Abraham and the Sabian Legacy

As discussed in the introductory post, the Western metanarrative and core foundational cultural construct essentially begins with the story of Abraham and his descendants, this set in dialectic contrast with Homeric epic. It is the intentionally tortured fusion of these two foundational narratives that has led to the yet unresolved synthesis of the world we have today. Unresolved at least for now, because the global elites’ combined and explicitly stated global ambitions have not been achieved … just yet.

And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles [elsewhere rendered as: ‘nations’ – ed.], that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49:6 KJV)

And so in this post focusing on Abraham, we’ll be able to discern exactly just such an elite agenda, cleverly disguised to appear more typically mundane and ‘down to earth’ to its main audience, whose threshold for credulity is unfortunately lowered by widespread superstitious claims for the narrative’s divine nature. However, some episodes’ rather zany interactions seem more designed to alert the more aware in the audience that something else is going on, much like the old television cartoons of Rocky and Bullwinkle providing simultaneous messaging for children and adults on their respective levels of understanding.

Here the curious protagonist and his descendants are overtly portrayed as ordinary nomadic and literal shepherd(s), who just so happen to rub elbows with pharaohs and other kings in rather amazing contexts. Yet if one contrasts numerous works of related art, including some with this post, depicting scenes from the Abraham narrative, one can easily see that Abraham is not usually depicted as a rude shepherd, but rather as one of a much higher social status. Granted that these works are of a much later date, this is what we are pointing out as the subtext that the alert reader would be expected to take away from it all, while the typically humble congregant is expected to see the nomadic literal shepherd.

In any case, here we have a remarkably dysfunctional family chosen, and uniquely ‘eternally blessed’ by God, so as to simultaneously enrich themselves while saving the rest of us from ourselves. And yet we are still dealing with the resulting and clearly dysfunctional outcome supposedly over 3,000 years later. Today’s situation is not so very much different than the vignettes of Abraham’s generation — with one big exception, namely that the supposed descendants of Abraham and those converted to following his mysterious god, today, occupy a significantly larger amount of global real estate and other assets. The result of divine will? Or, are certain people, then and now, better at gaming reality (for numerous reasons)?

Jews can rightly take great pride in their clear advancements in numerous aspects of morality over predecessor societies. However, this begs the question of why the so-called Abramic religions are so tortuously ‘revelatory’ in nature, in that their ‘god’ chose not to establish his ‘perfect’ order of laws and such as being intact from the very beginning. Numerous scholars and theologians claim that this once extremely violent and jealous God is showing evidence that HE is maturing just like his human ‘copies’ must do. This is the premise of Robert Wright’s The Evolution of God, but simply as a tongue-in-cheek literary device. Wright makes it clear that the human understanding of this ‘God’ is what is evolving. Moreover, he states: “the gods that have populated human history— rain gods, war gods, creator gods, all-purpose gods (such as the Abrahamic god), and so on… exist in people’s heads and, presumably, nowhere else.” Postflavians agree, and furthermore, we claim that this is merely more evidence that certain humans are making all this up (narratively evolving their dubious divine avatar, so to speak) as they go along, as is typically the case with such complex human matters as geopolitics. And while successive societies’ evolutionary moral iterations contain various ‘improvements’ that are beneficial to everyone, this mostly happens when there is overlap with the long term interests of their same elites, or ‘lords’.

As such, and for better or worse, Abraham and his descendants are depicted in perfect harmony with currently observable human nature via their ubiquitous guile, deception, and lust, etc., compelling in a lurid manner evoking contemporary soap operas. Indeed, those behaviors were more openly accepted and even appreciated in both the Hebrew and ‘Homeric’ contexts. After all, at a primal level, a hunter, or a warrior, must necessarily be able to outwit his or her prey or foe to succeed. And so as they are depicted, beneath the superficial gloss of mundane foibles, Abraham and Moses were among the successfully wily ultra-elite of their time. If they are indeed purely fictional, then they are avatars, like Jesus ‘of Nazareth’ after them, for the real human elites hiding behind their veiling robes.

The underlying subtext moving forth out of Abraham then is one of establishing a modus operandi of justified and providential territorial conquest and geopolitical insinuations, sophisticated propaganda and other cultural manipulations. Like any good spy novel, there is sexual intrigue as well; all on the yellow brick road to some higher calling.

Setting the Blessed Stage

As the late archaeologist, Cyrus H. Gordon, detailed in his various books covering the ancient world of the Near East: while the Old Testament contains many lavish embellishments, at the same time one also finds a wealth of references to details that have been externally confirmed to be rather accurate. The granular level of accurate background contextual detail in the finished Judaic narrative would be nearly impossible for an otherwise relatively isolated team of propagandic scribes and clerics to fabricate out of thin air, or conversely, by operating solely from orally transmitted memories. On the contrary, they must have been operating with both the imprimatur of, and with the preexisting textual resources of, the political ‘powers that be’ of the day. This is why some scholars term them ‘redactors’, who were also merging accounts of the various preexisting regional factions. In this case, as elsewhere, regional harmonizing must necessarily precede the long and bloody process of global harmonizing. However, it is our contention that the proverbial Devil is in what is left implied within the otherwise odd circumstances throughout. Accordingly, we can get a rather good idea of what is really happening by reading between the divine lines.

With Abraham, the later compilers and redactors of the various OT texts were dealing with a subject matter that may have been as much as a thousand years before their times. As a result, if nothing else, the finer detail of such matters might be expected to become distorted in various ways — especially when such details might refer to the reviled practices of former neighboring societies, now long distant in time or geographically to the otherwise unaided redactors. Typically we are otherwise plausibly told that prior to more recent times, oral transmission was the operative media, and thus the means to explain why such stories had survived so long, supposedly accurately. However, could such oral transmission also account for the ‘fisherman’s exaggerations’ that we find in Biblical accounts such as of Jonah and the whale, much less for God’s eternal vengeance against the Canaanites in retribution for the odd sin of Ham (the distant, yet key, prequel to Abraham), detailed further below? And why would oral transmission create such a politically charged, ultimately elitist and racist narrative?

Indeed such as the nomadic Bedouin tribesmen still use oral transmission, and the fact that they have problems with recounting accurate chronological time spans is only taken to contrast with their veracity in other more contextually valued (to the tellers) aspects – when seen in the light of external evidences. Of course, this explanation is given to us with the underlying expectation that we are to believe that the core of these epic stories are essentially true in the first place, but this also serves to distract us from that there may be yet another explanation for these narratives. To wit: that they were fictionally cobbled together, as if a modern day ‘historical fiction’, for furthering an ambitious and steadfastly deliberate agenda. And this, we claim, is not much different than which happened later with the Flavian gospels ala Caesar’s Messiah. In fact, we claim these two, time separated, literary projects are intimately connected. And thus, that the ‘Flavian Vanity’ discussed there, is likely much broader in context than merely contained to the Flavian ‘branch’ of the larger Sabine family corporation. That is, generally speaking: those including the Roman republican consuls, the imperial Caesars, and the Catholic popes and the ‘traditional’, ethnically ‘non-debased’ Curia. This entire family enterprise was descended from conquering colonists … from the East, at least if their own legends are to be believed.

As the Homeric works functionally became the religious bible for the wider, polytheistic Greek world, the epic stories of the Hebrew patriarchs fulfilled the same function in Judea. Here, Abraham became actively engaged with one particular and uniquely peculiar god who, at some point, gradually began to jealously demand Abraham’s and his descendants’ sole allegiance. This god warns them to ignore all those other silly or evil gods, whose actual existence is not denied at first: this being a transitional phase, called monolatry, on the brutal road to monotheism. And as Jan Assmann and others have noted, such a singular god is necessarily militantly jealous in asserting his sole primacy over his former peers, with social consequences that can be seen as more desirable for efficient political control, … and in setting his faithful profitably apart from the rest of humanity.

The Abraham cycle is distantly linked to the Creation epic and Adam and Eve by the various genealogies that gradually narrow their focus down to Abraham, who receives the eternal blessing (for global success) from God. Thereafter, this blessing is transferred by hook or crook to various subsequent younger brothers (or half-brothers in some cases). Like all good dramas, this incredibly valuable blessing is even put at risk by Abraham’s various escapades involving both his wife and son.

The very beginning of the narrative then is linked to the apparent fall of Sumer, or Shinar, and the Tower of Babel story, where the people propose to build a city and an imposing structure, to make a name for themselves. (Their hubris was offensive to God for some reason back then, but apparently not so much in the last few thousand years.) In God’s angry wrath, he destroys the city and disperses mankind and confounds their languages. Out of all this judgmental destruction, as ‘mitigation’, Abraham is ‘called’ by God and uniquely granted the eternal blessing for his progeny’s sake, and ultimately for all of our eventual good sakes (so we are told). But, perhaps the blessing extends to others somehow ‘grafted’ onto the later root (of Jesse that is)? This fishy blessing then is a reversal of not only the Tower of Babel judgement on humanity, but also a reversal of God’s prior global curse on Adam and Eve and their progeny, found in Genesis 3:16-19. So from the time of this blessing, the subtext is that the closer one’s proximity to the blessed family (symbolized by the current patriarch or papa du jour?), the better, and conversely the more distant, the worse.

But before we can launch now into the Abraham narrative, we must consider that brief and very odd prequel mentioned earlier:

Noah’s Ham and Wine for Breakfast

In order to justify the Patriarchal narrative of Hebrew displacement of the alleged prior occupants of Canaan, the first order of business must be to de-legitimize the ‘indigenous’ peoples, by re-contextualizing them. This task was deftly handled, allegedly generations before Abraham’s time, simply by creating the bizarre story that Ham had committed the sin of stumbling upon his naked and fallen drunk father, and then tattling to his brothers about it. This drunken father was none other than Noah, who had earlier been singled out for a stupendously existential reward by God because of Noah’s superior qualities relative to his fellow humanity. Noah’s reward, of course, consisted of receiving a warning to build a huge boat so as to escape God’s genocidal rage against the rest of his defectively degenerate human creations gone awry.

After the flood, God gave the rainbow as a covenant that he would never again destroy all mankind (Genesis 9:8-17). Thereafter, his wrath was displayed more on a tribal basis rather than universal basis. Thus, punishment for Ham’s awkward, allegedly sinful viewing of Noah was visited on all of Ham’s Canaanite descendants. Whom, via typically profitable religious shaming, were thus excluded from the ranks of the Semites, and thus demoted in status to the slaves of Ham’s brothers, Shem and Japheth (Genesis 9:20-27). Is it too heavy-handed to point out that this is an obvious, geopolitically motivated, pretext, which also gives the divine imprimatur to the unjust theme that the sins of the father should be visited on the sons to the Nth generation? In any case, how convenient, considering that the Canaanites were obviously typical Semites, based upon archaeological findings detailed by such as Finkelstein & Silberman (p. 118).

"Ham sees his father, Noah, naked and drunk; Shem and Japheth Wellcome V0034223"
Ham sees his father, Noah, naked and drunk; with Shem and Japheth (Wellcome V0034223)

With this latter point, and even before the later field work discussed by Finkelstein and Silberman, Gordon mentions emphatically in his books that the Canaanites are indeed unambiguously stripped of their correct Semitic origins in the genealogies of Genesis. This Biblical dispossession of the Canaanites doubles the dark irony of the extreme Ashkenazi predominance (>90%) amongst today’s Jewry, not only in today’s Israel, but globally – when the very same genealogy explicitly states that the Ashkenazi are not Semitic, i.e. descendants of Shem. If then we are to believe the biblical narrative, the Ashkenazim, as descendants of Japheth, must be considered merely distant ‘cousins’ of the original Jews and Hebrews. Or more importantly rather, dupes of the real gentil authors of the narrative. Distant ‘poor cousins’ who have now been placed on yet another dubious Zionist pedestal, as per the Christian mandates of Romans 11:22-24 (KJV), awaiting an upcoming apocalypse, and/or distracting the rest of us from other global, neo-Hellenizing sleight-of-hand writ large. In any case, the present day occupiers of Israel insist to us that they are indeed Semites despite their own Ashkenazi identification, and that this somehow justifies their current presence in Israel, taking the land from today’s so-called ‘Palestinians’, who were likely the descendants of the ancient population of Judea (Shlomo Sand, The Invention of the Jewish People) and, as such, were the original ‘Jews’ as well as, before that, the original Canaanites.

With such grave aspersions cast upon the identity of the Canaanites, the narrative may be implying some other sort of untoward filial interaction, besides the overtly stated naked viewing. We suggest that this was part of the long process of convincing some Canaanites that they were really Judean Hebrews. This while their northern neighbors, the Israelite “Lost Tribe” Hebrews, were conveniently relocated by the Assyrians. A similar ploy will be employed with Lot and his alleged descendants, but will later get ameliorated when the politics become expedient. With the Canaanites, there is no such rationale to reverse the aspersions as the Canaanites no longer exist, in name that is.

One of God’s Many Prior Names, and What It Means

And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God [bə·’êl] Almighty [šad·dāy or Shaddai], but by my name JEHOVAH [YHWH or Yahweh] was I not known to them. (Exodus 6:3 KJV) For the Hebrew words see here.

Abraham and his descendants are said to have curiously never learned their god’s ‘real’ name until Moses’ time. Instead in the relevant verse above, the god’s earlier (superseded?) name is rendered in Hebrew as bə·’êl šad·dāy. As is the case with the majority of English language bible translations, the translation at the link given above states that this means ‘as God Almighty’, leaving us with just ‘El’ as representing the former name of God himself. This ‘El’ is believed to be the Hebrew cognate of the most ancient proto-Semitic name of God, which also has direct cognates in ancient Ugaritic, Phoenician, and Akkadian. But also note, in this verse the complete word used for ‘God’ is bə·’êl, and how similar bə·’êl is to ba’al, the latter being a more local Canaanite or Phoenician deity.

As is well known, vowels were not used in the earliest Hebrew texts, and here we believe that these words may very well be identical generic nouns. And important to our wider Postflavian premise, just as even today, the English refer to their earls and dukes as Lord this or Lord that, then in those biblical days the names of the gods, such as El, Ba’al, and even Yahweh, were also titles applied to the human leaders of respective local communities and were also generically prefixed to the local and regional patron gods, e.g. Ba’al Hadad. This has the effect of placing the leader’s status and ear closer to his respective god, and thus to appear to the gullible to act as a voice for the god.

And above, while Shaddai is translated as the generic honorific ‘Almighty’, evidence seems to indicate that this name was originally that of the regional god of the mountains. This is clever obfuscation, like Moses muddying the waters of the Nile magically turned to blood, whose intent being to merge prior man-made gods’ personas into the new man-made god’s kaleidoscopic persona.

Whatever the case with El Shaddai, this amalgamated Judaic god is also known by many names and appellations (about seventy according to some sources), and importantly for this post: including Lord Sabaoth, whose ‘surname’ here is thought to have distinctly militaristic connotations (please note that ‘b’ and ‘v’ letters are commonly cognate). Some of these multiple appellations were originally the names of this rising ‘alien’ god’s former pseudo-siblings within the Ugaro-Canaanite pantheon, while others may have merely been various respective aspects of some particular god. With Lord (Yahweh) Sabaoth (tsba’owt), for instance, his name then usually gets watered down today in translation as the generic honorific, as the Lord of ‘Heavenly Hosts’ (for example, Jeremiah 43:10, Amos 5:27), with ‘host’ being a term that appropriately means either an armed group, or a multitude of angels or stars. Typically, such a patron god’s human followers were also addressed after him or her, in this case, warriors were referred to as tsbaians, as was the case with King Abimelech’s soldiers (Genesis 21:22).

According to the widely supported Kenite Hypothesis, the new and improved god, whose name was (textually, at least) given to Noah as Yahweh (or Romanized to Jehovah), is indeed an ‘alien’ imported storm god from the northwest Arabian Peninsula, Edom and Midian. The most likely mechanism being that of the caravan trade of which we will see that the fabulously wealthy, erstwhile ‘nomadic shepherd’, Abraham, is characterized as being associated with. This all ties in with male ‘Yah’ based names being found mentioned on clay tablets around the region of Abraham’s Harran and Urfa in the correct time frame typically attributed to the narrative.

With Edom and the Kenites, we also have narrative linkages back to Abraham via Esau, the older, red haired and ruddy skinned brother of Jacob who was ‘tricked’ into selling his birthright to the younger brother. Later the Jews force the Edomites to convert to Judaism, and irony of ironies, we find that an Edomite, Herod the Great becomes a ‘hated and feared’ king of the Jews and whose descendants become friends and lovers of the Romans, the latter’s elite tribe known as the ‘Sab’ines. Curious indeed.

On the other hand, many scholars (such as, for example, Igor Garshin) have suggested that ‘Yahweh’ stems from the ancient Indo-European root *dyēus or *déiwos, the sky god whose cognates include the Latin Jove, Greek Zeus, and Sanskrit / Avestan Daeva. (This Daeva, after the Zoroastrian reforms, became interpreted by the Persians as a fallen (former) God who had become a demon, or (in English) the Devil — once again emphasizing the intimate theological relation between good and evil, as explained by Isaiah 45:7 – best translated in the KJV). It may be that the Edomites and Midianites somehow borrowed this deity from an Indo-European source, or the Israelites might have borrowed the name more directly from an Indo-European neighbor. Such matters are, of course, very difficult to trace with any certainty, but in any case, we assert that the Abraham narrative discussed further on more than hints that Abraham and his god were indeed such aliens.

The so-called Merneptah Stele in Thebes, dated to 1219 BCE, mentions ‘Israel’ as an apparently Canaanite people and not as a place. Presumably the ‘el’ is appended to ‘Isra’ as a reference to the Semitic chief god, El, and the stele text does not mention Yahweh in association with them. However, it does refer to a ‘Yhw’ (in the land of the Shasu) which appears to scholars to be a place name and not a god, at least as a direct reference. The nomadic Shasu pastoralists are importantly considered to have been from the region of Edom. These peoples are also depicted on the stele as being captured by the Egyptians, presumably to become slaves, thus evoking the later depictions of the Hebrews as becoming slaves in Egypt.

Also, and perhaps importantly, the stele states that Israel’s “seed is not” implying that the Canaanite populace of Israel has been severely depleted, if not eliminated altogether. Perhaps propagandic over-exaggeration, but this might also explain why the followers of Yahweh end up coming to dominance in polytheistic Canaan proper, and which we assert was done under the sponsorship of the greater powers of the region. Here, imagine the English later placing Englishmen and Lowland Scots Protestants into Northern (once Catholic) Ireland and sardonically calling them Scots-Irish.

Perhaps here is the reason for the later merging of the so-called E and J texts by the redactors with the motive to merge the two differing foundational accounts, and their respective Israelite and Shasu peoples, evidenced by contradictory doublets and more? We say yes. While there is scholarly debate still going on about this, we strongly believe that this is evidence of the OT redactors using the above as one means of merging two pre-existing gods (the Semitic El and the Indo-European and/or Kenite Yahweh) into one, and thus merging their followers as well. This, in our opinion is likely to have all happened as late as the time of the so-called Babylonian Exile, and not during the alleged times of Moses and Joshua.

Thus we have an upstart god, from a seemingly rather remote region, taking over a slightly less backwater Judea, interposed between surrounding and much more powerful neighbors. Sounds like a recipe for some propagandic stew. And all done so where it will be an easier process to ‘convert’ the natives, so to speak, via their fewer numbers relative to the larger and more powerful surrounding countries.

A Hittite’s Journey

"James Tissot, Caravan of Abram circa 1900"
James Tissot, Caravan of Abram circa 1900

Before continuing on, we want to explain that we take the agnostic position as to whether such characters like Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar were real people or not, or just meaningful honorific avatars for what they represent, albeit strongly leaning towards the latter position. The same goes for the rest of the biblical Patriarchs who are likely avatars for such as different pre-existing peoples or tribes in the case of the sons of Jacob. Thus the dialectic relationships of such as Isaac and Ishmael, and between the various sons of Jacob represent the respective underlying political dynamics of the various narratives’ subtext. This subtext then is what is really important for analyzing later historical episodes in Western history.

Having said that, we note that the Old Testament itself provides a significant amount of information that appears to fix Abraham at a particular point in time and space. To begin with we find Abram, as we are told was his original name, beginning his life’s journey leaving Ur for a temporary way station called Harran (Genesis 11:31). It is frequently assumed that this Ur is the once magnificent ancient Euphrates river city of the Sumerians and/or the later Chaldeans, as some translations even embellish this as “Ur of the Chaldees”. But Gordon states that it is much more likely that Abram’s Ur should properly be taken as today’s Urfa in southeastern Turkey. As was frequent then, and even in more modern times, a remote trading outpost of an important city might be named after the sponsoring city, its very name helping to serve somewhat like a modern day billboard does to identify a brand or loyalty.

Urfa, or Şanliurfa, which was also known in Medieval times as Edessa, is also claimed by Muslims as the city of origin of Abraham. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Şanlıurfa.) During the First Crusade a major contingent headed by Baldwin of Boulogne, who later became king of Jerusalem, made an odd detour to Edessa. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/County_of_Edessa.) It was in Edessa that architecture already existed that became the model and inspiration for the Gothic cathedrals soon sponsored by the Templars in Europe (Adrian Gilbert, Magi, pp. 245-247.) We do not believe any of this is coincidence, but rather we note that Edessa is one of the most ancient and renowned archaeological sites on the planet, if you include nearby Göbekli Tepe, the oldest temple complex known, only a few kilometers to the north. And the Edessa/Urfa area has long been revered among elite occultists, as well as being the seat of several very early Christian Churches outside of Roman orthodox mainstream.

In the trading colony context, and later in the Abraham narrative, we find him leading a trading caravan into the Hittite trading colony of Hebron just south of Jerusalem where he, near his end, even buys a plot to bury himself and his kin (Genesis 23). He is immediately recognized as a man of great import amongst the Hittites there. As Gordon related, all of this fits very accurately into the cultural milieu of the respective regions and times, and Ezekiel later states that Abraham’s descendants, in Jerusalem, are half Amorites and half Hittite (Ezekiel 16:3). As was the practice of the day, such colonies were somewhat like modern day embassies in how any such colony’s land was treated, and therefore it is rather unlikely that the Hittites would sell him a plot of land for burial unless he was an important one of their own. Here, and in the future, it will be helpful to consider that the Hittite elites were like a caste, and not of the same ethnicity as the common man and woman (more likely Hurrians). This is similar to the Norman rule over the majority Anglo-Saxons in England, an historically very common practice.

According to conventional wisdom (that is, Wikipedia), the Hittites are believed to have arrived in Anatolia sometime before 2000 BC, but the Mittani conquered the region around Edessa circa 1500 BC. After the fall of the Mitanni about 1300 BC, it once again became Hittite territory. The Hittites and so-called Neo-Hittites continued to control the region until it fell to the Neo-Assyrian empire around the 9th century BC. Chronological dead reckoning based exclusively on Biblical data gives an estimate that Abraham entered Canaan from Harran in 1921 BC (Floyd N. Jones, Chronology of the Old Testament), which would be consistent with Hittite rule in the region.

Josephus (following Manetho) suggested that the Israelite sojourn in Egypt should be equated with the Hyksos period of foreign rule in lower Egypt. Following that suggestion, Ralph Ellis (in Jesus, Last of the Pharaohs) noted a sequence of (arguably) significant relationships between the names of the Hyksos pharaohs, and the names of the Hebrew patriarchs. For example, Abraham’s name may be compared to the pharaoh now known as Sheshi, whose ‘throne name’ may be read as Mayebra, or perhaps ayebra-M. Sheshi’s grandson was Jacobaam, which is reminiscent of Abraham’s grandson Jacob. If this is correct, Abraham (as Sheshi) would be dated to ~1630 BC according to conventional chronology. If (as commonly held) the Hyksos were Phoenician or Canaanite or Danaanite or other ‘Asiatic’, nevertheless it is possible that their leadership was at least partly Hittite, consistent with the text of Genesis and Ezekiel.

For our analysis (fortunately), the determination of the exact time and place, and the identification of the Biblical characters with archaeologically identifiable situations, is not so important as what we can discern about their political and social intent, simply by reading the text with a critical eye.

Priestly Wizards and Armed Shepherds

As we have noted above, Abraham was not some sheepish ragamuffin on the make as is commonly conceived, but rather he was in command of a large retinue of armed and trained servants. Such servants might also be known as tsabians, tending to the livestock moving along with his caravan, such as those controlled by Abraham’s counterpart, King Abimelech. As noted by regional archaeological finds, this was typical practice in the time attributed to Abraham, in order to protect the herds and caravan from both human marauders and animal predators.

And back in Urfa we are also just a few miles away from Harran, where Abraham is said to have first briefly moved to, along with his father and uncle, before moving onto Canaan. Let’s also pause in Harran to ponder another biblical conundrum, rather akin to pondering the logical absurdities of Adam and Eve’s sons’ curious begetting problem, namely that in having only one woman around to beget with. Here, we are told that Abraham is the ancestral father of the Hebrews and the Arabic Semites, yet he has 318 servants and ‘household’ retainers at his disposal. Typically, a caravan’s retinue is a family affair, or mostly a family affair. What to make of these servants and retainers then? What of their offspring, or are we supposed to believe they were eunuchs? If this is not weighing heavily on you, then …. why not?

Well, in Harran we are later told, extra-biblically, that this same city, dedicated to the moon god Sin, was occupied by a pagan cult of wizardly, star watching priests, called … Sabians, and curiously included in the Quran as members of the ‘Peoples of the Book’, along with Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (and yes, their Magi). (This phonetic root ‘Sab’  has a remarkable variety of possible sources. Indeed, its cross-cultural significance may have contributed to the mystique of the concept. In ancient Sumerian saba means ‘shepherd’. In Semitic languages, the root word sab denotes seven, the number of ‘wisdom’, an astrologically significant number that might, as such, have been meaningful to the Harranian priests. The Proto-Indo-European root *sap-, ‘to taste‘, evolved to indicate a form of knowing, especially in Romance languages: for example, Spanish ‘saber’, ‘to know’  – a quality necessary for wisdom. Elsewhere ‘saber‘ is a form of sword.) All just a coincidence we are told, .. and obviously there can be no association between ‘priestly wizards’ and ‘armed shepherds’ right?

Perhaps to digress slightly, then with Jesus Christ, the Flavian’s savior, stating that the ‘truth will set you free’, and remembering from above, that the ‘b’ and ‘v’ letters are cognate – then does the term ‘savior’ indicate to us that gaining wisdom or knowledge is the real route to true freedom, as salvation, rather than via blind faith?

In a previous post we related that the secretive Roman Mithraic mystery cult was focused on a zodiacal (starry and planetary) basis and targeted towards a military demographic (in addition, by the way, to discussing the importance of Castor and Pollux to demarking the transition points of the Ages). And doesn’t this evoke such as the Templars, the Knights of Malta, the Jesuits, and even the Freemasons? And here this reminds us that the highly esoteric Shiite sect of the Ismailis, also known as Nazari and Seveners (Sabiyah) had an elite cadre of black ops wet workers famously known as the Assassins, the name being derived from hashashim, only having a secondary link to hashish as is more popularly conjectured from the famous training ritual whose purpose was to help dupe the prospective operative that he would be well received in Heaven by 70 virgins. In any case, all of these groups have numerous parallels and linkages, with even the Templars having been accused by Christians and Muslims of having covert alliances with the Ismailis during the Crusades.

Perhaps a coincidence, or not, as mentioned before with at least the much later pharaoh Necho II, his objective in crossing the Euphrates was to conquer this same Harran, as explained by Wikipedia:

Necho soon captured Kadesh on the Orontes and moved forward, joining forces with Ashur-uballit and together they crossed the Euphrates and laid siege to Harran. Although Necho became the first pharaoh to cross the Euphrates since Thutmose III, he failed to capture Harran, and retreated back to northern Syria. At this point, Ashur-uballit vanished from history, and the Assyrian Empire was conquered by the Babylonians.

Important to our larger thesis, Necho II in the above campaign is peripherally involved militarily against Judea’s King Josiah, who is reported by the OT’s redactors to have found the ‘missing’ texts from which to launch the religious ‘reforms’ upon the Canaanites cum Jews. Hilariously, the redactors report that Necho tells Josiah that God is with him:

21 …What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not. 22Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. (2 Chronicles 35:21-22 KJV)

Needless to say, Josiah didn’t get the message from God (err … uhmm … Necho), and paid the ultimate price, and thus became the trope with which to hang the Judaic so-called ‘reforms’ upon, including the Abraham narrative’s spin. Of course, the faithful say that this was a sinful boast by Necho, but instead it is more likely telling us what really happened when reading between the divine lines.

Hittite Typology?

Back with Abraham, the portable princely merchant, while briefly stopping in Canaan, his new base, he takes his caravan on to Egypt, which can only be logical for a caravan based operation – given Egypt’s wealth and need for international trade. Once he and his wife arrive, he garners an audience with the conveniently unnamed pharaoh du jour. This might be yet another clue to the alert reader that Abraham is no ordinary piker. Here, while apparently engaging pharaoh in witty repartee, pharaoh espies the effulgent charms of 65-year-old Sarah and decides that she is worthy of adding to his harem of wives and concubines (Genesis 12:10-20.) In the course of such domestic affairs, of course, pharaoh came to know Sarah in the biblical way. Abraham carries away a ton of booty as pimply quid pro quo for sampling Sarah’s booty, and then God inscrutably decides to punish ‘pharaoh’ for such an abomination, which was not his fault by the way.

But this would not be a quandary if we could believe the stated justification, that Abraham was afraid that ‘pharaoh’ would kill him if he knew that Sarah was his wife. This begs a simple question as well, namely, that if Abraham was aware of such a possibility then why didn’t he simply leave Sarah back at his Canaanite base camp with a few of his ‘household’ retinue? Could it be that he didn’t trust his staff, or Sarah, or both? Or, are we having our legs pulled?

Here, we are also immediately reminded of the later story of King David who desires the beautiful Bathsheba, and thus has her husband, Uriah the Hittite, killed in battle (2 Samuel 11.) Well, with this being the case, maybe one might be inclined to simply say that Abraham’s fears appear to have been justified. But we’re thinking that now it’s even more important to ask: what it is with all these Hittites, and pharaohs, involved in these stories central to Judaism? Later there will even be a priest and a prophet both by this Hittite name, and these professions are involved in the later bloody attempts to convert the hapless Canaanites into Hebrews and Jews. Even earlier than David, Esau marries not one, but two half-Hittite women amongst his at least three wives (Genesis 26 and 36).

With this story, there is also a later sequel, where on a leg of another caravan journey, Abraham later admits to the lust besotted king Abimelech of Gerar that old Sarah is indeed both his sister and his wife (Genesis 20:1-16). This was a typical pharaonic marriage practice (along with motherly Oedipastery) whose purpose was to keep the matrilinear bloodline intact. Perhaps the inclusion of this tidbit was included to allow for Judaic denial that this matrilineal practice (that one’s legal ethnic claim to being a Jew descends from the line of the mother – as well as from Shem, who was a … man) did not derive from Egypt, because Abraham was already doing so? Also, before we go further, let’s also remember that Abraham had many concubines, at least by the time of his second wife, Keturah, from whom ol’ Abraham beget even more children (Genesis 25:1-6). But we are now left to ponder about the fertility of his concubines and where even more of his otherwise unmentioned possible progeny ended up. Or maybe they used birth control?

Lot’s Location, Location, Location

Once back from Egypt, Abraham gets settled, nomadically speaking, into Canaan. Both he and Lot become even more prosperous, the latter from his association with Abraham, who has already received an unconditional blessing from God (Genesis 12:1-3) for his descendants and kin. But, this mutual prosperity is problematic for the uncle and nephew as their respective herds and people can’t share the same lot (Genesis 13). Therefore, Abraham lets Lot decide what real estate he would prefer to occupy, and Lot thus chooses the otherwise prime land of the well watered Jordan plain, that just so happens to come with the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot thus pitches his tent “towards Sodom”. This is what happens when you don’t employ a good real estate agent, for we think you all know what is to eventually come to pass. Abraham, by the way, chooses to set up conveniently in Hebron, the Hittite trading colony.

One now has to wonder why, if Abraham and Lot could work out their differences so easily, with other heathen peoples’ land: why is it that God, or his angels, failed to warn Lot about the ‘covenants, codes, and restrictions’ that came with this doomed real estate? But obviously, that would interfere with the plot, so to speak.

For some odd reason, with Lot’s mutually agreed geographical separation from Abraham’s blessing, he ‘haplessly’ falls into the middle of an armed rebellion (Genesis 14). Four vassals, including the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, have joined an uprising against the Elamite king, Chedorlaomer. The rebellion is defeated, hapless Lot is taken hostage by Chedorlaomer, and Abraham must now come to rescue him. After Abraham and his allies defeat Chedorlaomer, and rescue Lot, the king of Sodom tells Abraham that he can take all of Sodom’s goods (which had been taken by Chedorlaomer) and that he only wants his people back. Abraham refuses this gratitude with the excuse that he doesn’t want to later be falsely accused of enriching himself. This an odd claim, especially in light of his adventures with pharaoh and king Abimelech, where he has no such qualms where his wife/sister is ‘involved’.

In consequence, Abraham receives a curious blessing from the apparent priest/king of Salem (Jerusalem), Melchizedek. This act is recorded apparently to retrojectively legitimize Jerusalem’s divine status from the claimed time of Abraham, though why a supposed heathen would be granting such legitimacy is rather curious. Wasn’t God’s later ‘blessing’ enough? Apparently not. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that in Psalms (47:2, 57:2, 78:35, 56) God is addressed as Yahweh Elyon, where we understand that El is the heavenly god of the Canaanite / Ugaritic pantheon, thus the Abraham narrative is being grafted into the Canaanite divine root.

As we mention later, Lot’s fortune is tied up intimately with his proximity to Abraham’s blessing. Here he is restored to living, not outside Sodom, but now within the city confines with his ‘interesting’ daughters.

Another Miss Conception?

V0034436 The childless Sarah presents Hagar, her handmaid, to her husband Credit: Wellcome Library, London.
The childless Sarah presents Hagar, her handmaid, to her husband (Wellcome Library, London)

One of the more curious aspects of the Abraham narrative cycle is the matter of ol’ Sarah being unable to conceive, and thus Abraham must resort to the business of genetic succession via conscripting the ‘unhired’ help, another otherwise accurately depicted cultural practice for the period based upon such as the clay tablets found at Nuzu. In this case, he mates with the bonded (slave) Egyptian maid, Hagar (Genesis 16). The elderly Abraham is successful here in siring Ishmael, before God decides to make good on one of his promises to Abraham and thus performs some supernatural wizardry for the 89 year old Sarah to conceive and give birth to Isaac (Genesis 21:1-3), whose son Jacob is later to be called ‘Israel’ (Genesis 32:28).

When told of this absurdly late pregnancy at age 89, both Abraham and Sarah laugh at the suggestion’s seeming impossibility. While Sarah’s sarcastic laughter is taken as a lack of faith by God, for some reason Abraham’s similar reaction passes without note. The motif is completed etymologically with Isaac’s very name (yitzchaq), which means laughter. We can only see a very narrow caste [sic] of characters seeing humor in this, based upon the widespread suffering that has followed.

Given all the odd clues, we are now left to wonder whether it really was Abraham that begot Isaac. Perhaps it was the great Egyptian Pharaoh, either in his own right or via his typological stand-in Abimelech (who claims to have righteously avoided mating with Sarah, in spite of having had every opportunity to do so.) We assert that this is exactly what is implied, and thus that this really cements and/or memorializes a long term geopolitical plan hatched by the Egyptians and the Hittites, who in actuality made amends after the Treaty of Kadesh, including a marriage. Of course, there are huge chronological problems here, and there is no reason to associate the Abraham story with this particular treaty. But some similar sequence of events may be what is hinted at by the claim that Sarah became pregnant at such a late age, and that both Sarah and Abraham laughed at the idea. Namely that one should not be taking the narrative at face value. As we have learned with such as Caesar’s Messiah, there is no need for absolute, literal chronological accuracy, in either a complete fiction or in ‘quasi-historical propaganda’. Perhaps this is a sign to the alert by the author / redactors that this is all an epic put on.

The proceedings are also marked by the curious change of Abram’s and Sarai’s names to Abraham and Sarah, signifying their new foundational roles, or missionary positions if you will. This last then begs the question of what really were their implied prior roles, as if we need to be informed of this by a change in their names. Here we are hinting at the prequel to the ‘western’ Abraham story that we mentioned before and we hope to address later.

While on the subject of marriage, it is also worth mentioning that Abraham’s patriarchal descendants, per the bible, practiced what is known as the ‘levirate’ form of a marriage contract. In this essentially business arrangement (as opposed to the later cultural degeneracy of ‘romantic’ love introduced by the proto-masonic troubadours), the woman is guaranteed the entire succession of her mate’s male siblings and even her father-in-law (as a creepy last resort), if need be, to protect from the exigencies of mortal life. We learn this from stories about Jacob and Judah, the latter about the father of the Jews being a hilariously seductive whopper of a proposition (Genesis 38). At any rate, and according to Gordon, this levirate marriage practice is known from the Hittites, and as well, it is attested earliest from India while conversely not appearing in the accounts of the Sumerians, the Assyrians, or other regional Semites, excepting those said to descend from Abraham, i.e. the Hebrews and Ishmael’s Arabs. In other words, it is essentially an Indo-European rather than a Semitic cultural construct.

Gordon (p. 130) points out here that the identification of the Patriarchs with Israel is a rather blunt hint that we should take this aspect (if not the entire Abraham cycle) as metaphor, in this case, for the genesis of a future ‘nation’. Which (we suggest) really means the creation of the foundational centerpiece of Western civilization (via human literary artifice and a few pinches of brutality) by a brotherhood of crafty ‘wise men’, trained ‘prophets’ and priests, standing in metaphorically for ‘our Lord(s)’, pharaoh and the Hittite king.

He Walks with Me and He Talks with Me, and …

The very first time this anthropomorphic god interacts with humanity, he ended up evicting the first pair of uppity humans from Paradise for eating some forbidden fruit (yes – it’s really a metaphorical fruit), albeit they were tempted to do so by a snake. After this, he genocidally (such an attribute only really applies if he were human) wiped most everyone (his defective ‘mistakes’) out, that is, those not allowed onto Noah’s drunken party ark. So much for ‘Right to Life’ and Free Will.

Not done yet, and with respect to Abraham, God makes another theophany where he and two of his angels appear at Abraham’s tent during mid-day. This appearance of a god and two attendants is a common device found in Canaanite polytheism suggesting that the uhmm … initial Canaanite audience would find this familiar. Here, Abraham makes a great show of hospitality to the creator of the cosmos and his angels, running around, tasking ol Sarah with baking leavened bread of the finest flour, selecting the proper animal for the feast, and then providing his guests cream and curds typical of a nomad then, and even today (Genesis 18:8, Isaiah 7:21-22).

This in contrast to Lot’s lesser ‘city’ hospitality (Genesis 19) to the same two angels where he miserly serves them unleavened bread, albeit that later that night he does offer up his virgin daughters to the Sodomites to abuse instead of granting the Sodomites’ request to biblically dally perversely with the angels. Not that the angels needed such generosity, as they soon proceed to make Lot’s offer moot by striking the Sodomites blind such that said Sodomites were now unable to even find Lot’s door, despite their best efforts to persist. Somewhere in all of this excitement, Lot’s virgin daughters get married, possibly officiated over by the angels, and here the angels tell Lot that he and his family must leave town. But, the new sons-in-law aren’t very impressed, even after witnessing the blinding of their fellow Sodomites and thus decided to tragically stay behind.

Everyone knows the story about Lot’s wife not heeding the instruction to not turn around on the way out, and thus she is turned into a pillar of salt. But less commonly told is the story about how Lot’s now widowed and yet still virgin daughters immediately became impatient, with the complaint that there must be no more men left on Earth. No doubt this impatience stemming from having had their virgin hormones aflutter with having been wanted by all those Sodomites, including their late husbands, and then all that emotional slaying of the evil-doers, the unrequited lust for their late husbands notwithstanding. Accordingly, they decided to get Dad drunk and get them with child, not even waiting around to mourn for Mom. Nothing is said what the angels thought of all this, or if they thought to correct the daughters’ mis-impression.

However, the authors of the story seem to let us know their opinion, five times, by reversing the standard Semitic patriarchal useage of shakab (lie with) in denoting which sex is the doer and which is the doee. And then similarly it is noted that the daughters name their resulting children and not Lot, contrary to custom. This seems to be a typological parallel with Noah’s strongly implied drunken dalliance with Ham, and with both situations the audience is warned of the need to be fruitful, avoiding sexual acts that will not have a multiplication result of one or more, or that might allow some impertinently hysterical women to assertively take advantage of a few otherwise good men, including their fathers. Hence those acts being sins, and since the coming conquests did need boots on the ground family values must prevail, thus presaging Christ Augustus’s later Roman edicts.

The fateful offspring become the progenitors of Moab and Ammon, and thus the sexual misdeeds and this new separation from Abraham’s blessing, once again, does not put them in good stead in the future. This tension between urban and rural plays out between Lot and Abraham, somewhat like it did before with Cain and Abel, and later between Joseph and his older brothers. Lot, not descended from Abraham, loses everything when he separates from Abraham, but regains it back whenever rescued by Abraham who has the blessing. And, similar to the story with Noah and Ham, this narrative’s use of a sexual taboo is intended to reflect the enmity frequently seen in the biblical narratives (also witnessed ‘historically’ by the Mesha Stele inscription) between the new Hebrews and the Moabites and Ammonites. As mentioned earlier, this enmity will be reversed, at least for the Ammonites, once the final redactions are made and is reflected in the following change of tone towards them. These redactions are typically labeled the ‘P’ texts, for ‘priestly’. But we think that maybe a better fitting appellation than ‘priestly’ is that of ‘Persian’, reflecting the latter’s desire for geopolitical harmonization within their nascent expanding empire, when the bulk of the redactions we’re discussing actually take place.

And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession. (Deuteronomy 2:19 KJV)

Whoops, what happened to all that incest business?

Furthermore, the lust of the Sodomites for the angels, is a curious typological reversal of the lust shown by the sons of God for the daughters of men found in Genesis 6:1-4. Until the time of the only begotten son of God, Jesus, these other sons of the sole God were the black sheep of the polytheistic family.

V0034231 Abraham and his men begin to circumcise themselves. Etching Credit: Wellcome Library, London.
Abraham and his men begin to circumcise themselves. 
(Wellcome Library, London)

But with Lot and the angels we’re getting ahead of the story, as God and Abraham walk, talk, and dine on their yummy curds, while calmly discussing the coming executive punishment of the Sodomites and the Gomorrites (Genesis 18). Brave Abraham impertinently asks the divine one to scale back the punishment just a notch, which results in the angels’ intercessionary action with Lot and his family just mentioned. But interestingly just before the slaughter of those alleged buggerers, he provides Abraham (and extended to his descendants) with a promissorial contract, the so-called (and not really the) First Covenant, which provides that the ‘Hebrews’ only need to trim their eight day old boy parts as a thankful ‘sign’ of perpetual acknowledgement.

In reality, circumcision is a form of ‘branding’ of the new flock, and in such an extreme form as to make a non-Jewish adult male think twice about converting, especially after hearing about the later Shechem massacre, the Day of the Bloody Cocks (Genesis 34:13-31). But eight day olds don’t have much of a say so in their own genital mutilation. Of course, there was no later problem with ‘gentile’ women wanting to convert, especially as they came to like hearing about Mosaic monogamy, to the further chagrin of ‘gentile’ males. And most importantly, as with all the other pharaonic machinations in these narratives, this perverse branding is also telling us who your real Daddy is, considering that similar mutilation was a pharaonic practice. More on this below, and in later posts we’ll cover more about the pharaohs that curiously ended up in Judaism.

But wait, there is more than just circumcision. God also demands an extensive period of slavish travails in Egypt and the ‘Wilderness’ desert, before the Promised Land is given to them for conquest. The boundaries of this bequest just happen to entail the ideal limits of the alleged Davidic and Solomonic states in the tenth century BCE, from the Nile to the Euphrates. How convenient for the redactors writing retrojectively in the 6th century BCE. As far as we know in reality, those boundaries have belonged only transiently to a few of the most powerful pharaohs, Tuthmoses I and III, and Necho II. Seriously, we’re supposed to believe that Judea and Israel’s western boundary extended to the Nile, when practically no evidence can be found for David or Solomon’s mere existence, even in Palestine today? Certainly no evidence that remotely comes close to the biblical depictions for wives, concubines, and wealth that could only equate to a pharaoh.

In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: (Genesis 15:18)

And with this First Covenant promise necessarily comes the promise that Abraham, in his mid-eighties, will have descendants needed to populate the Promised Land. Despite the fact that old Sarai is later enabled to conceive, first Abram (his name at the time) is steered so as to “come into” Hagar, his Egyptian (wink, wink) slave wife, and beget Ishmael, the claimed patriarch of the Semitic Arabs. But if old Sarai is later ‘enabled’ to get with child, what was the need for the whole business with Hagar and Ishmael? The intent can only be to foreshadow everlasting family trouble ahead. Thus, the authors are announcing that they have proudly set the entire bloody stage for the next three plus millenniums. Shades of the Abraxis? It’s then all cemented by a celebratory first sacred barbecue where this god then appears to Abraham yet again (Genesis 15:8-17).

Also, this so-called First Covenant (from an odd Christian perspective) was actually preceded by a covenant with … uhmmm Noah, where the eternal divine blessing, originally granted to Adam and Eve (in an even prior covenant), is reiterated to Noah (Genesis 9:1-17) for which the regenerated Post-Flood humanity should eat the flesh of all the animals and must not commit murder or blood shedding any more (but mere killing of humans is apparently OK.) Furthermore, they must agree, again, to go forth and multiply. It seems that Fruitless Buggery or Onanism is only implicitly disallowed at this point until either Abraham’s or Moses’s time. The ‘sign’ of Noah’s contract (for all of humanity’s sake) is that of the rainbow, rather less dramatic (pain-wise at least) than that of circumcision, where the divine ante has been upped for the Hebrews. For with Abraham’s contract an exclusively Elect status (not yet made global until Isaiah’s time) has been conferred upon the Hebrews, thus requiring a higher quid pro quo exchange. By Moses’s time, not only is there circumcision to deal with, but the Hebrews are further restricted from eating certain animals that God had previously told everyone else were perfectly acceptable to eat. If nothing else, at least now we know why there are so many Jewish lawyers.

But before we go farther, we must first acknowledge that all of the varied pre-Abramic stories before this ‘foundational’ contract are not only supposed to be talking about all of humanity, but as well, these are all cribbed and modified (including morally inverted) from the Mesopotamian cultural library (For example, the story of Noah’s flood, taken from Gilgamesh: see Gordon & Rendsburg, The Bible and the Ancient Near East, pp. 50-51.), or similarly as with Moses later Ten Commandments, taken and revised from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. And the earliest, such as the conflicting Creation narratives, are clearly metaphorical interpretations, as were the originals. With ‘inversion’, in the Mesopotamian versions the city dwellers are good and the rural shepherds are suspect, while with the Judaic version just the opposite, e.g. David.

In other words, such divine claims as occur in the Old Testament had been the standard bolster for statecraft for thousands of years prior, albeit those prior divine depictions were much more skewed to a mythic nature. And as discussed in the introductory post, the entire OT presents itself as the first known linear ‘history’ transitioning from an epic character to an annalistic one. Curiously with the various subnarratives such as Abraham’s, one notices a rather laconic and matter-of-fact approach to the renderings of the otherwise eye popping circumstances. There is no character development and little if any emotional content, except oddly to laugh at God’s audacious fertility magic.

Apologists have made incorrect claims of uniqueness for the OT in that there is no mythic aspect within, no divine soap opera that is. Robert Wright, in The Evolution of God (pp. 118-120) demonstrates that this is not the case. Instead, the ‘godly’ enemies of God have been incongruently reduced to mere mundane geographical features, simply by altering the treatment of the opposing god’s name, e.g. converting Yamm, the sea god to yamm, the mundane ‘sea’. Hence God is made to seem as batty as Jesus getting mad at a barren fig tree, by God’s doing battle with the literal sea (Psalms 74: 13). But even if we accept the case that God is growing up or evolving on paper, via redactions and edits, we are left with the rather bizarre earthly soap opera of Abraham’s caste of characters, including his anthropomorphic God, whose very name Abraham doesn’t know.

The real literary uniqueness of the Old Testament is its seamlessly linear chronological transitioning from the epic and obviously metaphoric style to the annalistic historical presentation, albeit propagandically distorted, of the bloody formation and drama of Israel and Judea. That their synthetic Hebrew populations are Providentially ‘Chosen’ sets them apart from all other humanity. Ironically, the canon goes on to record that the Chosen are repeatedly unable to carry out the terms of the contract. Typically, such ‘honest’ accounting of failures is taken as sure evidence of veracity, as opposed to otherwise typical propagandic aggrandizing. Very clever of the authors. However and ironically, the Patriarchal examples seem more often to lead by negative example, ostensibly to be addressed by Moses’ reforms. But even then, the Hebrews can’t get their act together, and knowing their god’s propensity for acting out, we have to wonder if this may really be an early case of ‘planned obsolescence’? Later on in a subsequent post, we will argue that this is indeed the case.

It is within this first bloody contract made with Abraham, and then revised with Moses, and its deepest subtext that we should be able to discern that we are not dealing with a straight up, or even just a radically embellished, ‘historical’ account. Rather, we are dealing with matters of such immediate and pivotal political import to the much later author(s) that they lose sight of maintaining their new god’s coherence of claims for moral superiority, judgement of character, and such. It is here that later so-called gnostics somewhat correctly discerned that the god of this covenant had some severe character flaws of his own, and thus frequently also argued that ‘God’ (rechristened as the ‘Demiurge’) and his fellow odd cast of characters were merely apt metaphors for our underlying material reality of necessarily clashing opposites. However, instead of being merely that, we assert that we are rather looking at a complete narrative fabrication, a propagandic historical novel, if you will, for the sake of fabricating a synthetic ‘nation’, as a clever foil to advance a deeper hidden agenda. We’ll see its mirror image in the creation of Lycurgan Sparta, and even similar versions in modern day North Korea and Israel (curiously not named ‘Judea’ by the replacement Ashkenazi ‘Jews’), all to serve as geopolitical foils, most of whose populace are unfortunate and unwitting tools of the global elites.

For if Judea and Israel were not such foils, then what to make of their god’s curious employment of them from then till now? As we mentioned in the introductory post about their employment of Isaiah’s Suffering Servant metaphor, the Jewish perspective is that they have been chosen to Atone, by their suffering, for the ultimate betterment of mankind. If we grant that in some sense that this is true, then what to make of certain other ‘Elect’ peoples (the Romans (and their far flung descendants) as discussed in the Introduction) connected to all this that have been profiting wildly in the meantime, and what is this curious and lazy (by our perspective) god’s thoughts about them?

Oh, God! What an Amazing Story!

Once Abraham has finally settled into family life, God commands him to demonstrate his loyalty by sacrificing Isaac, as was apparently the common practice in parts of the wider Semitic world, and is supported in the archaeological record. That is, to sacrifice the first born to Ba’al so as to ensure the coming of the season’s adequate rainfall, necessary for crop fertility and livestock survival. What we can take away here, that is if the story is not allegorical, is that Abraham was in no way surprised by this demand. And being properly pious he went straight ahead and took Isaac up to Mt. Moriah and began to go through with the ceremony. But just before he terminates Isaac, and thus Israel-to-be, Abraham is informed that he has thus sufficiently demonstrated his loyalty and that he can therefore substitute a ram in Isaac’s place, and the same for his descendants from then on.

As we can see within the context of later posts, and what has already been discussed in Peoples of the Flavian Book, this all can be taken as a message to the Canaanites of the ‘Promised Land’ that in being converted to Hebrews that they will no longer be performing this human sacrifice. But rather that animals will now be substituted for first born sons, and which sacrificial practice was later consolidated, at least according to the redacted narratives, to the Temple cult practice in Jerusalem. This centralization, of course, making it easier to oversee the control over the conversion process to monotheistic Judaism.

With this, in the book of Leviticus, and modeled upon Abraham’s sacrifice celebrating the First Covenant, the priests laid out the ritual requirements for a Saturday’s divine barbecue, where YHVH will even arrive with his portable smoker and do the cooking honors. This means that you have to precisely lay out the proper cuts of meat and such before YHVH shows up. When learning this some time ago, Richard wondered why the devout today don’t seem to do this anymore, so he tried it. At first, and after some delay, he thought maybe this was all just typical hokem, but sure enough, in due time a little old man, looking exactly like George Burns, by the way, showed up and asked him, with a toothy smile, for a cold one. It was, and still is, great fun. But seriously, during one of these feasts Richard once asked him why it took him so long to reveal to the Canaanites cum Hebrews that they should not be performing the human sacrifice, and the old man replied that it was not really his choice but rather that they all had really been saved by Gracie.

And so what can the discerning rationalist take away from this odd and loopy narrative? First and foremost, we have a tale of a rich and powerful foreigner, a Hittite, entering into another’s land, based upon what has been told him by a god whose proper name he doesn’t even know. He is furthermore promised that his descendants will inherit this land after their spending a long and slavish sojourn in Egypt.  He, Abraham, then proceeds onto Egypt where he outwits ‘pharaoh’ into sending him away with much more wealth after a ruse regarding his old yet irresistible wife. While both Abraham and his wife know that she is ‘literally’ too old to bear a child, God (wink, wink) performs some of his typical fertility magic and causes a metaphorical nation to sprout forth. Once Isaac is old enough this god tests Abraham’s loyalty by ordering him to sacrifice Isaac, and because this custom is apparently familiar to Abraham he attempts to fulfill the command, until this god releases him, and apparently all subsequent generations from this otherwise previously ho hum burden. Later on, during Abraham’s descendants’ sojourn in Egypt: Joseph, in cahoots with a later ‘pharaoh’, manipulates the markets during climatic feast and famine so as to enslave all the Egyptians and capture their wealth (Genesis 47).

Who makes this stuff up?  Later the Christians would say, “It is absurd, therefore I believe?” Postflavians choose a different cliched metaphor: Abraham (like the drunken Noah) has no clothes. However, the very absurdity of it all does indeed seem to serve up an almost magical psychological spell on the credulous, while at the same time signalling the more avaricious insiders that there is much more to the story than meets the superficial eye. The subtextual messaging, on different levels of understanding, to the respective intended audiences is that there is a blessing, eternal or otherwise, conferred by the somewhat seemingly arbitrary and mysterious ‘grace’ of God (the veiled pharaoh > caesar > king > ‘powers that be’) for those that, despite the whopping moral misadventures of the Patriarchs, keep the faith and don’t ask too many uncomfortable questions. This latter is why whistle-blowing prophets are not welcome in their own land.

And on more reflection, there is a third audience for these seemingly bizarre and inane narratives. Skeptical and secular readers (who have always been with us, even in ancient times) are more likely to throw up their hands and proclaim it is all nonsense assembled by only ‘God knows who’. Thus, the subliminal messaging and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) embedded in the texts, have the opportunity to work their subconscious magic even with nonbelievers. This is the position that we (your authors) were in, and we have been surprised at the extent to which we have arrived at new insights in the process of researching and writing this post. No doubt there are still discoveries yet to be made.

Based upon the underlying details of this crazy (like a fox) fictive narrative, mocking its audience’s credulity, we will later argue that there was indeed a mashup of elite Hittites and Egyptians that eventually led to the Judeo-Christian synthesis and our current sad state of hyper-polarized affairs. Its compilers and redactors, acting like modern day authors of historical fictions, profitably made use of pre-existing ‘historical’ materials, textual scrolls and steles, etc.. to craft the narrative basis for what has driven even till today the proverbial Winds of Moriah. The story of Abraham and the Patriarchs represents the synthetic creation of a national and allegedly divinely driven mythos, apparently drawn from what must have been a much more mundane tale of an elite earthly family on a pilgrimage of conquest. This narrative was then weaved into a grander, global scheme, as we shall see.


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