A God Driven by Blood and Death: Human Sacrifice and the Slaughter of Christ

(I wish to thank Robert B for listing all the many references to human sacrifice in the Old Testament / Hebrew Bible as he did in an earlier comment to a post. Great work Robert! However, for time’s sake, I have limited my study mainly to the books of Genesis and Joshua.)

I. The Primitive Epic

A. Yahweh Battles the Gods of Nature and the Hymn of His Annual Enthronement in the Temple as Warrior-King

A description of one of the ancient annual fall enthronement is found in the Hebrew poem of Psalm 24: 7 -10:

Lift up your heads, O Gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors!

That the King of glory may come in!
Who is the King of Glory?
Yahweh strong and mighty,
Yahweh mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O Gates,
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in!
Who is this King of glory?
Yahweh of Heaven, He is the King of Glory.

(Note: since the Hebrew “יהוה” is rendered into English as “the Lord”, I have used the personal name of the deity “Yahweh” instead. The problem of equating Yahweh with the universal theistic term θεός / God in the New Testament is a major problem I plan to address on a future post.)



One of the best Sitz im Leben of this ancient poem is given by Frank Cross:

“We may see reflected in this liturgy the reenactment of the victory of Yahweh in the primordial battle and his enthronement in the divine council or, better, in his newly built (cosmic) temple.
Such an interpretation assumes a Canaanite myth-and-ritual pattern standing behind the Israelite rite reflected in the psalm. Yamm, deified Sea, claimed kingship among the gods. The council of the gods assembled and, told of Yamm’s intentions to size the kingship and take Ba’l captive, made no protest. They were cowed and despairing, sitting with heads bowed to their knees. Ba’l rases and rebukes the divine assembly, and goes forth to war. In the (cosmogonic) battle he is victorious, and he returns to take up kingship (CTA 2 & 4). Presumably he returned to the assembled gods and appeared in glory, and the divine assembly rejoiced. In a later text (CTA 4) Ba’l’s temple, symbolic of his new sovereignty, is completed, and the gods sit at banquet celebrating. Ba’l is king.
Similarly, in Tablet VI of the Babylonian Creation Epic, Marduk, after battling the primordial ocean, Tiamat, and creating the universe out of her carcass, receives from the gods a newly constructed temple where the gods sit at banquet celebrating his kingship. The Babylonian account of creation in the Enuma elis is not too remote a parallel since there is some evidence, collected by Thorkild Jacobsen (The Battle Between Marduk and Tiamat” JAOS, 88 (1968), 104 - 108) that the battle with the dragon Ocean is West Semitic in origin.” The Divine Warrior” in Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel by Frank M. Cross (Harvard University Press,1973) p.93.


B. The Warrior-King Yahweh and his Chosen People: The Israelites

Let me begin by stating that of all the ancient Near Eastern texts which we have translated today, the Hebrew god Yahweh is the only deity that keeps a “chosen” race alive so he can lead them and slaughter them as his bi-polar mental state changes a from manic חסד (hesed or loving kindness) to one of depression and rage such a expressed in Numbers 11: 1:

“Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of Yahweh; and when Yahweh heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of Yahweh burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.”

This characterization of Yahweh is derived from the nose of a snorting and raging bull. Once Yahweh changes into this murderous deity, Moses must try and reason with him; even offering himself to be consumed as an atonement for sin:

“Now Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, each man at the doorway of his tent; and the anger of Yahweh was kindled greatly, and Moses was displeased. …So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness." (Numbers 11: 10 & 15).

The rage Yahweh can become so great that his consuming thirst for blood and death must be satisfied and, once again, we find this god raging like a bull with a flaming nose from his fierce anger:

“Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before Yahweh, so that the fierce anger of Yahweh may turn away from Israel.’" (Numbers 25: 4)

Yahweh is pictured as an unstable and very abusive adult who just can not understand the short comings of his children and, if this god not controlled or at least reasoned with, he can slaughter the entire human race (women, children, the unborn, along with animals which have none nothing in the way of “sin” as in the flood story (Genesis 8 - 9). Thus, animals and humans are viewed often as equal which carry life in the early accounts of “J” as both can be blamed and both can be sacrificed to stave off Yahweh’s craving for blood and life. (For example, an animal forced into an act of sex with an Israelite must be killed along with the human as Yahweh considers both defiled with sexual sin (Leviticus 20: 15 - 16). Revealed here is the fact that, just as in the story of the “Fall from Eden” with a curse placed on the serpent and the slaughter of all the animals / humans for being evil (Genesis 6: 5 - 7), so too are humans and animals, considered flesh and blood that can be sacrifice to satisfy Yahweh anger as well as his need to feed on the smoke of the burning flesh.)


II. Beginning the Demand for Human Sacrifice: The Story of Cain and Able in the Yahwistic or “J” Account.

With the creation stories of Genesis 1 and 2 in place and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, the “J” account uses one verse (Genesis 4:1) to tie the lineage of the first humans couple to a section of theology on sacrifice which is more important in the editor’s thinking than how the earth got populated. In fact the epic moves so fast towards the cultic ritual of sacrifice that no sooner is the reader introduced to Eve giving birth, then these two men are now mature adults who, for the first time in Hebrew history, have a presumed knowledge of the Jewish sacrificial system and the theology of the Torah as to why it must be done.

For the general reader in the synagogue or church today, he or she is totally caught off guard by trying to maintain Genesis 3 with the expansion of the population of the earth after the man (Adam) and woman (Eve) are totally alone in the newly created earth / “the land” “הארץ ”, after they are expelled. (see: Richard Hess, “Splitting the Adam: The Usage of Adam in Genesis I - V,” in Studies in the Pentateuch, edited by J. A. Emerton (E.J. Brill, 1990) pp.1-15)

The religious reader of the early Genesis account who believes that Genesis contains the absolute truth on the earth creation and population has often asked: “Where did Cain get his wife?” or “Where did the other people come from who Cain claimed would try to kill him?”

The answer to his problem is that this section of text has nothing to do with the Toledo / generations of the earth by Adam and Eve, their children or their future generations, but is a section dealing with the first and proper way to sacrifice to God. It also tells the religious reader what the diety really wants and, if given it, that a Covenant of protection will be extended to those persons who do give Yahweh (God) blood and the life that is sustained by it in its death.

Although Adam is cursed to be only a tiller of the ground (Genesis 3:17 - 19) Able is introduced as an experienced herdsman who anachronistically offers “the first and best of his flock and their fat portions” (Gen. 4:4) as, again required by the latter Torah. Though both Cain (The Law of First Fruits: Ex. 23:16, 19; 34: 22, 26 Numbers 13:20) and Able bring God their sacrifices as proscribed in in the law of sacrifice (Numbers 18:17) Yahweh chooses the one that requires the taking of life whose fat is to be burnt to fed him on his throne in Heaven via the smoke.

Since the text Abel brought an animal and Cain brought his grain to sacrifice as proscribed under the Law, the Jewish reader, for whom this story was written, would be very familiar with both the law regarding grain and animal sacrifice. However, what is important here to the Priestly writer is that Yahweh chooses Abel’s offering over Cain’s in that the young animal’s blood which carries its life along with its fat portions can be burnt as a “sweet smell to Yahweh”. The choice of animal sacrifice over grain goes back to the time of hunters and gathers when the “Hebrews” lived in the highlands of Canaan in contrast to the rich and more advanced, but sedately agricultural life of the Canaanites along the coast.

To get the odious smell of cooking meat that rise up toward “the sky” הַשָּׁמַיִם
Hasmyrime where the gods along with Israel‘s Yahweh lived; two demands were needed to accomplish this:
A. Slaughtering / killing of the animal.
B. Burning of its body parts or fat meat so Yahweh can smell it as the heat of the fire carries the smoke upward to where the warrior deity or Yahweh sit on his throne and can now feed on the burnt flesh. (This sacrifice ritual is highly important in the Priestly redaction in Genesis 8: 21; Exodus 29: 18, 25; Lev. 1: 9, 13 ,17, 2: 2 ,9, 12, 3: 5, 16, 4:31, 6: 15, 21, 8:21, 8: 28, 17: 6, 23: 13, 18, 26: 31; Numbers 15: 3,7, 10, 13, 14, 24,18: 17, 28: 2, 6, 8, 13, 24, 27, 28: 27, 29: 2,6, 8, 13 Ezekiel 6: 13, 16: 19, 20: 28, 41. It is repeated again and again so there is no question as to how to get the sweet odor to Yahweh, the slaughtered meat must be burnt to put it into a form Yahweh himself could enjoy.)

Since Abel’s sacrifice deals with blood and death, Yahweh chooses it over the grain offering of Cain. Thus, it is in anger (Gen. 4:6) that Cain kills Abel, but (as noted above) the epic story with its set Laws / Torah regarding sacrifice are anachronistically applied as a teaching tool for latter Jews to this primitive history of the of the first people.

Even though Abel’s murder is also anachronistically known to be against the Mosaic Torah (Exodus 20: 13), Yahweh is only put out by the fact that Cain’s blood is wasted on the ground (Gen. 4: 10 & 11. While the blood of some murdered people “cry out from the ground” (Job 16: 18), the problem here is that Abel’s blood spilt on the ground away from Yahweh’s alter (see: J. Milgrom, “Sacrifices and Offering in the Old Testament” in The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible: Supplementary Volume (edited by K. Crim, Abingdon Press 1976) pp. 763 - 771). The fact that Abel’s life is understood as simply equal to that of an animal sacrificed away from the altar is the reason that Yahweh is upset. (This point is noted in a related code by the Priestly editor as stated by W.W. Hallo: “Under the Levitical dispensation, animal slaughter “Except at the authorized altar” is murder”. The animal too has life (older version: “a soul”). its vengeance is to be feared, its blood must be “covered” or explained by bringing it to the altar.” (William W. Hallo, “The Origins of the Sacrificial Cult: New Evidence from Mesopotamia and Israel,” in Ancient Israelite Religion: Essays in Honor of Frank M. Cross (edited by P. Miller, P. Hanson and S.D. McBride Fortress Press, 1987) pp. 3-13)

This story of the first sacrifice ends when Cain kills his brother Abel by the shedding of blood. Yahweh then both curses and protects him at the same time. In the end, Yahweh / God got what he needed and wanted; the slaughter of life by draining its blood done twice. Yahweh’s protection for Cain is given by the use of the ancient Near Eastern divine number “7” which is a common magical and religious number in Semitic text such as those, not only from Ugarit, but text written in Akkadian. (see: Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 3 edition, edited by J.B Pritchard (Princeton University Press, 1969). Biblical numbers of 3, 6, 7, 40, 70 are understood as divine number that not only influenced the Gospels and Revelation, but by even Jesus himself!) This numerology is amplified more so in Genesis 4: 24 when Lamech cries out:

“If Cain is avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

In summary, what we have depicted in Genesis 4 is an epic tale projected back in time, about NOT how the second generation of descendants of Adam and Eve populated the earth, but why the slaughter of life and the draining of its blood is more pleasing to Yahweh then the sedentary fruits agriculture. As characteristic with the general Hebrew sacrifice (where the animal is killed and the blood drained before it is burnt) Abel’s animal sacrifice, along with its “fat portions” is simply regarded by Yahweh in the text by וַיִּשַׁע which the LXX renders as “και επειδεν” but the meaning is not clear. The LXX makes it plain that Cain’s sacrifice was not on the same level a Abel’s by “ου προσεσχεν”. Thus, Cain is cursed to leave the sedentary life which had just been cursed on Adam by Yahweh himself (Gen. 3: 17 - 19). Cain then takes on the wandering life of a herdsman that can then supply the sacrifices of animals whose blood and flesh are more pleasing to Yahweh.

This story tells us why Yahweh demands life; be it animal (as in the case of Abel’s offering or the killing of Abel as done by the agrarian Cain). Also, that its acceptance by Yahweh is revealed with a cultic divine mark of protection on Cain. The section ends with two deaths (both animal and human) with the ancient deity pleased with both. (The problem of these sacrificial offerings not being burnt is a challenge the Yahwist (J) in that he / she could not fit into the story of fire to burn the sacrifices with since he did not even know or how to anachronously inserted a concept like the stealing of fire as the Greeks did with Prometheus (See both works by the late C.H. Gordon: The Common Background of Greek and Hebrew Civilizations (New York, 1965) and his Homer and Bible: The Origin and Character of East Mediterranean Literature (New Jersey, 1967). This is brought up to date by the master of ancient Greek religion; Walter Burkett: Creation of the Sacred: Tracks of Biology in Early Religions (Harvard University Press, 1998) where both humans and animals function in the role of sacrifice to the Gods to remove the guilt of sin.


III. Empirical Texts Telling of the Wars of Yahweh and the Slaughter of Men, Women and Children (as animals) to Satisfy Yahweh (God’s) Craving for Blood and Life

Apart from the Tetratuch, the book of Joshua forms one of six sections of the Deuteronomistic History (Joshua - Kings) that conveys the epic story of Israel. The redactor of the epic in Joshua wanted to portray the Israelites as having destroyed completely all the inhabitants of Canaan(contra to that of the text of Judges which has the inhabitants of Canaan living within the land along side the Israelites) in a massive sweep under the divine concept of Holy War / Divine Warrior (Modern terms given to the context where Yahweh Himself leads the Israelite armies into battle during Holy War. of the LORD (Yahweh):

"It shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you shall act promptly, for then the LORD (Yahweh) will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines." (2 Samuel 5: 24) (An excellent discussion of this concept can be found in Frank M. Cross: Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel. See the chapter on “The Divine Warrior“, pp. 91 - 111 and P.D. Miller, The Divine Warrior in Early Israel, (Harvard Semitic Monographs V, 1970).

As Divine or Holy Warriors, the Israelite men would ready themselves for war by consecration in reframing from sex and not cutting their hair (Judges 5:2 plus the figure of the Nazirite Holy warrior: Samson) which is record in the ancient poetic text of Judges 5 or what scholars call “The Song of Deborah”.

This is again reiterated in 2 Samuel 11: 6-14 in the story of King David and Uriah when Joab brings Uriah home to sleep with Bathsheba to cover up David’s sexual sin. But as a dedicated Holy Warrior, Uriah refused sex (2 Samuel 11: 11). Although Nathan foretells David of his coming crisis 2 Sam. 12 1-15, the section ends when Yahweh kills the innocent child of David and Bathsheba as a crude sacrifice for sin. (However, once the first child slaughter is accepted as the atonement for David’s sin, Yahweh can then bless them with a second child who will became famous: Solomon (vs.24)). I have used the term “slaughter” in the context that David’s first born, just like in the epic context when Yahweh himself slaughters the first born of both the Egyptian’s children and animals in the covenant of Passover to be taught as a sign for all future Israel:

“For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. When you enter the land which the LORD will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite. And when your children say to you, 'What does this rite mean to you?' you shall say, 'It is a Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.'" And the people bowed low and worshiped.” (Exodus 12: 23 - 27).



The above elements are brought together in the epic tale of the fall of Jericho where both the concepts of Holy War and the Divine Warrior are incorporated with the common ancient Near Eastern magical number seven:

“Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. "It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.” (Joshua 6: 4 - 5).

With the city wall destroyed, the human slaughter of all the men women and children along with their animals could begin under the ancient concept of Holy War where Yahweh, as the leading Warrior-King deity of the Israelite army, demands all the booty of the city from the death of all living things to its gold, silver, bronze and iron as his portion of the הרס or “harem” or the BAN.

“They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword…They burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. (Joshua 6: 21 & 24)

{Word study: שָׂרַף as used in this context is associated with בָּאֵשׁ as the text reads
“שָׂרַף בָּאֵשׁ” or “to burn with fire”. This is a cognate of the Akkadian ina isati sarapu “to destroy by fire” as in relation to burning figurines in magic rituals.

The word שָׂרַף as used in this study is associated in the Priestly work of Leviticus in the burning of animal sacrifices (see also Numbers 17:4, Judges 7: 31, 19: 5 and 2 Kings 17:31). However, most importantly, פרש is used in the Hebrew Bible in the context of children burnt to the gods: Duet. 12: 31, Jeremiah 7: 31, 19: 5, and 2 Kings 17: 31.

Thus, all life, both human and animal life of the city of Jericho, is ritualistically slaughtered and then Yahweh can feast on the smoke from the blood and bodies of the victims, the city is “שָׂרַף בָּאֵש” or burnt with fire.}


The cultic magical elements flow full and free in Joshua 6 - 7. But the victory is short lived due to hidden sin! Unknown to Joshua, Yahweh is denied his full booty; not the precious lives of the non-combatant: All the innocent women, children, babies, the unborn and animals (which Yahweh again equates the innocent human life), but Yahweh greed is for the material metal wealth; that is the gold, silver, bronze and iron that could be used in his tabernacle. (In the book of Jonah, after Jonah preaches in Nineveh, Jonah 4:11 tells us that both humans and animal repented.)

With the murder of all life in Jericho completed and the everything burnt to Yahweh (Notice that the cultic proper killing of life of both humans and animal in Jericho means that their blood must be drained. Thus Joshua 6: 21 makes it a point to tell the Jewish reader of this epic that death was to be by “the edge of the sword” before the ritual / sacrificial burning 6: 24 could take place.)

To seal the future fate of the city, an divine curse is placed on anyone who tries to rebuild it:

“Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying, "Cursed before the LORD is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with the loss of his firstborn he shall lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he shall set up its gates." (Joshua 6:26). (again, the curse here is much like we find in such major This is like many general ancient Near Eastern Akkadian texts such as the epilogue to the Code of Hammurabi. Thus, Yahweh’s curse in verse 26 has set the stage for the slaughter of Achan and all that belonged to him.

Since Yahweh was denied his booty of gold and silver, Yahweh must take his vengeance out on the 3,000 Israelites by not marching into Holy War against Ai:

“So about three thousand men from the people went up there, but they fled from the men of Ai. The men of Ai struck down about thirty-six of their men, and pursued them from the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them down on the descent, so the hearts of the people melted and became as water.” (Joshua 7: 4-5)

The reason given to Joshua is that “Israel has sinned” by taking Yahweh’s gold and sliver:

"Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things.” (Joshua 7: 11) Thus, all of Israel must consecrate themselves to be made holy (as in a divine ritual for Holy Warriors and priests):

“ 'It shall be that the one who is taken with the things under the ban (harem) shall be burned with fire, he and all that belongs to him, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has committed a disgraceful thing in Israel.'" (Joshua 7: 15).

Since Yahweh was cheated out of his gold and silver, human slaughter must sacrificially be feed to Yahweh to quench his hunger for blood and life:

“Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? The LORD will trouble you this day." And all Israel stoned them with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.” (Joshua 7: 25)

Again, the slaughter of men, women, children, babies along with the unborn are an atonement for the original booty of gold and silver God was denied. As such, Achan’s whole extended family is sacrificed by stoning (death caused by blunt force trauma
associated with both external and internal bleeding) then, just like Jericho, the slaughtered families are sacrificed to Yahweh to feed on by fire and its smoke.

To mark the spot as holy, an altar built of stones was set up there to honor Yahweh:

“They raised over him a great heap of stones that stands to this day, and the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the valley of Achor to this day.” (Joshua 7: 26)

With Yahweh’s hunger for human blood and flesh satisfied, he again marches with the Israelites into Holy War; this time against Ai. But, unlike before, Joshua cuts a deal with Yahweh to make up for their defeat the first time by Achan’s hidden sin. Thus, Israel will get to keep all the “spoils and its cattle” (8: 2), but again, all the human life of 12,000 souls must be sacrificially killed and burnt to Yahweh:

“…then all Israel returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword. All who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000-- all the people of Ai. For Joshua did not withdraw his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. … So Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever, a desolation until this day.” (Joshua 8:24c - 26 and 28)



III. The Slaughter of Christ

To keep this post from futher excessive length, I’ve listed some of the reasons that Jesus, as the Christ, fails to qualify as a true sacrificial offering. To get Jesus to a point where he can be both a human sacrifice and a retuning Warrior-King; the term Messiah had to be totally degraded. It‘s little wonder St. Paul states:

“For the message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, but it is God's power to us who are being saved. … For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe through the nonsense of our preaching.” (1 Corth. 1: 18 & 21)


A. The Roman method of crucifixion, which included the beating before Jesus was nailed to the cross, was done by pagan gentile men who were neither consecrated as holy in God’s sight, nor was Jesus’ beating and crucifixion generally any different from the thousands the Romans had made examples out of earlier (Josephus, Jewish Wars 2: Ch.308; Philo Flacc 72: 84 -85).

B. No animal in the Hebrew Bible was made to suffer as an atonement to God. The animal was ritualistically killed usually with a knife and then it bled to died quickly. Aftewards, its whole body was brunt or only its fat and organs burnt with the sweet smell in the form of smoke of the bruning flesh rising up to God.

In contrast, Jesus was made to suffer under Roman law and was neither quickly killed by proper bleeding nor burnt. Even the innocent women, children and babies who were slain with the sword at Jericho died quickly and then were burnt so Yahweh could enjoy it.

C. No sacrificial animal, be it human or beast, could still be alive (resurrected) after the act of sacrifice and still be a true offering to God. Its life (as carried in the blood and burnt body) were sealed in death to God forever into the heavens by the rising smoke.

D. Again, since Jesus was not burnt as human sacrifice as in the Hebrew Bible, God could feast upon the smell of the smoke.

F. No one single offering atoned once and for all the sins of the Jews much less those of the entire future world (conta Paul’s theology in Romans). That Jesus is said to be sinless is only a relevant truth: To the educated religious Jews, he blasphemer. To the Christians, the sinless lamb of God.

I could continue, but enough for now. I’m sure this post will be a hotly debated subject in the comment section.

Shalom,
Harry

18 comments:

Dan +†+ said...

Who want's a t-shirt?

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Harry~ "One of the best Sitz im Leben of this ancient poem is given by Frank Cross:

“We may see reflected in this liturgy the reenactment of the victory of Yahweh in the primordial battle and his enthronement in the divine council or, better, in his newly built (cosmic) temple."

Wrong Frank, this was upon the reentry of the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem under the reign of David. (2 Sam. 6:12-15)

Frank offers the wrong "Sitz im Leben" therefore conclusions drawn from it are skewed at best if not down right fallacious.

These posts are so long and are usually a trasuretrove of fallacious and erroneous assertions (well argued wrong assertions) but wrong non the less...I'll get back with other pieces as I get time...but this was off 4 sho!

Peace.

Evan said...

Harvey, Harry has given you lots of textual and cultural evidence to support his claim.

What evidence to you have to suggest that first, his claim is incorrect and second, that your reading of the text is more valid?

Harry McCall said...

Harvey, please explain just how "Frank" is wrong (that this man does not know what he is talking about):

Frank Moore Cross, Jr. (born July 13 1921, Ross, California) is a Professor Emeritus of the Harvard Divinity School, notable for both, his work in the interpretation of the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as his analysis of the Deuteronomistic History (DH).

Cross took his BA in 1942 at Maryville College, and his BD in 1946 at the McCormick Theological Seminary. He gained his PhD in Semitic languages at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1950, where he studied under William F. Albright, the great scholar of the Near East, and his MA at Harvard in 1958. Cross was awarded a DPhil at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1984 and a DSc from the University of Lethbridge in 1990.

Career
From 1949-1950 Cross was a Junior Instructor in Semitic languages at Johns Hopkins University, an instructor in Biblical History at Wellesley College from 1950 - 1951, and an Instructor in Old Testament at McCormick Theological Seminary 1951-1953, and was an Associate Professor from 1954-1957. Cross was appointed Associate Professor in Old Testament at Harvard Divinity School from 1957-1958.
At Harvard Cross was Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages in the Department of Near East Languages and Civilisations from 1958-1992, since when he has been Hancock Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages. In addition, since 1958 he has been the Chairman of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilisations at Harvard, and Curator of the Harvard Semitic Museum from 1958-1961, and then Director of the Museum from 1974-1987.
Frank Moore Cross was a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies (1971-1972), a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1978-1979), a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Member of the American Philosophical Society.
His students include Richard Elliot Friedman and Mark S. Smith, both important figures in the study of Ancient Near East history and religion.

Dead Sea Scrolls
Since June 1953 Cross has been a member of the international committee responsible for editing the Dead Sea Scrolls which had been found at Qumran in the West Bank. Cross first heard of the Scrolls while a student at Johns Hopkins University when he was shown pictures of the Isaiah Scroll by William F Albright, one of his lecturers, who later was to nominate Cross to join the Scrolls editorial team. On joining the team he was immediately allocated 61 Biblical manuscripts from Cave 4 at Qumran to prepare for publication. Initially, this involved cleaning the manuscripts in the Palestine Archaeological Museum where they were being worked on in the 'Scrollery'. As with several others on the team, Cross was financially supported between 1954 to 1960 by a John D Rockefeller subsidy.
Like Roland de Vaux, Cross was a Biblical scholar, and he used the Biblical manuscripts of Qumran to lay out a textual history of the Tanakh, and by using the non-Biblical texts he examined the development of the Jewish scribal hand from the third century BCE to the first century CE. He began to share certain Biblical scrolls from Qumran with his graduate students, some of whom published them in doctoral dissertations. Cross's datings of Jewish scribal writings gleaned from his work on the Scrolls and based on palaegraphical typology are still widely use in editions of the Scrolls.
He was one of only two American scholars on the scroll-publication team, being personally responsible for identifying thousands of fragments, all of which have now been published. Cross is widely regarded as a pioneer in Qumran studies.

Honors and Awards
In 1980 Cross received the Percia Schimmel Prize in Archaeology from the Israel Museum and the William Foxwell Albright Award in Biblical Scholarship. In 1991 he was awarded the Medalla de Honor de la Universidad Complutense (University of Madrid), the Gratz College Centennial Award in 1998 and a Lifetime Award in Textual Studies from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture in 2004.
Cross is an Honorary Member of the Israel Exploration Society and the British the Society for Old Testament Study. He was a Trustee of the American Schools of Oriental Research (1973-1991), and an Honorary Trustee from 1991; a Trustee of the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center (1979-1996) and a Lifetime Honorary Trustee from 1997; and a Trustee of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation since 1992.

DingoDave said...

Excellent article Harry.

You really hit on a lot of good points.

I particularly liked your observation that the Cain and Abel story doesn't belong where it has been put in the Bible.

I only wish that this sort of information had been available, in this form, when I first began questioning my religious beliefs.

The young people of today don't realise how lucky they are! : )

Thanks.

DingoDave said...

Dan +†+ said...
"Who want's a t-shirt?"

I noticed that you're proudly holding up a half-eaten banana on your new t-shirt design Dan.

Surely your not SERIOUSLY alluding to Ray Comfort's 'banana argument' for intelligent design are you? Even HE is embarrassed about having used that one.

In a recent radio interview he even admitted that he had 'made a monkey out of himself' by doing so. You might like to re-design your t-shirts using his 'Coke can' analogy instead. : )
(although it's just as bad)

Are you aware that our modern bananas are the product of centuries of artificial selection and cloning? Are you also aware that these modern bananas can't even reproduce on their own without human assistance?

Are you also aware that the original, naturally occuring bananas from which all of our modern desert bananas have been bred, are as tough as old boots, dry as a dead dingo's donger, full of large hard seeds, virtually inedible, and need to be cooked before being able to be eaten?

Or is your new t-shirt design a joke?

If it isn't, then the joke is on you! : D

The Stupid -- IT BURNS! : (

Harry McCall said...

Thanks Dingo!

I think this was way over the top of the Christian apologist’s heads that come here to debate since the majority relate to the social aspects of their faith and endure the boring Sunday sermons.

I spent about 50 hours writing this post; during the research, and word studies. The hardest part to break free from is the Cain and Abel story as the second generation humans on the earth, plus with the New Testament Gospel ideals projected back on theses two just as the Christian dogma of “Original Sin” is force on to the Adam and Eve story.

I’m sad to say that even good old D.S. Harvey Bennett made a quick comment and left.

Oh, well; I tried.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Harry, I ain's leavin(LOL) You did do a lot of research and I've got to get the time to read it...and I DO appreciate your research my friend.

Now, so far as the Dr's credentials, I don't hold them or him suspect. I only state that IF this guy rendered a clear and unequivocable(sp) statement in favor of the bible and scripture, YOU wouldn't care how credentialed he was. You would think him through critically.

I only offer (as for that statement and assessment of the Psalm) that he suggests that the psalm is regarding a precreation account of the condition of heaven and an epic battle (at least so it seems)and a "cosmic temple" I reject that assessment of the Psalm. However, admittedly, I base my rejection on what is included in the bible.

At the very least I'd like to know his source information for coming to that conclusion. For him to suggest it and for neither you or I to challenge it, is not good critical evaluation of the material.

In short his degrees don't scare me just like I know they don't scare you. I simply don't agree with his statement.

I am looking to try to find info on where that tradition may have come from. That, to me, seems to be an important issue in the establishment of the article premise.

Nontheless, I'll get back at ya my friend. I'll get through the rest this afternoon.

Thanks.

DingoDave said...

The Bible clearly states that the sacrifices are to be looked upon as being food for Yahweh.

Lev.3
[11] And the priest shall burn it on the altar as food offered by fire to the LORD.
[16] And the priest shall burn them on the altar as food offered by fire for a pleasing odor. All fat is the LORD's.

Num.28
[2] "Command the people of Israel, and say to them, `My offering, my food for my offerings by fire, my pleasing odor, you shall take heed to offer to me in its due season.'
[24] In the same way you shall offer daily, for seven days, the food of an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the LORD; it shall be offered besides the continual burnt offering and its drink offering.

Judg.13
[16] And the angel of the LORD said to Mano'ah, "If you detain me, I will not eat of your food; but if you make ready a burnt offering, then offer it to the LORD." (For Mano'ah did not know that he was the angel of the LORD.)

Ezek.44
[7] in admitting foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary, profaning it, when you offer to me my food, the fat and the blood. You have broken my covenant, in addition to all your abominations.

Mal.1
[7] By offering polluted food upon my altar. And you say, `How have we polluted it?' By thinking that the LORD's table may be despised.
[12] But you profane it when you say that the LORD's table is polluted, and the food for it may be despised.

Mal.3
[10] Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house; and thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts...

Harry McCall said...

Great points Dingo! Thanks

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Dingo~ Hey my friend, I would only say to your observation that the sacrifice that was burnt was to be burned totally in most cases. In the cases where it was shared with the priests usually nothing was "burned" or given to him (God).

So the sense in which the sacrifice was "food" was in an honoriffic sense and not literal sense where God's pullin' up a plate, knife and fork etc.(LOL)

Based on how the sacrifice is treated the only way to interpret such, would be to base the narrative on illustrative or metaphorical language that certainly they would have understood.

Harry, I've got some points to challenge you on and I'll post those tomorrow.

DingoDave said...

Harvey Burnett wrote:
-"Dingo~ Hey my friend, I would only say to your observation that the sacrifice that was burnt was to be burned totally in most cases. In the cases where it was shared with the priests usually nothing was "burned" or given to him (God)."

Most of the time the sacrificial victim wasn't completely burned. The priests usually kept all the best bits for themselves, then burned all the fatty, stinky bits, 'when they offered to Yahweh his food, the fat and the blood', so that he could "smell it's sweet odor."

By the way, how do you know that the burning of sheep and cattle carcases wasn't viewed in the same way as 'Yahweh pulling up a plate and fork'?
If you could go back in time to those days, then I'll bet you'd find that's exactly what the Israelites pictured as happening. Just because YOU see these sacrifices being 'FOOD' for Yahweh as being silly and primitive, doesn't mean that the ancient Israelites saw it that way.

Laugh all you want Harvey, because that's what I do when I read about these primitive, superstitious ceremonies .
Aren't you the least bit ashamed or embarrassed by claiming to believe such nonsense?
I will list out the sacrificial regulations in all their gory detail, so that you can see just how ridiculous they are.
Remember Harvey, that according to you and other Christians, it is the creator of the universe who is supposed to have given these solemn instructions to Moses.

My favourite one is, "Moses killed it (the sheep), and took some of its blood and put it on the tip of Aaron's right ear and on the thumb of his right hand and on the great toe of his right foot. And Aaron's sons were brought, and Moses put some of the blood on the tips of their right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the great toes of their right feet; and Moses threw the blood upon the altar round about." : O : D LOL

Have you ever read anything more ridiculous in your entire life? It's baaarking mad! : D

I'll probably break this up into two posts, because I think there is just way too much insanity listed out in these sacrificial laws to be able to fit it all into one post.

Lev.3
[1] "If a man's offering is a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offers an animal from the herd, male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD.
[2] And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering and kill it at the door of the tent of meeting; and Aaron's sons the priests shall throw the blood against the altar round about.
[3] And from the sacrifice of the peace offering, as an offering by fire to the LORD, he shall offer the fat covering the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails,
[4] and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the appendage of the liver which he shall take away with the kidneys.
[5] Then Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt offering, which is upon the wood on the fire; it is an offering by fire, a pleasing odor to the LORD.
[9] Then from the sacrifice of the peace offering as an offering by fire to the LORD he shall offer its fat, the fat tail entire, taking it away close by the backbone, and the fat that covers the entrails, and all the fat that is on the entrails,
[11] And the priest shall burn it on the altar as food offered by fire to the LORD.
[10] and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the appendage of the liver which he shall take away with the kidneys.
[12] "If his offering is a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD,
[13] and lay his hand upon its head, and kill it before the tent of meeting; and the sons of Aaron shall throw its blood against the altar round about.
[14] Then he shall offer from it, as his offering for an offering by fire to the LORD, the fat covering the entrails, and all the fat that is on the entrails,
[15] and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the appendage of the liver which he shall take away with the kidneys.
[16] And the priest shall burn them on the altar as food offered by fire for a pleasing odor. All fat is the LORD's.
[17] It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, in all your dwelling places, that you eat neither fat nor blood."


Lev.4
[1] And the LORD said to Moses,
[2] "Say to the people of Israel, If any one sins unwittingly in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and does any one of them,
[3] if it is the anointed priest who sins, thus bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer for the sin which he has committed a young bull without blemish to the LORD for a sin offering.
[4] He shall bring the bull to the door of the tent of meeting before the LORD, and lay his hand on the head of the bull, and kill the bull before the LORD.
[5] And the anointed priest shall take some of the blood of the bull and bring it to the tent of meeting;
[6] and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle part of the blood seven times before the LORD in front of the veil of the sanctuary.
[7] And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense before the LORD which is in the tent of meeting, and the rest of the blood of the bull he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering which is at the door of the tent of meeting.
[8] And all the fat of the bull of the sin offering he shall take from it, the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails,
[9] and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the appendage of the liver which he shall take away with the kidneys
[14] when the sin which they have committed becomes known, the assembly shall offer a young bull for a sin offering and bring it before the tent of meeting;
[15] and the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bull before the LORD, and the bull shall be killed before the LORD.
[16] Then the anointed priest shall bring some of the blood of the bull to the tent of meeting,
[17] and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD in front of the veil.
[18] And he shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar which is in the tent of meeting before the LORD; and the rest of the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering which is at the door of the tent of meeting.
[19] And all its fat he shall take from it and burn upon the altar.
[20] Thus shall he do with the bull; as he did with the bull of the sin offering, so shall he do with this; and the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven.
[26] And all its fat he shall burn on the altar, like the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings; so the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin, and he shall be forgiven.
[31] And all its fat he shall remove, as the fat is removed from the peace offerings, and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a pleasing odor to the LORD; and the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven.
[35] And all its fat he shall remove as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of peace offerings, and the priest shall burn it on the altar, upon the offerings by fire to the LORD; and the priest shall make atonement for him for the sin which he has committed, and he shall be forgiven.

Lev.6
[6] And he shall bring to the priest his guilt offering to the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, valued by you at the price for a guilt offering;
[7] and the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things which one may do and thereby become guilty."
[8] The LORD said to Moses,
[9] "Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering. The burnt offering shall be on the hearth upon the altar all night until the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it.
[10] And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and put his linen breeches upon his body, and he shall take up the ashes to which the fire has consumed the burnt offering on the altar, and put them beside the altar.
[11] Then he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes outside the camp to a clean place.
[12] The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it, it shall not go out; the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and he shall lay the burnt offering in order upon it, and shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings.
[14] "And this is the law of the cereal offering. The sons of Aaron shall offer it before the LORD, in front of the altar.
[15] And one shall take from it a handful of the fine flour of the cereal offering with its oil and all the frankincense which is on the cereal offering, and burn this as its memorial portion on the altar, a pleasing odor to the LORD.
[16] And the rest of it Aaron and his sons shall eat; it shall be eaten unleavened in a holy place; in the court of the tent of meeting they shall eat it.
[25] "Say to Aaron and his sons, This is the law of the sin offering. In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD; it is most holy.
[26] The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it; in a holy place it shall be eaten, in the court of the tent of meeting.

Lev.7
[1] "This is the law of the guilt offering. It is most holy;
[2] in the place where they kill the burnt offering they shall kill the guilt offering, and its blood shall be thrown on the altar round about.
[3] And all its fat shall be offered, the fat tail, the fat that covers the entrails,
[4] the two kidneys with the fat that is on them at the loins, and the appendage of the liver which he shall take away with the kidneys;
[24] The fat of an animal that dies of itself, and the fat of one that is torn by beasts, may be put to any other use, but on no account shall you eat it.
[25] For every person who eats of the fat of an animal of which an offering by fire is made to the LORD shall be cut off from his people.
[30] he shall bring with his own hands the offerings by fire to the LORD; he shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be waved as a wave offering before the LORD.
[31] The priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the breast shall be for Aaron and his sons.
[33] he among the sons of Aaron who offers the blood of the peace offerings and the fat shall have the right thigh for a portion.
[34] For the breast that is waved and the thigh that is offered I have taken from the people of Israel, out of the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons, as a perpetual due from the people of Israel.
[35] This is the portion of Aaron and of his sons from the offerings made by fire to the LORD, consecrated to them on the day they were presented to serve as priests of the LORD;
[36] the LORD commanded this to be given them by the people of Israel, on the day that they were anointed; it is a perpetual due throughout their generations."
[37] This is the law of the burnt offering, of the cereal offering, of the sin offering, of the guilt offering, of the consecration, and of the peace offerings,
[38] which the LORD commanded Moses on Mount Sinai, on the day that he commanded the people of Israel to bring their offerings to the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai.

DingoDave said...

Sacrificial Insanity, part two:

Lev.8
[13] And Moses brought Aaron's sons, and clothed them with coats, and girded them with girdles, and bound caps on them, as the LORD commanded Moses.
[14] Then he brought the bull of the sin offering; and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bull of the sin offering.
[15] And Moses killed it, and took the blood, and with his finger put it on the horns of the altar round about, and purified the altar, and poured out the blood at the base of the altar, and consecrated it, to make atonement for it.
[16] And he took all the fat that was on the entrails, and the appendage of the liver, and the two kidneys with their fat, and Moses burned them on the altar.
[17] But the bull, and its skin, and its flesh, and its dung, he burned with fire outside the camp, as the LORD commanded Moses.
[18] Then he presented the ram of the burnt offering; and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram.
[19] And Moses killed it, and threw the blood upon the altar round about.
[20] And when the ram was cut into pieces, Moses burned the head and the pieces and the fat.
[21] And when the entrails and the legs were washed with water, Moses burned the whole ram on the altar, as a burnt offering, a pleasing odor, an offering by fire to the LORD, as the LORD commanded Moses.
[22] Then he presented the other ram, the ram of ordination; and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram.
[23] And Moses killed it, and took some of its blood and put it on the tip of Aaron's right ear and on the thumb of his right hand and on the great toe of his right foot.
[24] And Aaron's sons were brought, and Moses put some of the blood on the tips of their right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the great toes of their right feet; and Moses threw the blood upon the altar round about.
[25] Then he took the fat, and the fat tail, and all the fat that was on the entrails, and the appendage of the liver, and the two kidneys with their fat, and the right thigh;
[26] and out of the basket of unleavened bread which was before the LORD he took one unleavened cake, and one cake of bread with oil, and one wafer, and placed them on the fat and on the right thigh;
[27] and he put all these in the hands of Aaron and in the hands of his sons, and waved them as a wave offering before the LORD.
[28] Then Moses took them from their hands, and burned them on the altar with the burnt offering, as an ordination offering, a pleasing odor, an offering by fire to the LORD.
[29] And Moses took the breast, and waved it for a wave offering before the LORD; it was Moses' portion of the ram of ordination, as the LORD commanded Moses.
[30] Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and of the blood which was on the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron and his garments, and also upon his sons and his sons' garments; so he consecrated Aaron and his garments, and his sons and his sons' garments with him.
[31] And Moses said to Aaron and his sons, "Boil the flesh at the door of the tent of meeting, and there eat it and the bread that is in the basket of ordination offerings, as I commanded, saying, `Aaron and his sons shall eat it';
[32] and what remains of the flesh and the bread you shall burn with fire.

Lev.9
[1] On the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel;
[2] and he said to Aaron, "Take a bull calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, both without blemish, and offer them before the LORD.
[3] And say to the people of Israel, `Take a male goat for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both a year old without blemish, for a burnt offering,
[4] and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD, and a cereal offering mixed with oil; for today the LORD will appear to you.'"
[5] And they brought what Moses commanded before the tent of meeting; and all the congregation drew near and stood before the LORD.
[6] And Moses said, "This is the thing which the LORD commanded you to do; and the glory of the LORD will appear to you."
[7] Then Moses said to Aaron, "Draw near to the altar, and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people; and bring the offering of the people, and make atonement for them; as the LORD has commanded."
[8] So Aaron drew near to the altar, and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself.
[9] And the sons of Aaron presented the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the base of the altar;
[10] but the fat and the kidneys and the appendage of the liver from the sin offering he burned upon the altar, as the LORD commanded Moses.
[11] The flesh and the skin he burned with fire outside the camp.
[12] And he killed the burnt offering; and Aaron's sons delivered to him the blood, and he threw it on the altar round about.
[13] And they delivered the burnt offering to him, piece by piece, and the head; and he burned them upon the altar.
[14] And he washed the entrails and the legs, and burned them with the burnt offering on the altar.
[15] Then he presented the people's offering, and took the goat of the sin offering which was for the people, and killed it, and offered it for sin, like the first sin offering.
[16] And he presented the burnt offering, and offered it according to the ordinance.
[17] And he presented the cereal offering, and filled his hand from it, and burned it upon the altar, besides the burnt offering of the morning.
[18] He killed the ox also and the ram, the sacrifice of peace offerings for the people; and Aaron's sons delivered to him the blood, which he threw upon the altar round about,
[19] and the fat of the ox and of the ram, the fat tail, and that which covers the entrails, and the kidneys, and the appendage of the liver;
[20] and they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burned the fat upon the altar,
[21] but the breasts and the right thigh Aaron waved for a wave offering before the LORD; as Moses commanded.
[22] Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them; and he came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings.
[23] And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting; and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people.
[24] And fire came forth from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat upon the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted, and fell on their faces.

Lev.10
[12] And Moses said to Aaron and to Elea'zar and Ith'amar, his sons who were left, "Take the cereal offering that remains of the offerings by fire to the LORD, and eat it unleavened beside the altar, for it is most holy;
[13] you shall eat it in a holy place, because it is your due and your sons' due, from the offerings by fire to the LORD; for so I am commanded.
[14] But the breast that is waved and the thigh that is offered you shall eat in any clean place, you and your sons and your daughters with you; for they are given as your due and your sons' due, from the sacrifices of the peace offerings of the people of Israel.
[15] The thigh that is offered and the breast that is waved they shall bring with the offerings by fire of the fat, to wave for a wave offering before the LORD, and it shall be yours, and your sons' with you, as a due for ever; as the LORD has commanded."
[16] Now Moses diligently inquired about the goat of the sin offering, and behold, it was burned! And he was angry with Elea'zar and Ith'amar, the sons of Aaron who were left, saying,
[17] "Why have you not eaten the sin offering in the place of the sanctuary, since it is a thing most holy and has been given to you that you may bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD?
[18] Behold, its blood was not brought into the inner part of the sanctuary. You certainly ought to have eaten it in the sanctuary, as I commanded."

Lev.16
[2] and the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron your brother not to come at all times into the holy place within the veil, before the mercy seat which is upon the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.
[3] But thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.
[5] And he shall take from the congregation of the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.
[6] "And Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house.
[7] Then he shall take the two goats, and set them before the LORD at the door of the tent of meeting;
[8] and Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for Aza'zel.
[9] And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the LORD, and offer it as a sin offering;
[10] but the goat on which the lot fell for Aza'zel shall be presented alive before the LORD to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Aza'zel.
[11] "Aaron shall present the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house; he shall kill the bull as a sin offering for himself.
[14] and he shall take some of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle the blood with his finger seven times.
[15] "Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood within the veil, and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat;
[18] Then he shall go out to the altar which is before the LORD and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar round about.
[19] And he shall sprinkle some of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it and hallow it from the uncleannesses of the people of Israel.
[20] "And when he has made an end of atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat;
[21] and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat, and send him away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness.
[22] The goat shall bear all their iniquities upon him to a solitary land; and he shall let the goat go in the wilderness.
[25] And the fat of the sin offering he shall burn upon the altar.
[26] And he who lets the goat go to Aza'zel shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp.
[27] And the bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall be carried forth outside the camp; their skin and their flesh and their dung shall be burned with fire.

Lev.17
[5] This is to the end that the people of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they slay in the open field, that they may bring them to the LORD, to the priest at the door of the tent of meeting, and slay them as sacrifices of peace offerings to the LORD;
[6] and the priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the LORD at the door of the tent of meeting, and burn the fat for a pleasing odor to the LORD.
[11] 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.
[12] Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood.
[13] Any man also of the people of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among them, who takes in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust.
[14] "For the life of every creature is the blood of it; therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.

Nice little gig the priests had going there, wasn't it?
They got to keep all the best bits of the sacrifices, and gave Yahweh all the offcuts and the offal.

I've heard it described as being 'life in the ancient meat-packing business'. The priests were in effect running a holy protection racket. Nice work if you could get it!

I wonder who got lumbered with the job of collecting all the firewood for their 'beatific barbecues'?

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Harry~ I've been delinquient, I'm sorry. I have a few observations.

I think that we've adequately dealt with the "human sacrifice" element of this post on Lee's post. I don't plan to rehash that only to add this for this article:

The essential difference between heathen views of sacrifice and the scriptural doctrine of the Old Testament is not to be found in its denial of any of these views. In fact, it brings out clearly and distinctly the ideas which in heathenism were uncertain, vague, and perverted. But the essential points of distinction are two. First, that whereas the heathen conceived of their gods as alienated in jealousy or anger, to be sought after and to be appeased by the unaided action of man, Scripture represents God himself as approaching man, as pointing out and sanctioning the way by which the broken covenant should be restored. The second mark of distinction is closely connected with this, inasmuch as it shows sacrifice to be a scheme proceeding from God, and, in his foreknowledge, connected with the one central fact of all human history. ~ William Smith; revised and edited by F.N. and M.A. Peloubet, Smith’s Bible dictionary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997.

It is a terminological, and composite fallacy to suggest that the terms for what biblical sacrifice and terms for pagan sacrifice indicated the same thing.

In the case of Christianity the ultimate sacrifice was done by God for God and not by the will of man.

I'll leave that and go on to another flaw in the article:

Your refrences to the judgement of God upon the people in Numbers 11:1 are not identified or associated with the sins that the people committed which are Lust and whoredom, desire for Egypt and the food (associated with self satisfaction). There were combination sins that they performed(v.4). In addition, the constant complaining and murmering against God even though HE was supplying their every need. This only shows the egrigious nature of sin and God’s disdain for it. It also shows why we (humanity) needed a better mediator ultimately found in Jesus.

Your reference to Numbers 24:25 claimed to be the “rage” of God and his “thirst for blood” is a story in response to the SIN of Baalpeor in which men commit whoredom with the moabites (Lot’s children through incestous relations Israel’s cousins) and once again overlooks the justice of God in dealing with the issue. This sin and the resulting punishment was a proverb throughout Israel and often referred to reminding the people of what not to do.

Next to Cain and Able:

Gen. 4:3-4 ~ “3And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD." [Cain brought “of” the fruit of the ground]
4And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the
LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:”
[Abel brought the “FIRSTLINGS” of
his flock.

The Lord had “respect” Shaah [shaw-aw] 1) to look at or to,regard, gaze at or about

Next God has a conversation with Cain to let him know that if he does good or serves
happily he would be accepted also (v.7). Evidently Cain did 3 things

1- Gave God an
OFFERING AND not A SACRIFICE


2- Did not give God the first or best and

3- did not
do it with enthusuasm or happily “well”



"...there was no expiation of sin accorded to either gift. The concept of expiation develops later. We see a federative offering by Noah in Gen. 8:20 In the burnt offerings of Job for his
children, Job 1:5, and for his three friends, ch. 42:8, we for the first time find the
expression of the desire of expiation for sin."
~ William Smith; revised and edited by F.N.and M.A. Peloubet, Smith’s Bible dictionary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos
Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997


The concept of offering was developed over time. During Mosaic Period The order of offerings:

1- the sin offering, to prepare access to God;
2- the burnt offering, to mark their dedication to his service; and
3- the meat offering of thanksgiving.

Henceforth the sacrificial system was fixed in all its parts until he should come whom it typified.

"The term “sweet savour” refers to God’s pleasure in the odor of burnt offerings, and is
now translated “pleasing odor” (Genesis 8:21 and many other occurrences). The word of
the LORD through the prophet Amos, “I will not smell in your solemn assemblies” (Amos
5:21) means that the LORD will not take pleasure in the burnt offerings of their solemn
assemblies. The revised versions translate the clause, “I take no delight in your solemn
assemblies.”
~ Ronald F. Bridges and Luther A. Weigle, King James Bible wordbook [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1994.

The term “sweet savour” was metaphorical for what God was pleased with and not pleased with. He did not eat meat as the pagan gods (priests) did.

All that was “given to God” was burnt on the altar. There were exclusions that were clear. For CERTAIN sacrifices there were allowable portions retained by the Priests. Then there were other portions taken outside of the camp to be burned.

Another assumption that the article makes is that only flesh offerings created a “sweet
savor unto the Lord” that was incorrect.

A no blood “Meat Offering aka Meal Offering, Grain Offering and Cereal Offering ” (more connected to praise than sacrifice)was also burnt on the altar.

This offering was MEATLESS. Num 15:4 ~ “4Then shall he that offereth his offering unto the LORD bring a meat offering of
a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of oil.” Lev. 2:2 says that this
offering was an offering “made by fire”.

In short, not only flesh was burnt on the altar which indicated justification through faith in shed blood, but also "a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of oil." which indicated the sacrifice of "praise" "worship" and "adoration" for covering sin.

Finally, There were offerings in which God was the host of the meal. Peace Offerings (aka Fellowship offerings, heave offerings and waive offerings) were of such.

“Part of the offering was eaten by the priest (representing God’s acceptance) and part was eaten by worshipers and their guests (nonofficiating priests or Levites and the poor, Deut. 12:18; 16:11). Thus, God hosted the meal, communing with the worshiper and other participants. This sacrifice celebrated covering of sin, forgiveness by God, and the restoration of a right and meaningful relationship with God and with life itself (Judg. 20:26; 21:4). ~ Youngblood, Ronald F., General Editor; F.F. Bruce and R.K. Harrison, Consulting Editors, Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995.

The system although much more detailed was not as confusing as it seems when spattered across the screen and amalgamated as one routine with a buch of different ways to do it.

Conclusion, the ONLY reason for any of it was sin. Gen. 3 is in the right place dealing with SIN and the results of sin. The geaneologies are adequately dealt with with one thing untouched and I'll leave that for my book.

I'll get at the rest of this later, because there are some issues (LOL) Later.

Harry McCall said...

Harvey,

I have not forgotten your comments and will post my rebuttal in the next few days.

Regards,
Harry

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Thanks my man, I just wanted you to know that I had at least read the article and there are a lot of things to discuss to do it justice.

Later.

Heather said...

Again...Old Testament.

Jesus died for us all and the New Covenant with God was brought about...based on Faith.
Hmmmmm. Interesting. Not much sacrifice going on then.

Harry McCall said...

Heather, the question remains if the local deity of Israel (Yahweh) is the Theos or “God” of Jesus and the New Testament.

Marcion had a point! The God of the Old Testament was a cruel and evil god who now appears long dead.