Puppets of Faith: Theory of Communal Strife (Part 4, page 2 of 6)

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Part 4

5. Honour your father and mother, that you may have a long, good life in the land the Lord your God will give you.

6. You must not murder.

7. You must not commit adultery.

8. You must not steal.

9. You must not lie.

10. You must not be envious of your neighbour’s house, or want to sleep with

his wife, or want to own his slaves, oxen, donkeys, or anything else he has.

In the New Stone Tablets that He gave to Moses, Jehovah further implores the Jews thus:

“Be very, very careful never to compromise with the people there in the land where you are going, for if you do, you will soon be following their evil ways. Instead, you must break down their heathen altars, smash the obelisks they worship, and cut down their shameful idols. For you must worship no other gods, but only Jehovah, for he is a God who claims loyalty and exclusive devotion.

No, do not make a peace treaty of any kind with the people living in the land, for they are spiritual prostitutes, committing adultery against me by sacrificing to their gods. If you become friendly with them and one of them invites you to go with him and worship his idol, you are apt to do it. And you would accept their daughters, who worship other gods, as wives for your sons – and then your sons would commit adultery against me by worshipping their wives’ gods. You must have nothing to do with idols.”

Having thus laid the moral code of conduct for His Chosen People, besides revealing the religious regimen of Judaism, Jehovah advanced the enabling provisions of conformity that came to be regarded as the ‘Laws of Moses’. Understandably, these Laws lay down the prescriptions and proscriptions intended by ‘the God’ for man in the journey of his life ‘here’. What is more, and inexplicably at that, the Mosaic Laws detail the ordained punishments based on ‘eye for eye’ and ‘tooth for tooth’ jurisprudence.

As the Mosaic Laws reveal, Jehovah comes out as an Impersonal Being, content Himself at punishing the wrongdoers in a legalistic fashion, rather than concerning Himself with imparting spiritual guidance to the Jews, His Chosen People, for their salvation. Nonetheless, as the following passages from the Torah illustrate, when it comes to His own relationship with them, Jehovah appears to be a very personal and demanding God.

“You must not worship the gods of the neighbouring nations, for Jehovah your God who lives among you is a jealous God, and his anger may rise quickly against you, and wipe you off the face of the earth. You must not provoke him and try his patience as you did when you complained against him at Massah. You must actively obey him in everything he commands. Only then will you be doing what is right and good in the Lord’s eyes. If you obey him, all will go well for you, and you will be able to go in and possess the good land which the Lord promised your ancestors. You will also be able to throw out all the enemies living in your land, as the lord agreed to help you do.’

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