Jacob: the Myth and Metaphor of Israel

All peoples have a story of how they came to be: Native Americans, Africans, Europeans… no culture is exempt. These myths tell of their birth and evolution, and in so doing, consciously, subconsciously and unconsciously, inform, and validate, their behaviour and attitudes towards all else in creation.

The predominant myth of our age, is that told through the Torah, branching into Christianity through Jesus and then Islam through Mohammed, and from these, multitudes of interpretations, appearing as a tree, with numerous branches, twigs, shoots, and individuals as leaves, or seed, clinging to their preferred twig doctrine. But the Fall approaches and it is time for our tree to shed its seed and leaves.

Come spring, our tree will awake, new buds and shoots will appear through the icy winter’s thaw: but this time, given the fall, no bud or leaf, no matter how unique, will dare think itself as above all other leaves. This time, regardless of preferences, all will be recognised as blessed children of God.

The Myth

In the beginning God created heaven and earth, and all peripheral things and species. Then God created man, to whom he gave dominion over all this creation. Well, all except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was at the centre of this garden: together with the tree of life. Then God created woman as man had no mate. However, this woman, prompted by the serpent, ate from the forbidden tree, and convinced her mate to do likewise. Their eyes are opened and they saw the difference between right and wrong, and that they were naked. God was furious and as a consequence hid the tree of life way over in the east, threw them from the garden and gave man dominion over woman.

Many generations on, following assorted calamities portrayed as God making good for the misdemeanour’s of His creation (the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, Babel…), God decides to appoint a chosen servant, one in whom he can place ultimate trust: one to be named, “the father of many nations”1

Examining Israel

The line of Israel traces back to Abraham. Abraham, once named Abram, was inflicted with God’s most stringent, demanding tests culminating in taking his son, Isaac, up onto a mountain to sacrifice. With absolute faith in God, just as Abraham is about to plunge a knife into Isaac an angel of God stays his hand and directs him to a ram trapped in a bush. God is so pleased with Abraham’s faith, his trust, that He honours Abraham with a commitment to reward his line with unbounded glories in the future kingdom2.

Abraham eventually dies at a ripe old age and Isaac assumes this mantle. God blesses Isaac with two sons, Esau and Jacob, twins, although Esau was born first, with Jacob holding onto his heel. Isaac favours Esau, the hairy hunter, who brings him game, of which he is particularly fond. However Rebecca, Isaac’s wife, favours Jacob3.

One day Esau returns famished from hunting, Jacob, in the kitchen, says if he wants food Esau must give him his birthright. Esau, preferring hunting to farming, surrenders his birthright for a bowl of beans4. Then Isaac in his old age, with failing sight, calls Esau to him and instructs him to hunt some game, and then he will give Esau his blessing. However Rebecca overheard this and instructed Jacob to kill a couple of goats and serve them to Isaac before Esau returns. This is duly done and dressed in Esau’s best clothes, wearing the skin of the goats to disguise his relative hairlessness, Jacob receives Isaac’s blessing in the presence of God5.

Now this Esau is not happy about, so to avoid confrontation while Esau come to terms with his loss, Isaac sends Jacob to Mesopotamia to live with with Rebecca’s relatives. Jacob remains there for twenty years where he prospers greatly, finds two wives, some concubines and has twelve children. Eleven sons: Ruben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun and Joseph, and (at least) one daughter, Dinah (although daughters are rarely mentioned and certainly not seen as heirs: more as chattel and bargaining chips)6.

After twenty years (and some disputes about ownership and wages), Jacob decides to return to Canaan, and Esau. Jacob is not hopeful of a happy reunion so organises his now substantial entourage into two groups in case of attack, and sends gifts of livestock on ahead7.

Jacob sends his entire company across the River Jabbok but stays behind, to spend the night alone. That night God, or an angel of God, visits Jacob, where they tussle until dawn. By the morning Jacob has still refused to submit, so God gives Jacob the title of Israel, meaning, approximately, “he struggles with God” or “prince with God”, depending upon which version of the myth we consult8.

This is remarkable feat. How could God not defeat Jacob? God has all the power of the universe at His disposal! Well, not all it seems: Jacob’s stiff neck is unbendable, even by God. Nevertheless, Esau, simple though he may be, is a forgiving character and bears no ill will or malice towards Jacob and so they are reconciled without bloodshed9.

The myth then tells us Jacob and his entourage settle near a town where Dinah is raped by a Hivite, Shechem, who falls in love with her and begs to be allowed to marry her. This is agreed on the condition that all the men of the town are circumcised, which duly takes place. However three days later two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, return to the town and slaughter the entire male population. The town is then plundered by them and the rest of Jacob’s sons, who take all the women and children, their livestock and possessions. Jacob and his clan then depart towards Bethel, leaving all the surrounding towns terrified10.

Rachel, Jacob’s favourite wife (and mother of Joseph), then delivered to him a twelfth son, Benjamin, but died in childbirth11.

Israel and his clan then settled in Canaan for a decade or so. For how long is not quite clear but it is not for a substantial length of time, because as a famine strikes Canaan they up sticks and move to Egypt, while Jacob’s offspring are still youthful.

Jacob had favoured Joseph more than all his other sons (the favourite son from the favourite wife), which made them resentful and envious, and in turn no doubt contributed to Joseph’s belief in his own superiority. The upshot being Joseph’s older brothers had decided to kill him, but instead, not wanting to bypass a financial opportunity, sold him to a caravan heading for Egypt. They then delivered Joseph’s blood-soaked cloak (of many colours) to Jacob, informing him that Joseph had been eaten by a wild animal12.

Joseph however became favoured by the Pharaoh because of his ability to interpret dreams: thus giving him the opportunity to call his family to Egypt. Where his brothers prostrate themselves before him, as Joseph informs them God has made him “a father to the Pharaoh, and lord over all his house, and a leader throughout all the land of Egypt.”13 And so as a consequence Joseph brings Israel and his tribe to Egypt, where they are gifted the “the best part of the land” in Goshen14: where they will remain for the next four hundred years.

These years are not covered in detail, except to note that through the grace of God the tribes prosper and proliferate, and it seems isolate themselves, preferring to keep their chosenness to intermingling their line with unchosen outsiders. And eventually they gain the enmity of the current Pharaoh who oppresses the tribes and puts them to work. Yet, the Egyptians came to fear the Israelites even more, leading to an order to kill all male children.

Moses, born to the tribe of Levi, was therefore placed in a reed basket and left by the side of a river, where he was discovered by the Pharaoh’s daughter and adopted by her. Following various adventures Moses returns to confront the Pharaoh and demand that he release the tribes or face the wrath of God. The Pharaoh refuses seven times for which God heaps untold woes upon the Egyptians, leading to Israel’s eventual release. So laden with Egyptian gold and jewels, the tribe depart, guided by God, who even parts the Red Sea to ease the passage of His chosen ones15.

And, as the chosen ones watch God’s destruction of the Pharaoh’s army, the belief in their own importance is surely magnified: as demonstrated by the chant of Israel as they head for their ‘promised land’, where they had once lived for a few years, over four centuries past:

The people will hear and be afraid:                                         

Sorrow will take hold on the inhabitants of Philistia.                    

Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed;                                  

The mighty men of Moab,                                                     

Trembling will take hold of them;                                                 

All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away.                               

Fear and dread will fall upon them;                                               

By the greatness of Your arm                                                     

They will be as still as a stone;                                                    

Till Your people pass over, O LORD,                                              

Till the people pass over,                                                          

Whom You have purchased.                                                        

You will bring them in, and plant them                                           

In the mountain of Your inheritance,                                             

In the place, O LORD, which You have made                                 

For Your own dwelling,                                                                

The Sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.16

This ‘chosenness’ will never leave Israel, graphically demonstrated by behaviour and attitudes plaguing Palestine to this very day: the belief that the tribes of Israel are better and more important than all God’s lesser creations.

Nevertheless Moses, leading Israel’s exodus, through the Ten Commandments, and forty years in the desert (for a journey that could have been accomplished in days), attempts to instil some sense of decency and equanimity amongst the tribes: but, to no avail. The tribes constantly break with God’s law and Moses is forever pleading with God to remember his covenant with Abraham, to which He is bound.

Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, the remaining books attributed to Moses, are dominated not by the Ten Commandments and the universal Truth of reciprocity, but an obsession with hierarchy, gold and jewels, costume, wealth and ownership, and judgement, ritual and absolution: sacrifice and taxes: to God’s debt collectors, the priests, who place a value on every sin. In effect, atonement through bribery. A far distant attitude from Moses’ original and primary message, and his personal behaviour, who, so the myth goes, was the humblest man on earth17.

Moses’ final address to the tribes offers a chilling picture for Israel’s future, as he warns them not to look to heaven or across the sea for good and evil, nor ask who will bring it to them, but to find it in their own mouths and hearts18, and the recognition that despite Moses’ personal honour and resolve, the tribes with their stiff-necks and rebellion will whore for Mammon19 and “become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands.”20

Before moving on to the conquering of Canaan under Joshua, it is worth highlighting a couple of salient images, rarely if ever mentioned. In addition to Moses’ first wife, from the land of Midian (the location of which is unknown, but nevertheless it is outside Israel), who bore him children21, Moses also married a black woman, from Ethiopia (or the Sudan, depending upon which translation one reads): and, true to form, Israel, in the shape of Aaron and Miriam, from the tribe of Levi, the priests, condemn him for it22. Any mention of Moses’ offspring is excluded from the myth, however, the stark and inescapable truth of this revelation shows beyond dispute, the exodus as depicted within the myth was not solely limited to the descendants of Jacob.

Nevertheless, putting that aside, as did the myth makers, after the death of Moses, Israel under Joshua invade the land of Canaan, in the name of God: to purge the land of wicked idol worshipping heathens. Well, given that this is arable and pastoral land, (tilled and tended by those whose ancestors were not able to escape to Egypt in less plentiful times: including, of course Esau’s, hence Isaac’s and Abraham’s descendants) most likely farmers and herders for the most part: albeit with different custom and culture to God’s chosen ones.

What follows is a tale of intolerance and cruelty, towards people who do not follow the same rituals and practices as God’s Chosen, that spreads beyond Joshua through Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, until their eventual overthrow by Babylon. It is not mentioned as to whether any or all of Israel’s victims were in violation of the Commandments beyond ritual.

However, what is inescapable is how frequently Israel, and its chosen leaders abuse God’s laws, and how angry and impatient God becomes with them. They are intolerant, dishonest and cruel, and leave no Commandment unbroken. Judges is a litany of abuse and power struggles amongst the tribes, culminating with a Levite (priest) giving his concubine to a group of Benjaminites who rape and murder her, which prompts the Levite to cut her into twelve pieces and send one to each of the twelve tribes: leading to war and the virtual extinction of the tribe of Benjamin23. This is remedied by slaughtering everyone in Jabesh, except for four hundred virgins, effectively gifted to the Benjaminites to re-establish their tribe24.

In the aftermath, according to the first book of Samuel, God decides to install a king to dictate behaviour. God’s chosen representative is Saul whose behaviour and attitude matches the preceding Judges, but nevertheless he (at least symbolically) unites the tribes under a single banner. Saul is arrogant and ruthless and annihilates all who stand in his way, including priests, women and children25. Realising His mistake God decides to replace Saul with David, whose behaviour and attitude are little different.

David’s litany of slaughter and abuse is too great to itemise, he makes war on everyone. Where Saul killed 1,000, David killed 10,00026. Indeed, as a dowry for the hand of Saul’s daughter, Saul demands one hundred Philistine foreskins, but David goes one better and delivers two hundred27. David is a gangster, adulterer and murderer, mass murderer, so the myth tells us28, yet is still favoured by God: and, as we know, idolised to this day amongst the children of Israel.

After David we have Solomon the wise, who builds the Temple, installs the Covenant box and a brief period of tolerance and stability ensues, in a united kingdom29. However upon Solomon’s death his son, Rehoboam, takes charge and, ignoring his fathers advisers, as he attempts to magnify taxes the tribes rebel and the kingdom splits in two30.

Two kings rule divided lands, Israel and Judah, and war and brutality, ruthlessness and egotism return to the tribes. This perspective and attitude, superiority and intolerance, dominates Kings and Chronicles as God installs leader after leader, only for them to abuse power and break from the law, generating assorted calamities, their eventual overthrow by Babylon, the sacking of Jerusalem, and exile for the tribes31.

After seventy or so years of atonement, the tribes of Israel, under the Persian Empire, are re-established in Jerusalem, the ruins. Rebuilding Jerusalem and the Temple takes place under Ezra and Nehemiah, who have learnt nothing from Israel’s humbling and exile, except to despise other races and nations all the more.

Under Ezra and Nehemiah marriage to foreigners is banned and all wives and children not of Jacob’s line are expelled from the territory. In effect they ethnically cleanse their ‘God given’ lands of impurity. But, as with all racists, their hate and ignorance prevent them from seeing the stupidity and futility of their prejudice32.

For, as they expel the Amorites, Maobites, etc.33 it seems they are oblivious to their own myth and the genetic line of their beloved David, whose great grandmother, Ruth, was herself from the land of Moab34. The greatest irony: if these racists had been directing Israel just a few centuries earlier, their brutal idol would never have been born!

Israel’s treatment of others is a repetitive theme throughout the remaining myth, as prophet after prophet, from Amos to Zechariah, reiterate Moses’ commandments, and affirm his dire warnings to the tribes for their treatment those they see as ‘unchosen’.

And further, ignoring and obscuring lineage is a recurrent theme throughout the myth. It is not solely Moses’ unpalatable offspring who are edited out, for Solomon receives the same treatment. Solomon, already part Moab, through David’s line, had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines from across the known world35. He had at least one child, his heir, Rehoboam, who the scribes cannot delete, but, if he had one, by inference he must have had a thousand, or at least an extraordinarily large number: to intermingle with the line of Jacob, at its most influential.

Indeed, Solomon is an embarrassment, an anathema to the priests and their scribes: the myth makers. For he allowed his wives and concubines, their servants and attendants to worship their own chosen deities36, with his tolerance and understanding engendering peace and harmony throughout Israel and neighbouring lands (prompting a visit, and extraordinary gifts, even from the Queen of Sheba37): which of course undermines the very existence of the scribes, their masters, and the myth itself.

Solomon ruled the unified land for forty years with a rare moment of tranquillity for the descendants of Jacob. Yet, God was angered by this tolerance, and, as a consequence, following Solomon’s death, God shattered this peace. Supposedly, according to the myth, God did not act while Solomon was alive because it would hurt his feelings38!? Well, full marks for compassion, but, if one is trying to set an example, patently idiotic!

It is also inconsistent with both the commandments and the prophets. Yet, the myth continues, to Malachi, the myth’s last offering, and the prophecy of a saviour, the great prophet. Who, in the face of unimaginable torment and suffering, trials and temptation, will rise above personal fear and ego and present to all: divine love for humankind and love for all creation: to demonstrate the true capacity of humanity. And yet, inevitably, given the myth, be spurned, rejected and derided by the tribes of Jacob: who prefer superiority to sharing, dominion to equilibrium: lies to Truth. Unable to escape their own myth, their stiff-necks must remain unbendable and their chosenness inviolate.

The Metaphor

Abraham was once called Abram, and in that life he suffered hardship, tribulation, tests of the most extreme kind, tests far beyond the endurance of any normal mortal. Culminating in the projected sacrifice of Isaac, his only son born of his barren wife Sarah: and born to them late in life, long after normal childbearing age. Yet Abraham’s faith is resolute, unquestioning and trust in God complete. And for this, God, seeing Abraham as his most faithful and worthy of creations, rewards him with a promise to make Abraham’s descendants as many as “the stars in the sky or grains of sand along the seashore”39.

God makes Abraham chosen above all other humans. And yet, also, Abraham in Hebrew translates as “father of many nations”.

God’s blessing is passed from Abraham to Isaac, his so nearly sacrificed son. Isaac has twins, Esau and Jacob. Esau is the hairy hunter, simple, honest, respectful, and favoured by Isaac. Jacob, a quiet man, stayed at home and was favoured by Rebecca, Isaac’s wife. Isaac intends to pass his blessing to Esau, the first-born, however, Rebecca overhears Isaac’s intentions and hatches a plan of her own. And Isaac, with failing senses, is tricked into giving God’s blessing to Jacob.

So for ego and greed, through lies and deceit, Jacob fraudulently obtains Isaac’s blessing, before going to live with Rebecca’s relations in Mesopotamia. Here, through the grace of God, Jacob prospers greatly: twelve children, two wives, several concubines, slaves and huge numbers of livestock, and after twenty years Jacob decides to return and face Esau: with literally hundreds of livestock as a peace offering.

Just prior to this reunion, God visits Jacob with a demand of some description. What does God want? Well, assuming consistency in God’s will, and using the Commandments as a guideline: not to steal, covert or bear false witness, and to have respect for God. The first three of which Jacob broke for Isaac’s blessing, and the last, God’s greatest commandment, was well and truly smashed by dawn from that fateful night.

There is no other rational explanation for this extraordinary battle: God wants Jacob to return the blessing, perhaps even share it. But no, Jacob is determined, it is his blessing, and no matter of conscience is going to undermine the glory of his line through eternity. He wants it for himself, and the tribes.

God was vanquished, for the price of a limp, and God’s covenant with Abraham stayed owned by Jacob, now named Israel. This appears to be a remarkable oversight of this ‘all knowing’ God, whose covenant is stolen just two generations on: as though He is incapable foresight, and suckered. So God’s blessing is now with an unrepentant thief: and although Isaac had only one blessing to pass on, Jacob it seems now has twelve, to be passed to his line for the rest of history. God’s chosen ones: whether God liked it or not: the “stiff-necked” tribes of Israel.

So as a consequence they are shown favouritism: when a drought strikes Canaan the tribes are relocated to Egypt, where over the next four centuries they prosper greatly and gain in power, under the grace of God. Yet they remain isolated, chosen, unwilling to share, and eventually acquire the enmity of the Pharaoh, who persecutes them.

For this God inflicts terrible suffering on the unchosen Egyptians, enabling Israel, now numbering 600,000, to escape from Egypt, together with enormous wealth. God parts the Red Sea, destroys the Egyptian army and leads Israel to the relative safely of the Sinai Desert where they live off Manna from heaven (and quail) for the next forty years: as Moses, through the Ten commandments and personal example attempts to instil in Israel a sense of equanimity and honesty. You shall not Kill, Lie, Steal, Covert… and you shall worship only Truth, in effect, observe the universal principal of reciprocity. And Moses, “the humblest man on earth”40, was married to women from outside the tribes, who were blessed with children: a sure sign of God’s approval.

But, the stiff-necks of Israel will not be bent. And despite Moses’ dire warning just prior to his death, under Joshua, Israel then proceed to invade and ethnically cleanse their God given lands of ‘impurity’.

Once established in their promised land, the chosen then proceed to fight amongst themselves, oblivious to God’s and Moses’ Commandments and warnings. Chosenness trumping any vision or understanding of equanimity, sharing or kindness.

Such behaviour continues and escalates from Joshua to Judges, where it seems Israel’s depravity and hate know no bounds. Yet, despite this behaviour, God, rather than obliterate in his usual fashion, because of his covenant with Abraham, installs a king, an overarching chosen one, above the other chosen. This position is given to Saul, who, despite God’s best intentions, mercilessly abuses his power, magnifying his chosenness above all others.

God, apparently oblivious to the truth that power always corrupts, replaces Saul with David, who multiplies Saul’s abuse and violence by a factor of ten. And although he ruled this unified land for forty years, preferred conquest to construction, so set about creating a Greater Israel through fighting and killing, rather than building the Temple for God’s covenant.

This task was left to his son, Solomon, who prayed for Wisdom, which was granted. Wisdom brought vision, understanding beyond the personal and immediate. Wisdom brought insight, and with insight, power for the sake of itself was recognised as destructive and counterproductive. Wisdom showed that for genuine peace and security, for harmonious interaction with what is and will be, understanding (not ego) offers the only genuine path.

God, it seemed, was happy. Solomon built the Temple, installed the Covenant Box and established peace throughout the land for the forty years of his reign. Further, Solomon made peace with Israel’s neighbours, he intermarried across the known world and interbred accordingly. His tolerance enabled anyone within his realm to worship Truth in their own particular fashion, promoting a peace and harmony, and diversity previously unknown. Solomon offered a vision of what could be, if Wisdom guided motivation.

Now, according to the myth, God, the god of Israel, who recognises Israel’s chosenness above all others is angry with this tolerance and equanimity, and so, after Solomon’s long and harmonious, fruitful reign, tears the kingdom in two. The myth tells us God was angered by this tolerance, but did not act while Solomon was alive, out of love for David. One wonders if this was truly what God said to Solomon, and quite how the myth makers overheard this remarkable conversation, or, whether, given the scribes attachment to chosenness, they were engaging in ‘poetic licence’ for the sake of their myth. Because, for sure, despite God’s multitudinous misjudgements and oversights leading to this point, as depicted by the myth makers, waiting until after Solomon’s death to destroy this supposed aberration, trumps all in terms of wrong-headed messages.

It is additionally ironic that Solomon more than any other leader before (to Moses), and since, observed the commandments and exhortations of the prophets and was not plagued by these seers of doom as other leaders were and will be. God’s supposed displeasure was imparted directly, first hand, while the myth makers, so it seems, hid, listening, like some modern day tabloid journalist, behind a curtain.

And so now the myth can continue, uninterrupted by ethic, as Wisdom is sacrificed by Solomon’s money grabbing heir, Rehoboam, to be perpetuated through the remaining story by the chosen above the chosen, be they kings, priests or their administrators.

This is epitomised by Ezra and Nehemiah, abusing power and indulging in prejudice, as they concentrate their chosenness and heap hatred upon others, and ignore any lineage that does not suit their vision of a master race. Ruth the Moab being the most prominent example, although what they made of Moses’ nigger wives and his mulatto offspring, God only knows. God only knows.

So, onward through the prophets, the myth continues, to Malachi, a repetitive pattern: abuse of power, intolerance for the other, the ‘unchosen’, and prediction of a saviour from the line of David, via Solomon. A saviour for humanity, all of us, and therefore, inevitably, to be rejected by any who claim superiority, favouritism: chosenness. For the tribes of Jacob, who for the sake of the myth must hold God to His covenant: the stiff-necks of Israel must remain, forever, unbending. Chosenness, once imparted, never to be willingly surrendered.

And although through the ebb and flow of time the tribes of Jacob have been dispersed around the world, it is apparent their wealth and power and influence is second to none within our global world order. Commerce, media, politics, technology, philosophy, psychology, wherever one looks, considering their relatively small number, the influence of Israel is quite extraordinary. Marx, Herzl, Trotsky, Freud, Bernays, Einstein, Bhor, Rothschild, Kissinger, Friedman, Spielberg, Chomsky… to name but a few. No other religion or nation comes even close to the prominence of Israel in shaping and motivating our world today (and their dominance across Nobel Prize disciplines is beyond dispute). Although, ironically, it is worth noting, none of these cultural, ideological, financial, scientific, intellectual icons appears to subscribe to the biblical god. Most in fact are at pains to deny, destroy and undermine Israel’s God myth.

*

This is the tale of Israel: Abraham, God’s most devout and faithful of servants, installed as a middleman, favourite of God as a father for many nations: to inform our onward journey. Yet a covenant stolen by Jacob, as he sees it, to be given solely to his line, placing the tribes of Israel above all others.

Power corrupts. There is no one who does not know this? And surely there is no greater power than the favour of God? And as we have seen, in time of drought, the tribes of Israel are transplanted to lands of plenty, given enormous wealth and then gifted with their promised land. Favouritism indeed, and because of which, belief in their superiority is cemented, and hatred, disdain for the unchosen, the goyim, and any who would dare question Israel’s position is sadly inevitable.

It is an unremitting tale, abuse of power through the centuries, millennia, with the only exception being Solomon. For whom, so the myth makers tell us, their god had a particular dislike.

However, hidden in the depths of this remarkable holy book, surrounded by tales of atrocity, unnoticed by the casual reader are what is known as ‘the Wisdom books’: almost all attributed to Solomon.

Undoubtedly much of this wisdom has been twisted and obliterated by the myth makers, but to offer a glimpse into what makes Solomon quite so repulsive to God’s Chosen, let us take a moment to examine at least a few words from Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

From Proverbs:

If you oppress poor people you insult the God who made them: but kindness shown to the poor is an act of worship.41

It is better to be patient than powerful. It is better to win control over yourself than whole cities.42

It is better, much better, to have wisdom and knowledge than gold and silver.43

Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace.44

If you want to be happy be kind to the poor: it is a sin to despise anyone.45

When you please the LORD, he will make your enemies into friends.46

Better to eat a dry crust of bread with peace of mind than to have a banquet in a house full of trouble.47

If you pay attention when you are corrected, you are wise.48

Pride leads to destruction and arrogance to downfall.49

If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. You will make him burn with shame, and the LORD will reward you.50

The most stupid fool is better off than someone who thinks he is wise when he is not.51

Human desires are like the world of the dead: there is always room for one more.52

And from Ecclesiastes:

It is better to have only a little, with peace of mind, than to busy all the time with both hands, just trying to catch the wind.53

Do not be surprised when you see that the government oppresses the poor and denies them justice and their rights. Every official is protected by the one over him and both are protected by still higher officials.54

Someone who is always thinking about happiness is a fool. A wise person thinks about death.55

It is better to have wise people reprimand you than to have stupid people sing your praises.56

It is better to listen to the quiet words of a wise man than the shouts of a ruler at a council of fools.57

It is good to be able to enjoy the pleasant light of day. Be grateful for every year that you live. No matter how long you live, remember that you will be dead much longer. There is nothing at all to look forward to.58

Truly repulsive words to any power seeker or power holder and a completely inappropriate attitude for anyone claiming chosenness. And yet, wisdom that sits comfortably with Krishna, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Socrates and Jesus: all of whom, accepting the myth’s time-line, were centuries in Solomon’s wake.

The myth makers hate Solomon with a passion: he challenges ignorance and fear, scorns ritual and submission, promotes harmony and understanding, and, in the process, undermines the myth’s very existence. Solomon was gifted with Wisdom, and with Wisdom came inescapable Truth. And Wisdom knows that within the divine dance of creation, there is no atom excluded, let alone a human. Pauper president, master slave, black white, yellow red, all have their part to play.

All have their part to play, and no one can hold greater importance than another: that is impossible. Though a person is chosen for a particular role, without all else in creation, the mechanism is incomplete and no plan can exist: as pieces in a puzzle, there are none missing, nor any left over.

Wisdom says we are all chosen for one role or another. To deny this is to deny the existence of a plan, to deny the connection of life, to deny Truth, harmony, beauty, balance, and Love. And consequently, denying the plan surrenders the future to chaos, and in the process, removes chosenness from all and everything.

But either way, the myth of Israel, and their favoured status, evaporates to nothingness in the clear light of Wisdom. Chosen though Israel may be, that is for a specific purpose, but to think that favourable or advantageous in relation to the rest of creation can only be ignorance and prejudice.

This is not to denigrate any of the above icons, their wisdom and insight are beyond dispute and inform and motivate our world: as it is meant to be, in God’s divine plan. Together with every ruler, and incident there ever was, and ever will be. That is, assuming the Wisdom of a higher power.

So we return to the myth, and the metaphor cast within. That of the covenant, stolen, and the chosenness of one over another, and the apparent cluelessness of God the Father, as through history these chosen, Israelite or other, abuse power, in the name of ‘Good and Evil’.

Good and Evil

So man discovered when he ate from the Tree of Knowledge. That is, the value judgement one places on the other: the ability to define right and wrong, sin, another’s Truth. In effect, the invention of a middleman: priests and princes, to decide and decree upon how you should live your life: with some ground-rules. Namely, nakedness is bad, man must rule and woman must suffer, and, from a solely He god. The He god, who upon discovering Eve and Adam have partaken of the ‘forbidden fruit’, hides the Tree of Life, the other tree, way over in the east, beyond immediate access. And we are left with the knowledge of ‘good and evil’, defined through a God-given middleman: a merchant of Truth.

But what of the other tree, hidden by this He god, only after man had tasted knowledge? It is interesting to note, in the east, to where God banished the Tree of Life, life and knowledge are seen as symbiotic, inseparable: female male, feeling thinking, passive aggressive, yin yang, aspects of the complete Dao.

It is unsurprising then, that once the Tree of Life is disposed of we are left with a solely He god. An all knowing god, but without insight, judgement without forgiveness, almost permanently wrathful at His creation, following His plan, to the letter! Entirely devoid of characteristics associated with the feminine. (Worth noting also, is that in most other religions, the snake is seen as the progenitor of wisdom, venerated, and sometimes even worshipped.)

Man is set to rule, with power, but without Wisdom, and no matter how many times God wipes the slate clean, no matter who He puts in charge, within a generation it is already going off frack. A repeating pattern, from Adam through Noah to Abraham: God’s chosen, His foundation, with whom He entrusts humanity’s future, not matching to His expectations. This is compounded still further just two generations beyond Abraham, when God is apparently suckered as His Truth is stolen, hijacked for history by a thief and liar. God, all powerful, but clueless, with ‘good’ now in the hands of its antithesis: so the myth informs us.

Power: that is what our He god comes with. The power to rule and to say who rules, and the power to destroy: which is, in effect, what He teaches through example. And when all opposition is destroyed His chosen then get the opportunity to live freely, in their God given lands. But how do they behave? Abuse their power, God’s favour, over and over, to the detriment of all others, on throughout the myth and epitomised by David who outslaughtered Saul at a ratio of 10:1. We then have Solomon, and the manifestation of Wisdom.

Wisdom, Sophia, the He god’s feminine counterpart, who brings insight to knowledge and undermines the primordial power drive, inspires Solomon and we glimpse harmony for an instant: tolerance rules, understanding is engaged and we see humanity’s future. Before the mythological He god becomes dissatisfied with this understanding and reverts to authority and order, imposed by His chosen. The He god is not yet ready to share, to acknowledge the underlying metaphor of His own creation: that through Eve and Adam, we are all siblings.

In terms of substance, Wisdom will not reappear until Christ, the Messiah, the god-man, in risen form, to whom all humanity has access, and to whom no one individual is more chosen than any other: beggar or king, priest or whore, savage or civilised. Universal Truth, universal Love: incorruptible, unassailable and irrefutable, and with this Truth, the death of chosenness. And so for the myth to hold any substance, as with the Wisdom of Solomon, so too must the Wisdom of Christ be spurned, and hated by the tribes of Jacob: the Chosen.

This is the foundation of Judaism, that in some way they are superior, more important to all else in creation. And, so they believe, regardless of behaviour, they have a God given right to rule, and live with impunity in their God given land. Although of course this is far from what the myth says, because Moses issued the proviso, which was confirmed through every prophet following: that of observing God’s Commandments.

To which, sad to say, they are oblivious.

Let us be fair, these stories, myth or history, are from millennia past and although the tribes of Jacob still vehemently cling to their chosenness, they are by no means unique in this. Popes, priests, preachers, princes, presidents, politicians whoever one considers, wherever one looks through the annals of history, even despite that they write their own myth, their abuse of claimed chosenness is plain and gratuitous. And our world today is a living breathing testament of this good and evil, justice and sin, defined by some other, claiming authority: chosenness. Hate, intolerance, superiority, righteousness… look around you, there is nowhere upon God’s earth immune to or exempt from this paradigm. Blood drenched, poverty stricken, polarised proof of the greed and callousness of so claimed leaders, who profess to be the arbiters of good and evil for others: although, God knows, they are the whores of Mammon.

And from this myth, a metaphor, clear as the light of day. A metaphor for all time, for every situation, and one to be learnt by heart: for humanity to evolve and mature. The lie of chosenness: beyond one’s particular dance within the eternal harmony that is the Love of God. The lie that any one creation is more loved, of more importance or has greater access to Truth, God, than any other. And with the destruction of chosenness, the lie of authority, God’s middleman, is thrown to the wind and ‘good and evil’ are returned to their rightful place: the voice of your heart, in love with creation, for no other to dispute.

It is time then for Wisdom to make her presence known, and felt, once again. To cast out these impostors, reignite the light within and empower humanity to its soul: to engrave a lesson to the heart of all thinking creation. For, be assured, these God given parasites, who demand you work six days out of seven, so that they do not have to: documented, proven liars and hypocrites, who claim good and evil as their own, were not sent to rule you, but to teach humankind a lesson for all time, a lesson it will never, ever, forget.

And, given our world’s current state of affairs: the inequity and suffering, the greed and hate, and God’s documented temper, personally, the last thing I would ever want to claim is chosenness.

END

1Genesis 17:4

2Genesis 22:17

3Genesis 25:24-28

4Genesis 25:27-33

5Genesis 27:1-29

6Genesis 30

7Genesis 31

8Genesis 32:28

9Genesis 33:4

10Genesis 34-35

11Genesis 35:18

12Genesis 37

13Genesis 45:8

14Genesis 47:6

15Exodus 10-15

16Exodus 15:14-17

17Numbers 12:3

18Deuteronomy 30:10-16

19Deuteronomy 31:16

20Deuteronomy 31:27 & 29

21Exodus 2:22 & 4:20

22Numbers 12:1

23Judges 19-20

24Judges 21

251 Samuel 22

261 Samuel 22

271 Samuel 18:25-27

281 Samuel 25 – 2 Samuel 23

29 1 Kings 1:11-11:43

301 Kings 12:1-20

311&2 Kings 1&2 Chronicles

32 Ezra & Nehemiah

33Nehemiah 13:1-3

34Ruth 4:17

351 Kings 11:1-3

361 Kings 11:8

371 Kings 10:1-10

381 Kings 11:11-12

39Genesis 22: 17

40Numbers 12:3

41Proverbs 14:31

42Proverbs 16:32

43Proverbs 16:16

44Proverbs 15:18

45Proverbs 14:21

46Proverbs 16:7

47Proverbs 17:1

48Proverbs 15:31

49Proverbs 16:18

50Proverbs 25:21

51Proverbs 26:12

52Proverbs 27:20

53Ecclesiastes 4:6

54Ecclesiastes 5:8

55Ecclesiastes 7:4

56Ecclesiastes 7:5

57Ecclesiastes 9:17

58Ecclesiastes 11:7-8

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