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Joseph Wheless Is It Gods Word Chapter 02

Chapter 02

Joseph Wheless

36 page printout, Page 24 - 59



THE Bible, as all must admit, is the only source of
knowledge which we have, of the great questions of miracle and
of "revealed religion" which come to us through its pages. The
authenticity of its remarkable contents, as the word and will
of God, can only be tested and ascertained by itself; by the
internal evidences of its own words must its divine origin and
inspired truth be vindicated, or its mere human origin and
want of inspired truth be demonstrated. On a matter of such
high importance to man and to the soul and its destiny, no
candid and honest mind can offer reasonable objection to a
candid and honest inquiry, made by a frank and faithful
examination of its own words. To this capital end, therefore,
we will follow the injunction of the Man of Galilee and
"search the Scriptures," haply to find the answer to the
eternal question posed by Pilate, "What is truth?"


What, first, is this Bible? It is not one single and
homogeneous book, in the form in which we see it printed; indeed,
it was first printed, in Latin, in the year A.D. 1452, by
Gutenberg, in Mainz. And what we know -- and fondly cherish -- as
the Bible is not the Bible at all, but a translation, or version,
more or less faulty and incorrect -- and often intentionally very
misleading -- of ancient manuscripts of Hebrew and Greek writings,
themselves very faulty and conflicting, forming together the so-
called Bible. The very name Bible indicates its nature as a
collection of writings. The name Bible is the Latin Biblia, from
the Greek diminutive plural, ta bibliay "the little books," a term
first used as referring to the Hebrew Scriptures in 1 Maccabees
xii, 9. The Greek word biblos, from which comes the diminutive
biblia, is from the Greek bublus, papyrus, the name of the
material, from Egypt, on which ancient books were written. The
title Ta Biblia for the whole Scriptures, Hebrew and Christian, was
first used in the Second Epistle of Clement (xiv, 2) written in
A.D. 170.

The Bible, thus called, is a compilation, or gathering into
one volume, of sixty-six separate "little books," or fragmentary
"sacred" writings, from Genesis to Revelation. These sixty-six
little books were written, or edited and compiled, in very
different ages of the world, by wholly different, and mostly
unknown, persons, in different countries and languages, Hebrew and
Greek principally; but, as is commonly supposed, by Jews
invariably. Together they form the "sacred writings" of the later
Hebrews and of the early Jewish and Pagan Christians -- the name
given, first at Antioch (Acts xi, 26), to the followers of the
Jewish Jesus Christ.


The Hebrew "little books," thirty-nine in number according to
the accepted Hebrew and Protestant "canon," forty-six according to
the Catholic, were written, of course, mainly in the Hebrew
language, though Aramaic elements enter into some of the later

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compositions. This Hebrew language, like several others of the
allied Semitic languages, was written entirely with consonants,
having no written means of expressing vowel sounds; their words
consist mostly of only three consonantal letters. The whole Hebrew
Scriptures is a solid mass of words in consonants only, with not a
single vowel among them. This consonantal mass of words was written
from right to left, without spacing between words, and without a
single mark of punctuation from end to end. To give a visual
illustration of the practical difficulties, and frequent
impossibilities, of decipherment and translation of the Old
Testament texts, I present one of the best known passages in the
Hebrew Bible, printed in Hebrew characters as Yahveh himself is
said to have written it:

@@@@ two lines of Hebrew characters @@@@
(Computer Cannot generate the ancient Hebrew characters)

In type the letters are plain, though even in type many are
much alike and difficult to distinguish, as; @@; and @@ and @@; @@
and @@; and @@ and @@; and @@; in handwritten Hebrew characters it
is in many cases impossible to distinguish one from another.
Jerome, who made the Vulgate Version of the Old Testament, says:
"When we translate the Hebrew into Latin, we are sometimes guided
by conjecture." Le Clere says: "The learned merely guess at the
sense of the Old Testament in an infinity of places." But what they
have guessed it to mean we must believe or be damned.

Here is the same passage composed in the same manner in
English consonants:


Who can guess what familiar passage this printer's pie is?

There were no divisions, as at present, into chapters and
verses, these divisions having been invented only some three or
four centuries ago to facilitate quotations and references; even
now the chapter and verse divisions differ considerably between the
Hebrew text and the English translations. The Hebrew rabbis and
scholars, somewhere between the fifth and eighth centuries A.D.,
devised and put into use in their manuscripts of the Bible a system
of so-called "vowel points" -- dots and dashes as in modern
shorthand -- to express and preserve what they considered to be the
probable ancient pronunciation of the Hebrew words. No wonder there
are infinite doubts and difficulties as to the original words and
their vowelization, and therefore even of their meaning. Many of
the Hebrew words are almost untranslatable, and the same Hebrew
word is often given scores of wholly different meanings in
translation. A glance at the index-lexicon to the Old Testament in
Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible, demonstrates the
difficulties, or the ingenuity, of the King James translators. For
example, the word abar is given 88 different meanings; amar, 51;
asah, 96; nathan, 94; nephesh (soul), 27; and so throughout the
list -- many of these renditions being totally unrelated to each

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other, as nephesh; soul, appetite, pleasure, fish, heairty, ghost.
This results from the rude nature of the Hebrew language, which has
only about 2050 root words, of which only 500 make up the bulk of
the Old Testament. (Cath. Encyc., Vol. VII, p. 177).


Such a thing as the "Hebrew language," as a separate and
distinctive speech of the ancient Israelites, in which they held
familiar converse with Yahveh, and in which Yahveh spoke with Adam
and Eve and with the patriarchs and Moses, never existed; no more
than an "American language" now exists as distinct from the mother
speech of England, or than the "Latin" languages of South America
are distinct from the Spanish and Portuguese of the Iberian
peninsula. As to the language of Yahveh and Adam and Eve, says the
Catholic Encyclopedia: "The contention that Hebrew was the original
language bestowed upon mankind may be left out of discussion, being
based merely on pietistic a priori considerations."

Abraham was a native of "Ur of the Chaldees," and hence
naturally, with all his family and people, spoke the Chaldean or
Babylonian language, which was very much akin to that of Canaan,
where Abraham migrated, and was spoken by him and his descendants
until the Seventy migrated to Egypt, 215 years later. Indeed, even
as late as Isaiah; the language of the Chosen People is expressly
said to be the "language of Canaan" (Isa. xix, 18). The Catholic
Encyclopedia further says: "The name Hebrew (as applied to the
language spoken by the ancient Israelites, and in which are
composed nearly all the books of the Old Testament) is quite recent
in biblical usage, occurring for the first time in the Greek
prologue of Ecclesiastics, about 130 B.C." (Cath. Encyc. Vol. VII,
176). And further, as to the language of Abraham and the
patriarchs: "That it was simply a dialect belonging to the
Chanaanitish group of Semitic languages is plain from its many
recognized affinities with the Phoenician and Moabitic dialects.
Its beginnings are consequently bound up with the origin of this
group of dialects. ... The language spoken by the clan of Abraham
was a dialect closely akin to those of Moab, Tyre, and Sidon, and
it bore a greater resemblance to Assyrian and Arabic than to
Aramaic" (Id.). Indeed, the dictionary of the Hebrew language which
lies before me is called The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon
-- so nearly one and the same are the two dialects.

So, if Yahveh, God of Abraham and of Israel, spoke all these
wonderful things to his Chosen People, he spoke them in the common
language of the peoples and gods of Canaan and Assyria, and not in
some choice and peculiar "Hebrew language" as a special idiom of
his Chosen People and of his divine revelations to his people and
through them to mankind. Highly important sidelights on inspiration
and the verity of sundry characteristic Scripture histories flow
from this fact, so that its importance and interest justify this
brief paragraph.

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So obsolete did the "Hebrew language" become, following the
world-conquests of Alexander the Great and the almost universal
spread of the Greek language and culture throughout the Orient,
that several centuries before the time of Christ even the form and
proper pronunciation of the name YHVH of the Hebrew tribal deity
were lost and unknown; though a few Jews, as Philo of Alexandria
and Josephus, a generation after the time of Christ, professed to
know it, but held it unlawful to pronounce or divulge it (Josephus,
Antiq., II, xii, 4; see Cath. Encyc., Vol. VIII, art. Jehovah).

Again the authoritative Catholic Encyclopedia speaks on this
very significant point: "The modern Jews are as uncertain of the
proper pronunciation of the Sacred Name as their Christian
contemporaries. ... The name was not pronounced after the
destruction of the temple" (Vol. VIII, p. 329). On page 330 it
gives a list of the forms of the name as found in ancient writers,
and lists: Jao, Jaoth, Jaou, Jeuo, Ja, Jabe, Jahb, Jehjeh. It then
comments: "The judicious reader will perceive that the Samaritan
pronunciation Jabe probably approaches the real sound of the Divine
Name closest. Inserting the vowels of Jabe into the original Hebrew
consonantal text, we obtain the form Jahweh (Yahweh), which has
been generally accepted by modern scholars as the true
pronunciation of the Divine Name" (p. 330).

Very remarkably, for an orthodox Christian authority, this
scholarly thesaurus of theology -- which so often seems to forget
orthodox theology when engaged in questions of pure scholarship --
reviews at some length inquiries of scholars to discover the origin
of the old Hebrew tribal Yahveh -- that is, whence the Chosen
People got or "borrowed" their tribal god. The colloquy between the
God and Moses at the burning bush demonstrates that neither Moses
nor the Chosen People knew or ever had heard of Yahveh, or of any
other "God of their fathers"; for Moses says to the God: "Behold,
when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them,
The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say
to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?" (Ex. iii,
13). The matter of the traditional "revelation" of the name of the
God to Moses we will duly consider a few pages later.

The article referred to reviews amply the suggested origins of
Yahveh and his adoption by the Chosen People, of which but one or
two very significant ones may be here noticed. Under the sub-
caption, "Origin of the name Jahveh (Yahweh)," this high authority
says: "The opinion that the name Jahveh was adopted by the Jews
from the Canaanites, has been defended by [a number of eminent
scholars], but has been rejected by [others]. It is antecedently
improbable that Jahveh, the irreconcilable enemy of the Canaanites,
should be originally a Chanaanite god" (Vol. VIII, p. 331). Passing
other suggested origins, it says: "The theory that Jahveh is of
Egyptian origin may have a certain amount of a priori probability,
as Moses was educated in Egypt. Still, the proofs are not
convincing. ... Plutarch (De Iside, 9) tells us that a statue of
Athene (Neith) in Sais bore the inscription, 'I am all that has
been, is, and will be,' ... the common Egyptian formula, Nuk pu
Nuk, but though its literal signification is 'I am I,' its real

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meaning is 'It is I who'" (Id.). Again: "As to the theory that
Jahveh has a Chaldean or Aceadian origin, its foundation is not
very solid," and the familiar Assyrian forms Yahu or Yah and Yau
are cited, with the statement added, "Jahveh is said to be merely
an artificial form introduced to put a meaning into the name of the
national god" (Id.).

The immense significance of this scholarly confession that the
theory of Egyptian origin of Yahveh may have "a certain amount of
a priori probability," and that this name is said to have been
adopted "to put meaning into the name of the national god" Yahveh,
or that the Hebrews may have adopted or adapted their tribal or
"national god" from Egypt, Chaldea, or some other of their heathen
neighbors, is that such concessions, or their bare possibility as
fact, destroy at once utterly the Bible "revelations" and the
pietistic Hebrao-Christian assertions that YHVH is eternal and
"self-revealed" God since before the foundations of the world. It
totally explodes the pretended "revelation" to Moses at the Burning
Bush, soon to be noticed. In a word, such fact or the admission of
it wholly destroys Yahveh except as a pagan Hebrew myth and a
Christian "strong delusion" to believe ancient primitive myths for
revealed truth of God.

The name of the God, too, is often and variously abbreviated
in the Hebrew texts. Dozens of times in Genesis it is written
simply yy, the first time in Gen. ii, 4, the first mention of
Yahveh. Elsewhere it occurs as Yah, or Yehu, Yeho, and as Yah,-
Yahveh; often as Yahveh-Elohim. It is always, as we shall see,
falsely rendered in the translations as "Lord" and "Lord God," for
reasons of pious fraud which will duly appear.


There is not existent in the world a single original book or
manuscript of Hebrew or Christian Scriptures, containing the
inspired Word of Yahveh. The most ancient manuscripts of the Hebrew
texts date only from the eighth century of the era of Christ; while
of the Christian books, said to have been written by the direct
inspiration of the Holy Ghost within the first century of the era,
all, all are lost, and the oldest "copies" bear the marks of the
fourth century. And even in this fourth century, so gross was the
corruption of text, so numberless the errors and conflicting
readings, that the great St. Jerome, author of the celebrated Latin
Vulgate version of the Scriptures, has left it recorded, as his
reason for his great work, that the sacred texts "varied so much
that there were almost as many readings as codices," or manuscript
copies of the text. And for years past, the papal authorities have
been collating all known extant versions and bits of Scriptures for
the purpose of trying to edit them into one approved version of the
inspired Word of Yahveh.

Curious indeed it seems that in this inspired revelation of
Yahveh, the Hebrew God, to Man, wherein the awful destinies of the
human soul are said to be revealed to eternal salvation or
damnation, some ten thousand different, conflicting, and disputed
readings and textual corruptions and verbal slips of inspiration
admittedly exist in the inspired texts, with the knowledge and

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sufferance of the God whose awful will it all is; while the
Providence of that same God, Yahveh, by special miraculous
intervention has preserved wholly "incorrupt" through all the ages
of faith, the cadavers and ghastly scraps and relies of holy saints
and martyrs galore, from the very Year One on, which are yet to-day
(or at last reports were -- Cath. Encyc., passim) as fresh,
fragrant, and wholly "encorrupt" of flesh as when alive -- which,
in very truth, in the case of many saints -- as their lives are
recorded by the monks -- is not saying very much for either
freshness or fragrance. An instance -- e pluribus unum -- is that
of the pioneer Saint Pachomius, who, ambitious to outdo in bodily
mortification his companions in filth, left the pig-sty in which he
dwelt, and sat himself on the ground at the entrance of a cave full
of hyenas in the pious desire of entering glory via their bestial
maws; but the hyenas, rushing out upon the holy saint, stopped
short of a sudden, sniffed him all over, turned tail, and left him
in disgust uneaten.


On the title-page of Bibles in current use is the statement
"translated out of the original tongues"; but this does not tell
the whole or the true story. The first translation of some of the
Hebrew Scriptures (for all were not yet written) was the Septuagint
into Greek, undertaken at the behest of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, of
Egypt, begun at Alexandria about the year 285 B.C., and completed
after some three hundred years. In many places this Greek
translation differed widely from the Hebrew. About 392 A.D. Jerome
made his translation from the Hebrew into Latin, this being the
"Vulgate" version, which only gradually made its way into
acceptance and suffered so many perversions that it was pronounced
by Roger Bacon to be "horribly corrupt"; but it was adopted by the
Council of Trent in 1546 as the "sole authoritative source of
quotation; and it [the Council] threatened with punishment those
who presumed to interpret the Scriptures contrary to the sense
given them by the Fathers" (New Int. Encyc., Vol. ]III, p. 251).

This Latin Vulgate, Old and New Testaments alike, with the
Apocrypha added, was in its turn translated into English in the
Douai Catholic version of 1609, thus removed three steps of
translation from the Hebrew and two from the Greek. The Protestant
versions in English, including the King James version of 1611, are
more directly from the Hebrew and Greek texts of the respective
Testaments. It is reported that the Tennessee legislator who
sponsored the notorious "Anti-evolution" law in that state was
greatly surprised to learn, from the eye-opening revelations of the
Scopes trial, that his cherished King James version of Holy Writ,
whose precious petrified "Sacred science" he sought to protect from
the destroying effects of modern knowledge, was not in the original
language of "revelation," in which Yahveh and the talking snake
spoke to Adam and Eve. Some further anomalies and a number of
tricks of translation will appear in their due order as we proceed.


It will be of signal value to inquire, for a moment,
concerning the periods of time indicated by the Bible, and the
times when the principal books of it were written and by whom they

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were written -- or rather, as that is the only course possible, to
show, negatively, by whom, and when, they were not written. This
inquiry will be confined to the "internal evidences" of the Bible
texts themselves, with a bit of reference to their marginal
editorial annotations. The force of such "internal proofs" is self-

To assist to an easier understanding, take this illustration:
If one picks up a book, a newspaper, a letter, or any piece of
written or printed matter which bears no date-mark or name of some
known writer, one may not be able to ascertain exactly when or by
whom it was written or printed. But one can often very readily
determine, by the nature of its contents, that it was not written
or published until after such or such a known time; and hence that
it could not have been written by some person already dead or of
one not yet born.

If such a document, for instance, contains the name of Julius
Caesar or of Jesus Christ, this proves at once that it was written
some time within the past 1900-odd years, and not possibly before
the advent of these two personages. If it mentions President
Washington or some incident of his administration, it is evident
that it could not have been written before Washington became
President, in 1789; if it mentions Presidents Washington, Lincoln,
and Coolidge, it is proof that it was written as late as the date
the latter became President. So of every factual or fanciful
allusion -- it can go no higher than its source. In a word, we know
that no writing can speak as of a matter of fact of any event,
person, or thing, until after such event has become an accomplished
fact, or such person or thing has existed. No one can to-day write
even the name of the President of the United States in the year
A.D. 1939.

With this simple thumb-rule of ascertaining or approximating
the time of production of written documents by what is known as
their "internal evidences" we may gather some astonishing proofs as
to when, and by whom, sundry inspired records of Holy Writ were not
written -- contrary to some currently accepted theories.


According to the chronology, or time-computations worked out
of the Bible narratives (principally by Bishop Usaher) and printed
in the margins of all well-edited Bibles, Catholic and Protestant
alike, until recent ridicule shamed the Bible editors into quietly
dropping them, the world and Man were created by the fiat or by the
fingers of the Hebrew God Yahveh about 4004 years before the
present so-called Christian Era, not yet two thousand years old; so
that the reputed first man, Adam, inhabited the new-made earth
slightly less than six thousand years before the present time. The
revelation of this interesting event -- which by every token of
human knowledge outside the Bible is known not to have occurred
just when and how there related -- and of many equally accredited
events, is recorded (for wonder of mankind) in the first five books
of the Bible Genesis to Deuteronomy, called the Pentateuch or Five
Books, or, as entitled in the Bible, "The Five Books of Moses."
Moses is reputed to have written them at the inspiration or by the
revelation of Yahveh, the God of Israel.

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According to the Bible chronology, Moses lived some 1500 years
before Christ; the date of his exodus out of Egypt with the
Israelites is laid down as the year 1491 Before Christ, or some
2500 years after the Biblical creation of the world. So, if Moses
wrote the account of the creation, the fall of man, the flood, and
other notable historical events recorded in Genesis, he wrote of
things happening, if ever they happened, 2500 years more or less
before his earthly time, and some of them before even man was
created on earth; things which Moses of course could not personally
have known.

But it is explained that while this is true, yet Yahveh
inspired Moses with a true knowledge or "revelation" of all those
things unknown to him, and so what he wrote was revealed historical
fact. This is a matter which will be noticed a little later.

But the Book of Genesis, and all the Five Books of Moses,
contain many matters of "revealed" fact which occurred, if ever at
all many hundreds of years after the death of Moses. Moses is not
technically "numbered among the Prophets," and he does not claim
for himself to have been inspired both backwards and forwards, so
as to write both past and future history. It is evident therefore,
by every internal and human criterion, that these "five Books of
Moses," containing not only the past events referred to, but many
future events -- not in form of prophecy, but as past occurrences
-- could not have been written by Moses, the principal character of
the alleged Exodus and of the forty years' wandering in the
Wilderness of Sin, at the end of which he died. The cardinal
significance of this fact, and of others connected with it, as
bearing upon the historicity of Mosaic narrative and revelation,
will appear in due course.

Indeed, in the light of modern knowledge, it is quite evident
that Moses and the "Hebrews" of his supposed time (1500 B.C.) could
not write at all; or, if at all, on the theory of their 430 years
in Egypt, only in Egyptian hieroglyphs. Not till many centuries
later did the Hebrews acquire the art of writing. Professor
Breasted, the distinguished Egyptologist of the University of
Chicago, points out that to the nomad Hebrews writing was unknown;
and that it was not until about the time of Amos (about eight
hundred years after Moses) that the Hebrews were just "learning to
write"; that "they were now abandoning the clay tablet, and they
wrote on papyrus with Egyptian pen and ink. They borrowed their
alphabet from the Phoenician and Aramean merchants." [James H.
Breasted, Ancient Times (Boston: Ginn & Co.), see. 305] These
Arameans themselves borrowed the alphabet from the Phoenicians
"about 1000 B.C."; [Op. cit., see. 205.] the Phoenicians had
themselves "devised an alphabet drawn from Egyptian hieroglyphs."
[Op. cit., see. 400; see also Andrew Norton, The Pentateuch, p.


Moses, as the traditional great leader and lawgiver of Israel,
is worthy of very interested attention. In no accurate sense was
Moses, if he ever lived, a Hebrew at all; indeed, he is expressly
called "an Egyptian" (Ex. ii, 19). Certainly be did not speak the

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Hebrew language, since it was non-existent as such, as noticed in
another place; and after four hundred years in Egyptian slavery the
slave descendants of Jacob the Syrian, of Chaldea, had evidently
ceased to have any knowledge of their old Chaldean tongue, and
could speak only an Egyptian dialect. As well should the
descendants of the African slaves brought to America three hundred
years ago speak to-day the strange dialects of their native
jungles. In another place we shall see that neither the people nor
Moses had ever heard of Yahveh, God of Israel; and that during the
sojourn in Egypt and for a millennium afterwards they continued to
worship the gods of Chaldea and of Egypt.

All know the story of "Moses and the Bulrushes"; how the
unnamed Pharaoh sought to destroy all the new-born male children of
the Israelites, commanding the Hebrew midwives to slay them at
birth; how the yet unnamed infant son of Amram was put into an "ark
of bulrushes" and hidden on the bosom of the sacred Nile, watched
over by his sister Miriam, found by the Pharaoh's daughter, drawn
from the water by her, raised by his own mother, and adopted by the
daughter of the Pharaoh. All this is very romantic, but not novel.
Other high-born ladies have concealed their indiscretions by more
or less similar shifts.

Sargon, King of Accad about 3800 B.C., as shown by his
monuments yet existing, was also secretly born, was placed by his
mother in an ark of bulrushes, just like Baby Moses, and turned
adrift on the Euphrates, where he was found by a kindly gardener
(as were also Romulus and Remus, born of the god Mars and the
vestal virgin, Rhea Silvia), The gardener nurtured him until his
royal birth was discovered; he became beloved of the goddess
Ishtar, and was raised by his valorous deeds to the throne of his
country. Sargon then conquered all western Asia, including the land
of Canaan, and set up his monuments of victory even on the shores
of the Mediterranean Sea, where they remained, undisturbed by the
floods of Noah, Xisuthros, and Deucalion, until discovered in
recent years, and their records confronted with those of Holy Writ,
in the British Museum in London, and elsewhere, where they may be
seen to-day. The stele of Hammurabi's Code, we may also recall,
stands to-day an eloquent and unimpeachable witness of the mighty
past, in the Louvre at Paris; while Moses's Tables of Stone, writ
by the finger of the Hebrew God Yahveh, are even as the sepulchre
of Moses, whereof no man knoweth unto this day.

To return from the digression. As the story is recorded in
Exodus ii, the princess of Pharaoh spied the ark in the Nile, "had
compassion on" the babe and rescued him; afterwards, when he grew,
"he became her son." Now the remarkable incident: "And she called
his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water"
(Ex. ii 10). What has "Moses" to do with "drew" out of the water?
In English speech nothing discernible; but in the original Hebrew
it is a plain play on words: "and she called his name Mosheh, ...
Because meshethi (I drew) him out of the waters" (Heb., mashad, to
draw). The curious thing about it all is that the Egyptian princess
is represented as speaking in Hebrew, or Chaldee, and making a pun-
name for her protege in that evidently unknown tongue. That it
hardly happened that way is obvious. The birth, rescue, and
"christening" of Moses have every indicium of myth. This evidently

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fabled beginning must raise grave doubts as to the historicity of
Moses himself and of all his reputed career. Other indications of
the legendary will not be wanting as we proceed to review the life
and times of Moses, and his Five Books.


The first and most obvious proof that the so-called 'Five
Books of' Moses were not written by Moses, but date from a time
many centuries after his reputed life and death, is very simple and
indisputable. This proof consists of very numerous instances of
what are called post-Mosaics, or "after-Moses" events, related in
those books under the name of Moses as their inspired author;
events of which Moses of course could not have known or written, as
they occurred long after his death.

It may be remarked, parenthetically, that Moses nowhere claims
to have written the Five Books, nor does the Bible elsewhere impute
their authorship to Moses. It is only "the law" which is elsewhere
attributed to Moses. Indeed, the books are written throughout in
the third person -- Moses did or said this or that; never, in all
the relations of the doings and sayings of Moses does "I did" or "I
said" once occur, except when Moses is recorded as making a speech.

A singular passage in Exodus vi illustrates this point and is
striking evidence that Moses could not have written the books. In
verse 13 it is related: "And Yahveh spake unto Moses and unto
Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto
Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the
land of Egypt." Immediately, in verses 14 to 27, follows a strange
interruption of the narrative by the insertion of a series of
family genealogies, beginning "These be the heads of their fathers'
houses," with many names, including the pedigrees of Moses and
Aaron, the marriage of Aaron, and mention of the names of his
offspring; then this careful explanation: "These are that Aaron and
Moses, to whom Yahveh said, Bring out the children of Israel from
the land of Egypt. ... These are they which spake to Pharaoh king
of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are
that Moses and Aaron" (vv. 26-27). Moses could never have written
in this form and manner among his contemporaries who knew him and,
all about the "bringing out of Egypt." A thousand years afterwards
the thing was written, and the sacred scribe took these pains,
thrice reiterated, to identify the Aaron and Moses mentioned in the
genealogies with the traditional Moses and Aaron of the traditional

It is recognized by scholars that all these elaborate
genealogies inserted in the Five Books are post-exilic
compositions. Their exact duplicates are found in the post-exilic
Books of the Chronicles, and some in Ezra. This too is the origin
of the use of "Adam" as a proper name instead of the common noun
that it is. Again, if Moses had written the books, surely be would
have at least once written the name of the Pharaoh of the Exodus.
But several times in the verses cited is it said, as often
elsewhere in the Five Books, "Pharaoh king of Egypt," as if Pharaoh
were the name of the king instead of simply the official title of
the ruler. The Egyptian title "Pharaoh" means "Great House," the

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dynasty of the divine wearers of the double crown; the more modern
appellative "Sublime Porte," for the Grand Turk, is an instance of
a similar usage. The writer did not know the name of the Pharaoh,
and thought that Pharaoh was his personal name. In later and more
historical books, several Pharaohs are mentioned by their proper
names, as Pharaoh Necho (2 Chron. xxxv, 20) Pharaoh Hophra (Jer.
xliv, 30), and Shishak, king of Egypt (1 Kings,. xiv, 25).


A flood of light on Mosaic authorship of the Book of Genesis,
as well as on "divine revelation" of the most wonderful of its
recorded events, breaks in at this vital point. In this light we
will read a record which will totally destroy the theory of divine

The Hebrews claim to "have Abraham as our father," or tribal
founder. The "history" or account of tribal traditions of the
Chosen People as a new or separate -- and "peculiar" -- ethnic
division, first as nomadic desert Bedouins, later grown into a
Hebrew nationality, begins with the "calling" of Abram and his
departure out of Ur of the Chaldees into Canaan, the "Land of
Promise." This event is related in Genesis xii; from there to the
end the whole of Hebrew Scripture is a miraculous "history" of
Abraham and his descendants as the Hebrew people.

The first eleven chapters of Genesis are not Hebrew history at
all; they deal with cosmic and human-race history, of the creation
of the world and the progress of the gentile races of mankind,
centered around an alleged direct line of personages, non-Hebraic
and pre-Hebrew, from Adam, through Noah and his son Shern, to the
immediate forbears of the Hebrew Father Abraham, who was born a
Chaldean (Gen. i-xi). All the rest of the record deals with the
theocratic history of the Hebrews as "Chosen People" of their god
Yahveh, through their whole national life down to the Babylonian
captivity, their restoration to their native land under Ezra and
Nehemiah, by grace of the Persian conquerors of Babylon, and their
subsequent re-establishment of their theocracy.

Note now this capital fact: in the whole Scripture record,
from Genesis xii to the post-exilic Books of the Chronicles, Ezra,
etc., there is not a word of mention of one of the transcendent
wonders of Genesis i-xi: creation, Father Adam and Mother Eve,
Eden, and the serpent, Noah and his flood, the Tower of Babel --
not a hint of any of these great events and personages preceding
Abraham's trek into Canaan in the year 1921 B.C. Does not such
singular silence of all subsequent history, prophecy, and poetry of
the Hebrews excite curiosity or wonder? The explanation is easy and
very revealing.

In 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, conquered Judea,
destroyed Jerusalem, and carried away into captivity the Chosen
People. There in the new, strange country, "by the rivers of
Babylon ... We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst
thereof; For there they that carried us away captive required of us
a song. ... How shall we sing Yahveh's song in a strange land?"
(Psalm exxxvii, 1-4) This proves, too, that David did not write
this Psalm, for it was written after the captivity; and there they

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dreamed of the Messiah who should arise to "deliver us from the
Assyrian." There in Babylonia, for fifty years (not seventy, as
their prophecies say) until Ezra, and for 150 years until Nehemiah,
the Chosen People remained, among the wonders of the highest
civilization of the East. There they learned the lore and the
literature of the Assyrian and Babylonian cultures; and they no
doubt conned with amazement the tablets and books of the great
libraries of the land in which they dwelt.

From these wonderful records of the past they learned the
Babylonian Epic of Creation, wherein are recorded the fables of
creation, the first parents, the garden, the forbidden trees of
knowledge and of life, the serpent, the temptation, the fall of
man, the flood and the ark, and of the Tower of Babel, the reputed
original of which stood there before their wondering eyes. There
they gathered these legends of the ancient past; and there, or
after their return from captivity, they wrote, or rewrote, or
edited their own ancient chronicles and their books of religious
lore for use in the restored homeland.

The thing speaks for itself: they simply recast the wonders of
the Epic of Creation to suit their own notions and so as to make
their own Yahveh the great Creator instead of Marduk. And to show
that Yahveh's Chosen People were of the most ancient and
illustrious lineage, they worked in the marvelous direct descent
from the first man Adam, through Noah, to Terah, father of Abraham,
only twenty generations since "in the beginning." When this product
was completed, they tacked it on to their own tribal chronicles as
a sort of introduction, and there it stands today -- the revised
Babylonian Epic of Creation as Genesis i-xi -- the preface to the
theocratic history of the Hebrews. Later priestly theologians
attached the potent name of Moses to the first five books, and the
whole gained credit as divinely revealed by Yahveh God to the
traditional first historian and lawgiver, Moses.


The instance is well known of the graphic account, in the last
chapter of Deuteronomy, of the death and burial of Moses; this he
could hardly have written himself. Even if he were inspired, as
some people explain, to write of his own coming death and funeral,
it would be odd for him to add (xxxiv, 6), when he was not yet dead
or buried, "but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day" --
which was evidently very long afterwards, and proves an authorship
much later than Moses. And in verse 8 is the statement: "And the
children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty
days: So the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended" --
a post-mortem which it is needless to say Moses did not write.

In the same chapter is another similar proof of much later
authorship by some other than Moses; for it is written: "And there
hath not yet arisen a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses"
(verse 10) -- a statement which could only have been made after
many later great prophets had arisen with whom Moses could be
compared. Moses could not himself have written that no prophet had
arisen "since" himself when he was yet alive and when no prophet
could as yet be his successor.

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In Exodus xi, 3 it is stated "the man Moses was very great";
and in Numbers xii, 3 is the information, "Now the man Moses was
very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the
earth." So meek a man would not probably have made such immodest
boasts of himself. It must have been some later chronicler sounding
his praises. This conclusion is strengthened by the use of "was"
and "were," in the past tense. And Moses no doubt well knew the
name of his own pagan father-in-law; but the latter is variously
named in the Five Books by four different names: Jethro (Ex. iii,
1); Reuel (Ex. ii, 18); Raguel (Num. x, 29); Jether (Ex. iv, 18);
and in Judges he is given a fifth name, Hobab (Judges iv, 11), all
which indicates several different authors, or one very careless
one, but not Moses.

Moses is reputed to have written the Five Books in the
chronological order of the inspired events, and of course he must
have written it all before be died, which was months before the
Israelites entered the promised land. The events of the forty years
in the wilderness are supposed to have been written in the
wilderness where they occurred. Yet in Numbers xv, 32 it is
recorded: "And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness,
they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day"; and he
was brought to Moses, and "they put him in ward, because it was not
declared what should be done to him. And Yahveh said to Moses, The
man shall surely be put to death" (xv, 33-36). The writer was not
"in the wilderness" when this was written, or be would never have
added that phrase to it, as everything that occurred at all was "in
the wilderness." Moreover, the "law" had already (it is alleged)
been declared at Sinai, "whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath
day, be shall surely be put to death" (Ex. xxxi, 15) -- so this
narrative is just another "mistake of Moses."

Joseph tells the Pharaoh: "I was stolen away out of the land
of the Hebrews" (Gen. xl, 15). There was no "land of the Hebrews"
in the days of Joseph, nor of Moses, nor until some years later
when the Hebrews more or less possessed the land of Canaan or the
"promised land" under Joshua after the death of Moses. The Song of
Moses in Exodus xv, in exultation over the destruction of the
Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, declaims upon the effects of
that catastrophe, which had occurred that very day, upon the
nations for hundreds of miles around: [This is a notable non-Mosaic
form; the name Palestina is not Hebrew but Greek; it is in
Herodotus that we first find the expression "Syria or Palestina"
(New Standard Bible Dictionary, p. 650).] of Palestine, of Edom, of
Moab, of Canaan (xl, 14, 15). Moses sings: "The peoples have heard,
they tremble" (xl, 14, R.V.); which was impossible, as they could
not so soon have heard the wonderful news, and their reactions to
it been known so soon to Moses. But the significant proof of long
post-Mosaic authorship is in these anachronic strophes of the Song:
"Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine
inheritance, in the place, O Yahveh, which thou hast made for thee
to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Yahveh, which thy hands have
established" (x], 17). This mountain was Zion, at Jerusalem, and
the sanctuary was Solomon's temple; and Jerusalem did not come into
the hands of the Chosen until partly captured by David. The temple

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was built by his son Solomon, some five hundred years after the so-
called Song of Moses at the Red Sea, wherein these things are
spoken of as already existing. So this reputed Song of Moses was
written centuries after the death of Moses.

In Genesis xiv is the account of the capture of Lot, nephew of
Abram, in a battle; Abram took a posse of 318 of his armed
retainers and went to his rescue, and "pursued as far as Dan" (xiv,
14). Now Dan clearly did not exist in those times, nor in the time
of Moses. This name of one of the tribes of Israel, descended from
Abraham through his grandson Jacob, was given to the town (then
named Laish) of the Promised Land which was captured by the tribe
of Dan during the conquest (Judges xviii, 27-29), some seven
hundred years after Abraham and long after the death of Moses.

In Deuteronomy iii, Moses is supposed to tell of a war which
he had with the giant Og, King of Bashan, whom he conquered and
killed. It is related (iii, 11), that Og had an iron bedstead 16
1/2 feet long and 7 1/3 feet wide; and for proof of the whole
story, it says: "Is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon?" --
preserved as a relic unto those days. But Moses never saw or heard
of Rabbath, and could not have known what was in its local museum,
for the town was first captured and entered by the Hebrews under
David (2 Sam. xii, 26), some five hundred years after Moses died.

During the forty years in the wilderness the Hebrews were
provided each day, it is recorded, with manna to eat. In Exodus it
is said, "the taste of it was like wafers made with honey" (xvi,
31); while in Numbers it is averred, "the taste of it was as the
taste of fresh oil" (xi, 8). If Moses had eaten it as a steady diet
for forty years, he would have known just what it did taste like,
and he would have said, "the taste is like" oil or honey, if it
tasted so diversely.

But the strangest feature of this inspired story is this: in
Exodus it is averred that the people ate manna for forty years
"until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan" (Ex. xvi,
35). It was Joshua who led them across Jordan into Canaan, some
time after the death of Moses, and Joshua relates for a fact that
when they got across the Jordan, they "did eat of the old corn of
the land in the selfsame day, and the manna ceased on the morrow,
after they had eaten of the corn" (Josh. v, 11, 12). Moses could
not possibly have known when the manna ceased or have written of
this incident happening some time after his death.

In Genesis xxxvi a list of Edomite kings is given and it is
said: "And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom,
before there reigned any king over the children of Israel" (xxxvi,
31). It was some five hundred years after the death of Moses before
Saul became the first king (1095 B.C.); hence Genesis could not
have been written by Moses, or by any one until after the time when
there were kings over Israel so that such a comparison could be
possible. Again, in Judges xvii, 6 it is stated: "In those days
there was no king in Israel, every man did that which was right in
his own eyes"; which shows two things: that the Book of Judges was
not written until during or after the time when there were kings in
Israel; and that the Five Books of Moses, containing the laws of

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Yahveh, were not written by Moses, and that the "law" claimed to
have been "given" at Sinai was not existent; for that "law"
specially forbade and fearfully denounced idolatry and minutely
governed the whole lives of the Chosen People, leaving nothing to

Several of the Five Books abound with the provisions of the
priestly code of sacrifices attributed to Moses in the wilderness,
and are full of accounts of the manifold kinds of sacrifices made
during the forty years in the wilderness. But all this is denied by
the later prophets: "Thus said Yahveh Saboath, Elohe of Israel: I
spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I
brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings
and sacrifices" (Jer. vii, 21, 22); and a chorus of them join in
this refrain: "I hate, I despise your feast days; though ye offer
me burnt sacrifices and meat offerings, I will not accept them"
(Amos v, 21-26; Hosea viii, 13; Micah vi, 6, 7; Isa. i, 11, et

All this shows that Moses never received or wrote the laws
attributed to him and did not write the Five Books which relate all
these things; and it confirms the view that this elaborate and
intricate code of sacrificial and ceremonial law was a late
priestly invention, unheard of by Moses, impossible in the
wilderness, and unknown in all the intervening history of Israel,
as we shall see in other places.


This same sort of simple but conclusive proof produces the
same result with the succeeding books -- Joshua, Judges, Samuel,
Kings, Chronicles, etc., showing that they likewise are of a date
many centuries later than their supposed times and authors, as they
relate matters occurring all the way from David to the Exile (about
500 B.C.). I will mention but an instance or two.

The Book of Joshua relates the death and burial of Joshua
(Josh. xxiv, 29-31), and records that "Israel served Yahveh all the
days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived
Joshua," thus showing that the book was written many years after
Joshua's death by someone else. The late authorship of the book is
proved by the reference (x, 13): "Is it [the fable of the sun and
the moon's standing still] not written in the Book of Jasher?" This
book of Jasher was itself not written until at least the time of
David, for in the account of this bandit hero it is recorded: "Also
he [David] bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the
bow: behold, it is written in the Book of Jasher" (2 Sam. i, 18);
so that Joshua, quoting Jasher, could not have been written before
the latter, which records David.

In the Book of Judges it is recorded: "Now the children of
Judah had fought against Jerusalem and had taken it" (i, 8);
whereas it was not until King David had reigned seven years and six
months in Hebron that "the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto
the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land," and tried to take the
city and failed. "Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion,
and called it the City of David" (2 Sam. v, 5-9). So Judges and

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Samuel must have been written long after David was King and after
Samuel was long since dead. Samuel died some years before the event
he is quoted as recording (1 Sam, xxv, 1); and of course he could
not have written of the calling up of his own ghost by the witch of
En-dor, recorded in I Sam. xxviii, 7-19.

A most conclusive proof of post-exilic composition or editing
of these books now appears. In Judges xvii is the account of Micah
and the elaborate idol-worship which he established, and of the
silver phallic ephod which he set up in his house. He hired a
Levite to be his idol-master and priest; then these sacred trophies
were captured by the Danites; and this remarkable historical
recital is made: "And the children of Dan set up for themselves the
graven image [Micah's ephod]; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the
son of Moses, he and his sons were priests to the Tribe of Dan
until the captivity of the land" (Judges xviii, 30). Here we have
Moses's own grandson, and his descendants for generations acting as
heathen priests of idol-worship in Israel, so fearfully forbidden
by Moses in his law. This "until the captivity of the land" proves
that Judges was not written for nearly a thousand years after the
events related, and after the captivity.

In 1 Chronicles ix, 1 reference is made to "the kings of
Israel and Judah, who were carried away to Babylon for their
transgressions"; which shows that these books, too, were not
contemporary chronicles of passing current events, but were
compiled after the carrying away into Babylon.

As the Hebrew God and religion are principally to be found in
the Five Books of Moses, these instances of the late authorship of
the other books are sufficient for present purposes; other
instances will be noted here and there as they may be pertinent.
The purpose of thus pointing out the internal proofs that the Five
Books of Moses and the others are of a date ages after Moses is to
show by the Bible itself that the records of the origins and
development of the Hebrew legends, history, and religion were not
written by Moses, who is accounted to have been the medium through
whom the Hebrew God Yahveh revealed these events and this religion;
and hence that these revelations are not authentic emanations from
Yahveh, God of Israel, but are mere tribal traditions reduced to
their present form of writing many centuries after their misty and
mythical origin; and that much of it all and particularly the law,
as we shall more fully see, was the creation of the priests in the
late and declining days of the nation, and after the captivity.
These facts also illuminate the question of the inspiration of the
"Holy Scriptures," on which depends their claim to full faith.


In connection with the question of authorship of the Hebrew
"Scriptures" there is another feature which is conclusive proof of
human workmanship, not divine "revelation." This is apparent in the
books written in the Hebrew language, and is of course known to all
scholars. It is also evident in our English translations, where it
can be readily traced through large portions of the books by the
English words "God," "Lord" and "Lord God," as the original Hebrew
words are therein translated falsely.

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In a word, by these proofs it is manifest: that there were at
least two older, independent, and contradictory sources of the
present "Scriptures," that have been very carelessly patched
together by later compilers who have worked them into more or less
their present form. One of the older writers or schools of writers,
of the Scripture records always makes use of the generic words El,
Elohe, or Elohim (God, Gods), to designate the Hebrew tribal
divinity; the other school invariably uses the personal name
"Yahveh," or Jehovah.

The first writer or school is thus designated as Elohist, or
by the initial "E"; the latter is called Jahvist, designated by the
letter "J"; these two original sources are together designated as
"JE." As even a cursory perusal of the books will prove, these two
original "Elohim" and "Yahveh" records were at some later time
combined into one record, in more or less its present form,
evidently by reckless and "priestly" editors, who added much
material of their own, designated by the initial "P," for priestly.
This composite product is known as "JEP." Other minor sources and
combinations are also to be discovered; but "E" and "J" tell the
remarkable tale the "twice-told tale" -- of revelation and
inspiration beyond all contradiction -- but contradictorily,


A critical study of the Hebrew Scriptures by competent
scholars reveals that their present form results from much and very
uncritical editing and patching together of ancient traditions,
folk lore tales, and written records, long after the times usually
attributed to the several books; and indicates that the Hexateuch,
or Five Books of Moses plus the Book of Joshua, took its present
form about 620 B.C. The older parts of the composite, by the
"Yahveh" writer, or "J," roughly date from about 800 B.C.; the
"Elohist" or "E" document from about 750 B.C. One is considered to
have been composed in Israel, the other in Judah, after the
division of the kingdom upon the death of Solomon. The hostile
factions of the Hebrews had common traditions, but each gave
partisan interpretation and color to them; this resulted in the
signal discrepancies and contradictions which are apparent from the
combination of the two records without careful pruning.

Later, during and after the captivity, to about 450 B.C., when
national longings and aspirations were very strong, and the tribal
Yahveh was being evolved into "one God of all the world," the
priestly editors, or "P," worked the Yahveh and Elohim documents
into one whole, with fine dramatic skill and much originality, but
with total want of critical sense. Still other editors, designated
from their traces as "J2," "E2," "JE," and "R," worked the
composite "JEP" over from time to time, to suit their own views,
policies, and tastes, very freely making editorial additions and
changes. All this can be followed by the critic's eye through the
Hebrew texts almost as distinctly as the blue water of the Gulf-
stream can be distinguished winding its way through the green
waters of the ocean. And so the interested English reader can

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readily distinguish the main sources of composition by the
different terms for the Deity, "God" for "El," "Elolic," or
"Elohim"; "Lord" for "Yahveh"; and "Lord God" for the Hebrew
"Yahveh Elohim."

It may not be without interest to mention that the personal
God-name "Yahveh" occurs some 6000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures;
the noun "El," meaning God or Spirit, occurs but two hundred and
sixteen times; "Elohim," which is plural and means spirits or gods,
is found some 2570 times; and the "dual plural" form "Elobe" is
used many times, in composition, as "Yahveh, Elohe Yishrael."
Further on we shall note another highly significant fact connected
with this plural usage.


The fact is very obvious throughout that the later compilers
or editors of the "Scriptures" in their present form often made use
of older written materials, rather than always speaking "as they
were moved by the Holy Ghost" -- who is not in those Scriptures
revealed as having existed in their days. This fact is proved by
the fact that these "inspired" writers frequently refer to and
quote copiously from older, uninspired, and now lost books as the
sources of information for matters which they relate. The instances
of this editorial use of wholly profane sources are numerous.

Thus in Numbers xxi, 14 it is stated, "Wherefore it is said in
the book of the wars of Yahveh," followed by the quotation. The
famous account of the sun and moon's standing still for Joshua is
related not as original "inspired" matter; the story is told, and
the writer asks, "Is not this written in the Book of Jasher?"
(Josh. x, 13). David's Lament over Jonathan and Saul, in 2 Samuel
i, 17-27, is quoted in full, with the reference, "Behold, it is
written in the Book of Jasher." This Book of Jasher is several
other times quoted, as is the Book of the Wars of Yahveh.

After all that is told of Solomon down to the time of his
death, it is stated, "Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all
that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of
the acts of Solomon?" (1 Kings xi, 41) There are repeated
references to, and quotations from the Book of the Chronicles of
the Kings of Judah (e.g., 1 Kings xv, 7, 23); and the Book of the
Chronicles of the Kings of Israel (e.g., 2 Kings, xiv, 15, 28).
Other lost books of sources, of uninspired secular records, are
referred to, three in a single verse: The History of Samuel the
Seer, the History of Nathan the Prophet, the History of Gad the
Seer (1 Chron. xxix, 29). In another verse we have references to
the Book of Nathan the Prophet, and the Prophecy of Ahijah, and the
Visions of Iddo the Seer (2 Chron. ix, 29). Again we are referred
to the Histories of Shemaiah the Prophet and of Iddo the Seer,
concerning genealogies (2 Chron. xii, 15). And we are told that
"the rest of the acts of Ahijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are
written in the story [commentary] of the prophet Iddo" (2 Chron.
xiii, 22).

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Again, "Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and
last, behold, they are written in the book of Jehu, ... who is
mentioned [which is inserted] in the book of the kings of Israel"
(2 Chron. xx, 34). And so, as to the other acts of Hezekiah, "they
are written in the vision of Isaiah, the prophet, and in the book
of the kings of Judah and Israel" (2 Chron. xxxii, 32). At the
close of the Scripture sketch of each of the several kings of Judah
and of Israel occurs the editorial reference to the source of the
chronicled events in the formula, "Now the rest of his acts are
written in the book," the name of which is given in each instance.

That the whole of both books of Chronicles was written after
the return from captivity, is apparent from the plain statement of
the text, following the first eight chapters of genealogies, "So
all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and behold, they were
written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, who were
carried away to Babylon for their transgression" (1 Chron. ix, 1).
This is true, too, of the Books of Kings, which, like the Books of
the Chronicles, form only a single book in the Hebrew sacred

The Acts of the Kings of Israel (2 Chron. xxxiii, 18) is
another cited work lost to posterity, as is also the quaint and
curious volume of forgotten lore entitled "The Sayings of the
Seers" (2 Chron. xxxiii, 19). Some of the apocryphal material of
the Book of Esther is said to be found in "The Book of the
Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia" (Esther x, 2), a
purely pagan source. There is no claim at all that any of these
many books of "sources" of Hebrew Scripture was inspired or was in
any sense the "Word of God"; they were commonplace lay chronicles
and books of history or literature; so that very large and material
portions of "inspired" Hebrew Scriptures are from entirely
uninspired and human sources. We shall see and judge of the other
portions in due order.


There are, moreover, numerous passages and even whole chapters
of the Hebrew Bible which are in identical words, showing that the
one was copied bodily from the other, or from a common older
source, as is mostly the case, without giving the customary
editorial credit to the original authors. A god would hardly repeat
himself thus. Instances of these duplications of text may be
multiplied; they very materially discount the theory of original
inspiration of the copyists.

A notable instance, because the duplications immediately
follow one another in the English versions (but not in the Hebrew
Scriptures), is the last two verses of the last chapter of 2
Chronicles (xxxvi, 22-23), which are identical with the first two
and a half verses of Ezra (i, 1-3). The Hebrew writer puts into the
mouth of the pagan King Cyrus the avowal, "The Lord God [Heb.,
Yahreh Elohim] of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the
earth; and he [Yahveh] hath charged me to build him an house at
Jerusalem" (Ezra i, 2). Cyrus could hardly, as a good Persian
pagan, have thus discredited his own gods in favor of the tribal
god of the captive Jews. The latter half of verse 3 affords a

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signal instance of conscious mis-translation on the part of the
clergymen of King James. It is recited that Yahveh "stirred up the
spirit of Cyrus king of Persia" to build a house for Yahveh in
Jerusalem; and Cyrus issued a proclamation in writing to the
captive Hebrews, which is quoted in the English versions thus
deceptively: "Who is there among you of all his people? his God be
with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and
build the house of Yahveh, the God of Israel (he is the God), which
is in Jerusalem" (Ezra i, 3). Thus the pagan King Cyrus is made to
appear to make the wonderful public admission (though in
parentheses) that "Yahveh he is the God." But the original Hebrew
text reads: "Yahveh, Elohe Israel, he is the God which is in
Jerusalem," without the parentheses, as may be read in the original
Hebrew and as is shown in small type in the margin of the Revised
Version; but the Authorized or King James Version wholly distorts
the truth.

Several other instances of duplication of long passages or
chapters may be cited out of many others: the "Song of David" in 2
Samuel xxii and Psalm xvi"; the battle between the Philistines and
Israelites, in which Saul was killed, in 1 Samuel xxxi and I
Chronicles x. The latter account adds two verses (x, 13, 14),
giving as the reason why Saul was killed in the battle that he went
and inquired of the witch of En-Dor, "enquired not of Yahveh";
though it is expressly stated as the reason why Saul had recourse
to the witch: "When Saul enquired of Yahveh, Yahveh answered him
not. ... Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that
hath a familiar spirit" (1 Sam. xxviii, 6, 7) -- after Yahveh had
been enquired of and refused response. The priest applied to was
evidently not friendly to Saul.

Other whole chapters practically identical are the accounts of
the building of Solomon's temple, in I Kings v-vii and 2 Chronicles
ii-iv (though in 1 Kings vii, 15 and 2 Kings xxv, 17, it is stated
that the two pillars Jachln and Boaz were each 18 cubits high, and
in 2 Chronicles iii, 15 that they were each 35 cubits high); the
making of David king and his taking of Sion, part of Jerusalem, in
2 Samuel v, 1-10 and 1 Chron. xi, 1-9; the removal of the Ark to
Jerusalem, in 2 Samuel vi, 1-11 and 1 Chron. xiii; the "finding of
the law" by Josiah, in 2 Kings xxii-xxiii, and 2 Chronicles xxxiv-
xxxv. Other striking instances of such duplications of inspiration
may be found, in 2 Kings xix and Isaiah xxxvii; 1 Samuel xxxi, and
1 Chronicles x (see verse 10 of each for a contradiction); 1
Chronicles xvi, 8-36 and Psalm cv. All these and many other like
duplications, with their many variations and contradictions,
clearly show that the writers used older sources, which they copied
and changed to suit their own notions or purposes, and were not
worried with "inspiration" at all.


The fact of distinct and contradictory sources worked up into
a sort of composite hodge-podge with utter lack of literary or
historical criticism and total disregard of self-contradiction is
further very evident from the many double and contradictory
accounts of the same alleged event. Some minor instances of this we
have just noticed.

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These contradictions are indeed too many to be even cited here
-- they infest every book and almost every chapter of Holy Writ
from Genesis to Revelation, wherever the same event becomes a
twice-told tale. At this place we shall notice particularly only
the major early instances: the double and contradictory accounts of
the creation and of Adam and Eve; of Noah's Flood; or of the Tower
of Babel, and other lesser legends of Genesis. In other chapters we
give special attention to the notable contradictions of the Exodus,
of the ten commandments and the law, of the conquest and possession
of the promised land; of the prophecies, of the life and career of
Jesus Christ; together here and there with such others as may be
incident to the matter at the time in hand. But first we shall note
a highly important consideration to be borne in mind throughout.


In connection with the numerous examples of flagrant conflicts
and contradictions in the inspired revelations of the "Word of God"
as recorded in the Hebrao-Christian Scriptures, I wish at the
outset to call particularly to attention and constant remembrance
two very simple principles of correct judgment, which must govern
at all times in determining what is truth. One is an eternal
principle of human thought, the other an ancient and valid maxim of
the law of evidence.

At the base of all human knowledge and judgment there are
three simple rules known as the "three primary laws of thought." Of
these the third in order is this simple proposition, on which all
valid judgment depends: "Of two contradictories, one must be
false." Both of the contradictories may be false; but one must be
false inevitably. If one person says of an object: "It is white,"
and another says: "It is black," one or the other statement must of
necessity be false. Of course both may be false, as the object may
be red or blue or vari-colored; but in any event, one or the other
statement must be false, for it cannot be both. This is a
fundamental law of thought or correct judgment, or of truth.

The other principle, somewhat complementary, is a rule of law.
Every judge declares it to his juries as the law of every jury case
on trial, for this ancient maxim is the law in every court to-day.
As a Latin maxim it is: "Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus" -- that
is, "false in one thing, false in all things." Not necessarily so
as to the whole; for one part of the testimony of a witness, or of
anything said or written, may be false or mistaken while the
remainder may be quite true and correct. The maxim means, as the
court always explains to the jury, merely that if the jury believes
that a witness "knowingly or wilfully has testified falsely as to
any material fact" in his testimony, they are at liberty to
disbelieve him entirely and to reject all of his testimony as
false. The reason is evident; for if a person orally or in his
document or book says one thing which is detected as false;
everything else which he says or writes is at once thrown into
doubt, and unless otherwise corroborated, may well be considered to
be all erroneous or false. Often it is impossible to know with
certainty what things, if any, may possibly be true; all are

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tainted and discredited by the parts shown to be false. This is
peculiarly true with respect to the Scriptures, said to be in
totality inspired and true: if some parts are proved false, the
whole is discredited.

Upon these two simple and fundamental principles of reason and
of law I shall proceed to "search the Scriptures, whether these
things were so," to the end that all may judge of their inspiration
and their truth.

If we find that the "Word of God" tells the same story in two
or more totally different and contradictory ways, or that one
inspired writer is "moved by the Holy Ghost" of Yahveh to tell his
tale one way, and another inspired writer is moved to tell it in
another way, totally different and contradictory in the essence of
the alleged facts of the same event, we are forced to know and
confess that one or the other record at least is wanting in God's
inspiration of truth and is inevitably false. This being so, and
there being no possible way of determining which version is the
false and which may not be, both must be rejected as equally false,
or equally uninspired and incredible; and in either event, the
theory of inerrant inspiration and of the revealed truth of the
"Word of God" is irreparably destroyed.


The Creation

The first chapter of Genesis declares by inspiration that
creation took place in six days, in this exact order: 1. on the
first day light and day and night were created, (though the sun and
moon were not created until the fourth day); 2. on the second day,
the "firmament of heaven," a solid something "dividing the waters
which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the
firmament"; 3. on the third day, the dry land, the seas, and all
manner of plants and trees; 4. on the fourth day, the sun, moon,
and stars; 5. on the fifth day, every living creature that moveth
in the waters, and every winged fowl; 6. on the sixth day, all
manner of beasts, and cattle, and creeping thing: then, afterwards,
on the same sixth day, "God [Elohim] created man in his own image;
male and female created he them." And then (i, 28), "God [Elohim]
blessed therit, and God [Elohim] said unto them, Be fruitful, and
multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it."' And, running
over into the second chapter, this "Elohim" account concludes:
"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished; and all the host of
them. And on the seventh day God [Elohim] ended his work which he
had made; and he rested on the seventh day" (ii, 1, 2). Thus all
creation, including man and woman, was fully made and finished in
six days: no mention is made of any Adam and Eve, or Eden. This is
the Elohist version of the creation.

Then, beginning with the fourth verse of the second chapter,
a totally different "Yahveh" account of creation of the world and
of man, without woman, all in one day, is related: "These are the
generations of the heavens and of the earth. when they were
created, in the day that the Lord God [Yahveh Elohim; i.e., Yahveh
of the Gods] made the earth and the heavens." Then follows this

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description of the processes after the earth was thus already
created: "And no plant or herb of the field was yet in the earth;
... and there was not a man to till the ground. ... And Yahveh
Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And
Yahveh Elohim planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there be put
the man whom he had formed." And he planted all kinds of trees in
the garden, and put the man into the garden to till it (ii, 15).
Then Yahveh Elohim said: "It is not good that the man should be
alone; I will make an help meet [i.e., fit, appropriate] for him"
(ii, 18). Then "out of the ground Yahveh Elohim formed every beast
of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto the
man" (ii, 19).

Before proceeding further, to the creation of the woman, we
will note the glaring contradictions already apparent in these two
accounts. First we see a creation of everything by Elohim (Gods) in
six days; then a creation of the heaven and naked earth by Yahveh
in one day. In the first or Elohim account, on the third day, after
creating the dry land, Elohim (Gods) commanded, (Gen. i, 12) "and
the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed, and tree bearing
fruit," etc. But in the second or "Yahveh" account, after the earth
was all rough-finished and read , on the one day, it is declared
(Gen. ii, 5): "no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no
herb of the field had yet sprung up." Then immediately follows the
declaration (ii, 7) "And Yahveh Elohim [Eng., Lord God] formed man
out of the dust of the ground"; then planted the Garden of Eden,
and all its trees, and put the man into the garden. Nothing could
be more contradictory than this.

There is another very notable contradiction: in Gen. i, 20,
21, on the fifth day, the "living creatures" (Heb., nephesh
hayyah), and the "winged fowl" were brought forth out of the waters
-- "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the living creatures
Inephesh hayyah] and the winged fowl"; and this, of course, before
the creation of man and woman on the sixth day; whereas, in ii, 19,
after the creation of the man, and when Yahveh was trying to find
a "help-mate" for him among the animals not yet created, "out of
the ground Yahveh formed every beast of the field and every fowl of
the air, and brought them to the man."

Another notorious contradiction: in the Elohim version (i, 24,
25), Elohim made every beast, and animal, and cattle on the sixth
day, before man was created. In the Yahveh account, as we have just
seen, after the man was created and put into the Garden of Eden,
Yahveh "out of the ground formed every beast of the field, and
brought them to the man" (ii, 19).

Most notorious of these creation contradictions is that of the
creation of the woman. In the Elohim account, as we have seen, on
the sixth day -- after all else was created and done "Elohim
created man in his own image, male and female created he them
[i.e., man and woman]; and Elohim said, Be fruitful, and multiply,
and replenish the earth" (i, 27, 28): thus both man and woman were
created on the sixth day, and were sexually equipped and commanded
to multiply and reproduce. But in the second or Yahveh account we
have man created all alone, and put into the Garden of Eden alone.

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Afterwards Yahveh considers: "It is not well for the man to be
alone; I will make an help meet for him" (ii, 18). Then we have the
very remarkable, not to say ridiculous, episode of Yahveh making
all kinds of animals and parading them before the man for him to
choose a female animal help-mate or wife, but none was "meet," or
fit, or satisfactory for him -- "but for the man there was not
found an help meet [fit] for him" (ii, 20). Then follows the rib
story, of woman being made from the rib of the man and brought to
him to be his wife (ii, 22).

A peculiar contradiction resulting from these divergent forms
of myth relates to the modus operandi of the creation. According to
the Elohist, it was all the work of divine flat; the Gods sat "upon
the circle of the earth" (Isa. xl, 22), "and Elohim said: Let there
be ... and the earth brought forth ... and it was so" (Gen. i, 2,
6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26); "he spake, and they were made" -- were
brought into existence by his word. But the Yahvist represents the
superman God as coming down bodily to earth and as busily engaged
molding the dust of the ground into man and animals and fowls (but
not fishes), planting a garden and trees, talking to the man, and
then artistically carving the rib into Eve; all creation thus being
"the work of his fingers" (Psalm viii, 3).

These are two totally contradictory stories of the creation of
the earth, and of living creatures. Hence one is false; the notion
of the inspired truth of God in one or the other of them must be
abandoned as impossible. Of course we know that both are mere
fables, equally false, and wholly disproved by every fact of the
sciences of geology and anthropology and astronomy, which prove
that the earth and sun and stars were countless ages in formation,
and that human and animal life has existed for perhaps hundreds of
thousands of years, far beyond the lately discovered Neanderthal
and Cro-Magnon men, who outdated the biblical Adam by tens of
thousands of years. But we will stick to our Bible "facts," and not
appeal to the discoveries of science, nor to the common elements of
modern human knowledge, to gainsay divine inspiration of the Bible.
The book and its truth must be tried by itself. It is also evident
on the face of these two conflicting accounts that two different
writers, "E" and "J," wrote them, and not Moses; and also that the
third man, "P," who patched them together, did it in a very
apprentice-like manner, and without any inspiration or critical
knack at all.

The Garden of Eden had some topographic and hydrographic
features truly notable. Of so limited an area that a single man was
sufficient "to dress and to keep it" (Gen. ii, 15), it yet
contained every created species of fauna and of flora; and all this
exuberant growth without water, "for Yahveh Elohim had not caused
it to rain upon the earth; but there went up a mist from the earth,
and watered the whole face of the ground" (Gen. ii, 5, 6). So
wondrously copious was this mist that its superfluity created a
vast prehistoric river, which "went out of Eden to water the
garden" -- and so it would seem that the garden was somewhere
outside of Eden. So vast was this Father of Waters that, after
watering the garden, "from thence it was parted, and came into four
heads" (ii, 10). One branch, the Pison, "compasseth the whole land
of Havilah" (ii, 11), wherever that was; the second, Gihon,

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compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia" (ii, 13), which we know to
be a vast country in equatorial Africa; the third river was the
Hiddekel, "which goeth towards the east of Assyria" (ii, 14), and
is supposed to be the Tigris, which however is west of Assyria;
"and the fourth river is Euphrates" (ii, 14). These last two rivers
are thousands of miles from Ethiopia, but all are a notable tribute
to the copiousness of that watery mist of Eden.


A word of comment may be made in passing on a couple of points
which have given occasion to much concern and controversy, by the
attempt to "accommodate" revelation to the everyday facts of
science. It is argued that the "days" of creation may be used
allegorically or figuratively; that, as "a day with Yahveh is as a
thousand years," these Genesis "days" may well denote the
indefinite veons assigned by science to the vast work of universal
creation. (Cath.. Encyc., Vol. IV, p. 473, art. Creation.) But that
the old Hebrew writers of these primitive myths had no such
figurative notions, and my yom (day) meant exactly the solar day of
twenty-four hours, is very clear: six times, at the close of each
day's recorded work, it is declared, "and the evening and the
morning were the first day," or the second, or third, day, etc.

The Hebrew word yom (day) is used in the Old Testament 1153
times; its plural (yammim, days) 811 times. Always the word means
simply the twenty-four-hour solar day; always -- can we believe it?
-- except in these "six days" of Genesis i, where, instead of
meaning "day," as plainly written, it is piously expounded as
meaning "countless aeons of time" so as to make Genesis look like
a work of modern science! Quaint double usage is jumbled into a
single verse: "And Elohim called the light yom [day], and the
darkness he called layil [night]. And the evening and the morning
were the first yom [day]" (Gen. i. 5)! Here the light part of the
day is the hours between dawn and dark; the darkness is only the
hours between sundown and the next dawn; but together they form the
"first yom" -- countless aeons of the first process of creation!
Verily, the theologians are funny-mentalists!

And if each of the first six "days" are not days but aeons of
time, how about the seventh day? The gods (Elohim) "rested [Heb.,
shabath, the sabbath] on the seventh day" (Gen. ii, 2). If each of
the other six days was an unreckonable won, the seventh day (aeon)
of rest must, for proper recuperation from such vast and prolonged
labors, be of more or less like ample duration; so that, as only
six thousand brief years (not even a second of an aeon) have
elapsed since all the work of creation was finished, the gods must
be resting even yet -- as might be suspected from some evidence in
their creation.

Why "evening and morning" marking the "day" instead of morning
and evening, as is more natural and of all but universal usage in
speech? Simply because the Jewish day began, and yet begins, in the
evening, at sunset, and their "day" is from one sunset to another;
so in writing these myths it was conformable with Jewish customs to
put the evening as the beginning of the day. Moreover, all the
eight works of creation were stuffed into six days, so that Yahveh

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could rest on the seventh day, the Jewish sabbath, or day of rest.
In order to accomplish this, and Yahveh thus be made to appear to
institute and sanction the sabbath, two distinct works, the
creation of the seas and the dry land and the creation of trees and
plants, are assigned to one, the third day; and two other works,
the creation of the animals, and the creation of man and woman, are
crowded into another day, the sixth -- eight distinct works in all.

This obvious conclusion it is pleasing to find confirmed by
the Catholic Encyclopedia -- which makes many admissions without
seeming to see their logically fatal effects: "The third day and
the sixth day are distinguished by a double work, while each of the
other four days has only one production assigned to it"; and it
adds, curiously for it, but acutely and correctly: "Hence the
suspicion arises that the division of God's creative acts into six
days is really a schemation employed to inculcate the importance
and the sanctity of the seventh day" (Vol. VII, p. 311)! From this
it is palpably evident that the seven days of the ordinary calendar
week were in the inspired mind of the old Jewish Chronicler who
worked up the Hebrew creation myth from the Babylonian Epic of

All these material works of creation, the earth and the seas,
the sun, moon, and stars, were not created by the fiat or by the
architectural skill of Yahveh out of nothing, for "ex nihil nihil
fit." From before the "beginning" of creation, or its constructive
works, the material earth itself existed, but simply was "without
form and void," or, in the Hebrew words, thohu (desolation) and
bohu (waste) (Gen. i, 2). And the material waters existed, for "the
spirit [wind] of Elohim moved upon the face of the waters" (i, 2);
the waters not being collected together into seas until the third
day (i, 9, 10). It is curious how the otherwise intelligent human
mind can so struggle through centuries to "accommodate" sense and
science to "what are patently early myths and naive, childish,
primitive folklore," as Charles P. Fagnani, D.D., frankly calls
these tales of Genesis.


Before considering various contradictions in the Book of
Genesis and other sections of the sacred history, it is pertinent
to call particular attention to some very peculiar mistranslations,
rather than errors of translation, which with painful frequency
occur in exactly those passages where they are most significant. As
the translators were theologians, as well as indifferent Hebrew
scholars, their scholarship may subconsciously have been tinged
with theological preconceptions in choosing precisely the word in
English to meet the needs of theological translation from the
uncritical Hebrew. Mistranslation began early and is persistent.

It is some very simple instances which I shall give, such as
are apparent to one of very limited knowledge of the Hebrew text of
the sacred books. Any one knowing merely the Hebrew alphabet and
comparing a few Hebrew words with the words used by the theologians
to translate them possesses the whole secret.

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The word "Adam" as the proper name of a man is a deception of
the theologian translators of Genesis. The original Hebrew text,
which a schoolboy can follow in the excellent beginner's text-book,
Magil's Linear School Bible, [Joseph Magil, Linear School Bible
(Philadelphia: Joseph Magil Publishing Co. 1915).] says, not "Adam"
as a proper name, but "ba-adam," the-man, a common noun. (There are
no capital letters in Hebrew.) We will notice some instances of

In Genesis i, 26 occurs the first mention of man, the first
use of adam: "And Elohim [gods] said, Let us make man [adam] in our
image"; "and Elohim created ha-adam [the-man] in his image" (i, 27)
-- male and female both together.

In chapter ii, it is said in the translations that Yahveh
formed the beasts of the field out of the ground (adamah), "and
brought them unto Adam" (ii, 19); "and Adam gave names. ... but for
Adam there was not found an help meet for him" (ii, 20). But the
Hebrew text mentions no "Adam"; it simply reads that Yahveh
brought. the animals "unto ha-adam (the-man), and "ha-adam [the-
man] gave names," etc.

In Genesis ii, 7, "Yahveh formed ha-adam [the-man] out of the
dust of ha-adamah [the ground]." And so throughout the Hebrew Bible
"man" is "adam" (not "Adam"), and "ground" is "adamah." Man is
called in Hebrew adam, because he was formed out of adamah, the
ground: just as in Latin man is called homo because formed from
humus, the ground, -- "homo ex humo," in the epigram of Lactantius.
It may be instanced that the prophet Ezekiel many times represents
Yahveh as addressing him as "ben adam" (son of man) -- the
identical term Jesus so often uses of himself long after.

As the whole of the "sacred science of Christianity" is built
and dependent upon the factual existence of a "first man" named
Adam, the now attenuated ghost of this mythical Adam must be laid
beyond the peradventure of resurrection. The texts of the Hebrew
books will themselves effectively lay the ghost.

In Hebrew adam is a common noun, used to signify man or
mankind in a generic sense; the noun for an individual man is ish,
and so the sacred texts make manifest. The distinction is exactly
that of Mann and Mensch in the Teutonic languages. A few out of
thousands of instances must suffice.

Chapters i and ii of Genesis afford a number of these
instances, as above seen, but these may be repeated along with the
others, to get a fair view. "Elohim said: 'Let us make adam'" (i,
26), and "Elohim created ha-adam," male and female (i, 27). In
chapter ii: "and there was not adam to till the adamah" (ii, 5);
"and Yahveh-Elohim formed ha-adam [the-man]. ... and ha-adam became
a living soul" (ii, 3); and Yahveh-Blohlm placed in the garden "ha-
adam whom he had formed" (ii, 8); and "Yahveh-Elohim took ha-adam"
(ii, 15), and commanded ha-adam" (ii, 16); and said "it is not good
for ha-adam to be alone" (ii, 18); and made the animals and
"brought them to ha-adam, ... and whatsoever ha-adam should call

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them" (ii, 19); and "ha-adam called names; but for ha-adam he did
not find an help meet" (ii, 20); and "Yahveh-Elohim caused a deep
sleep upon ha-adam" (ii, 21), and from his rib made the woman, and
he "brought her unto ha-adam" (ii, 22); and "ha-adam said, ... and
called her woman [Heb., isshah], because out of man [Heb., ish] was
she taken" (ii, 23); 'therefore shall a man [ish] leave his father.
... and cleave unto his isshah (ii, 24); "and they were both naked,
ha-adam and his isshah" (ii, 25).

Chapter iii: "And Yahveh-Elohim called unto ha-adam (iii, 9);
"and ha-adam said, ha-isshah whom thou gavest me" (iii, 12); and
Yahveh-Elohim said to ha-isshah, thy longing shall be unto thy ish"
(iii, 16); "and to adam he said" (iii, 17); and "ha-adam called the
name of his isshah Havvah [life], because she was the mother of all
living" (iii, 20); and "Yahveh-Elohim made for adam and for his
isshah coats of skins" (iii, 21). And Yahveh-Elohim said, "Because
ha-adam has become like one of us" (iii, 22); therefore "he drove
out ha-adam (iii, 24).

Thereupon "ha-adam knew his wife Havvah, and she conceived,
and bore Kain; and she said: I-have-acquired [Heb., kanithi] a man
[ish] with Yahveh" (Gen. iv, 1). Lamech said to his wives, "I have
killed a man [ish]" (iv, 23). Chapter v is "the book of the
generations of adam: in the clay that Elohim created adam; male and
female created he them, and blessed them, and called their name
adam" (v, 1, 2); "and adam lived ... and the days of adam were and
all the days of adam were" (v, 3-5). In these latter verses adam is
used indifferently without the article, and the translators write
it Adam, as a proper name; but all the previous and subsequent
usage shows it is the same common noun for mankind. In the next
chapter vi, "ha-adam began to multiply upon the face of ha-adamah"
(vi, 1); and "the sons of the gods saw the daughters of ha-adam
(vi, 2); "And Yahveh said, My spirit shall not strive with adam
["Adam" was dead] forever" (vi, 3). And Yahveh "saw the wickedness
of ha-adam" (vi, 5), and he repented that he "had made ha-adam"
(vi, 6); "And Yahveh said, I will destroy ha-adam, both adam and
beast" (vi, 7); "and all adam perished" (vii, 21). And Noah was "a
just man [ish]" (vi, 9). Yahveh said to Noah: "And surely your
blood will I require of your lives; at the hand of ha-adam; at the
hand of ish will I require the soul of ha-adam" (Gen. ix, 5). The
"Egyptians are men [adam] and not God [El]" (Isa. xxxi 3); "God
[El] is not a man [ish] ... neither the son of man [ben adam]"
(Num. xxiii, 19); prophets are ish ha-elohim (men of the gods)
(Judges xiii, 6); "put not your trust in the son of man [ben adam]"
(Psalm cxlvi, 3).

All through the Hebrew Bible adam, ha-adam, is for generic
man; ish for individual man; Adam never is a proper name, except in
the post-exilic genealogies of Chronicles.


Another signal instance of the practice of false translation
at critical points for dogma occurs in these first two chapters of
Genesis. The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh always, and it
properly means nothing else but soul wherever used. Ha-adam called
his wife's name Havvah [life], "for she was the mother of all

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In chapter one we are given the account of how the gods
(Elohim), on the fifth day, created "the moving creature that hath
life" and "every living creature," out of the waters (i, 20, 21);
and on the sixth day "the living creature" out of the ground (i,
24); and he gave to ha-adam dominion over "everything ... wherein
there is life" (i, 30). All these renditions are untrue: in each of
the four instances the Hebrew is plainly nephesh hayyah -- "living
soul" -- as is stuck into the margin of the King James Version. The
significance of this appears below.

In chapter two Yahveh-Elobim (ii, 7) formed ha-adam out of the
dust of ha-adamah, and -- in wonderful contrast to these lowly
"living creatures" (nephesh hayyah) -- "breathed into his nostrils
mishmath hayyim [living breaths], and ha-adam became a living soul
[nephesh hayyah]." So here we have the humble "living creatures"
(nephesh hayyah) of the dumb animal world contrasted with
"Creation's micro-cosmical masterpiece, Man," endowed out of hand
by Yahveh-Elohim with a "living soul" (but the self-same nephesh
hayyah), and thus the crowning work of creation, but "little lower
than the angels" (Psalm viii, 5)! And then immediately afterwards
Yahveh-Elohim, wanting to provide an "help meet" for his wonderful
"living soul," out of ha-adamah formed and brought to ha-adam
"every living creature" (again nephesh hayyah), for the-man to
choose a she-animal for his wedded wife! But the "living soul" man
refused to be satisfied with a female "living soul" animal wife; so
Yahveh resorted to the rib expedient to provide a human "help meet"
for his masterpiece! So reads in Hebrew the truth-inspired
revelation of Yahveh, spoken by "holy men of old as they were moved
by the Holy Ghost"! And thus we see that all "living creatures,"
animals, fishes, fowls, had or were nephesh hayyah (living soul,
exactly like the-man; or the-man, with Yahveh's breath of life in
his nostrils, became a simple "living creature" (nephesh hayyah)
like all the other animals.

It is perfectly evident that the nephesh hayyah man was
regarded by the inspired writer as no higher in the order of
creation than any other nephesh hayyah or animal "living creature."
For he represents Yahveh as creating all the beasts of the field
for the express purpose of providing the-man with an "help meet"
from among them, a female animal consort by which to fulfill the
divine command, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the


To return to the contradictions of inspiration. The history of
Noah's Flood shows the same conflicting compound of Elohist and
Jahvist stories. Only one will here be noted. In Genesis vi Elohim
commanded Noah, and told him, "of every living thing of all flesh
two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive
with thee; and they shall be male and female" (vi, 19); and in vi,
22, the Elohist assures us: "Thus did Noah, according to all that
Elohim commanded him, so did he"; that is, he took in two of every
kind into the ark.

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But in chapter vii it is Yahveh who speaks, and it is
recorded: "And Yahveh said unto Noah, Of every clean beast thou
shalt take to thee; and they shall be male and female" (vi, 19) and
in vi, 22, the Clean by two, the male and his female" (vii, 2, 3)
and in vii, 5 the Jahvist states: "And Noah did according to all
that Yahveh commanded him" -- that is, Noah took into the ark seven
(or maybe fourteen, seven male and seven female) of all kinds of
clean beasts and of fowls, and two of all the others. But this
enumeration is again contradicted by the inspired Elohist: "Of
clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and
of everything that creepeth upon the earth, there went in by two
and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and his female" (Gen. vii,
8, 9, 15); thus is restored our faith in the scriptural accuracy of
the animal rosters of the toy Noah's arks of our trustful

It is curious to note that the distinction between "clean" and
"unclean" animals was never heard of until the Levitical law of
kosher was prescribed by Moses, as is alleged, about a thousand
years later (Lev. xi.). How did Noah know the difference?

A remarkable circumstance, illustrating the great piety, if
reckless improvidence, of Noah, may be noted in this connection.
The very first thing Noah did after he and his family and his
animals landed in the neck-deep mud and slime of the year's Deluge
was to build an altar and offer up a thanksgiving sacrifice to the
loving God who in his providence had destroyed all his creation
except the little Noah family menage. It is recorded that Noah took
one each "of every clean beast and of every clean fowl, and offered
burnt offerings on the altar" to Yahveh there in the mud (Gen.
viii, 20). We have noted that it is curious how Noah knew anything
about kosher animals, first defined by Moses. But the prime wonder
is, as there were only two of an these different kinds of animals
and fowls ("the male and his female") in the ark, and Noah killed
and burnt in sacrifice one (whether male or female) of each kind,
how the species was ever afterwards replenished on the earth.
Revelation -- as so often at crucial points -- is silent on this

A mystery of the ages in connection with the Flood is how
Noah's venerable grandfather Methuselah survived the universal
cataclysm which destroyed all life except the Noah menage and
menagerie in the ark. Methuselah did not die until a year or more
after the Flood -- fourteen years after according to the
Septuagint. It is recorded that Methuselah was 187 years old when
his son Lamech was born (Gen. v, 25), and he lived for 787 years
afterwards, dying at the ripe age of 969 years (v, 26, 27). Lamech
was 182 years old when his son Noah was born (v, 28, 29). When the
Flood began, Noah was in his six hundredth year, or, to be exact,
he was 599 years, one month, and seventeen days old (vii, 11); and
Noah lived for 350 years after the Flood, and was 950 years old
when he died (ix, 28, 29). Methuselah was alive when the Flood
began and when it ended, if the Bible record is true: 1. From the
birth of Lamech to the beginning of the Flood was (182 plus 599)
781 years; and from the birth of Lamech to the end of the Flood was
782 years. If Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech 782 years he
survived the Flood. Or, again:

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2. From the birth of Methuselah to the beginning of the Flood
was (187 plus 182 plus 599 years) 968 years; the Flood ended a year
later, when Methuselah was 969, and he died at that good old age.
Or again: 3. From the birth of Methuselah to the death of Noah was
(187 plus 182 plus 950 years) 1319 years. As Noah died 350 years
after the Flood, from the birth of Methuselah to the end of the
Flood was (1319 minus 350 years) 969 years, the age of Methuselah
at his death, after the Flood.

As Noah shut his own aged grandfather out of the ark, it is a
holy wonder where and how Methuselah spent that watery last year of
his advanced old age.


The historical sketch given in Genesis x-xi of the gathering
of the nations in the Plain of Shinar, their ambitious project of
building Bab-el -- "a Gate of God" -- to reach to heaven (xi, 4),
and the consequent "confusion of tongues" by Yahveh, is quite as
confusing as the resulting babel of their strange new tongues.

Vainly, it may be remarked, may one seek to understand why a
fatherly God, who would not let a sparrow fall to the ground
without pitying concern, should have wrought this grievous
affliction upon the new population of his earth just at the time
when they would seem to need all the aid and comfort they could
render each other in order to repair the devastating damage wrought
by the yet recent Flood, only about 144 years before. But
speculation aside, we will carefully note the recorded facts of
sacred history.

Chapter x tells of the families and descendants of the triplet
sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japhet; and how their prolific
offspring, in only about 144 years since the Flood, had grown into
many different nations; and how these nations, of which about a
score are particularly named, with their great cities, were
"divided in their lands, every one after his tongue" -- which would
imply that each nation already spoke a different language; that
there were, indeed, as many tongues as there were nations sprung so
suddenly from the three sons of Noah.

This inference that there were already as many different
languages as there were nations would seem to be strengthened by
the repetition of that positive statement three times, after the
account of the off-spring of each of the three sons of Noah. For
the sacred record, after each catalogue of off-sprung nations,
asserts that thus the several nations "were divided in their lands;
every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations"
(Gen. X, 5, 20, 31). And for a final assurance it is in the closing
verse averred: "These are the families of the sons of Noah, after
their generations, in their nations; and by these were the nations
divided in the earth after the Flood" (x, 32). And all these
nations were descended from three sons of Noah, in only 144 years;
though it took the seed of Abraham 215 years to attain to merely
seventy souls.

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And in the same inspired chapter x we read of the founding by
these numerous nations of extensive kingdoms and of their building
of great cities -- including Babel itself (x, 10), and Nineveh (x,
11), and a dozen others named in the inspired record. And it is
recorded that these several large kingdoms extended from Assyria on
the east unto Gaza, by the Mediterranean Sea, on the west (x, 19),
many hundreds of miles; and all these wonders of nations and
kingdoms and cities in 144 years of Bible time since the Flood.
But, then, when one thinks of what the Yankees did in France in
just one year, faith is encouraged.

Had one read this in some less inspired and sacred chronicle,
some more human record, less would be the surprise when one reads
the first verse of the very next chapter: "And the whole earth was
of one language, and of one speech." Next follows a truly
remarkable migration; all the people of the earth, all these widely
scattered nations in their great kingdoms and cities scattered from
Euphrates to the sea, suddenly abandoned home, and city, and
kingdom, and strangely journeyed from the east (though many must
have come from the west, from towards the sea) and "they found a
plain in the land of Shinah; and they dwelt there" (xi, 2) camped
in the open plain, without house or home. "And they said one to
another, Go to, let us make brick; ... and let us build us a city,
and a tower, whose top may reach unto Heaven; lest we be scattered
abroad upon the face of the whole earth" (xi, 3, 4). We need not
stop to wonder why these nations had left their kingdoms and cities
to come out in the plain and build one city for them all; nor how,
speaking each a different language, they could talk understandingly
together to concert such ambitious projectro.

Yahveh heard of this project, and, with natural curiosity, he
"came down to see the city and the tower" (xi, 5) which were
abuilding. And Yahveh said, to someone not named: "Behold, the
people is one, and they have all one language" (instead of the many
nations and many tongues of the immediately preceding records). "Go
to, let us [who besides Yahveh is not specified] go down [though he
was already come down], and there confound their language, that
they may not understand one another's speech" (xi, 6, 7). And this
Yahveh is said to have straightway done, and he "scattered them
abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left
off to build the city" (xi, 8); and it is further recorded:
"Therefore is the name of it called Babel: because Yahveh did there
confound the language of all the earth" (xi, 9).

It may be wondered which of them called it Bab-el, for all
their languages now at least were different, and what would be
Babel in one of them might be a foreign word meaning the Bowery, or
Hoboken, or Hell in some of the others. And it is a little curious
that Bab-el should mean "confusion" (Heb., balel); for already
there was a city, built by Nimrod, the mighty hunter, named Bab-el
(Gen. x, 10); and we know that in Assyrian, Hebrew, Arabian, and
other Semitic languages, Bab-el means "Gate of God," just as
Beth-el is "house of God"; and Bab-el is exactly the native and
Hebrew Bible name of what we know as Babylon, the city or Gateway
of the God El, or Bel, certainly there an entirely pagan deity. But
as Moses -- if he lived at all -- was "an Egyptian man," and
probably spoke only the Egyptian language, his mistaking the

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philology of Hebrew words may be excused. What great sin all these
new inhabitants of the earth had been guilty of, to bring on them
this new great vengeance, is not revealed: mayhap by trying to
build a tower to reach to heaven, they provoked a "jealous God" by
an effort to reach him in such a direct and unorthodox fashion,
though as yet the world had not received the revelation of the only
possible route to enter heaven, belief.


Notably higher than the abortive Tower of Babel is the justly
famous ladder of Jacob, which reached from earth actually into
heaven, so that Yahveh and the winged angels passed back and forth
upon it. True, Jacob dreamed all this; but then, "Life is a Dream,"
and are not many of the most historical facts of the Bible admitted
therein to be dreams? Such was Abram's, of the promise and the
covenant; and Joseph's, he of the coat of many colors, about the
sun and the moon and the eleven stars; such also was that of the
other Joseph, the carpenter, about the paternity of the Virgin-born
Child of Yahveh. And Jacob's wonderful ladder was at least
5,883,928,333,800,000,000,000 miles in length to reach from earth
to heaven, as is elsewhere shown.

Shortly after Jacob had hoaxed the blessing and the
inheritance from his blind father, Isaac, thus robbing his elder
brother Esau of his dearest rights, Jacob started off to look for
a wife, and was on his way toward Haran. Being overtaken by night,
be slept on the wayside, a stone for his pillow. In his dream be
saw the ladder which reached to heaven, with the angels; and Yahveh
appeared to him and renewed the Promise. On awakening, Jacob
recalled his dream, set up the stone pillow for a pillar
(mazzebah), "and he called the name of that place Beth-el; but the
name of that City was called Luz at first" (Gen. xxviii, 10-19).

The event is quite otherwise related in Genesis xxxii. Here
Jacob had just tricked his heathen father-in-law Laban by the
famous device whereby all the cattle were born "ringstreaked,
speckled, and grizzled" (Gen. xxxi, 8-12); had stolen away in the
night with his wives and the cattle; and after sundry incidents, on
his way somewhere (xxxii, 1), he passed over the ford Jabbok
(xxxii, 22). Here stopping alone over-night, "there wrestled a man
with him until the breaking of the day" (xxxii, 21,); and the
stranger, who appeared to be Yahveh, changed Jacob's name to
Israel, which means Soldier of God -- though Jacob was fighting
with God. All this happened by the ford Jabbok, which name Jacob
changed to Peni-el (Gen. xxxii, 24-30). It is a bit mystifying to
read a little later that Yahveh met Jacob somewhere near a place
called Padan-Aram, and without any fight at all, and without any
apparent reason at all, changed Jacob's name to Israel; and Jacob,
on his part, set up a stone which he had not slept on, for his
wives were along and he slept with them, and called the name of the
place Beth-el (Gen. xxxv, 9-15). But the name of the place was
already Beth-el, for Yahveh had said to Jacob: "Arise, go up to
Beth-el, and dwell there" (xxxv, 1); "so Jacob came to Luz, that is
Beth-el" (xxxv, 6); and such had been the name of the place when
Abraham camped there two hundred years before (Gen. xii, 8, xiii,

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A very instructive feature of this biography of Jacob is the
curious instance of his well-known commercial instinct, here
recorded in connection with the last mentioned bit of sacred
history. For Jacob vowed a vow to Yahveh (which in the Bible is a
very solemn thing, but which was coupled here with a bargaining
condition precedent), saying: "If Elohim will be with me, and will
keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and
raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house, then
shall Yahveh be my God" (Gen. xxviii, 20, 21). This seems to prove
that Jacob had not yet adopted Yahveh. And Jacob makes a peculiar
offer of bribe to Yahveh, saying: "And of all that thou shalt give
me I will surely give the tenth unto thee" (xxviii, 22), -- which
no one can deny was even to a God a liberal commission in return
for wealth bestowed.

In this proposal Jacob anticipated both the rule and the
reason of the law, laid down some five hundred or a thousand years
later: "Remember Yahveh thy God, for it is he that giveth thee
power to get wealth" (Deut. viii, 18) -- a reason often suggested
for loving Yahveh. By some it has been thought that this exemplary
bargain of Jacob served later as the approved precedent for the
priestly system of tithes decreed by Moses (Lev. xxvii, 30-32), and
everywhere and always since commanded and cajoled from all the
faithful. In any event, the constant ecclesiastical refrain has
ever been the same as that represented in Scripture as of the
daughters of the horse-leech: "Give, give" (Prov. xxx, 15); and the
preferred measure has been that of Jacob's offered bribe to Yahveh
of the tithe.


In addition to these larger contradictions pointed out in a
small part of Scripture and many others which remain yet to
examine, there are numbers of minor flat contradictions, of which
a few may be cited.

It is recorded, "And Yahveh spake unto Moses face to face, as
a man speaketh unto his friend" (Ex. xxxiii, 11); but just below,
where Moses is reported as asking Yahveh to show himself to him,
Yahveh replied: "Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man
see me and live" (xxxiii, 20). But Yahveh evidently desired to be
reasonably accommodating; so he had Moses hide in a cleft of the
rock, and Yahveh covered Moses with his hand; then Yahveh "passed
by," and took away his hand, and let Moses see his "back parts,"
for, he said, "my face shall not be seen" (xxxiii, 22, 23). How
Yahveh could "pass by" and still keep Moses covered with his band
is not explained; but it seems to confirm Yahveh's repeated
description of himself as being of "a mighty hand and an
outstretched arm."

There must be some mistake, however, in regard to the fatal
consequences of seeing Yahveh. Holy Writ is full of recorded
instances of "seeing Yahveh face to face." Yahveh celebrated the
making of the covenant by a banquet on Sinai to Moses, Aaron,

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Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders, "and they saw the Gods [ha-
Elohim] of Israel," and "they beheld the Gods, and did eat and
drink" (Ex. xxiv, 9-11).

When Joshua crossed over Jordan between the parted waters,
whether with the original hosts of Yahveh or with their offspring,
"an increase of sinful men" (Num. xxxii, 14), Yahveh commanded him
to take twelve stones out of the middle of the river, "out of the
place where the priests' feet stood firm," and to set them up "in
the lodging place where ye shall lodge this night" (Josh. iv, 3)
for a memorial; and it is stated that Joshua had the twelve stones
carried "over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid
them down there" (iv, 8), which was "in Gilgal, in the east border
of Jericho" (iv, 20). But in the very next verse it is averred:
"And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the
place where the feet of the priests which bare the Ark of the
Covenant stood: and they are there unto this day" (iv, 9), sticking
up out of the waters in the middle of the river. It is curious,
that the stones were piled up in the middle of the river at the
place where the priests had stood; for that is the very place where
the stones were to be taken from, as Yahveh commanded in iv, 3.

In 2 Samuel xxiv, 1 it is recorded: "Yahveh moved David to
number Israel and Judah"; of the same incident it is recorded in I
Chronicles xxi, 1 that "Satan provoked David to number Israel" --
a strange confusion of personages.

In 1 Samuel xvi; the first meeting of Saul and David is
related: "an evil spirit from Yahveh troubled Saul," and music was
recommended to him as having "power to soothe the savage breast";
"a son of Jesse" was also recommended as a good musician, "cunning
in playing, and a mighty man of valor, and a man of war." So Saul
sent messengers to Jesse, saying "Send me David thy son, which is
with the sheep"; and Jesse sent David to Saul, who saw him now for
the first time, and David became Saul's amour-bearer.

But in the next chapter David is introduced to Saul as if
never heard of before, as the youngest of eight sons of Jesse.
Three older sons of Jesse were in Saul's army, while the "mighty
man of war," David, stayed home tending his father's sheep; his
father sent him to the camp to carry food to his soldier brothers.
Here David saw Goliath and heard his braggart defiance of the
"living gods" of Israel, and David wanted to fight him; this was
reported to Saul, and "Saul sent for David" (xvii, 31), thus for
the first time meeting David. Saul expostulated with David, saying:
"Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him;
for thou art but a youth, and he is a man of war from his youth"
(xvii, 33), apparently discounting the immediately preceding
description of David as "a mighty man of valor, a man of war"

But greater surprises follow. Every child in Sunday school
knows the heroic encounter between David and Goliath; how the
stripling David went out unarmed save with a sling and some pebbles
against the full-panoplied giant; how David put a pebble in his
sling as he ran forward, "and slang it, and smote the Philistine in
his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell

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upon his face to the earth" (i Sam. xvii, 49); and David took
Goliath's sword and cut off the dead giant's head (xvii, 51); and
David took the head "and brought it to Jerusalem; and he put his
armor in his tent" (xvii, 54). David, a country shepherd, just come
to camp to bring dinner, would hardly have had a tent; and surely
he did not take Goliath's head to Jerusalem; for Jerusalem was the
stronghold of the Jebusites, and not till David was seven and a
half years king, many years after, did he enter even a small corner
of Jerusalem, Sion.

But the tale is entirely robbed of the romance and heroics by
the flat contradiction of the whole episode; David did not kill
Goliath at all. Some forty years later, when Saul was long since
dead, and when David was king and at war with the Philistines,
"there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where
Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew Goliath the
Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam" (2 Sam.
xxi, 19)! Here the translators slip in another "pious fraud": the
verse is made to read "slew the brother of Goliath" -- the words
the brother of being in italics to indicate to the knowing that
they are not in the original; nor are they, as any honest scholar
will admit. The Revised Version fairly omits "the brother of," but
puts these words in the margin, with a reference to 1 Chronicles
xx, 5. Here it is quite differently related that "Elhanan the son
of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear
staff was like a weaver's beam." Further confusion is furnished by
the duplicated verses about the giant in Gath, with six fingers and
six toes on each hand and foot, who like Goliath "defied Israel,"
and "Jonathan the son of Shimeah the brother of David slew him" (2
Sam. xxi, 20, 21, and 1 Chron. xx, 6, 7).

As for Saul's death, in 1 Samuel xxxi it is related that in a
battle with the Philistines, Saul's army was defeated, and Saul was
wounded and in danger of capture; so Saul ordered his amour-bearer
(clearly not David), to kill him, but the latter refused;
"therefore Saul took a sword and fell upon it" (xxxi, 4); and "so
Saul died" (xxxi, 5). But in 2 Samuel i the story is quite
otherwise: Saul made this request of a young Amalekite (i, 8), who
"happened by chance" (i, 6) upon the scene of battle at Mt. Gilboa
(therefore not Saul's amour-bearer), and this stranger complied
with Saul's request and killed Saul (i, 10), and took his crown and
bracelet to David, who rewarded him by murdering him on the spot
(i, 15).

This must suffice for the present; many, many other
contradictions abound in the inspired records. But these instances
of patent contradictions suffice to illustrate the constant
violation of the two rules of reason and of law which I have
quoted, and to demonstrate that at least one version of each of
these inspired conflicting records is wholly wanting in truth.

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