Jump to content

Moses Said He's God?


Seeking
 Share

Recommended Posts

I came across something in Deuteronomy that puzzles me. For the record, I'm reading a New American Standard translation, which I was told is a fairly literal, word-for-word translation.

 

In Deuteronomy 29, Moses gives a lengthy speech to all of Israel. (Let's hope they had a good PA system set up!) It says, beginning with verse 2,

 

[2] And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, "You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land; [3] the great trials which your eyes have seen, those great signs and wonders. [4] Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear. [5] I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot. [6] You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might now that I am the Lord your God." (Emphasis added.)

From verses 2 through 4, Moses refers to God in the third person: The Lord did this and that. In verse 5, Moses speaks - presumably of himself - in the first person: I did such and such. And in verse 6, he says, "I am the Lord your God." Further down, in verses 12 and 13, God is clearly referred to in the third person again, with "He" and "His" all over the place. And Moses refers to himself and the people as being separate from God in verses 15 and 16.

 

So what's up with him saying "I am the Lord your God"?? What am I missing here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moses was supposedly God's mouthpiece. His stand-in, so to speak.

 

But, it is an interesting reference. Reading further into the chapter Moses says, "I am making this covenant with you today."

 

Who knows. Maybe the power was going to his head?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The chapter starts off with "These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel..."

 

So I guess the implication is that God told Moses to say all that stuff. Moses switches back and forth between speaking for himself and speaking for God.

 

People wrote very differently 3,000 years ago. Nobody told them the rules about changing from first-person to third-person, or even the basics of narrative, plot, and grammar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll buy that. Thanks for the explanation. Since I teach writing and grammar, the inconsistency was driving me batty!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The chapter starts off with "These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel..."

 

So I guess the implication is that God told Moses to say all that stuff. Moses switches back and forth between speaking for himself and speaking for God.

 

People wrote very differently 3,000 years ago. Nobody told them the rules about changing from first-person to third-person, or even the basics of narrative, plot, and grammar.

I find this fascinating. Why can't the Christians see that Jesus was also doing this? Oh yeah, the only son of God thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest marabod

Sigmund Freud in his work on decomposition of Oedipus' Complex (raise of the Consciousness as a result of killing own father) in people expresses the opinion that after Moses proclaimed himself God of Israel, the hungry Israelites killed him and sacrificed, thus cooking for themselves a ritual barbecue meal. Then, according to Freud, they all experienced sorrow and started to feel pity for their action, and this was their collective form of decomposition of Oedipus' Complex, which made them one family again; after this Moses was pronounced the Father of nation and his Covenant fully followed since. This concept of ritual cannibalism is what Freud to be hated by religious Jews even today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the bible were submitted as english homework, the student would get an F because it wasn't written in English. lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, if the Bible were submitted as a homework assignment in an English class, it would get a very bad grade for all the stylistic and grammar rules it violates. However, that's not much of an argument against the Bible--as others here have said, rules of composition vary from language to language, and they also vary over time.

 

True that. If the Bible gets a bad grade in English class, so these:

 

It was a while before the last stroke ceased vibrating. It stayed in the air, more felt than heard, for a long time. Like all the bells that ever rang still ringing in the long dying light-rays and Jesus and Saint Francis talking about his sister. Because if it were just to hell; if that were all of it. Finished. If things just finished themselves. Nobody else there but her and me. If we could just have done something so dreadful that they would have fled hell except us. I have committed incest I said Father it was I it was not Dalton Ames And when he put Dalton Ames. Dalton Ames. Dalton Ames. When he put the pistol in my hand I didn't. That's why I didn't. He would be there and she would and I would. Dalton Ames. Dalton Ames. Dalton Ames. - The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner, Nobel Prize for Literature

 

I am Beloved and she is mine. I see her take flowers away from leaves she puts them in a round basket the leaves are not for her she fills the basket she opens the grass I would help her but the clouds are in the way how can I say things that are pictures I am not separate from her there is no place where I stop her face is my own and I want to be there in the place where her face is and to be looking at it too a hot thing. - Beloved, Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize for Literature

 

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and the moocow coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby Tuckoo. His father told him that story. His father had a glass in his eye. - Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce

 

There was me, that is Alex and my three droogs, That is Pete, Georgie and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a flip, chill, dark winter bastard, though dry. - Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess

 

Nontraditional style and grammar is used for emphasis and effect. Personality. Executing "proper" grammar and style is a step on the path to literary greatness, but, ultimately, strict adherence will not bring a writer to greatness. A drawing teacher once told me that the great artists broke many of the "rules" of their art, but they had to learn to draw to perfection first, so they could know just which rules to break where and how to emphasize delivery of their intended message.

 

I don't have the book in front of me right now, but I am reading literary analysis of the OT that makes a compelling case that the early author(s) were intentional and effective in employing complex literary techniques which are, in recent decades, imitated by revered and celebrated literary giants. Much of the effect of the Hebrew narrative is lost in modern translations, and Alter tries to approximate it in his translation. Indeed, he brings the Torah alive in a way modern English Bibles never have.

 

Phanta

 

a rebel with grace in our midst...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

To get an interesting interpretation of just how differently people used to think, I would recommend a book by Julian Janes entitled "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind." Although not really science (because his theory can't be subjected to falsifiability), it does shed some fascinating light on how the human mind has not been the same for all people in all places at all times. Evolution, anyone?

 

Amazing! I read that book YEARS ago. I've never run into anyone else who read that title.

 

I agree with your assessment of its provability.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.