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Conjectures on the dubious biblical accounts

 

The Torah describes the creation of the world in six days. There is also a scientific explanation. According to the theory of relativity, time slows down in fast-moving objects, for example, space ships. The Holy Spirit, being formless, resembles a gravitational or magnetic field which has no form or size. Fields move in space with a speed approaching the speed of light in a vacuum. Thus, if the Spirit is a field, time almost stops for him. As he hovered over the abyss, six days would equal billions of human years, the age scientists assign to the universe.

 

Torah does not say that the world was created 6,000 years ago. Rather, there are several accounts differentiated in time.

Gen1:1: In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth; implied, there already were others. Thus, the Universe already existed for indeterminate time and Gen1:1 relates the Creation of Earth.

Gen1:2: for indefinite time afterwards, the earth was sort of unfinished. That conforms to the geological fact of the hot, melted planet.

Gen1:3: at some later point, the planet saw the first light. Science confirms that the young planet was covered in a thick non-transparent cloud of dust and volcanic matter. When the dust settled, the planet was ready to develop life forms. Here comes the allegorical six-day Creation.

Gen1:27: Creation of humans.

Gen2:7: After a major drought, God started a new civilization in Eden. By the time of Adam, humans already densely settled the Earth (in Gen4:14, Cain laments that any stranger could kill him). In biblical chronology, that happened very approximately about 4,000 B.C.E. Indeed, anthropologists note inexplicable surge of civilization around that time. 6,000 years date the Edenic civilization – not the Creation. Torah gives no indication when Universe, Earth, or humans were created.   

Enoch, Adam's grandson, was closer to modern humans. Before Enoch's generation, people had hairy faces, like apes (Bereshit rabbah 23:9).

Gen6:2: humans interbred with "sons of God," possibly descendants of Cain who was "received from God" (Gen4:1)

Gen6:7: the previous race is destroyed in flood. The destruction is not total: much later, giant Goliath was one of the last "fallen ones." The race of giants recalls megalithic culture.

Gen11:1 Humans originally had a common language. That conforms to Indo-European or Nostratic language theory.

 

The earth, says Genesis1:2, was formless and void. The earth, an object, cannot be possibly void. Hebrew words tohu and bohu are translated thus only tentatively, and assuming non-standard contraction. No less possible reading is, “And the earth was [there], you will live also (and) in it.” This translation makes sense of the text’ careful insistence on definite article before earth. After hovering above the Earth, elokim designated it as a new abode for someone.

 

Could Noah’s Ark be not a vessel but a globetrotting laboratory bin of DNA samples of the living beings of those times, which survived the flood and the earthquakes?

 

The Tower of Babel account relates of a civilization sufficiently advanced to reach the sky, suffered cataclysmic destruction. Its people left the place and went to distant communities. Whether or not the mention of them reaching the sky alludes to air transportation, they traveled fast. They settled in other communities, and created different languages.

 

Tanakh relates of the giant Nephilim people. Size of animals increased, climaxing in dinosaurs and the like. After catastrophic extinction of large species, animals became smaller. The same process could take places for humans.

 

Who are the Hebrews? Hebrew language is unrelated to the Sumerian, a probable language of Abraham. Virtually no traces of Hebrew presence are found in pre-Exodus Egypt. Ancient historians, however, relate the Hebrews to Carthaginians. Their languages are very similar, and customs and religious practices have much in common. Torah refers to scaleless fish, and the only such fish is sea mammals – unknown to landlocked Hebrews, but well known to Carthaginians. Religiously tolerant Romans had little reason to dislike the Jews as they in fact did; Romans had a good reason to dislike Carthaginians. Carthage was not far from Egypt, and Hebrew folklore could transform the expulsion by Romans into Exodus. The expulsion would explain the often-expressed desire of Hebrews to turn back – an inexplicable fact if they escaped from harsh, murderous slavery. Carthaginians were experienced warriors and, unlike pastoral Hebrews, could indeed score many victories in Sinai. The name Hebrews might be related to the river Ebro in Spain that Hannibal crossed to invade Italy. The inflated accounts of the Judean War and the subsequent revolt mirror the memories of the Punic wars.

 

The pyramid architect's name Hymanu recalls Hyman, King of Tyre, architect of the First Temple. The site of Jerusalem does not allow for the Temple size mentioned in the Bible. Could the Temple be the Egyptian pyramid? Jewish priests explained absence of the First Temple with the story of its destruction.

 

Many ridicule the miracle of the Red Sea parting for the Israelites during the Exodus. The Red Sea is yam suf in Hebrew, meaning sea of reeds or swamp into which Red Sea turned before the Aswan Dam was built. Hebrews crossed a gulf north of the Red Sea. A strong north (from front, mistranslated as eastern) wind blowing for a long time could make the water shallow, a condition of which the Israelites took advantage by wading the swamp. While the Jews crossed on foot, the Egyptian heavy cavalry drowned in the marsh. That is why the Torah says only the chariots drowned, not the whole Egyptian army. Significantly, the wheels of the chariots first sank in mud.[BC1]  A miracle does not necessarily violate the laws of nature.

 

Hebrew laws form a wonderful ethical system. They were given on Sinai in the environment as if intended to impress the Israelites. In Ex18:20, almost-revered Jethro tells his son-in-law Moses to stop judging the people himself, and to record the laws so that other judges may apply them. Apparently, Moses already knew and applied the laws which the Israelites learned at Sinai. The Mosaic laws may be just that – the laws Moses learned in Egypt, perhaps from an ancient tradition, and recorded and gave to Israelites.

 

Priestly texts are oddly critical of the Jews: they rebel, whine, practice strange religions, and pervert the law. They are not the first-born. Even the name, Israel, “he will fight God,” is depreciative. Abraham is made to laugh at God’s promise of son, even though the promise was not unreasonable: Abraham fathered Ishmael at 86. Moses continuously shrieks from his duties, and Hebrews in Sinai are discontent with God. The names of Levites are Egyptian, and Levites received the ultimate sinecure of the Temple service. The Pharaoh of Exodus is essentially a good fellow, but God hardened his heart. The priests were pro-Egyptian, and contempt of the Israelite crowd newly converted to the priestly religion.

 

 

 [BC1]Chariots, of course, do not drown.  Charioteers do.