Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Who is the Father?

The mystery of God is not easy to understand, let alone trying to explain in a rational way based on empirical proof. The various encounters that people had with deity were unique and special. In some instances God appeared out of nowhere and stood right next to someone; God spoke from a burning bush; God has communicated in a dream or vision; God spoke from a dark cloud and fire; God is described as flying on the wind or wings of creatures called cherubim. Moses, Aaron and the seventy elders of Israel saw God and sat down and had a meal in the Lord’s presence (Cp. Exodus 24: 9-11). The prophet Micaiah saw God sitting on his heavenly throne (Cp. 1 Kings 22: 9); so did Isaiah (Cp. Isaiah 6: 1). God, or rather the Lord, is described as one of the sons of The Most High/El Most High (Heb. Elyon), who was allotted Israel as his inheritance (Cp. Deuteronomy 32: 8-8). So, all these appearances or revelations (“theophany”) of God in the Old Testament should settle the matter as to the Father; but does it? Let’s hear what Jesus had to say about the matter, and this is where the study will start with the following:

John 1: 18
No one has “ever” seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side (right hand??), has made him known (revealed him).

John 5: 37, 43a
And the Father who sent me has himself testified of me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form. I have come in my Father’s name and you do not accept me.

John 6: 46a
No one has seen the Father “except” the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.

John 14: 8-9a, 10b
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and it will be enough for us.” Jesus answered, “Don’t you know me Philip; even after I have been among you such a long (short??) time?” Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. It is the Father living (abiding??) in me, who is doing his work.

John 17: 25a
[Jesus said] “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you.”

1 Corinthians 8: 6
But to us there is but one God (Heb. El), the Father (Heb. ha’ Ab), from whom are all things, and we exist for him; and one Lord (Heb. `Adonai), the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through him.

Ephesians 4: 6
One God (Heb. El) and Father (Heb. Ab) of all, who is over all, through all, and in all.

1Timothy 6: 15b, 16
God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen

This last reference sums up this study nicely and reinforces what Jesus said earlier, and there can be no greater authority than his. Since the dawn of time when mankind had the first contact with God, it was like in the Greek plays, I surmise, behind a mask of sorts. It was very much like what was revealed to Moses when he asked to see God’s glory. Although the translation was a bit awkward and strained, it reveals that mortals cannot experience the awesome incorporeal essence and celestial splendor of God’s divinity in a direct sense (Cp. Exodus 33: 18-20, 23b). Even the different names associated with God had to do with a particular purpose and appearing that deity wanted to accomplish or reveal. For the most part, God was referred to as the Lord God or God Almighty. Even God’s memorial name “I AM that I AM” (Cp. Exodus 3: 14) was never invoked at any other point in the Scriptures. I think the Psalmist confirms the closest approximation to the divine name, or at least the root or cognate in Psalms 68: 4, where God’s name is Yah.  Jesus did use an abbreviated form in the gospel of John (ex. “I AM….”) but not the full expression as in the account in third chapter of Exodus. Nevertheless, even this is not revealed as the Father until Jesus introduces mankind to this aspect of deity. Lastly, in Colossians 1: 19; 2: 9, it reads: For God [the Father] was pleased to have “all” his fullness dwell (abide) in him [Jesus Christ]. For in Christ “all” the fullness of the ‘godhead’ (“Divine Nature”) dwells in bodily form.

Robert Randle
776 Commerce St. Apt 701
Tacoma, WA 98402
October 19, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Is everything that God does considered good?

Hardly anyone, at least those who believe in God, Ultimate reality, or Source would disagree that one of the characteristics of such a being rests in the notion of One who is the perfect Good. Exodus 34: 6-7a, says: “The Lord, the Lord the compassionate and gracious God, and slow to anger; abounding in love and faithfulness [mercy??], maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” Who can accuse God of anything outside of how God describes these qualities to the divine nature? Nevertheless, let’s look at what the Scriptures also reveal about God; as in the following:

Exodus 4: 21
The Lord said to Moses, “When you return to Egypt. See that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.

Joshua 11: 18a, 19b-20
Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time. Not one city made a treaty of peace with the Israelites who took them all in battle. For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Judges 9: 23a, 24
God sent an “evil spirit” between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem. God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal’s seventy sons, the shedding of their [innocent] blood might be avenged on their brother Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem.

1 Samuel 16: 14-15; 19: 9a, 11
Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an “evil spirit” from the Lord tormented him. Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an ‘evil spirit’ from God is tormenting you. But an “evil spirit” from the Lord came upon Saul. Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning.

2 Samuel 24: 1, 3a, b, 10
Again, the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he [the Lord] “incited” David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah” But Joab replied to the king, “but why does mu lord want to do such a thing?” David was conscious-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”

NOTE: Another version of the same event is recorded in the Chronicles, as in below:

1 Chronicles 21: 1a, 8a
Satan (??) rose up against Israel and “incited” David to take a census of Israel. Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by doing this.”

1 Kings 22: 20-22
And the Lord said, “Who will ‘entice’ Ahab into attacking Ramoth-Gilead and going to his death there?” One suggested this, and another that. Finally a “spirit” came forward, stood before the Lord and said, “I will entice him.” “By what means?” the Lord asked. I will go out and be a “lying spirit” in the mouths of all his prophets, he said. You will succeed in ‘enticing’ him, said the Lord. “Go and do it.”

2 Kings 19: 6a, 7, 9a, 36-37a
This is what the Lord says, I am going to put a “spirit” in him that when he hears a certain report, he will return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword. Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakeh the Cushite king of Egypt, was marching out against him. So Sennacherib, king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there. One day, while he was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer cut him down with the sword.

Job 2: 1, 3
On another day when the angels came to present themselves before the Lord and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?” There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright; a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you “incite” me to ruin (destroy) him without a cause.

Job 2: 10b; 42: 7
Job replied. . . “Shall we accept [only??] good from God, and not evil (trouble/adversity)?”
After the Lord said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your friends because you have not spoken of me what is right; as my servant Job has.

Isaiah 45: 6b-7
I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create [the] darkness. I make peace, and create evil. I, the Lord, do all these things.

CONCLUSION: It seems that “good and evil” are not quantifiable in the human sense of the word as absolutes when it pertains to the Lord. The purpose for which God acts in human history is consistent with his “essential” goodness and as such, any action by God that makes us uncomfortable or which is not easily understood cannot be sufficient proof or evidence to indict the Creator of wrongdoing. Did not God say in Isaiah 55: 8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.

Robert Randle
776 Commerce St #701
Tacoma, WA 98402
October 18, 2016

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Does the Bible mention anything about extraterrestrials?

It is a far stretch of the imagination for most people, especially Bible believing Christians, to remotely consider that the Scriptures contain anything about aliens from another planet or universe. The notion that the Earth was visited by advanced beings from outside our Solar System belongs to the genre of Sci-fi movies, comic books, or television shows, but not as real events that are included in the holy Scriptures; but is all the skepticism just a smokescreen for the fact that the inhabitants of the Mesopotamian Basin and across all the continents of Earth have had contact with scientifically advanced and/or godlike beings? This study will explore that possibility and determine if authors like Sitchin, Von Daniken, Leon, Hill, Blumrich, Bergier, Downing, Shellhorn, etal, have caught on to something profound that will dramatically alter the way we view the universe, God, and our place in the cosmic scheme of things. So, let’s begin the journey.

Genesis 32: 1
Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them he said, “This is the camp of God.” So he named the place Manahaim (“two camps”).

NOTE: Was the place that Jacob came upon some kind of observation post for a small crew of alien astronauts, and contact with them was more or less routine?

Exodus 19: 9, 18
The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come down to you in a dense (dark??) cloud. Mt. Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord descended [not suddenly appeared] on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like the smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently.

NOTE: The cloud could be the ionized particles forming a vaporous cloud and the smoke could be exhaust fumes. The fire might be the igniting or firing of retro rockets to slow the descent of the cloaked landing craft setting down on the top of the mountain. The main thrusters would undoubtedly produce the effect of a loud thundering noise or roaring sound [trumpets/the sound of many waters??].

Exodus 24: 9-10
Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.

NOTE: This would seem to be the description of some sort of spacecraft or celestial vehicle which had deployed landing gear (“feet”), and underneath was some type of material or substance which might be an energy field?? Whatever Moses and company saw, it does not appear to be that of an ethereal, incorporeal, transcendent, invisible, or conceptual being; or at least not in the usual way that God is thought of. In this instance what they saw was perhaps an inter-dimensional being of a nature that leaves very little to get a clear picture of.

2 Samuel 22: 10-12a
He parted the heavens and came down [landed/descended??]; dark clouds were under his feet [landing gear]. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared [lifted off??] on the wings of the wind. He made darkness (exhaust??) his canopy (covering) around.

NOTE: Again, this would appear to be a rocket or some kind of craft lifting off and the fuel source from the rockets igniting produce dark smoky vapors underneath retracting landing gear (feet??)

Ezekiel 10: 13-14a, 16
I heard the wheels being called the whirling (spinning/rotating??) wheels. Each of the cherubim had four faces. . .  When the cherubim moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the cherubim spread their wings to rise from the ground the wheels did not leave their side.

NOTE: If the two above texts are combined together it gives a picture of a type of flying craft, perhaps an inter-dimensional one where the ‘deity’ (God??) mounts (enters) the cherubim and then takes off. Could the whirling wheels be propeller blades or rotors? The cherubim could be part of the engine of a celestial transport craft of some kind??

Exodus 33: 18, 19a-21
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness (glory??) to pass in front of you but you cannot see my face; for no one can see my face and live.” Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will place you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen [why??].

NOTE: This is most puzzling- why does God not want Moses to see his face as opposed to seeing the back of deity? Later on in the book of Deuteronomy, Moses reminds the Israelites that they heard the voice of God speaking out of the fire but there was no form thereof  (Cp. Deuteronomy 4: 12)

Exodus 33: 9
As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down (descend) and stay (hover) at the entrance while the Lord spoke [from the cloaked shuttle craft??] to Moses (Cp. Exodus 34: 5).

Exodus 23: 20, 21b
See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way. . . Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion since my Name is in [not upon??] him.

NOTE: Could this “angel” be some kind of high tech protector robot, or maybe an alien probe with artificial intelligence (A.I.)? Interestingly, this angel has the “Name” in him (it) [like a set of preprogrammed instructions??] instead of ‘on’ him.

Exodus 40: 38
So, the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and the fire was in the cloud by night in the sight of all Israel during their travels.

NOTE: There is the possibility that instead of a small scout ship or shuttle, an unmanned aerial device (UAD) or drone with stealth technology and holographic capability could project the appearance of a cloud and/or a fire. Maybe the “burning bush” which did not consume itself that Moses saw was just a holographic projection- just saying!!

Now, let’s take a look at some other examples:

Genesis 28: 12-13a
Jacob had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on [not merely touching??] the earth, with its top reaching to heaven [up in the sky], and the angels of God ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and Isaac.” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”

Genesis 11: 4
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens [up in the sky], so that we may make a name {Shem??] for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the earth.

NOTE: If the two separate accounts are taken together it might indicate that a stairway [launch tower/ramp??] was securely in place where angels [“astronauts”??] were embarking and disembarking from up there in heaven [celestial spaceship??] and after the ship de-cloaked and the hatch or door was opened the Lord was seen standing there overhead-just saying!! Maybe the ‘stairway’ is like Bifrost, the rainbow bridge in Norse Mythology linking Midgard (Earth) to Asgard (Heaven), and instead of  seeing the lone guardian Heimdall, it is the All-Father Odin standing at the top-maybe/maybe not?? If one reads Zechariah Sitchin’s novels, he alleges the Hebrew word Shem usually translated as “Name” actually means rocket (ship). Well, I don’t know if one could build a ‘tower’ that reaches the heavens but a rocket ship could go that far. What the Genesis narrative above is describing might just be the ancient counterpart to NASA and Cape Canaveral in Florida- just saying..

Continuing further:

2 Kings 2: 1, 11, 15a-16
When the Lord was about to take up Elijah to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses appeared [materialized/de-cloaked??] and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen [not horses??] of Israel!” The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, “Look, they said, “we your servants have fifty men, Let us go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or valley.”

NOTE: If the other prophets knew that the Lord would take Elijah to heaven, why would they expect Elijah would be sent back to earth? Also, Elisha saw chariots and horsemen [astronauts??] as opposed to the description of a fiery chariot [singular] and horses. The ‘whirlwind’ could be the atmospheric disturbance due to the effect of the powerful engines from the celestial craft?? This might be the most plausible example of what might be an alien abduction-or perhaps not to others.

Acts 8: 39b-40
The Spirit of the Lord took Philip away [beamed him up]. . . Philip, however appeared [he was beamed down] at Azotus.

NOTE: The narrative does not reveal the reason behind this brief snatching away [abduction] and returning of Philip, and I don’t have any good guesses, either.  

CONCLUSION: This study is not to suggest that the human race, starting with Adam and Eve and the Semitic Bedouin tribe who settled in the land of Canaan, descending from the lineage of the patriarch Abraham, progenitor of the Jewish people (Israelites), did not have contact with the eternal God and angels from the highest heaven. It is just as plausible, however, that Earth could have been visited by an advanced race of extraterrestrial astronauts and/or godlike inter-dimensional beings who manifest abilities, technology, and knowledge far exceeding the evolutionary development of the people they encountered untold millennia ago. If such events happened today as recorded in the Bible, would a moveable pillar of cloud and fire; thundering sound of a human [man’s] voice; angels [astronauts??] ascending/descending on a stairway; cherubim with retractable wings and whirling wheels; fiery chariot, the Spirit snatching someone up- would all of these situations be seen as the interaction in human affairs from the celestial realms of the Creator of the Universe or the effects of high-tech wizardry from advanced denizens from unknown worlds or universes? You can make that choice for yourself and as the old saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding.” Jesus said in John 5: 37, “No man has seen God at any time; you have neither heard his voice nor seen his form.”

Robert Randle
776 Commerce St Apt 701
Tacoma, WA 98402
June 2, 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016

Should women preach in the Church?

I read an article that appeared in The Christian Chronicle, which is a publication of the Churches of Christ on the matter of women preaching from the pulpit. This is really an old issue that has been debated for decades, among this fundamentalist religious organization as well as others, and the verdict is a resounding, “The New Testament does not authorize women to be preachers.” This position extends beyond standing in front of a lectern and delivering the homily, but praying/benediction, Scripture reading, participation in the Eucharist, administering the baptismal rite, collecting tithes/freewill offerings, or any other activity in the presence of congregants which includes men or teenage males past the adolescent stage. The study that I will provide is to delve a little deeper into the biblical texts under consideration to help determine, if possible, what prevailing attitude might have influenced the way over one half of the world’s population and an ever higher percentage of the faithful who make up the spiritual body of Christ are regarded.

Since the apostle Paul is quoted for establishing the rule governing a woman’s role in church government or administration, let’s take a look at his perspective on women in general, as in the following:

1Timothy 2: 13-15a
Adam was formed first, then Eve. Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing. . . [what-really??]

NOTE: So, what was Adam’s excuse? I have heard preachers say Adam listened to his wife’s voice instead of God’s and that is why we are in the mess we are today. In other words, if Eve would have just kept her big mouth shut [be silent and in subjection to Adam], then. . .

-Continuing on:

1Timothy 2: 11
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission [to her head/husband]. I do not permit a woman to teach, or to have authority over the man; she must be silent

NOTE: Does the mere fact that when women deliver a word of encouragement or preach/teach in the congregation or assemblies of saints, this action in some way undermine the authority of the men? By the way, it should be noted that he does not say this was a command.

1 Corinthians 14: 34b-35
As in all the congregations of the saints, women should [must??] remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak [at all??], but must be in submission, as the law [Torah??] says, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

NOTE: A couple of things. First, I have not found anything in the Law of Moses that says such a thing. Secondly, the apostle Paul is the main one teaching that believers in Christ Jesus are not under the law, so why is he using that rule or principle; even it could be found?

Keeping the above Scripture in mind, let’s look at another, like this one:

1 Corinthians 11: 5, 16
And every woman who prays or prophesies [presumably in the church] with her head covered dishonors her head [“the man” Cp. verse 3b]- it is as though her head were shaved. If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice [of this sort??]- nor do the churches of God [in Christ].

NOTE: If the apostle is giving instructions regarding praying or prophesying (in the church), then it stands to reason that “being silent” or “in subjection” doesn’t apply to the exercise of a spiritual gift- so why would preaching or teaching be any different?

There’s more:

1 Corinthians 12: 1, 4, 7, 27
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers [I would think sisters, too], I do not want you to be ignorant. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. Now to each one the manifestation [anointing/gifting] of the Spirit is given for the common good. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one [not some] of you are a part of it.

Now, taking a look at the Apostle Paul’s background:

Galatians 1: 13a, 14a
For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism. I was advancing in Judaism far beyond Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

Philippians 3: 4b
If anyone else thinks he has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more- circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law [Torah] a Pharisee (Cp. Acts 23: 6).

Wrapping this up, then, it is curious that the apostle Paul wrote in Galatians3: 28, “There is either Jew or Greek, slave nor free, male or female; for you are all “one” in Christ Jesus. In Romans 16: 3a, 5 it reads: Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. Greet also the church that meets in their house. It is rather doubtful that Aquila would have agreed to a subservient role to her husband, and in point-of-fact they might have actually been the modern equivalent of co-Pastors of their congregation (esp. Cp. Acts 18: 24-26). I
It is doubtful that Eudoias and Syntyche (Cp. Philippians 4: 2) were ‘silent’ and not having had some type of disagreements in the presence of mixed company [the brothers in the church]. In Acts 21: 8-9 the Evangelist Philip had four daughters who prophesied, and it is very unlikely that they did not exercise this gift in a public manner at the church in Caesarea; and probably in mixed company with their father’s blessing. Besides all this, are “only” men to lift up holy hands in prayer and not the women (Cp. 1 Timothy 2: 8)? While this study may not dissuade anyone from their particular POV in this matter and it is not intended to. I am just offering this information that will hopefully encourage further investigation, if needed. As in anything, it is up to the reader to determine the truth for themselves, and as a final thought, 1 Thessalonians 5: 21- Prove all things, hold fast to that what is good.

Robert Randle
776 Commerce St Apt 701
Tacoma, WA 98402
May 26, 2016

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Prophesy of the House of Israel (Part 2)

I wrote an earlier article in 2011 regarding the land of Israel (the ten northern tribes) that split away, after the united monarchy under king David fractured when Solomon’s son Rehoboam acted upon some bad advice. Actually, this event was already in the making after Solomon let his heart be led astray by marrying women from pagan nations who enticed him to introduce the worship of foreign gods among the people of Israel. The prophet Ezekiel introduces a rather interesting prophesy regarding the nation as far as the duration of this national sin that does not seem to match up with the years of their rebellion, even if one includes the years of Solomon’s reign.

Ezekiel 3: 4-5
Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the house of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin for the house of Israel.

Chronology of the kings of Israel (after Solomon):

 1 Kings 14: 20                                                
Jeroboam did evil (22 years).                          

1 Kings 15: 25
Nadab did evil (2 years).

1 Kings 15: 25, 33-34
Baasha did evil (24 years).  

1 Kings 16: 8-10

Elah did evil (2 years).

1 Kings 16: 10, 16-18                                     
Zimri did evil (7 days).                                   

1 Kings 16: 24-26
Omri did evil (12 years).
1 Kings 16: 29-34 thru 22: 38                        
Ahab did evil (22 years).                               

1 Kings 22: 40b, 51-55
Ahaziah did evil (2 years).
                                                                                                                                                                                2 Kings 10: 1, 11-25                   
Joram did evil (12 years).                            

*2 Kings 10: 35*
 Jehu did good (28 years).

2 Kings 13: 1-2                                             
Jehoahaz did evil (17 years).                        

2 Kings 13: 11
Jehoash did evil (16 years).

2 Kings 14: 23-24                                         
Jeroboam II did evil (41 years).                    

2 Kings 14: 29: 15: 8-11
Zechariah did evil (6 months).

2 Kings 15: 13-15                                         
Shallum did evil (1 month).                         

2 Kings 15: 17-18
Mehahem did evil (10 years). 
2 Kings 15: 23-24                                         
Pekahiah did evil (2 years).                          

2 Kings 15: 25-28
Pekah did evil (20 years).

2 Kings 17: 1
Hoshea did evil (9 years)
2 Kings 17: 23b
So Israel was carried away from their land to Assyria, “as it is to this day.”

NOTE: Assyria [Asshur] anciently comprised the whole region between the Armenian mountains of the North, the South country of Baghdad [Iraq], and on its Eastern boundary are the mountains of Kurdistan, and Westward it was bounded by the Mesopotamian desert as it reached the Euphrates (REFERENCE: Holman Bible Dictionary).

2 Kings 17: 6
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and by the Habor, the River Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes (Cp. 2 Kings 18: 11).

NOTE: Halah is a region in northern Mesopotamia, possibly northeast of Nineveh the capitol city of Assyria. The Habor is a major tributary of the Euphrates River and the Gozan is a Syrian city-state and probably modern Tel Halaf in northwestern Mesopotamia on the southern bank of the River Khabut. Cities of the Medes is a designation for Media proper- An ancient Iranian people and sister nation of the “Persians.” Their empire stretched from the Southern shore of the Black Sea and Aran province (Republic of Azerbajani) to North and Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (REFERENCE: Holman Bible Dictionary).

Although the years don’t quite add up to the 390 years as mentioned in Ezekiel’s prophecy, the interesting thing is that the original ten tribes who were the original settlers are never heard from again; at least as far as the Biblical record is concerned. The peculiar twist of fate called irony is that a lot of the modern anti-Semitism or adversaries who want to destroy the political State of Israel or the Jews are themselves of the same bloodline. Just think about it for a minute- the people of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Azerbajan, North and Central Asia,  the Pashtun tribes of Afghanistan, and Pakistan are undoubtedly mixed with some of the Israelites who were deported there thousands of years ago and became part of the indigenous culture.
Robert Randle
776 Commerce St Apt B11
Tacoma, WA 98402
April 13, 2016



Friday, March 25, 2016

In search of the real Moses

There is probably no other person in the history of the world who is more respected than the great man Moses, with the exception of Abraham, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth, of course. Yet, was he the adopted son of an Egyptian princess as the Bible claims? The character of Moses is portrayed as greater than life, especially to those in the Western world who have had the opportunity to watch Charlton Heston’s superb acting skills of the great lawgiver in the holiday classic “The Ten Commandments.” Still, is this the man or the myth-perhaps we will never know for sure. This study will undertake the task of presenting the Biblical record and then pose some questions for consideration, always leaving it up to the reader to determine the truth for themselves.

Exodus 1:21
The Pharaoh gave this order to all his people, “Every boy that is born [of the Hebrews} you must throw into the Nile; but let every girl live.”

Exodus 2: 1-2a, 3-7
Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. But when she could not hide him any longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed it among the reeds of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”

NOTE: There are several things to consider, namely, why would Pharaoh’s daughter defy a royal order to kill any Hebrew male, and even if she did feel pity for the infant, would she have someone nurse the baby instead of sending it back down the Nile to meet whatever fate was waiting? Also, it was quite fortuitous for the infant’s older sister to be not only nearby but be able to walk up to Pharaoh’s daughter and suggest that she take care of this abandoned and lonely Hebrew boy who has a death sentence hanging over his head. Was the older female sibling the same slave girl to Pharaoh’s daughter?

Exodus 2: 8-9a, 10
She [Pharaoh’s daughter] said, “Yes, go,” she answered. And the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and raise him for me, and I will pay you.” When the child grew older she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

NOTE: The name Moses is apparently Egyptian and not from any Israelite tribe or clan name. In fact, the Egyptian word Moses is depicted as a hieroglyphic symbol translated as mose (s) which means “to give birth to” as stated by Stephane Rossini in her book, EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHICS How to Read and Write Them (p. 6). For instance, the name Rameses (Cp. Exodus 1: 1b) would be shown as the solar disc representing the sun followed by the glyph or character for mose (s); meaning the son of or born of the Sun [Ra-meses/Ra-mose (s)]. The narrator or editor in Exodus may or may not have been aware of the Egyptian meaning of the word and interpreted it according to the circumstances and placed those words in the mouth of Pharaoh’s daughter, it seems.

Exodus 2: 11a, 12a, 15a
One day after Moses had grown up he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that, and seeing no one he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. When Pharaoh heard about it he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian.

Exodus 2: 16a, 18, 19a, 20
Now a priest of Midian had [only??] seven daughters. When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?” They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds.” Moses agreed to stay with the man who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.

Exodus 3: 1a
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian.

Exodus 6: 20
Amram married his father’s sister [Amram’s Aunt??] Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses.

NOTE: Why wasn’t Miriam mentioned?

Numbers 10: 29
Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law.

NOTE: Didn’t Reuel only have seven daughters (Cp. Exodus 2: 16a)?

Numbers 12: 1
Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite [Ethiopian] wife, for he married a Cushite.

Judges 4: 11
Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab Moses’ brother-in-law.

NOTE: I would think there is a distinction between a Cushite, Midianite, or a Kenite, for that matter.

Numbers 26: 59
The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed; a descendant of Levi, who was born to the Levites in Egypt. To Amram she bore Aaron, Moses and their sister Miriam.

1 Chronicles 4: 17b, 18b
One of Mered’s wives gave birth to Miriam (??). These were the children of Pharaoh’s daughter Bithnia, whom Mered had married.

NOTE: It is unlikely that Bithnia was the Egyptian mane of Pharaoh’s daughter, just like Esther was the Persian name of Mordecai’s cousin Hadassah (Cp. Esther 2: 7). If the real name of Pharaoh’s daughter were known then it would have helped to know the identity of the Pharaoh of the Exodus who came after him.

Acts 7: 22-23
Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and deeds. When Moses was forty years old he decided to visit his fellow Israelites.

Exodus 4: 10
Moses said to the Lord, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past [in Egypt??] nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

So, is Moses a real person and if he was, are the things attributed to him, including the adoption of Pharaoh’s daughter and raised by her in defiance of a death decree on all Hebrew males a plausible scenario? The proximity to Pharaoh’s daughter by Moses’ older sister Miriam who could have been one of the attendants or the lone mentioned slave girl, and the events that transpired which changed the course of Moses’ life (literally) and certainly the Israelites who were slaves in Egypt, an historical fact or not? Also, let’s consider Moses’ talking with God, where in Exodus 3: 20, it says, But the Lord said to Moses, “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me [my face] and live.” However, it says in verse 11a, The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend (Cp. Numbers 12: 8). Be that as it may the main thing that can be gleaned from the story of Moses and his subsequent impact upon the major World Religions  as Moshe in Judaism, Moses in Christianity, and Islam (Musa in the Koran) is the certainty and unwavering faithfulness of God, and having the confidence to trust in him no matter how dire and hopeless the circumstances might appear to be; because God never fails nor does his promises not come to pass if we keep on believing; and oftentimes God will still rescue us even when we have given up on him.

Robert Randle
776 Commerce St. Apt B11
Tacoma, WA 98402
March 25, 2016

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

When gods cry

The title is little more than a way to engage the reader’s attention, and I admit to having co-opted the idea from Pop megastar recording artist Prince’s song “When Doves Cry.” The point that I want to offer in this brief study is that not all gods mentioned in the Bible, especially the Old Testament, are objects made from materials such as a tree, stone slab, or molded metal. It may come as a surprise to some that those idol gods mentioned in the Bible narratives are real persons or beings superior to humans. It must also be kept in mind that persons could be worshipped as a ‘god’ such as the Pharaohs of Egypt or Caesars of imperial Rome. If such were idols the carved images would not necessarily what the petitioner or suppliant believes the deity looks like but rather is an aspect of some characteristic and used as a fetish to channel, attract or draw in the power or energy from that source and is used for protection, healing, and some other benefit; or even for destructive purposes as well. The following examples are offered for consideration.

2 Kings 1: 16
He told the king, “This is what the Lord says: “Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron”?

NOTE: Baal-Zebub might be like the oracle of Delphi among the Greeks, giving a glimpse in the future by foretelling of events yet to happen and the eventual outcome. Interestingly, this same name is the corrupted form [or the other way around??] used in the New Testament concerning Jesus in Matthew 12: 24, where it says: But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub [Baal-Zebub] the prince of demons that this fellow drives out demons. It would seem that this being has the same identity and in all probability is some kind of entity or being, non-human and definitely not a carved or graven (man-made) object.

2 Kings 17: 31
The Sepharavites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.

2 Kings 19: 37a
One day he (Sennacherib) was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer cut him down with the sword.

NOTE: It is very possible that Sennacherib’s son Adrammelech was worshipped as a god by the Sepharvites. Besides, can a thing (idol) kill someone with a sword, or does a person have to do it?

Jeremiah 43: 12
The Lord will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt; He will burn down their temples and take their gods captive.

NOTE: What would be the value of taking captive inanimate objects as opposed to teal people? Of course, even if these idols were made of gold, silver, or some precious stones (jade, rubies, topaz, diamonds, etc.) the narrative still wouldn’t make sense.

Jeremiah 46: 25
The Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says, “I am about to bring punishment on Amon the god of Thebes, on Pharaoh, on [the people of] Egypt, and on her gods and her kings, and on those who rely on Pharaoh.

NOTE: You cannot punish lifeless things, hurt them or make them feel pain so the god Amon and some, if not all the other gods worshipped in that part of Egypt, as well as the Pharaoh and other kings must be flesh and blood persons.

Jeremiah 48: 7b
“. . . and Chemosh will go into exile, together with his (not it’s) priests and officials.”

NOTE: Only a person can go into exile, be deported or banished.

Jeremiah 49: 1b
Why then has Molech taken possession of [the territory of] Gad? Why do his people live its towns?

NOTE: Does an inanimate object or idol take possession of some land and have people of its own? Besides, the narrative used “his” and not its people.

Jeremiah 50: 2b
Bel will be put to shame and Marduk will be filled with terror.

NOTE: Can an idol of wood, stone, or metal be shamed or made to feel terror?

Ezekiel 8: 14b
I saw women sitting there mourning for Tammuz.

NOTE: Why would women shed tears for an carved image [Tammuz the slain or crucified fertility god??]

Robert Randle
776 Commerce St Apt B11
Tacoma, WA 98402
March 15, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Canaanite settlers of Jerusalem were Black Africans

It may come as quite a surprise to readers of the Bible that the land flowing with “milk and honey (Canaan),” was originally settled by Black people, or more specifically, people of African origin. Not only that, but the holy city of Jerusalem and the “Beautiful land” were also settled by one of the Black tribal clans (groups). The tenth chapter of the book of Genesis gives much of the information.

Genesis 10: 6, 15-16, 17b-19
The sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, and the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Girhashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Later the Canaanite clans (tribes) scattered [migrated] and the borders of Canaan reached from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim as far as Lasha.

Joshua 10: 1, 5
Adoni-Zedek, King of Jerusalem. The Amorites were in the land.

Joshua 11: 3
Jebusites were in the hill country

Joshua 15: 8, 63
The Jebusite city (that is, Jerusalem) Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah.

2 Samuel 5: 6a, 7
The king (David) and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites who lived there. Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the city of David.

NOTE: It does not say that David killed everyone with the sword, like Moses or especially Joshua did. However, it is quite possible that the remaining Jebusites accepted the God of Israel or were made slave laborers like some of the other defeated Canaanite clans.

So, one last and important detail in all of this which tends to prove my point is that Noah’s son Ham is almost universally regarded as synonymous with Black-skinned (burnt of skin); which makes sense in this way- Mizraim is another term for ‘Egypt’ and Cush is associated with Ethiopia. Even Put is believed to be the name of an African tribe designated as Punt [possibly pygmy or Twa people??]. The reason I think this is interesting stems from the fact that the land or territory of disputed claims by Palestinians or the Jewish settlers who came from Europe leading to the establishment of the State of Israel may in point of fact be invalid, after all.

Robert Randle
776 Commerce St Apt B11     
Tacoma, WA 98402
February 24, 2016