"I form the light, and create darkness. I make peace, and create EVIL.
I the LORD do all these things." – Isaiah 45.7.
have anthropomorphized their gods into humanoid (if
sometimes grotesque) form. Were the Jews the exception? Hardly.
We know precisely
what the Hebrew god looked like. We are, after all, fashioned in
his own likeness! "Yahweh", in fact, is an abbreviation
of the longer name, "Yahweh Sabaoth." It means, "He who musters armies."
Thus Yahweh's name identifies the god primarily as the military leader
of the tribe. No wonder the God bequeathed to the world by the Jews turned out to be a monster.
God in Man's Image
"The Lord is
a man of war; Yahweh is his name." – Exodus
Yahweh was a man, no doubt looking remarkably
like the bearded sage asking us to worship him.
If we believe the Bible, he has body
parts: eyes and a face (they are not hid from my face,
neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes Jeremiah
16.17); nose and a mouth (Psalms 18.8); lips, tongue and breath
(Isaiah 30.27,33); loins (Ezekiel 1.27); even back parts (Exodus
33.23). He also has several human emotions, manly appetites,
and a worrying disposition towards pathological violence.
Yahweh feels regret for
his own evil (And God saw their works, that they turned
from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had
said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. -
Jonah 3.10); and grief (at the wickedness of men) (and
it grieved him at his heart - (Genesis 6.6). He actually
gets down and wrestles with Jacob, dislocating
his thigh (Genesis 32.24). He forgets (he goes on calling
Jacob Jacob even after re-naming him Israel -
Genesis 35.10, 46.2). He practises favouritism (choosing
the Israelites above all people - Exodus 19.5;
but he just does not like Cain or Esau!). He holds grudges (I
the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation Exodus
For an omniscient
god he is surprisingly unknowing (They have set
up kings, but not by me; they have made princes, and I knew it
not. Hosea 8.4). And for an omnipotent god he
has his limitations (The Lord was with Judah; and
he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive
out the inhabitants of the valley because they had chariots of
iron. - Judges 1.19).
And after his
creation of the world, he even has to rest from his labour (And
on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he
rested on the seventh day from all his work - Genesis
2.2) to the endless bemusement of pagan critics, whose own
gods didnt need to rest!
The most disturbing
aspect of Yahwehs humanoid personality, however, is his blood-lust.
The smell of burning flesh is a sweet savour unto the
lord so sweet, in fact, that the phrase appears
in the Old Testament no fewer than twenty-three times. The butchery
demanded by god is truly monumental. Believers are required to
sacrifice two lambs day-by-day continuously and thats
just for starters! Just as well Yahweh had several thousand priests
to help him trough through the banquet!
the brunt of gods appetite but humans could so easily get
the chop from the big guy. God kills Uzzah for simply steadying
the tumbling Ark (1Chronicles 13.9,10). Poor Onan was zapped
for using the withdrawal method of birth control (Genesis 38.10).
But such isolated vindictiveness palls in comparison with the mass
killings of the Lord. When the autocratic Moses faces a rebellion
led by Korah, God uses an earthquake and fire to consume two
hundred and fifty rebels. When indignant sympathizers protest
at the injustice, God wipes out another fourteen thousand seven
hundred with a plague (Numbers 16). What a guy!
Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.
terrified in ritual abuse in the mountains -Yahweh cult's
'Test of Fear'
put Abraham to the test ... Abraham built an altar
... bound Isaac hand & foot ... took the slaughtering
knife to kill his son ... But the angel of the Lord
began calling ... 'Do not put out your hand against
the boy .... for now I know that you fear the Lord ...' (Genesis
The story of Isaac is NOT a condemnation of child sacrifice. Isaac was spared not because human sacrifice was seen to be wrong but because Isaac was the "child of promise" and needed to survive. The yarn requires the normality of human sacrifice. Abraham was praised for his willingness to appease Yahweh by killing his own son. The
sham murder of Isaac (the 'Aquedah') was the prototype
for a 'redemptive sacrificial death' subsequently re-worked
as the crucified Jesus.
It should be noted that in the biblical text, Isaac (like Jesus) is repeatedly called "the only son" of Abraham (Genesis 22.2., 12., 16.) even though Abraham actually has another, older son, Ishmael.
son Jephthah, in victory vow with God, makes burnt
offering of only daughter. (Judges 11.29,39)
Not So Lucky – Religious Fanatic Sacrifices
will give to the LORD the first thing coming out of
my house to greet me when I return in triumph. I
will sacrifice it as a burnt offering ... her father
kept his vow, and she died a virgin."
orders Levite fanatics to murder 3000 golden-calf
Moses said, 'you have consecrated yourself to Yahweh,
at the cost of your sons and brothers. And so he bestows
a blessing on you today.'"
When the Lord says kill everyone He means EVERYONE!
Saul loses out:
"You didn't kill enough," says the Lord. "You can't be king!"
"And Saul defeated the Amalekites … and devoted to destruction all the people … But Saul spared Agag and … all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.
And Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?" … Then Samuel said, "Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites." And Agag came to him cheerfully … And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before the LORD in Gilgal. And the LORD regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel."
1 Samuel 15
LORD delivers 10,000 Canaanites and Perizzites for
slaughter in Bezek. As part of the fun 71 kings have
their thumbs and big toes cut off.
the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered
the land into his hand ... Then Judah went up, and the Lord delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand; and they killed ten thousand men at Bezek."
– Judges 1.2-4.
fan of Yahweh drives tent peg into head of sleeping
"And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said ... fear not ... she covered
him with a mantle ... and gave him drink, and covered him ... Then Jael took
a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him,
and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he
was fast asleep and weary. So he died."
orders the assassination of Jezebel.
(2 Kings 9,5,37)
Murders 450 Priests of Baal.
(1 Kings 18.40)
Slays 1000 Philistines (with an ass's jawbone! )
King Amaziah of Judah (c. 801–783 BC) throws 10,000 captive Edomites from the top of a rock.
(2 Chronicles 25.12)
tricks all the priests of Baal into temple slaughter.
(2 Kings 10.19.30)
to the guard and to the captains, Go in, slay them; let
none come forth. And they smote them
with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains
cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal.
brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and
God was delighted with the massacre:
LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing
right in mine eyes, hast
done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in
mine heart, thy children of the 4th
generation shall sit on the throne of Israel."
(supposed) wars of conquest, God gets right in there. He throws
down great stones from heaven (Joshua 10.11)
and scores a better body-count than his Israelites with mere
swords. When the Lord gets up a real head of steam the slaughter
reaches a truly epic scale. For merely looking into his Ark,
Yahweh wipes out fifty thousand and seventy unfortunate men
of Bethshemesh (1 Samuel 6.19). When
King David slips up and orders a national census, an enraged God
zaps seventy thousand.
Quite apart from
the celestial supermans
own killing, he animates his favourites into wiping out whole
and nations. Jericho, Sodom, Gomorrah, Ai, Makkedah, Libnah etc.,
etc., are smote and consumed men, women, young,
old, ox, sheep and ass!
You shall annihilate them - Hittites,
Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites as
Yahweh your God commanded you.
– Deuteronomy 20.11,18.
In the largest
single god-inspired massacre in the Bible, one
million Ethiopians are slaughtered! (2 Chronicles 14).
But then we
have been warned!
All this carnage,
of course, is allegorical, albeit that certain stories may have
a tenuous link with an ancient skirmish somewhere. The point
is to terrify people into obedience of the priesthood.
an archetypal wise priest, who rules with a rod of
iron and brooks no opposition.
the warning. Look what happens when you
disobey the word of the Lord!
Commandments? Intolerance writ large
apparent early date for Moses and his commandments, it is really
only in the post-Babylonian period that we can speak of Mosaic Judaism,
when a priestly caste and a fantasy history of race
origins are in place. It is only after the Babylonian experience
that the Jews adopted a monotheistic religion, with Yahweh as
sole god, not merely as chief god. And with this single jealous god,
the priests imposed a rigid liturgical year, a regimen in which
readings from the Torah (Genesis through to Deuteronomy) were
to be read successively and completed within the year.
Where Did They Get Their Ideas From?
Of Coming Forth by Light
Egyptian "Book of the Dead")
Transformation (Chapter 125)
to you, High God, Master of the two Maats! I came to
you, my Master, to see your perfection.
I know you and I know the name of the two Maats. Here I
have now come to you and have brought what is just and
have chased iniquity away.
- I have not committed iniquity against men,
- I have not mistreated people,
- I committed no sins in the Place of Truth,
- I have done no harm,
- I did not "blaspheme" God,
- I did not impoverish the poor in their belongings,
- I did not do what is abominable to the gods,
- I have not afflicted and made the people weep,
- I have not starved anyone (but have fed instead),
- I did not kill or order killings,
- I have harmed no one,
- I did not soil the gods' bread,
- I did not steal the holy wafers belonging to the fortunate ones (of the sky),
- I was not a pederast,
- I did not Reduce my bushel, (my scales were fair),
- I did not add to the weight of my scales,
- I did not cheat on the measurement of lands,
- I did not steal milk from the mouths of small children,
- I did not deprive cattle of its pasture,
- I did not steal the gods' birds and fish,
- I did not divert water when there was a flood,
- I did not put out a fire which burned brightly,
- I did not forget the days for offering meat,
- I did not oppose a god during a procession,
I am pure, I am pure, I am pure! My purity is that of the Grand Phoenix at Heracleopolis,
as I am the nose of the Master of the winds who makes all men live in this, the
day of the Filling of the Eye at Heliopolis.
century BC (Trans. E. A. Wallis Budge)
By the closing
years of the 6th century BC the priesthood had codified their
tribal rules, and were writing with all the authority of their
The famed Ten Commandments even
today erroneously accepted in the popular mind as absolute and
universal rules to live by – are nothing other than a codification
of Jewish male property rights.
In their original
full versions, two of the commandments endorse slavery; the taboo
was an attempt to stop polygamous Jewish males taking each
others wives (foreign concubines and wives had no rights);
the honour to be accorded parents merely endorsed a
draconian patriarchal social structure; even the taboo on murder
was open to interpretation, since the slaying of enemies and wrong-doers
would not be murder but the Lords will!
Here was intolerance
writ large. No spirit of live and let live. In essentials,
these barbarous Laws ratified the correctness of
annihilating enemies, the subjugation of women, the enslavement
of conquered tribes, the suppression of dissent and the curtailment
of any liberality, especially relating to the body or sexuality.
of other cults were to be murdered; their altars,
images and groves to be destroyed (Exodus 34.13).
Libidinous foreign women
were a particular cause for concern (just look how Delilah
had brought Samson down by cutting his strength-giving hair!) and foreign in
this context meant from a town a whole 25 miles from Jerusalem!
were to have their head shaved (Deuteronomy 21.14) but otherwise
could give delight. However
Jewishness could only be inherited from a Jewish female. The stress
was upon racial purity and in the real politic of the 6th
century, even the original Jewish people of the land were
summarily excluded from the Jewish race.
Jewish numbers grew rapidly. Neighbouring tribes were conquered
and forcibly converted to the Yahweh cult! They were made part
of the Jewish race and were circumcised accordingly giving
the lie to the latter-day notion that circumcision had something
to do with health!
In fact, the
Bible tells us that circumcision
is purely symbolic and that the obligation extended to purchased
slaves. We are led to believe that the LORD appeared to Abram (who
was ninety nine years old at the time!) and (of all possibilities)
"And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be
a token of the covenant betwixt me and you
He that is born
in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs
be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an
everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh
of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off
from his people; he hath broken my covenant."
– Genesis 17.11,14.
the Jews, race was determined by ones mother
and/or forced genital mutilation, unless that is, political expediency
stepped in and required otherwise!
Having thus defined their
race in a conveniently flexible way, Jewish hostility to marriage
outside the cult, fussy dietary laws, and generations of inter-breeding,
protected the Jewish gene-pool. Certain physiological traits
may have become pronounced, though hardly unique. By the time Greek
civilization advanced across the eastern Mediterranean, the Jews
were an in-bred cult of several generations, a pseudo-race,
possessors of a sacred text of racial superiority.
Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews (Phoenix Grant,
Dan Cohn-Sherbok, The Crucified Jew (Harper Collins,1992)
Henry Hart Milman, The History of the Jews (Everyman, 1939)
Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion (Pluto, 1994)
Josephus, The Jewish War (Penguin, 1959)
Leslie Houlden (Ed.), Judaism & Christianity (Routledge, 1988)
Karen Armstrong, A History of Jerusalem (Harper Collins, 1999)
Jonathan N. Tubb, Canaanites (British Museum Press, 1998)
Norman Cantor, The Sacred Chain - A History of the Jews (HarperCollins,
Thomas L. Thompson, The Bible in History (Pimlico, 2000)
Some fifty articles are now available as a book.
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Copyright © 2005
by Kenneth Humphreys.
Copying is freely permitted, provided credit is given to the author and
no material herein is sold for profit.