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The Historical Library is provided for those doing research into the history of nontheism. It is not intended to be--and should not be used as--a source of modern, up-to-date information regarding atheistic issues. DO NOT CONTACT US ABOUT THESE DOCUMENTS. Please read the full Historical Library Disclaimer

Chapter 03

Joseph Wheless

                 19 page printout, page 60 - 78
                           CHAPTER III

           THE PATRIARCHS AND THE COVENANTS OF YAHVEH

     IN the year 1996 B.C. according to the chronology of Bishop
Ussher, or just 352 years after Noah's Flood, there was born a
heathen Chaldee who was christened Abram (Abu-ramu, an ordinary
Babylonian name meaning "exalted father"). Abram's father Terah was
at that time seventy years old (Gen. xi, 26), and the sacred text
(Gen. xi, 32) tells us that he died at the age of 205 years, just
as Abram was celebrating his 75th anniversary. But if Terah was
seventy years old when Abram was born, and died at 205 years of
age, in Haran, Abram must have been 135 years old when, immediately
after the death of Terah, he left Haran to go into Canaan (Gen.
xxi, 4, 5; Acts vii, 4). But our text (Gen. xii, 4, 5) declares:
"And Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of
Haran; ... and into Canaan they came"; thus making a difference of
sixty years in the recorded age of Abram.

     The Terah-Abram family were Chaldean nomads, living in tents,
and having some cattle and sheep, which Abram helped tend. On their
own initiative the family had started west, "to go into the land of
Canaan" (Gen. xi, 31), but stopped on the way and dwelt, until
Terah's death, at Haran. Up to this time the Terah-Abram family,
like their Chaldean neighbors, were of course heathens, who had
never heard of Yahveh -- "they served other gods" (Josh. xxiv, 2),
wandering about and herding cattle, with nothing unusual in their
lives, except that Sarai, Abram's sister and wife, was barren, and
gave him no hopes of a posterity to preserve his name and to
worship his ancestral numen.

            THE SPLENDID CIVILIZATION OF ABRAM'S TIME

     At this time, despite Noah's then recent Flood, which
"destroyed everything from upon the earth" (Gen. vii, 23), the
Chaldean, Assyrian, and Egyptian kingdoms all about him were and
for centuries had been mighty and highly civilized nations, with a
culture and a literature preeminent in the cultured East. Books and
libraries abounded, in which were graven tablets and monuments
preserving their most ancient records and sacred legends, all of
which long antedated the sacred Hebrew lore, and many of which
sound suspiciously like the actual prototype and source of the
inspired Bible records of the descendants of Father Abram.

     The Assyrian libraries of Abram's own country contained riches
of the most primitive literature, dating from prehistoric,
antediluvian times, or about 7000 years B.C. Among the ruins of its
ancient cities some 300,000 writings and inscriptions have been
discovered, of which only about one-fifth have yet been published;
but even these contain more than eight times as much literature as
the Hebrew Old Testament. One of the famous Assyrian Books, the
Babylonian Epic of Creation, begins very like Genesis:

          "When the heavens above were not yet named,
           Or the earth beneath had recorded a name,
           In the beginning the Deep was their generator,
           The Chaos of the Sea was the mother of them all."

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Out of this primeval chaos the great god Bel brought forth Ansar
and Kisar, the upper and lower firmaments; in a death-struggle
between Bel-Merodach, the supreme creator god, and the chaos-dragon
Tiamat, the latter was slain, and out of its divided body the earth
and the seas were created by the victorious Bel, who established
their laws and orderly government. The heavenly bodies were next
set up to rule the day and night and to determine the seasons;
plants and animals were then created; and finally, in innocence and
purity, the first parents, Adamu and his wife. Then followed their
temptation by the dragon Tiamat, their fall and curse, the
subsequent sinfulness of the people of the earth, and the ensuing
Deluge, which destroyed all except the pious Khasisadra or
Xisuthros and his household, who escaped in an ark which he was
warned by the friendly god Ea to build, and into which he took with
him, by divine command, "the seed of all life," to preserve it for
future regeneration. The waters overwhelmed mankind; the ark
stranded on Mt. Nizir in Armenia; the Chaldean Noah sent out, one
after the other, a dove, a swallow, and a raven, the last of which
returned not, having found dry land; whereupon the pious Xisuthros
went forth from the ark and made a thanksgiving sacrifice of some
of his animals, but not so improvidently as did Noah; the
repopulation of the earth proceeded; and the presumptuous people
began the building of a great Tower of Babel to reach to heaven, to
the wrath of the great god Anu, the Father.

          "In his anger also the secret counsel he poured out;
           To scatter abroad his face he set;
           He gave command to make strange their speech;
           Their progress he impeded."

All this has a very familiar and "inspired" sound to pupils of a
modern Christian Sunday school, whom it is quite unnecessary to
warn that this is nothing but crude mythological fables of the
heathen god Bel. It is, of course, only the merest casual
coincidence that it sounds very much like the really true and
inspired history which, a millennium or more afterwards, "holy men
of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," by way of
revelation from their God Yahveh.

     Among these venerable records of the past, too, is the most
perfect of the Chaldean monuments yet unearthed from the debris of
the ages, the beautiful black diorite stele of Hammurabi, king of
Abram's own native country about 2350 B.C., or some three or four
hundred years before the advent of that pagan patriarch. On this
pillar of stone is engraved this monarch's now celebrated code of
laws, a thousand years before Moses got his famous tables of stone
on Sinai, writ by the finger of the jealous God Yahveh of the
Hebrews; on Hammurabi's stele it is the Babylonian God Bel from
whom, through the sun-god Shamash, Hammurabi' receives this code of
divine laws. In the preamble of his code he styles himself King of
Righteousness, the self-same title as that of Abram's Bible friend
Melchizedek, the heathen Jebusite King of Salem, -- "priest of El-
Elyon, God Most High" (Gen. xiv, 18); and the code ends with a
series of blessings for those who will obey the laws, and a long
crescendo series of curses against him who will give no heed to the
laws or interferes with the words of the code. All this again
saviours of Biblical Sunday school lore, and is maybe another 
singular coincidence.

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     The noblest of the sciences, astronomy, was a favorite of
Chaldean research at the time, and long before the time, of Abram;
Chaldean libraries contained records showing expert knowledge of
the skies, chiselled on enduring stone or stamped on burnt tablets
of clay, dating from the time of Sargon of Accad, about 3800 B.C.,
some fifteen hundred years before Noah's Flood. The stars were
numbered and known by name, and the constellations were set in
their glorious array; eclipses of the sun and moon were accurately
predicted. The mysterious zodiac was invented by the Chaldeans and
had assumed its present order, a millennium before good old Father
Abram roamed the Chaldean plains so uncivilized and superstitious
as to make ready to murder his heaven-sent child at the instigation
of an idle dream or an inspired nightmare.

     Such briefly was the high state of civilization which, at the
time our review opens, prevailed in the Chaldean country, and which
then or a little later pervaded the land of Canaan, as is shown by
its monuments and by the celebrated Tell-el-Amarna tablets. While
in Egypt, where the descendants of Abram migrated 215 years later,
civilization was in glorious splendor: as far back as the first
dynasty, the calendar had been astronomically calculated and
established, in the year 4241 B.C., about 240 years before Adam;
and no break in the history, monuments, and records of Egypt occurs
since that remote time. (See Cath. Encyc., Vol. V, p. 336;
Breasted; Ancient Times, p. 45). But the nomad Abram is not known
to have had any schooling or to have been able to read and write;
while some of his actions show him to have been far behind the
culture of his times and country.

                    THE "PROMISE" TO ABRAHAM

     In the year 1921 B.C. Yahveh, who seems to have been a total
stranger to the pagan Chaldean Abram up to that time, and had not
been even mentioned since the Tower of Babel some hundreds of years
previously, of a sudden appeared to Abram, and told him, for some
reason not recorded: "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy
kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew
thee" (Gen. xii, 1) -- which is the very thing that Abram had
already started to do of his own motion; for the whole family
several years before "went forth from Ur of the Chaldees, to go
into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there"
(Gen. xi, 31).

     Another mistranslation occurs in this connection. The English
text of Gen. xii, 1, reads, "Now Yahveh had said unto Abram, Get
out of thy country," etc., as if this command had been given before
the Terah-Abram family had left Ur "to go into the land of Canaan,"
and as if they had set out in consequence of such divine command.
But the Hebrew text simply reads: "And Yahveh said unto Abram" (v-
yomer Yhvh), exactly as in every other instance where the English
correctly reads (as to the verb) "And Yahveh said."

     The promise is here at Haran first made, and it is thus
stated:

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          "And I will make thee a great nation, and I will bless
     thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing;
     ... and in thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed"
     (Gen. xii, 2, 3).

So Abram again, disregarding Yahveh's rather cruel command to leave
his family and kindred (Gen. xii, 5), took the trail for Canaan,
where they duly arrived at Sichem (xii, 6). Here at Sichem Yahveh
again appeared to Abram and renewed the promise: "Unto thy seed
will I give their land" (Gen. xii, 7), this being the first
identification of the "land which I will shew you" -- made after
Abram was already there. Abram then moved on and "pitched his tent
near Beth-el" (xii, 8; xiii, 3), though this place is said to have
first been so named by his grandson Jacob, its name having been
changed from Luz (Gen. xxviii, 19; xxxv, 6, 15).

     A famine soon occurring, as so frequently happened in this
"land flowing with milk and honey," Abram took his wife, Sarai, who
was about ninety years old, but evidently attractive, and went to
Egypt. The only thing which divine revelation vouchsafes us of this
trip is the amorous passages between Sarai and the Pharaoh of the
land (Gen. xii, 14-16), which is omitted here as bearing a scent of
scandal in patriarchal high life. The same kind of incident
occurred afterwards, with Abimelech (Gen. xx), with the connivance
and even at the instigation of Abram, which does not speak well for
his concern for the morals of his wife or for his own sense of
decency and dignity, but it was well paid (Gen. xii, 16; xx, 16).
Isaac likewise, with his wife Rebekah, some seventy-five years
later visited the same good King Abimelech, where a like sportive
incident occurred with great pecuniary profit to Isaac (Gen. xxvi).

                  THE EGYPTIAN SLAVERY PROVISO

     After Abram's return from Egypt, enriched with the reward of
Sarai's sporting with the Pharaoh (Gen. xii, 16; xiii, 2), Yahveh
came to Abram again and indulged in a bit of pleasant hyperbole,
saying: "Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou shalt
be able to number them: so shall thy seed be; I give thee this land
to inherit it." The inspired historian then tells us: "And he
[Abram] believed in Yahveh, and he counted it to him for
righteousness" (Gen. xv, 6). But in the next breath (xv, 8), Abram
negatives this assurance, for he expresses his doubts and requires
proofs, asking: "O Lord Yahveh, whereby shall I know that I shall
inherit it?" -- thus seeming to be not quite so believing. So,
while Abram was in a deep sleep, Yahveh gave him a sign, or Abram
dreamed that Yahveh gave him the sign (xv, 17), which might have
proved anything else or nothing at all just as well, but it is
pleasantly related, with accompaniments of the horror of a great
darkness. Then and there Yahveh radically qualified his former
direct and simple promises of inheritance by a proviso (xv, 13), of
servitude and affliction in a strange land for four hundred years,
but promising that "in the fourth generation" (xv, 16) they should
come into the promised land with great substance, the booty of the
"spoiling of the Egyptians."

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     The territorial features of the promise were amplified this
time, the boundaries of the promised land being defined with almost
the precision of a modern treaty: "Unto thy seed have I given this
land, from the River of Egypt unto the great River, the River
Euphrates"; and Yahveh names ten nations over which they should
rule (Gen. xv, 18-21), including the Canaanites and the Jebusites.

     We may pass over Abram's barbarous treatment of Hagar and his
illegitimate Ishmael, in sending them into the wilderness to die of
starvation because of the barren-wifely jealousy of Sarai and by
the personal command of his God; though we may pause a moment at
the inspired picture of Hagar, with the loaf of bread, and bottle
of water, and her little bastard Ishmael all on her shoulder,
wandering in the wilderness of Beersheba, and, when the water is
spent, casting "the child under one of the shrubs," and going aside
and weeping, saying: "Let me not see the death of the chee-ild." It
is very affecting; but when we look more closely at the inspired
texts of Genesis, we see (xvi, 16) that Ishmael was born when Abram
was eighty-six years old; that both were circumcised when Abram was
ninety-nine years old and Ishmael thirteen (Gen. xvii, 24, 25), the
year before Isaac was born, when Abram was one hundred and Ishmael
fourteen (Gen. xxi, 5); that it was at the "great feast" which
Abram made when Isaac "was weaned" (Gen. xxi, 8, 9) several years
later that Ishmael was caught "mocking Sarah," and was cast out
into the desert with Hagar, and thus that the "child," which Hagar
carried "on her shoulder" and held in her hand, along with other
impedimenta, was quite sixteen or nineteen years old, when the
angel interposed and provided a well of water for them, saying:
"Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand"; and some time
afterwards Hagar "took him [Ishmael] a wife out of the land of
Egypt." In due course Ishmael, perhaps, had a daughter, with
respect to whom another tangle of inspiration may be noted. It is
related that Esau married three wives "of the daughters of Canaan,"
one of whom was "Bashemath, Ishmael's daughter" (Gen. xxxvi, 2, 3);
she being thus his own cousin. But again it is otherwise related
that Esau married two Hittite girls, of whom one was "Bashemath the
daughter of Elon the Hittite" (Gen. xxvi, 34); whereas in the
former list of three one of them is called "Adah the daughter of
Elon the Hittite." Whose daughters, then, were Bashemath and Adah?
Even an inspired scribe may get his names and dates confused.

                      THE PROMISE OF ISAAC

     In the mean while, Yahveh was pleased to visit Abram and
repeat his promise of "all the land of Canaan for an everlasting
possession," but the promise was burdened this time with what
lawyers call a "condition precedent," and which Yahveh termed an
"everlasting covenant," but evidently of the kind that does not
"run with the land": "Every man child among you shall be
circumcised, when he is eight days old; and the uncircumcised man
child shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my Covenant"
(Gen. xvii, 9-14). And Yahveh changed Abram's name to Abraham, "for
a father of many nations have I made thee." When Abraham supposed
that this meant through Ishmael, Yahveh told him no, but that Sarah
his wife should bear him a son, to be named Isaac; at which
statement Abraham fell down in a fit of laughter, taking it all for

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a Jahvistic joke; but Yahveh confirmed his assurance and declared
that Sarah should bear that child "at this set time in the next 
year" (Gen. xvii, 17-21).

     This promise was later confirmed by three angels; and when
Sarah, who was behind the tent-door listening in, heard it, she
laughed out-right, saying: "After I am waxed old shall I have
pleasure, my lord [Heb., adonai] being old also?" for it had ceased
to be with Sarah "after the manner of women." And when the angels
heard her laugh behind the door, they -- no, it is Yahveh who
unexpectedly becomes interlocutor, he not having been as yet
identified among the three men-angels. Yahveh asks: "Wherefore did
Sarah laugh?" and Sarah denied it and said, "I laughed not"; and
Yahveh said, "Nay, but thou didst"; and we know not where this
"passing the lie" between the Lord and the Lady would have led, had
not the angel-men suddenly left and Yahveh abruptly changed the
subject (Gen. xviii, 10-16).

                    ISAAC'S DUBIOUS PATERNITY

     In this connection a subtle suspicion as to the paternity of
Isaac intrudes itself. Yahveh had promised Abraham: "And Sarah thy
wife shall have a son" (Gen. xviii, 10). But the inspired record is
silent as to any performance or attempt thereat on the part of the
aged patriarch; and Yahveh himself, when Sarah laughed behind the
tent door that her "lord is old also," reassured her, "Is anything
too hard for Yahveh?" (xviii, 14) And it is afterwards recorded
(Gen. xxi, 1, 2) that "Yahveh visited Sarah as he had said, and
Yahveh did unto Sarah as he had spoken, for Sarah conceived and
bare Abraham a son in his old age." So the record is somewhat
ambiguous as to whether Abraham or Yahveh is to be credited with
the paternity of the young Isaac, though the more positive
indications favor the latter. And many ancient mythologies credit
their gods with like visitations to fair human women. But, in any
event, Sarah had her "pleasure," and she died happy "in Kirjath-
arba: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan" (Gen. xxiii, 2)
another bit of geographic data which proves that Moses did not
write the story, for the name Hebron for this place did not exist
until Caleb captured Kirjath-arba (Josh. xiv, 13-15) and changed
its name some seven hundred years later, to Hebron.

                  THE PROMISE RENEWED To ISAAC

     To Isaac Yahveh renewed the promise, saying: "Unto thee, and
unto thy seed, will I give all these countries, and I will perform
the oath which I swear unto Abraham thy father" (Gen. xxvi, 3).
Isaac and his people dwelt for a long time in the country of the
Philistines, enjoying the hospitality of its King Abimelech; so
great and many, indeed, are Isaac's people said to have been, that
Abimelech and the chief of his army went to Isaac and complained,
and said: "Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we" (Gen.
xxvi, 16). This curiosity may be borne in mind when we notice the
migration to Egypt of the Jacob family, but seventy strong,
including women and children, and remember how, after the exodus of
the millions of Chosen out of Egypt, they were time and again
conquered and oppressed by these same Philistines.

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                  THE PROMISE RENEWED TO JACOB

     The promise was repeated by Yahveh to Jacob, in his dream of
the ladder, with the same glittering assurances. Yahveh said, or
Jacob dreamed that he said: "The land whereon thou liest, to thee
will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust
of the earth" (Gen. xxviii, 13, 14).

     A striking peculiarity of the promise is that it was given
invariably in a dream; we shall see, in the event, that it was in
effect largely of such stuff as dreams are made of.

     At Peniel (Gen. xxxii, 28-30), or at Padan-Aram (Gen. xxxv,
9), Yahveh changed Jacob's name to Israel, and repeated his
promise, "To thee and to thy seed will I give the land" -- which
was at the time owned and occupied by "seven nations more and
mightier" than all Israel, as the inspired record often avers.

                     THE MIGRATION TO EGYPT

     In Bishop Ussher's year 1706, or 215 years after the original
promise to Father Abraham, the Jacob family migrated into Egypt,
having multiplied to only seventy persons [Stephen says:
"threescore and fifteen i.e., seventy-five] souls" (Acts vii, 14).]
in all the 215 years since Abraham; though we have just seen that
Abimelech had complained to Isaac many years before that his
Israelites were "much mightier" than the whole Philistine nation
(Gen. xxvi, 16). It is important to get this and its sequences
straight, if the inspired texts can be coaxed into intelligent
semblance of consistency.

     Let us examine the inspired record. Jacob had twelve sons,
each of whom married or "took" women and had children. The record
and genealogies are set forth in Genesis xlvi, where they are
stated under the caption: "And these are the names of the children
of Israel, which came into Egypt" (xlvi, 8) -- "Jacob and all his
seed with him" (xlvi, 6); and after naming them all (xlvi, 9-25),
the record avers: "All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt,
which came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the
souls were three score and six; and the sons of Joseph, which were
born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of
Jacob, which came into Egypt, were three-score and ten," or seventy
(xlvi, 26, 27). Nothing in the Bible is more positively stated.

                       AMAZING MULTIPLYING

     The Jacob family, seventy strong after 215 years since
Abraham, went down in the year 1706 B.C. to sojourn in Egypt. Here
they settled in the "land of Goshen" (Gen. xlvii, 6), a sort of
original ghetto of about the size of a small American county,
assigned to them because they were shepherds and cattle-rustlers,
"for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians" (xlvi,
34).

     In Egypt the Chosen soon became a race of slaves, under
circumstances truly remarkable, and utterly incredible anywhere
outside the Bible. In due course of nature "Joseph died, and all 

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his brethren, and all that [first] generation. And the Children of
Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and
waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now
there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he
said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel
are more and mightier than we" (Ex. i, 6-9); so he proposed making
slaves of them, and proceeded at once to carry this plan into
effect (i, 10, 11) without opposition.

     We know through revelation that the Chosen sojourned in Egypt
430 years (Ex. xii, 40); and Yahveh, whose word is sure, said: "Of
a surety ... they shall afflict them four hundred years" (Gen. xv,
13), as is vouched for by the high priest in Acts vii, 6. The
oppression naturally began only when the Chosen were made slaves by
this Pharaoh "which knew not Joseph" (Ex. i, 8), and it lasted four
hundred years; this necessarily dates the beginning of the bondage
from only thirty years after the arrival of the Jacob family; so
that in these mere thirty years the seventy had become "more and
mightier" than all the empire of Egypt! Passing strange indeed.
And, stranger still that without a word of protest or a blow of
resistance this "More and mightier" Chosen People should submit to
be made a race of slaves by a weaker and inferior nation, passeth
all but inspired understanding.

                     THE "SOJOURN" IN EGYPT

     In Egypt the Chosen People were totally forgotten by their
Yahveh for 215 years, or 350 years, or 430 years, or whatever other
length of time they were there, for here again the inspired record
reads several and diverse ways.

     In Genesis xv, as we have seen, when Abram was in his deep
sleep and in the "horror of a great darkness" (Gen. xv, 12), Yahveh
said to him, or he dreamed that Yahveh said: "Know for a surety
that thy seed ... shall serve them; and they shall afflict them
four hundred years" (xv, 13); and Yahveh added: "But in the fourth
generation they shall come hither again" (xv, 16), Yahveh giving
the unique and seemingly irrelevant reason for this four-century
affliction of his Chosen that "the iniquity of the Amorites is not
yet full" (xv, 16).

     The original promise is dated in the margin, according to
Bishop Ussher, 1921 B.C., and the date of the migration into Egypt
as 1706 B.C., a lapse of 215 years; the date of the exodus out of
Egypt is given as 1491 B.C., indicating a "sojourn" in Egypt of
only 215 years. This must be a mistake of the good bishop, for the
inspired text (Ex. xii, 40) expressly says: "Now the sojourning of
the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and
thirty years"; while the same verse in the Revised Version even
more explicitly reads: "Now the sojourning of the Children of
Israel, which they sojourned in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty
years," which proves that they must have passed the full tale of
430 years in Egypt from the migration of the seventy under Jacob to
the exodus under Moses. But the check-up of the "four generations"
gives us only a total "sojourn" of 350 years, as we shall now see.

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                     THE "FOUR GENERATIONS"

     The Chosen were, in any event, to "come hither again" into
Canaan, said Yahveh, "in the fourth generation" (Gen. xv, 16); but
they did not if the fourth generation, which left Egypt, all
perished during the forty years in the wilderness. We shall inquire
into this later.

     These "four generations" are set out in the inspired record
with minute genealogical detail of name and family, birth and age
(Exodus vi, 16-20), running down the line of Levi, one of the sons
of Jacob who migrated into Egypt with the seventy, in the year 1706
B.C., by Bishop Ussher's chronology. We will examine this
genealogy.

     Levi was one year older than Judah, and therefore perhaps
forty-three years old when the Jacob family went down into Egypt.
According to the recorded genealogy, which I shall only briefly
summarize, Levi was 137 years old when he died (Ex. vi, 16); his
son Kohath, through whom the descent runs, was 133 years old when
he died (vi, 18); his son Amram, father of Aaron and Moses, was 137
years of age also when he died (vi, 20); his son Moses was 80 years
old when he led the exodus from Egypt (Ex. vii, 7), in the bishop's
year 1491 B.C.

     With the greatest liberality of allowance in order to
"accommodate" the inspired record, if Kohath had been a yearling
infant when his father Levi brought him into Egypt (Gen. xlvi, 11),
and if Kohath had began his sojourn in the last of his 133 years
and if Amram had begotten his son Moses in the last of his 137
years (as is of course possible in the Bible, although it would
have been more remarkable than the hundred-year-old paternity feat
of Abraham, which required a "special dispensation of providence"
to procreate Isaac), yet these extreme numbers, plus the eighty
years of Moses at the time of the exodus, total only 350 years
instead of the 430 years of the inspired record of Exodus xii, 40.

     Moreover, Amram's wife, Jochebed, the mother of Moses, was
"the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt" (Num.
xxvi, 59); hence she was Amram's aunt, his father's sister (Ex. vi,
20). Levi, as we have seen, was at least 43 years old when he went
into Egypt, and he died there at the age of 137 years (Ex. vi, 16);
so that he lived in Egypt 94 years. If therefore his daughter
Jochebed had been born only in the last year of the 137 of Levi's
life, which was 94 years after his arrival in Egypt, and if the
"sojourn in Egypt" were 430 years, Moses, who was 80 years of age
at the exodus (Ex. vii, 7), must necessarily have been born -- (430
minus 80) -- in the 350th year of the "sojourn"; and his mother
Jochebed, would at that time -- (deducting the assumed 94 years of
"sojourn" before her birth) -- have been at least -- (350 minus 94)
-- 256 years old, somewhat liberally over the allotted ages of the
patriarchs in those degenerate days; and with Sarai, some six
hundred years previously, "it had ceased to be after the manner of
women," in the matter of child-bearing even at 90 years of age.

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     Whether the 'Sojourn in Egypt" were 430 years, as the
Scripture time and again says, or 215 years as the apologists for 
this tangle say, or 350 years, as the inspired figures work out, it
is true, as the inspired record says, that their Yahveh had
entirely forgotten his Chosen People for all this time; until,
perchance, at last, he "heard their groanings, and Yahveh
remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob"
(Ex. ii, 24).

     And, reciprocally, for all these centuries, the Chosen People
of Israel were heathens utterly ignorant of the Yahveh of their
heathen Father Abraham: for Abraham and all the patriarchs (as we
shall clearly see) all the time "served other gods" (Josh. xxiv,
2), and they all, while in Egypt and for ages after the exodus,
worshipped and continued to "worship the gods of the Egyptians"
(Josh. xxiv, 14).

     This total and mutual ignorance of Yahveh and his Chosen, is
proved by the fact that when Yahveh after 430 years finally
"remembered" his people and came down into the burning bush to see
Moses about the exodus business, and introduced himself as "the God
[Elohe] of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" (Ex.
iii, 6), Moses did not at all know or recognize him, nor had he or
his people ever heard of him, for Moses had to ask, "What is thy
name?" (iii, 13); for, said Moses: "Behold, when I come unto the
children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of thy 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) A more completely
"Unknown God" could not be imagined than this of the Chosen People
of Yahveh, the God who had forgotten them; though it seems strange
for a God to forget, particularly his own peculiar and Chosen
People for over four centuries.

                  THE "INEFFABLE NAME" REVEALED

     To Moses' very agnostic query, "What is thy name?" the
stranger God replied: "I Am that I Am: and be said, thus shalt thou
say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you" (Ex.
iii, 14). If Moses had been born and brought up in Egypt, and were
indeed "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" (Acts vii, 22),
and if he could have understood Yahveh speaking Chaldean-Hebrew,
this name, or designation, should have sounded very familiar to
Moses as well as to the Pharaoh, for it is exactly the current
"ineffable name" of supreme deity in Egypt, Nuk Pu Nuk, as is
explained under the title "Jehovah" in the Catholic Encyclopedia
and in the New International Encyclopedia. [See also Bonwick,
Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought (London: C. Kegan Paul & Co.,
1878), p. 395; Godfrey Higgins, Inacalypsis (London: Longman, Rees,
Orne, Brown & Longinan), Vol. II, p. 17; Ernest de Bunsen, The Keys
of St. Peter (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1880), p. 38.]

     But this vague cognomen was evidently not at all informative
to Moses, nor later to the elders, and was puzzling to the Pharaoh
(Ex. v, 2). Indeed Moses did not obey Yahveh, but oddly enough
reported another name. Moses fared ill on his first trip to the
elders and to the Pharaoh; and when he returned to report to the 

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God, he addressed him simply as Adonai (my Lord -- the same exactly
as Adonis of the Pagans); and Moses accused him to his face of 
"evil entreating" the people, and of not delivering them at all
(Ex. v, 22, 23).

     Thereupon the God said, "Now thou shalt see what I will do to
Pharaoh"; and he asserted that his real name was Yahveh; and he
explained that he had always appeared to the good old patriarchs by
the name of El Shaddai (Heb., God my daemon, rendered in the
English translations as "God Almighty"), but that he had not been
known to them by his real name of Yahveh (Ex. vi, 2, 3).

                 A "PIOUS FRAUD" OF TRANSLATION

     Let us quote this highly important declaration of Yahveh in
the exact words in which he made it, as it involves another truly
remarkable instance of Jahvistic lapses memority, as well as one of
the most notorious "mistakes of Moses" in all Holy Writ, and the
most flagrant and persistent of the intentional falsifications of
the ecclesiastical translators and editors of the Bible, -- the
deceptive motive for which will be made clear:

          "And God [Heb., Elohim] spake unto Moses, and said unto
     him, I am the Lord [Heb., anoki YHVH = I am Yahveh]:
          "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob,
     by the name of God Almighty [Heb., El-Shaddai, God my daemon],
     but by my name JEHOVAH (Heb., YHVH) was I not known to them"
     (Ex. vi, 2, 3).

     This positive assertion from the mouth of the Hebrew God is
belied by scores of contradictory instances, of which a sufficient
number will be cited from the Hebrew texts, concealed as they
purposefully are in the English and other translations.

     Here we have the averment of the Hebrew God himself to the
effect that here, for the first time since the world began, is
"revealed" to mankind his "ineffable name" of YHVH, here printed as
JEHOVAH in capital letters in the Bible translations. And in the
Bible translations, from "In the beginning" of Genesis i, 1 to
these verses of Exodus, and thence to the end of Malachi, the name
Jehovah or Yahveh never (or but half a dozen times) appears: always
and only we read the title "the Lord" or "the Lord God" (for Yahveh
Elohim), falsely used for the actual six-thousand-times reiterated
name of the Hebrew deity. This usage conceals the fact that the
pergonal name YHVH of the God is used thousands of times in the
Hebrew texts, and thus apparently "harmonizes" the whole Hebrew
Bible with the statement (Ex. vi, 3), "By my name YHVH was I not
known" to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

     To one who can but spell out words by the Hebrew letters, this
"pious fraud" is apparent. "The sacred name," says the Catholic
Encyclopedia, "occurs in Genesis about 156 times; this frequent
occurrence can hardly be a mere prolepsis" (Vol. VIII, p. 331); and
it adds: "in round numbers it is found in the Old Testament 6000
times, either alone or in conjunction with another Divine name"
(Id., p. 329). Beginning with Genesis ii, 4, where it is first
abbreviated YY, the name Yahveh runs throughout the Hebrew 

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Scriptures. Scores of times the three patriarchs named used the
name Yahveh, and speak to and of their tribal deity by his name
Yahveh, as well as by the designations of El, Elohim, Elohe, and by
the title of address Adonai (my Lord), the form in which superiors
are always addressed.

     A very few specific instances among many, out of the Chaldee
mouths of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, will serve to expose the
falsity of the translation -- and then the motive therefor.

     The very first appearance of the strange deity to Abram is
thus recorded: "Now Yahveh had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy
country," etc. (Gen. xii, 1), though the translators make it read:.
"Now the Lord had said." Again: "And Abram said, O Adonali Yahveh
[my Lord Yahveh], what wilt thou give me?" (Gen. xv, 2, 8). And
Yahveh says to Abram: "I am Yahveh that brought thee out of Ur of
the Chaldees" (Gen. xv, 7). And again: "And Abraham said unto his
servant, I will make thee swear by Yahveh, the Elohe of the heaven
and the Elohe of the earth" (Gen. xxiv, 3).

     As for Isaac: "And Yahveh appeared unto him and said, Go down
into Egypt" (Gen. xxvi, 2). "And Isaac said, Truly now Yahveh has
made room for us" (Gen. xxvi, 22). And again he builded an altar
there, "and called upon the name of Yahveh" (Gen. xxvi, 25).

     As for Jacob: at the ladder the God appeared and said to
Jacob: "I am Yahveh, the Elohe of Abraham, the Elohe of Isaac"
(Gen. xxviii, 13). Again: "And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and
he said, Surely Yahveh has been in this place" (Gen. xxviii, 16).
And again: "And Jacob vowed a vow and said, if Elohim [the Gods]
will be with me ... then shall Yahveh be my God" (Gen. xxviii, 20,
21). Some half dozen times the name Yahveh is correctly rendered
"Jehovah," mostly where this rendering is forced by the compounding
of the name Yahveh with another word or name, as in Yahveh-nissi
(Ex. xvii, 5); Yahveh-jireh (Gen. xxii, 14); Yahveh-shalom (Judges
vi, 24); where it cannot well be rendered "Lord-nissi," etc., and
the translators are obliged for any sense at all to render it truly
as "Jehovah-nissi," etc. And in Psalms and Isaiah, in a few
instances, the name appears, as where David sings: "That they may
know that thou alone, whose name is Jehovah [Yahveh] art most high
[elyon] over all the earth" (Psalms lxxxiii, 18); and where Isaiah
says: "For the Lord Jehovah [Yah Yahveh] is my strength" (Isa.,
xii, 2); though even here Yah is not rightly rendered "Lord."

     However, as some 430 years had elapsed up to the incident of
the burning bush since anybody had used the name at all, or had
even mentioned the God, it is not to be wondered that one's memory,
even Yahveh's, was a bit rusty in the matter of names. The real
blame, and shame, rests on the deceptive translators: "The false
pen of the scribes hath wrought falsely" (Jer. viii, 8, R.V.). But
it didn't matter to Moses anyhow, for he was a heathen who had
never heard the name either way, and a fugitive murderer, his first
recorded act being the murder of an Egyptian, for which crime he
fled from justice into the Midian desert (Ex. ii, 12), where be
married the daughter of the heathen priest of Midian, by whom he
had one (Ex. ii, 22), or two (Ex. xviii, 3) sons, as later we shall
notice. But Moses's marrying the Midianite is an error, or he 

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became a polygamist; for we are told that Moses "had married an
Ethiopian woman" (Num. xii, 1), a Negress, to the great scandal of
his family, and in flagrant violation of his own prohibitory law
against marrying heathen and strangers.

                       A CURIOUS MUDDLING

     The most curious feature of this fable of the burning bush,
betraying the utter childish-mindedness of the inspired historian,
is the muddled use he makes of the divine name of his new-found
deity. It is in exodus iii, 13 that Moses asks the strange new God:
"What is thy name?" and in reply "Elohim said unto Moses: I Am that
I Am"; and he said, "Thus shalt thou say unto the children of
Israel: I Am has sent me unto you" (iii, 14). It is not until Moses
returns from his first trip to the elders and the Pharaoh that the
God is made to make the pretended first "revelation" of his
"ineffable name', Yahveh (Ex. vi, 2, 3).

     In Exodus i and ii, and up to iii, 6, the deity is spoken of
as Elohim, ha-Elohim (gods, the-gods); but in verse 7 it is Yahveh
who told Moses about his patriarchal covenant, and ordered him to
bring his people out of Egypt. Then, after telling Moses that he is
"I Am" (iii, 14), straightway "Elohim said unto Moses: Thus shalt
thou say unto the children of Israel: Yahveh, the God of your
fathers. ... has sent me unto you: this [Yahveh] is my name
forever" (iii, 15) -- thus anticipating by three chapters the first
revelation of his name Yahveh (Ex. vi, 3). And the God again says:
"Go, and assemble the elders of Israel, and say unto them: Yahveh,
elohe of your fathers, has appeared unto me, the elohe of Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob" (iii, 16). Also "thou. and the elders of Israel
shall come unto the king of Egypt, and you shall say unto him,
Yahveh, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, let us
go, we pray thee, a journey of three days into the wilderness, and
let us sacrifice to Yahveh our God" (iii, 18). But Yahveh did not
say "the God of the Hebrews"; for there were no Hebrews at that
epoch.

     Moses replied that they would not believe or hearken unto him,
"for they will say, Yahveh has not appeared unto thee" (Ex. iv, 1);
a curious telepathic knowledge of a name they had never heard. Some
ten or a dozen times the name Yahveh is again used in this chapter;
and in verse 10 Moses uses both his name and the title of address,
"my Lord." "And Moses said unto Yahveh, Adonai [my Lord]"; and
Yahveh replied: "Am I not Yahveh?" (iv, 12); "and he [Moses] said,
Adonai ['O Lord]" (iv, 13) -- "and the anger of Yahveh glowed
against Moses" "(iv, 14). So Moses and Aaron went to the Pharaoh
and said: "Thus bath said Yahveh, elohe Yishrael, Send away my
people," etc. "And Pharaoh said, Who is Yahveh; I know not Yahveh"
(Ex. v, 1, 2) and so several times in chapter v, always the name
Yahveh appears -- but always falsely translated "the Lord." Then in
chapter vi comes "And Yahveh said unto Moses" (vi, 1); then: "And
Elohim said unto Moses, I am Yahveh" (vi, 2); and in verse 3 the
novel revelation of the supernal name Yahveh, as if never heard of
in Hebrew before; and as never heard of in the false translations
before or after.

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                     WHY THIS "PIOUS" FRAUD?

     Why this persistent falsification in the Holy Word of God?
First, as pointed out, and as must be apparent, with purpose to
conceal the contradiction of Yahveh's "revelation" in Exodus vi, 3.
But there are other very signal motives for falsification. These I
submit, not in my own words, but as capital admissions of two high
theological authorities.

     The distinguished Hebrew scholar, Rev. Charles P. Fagnani,
D.D., Professor of Scripture in Union Theological Seminary, denies
thus the Christian Godhood of Yahveh:

          "The god who is the hero of these [Genesis] stories is
     not the Supreme Cosmic God, the Father of the Lord Jesus
     Christ, in whom we live, and move, and have our being, but the
     tribal god of the Hebrews, according to their earliest and
     crudest conception of his character.

          "He is known by two names: Elohim, meaning god, in
     general, and Yaho. The latter is a proper name, like Asshur,
     Moloch, Baal, etc. He is only one god out of many. Every
     nation and people had one or more gods. The Hebrews were
     forbidden to worship any other god but Yaho.

          "Yaho is generally but less correctly given as Yahveh and
     Jehovah (better Yehovah).

          "To use the word God or Lord God instead of Elohim or
     Yaho is misleading and disastrous. It conceals from the
     unsuspecting reader that the un-Godlike sayings and doings
     recorded are those of an imagined, primitive deity, not those
     of the God of the New Testament." (Fagnani, The Beginnings of
     History according to the Jews, pp. 18-19; Boni, New York,
     1925)

     This leaves the pagan god Yahveh and his pretended "Holy Word"
a myth and fables.

     The learned doctor, after a number of other significant
admissions that revealed Genesis tales are "patently early myths
and naive, childish, primitive folklore" (Id., p. 23), with evident
gusto quotes the Shavian epigram, "Fundamentalism is Infantilism,"
and comments: "Whatever we call it, it means complete paralysis of
the intelligence, resulting from irrational surrender to the blight
of theological dogma" (Id., p. 24). But it may be in turn remarked
that Modernism is immeasurably worse as a display of arrested
development of once-awakened mentality than ever Fundamentalism
was. The Fundamentalists are victims of their own perfect and
correct logic from false premises; their theology is unimpeachably
true if Genesis and the Bible be true. The Modernists, who
repudiate Genesis, Adam, Eve, the fall, the curse, the Virgin-
birth, the resurrection, and hell, either are wholly wanting in the
logical faculty, or have not the courage of their convictions of
the fundamental fallacies of their Bible.

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     Another scholarly divine says of this habitual concealment of
the name Yahveh in the Bible translations: "Various motives may
have concurred to bring about the suppression of the name. ... An
instinctive feeling that a proper name for God implicitly
recognizes the existence of other gods may have had some influence"
(Encyc. Brit., Vol. XV, p. 311-d). But as Yahveh himself and all
his book explicitly and a thousand times recognize the existence,
power, and effects of other gods, this apologetic reason cannot
excuse the pious fraud. A more frank admission of the reason for
falsely rendering Yahveh as "Lord" is given as "the preference [by
the Jewish translators of the Septuagint] for a term that should
not bring to mind the old tribal deity after a more transcendental
conception had been gained" (New int. Encyc., Vol. XII, p. 625).
But a "conception," however transcendental, is merely a human
mental process, not a divine revelation. It is only a refinement of
previous myth and remains mythological.

                   A PECULIAR TEST OF PROPHECY

     At the burning bush Yahveh commanded Moses: "Go, bring the
Chosen out of Egypt." But Moses was dubious of the commission of
the new-found Deity, and also feared to return to the jurisdiction
where he had committed the murder. So Yahveh reassured him: "Go,
return into Egypt; for all the men are dead who sought thy life"
(Ex. iv, 19).

     And Yahveh gave Moses a very peculiar ex post facto kind of
proof of the validity of his present commission, assuring him:
"Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto
thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the
people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain" (Ex.
iii, 12); which mountain was Horeb, or Sinai, the shrine of the
pagan moon-god Sin, somewhere in the Arabian wilderness, where
Moses then was, tending the sheep of his heathen father-in-law (Ex.
iii, 1).

     And Yahveh thereupon told Moses of his promise to the fathers,
and told him to report it to the elders of Israel -- proving that
neither Moses nor the elders of Israel had ever before heard of
Yahveh and his everlasting covenant of 645 years before to Abraham:
"And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of
Egypt, unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the
Amorites, and the Perizites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites"
(Ex. iii, 17); which peoples, as Yahveh himself and Moses several
times assert, were "seven nations greater and mightier" than all
Israel (Deut. iv, 38). The Pharaoh is quoted as complaining four
hundred years before: "Behold, the people of the children of Israel
are more and mightier than we" (Ex. i, 9); Yahveh, again on the
contrary, expressly says that his Chosen of Israel "were the fewest
of all people" (Deut. vii, 7).

                   SOME ASSURANCES OF SUCCESS

     Yahveh God of Israel further told Moses to gather together the
elders of Israel, and to go to Pharaoh and give him a false reason:
"Let us go three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may
sacrifice unto Yahveh our God" (Ex. iii, 18); and added that he 

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knew that Pharaoh would not let them go; and that Yahveh would then
smite Egypt with all his wonders -- the plagues -- after which the
Pharaoh would let them go. And the same God of Israel told Moses
that he, God, would help the Chosen to cheat the Egyptians and
enable them to steal all their jeweler and clothes -- "and ye shall
spoil the Egyptians" (Ex. iii, 22). This would be wicked enough on
the part of Ali Baba and his forty thieves, or of Barbary pirates,
and under any ordinary code of human law would be common crime, and
the instigator would be criminal "accessory before the fact"; but
this is the Holy Bible, and Yahveh is called holy and just.

     This advice did not at once appeal to Moses, who had been well
brought up in the court of Egypt, although now a fugitive murderer;
and he objected that the elders would not believe that Yahveh had
appeared to him and told him these things. So the mighty Yahveh
resorted to conjure, turning a stick into a snake and the snake
back into the stick -- a trick that the conjurors of Egypt
afterwards quite outdid (Ex. vii, 10, 11).

     So Moses was persuaded, and he took his heathen wife and two
sons (Ex. iv, 20; xviii, 3), or one son (Ex. ii, 22; iv, 25), or
left them all at home (Ex. xviii, 2, 3), and started on the trek
across the desert to Egypt, carrying the conjuring rod with him.
And the parting word of the God to Moses was a direction to tell
Pharaoh: "Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee,
Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him
go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn" (Ex. iv, 23).
And maybe for practice in slaying, for no other reason appears, the
God soon sought Moses himself for his first victim; for as Moses,
with his wife and one child passed by a certain inn on the way,
Yahveh the God waylaid Moses "and sought to kill him"! (Ex. iv,
24). But he was saved, apparently by a bloody exorcism of his wife
Zipporah (iv, 25). This episode further proves that Moses was a
heathen, ignorant of Yahveh and his "everlasting convenant" of
circumcision, without which "that soul shall be cut off from his
people; he hath broken my covenant" (Gen. xvii, 14).

                       CONJURING CONTESTS

     Having escaped this assassination, Moses went on to the elders
and told them what Yahveh had said; and he performed all the
wonder-works which Yahveh had taught him so that the people should
believe, and they believed. Then Moses and his spokesman or
publicity man, Aaron, went to the Pharaoh, and repeated to him
Yahveh's ingenuous plea for a three days' holiday in the wilderness
to worship the new-found Yahveh. But the Pharaoh had never heard of
Yahveh; and he said: "Who is Yahveh, that I should obey his voice
and let Israel go? I know not Yahveh" (Ex. v, 2); and he drove
Moses and Aaron out, and redoubled the tasks of the Israelite
slaves.

     The elders and the people thereupon complained to Moses of the
evil case which had befallen them on his account, and said to
Moses: "Yahveh judge you" (Ex. v, 21)! And Moses went back to
Yahveh, and accused him roundly of doing evil to the people, and of
outright lying, saying: "Neither hast thou delivered thy people at
all" (Ex. v, 23). But the God said: "I am Yahveh" (Ex. vi, 2); and
he sent Moses back to the Pharaoh with the same demand, assuring 

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                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

Moses that he would "harden Pharaoh's heart" so that he would not
let the children of Israel go, until all the wonderful works of
desolation, destruction, and death which the sacred pages now
relate ad horrendum had been performed.

          THE FEARFUL AND WONDERFUL "PLAGUES OF EGYPT"

     Almost skeptical wonder is caused, in these modern times, by
the series of inspired narratives of the famous plagues of Egypt.
One is astonished at the preliminary miracle, the transformation of
Aaron's rod into a snake and back again, which Yahveh wrought in
order to prove to Pharaoh that Yahveh was indeed the Lord. But the
Pharaoh was not taken aback by this at all, for at his call his
sorcerers and magicians turned their rods into snakes (Ex. vii,
10-12), and honors thus far were even, although it is true that
Aaron's rod swallowed up all the rods of the other conjurers. It is
difficult at this distance of time and altered faith to quite
understand the feat of Aaron's rod swallowing the other rods after
they were turned from snakes to rods again, the swallowing act
being more natural and reasonable while they were all snakes.

     The next wonder recorded is Aaron's stretching out his rod
that had been a snake but was now a rod full of other rods that had
been snakes and causing every drop of water in all Egypt to turn
into blood. But the Pharaoh's heathen enchanters again did the
very, same miracle (Ex. vii, 19-22). The principal marvel of this
conjurer's miracle, it would seem to a detached observer, is that
they could perform this second trick at all, as all the water in
the kingdom, including that of the river Nile and that in every
pool and vessel in the land, was already pure blood by the miracle
of Aaron. The sacred text does not pause to explain this.

     The same curious phenomenon occurs with respect to the third
plague, Aaron's conjuring up frogs out of the waters, which were
not waters but blood. The frogs came "and covered the land of
Egypt," and filled the river, the land, and the houses of Egypt.
When it is straightway recorded that "the magicians did so with
their enchantments" (Ex. viii, 5-7), one can only wonder where
those enchanters' frogs came from, and what they covered, and how,
seeing that Egypt was already full of frogs. At all events, honors
were again even between Aaron and the enchanters. And the smell
that they produced between them was something awful (viii, 14).

     Like miracles on the part of Yahveh and Aaron were performed
in the plagues of the lice (viii, 17, 18) and of the flies (viii,
24), to the utter suffering of the Egyptian people, but all the
glory this time was Yahveh's and Aaron's, as this was more sorcery
than the Egyptian magicians had at their command on such short
notice. So the enchanters and magicians all dropped out of the
contest and left the field undisputed to Yahveh's and Aaron's
plagueful miracles. This was just as well, for a few days
afterwards they all got boils and blains (Ex. ix, 11), and could
not have worked their magic to advantage.

     A plague of very remarkable consequences is next recorded in
the inspired story. The Lord God of the Hebrews turned his
attention to afflicting the dumb animal kingdom, which seemingly 

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had little or nothing to do with the controversy between the King
of Heaven and the Pharaoh of Egypt. The God sent a "very grievous
murrain" on the Egyptian cattle of every kind, "and all the cattle
of Egypt died" (Ex. Think of it! in all Egypt, horses, asses, cows,
oxen, sheep, camels, except those of the holy Israelites, all
killed! Then, lo! no sooner had all the animals in the kingdom
died, than the Lord Yahveh sent a plague of boils and Mains "upon
man and upon beast," including the Egyptian magicians (ix, 10, 11)
whose conjuring had been out-done by the miracles of Aaron. As the
beasts were already all dead of the murrain (ix, 6), it may be
wondered what was the point sending boils and blains upon them.

     But the very next plague showed that an unrecorded miracle
must have intervened overnight, for all the dead animals are
recorded as come to life. The proof of this unrecorded miracle is
clear and logical: for Moses announced, after all the animals had
died of the murrain (Ex. ix, 6) and then had been infested with
boils and blains (ix, 9), that on the next day he would bring on a
"very grievous hail" (ix, 18); and he considerately, this time,
gave ample notice and chance of escape, and warned the Egyptians to
gather up their cattle at once and get them under cover; for upon
every man and beast which was left out in the open the hail should
come down, and they should die; and some of the cattle were herded
in, and some were left out in the fields (ix, 19-21). So those
cattle killed of the murrain must have been resurrected overnight,
or there would have been none alive to be herded in or left out to
be killed again. The hail came as scheduled, mingled with fire, and
smote man and beast and every herb of the field, and broke every
tree of the field, and destroyed Egypt (ix, 24, 25). Some may think
this a good deal like poaching on the covenant of the rainbow,
whereby Yahveh had promised no general destruction again by rain;
but hail is rain frozen hard, and Egypt was not all the world; so
there was a reasonable degree of difference. And when the Pharaoh
saw the wrack and ruin of the hail, he said: "Yahveh is righteous"
(ix, 27), as he might not have said if he had seen the Flood --
another difference.

     The plague of the locusts comes next in the sacred text;
terrible swarms of these scourges blew up on the evil-laden east
wind, so "that one cannot be able to see the earth" (Ex. x, 5), and
"covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was
darkened" (x, 15); and "they did eat every herb of the land, and
all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left" (x, 15). As
every herb and tree in all Egypt had been already destroyed by the
hail (ix, 25), the locusts must have had pretty poor picking.

     One is puzzled by the famous plague of Egyptian darkness which
Yahveh next in his providence sent upon the doomed land -- "even
darkness which may be felt" (Ex. x, 21). So dark it was for three
whole days that it was as if they were nights, only much more so,
for so thick was the darkness that lights could not be seen, except
by the Chosen, who had light in their dwellings and could see as
well as ever. To all human reasoning, this would seem to have been
an excellent opportunity for the Chosen to have taken French leave
under cover of the darkness; and this would have rendered
unnecessary the fearful massacre of the first-born to soften
Pharaoh's heart so often hardened by Yahveh to prevent him from 
letting the people go.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                77

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

     This fatal climax of plagues is indeed terrible to
contemplate. The angel of Yahveh, God of heaven, swept through the
land of Egypt with a flaming sword dripping human and animal blood,
and slaughtered the first-born of every family of Egypt, from the
palace of the Pharaoh to the very prisons (Ex. xii, 29). And what
is more curious, the angel slaughtered also the first-born of all
cattle, although the cattle were already dead of the murrain (ix,
6), of the boils and blains (ix, 10), and of the hail (ix, 19-25).
But wonders were as plentiful as black-berries in those days.

     One may well wonder why it was that after each terrible plague
the God of the Hebrews "hardened Pharaoh's heart," even when he was
very eager to let the people go; and why this God, "long-suffering
and plenteous in mercy," did not use his influence to soften the
Pharaoh's heart to let the children go in peace and in a hurry; for
several times, after a peculiarly harrowing plague, the Pharaoh
urged Moses and Aaron: "Go, and serve your God"; but every time the
God said: "I have hardened his heart, that I might shew these my
signs before him."

     After the plague of darkness and a stormy passage between
Pharaoh and Moses and Aaron (Ex. x, 24-29) the latter doughty
plague-invokers left the presence of the Pharaoh with a direful
threat of what was to come (Ex. xi), and went forth to prepare for
the great massacre of the first-born and for the exodus of the
people from blood-stricken Egypt.

                          ****     ****

    Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship.

   The Bank of Wisdom is a collection of the most thoughtful,
scholarly and factual books. These computer books are reprints of
suppressed books and will cover American and world history; the
Biographies and writings of famous persons, and especially of our
nations Founding Fathers. They will include philosophy and
religion. all these subjects, and more, will be made available to
the public in electronic form, easily copied and distributed, so
that America can again become what its Founders intended --

                 The Free Market-Place of Ideas.

   The Bank of Wisdom is always looking for more of these old,
hidden, suppressed and forgotten books that contain needed facts
and information for today. If you have such books please contact
us, we need to give them back to America.

                          ****     ****

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?
                               by
                         Joseph Wheless
                              1926

                          ****     ****

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                78
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