There are examples in scripture, and hints in anthropology, that the Hebrew and Israelite nation had their converts as well. We’ve already noted Abimelech and Jethro.
Uriah the Hittite was a loyal general, even memorialized among the mighty men in King David’s army. He lived, and died, a more righteous man than most Spirit-filled believers, without the advantage of being indwelt by the Spirit. Perhaps it was the influence of his godly wife Bathsheba.
Tamar was a Canaanite woman. In her lifetime she was unjustly, and cruelly, scapegoated. “You killed my son!” No, he brought about his own death through his own wicked behavior, but his father projected his blame onto her, and punished her with banishment, a living death. But she was a woman of conviction. She knew what was right, and although it was unorthodox she acted on her conviction to give life a chance. She chose life, and the Heavenly Father honored her with motherhood in His family.
Rahab was a Canaanite. I should say Rahab the harlot. Her reputation dogged her. Virtually every time her name is mentioned she is labeled “the harlot”. Yes, she had known a lot of men. She had looked into many eyes and seen the lies in the lust, exploitation, calculation “how much can I get for how little to pay?” So when she looked into the eyes of the Jewish man who was making promises to her, she was in a position to recognize the difference – truth, faithfulness in the promise to take care of her whatever it cost. She was a woman of courage. Alone in her entire community, she faced the hard truth that it was corrupt, and fought against it. She chose life, and the Shield of Abraham honored her with citizenship in His nation.
Ruth the Moabitess was a woman from a prosperous nation who married a poor immigrant laborer. To really understand what happened there, think of Ruth as a “white American” who married a “Mexican wetback”. Let’s be honest. Socially speaking, mixed marriages are usually looked down on. I remember the first time I heard someone tell my husband, “Ahh, you got yourself a white girl!” The tone was clearly that he had married up, so… I had married down? Awkward. And wrong. What I, and my American friends in our multi-cultural community understood was the value of family that has been so degraded in our society, but preserved in Old World cultures. Big houses, a TV in every room separating all the members of the family, both parents working, children scattered in different activities every night of the week – it all destroys the unity of the family. We joined immigrant families that packed out housing, shared the workload, eased financial difficulties by sharing belongings and income, ate meals together, cared for each other. And that is the life Ruth chose. She married not just a man, but his entire family – his father and mother, his brother and sister-in-law. Until the day they were all gone, except for women sobbing at the tomb with no man to care for them, no future, no hope. And Ruth was advised “Go back to your old way of life. You’re young enough to get a man who will put a roof over your head, food on your table, give you children you can pour your love into who will support you in your old age.” And that was true enough. You can find a whole series of men if you set your expectations low enough. But Ruth was a woman of commitment. She knew that if she abandoned the one person left in her family it would destroy the family and spell death for that old woman, and she replied, in essence, “I will never leave you nor forsake you, even to my own death.” She chose life, and I believe that the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe shouted in triumph to His adversary, the one who scatters and destroys, “SHE GETS IT!! That’s been my plan from the start! Unbreakable unity!” And the King of the Universe honored her as a direct genetic contributor to His plan of unification as the great-grandmother of the great King David and ancestor to Yahweh’s Promised Savior.
Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, was an innocent victim who suffered extreme abuse at the hands of… a respected religious authority, the great King David himself. He betrayed her submission to his authority, raped her, murdered her husband, caused the death of her infant son, used his power to deny justice. And then to be forced to live with the evil man who destroyed your life? It would be insufferable. To really feel how this impacted Bathsheba, read accounts of the survivors of the genocide in Rwanda. And then, one night, David came to Bathsheba, saying in whatever way he communicated it, “I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.” She could look into his eyes and see his agony, his soul poured out onto death, his sincere remorse and desperate need for her forgiveness. She had a choice to make – justice, or mercy. I don’t think it was enough for David to hear from Nathan that God had forgiven him. I think we humans require experiencing forgiveness from one human to another, with our senses – to see the change in expression on the face of the forgiver, to hear the words “I forgive you”, to feel the hug, to smell the skin your face is pressed against, to taste the tears of reconciliation. If Bathsheba had chosen to withhold forgiveness and get justice by watching him suffer, could David have reclaimed his life, lived out his destiny, or would it have been the end of him? Bathsheba was a woman of compassion. She spread her arms, allowed her heart to break and gush out a flood of tears that washed away the burden of sin he had lain on her, healed their wounded souls, and renewed their lives. She chose life, and the Redeemer of Israel honored her as Wisdom, the instructor of the Son of David.
Then there was the unnamed (perhaps because representative of all of us) woman who was by no means an innocent victim. Oh she was GUIIILTY! Caught in the very act of adultery. Flaunted in public as a trophy of war, the battle for control into which religion had degenerated. She was just a pawn and I’m sure she knew how expendable she was to the men for which this was just politics as usual. Down on her knees, eyes squeezed shut but unable to block her ears from the shouts, body tensed against the impending blows, her mind chaos. I can imagine her only coherent thought was to maintain whatever shred of personhood and dignity she had left. “Don’t let them hear you scream! Bite your tongue in two and choke to death on the blood before you beg for mercy!” Then gradually, the storm stilled, first outside then inside her mind, and she realized that she only heard footsteps fading into the distance. More in shock than ever, she dared to look up, and locked eyes with the kindest, gentlest, yet most powerful man she’d ever seen. Yeshua. He was a man of conviction. Like his ancestress Tamar, he knew what was right and wrong, and he took action, however unorthodox, to make things right. Like his ancestress Rahab, he was a man of courage. Alone in that entire community, he faced the hard truth of corruption, and fought against it. Like his ancestress Ruth, he was a man of commitment. He would never leave nor forsake her nor any of his people, even to the point of death. And like his ancestress Bathsheba, he was a man of compassion, mercy and forgiveness. And when he told her, “Go, and sin no more”, it wasn’t a stern law, it was empowerment! He set before her life and death, blessing and cursing, and only because of him was she able to choose life!
And last, but not least, Joanna. As the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, Joanna entrenched in Roman high society, married to a man obsessed with money and power, social status, in a culture noted for lasciviousness and riotous living. And one day she tells him “I can’t participate in what you are doing anymore, I’m a follower of Yeshua.” I assure you, a man obsessed with control does not take opposition to his control lightly. You remember what happened to Queen Vashti. However way it happened, Joanna left her home – the marble, silk hangings, crystal, gold, silver, jewels, furs, luxuries, pampered lifestyle where all the hard work is done by others and she could spend her time shopping, partying, recreation, vacationing – to devoted herself and all she had to Yeshua’s ministry – to spend her days surrounded by the noxious odors and sights and nastiness of poverty, in poor housing, wearing cast-off clothes, eating hand-outs. But bolstered by the hope of the soon-coming kingdom! Then in one day it all came crashing down. Gone. Nothing to show for all she had given up. You know she had to question her sanity – for this she gave up what most people only dream about? But Joanna had absorbed Yeshua’s teachings, as he expounded all the Torah. She had sought after, and found Wisdom – the truth about the Creator, need for redemption of this corrupted world, the priority of eternal souls of people over decaying material possessions, the priceless gift of the sure mercies of David guaranteeing eternal life, of the resurrection and life to come, and of The Almighty’s desire to elevate lowly human beings by waiting on them to willingly participate with Him in bringing this all about! In the cold dark night she didn’t know what her future held, she only knew to trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Yeshua, and to hold to her conviction that Yeshua was king, to be courageous in facing the unknown, to remain committed to serving him, and to forgive him for not living up to her expectations. Can you wrap your mind around that thought? We hold grudges against God that we have to release. That day all Joanna could do to continue her ministry was to anoint Yeshua’s body, three days dead now and assuredly stinking, and worse yet, to get to him she had to face off against the mightiest soldiers in the world (think American troops guarding an Iraqi prison), armed with only a bottle of scented oil. So she went to face hell and death… but she found LIFE!
“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Yahweh’s Savior the Promised Seed, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ/The Chosen One/Melchizedek, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ/The Chosen One/Melchizedek, as though God did beseech you by us:” (II Corinthians 5:18-20)
Finally, the battle between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman comes to a head. After millennia of mounting suspense, Yeshua Messiah is finally born on earth, right on schedule as prophesied, in the days of Caesar Augustus. The census that was ordered by Caesar and the slaughter by Caesar’s minion Herod of all boys born under the star of Bethlehem take on more than mere political significance. It is part of the Seed War that began with time itself.
The religious rivalry between Antichrist and Jesus Christ is so very evident in the first centuries of the establishment of Christianity. (To highlight the blurring of identities at this stage of history I will use the latinized name and title of Yahweh’s Savior/Yeshua.) Given Christianity’s adaption of paganism and idolatry we should be able to understand why orthodox Judaism backed away from its initial acceptance of the Messianic movement as a legitimate Jewish sect.
“Onto its Jewish base Christianity built a structure that would appeal to the civilized world. In practice this meant that the new composite religion had to adopt an Hellenic appearance…the Greek philosophers had long believed that there was but one deity, and that the numerous gods worshipped throughout the known world were merely different manifestations of that one supreme god, whom we usually call Zeus. Romans too spoke of a single God…
Zeus or the Christian God presiding in his court above the clouds? In fact these are the Olympian Gods assembled: Hades holding his two-forked sceptre, the mother of the gods Rhea, Hera and her peacock. Zeus sits in the middle with an eagle at his feet, holding a thunderbolt in his hand. To his right sits Cronos holding the ouroboros, Athena and Apollo. Below is Artemis, with a half-moon adorning her head, holding her bow. Dionysus is seen reclining. Ares in armour sits close to Aphrodite who looks at Eros as he comes towards her. In the far right sits Poseidon holding his trident. (Drawing by Nicolas-André Monsiau 1754-1837 from Les Métamorphoses d’Ovide, Paris 1806).The Roman counterpart of Zeus was Jupiter, and for centuries Jupiter would be confused and conflated with the Christian God. Well into the Middle Ages, Dante (1265 -1321) could still refer to the Christian God as “almighty Jupiter”, and it is not difficult to find Christian works of art showing God the Father in poses that echo those of Jupiter, for example casting thunderbolts towards earth. At one time it was popular to show Christ in a similar pose hurling divine bolts at those condemned to Hell.
Zeus…was also addressed by titles such as Pater, “Father”, Basileus: “King”, and Sôtêr: “Saviour”. Such practices could easily be combined with Christianity while it was still in its formative years. The familiar image of the Almighty sitting on his judgement throne is a straight adoption from conventional representations of Zeus the king. The Greeks conventionally pictured their gods as huge figures dressed all in white, and the Christian God duly adapted himself to these conventions…
Throughout history the masses have favoured gods who can be seen. Perhaps for this reason (the Roman-named) Jesus was sometimes identified with Apollo, the Greek and Roman Sun god whose journey across the sky could be seen each day by everyone. Some representations of Jesus are identifiable only because of their associated Christian symbolism. Without these symbols, his representation is identical to Apollo’s.
The Romans called their Sun god, a successor to Apollo, Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun. The religion had come to Rome in the second century from Syria. It was popular in the army, and the Emperor Aurelian adopted it, appointing himself its chief priest or Pontifex Maximus. The religion merged with the nascent Christian religion, and soon it was difficult to distinguish between Jesus and Sol Invictus. Around AD 200 the Church Father Clement of Alexandria could happily contemplate Christ driving his chariot across the sky like a Sun god. A third century mosaic discovered under the high altar of St Peter’s in Rome shows Jesus as a Sun god riding the solar chariot, pulled by horses, just like Apollo’s.
Sol InvictusAs some commentators have noted, the Sun god transformed himself from Apollo to Sol to Jesus Christ apparently without difficulty. Jesus retained Sol’s nimbus, and it can still be seen around his head in Christian art (often referred to as a halo), just as it appears around the heads of other sun gods…
The Christian God still looking very much like a Classical sun godChristians knelt to the East, the direction of the rising Sun, like followers of other Sun gods. For a while Jesus became a typical Sun god, hardly distinguishable from Apollo. After all, Apollo too was a supreme god, uncreated, eternal, timeless and undeviating. Christian hymns were addressed to Sol Invictus. In the fifth century Christians were still reluctant to turn their backs on Sol. They walked backwards up the steps of St Peter’s in Rome so that they could remain face-to-face with the Sun god in the early morning…The altar in the overwhelming majority of church buildings is still to be found at the east end, and the axis of churches often align with the rising Sun on a special day.
As the Catholic Encyclopedia plainly states, Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church…The date eventually settled upon was by an astonishing coincidence also the established birth-day of other sun gods…
Constantine, the Roman emperor conventionally considered responsible for the success of Christianity, had himself represented in the likeness of a Sun god on a porphyry column in his new capital city. He seems to have believed that his deity was a Sun god. Certainly he made little distinction between Sol and Jesus. His coinage continued to depict the Sun god even after his supposed adoption of Christianity. His stated reason for making Sunday a day of rest was respect for the Sun. Christians adopted this new day of rest, when even the law courts were shut. Indeed, so closely did they identify with it that today we do not question why the Christians’ special day should fall not on the original Sabbath (Saturday) but on another day, nor why that day is in English called not God-day but Sun-day. In the West the birthday of the Sun god, Die Natalis Invicti Solis , was 25th December. This same date was also the birthday of other Sun gods*. Jesus’ birthday on the other hand was in March, or September, or January — there was no general agreement…Presumably it was around the same time that part of the pagan liturgy used on 25th December was adopted into the Christmas celebrations of the Christian Church.
This mosaic shows a conventional representation of the sun-god Apollo along with pomegranites representing eternal life – except that the chi-rho monogram shows it to be Jesus. Hinton St Mary Mosaic, Dorset, England – dated post AD 270
Apollo was still being represented as a sun god well into the Christian period. This isa detail of a miniature of Apollo shooting arrows at Corinus (after the white raven has reported her unfaithfulness), in ‘L’Épître Othéa’. Origin: France, Central (Paris), attributed to the Master of the Cité des Dames and workshop.c. 1410-c. 1414
By now we should realize that the counterfeit religion Lucifer developed in his bid to show himself to be God involves counterfeiting all manifestations of God, commonly envisioned as a trinity by Christianity but clearly expressed even in the Old Testament. Keep in mind that in God’s case, he alone is omnipotent and omnipresent. He alone has the capability of creating substance out of energy, of being himself in the flesh as Jesus, of simultaneously inhabiting multiple persons as himself in the Spirit. Satan is a created being, he can only be one individual at any time and place. He can either play God, or control through spirit possession another individual, but he can’t be both. This limitation is surely why he lobbied so hard to split the monotheism of the biblical God into the three-person trinity of Constantine’s corrupted Christianity.
“I will mention the lovingkindnesses of  the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us…and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so  he was their Saviour..the angel [messenger] of his presence saved them… redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and vexed  his holy Spirit:” (Isa 63:7-10)
The Father – named and portrayed according to the different cultures. For Westerners he is Zeus (Greek) or Jupiter (Roman). Like all hyperdimensional spiritual beings, he is not able to show himself openly to humans. “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (Joh 1:18)
The Son – the Antichrist, named and portrayed according to cultural expressions. For Westerners, the major, of many, antichrists is Apollo, born of Zeus and a human woman. In the legendary times before the flood Apollo interacted openly with humans, but by the time of the post-flood Trojan War he had ascended above the clouds to Mount Olympus and only exerted influence as a vector, such as directing arrows to kill an enemy when humans prayed for salvation from problems.
The Spirit – invisible presence in human believers, expressing and acting out his will through the material human host, in the manner of Samson. “And the Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.” (Judg 13:25) “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phili 4:13) “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.” (Lu 22:3-4)
All over the world, every culture has practiced sacrifice. A modern pagan provides excellent insight into the purpose of sacrifice.
Sacrifice has two separate but related meanings. If we are to understand sacrifice, much less practice it effectively, we need to understand both. The common meaning of sacrifice is “to give up.” …The older meaning of sacrifice is “to make sacred.” By dedicating something to the gods through ritual and ceremony it becomes sacred – it takes on some of the essence of the gods…The gods give to us so we give to them in return. They then give to us again. This sets up a whole cycle of giving and receiving,..the more frequent the sharing, the stronger the relationship we can build…
According to Encylopedia.com, sacrifice is a form of communication with the gods for humans seeking the benefits of a closer relationship. Think of it like potential suitor offering a diamond ring to a woman. He doesn’t need to say the words, “Will you marry me?” does he? Flowers, candy and dinner at a nice restaurant are common offerings to appease an offended girlfriend or wife to get back into her good graces.
The gods might be offered the most desirable foods or provided with the finest vessels, carvings, tools, and weapons. Historians, however, have often regarded blood sacrifice as the most powerful way to appease the gods…Human sacrifice is sometimes regarded as a bizarre practice carried out by a few scattered societies who either were uncivilized or exceptionally cruel and violent. However, there is persuasive evidence that the sacrificial impulse has been common throughout history and has played an important role in society…
There is abundant archaeological evidence that many societies practiced both animal and human sacrifice to persuade the gods to protect their buildings and ensure safe passage through dangerous areas where their own gods might lack jurisdiction. Burials suggestive of sacrifice have been found in the sites of ancient bridges and buildings throughout Asia, Europe, and North Africa. It was widely believed that territories were under the control of local gods who might be angered by intrusions. Blood sacrifice at border crossings (often marked by rivers) and within buildings were thought to be prudent offerings. Sacrificial victims were also interred beneath city gates.
Children were often selected as the sacrificial offerings. Excavation of the Bridge Gate in Bremen, Germany, and several ancient fortresses in Wales are among the many examples of this practice. According to the Book of Kings, when Joshua destroyed Jericho he prophesized that the man who rebuilds Jericho “shall lay the foundation stones thereof upon the body of his first born and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates thereof.” In rebuilding the city, Hiel later sacrificed his oldest and youngest sons in precisely this manner. The historian Nigel Davies observes that biblical accounts of foundation sacrifices have been supported by archaeological investigations:
In the sanctuary in Gezer were found two burnt skeletons of six-year-old children and the skulls of two adolescents that had been sawn in two. At Meggido a girl of fifteen had been killed and buried in the foundations of a large structure. Excavations show that the practice of interring children under new buildings was widespread and some were evidently buried alive. (Davies 1981, p. 61)
…That foundation sacrifices belong only to the remote past could be an erroneous assumption. In early twentieth-century Borneo an eyewitness testified that a criminal was buried alive in every posthole for a new building so that he might become a guardian spirit.
No one attempt to explain blood sacrifice seems adequate for the variety of forms and purposes associated with this practice in many societies over many years…The most sweeping theory is based on an interpretation of history that pictures the human condition as fearful and perilous, beset with threats to survival from starvation, attack, and events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods that were taken to be the work of angry gods. Possessing limited knowledge and technology, societies tried to find a way of negotiating with rival, demanding, and frequently unpredictable gods if the world and their own lives were to continue. Sacrifice soon became a significant form of exchange with the gods, a sort of currency in an age before the establishment of a monetary system. In modern parlance, sacrifice was a way of doing business.
…human sacrifice was a core feature of the Inca and Aztec cultures…Archaeological investigations have found evidence of human sacrifice into the sixteenth century, and this practice is thought to have continued for some time afterward. Tenochtitlan (predecessor to Mexico City) is known to have been the active site of human sacrifices long before Spanish forces arrived to witness these events firsthand: There were already huge collections of skulls on display.
…The Aztecs believed that the “vital energies” of one person could be transferred to another person through drinking the blood and eating the flesh. The gods also craved flesh and blood, so human sacrifice benefited both Aztecs and their ever-hungry deities. Sacrifice was an integral part of their worldview in which the threat of death was ever present, a threat that had to be countered by extreme and relentless measures that would magically transform death into life. Discoveries since the mid-twentieth century confirm that many women were sacrificed in special rituals intended to renew the fertility cycle.”
According to Wikipedia, the number of persons sacrificed in central Mexico in the 15th century has been estimated to be anywhere from 20,000 to 250,000 per year, with one in five children of the Mexica subjects killed annually.
According to Ancient History Encyclopedia,
“The Aztec civilization which flourished in Mesoamerica between 1345 and 1521 CE has gained an infamous reputation for bloodthirsty human sacrifice with lurid tales of the beating heart being ripped from the still-conscious victim, decapitation, skinning and dismemberment. All of these things did happen but it is important to remember that for the Aztecs the act of sacrifice – of which human sacrifice was only a part – was a strictly ritualised process which gave the highest possible honour to the gods and was regarded as a necessity to ensure mankind’s continued prosperity.”
Are you taking this in? “It is important to remember…” To some extent the writer is justifying the murders! Is it not evident that these gods still influence today’s society? It is also important to remember that warfare was often conducted for the purpose of providing sacrificial victims, that infants were sacrificed on a massive scale, and that non-fatal blood sacrifices by cutting was often practiced. Any of this look familiar? Oh, but modern society doesn’t worship the gods, right? Maybe we need to pay more attention to what is said about that.
Our materialistic society has lost the knowledge that joining forces in sexual relations, even with just another human, is more than mere physical sensation. It is a major means of empowerment. This is achieved by tapping into another person’s resources in many ways – attention, emotions, money, energy, living space, social connections, talents. According to pagans, it is even possible to tap into spiritual power to cast magic spells. Gaining esoteric power through sexual relations with spirit beings was a common practice in ancient paganism and is a renewed practice in our day. The determination of the men of wicked Sodom to engage in sexual relations with strangers despite being struck with blindness can be understood in this light.
“And the angels which kept not their first estate [areas of responsibility both physically and socially], but left their own habitation [bodies leaving the heavens, can also mean spirits leaving their bodies]…Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh…” (Jude 1:6-7)
“And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and…Lot seeing them rose up to meet them…and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house…the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young…And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly…And they said, Stand back…now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.” (Gen 19:1-11)
Empowerment through sexual energy is a key feature of the mutual benefit to be found in marriage, and the potential to be exploited and drained of resources is why adultery and fornication are denounced so strongly – it’s for our protection.
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb 13:4)
“If any man defile the temple [dwelling place] of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (I Cor 3:17)
“What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (I Cor 6:16-18)
Sexual practices forbidden by the law of Moses shed light on strategies used by pagan gods.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the Lord your God. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.
- None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord.
- Contrast this with the Pharaohs and other royals from cultures around the world, who married their siblings and other close relatives for the specific purpose of maintaining a gene pool believed to be descended from the gods. Current legal statutes vary widely by nation, with America being mostly consistent with Mosaic law. “In most states, sexual activity between a lineal ancestor and a lineal descendant (parent, grandparent with child or grandchild), siblings (brother-sister) and aunt-nephew, uncle-niece is penalized as incest, with the degree of relationship measured in terms of shared genes.
- The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover…
- 50% of shared genes
- The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness.
- application of the principle of “two become one flesh” and contemporary legal principle of “affinity” by marriage
- The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother…
- 50% for full sibling, 25% for half-sibling
- The nakedness of thy son’s daughter, or of thy daughter’s daughter…
- 25 degrees of relationship for grandchildren
- The nakedness of thy father’s wife’s daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister,
- 25% as half-sibling
- Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s sister…thy mother’s sister…thy father’s brother…
- 25% relationship for aunts/uncles/nephews/nieces
- thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.
- by affinity
- Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son’s wife
- ergo daughter by affinity
- Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: it is thy brother’s nakedness.
- by affinity
- Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.
- The distortion of family relationships warps the personal development of the victims of incest, who as adults have difficulty forming healthy adult relationships, and the whole family dynamic is twisted to sexually enslave the victims.
- Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her…beside the other in her life time.
- Yes, Jacob took Leah and her sister Rachel to wife, and you see the endless family conflict that resulted. Point proved.
- Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.
- This is not new to the Mosaic law, but was practiced even by pagans, as demonstrated when Rachel was able to keep her father from searching for his idols near her by claiming she was menstruating. What is this about? Blood is a major conveyor of spiritual essence, and even today pagan practitioners claim that menstrual blood has magical power. The use of this activity for spiritual empowerment appears to be real, as it is listed elsewhere in the Bible in the context of pagan religious practices: “…if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, And hath not eaten upon the mountains [referring to participating in pagan sacrifices], neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman…”(Eze 18:5-6).
- Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour’s wife, to defile thyself with her.
- Refer again to the passage in Ezekiel that connects this practice with rituals for spiritual empowerment, often experienced as orgies during religious festivals.
- In addition some cultures treated wives as tribal community property, with tribal membership, or friend vs foe status for newcomers, established through wife swapping. There is some suggestion of this practice among Canaanites. “And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying, These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.” (Gen 34:20-21)
- This is also simply an affair as described in Proverbs 7: “…among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,..Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter…O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.”
- And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech…
- Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
- Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled😉 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev 18)
History supports the interpretation of this passage’s list of sexual practices as pagan religious rituals. These acts are defined as abominations because it is through these acts that people join themselves to the gods.
“Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood…My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children…the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God. They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery...Ephraim is joined to idols…they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love…The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
“The word that the Lord spake against Babylon and against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet…Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces...In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the Lord their God… saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.” (Jer 50:1-5)
These defile because, while they are claimed to empower the individuals who perform them, they instead literally release and empower the spirits of the gods to wreak havoc and destruction in the lives of the individuals and their society. The gods are empowered through absorption of the worshippers’ sexual energy, transfer of spirits from human host to host during conjugal relations, and assumption and use of the human host’s body and sphere of influence such as political power. These sexual activities, marketed as mutual pleasures, actually victimize participants in so many ways, from sexually transmitted diseases resulting in permanent physical disabilities like AIDS, hepatitis, sterility, and painful acute lesions and chronic PID; to emotional disturbances ranging from outright trauma to inability to trust or maintain any healthy interpersonal relationships; to spiritual bondage.
According to Herodotus, in Babylon every pubescent female was required to act as a prostitute, forced to remain at the temple and sacrifice her virginity to the first man who paid the fee to the temple. (This is where the “Whore of Babylon, Mother of Harlots” gets her name.) This practice spread to Egypt and Greece, where the most beautiful prepubescent girls were dedicated to Zeus as child prostitutes for pedophilia until released at the onset of menstruation. This practice still exists in polytheistic India today, while the internet has opened new opportunities and unprecedented rates of international child sex abuse. Strabo reports there were no less than 1,000 prostitutes at a time in the Temple to Aphrodite Porne in Corinth. That compares to about 1,000 legal prostitutes in Nevada and over 30,000 illegal prostitutes in Las Vegas. Entire societies abandoned all normal sexual prohibitions to engage in orgies during pagan festivals.
The history of Israel was replete with instances of sex-infused pagan practices.
“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, 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 all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt…And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” (Ex 32:1-6)
“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel…And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.” (Nu 25:1-5)
“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.” (I Cor 10:6-8)
Some people believe that the Old Testament is for the Jews, and salvation was through obeying the law of Moses, while the New Testament is for Christians who don’t need to obey laws anymore.
In part this is due to the constant comparison made between the Mosaic covenant and the new covenant in the New Testament. For example Paul is unquestionably referencing the law of Moses in the context of his letter to people in Rome who were investigating this sect of Judaism.
“And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him. And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee. But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect [key word here! We’ll get back to this later] , we know that every where it is spoken against. And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.” (Act 28:16-23)
But that doesn’t mean that the Mosaic covenant was ever an alternative means of salvation for any group of people which was “replaced” when Jesus died on the cross. Paul’s argument in this letter is that no-one can ever achieve victory over sin by following a code of behavior. Anyone who is trying to ingratiate themselves into God’s good graces by following Judaism or Islam or Christianity or any other set of laws of right and wrong is going about it the wrong way.
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets [witnessed, as in a court of law – the law of Moses and the prophets provide the evidence that proves that this is how we achieve righteousness] ; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Yahweh’s Anointed Savior/Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being