Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Plague of Sorrows.

I believe that the Jewish people are God's chosen people. I do not believe this as part of Jewish supremacist views. I do not hold Zionism as my beliefs. But I believe in God, I believe in the God of Israel, and I believe in many of the stories that others ascribe to myth.

"A myth is a sacred narrative in the sense that it holds religious or spiritual significance for those who tell it, and it contributes to and expresses systems of thought and values. Use of the term by scholars implies neither the truth nor the falseness of the narrative. To the source culture, however, a myth by definition is "true", in that it embodies beliefs, concepts, and ways of questioning and making sense of the world." Source: Wiki

Adam and Eve, the Flood, the Nephilim, all reveal stories of human origins that are shared throughout the Middle East. One story, that of Moses and the Plagues of Egypt reveals a story that I believe is true. I also believe that most of the Old Testament was told with metaphor, and perhaps too, allegory. The Jewish people were held in slavery, and Moses was raised up to lead his people from that bondage. Upon demanding the freedom of the Jewish people from the servitude to the Egyptian empire, the Pharaoh of Egypt refused. Following the refusal, Moses and his brother Aaron warned of the consequences, the wrath of God. The leaders of Egypt were told, and some perhaps believed, that they were deities. The idea that these tiny slave people could threaten Pharaoh and his great empire and army, was insane.

"O sole god, like whom there is no other!
Thou bringest forth as thou desirest
To maintain the people
According as thou madest them for thyself,
The lord of all of them, wearying with them,
The lord of every land, rising for them,
The Aton of the day, great of majesty.

How manifold it is, what thou hast made!
They are hidden from the face.
O sole god, like whom there is no other!
Thou didst create the world according to thy desire,
Whilst thou wert alone: All men, cattle, and wild beasts,
Whatever is on earth, going upon feet,
And what is on high, flying with its wings."

Great Hymn to the Aten
Author: Akhenaten Pharaoh of Egypt

The enemy of Pharaoh was not the Jews really, but their god, Jehovah. The plagues were called down upon Egypt until Pharaoh released the Jews. The final plague, the death of the first born male was the worst of the plagues. At first Pharaoh let the Jews go, his heart being swollen in sorrow. But then he allowed his bitterness decide to kill the Jews instead. The Bible seems to either discuss a parting of the Red Sea or a place called the Sea of Reeds, a deep mud filled back water swamp by Moses. Either constitutes a miracle, and I am not qualified to suggest which was more accurate in translation. The point of this all is not to suggest that I have proof of anything, but to say, as stories go, these are rather detailed plagues with very odd components to simply pull out of your ass. I believe that whenever a work is complicated and earnest in direction, it sounds true, whereas, if a work is filled with author assurances that the story really is true, it often is not. I have more thinking to do, but I'll be back with more. 

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