Saturday, January 19, 2013

How Moses Became the Author of the Torah and More Than You Asked About

Nadene Goldfoot                                    
Moses, the adopted son of the Egyptian princess, was biologically a Levite, son of Amram and Jochebed of the tribe of Levi.  The 12 sons of Jacob had entered Canaan and had gone into Egypt during a drought.  This was after Joseph, the 11th, son of Rachel and Jacob, had become an advisor to the Pharoah and had a very high position.  The tribe of Joseph begat Manasseh and Ephraim.  Ironically, Joseph's brother, Levi begat  Kohath, who begat Amram,  and his son was Moses.  So Moses was a great grand nephew  of Joseph.  Joseph lived during the Hyksos domination of Egypt (18th-16th century BCE).  The Hyksos, or foreign rulers, were thought to be Semitic chieftains from Syria and Canaan, which allowed Joseph to be in a high position.

The 12 tribes were feared as they grew in numbers and forced to become slaves for the government, used in building projects. The present curator of the Museum in Cairo has said that they weren't slaves, contradicting the ancient writing of Moses.  This is because they seem to have found evidence of bakeries and such near pyramids.  If a people are kept from leaving and must toil for someone, receiving no wages for it, they are deemed slaves.  The same thing happened to the Blacks in the USA.  Of course the owners profit more if the slaves are well fed.  If  Black slaves in the USA were not ever well fed, you can imagine that 4,000 years earlier  the 12 tribes of Jacob weren't either many a time.

 Moses must have realized when an adult that he looked like these Israelites by his features and skin coloring, though most everyone probably were of the same tanned skin from the hot sun.  Finally he found out the truth.  He alone was mortified and angered by an overseer's cruelty in whipping a slave as he, a Prince, had walked by.  Something within him stiffened at such a plight.  At the time he didn't know of his origins.  That he possessed a few different genes from the Royal House sets him apart both physically,  emotionally and mentally.  His own older brother Aaron, he found out, was one of the slaves.

The language of the slaves was Hebrew.  This along with Moabite and Phoenician languages all belong to the Canaanite branch of Semitic languages.  The Tel el Amarna Letters prove that Hebrew was spoken in our Holy Land before the Israelite conquest by Joshua.  Moses was an educated Prince and was capable of writing in Hebrew.  Biblical Hebrew was used before the exile by the Assyrians (922 BCE) and was a standardized literary language with distinct idioms for prose and poetry with a rich vocabulary.  It also borrowed many words from surrounding languages.

Hebrew letters went through some changes as time went by, so one can date something by the shape of the letters.  Writing was done on sheepskin or as with Moses, finding himself on top of a mountain, carved his 10 Commandments in stone.  After approaching his people when he came down the mountain and being angered by them, he threw down his tablets, which he had written as he was being dictated to by G-d and they broke.  He was able to rewrite them from memory and teach them to the awaiting people.  Of course we have never had a chance to view these tablets as they were later stolen.  After being kept in the Ark of the Covenant for so long, and then in the Temple that King Solomon had built, they were taken after one of the forays of our many enemies.  Many wanted them; even the Nazis who thought they would gain power with their ownership.

Besides the shapes of the letters, pre-exilic Hebrew writing was done with consonants only, having no vowels.  Later, the consonant yod was used to make the sound of i and sometimes e.  The consonant vav was used to make the sound of u and o.

Since Moses kept writing throughout the 40 years, it should be easy to date the writing attributed to him.  We find the 10 commandments first in Exodus 20: 2-14.  They are again repeated but with slight variations in Deuteronomy 5:6-18, which is the last book Moses wrote.  It's not surprising that a 40 year span and reaching the age of 120 would cause Moses to vary his essay on the commandments.  I myself have done the very same thing  within a span of 3 years.  I was researching a subject and found my own post on google.    The point of my writing was a little different, so I used information from the past with with a different emphasis in the latter.
Our Torah, or Pentateuch is known as the "Written Law."  Moses was at Sinai when he received it along with a detailed oral exposition of the Torah and its commandments.  The whole Pentateuch is read on Sabbaths in the synagogues  in one year with complies with an ancient Babylonian rite.  Naturally, some scrolls get very old and have to be given a burial.  New ones are written by a trained scribe called a Sopher who must follow carefully prescribed regulations.  If he makes one mistake, the whole thing is thrown away and he must start over.  Time may march on, but it's not going to change one letter of the Pentateuch.  We can rely on reading a copy of the original copy.

Scientist Isaac Newton (1642-1727) tried to find a code in the Bible, but at a time without computers, didn't get very far.  He wrote a book he believed unlocked the prophecies contained in Daniel and Revelation, two Bible books he viewed as intertwined.  He was a mathematician.  Newton discovered the binomial theorem, the method of fluxions (calculus), the law of gravitation and the composite nature of light—all before the age of 30. The foundations of modern astronomy and physics are still largely based on theories Newton first presented more than 300 years ago.  And he was a Christian believer  who studied the Bible daily and believed that God created everything, including the Bible. He believed that the Bible was true in every respect.

One amazing feature of the Pentateuch has been found by a mathematician in Israel, Dr. Eliyahu Rips .  He took the Pentateuch as written in Hebrew, and by using his mathematical theory,   put it in the computer.  Then he ran a format to try to see if it contained codes.  Many people have tried to do this, using the English translation before.  Rips found the Kennedy assassinations, the Oklahoma city bombing, the election of Bill Clinton, everything from WWII to Watergate, from the Holocaust to Hiroshima, and from the Moon landing to the collision of a comet with Jupiter.  The Code procedure predicted that Barack Obama would be President a year before his election, and it warns that he must prevent a nearly certain nuclear terror attack.  The bible Code reveals that Al Qaeda may already have nuclear weapons.  It even named Osama bin Laden's hide-out.  

Writer Michael Drosnin was so excited by Rips' finds that he wound up writing three books about it;  The Bible Code,  Bible Code II-the countdown, and Bible Code III-saving the world.  Rips believes in the teaching that Moses was directed by G-d to write the Pentateuch. In the late seventies, Rips began looking with the help of a computer for codes in the Torah. In 1994, Rips, together with Doron Witzum and Yoav Rosenberg, published a seminal article in the journal Statistical Science, "Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis", which claimed the discovery of encoded messages in the Hebrew text of Genesis. This, in turn, was the inspiration for the 1997 book The Bible Code by journalist Michael  Drosnin. While Rips originally claimed that he agreed with Drosnin's findings, he later distanced himself from his interpretations.

The 5 Books of Moses, written so long ago around 1200 BCE, nevertheless are awesome.  Written by a man who was inspired somehow, either by sound or some special vibrations emanating from G-d, have lasted in the original form for over 3,000 years.  Without the 10 Commandments he gave us, what a mess our world would be in; no doubt worse than now.  Possibly that's because it's still a challenge for many of us to follow 10 simple commandments.

The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Tanach-torah/prophets/writings: Stone Edition
Bible Codes I, II, and III.

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