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A paper by Thomas L. Thomas, How Yahweh Became God: Exodus 3 and 6 and the Heart of the Pentateuch, published by Sage in the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament is an exegesis of the names of entities who interacted with the Hebrews at the time of Moses, between 450 B.C, and 150 B.C.
The paper is exceedingly erudite and convoluted for the non-scholar.
But you can access an abstract and see the whole paper, if you are engaged with Sage in a professional way.
Click HERE to access the abstract and Sage
Thomas Thompson was with the Institute of Biblical Exegesis at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark (of course) when he wrote his paper, published by Sage in 1995.
For me, the historical texts, whether Egyptian, Sino-Indian, Hebraic, or Greek (Homer even), were accounts of things seen and experienced by the writers first-hand or recorded by them from second-hand accounts, with all the caveats that second-hand accounts present.
But even an approximation of reality, as recounted by humans (as we’ve indicated in our cursory Tassili postings indicate), have a core of truth within the accounts, as Jung and his acolyte Joseph Campbell convincingly insisted, and even Von Däniken accepts as he did in his book, Odyssey of the Gods.
That is, mythical tales, theological tracts, and other ruminations by our ancestors are replete with truths and realities, and are not fictive accounts of fevered imaginations.
So when Thompson provides the intercessions of supposed divine entities and names those divine entities – yhwh, bͨ l šmm, ͨlywn, et al. – he assumes and examples that the entities and their names are manifestations of one divine form, Thompson resorting to, in footnote 14, the Platonic/Aristotelian axiom that individual realities are material representations of a single form.
But when reads the accounts, in the original Hebrew and/or Greek translations, one is struck by the distinct personalities and commands, which can only, using common sense, point to separate individuals, not one singularity acting through various guises.
For example, Thompson cites Exodus 23.20-24.8: “Here, closing the so-called covenant code, a deity, speaking in the first person as ‘yhwh your God’, promises to send his ml^k to attend Israel as a kind of enforcer.”
Now these divinities (or divinity, as Thompson would have it, to conform to the Hebraic idea of monotheism) are flesh and blood entities, and I often cite the Biblical passage found in Exodus 4:24 (where God/Yahweh seeks Moses to kill him, appearing to Moses’ wife who talks him out of the foul deed) to indicate that God/Yahweh was not ephemeral.
There are other passages that show a physical God interacting with humans. These are not angelic messengers, but God, Himself [Genesis 18:1-15].
Thompson’s thesis is that this Divine Being shows up in various incarnations, using various names to identify Himself.
But doesn’t it make more sense to accept that the Divinities extrapolated by Thompson from their identities are many, and not just one?
Otherwise, we’d have to see the singular Divinity as schizophrenic, which the Gnostics believed and to which I am overtly sympathetic.
Setting aside the theological argument, let’s assume that we’re not talking about Divinities here at all but, rather, externals, with form and substance; externals that were working with early mankind for some admittedly obscure reason.
The Ancient Astronaut theorists consider the externals to be extraterrestrials, from worlds beyond Earth.
The late Mac Tonnies thought the externals were beings from a concomitant race on Earth, hidden from view for millennia but interacting, sometimes, with mankind, with whom they share the Earth.
Jacques Vallee sees, I think, the externals as “spiritual” or evanescent beings who intrude on humankind for various reasons, some nefarious, some beneficial.
The Divinities enunciated by Thompson, from the Biblical tracts he uses [Exodus 3 and 6, but also Maccabees, Kings, Isaiah, et cetera] are human-like, but glorified in essence, much like the Gods in Homer or the Sumerian texts.
None of the Gods or externals have the appearance of the greys in UFO lore.
But it seems clear that someone or something interacted with humans early on, and came to be seen as Gods or God, if we let Thompson have his way.
As I’ve suggested, in earlier postings here and at our RRRGroup blog, have the Gods of old diminished in stature, appearing as small beings sighted by UFO witnesses from 1961 on, or are we dealing with a different group of externals, not Gods (whom I think died long ago, as they were wont to do by nature of their physical – not transcendent – being)?
Are UFO entities remnants of the old Gods or a different species altogether?
Whatever your view is, you can only, by reading the early accounts in the Torah of Moses or the Biblical Pentateuch, conclude that entities were on the Earth once and applying machinations that directed humans, confusingly I’m afraid, to behavior and existence that makes little sense but is actual and real in every material way.
The Gods were tangible, and often loopy, as Homer noted, and the Hebrew Bible hints.
Today’s UFO entities behave similarly but lack the attributes of divinity that the early entities adopted or displayed.
What does this tell us, if anything?