Aka Olga Pitcairn
At age 101-plus, my mother was granted two wishes by the tooth-fairy
THE STORY OF MY LIFE
A LABOR OF LOVE
STONE AGE CUISINE
The ancient Greeks believed in MOIRA/allotment/fate. And “fate” was determined by three hags: Clotho spinning the thread of life at birth—Lachesis then allotting what was to be in store—and Atropos, the inflexible, cutting the thread (end of life). In later times these “FATES” became “fairies”.
When I decided to study archaeology, I had been planning on the classical period: Greece and Rome. I prepared myself, so I could speak modern Greek and Italian, by attending Berlitz School of Languages in Philadelphia.
Well—one day Lady Fortuna waved her magic wand at me. She changed my destiny by sending me a book I fell in love with: PERSIAN GARDENS AND GARDEN PAVILIONS
Without a second thought, I learned Farsi, and changed to Near Eastern archaeology—I was ready to study the ELAMITES! I traveled to Iran twice (1972/74). I had high hopes entering University of Shiraz, affiliated with our Philadelphia Museum.
But Lady Fortuna had another surprise for me. Fall 1978, I met an Iranian man who invited me to join him for the 1979 Persian New Year celebration in Tehran. I accepted, wanting to inquire about studying archaeology at the University of Tehran. My Farsi was adequate.
But—the end of January 1979, the REVOLUTION broke out. Iranians were fleeing their country. Ayatollah Khomeini rules the roost. Goodbye, Iran, I whispered.
Two years later Lady Fortuna sent me HISTORY BEGINS AT SUMER. I knew that SUMER was adjacent to ELAM, so I said with glee: EUREKA! And I started collecting information on Sumer. To my delight, in 1986 The International Herald Tribune printed the above article. When I had the chance of meeting Professor Kramer when he was giving a lecture at the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia, I rushed to the event (1989); just in time because he passed away (aged 93) in November 1990. To pay tribute, to honor Professor Kramer, I decided to write about the “belly-foods” wheat and barley—“the bread and butter” of Sumerian trade.
Writing was invented at the end of the 4th millennium BCE in Sumer. In the beginning temples served primarily as administrative centers. It seemed the priesthood was very much concerned with the future of orphans and widows; that they shouldn’t be delivered to “the powerful” (for slave labor). There are chapters on property/sales, marriage contracts, and other legal issues. These laws were enacted before the Code of Hammurabi (1750 BCE) became the Law of the Land.
I became fascinated with their belief system—the first institutionalized religion—with temples, priesthood, rituals, and especially music and dancing glorifying their deities.
The translation of the cuneiform tablets/scripts used by the Mesopotamian cultures after the Sumerians had “disappeared” from the scene was not made public until the 20th century. When the publishing world started printing books by well-known archaeologists, the ancient world came to light. We found out how much we are in debt to these remarkable peoples who “wrote their histories”.
In the beginning
was the SACRED SOUND OF AUM/OM,
it was with God and God was Aum.
When we OPEN our mouths
Once upon a time
I was sitting on the terrace of a modern chai-khaneh/tea house on the road leading from Hamadan to Kermanshah (Zagros/Iran), a mountainous region once part and parcel of ancient ELAM. As I was looking at the vista—a green valley and a winding brook lined with trees—I took a deep breath of crystal clear mountain air, wondering about life in those days, long ago, and
I had a vision.
I, a small girl, was watching the women getting their hands dirty making pots from dust of the ground and water. I looked at my own hands, then at the ground; I looked at the plants nearby, and at the crying goat.
I opened my mouth
Granny, who made the dust? Who made the plants?—I pointed at the goat—Why goat has no hands?—Granny said I should look at her belly where goat makes her milk. She pointed at a clay dish on the ground, saying, Granny held up her hands, that she made her delicious cheese with that milk.—Is that why goat has no hands, Granny?—Granny smiled.
Please visit New & Noteworthy 2017
The Sumerian creation story:
WHEN THE GODS HAD TO TOIL FOR FOOD
To stay alive, every living creature needs to EAT
At 109 pages, this booklet is a treasure
The Christian NEW TESTAMENT depends for its creation story on the
Hebrew book of GENESIS 1:27/29
God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God said: I give you every seed-bearing PLANT on the face of the whole earth and every TREE that has fruit with seed in it. They will be YOURS FOR FOOD.
Book of Genesis 9
Just as I gave you the GREEN PLANTS for food I now give you everything that LIVES and MOVES also FOR FOOD.
Book of Deuteronomy 14
But do not eat UNCLEAN FOOD.
Dietary “habits” developed more from locality, economic necessity and agricultural traditions than from faith. Culinary practices (such as taboos) are powerful symbols manipulated by the priestly class wanting to preserve not only “cultural identity” but most of all:
In Hindu INDIA, the COW is sacred—therefore cannot be slaughtered. Hindus practice vegetarianism [NO Burger King].
Judaism and Islam forbid its worshippers from eating PORK; the pig is unclean according to their scripture.
Chinese like eating pork (pig domesticated since 5000 BCE), shrimp, and beef. Confucianism has no food restrictions.
Christian NEW TESTAMENT
The Apostle Paul, Letter to the Romans 14:20
Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of FOOD
ALL FOOD IS CLEAN
Gospel of Mark 7, Clean and unclean—Jesus declared all FOODS “clean”.
Gospel of John 6, Jesus the Bread of Life—6:51, I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone EATS of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
So that the Christian-movement could be embraced everywhere, Paul proposed that sharing meals would become the custom as all FOOD was now deemed clean. Paul wrote to his acolyte (2-Timothy 2:8), This is my gospel: Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.
Gospel of John 18:39—Jesus the king of the Jews.
Gospel of Matthew 24:31, And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the FOUR WINDS
from one end of the heavens to the other.
Emperor Constantine made the Cross/Christianity the Roman Catholic (universal) religion and the faith spread like a wild fire.
Missionaries/churches proclaimed the FOUR GOSPELS—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—as established (credo/credimus) in 325 CE at
THE COUNCIL OF NICAEA
SERVICE TO THE GODS BECAME THE RULE
(Men were children of the gods)
To SUMER the world owes ALL its basic arts of LITERATE civilized LIFE
STORE OF KNOWLEDGE
FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME
The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon
All mankind was changed into MUD
God ENKI (fish-god) of the holy city URUK was Lord of the Apzu, the sweet waters in the world below which fed springs and rivers.
ENKI had established PLANTS beneath the earth (from which they shoot up) which he guarded.
GILGAMESH AND THE MAGIC PLANT
The search for everlasting life
This part of the myth/story of Gilgamesh the Hero was “created to explain” the longevity of the antediluvian kings before the flood swept over the earth; their reign totaled 241,200 years. These kings had access to the MAGIC PLANT of rejuvenation before the gods concealed it under the waters of the flood.
Hebrew Bible—Book of Genesis 5: From Adam to Noah
Ten generations totaling 857,900 years
The Flood: Noah and his family are the only ones saved. The biblical story continues as to what happens to humanity. The RAINBOW: God’s covenant never to destroy creation again.
TRUTH IS THE DAUGHTER OF TIME
THE ORIGINS OF CREATIVITY
Creation myths that reinforce tribal religions
In the Sumerian deluge myth the only survivors are UTNAPISHTIM and his wife—who now live in PARADISE. This couple is the LINK between the old, vanished civilization and the urban civilization founded after the flood. Gilgamesh wants to find out how to live forever: the quest for immortality.
Gilgamesh is to bring back that knowledge
King Gilgamesh leaves his holy city URUK and starts his long, dangerous, arduous adventure; traversing the mountain of Mashu. Finally he arrives at the GARDEN of the GODS that has bushes “bearing dazzling gems”; precious, colorful jewels. At the edge of this garden is the sea where innkeeper SIDURI SABITU—woman of the PLANT vine, maker of wine—lives. They quarrel because she refuses to tell Gilgamesh how to find UTNAPISHTIM. Anyway, Gilgamesh, having ruined the steering gear of the ferryman URSHANABI’s boat out of frustration, is desolate. URSHANABI feels sorry for our hero and agrees to take him to PARADISE: They set sail to talk to UTNAPISHTIM. The voyage is a true nightmare, hair-raising—a fight for survival—they cross the sea, then the Water of Death, and finally reach PARADISE (a remote region of the earth). UTNAPISHTIM tells Gilgamesh how he got his Paradise; it was a reward from the gods. [see The Sumerian creation story: N&N-2017]. He then refuses to tell Gilgamesh the secret of his eternal life—but…if Gilgamesh can stay awake six days and seven nights to escape death… but our hero falls asleep; he wakes up on the seventh day. Gilgamesh has not passed the test, and URSHANABI has lost his employment as ferryman to the immortals. UTNAPISHTIM’s wife feels sorry for our hero and begs her husband to have mercy on him and reveal the whereabouts of the MAGIC PLANT: the fountain of youth—longer life—growing at the bottom of the “sweet” water buried deep beneath the waters of the deluge.
Gilgamesh and URSHANABI take up the challenge—another heroic “life-and-death trip”. Gilgamesh ties heavy stones to his legs and dives into the water. Our hero opens the “water-pipe” [fresh water spring] that keeps/divides it from the “salt” sea and enters. He plucks the plant MAN BECOMES YOUNG IN OLD AGE from the bottom of the “sweet” water and cuts the ties attached to the stones so he can surface. Then a grueling return trip to reach the GARDEN of the GODS. The innkeeper advises him to marry and have children.
Gilgamesh asks URSHANABI to join him to Uruk as he has lost his job. On the way home, Gilgamesh bathes in a cool well; putting his plant on the edge. From the bottom of this well a snake emerges, sniffs the fragrance of the plant [snakes use their “tongue” to “smell/navigate”] and eats it. Immediately the snake sheds its skin, rejuvenated, and returns to the bottom of the well.
[Some “humans” had not yet grasped the knowledge of “death”. They were, like small children, unaware of “life”]
The snake became a METAPHOR, representation for “wisdom/knowledge”—its “forked” tongue stood for [life and death] LANGUAGE [tongue] : Good and bad (evil)--truth or lie.
The myth Gilgamesh and the Magic Plant ends with the two men approaching URUK. Gilgamesh informs URSHANABI that SEVEN WISE MEN had laid its foundation.
That one third of the whole is city, one third is GARDEN, and one third is field; with the precinct of goddess INANNA who threw her colorful necklace into the sky after the flood, thereby creating the RAINBOW.
I am the waters, I am the first being;
I am the source of the universe.
All life came out of the SEA—and that included MANKIND
SEVEN SAGES—known as Apkallus—emerged after the deluge.
They taught “humanity”
HOW to grow SEEDS
and collect FRUITS
FOR FOOD TO EAT
The First Six incarnations of Vishnu: The DASAVATARA—the Hindu theory of evolution. It starts with water (the spirit of life) and THE FISH; then the turtle; the half man-half lion; the dwarf (“Lucy”?); the perfect man, and ends with “practical” man, inventor of FARMING.
THE WORLD OF PLANTS
became the symbol of the HUMAN MIND (memories)
BORN IN HEAVEN—MADE ON EARTH
In SUMER statues of their gods and goddesses were carved out of WOOD, a LIVING substance. Priests carried these wooden deities to the river where a mouth-washing ritual was performed to make them come alive and SPEAK. The statues were then carried to the temple and worshipped as rulers of their respective cities. It was the duty of the priesthood to converse with the deity and relay messages to the worshippers.
MAGIC is created via LANGUAGE
oaths, blessings, curses, and incantations
WATER: The Spirit of Life
THE HISTORY AND POWER OF WRITING
Writing is the graphic expression of actual SPEECH; spelling is an active linguistic activity. Reading the script (passive) is linked to THOUGHT—bypassing speech. Reading and writing are separately processed mental activities. In the near future written language (texting, twitter, chat-speak) might be more prominent worldwide (Homo SCRIBENS) than spoken language.
LILACS: Mother’s favorite flower
“Wenn der weisse Flieder wieder blueht:
1916 – 2018
April 1939, Java (Dutch East Indies)
Mother and her firstborn: Little Me
Available as e-book
The Blue Mirror is dedicated to my mother. She enjoyed reading the entertaining episodes, skipping the religious pages!
THE WORD EDEN
Page 131 from the article: HAS THE GARDEN OF EDEN BEEN LOCATED AT LAST? by Dora Jane Hamblin, Smithsonian Magazine, May 1987.
Every founder of a new religion has been accused of blasphemy by the society they served. Thus blasphemy is required for a religion to exist. (Mohamad Mova Al’Afghani; Anti-blasphemy tool a diplomatic blunder--The Jakarta Post, 10 October 2012)
BANNED BOOKS MONUMENT
As of March 10th: “hacking” (failed logins) of my website has started non-stop
“NETWORKING” –creating wealth through TRADE—was the Sumerian way of life, necessitating a written language (recorded history). The city-state UR became the most well-known because biblical Abraham started his journey from Ur to the land of milk and honey: modern Palestine.
To SUMER the world owes ALL its basic arts of LITERATE civilized life
FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME –Store of knowledge
RELIGION is part of our cultural and intellectual history. It was our first attempt at literature, at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at healthcare, believing in faith healing, and at philosophy. [Christopher Hitchens]
GARDENS: EARTHLY PARADISES
Such is the PARADISE which the righteous have been promised: therein shall flow rivers of water undefiled, and rivers of milk for ever fresh; rivers of wine delectable to those that drink it, and rivers of clarified honey.
Therein shall they have of EVERY FRUIT.
(Koran 55:68—the pomegranate and date)
SACRED FRUIT OF THE UNDERWORLD: THE DEAD
The pomegranate FRUIT, the size of a large orange, has a rather leathery skin when ripe and is exceptionally juicy.
It is highly regarded by inhabitants traveling along distances in hot, arid regions (this fruit is their ‘juice bottle’).
The Romans called the pomegranate the ‘Apple of Carthage (malus pumicum)’.
In ancient Greece/Rome, pomegranates were the sacred food of the underworld goddess Persephone/Kore.
Today, drinking pomegranate juice is fashionable. Grenadine (Granada) is used by bartenders for making cocktails.
THE HEBREW BIBLE
Book of Exodus 28
The Priestly Garments—33/35
Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he comes out, so that HE WILL NOT DIE.
BELIEF is thicker than critical thinking
The temple was destroyed by the Roman army in 70 CE (Common Era).
NO TEMPLE = NO HIGH PRIEST to perform ancient rituals asking their Lord for His blessings and protection. So the priesthood and their entourage left Jerusalem for greener pastures (the Diaspora). The Jewish peasants kept working their fields—their livelihood—and herding their flocks. When six hundred years later a Muslim army entered Jerusalem, the city became property of Islam. On the ruins of the Temple they began building the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque.
The Jews converted to Islam so they could continue daily life.
The Holy Land
A Historical Geography
from the Persian to the Arab Conquest: 536 B.C. to A.D. 640
When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World
The Rise and Fall of Islam’s Greatest Dynasty
The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam
The Fall of Constantinople 1453
The Fall of the Ottomans
The Great War in the Middle East
Cradle of Islam
The Hijaz and the Quest for Identity in Saudi Arabia
(Mai Yamani/daughter of Ahmed Zaki Yamani of OPEC)
TIMES ARE CHANGING: CHANGE IS THE ESSENCE OF LIFE
The Story of Israel
A Biblical Theology
(InterVarsity Press, Illinois)
The Invention of the Land of Israel
From Holy Land to Homeland
Father of Modern Israel
On the Sabbath—from Friday afternoon until Saturday evening—PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION is not available to and from Ben-Gurion airport. Tourists must arrange for private (taxi) transportation or walk, carrying their luggage, to their accommodation.
Is Israel a “democracy” according to Western law or has it joined the Muslim world (Iran and the KSA) where “SCRIPTURE” rules?
MEMORIAL DAY - 2018
BLOOD RITUAL in the Hebrew Bible: Meaning and Power
by William K. Gilders
(The Johns Hopkins University Press)
The Hebrew Bible: Book of Leviticus 17:11/12
For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it for you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life. Therefore, I say to the Israelites, “None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood.”
The Christian New Testament: Gospel of John 6:53/54
Jesus said to them: I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
CONSECRATION OF THE PRIESTS
(Anointing oil: spices mixed with olive oil)
EXODUS 29:7—Take the anointing oil and anoint him by pouring it on his head. [to make HOLY]
EXODUS 29:21—Take some of the blood on the altar and some of the anointing oil and sprinkle it on AARON and his garments and on his sons and their garments. Then he and his sons and their garments will be consecrated.
Christian New Testament: Gospel of Matthew 26:6
Jesus anointed at Bethany
KORAN 96: Recite in the name of your Lord who created, created man from clots of blood.
KORAN 71: Allah has brought you forth from the earth ‘like a plant’ and to the earth He will restore you; then He will bring you back afresh. [for this reason animals are slaughtered (while alive) so that their blood can return to the earth and, accordingly, people are beheaded]
KORAN 4:93: He that kills a believer by design shall burn in Hell forever.
STOP SPILLING MUSLIM BLOOD
Arab News, 11/24/2013: The 21st conference of the Council of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA) concluded with a unanimous call to stop Muslim bloodshed irrespective of sect. The resolution said that sectarian killing is strictly unlawful as it violates the sanctity of MUSLIM BLOOD.
THE TERRITORIAL IMPERATIVE
by Robert Ardrey
The disposition to possess “a territory” (monopoly) is innate. Cultural traditions contributed to the rapid rate of human evolution. Change is the essence of life—the “flexible ones” incorporated any new information into their DNA.
THE CROSS AND THE CRESCENT
by Richard Fletcher
The Dramatic Story of the earliest encounters between Christians and Muslims.
Justin Martyr said that Judaism was the preparation for Christianity.
The Christian Bible, the New Testament, contains the (earliest) letters of St. Paul and other leaders of the apostolic age as well as the missionary activities of St. Paul; four versions (Gospels) of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and the book of Revelation unveiling the imminent end of the world and the Second Coming of the Messiah.
The Hebrew Bible comprises myth, history, law, poetry, council, and prophecy. Written by God on stone tablets, the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by his god: Yahweh/The Lord.
Islam is the faith of a single sacred text|
The Koran governs all aspects of life
There is no priesthood in Islam
The Koran is for Muslims the infallible Word of God, a transcript of a tablet preserved in heaven, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel.
If the Koran was created (at a certain point in time by God) then it could be interpreted and even, conceivably, modified by new revelation or human investigation to suit changed circumstances (Shia: Ismaili—Aga Khan).
If the Koran had existed through all eternity, it clearly had an absolute and universal status that could not be challenged in any way (the KSA).
KORAN 4:170—So believe in God and his apostles and do not say: Three. God forbid that He should have a son.
KORAN 9:33—To make the True faith triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters may dislike it.
THE EMERGENCE OF QATAR
The Turbulent Years: 1627-1916
by Habibur Rahman
Known today as Qatar, the peninsula was—a long time ago—the center of activity of trade (pearls and purple dye) with ancient Mesopotamia (Sumer/Akkad). It was, because of its location in the Persian Gulf, an important depot for drying fish for export.
The book recounts interesting (documented) FACTS of the ups and downs of Wahabi activities as of 1742 when Abdul Wahab founded this sect/school of Islam.
Qatar’s Golden Age: 21st century—Formerly a British protectorate, Qatar has been ruled by the Al-Thani family since the mid-1800. Their slogan: Our policy is to be friends with everybody; to be flexible and think big.
The mouthpiece of the state of Qatar, the pan-Arab network Al Jazeera was launched in 1996; it covered the Arab revolutions.
The International Herald Tribune, December 5, 2011 (Dania Saadi):
Qatar has world in its sights for power projects that expand ‘energy footprint’.
QATAR shares with IRAN the NORTH FIELD—the world’s biggest single gas reservoir. The Strait of Hormuz is the world’s most vital energy channel.
The US has a base (Sailiya) in Qatar.
ISRAEL’S POLYTHEISTIC BACKGROUND
by Mark S. Smith
(Oxford University Press)
The camel, a beast of burden, was indigenous to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India; introduced in the Levantine countries circa 1000 BCE.
Abraham in search for a wife for son Isaac
Hebrew Bible: Genesis 24
The chief servant took TEN of his master’s camels and left for ARAM NAHARAIM for the town of Nahor; where Abraham’s brother lived. He met a young woman at the well. “Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “The daughter of Bethuel, son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.” The servant then put a ring in her nose and two bracelets on her arms. He brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing for Rebekah and costly gifts for her mother and brother LABAN. Her mother and brother blessed Rebekah, saying, “May your offspring possess the gates of their enemies.” Then Rebekah the bride and her maids mounted their camels and went with the servant to meet her groom—ISAAC.
ISAAC and REBEKAH had two sons:
ESAU and JACOB
Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew and bread. Rebekah overheard Esau saying, “I will kill my brother Jacob.” So she urged Jacob to flee to her brother Laban and take one of his daughters as wife. Jacob left the Valley of Hebron. When the sun had set, he took a stone, put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven and above it stood the Lord who said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham and Isaac. I will give you and your descendants this land … all peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.” When Jacob awoke he was in awe and said, “This is the gate of heaven.” He took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured OIL on top of it and called that place BETHEL (House of God).
Jacob worked for Laban tending his flocks; and married his daughters LEAH (and her maidservant) as well as RACHEL (and her maidservant). He got to own large flocks as well as CAMELS and donkeys.
Jacob had a total of twelve sons:
Genesis 31: Jacob Flees From Laban to meet Esau, his brother
So Jacob put his children and his wives on CAMELS.
However—when Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel had taken her father’s HOUSEHOLD GODS. Laban was told by Jacob to look for them as he had been accused of having stolen them. Laban did not find them as Rachel had put them inside her camel’s saddle on which she squatted, pretending to have her period.
Jacob had another visionary dream: He wrestled with a man until daybreak. The man asked his name—then said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob but ISRAEL. Go to Bethel and settle there.” He said to Jacob, “I am God Almighty (El Shaddai). A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body.” So Jacob/Israel said to his household, “Get rid of the foreign gods and purify yourselves and change your clothes.” They gave him all the foreign gods and the rings in their ears, and Jacob ‘buried them under the oak’ at Shechem. He set up an altar and called it EL ELOHE ISRAEL.
Genesis 37: Joseph sold by his brothers
The brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, and Israel said to Joseph, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and the flocks and bring word back to me.”
As the brothers sat down to eat their meal, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead; their CAMELS loaded with spices, balm and myrrh. Judah said, “What will we gain if we kill our brother (Joseph)? He is our own flesh and blood. Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites. They pulled Joseph out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites—who took him to Egypt where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, one of Pharao’s officiels, the captain of the guard. JUDAH left his brothers at Shechem and married the daughter of a Canaanite. They had three sons: ER, ONAN, and SHELAH. Judah got a wife for Er whose name was TAMAR.
But soon Tamar became a widow without a child. So Judah ordered ONAN to sleep with her to ‘fulfill his duty’ as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for his brother Er. Onan could not refuse but he spilled his semen on the ground so that Tamar could not conceive. God had him killed. Judah then said to Tamar to live as a widow in her father’s house until SHELAH could ‘fulfill his duty’. Then Judah’s wife died and he grieved for a time. Then he went to see about the shearing of his sheep at Timnah. When Tamar learned this, she took off her widow’s clothes, covered herself with a veil to disguise herself , and sat down at the ‘entrance’ to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had COVERED HER FACE.
“Come,” he said, “let me sleep with you.” –“And what will you give me to sleep with you?” she asked. “I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” he replied. She asked, “How about a pledge, how about your seal and its cord and the staff in your hand?” So Judah gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him. Tamar left, took off her veil, and put on her widow’s clothes.
Judah sent the young goat in order to get his pledge back from the woman. WHERE IS THE SHRINE PROSTITUTE? “There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here,” was the reply. When Judah was told this, he said, “Let her keep what she has or we will become a laughingstock.” Three months later he was told that Tamar was pregnant. Furious, Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned to death!” Tamar said, “I am pregnant by the man who owns these—do you recognize YOUR SEAL and CORD and STAFF?” Judah replied, “She is more righteous than I, since I wasn’t going to give her my son Shelah.”
Tamar gave birth to twin boys: Zerah and Perez.
Genesis 50: The Death of Jacob in Egypt
Jacob blesses his sons:
“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob, listen to your father ISRAEL.
JUDAH, your brothers will praise you – the scepter will not depart from JUDAH, nor the ruler’s STAFF.”
Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. Jacobs’s sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave near Mamre. Then Joseph returned with his brothers to Egypt. Joseph died at the age of 110. After he was embalmed he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.
All the nations had their own patron gods
Book of Deuteronomy 32:8-9
“When the Most High (Elyon) allotted peoples, for inheritance,
When He (Elyon) divided up humanity,
He fixed the boundaries for peoples,
According to the number of the DIVINE SONS (70):
For Yahweh’s PORTION is his people,
JACOB His own inheritance.”
The erasure of the father (Elyon)—(with his transformation into the son)—was a requisite CONDITION for the monotheistic IDENTITY of the son YAHWEH: the storm/warrior god—the national god.
Yahweh’s TERRITORY: Seir, Edom, Sinai, Midia.
The Book of EXODUS
And God said to Moses: I AM YAHWEH. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as EL SHADDAI/God Almighty, but by my name YAHWEH/The Lord, I did not make myself known to them.
Moses was there with The Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—
the TEN COMMANDMENTS.
And The Lord ordered Moses: For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be our holy day, a Sabbath of rest to The Lord. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death. Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day. [no cooking]
ESPIONAGE IN ISRAEL
FROM THE EXODUS TO THE BAR KOKHBA REVOLT
These stories were composed not as histories but as books to inspire faith. The historical vagueness of the Exodus story and the lack of the pharaoh’s name make it hard to date the text. [do not use any iron tool when making the altar-Deut: 27:4]. Moses sent out the heads of each tribe. After forty years of wandering they came to the plains of Moab in sight of the Promised Land. Moses appointed Joshua to lead the people into Canaan and—take the land from its inhabitants.
BOOK OF JOSHUA
The FALL of Jericho
The Lord ordered: March around the city once with all the armed men. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. Do this for six days. On the seventh day march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout—then the wall of the city will collapse. And so it happened. They destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys. But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho. Joshua made an oath: “Cursed before The Lord is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho.”
The Lord spoke: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea (Mediterranean) on the west.
THIS IS THE HISTORY of the DAVIDIC DYNASTY-- from its beginnings until the destruction of the Temple. 1 Chronicles 22: David to Solomon: You will build a house (with stones) for the Lord’s NAME. YOU will be his SON and HE will be our FATHER.
721 BCE—Northern “kingdom of Israel” invaded by Assyrian Empire. The Israelites are exiled and dispersed. THE LOST TEN TRIBES
587 BCE—Siege of JERUSALEM by the Chaldean/Neo-Babylonians. Destruction of the Temple. Some residents of the “kingdom of JUDAH” exiled to Babylonia.
538 BCE—Babylon falls to Cyrus the Persian and the Jewish people are allowed to return to JERUSALEM.
515 BCE—The restored Temple is dedicated on the ancient site of Solomon’s Temple.
301 BCE—JUDEA becomes part of the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt.
167 BCE—JERUSALEM is captured by Antiochus IV—the offering of SWINE in the Temple (the Abomination of desolation).
63 BCE—Romans under Pompey enter JERUSALEM.
JUDEA becomes a client kingdom.
63 CE—JUDEA becomes a Roman province.
70 CE—Destruction of the Temple.
135 CE—JERUSALEM destroyed and rebuilt as Aelia Capitolina.
JEWS FORBIDDEN TO ENTER THE CITY
Moses appointed Joshua to lead the people into Canaan and
TAKE THE LAND FROM ITS INHABITANTS
Book of Joshua: The Fall of Jericho
The Lord spoke:
will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the HITTITE country—to the Great Sea (Mediterranean) on the West.
TURF WARS: ARENA BEHAVIOR
ADAPT OR DIE
Problems of survival: meeting the challenges of the environment—shifting climate changes: from desert to rainforest and again to desert. In the animal world protecting BOUNDARIES is a force older than mating (sex). Birds of a feather flock together. Ostrich-behavior: men have the capacity of self-delusion (willful blindness); when CULTURAL (and religious) TRADITIONS COMPETE.
THE ARCHEAOLOGY OF RELIGION
Neolithic (Stone Age) people recalled their “VISIONS” and inscribed them ON STONE.
RELIGION is based on belief in supernatural realms and non-material entities; it is embedded in neurology—those invisible realms derive from the electro-chemical functioning of the brain. This supernatural realm is immune to scientific study.
Can religion be explained through critical scientific analysis?
(BELIEF IS THICKER THAN CRITICAL THINKING)
WHAT YOU CANNOT PROVE—YOU CAN BELIEVE
A GLOBAL PORTRAIT
of “the religious mind”—
why people believe irrational things
Why is religion such a universal and powerful presence in human life?
When and how did religion arise?
What forces or motives have created it?
GOD SPOKE TO THE PEOPLE THROUGH A BOOK:
The TORAH (Hebrew Bible) is the story of patriarch Abraham and his blood-line—sons Isaac and Ishmael.
Isaac’s son Jacob/Israel became the patriarch of the TWELVE TRIBES (the 12 sons) that immigrated to EGYPT. MOSES (the son of a Levite couple) became famous as the leader of the Hebrews’ return (THE EXODUS) to their “ancestral” lands promised to Abraham and Jacob/Israel by their god El-Shaddai. Under the banner of their god, now known as YAHWEH, Moses gave them Yahweh’s LAW: the TEN COMMANDMENTS.
Moses appointed Joshua to lead the Hebrews into Canaan. Ten tribes founded the kingdom of ISRAEL that lasted until 721 BCE when they were invaded by the Assyrians and were exiled and dispersed. They became known as the LOST TEN TRIBES. The kingdom of JUDAH was part and parcel of Judah’s inheritance—given to him by his father Jacob/Israel. Judah’s blood-line continued with JESSE as the father of King DAVID who fathered SOLOMON.
The CHRISTIAN NEW TESTAMENT starts with the story of Joseph and Mary and the birth of their son Jesus in Bethlehem. Joseph’s father was Jacob who was descended from King Solomon. There were 52 generations until Jesus (who is called Christ) was born. The story ends with the crucifixion of Jesus in Jerusalem.
“I have not come to abolish the LAW or the Prophets. I have come to fulfill them,” Jesus said.
The gospel of the Apostle Paul:
“REMEMBER JESUS CHRIST, RAISED FROM THE DEAD, DESCENDED FROM DAVID
The KORAN/QURAN is the story of patriarch Abraham’s son Ishmael—father of the Arabs.
Muhammad (the prophet) was born in Mecca circa 570 CE. While travelling the trade routes he became influenced by Jewish and Christian teachings. One day, while meditating in a cave above Mecca, Angel Gabriel came to him and said:
“Read. Read in the name of your Lord who created, created Man from clots of blood. Read! Your Lord is the Most Bountiful One, who by the pen taught Man what he did not know.”
Muhammad believed that he was the Apostle of God/ALLAH sent forth
the previous Scriptures
The Koranic revelations were written on palm leaves, stones and any material that came to hand. The collection was established during the caliphate of Uthman (644-56) as the authoritative
WORD OF GOD
The True Religion, as preached by Abraham
To Be Continued