You can dismiss the support request pop up for 4 weeks (28 days) if you want to be reminded again. Or you can dismiss until our next donations drive (typically at the beginning of October). Before you dismiss, please consider making a donation. Thanks!
One Time
$5/month (US)
$10/month (US)
Support II via AmazonSmile Internet Infidels Needs Your Support!
dismiss for   28 days   1 year   info
2017 Internet Infidels Fundraising Drive / $35,052.22 of $40,000.00
Support Us! By providing information which is nearly impossible to find elsewhere, the Secular Web has sought to level the playing field by offering arguments and evidence challenging supernatural beliefs. In an ocean of religious confusion, help us maintain a drop of sanity!
87.63%
 

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 06

Joseph Wheless

                21 page printout, page 115 - 135
                           CHAPTER VI

              THE "TEN COMMANDMENTS" AND THE "LAW"

     EVERYBODY in Christian communities knows, supposedly, and many
can even quote the "ten commandments" given by God to Moses on
Sinai, and hung neatly framed in all well-conducted Sunday schools,
Christian and Jewish alike, for here the two faiths are at one. But
to discover the genuine "ten commandments" in the Hebrew Scriptures
is an exercise for the ingenuity of Aristotle. Even more intricate
and hopeless is the task of unravelling the mysteries of the "law
of God by the hand of Moses," said to have been delivered amid the
clouds and thunders and lightnings of Sinai. An examination of the
texts of the "Five Books of Moses" demonstrates that Moses did not
promulgate these commandments and laws; and even cursory review of
the religious history of Israel confirms us in believing that they
were quite unknown for nearly a thousand years after Moses. If any
solid ground for judgment can be arrived at from the study, it is
that some elementary precepts of law existed from earliest times in
Israel, as everywhere, and were not unnaturally attributed to the
traditional "lawgiver" Moses. Later the priests framed the very
elaborate and cumbrous system of ritual and offerings, and to give
it currency and sanction, affirmed it to be law given by Yahweh on
Sinai through Moses; just as the laws of Hanimurabi were
represented as given by the great god Bel through the sun god
Shamash, and the Koran of Mohammed and the Book of Mormon, if not
the Baker-Eddy "revelations" of Science and Truth, were God-given.

                      DIVERGENT DECALOGUES

     There are generally recognized to be two, but, as we shall
see, there are actually three, versions of the "ten commandments";
and the giving of the "law" is quite variously reported by the
Elohist and Jahvist scribes. As the decalogue is for the most part
reported in the same language in the two usually recognized
versions, I shall call attention only to the points of material
difference in their texts, and then consider the third version.

     It is first set out in Exodus xx, 2-17, and is repeated in
Deuteronomy v, 6-21. The first verse of the Elohist version begins:
"And Elohim spake all these words, saying"; then follow the reputed
"ten words"; and this is the first law recorded in the Book of
Exodus, except as to the passover and slavery in chapter xii. The
fourth commandment, regarding the sabbath day, contains several
important differences in the two versions. In the Elohist version
(Ex. xx, 8) it begins. "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy."
The Yahweh version (Deut. v, 12) reads: "Observe the sabbath day,
to keep it holy, as Yahweh thy God commanded thee."

     The Elohist continues (Ex. xx, 10)

     "in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy
daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor
thy stranger that is within thy gates."

     But the second version, instead of simply "nor thy cattle,"
adds (Deut. v, 14)

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                115

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

     "nor thin ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle";
and after the words "thy stranger that is within thy gates," adds:

     "that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as
thou."

     This is not all. In the Exodus version, after the words
"within thy gates," the reporter adds, as the "reason for the rule"
(Ex. xx, 11)

     "For in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth. ... and rested
the seventh day: wherefore Yahweh blessed the sabbath day, and
hallowed it."

     But the second version, after adding the words "may rest as
well as thou," gives an entirely different statement of the
"reason" (Deut. v, 15) thus:

     "And thou shalt remember that thou wast a servant in the land
of Egypt, and Yahweh thy God brought thee out thence by a mighty
hand and an outstretched arm: therefore Yahweh thy God commanded
thee to keep the Sabbath day."

     There are several other noticeable differences between these
two versions. In the first (Ex. xx, 12) it is commanded: "Honor thy
father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land
which Yahweh thy God giveth thee." In the second version this is
amplified, thus: "Honor thy father and thy mother, as Yahweh thy
God commanded thee: that thy days may be long, and that it may go
well with thee, upon the land which Yahweh thy God giveth thee"
(Deut. v, 16).

     In Exodus the four commandments, "Thou shalt not kill, commit
adultery, steal, and bear false witness," are stated in four
separate verses (13-16) in both the English and the Hebrew texts;
and each begins: "Thou shalt not"; in the English version of
Deuteronomy the four commandments are stated in separate verses (v,
17-20), though they are all in one verse (v, 17) of the Hebrew
text, and each, after the first, reads: "Neither shalt thou." The
commandment "Thou shalt not covet" begins in Exodus (xx, 17): "Thou
shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy
neighbor's wife"; in Deuteronomy (v, 21; in the Hebrew, v, 18) it
begins: "Neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor's wife; neither
shalt thou desire thy neighbor's house," and adds "his field,"
which is not in the Exodus version. These may seem small
differences, but they are differences. Yahweh is not reported as
having given two sets of "ten words"; and what he said only once,
he could not have said in two ways; Yahweh himself asserted that he
did "write upon these [second] tables the words which were in the
first tables, which thou breakest" (Ex. xxxiv, 1). Revelation
should at least be consistent and accurate. But now to the origins
and substance of the "ten commandments," if we may discover them.

     Yahweh, as we have seen in Exodus xix, sent Moses immediately
back down the mountain after their third conference, with a few
curt words about sanctifying the non-existent priests and building 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                116

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

the already built fence; and with not a word as to any law or
commandments or tables of stone. "So Moses went down unto the
people, and spake unto them" (xix, 25) is the ending of the
chapter.

     Then immediately follows chapter xx, headed by the Bible
editors "The Ten Commandments," and beginning with the words: "And
Elohim spaake all these words, saying" (xx, 1); and what the Gods
spake was the ten commandments, first or Elohist edition! Moses was
not on the "Mountain of the Gods" at that time at all, but had just
come down to report about the priests and the fence.

     And "all these words" which Elohim "spake" were not only the
so-called "ten words" of the decalogue (Ex. xx, 3-17), but four
whole chapters (Ex. xxxxiii) of law on many subjects, much of it
very puerile and barbarous. And as Elohim "spake all these words,
saying" (Ex. xx, 1) them to Moses, clearly they were not written by
the finger of Yahweh on two tables of stone -- not at this time
anyhow.

     These four chapters of other "law" immediately following the
Elohist version of the ten commandments begin (Ex. xx, 22) with the
words: "And Yahweh said unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the
children of Israel"; and chapter xxi begins: "Now these are the
judgments [laws] which thou shalt set before them?' (xxi, 1). It is
explicitly recorded that "Moses came and told the people all the
words of Yahweh" -- the whole four chapters of law told to the
entire 2,414,000 of them; "and all the people answered with one
voice, and said, All the words which Yahweh hath said will we do"
(Ex. xxiv, 3), though they never did, in all their idol-worshipping
Bible history.

     Divine revelation then informs us that, after thus telling
them to all the people, "Moses wrote all the words of Yahweh" --
evidently during that night, for he then "rose up early in the
morning" (xxiv, 4), and he "took the book of the covenant [which he
had just then written], and read in the audience of the people" and
the people again promised to perform it all (xxiv, 7). And Moses
immediately, after receiving orally, repeating orally, writing into
a Book of Covenant, and promulgating the law forbidding the making
of "any likeness of anything" in heaven, earth, or hell, and the
bowing down to the gods of the heathen -- "but thou shalt utterly
overthrow them, and quite break down their images" (mazzeboth; Ex.
xxiii, 24) -- rose up and builded his altar under the hill, "and
twelve pillars" (mazzeboth, Ex. xxiv, 4). This is more evidence
that the law denouncing this very thing was not given through Moses
the very day before, and did not yet exist.

                       THE TABLES OF STONE

     Evidently now the whole thing had been finished -- the so-
called ten commandments, followed by four whole chapters of "law"
(Ex. xxxxiii), had been duly spoken by Yahweh, while apparently
Moses was down in the camp, after his abrupt dismissal from his
third visit to Yahweh. And not yet a word about any tables of
stone.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                117

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

     Here occurs an odd episode, a dinner-party or banquet given by
the Gods to celebrate, apparently, the giving of the divine law.
For as soon as the last words were spoken, Yahweh extends this
invitation: "And unto Moses he said: Come up unto Yahweh, thou, and
Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel"; but
he adds this curious limitation: "and prostrate yourselves afar
off. And Moses shall come near unto Yahweh, but they shall not come
near" (Ex. xxiv, 1, 2). Moses reported the invitation; then, as
above related, he told the people all the new laws; then wrote them
in a book; and then read the book to all the people. After this,
Moses and the other invited guests, all seventy-four of them, went
together up the mount (this being the fourth climb for Moses),
quite disregarding the orders for all but Moses to stay afar off.
And then and there, it is related, "they saw the Gods [ha-elohiml
of Israel, and they ate and they drank" (Ex. xxiv, 11).

     During this celebration of the "giving of the law" Yahweh very
unexpectedly turns to Moses and summons him for a fifth conference,
saying: "Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and," said
Yahweh, here for the first time referring to this matter, "I will
give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have
written; that thou mayest teach them" (Ex. xxiv, 12); though all
these commandments are already on record as having been dictated by
Yahweh and written in a book by Moses and taught to the people
several chapters earlier, following his third mountain-climb and
return to camp.

                     THE FIFTH MOUNTAIN TRIP

     So Moses went up again, for the fifth time, into the Mount of
the Gods, and Yahweh kept himself hidden from Moses for six days in
a cloud (Ex. xxiv, 15, 16), while Moses had to pass the time as
best he could in the dark. On the seventh day Yahweh called Moses
into the cloud, "and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty
nights," without anything to eat or drink (Ex. xxiv, 15-18). The
next seven chapters (xxv-xxxi) are entirely taken up by the
almighty Architect of the universe in dictating minutest details of
drafting plans, of carpentry, upholstering, tailoring, and general
handicraft for making a most holy tabernacle and ark, gaudily
adorned with, evidently, stolen Egyptian finery, for that is all
they had. Full instructions are given for all the sacred
ceremonials, such as killing a ram and putting some of its blood
upon the tip of the right ear of Brother Aaron, and upon the tips
of the right ears of his four sons, and upon their right thumbs and
right big toes, and then sprinkling the blood on the holy altar of
Yahweh (Ex. xxix, 19, 20), and such like holy mysteries. And the
Mighty God concocted a special kind of patent perfumery which
should be "holy unto Yahweh," and laid down the fatal penalty:
"Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even
be cut off from his people" (Ex. xxx, 34-38) -- murdered for the
glory of the God.

     All this was the work of Infinite Wisdom for forty days --
instead of teaching these holy ones civilization and humanity, and
common decency and honesty, and, most of all, to tell the truth,
instead of the atrocious things they say about God in what they
presumptuously call his Holy Word. Four times amid the awful fires 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                118

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

and thunders of Sinai the fateful injunction was reiterated by the
God: "Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk"; and reams
of stone tablets, or whatever other writing material was used, were
covered with childish medicine-man hocus-pocus for telling whether
a poor victim had leprosy, or some other loathsome infection, with
maudlin incantations for his "purification," if by chance he
recovered from it, all alone and unattended, in the filthy
lazaretto outside the holy camp; but there is never a single word
from the All-Wise God, the "Great Physician," who calls himself
"the Lord who healeth thee," about how to cure leprosy and other
diseases, or how to prevent them; nor a word anywhere of hygiene,
sanitation, useful sciences, or any of the common humanities. If a
few of these things had been laid down for the Chosen, they might
have been, to their lasting advantage, somewhat less of a "peculiar
people" and have escaped the ravages of some of the plagues which
have devastated their promised land from that time to the present
time.

                    THE FIRST TABLES OF STONE

     At the end of these forty days, Yahweh, we are told, "gave
unto Moses two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with
the finger of Elohim") Ex. xxxi, 18); and presumably containing all
the "law and commandments which I have written" (Ex. xxiv, 12),
about which Yahweh spake when he invited Moses up for this fifth
meeting, and which Moses had already written in his book of the
covenant (Ex. xxiv, 4) after his third mountain trip.

     It is evident, if anything can be evident from these muddled
records, that these first tables of stone did not contain the "ten
commandments" of chapter xx; but contained only, if anything, the
building plans and specification for the tabernacle and the ark
(Ex. xxv, 40), and the other matters set out, drawn up during the
forty days of the fifth trip up the "Mountain of the Gods" and
detailed in chapters xxv-xxxi, as we have seen.

                 THE INCIDENT OF THE GOLDEN CALF

     While Moses dallied forty-six days on the "Mount of the Gods"
conning all those precious revelations of Yahweh's holy will, the
Chosen got restless, and "wot not what has become" of Moses, and
they demanded of Brother Aaron that he "make us Gods, which shall
go before us" (Ex. xxxii, 1). Aaron took their jewelry, probably
that stolen from the Egyptians several months before with their
Yahweh's help, and melted it up and made the celebrated golden
calf, designed no doubt after the sacred bull Apis of the
Egyptians. And Aaron, high priest of Yahweh, proclaimed: "These be
thy Gods [Elohim], O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land
of Egypt" (xxxii, 4); and said: "To-morrow is a feast to Yahweh"
(xxxii, 5) -- proving that the calf represented Yahweh, and was
celebrated by naked Baal-orgies to Yahweh (xxxii, 25).

     Yahweh, looking down from the Mount of the Gods, saw this and
got very angry, and said to Moses: "Now let me alone, that my wrath
may wax hot against them and that I may consume them." But Moses
cajoled the Lord Yahweh, saying that the Egyptians would mock
Yahweh about it; and he reminded Yahweh of his promise, and asked 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                119

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

him to "repent of this evil against thy people" (xxxii, 12). So
Yahweh, who "is not a man that be should repent," thereupon
((repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people"
(xxxii, 14).

     Moses thereupon rushed down the mountain into the camp, and in
his own righteous wrath wilfully threw down and broke his two
tables of stone (first edition), and smashed up the golden calf,
ground it to powder, mixed the gold dust with water (where he got
the water in the wilderness not being revealed), and made the
2,414,000 Chosen drink the very diluted mixture (xxxii, 15-20). The
breaking of the two tables "written by the finger of God" is the
greatest loss to humanity which all history records; the only
specimen of the very handwriting of God ever in existence -- the
most wonderful treasure of archaeology -- was irretrievably lost to
mankind by this one peevish act of Moses. Yahweh next commanded the
sons of Levi to "consecrate yourselves this day to Yahweh, that he
may bestow upon you a blessing this day" (xxxii, 29), and to take
their swords, and "slay every man his brother, his companion, and
his neighbor" (xxxii, 27), throughout the camp and 3000 [The
Vulgate reads: "about 23,000."] of the naked Chosen (xxxii, 25, 28)
were murdered. This is the second wholesale massacre attributed to
the God "whose name is Jealous" (Ex. xxxiv, 14).

     This fearful punishment was inflicted for the pretended
offense of making a "graven image" of Yahweh himself, as to which
there was as yet no law if we accept the tables of stone as
containing the "ten commandments"; for Moses, according to that
theory, was yet on Sinai receiving the law, "Thou shalt not make
unto thee any graven image," when the golden calf was set up; and
he rushed down from the mount and broke his tables of stone
containing that very law before he had promulgated it. This was a
case, therefore, not only of ignorantia juris on the part of the
people, but of lex post facto on the part of the God. And, as we
have seen, this was not a case of idolatry to "other gods before
me," for the golden calf expressly represented the great Yahweh,
whom the whole people, naked as in Baal worship, proclaimed: "These
be thy Gods [Elohim], O Israel, which brought thee up out of the
land of Egypt" (xxxii, 4); and "Aaron made proclamation, and said,
To morrow is a feast to Yahweh" (xxxii, 5), proving their belief
that they were worshipping their Rescuer from Egypt, and that they
had no idea that Yahweh was any different from any other god,
either in identity or in his form of worship.

     But these first tables, broken by Moses, assuredly were not
the "ten commandments" of Exodus xx and of the Sunday schools. The
ten commandments are short; these first tables of stone broken by
Moses, which Yahweh declared contained "two tables of testimony"
(Ex. xxxi, 18), whatever that was, were evidently rather lengthy.
For when Moses rushed from the mount down into the camp to destroy
the golden calf, "the two tables of the testimony were in his hand:
the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on
the other were they written" (Ex. xxxii, 15). As Hebrew writing is
very abbreviated, consisting entirely of consonants in words mostly
of only three letters each, two stone tables written on both sides
would not have been required to contain the brief ten commandments,
but might rather have been for the extensive "testimony."

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                120

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

                   THE SECOND TABLES OF STONE

     Chapter xxxiii of Exodus forgets all about the broken first
tables; and in it Yahweh breaks his promise and tells Moses that
Yahweh will not go with his Chosen into the promised land, but will
send an angel along instead, together with other matters immaterial
to the subject in review.

     Chapter xxxiv returns to the tables, and opens with the
command of Yahweh to Moses: "Hew thee two tables of stone like unto
the first: and I will write upon the tables the words that were in
the first tables, which thou brakest" (xxxiv, 1). Moses was ordered
to bring them up into the mountain the next day (xxxiv, 2). Moses
went up, for the sixth time, and took along the two new stone
tables that he had made; and Yahweh talked at length, giving the
substance of previous "law," but not saying a word of the "ten
commandments" reported in Exodus xx or Deuteronomy v. These
commandments wind up with the awful and wonderful command of the
God: "Thou shalt not seethe [boil] a kid in his mother's milk"
(xxxiv, 26)

     But even these commandments Yahweh did not write on the second
set of stone tables; but Moses did the work. They begin with the
words (Ex. xxxivl 10): "And he [Yahweh] said, Behold, I make a
covenant." Yahweh then states it orally (Ex. xxxiv, 12-26); and
then "Yahweh said unto Moses, Write thou these words
[commandments]: for after the tenor of these words I have made a
covenant with thee and with Israel. ... And he [Moses] wrote upon
the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments" (xxxiv,
27, 28). Then Moses, after spending another forty days and forty
nights with Yahweh without anything to eat or drink (Ex. xxxiv,
28), brought the "two tables of the testimony" down, and "gave the
people in commandment all that Yahweh had spoken with him in Mount
Sinai" (xxxiv, 32).

                     THE ACTUAL "TEN WORDS"

     Now, if there were ever any "commandments" written on tables
of stone, these fifteen verses of Exodus xxxiv (12-26), contain
them: it is expressly declared by Yahweh: "I will write upon these
[second] tables the words that were written in the first tables,
which thou brakest" (xxxiv, 1); and when Yahweh had finished the
dictation, and told Moses: "Write thou these words," he verified
their identity with the first tables by averring: "For after the
tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with
Israel" (xxxiv, 27). The so-called "ten commandments" in Exodus xx
and Deuteronomy v are therefore not the genuine ten commandments
written on the first and second tables of stone, nor was either set
"written by the finger of God"; they were both, first and last
edition, dictated to and written down by Moses. They were
strikingly different from the so-called "ten commandments" of much
later date. The original "tables" will be seen to contain only a
ceremonial ritual, with but two commandments: the prohibition of
"other gods," and the observance of the sabbath, which are
contained, among other things in the versions of Exodus xx and
Deuteronomy v, in entirely different form and words. It is curious
to note how nearly all the "laws of Moses," like many other ancient

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                121

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

laws, run in series of tens -- the number being evidently derived
from counting the fingers of the two hands -- as may be verified by
checking them up in the Books of Exodus and Leviticus. The "ten
commandments" most nearly resemble the "ten highest laws of
Buddha"; there are also the "ten virtues of Brahma," enumerated by
Manu.

     We need not puzzle ourselves further with these inextricable
tangles of inspiration. It suffices to show that the "ten
commandments" as we are taught them in the Sunday schools are not
the "ten words" of the two fabled tables of stone, and to
demonstrate that the whole muddle of the "giving of the law" to and
by Moses is a thing apocryphal and impossible.

                    THE LAW OF THE DECALOGUE

     The very first avowal of the popular "ten commandments,"
reveals what in any other, "false" religion would be no doubt a
terrible and iniquitous deity: "I Yahweh thy God am a jealous God,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the
third and fourth generation of them that hate me" (Ex. xx, 5). A
more hateful and diabolic character could not be drawn even by an
inspired pen: the same implacable Deity who, according to the
inspired fable of Eden, damned all humanity through the ages
because an inexperienced woman, seduced by a talking snake, ate an
apple in disregard of a whimsical prohibition, and then drowned
nearly all creation in a fit of wrath over the misconduct of his
own progeny, "the sons of the gods" (Gen. vi, 4), now writes in
stone his stony-hearted decree that the unborn innocent shall pay
the penalty of those guilty of not loving such a God! Thus Yahweh
"repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them" (Deut.
vii, 10).

     The other enactments of the decalogue are mainly such as
existed for ages in the codes of all the nations of antiquity and
ever since, and needed no God to enact them; simply prohibitions
against murder, adultery, theft, false testimony -- precepts common
to all systems of even primitive law. The Babylonian code of
Hammurabi, dating from about 2350 B.C., nearly a thousand years
before Moses, may have been and probably was a model of them all.
The only special feature of the reputed Mosaic code is that it was
never obeyed, except in its most cruel and vicious precepts. In the
supplementary legislation that followed, death was made the penalty
for the slightest work on the voo-dooed seventh day (Ex. xxxi, 15;
xxxv, 2).

                   LAWS OF SLAVERY AND MURDER

     The very next law after the decalogue is a brutal one of human
slavery for this nation but three months escaped from four hundred
years of slavery -- just as the very first edict after their escape
treated of slaves of these fugitive slaves (Ex. xii, 44). Saith
Yahweh: "Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before
them: If thou buy an Hebrew servant," so and so; if the slave be
married and have children, they may be torn apart and separated; if
the slave loves his wife and children and does not want to be torn
away from them, "his master shall bore his ears through with an
awl," and hold him in perpetual slavery. A man may sell his own 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                122

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

daughter to be a slave (Ex. xxi, 7), and it is broadly hinted that
her master might indulge his lusts upon her with impunity. If a
child of Yahweh kills his slave, "he shall not be punished, for he
is his money" (xxi, 21). No God of mercy ever gave these execrable
laws. The brute ex-slaves, now turned brutish slave-masters, framed
them to justify their own inhumanity, and to give them "divine"
sanction attributed them to their God.

     The bloody code, with its key-stone lex talionis -- "life for
life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe" (Ex. xxi,
23-25) -- reads as if dictated, not by a just and merciful God, but
by the spirit of devils incarnate or of Apache Indians. Every man
was made his own avenger: "The revenger of blood himself shall slay
the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him" (Num. xxxv,
19); there was no criminal court known among these barbarian
children of their barbarous God. And dice, or sanctified craps,
were the God-prescribed method of detecting the unknown criminal
(Ex. xxviii, 30; Lev. viii, 8; Num. xxvii, 21; 1 Sam. xiv, 41), as
well as for deciding civil lawsuits (Num. xxvi, 55, 56; Prov. xvi,
33). The "law of God" superstitiously and wickedly commands the
murder of harmless old women: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to
live" (Ex. xxii, 18), though God knows there was no such thing as
a witch! Countless cruel priestly and judicial murders have
resulted through the ages from this "inspired" Bible mandate. This
one sentence alone totally discredits the whole Hebrew Bible as the
"Word of God."

                CANNIBALISM AND HUMAN SACRIFICES

     The most execrable and diabolic of the divine laws of Yahweh
are the repeated enactments condemning his Chosen to cannibalism,
the eating of human flesh, and ordaining and sanctioning living
human sacrifices to appease the fierce wrath of the holy God. These
infernal ukases consign the Heavenly Father of Jew and Christian to
eternal loathing, as well as the inspired book which enshrines
them.

     Text after text of the inspired word of God relates to the
custom of burning children as living human sacrifices to this
Hebrao-Christian Moloch. True, some texts forbid the practice, but
they are very late in Hebrew history, and testify by their
iteration to the inveterate cult of human sacrifice. The instance
of the God's command to Abraham to murder his God-engendered Isaac
to the whim of the Monster of Hebrew mythology is too well known to
need narrating; it is no palliation of the barbarity that a billy-
goat was substituted just as the deluded votary of Yahweh
"stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son"
(Gen. xxii, 10); the god who would command a father to do such a
thing and the poor obsessed fool who would obey are alike beneath
contempt.

     Jephthah was himself the "goat" of his God, as well as "a son
of a harlot" (Judges xi, 1), when "the Spirit of Yahweh came upon
Jephthah" (xi, 29) to incite him to murder. "And Jephthah vowed a
vow unto Yahweh ... that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my
house to meet me ... shall surely be Yahweh's, and I will offer it 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                123

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

up for a burnt offering" (xxi, 30, 31). The revolting murder of his
own daughter as a burnt sacrifice to the Moloch of Israel, because
"I have opened my mouth to Yahweh, and I cannot go back," is a
blasting infamy to the God who instigated and accepted the murder,
and who intervened with none of his usual meddlesome conjuring
tricks to prevent it. It is recorded that the murdered maiden's
father, in making this human sacrifice, "did with her according to
his vow which be had vowed: ... and it was a custom [margin,
ordinance] in Israel" (xi, 39), thus testifying to the historical
fact that human sacrifice was a customary thing in Israel, was
established by divine "ordinance," and was practiced for ages among
these barbarian people.

     Here is the ordinance, the divine law of Yahweh, which
commanded these sacrificial murders:

          "When a man maketh a singular vow ... he shall not alter
     it, nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good. ...
     No devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto Yahweh of all
     that he hath, both of man and beast ... shall be sold or
     redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto Yahweh. None
     devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but
     shall surely be put to death" (Lev. xxvii, 2, 10, 28, 29).

     Commenting on this abhorrent law of God, the pious editors of
the Biblical Encyclopedia, [New York, George H. Doran Co., 1907. 5
vols. (This is not the Encyclopedia Biblica.)] betraying the
prostitution of mind of bibliolaters seeking to "justify the ways
of God to man," far from venting their loathing, thus slavishly
display their maudlin exegetical wit: "(28) Devoted -- anything
which by the law belonged to the Lord could neither be sold ... nor
be redeemed by the vower. (29) surely ... death, in extreme cases,
where death was proper and right, there was no alternative" (Vol.
I, p. 344).

     Yahweh vengefully sent one of his frequent famines upon his
Holy Land, "flowing with milk and honey," and it grievously
afflicted his Chosen for three years, until the "man after Yahweh's
own heart," David, "enquired of Yahweh" what it was all about. "And
Yahweh answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because
he slew the Gibeonites" (2 Sam. xxi, 1), heathen enemies whom
Yahweh had ordered to be exterminated. David cast about for a form
of sacrifice potent enough to conjure away the wrath of his benign
God, and to this Yahweh divinely guided him. He took two sons of
Saul by Rizpah, and five sons of Michal, Saul's daughter and
David's own wife, "who loved him" -- and "they hanged them in the
hill before Yahweh; and they fell all seven together, and were put
to death. ... And after that God was intreated for the land" (2
Sam. xxi, 8, 9, 14); glutted with the butchery of human sacrifice
to him, he graciously ended the famine. But what heart will not be
wrung by the mother's woe of Rizpah, who "took sack-cloth and
spread it ... upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until
water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the
birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the
field by night" (xxi, 10); the heart-broken mother of the God's
victims despairingly lying over the rotting bodies of her loved 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                124

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

sons for several months under the open skies, fighting off the
scavenger birds and beasts from the poor carcasses of the human
sacrifices to the Christian's loving Heavenly Father.

     Rizpah disobeyed her God's repeated commands to eat her dead
sons. The holy God of Israel, in his sacred Mosaic law, time and
again imposes cannibalism, and of the most revolting kind: "Ye
shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters
shall ye eat" (Lev. xxvi, 29). "And thou shalt eat the fruit of
thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and thy daughters" (Deut.
xxviii, 53-57) -- the whole passage should be read for its
refinements of gloating fiendishness. And again the holy God
ordains these delicate repasts: "And I will cause them to eat the
flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they
shall eat everyone the flesh of his friend" (Jer. xix, 9). And
again: "The fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and
the sons shall eat their fathers" (Ezek. v, 10). There are other
inspired passages of the same sort. The Bible commentators above
cited reverently ratify the prediction with the comment, "Literally
fulfilled" (Vol. I, p. 340), pleased to be able to make citations
to support their God's holy Word. Besides the testimony of the
secular history of the Chosen People, concrete instances of
cannibalism are related in God's book for confirmation of our faith
and of our love for Yahweh: "The hands of the pitiful women have
sodden [boiled] their own children: they were their meat" (Lam. iv,
10). Again Yahweh sent a "great famine" upon his people. "And as
the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a
woman unto him, saying, Help, my Lord, O King. And he said, If
Yahweh do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? ... What aileth
thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give me thy son,
that we may eat him to-day, and we will eat my son tomorrow. So we
boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next
day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son"
(2 Kings vi, 26-29). And the king, by his messenger to Elisha,
truly said: "Behold, this evil is of Yahweh"; and he pertinently
added: "What should I wait for Yahweh any longer?" (vi, 33) Why?
Con, you Jews and Christians, these divine precepts and examples of
your holy Bible God, and remember the query of Job's wife: "Dost
thou still retain thine integrity?" Forgive her for her suggestion
to poor Job: "Curse God, and die" (Job ii, 9). Then kneel with
lifted face to this Ogre of Israel and pray: "Our Father who art in
heaven: Hallowed be thy name."

     Cannibalism and its abhorrent, though vicarious, practice are
still enjoined by this God on the morons of his Son Christ: "Except
ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no
life in you" (John vi, 53 et seq.)!

                    OTHER DIVINE MOSAIC LAWS

     The Holy Law is a reeking priestly code, decreeing death and
maiming for every violation of its superstitious voodoos. Abject
subjection to the priest is riveted upon the people by this
inspired ukase. "The man that will do presumptuously, and will not
harken unto the priest, even that man shall die" (Deut. xvii, 12),
a bloody enactment reiterated in scores of variations of
fiendishness. If one's nearest and dearest, even "the wife of thy 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                125

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

bosom," entice one to worship some milder deity than Yahweh, "thine
eye shall not pity, neither shalt thou spare; but thou shalt surely
kill; thine hand shall be the first upon him to put him to death,
and afterward the hand of all the people" (Deut. xiii, 6-10). But
why pursue these revolting atrocities further? They are not the
"law of God," but the savage enactments of the priests of barbarous
tribes of primitive people, branded with the name of their pagan
God Yahweh to give greater terror to superstitious heathens.

     These priests were supreme and final judges of all crimes and
civil controversies: "by their word shall every controversy and
every stroke be tried" (Deut. xxi, 9); though this seems to
contradict the "lex talionis" and adjudications by sacred dice
before noticed. Beautiful women captives of war might be forced to
shave their heads and become the lust-slaves of their holy captors;
if these holy ones did not find the expected "delight in her," she
might be turned out of doors after being "humbled" (Deut. xxi,
10-14). Of a stubborn son, a glutton or a drunkard, it is commanded
that his father accuse him to the elders, "and all the men of his
city shall stone him with stones, that he die; ... and all Israel
shall hear, and fear (Deut. xxi, 18-21), as well they might. Other
undefined deeds judged by the priests "worthy of death" are ordered
to be punished by hanging on a tree (xxi, 22).

     If one of the Israelites finds a bird's-nest, Yahweh ordains
that the mother bird and her eggs or young must not be taken
together, but she may be robbed of eggs or young with divine
approval (Deut. xxii, 6, 7). If a man marry a woman and "go in unto
her," and is disappointed, and reports: "I found her not a maid,"
the father and mother of the young woman must hale her before all
the elders in the public gate of the city, bringing along "the
tokens of their daughter's virginity" (the words "the tokens of"
are not in the Hebrew text). These holy wise-acres must there hold
a sort of solemn ogling inquisitio de ventre inspiciendo on her
person, and if the "tokens" incite their condemnation, "the men of
the city shall stone her with stones that she die" (Deut. xxii,
13-21); and so in cases of adultery, if the woman be married (xxii,
23, 24). A man having the misfortune to be sexually crippled is
forever excommunicated from the holy congregation of Yahweh, and an
unfortunate bastard unto the tenth generation (Deut. xxiii, 1, 2).
The whole races of Animonites and Moabites are accursed for
fanciful reasons; "thou shalt not seek their peace nor their good
all thy days forever" (xxiii, 3-6).

     Yahweh established trial by ordeal for cases of suspected
infidelity of a woman to her husband. The priest before whom the
woman was accused was to make up a horrid concoction of "holy
water," filthy dust from the floor of the tabernacle, and barley
meal, mixed up with "bitter water that causeth the curse" into a
"jealousy offering"; the priest then should make some conjurations
"unto the woman, if no man hath lain with thee," and "charge the
woman with an oath of cursing," saying: "Yahweh make thee a curse
and an oath among thy people, when Yahweh doth make thy thigh to
rot and thy belly to swell; And this water that causeth the curse
shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell and thy thigh
to rot." To all this holy incantation the woman shall complaisantly
say: "Amen, Amen." The holy priest then makes the woman drink the 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                126

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

loathsome concoction; "then it shall come to pass, that if she have
done trespass against her husband, that the water which causeth the
curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall
swell, and her thigh shall rot. ... But if the woman be not
defiled, then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. This is
the law of jealousies" (Num. v, 11-29). One would think this
noxious dosing would be very efficacious to cause the belly to
swell whether guilty or innocent, and the test worse than the
suspicion or the offence.

     Whole chapters of the "law of Yahweh" are filled with the
incantations, purifications, and bans of fetishistic magic, such as
conjuring sin and disease out of persons into animals. The inspired
"law for leprosy and scall," in Levicitus xiv, is a perfect jumble
of twaddle for the "purification" of a cured leper and his clothes,
house, and belongings. The priest is to take two live birds, cedar
wood, scarlet, and hyssop; kill one of the birds "in an earthen
vessel over running water"; dip the live bird and the other things
into the blood of the killed bird; sprinkle the leper seven times;
and "let the living bird loose into the open field," charged with
the disease. Then the leper, rid of the disease, must "shave all
his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows" (Lev. xiv,
9), and bring two he-lambs to the priest for a "trespass offering."
The priest kills one of the lambs, takes the blood and some oil,
smears them on the tip of the right ear, the thumb of the right
hand, and the big toe of the right foot of the leper, pours what
remains of the oil over the leper, and presto, "he shall be clean."
The poor live bird that has the dread disease is thus a sort of
scapegoat for the sins, or misfortune, of the human victim.
Chapters xii and xv are similar gems of maudlin incantations for
the "purification" of the "uncleanness of women."

     One of the strangest of the laws of Yahweh is that of the
scapegoat sacrifice to the devil, as enacted in Leviticus xvi. The
word "scapegoat" is another false translation to hide what the New
Standard Bible Dictionary calls "a vestige of primitive Semitic
demonology"; the word used in Hebrew, and inserted in the margin of
the Authorized Version, but frankly rendered in the Revised
Version, is Azazel, a Hebrew name for the devil. The "sin offering"
to Yahweh must also be offered to his great rival Satan. It is
decreed that "the priest shall take two goats, and present them
before Yahweh; ... And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two, goats;
the one lot for Yahweh, and the other lot for Azazel" (Lev. xvi, 7,
8); and on the scapegoat must the sins of the people be laid, and
the goat then turned loose into the wilderness "to Azazel" (xvi,
10, 21, 22). This shows that the people of Yahweh also worshipped
the devil. They continued to do so commonly at least as late as
Rehoboam, who "ordained priests for the devils" (2 Chron. xi, 15).

     Later a more dramatic scheme of ridding the holy people of sin
was adopted by Yahweh. Two winged women, with "wings like the wings
of a stork," gathered up all the sin they could get hold of,
kneaded it into a "talent of lead," and passed it to "a woman that
sat in the midst of the ephah" (a sort of big bushel-measure). Then
the two winged females "lifted up the ephah between the earth and
the heaven," and flew away with it to the land of Shinah, where
they built a house for its permanent abode. Thus reads the sacred 
word of Yahweh by the mouth of the prophet (Zech. v, 5-11).

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                127

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

     Such are samples of the holy laws of the Infinite Wisdom of
Yahweh. For enlightened legislation some might prefer even the
Tennessee legislature to Yahweh and Moses.

                    MOSES NOT THE "LAW-GIVER"

     From the innumerable "internal evidences" in the Hebrew Bible
itself which we have pointed out here and there, it is demonstrated
that Yahweh did not "give the law" to Moses on Sinai, or anywhere
else, and that Moses did not write the "Book of the Law"; that
Moses never even heard of the "law" attributed to him; in a word,
that the books containing the "law" were not written until framed
by the priests many hundreds of years after the time in which Moses
is supposed to have lived, if he ever lived at all outside of
legend. We have abundantly seen that the so-called "Five Books of
Moses" relate many supposed historical facts which occurred, if
they ever occurred at all, hundreds of years after the traditional
time of Moses, who is said to have died in 1451 B.C. And we have
seen many other such anachronisms in the other books of the Hebrew
Scriptures, such as Joshua, Judges, Samuel, proving that they were
not written until after the alleged facts had occurred, long after
the times of the supposed writers. Better proof than that so
plentifully furnished could hardly be desired to refute the claims
of "inspired," or of very ancient, origin of these books.

                THE "LAW" OF LATE PRIESTLY ORIGIN

     What is true of the books containing the "law" is equally
true, by internal evidences in the Bible, of the late and priestly
origin of the "law" itself. The "Book of the Covenant," we are
first told, in Exodus xxiv, 4, was written by Moses; later, in
Deuteronomy, Moses several times (xxix, 20, 21, 27, 29) calls down
upon the Chosen people "all the curses of the covenant that are
written in this book of the law" -- because they had "served other
gods." Then, just before his death, he seems to have got out a new
edition of his "compiled laws" for permanent record: "And Moses
wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi
which bare the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and unto all the
elders of Israel" (xxxi, 9); and he commanded them: "Take this book
of the law, and put it in the side of [inside] the ark of the
covenant of Yahweh your God, that it may be there for a witness
against thee" (xxxi, 26).

     Moses also particularly commanded them to assemble all the
people every seven years, and read to them all the words of this
law (xxxi, 10-13). This "Book of the Law" was evidently a very
sizable tome. And, as if foreseeing a time when the Chosen would
have kings over them (though the thing was written long
afterwards), Moses orders every such king, "when he sitteth upon
the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this
Law in a book. ... and he shall read therein all the days of his
life: that he may learn to fear Yahweh his God, and to keep all the
words of this law and these statutes, to do them" (Deut. xvii, 18,
19). And it is decreed that every such king shall not "multiply
wives to himself. ... neither shall he greatly multiply to himself
silver and gold" (xvii, 17). But, by the clearest negative
evidences of the texts, no king (until Josiah) ever had or read 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                128

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

such a book or ever saw or heard of or read this "law," which
positively forbade under terrible penalties everything which was
the common and daily practice of their idolatrous cult; and all the
kings, following the example of David and Solomon, did very greatly
"multiply wives unto themselves," and with all their people
habitually did everything which is so fearfully forbidden in the
Book of the Law. This clearly proves their entire ignorance of it,
and the impossibility of its existence during all the ages from
Moses to the futile "reforms" of the good king" Josiah, when the
Book of the Law was "discovered" by the priests of Judah.

     It was at Sinai, in the first year of the exodus, that Moses,
it is recorded, wrote the first edition of his Book of the
Covenant; and forty years later that he made his revised edition
and ordered the bulky tome laid up as a testimonial against the
people in the Ark of the Covenant. Yet, when next we hear of it,
Joshua built an altar unto Yahweh, of unhewn stone, "over which no
man hath lift up any iron"; and on this very rough surface, "he
wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses" (Josh.
viii, 32) ; and "afterward he read all the words of the law, the
blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the
book of the law" (viii, 34), to all the people. This is about the
last word in all the Hebrew Scriptures, for about a thousand years,
until Josiah, of this famous "law of Moses." When Solomon had built
the temple, he put into it the ancient Ark of the Covenant, made by
Moses; and it is said: "There was nothing in the Ark save the two
tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeh, when Yahweh made
a covenant with the children of Israel" (I Kings viii, 9; 2 Chron.
v, 10). And of this Solomon more explicitly says: "The ark, wherein
is the covenant of Yahweh" (I Kings viii, 21; 2 Chron. vi, 11).
This "covenant" was clearly the covenant of circumcision, or that
regarding the sabbath and "other gods"; not the "ten commandments"
or the "law," so unknown until the find of Josiah. Never once again
is it mentioned, or a single command of it observed, or knowledge
of it seemingly suspected, in a thousand years, till the Book of
the Law was "found" by Hilkiah the priest.

                    THE "FINDING" OF THE LAW

     All are familiar with the "finding" by the late lamented
Joseph Smith -- led thereto by the angel Moroni -- of the golden
plates containing the text of the Book of Mormon, in the
nineteenth-century United States. History repeated itself. In 2
Kings xxii is the relation of an equally notorious discovery. In
the eighteenth year of the "good king" of Judah, Josiah, while
repairs were being made in the temple, Hilkiah, the high priest, of
a sudden "found the book of the law of Yahweh given by Moses," and
by him ordered to be preserved in the Ark of the Covenant (Deut.
xxxi, 24-26). Hilkiah announced his "discovery" to Shaphan the
scribe, and they took the great "find" to Josiah the king. This
remarkable "discovery" was made in the year 623, B.C., 828 years
after the death of Moses. So the first proof that this "Book of the
Law" never existed until it was "found" by the priest is that for
828 years nobody had ever heard of it, nor is it once mentioned in
Hebrew Holy Writ, and not one of its many holy laws and commands
had ever been observed, by priest, king, prophet, or people of
Yahweh. While the deadly Ark was at Beth-shemesh, the whole town 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                129

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

peeked into it, and evidently did not find the sacred relics,
Aaron's conjuring rod, the pot of manna, the two tables of stone,
or the Book of the Law. Yahweh murdered 50,070 of the citizens
"because they looked into the ark of Yahweh" (1 Sam. vi, 19). But
the book evidently did not exist.

     This is further proved by the positive statement of King
Josiah, to whom the book was at once taken and read: "When the king
had heard the words of the book of the law, be rent his clothes"
(xxii, 11); and he sent to "enquire of Yahweh ... concerning the
words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of Yahweh
that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened
unto the words of this book, to do after all that is written in
this book" (2 Kings xxii, 13). Huldah the priestess, who was
consulted, reported that Yahweh was very angry, "because they have
forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods" (xxii, 17),
exactly as they had done during their whole history. This is highly
significant; it never once occurred to this female prophet, nor to
any of the many inspired prophets who infested all the history of
Israel, to prophesy that the Book of Law was laid away in the holy
Ark, and could be found for the looking! Josiah at once called all
the people and priests together, and read to them the Book of the
Law, and pledged them to keep and perform all the laws and
commandments thereof, which their fathers had never before known or
observed.

     Josiah at once began a great series of "reforms," related in
2 Kings xxiii and in 2 Chronicles xxxiv, each one of which
corresponds exactly with the various commands of the Book of the
Law, as may be verified by consulting the marginal references and
the texts referred to. Even the great celebration of the passover,
purporting to commemorate the exodus from Egypt, was quite unknown;
the king specially ordered: "Keep the passover unto Yahweh your
God, as it is written in the book of this covenant"; and it is
added: "Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days
of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings
of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah" (2 Kings xxiii, 22).

                     THE LAW AND THE REFORMS

     Among the reforms made by the king he destroyed the idols, the
"pillars and groves," the "high places," [See Chapter VIII.] which
filled the land, the places where children were sacrificed to
Moloeb, the chariots of the sun, and all the accessories of the
worship of the sun, moon, and stars. "He brought out the Asherah
from the house of Yahweh [Solomon's temple] ... and he brake down
the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of Yahweh"
(xxiii, 6, 7); he destroyed even the holy altar which Jacob himself
had erected to Yahweh at Beth-el (xxiii, 15); and he removed the
wizards, and those that had familiar spirits, and the teraphim, and
all such; in each instance carrying out the detailed commands of
the "law" as contained in the book just "found" by the priest,
"that he might confirm the words of the law which were written in
the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of Yahweh"
(xxiii, 24). This tallying of "reforms" with the new-"found" law
may be verified at a glance by checking the laws against the
reforms, as set out in 2 Kings xxiii. The verses cited of chapter 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                130

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

xxiii show the reforms corresponding to the laws of the Book of Law
in Deuteronomy: 2 Kings xxiii, 7, as to sodomites, in Deut. xxiii,
17, ct seq.; 2 Kings xxiii, 8, 9, as to high places, in Deut. xii,
2; 2 Kings xxiii, 10, as to passing through fire, in Deut. xviii,
10; 2 Kings xxiii, 11, as to horses and chariots of the sun, in
Deut. xvii, 3; 2 Kings xxiii, 14, as to phallic images and groves,
in Deut. xvi, 21, et seq.; 2 Kings xxiii, 21, as to the passover,
in Deut. xvi, 5, 6; 2 Kings xxiii, 24, as to wizards, etc., iii
Deut. xviii, 11. In a word Josiah essayed to destroy at a blow the
ancient religion and worship of the people, and to introduce quite
a new system of worship devised by the priests, as described in the
new book, a system never known or practiced in all the history of
Israel from the days of Abraham, some 1500 years previously.

     Now, it is quite impossible that this wonderful "law of
Yahweh," said to have been given to Moses on Sinai, should have
been in existence, right there in the Ark of the God, in the great
temple, in the constant custody and care of the priests, and never
have been known by any of the good judges, kings, or prophets of
Yahweh for over eight hundred years. And the Hebrew Scriptures are
full of conclusive proofs that every precept of this "law" was
totally unknown to and unobserved by all the holy "men of God,"
prophet, priest and king, from Moses to Josiah, every one of whom
continuously violated some or all of the most dreadfully
prohibitory articles of the so-called Mosaic code.

                  POSITIVE PROOFS AGAINST MOSES

     We will very briefly pass in review some of these proofs that
this "law" was not instituted by Yahweh "by the hand of Moses," but
was a priestly scheme written up about the time the Book of the Law
was "found" by the high priest of Josiah, a millennium after the
time of Moses. The first and most cogent proofs are to be found in
the "Book of the Law" itself, said to have been laid down by Yahweh
on Mount Sinai, written by Moses in the wilderness, and deposited
in the Ark of Yahweh for a perpetual memorial and a law to the
Chosen People in all their generations.

     In the first place, the Book of the Law itself implicitly
declares there was no such body of law in existence during the
forty years' wandering in the wilderness, though it is supposed to
have been given at Sinai in the very first year of the exodus from
Egypt. And this declaration of the non-existence of the "law" is
curiously put into the mouth of Moses himself, in the fortieth
year, just before the Chosen were to pass over Jordan into the
promised land. Moses says: "And ye shall observe to do all the
statutes and judgments which I set before you this day" (Deut. xi,
32). "These are the statutes and judgments which ye shall observe
to do in the land, which Yahweh thy God giveth thee to possess it.
... Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day,
every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes" (xii, 1, 8). More
positive evidence that the "law" had not been enacted forty years
before on Sinai could not be, for that "law" left nothing to be
done according to "whatsoever is right in his own eyes," but
minutely prescribed and regulated every act of life.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                131

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

     But there are a couple of other specific instances of the non-
existence of the "law" which may be cited for further proof. Notice
first the words introducing the first instance: "And while the
children of Israel were in the wilderness," the thing happened. If
Moses spent forty years rambling around in the wilderness, and
wrote his "Five Books" there, it is preposterous that he would
relate an incident as specially occurring "while in the wilderness"
-- all the incidents occurred there, according to inspiration.
Evidently some scribe of many ages later wrote an old tale and
inserted it in the general collection, and to give it good standing
fathered it upon Moses "while the children of Israel were in the
wilderness."

     While in the wilderness, "they found a man that gathered
sticks upon the sabbath day. And they ... brought him unto Moses
and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward
[jail], because it was not declared what should be dome unto him.
And Yahweh said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death:
all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp"
(Num. xv, 32-36), and so they did. God never ordered a man to be
murdered for picking up sticks, sabbath or no sabbath; and
especially by a barbarous law which was not in existence when the
offense was committed. The Constitution of every state in this
Union forbids such an infamy. The text says there was no law on the
subject when the man offended, so that he was held until Yahweh
ordered his judicial murder. But the statement is wholly wrong, for
it is also stated that two years before, at Sinai, it had been
barbarously enacted: "Whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day,
he shall surely be put to death" (Ex. xxxi, 15). Of course neither
is true, and the two statements are totally contradictory; but the
instance shows that the writer knew there was no "law" of Sinai for
the murder of sabbath workers.

     Again, a man "blasphemed the name of Yahweh"; he was put in
ward, "that the mind of Yahweh might be shawed them"; Yahweh
decreed: "He that blasphemeth the name of Yahweh, he shall surely
be put to death"' by stoning; and he was stoned (Lev. xxiv, 16).
This shows there was no "law"; though the stone tables of Sinai
decreed: "Thou shalt not take the name of Yahweh thy God in vain"
(Ex. xx, 7).

           BIBLE HISTORY DISPROVES THE "LAW OF MOSES"

     That the "law of Moses" was not given on Sinai and preserved
in a book kept by the high priest in the Ark of the Covenant, and
that it did not exist until "discovered" by the priests of Josiah,
and was in fact unknown and unobserved by all the holy "men of God"
from Moses to Josiah may be further instanced. We will briefly
review some of these manifold proofs.

     Idols and idolatry were terribly forbidden in the "law of
Moses." We may take the word of the prophet Ezekiel for proof of
unbroken idol-worship of the Chosen People from the day they left
Egypt with Moses to his own time -- all in violation of the
pretended but non-existent "Mosaic" law. Ezekiel thus testifies:
"Neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt" (Ezek. xx, 8); "their
eyes were after their fathers' idols" (xx, 24); and he quotes the 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                132

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

Chosen as declaring: "We will be as the heathen, as the families of
the countries, to serve wood and stone" (xx, 32). This is
conclusive that the Book of the Law, proscribing idolatry under
penalties of punishment and death, was nonexistent through all
those ages until it was "found" by the priests of Josiah; that
idolatry was the "orthodox" religion of Israel from the exodus to
Josiah (as of course it was from the days of Abraham and before
till the exodus); and was practiced, with the full approval of
Yahweh himself, by all his holy "men of God," as we shall see, in
utter oblivion of any "law" proscribing it.

     In the next chapter we shall see in detail that the
patriarchs, from Abraham to Moses, were ordinary idolaters and
phallic worshippers of Yahweh and Baal, with their teraphim,
ephods, mazzebahs, asherahs, high-places of Baal-worship and Moloch
child-sacrifice and their simple earth or stone altars, where
Yahweh "put his name" as a local Baal or Lord. Never once, until
the Book of the Law, pretended to be given to Moses on Sinai, was
"found," is there the slightest hint against all these popular
heathen practices. After Moses and the pretended "law" of Sinai,
the identical practices continued unabated and unrebuked, though
the Book of the Law denounced them one and all in scathing terms,
and threatened every imaginable woe for disobedience to them.

     The first thing Moses himself did after descending from Sinai
and writing the "law" in his book and swearing the people to it was
to erect the twelve phallic "pillars," or mazzebahs, for the twelve
tribes of Israel, and send young men to offer sacrifices on earth-
made altars (Ex. xxiv, 4, 5), though the very "law" he is said to
have that day revealed enacts: "Thou shalt not plant an asherah nor
set thee up a mazzebah, which Yahweh thy God hateth"; and time and
again decrees that no sacrifice shall be offered except by the holy
monopoly of priests, and upon the sacred altar in the tabernacle of
the congregation. His successor Joshua erected phallic pillars of
stone, and built an altar of unhewn stone, on which he is said to
have written the very "laws of Moses" forbidding such practices,
and although Joshua was not a priest, he "offered thereon burnt
offerings unto Yahweh, and sacrificed peace offerings" (Josh. viii,
30, 31), in violation of the "law." Joshua conjured the people to
"put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the river
[Euphrates], and in Egypt, and serve ye Yahweh" (xxiv, 14) which
proves idol-worship was unbroken from Abraham to the last days of
Joshua. And he repeated: "Put away the strange gods which are among
you" (xxiv, 23); and the people promised they would, but they never
did. Under the judges, continuously, the people "served Baalim,"
and "followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round
about them; ... and served Baal and Ashtaroth ... they would not
hearken unto their judges, they went awhoring after other gods?'
(Judges ii, 11-17, and throughout the book).

     The story of Gideon and the fleeces (Judges vi), and the
contest between Baal and Yahweh, are further proof of the popular
cult persisting, contrary to "law." Even the "good" judges
continued the forbidden sacrifices, as well as private persons,
such as Manoah, father of Samson; and Yahweh sent down fire from
heaven upon the altars to consume the acceptable sacrifices (Judges
xiii). Micah's golden ephod was a god in Israel, served by Levites 
for priests, "until the day of the captivity of the land" (Judges
xviii).
                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                133

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

     The great and good Samuel, when first met by Saul as he was
hunting lost asses, was going "up to the high place," where the
phallic "pillars and groves" were set up and Baal was worshipped,
and where, on that day, the people were holding a sacred feast;
"and the people will not eat until he come, because he blesseth the
sacrifice" (1 Sam. ix, 13, 14); practices utterly banned by the
"law" of Moses. Samuel sent Saul to meet and join "a band of
prophets coming down from the high place [of Baal on the "hill of
the gods"]; and they shall be prophesying [raving], and the spirit
of Yahweh shall come mightily upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy
[rave] with them" (x, 5, 6); thus showing the unity of the worship
of Baal and Yahweh, and the entire "orthodoxy" of high-places and
phallic worship. And all the days of his life, Samuel "went from
year to year in circuit" to the principal high-places, or Baal-
altars of the country, and judged all Israel (vii, 16); and though
no priest, he continually made sacrifices and offered up burnt-
offerings, all forbidden by the Book of the Law.

     Saul, made king over the Chosen People by Yahweh's own special
selection, continued the same practices (i Sam. xiii, 9, 10; xiv,
25; et passim), and consulted witches, and was troubled with an
"evil spirit from Yahweh." David was a "man after Yahweh's own
heart," the most murderous, adulterous, lustful, perfidious,
mendacious character in the Hebrew Scriptures. He practiced the
phallic rites of divination with ephods and teraphim, and danced
naked in public the phallic Baal-dance before the Ark of Yahweh;
and when Michal, his wife, who was herself a heathen and kept a
phallic teraphim for her private use and worship, rebuked him for
it, he shamelessly retorted: "I will yet be more vile than thus,
and will be base in mine own sight" (2 Sam. vi, 22); and he
notified her then and there that she should never have a child by
him, but that he would bestow his amorous favors upon "the hand-
maids of his servants."

     For many years during the time of David, Yahweh's special
delight, "the tabernacle of Yahweh, which Moses made in the
wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering," and presumably
the holy Ark containing the "law" banning all such things, were "in
the high place at Gibeon" (I Chron. xxi, 29), in charge of "Zadok
the priest, and his brethren the priests" (xvi, 39). David built an
altar on the threshing-floor of Ornan, or Araunah, and offered
sacrifices to Yahweh, which were so acceptable that Yahweh sent
down fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering (xxi, 26).
David christened it: "This is the house of Yahweh ha-Elohim [Yahweh
of the Gods], and this is the altar of the burnt offering for
Israel" (xxii, 1); all of which is forbidden in the Book of the
Law, which was required to be copied and read by every king: but no
king of all Jewry, until Josiah read the new-found book in his
eighteenth year, ever saw or heard of "the Book of the Law of
Yahweh." It was clearly not in existence.

     Solomon was a worthy chip off the old block; he "loved Yahweh,
walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and
burnt incense in high places" (I Kings iii, 3); and he "loved many
strange women," besides his seven hundred wives and three hundred
concubines, all heathen. He built high-places and sacrificed to all
the gods of his women, though Yahweh was "jealous" about all this, 

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                134

                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?

and threatened him trouble. And Solomon built the famous temple of
Yahweh, erected by the heathen Hiram King of Tyre, which was
adorned with the two notable phallic pillars, Jachin and Boaz, hung
about with the phallic pomegranates, and surrounded with houses of
sodomites and temple-whores, and abundantly provided with "pillars
and groves" in the very house of Yahweh; and there they remained
and were worshipped by all Israel till temporarily removed by
Josiah, in accordance with the new-found Book of the Law, at the
end of the period of Hebrew national existence.

     The great prophet Elijah himself built up the ruined heathen
altar at Carmel (1 Kings xviii, 30); and lamented to Yahweh because
impious hands had "thrown down thine altars" in the land (xix, 10),
though all such altars were utterly tabooed by the Book of the Law
as heathen Canaanitish devices. Isaiah declared, as a token of the
triumph of Yahweh over the nations and their gods: "In that day
there shall be an altar to Yahweh in the midst of the land of
Egypt, and a mazzebah at the border thereof to Yahweh" (Isa. xlx,
19).

     While other prophets, Amos, Hosea, Micah, deplored the
Canaanitish Baal practices performed at the altars of Yahweh, never
once did they declare them illegal, as contrary to the "law of
Moses," or seek to abolish them. Their efforts were solely directed
toward bringing the Chosen People to devote these practices to
Yahweh alone as a special God of Israel, to be worshipped by his
Chosen to the exclusion of the gods of the other peoples. The kings
of Israel and of Judah, from Solomon to Josiah, set up many other
gods, and mazzebah and asherah, and the worship of the sun, moon,
and stars, in the very temple of Yahweh at Jerusalem and in
Samaria; and the people continuously and unquestioningly worshipped
them.

     All this could not have been rationally possible if any sort
of monotheistic worship of "one God Yahweh," sole God of all the
earth, had been the anciently established religion of Israel,
decreed in a God-given "Book of the Law" to Moses, a holy legacy to
the people, sanctioned by the fearful threats it contains against
disobedience to its dread and holy commands.

     It is needless to remark, with respect to the elaborate and
intricate system of priestly functions and sacrifices contained in
the Book of the Law and said to have been practiced in the forty-
year wandering in the wilderness, that all this would have been
utterly impossible in such surroundings, and during the centuries
of struggling warfare and incomplete conquest of the promised land.
It was all a priest-devised system, adopted late in the history of
the kingdom, and given authority by being attributed to the direct
command of "Yahweh by the hand of Moses."

     Many other nations and peoples have had sacred books of law,
revealed by gods or angels to pretended Prophets; the Koran of
Mohammed and the Book of Mormon may be mentioned as more modern
instances. This should suffice to demonstrate that the religion of
the Hebrew Bible was none other than the universal phallic pagan
worship, centered to a certain extent around a "jealous" Yahweh as
the special, tribal El of his Chosen Isra-el, and forbidden by no 
extant 'law of Yahweh" given to Moses on Sinai.

                         Bank of Wisdom
                  Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201
                                135
/library/historical/disclaimer.html
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
Top
Support Us