caravan routes between Egypt and Canaan, the Kenite hypothesis, named after one of the groups involved.[19] The strength of the Kenite hypothesis is the way it ties together various points of data, such as the absence of Yahweh from Canaan, his links with Edom and Midian in the biblical stories, and the Kenite or Midianite ties of Moses. However, while it is highly plausible that the Kenites, Midianites and others may have introduced Israel to Yahweh, it is highly unlikely that they did so outside the borders of Israel or under the aegis of Moses, as the Exodus story has it.[20]

    Iron Age I: El, Yahweh, and the origins of Israel

    Israel emerges into the historical record in the last decades of the 13th century BCE, at the very end of the Late Bronze Age, as the Canaanite city-state system was ending.[21] The milieu from which Israelite religion emerged was accordingly Canaanite.[22] El, "the kind, the compassionate," "the creator of creatures," was the chief of the Canaanite gods,[23] and he, not Yahweh, was the original "God of Israel"—the word "Israel" is based on the name El rather than Yahweh.[24] He lived in a tent on a mountain from whose base originated all the fresh waters of the world, with the goddess Asherah as his consort.[23][25] This pair made up the top tier of the Canaanite pantheon;[23] the second tier was made up of their children, the "seventy sons of Athirat" (another name of Asherah).[26] Prominent in this group was Baal, who had his home on Mount Zaphon; over time Baal became the dominant Canaanite deity, so that El became the executive power and Baal the military power in the cosmos.[27] Baal's sphere was the thunderstorm with its life-giving rains, so that he was also a fertility god, although not quite the fertility god.[28] Below the seventy second-tier gods was a third tier made up of comparatively minor craftsman and trader deities, with a fourth and final tier of divine messengers and the like.[26]

    El and his sons made up the Assembly of the Gods, each member of which had a human nation under his care, and a textual variant of Deuteronomy 32:8–9 describes the sons of El, including Yahweh, each receiving his own people:[24]

    When the Most High (Elyon, i.e., El) gave the nations their inheritance,
    when he separated humanity,
    he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of divine beings,
    for Yahweh's portion is his people,
    Jacob his allotted heritage.[Notes 3]

    In the earliest literature such as the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:1–18, celebrating Yahweh's victory over Egypt at the exodus), Yahweh is a warrior for his people, a storm-god typical of ancient Near Eastern myths, marching out from a region to the south or south-east of Israel with the heavenly host of stars and planets that make up his army.[29] Israel's battles are Yahweh's battles, Israel's victories are his victories, and while other peoples have other gods, Israel's god is Yahweh, who will procure a fertile resting-place for them:[30]

    There is none like God, O Jeshurun (i.e., Israel)
    who rides through the heavens to your help ...
    he subdues the ancient gods, shatters the forces of old ...
    so Israel lives in safety, untroubled is Jacob's abode ...
    Your enemies shall come fawning to you,
    and you shall tread on their backs. (Deuteronomy 33:26–29)

    Iron Age II (930–586 BCE): Yahweh as God of Israel

    Solomon dedicates the Temple at Jerusalem (painting by James Tissot or follower, c. 1896–1902)

    Iron Age Yahweh was the national god of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah,[2] and appears to have been worshiped only in these two kingdoms;[31] this was unusual in the Ancient Near East but not unknown—the god Ashur, for example, was worshiped only by the Assyrians.[32]

    After the 9th century BCE the tribes and chiefdoms of Iron Age I were replaced by ethnic nation states, Israel, Judah, Moab, Ammon and others, each with its national god, and all more or less equal.[33][34] Thus Chemosh was the god of the Moabites, Milcom the god of the Ammonites, Qaus the god of the Edomites, and Yahweh the "God of Israel" (no "God of Judah" is mentioned anywhere in the Bible).[35][36] In each kingdom the king was also the head of the national religion and thus the viceroy on Earth of the national god;[37] in Jerusalem this was reflected each year when the king presided over a ceremony at which Yahweh was enthroned in the Temple.[38]

    The centre of Yahweh's worship lay in three great annual festivals coinciding with major events in rural life: Passover with the birthing of lambs, Shavuot with the cereal harvest, and Sukkot with the fruit harvest.[39] These probably pre-dated the arrival of the Yahweh religion,[39] but they became linked to events in the national mythos of Israel: Passover with the exodus from Egypt, Shavuot with the law-giving at Sinai, and Sukkot with the wilderness wanderings.[36] The festivals thus celebrated Yahweh's salvation of Israel and Israel's status as his holy people, although the earlier agricultural meaning was not entirely lost.[40] His worship presumably involved sacrifice, but many scholars have concluded that the rituals detailed in Leviticus 1–16, with their stress on purity and atonement, were introduced only after the Babylonian exile, and that in reality any head of a family was able to offer sacrifice as occasion demanded.[41] (A number of scholars have also drawn the conclusion that infant sacrifice, whether to the underworld deity Molech or to Yahweh himself, was a part of Israelite/Judahite religion until the reforms of King Josiah in the late 7th century BCE).[42] Sacrifice was presumably complemented by the singing or recital of psalms, but again the details are scant.[43] Prayer played little role in official worship.[44]

    The Hebrew Bible gives the impression that the Jerusalem temple was always meant to be the central or even sole temple of Yahweh, but this was not the case:[36] the earliest known Israelite place of worship is a 12th-century open-air altar in the hills of Samaria featuring a bronze bull reminiscent of Canaanite "Bull-El" (El in the form of a bull), and the archaeological remains of further temples have been found at Dan on Israel's northern border and at Arad in the Negev and Beersheba, both in the territory of Judah.[45] Shiloh, Bethel, Gilgal, Mizpah, Ramah and Dan were also major sites for festivals, sacrifices, the making of vows, private rituals, and the adjudication of legal disputes.[46]

    Yahweh-worship was famously aniconic, meaning that the god was not depicted by a statue or other image. This is not to say that he was not represented in some symbolic form, and early Israelite worship probably focused on standing stones, but according to the Biblical texts the temple in Jerusalem featured Yahweh's throne in the form of two cherubim, their inner wings forming the seat and a box (the Ark of the Covenant) as a footstool, while the throne itself was empty.[47] No satisfactory explanation of Israelite aniconism has been advanced, and a number of recent scholars have argued that Yahweh was in fact represented prior to the reforms of Hezekiah and Josiah late in the monarchic period: to quote one recent study, "[a]n early aniconism, de facto or otherwise, is purely a projection of the post-exilic imagination" (MacDonald, 2007).[48]

    Yahweh and the rise of monotheism

    Pre-exilic Israel, like its neighbours, was polytheistic,[49] and Israelite monotheism was the culmination of a unique set of historical circumstances.[50] The original god of Israel was El, as the name demonstrates – its probable meaning is "may El rule" or some other sentence-form involving the name of El. [51] Yahweh and El merged at religious centres such as Shechem, Shiloh and Jerusalem,[52] with El's name becoming a generic term for "god" and Yahweh, the national god, appropriating many of the older supreme god's titles such as Shaddai (Almighty) and Elyon (Most High).[53]

    Asherah, formerly the wife of El, was worshipped as Yahweh's consort,[54] and various biblical passages indicate that her statues were kept in his temples in Jerusalem, Bethel, and Samaria.[55] Yahweh may also have appropriated Anat, the wife of Baal, as his consort, as Anat-Yahu ("Anat of Yahu," i.e., Yahweh) is mentioned in 5th century records from the Jewish colony at Elephantine in Egypt.[56] A goddess called the Queen of Heaven was also worshipped, probably a fusion of Astarte and the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar.[55] Worship to Baal and Yahweh coexisted in the early period of Israel's history, but they were considered irreconcilable after the 9th century, following the efforts of King Ahab and his queen Jezebel to elevate Baal to the status of national god,[57] although the cult of Baal did continue for some time.[58]

    The worship of Yahweh alone began at the earliest with Elijah in the 9th century BCE, but more likely with the prophet Hosea in the 8th; even then it remained the concern of a small party before gaining ascendancy in the exilic and early post-exilic period.[49] The process by which this came about might be described as follows: In the early tribal period each tribe would have had its own patron god; when kingship emerged the state promoted Yahweh as the national god of Israel, supreme over the other gods, and gradually Yahweh absorbed all the positive traits of the other gods and goddesses; finally, in the national crisis of the exile, the very existence of other gods was denied.[9]

  • LongHairGal


    I think he used His "people" to carry out genocide, pure and simple.

    There is no pretty way to sugarcoat this, IMO.

  • schnell
  • evilApostate
    Anak is a figure in the Hebrew Bible in the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites who, according to the Book of Numbers, was a forefather of the Anakim (Heb. Anakim) who have been considered "strong and tall," they were also said to have been a mixed race of giant people, descendants of the Nephilim (Numbers 13:33).


    I thought it was said that Nephlims were wiped out in the flood? How could the Israelites have met up with Nephlim descendants if the Nephlims were wiped out in the flood? This seems to be another bible contradiction.

  • schnell

    Maybe Noah had a giant wife. Maybe that's how they built the thing.

    The two rows of teeth must have been a bitch, though.

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