Building of the Tabernacle and Ark of Covenant 1491 B.C. & Most Absurd and Unforgivable Things the Catholic Church Has Ever Done

You and Moses were both mad, he had 3,000 men killed and broke the stone tables.  But it’s obvious You’re a good friend to Moses.  Are You going to do anything to the Israelites or what?

The Law of Love
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)
It’s been said that the Beatitudes pronounced by Jesus and found in the fifth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel are the “new commandments.” If that is so, are we to disregard God’s Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai?

First of all, what Jesus has to say in today’s Gospel follows upon the pronouncement of The Beatitudes and the similes of salt, and light; Jesus tells his listeners that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Then Jesus tells his listeners that he has not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill the Law. To a practicing Jew at the time of Jesus, those are strong words. Every Jew who abides by the Law is regarded as righteous; righteous meaning religiously accomplished; an abider of the Law and proud of it; ceremonially pure; one who ‘knew it all’ in terms of religion. So, it was not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. But what does that mean??

I think that what Jesus is saying is that the Beatitudes are not new laws but rather taking the Law given on Mount Sinai and giving it new color; a deeper hue. The Law was interpreted by the religious authorities and it was a literal and narrow interpretation.
For example, the fifth commandment is ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ Certainly that is important. But what Jesus is saying is to take that to the next level: honor (respect) those who hold legitimate authority; honor (respect) the ‘little people’- the meek; honor (respect) those who mourn their own losses – their own sinfulness and who show genuine compassion to others who are mourning. He doesn’t advocate chucking the fourth commandment, he advocates expanding it – to include more than just our parents.

Looked at in this way, The Beatitudes and The Ten Commandments take on a new and deeper meaning. It’s not just me and God. Rather, it is me and YOU and God. Jesus has repeatedly held up the Law of Love – love of God and love of neighbor.
In some ways that sounds so simple, but we certainly know that it is not. Who of us doesn’t need improvement in this area?? Surely, our culture does not always uphold this ideal. Even our Church can sometimes fall short of the mark.
Our reading concludes with Jesus saying that whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. As I see it, that’s a pretty compelling reason for living the Ten Commandments and The Beatitudes.

And so, as we strive to observe, teach and live the Ten Commandments, The Beatitudes and The Law of Love, let us pray for the grace we need to do so and let us pray for forgiveness when we fall short of the mark.
…. Brother Gus Parlavechio, C.P.

Moses got all the people together and laid down the law and the Ten Commandments (Ex 35:1-35).

It was now time to build the Tabernacle and Ark of Covenant so God gave Bezaleel , Aholiab and other people the wisdom and understanding on how to do the work (Ex 36-39-41).

“According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work. 

And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the LORD had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them” (Ex 39:42-43).

“When all the work, was done…the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation” (Ex 40:1-2).

“Thus did Moses: according to all that the LORD commanded him, so did he.  And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month that the tabernacle was reared up” (Ex 40:16-17).

“And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate.  So Moses finished the work.

Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 

And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:

But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. 

For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys” (Ex 40:33-38).

14 of the Most Absurd and Unforgivable Things the Catholic Church Has Ever Done 

It’s hard out here for a pope. See, when it comes to religious history, the list of Catholic Church transgressions makes for pretty uncomfortable reading. Despite exalting virtue and kindness in its teaching, Church leadership has spearheaded a long history of outright unforgivable Catholic actions.

You might remember some of these improprieties from school – the Inquisition, Joan of Arc, and the trial of Galileo should all ring a bell. But not everything here is medieval. Though Vatican violence goes way back, there are a number of disturbing episodes from recent history. Some of this repugnant behavior comes from Popes, some was Church-endorsed, and some, most unsettlingly, was just straight-up regular Church practice.

Dark Church history contains scandal after scandal rife with every vice and taboo you can imagine. When the Church was at the height of its power (at which point it was the most powerful organization in the Western world), it’s safe to say everything went to its head. Combine that with the fact that Church leaders seem to stubbornly resist adapting to changing morality and you’ve got a whole lot of unforgivable moments on our hands.

Systemically Covering Up Tens of Thousands of Child Abuse and Rape Cases

Photo: Louis-Joseph Mondhare/Public Domain

Remember the time there was a systematic cover up of child abuse, molestation, and rape at the hands of priests that went all the way to the top of the Church? A conservative estimate says there were 17,200 victims in the US alone, and this abuse happened world-wide. When complaints came in, priests and other abusers were transferred, rather than punished. The extent of the abuse will probably never be fully understood, because of the decades of cover up.

But the Church isn’t denying it anymore. The archdiocese of Milwaukee acknowledged the severity of the abuse and agreed to pay a $21 million settlement to 300 victims. But these types of settlements are few and far between. Luckily, Pope Francis has set up a tribunal to hold the bishops who facilitated the cover up to account. Child rape is still happening at the hands of priests, 15 years after the Boston Globe broke the story.

In fact, in August 2018, a grand jury reported that internal documents from six Pennsylvanian dioceses noted that over 300 “predator priests” were “credibly accused” (a seemingly subjective accusation acknowledgement based on the discretion of individual dioceses) of abusing more than 1,000 child victims; the alleged abuse goes as far back as 1947. Due to statute of limitations, only two priests were charged with abusing minors.

Photo: Freebase/Public domain

In 1095, when Pope Urban II made a plea for war with Muslims, armies of Christians in Western Europe took up the charge. The pope promised serfs freedom if they went, galvanizing the masses. In the First Crusade, an army of peasants led by Peter the Hermit was massacred by the Turks. When an army of knights went after them and captured Jerusalem, it was said they massacred Muslims until the streets ran with blood.

This was only the beginning. Waves of the Crusades continued until 1396, marking three centuries of warfare, and incalculable human suffering. Catholics definitely weren’t the only religion involved in this mass violence, but Pope Urban II got the ball rolling. Here’s a nice juicy summary of the sordid catastrophe:

“Taking the heads of slain enemies and impaling them upon pikes appears to have been a favorite pastime among crusaders. Chronicles record a story of a crusader-bishop who referred to the impaled heads of slain Muslims as a joyful spectacle for the people of God. When Muslim cities were captured by Christian crusaders, it was standard operating procedure for all inhabitants, no matter what their age, to be summarily killed. It is not an exaggeration to say that the streets ran red with blood as Christians reveled in church-sanctioned horrors. Jews who took refuge in their synagogues would be burned alive, not unlike the treatment they received in Europe.”

Pretty Much Everything Done by Pope Boniface VIII, Such as Pedophilia

Photo: Artaud de Montor/Public Domain

When you’re such an evil pope Dante reserves you a spot in the Eight Circle of Hell, you definitely get a place on this list (and are probably laughing in heaven right now at the filthy plebs who deigned write this). It’s amazing to think people of this nature were endorsed by the Catholic Church, let alone elected to lead the organization.

Boniface VIII (1230 -1303) was guilty of many horrible crimes that, sum total, make him seem like a sadistic Roman emperor. Among other things, he oversaw the complete destruction of Palestrina, a city that peacefully surrendered. Palestrina was completely razed, and Boniface ordered a plow driven over it to prove it had been reduced to nothing but earth and rubble.

You know priests take a vow of celibacy, right? Apparently, Boniface VIII didn’t take his too seriously. He once had a three-way with a married woman and her daughter, but was even more well known for saying that having sex with young boys was as natural as rubbing one hand against the other. So, obviously, he was raping (or at least fornicating with), children.  To celebrate his many great accomplishments, Boniface VIII just loved erecting statutes of himself. So add hubris to his list of sins.

Burning Joan of Arc for Dressing Like a Man

Photo: Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres/Public Domain

You may know Joan of Arc as a saint, but the Church didn’t always hold her in such high esteem. In fact, at one time, she was pretty much the Catholic Church’s public enemy number one.

In 1429, 17-year-old Joan of Arc, believing God had spoken to her, instigated an uprising to get the English out of France, but some high-powered Catholics who sympathized with the English weren’t pleased. French king Charles VII wisely accepted Joan’s help in his fight against the English, and together, they won some major battles.

When Joan was captured, Charles VII, unsure of whether he trusted her as an emissary of God, handed her over to the Church, which did what Catholics do best, put her on trial for heresy with no evidence. To make things one step more ridiculous, Joan was denied counsel, which was against Church rules. Despite this, she is famed for remaining cool, calm, and dripping with integrity throughout the trial.

Because there was no evidence of heresy, Joan was found guilty of one of the 70+ other charges brought against her, wearing men’s clothes, for which she was burned at the stake in 1431 in front of a crowd of thousands. The Church was determined to get her, and did.

In 1456, Charles VII ordered an investigation into Joan’s trial. The result? She was declared innocent and made a martyr. The Church followed suit and, in 1920, canonized her. Talk about a change of heart. Maybe since all male Church officials were dresses they pretend are robes, they decided it was okay for Joan to dress a little butch.

Burning William Tyndale for Making a Vernacular Bible for the Masses

Photo: Artist Unknown/Public Domain

You’d think the Church would make the mass distribution of its core text a main priority. As it turns out, in the 16th century, this was the last thing powerful Catholics wanted.

Scholar William Tyndale, on the other hand, wanted this so badly he went into hiding to translate the Bible into English, so lay people could read it for themselves. The Church was not happy about this, and when copies were smuggled around Europe, Catholic authorities demanded they be burned.

And what of Tyndale? He was captured, tried for heresy for daring translate the bible, and burned at the stake. When Church authorities decided printing Bibles in English was okay, they borrowed a whole lot from Tyndale’s translation. And never apologized.

Murdering Countless Women as Witches Because Pope Innocent VII Was a Paranoid Douche

Photo: Designer Unknown/Public Domain

The Catholic Church wasn’t the only group involved in witch hunts, but it kicked things off with Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches), a doozy of a book written in 1487, after Pope Innocent VIII declared, by papal bull, witches were real and a threat (due to their involvement with Satan). He wanted that sh*t investigated stat, so clergymen Johann Sprenger and Heinrich Krämer (using his Latin name, Henricus Institoris) took up the call and literally wrote the book on witches, Satanists (which were invented for this book), and hunts thereof. And boy, was it a success. It was so popular that, for 200 years, it was second only to the Bible on the sales charts.

The problem? Well, for one, the book was hugely sexist and focused almost only on women, promoting burning them at the stake,  a common punishment for heretics. So who knows how many deaths it inspired; its influence was too huge to quantify. The book is also filled with somewhat dubious information, such as the following facts about witches and Satanists: they stop cows from giving milk; they rode through the air on broomsticks on their way to forest orgies; they ate infants.

Absolving Sins for Cash Payments, Including Sins Not Yet Committed

Photo: Artist Unknown/Public Domain

If one bit of Catholic Church history got drilled into your mind in high school, there’s a good chance it was the selling of indulgences and Martin Luther’s reformation. Now synonymous with money-grubbing, the idea of an indulgence isn’t so bad in theory. According to Church doctrine,

“[an] indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain defined conditions through the Church’s help when, as a minister of redemption, she dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions won by Christ and the saints.”

A little wordy, but potentially inoffensive.

In the 16th century, however, indulgences got out of hand. Pope Leo X had expensive taste and wasn’t above using shady means to satisfy it. Indulgences were peddled as “pay X to absolve you of Y.” Basically, money gets you into heaven. To give some indication of how crazy things got, Dominican friar John Teztel was named Grand Commissioner of indulgences in Germany (so, overseeing indulgence was his only job), where he sold absolution for future sins. So: “Hey, give us some gold, it’s all good if you kill that dude next week.”

If you were poor and ignorant, as most poor people in the period probably were, you basically just believed you were hopelessly f*cked and did your best to prepare for an eternity spent frolicking in the torments of hell.  So what happened? Martin Luther, none too pleased, wrote his 95 Theses, effectively kick starting the Reformation.

Orchestrating the Fall of the Knights Templar to Appease a Broke King

Photo: Guillaume de Tyr/Public Domain

Made famous again by The Da Vinci Code, the Knights Templar, a stateless military fraternity assembled to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, were the subject of gossip a long time ago. They were endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1129, and were famous valorous service in the Crusades. They were also really good with money, which shouldn’t have been a problem, but King Philip IV of France owed them (and others) a whole lot of it. Philip took advantage of growing fear of the Knight Templar’s power and pressured the Church into dropping the mighty anvil of god down on them.

What the Church did next wasn’t great. In 1307, Pope Clement V had members arrested and tortured, gaining false confessions of heresy. In fact, he got enough such confessions to justify disbanding the order in 1312. Various Knights confessed to spitting on the cross, fraud, and secrecy (which was apparently a crime?), and nobody cared the confessions arose from torture and were recanted afterward. Archbishop of Sens Philippe de Marigny, who ran an investigation into the Knights, had dozens burned at the stake. A fine repayment for all of that fighting in the crusades.

In 2007, a secret document showing Pope Clement V absolved the Knights before later deciding to disband them was published. Historians believe this document provides essential proof that the Church caved under King Phillip’s pressure. Good news for the Knight’s integrity, bad news for the Church’s.

Burning a Guy’s Corpse 43 Years After He Died Because He Pissed Catholics Off

Photo: Ford Maddox Brown/Public Domain

As if having your enemies killed wasn’t enough, Catholics gotta burn the corpses, too. What gives? Trying to outdo what the Romans did to JC?

John Wycliffe (1320 – 1384), famous English theologian and vocal critic of the Church, was a forerunner of the Reformation. Among his many criticisms was a belief the Church should give up its worldly possessions. As you can imagine, not an idea the church was happy to have spread around. Wycliffe also promoted and worked on the first English translation of the Bible, hoping to give people direct access to the word of god. Again, not a fun idea for the Church, which liked its monopoly on power.

William Courtenay, Archbishop of Canterbury, made moves against Wycliffe after retiring (gotta stay busy). Wycliffe’s writings were banned in certain areas, but it didn’t end there. It didn’t even end when Wycliffe died of a stroke in 1384. Instead, in 1415 (31 years after he died), the Council of Constance declared Wycliffe a heretic. Not only did they order his books burned, they ordered his body exhumed and burned. And it took them 12 years to do that. So, 43 years after Wycliffe died, his corpse was torched and his ashes thrown in the River Swift. So much for resting in peace.

Executing Jan Hus for Working Out Some Tricky Theological Philosophy

Photo: Janíček Zmilelý z Písku/Public Domain

The Church tends to be pretty brutal with its critics, of which the treatment of Jan Hus, born 1372, is one of the best (or worst) examples. A Czech priest, Hus felt the Church, run by humans, who are by nature flawed, must necessarily also therefore be flawed, while the Bible, the direct word of God, had no flaws. He was, therefore, openly critical of Church practices, especially the papal schism and indulgence sales.

So, not very happy with Hus, the Church convened the Council of Constance and invited him to join them. Nothing to worry about, just a wee chat. Or so they said.

Instead of having that wee chat, the Council arrested Hus and put him on trial (and then in jail) for, you guessed it, heresy. He was kept in a dungeon and, when he refused to recant his teachings, was sentenced to death. The Church even refused him his last rights before burning him at the stake. And to think they said they just wanted to talk.

The Joust of Whores, Just Another Evening For Pope Alexander VI

Photo: Pinturicchio/Public Domain

The Joust of Whores is just one example of the corrupt and ridiculous popes of yore. In 1501, Pope Alexander VI (a Borgia, if that rings any bells), who was known to have some pretty refined hobbies, like watching horses fornicate, took things way over the top. According to historian Tony Perrottet, he invited 50 women to strip at the pope’s table. Then things got weird.

As Perrotet writes: “Alexander and his family gleefully threw chestnuts on the floor, forcing the women to grovel around their feet like swine; they then offered prizes of fine clothes and jewelry for the man who could fornicate with the most women.”

It’s rumored Alexander VI was killed by his son, Cesar. Just to show how truly f*cked up Alexander was, his body was expelled from the basilica of Saint Peter. Why? He was considered too evil for sacred soil.

The Roman Inquisition, During Which Judaism and Love Magic Were Serious Crimes

Photo: Ettore Ferrari/Public Domain

The level of the Church’s involvement in various inquisitions can be argued. It’s important to remember Pope Innocent IV (ironic name, that) explicitly condoned torture as an Inquisition interrogation technique in his papal bull Ad extirpanda in 1252 (which bull probably deserves its own place on this list). The Spanish Inquisition, most famous of these murder orgies, was carried by Spanish royalty and friars, who were Catholic, but not working directly for, or under direction of, the Vatican.

But wait, kids! Don’t forget the Roman Inquisition, or the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, which was 100% the church’s doing. In 1542, as part of a Counter-Reformation against Protestantism (seriously, didn’t these people have anything better to do than overreact to other Christians who pissed them off?), the Spanish Inquisitions’s gentle cousin, the Roman Inquisition, was born. Galileo and Copernicus were among those questioned. While Church staple heresy was a popular dish during the Inquisition, the menu had a number of options, including blasphemy, Judaism (which is a crime how?), immorality, witchcraft, love magic (yes please), and anything else wrathful Papists could shoe-horn in.

John Bargrave, a  contemporary English writer, described how he was questioned in Latin (rather than Italian) to prevent uneducated guards from understanding what was being said. He was also prevented from carrying books “printed at any heretical city, as Geneva, Amsterdam, Leyden, London, or the like.”

Not as bad as the Spanish Inquisition, sure, but very much related and equally dogmatic, close minded, and power-mongering. A Church specialty. Bonne mort, frères et sœurs.

Imprisoning Galileo in His Home for Years Because He Suggested Science > God

Photo: Cristiano Banti/Public Domain

The Church and science have a complicated relationship, to put it nicely. In 1633, Galileo Galilei, the father of, like, all science, was put on trial by the Church for saying the sun is the center of the universe and the earth moves around it, rather than the other way around. Which is, you know, true for the most part (sure, okay, the sun isn’t the center of the universe, but still, he was onto something). But that didn’t matter.

Pope Urban VIII was having none of it, seeing Galileo’s statement as horrific heresy. So, 10 cardinals sat in judgment of Galileo, who was threatened with torture, imprisonment, and even being burned at the stake. Galileo, 69 at the time and in a “pitiable state of bodily indisposition,” eventually renounced his beliefs. Because of this, the church went easy on him and, rather than torture, he was subjected to house arrest until he died. What a way to treat the father of modern of science.

And what does the church have to say on the subject now? “We today know that Galileo was right in adopting the Copernican astronomical theory,” Paul Cardinal Poupard, the head of an investigation into the matter said in 1992. So, only 350 years too late.

Cutting Funding for Needy Immigrants Because, You Know, Gays

Photo: Viviano Codazzi/Public Domain

Not all Catholic faux pas come from the past; there’s been some dodgy stuff in modern times, as well (see priest rape bonanza), and the church’s relationship with the LGBTQ community continues to be a source of frustration. But here’s a humdinger:

For years, the Church gave thousands of dollars to Compañeros, a nonprofit helping Hispanic immigrants access healthcare, understand laws, and meet other basic needs. That is, until the Church found out Compañeros teamed up with a gay and lesbian rights group, at which point Nicole Mosher, executive director of  Compañeros, was informed their funding was in danger.

Compañeros is but one example of organizations the Church threatens for not falling in line with the most strident dictates of Catholicism. The New York Times explained in 2002, “Since 2010, nine groups from across the country have lost financing from the campaign because of conflicts with Catholic principles.”

On the one hand, of course it’s okay for the Church to withhold money from causes in contradiction with its beliefs. Like, say, an abortion clinic. But cutting off funding to aid the needy simply because of an association with the LGBTQ community seems extreme and unfair, especially given Church doctrine on helping the needy and feeding the poor. What’s more, members of the LGBTQ community can identify as Catholic and go to church, but can’t be helped by that Church? This is all the more more difficult to swallow (no priest pun intended) when considering the Church’s $1.6 billion stock portfolio.

The Golden Calf & The Tabernacle

Building the Tabernacle and Ark and the way they had to do burnt offerings and things for You to forgive their sins was a lot of work.  You coming down and being born sure makes things easier on us today. 

“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, 1 make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 

And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me” (Gen 32:1-2).

“The people gave Aaron all the gold which he made a golden calf, and they had a celebration.

Worshiping the Golden Calf is just like worshiping the devil.
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Ex 20:4).

“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Ex 34:14).

And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for 2 thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:

They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshiped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 

And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:

Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation” (Ex 32:7-10).

“And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. 

And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. 

And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. 

And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.

And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. 

And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.

And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? 

And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people that they are set on mischief. 

For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him” (Ex 32:15-23).

“Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side?  Let him come unto me.  And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. 

Mount Horeb was the mountain on which Moses received the laws from God. Some parts of the Hebrew scriptures call it Mount Sinai; elsewhere it’s called Mount Horeb. Some scholars think it was in what today is called Sinai Peninsula; others think it was across the Gulf of Aqaba in what today is the Arabian Peninsula – its exact location is uncertain.

And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.

And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men” (Ex 32:26-28).

Moses went back up the mountain and begged Him to forgive the Israelites of their sin.  Moses also told God that if He wouldn’t forgive them then for Him to disregard him as well.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. 

Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. 

And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made” (Ex 32:33-35).

“For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.   

And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb” (Ex 33:5-6).

“And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. 

And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. 

And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.  And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me.  Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 

Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.

And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 

And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 

Could it be that the darkest places in our lives are when God puts us in the cleft of the rock.
Then He passes by to do the work that needs to be done.
When we come out of the cleft we see how ‘abundantly above’ He answered our prayers
working all things together in a way so ‘much higher’ than our thoughts?

For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight?  Is it not in that thou goest with us?  So shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. 

And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 

And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 

And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen” (Ex 33:9-23).

1 God had just told them not to make another god or even something in remembrance of Him, and they said they would obey.

2 Notice that when the people are bad God calls them stiffnecked and that they are Moses’ people.  This is somewhat laughable, but this shows how angry they made God, but still, He didn’t destroy them as He had promised He wouldn’t do after the flood.

The Tabernacle

Key to the Tabernacle

1. The Tabernacle

One of the most satanic deceptions throughout history has been the worship of the Babylonian “Queen Of Heaven,” or as it has been adopted by the Roman Catholic And Russian Orthodox churches, the worship of “The Virgin Mother.”

Both false religions idolize its priests and foolishly attribute the power of forgiveness of men’s sins to them, when they are saturated with sins themselves.

Mary was a dirty, rotten, sinner, just like everyone on the face of the earth. Mary even referred to Jesus as “my Saviour” (Lk 1:46-47).

God chose to be use her as a vessel to bring the man, Jesus. God did not have sexual relations with Mary as perverted Mormons claim. The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and by a miracle of God, Mary became pregnant, having never had carnal knowledge with any man. When Jesus was born, Mary was a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).

(Ex 26:1-37 – The New holy temple – Eph 2:19-22).  30 cubits long x 10 cubits wide x cubits high (45 ft x 15 ft x 15 ft).

The general appearance of the Tabernacle was that of a rectangular box.  It was divided into two sections – the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies).

a. Goat’s hair covering with linen beneath (Ex 25:4; 26:7),

b. Ram skin covering dyed red (Ex 25:5; 26:14),

c. Badger, porpoise, or sea cow skin covering (Ex 25:5),

d. Boards (48 boards, Ex 25:15-25),

e. Sockets (100 total, 96 silver sockets for the boards, four under the pillars of the veil),

f. Bars (Ex 26:26-29),

g. Pillars, hooks (Ex 26:32, 37, 36:36, 38), and

h. Curtains at the entrance (Ex 26:1-6).

2. The High Priest and His Holy Garments

(Ex 28:1-43; 39:1-31 – A great high priest – Heb 4:14, 15).

a. Embroidered coat (Ex 28:4: Ps 132:9),

b. Robe with golden bells and pomegranates (Ex 28:34),

c. Ephod and girdle (ex 28:4),

d. Breastplate and the Urim and Thummim (Ex 28:30),

e. Stones in the breastplate (12 tribes of Israel (Ex 28:17-21),

f. Shoulder stones of onyx (Ex 28:9-12; 39:6-7),

g. Mire (Ex 28:4; 39),

h. Turban or Holy Plate or crown (diadem) of gold inscribed, “Holy to the LORD” (Ex 28:36; 29:6), and

i. The Censer of burning coals (Lev 16:12, 13; Heb 9:4).

3. The Holy Place

(Ex 26:33, Heb 9:2. 6).

Ten cubits wide x 20 cubits long (15 ft x 30 ft).  The priests entered into the Holy Place daily to minister to the LORD. 

The table of showbread stood on the right, the seven-branched golden candlestick (lampstand) stood on the left, and the altar of incense stood in the Holy Place right in front of the veiled Holy of Holies.

4. The Golden Lampstand (Candlestick)

(Ex 25:31-40)

The lampstand or candlestick was made of pure, hammered gold, one solid piece.  It had a central shaft with six branches, three on each side, making it a seven-branched lampstand. 

Each branch had knobs, flowers, and an almond-shaped bowl to hold pure olive oil.  It was part of the priests’ ministry to keep the lamp burning perpetually.

5. The Table of Showbread (Shewbread)

(Ex 25:23-30; Heb 9:2).

Two cubits long x 1 cubit wide x 1½ cubits high (36 in x 18 in x 27 in).

Look at th giant statue of Pope John Paul II, and the tiny decrepit Jesus on the cross which the Pope is holding.
The Catholic Church has long taught that Mary is the Mother of God. St. Paul observed that “God sent His Son, born of a woman,” expressing the union of the human and the divine in Christ.

Pope Benedict XV wrote in 1918: “To such an extent did Mary suffer and almost die with her suffering and dying Son; to such extent did she surrender her maternal rights over her Son for man’s salvation, and immolated him – insofar as she could in order to appease the justice of God, that we might rightly say she redeemed the human race together with Christ.”

Pope Pius XII expressed in a 1946 radio speech, “Jesus is King throughout all eternity by nature and by right of conquest: through him, with him, and subordinate to him, Mary is Queen by grace, by divine relationship, by right of conquest, and by singular election.”

God rebuked His people for worshipping and serving false gods, specifically the Queen of Heaven – “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger” (Jer 7:18). Honoring the Queen of Heaven provokes God to anger, because it is the sin of IDOLATRY!

God is a jealous God, and His praise and glory will He not share with anyone. “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images” (IS 42:8).

The table of showbread was made of Shittim (acacia) wood.  It was overlaid with gold and had a crown or frame of gold around it that was as wide as a man’s hand.

A ring of gold was put on each of the four legs, to put the carrying poles through.  The carrying poles were made of Shittim wood overlaid with gold.  Also made of pure gold were the dishes, pans, pitchers, and bowls. 

 Twelve loaves of bread were placed on the table, six in a row.  Fresh bread was placed there ever Sabbath.

6. The Altar of Incense

(Ex 30:1-10; Heb 9:2).

One cubit long x 1 cubit wide x 2 cubits high (1½ x 1½ ft x 3 ft). The altar of incense was made from Shittim (acacia) wood. 

Its four corners each had a horn made from one piece.  Its top, sides, and horns were overlaid with gold, with a crown of molding all around the top.

Aaron, the High Priest, burned incense upon it every morning and evening.  Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the horns of the altar were sprinkled with the blood of the sin offering.

7. The Veil

(Ex 26:31-33; Heb 10-19-20).

A woven veil of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, with designs of cherubim embroidered on it, was hung on four pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold. 

Four gold hooks were put in four sockets of silver.  The veil was hung from these, and was a divider between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.

8. The Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies)

(Ex 26:33-34; Heb 9:3).

Ten cubit long x 10 cubit wide (16 x 16 ft).

Also called the Holy of Hollies, here resided the Ark of the Covenant.  It was exactly one-half the length of the Holy Place. 

he shekinah glory of God rested upon the lid of the Ark (Mercy Seat).  The High Priest entered the Most Holy Place once a year, on the Day of Atonement, to sprinkle blood on the Mercy Seat to atone for his sins and the people’s sins.

9. The Ark of the Covenant

(Ex 25:10-16; Heb 9:4).

Two and a half cubits long x 1½ cubits wide x 1½ cubits high (45 in. x 27 in. x 27 in.).

The Ark was made of acacia wood.  It was overlaid with gold, inside and out.  A gold

crown or molding was set around the edge of the top. 

Four gold rings, one in each leg was placed for the carrying poles.  The poles were acacia wood overlaid with gold.  The Mercy Seat was set on top of the Ark.

10. The Mercy Seat    

(Ex 25:17-22; Heb 9:5).

Two and a half cubits long x 1½ cubits wide (45 in. x 27 in.).

The Mercy Seat was made of pure gold.  It had a winged cherub on each side, facing each other with wings outstretched above them towards each other.

The Mercy Seat was beaten or hammered from one solid piece of gold.  It was placed above the Ark.

11. The Gate of the Court

(Ex 27:16, 38:18-19; Jn 10:9).

Twenty cubits wide x 5 cubits high (30 ft x 7½ ft).

The entrance of the court was made with:

a. Hanging curtains (blue, purple, scarlet, and white) (Ex 27:14-16, 38:18). 

b. Four pillars of brass (Ex 27:14-16, 38:14-15),

c. Sockets of bronze (brass) (Ex 27:14-16), and

d. Hooks and fillets (clasps) of silver (tops of pillars) (Ex 27:10-11).

Satan controls the Vatican. There is no evil like the Catholic Church.
Why is the Catholic Church so evil? It is mainly because they elevate their own manmade traditions as being equal with the Word of God. In so doing, the Vatican has deceived Catholics into believing that good works are necessary to get to Heaven.

Catholics are taught that they must keep the Seven Sacraments to get to Heaven, which includes water baptism and holy mass. Catholicism teaches a false plan of salvation, a perverted Gospel. The Catholic Church is full of lies.

The Word of God simply teaches that salvation is of the Lord, and that man has no part in his own salvation, except to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins.

The Catholic religion is a conglomerate of manmade tradition fabricated over the centuries. Jesus plainly told the Jews that they had rejected God’s Word, choosing instead to keep their own tradition. This is exactly what Catholics do, i.e., reject the Word of God to keep their own tradition.

Every Catholic arrogantly thinks they’re going to Heaven; but they are going to Hell when they die. All of their self-righteousness means NOTHING to God (Isaiah 64:6).

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom 10:3-4).

Catholics are trying to establish THEIR OWN self-righteousness; but Biblical salvation is obtained solely through Christ’s righteousness.

“For He [God the Father] hath made Him [God the Son] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:21).

Salvation happens when a person acknowledges their guilt of sin, coming to God on the basis of being a hell-deserving sinner; believing on Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, for forgiveness of sins.

“To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).

Ye Must Be Born Again!
12. The Offerings

(Heb 8:3, 9:11-14, 18-22, 10:1-4).

a. Burnt offering bull (bull, sheep, goats, or birds) (Lev 1:1-17),

b. Grain offering (Lev 2:1-16),

c. Peace offering (goat or lamb) (Lev 3:1-17),

d. Sin offering (bull or lamb) (Lev 4:1-35), and

e. Trespass offering (female of the flock, lamb, goat kid, or bird, or grain) (Lev 5 & 6).

13. The Court Fence (Not shown to scale)

(Ex 27:9-19, 38:9-17m 40:33).

One hundred cubits long x 50 cubits wide x 5 cubits high (150 ft x 75 ft x 7½ ft).

The court fence was the outer border of the Tabernacle site.  It consisted of:

a. Linen curtains  (white) (Ex 27:9, 11, 15-16: Rev 19:8),

b. Pillars, sockets, hooks, and fillets (tops and rods) (Ex 27:11, 17), and

c. Pins of bronze (brass) (Ex 27:19, 38:20).

14. The Brazen Altar

(Ex 27:1-8, 40:6, 10, & 29).

Five cubits long x 5 cubits wide x 3 cubits high (7½ ft x 7½ ft x 4½ ft).

The brazen altar was made of Shittim (acacia) wood.  It was square and covered with bronze (brass).  The four corners had horns overlaid with bronze. 

Also there were pans to receive ashes, shovels, basins, flesh hooks (forks), and fire pans, all of bronze.  A bronze grate with a bronze ring in each corner was put under the brazen altar. 

Staves (carrying poles) were made of Shittim wood covered with bronze to carry the altar.

15. Laver of Bronze

(Ex 30:17-21, 40:7, 30-32).

A large basin of brass, in which Aaron and his sons washed their hands and feet, was placed between the brazen altar and the Tabernacle.

The LORD said if they did not wash when they came near the brazen altar to minister they would die.

16. The Cloud and the Pillar of Fire

(Ex 25:8, 22, 29:43, 40:34-38).

The Lord manifested His presence with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  It would rest above the Tabernacle, directly above the Mercy Seat. 

When the cloud of pillar of fire moved, the

children of Israel followed it.  Wherever it stopped, they camped there until it moved again.

Ark of the Covenant- 1491 B.C. & The Zukru Festival and Preparation for the Tabernacle

What did the people say about all of Your judgments?

“And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.

And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him. 

And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words, which the LORD hath said will we do. 

And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel” (Ex 24:1-4).

Moses altar at the base of Mt. Sinai – In Exodus 27:1-2, we find that the altar God commands Moses to build is based on a variation of the same 5 by 3 theme: “Build an altar of acacia wood, three cubits high; it is to be square, five cubits long and five cubits wide.” Note: A cubit is the measure of the forearm below the elbow.

“Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: 

And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness”(Ex 24:9-10).

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 

And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. 

And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.

And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. 

And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights” (Ex 24:12 & 15-18).

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart, ye shall take my offering” (Ex 25:1-2). 

This offering God is talking about is building the 1 Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. 

Click image for larger picture

God was very specific on how duties in the Ark were to be performed, as well as how it should be built and with what material to use because this Ark symbolizes Jesus Christ. 

For example, it was built with Acacia wood, which describes Jesus’ indestructible humanity and the gold around it represents Jesus being King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 

The Ark was placed in the middle of God’s people, Jesus is between us.  The people followed the Ark as we are to follow Jesus.  People went in the Ark to have their sins forgiven, we ask Jesus to forgiver ours.  

God would dwell with them, this was going to be His home.

“And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them”.

The Ark of the Covenant is similar to Satan’s Catholic confessional box because only God can forgive sin (Mark 2:6,7 & Luke 5:21). 

If you impersonate the President of the United States you’ll be charged with treason and probably executed. 

Catholic Priests impersonate God, what do you think will happen to them when Jesus comes back?  You already know where Satan will spend eternity. 

God also had a special garment made for Aaron because he was the priest.  And on the shoulders of the clothes were the stones with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel engraved. 

Archaeologists digging at Tel Shiloh believe this may be one place the Israelites set up the Tabernacle holding the Ark of the Covenant

As anyone can see, the Catholics try and copy this, but don’t do a very good job. Just like the devil counterfeit things, but he’s pretty good at it.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Speak thou also 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. 

Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 

It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God” (Ex 31:12-13,15, 17-18).

1 Ex 25:3 to 31:11.  Jesus is the true tabernacle (Heb 9:11).

The Zukru Festival

Exodus 23:14-19 describes Israel’s three primary annual festivals, known as the Shalosh Regalim, they are:  Pesach (Passover)Shavuot (Weeks), and Sukkot (Tents or Booths) — when the Israelites living in the Kingdom of Judahwould make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Shavuot by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim

Ad­vocates of the Documentary Hypothesis have argued that Late Bronze Age Israelites would nothave been sophisticated enough to have organized such elaborate celebra­tions as those described in the Pentateuch.

However, archaeologists are now in possession of a complex literary work from the Syr­ian city of Emar that contradicts this theory.

A large tablet from Emar, predating the Pentateuch’s descriptions of the festivals, intricately describes that city’s Zukru Festi­val.

This elaborate commemorative cele­bration, which was to be conducted every seven years, required a full year of prepara­tion!

This tablet gives detailed instructions concerning the specified offerings to the city’s 70 deities which animals were to be of­fered to which gods, how many animals were to be sacrificed, who was to donate animal, the precise date of each offering the manner in which it was to be presented.  

Instructions for the procession (deities’ statues are included, with particular focus on Dagan (the chief god of Em).

Thus we know that ancient people already adhered to complicated, written instructions for cultic rituals during the Late Bronze Age.

The Biblical descriptions and instructions concerning Israel’s festivals fit well into this scenario. 

 

Judgments, Part 3 of 3 & A Breakdown of Ancient Egyptian History

“* Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

It is thought that the laws of ancient Egypt were at least partially codified. In fact, we learn from one Greek writer that in the Late Period there were probably eight books that set out the legal code. But nothing remains of these documents, or for that matter, legal codes from other periods. However, we can derive some of the laws of ancient Egypt from funerary texts, as well as court and other documents.

Essentially, it is believed that Egyptian law was based on a common sense view of right and wrong, following the codes based on the concept of Ma’at. Ma’at represented truth, order, balance and justice in the universe.

This concept allowed that everyone, with the exception of slaves, should be viewed as equals under the law, regardless of wealth or social position. However, when punishment was carried out, often the entire family of the guilty suffered as well.
For example, when individuals were sentenced to exile, their children were automatically outlawed along with them. If a relative deserted from military service, or defaulted on the labor demands of the state, the entire family might be imprisoned.

* Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment.  Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.

* If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. 

If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.  Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause.

* Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. 

And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

* Also, thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

* And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat.  

In like manner, thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy olive yard.

* Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day, thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.

* And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.

* Three times, thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.  Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty).

And the feast of harvest, the first fruits of thy labors, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labors out of the field.

* Three times in the year all, thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.

* Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning.

* The first of the first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God.  Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.

Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place, which I have prepared.  Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.

But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.

For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off. 

Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. 

And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.

There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the Leviticus of thy days I will fulfill. 

I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. 

A gold Ma’at pendant which is currently in the British Museum was probably more or less an official badge of legal officials. Some statues of high officials from the Late Period are shown wearing such a pendant. During the Greek period, Greek law existed alongside that of the Egyptian law, but usually these laws favored the Greeks.

And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.  I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate and the beast of the field multiply against thee. 

By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. 

And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.

Thou shalt make no covenant with them, or with their gods.

They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee” (Ex 23:1-33).

 

A Breakdown
of Ancient Egyptian History

It is helpful for understanding the history of ancient Egypt to divide this enormously protracted time span into short­er, more manageable segments.

Following the lead of a 3rd century B.C. Egyptian his­torian named Manetho; Egyptian history is typically divided into 30 dynasties.

Pre-Dynastic Egypt (prior to 3000 B.C.)

During this era regional societies and cul­tures began to emerge. Agriculture, pottery making and the construction of stone mon­uments were well established by the end of this period.

Loose confederations eventually gave way to more centralized power.

Archaic Egypt (1st-2nd Dynasties; 3000-2700 B.C.)

Map of ancient Egypt showing major cities and sites of the Predynastic and Dynastic periods (c. 3150 to 30 B.C.).

Meni (or Menes), a semi-legendary ruler from southern Egypt, established the 1st Dynasty.

Memphis became the capital city, and the pharaohs were preoccupied with holding together their extensive kingdom.

Hieroglyphics, the distinctive Egyptian style in art and writing, became well established.

Old Kingdom Period (3rd-6th Dynasties; 2700 -2160 B.C.)

The pyramids and the great sphinx were built, the study of medicine flourished and works such as the Proverbs of Ptahhotep were produced.

Pharaohs ventured outside Egypt on military campaigns to the Sinai and Libya.

First Intermediate Period (7th-10th Dynasties; 2160-2010 B.C.)

Central authority collapsed, dynasties competed and local lords held sway in vari­ous areas. This period produced significant works of pessimistic literature.

Middle Kingdom Period (11th-12th Dynasties; 2106-1786 B.C., overlapping the First Intermediate period).

The pharaohs reestablished central au­thority, and Joseph’s administration brought much Egyptian land under the pharaoh’s direct control (Gen 47:13-26).

Ivory figure of a woman with incised features from Badari, Egypt (c. 4300-4000 B.C.).

Some histori­ans, in fact, suggest that Joseph played a sig­nificant role in bringing about the end of Egyptian feudal power.

 Second Intermediate Period (13th-7th Dynasties; 1786-1550 B.C.)

Centralized authority again collapsed. Dynasties Fifteen and Sixteen were Hyksos (ruled by Semitic rulers who took control of Lower – northern – Egypt).

The relationship of the Hyksos to the exodus is much debated.

New Kingdom Period (18th-20th Dynasties; 1550-1069 B.C.)

Established by Ahmose, who drove out the last of the Hyksos, the powerful New Kingdom became an empire reaching through Canaan into Syria.

Each of the two greatest pharaohs of this time, Thutmose III (c. 1479-1425 B.C.) and Rameses II (c.1279-1212 B.C.), has been suggested as the pharaoh of The Exodus.

Although Thutmose III fits reasonably well with Biblical chronology (Jdg 11:26; 1 Kgs 6:1) Rameses appeared too late for this scheme.

Third Intermediate Period (21st-25th Dynasties; 1069-656 B.C.)

 A considerably weakened Egypt entered this era. At times there were rival pharaohs, and in other instances outsiders ruled.

Even so, vigorous rulers did come to power, includ­ing the Libyan pharaoh Sheshonk I (c. 945- 924) – the Shishakin 1 Kgs 14:25.

Remaining ancient Egyptian historical periods include the Saite-Persian period (26th-30th Dynasties; 654-332 B.C.; a”31st Dynasty” is some­times included), the Ptolemaic period (332-30 B.C.) and the Roman period (after 30 B.C.).

During the Roman period Egyptian power was briefly ascendant again under Saite rulers (who ruled from Sais, in the western delta).

Hoping to curb the rising power of the Bab­ylonians and the Medes, the Saite Neco II (c. 610-595 b.c.) drove his army north through Israel, defeating and killing King Josiah of Judah in the process (2Kgs 23:29).

Detail of a bone figure of a woman from Upper Egypt. Early Predynastic period, Naqada I (4000-3600 B.C.).

Nebuchad­nezzar of Babylon defeated Neco II at Carchemish (605 b.c.) and drove him back into Egypt.

No longer was a formidable power, Egypt annexed into the Persian Empire by Cambyses in 525 B.C.

The subsequent fall of the Persian Empire to Alexander the Great led to the Greek takeover of Egypt in 332 B.C.

After Alexander’s death in 323 B.C., Ptolemy I (a Greek general) seized Egypt, and his dynasty ruled until the death of the last Ptolemaic ruler, the famous Oeopatra VII (c.52—30 b.c.). After that, Egypt became a Roman province.

 

 

Judgments, Part 2 of 3 and The Soleb Hieroglyph

“* If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

* If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.

If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 

Ancient Egyptian laws were written by the Pharaoh and enforced by him (her) and the officials. Breaking these laws almost never ended well for the criminal, because of the harsh punishments.
The decisions to administer these punishments were in the hands of a vizer or an oracle, but the most significant cases were referred to the Pharaoh. Below you can find a list of the most common fatal and non-fatal punishments of Ancient Egypt.

Fatal punishments were rare, but merciless. They were imposed for the worst crimes, such as treason and plotting against the Pharaoh. One of the most notable examples is Ramses III executing a team that plotted against him by impalement – very slow and painful death.

Tomb raiding was another crime for which capital punishment was administered. Usually it was decapitation or drowning. These two punishments were also executed in severe cases of corruption – the decision in these cases was Pharaohs.

Burning alive was another method used in Ancient Egypt and was administered in cases of vandalism of temples and other places of worship. It wasn’t carried out very frequently because the Egyptians believed that burning alive would rob the deceased of his body and prevent him from achieving eternal life.

Perhaps surprisingly, death sentences were rarely administered for murder and manslaughter (no distinction in Ancient Egypt) – well, rarer than in other ancient civilisations.

However, there are quite a few known instances of forced suicide in Ancient Egypt, instead of administered death sentence. In those cases, the convicted criminals were also punished posthumously by not being given a proper burial.

If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.

* If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.

* If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.

 * If a man shall deliver, unto his neighbor money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.

If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbor’s goods.

* For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbor.

* If a man deliver unto his neighbor an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it: Then shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbor’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good. 

And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.  If it be torn in pieces, then let him bring it for witness, and he shall not make good that which was torn.

* And if a man borrow ought of his neighbor, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good.  But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good: if it be a hired thing, it came for his hire.

* And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.

 * Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

 * Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.

* He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.

* Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

* Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 

If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; and my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

 * If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as a usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

* If thou at all take thy neighbor’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? 

And it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.

* Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

 * Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me. 

Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day, thou shalt give it me.

* And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs” (Ex 22:1-31).

The Soleb Hieroglyph

In Ex 5:2 the pharaoh scoffed, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go?”

A replica of an Ancient Egyptian relief from the reign of Amenhotep III (14th Century BC) describing a Semetic captive called by its’ Cartouche: “Shasu (Egyptian word for ‘nomads’) of (the Land of) Yhw” or “Shasu of Yhw”. This relief had been found in Soleb of Nubia (modern day Sudan).
The “Shasu of YWH” are also mentioned on reliefs from Amarah West dating to the reign of Ramses II (13th Century BC).
The term “Shasu” mainly focused on the nomads who lived by the area of Ancient Canaan, and spread in groups over this region, as there is a mention of 6 groups of Shasu in the Soleb relief.
The name of the land “Yhw” today belived by some to be located in Southern Canaan.
Some schoalrs tried to connect between the name of the land this group of Shasu had lived in with the Hebrew Bible God YHWH, which is stated in servel chapters as originating from the South. If that’s the case maybe these “Shasu of YHW” were part of the ancient proto-Israelites to form the well-known nation of “Israel” mentioned later on the Merenptah Stele (1208 BC).

It is not clear whether this pharaoh had never heard of Yahweh or whether he was simply dismissing him as the insignificant god of an enslaved people.

Amazingly, though, one of the first refer­ences to Yahweh besides those in the Bible has been discovered in an Egyptian temple.

The Eighteenth-Dynasty pharaoh Amen- hotep III (c. 1390-1352 B.C.) built this temple at Soleb, in upper Nubia along the western bank of the Nile.

This temple was dedicated to Amenhotep III, who was viewed as a divine king associated with the god Amon.

Its hieroglyphics memorialize Amen­hotep Ill’s domination of foreign peoples; subjugated peoples are depicted with their arms bound behind their backs.

The histori­cal accuracy of his claims is doubtful, given that Egyptian pharaohs routinely made such boasts, whether or not they were true.

Although long-lived and otherwise success­ful, Amenhotep III was not a notable warrior.

Even so, one remarkable inscription at the Soleb temple speaks of “the land of the Shasu, (those of) Yhw.”

The term Shasu re­fers to Bedouin peoples of the Levant (the region encompassing Syria and the raj now known as Palestine).

Scholars almost universally acknowledge that Yhw refers to Yahweh, the God of Israel. But what might be the significance of this inscription for Old Testament studies?

Evidently Amenhotep III was aware of a land in the Levant peopled by “Shasu” who worshiped tohweh.

This is not to imply that all Shasu were Israelites; the pharaoh may have been using a generic or shorthand term.

If the Shasu of the inscription were indeed the Israelites, the implication is that the exodus from Egypt to the Levant (Sy­ria/Palestine) occurred prior to the time Amenhotep III.

The traditional date for the ex­odus is understood to be approximately 1445 B.C., or a little more than half a century prior to the reign of Amenhotep III.

As with other such discoveries, however, we do well to treat this “evidence” cautiously.

The Soleb inscription does not unambiguously refer to Israelites, and some have argued that the Shasu who worshiped YHWH were simply a small Bedouin group.

 

Judgments, Part 1 of 3 & Taken From a River: The Legend of Sargon and the Story of Moses

So that’s where the Ten Commandments came from. 

But what about the judges, do they sentence people for crimes or how does that work?

“Now these are the judgments, which thou shalt set before them.

* If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh, he shall go out free for nothing.

If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.

If his master have given him, a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.

Maid-servants attending to ladies at a banquet, Tomb of Vizier Rekhmire

And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.

* And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. 

If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. 

And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. 

If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.   And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.

* He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.

* And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee.  

Maid-servant decking a lady with jewellery at a banquet, Tomb of Jeserkarseneb, XVIII Dynasty

But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbor, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar that he may die.

* And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

* And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

* And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

* And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.

* And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.  Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.

* If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 

Offering of a necklace and a cap, Tomb of Jeserkareseneb, XVIII Dynasty

And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life.  Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.  Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

* And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake.

* And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.

* If an ox gore a man or a woman that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.

But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.

If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.

A young servant-girl adjusts an earing of one of the guests, Tomb of Nakht, XVIII Dynasty

Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him.

If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

* And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein; The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his.

* And if one man’s ox hurt anothers that he die; then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the money of it; and the dead ox also they shall divide.

Or if it be known that the ox hath used to push in time past, and his owner hath not kept him in; he shall surely pay ox for ox; and the dead shall be his own” (Ex 21:1-36).

Taken From a River:
The Legend of Sargon
and the Story of Moses

Discovered in the Assyrian archive in Nineveh, the Legend of Sargon recounts in fantastic language the birth, ascension and rule of Sargon of Akkad, who established his empire in Mesopotamia around 2300 B.C.

Bronze head of an Akkadian ruler, discovered in Nineveh in 1931, presumably depicting either Sargon or Sargon’s grandson Naram-Sin.
Reign c. 2334–2284 BC (MC)
Successor: Rimush
Spouse: Tashlultum
Dynasty: Akkadian (Sargonic)
Father: La’ibum

Sargon II (721 -705 B.C.), a later Assyrian king who sought to emulate his namesake’s meteoric rise to power, probably commissioned the writing of this legend.

The Legend of Sargon resonates with a number of features also found in Moses’ birth narrative.

Sargon’s mother was a high priestess (reminiscent of Moses’ Levitical lineage). After his secretive birth, Sargon was placed in a reed basket, which was sealed with pitch and set adrift on a river.

Aqqi, drawer of water, rescued the infant, adopt­ed him and raised him to be a farmer. Even­tually, he found favor with the goddess Ishtar and was crowned king.

Moses’ and Sargon’s birth accounts em­ploy a common ancient literary motif, in which a hero is exposed to death during infancy, only to be rescued and to achieve greatness.

The plot of the Sargon legend emphasizes the stunning, and often miracu­lous, nature of the hero’s rise from obscurity to honor.

In the case of Sargon II, use of the device may have been a deliberate attempt after the fact to legitimize his own power grab.

The Biblical narrative, however, includes many unique features, such as the threat of national genocide, the attempt to hide the child and his temporary return to his mother.

Although the relationship between the Sargonic and Mosaic narratives is still being debated, the details of Moses’ birth unquestionably signify his heroic role in God’s plan.

It is helpful to bear in mind that the fictional tale commissioned by Sargon II was written much later than the factual, Biblical account of Moses’ early life.

The Ten Commandments & The Days of the Judges

So that’s where judges first came from. Why did You have Moses and Aaron come up the mountain?

“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Ex 20:1-2).

The Ten Commandments:

1. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex 20:3).

Gath or Gat (Hebrew: גַּת‬, wine press; Latin: Geth), often referred to as Gath of the Philistines, was one of the five Philistine city-states, established in northwestern Philistia. Gath is often mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and its existence is confirmed by Egyptian inscriptions.

Gath is mentioned in the El-Amarna letters as Gimti/Gintu, ruled by the two Shuwardata and ʿAbdi-Ashtarti. Another Gath, known as Ginti-kirmil (Gath of Carmel) also appears in the Amarna letters.

The site most favored as the location of Gath is the archaeological mound or tell known as Tell es-Safi in Arabic and Tel Zafit in Hebrew (sometimes written Tel Tzafit), located inside Tel Zafit National Park, but a stone inscription disclosing the name of the city has yet to be discovered. Recent excavations at the site have produced dramatic evidence of a siege and subsequent destruction of the site in the late 9th century BCE, which can be related to the biblical verse that mentions its capture by Hazael of Aram Damascus.

I’m sure Obama wished he would have said that first.

2. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Ex 20:4).

Oops, I guess the Catholics didn’t read that one.

3. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Ex 20:7).

The Supreme Court, Washington D.C. and people like Oprah are guilty here, and they continue to do it.

4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex 20:8).

5. “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” (Ex 20:12).

6. “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex 20:13).

7. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Ex 20:14).

I’m guilty of number seven.

8. “Thou shalt not steal” (Ex 20:15).

Ouch, I’m really guilty of number eight.

9. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (Ex 20:16).

The media is certainly guilty of number nine.

10. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s” (Ex 20:17).

And I’m guilty of this one too.  But the good news is that as long as you do not continue to sin they are forgiven.

I have no doubt that God’s list of all my sins was quite lengthy, probably ten times the length of my rap sheet, and that’s pretty long.

But did you notice I said, my list of sins “was” long?  God has forgiven all of my sins and they no longer exist.  That’s the kind of God we have.

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him” (Ps 103:8, 11-13).

From the Canaanite era, Ashkelon is the oldest and largest seaport yet known in Israel, and a thriving Middle Bronze Age (2000-1550 B.C.) metropolis of more thasn 150 acres, with commanding ramparts, including the oldest arched city gate in the world, still standing two stories high.

From the Philistine era (1175-604 B.C.), excavations of the seaport are uncovering remains of the city from the days of Samson and Delilah, and the city’s destruction by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar.

“And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.

An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee” (Ex 20:18-24).

The Days of the Judges

Capital of Moab Known in the Bible as as Kir, Kir Moab, Kir-Heres(eth), and Hereseth, this site (today Kerak) was the capital city of Moab. It is situated on an isolated hilltop, with a view in all directions. The Crusaders recognized the defensible aspect of the site and made Kerak one of their strongest fortresses in the Middle East in 1140 A.D.

“In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Jud 17:6).

The foothold gained by Israel through Joshua’s victories was tested in the period of the Judges. The tribes of Israel faced pressure from various groups competing for a share of Canaan.  

Canaanite city-states tenaciously clung to their territories and were a constant threat to Israel. 

The Philistines arrived in the southern coastal plain by 1150 B.C. and quickly established themselves in five cities – Gaza, Ashdod, Gath, Ashkelon, and Ekron.  Ammon, Moab, and Edom continued to press their claims to the Transjordan.   

Moreover, desert marauders like the Amalekites and Midianites periodically harassed the settled population, striking unsuspecting villages and towns quickly using the camel.  

Israel found herself surrounded by peoples seeking to expand their territorial advantage.  

With no king to lead them, the tribes were hard-pressed to match the strength of their more established neighbors. 

But an even greater threat to Israel than hostile neighbors emerged: Canaanite religion.

King’s Highway
Two highways run north-south through southern Transjordan.

The King’s Highway runs through the important cities of Heshbon, Medeba, Dibon, Kerak, Bozrah and Petra.

The Way of the Wilderness (of Moab and Edom) runs parallel to the King’s Highway but to the east, on the seam between the Arabian desert and the arable Transjordan Plateau.

The Israelites wanted to pass through Transjordan on the King’s Highway, but the Edomites would not allow them to do so (Num 20:17-18). Instead, the Israelites were forced to go around Edom’s south and eastern sides, utilizing the Way of the Wilderness (Deut 2:1-8).

Despite Yahweh’s command to drive out the Canaanites, Israel settled among them, adopting pagan ideas and customs (Jud3:5-6).   

Canaanite worship practices proliferated as Israel adapted to a more settled life and served Baal (Jud 2:11; 6:25-32). 

The rape of the Levite’s concubine recorded in Judges 19 epitomized the moral decay of this dark and dangerous era.

Judges & The Judges of Israel

You saved them from slavery, fed them, gave them water, what is their problem?  I guess the problem is greed, especially in regard to power, just like it is today.  What’s going to happen next?

“Then came 1 Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 

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. 

The upper 200 feet of Jebel el Lawz is burned black, as you can see in the photo.

The Bedouins call this mountain in ancient Midian, “Jebel el Lawz.” It stands there in stark contrast to the other mountains of the area, scorched black on the top. The Scriptures describe the time when Moses ascended to the top of the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments.

Blackened rock at the summit of Mt. Horeb where Moses met with God and the 10 Commandments were given.“And Mount Sinai was altogether in a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly” (Exodus 19:18).

The Saudi Government has confiscated many photographs of the mountain and will not allow any tourists into this area of the country.

U.S. Government satellite photos and a few private photos smuggled out of the country reveal the secret mountain by its unique blackened peak and evidence all around.

So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and 2 Hur went up to the top of the hill. 

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

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. 

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

And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven” (Ex 17:8-14).

“When Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, heard all that God had done for him, he gathered up his family and went and met Moses. 

On certain days Moses would sit and listen to the people, their complaints and questions, and Moses would explain to them the statutes and laws of God.

Jethro then told Moses that he would wear himself out doing that, that he should appoint certain people to take care of small matters and leave the big problems to himself.  Similar to misdemeanor crimes and felonies.

And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves” (Ex 18:26).

After three months, they moved to the wilderness of Sinai and Moses went up Mount Sinai to talk to God.

“In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.

And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel. 

The Amalekites were a tribe which lived in ancient Israel and in the land called Moab, in what the Romans called Arabia Petraea (Moab and the desert of Sinai), a region depopulated in the fourteenth century BC and then occupied by Edomites.

Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. 

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.  These are the words, which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Ex 19:1 & 3-6).

“Moses relayed the message to the people and they said they’d behave.  God then told Moses that in three days He would come to the mount and sound a trumpet. 

At that time the people were to come to the mount, but not get on it or even touch it, if they or any animal did they would die.

On that day, there was thunder and lightning and God’s extremely loud voice came out of a thick cloud that was upon the mount. 

From the cloud, He stepped out as fire, making the entire mountain shake, and the people were frightened.  God then told Moses and Aaron to come up the mountain. 

And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them” (Ex 19:24).

Deborah was a prophetess of the God of the Israelites, the fourth Judge of pre-monarchic Israel, counselor, warrior, and the wife of Lapidoth. The only female judge mentioned in the Bible.

Deborah led a successful counterattack against the forces of Jabin king of Canaan and his military commander Sisera.

1The Amalekites were nomadic marauding people dwelling mainly in the Negev from them times of Abraham to Hezekiah (a prophet you will hear about later), from 2000-700 B.C. 

Their origin is unknown, but Amalek may be  the grandson of Esau (one of Jacob’s sons) and is the nation’s father.  They were warlike, usually confederate with the Canaanites or Moabites, and they had no fear of God.

2 According to Jewish tradition, Hur was the husband of Miriam, Moses’ sister.

The Judges of Israel

A Biblical judge was a ruler or a military leader, as well as someone who presided over legal hearings.

Following the conquest of Canaan by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel (ca. 1150-1025 BC), the Israelite Tribes formed a loose confederation.

No central government existed in this confederation and in times of crisis, the people were led by ad hoc chieftains known as judges.

Role of the Judges

In the Book of Judges, a cyclical pattern is given to show the need for the various judges: apostasy of the Israelite people, hardship brought on as punishment from God, crying out to the Lord for rescue.

The judges were the successive individuals, each from a different tribe of Israel, chosen by God to rescue the people from their enemies and establish justice and the practice of the Torah among the Hebrews.

While judge is the closest literal translation of the Hebrew term used in the masoretic text, the position is more one of unelected non-hereditary leadership than that of legal pronouncement.

The largest city of ancient Canaan
Two hundred years after Joshua, Hazor rose again to prominence during the years of the Judges of Israel.

Deborah and Barak defeated Hazor’s general, Sisera, in the Valley of Jezreel and burned Hazor once again).

Because of the city’s strategic location, King Solomon later fortified Hazor — as well as Megiddo and Gezer.

However, Cyrus H. Gordon argued that they were normally from among hereditary leaders of the fighting, landed and ruling aristocracy, quite like the kings in Homer.

The judges did many times play the role as an official with the authority to administer justice, but not always.

As stated above, most judges acted primarily as military leaders in times of war.

These leaders were thought of as being sent by God to deliver the people from a threat.

After the threat had passed, the judge was generally expected to give up their position as military leaders.

They were most likely tribal or local leaders, contrary to the Deuteronomistic historians portrayal of them as leaders of all of Israel, however their authority was recognized by local groups or tribes beyond their own.

In accordance with the needs of the time, their functions were primarily martial and judicial, but not comparable to a king.

All Biblical Judges performed judicial duities and the institute of Judges was separated from the institute of King (1 Sam 10:25).

Manna & Egyptian Craftsmanship

That answers my question, they still complained.  But did they at least listen to what You said, and walk with You like Moses did?  

The Bible says they left Elim, by the Red Sea, and wandered into the wilderness of Sin (between Elim and Sinai).  The people were mad at God again, assuming that they were going to die in the wilderness, when in Egypt, even though they were slaves and beaten, they did eat.  They had no faith in God.

“Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no” (Ex 16:4).

“Moses said to them…This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we?  Your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD” (Ex 16:8).

According to the book of Exodus, manna is white, like Coriander seed, (although modern-day coriander seed is yellow/brown).

Some scholars have proposed that manna is cognate with the Egyptian term mennu, meaning “food”.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Arabs of the Sinai Peninsula were selling resin from the tamarisk tree as man es-simma, roughly meaning “heavenly manna”.

Tamarisk trees (particularly Tamarix gallica) were once comparatively extensive throughout the southern Sinai, and their resin is similar to wax, melts in the sun, is sweet and aromatic (like honey), and has a dirty-yellow color, fitting somewhat with the Biblical descriptions of manna.

However, this resin is mostly composed from sugar, so it would be unlikely to provide sufficient nutrition for a population to survive over long periods of time, and it would be very difficult for it to have been compacted to become cakes.

Black ant with a clear bubble of honeydew produced by a green aphid. Scale insects covered in waxy secretions.

In the Biblical account, the name manna is said to derive from the question man hu, seemingly meaning “What is it?”; this is perhaps an Aramaic etymology, not a Hebrew one.

Man is possibly cognate with the Arabic term man, meaning plant lice, with man hu thus meaning “this is plant lice”, which fits one widespread modern identification of manna, the crystallized honeydew of certain scale insects.

In the environment of a desert, such honeydew rapidly dries due to evaporation of its water content, becoming a sticky solid, and later turning whitish, yellowish, or brownish; honeydew of this form is considered a delicacy in the Middle East, and is a good source of carbohydrates.

In particular, there is a scale insect that feeds on tamarisk, the Tamarisk manna scale (Trabutina mannipara), which is often considered to be the prime candidate for biblical manna.

“And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning, the dew lay round about the host. 

And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground (it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey – vs  31).  

And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was.  And Moses said unto them, This is the bread, which the LORD hath given you to eat” (Ex 16:13-15).

Moses told them to gather only as much Manna that they would eat that day, because if they saved any it would be rotten the next day.  Did they listen to God?

“And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less” (Ex 16:17).

“Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them” (Ex 16:20).

“And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 

And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the Holy Sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. 

And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein” (Ex 16:22-24). 

Still, even though they were told not to gather any, they did it anyway.  Yet, they found nothing.  When God told them not to gather they should have understood there wouldn’t be any, but they didn’t trust Him.

Trusting God does not mean to just believe what He says verbatim, but to also understand that we don’t have to worry about anything, He will take care of us if we trust Him.

For example, I read a case where a man had lost his job and he didn’t have any money to feed his baby so he went to the grocery store and stole food, but was caught.

If he would have trusted God and asked for assistance God would have given him what he needed.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? 

See, for that the LORD hath given you the Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day” (Ex 16:28-29).

From the wilderness of Sin, they went and camped at Rephidim and there was no water and the people again yelled at Moses.

“And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people?  They be almost ready to stone me.  

And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. 

Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it that the people may drink.  And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel” (Ex 17:4-6).

Egyptian Craftsmanship

While Egyptian ships hugged the coast of Palestine as they sailed north to Phoenicia, other Egyptian ships made their way across 400 miles of open water to Crete to trade with the Minoans. 

Rock in Horeb
The close up shows the significant water erosion.

At the command of the Lord, Moses smote what the bible refers to as ‘the rock’ and Fresh Water gushed forth, supplying the Hebrews, and their flocks for the two years they encamped there.

Egyptian pottery and stone vases of the pyramid age (c. 2500 B.C.) have been found in Crete, and pottery of Cretan manufacture in Egypt. 

While Joseph served as vizier of Egypt, Cretans were selling some of their famous pottery to the Egyptians, as witnessed by finds in the Fayum. 

And pictures of Cretans with various goods have been found painted on the walls of several tombs of high Egyptian officials during the Empire Period, especially during the days of Thutmose III.

Relations with Nubia to the south were not so much commercial as exploitive, as Egypt exacted tribute in gold from the region.

Actually, the arts and crafts of Egypt had progressed to the point that she could have the Middle and New Kingdoms, when the Hebrew was there. 

The royal family and the nobility seemed to be the primary consumers of many commodities. 

And, of course, they wanted to have representations of these items for use in the next life; so they stashed them away in their tombs. 

We don’t know whether the craftsmen could have produced enough of their creations in mass quantity for export. 

Thutmose III was a great builder pharaoh and constructed over fifty temples, although some of these are now lost and only mentioned in written records.

He also commissioned the building of many tombs for nobles, which were made with greater craftsmanship than ever before. His reign was also a period of great stylistic changes in the sculpture, paintings, and reliefs associated with construction, much of it beginning during the reign of Hatshepsut.

Tomb paintings, especially of the nobility, picture all sorts of craftsmen at work, painstakingly making beds, chairs, wooden boats, chariots, leather goods, pottery, coffins, various kinds of metal objects, jewelry, and more.

The Egyptians developed the factory system during the pyramid age. 

That is, a number of craftsmen worked together in production centers as employees of the crown, the temples, or the nobility; and each workman carried out his part of the job. 

This arrangement continued through the Middle and New Kingdoms, and there were state monopolies for production and export in the Ptolemaic period (c. 300-30 B.C.).  

Craftsmen on their line of work, and if they had no son, occasionally they would train someone else’s son. 

There does not seem to have been an apprentice system, however, and the Egyptians maintained no schools of a manual training sort.

Examples of Egyptian workmanship in the crafts come from many combs or nobles, queens, and kings. 

But pride of place goes to the almost unrifled tomb of the young king Tutankhamen (King Tut), who ruled Egypt from 1366 to 1357 B.C., and does not seem to have been 20 Kinwhen he died. 

Howard Carter, working under the patronage of Lord Carnarvon, opened the tomb in November of 1922. 

Thutmose’s architects and artisans showed great continuity with the formal style of previous kings, but several developments set him apart from his predecessors. Although he followed the traditional relief styles for most of his reign, after his forty-second year, he began having himself depicted wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt and a sndyt-kilt, an unprecedented style.

Architecturally, his use of pillars also was unprecedented. He built Egypt’s only known set of heraldic pillars, two large columns standing alone instead of being part of a set supporting the roof. His jubilee hall was also revolutionary, and is arguably the earliest known building created in the basilica style. Thutmose’s artisans achieved new heights of skill in painting, and tombs from his reign were the earliest to be entirely painted, instead of painted reliefs.

Finally, although not directly pertaining to his monuments, it appears that Thutmose’s artisans had learned glass making skills – developed in the early eighteenth dynasty – to create drinking vessels by the core-formed method.

There are now 1703 objects from the tomb in the Cairo Museum catalog, and some in Egypt have privately expressed to that there may have been as many as 5,000 objects in the tomb when it was opened. 

As an example of how some of them may have been spirited away, over 300 objects from the tomb came to light in Lord Carnarvon’s castle, when a retired butler revealed their hiding place in 1988. 

The jewelry, alabaster vases and jars, chairs, beds, and the proliferation of gold in the young king’s tomb excite the imagination as to what may have been put in the tombs of kings who ruled for decades. 

This tomb is important to ancient art history and to our knowledge of craftsmanship in Egypt soon after the time of Exodus. 

Moreover, the contents give some idea of the “treasures of Egypt” (Heb 11:26) on which Moses turned his back when he chose to identify himself with the people of God.

Song of Moses & Interesting Facts – 1556-1511

After You saved the Hebrews from slavery and killed Pharaoh and his men I bet they didn’t complain any more.  Did they?

“Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation:

He is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea:

His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.

Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power:

Thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.

And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee:

Thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.

And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together,

The floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.

The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil;

My lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.

Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them:

They sank as lead in the mighty waters.

Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods?

Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.

Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed:

Thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.

The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina.

Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed;

The mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them;

All the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away.

Fear and dread shall fall upon them;

By the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone;

Till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.

Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance,

In the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in,

In the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.

The LORD shall reign forever and ever.

For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea,

And the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them;

but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea” (Ex 15:1-19).

“Moses then led the Israelites from the Red Sea to the wilderness of Shur.  They were there for three days and there was no water so they went to Marah, but they couldn’t drink the water there, and the people became angry.

And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 

And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them. 

And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters” (Ex 15:24-27).

Exactly where the Hebrews went when they left Goshen is unknown, except that they traveled through the land of the Philistines to the Red Sea (Ex 13:17-18).  

The Egyptians called it yam sûph, and the Greek translation is Red Sea.

There are alot of people that whine and complain when someone else has a better life.

Facts Reported in Books Other than the BIBLE

1556 B.C.

Cecrops
a mythical king of Athens who, according to Eusebius reigned for fifty years. The name is not of Greek origin according to Strabo,[1] or it might mean ‘tail-face’ (cerc-ops): it is said that, born from the earth itself, he had his top half shaped like a man and the bottom half in serpent or fish-tail form. He was the founder and the first king of Athens itself, though preceded in the region by the earth-born king Actaeus of Attica. Cecrops was a culture hero, teaching the Athenians marriage, reading and writing, and ceremonial burial.

Cecrops is said to have been the first who deified Zeus, and ordained sacrifices to be offered to him as the supreme Deity. He is likewise affirmed to have been the first who built altars and statues of the gods, offered sacrifices, and instituted marriage among the Athenians, who, before his time, it seems, lived promiscuously.

Cecrops, and Egyptian, transported a colony of the Sais into Attica and there set up the kingdom of the Athenians. 

This was 780 years before the first Olympiad, according to Eusebius, as derived from Castor. 

The chronology of the Isle of Pharos, published by that most learned J. Selden as part of his Marmona Arundelliana, deduced the history or antiquities of Greece from the time of Cecrops. 

After the time of Cecrops and Moses, who was his contemporary, many notable things happened in Greece.  The accounts of these items may have been exaggerated with time and became encrusted as myths. 

Eusebius stated:

Now the history of the events so celebrated among the Greeks is later than the time of Cecrops. 

For after Cecrops comes

* the deluge in the time of Deucalion,

* the conflagration in the time of Phaeton, 

* the birth of Ericthonius, 

* the rape of Proserpina,

* the mysteries of Demeter,

* the establishment of the Eleusinian mysteries,

* the husbandry of Triptolemus,

* the abduction of Europa by Zeus,

* the birth of Apollo,

* the arrival of Cadmus at Thebes, and still later than these,

* Dionysus, Minos, Perseus, Asclepius, the Dioscuri, and Hercules.

1539

In the 18th year of Cecrops, the Chaldeans went to war against the Phoenicians.

1538

In this war, the Chaldeans were defeated, and the Arabians resigned in the country of Babylon for 216 years before Belus the Assyrian came to reign there. 

The Chaldeans were an ethnic group that lived in Mesopotamia in the first millennium B.C. The Chaldean tribes started to migrate—from exactly where scholars aren’t sure—into the south of Mesopotamia in the ninth century B.C. At this time, they began to take over the areas around Babylon, notes scholar Marc van de Mieroop in his A History of the Ancient Near East, along with another people called the Arameans. They were divided into three main tribes, the Bit-Dakkuri, the Bit-Amukani, and the Bit-Jakin, against whom the Assyrians waged war in the ninth century B.C

The first king of the Arabians was Mardocentes, who reigned there 45 years, and seems to have been the man that is called Merodach. 

He was later reputed by the Babylonians to be a god.  Succeeding kings copied their names from him as Merodach, Baladan, and Evil-merodach.

1531

When Moses was 40 years old, he visited his brethren, the Israelites. 

When he saw their sad plight and observed an Egyptian smiting a man of the Hebrews, he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. 

This became known  not only to his brethren but also to Pharaoh, who sought to kill him.  Moses fled from there unto the land of Midian. 

He married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, and stayed there 40 years.

1530

Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, was born 40 years before he was sent by Moses to spy out the land of Canaan.

1511

Ramesses Miamun died in the 67 year of his right about 1511 B.C.  the length of his tyrannical reign seems to be noted in these words:

“And it came to pass in process of time that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they ried…”

This was the cruel bondage, which, even after Ramesses was dead, they endured for about a further 19.5 years under his son Amenophis, who succeeded him.

For Manetho in his writings assigns so long a time and no longer to his reign.  Although Manetho is filled with a multitude of old wives’ tales, all of which were abundantly refuted by Josephus in his first book Against Apion, yet there are two truths in Manetho’s work:

Ramesses II (c. 1303 BC – July or August 1213 B.C. Referred to as Ramesses the Great, was the third Egyptian pharaoh (reigned 1279 BC – 1213 BC) of the Nineteenth dynasty.

He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. His successors and later Egyptians called him the “Great Ancestor”. Ramesses II led several military expeditions into the Levant, re-asserting Egyptian control over Canaan. He also led expeditions to the south, into Nubia, commemorated in inscriptions at Beit el-Wali and Gerf Hussein.

At age fourteen, Ramesses was appointed Prince Regent by his father Seti I. He is believed to have taken the throne in his late teens and is known to have ruled Egypt from 1279 BC to 1213 BC for 66 years and 2 months, according to both Manetho and Egypt’s contemporary historical records. He was once said to have lived to be 99 years old, but it is more likely that he died in his 90th or 91st year.

If he became Pharaoh in 1279 BC as most Egyptologists today believe, he would have assumed the throne on May 31, 1279 BC, based on his known accession date of III Shemu day 27. Ramesses II celebrated an unprecedented 14 sed festivals (the first held after thirty years of a pharaoh’s reign, and then every three years) during his reign—more than any other pharaoh. On his death, he was buried in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings; his body was later moved to a royal cache where it was discovered in 1881, and is now on display in the Cairo Museum.

a) Amenophis was the father of Sethosis or Ramesses who was the first king of the following dynasty, or successive principality, which Manetho makes to be the 19th dynsasty.  (This was not under the other Amenophis who was the third king in the 18th dynasty as Josephus vainly surmised.) 

It was the time of the second Amenophis in the 18th dynasty that the Israelites left Egypt, under the conduct of Moses, according to Manetho’s account. 

b) The Egyptians called him Amenophis, the father of Sethosis and Harmais.  The Greeks called Amenophis by the name of Belus, the father of Egyptus and Danaus. 

Thallus, the historian (as he was cited by Theophilus ands Lactantius), confirmed that the time of Belus agreed with the time of this Amenophis. 

However, the fable writers confounded this Belus of Egypt with Belus the Assyrian, the father of Ninus.  They stated that certain colonies were transported by this Belus (who was drowned in the Red Sea) into the country of Babylon.