The Force in Scripture?

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12 Dec 2018 19:43 #330689 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Force in Scripture?

Alethea Thompson wrote: Ah, I understand.

In that case, you’re getting a bit ahead of the game then XD.

The study of the Plagues in the first week was never about heroism. Actually Week 2 is where you’re suppose to start questioning Moses’ actions as being what God intended. ;). And we’ll definitely get to that- because there are some definite “huh?” moments laced in there.

The 10 Plagues, for the purposes of this study, is only meant to address the metaphysics. That’s why the questions are only looking at the “magical” stuff written into the text. Moses (or Aaron for that matter) literally doesn’t matter yet- save one minor detail I’ll address just before we get to the Red Sea and begin analyzing Mose’s “magical” acts outside of Egypt.


Oh wow. Terribly sorry for jumping ahead then. I was unaware of the larger plan. By all means, let's back up to where you want the conversation to be.

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12 Dec 2018 20:27 - 12 Dec 2018 20:34 #330693 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Force in Scripture?

What are some things you notice? Are there differences between the magicians and what Moses is doing?
What do you think is the deciding value of their abilities?


As noted extensively I don't trust Moses but this outside the limited scope. Since I don't trust Moses I'm naturally skeptical of his abilities and what they even considered to be a miracle. As someone else stated, Moses was educated in Egypt, inside the Pharaoh's own house. So surely he learned science and mathematics from them. And he was kind of in control of the choice of magical contest. He often went first then they followed with their own and Pharaoh would be like "hmmph. whatever dude. We can do that too." and his heart would be hardened because in his mind Moses wasn't tapping into some greater force. Even if his magic was greater was it so much greater than all Egyptian gods should bow down to his one?

Though outside the scope, I think it's important to this context to note that the Egyptians later struggled with monotheism under Ahkenaten. Also, it is less likely that the monarchy held the same beliefs the population did because they were privy to more of the day to day. Leaders often used the state religion as a political tool to get people to follow them and to subdue any rebellions. I mean... wouldn't you be more likely to accept whatever the king does if his authority, and ultimately the responsibility for said act, went all the way up to the gods?

I think when there is a battle between religions it puts the king is a tough spot because his authority comes from the state sanctioned deities. If the people were to suddenly believe in another god who is against those deities and superior to them then that undermines the very foundation of that king's rule. Without the authority of the gods often kings are just wealthy men. Regular dudes who make good and bad decisions. Once you bring a king down to the same level as everyone else (like a US president) now people don't have to respect him and maybe he's unfit to rule.

So this is my main observation within the limited scope of these "miracles". It is a competition over who has ultimate authority in Egypt. And as long as the Pharaoh's priests can do something similar that's enough for their side (majority) to spin the narrative politically to their advantage. Moses knew that the priests were very powerful with the people. This is the reason kings are afraid of priests and prophets. They represent the highest authority and pass that authority onto the king. If they lose, he loses. And he could be politically maneuvered into letting the Israelites go if it really looked like YHWH was stronger.

I'm itching to get to the last plague because I think there was a lot going through the king's mind both when he let them go and afterwards when he sent the army after them. But the point I want to stress is that this was a game with high stakes. If Moses's God was greater then that means Moses would be able to command the Pharaoh to do anything he (his God) wanted. His heart kept hardening because each time he was meant to be afraid his priests were like "hey man, no sweat. we got this!"

If Moses learned science from them and if this was simply that. Science. Impressive to the average person but less so to other scientists. If that's what it was Moses already knew what they were capable of doing. That means he was picking "miracles" he knew they could perform to some degree. Knowing this, could he have picked things he was naturally better at than they were? Or was he simply taking credit for natural events? What if, because Moses was coming from outside of Egypt, he knew about a natural disaster that would certainly affect Egypt because of the water?

Think about how the sailors cast Jonah overboard because of the storm. Their superstition assumed that the storm was an "act of God" and by definition angry and therefore it had to be someone's fault who had angered the gods. They weren't believers in Jonah's God but their own belief caused Jonah to be swallowed by the whale which is considered to have been God's will. What if, because the bible is written in hindsight which is 20/20, what if superstition and fear creates a situation where if anything happens that is extraordinary or unexpected it has to involve the gods and therefore the most powerful God is simply the one given credit for the worst (by reason of devastating effect) "miracles". And the priests were the main cheerleaders, taking every event or strange science and attributing it to the appropriate god in their pantheon. In this case, they had competition because as they gave credit to their gods Moses stood opposite saying his God was the one responsible and there will be more unless you obey my (his) demands.
Last edit: 12 Dec 2018 20:34 by ZealotX.
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12 Dec 2018 22:27 #330707 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic The Force in Scripture?
'As noted extensively I don't trust Moses but this outside the limited scope. Since I don't trust Moses I'm naturally skeptical of his abilities and what they even considered to be a miracle.'

His abilities? What would those be?

Non nocere, sed ut nullum cacas.
Panentheist Jedi Realist
Holocrons: ~ IP I AP I Personal ~
TM: Zenchi
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12 Dec 2018 22:50 #330708 by Kasumi
Replied by Kasumi on topic The Force in Scripture?

Arisaig wrote:
His abilities? What would those be?


Bringing water from rocks? (Exodus 17 & Numbers 20)

+++
I do not fight for gain or loss, am not concerned with strength or weakness, and neither advance a step nor retreat a step. ~Takuan

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12 Dec 2018 22:55 #330709 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Force in Scripture?

Arisaig wrote: 'As noted extensively I don't trust Moses but this outside the limited scope. Since I don't trust Moses I'm naturally skeptical of his abilities and what they even considered to be a miracle.'

His abilities? What would those be?


abilities, meaning the application of whatever science he learned from having extensive access to Egyptian knowledge, which... we're talking about the civilization that built the pyramids so what the common folk may have thought was magic could have simply been a utilization of scientific principles that were known to the elite and the priests.

Religion was kind of the vehicle that a lot of cultures used to carry their scientific knowledge and theories. Many gods were simply primal forces of nature or a combination. When you add this god + that god = this other god, type of thing. So I see the competition between Moses and the priests of Egypt as a battle of Egyptian scientific knowledge. After all, it wasn't a common born and as such uneducated person that was chosen from the children of Jacob. And this was around 400 years later. So why the wait? Why did it have to be him? And why, if it was God alone, do the circumstances of Moses's history seem altogether important and relevant to how he dealt with the Egyptians?
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12 Dec 2018 22:59 #330710 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Force in Scripture?
A big question should be why did miracles such as what happened in Egypt seem to stop almost as soon as they left?

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12 Dec 2018 23:10 - 12 Dec 2018 23:40 #330712 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic The Force in Scripture?

Kasumi wrote:

Arisaig wrote:
His abilities? What would those be?


Bringing water from rocks? (Exodus 17 & Numbers 20)


Wasn't his power though. He claimed it was, and for that he was barred from ever entering the promiced land.

He allowed his ego to thrive and for that he was punished by the powers that be.

Guess that could be a lesson on the Force.
We don't control it, and anyone who tries to usually has it backfire. ;p

Non nocere, sed ut nullum cacas.
Panentheist Jedi Realist
Holocrons: ~ IP I AP I Personal ~
TM: Zenchi
Last edit: 12 Dec 2018 23:40 by Arisaig.
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12 Dec 2018 23:26 #330713 by Kasumi
Replied by Kasumi on topic The Force in Scripture?

Arisaig wrote:

Kasumi wrote:

Arisaig wrote:
His abilities? What would those be?


Bringing water from rocks? (Exodus 17 & Numbers 20)


Wasn't his power though. He claimed it was, and for that he was barred from ever entering the promiced land.

He allowed his ego to thrive and for y. he he was punished by the powers that be.

Guess that could be a lesson on the Force.
We don't control it, and anyone who tries to usually has it backfire. ;p


Nicely done, sir.

+++
I do not fight for gain or loss, am not concerned with strength or weakness, and neither advance a step nor retreat a step. ~Takuan
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13 Dec 2018 15:49 #330740 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Force in Scripture?

Arisaig wrote:

Kasumi wrote:

Arisaig wrote:
His abilities? What would those be?


Bringing water from rocks? (Exodus 17 & Numbers 20)


Wasn't his power though. He claimed it was, and for that he was barred from ever entering the promiced land.

He allowed his ego to thrive and for that he was punished by the powers that be.

Guess that could be a lesson on the Force.
We don't control it, and anyone who tries to usually has it backfire. ;p


You're right. It wasn't his power (according to the story), but why did it work?
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13 Dec 2018 15:56 #330742 by Arisaig
Replied by Arisaig on topic The Force in Scripture?

ZealotX wrote:

Arisaig wrote:

Kasumi wrote:

Arisaig wrote:
His abilities? What would those be?


Bringing water from rocks? (Exodus 17 & Numbers 20)


Wasn't his power though. He claimed it was, and for that he was barred from ever entering the promiced land.

He allowed his ego to thrive and for that he was punished by the powers that be.

Guess that could be a lesson on the Force.
We don't control it, and anyone who tries to usually has it backfire. ;p


You're right. It wasn't his power (according to the story), but why did it work?


Because God had instructed him to do just that, and water would be brought forth. Claiming it was his own power was the mistake.

Non nocere, sed ut nullum cacas.
Panentheist Jedi Realist
Holocrons: ~ IP I AP I Personal ~
TM: Zenchi

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