Exodus and the Mosaic Laws
On Mount Sinai God appears to Moses as a burning bush
Israel exodus from Egypt
Welcome to our article (47), Exodus and the Mosaic Laws.
May God guide and help me to say the right things in these religious articles?
In our study of religions, we are in search of how to reconcile religions to each other, therefore, we are looking at any religious event that have shaped religions, in the hope that one day we can use this knowledge to suggest what could be done, to make religions compatible to each other, or at least help religions survive the atheists attack, and other things as well. Therefore, we are going to review very old events to refresh our memories, to see if could use what we learn later, in this case we will talk about, Israel exodus from Egypt, which is a very important event written in the Bible.
In the Old Testament according to the Bible, Moses was to be killed from the Egyptians when he was born, but his mother abandoned him on the river Nile hoping for a miracle, and the miracle happened because he was saved from the river Nile from an Egyptian princess that had no children, he grew and learned in the Egyptian court the Egyptian’s ways, but one day he was attracted to his people and did something that the Egyptian Pharaoh didn’t like, so, banned him from Egypt into the desert of Sinai, by now Moses knew that he was an Israelite and not an Egyptian, so, he went in the desert thinking what he could do to help his people, he did not know yet that he had been selected by God to be the Hebrews leader, who would lead the Hebrews back to the Promised Land, which was the land that God had given to Abraham their forbear.
As we know, since it is written in the Bible and we have been told this event many times; one day Moses felt the need to go up Mount Sinai to investigate what was there, since he was seeing some abnormal signs, so, he went up Mount Sinai and saw a burning bush, but this burning bush was different from a normal burning bush, because while it seemed to be burning it did not burn, a voice came from this burning bush telling Moses; stop where you are and take your shoes off, you are on sacred land; this was the voice of God who appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush and spoke to Moses, God said that he had heard the children of Israel laments and prayers to him, so, he would help them to be free from the Egyptian bondage.
So, this has happened, because the Israelite were praying to the God of Abraham, for this reason God ordered Moses to go back to Egypt to free his people from the Pharaoh slavery. Moses was not sure this was a good idea since he had been banned from Egypt. So, Moses asked God, who I should say has sent me to the children of Israel and to the Pharaoh, God said, I am who I am and tell the children of Israel and say that Yahweh the God of your Father has sent me. (This is how we know that the name of God is Yahweh) So, Moses went back to Egypt and after lots of arguments with the Pharaoh and some divine intervention from Yahweh God, which we are not going to write, because they are too long, and this article is more about the exodus from Egypt than what happened during this initial part. Anyhow in the end Moses finally succeeded to lead his Hebrew people out of Egypt.
As they left Egypt the Pharaoh tried once more to stop them and with his army ran after them; it is said that here again Yahweh God helped the Israelite cross the Red See as if it was dry land, and then the water of the Red See came back and drowned the Pharaoh army that was trying to stop them leaving Egypt. Here we would like to point out that this seems an impossible achievement, however this is what is written in the Bible more or less, so, if we are believers, we should accept that as being true.
The Bible Red Sea crossing
On their way back to the promised land
On their way back to the Promised Land, the Israelite went near Mount Sinai, since Yahweh God wanted Moses to go back to him up there, Moses went again up Mount Sinai, where he met God again and God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, this is how the Mosaic Laws started.
But let us tell the story in a more detailed way, because while Moses was on Mount Sinai waiting for God to give him the Ten Commandments, he had to stay there for a long time, and while he was there the people that had left Egypt to go to the Promised Land started to have different thoughts, some of them wanted a god like the Egyptians had and they made up a golden statue of a bull, this action made Yahweh resentful of this god statue, not because of the statue, because it was only a statue and had no power to do anything, but because he wanted the people of Israel to believe in him, as we can see from the first three commandments that he gave Moses. So, Yahweh God punished them for this event.
Now, this event brings doubts in our minds, therefore, we would like to point out and say this; if the people of Israel had really seen and understood how everything had happened, since they were witness to everything that happened, and the most important and recent one was crossing the Red Sea as if it was dry land; for what reason they wanted this other god? Look they had been freed from slavery, they had crossed the Red See as if it was dry land and they had seen the Pharaoh army drown, what was wrong with them? Or perhaps what was wrong with this story being told one might ask? Because frankly if anyone had seen what we are being told; then anyone that had witnessed those events could not doubt even for a moment Yahweh power. Therefore, there are reasons to believe that somehow something is wrong in this story here, but let us continue our story.
During the time that the Israelites were travelling in the desert to reach the Promised Land, Moses seems to have spoken with God several times, so, from these meetings with God, and also from those happenings that took place during this voyage from Egypt to the Promised Land, Moses and his brother Aaron wrote and laid down the first part of the Mosaic Laws that would guide the Hebrews from there on. During this period Yahweh gave Moses many laws, the Hebrew were divided in tribes and these formed the 12 tribes of Israel, which are the families of the 12 children of Jacob also called Israel; because Israel is the name that Yahweh God wanted Jacob to be called, in a prior event that happened when Jacob was alive, God said to Jacob from now on you are Israel. That is how the name of Israel came about.
For easiness sake we are going to talk about the tribes of Israel hereunder, so that it is easier for the readers to follow, when they are separated thus.
At this point of time we would like to point out to our readers that we are not only writing all this Bible’s things just to tell you what the Bible says, but, we are also writing this to point out to you that most times people do what they have to do according to the times and places they happen to live in. So, we believe that whatever took place in the Sinai desert including the Mosaic Laws; it was something that at that time and place needed to be done the way it was done, in order to control the people better. About God being the main player and telling Moses everything that needed to be done, we are not sure about that, even though the bible tells us that God did.
Therefore, I rather believe that it was more what Moses and his brother Aaron thought that it was necessary to do at that particular time, than what God was instructing them to do, since they were the leaders of the Israelite they had to come up with some answers, we need also to say that whether there was Yahweh God that would be talking to Moses all the time is doubtful, perhaps if talking to God had happened less often than, it could have been possible? Anyhow, we are going to tell you more about this later on, because now we would like to talk about how the Israelite were divided, since this is very important to know, as they are going to form the 12 tribes of Israel; so now, let us talk about the 12 tribes of Israel.
The Israelite religious and history book the Bible
The 12 tribes of Israel
The Israelite was divided in 12 tribes one for each family of the children of Jacob, who was also known as Israel, since God had said that he, was to be called Israel.
The 12 children of Israel were: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Benjamin, Zebulon, Joseph, Dan, Asher, Naphtali, and Gad; these were the names of the 12 children of Israel, at least this is how I have found them written, and each and every one of them had their own family and became one tribe. Thus was Yahweh order through Moses, so that the 12 tribes of Israel were somehow independent of each other and they had to look after themselves so to speak, although they had to follow God’s order that went through Moses and his brother Aaron of the house of Levi.
The Bible says that God spoke with Moses many time saying to Moses, go and tell the house of Jacob that they have to do this and that and many other things. Now through all this talking new laws and ways of living were described to the sons of Israel, this is how the Mosaic Laws were formed in the beginning.
Perhaps the best way to show you what I mean is by quoting a few examples from the Bible:
Quote 1: Leviticus 18;
Yahweh spoke to Moses; he said:
‘Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them:
“I am Yahweh your God. You must not behave as they do in Egypt where once you lived; you must not behave as they do in Canaan where I am taking you. You must not follow their laws. You must follow my customs and keep my laws; by them you must lead your life.” (There is a lot more that was said and I could write it but, I rather not)
Quote 2: Leviticus 19;
Yahweh spoke to Moses; he said:
‘Speak to the whole community of the sons of Israel and say to them:
“Be holy, for I, Yahweh your God, am holy.
Each of you must respect his father and mother.
And you must keep my Sabbaths; I am Yahweh your God.
Do not turn to idols, and cast no gods of metal. I am Yahweh your God.
(There was a lot more that I could write down, but I am stopping my quote here since I was using these two quotes to give examples of what was going on in Leviticus between Moses and God).
As I have already said above God was speaking to Moses so many times in Exodus and Leviticus and even later on, but somehow these talking of God to Moses becomes doubtful, because if these meetings with God had really taken place and they had really happened all the time that it is written in the Bible, then the Israelites would have been more God conscious, but they were not as much as they should have been under those circumstances.
Doubtful possibilities written
In the Bible there are some doubtful possibilities written
There are a lot of good things written in the Bible and one can go on to talk about them for a long time, but there are a few things that don’t seem to add up and this is one of them.
By reading the Bible specially Leviticus it seems that Moses and sometimes his brother Aaron spoke with God lots and lots of times one after the other, as if they were normal happenings. But what I cannot understand and would like to ask here is this: if really Moses was speaking with God these many times as it is said in the Bible, it would follow that the Israelites should have seen or at least known what was going on during these times; therefore, they should have believed and follow whatever commands were given to them without even arguing in any ways, since what was being told was from Yahweh their God, but the story of the Israelite tells us that they had always doubts in their minds.
We are saying this because, every now and then the Israelite seem that they were not sure of themselves, and sometimes they were arguing about the reasons why they were there in the desert living a hard life, as if they had not seen what had happened around them.
What we would like to say here is this.
There may well be some reasons to believe that the Israelite of those days, did not see or hear God otherwise they would have had no doubts at all about God or Moses, and they should have been following blind anything that would be asked of them. For this reason, it might be that all what has been written in the Bible about God talking to Moses so often might not have taken place at all or not as much as they claim. So, everything might have been added later when the Bible was written and re-written many times.
This is one of our views, because we cannot explain it in any other ways and there is a lot more that can be said about these writings that don’t add up, but we leave it as it is for now.
In our next religious article, we will still be talking about the Bible, because the Bible was also the Israelite history book, in those ancient times history and religion were written together, because whatever happened was thought to be religious or partly religious, so, in our next article we will be talking about this.
So, see you in our next hub, The Bible is Hebrew history
May God bless us all?
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