Modern churchianity generally promotes a “bi-polar God”—one that changes between the Old Testament and New. This is necessary because they are reading both testaments with translations provided from the Pharisaical viewpoint. A viewpoint that is especially popular to people who have given their responsibilities over to a centralized government.
Jesus (and lots of other Jews) read the same Old Testament and came to totally different conclusions than the Pharisees. Jesus perfectly aligned with Abraham and Moses. The problem is that Moses’ teachings started being perverted as soon as the people “rejected God” in favor of a central government. Abraham and Moses taught a system of DEcentralized government which Jesus, with his legally-recognized position as both priest and king, re-instituted in his nation.
It’s difficult for today’s churchians to grasp because they are, once again, living under central government and can’t conceive of the daily practicalities of a unified nation operating without central authority. There would be so much more clarity if only BC and AC stood for Before Centralization and After Centralization.
Consider how poorly mainstream churchianity has interpreted the idea of “stoning.” At the time Moses used the term, it had nothing to do with killing people. The practice involved “living stones” getting together and removing someone from their community.
Same situation with “burnt offerings.” Nobody (at least until Israel rejected God in favor of a central government) literally burned sheep and goats to keep their bi-polar God from striking them with lightning. Instead, offerings were considered “burnt” when the owners gave them wholly over to the priests to use as assets for the management of care for the needy in their society. In other words, the gifts could not be given with strings attached. The Hebrew symbols translated into “liver” which was supposed to be given to the priests also means “reigns of control.” The word for “dove” also means “piece of estate.” In their agrarian, nomadic lifestyle, people may indeed have been giving live doves, goats, and sheep. But the real meaning wasn’t specifying types of gifts. It was specifying how any gift was to be properly given.
If modern churchianity is so screwed up over such simple concepts, could it be that the passages in the Old Testament that seem to revolve around “war” are equally goofy? If we take God’s command “Thou shalt not kill” as the gold standard and don’t automatically presume he is a bi-polar hypocrite, might there be some alternative conclusions?
Might it be possible that a story like the one of the “Battle of Jericho” might have a totally different interpretation than the one we’ve been given? If our present interpretation aligns with that of the Pharisees, what would have been Jesus’ interpretation?
We are told that two “spies” are protected by “Rahab the Harlot.” But in that language, any woman keeping an inn and offering lodging could be considered a “Harlot.” That word had lots of connotations at that time other than sexual. The bible is more about government than anything else. In that context, “prostitute” may have simply indicated that the business was woman-owned…not under the “legal covering” of a man. Better yet, not registered with a central government.
Men staying in such an inn would not draw attention. In other words, Joshua and Caleb didn’t have to show papers and go through tons of legal hassle. They did a simple free-market transaction. Both Josephus (Ant.Jews.5.1.2) and an Aramaic translation of the Old Testament entitled Targum Jonathan describe Rahab as an innkeeper. She also appears to be in the business of manufacturing linen and engaged in the art of dyeing. The truth is most adultery mentioned in the Bible is not sexual, but national.
One gets the impression that this “walled” city already had a heavy leaning toward free enterprise. Rahab was definitely a capitalist. She went so far as to misdirect the extortionists (government or otherwise) who came looking to take advantage of the scouts.
Regarding the whole modern-day fairytale of the Israelites marching around the city for seven days with trumpets and such until the walls came tumbling down…
Things like singing,” “shouting” and “trumpets” are often used in the bible where we might use words like “promotion,” “marketing,” or “propaganda.” What if the story is actually telling us that the Israelites (free people governed only by God) interacted with the people of Jericho in an intense, purposeful and focused manner for seven days (could simply mean a long period of time) until the people of Jericho saw the distinct advantages of the Hebrew’s governmental system—living as a free, but very decentrally-organized people—and simply decided to join them. The “walls came tumbling down.” Or “the walls were driven into the ground.” Flattened.” Kind of like how we describe businesses with “flat” management structures. They gave up their central, walled-off government to be a part of a free, borderless, powerful, well-organized society.
With that perspective, let’s consider Samuel supposedly being upset that Saul had not killed all the Amalekites and Samuel himself finally killing King Agag. Consider the meaning of “stoning” discussed above. It seems much more likely that, after Saul had forcefully conquered the Amalekite land (something that Israel would not have done as a decentralized nation), he automatically made the Amalekites “citizens” of Israel. This is the equivalent of the US opening welfare, social security, and medical benefits, as well as public education, driving, and voting rights to illegal immigrants. The fact is, the previously socialist society of the Amamekites simply weren’t prepared to integrate with the anarchic, decentralized welfare provision of Israel which was provided through freewill offerings. Saul’s proper plan-of-action would have been to give each individual the opportunity to make their own choice between keeping their former centralized, socialist form welfare based on forced taxation or joining forces with Israel which still maintained its provision for the needy based on freewill offerings. Abraham provided an example when a volunteer army that formed around him to defend their free, nomadic nation against five kings who were attempting to bring them under subjection. Abraham freed the people of the kings’ city-states to make their own choices about the form of government they preferred. He said, “I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich…”
Samuel’s “killing of King Agag” may have simply been to kill the Amalekite welfare system. As priest, Samuel had the governmental authority to oversee the freewill offerings that had been dedicated to God for the sake of Israel’s needy. Samuel, essentially, instructed the former Amalekites—who were still dependent on the social benefits King Agag provided (collected through force)—that those benefits were no longer available.
The primary point to grasp is that one must decide between two different interpretations of the bible. The interpretation that is popular today has a BC and AC perspective where God changes personalities between the Old and New Testaments—Before Christ and After Christ. The other interpretation is that both Testaments have always been in perfect union but the peoples’ application of them changes depending on whether they are in a BC or AC era—Before Centralization or After Centralization of government.
After Centralization, they turn into beasts, devouring the flesh and blood of one another (taxes) and sacrificing their children (national debt). It’s no wonder they feel compelled to turn practical bible instructions for maintaining a decentralized style of government into fairy tales that no longer resemble anything related to everyday life. This enables them to justify their fallen state with simple rituals like saying magic words to be “saved.” Meanwhile, with their literal actions, they pray to their central government for the salvation and daily bread provided through things like welfare, social security, public school, birth certificates, marriage licenses, FEMA, OSHA, EPA, DEA, FDA, USDA…
Bastard’s Summary of the Bible provides more insight for those seeking to leave behind the religious dogma with which they have been brainwashed and rewire their brains to see the endless practical insights offered by the bible to people who are ready to accept the responsibility required to live in a free, decentralized society.