For the past few days I have been very sick. Some sort of stomach virus that has laid me out on the floor, dizzy, and so on.
I’m on a strict diet of saltines and oatmeal, doing my best to stay hydrated. Today I took off from work.
And while the associated headache and chills haven’t given me much time to think, I am doing a lot of reading.
In my last letter I talked about returning to the Old Testament. And deeper I go. However more than a few concepts leave me uneasy—considering all I’ve learned over the past few years.
It is October, strangeness is in the air, and I want to investigate things that in the past I avoided.
Consider the Covenant between Yahweh and Abraham, of which I spoke last time, described in Genesis 17.
To ratify the agreement of heirs and nations, the ritual of circumcision was required.
“My Covenant shall be marked on your bodies as a Covenant in perpetuity.”
While I know all about the supposed sanitation benefits, this clearly seems like an alternative to animal sacrifice (which occurs often, elsewhere).
But then I picked up a book off my shelf by George Barton who argued, convincingly, that circumcision was originally a substitute for child sacrifice.
“In the beginning, Semitic circumcision was a sacrifice to the goddess of fertility. Whether it was intended to ensure the blessing of the goddess, and so to secure more abundant offspring, or whether it was considered as the sacrifice of a part instead of the whole person, we cannot clearly determine.”
Why did Yahweh take over a mitigated version of the pagan sacrifice to the Great Mother?
A few pages later in Genesis 22 we encounter the near-sacrifice of Abraham’s son, Isaac.
According to legend, Yahweh was taunted by Satan to put Abraham to the test in the same way as Job was tested.
It’s a dark desperate paradox—promised innumerable descendants and then being commanded to kill the blood line.
What’s further troubling is the different terms of deity. Look it up and notice that the divine name changes in the course of the story.
At the beginning, the name is ELOHIM. But by the end, the name used is Yahweh.
I realize that this may just be the combination of documents to create a canonical text, it almost feels like a transformation took place (indicated by the fact that God changed His mind).
What was the purpose of the test? One God requiring human sacrifice, and then a more merciful God. Is it the one and the same?
Back to Barton, who notes that in Abraham’s day the sacrifice of the firstborn was a common practice.
Reading through Genesis you observe three forms of sacrifice:
1. Divided Animals
3. Sacrifice child
It seems that Sacrifice is the central image of the Old Testament, at least as it concerns the worship of Yahweh.
So to address my unease, I researched and found a new book, which I haven’t read, that arrived today.
It is a complete translation of Babylonian and Sumerian creation stories—specifically on how they correspond to Genesis and other parts of the Old Testament.
Why am I doing this to myself? Because SEVENTEEN woke many of us up. Because it turns out everything we knew to be true was a lie. And what we were told were lies are very likely the truth.
Now we are taught use discernment. Now we are taught to question source material. Now we are expected to do our own research.
Jesus is the Way. But how much of his message has been inverted and perverted for us?