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Posts tagged ‘moses’

God & Balaam’s enchantments!


The exposition from the pulpits of the history of Balaam stops with an equivocally greedy prophet who went with the Moab King Balak to curse the people of Israel, who were on their way to the land of Canaan. But is that all there is to this episode?

Let us get a bit of the flavour of the New Testament on this:

14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. Revelations 2:14

So John in his Revelations says that the Church at Pergamos holds on to a doctrine of enticing people to indulge in activities which would alienate them from their God and thereby remove the protection which God gives his people.

Let us advert to Numbers 22 to see if Balaam advised Balak to entice the Israelites and ensnare them through making them eat food offered to the idols and wiving from the pagans and thereby alienate the Israelites from God?

There is nothing in the Book of Numbers, in fact Balak was so displeased with Balaam that the parting words were:

11 Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honour.

Yet, Balaam doesn’t depart till he foretells the future of the Amalekites, Midianites, and their associates! The contents of Balaam’s foretelling were more a curse than a foretelling. I have to presume that Balak was not around, had he been around Balaam would hardly have been spared, such were his prophecy on those Moabites and their ilk.

The Chapter ends with the curses predicted by Balaam on the Moabites and in the very next chapter we could read the Israelites wiving from the Moabites and eating the food offered to the idols of Baal in a place called Peor, ending in a plague killing 24,000 Israelites.

Did the vision of John, instead of juxtaposing these events, import and attribute the wanton behaviour of some Israelites to the advice by Balaam and make it the causative factor, resulting in the undoing of the Israelites at Peor?

To ascertain facts, it is too late in the day. Either we could believe that it was revealed to John that it was Balaam who advised Balak of this snare and saved his own life, or that John believed that it was Balaam’s idea which made Balak resort to this enticement ploy!

But do we have any clues within the text in Numbers that Balaam could have done this?

I believe that there are enough situations within the Numbers to show that Balaam must have advised Balak to try this ruse of enticing the Israelites and probably saved his life after cursing the Moabites, Amalekites and their ilk..

I believe that Balaam, though had the ears of God of Abraham and Isaac, it was NOT through enchantments that he was able to establish the link twice, but because of the compassion of God, as is evidenced by his third communion with God wherein he ABANDONED his enchantments and lifted up his eyes to the wilderness and called upon God and God answered Balaam.

Let us leave all this and look at it this way!

Did Balaam really have the ears of God? Maybe not.

God, who neither sleeps nor slumbers, wanted to demoralise the Moabites through the very person on whom they reposed their faith – Balaam. Moabites believed that if Balaam were to curse the Israelites, Israelites would be enfeebled! God leads them on through the very Balaam on whom these Moabites trusted and makes him not only bless the Israelites but makes Balaam predict unsavoury future events about the Moabites and their cohorts!

It is like the dream narrated by a soldier to another from the Midianite camp when God made Gideon overhear the interpretation – the result was Gideon gets emboldened and the Midianite soldiers get disheartened. It is that demoralisation which God did here to the Moabites too.

God’s plan was probably to give the Israelites a victory over the Moabites through demoralising them by the very person on whom they believed – Balaam.

God’s ways are inscrutable. God spoke to Balaam just to lead the Moabites to give up fighting and grant a victory to the Israelites without a war.

But in the meanwhile being drawn by the fleshly lusts, the Israelites went and wived from the Moabites and started serving the very Baal who couldn’t save the Moabites from the fear of those very Israelites, who were led by the God thru Moses!

This is an example of God standing by His own peoples when they themselves do not know the machinations of their enemies and are unaware of the impending curse, which though may not work, yet may embolden the enemies to fight valiantly. God removed the backbone of the Moabites to fight the Israelites much before the fear of the Israelites, licking them up as an ox licks grass, could become a reality !

Getting back to the advice, Balaam was perverse and the Angel of the Lord says “because thy ways are perverse!”

God is merciful and allows Balaam to go with the messengers of Balak, as Balaam is partially after the reward that the king Balak would give, probably harbouring in the recesses of his mind that in case the word of the Lord coincided with the intent of Balak, Balaam could benefit!

But the Angel of the Lord is not expected to be merciful. The Angel has some duties and he has to perform it and the Angel knows, or at least thinks that Balaam is PERVERSE and that’s why we see the conflict between God’s allowance and the Rules of God. Angel is the executor, he is guided by the intent of Balaam and not by the enchantments and supplications of Balaam, he knows and he takes action.

I am amazed at the way God protects His people! He allows Balaam to persist with his greedy ways, yet turns the intended curse to a blessing; God has an Angel who shakes up a double minded perverse Balaam, by making the ass talk to Balaam in his presence! During all this the Moab King Balak is exhausting his energy and getting demoralised! The enemies of God’s people have no chance when God Himself gets into the situation and provides protection unknown even to the beneficiaries themselves.

One more important event takes place: there are three places where Balaam is taken to, by Balak the King of Moab, first to Arnon and Baalaam resorts to his enchantments to establish his link with God, God in His infinite Mercy responds, though Balaam believes that God responded because of his enchantments. The next place where Balak takes Balaam is to the top of Mount Pisgah – does it ring a bell? It should because, it was from the summit of Nebo of the Mount Pisgah that Moses was shown the whole land that the Israelites were to inherit as per the covenant of God with Abraham and Isaac- it is in one of those fields in Mount Pisgah, from the fields of Zophim, that Balak shows the Israelites spread out in the plains abutting Moab.
Balaam again resorts to enchantments to establish communion with God. Balaam still believed that his enchantments were the reason for finding favour of establishing that link with God – God still obliges, all because God is interested in His covenant to protect the up till then the law compliant Israelites, even though the Israelites themselves were not aware of the protection that God was providing. To bring in a contemporary image without demeaning the protection of God but to understand how despite our ignorance our protection may be at play, Virus protection against malware when being connected to the internet would be apt. The beneficiary himself would not be aware of the protection, but the Anti Virus is silently doing its job in the background. God’s protection is without any time gaps, SEAMLESS, whether in nanoseconds or eons.

Finally, Balak takes Balaam to the third place Peor and importunes Balaam to curse his enemies – the Israelites. Balaam realises that his enchantments are NOT WORKING and totally abandons his enchantments and looks over the wilderness and GOD DEIGNS to talk to Balaam.

Why did Balaam, only in the third instance understand that his enchantments are to no avail?

Herein lies the mystery. Man’s efforts cannot cross the second barrier.
Recall that the magicians and the Chaldeans of the Pharaoh’s court were NOT ABLE TO REPLICATE THE THIRD PLAGUE? It fails after the second.

The third is the Holy Spirit at play. Balaam realised his limitations and realised that it was NOT his enchantments which made God speak to Balaam, but that it was God’s relentless protection to the Israelites which deigned to respond to Balaam – after all Balaam is also God’s creation. The point is that Balaam abandoning his enchantments before taking his parable for uttering God’s revelation, is the second testimony after the magicians of Pharaoh stating that God cannot be accessed through human effort or human knowledge or through rituals and enchantments. It is in this context that Balaam says: THERE IS NO ENCHANTMENT AGAINST JACOB NEITHER IS THERE ANY DIVINATION AGAINST ISRAEL! A statement made by a person given to enchantment and the practice of black arts.

I wish the preachers in the Pulpits get beyond the apparent and get into the whole narration and provide interpretations for edification and not skirting issues like: When Balaam was a pagan given to enchantments, why did God listen to Balaam every time?

Relief & hardening of the heart.


This is the third plague. Pharaoh was testing Moses on two grounds:

1. Whether what Moses uttered was replicable by his magicians?

2. Was Moses merely taking advantage of the knowledge Moses had about the times of certain events which were to take place, and passed it on as an act which would happen only when it was being WILLED by Moses?

The first two plagues were ordered to be replicated by the Pharaoh’s magicians and they replicated it. The effect was that they further aggravated the misery – just to show the Pharaoh that what Moses did, has nothing to do with the Divine, but possible ‘at will’ by human magicians.

The third plague is the infestation of lice, as in the previous two, the Pharaoh orders his magicians to replicate the infestation, but they couldn’t.

Pharaoh, has doubts, maybe Moses is more skilled in the enchantments of the Chaldeans and magicians, so why concede? After all it could be display of superior skill, which though is not obedient to the Will of the Pharaoh, yet is merely a skill, which could be honed through practice and knowledge. So why attribute the infestation of lice to the Divine?

But with every plague, the Pharaoh was forgetting that his people were suffering more! He didn’t mind it, the Ruler has to rule out that the plague was not a gimmick of a clever charlatan using the name of his God!

Every time Pharaoh reaches the boiling point because of the plague, he calls for Moses and obtains Relief. After every Relief, the Pharaoh’s heart hardens.

What is that HARDENING OF THE HEART?

To come to a reasoned conclusion that the difficult situation was not a target aimed at oneself but a random unpleasant event which happened and one was unfortunately caught therein – is the primary thought of all hardening!

Christians, including me are not alien to such reasoning, in our own little spheres the impact may not be national, as in the case of the Pharaoh, but to believe that the Pharaoh was wicked and that we are better human beings, is a fallacy we weave unto ourselves and stay smug.

We do not believe that we were the target of the plague, based on a faulty logic that since my neighbour and whole lot of others have also been subjected to the same plight. We believe that we were merely caught up with the rest and the event had to happen anyway! This is how we succumb through reasoning leading to the HARDENING of OUR HEARTS.

One of the biggest reasons for HARDENING OUR HEARTS is to look if others are also inflicted with as much misery as we are? And if we find that others are also entangled in the same misery, we harden our hearts and like the Pharaoh invite upon ourselves a worse plague than the previous one!

Let us have the humility to discern and concede, where we enjoy the fruits of free labour and efforts of other human beings without adequately compensating them for their efforts. Most importantly, let not RELIEF take us back to our fallible reasoning.

Hurting the religious sentiments of others.


Blasphemy by a Poetess – Lucille

The above is a poem by Lucille Clifton, once poet laureate of the State of Maryland in the USA.
The poem is drawing its imagery from the Rod of Moses, which was cast by him before the Pharaoh which turned into a serpent. Another imagery deployed in the poem is also from the life of Moses, when he saw the burning bush, out of which Jehovah spoke to Moses during his stay with his Midianite Father-in-law Jethro.
I would fain explain the contents of the poem were it not to lead to an inescapable conclusion that I relish smut. Consequently, I refrain from expatiating the contents thereof. However, I’d like to furnish the title of the poem, “To A Dark Moses”. That this poem has been written by a “poetess” gives greater credence to the intensity and meaning of the iconic imagery around which this short poem is woven.
If this poem were to have been penned by a male poet, the question would be on authenticity and a natural question: How would he know?, unless he were a Tiresias with a distinct memory of both his existences!

In any case, taking a Biblical imagery and revered characters out of the Bible and portraying it in matters relating to carnal matters in a kind of this poem would in no way have ingratiated herself to the Christian community which would have bothered to read it.
But it is also a point that since she was a Poet Laureate, this poem must have been scrutinised by the puritans of his time. Probably, it was their ilk which prevented her from winning the Pulitzer Prize, though having been a finalist twice.
In India, we are a touchy lot. When our icons are drawn to furnish parallels on carnal matters, there is a serious risk of the poet running not only ‘offending the religious sentiments of fellowmen and fellow women, but may even trigger riots and reprisals of the worst kind.
I am sure that in the US no such things happened, as poets like Ginsberg, EE Cummings, Plath, Bob Dylan had already liberated free expression from the thorny sensitivities of the Christian folks, by then.
I had serendipitously fallen on the Judgement of a Madras High Court Justice by name Seshasayee, recently, wherein the Hon’ble Justice had averred that there was no need of any legislation laying down ‘reasonable restrictions’ in terms of Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India, by the Legislature or the Executive, but that it was the ‘Duty’ of every citizen to respect the sentiments of his fellow citizens. The Hon’ble Justice goes on to state that when a citizen demands a ‘Right’, he has to also observe the ‘Duty’ cast on him as they are jurisprudentially correlatives.
My understanding of Hohfeld is that when I have a Right, then the Jural correlative would be a Duty on the other and not on the person who has a Right.
Secondly, when the State is infringing in my justiciable Rights, how far would the argument be correct that I have to be Duty bound by the nebulous sensitivities of all humans in India who could be affected by my freedom of speech and expression?
The Fundamental Duties in Article 51A of the Constitution is worded as a positive command and non justiciable, consequently enforceability would be lacking.
May be the judgement is a good step towards building harmony by making those persons who provide a platform for others to conduct programs, responsible; however, how could the police take action based on an assurance given to the police and other civic authorities on behalf of a person who has been guaranteed Fundamental Rights Himself?
Seems we are poised for interesting times with the elections round the corner.

Slavery in Christianity!


Deuteronomy Ch.23, verses 15 & 16

Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee:

He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.

This is the commandment given by God the father through Moses. Moses had been overruled by Jesus on many such laws and in proof thereof please read Matt: 25 and 26, wherein Jesus says, “…. but I say unto you…” and amended the Mosaic law with DIVINE authority. However, Jesus does not make any statement about SLAVES overruling the Mosaic law relating to escapee slaves . 

Paul has an opinion on anything and everything. Having an opinion is not as bad as having scripted his opinion and such scripted having been found worthy by the compilers of the New Testament to be included in the New Testament. Further, Paul’s opinions were addressed to members, of the fledgling faith of Christianity, who were not rooted in the Judaic tradition. So when he wrote to the new members in Ephesus, he wrote for the edification of those members who were surrounded by a different spiritual ethos. Even when King Solomon, after having surrounded himself with Sidonian, Egyptian, Hittite women, succumbed to their gods and goddesses like Ashtoreth, Milcom, Baal etc. So Ephesians were in a different milieu and when Paul says at Ehesians 6:5-  Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ, he is not recommending SLAVERY, he is merely telling the slaves not to worry about their present plight but “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” of Christian salvation and hope! Is such attitude tenable in Christianity? I am certain that Christianity never did nor would have ever recommended SLAVERY.

Let me first re-quote the Mosaic law: 

Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee:

He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.

1600 years (at least) before Paul had ordained himself an Apostle, Moses had written the above law as having been ordained by God the Father. So, Judaism is very clear on THREE things:

IT IS NOT THE DUTY OF THE PERSON TO WHOM THE SLAVE HAS TAKEN REFUGE, TO DELIVER THE FORMER SLAVE TO HIS ERSTWHILE MASTER.

IN FACT, THE LAW RESTRAINS AND PROHIBITS THE PERSON WITH WHOM THE ESCAPEE SLAVE HAS TAKEN REFUGE  FROM CAPTURING AND SURRENDERING HIM TO HIS ERSTWHILE MASTER.

FURTHER, THE MOSAIC LAW SAYS THAT THE PERSON WITH WHOM THE ESCAPEE HAD TAKEN REFUGE SHALL PROVIDE HIM A PLACE OF THE ESCAPEE’S CHOICE AND THE PEOPLE OF THAT AREA SHALL NOT OPPRESS HIM.

THAT WAS THE LAW! AND THIS LAW HAD NOT BEEN AMENDED BY JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF CHRISTIAN FAITH.

But Paul was given to much PRESCRIPTIVE CHRISTIANITY, a malaise from which he suffered when he was a Pharisee and later when he altered into a Pharisaical Christian. In any case, none of Paul’s letters show him to be a meek man (Moses was the meekest man Number 12:3), given to boasting but claiming that he wasn’t and in fact that he shouldn’t be! Another instance where SLAVERY finds a reference in Paul’s letter is at Colossians  at 3:22, however, the KJV states as “servants” and hence I am disinclined to accept the other versions, where instead of the word servant ‘slave’ has been used. Paul  was more than kind to Onesimus in recommending him to Philemon, however,  true to his sophistry and chicanery tells Philemon that Paul would pay Onesimus’ debts with a superb piece of verbal calisthenics thus :I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. (Philemon v. 19). Why will Paul pay, if Philemon owes his very self to Paul?  

So   why did Jesus use Paul? The answer is in Mark 9:39.

 John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.”39 But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40 “For he who is not against us is for us.…

Paul did what none did or could have done immediately after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. His was to spread the Gospel, he was the greatest CHRISTIAN EVANGELIST, who used letters and speech to turn people into Christians, rather than turn others into Christians by being a model through his own life! 

 Therefore his office was over and in legal parlance, his evangelism is FUNCTUS OFFICIO and to follow his prescriptive Christianity only helps the Pentecostals to build a brand of Christianity which emphasizes on tithes (revenue model for Pentecostal churches), preparatory Eucharist (denying administration of Eucharist if the priest feels that the communicant is unworthy, and thereby exercise authority!) and Exclusivity! 

 I hope Christians would abandon Paulian Christianity and return to Jesus and read the Gospels of John and Matthew, without allowing themselves to be tainted by such PRESCRIPTIVE CHRISTIANITY!

To come back to the topic, Christianity is the REPEALED version of the Mosaic law, where no amendments were made, or Moses’ provisions were not abrogated, the old is to be blended with Jesus’ statements. In the light of such an assertion, Christianity always gave LIBERTY to flee from SLAVERY and cast a duty on others to accommodate a runaway and provide opportunity for pursuit of happiness through FREEDOM. 

So this leads to the next question as to whether, the slave owner has any RIGHT to own a slave and does that IMPOSE any DUTY on others, excluding the slave so owned? Yes, there was a RIGHT  in-personam between the owner and the slave, it was not the slave owner’s right in-rem, where the whole society was to respect the ownership of the master!

 Further, there are different categories of slaves mentioned in the Bible viz. those who have been abducted/kidnapped and sold as slaves;  those Jews who had fallen into debts and have sold themselves as slaves being unable to repay their debts; Jewish slaves who have renounced their freedom and bound themselves with their masters, and non-Jews taken captive and freely traded.

If one were to go by Paul’s recommendation of attitude of the slaves in EPHESIANS, we freeze history to the Roman institution of slavery. But the instructions in the BIBLE, being an eternal book, cannot be limited to a set milieu or political order or even time. Joseph was sold by his brothers before Moses gave the commandment in Deuteronomy, therefore, merely because there was no law can we say that slavery was RIGHT? No, it was permitted by default, because the evil nature of man wanted to subjugate fellow humans and extract labour or other compliance from those fellowmen and women!

When THE BIBLE gives the LIBERTY to a slave to run away and the slave owner denied  any protection through other persons, how can one assume that slavery was a matter of RIGHT? A RIGHT is NO RIGHT, if it does not cast a DUTY on others. In fact the Mosaic law casts a duty on the person, to whom the erstwhile slave takes refuge, to provide him space and liberty. 

It gained the status of a RIGHT only under the ROMAN law, and since Paul was a Roman (which he invoked whenever it suited him!), he had preposterously made the Roman law the benchmark for advising salves to obey their masters as if they were obeying Christ! This verse in THE BIBLE cannot be taken to support SLAVERY in THE BIBLE. Even Kevin Rudd, fell a victim to such Paulian prescription which has unfortunately been embedded in the BIBLE. 

Christianity is the religion of LIBERTY and FREEDOM, let us not choose passages to support our evil  inclination, but be humble and read the Gospels of John and Matthew (simply because, a first hand recounting of Jesus’ life and teachings ought to be more reliable than hear say narration!) and LIBERATE ourselves from such self-demeaning practices. 

LIBERTY OF ACTION.


When Moses, the Jew, discovered that he was not born to the Pharaoh’s sister but to a Jewess called Joshebeth, he had to decide. Decide whether he was to stay at the palace of the Pharaoh on grounds of charity and continuity, or to assume the responsibility of his recently discovered pedigree, and exit to toil with the Jews- who had by then for all practical purposes have become slaves.

HISTORY DOES NOT REPEAT ITSELF, BUT THE PATTERNS THAT HISTORICAL FACTS OFFER, REAPPEAR WITH A DIFFERENT SET OF FACTS.

Let me exemplify this from the set of historical facts, from the life of MOSES, which have contributed to the growth of the LABOUR UNIONS.

Continuing with the IDEA of Moses, he decided to identify himself with the Jews who had by then slipped into slavery. From Pharaoh’s son he had plummeted to being a slave. Now like the case of Arion (http://www.classicreader.com/book/2823/27/), who mounted the dancing Dolphins in the mid-sea, Moses went back to his family of Joshebeth, Aaron, Miriam etc.. But what could Moses do without the position and the recognition and the Authority that he enjoyed earlier? NOTHING. Absolutely NOTHING. He even gets angry with an Egyptian for ill-treating a Jew, and kills him. So he escapes when Moses gets to know that the fact of his killing had got around. Lands up in Midian and becomes the Son-in-law of Jethro, by marrying Zipphora.

Now at the age of 80 he writes PSALM 90 where he says that a man’s life span is three score and ten or four score. Moses had reached the end of his time. In all likelihood Moses believed in it. But like Dylan Thomas he is not willing to go down gentle into that night without a fight (http://www.welshwales.co.uk/dylan.htm#gentle). Moses makes a last ditch attempt and God appears in a bush of fire.

Moses meets Pharaoh and asks him to relieve the Jews of the bondage and allow them to worship the God of their fathers in the wilderness.

MOSES FIRST WEANS THE SLAVES AWAY FROM THEIR TASKMASTERS. THAT IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS BRINGING THEM CLOSE TO GOD. HUMAN BEINGS ARE IN THIS WORLD NEITHER TO SERVE OTHER HUMAN BEINGS NOR TO SPEND THEIR LIVES SOLELY TO FEED THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES.

It is this REALIZATION that brings LIBERATION.

Therefore the Jews were made to realize that true LIBERTY is achieved only when they possess their own lands and build their own cities and own their own livestock and worship unhindered their own GOD. They cannot get growth through SURROGACY of building the Pyramids for Pharaohs and making the Pharaohs a rich and powerful dynasty.

Moses weans them away and leaves the Pharaoh with a kingdom without the WORKFORCE.

The maintenance of the cities, the cultivating and loading of the granaries with food grains and being mercenaries in the armies of the Pharaoh all took a beating. All the organizing that was done by JOSEPH, the son of JACOB, was DISMANTLED 480 years later by MOSES. The Pharaoh had been deprived of the workforce, that merely lived on fleshpots and shacks to stay.

From the facts of the life of MOSES, it is not inappropriate to draw the conclusion that Moses was the first TRADE UNION LEADER. But the difference in fact was that he obtained for Jews their Liberty and not better wages and compensation.

The interesting part was that as long as he had the WORKFORCE under him, when he was still Pharaoh’s sister’s son, Moses never thought of their Liberty. It was only after he had reached the time limit of 80 years ( as per Psalm 90), that he took his chance at integrating the Jews with the LIBERTY concept.

NECESSITY, AFTER ALL IS THE MOTHER OF ALL INVENTIONS!

MOSES & THE MOUNTAINS!


Moses, the DELIVERER of the Jews from their bondage in Egypt, had a special relationship with the mountains. Moses according to his own confession was the MEEKEST man on the face of the earth, while he was still alive. If one were to go by the Hollywood flick, TEN COMMANDMENTS, it would seem as if he was the underdog with a mission not only to resist the cruel treatment meted out to the Jews, but also to get them the liberty.

But underlying the portrayal,if  one could place oneself in his shoes and imagine, it was all about a man who was raised as a prince in Pharaoh’s palace, & lost his position either due to a discovery of a fact and a consequent choice or to the palace intrigue of Ramses. The discovery was that he did not have the royal blood coursing thru his veins, but was an offspring of a Jew! A dim prospect for a man with that lineage in those times, in Egypt.

Many discoveries of parentage had led to great Tragedies.

Like in the case of Oedipus (king of Thebes). He killed (although inadvertently) his father and married his mother Jocasta. The oracle had decreed that the plague in the land was a consequence of the taboo committed. Oedipus was not able to wash away the guilt  thru his penance or any other means, and the end is truly tragic as it unfolds  man’s helplessness in the light of a discovery, that could not have been imagined when the deeds were committed.

Oedipus is laden with PATRICIDE & INCEST. Both ABSOLUTE SINS, one for not knowing one’s father and yet killing him unknowingly, and the other for having sexual relationship with one’s own lineal ascendant- also unknowingly. The forms in which both the acts were committed were LEGAL. Oedipus’ father was killed in a fight with him and Oedipus got married to Jocasta, as she was the prize for having aided in destroying the Sphinx which was troubling the Thebans. The  TRUTH could have lain hidden and  the plague  regressed, but  his imagined non-involvement in the DEATH OF LAIUS (Oedipus’ real father and husband of Jocasta) emboldens him to search out, even against the opinion of TIRESIAS. But his arrogance led him to the discovery, without recourse.

But in the case of Moses, it was not any of those ABSOLUTE SINS, but a MISTAKEN PEDIGREE! The storyline is the reverse of KARNA in the Mahabharata. Karna (Karan, to the Sanskritized) was thought of to be from the hoi polloi, whereas Moses was imagined to be from the Royal stock. Moses’ discovery leads to his abandoning the comforts of the Pharaoh’s palace and consequently takes him to the ghettos of the Jews.

IT IS FROM THIS POINT THAT THE REVOLUTION WITHIN MOSES STARTS. The conflict was WHETHER TO RECONCILE WITH HIS PEDIGREE & TO ACQUIESCE IN THOSE REALITIES OF SQUALOR, SLAVERY, WHIPLASHES, TOIL & IGNOMINY or TO TAKE UP CUDGELS AGAINST THE SYSTEM THAT TREATED MAN IN SUCH BRUTISH WAYS?

Karna’s conflict was that he had the skill fit to be a king, but without the pedigree to rise there. He could at best be a WARRIOR but never a CONQUEROR. The skills that he had in him was pushing him higher, but his supposed humble origins – like gravity- was pulling him down.

To clarify in Christian terms, the distinction between a WARRIOR & a CONQUEROR is the difference between JOAB and DAVID. Joab, the commander of the Israeli army during King David’s reign, used to subjugate the enemies with the strength of his sword, but when the City was to be taken, David used to be called for, by the same Joab and the city gates were flung open for the CONQUEROR KING to make his TRIUMPHAL ENTRY. A warrior has to DO IT HIMSELF EVERYTIME, but for a CONQUEROR things were DONE FOR HIM IN HIS NAME. History RECOGNIZES the CONQUERORS but the warriors are mere footnotes. A KING is mostly a WARRIOR, but a WARRIOR need not become a KING.

Moses’ conflict had to be resolved. But how can it be?

In the movie TEN COMMANDMENTS, Moses’ wife tells the Queen U LOST MOSES WHEN HE WENT LOOKING FOR HIS GOD, AND I LOST HIM WHEN HE FOUND HIS GOD! (one sane inference that could be drawn is that, God and Woman are not simultaneously compatible!), but the pertinent point is that MOSES DISCOVERED GOD. His first tryst with God was in the Mountains of Sinai (Horeb).

IT WAS ALWAYS IN THE MOUNTAINS THAT MOSES MET JEHOVAH. Moses met his maker also in the Mount Nebo.

I am left wondering, as to why God had to meet Moses in the MOUNT and not in the plains.

The Psalmist says I WILL LIFT UP MINE EYES UNTO THE HILLS FROM WHENCE COMETH MY HELP. (Ps.121).

Is it because that the AIR is RARER and the PRESSURE is DOWN that the mortals start hallucinating better there?,

Or is it because of the geographical elevation that a person’s perception is raised above the occupants of the valleys and plains?

Or is it truly that God’s attention is drawn quicker on the hilltop that the mortals made it a habit to get to the mountain top?

The answer is not certain and whether the question was right at all, is a bigger question!

In any case, the resolution for Moses came from the discovery of his God. A God who believed in what Moses himself believed in, but couldn’t do anything about. He saw that the burden of slavery was so heavy, that thoughts of LIBERTY, FREEDOM & HAPPINESS did not dawn in those embittered hearts, worn down thru slavery and bondage.

It isI here that he invents ways of explaining the GOD, he had discovered. The God who names himself as “I AM WHO I AM“. This God I AM shakes the Pharoah and the Jews alike, from their logic and understanding of their EXTERNALIZED OMNIPOTENT GOD.

This wordings used bu Moses, to define God, brought God to Man. Since the time he was chased out of the garden of Eden, it is for the first time that the first person pronoun  “I” was used to SIGNIFY GOD. The space of “I”, was made DIVINE and men were given a foretaste of the possibility of God becoming Man and also residing in MEN. This definition of God, marks the beginning of the end, to the Externalization and outer experience with God. Even though this tradition continued in the Jewish history. NOW MAN HAD TO MAKE WAY FOR GOD IN HIS “I” CONSCIOUSNESS. The nameless desert God straight made an ENTRY into the JEWISH hearts, through that definition of Moses.

A QUANTUM SPIRITUALISM DAWNED!

MOUNTAINS WERE NO MORE NEEDED TO MEET GOD, ONE HAD TO LOOK WITHIN AND EXPERIENCE GOD.

HOW TRUE, I AM WHAT I AM.

moses


Moses realized in all his 40 years in the doghouse

that merely because the Maker was silent on the ill treatment of a fellow human, it did not give him a right to kill a man;

that mating with sisters was an abomination;

that making a brassen serpent was an exception to the commandment of making any graven image;

that marrying an Ethiopian was another exception to the rule of marrying within the jewry!

Rules are truly made by the superiors for the inferiors to follow!

The best is that the superiors are not bound by their own rules- just like the House of Lords!

Worse still is that he was able to get God’s help to bring about sanctions on the rebels like Miriam, Korah etc.

Joshua and Caleb, backed the winning horse, they both loved life and foresaw that they could take over at the departure of Moses. The Judahite (Caleb was from this tribe) gets his hill, and the Josephite (Joshua was from one of the two tribes of Joseph) gets to lead– which means he gets to set the rebellious boys against the external enemies and deflect their ire from getting focussed on to him.

Patience with perseverence truly pays.

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