Here Charitable Individualism is the key!… nothing less.

Archive for December, 2020

Ahasuerus, the Democrat!


Yes i am talking of the same Ahasuerus, the Emperor of the Perses and the Medes, referred to in the Book of Esther in the Old Testament of the Bible.

I have been in the habit of reading the Bible for a very long time, but this verse cast a thunderbolt. It is the from the New King James’ Version (NKJV).

But before i excerpt from the NKJV, let me excerpt from the KJV (1611):

Esther 1: 22

For he sent letters into all the kings prouinces, into euery prouince, according to the writing thereof, and to euery people after their language, that euery man should beare rule in his owne house, and that it should be published according to the language of euerie people.

Into modern English it would read:

22 For he sent letters into all the king’s provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every people.

The meaning is very simple, there was only one Decree that was made by Emperor Ahaseurus that EVERY MAN SHOULD BEAR RULE IN HIS OWN HOUSE.

This was a decree passed after the Seven Wise men, who were in charge of the 127 provinces under Ahasuerus’ empire, were consulted by the Emperor and decreed, as the slights by wives on their husbands would engender ‘contempt & wrath’. The quoted version states that this decree should be published in the language of every people. That’s the doctrine of intelligible Notice.

I had read this passage many times and I’d even written a blog on one of those Wise Men named Memucan.

Curiosity sometimes leads one to strange versions of the Bible. There are so many versions that some of those translations, intended for use by certain ethnic groups, are positively abominable. Maybe those are versions like our meaningless nursery rhymes – where an intelligent kid may keep wondering throughout his primary school as to where to find Humpty Dumpty’s wife and kids!

Here is the excerpt of the same verse Esther 1:22 as per NKJV:

Here the decree consists of two portions:

1. Law declaring Man to be the master of his own house; &

2. That Man shall speak in the language of his own people.

The background of all this is that EmperorAhasuerus had a vast Empire consisting of various ethnic, linguistic and variegated cultural groups, but was ruled by a Persian. He could have declared and enforced the language of the Perses & Medes, probably Persian, as the only language through which official communications could be made to the Government in Sushan, otherwise their pleas would not be entertained. It would have been easy for Ahaseurus to unify the whole Empire, on the premise that Language was a unifying factor and as he himself was a Persian, propagating the Persian language could have been taken up on ideological grounds too. Yet he made a declaration which i think is laudable and Emperor Ahaseurus seems to have understood the pulse of the people, the cultural settings of each of the peoples of his Empire and their aspirations as well!

The Second Decree was:

“…..That Man shall speak in the language of his own people.”

What could be the meaning of ‘language of his own people’? I suppose the meaning would probably be that, not only that Man shall bear rule in his own house, but the language of the Man of the house should be the language of that family. A marriage brings two people together and they could be from different linguistic backgrounds, it would not be the choice of the couple to decide as to which language could be chosen as the language of the family, but the language of the linguistic group from which the Man comes from SHALL BE THE LANGUAGE OF THE FAMILY.

I think this was a decision very much ahead of Emperor Ahasuers’ Times. Paul, the Evangelist, has a logic that as woman was deceived by the Serpent, she should serve Man!

I Timothy 2

11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

If we succumb to this logic, then being deceived puts a person in a humbler position than being in transgression caused by the weakness for one’s spouse and disobeying the Commandment of God. Well there is the seniority of Adam, which could have carried the argument, but the second line of reasoning seems utterly dubious.

The following were the reasons given by God in Genesis 3:

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

There was nothing said by God as to the reasons for inflicting the punishment on Women because of Eve’s transgression, much less the attribution of her having been deceived!

Seems as if the Christian doctrine, built on the Pauline epistles are falling apart, and socially the importance, efficiency and contribution of women have surely shaken the belief in these Pauline prescriptions. But at the same time, the society’s building blocks being FAMILIES, there has to be an established procedure for ascribing the linguistic lot that a family belonged to, in the eyes of the society and government at large, without getting into the peculiar arrangements of linguistic preferences arrived at by each family internally.

That Ahasuerus was able to think about it four to five centuries before the birth of Christ, only proved the point that our forebears were no fools and that there is safety in the number of advisors one has, especially a Ruler. Further, those advisors should be able to impress upon the Ruler that it is not HOMOGENEITY WHICH MAKES PEOPLE HAPPY, but when there is no governmental interference in certain matters – especially in linguistic matters, people would be happier and more productive. The preferences should be left to the ethnic lot from which that family head hails.

As regards the version NKJV is concerned, i am sure that the errors which had crept into the earlier translations, because of the limited availability of sources in the early 17th Century, are getting rectified.

We as readers of the religious texts should not be bound by earlier versions, instead, if the later versions cite reliable sources and is based on verified research, it should be reconciled with our existing beliefs – which is built anyway on the unshakable foundation laid by Jesus- and accepted. After all i believe that if we are going to be judged, we would be judged only by what was made available and which sounded reasonable to our ears!

Trouble


Idle plectrum

Waiting to strum.

But the fingers Pluck

On their own,

Besides holding the plectrum

They produce a lasting twang.

But whether it is a strum or a Pluck,

The chords

Held by the other hand

Gives harmony.

Gideon’s Justification!


So the Law of the land of Israel was suffering under Dyarchy.

A system where the local Israeli Government was in charge of paying the Indemnity Amount to the Midianite Overlords, on a regular basis, and that local government was held accountable by the Midianite Overlords, rather a Superior body, which unofficially or even formally ‘advised’ the Israeli Government.

All this happened in those seven years prior to when we find Gideon, who in the cover of darkness, in his own lands was threshing wheat, the produce of his own fields, full of apprehension in his heart that if the Overlords knew it, they would have him decimated. If the ‘agents’ of the Midianites were to catch him engaging in production of wheat, in his own land, out of his own labour, based on his own Capital, even those agents, like Joseph Caiaphas, would, to appease the Midianite Overlords, catch him and hang him!

It is in this scenario that Gideon was threshing wheat in his own fields, with his own efforts, employing his own skills, using his own capital.

This effort was, over and above his share of the effort required of Gideon to pay the taxes appropriated by the Puppet Israeli Government, set up with the consent of the Midianites, to defray the cost incurred towards payment of the indemnity. No progressive work could have been undertaken in the land of Israel. All the resources were getting diverted to the Midianites. The roads that were to be maintained in Israel were getting maintained in the land of the Midianites; the houses which were to be built in the land of the Israelites were getting built in the land of the Midianites, the vineyards that were to be planted in Israel were getting planted in the lands of the Midianites; the smithies which were to be forging weapons were built and fully functioning in the land of the Midianites; and the Midianites were NOT PAYING FOR IT. It was from the indemnity appropriated from Israel, that all the development in the land of Midian was happening !

This lasted for seven long years.

It takes that long for man to realise that not only his labour is being appropriated, but also the OUTPUT OF HIS LIBERTY is being appropriated.

Let me clarify this point further. Jacob went to the land of his mother Rebecca and met her brother Laban. Many things happened, Laban offers his daughter Rachel to Jacob and Laban strikes a deal with Jacob and obtained the labour of Jacob for seven years. But what Jacob did was more than his duty of one third of the day, tending to the sheep of Laban. The sheep was that of Laban’s, that’s the Capital; labour was that of Jacob’s; and the Lands were that which were the grazing fields not owned by any particular person but held in common. Jacob’s contribution was not limited to his Duty, but he tended to the sheep, in such a manner that he put in extra effort not only to get the brindled or spotted ones or the plain ones, but ensured that the numbers of the whole flock went up. This is evidenced, when Laban said that God had blessed Laban because of Jacob. Laban’s idea of blessing was limited to the increase of his flock. Laban’s sons were living in the cushion of ENTITLEMENT, they were the owners of the flock. They neither understood that the numbers of sheep was multiplying – not merely because it was there, but that someone was tending to it and hoping that the flock grew in numbers, by feeding them appropriately, ensuring that the ewes gave birth in time, the rams were in the right proportion to the ewes, bartering the rams for ewes, protecting them etc. Jacob’s only wages was the share promised by Laban. Jacob’s Liberty was also focused on the growth of his father-in-law; Jacob’s Liberty was paying for the good-life of his jealous brothers-in-law!

When Laban changed the wages of Jacob many times, Laban’s change was based on the count of the sheep. It was nothing but skimming out the rewards of the Liberty of Jacob.

Another example is, what the Pharaoh did to the Israelites in the land of Egypt. The Jews in Egypt were doing their job of producing the tale of bricks but the necessary straw was provided by another section. When Moses met Pharaoh and demanded that his people be allowed to go to the wilderness, to offer sacrifice to Jehovah, the Pharaoh attacked the Liberty of the enslaved Jews. Till then, the Pharaoh was extracting labour, but after the demand of Moses, the Pharaoh went after the Liberty of the enslaved Jews. The Pharaoh told the Jews that straw would not be supplied and the enslaved Jews themselves had to gather the straw but the tale of bricks determined earlier shall not diminish and be delivered to the Pharaoh’s overseers. The only way this could be met is by taking up the leisure time of the enslaved Jews.

I have been using the word “ENSLAVED”, for the simple reason that it is no more to be considered a person’s fault to have been a slave, because another human being, with temporal power and the laws made thereby; is, was and had never been designed for one human being to enslave another. And if someone had approved of it at any time, either in history or at present or in future, can never be considered a HUMANIST. If a human being could bring himself to degrade another human being, made in the image of God, he is not a believer in God. He is a brute who wants to deny the Liberty of another human being, and appropriate his labour and skills by force! Period.

What is appropriation of another man’s labour and skills? If fair wages is not paid, then that is appropriation of the man’s labour. If his skills or his leisure hours are not paid for, as per his determined rates, then that is appropriation of another man’s LIBERTY.

Enslaving is inhuman, being enslaved is not necessarily an individual’s choice and mostly it is a byproduct of oppression inflicted to extract labour by the empowered, and sustained through an impersonalised system designed to enslave other human beings on one ideology or the other.

In such a disenfranchised state, deprived of their revenues, deprived of their Liberty, the Israelites were languishing under the permanent yoke of the Midianites and the recurring forays of the same Overlords, pillaging them from time to time.

In these circumstances, arises the courage of a man and the man was Gideon. He may not be rescuing a people who had been in bondage for for centuries like Moses, but within the same generation, in the last seven years, his people had been enslaved and had degenerated to such an extent that an altar of Baal had been erected by Gideon’s father Joash, in his own land for public worship. The Midianites had not only deprived the Israelites of their Life & Liberty, but had forced their gods like Baal on the Israelites.

When my God is MADE TO REPLACE YOUR GOD, the subjugation is complete. Because, my god’s priests would become the eventual arbiters of not only what is right and wrong, but even what is a fact and what is not!

Thus the Israelites had been subdued by the overwhelming power of the Midianites, Amalekites and the children of the East.

Gideon firstly REBELS in his mind.

Secondly, he FLOUTS their Rules.

Thirdly, Gideon PRODUCES in the dark.

Thereafter, he gets the ASSURANCE FROM GOD.

Fifthly, he SACRIFICES.

Sixthly, Gideon erects his own God and destroys the altar of Baal, and finally

Gideon informs his sub-tribe, his tribe Manasseh, other three tribes of Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali of his plans to fight the Midianites and the children of the East.

With all these happenings, Gideon attains victory. A victory so great that even the tribe of Ephraim joins the plunder towards the end and Gideon becomes the Judge of Israel.

Was Gideon justified in threshing against the Midianite Rules, supported by a quisling government of Israel?

Yes, when it is your own land, labour and capital, if an outsider for any reason steals your Liberty, it is time to assert your individuality.

Gideon did and his rebellion was sanctified by God.

MIDIANITES & AMALEKITES


When Midianites exercised suzerainty over the Israelites, one of their constant programmes was to deprive the Israelites from harvesting the UNREPORTED produce of their own land.

This was not a burden imposed by the Midianites on Israelites, it was a ceiling on their Liberty!

When Israelites were under the vassalage of Midianites they had to pay an amount of farm produce as INDEMNITY. That indemnity was determined by the Revenues collected, by the Israeli Authorities, when they were a Sovereign nation.

So after Midianites had defeated the Israelites, probably in a war or a series of battles, it would do no good to the Midianites if they destroyed all the crop, fruit bearing trees, timber, livestock, wineries, oil extractors etc., and the Midianites would have gained nothing through their victory! Therefore, the Midianites first impose EXACTING TAXES, so that 90% of the revenues of Israel, recorded in the previous years, is appropriated as INDEMNITY.

But if the people have the Liberty to work harder, for example, would end up cultivating more lands, putting in more hours of effort in their carpentry factories, smithies, wineries, fields, orchards, etc., and there would be an increase in income in the hands of the INDIVIDUAL ISRAELITES!

If individual Israelites ended up with more reserves, the Nation Israel, though had to part with 90% of the Revenues as the indemnity payable to the Midianites, would end up having a population with more disposable income in their hands – which could turn out to be a threat to the Midianites in the long run.

So what did Gideon do? Gideon paid his exacting taxes, for ultimately settling the indemnity amounts imposed by Midianites on Israel. But over and above that, Gideon was using his free hours to thresh the wheat and corn he had raised in his own land- to supplement to his personal income.

The Midianites could not revise their INDEMNITY amount (which had been fixed at some point of time in the past), but to keep the Israelites in poverty, the only way was to pillage and destroy the crops of the Israelites, so that the fruits of the Liberty of the Israelites, is made unprofitable for them. In any case, the Midianites would not gain anything out of the produce of the Liberty of the individual, therefore keep the total produce just enough for the Israelites to pay their obligations under the Indemnity.

Judges Chapter 6 says this:

when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them;

4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.

That’s what a Midianite does, he can neither toil to increase his own income, nor would he allow the Liberty of others to increase their income through their own efforts. Further, in their pillaging they get the help of another breed called Amalekites. They are brethren in idleness, supercilious, lacking in effort but diligent in skimming the efforts of others. Even in their skimming, they ensure that the extra efforts of the Israelites are not beneficial for the Israelites, hence they pillage and keep the Israelites impoverished.

So the overlords of Israelites, at that point of time were the Midianites.

Today’s world does not lack in Midianites either – their trait is very easy to identify:

1. Their own sustenance is out of the efforts of others; and

2. They control the means of production, so that surplus does NOT stay in the hands of those who toil.

Now let us come to the Amalekites. Who is an Amalekite in the Bible?

Exodus 17:

Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.

10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

12 But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

This is the first encounter with the Amalekites, wherein Joshua fought the battle, while the Levitic force of Moses & Aaron, had to stay up and hold up Moses’ hand for Joshua to win the battle.

To fight an Amalekite, one has to have not only the physical might but has to have the spiritual backing too. Not for nothing that some of the historical writings depict Amalekites as sorcerers‼️ Further, the Amalekites were the descendants of Esau, a person who was intended to be blessed by his father Isaac, but denied that by the machinations of Esau’s mother Rebecca. An Amalekite is one who was to be favoured by the father but denied the benefit by his mother. Not only Esau was denied, but his younger brother, Jacob, sneakily received the blessings preserved by his father for his brother Esau. The culmination was that when Esau begged his father for blessings, Isaac’s blessing was that HE SHALL SERVE HIS YOUNGER BROTHER!

So an Amalekite is reduced to a dependent force, though physically superior.

In the context of this blog, an Amalekite plays the supportive role to Midianites.

Further from the Bible, it could be seen that it was an Amalekite, who not only dared to kill the dying King Saul, but claimed that he was the person who decimated a moribund Saul, and brings the crown to King David, hoping for a reward for a work for which he was not fully responsible! An Amalekite is therefore, one who has the physical strength but very less foresight and sells his birthright for an immediate reward. A man who would perennially fail the marshmallow test!

So the fit was perfect:

The Midianites subjugated and lay down the rules to keep the Israelites impoverished; and the Amalekite is a mercenary for reward, in the spoils of somebody’s war!

These were the traits that Gideon was up against.

It is not that Gideon alone was against those types, even we are against these types which appear as a combination.

So what do we do?

Be like Gideon – get the assurance not only from the angel, but from God himself as well as from the enemy camp. But in the meanwhile, thresh your wheat by the winepress in your own backyard, away from the sight of the Midianites and the Amalekites. God, in due time would not only make our efforts prosper but also call us MIGHTY MAN OF VALOUR.

But it is for is to identify the traits of the Midianites and be discreet in our efforts.

Tag Cloud