Where do these people come up with all these different religions like henotheism? I ’m curious about…
Jeremiah’s Prophecies to the Remnant in the Land
1 Now it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, and the princes of the king, even ten men with him, came unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and there they did eat bread together in Mizpah.
“The princes of the king” – Ishmael’s loyalty to King Zedekiah migh explain his assissination of Gedaliah whom he considered to be a Babylonian puppet ruler. Just like Obama, he’s nothhing more than a puppet.
2 Then arose Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men that were with him, and smote Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan with the sword, and slew him, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land.
3 Ishmael also slew all the Jews that were with him, even with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans that were found there, and the men of war.
4 And it came to pass the second day after he had slain Gedaliah, and no man knew it,
5 That there came certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring them to the house of the LORD.
“Shechem…Shiloh…Samara” – former worship centers in the north. After the northern kingdom was destroye din 722-721 B.C. many Israelites made periodic pilgrimagess to Jerusalem, especially during the reform movements of Hezekiah.
“Beards shaven…clothes rent…having cut themselves” – a sign of mouring, probably over the destruction of Jerusalem.
6 And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went forth from Mizpah to meet them, weeping all along as he went: and it came to pass, as he met them, he said unto them, Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam.
7 And it was so, when they came into the midst of the city, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slew them, and cast them into the midst of the pit, he, and the men that were with him.
8 But ten men were found among them that said unto Ishmael, Slay us not: for we have treasures in the field, of wheat, and of barley, and of oil, and of honey. So he forbare, and slew them not among their brethren.
9 Now the pit wherein Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men, whom he had slain because of Gedaliah, was it which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel: and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with them that were slain.
”The pit…which Asa the king had made” probably as part of the fortifications Asa had built at Mizpah, since cisterns were essential for storing water during times of siege. Archeologists have discovered numerous cisterns in the ruins of ancient Mizpah (modern Tell en-Nasbeh, 7½ miles north of Jerusalem).
10 Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king’s daughters, and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam: and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the Ammonites.
11 But when Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done,
12 Then they took all the men, and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and found him by the great waters that are in Gibeon.
13 Now it came to pass, that when all the people which were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, then they were glad.
14 So all the people that Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah cast about and returned, and went unto Johanan the son of Kareah.
15 But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the Ammonites.
“Escaped…with eight men” – Ishmael only lost two of his men agaisnt Johanan.
16 Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after that he had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, even mighty men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought again from Gibeon:
17 And they departed, and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Beth-lehem, to go to enter into Egypt,
“Habitation of Chimham” – location unknown; perhaps means “lodging place of Chimham,” a friend of David who returned with him to Jerusalem after Absolom’s death (2 Sam 19:37-40).
18 Because of the Chaldeans: for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land.
Quick Biblical History
Here is a brief overview of the story behind the Bible’s creation. To understand the history of the Bible, you have to go back to the time of Abraham (2000-1450 B.C. – Gen 11:31) when the Hebrew peoples used oral tradition. Abrham is in the bloodline of Shem, one of Noah’s sons.
The tribes of the time did not have a written language and so passed on the oldest stories by mouth. Parents would verbally (orally) hand down (the Latin word tradition) the stories of Adam and Eve (Gen 2:7-22), Cain and Abel (Gen 4:1), Noah’s Ark (Gen 6:1-9:3), the Tower of Babel (Gen 11:19) and so on. Bibles did not exist then and there was no parchment, either. It was all told by word of mouth.
Moses (Ex 2) appeared on the scene around the year 1450 to 1250 B.C. and led the Hebrews out of slavery under the Egyptians into the Promised Land. The era of Moses marked the beginning of Hebrew writing; Moses had been raised in the Pharaoh’s court, and thus had learned to read and write.
But the vast majority of revelation was still passed on via oral tradition, since most Hebrews remained illiterate. Moses wrote the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.
These massive structures first appear during the Uruk period (3500-3100 BC) in Mesopotamia (literally “the land between two rivers,” also referred to as the “Cradle of Civilization,” or commonly “land of the Bible”) from Babylonia to Assyria. It is in this land, explicitly, where the earliest events in Genesis take place.
The earliest ziggurat discovered to date is at Erech/Uruk (cf. Gen 10:9-10: Genesis 10:9-10 “He [Nimrod] was a mighty hunter before the LORD… And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar”).There are no more substantial writings (as far as I know) until about 950 B.C. in the reign of King Solomon (1 Kgs 1:39-11:43). After Solomon’s death, the Hebrew Kingdom is divided into northern (Israel) and southern (Judah) kingdoms (1 Kgs 12:16).
The Assyrians conquered Israel in 721 B.C. and began the first diaspora, or scattering of the Jews so they wouldn’t live in one area. The Babylonians conquered Judah in 587 B.C. and also scattered the locals so they were no longer an effective political force.
From our current perspective, the politics and history of the Ancient Near East 2500 years ago look like successions of waves on a beach as empires ebb and flow on the world stage.
Foreign names and foreign places:
The defeat of Sinsharishkun and the fall of Nineveh;
Containment of the Egyptians at Carcemesh;
The fading of the Hittites and the rise of the Neo-Babylonians.
Early in the second millennium B.C., Jerusalem had been a city of the Canaanites, the earliest recorded inhabitants of Palestine. Conquered by the Israelites around 1000 B.C. Jerusalem became the capital of the Kingdom of Judah and it was conquered by the Babylonians in 587 B.C.
But in the second century B.C. the Hebrews took control again and held it for a 100 years before Rome captured Palestine.
From what can be told from primary documents—clay tablets, stone stele, temple carvings, ancient hymns and the like—many of the peoples of the Ancient Near East held a philosophy of religion called henotheism.
That is, they had their gods but recognized that other peoples had other gods as well. Gods tended to be thought of in regional terms. To put a finer point on it, clans and tribes told stories about their gods that were intimately tied to their lives and to their geographies.
A god wasn’t “just” a god, rather it was god X who made himself known to ancestor X at place Y in such-and-such a way. When cultures clashed the wars were not just occurring on the physical realm, the gods of the peoples were pitting their strength against one another.
A Small Step into the Future
In the 7th century A.D., Arabs invasded from the Arabian peninsula, impelled by their new religion, Islam, and most Canaanites accepted Islam. A minority kept to the Christianity that Jesus’ disciples had promoted after His crucifixion.
The assumption of the Arabic language and cultrue made the Canaan ites part of the Arab world, and from that time the inhabitants of Palestine were referred to as Arab. The tiny minority of Jews in Palestine retained their distinct identity, although they too came to speak Arabic.
The Jews that Moses knew no longer exist. The Jews of today are not Israelites, but Khazarians who had once been a Jewish Empire.