First mention of a solution against death 7 Human sacrifice

In the previous articles about the solution for man and offerings, we talked about the way human beings looked for ways to restore their relationship with God and how they wanted to please God with offerings.

The first human beings had the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, symbolizing potentialities or possibilities that God has made available to Man, who is free to choose and explore as much as he pleases, even to separate himself from God, like the Prodigal Son from his Father.

Man had made his choice and had to leave the Garden of Eden, trying to build up a decent life. Though now he had to work hard for everything and was aware he had disgusted or displeased God. First there was only the Most High Divine Creator of all things Who was above Adam and Eve and above all other living creatures, the plants and animals. There was no hierarchy.

Hierarchy (from the Greek ἱεραρχία hierarchia, “rule of a high priest”, from ἱεράρχης hierarkhes, “leader of sacred rites”); ranking of objects into grades, orders, or classes of increasing dominance or inclusiveness + specific type of social organization in which members are divided by status or especially authority – people on a “ladder”

The first story were we saw human beings ‘fighting’ for a place or rang order is the one of Cain and Abel. Slowly hierarchy entered the human system. From simple hunter-gatherer tribes to complex, modern industrial societies we can find a hierarchy which is loved by people. Some scholars argue that gender played a central role in the formation and functioning of stratification systems. They showed that women’s exclusion from social life placed them in an inferior position, resulting in lessened life chances and status. While women’s standing in social and economic life has improved over the past half-century, women are still restricted by gender roles and patriarchy. Rich literatures examine the impact of family structure, occupational segregation, devaluation of women’s work, and sex-based pay gaps.

We also can see that the colour of skin, the place of origin, became important to place people on a step of the ladder. One’s racial and ethnic background or ethnicity, also greatly came to influence one’s life chances. When not belonging to the troop it could well be that people saw the person suitable to be used as an offer to the gods.

Human life was looked at as something very special and was considered by many as the most valuable material for sacrifice. The killing of a human being, or the substitution of an animal in place of a person, has often been part of an attempt to effect communion with a god and participation in his divine life.

We may find two primary types of human sacrifice: the offering of a human being to a god and the entombment or slaughter of servants or slaves intended to accompany the deceased into the afterlife. The latter practice was more common.

The realisation of human sacrifice to the promotion of the earth’s fertility may explain why the phenomenon has been most widely adopted by agricultural rather than by hunting or pastoral peoples.

The region where the Austronesian languages are spoken spans over 200 degrees of longitude from Madagascar to Easter Island

In a study published in Nature1, Joseph Watts, a specialist in cultural evolution at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and his colleagues have analysed 93 traditional cultures in Austronesia (the region that loosely embraces the many small and island states in the Pacific and Indonesia) as they were before they were influenced by colonization and major world religions (generally in the late 19th and early 20th centuries).  {On Human Sacrifice (Article Nature)}

By mapping the evolutionary relationships between cultures, the team suggests that human sacrifice and social hierarchy co-evolved. Although societies can become more or less stratified over time, societies that practised sacrifice were less apt to revert to milder degrees of stratification.

Clearly there were different ways to look at the sacrificial bodies. They could be seen as something very special and very worthy but also as something they did not want in their community and found good enough to give to the gods. More than animal sacrifice human sacrifice helped to stabilize hierarchy, and conceivably, therefore, had a common role in the development of highly stratified societies that generally persist even today. Instead of killing the one in power a substitute was taken to receive for some time divine status and then was put to death. Sacral kings (considered to  embody gods of vegetation) were sacrificed when their vigour declined, in order to prevent reciprocal effects on soil fertility. In various places in Africa, where human sacrifice was connected with ancestor worship or veneration of the dead, some of the slaves of the deceased were buried with him, or they were killed and laid beneath him in his grave.

Aztec cosmogram in the pre-Hispanic Codex Fejérváry-Mayer—the fire god Xiuhtecuhtli is in the centre

There were also places were people thought the elements of nature, like the moon and the sun, needed human nourishment, which led to sacrifices in which thousands of victims perished annually in their rituals, like by the Aztecs. The Incas confined such wholesale sacrifices to the accession of a ruler.There were instances of human sacrifice in Peru and among tribes of North American Indians.

All human societies have been shaped by religion, leading psychologists to wonder how it arose, and whether particular forms of belief have affected other aspects of evolved social structure. According to one recent view, for example, belief in a “big God” — an all-powerful, punitive deity who sits in moral judgement on our actions — has been instrumental in bringing about social and political complexity in human cultures.

The network of small and island states stretching from Madagascar to Easter Island  — challenges that theory. In these states, a more general belief in supernatural punishment did tend to precede political complexity, the research finds, but belief in supreme deities emerged after complex cultures have already formed 2.

Joseph Watts, a specialist in cultural evolution at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, who worked on the study, wanted evidence to examine the idea that “big Gods” drive and sustain the evolution of big societies. Psychologist Ara Norenzayan at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, has suggested that belief in moralizing high gods (MHGs) enabled societies to outgrow their limited ability to police moral conduct, by threatening freeloaders with retribution even if no-one else noticed their transgressions3, 4.

Watts says

“Austronesian cultures offer an ideal sample to test theories about the evolution of religions in pre-modern societies, because they were mostly isolated from modern world religions, and their indigenous supernatural beliefs and practices were well documented.”

The believers in moralizing high gods (MHGs) got in their system some people who got control by aligning themselves with those supreme deities and then making lists of things people could and could not do. We can imagine their way of getting more power by making the people afraid with ideas of suffering or torture (in the underground or hell) and by the possibility to become a target of offering. For centuries certain religious organisation or churches made their followers afraid of doomplaces and told them that they could buy themselves free from those torture chambers by giving money to their church. People could buy indulgences.

The granting of indulgences was predicated on two beliefs. First, in the sacrament of penance it did not suffice to have the guilt (culpa) of sin forgiven through absolution alone; one also needed to undergo temporal punishment (poena, from p[o]enitentia, “penance”) because one had offended Almighty God. Second, indulgences rested on belief in purgatory, a place in the next life where one could continue to cancel the accumulated debt of one’s sins, another Western medieval conception not shared by Eastern Orthodoxy or other Eastern Christian churches not recognizing the primacy of the pope. {Indulgence –
Roman Catholicism, encyclopaedia Britannica}

A Catholic bishop granting plenary indulgences for the public during times of calamity. Note the almsgiving in the background. Wall Fresco by Italian Artist Lorenzo Lotto, Suardi, Italy, circa 1524.

Certain faithgroups or churches wanted their believers to believe that offerings could reduce the the debt of forgiveness of sin. The offers could exist out of many gifts but also by the performance of good works in their life (pilgrimages, charitable acts, and the like) and if their offerings were not yet sufficient they would get a lesser penalty after they died, by temporarily suffering in purgatory instead of eternal suffering in hell. Indulgences could be granted only by popes or, to a lesser extent, archbishops and bishops as ways of helping ordinary people measure and amortize their remaining debt.

In different cultures an other way was less bloody, having the sacrifice taking place by going under water. Whilst in Mexico young maidens were drowned in sacred wells, others found it sufficient to have an immersion. As such we can find Celtic rituals. Whilst the burning of children occurred in Assyrian and Canaanite religions and at various times among the Israelites, it became a custom by the Israelites to be cleared of sins by immersion to enter a new life. John the Baptist as such came to immerse his cousin Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who was the long awaited Messiah. About 40 days after Jesus’ birth, his parents had brought the customary sin offering permitted in the case of the poor,

“a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” (Luke 2:24; Leviticus 12:6-8)

The offerings and human sacrifice legitimises political authority and social class systems, functioning to stabilize social stratification. It was also an ideal way to get rid of unwanted people or to take care that those who stood in the way could disappear from the scene.

In this way the Nazarene Jeshua an annoying person and possible peril for the security and peace in the Roman empire and in the Jewish community. Though it was not thought him to be an offer, several thought it better to give him away to be killed instead of the vigilant or robber Barabbas. Pilate knew that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests and elders wanted Jesus out of the way, i.e. being killed.

“Give us Barabbas!”, from The Bible and its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons, 1910

The man being called to be crucified did not have his roots in the right soil because nobody thought anything good could come out of Nazareth. (John 1:46; 7:41, 52) Although he was a perfect man and a descendant of King David, his humble circumstances did not impart to him any “stately form” or “splendour” — at least not in the eyes of those who were expecting the Messiah to come from a more impressive background.
Spurred on by the Jewish religious leaders, many were led to overlook and even despise him. In the end the crowds saw nothing desirable in the perfect Son of God.

Matthew 27:11-26 NHEBME  (11)  Now Yeshua stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Yeshua said to him, “So you say.”  (12)  When he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.  (13)  Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?”  (14)  He gave him no answer, not even one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.  (15)  Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the multitude one prisoner, whom they desired.  (16)  They had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.  (17)  When therefore they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Yeshua, who is called the Messiah?”  (18)  For he knew that because of envy they had delivered him up.  (19)  While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.”  (20)  Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes to ask for Barabbas, and destroy Yeshua.  (21)  But the governor answered them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!”  (22)  Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do to Yeshua, who is called the Messiah?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!”  (23)  But he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the louder, saying, “Let him be crucified!”  (24)  So when Pilate saw that nothing was being gained, but rather that a disturbance was starting, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this man. You see to it.”  (25)  All the people answered, “May his blood be on us, and on our children!”  (26)  Then he released to them Barabbas, but Yeshua he flogged and delivered to be crucified.

In the time before Jeshua the ancient temple courtyard was the altar for offering sacrifices. This foreshadowed God’s provision, according to His will, for a perfect human sacrifice to ransom the offspring of Adam. (Heb 10:1-10; 13:10-12; Ps 40:6-8)

This man, born in Bethlehem, at his immersion was proclaimed by God Himself to be the “Only begotten beloved son of God“. Nobody had managed to fully do the will of God neither could have brought a perfect sacrificial body in front of the Most Divine God. This time that man managed to put aside his will and managed to keep all the time to God’s Will. He was the living proof that man, if he wanted, could keep to God’s Commandments. Still to today there are religious groups in Christendom who want others to believe no man would ever be capable to keep God’s commandments, and therefore Jesus would have to be God himself. This idea makes of God a very cruel God Who imposed Laws to man which He knew they would never be able to keep. But God is a God of love and order Who does not asks more of people than they can endure or do. That what God asks of mankind Jesus managed to fulfil and by doing God’s Will all the time, not going against the Will of God, he was not at any time an opposer or adversary of God.  Jesus him being a perfect human being made the sacrifice of his life acceptable in the eyes of God to be the best ransom that could be paid for making an end to the curse of death.

God even expanded the gift of Christ to mankind by declaring all those who have faith in Christ’s sacrifice, righteous on the basis of their faith. By believing in Jesus Christ and following his teachings, when they after their immersion try to keep to the commandments of God,  they are viewed by God as sinless while in the flesh.

Romans 3:20-26 NHEBME  Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin.  (21)  But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the Law and the Prophets;  (22)  even the righteousness of God through faith in Yeshua the Messiah to all those who believe. For there is no distinction,  (23)  for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;  (24)  being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Messiah Yeshua;  (25)  whom God set forth to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance;  (26)  to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Yeshua.

Romans 5:1-2 NHEBME  Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah;  (2)  through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Differently than in other religions where every time a new sacrifice is needed, the blood of Christ is for ever and makes that no other sacrifices have to be made.

Romans 5:9-10 NHEBME  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him.  (10)  For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we will be saved by his life.

Romans 8:1-7 NHEBME  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Messiah Yeshua.  (2)  For the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua made you free from the law of sin and of death.  (3)  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh;  (4)  that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  (5)  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  (6)  For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace;  (7)  because the mind of the flesh is hostile towards God; for it is not subject to God’s law, neither indeed can it be.

 

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References:

  1. Watts, J., Sheehan, O., Atkinson, Q. D., Bulbulia, J. & Gray, R. D. Nature http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature17159 (2016).
  2. Watts, J. et al. Proc. R. Soc. B 282, 20142556 (2015).
  3. Norenzayan, A. Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict (Princeton Univ. Press, 2013).
  4. Norenzayan, A. & Shariff, A. F. Science 322, 5862 (2008).

Please find also to read:

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Preceding articles:

Gone astray, away from God

Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3

Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4

Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day

Necessity of a revelation of creation 5 Getting understanding by Word of God 3

Creation of the earth and man #6 Of the Sabbath day #4 Mosaic codes, Sabbaths and Sunday

Creation of the earth and man #17 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #1 In the image and after the likeness

First mention of a solution against death 1 To divine, serpent, opposition, satan and adversary

First mention of a solution against death 2 Harm or no harm and naked truth

First mention of a solution against death 3 Tempter Satan and man’s problems

First mention of a solution against death 4 A seed for mankind

First mention of a solution against death 5 Evil its law of death

First mention of a solution against death 6 Authority given to the send one from God coming out of the woman

Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #2

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Additional reading

  1. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  2. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  3. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty God
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  5. Counterfeit Gospels
  6. Disobedient man and God’s promises
  7. Redemption #2 Biblical solution
  8. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  9. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  10. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  11. Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil
  12. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  13. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  14. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  15. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  16. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
  17. Bad things no punishment from God
  18. Thought for the third day of the Omer
  19. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  20. Wishing to do the will of God
  21. Worship and worshipping
  22. Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress
  23. Be an Encourager
  24. Expenses, costs – Onkosten, uitgaven
  25. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  26. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  27. Purify my heart
  28. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  29. A concrete picture of what is to come in the future
  30. Phoenicians sacrificed infants
  31. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  32. Self-preservation is the highest law of nature

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Further reading

  1. Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Cultures
  2. The Ceremony of the Goddess of Knowledge in Bali
  3. River Ganges ‘The Offering’
  4. Bali Religious Ceremonies to Invoke the Safety, Gratitude and Protection of God
  5. Human Sacrifice In The Ancient Mysteries, Paganism, Druidism and Satan The Founder of
  6. King Killers of Ancient Ireland
  7. Human Sacrifice, Ancient Gods and Lady Fern
  8. Bible 2016: 13 June Daily Bible Reading
  9. II Kings 23
  10. A Reflection of the Heart
  11. Ark First, Altar Next
  12. Numbers 7
  13. Leviticus 4; The Sin Offering
  14. Leviticus 6:14-23; The Priests Grain Offering
  15. Parasha Naso (an accounting of)
  16. A Story of Two Fathers and Two Sons
  17. Showdown
  18. A Living sacrifice before God
  19. Giving All
  20. Jesus as an Offering
  21. Ascended, offered life
  22. His Witness
  23. Is it important to tithe?
  24. Please God
  25. Hoping God is Pleased, While Knowing He Is Not
  26. Who Are You Trying to Please?
  27. The need to please!
  28. Man of Faith
  29. Regaining Soulfulness
  30. Pray to Receive Forgiveness (Repost)
  31. God or Man Pleasers
  32. Suffering Is Not For Nothing
  33. Trusting God’s Promise
  34. Kingdom Economy
  35. Relationship, Better than Choice
  36. When All You Have Is Enough
  37. Is the Bible fact or fiction? Yes!
  38. Empty Oaths or Missing the Real God
  39. Are there two Gods in the Bible?
  40. Two Gods and Two Countries
  41. Watchtower Study June 5, 2016—Being Faithful Leads to God’s Approval
  42. An Offering Prayer
  43. Did Jesus believe in sacrifice?
  44. Bible 2016: 13 June Daily Bible Reading
  45. The Vedic rituals, their innovative nature and contribution to the early knowledge
  46. Vayikra: Offering
  47. Animal Sacrifice, Leviticus, and Penal Substitution
  48. Despite naysayers, archaeologists assert thesis about child sacrifice in ancient #Carthage
  49. It’s not just ancient Roman propaganda: Carthaginians really did sacrifice children
  50. Ancient Greek stories of ritual child sacrifice are true, study claims
  51. Carthaginians sacrificed own children, archaeologists say
  52. Bakra Eid – A Religious Ritual or Calories to Waste?
  53. Irfiction: Payback
  54. Holi Mubarak*
  55. When my mother was a Voodoo priestess, animal sacrifices and my broken heart
  56. A Mosque, Some Mosaics, and a Whole Lot of Raw Meat: the streets of Istanbul
  57. Sacrificing in the city
  58. Anthropology Friday: Animal Souls
  59. The Politics of Sacrifice
  60. Ode to Eternal Justice
  61. বলি কি সত্যি দরকার ?

Creation of the earth and man #3 Of the Sabbath day #1 the Seventh day

Of the Sabbath day

On the seventh day, which was neither longer nor shorter than the days which preceded it, “God ended his work which he had made”; and because of this notable event, “he blessed and sanctified it”.

A day is blessed, because of what is or will be imparted to those who are commanded to observe it. The sanctification of the day implies the setting of it apart that it might be kept in some way different from other days. The manner of its original observance may be inferred from the law concerning it when it was enjoined upon the Israelites. To them it was said,

“Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy”.

If it be asked, how was it to be kept holy? the answer is,

“in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor any one or thing belonging to thee”;

and the reason for this total abstinence from work is referred to the Lord’s own example in that “he rested the seventh day”. The nature of its observance in the ages and generations, and the recompense thereof, is well expressed in the words of Isaiah:

— “If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” {Isaiah 58:13, 14.}

"Der Samstug (Sabbath)", Frederich C...
“Der Samstug (Sabbath)”, Frederich Campe, 1800: German Jews, wearing baretta hats, gather outside a synagogue on Sabbath. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this passage, the conditions are stated upon which faithful Israelites might inherit the blessing typified by the rest of the seventh day. They were joyfully to devote themselves to the way of the Lord. They were not simply to abstain from work, yawning and grumbling over the tediousness of the day, and wishing it were gone, that they might return to their ordinary course of life; but they were to esteem it as a delightful, holy, and honourable day. Their pleasure was to consist in doing what the Lord required, and in talking of “the exceeding great and precious promises” He had made. To do this was “not speaking their own words”, but the Lord’s words. Such an observance as this, however, of the sabbath day, implies a faithful mind and a gracious disposition as the result of knowing the truth.

Neither antediluvian nor postdiluvian could “call the sabbath a delight” who was either ignorant or faithless of the import of the promise,

“thou shalt delight thyself in the Lord, and ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed with the heritage of Jacob”.

Representation of Sabbat gatherings from the c...
Representation of Sabbat gatherings from the chronicles of Johann Jakob Wick. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A man who simply looked at the seventh day as a sabbath in which he was interdicted from pleasures, and conversation agreeable to him, and from the money-making pursuits in which he delighted, would regard the day more as a weekly punishment, than as joyous and honourable. Though he might mechanically abstain from work, he did not keep it so as to be entitled to the blessing which belonged to the observance of the day of the Lord. It was irksome to him, because, being faithless, he perceived no reward in keeping it; and

“without faith it is impossible to please God”.

The reward to antediluvian and postdiluvian patriarchs and Israelites, for a faithful observance, or commemoration of Jehovah’s rest from His creation-work, was

“delight in the Lord, riding upon the high places of the earth, and feeding with the heritage of Jacob”.

This was neither more nor less than a promise of inheriting the Kingdom of God, which is a summary of “the things hoped for and the things unseen”, or the subject matter of the faith that pleases God. When that kingdom is established, all who are accounted worthy of it will “delight or joy in the Lord”; and occupy “the high places of the earth”, ruling over the nations as His associate kings and priests; and share in the “new heavens and earth,” in which dwells righteousness, when Jerusalem shall be made a rejoicing, and her people Israel a joy. The knowledge and belief of these things was the powerful and transforming motive which caused Abel, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, etc. to “call the sabbath a delight, holy of the Lord, and honourable”; and to observe it as the sons of Belial cannot possibly do. But while this was the motive, even faith, which actuated the sons of God in their keeping holy the seventh day, Jehovah did not permit the faithless to transgress or desecrate it with impunity. We know not what penalty, if any, was attached to its violation before the flood; but its desecration under the Mosaic constitution was attended with signal and summary vengeance, as will appear from the following testimonies:—

1. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore: for it is holy unto you. Every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done, but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord; whosoever doeth any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” { Exodus 31:12–17.}
2. “Remember (O Israel), that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm; therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.” {Deut. 5:15.}
3. “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day mere shall be to you a holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations on the sabbath day.” { Exodus 35:2, 3.}
4. “And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses.” { Numb. 15:32–36.}
5. “Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem: neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.… And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, to do no work therein: then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and upon horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever. And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt-offerings, and sacrifices, and meat-offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the temple of the Lord. But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then I will kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” {Jer. 17:21–27.}
6. “Abide ye every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.” {Exodus 16:29, 30.}

From these testimonies it is clear that it was unlawful for servants in the families of Israel to light fires, cook dinners, harness horses, drive out families to the synagogues, or priests to the temple to officiate in the service of the Lord. The visiting of families on the sabbath day, the taking of excursions for health or for preaching, and conversing about worldly, or family, or any kind of secular affairs, was also illegal, and punishable with death. The law, it will be observed also, had regard to the seventh, and to no other day of the week. It was lawful to do all these things on the first or eighth day (some particular ones, however, excepted), but not on the seventh. On this day, however, it was “lawful to do good”; but then, this good was not arbitrary. Neither the priests nor the people were the judges of the good or evil, but the law only which defined it.

“On the sabbath days the priests in the temple profaned the sabbath, and were blameless”; {Matt. 12:5.}

for the law enjoined them to offer “two lambs of the first year, without spot, as the burnt-offering of every sabbath”. { Num. 28:9–10.} This was a profanation of the seventh-day law, which prohibited “any work” from being done; and had not God commanded it, they would have been “guilty of death”. It was upon this ground that Jesus was “guiltless”; for he did the work of God on that day in healing the sick as the Father had commanded him.

“The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: therefore”,

said Jesus,

“the Son of Man is Lord also of the sabbath Day ”. {Mark 2:27.}

It was a wise and beneficent institution. It prevented the Israelites from wearing out themselves and their dependents by incessant toil; and revived in them a weekly remembrance of the law and promises of God. It was, however, only “a Shadow of things to come”, the substance of which is found in the things which pertain to the Anointed One of God.  (Col. 2:14, 16–17)

14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Let No One Disqualify You
16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. {The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Kol 2:14–19). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.}

It was a part of “the rudiments of the world” inscribed on

“the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us”,

and which the Lord Jesus “took out of the way, nailing it to his cross”. When he lay entombed he rested from his labours, abiding in his place all the seventh day. Having ended his work, he arose on the eighth day, “and was refreshed”. The shadowy sabbath disappeared before the brightness of the rising of the sun of righteousness; who, having become the accursed of the law. delivered his brethren from its sentence upon all.

– Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 13–17). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Preceding: Creation of the earth and man #2 Evil Angels and moments of creation

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Additional reading:

  1. Truth, doubt or blindness
  2. Observance of a day to Remember
  3. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  5. Written to recognise the Promised One
  6. The Right One to follow and to worship
  7. Sabbath according to the scriptures

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Necessity of a revelation of creation 5 Getting understanding by Word of God 3

Genealogy of mankind

In the first 11 chapters of the book Genesis we can find a survey of the world before Patriarch Abraham. From chapter 12  until 50 we get more a focus on one main family line in considerable detail. In the world there have been many creation myths written down, in contrast to the patriarchal stories, however, those ancient nonbiblical stories do not in any way challenge the authority or the inspiration of Genesis. In fact, the nonbiblical stories stand in sharp contrast to the biblical account, and thus help readers appreciate the unique nature and character of the biblical accounts of creation and the flood. In other ancient literary traditions, creation is a great struggle often involving conflict between the gods who themselves also got created or came into existence by certain forces of nature.

Through these stories the people of the ancient world learned their traditions about the gods they worshipped and the way of life that people should follow. Babylonian versions of creation and flood stories were designed to show that Babylon was the centre of the religious universe and that its civilization was the highest achieved by mankind.

With the words that accompanied the followers of God it could be seen that though many would love to worship the sun and moon or natural phenomena, they had to hear that such ideas are non-constructive delusions, ignoring that there is Only One True God, Divine Creator of heaven and earth, Whose Word is Almighty and incorruptible.

The man called the mannin, who he got as a partner of wife “Eve“, because she was the mother of all living. Because the man had become like one of the heavenly creatures in knowing good and evil God drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:20-24). When God had cast out Adam and Eve and they got children His words accompanied them and got them to know if they pleased the Elohim Hashem Jehovah or not.

The First Mourning
The First Mourning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first son of Adam and Eve (Cain) became a murderer after he came to know that Abel’s offering was more liked by God than his. Though God stayed with him and placed a sign for his protection so that he would not be killed by others. Though we can see how it went from bad to worse. Adam and Eve got again a son which they called Seth and when this son got a son, Enosh, which means ‘to call upon the name of God’ or, ‘call themselves by the name of the Lord’, the people started worshipping Jehovah, the God and later God declared the offspring to be His people.

Gen 4:25-26 NSB  Adam had intercourse with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth. She said: »God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.«  (26)  Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on (proclaim) the name of Jehovah.

Deu 26:17-18 NSB  »You declared Jehovah to be your God today. You said you would walk in his ways and keep his statutes, his commandments and his ordinances, and listen to his voice.  (18)  »Jehovah declared you to be his people and a treasured possession. Obey his commandments and receive his promise.

In the 5th chapter of Genesis we are given the genealogy of the People of God up to the sons of Noah, when the earth was not any more the paradise form the first days. Whereas 5:1–32 is largely a genealogy that traces a single line of descendants from Adam to Noah, naming only one person in each generation, 6:1–8 provides a worldwide picture of increasing human wickedness. The contrast between these two elements is not simply between the particular and the universal but, more importantly, between righteousness and evil.

In the 5th chapter we see that the usual pattern of the genealogy (vv. 1–32) is altered with the substitution of the expression ‘Enoch walked with God’ but tells us also that Enoch was taken by God, he disappearing from the earth after having walked with God for 365 years in total  (Genesis 5:22–24).

Gen 5:24 NSB  Enoch walked with God. Then he was no more, because God took (moved) him away.

In this passage, and in certain other contexts in Genesis (e.g., 3:8; 6:9; 17:1; 24:40; 48:15), the Hebrew verb for “walked” is a distinctive form that conveys the sense of an ongoing intimacy with God. Remarkably, because of this special relationship, the words of God Enoch do not speak of dying in this instance, which we also can find by Elijah who went up to heaven in a windstorm. (2 Kings 2:1–12). The narrator’s desire to highlight this fact may explain why the present genealogy, unlike the one in Genesis11:10–26, regularly mentions that “So and so died.”

Finding the name “Noah” (Hb. noakh) in god’s Word may be also of particular reason. Strictly speaking it means “rest” (Hb. nuakh). After some turbelent years, having people going further away from God, ignoring His Word, we do find the concept of “comfort” (Hb. nakham“Out of the ground that the Elohim has cursed, having one to “bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” Lamech expecting that Noah will bring both rest and comfort from the painful toil of working the soil (see 3:17–19).

Gen 5:28-32 NSB  When Lamech had lived one hundred and eighty-two years, he had a son.  (29)  He named him Noah. He said: »He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground Jehovah has cursed.«  (30)  After Noah was born, Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years and had other sons and daughters.  (31)  Lamech lived a total of seven hundred seventy-seven years, and then he died.  (32)  After Noah was five hundred years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

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Preceding articles:

Necessity of a revelation of creation 1 Works of God and works of man

Necessity of a revelation of creation 2 Organisation of a system of things

Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1

Necessity of a revelation of creation 4 Getting understanding by Word of God 2

Next: Necessity of a revelation of creation 6 Getting understanding by Word of God 4

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  • Old Earth creationists and other conservative Christians denying any evolution (christadelphianworld.blogspot.com)
    When we looked at North America the last ten years we could see that very conservative Christians gained terrain and could blown up the whole evolution thing in a ridiculous way.
  • The Lost World of Adam and Eve (christianitytoday.com)
    In recent years, John Walton, professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, has been both lauded and criticized for his interpretation of Genesis 1–2. In his 2009 landmark book, The Lost World of Genesis One (InterVarsity Press), he argued that to rightly understand Genesis 1—an ancient document—we need to read it within the context of the ancient world. Read alongside other ancient texts, he says, Genesis 1 is not about how God made the world, but about God assigning functions to every aspect of it. In 2013, Walton contributed a chapter in Four Views on the Historical Adam (Zondervan). There he argued that Adam was a historical person, but also that Adam’s primary function in Scripture is to represent all of humanity. For Walton, Genesis 1–2 is not concerned about human material origins, but rather about our God-given function and purpose: to be in relationship with God and work alongside him, as his image bearers, in bringing continued order to our world.
  • The Lost World of Adam and Eve ~ curated by Charles Kannal (UTS’96) (utsalumni.org)
    Throughout history, theologians responded to the challenges of their day. Today we have different issues on the table. So it’s no surprise that I talk about things they didn’t address. Even though my exegetical conclusions are different from what many people have heard, I’m not calling into question any basic doctrines. I’m still essentially conservative theologically, and I’m firmly evangelical in my approach. I want to maintain and articulate the authority of Scripture.
  • Biblical Tree of Knowledge (debatepolitics.com)
    God had already decided to make man in His image Before He created Adam. Therefore, the morality of God had been bestowed in man before they ate from the tree.
  • Great abyss upon the waters of creation (postdelugestudio.wordpress.com)
    When God created the heavens and the Earth, it was made in his own image, or likeness.  Basically transferring all of its glory and manipulative energy into it’s own spiritually inanimate clone.  Giving it’s own form of birth, continuing on in the reaffirmation of it’s own existence through these acts of creation.  However, by the time it came around to the creation of our universe, it’s own consciousness had grown weary, and old.  And it became a slumbering giant,  who by the sweep of a hand created the universe, only managed to trap itself within the realms of its own unconscious, the infernal dimensions, and its own vast dream world.  It became a world between worlds, a spiritual halfway house, where souls would pass through into a realm of destruction, or make it back out of this dark labyrinth, reactivated with the Holy Spirit.  Within the waters of God’s own creation, it came to manifest itself as a bringer of the dawn, the black, primordial soup of matter, that would become the natural world.  A form of consciousness which only known to distinguish itself as apart from God,  from it’s very conception
  • Found in the Falling (thebeggarsbakery.net)
    Adam and Eve wasted no time falling away from God in the Garden of Eden, when everything was pristine and perfect. We fall away in good times and in bad.
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    What kind of God rewards the art of collapsing…the majesty of falling? The kind who made us in His own likeness. The kind whose love for us manifested in the death and resurrection of perfection, so that we could serve in the highest priesthood.
  • Nicholas Asks About Adam And Eve (kathleenbasi.com)
    No one had ever really addressed the possibility that Adam and Eve were not historical figures but representations. When my teacher (I don’t remember now if he was a TA or a professor) started tossing the word “myth” around in regard to the creation story, I had my first practice at the Mama Bear-claws-out defensive stance, thirteen years before I ever became a mama. The only meaning of the world “myth” I had ever heard was the one that meant “not true.”
  • I Think I Know Lot’s Wife’s Name (dianerivers.me)
    Lot, the nephew of Old Testament patriarch Abraham, lived in a rotten neighborhood. In fact, the entire city, as well as the one next door, was so wicked, God ordered they both be destroyed, as a warning to future generations of His disdain for unrepentant sin. To this day, even the names of the cities – Sodom and Gomorrah – have come to epitomize evil and wickedness.
  • Vayikra: Cows, sheep, goats and God (anitasilvert.wordpress.com)
    Vayikra – And God called. And so begins a lot of instructions about killing and offering up a lot of animals for all sorts of reasons, all with the purpose of getting closer to God (“korbanot”, the word for offering, comes from the word “karov” – get close to).

    Placing the rules and regulations of offering animals within the context of an “am kadosh”, a holy people, beholden to God, asks us to take on the mindset of a wholly different society than the one in which we live today. But as with all Torah, there are lessons to be learned, even if the simple reading seems foreign and disturbing. One example is examining the actual animals identified for offering in this parasha.

  • CTP Bible Study Class – Genesis 4 – 5 (unsettledchristianity.com)
    The first jealousy. The first anger. The first murder. The third baby boy.

    As you can imagine, there exists several millennia of commentary on these chapters. This is a summary of some Jewish commentary. Here is a singler, modern, source. This is from the Book of Jubilees.