The Force in Scripture?

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01 Jan 2019 22:45 #331816 by Alethea Thompson


Exodus 8:22-23

I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land. I will make a difference between My people and your people.

Exodus 9:4-7

And the Lord will make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. So nothing shall die of all that belongs to the children of Israel.” ’ ” Then the Lord appointed a set time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.”

So the Lord did this thing on the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the children of Israel, not one died. Then Pharaoh sent, and indeed, not even one of the livestock of the Israelites was dead.

Exodus 9:25-26
And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail struck every herb of the field and broke every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.


We do not actually know if the locusts were held from Goshen, it’s just something we think is mostly implied. However, we do know that during the ninth plague, Israel had lights in their home which kept them from dealing with the darkness.

Put yourself in the position of the Israelites. From what we can tell, until Moses entered the scene, they were not quite exposed to God the same way as their ancestors. Assuming you were privy to everything that was going on, from Moses to the Magicians, what would you think of the situation?
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02 Jan 2019 15:09 #331821 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Force in Scripture?

Alethea Thompson wrote:
Exodus 8:18-19
Now the magicians so worked with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. So there were lice on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, just as the Lord had said.


1) It may be more appropriate to say they stated it was the figure of A god, rather than God Himself. However, over at Force Academy, my friend Luciana (who majored in Anthropology with an Abrahamic focus) notes that it is quite possible the selection of the word "elohim" was meant to relay that the magicians acknowledged what was happening as the "Finger of Creation". With that in mind- If you were one of these magicians, what would you think of this situation?


First, imho, I think we would get a lot more out of this story by assuming a negative sort of stance against Moshe (only) because of the default positive stance in which history has always painted this picture. Moshe is a terrorist, making the same sort of claims as modern day extremists, practicing deception. We are, in effect, (and I'm using this word carefully and intentionally) "SEDUCED" to the dark side by taking the side of Moshe and his tactics in order to achieve his aims. For the Sith, this makes perfect sense. If you are Sith and you feel chained then you seek power in order to break those chains. el=God literally translates from Hebrew to "power".

I'm not one who believes that all of the ancient believers and priests all believed their gods were literal entities. So question one is a very good question in light of this. We're making the assumption that it is a "battle of gods" when in reality it may have been a "battle of power"; Moses vs the Priests. Moshe has knowledge of the Israelite's theology because he was raised in part by his own mother as part of a deceptive plot.

Exodus 2
6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children.

Notice, how Pharaoh's daughter was not in the least deceived. She knew Moshe was Hebrew, but being a baby, this allowed her to use the situation (and Kemitic theology) to justify saving him (somewhat like the Presidential pardon on the Thanksgiving turkey). But regardless of the result... this whole thing was a deception because Moshe's mother wanted to make him look like he was a gift from their gods. The fact that Pharaoh's daughter doesn't fall for this could mean that they were not superstitious like more common folk tend to be. They were more educated so they didn't seek as many supernatural explanations as those who were uneducated; many of which were likely illiterate.

I carry the daughter's wisdom over to her father because if she wasn't deceived it is unlikely that he was either and that he allowed her to have Moshe as a personal gift/favor. But... you would not forget the ploy and the deception. Now this isn't the same Pharaoh which is also, imho, important to the story. This new pharaoh would have had his own feelings about Moshe. Disney may have gotten it right with the Prince of Egypt movie. OR... Pharaoh could have been raised with resentment, anger, and jealously that Moshe, a son of deception, was allowed to be in an elevated station that rightly belonged to him because of his blood.

When people of different ethnicities collide in such a negative way, even if one side is abusing the other via low wages or, in this case, the Israelites may have been working off years of debt as they were only able to survive because of the wealth of Egypt through the long famine. Recall from Mosaic law that it was only the time of Jubilees that freed slaves bonded to Israelite families from a lifetime of work to pay off a debt. And it should be said that it looks like Israel would have been just as harsh on slaves as Egypt if it wasn't for their experience, being slaves. But we should question the type of slaves that they were.

The theme of deception runs all through this story but it's not always easy to pick out because it's beneath the surface. Moshe practices deception in asking for the Israelites to go because his pitch is a temporarily release so that they could merely worship this god. Pharaoh may have hardened his heart because he already knew (or at least strongly suspected) that this was a lie and that they were trying to use their "god" as a tactic to escape servitude. And if THAT was a lie then why wouldn't Moshe also be lying about this deity? After all, these are miracles of the same "type" that the Egyptians could also do.

If we follow the theory that this whole story is premised on deception then what loyalty do we have to believing the narrative given to us? What I mean by that is...

How do we know this was Moses vs the Priests? Moses was #1 gone a long time, and #2 interacted with both his Hebrew family and his new wife's family. Not only this but the bible says it was a mixed multitude that left Egypt so what if he stirred up political dissent and achieved a sort of political power that even some Egyptians followed? What if Moses conned his way into the Galactic Senate and lead a no confidence vote on the Pharaoh. Catch my drift? We're simply reading the propaganda of Moses. So what if Moses taught others how to achieve these plagues and, on his command, multiple people were doing things to cause the effects of his plagues to be greater. The priests would not have used people who weren't supposed to have that knowledge. Their knowledge was "classified" and for the elite. If the masses had this knowledge there would be no need for priests who acted as middlemen between the masses and the gods. Moses wasn't under this restriction at all being that he was Hebrew. He didn't have any loyalty to their system. He wanted a new system. And he got a new system in which there was no king but he, acting as the ultimate priest, held all the power.

So, lol, all that being said...

If I were one of those Kemetic priests I would have a few suspicions as to how Moshe was pulling this off but ultimately Moshe was playing my game, only better. I wouldn't be able to say "this guy is lying because this is the secret behind this miracle." No. These secrets are the very foundation of my identity as a priest. No one can know that our science exists independently of any supernatural forces because the people believe in those supernatural forces more than they believe in us. So even if Moshe uses this to his political advantage... we have no choice but to go along with his deception because it exposes our own deception. If anyone can do our tricks/miracles then our nakedness appears. Also, being that I am Egyptian I really don't have a desire to cause plagues on my own people that can affect my own friends and family and the family of the noble houses. It would be politically dangerous for me, even if I did know how, and even if I could be more destructive with my scientific knowledge, to use my knowledge to its fullest extent because I would make as many enemies as Moses. And ultimately, he would win anyway. And I know... just like he probably knows... that affecting a large area would make it so that taking the plague away would require a REAL miracle. And this is why Pharaoh asks Moshe to take the frogs away which he could not do.

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02 Jan 2019 15:25 #331822 by Alethea Thompson
I think you’re assigning too much on the Egyptian Princess.
It is easily that she knew he was a Hebrew by his skin color. Or that she recognized only the Hebrews would cast a son into the river. After all, it was literally the decree of the Pharoah that this should happen at the end of Exodus Chapter 1. The logical leaps aren’t difficult to make from there.
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02 Jan 2019 15:26 #331823 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Force in Scripture?

2) If you were Pharaoh, what would you think of your magicians? If you have grown up with them this entire time, and then saw how a man unaligned with your gods had greater command over nature, how might your understanding change?


As a royal, I pretty much live with these people. I see their faults. I see their lust for power. I see them in ways they don't know I see them. And because they are so close to the king in terms of being advisers I know that they often right but sometimes wrong. And I see their maneuvers to keep themselves relevant. But I do respect their knowledge relative to others in the kingdom.

As a royal, I've also seen Moses. I've seen his faults. I've seen him lie. I've seen him deceive. I've witnessed the deception of his family. I don't respect him. He's a terrorist and he isn't afraid to kill my citizens. He has no loyalty to Egypt. We were the life support that kept his people from starving but he chooses to repay us by spreading sickness and disease. By making a show of this farce he's attacking me politically. I know politics. I understand the fundamental deceptive nature of it. He's using me, to gain power even among his own people. He's not their leader. They don't follow him. They will only follow him if I give in to his demands and make him seem like a hero. If I order his death then I make him a martyr and cast even more doubt on the power of the gods of Egypt. If our people are more afraid of his god than ours they'll rebel against me; perhaps even my own generals. I need to hold the line; hold the standards and traditions of our people no matter what.

Does he have greater command over nature? Is that really what this is? Or is he simply better at deceiving people than my own priests? And if that's so I'd prefer the deceptions of the priests that cause less harm than the deceptions of this terrorist who seeks to turn my people against me. I know some of his tricks but exposing them would expose my own priests. If I tell my people he's lying it would be like telling them our priests are lying. I'll just have to wait until he's outside of our borders and can no longer use tricks against us, claiming that it's his bogus god that hasn't lifted a finger for hundreds of years. Once he's outside... we can take him out and say that his god was a false god.

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02 Jan 2019 15:42 #331824 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Force in Scripture?

I think you’re assigning too much on the Egyptian Princess.
It is easily that she knew he was a Hebrew by his skin color. Or that she recognized only the Hebrews would cast a son into the river. After all, it was literally the decree of the Pharoah that this should happen at the end of Exodus Chapter 1. The logical leaps aren’t difficult to make from there.


I could be assuming too much. True.

However, the scene itself is too suspicious to take seriously. Let's think about it this way. There's a baby in the river. Someone put it there. Someone made this basket. And someone is close by, there on hand, and before the text even states a decisive course of action on the princess's part...

"7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?"

So someone, who just happens to be here, is telling us (putting ourselves in her sandals), a royal, what to do as if it is an offer when in reality you're obviously hoping we will do as you suggest. The amount of coincidences here are comical. A Hebrew child. An unattended Hebrew girl. Wherever the child came from it was probably the same place that the girl came from. Do Hebrew girls bath in the same part of the Nile that the royals do? We think not.

"9 And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the women took the child, and nursed it.

10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water."

We may not be a genius but we could use some basic logic here. Who else would the girl be, except his sister? Who would the girl fetch except his mother? How would a baby end up with a girl who is unrelated to it? What was their game plan if not to make me think he was a gift of the Nile (hence the name Moses)? If it were otherwise, the little girl would have simply handed us the basket with the baby, not go through the charade of putting the basket in the water. An uneducated Hebrew mother was smart enough to put this deceptive plan together. It is reasonable to assume that a well educated princess could have seen (all the way) through it.

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02 Jan 2019 16:24 #331825 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Force in Scripture?

Alethea Thompson wrote:
Exodus 8:22-23

I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land. I will make a difference between My people and your people.

Exodus 9:4-7

And the Lord will make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. So nothing shall die of all that belongs to the children of Israel.” ’ ” Then the Lord appointed a set time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land.”

So the Lord did this thing on the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the children of Israel, not one died. Then Pharaoh sent, and indeed, not even one of the livestock of the Israelites was dead.

Exodus 9:25-26
And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail struck every herb of the field and broke every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.


We do not actually know if the locusts were held from Goshen, it’s just something we think is mostly implied. However, we do know that during the ninth plague, Israel had lights in their home which kept them from dealing with the darkness.

Put yourself in the position of the Israelites. From what we can tell, until Moses entered the scene, they were not quite exposed to God the same way as their ancestors. Assuming you were privy to everything that was going on, from Moses to the Magicians, what would you think of the situation?



Good question. I'd have to say that Moses should be and is probably an atheist. If growing up in pharaoh's house taught him anything it should have been the relationship between royalty, the priests, the people, and their gods. The people believed in the gods. The gods gave the royals authority to make and execute decisions voiced by the priests. Moshe had already chosen to intervene when he killed the taskmaster. That wasn't God. That was him. That was him, specifically, not waiting on a god to save them. When modern day extremists act, they are acting on their own but using the "name" (reputation) of their God as being somehow involved in what THEY are doing. And that's important because without a "God" intervening you are left with just a man and who are people more likely to follow? Once you've established gods that judge the activities of humans humans actually have to pretend to be gods to use that system of checks and balances. So they act as gods, they make the rules and assume the authority of the gods they speak for. Moshe learned this in Egypt and then became everything he learned when the Israelites followed him.

And somewhere in his mind he didn't have this idea that every Israelite life was sacred. He saw at least a percentage of them as being disposable as long as it meant they were going to achieve some goal. This goal doesn't actually crystallize until we start recording all the spoils of war.

I think Moses used Yahweh the same way a radical Islamic terrorist uses Allah and the Koran. But I think he was only capable of this because he wasn't afraid of any real god, whether it was his own or whether it was the gods of Egypt. He wasn't afraid because he didn't believe in them. I think he was either told or figured out, through his education or through watching the priests and learning their ways, that there was a certain level of political BS that supported this whole system.

We assume that terrorists are true believers, even when some of the 911 terrorists went to a strip club first. But if they were believers, truly, then the fear of Allah would be upon them, keeping them from actions that he did not command. Even if they assume that the command went to someone else like a cleric, many of the fighters themselves already have reasons (personal and nationalistic) to fight and consider that as divine permission. And even if the commoners are doing these things based on their belief, that doesn't mean the leaders, the one's to whom God is supposedly speaking to, are honest actors. This is how I feel about Moses and Aaron. Aaron supposedly was involved in these miracles but he is the one who fashions the golden calf and then lies about it to avoid responsibility and punishment. And even though Moses punishes the Hebrews with sickness and death he does not treat his brother equally because he's not afraid of any deity holding him accountable.

Another interesting point...

"4 And the Lord shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children's of Israel."

What cattle of Israel? I thought they were slaves? They had land and cattle. What's this mean? They could feed themselves, clothe themselves, trade/barter, etc. They may have had to pay taxes on the land (remember from previous story that the people sold the land to the government in exchange for food through the famine) that at some point amounted to more than what they could afford to pay. This is mere speculation; however, it seems that many of them had decent lives. It is likely that one or more audacious building projects precipitated a need for free or low cost labor to make and move bricks.

Again, if it wasn't clear from what I said before, I believe that there were Hebrews working together (perhaps in cells) to poison the lands of the Egyptians which they could do because they worked in those lands while having land of their own. As long as they claimed it was the work of their angry god then Egypt would't simply return the favor to their own lands and cattle. There was nothing preventing this reciprocation other than the narrative that it wasn't the Hebrews but rather their angry god.

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02 Jan 2019 18:21 #331831 by Alethea Thompson
Curious, ZealotX- if it was mere science, can you explain to me how he and a few cells created hail?
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03 Jan 2019 21:26 - 03 Jan 2019 21:36 #331861 by ZealotX
Replied by ZealotX on topic The Force in Scripture?

Alethea Thompson wrote: Curious, ZealotX- if it was mere science, can you explain to me how he and a few cells created hail?


Naturally, I can only give you my theory because I wasn't there.

But what I think happened is that the story is written in hindsight, taking credit for a natural but rare occurrence. I believe that what they saw was a volcano. I've never seen a volcano outside of pictures and the shared experiences of other people. Imagine if you were superstitious or you were leading a group of superstitious people and you saw a volcano off in the distance. It would appear as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Growing up I had always imagined this as a disembodied fire and cloud. But when you pair it with the whole "mt. Sinai" thing and how holy the mountain was and no one but Moses could go up there... and think about it... as much as Yahweh is imagined as touching down on this mountain in fire... this happens at no other time in Israel's history.

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science...used-by-volcano.html

Exodus 9:23 And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt.

all-geo.org/volcan01010/2013/04/egu2013d...cience-and-fracking/

Fire would run along the ground if the hail wasn't simply hail, but rather volcanic hail could definitely cause the symptoms witnessed. Different cultures would have seen this event but would have different explanations for it.

There's also part of the story where there are "thunderings" that the people interprets as the voice of God and the people are afraid. There are correlations to other passages that makes it look like their culture was seriously impacted by this event and so was their impression of God. God wasn't simply personified as a man because they didn't know what else to use. He's personified more as a mountain on fire with thunder and lightning because this is the image that they were all afraid of. Who wouldn't be?

Exodus 20:18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

Psalm 18:13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.
Psalm 77:18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.
Psalm 78:48 He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts.

Isaiah 29:6 Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.

I'm just posting multiple examples to show a pattern.

Revelation 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
Revelation 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

I believe this legendary event created an image of God that they carried all the way through to the end of the bible. But it was a mixture of their ignorance of nature and their superstition that natural disasters were caused by supernatural forces. Remember why Jonah got fed to the whale? It was only because the seas were unusually rough and the sailors, not believing in Yahweh but being superstitious, drew lots and sacrificed Jonah in an effort to appease the gods. What's angrier than a volcano?

Exodus 20
18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

And you know when Moses face was lit? Imagine they're near this mountain and its dark and there's a sudden flash of lightning and they're all looking at Moses. Wouldn't his face reflect the light from the lightning?

These things all appear to us as miracles and magic because the writer is telling his opinion of the events and the mythical story that is seasoned by superstition. There's no way they saw a volcano and thought "yeah, that sure is crazy looking but I'm sure it has nothing to do with God." Impossible. And if you research the gods of the region you see that mountain gods are a common for that area.

wikipedia: W. F. Albright, for example, says that El Shaddai is a derivation of a Semitic stem that appears in the Akkadian shadû ("mountain") and shaddā`û or shaddû`a ("mountain-dweller"), one of the names of Amurru. Philo of Byblos states that Atlas was one of the Elohim, which would clearly fit into the story of El Shaddai as "God of the Mountain(s)."

also...

www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/67843/hol...canaanite-myth-bible

point is... there is what I would call an obsession with mountains. One can see "God" in all of nature: trees, flowers, rivers, etc. But for people who used fear to conform a society to a particular religion... a volcano is about as powerful an image as you're going to find and it can cause the plagues we saw in Egypt. The other stuff were things the Egyptian priests were able to do. But this? A superstitious mind could hardly escape the power of this frightening image and they would have given credit for such an event to the most powerful God. Think about Zeus with his lightning bolt on mount Olympus. Again... one event seen and interpreted by very different people who would have attributed it to different gods and blamed it on different people just as it was with Noah's flood. And to answer the question I know people will ask. Was there a volcano near the time we believe the Exodus refers to?

The answer is yes.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minoan_eruption

"Although there are no clear ancient records of the eruption, it may have inspired certain Greek myths,[7] caused turmoil in Egypt,[8][9] and been alluded to in a Chinese chronicle. The exact date of the eruption is disputed (see below), although the eruption is believed to have occurred during a summer."

I know this is a lot but I hope it answers your question. And keep in mind this is all written AFTER the fact, not as things are occurring. That means they can easily conflate events and use one event to explain another as well as add fabricated explanations and detail to events that really happened. People look to religion for answers that known science doesn't have. This very demand for answers inspires others to supply that demand. And this is how religions dominate even in spite of the availability of scientific explanations.
Last edit: 03 Jan 2019 21:36 by ZealotX.
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03 Jan 2019 23:09 - 03 Jan 2019 23:09 #331863 by Alethea Thompson
If it was a natural occurrence, which scientists have been able to explain the sequence of events as being exactly to this order, then your theory regarding a coordinated terrorist attack is completely out the window. It only requires one learned individual to figure it all out.

The magicians, then, don’t need to reproduce the phenomena at all. They can simply explain it. You yourself have made the assertion that the Egyptians were not nearly as superstitious as Christians are led to believe. And in fact, it would be more appropriate for the magicians to chalk up each plague to the natural occurrences over the whim of an angry god.

When you strip the gods from the narrative, it loses power altogether. Then the only thing they have to explain is the rod to a snake (which they absolutely reproduced).

At this point, ZealotX, you’re theories only work if this story is that Moses is as real as Paul Bunyan (which is to say, he’s not real at all).

And if it’s nothing more than folklore, then I have to say, you’re coloring Moses too much by your modern interpretation of progressive society. Today we know that we can use non-violence to get our way (eventually). But a lot of areas in the world still have to fight for their freedoms in a physically violent manner. Moses’ story is about a man who saw an systemically oppressed people and fought against their tyrants who saw them as sub-human.

If you look at their situation as being similar to the institutionalized racism of today, then it absolutely is true they were a form of slave. If you look at it as only the Hebrews were given the laboring jobs, and Egyptians the jobs that could afford them the ability to thrive- is that not still a form of slavery?

People fight for their freedom. I’m afraid not all who are terrorists are unjustified in their concerns. It’s only in recent times that humanity has saw fit to make an effort to distinguish between Civilians that don’t deserve to be caught in the crossfire and military or government personnel who volunteered (or were born to) support the oppressive system. Thus, today, we have the luxury to judge his actions by our standards. But in truth, it’s a bad idea to judge him by modern thought, and instead judge the story as though it is just that- a story. And from there, decide what values can be taken from the story, and what can be tossed.

In my own opinion, if we were to reduce this to a story about a man vs. another man, no gods at all, then I believe Moses was right to fight for his people. But I don’t believe he went about it the right way. He could have changed it from the inside, if he had not killed the taskmaster.

But if it’s the story of gods going at each other, then I cannot daily either party for their actions. Moses, despite having committed a sin (murder) was still the only person who could carry out the mission because of who he was to Pharoah. It’s rather reminiscent of “Arjuna’s Dilemma” from the Bhagavad Gita.
Last edit: 03 Jan 2019 23:09 by Alethea Thompson.
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04 Jan 2019 00:55 #331870 by Loudzoo
Replied by Loudzoo on topic The Force in Scripture?
We’re analysing this story 3000+ years after the event. We understand the difference between science, nature, magic, the supernatural and religion - or at least we like to think we do. People 3000 years ago in Egypt did not differentiate things / phenomena like we do now. To assume that we can know how Pharoah, the magicians or the Israelites felt is highly presumptuous. The things we now regard as science, they regarded as magic or luck or supernatural power. Things they took for granted, we now view as supernatural.

More problematic is that none of us are Orthodox Jews (as far as I am aware). Jewish morality typically allows the breaking of commandments for the greater good, and is more nuanced than the moral absolutes that are beginning to pervade our outrage culture.

Terrorism has gone on forever and it has always been those in power who get to define who is the terrorist and who is the courageous freedom fighter. I don’t find it a helpful lens to view current events, let alone those 3000 years ago.

People need an origin story, and most people through history have needed a common enemy to come together. Many have moved beyond that now - thank The Maker. There are lessons we can learn here but they probably aren’t what the stories were intended for originally.

The crucial question is - does it matter whether these events really happened? I don’t think it matters at all - the power is in the truth of the message, not in the truth of the events.

Whilst it’s legitimately interesting to guess at the purpose of these stories for people 3000 years ago - I’m more interested in what they say to us today. I don’t agree with Zealot X’s interpretation but it’s very interesting (and horizon broadening) to hear what these stories say to different people.

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