The Abomination of Desolation

Chapter 8: The Prophets

 

 

And יהושע answering, said to them, “You go astray, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of Elohim. For in the resurrection they do not marry, nor are they given in marriage, but are as messengers of Elohim in heaven. And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by Elohim, saying, ‘I am the Elohim of Aḇraham, and the Elohim of Yitsḥaq, and the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ’? Elohim is not the Elohim of the dead, but of the living.” Matthew 22:29-32

 

The Bible says the righteous are to judge, and to do so righteously. To judge is to carry out the will of God. This is the basis of roles of both prophets and judges in Scripture. In fact, we are doing other people a favor when we judge them, as without the call to repentance, they are unlikely to repent, and liable, therefore, to suffer God’s prescribed punishments. Sometimes God’s wrath even takes the form of prophets performing acts of violence in order to cleanse the land of its unrighteousness, and this requires a level of faith which exempts the prophet of any notion of wrongdoing, because it is done out of necessity, and according to God’s commands.

“When I say to the wrong, ‘You shall certainly die,’ and you have not warned him, nor spoken to warn the wrong from his wrong way, to save his life, that same wrong man shall die in his crookedness, and his blood I require at your hand. But if you have warned the wrong and he does not turn from his wrong, nor from his wrong way, he shall die in his crookedness, and you have delivered your being. And when a righteous one turns from his righteousness and shall do unrighteousness, when I have put a stumbling-block before him, he shall die. Because you did not warn him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done is not remembered, and his blood I require at your hand. But if you have warned the righteous one that the righteous should not sin, and he did not sin, he shall certainly live because he has been warned, and you have delivered your being [your soul].” Ezekiel 3:18-21

“Judge them, son of man, judge them! Make known to them the abominations of their fathers.” Ezekiel 20:4

“Thus said יהוה, ‘Stand in the courtyard of the House of יהוה, and speak to all the cities of Yehuḏah, which come to bow themselves in the House of יהוה, all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word.’” Jeremiah 26:2

“Whoever rebels against your command and does not obey your words, in all that you command him, is put to death. Only be strong and courageous.” Joshua 1:18

Unfortunately, practically no one ever listens to the words of any prophet well enough to repent (which is the whole point of the prophetic message), and this is why history keeps repeating itself. In fact, Christians will tell us that it is actually wrong (morally) to judge, even quoting Yahshuah by saying “Judge not lest ye be judged,” as though the righteous judge has any cause to fear a judgment by the standard he is judging others by. (This is their assumption, based on their assumption that no one is righteous.) If nothing else, the prophet who judges will at least save himself in the process, even if no one listens, and that alone is enough incentive to judge.

“But when you have warned the wrong to turn from his way, and he has not turned from his way, he shall die in his crookedness, but you have delivered your being.” Ezekiel 33:9

In the Bible, the Prophets’ judgment normally centers around spiritual debauchery—that is, adultery. It is commonly thought that adultery in the biblical sense is the physical act of fornication or extramarital sex, and this connotation has even become the legal definition of the term in modern English. However, the mainstream Christians take it even further. Based on Yahshuah’s remark about lust (Matthew 5:27-28), it is the mere thought of adultery which makes one an adulterer, and they have understood that this means that there are no loopholes, and that the position of Scripture is absolute. Accordingly, you do not even have to be married in order for sex to be considered extramarital in their minds, so adultery actually encompasses anything of a sexual nature outside the bounds of a Church-sanctioned union—including thoughts.

The Catholic Catechism declares (2380) that adultery is “absolutely” forbidden both by the Sixth Commandment (“You shall not commit adultery”) and by the New Testament, and that “between the baptized, ‘a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death’” (2382), effectively declaring divorce, which it calls “a plague on society” (2385), a sin in contravention of the Sixth Commandment. It also specifies lust (2351), masturbation (2352), fornication (2353), pornography (2354), prostitution (2355), rape (2356), polygamy (2387), incest (2388), sexual abuse of children and adolescents (2389), open relationships (i.e. any conjugal union wherein the partners reject that the Catholic Church has the sole and absolute authority to broker all such unions—i.e. most intimate relationships) (2390) and “trial marriages” (2391) as offenses against chastity, all under the auspices of its teachings on the same commandment. Homosexuality (2357), too, is to be approved “under no circumstances,” and related to the same commandment. Each of these things constitutes adultery according to the most liberal definitions in mainstream Christianity, but, ironically, the one thing which the Bible defines as adultery does not, because Christians of all denominations refuse to admit that they are engaging in it on a daily basis, or to see what the Bible has to say about it.

Even the Catholic Catechism admits, right at the beginning of its explanation of the subject at hand (2331), that what God intended right from the beginning, according to Scripture, is what is best, and it bases its arguments against the alleged offenses to chastity upon this reasoning. Yet if we apply the exact same logic to the actual meaning of adultery—that we were meant, in the beginning, to eat fruits and green herbs—for some reason, the logic is no longer valid. How can this possibly be, especially when God himself tells us to look to Nature for our example, and there are exceedingly few monogamous species, and when Yahshuah tells us that in the kingdom of heaven, there is no marriage?

Utterly hypocritical, selective hearing is how. Adherence to such a restrictive manmade definition of adultery combined with the total rejection of such a loose one from Scripture demonstrates that the Christians would rather give up anything that gives them pleasure than eating meat. (The Church itself affirms in 2362 that sexuality is indeed a source of joy and pleasure, and that sexual gratification is not inherently evil, but ordained by the Creator.) That is to say that they take more pleasure in eating meat than in every other fleshly pursuit put together, to the point of deliberately looking for excuses in Scripture, and then denying the legitimacy of their own arguments when they are used to properly establish the counter-thesis. It is a very good point to say that we should be chaste, sexually, and Yahshuah even made this argument himself, but there is no command in all of Scripture to suggest that we have any necessary obligation to adhere to such a rule, save 1 Timothy 3:2 and 12, where Paul is describing his regulations for selecting presbyters and deacons in his congregations—they being those whose measure of piety as overseers is more demanding, and which hardly applies to all Christians.

More importantly, the command to abstain from adultery brings with it an imperative to keep to the other, more important restrictions of Eden. Due to the connection between adultery and animal sacrifice in the Bible, particularly from the consistent associations between Molekh worship and Ashtoreth worship, it is generally assumed that the “prostitutes” involved with the latter were engaged in sex rites. In fact, while this is almost certainly the case, the Bible tells it differently, even in the context of God telling his prophets to judge righteously (i.e. rightly, as opposed to wrongly). Just as with the case of sodomy, the concept of adultery is consistently used throughout Scripture either as a metaphor for forsaking God and turning to foreign idols, which amounts to eating flesh, or else some other form of violence and oppression of innocents.

“On that day I lifted My hand in an oath to them, to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim into a land that I had searched out for them, flowing with milk and honey, the splendour of all lands. And I said to them, ‘Each one of you, throw away the abominations which are before his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Mitsrayim! I am יהוה your Elohim.’ But they rebelled against Me, and would not obey Me. All of them did not throw away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Mitsrayim. So I resolved to pour out My wrath on them to complete My displeasure against them in the midst of the land of Mitsrayim.” Ezekiel 20:6-8

“And now, son of man, judge, judge the city of blood [Jerusalem]! And you shall show her all her abominations! And you shall say, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “The city sheds blood in her midst, that her time might come. And she has made idols within herself to become defiled. You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and have defiled yourself with the idols which you have made. Thus you have brought your days near, and have come to the end of your years. Therefore I shall make you a reproach to the gentiles, and a mockery to all lands. Those near and those far from you mock you—defiled is your name and great the confusion! See the leaders of Yisra’ĕl: each one has used his arm to shed blood in you.”’” Ezekiel 22:2-6

Then the word of יהוה came to me, saying, “Son of man, they who inhabit those ruins in the land of Yisra’ĕl are saying, ‘Aḇraham was only one, and he inherited the land. But we are many, let the land be given to us as a possession.’ Therefore say to them, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “You eat meat with blood, and you lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood. Should you then possess the land? You depend on your sword, and you commit abominations, and each of you defiles his neighbour’s wife. Should you then possess the land?”’ Say this to them, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “As I live, those who are in the ruins shall fall by the sword, and the one who is in the open field I shall give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in the strongholds and caves shall die of the pestilence. And I shall make the land a desert and a waste, the arrogance of her strength shall cease, and the mountains of Yisra’ĕl shall be a waste, with none passing through. And they shall know that I am יהוה, when I have made the land a desert and a waste, because of all their abominations which they have done.”’” Ezekiel 33:23-29

“And I shall judge you with judgments of adulteresses and shedders of blood. And I shall bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy.” Ezekiel 16:38

And יהוה said to me, “Son of man, judge Oholah [‘her tent,’ i.e. the temple at Mt. Gerizim, or Israel] and Oholiḇah [‘my tent is in her,’ i.e. the Temple of Solomon, or Judah]! And declare to them their abominations. For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. And they have committed adultery with their idols, and even offered their sons whom they bore to Me, passing them through the fire, to devour.” Ezekiel 23:36-37

“But let righteous men judge them with the judgment of adulteresses, and the judgment of women who shed blood, for they are adulteresses, and blood is on their hands.” Ezekiel 23:45

“Swearing, and lying, and murdering, and stealing, and committing adultery have increased. And bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and everyone living there languishes, with the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens. And the fish of the sea are taken away.” Hosea 4:2-3

‘Adultery’ (or adulteration) and ‘whoring’ are used synonymously with ‘defilement’ in Scripture. Defilement involves eating (or touching, or even just approaching) dead flesh, and really only refers to fornication in the proper sense in regards to the Israelites’ loss of genetic/racial purity by mixing their bloodlines with those of foreigners who worshiped strange gods (i.e., who ate meat). In every sense, adultery is regarded as defiling one’s body or spirit with things that are unnatural to it. Some instances are more explicit about this than others.

This is the way of an adulterous woman: She shall eat and wipe her mouth, and say, “I have not done wickedness.” Proverbs 30:20

“Thus said יהוה of hosts, ‘Now, ask the priests concerning the Torah, saying, “If one bears set-apart meat in the fold of his garment, and with the edge he touches bread or stew, or wine or oil, or any food, is it set-apart?”’” And the priests answered and said, “No.” And Ḥaggai said, “If someone defiled by a dead body touches any of these, is it defiled?” And the priests answered and said, “It is defiled.” And Ḥaggai answered and said, “‘So is this people, and so is this nation before Me,’ declares יהוה, ‘and so is every work of their hands. And whatever they bring near there is defiled.’” Haggai 2:11-14

And the sovereign defiled the high places that were before Yerushalayim, which were on the right hand of the Mountain of Destruction, which Shelomoh sovereign of Yisra’ĕl built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Tsiḏonians, and for Kemosh the abomination of the Mo’aḇites, and for Milkom the abomination of the children of Ammon. 2 Kings 23:13

And יהוה said to me in the days of Yoshiyahu the sovereign, “Have you seen what backsliding Yisra’ĕl has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there committed whoring. And after she had done all these, I said ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Yehuḏah saw it. And I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Yisra’ĕl had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Yehuḏah did not fear, but went and committed whoring too. And it came to be, through her frivolous whoring, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones [altars] and wood [idols/kindling].” Jeremiah 3:6-9

For the land is filled with adulterers; for the land mourns because of a curse. The pastures of the wilderness are dried up. And their course is evil, and their might is not right. “For both prophet and priest have become defiled. Even in My house I have found their evil,” declares יהוה. Jeremiah 23:10-11

“Arise and go, for this is not your rest, because uncleanness destroys, and the destruction is grievous.” Micah 2:10

“But My people have forgotten Me, they have burned incense to what is false, and they have stumbled from their ways, from the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths and not on a highway, to make their land become a ruin, a hissing forever—everyone who passes by it is appalled and shakes his head.” Jeremiah 18:15-16

“He also is my deliverance, for a defiled one does not come before Him.” Job 13:16

“Who brings the clean out of the unclean? No one!” Job 14:4

“You have known this of old, since man was placed on earth, that the singing of the wrong is short-lived, and the joy of the defiled one is but for a moment? Although his pride mounts up to the heavens, and his head does reach to the clouds, he perishes forever like his own dung. Those who have seen him say, ‘Where is he?’” Job 20:4-7

“For of old you have broken your yoke and tore of your bonds. And you said, ‘I am not serving You,’ when on every high hill and under every green tree you lay down, a whore. Yet I had planted you a choice vine, all of it a true seed. How then have you turned before Me into the degenerate plant of a strange vine? Although you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your crookedness is ingrained before Me,” declares the Master יהוה. “How do you say, ‘I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Baʽals’? See your way in the valley, know what you have done: a swift dromedary breaking loose in her ways, a wild donkey used to the wilderness, sniffing the wind in the desire of her being—in her time of mating, who turns her away? All those who seek her need not weary themselves; in her month they find her.” Jeremiah 2:20-24

This is not just a matter of Yahweh getting jealous when you worship some other deity. There is always the physical element of the act which needs to be accounted for. We can hardly state this emphatically enough, in light of our observation (according to no less an authority than The Jewish Encyclopedia), that sacrifices were always meals, and vice-versa—that there was no other real purpose behind it. Hopefully we can all agree that the Pharisees at least had Yahweh in mind when they sinned, unlike Solomon and his successors.

Thus said יהוה, “The heavens are My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where is this house that you build for Me? And where is this place of My rest? And all these My hand have made, and all these that exist,” declares יהוה. “Yet to such a one I look: on him who is poor and bruised of spirit, and who trembles at My Word. But whoever slaughters the bull slays a man; whoever slaughters the lamb breaks a dog’s neck; whoever brings a grain offering—pig’s blood; whoever burns incense blesses an idol. Indeed, they have chosen their own ways, and their being delights in their abominations. I shall also choose their punishments, and bring their fears on them. Because I called, but no one answered. I spoke and they did not hear, and they did evil before My eyes, and chose what was displeasing to Me.” Isaiah 66:1-4

Only prophets are competent to judge, because only prophets are righteous. (Being righteous is what chiefly defines a prophet.) This is why Yahshuah warned against judging, rather than commanded against it. What God hates is not the judgment of the righteous, but the hypocrisy of sinners, a characteristic which applies far more to the average church-going meat-eating Christian in the present than it ever did to any Pharisee in Yahshuah’s time. The obvious analogy here is with a Christian who goes to church on Sunday and pretends to worship God with his lips, and then goes straight home and defiles them with a pork chop or pot roast—or, better yet, sticks around and brings his own abomination to the weekly potluck.

“And they come to you as people do, and they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them. For with their mouth they show much love—their hearts pursue their greedy gain. And see, you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and playing well on an instrument. And they hear your words, but they do not do them.” Ezekiel 33:31-32

“Even on your skirts is found the blood of the lives of the poor innocents. You did not find them breaking in, but in spite of all these, you say, ‘Because I am innocent, certainly His displeasure shall turn from me.’ See, I shall bring judgment on you, because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’” Jeremiah 2:34-35

“And it shall be, when you declare to this people all these words, and they shall say to you, ‘Why has יהוה pronounced all this great evil against us? And what is our crookedness, and what is our sin that we have committed against יהוה our Elohim?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because your fathers have forsaken Me,’ declares יהוה, ‘and have walked after other mighty ones and served them and bowed themselves to them, and have forsaken Me, and did not guard My Torah. And you have done more evil than your fathers, for look, each one walks according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to Me.’” Jeremiah 16:10-12

God judges hypocrites with a “double” portion of their sin. This is not just an allegory, for we know that all die once, but that sinners will only be resurrected to judgment, and that the punishment for their sins is the Second Death. So God makes life hard for us when we sin, in order to set us on the right path, and then we die, and then get one last chance to repent before we die again. In the case of the Israelites, the “snares” which God set up for them served the express purpose of correcting them, and no matter how many times they were given a new reminder to stop eating meat, they refused to obey and were punished. Contemporary Christians who have repeated this process again and again really need to take this into account if they want to have a realistic expectation about what is going to happen to them, being no better than the Israelites in the context of Scripture, and committing sins far more grievous and plentiful.

“And you shall diligently guard yourselves, to love יהוה your Elohim. But if you do turn back at all, and cling to the remnant of these nations, these that remain among you, and intermarry with them, and go in to them and they to you, know for certain that יהוה your Elohim shall no longer drive these nations out from before you. And they shall be snares and traps to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which יהוה your Elohim has given you.” Joshua 23:11-13

“And it shall be, that as every good word has come upon you which יהוה your Elohim promised you, so יהוה does bring upon you every evil word, until He has destroyed you from this good land which יהוה your Elohim has given you, when you transgress the covenant of יהוה your Elohim, which He commanded you, and shall go and serve other mighty ones, and bow down to them. And the displeasure of יהוה shall burn against you, and you shall perish quickly from the good land which He has given you.” Joshua 23:15-16

And the Messenger of יהוה came up from Gilgal to Boḵim, and said, “I led you up from Mitsrayim and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers, and I said, ‘I do not break My covenant with you, and as for you, do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land—break down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. What is this you have done? Therefore I also said, ‘I am not driving them out before you, and they shall be adversaries to you, and their mighty ones shall be a snare to you.’” Judges 2:1-3

And all that generation were likewise gathered to their fathers, and another generation arose after them who did not know יהוה nor the work which He had done for Yisra’ĕl. Then the children of Yisra’ĕl did evil in the eyes of יהוה, and served the Baʽals, and forsook יהוה Elohim of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Mitsrayim, and went after other mighty ones, of the mighty ones of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them, and provoked יהוה. So they forsook יהוה and served Baʽal and the Ashtoreths. And the displeasure of יהוה burned against Yisra’ĕl. Therefore He gave them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them. And He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, and they were unable to stand before their enemies any longer. Wherever they went out, the hand of יהוה was against them for evil, as יהוה had spoken, and as יהוה had sworn to them. And they were distressed—greatly. Then יהוה raised up rulers who saved them from the hand of those who plundered them. However, they did not listen to their rulers either, but went whoring after other mighty ones, and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers walked, in obeying the commands of יהוה—they did not do so. And when יהוה raised up rulers for them, יהוה was with the ruler and saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the ruler, for יהוה had compassion on their groaning because of those who oppressed them and crushed them. And it came to be, when the ruler was dead, that they would turn back and do more corruptly than their fathers, to go after other mighty ones, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not refrain from their practices and from their stubborn way. And the displeasure of יהוה burned against Yisra’ĕl, and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant that I commanded their fathers, and has not obeyed My voice, I also shall no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Yehoshua left when he died, in order to try Yisra’ĕl by them, whether they would guard the way of יהוה, to walk in them as their fathers guarded them, or not.” Judges 2:10-22

And they were to try Yisra’ĕl by them, to know whether they would obey the commands of יהוה, which He had commanded their fathers by the hand of Mosheh. Thus the children of Yisra’ĕl dwelt in the midst of the Kenaʽanites, the Ḥittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Ḥiwwites, and the Yeḇusites, and took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and they served their mighty ones. Thus the children of Yisra’ĕl did evil in the eyes of יהוה, and forgot יהוה their Elohim, and served the Baʽals and the Ashĕrahs. Judges 3:4-7

“And first I shall repay double for their crookedness and their sin, because they have defiled My land with the dead bodies of their disgusting matters, and have filled My inheritance with their abominations.” Jeremiah 16:18

So while the efforts of the industrial agricultural firms like Monsanto and Cargill to poison us are certainly abominable and ought to be thwarted, it is senseless to complain about the threat they pose without addressing the cause of it, which is the demand, not the supply. The masses of humanity are just getting a taste of the evil they deserve—actually, far less than that—and unless they repent and stop destroying the environment, there will always be an incentive for these firms to spread their abominations around the globe and gain a monopoly on the food source. We may see them as evil, and rightly so, but God himself has ordained it this way, because what he sees as evil is not the consequence or punishment of the sin, but the sin itself.

Furthermore, the second judgment against hypocrisy (where the first is against wrongdoing) applies even more to the supposedly conscientious meat-eaters (those who are opposed to GMOs and modern animal farming practices, but not animal farming itself) than it does to the ignorant masses, as they ought to know better than to think that they are going to get away with their sins. The concept (or, rather, the lie) of treating the animal relatively well (compared to industrial farms) by not feeding it something that is going to slowly kill it just so that its flesh will not be as toxic to you when you eat it is extremely hypocritical, as is the concept of “humane” animal farming in its entirety, because there is no way to humanely raise an animal and slaughter it for the sole purpose of eating it. We know that Jacob built “shelters” (not to be confused with pens or cages) for his animals, but there is no record of him slaughtering them so he could feed himself, though there is a record of him cooking porridge for himself while his brother was out hunting, and of his mother having to prepare a meal of meat for him (he was an elderly man by our standards) because he knew not how. Is this not the real “humane” ideal? We even call buildings dedicated to the protection of animals “humane shelters.”

Consider the biting criticism of Hosea 13, the context of which concerns the Golden Calves set up by Jeroboam, which we will be discussing later in this chapter. Hosea’s judgment is just as appropriate to the modern context of “humane” slaughter. Is not calling the murder of an innocent being “humane” just because you pretended to love it the height of hypocrisy?

And now they sin more and more, and make for themselves moulded images from their silver, idols according to their skill, all of them the work of craftsmen. They say of them, “Let the men who slaughter kiss the calves!” Hosea 13:2

Judging righteously, or rightly, the way Yahshuah and the other prophets of the Bible did, means judging fairly. The only way to judge a person fairly is to judge him according to his works, so this is exactly what God always does, and what we are likewise supposed to do. Anything else would be unfair, and therefore unrighteous. Neither God nor anyone who represents him can ever judge by any other standard, for that would negate the righteousness of the judge, and render all his other judgments unfair due to the double standard. Even so, God is also merciful, because the point of his judgment is not to condemn and punish sinners, but to convict them (i.e. convince them, and cause them to repent) and save them from the consequences of their sin, as he would have us live, not die.

“The being who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the crookedness of the father, nor the father bear the crookedness of the son. The righteousness of the righteous is upon himself, and the wrongness of the wrong is upon himself. But the wrong, if he turns from all his sins which he has done, and he shall guard all My laws, and shall do right-ruling and righteousness, he shall certainly live, he shall not die. All the transgressions which he has done shall not be remembered against him—in his righteousness that he has done, he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wrong?” declares the Master יהוה. “Is it not that he should turn from his ways, and live? But when a righteous one turns away from his righteousness and does unrighteousness, according to all the abominations that the wrong one has done, shall he live? All his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered. For his trespass which he has committed, and for his sin which he has committed, for them he shall die. And you said, ‘The way of יהוה is not right.’ Hear now, O house of Yisra’ĕl, is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right? When a righteous one turns away from his righteousness, and does unrighteousness, and he dies in it, it is because of his unrighteousness which he has done that he dies. And when the wrong turns away from the wrong which he has done, and he does right-ruling and righteousness, he keeps himself alive. Because he sees and turns away from all the transgressions which he has done, he shall certainly live, he shall not die. And the house of Yisra’ĕl have said, ‘The way of יהוה is not right.’ Are My ways not right, O house of Yisra’ĕl? Is it not your ways that are not right? Therefore I judge you, O house of Yisra’ĕl, every one according to his ways,” declares the Master יהוה. “Repent, and turn back from all your transgressions, and let not crookedness be a stumbling-block to you. Cast away from you all the transgressions, by which you have transgressed, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Yisra’ĕl? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” declares the Master יהוה. “So turn back and live!” Ezekiel 18:20-32

“And you, O son of man, say to the children of your people, ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression. And as for the wrongness of the wrong, he shall not stumble because of it in the day that he turns from his wrong. And the righteous shall not be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’ When I say to the righteous that he shall live, and he has trusted in his righteousness, and shall do unrighteousness, none of his righteousness shall be remembered, but because of his unrighteousness that he has done, he shall die. Again, when I say to the wrong, ‘You shall certainly die,’ if he turns from his sin and does right and righteousness, if the wrong restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the laws of life without doing crookedness, he shall certainly live; he shall not die. None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him—he has done right and righteousness; he shall certainly live. And the children of your people have said, ‘The way of יהוה is not fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair! When the righteous turns from his righteousness and does unrighteousness, he shall die because of it. But when the wrong turns from his wrongness and does right and righteousness, he shall live because of it. And you have said, ‘The way of יהוה is not fair.’ O house of Yisra’ĕl, I shall judge every one of you according to his own ways.” Ezekiel 33:12-20

“Slanderous men have been in you to shed blood. And in you are those who eat on the mountains. They have done wickedness in your midst. And see, I shall smite My hand because of your greedy gain which you have made, and at the bloodshed which has been in your midst.” Ezekiel 22:9,13

For the vineyard of יהוה of hosts is the house of Yisra’ĕl, and the man of Yehuḏah is His pleasant plant. He looked for right-ruling, but see, oppression; for righteousness, but see, weeping. Isaiah 5:7

“But you are those who forsake יהוה, who forget My set-apart mountain, who prepare a table for Gad, and who fill a drink offering for Meni. And I shall allot you to the sword, and let you all bow down to the slaughter, because I called and you did not answer, I spoke and you did not hear, and you did evil before My eyes and chose that in which I did not delight.” Therefore thus said the Master יהוה, “See, My servants eat, but you hunger; see, My servants drink, but you thirst; see, My servants rejoice, but you are put to shame.” Isaiah 65:11-13

Here are some more passages to further substantiate that the prophetic tradition is based on righteous judgment, and that righteous judgment is according to works. From this it should be clear that the question “Why does God let bad things happen to good people?” is absurd, according to the logical fallacy known as poisoning the well. “Good,” by the world’s standard, is anything but that. Rather, God makes bad things happen to bad people (whether or not they consider themselves bad), even though he would rather not, because of the necessity of justice.

“Son of man, when the house of Yisra’ĕl dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds. To Me their way was like the uncleanness of a woman in her monthly period. So I poured out My wrath on them for the blood they had shed on the land, and for their idols they defiled it. And I scattered them among the gentiles, and they were dispersed throughout the lands. I have judged them according to their ways and their deeds.” Ezekiel 36:17-19

And the Spirit of יהוה fell upon me, and said to me, “Speak! ‘Thus said יהוה, “Thus you have said, O house of Yisra’ĕl. For I know what comes up in your spirit. You have increased your slain in this city, and filled its streets with the slain.” Therefore thus said the Master יהוה, “Your slain whom you have laid in its midst, they are the meat, and this city is the cooking pot. But I shall bring you out of the midst of it. You have feared the sword, and I bring a sword upon you,” declares the Master יהוה. “And you shall know that I am יהוה, for you have not walked in My laws nor executed My right-rulings, but have done according to the rulings of the gentiles which are all around you.”’” Ezekiel 11:5-8,12

“You have destroyed yourself, O Yisra’ĕl, but your help is in Me.” Hosea 13:9

“‘I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the face of the earth, by My great power and by My outstretched arm. And I shall give it to whom it seemed right in My eyes.’” Jeremiah 27:5

“‘For they too shall be enslaved by many nations and great sovereigns. And I shall repay them according to their deeds and according to the works of their hands.’” Jeremiah 25:14

“For Iyoḇ has said, ‘I am righteous, but Ěl has taken away my right. Would I lie concerning my right? My wound is incurable—without transgression.’” Job 34:5-6

“So that a defiled one should not reign, lest the people be ensnared.” Job 34:30

“Your wrong is for a man like yourself, and your righteousness for a son of man. Because of the multitude of oppressions they cry out; they cry out for help because of the arm of the many. And no one says, ‘Where is Eloah my Maker, who gives songs in the night, teaching us more than the beasts of the earth, and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’ There they cry, but He answers not, because of the pride of evil ones. Only, it is false that Ěl does not hear, and that the Almighty pays no attention to it. Although you say you do not see Him, yet right-ruling is before Him, and you wait for Him. And now, is it for naught that His displeasure has come? Yet He has not taken note of extreme arrogance.” Job 35:8-15

According to their deeds, so He repays, wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies. He repays recompense to the coastlands. Isaiah 59:18

Scripture is clear about the fact that the deeds which require recompense are the result of a man’s appetite (usually of the physical variety, but also spiritual in the rare cases of people who are spiritually minded, whether disposed to good or to evil). This is a common theme of the Prophets, and often relates to the end times, being those which are the most spiritually depraved, as evidenced by the fact that carnism and the greed of capitalism have run amok. Always, the problem with this is that it breeds violence.

All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not satisfied. Ecclesiastes 6:7

Then I said, “Hear now, O heads of Yaʽaqoḇ, and you rulers of the house of Yisra’ĕl: Should you not know right-ruling, you who are hating good and loving evil, tearing away the skin from My people, and the flesh from their bones, and who have eaten the flesh of My people, and stripped off their skin, and have broken their bones, and have cut it up as into a pot, like flesh in the cooking pot?” Micah 3:1-3

All you beasts of the field, come to devour, all you beasts in the forest. His watchmen [prophets] are blind, all of them, they have not known. All of them are dumb dogs, unable to bark, dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. And the dogs have a strong appetite, they never have enough. And they are shepherds [priests/rulers]! They have not known understanding. All of them look to their own way, every one for his own gain, from his own end, saying, “Come, let me bring wine and fill ourselves with strong drink. And tomorrow shall be as today, even much greater.” Isaiah 56:9-12

“‘As a cage is filled with birds, so their houses are filled with deceit. Therefore they have become great and grown rich.’” Jeremiah 5:27

“By the greatness of your trade you became filled with violence within, and you sinned. So I thrust you from the mountain of Elohim, and I destroyed you, O covering keruḇ, from the midst of the stones of fire.” Ezekiel 28:16

The sin of violence against innocent nonhumans is as inseparable from the sin of adultery as it is from the sin of violence against innocent humans. The explicit condemnation of violence against both is as frequent in the Prophets as anything else, except for the implicit condemnations of adultery which amount to the same. Mt. Zion has the distinction of not being recognized as having been a site of human sacrifice, compared to the other mountains and “high places” (altars) around Israel, where the meat was cooked. Even so, Jerusalem is still called the “city of blood” in Scripture, even as we have already seen, if for no other reason than that it was in Jerusalem that the precedent was established and the will of kings who built these altars was enacted.

Woe to the city of blood! All of it is a lie, filled with plunder, the prey is not lacking. The sound of a whip and the sound of rattling wheels, of galloping horses, of jolting chariots, mounted horsemen with bright sword and glittering spear, and many wounded, and a mass of dead bodies, and no end of corpses, they stumble over the corpses—because of the many whorings of the well-favoured whore, the mistress of sorceries, who sells nations by her whorings, and clans by her sorceries. “See, I am against you,” declares יהוה of hosts, “and shall lift up your skirts over your face, and shall show nations your nakedness, and reigns your shame.” Nahum 3:1-5

“And you shall say to the people of the land, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה to the inhabitants of Yerushalayim and to the land of Yisra’ĕl, “Let them eat their bread with anxiety, and drink their water with astonishment, for her land is emptied of all who are in it, because of the violence of all those who dwell in it. And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall become a wasteland. And you shall know that I am יהוה.”’” Ezekiel 12:19-20

“Therefore, as I live,” declares the Master יהוה, “I shall appoint you for blood, and let blood pursue you. Since you did not hate blood, therefore blood shall pursue you. And I shall make Mount Sĕʽir a ruin and a waste, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns, and shall fill its mountains with the slain, those slain by the sword falling on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines. I shall make you an everlasting ruin, and your cities uninhabited. And you shall know that I am יהוה.” Ezekiel 35:6-9

For I have heard a voice as of a woman in labour, the distress as of her who brings forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Tsiyon! She bewails herself, she spreads out her hands, saying, “Woe to me, for my being faints because of murderers!” Jeremiah 4:31

For thus said יהוה of hosts, “Cut down her trees, and cast up a siege mound against Yerushalayim. She is the city to be punished, in whose midst there is only oppression. As a well flows with water, so she flows with her evil. Violence and destruction are heard in her. Before Me continually are suffering and smiting.” Jeremiah 6:6-7

Some prophets (especially Joel and Isaiah) prophesied that peace would come to Israel and reign over Mt. Zion. These prophecies all pertain either to the end of the nation’s autonomy, or to the time when all nations would be judged, which is to say the “day of Yahweh.” This notion of a new earth wherein righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13) is what every Christian ought to look forward to, as opposed to a great feast where we all get to dine on dozens of varieties of burnt flesh, which, though typically what is imagined of “heaven,” as though it were Valhalla, is exactly what has provoked God’s wrath to begin with.

And it shall be in the latter days that the mountain of the House of יהוה is established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills. And all nations shall flow to it. And many peoples shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of יהוה, to the House of the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ, and let Him teach us His ways, and let us walk in His paths, for out of Tsiyon comes forth the Torah, and the Word of יהוה from Yerushalayim.” And He shall judge between the nations, and shall reprove many peoples. And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither teach battle any more. Isaiah 2:2-4

The books of the Prophets include the New Testament, and therefore comprise the large majority of Scripture (everything in the standard biblical canon except the Pentateuch, or the Law). Most of their content condemns the “bad shepherds” and the ignorance of their “flock,” which they have led astray. In some instances, it is alleged that they are preaching peace while violence persists all around them. Thus the violence is shown to be largely a matter of violence against nonhumans, and mostly attributable to the priests and to the rest of the ruling class, which are constantly criticized as having failed in their duty to take care of the sheep. (Being that the violence is routinely and consistently attributed to the priests, as opposed to soldiers or criminals, it cannot be but that it refers to animal slaughter.) This is obviously the origin of the “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15) motif as well, which Christians love to cite as much as they love to fail to apply it to their own circumstances in all but the most obvious cases of self-made millionaire clergymen like Pat Robertson and Joel Osteen, who are just preaching the gospel of peace that they want to hear, anyway. The Bible is hardly so forgiving to the rest of the predators formally known as the Church, or to those who are ignorant—because they have listened to them instead of God and his holy messengers—formally known as Christians.

All this is for the transgression of Yaʽaqoḇ and for the sins of the house of Yisra’ĕl. What is the transgression of Yaʽaqoḇ? Is it not Shomeron? And what are the high places of Yehuḏah? Are they not Yerushalayim? Micah 1:5

“For the shepherds have become brutish, and they have not sought יהוה. Therefore they did not understand, and all their flock scattered.” Jeremiah 10:21

Even though it is not punished as severely as premeditated rebellion, ignorance is still not a valid excuse for sin. To claim as much is to deny that God has warned us against choosing to practice evil or to listen to those who would fill our heads with evil thoughts. Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own decisions, and it is the vice of the common man rather than what the clergy have filled his head with which will bring about his punishment. Even Christians will agree to this, as they all believe in the doctrine of free will, contrary to Scripture.

“For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, they are all greedy for gain. And from the prophet even to the priest, all act falsely. And they heal the breach of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had done abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed, nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall. They shall stumble at the time I visit them,” said יהוה. Jeremiah 6:13-15

“As they were increased, so they sinned against Me. My esteem they have changed into shame. They eat the sin of My people, and lift up their desire to their crookedness. And it shall be: like people, like priest. And I shall punish them for their ways, and reward them for their deeds. And they shall eat but not be satisfied, they shall whore but not increase, for they have stopped obeying יהוה. Whoring, and wine, and new wine enslave the heart. My people ask from their Wood, and their Staff declares to them. For a spirit of whorings has led them astray, and they went whoring from under their Elohim. They slaughter on the mountaintops, and burn incense on the hills, under oak and poplars and terebinth, because its shade is good. Therefore your daughters commit whoring, and your brides commit adultery.” Hosea 4:7-13

Thus said יהוה my Elohim, “Feed the flock for slaughter, whose owners slaughter them and feel no guilt, and their sellers say, ‘Blessed be יהוה, for I have become rich.’ And their own shepherds do not spare them. For I shall no longer spare the inhabitants of the land,” declares יהוה. “But see, I am delivering up mankind, each one into his neighbour’s hand and into the hand of his sovereign. And they shall crush the earth, but I do not deliver from their hand.” Zechariah 11:4-6

“Woe to the shepherds destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares יהוה. Therefore thus said יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl against the shepherds who feed My people, “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and have not tended them. See, I am punishing you for the evil of your deeds,” declares יהוה. “Therefore I shall gather the remnant of My flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and shall bring them back to their fold. And they shall bear and increase. And I shall raise up shepherds over them, and they shall feed them. And they shall fear no more, nor be discouraged, nor shall they be lacking,” declares יהוה. Jeremiah 23:1-4

“For look, I am raising up a shepherd in the land who does not visit those straying, nor seek the young, nor heal those that are broken, nor feed those that still stand. But he does eat the flesh of the fat and tear off their hooves. Woe to the worthless shepherd forsaking the flock! Let a sword be upon his arm and upon his right eye! His arm shall wither and his right eye shall be dimmed.” Zechariah 11:16-17

“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Yisra’ĕl, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה to the shepherds, “Woe to the shepherds of Yisra’ĕl who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat [Hebrew: ‘the choice’] and you put on the wool. You slaughter the fatlings [the chosen ones]—you do not feed the flock. You have not strengthened the weak, nor have you healed the sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back the straying, nor sought what was lost; but you have ruled them with might and harshness.”’” Ezekiel 34:2-4

“Moreover, יהוה has sent to you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear, saying, ‘Turn back now everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell on the soil which יהוה has given to you and your fathers forever and ever. And do not go after other mighty ones to serve them and to bow down to them. And do not provoke Me with the works of your hands, so that I do you no evil.’ But you did not listen to Me,” declares יהוה, “so as to provoke Me with the works of your hands, for your own evil.” Jeremiah 25:4-7

“I have listened and heard—they do not speak right. No man has repented of his evil, saying, ‘What have I done?’ They all turned to their own course, like a horse rushing into battle. Even a stork in the heavens knows her appointed times. And a turtledove, and a swallow, and a thrush observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the right-ruling of יהוה. How do you say, ‘We are wise, and the Torah of יהוה is with us’? But look, the false pen of the scribe has worked falsehood. The wise shall be put to shame, they shall be broken down and caught. See, they have rejected the Word of יהוה, so what wisdom do they have?” Jeremiah 8:6-9

Note here the use of “the wise” to describe the clergy and “wisdom” to describe their lies. Yahshuah’s statement that false prophets are known by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20) is a clear reference to the Tree of Knowledge, not just some exceedingly vague platitude amounting to “Actions speak louder than words.” The latter idea is certainly true in a sense, but it is also true that Yahshuah did not leave it to his audience to discern what is good and what is evil; he confronted this issue directly, repeatedly and persistently. And while this fact typically gets overlooked because of the “God” status that has been retrofitted to him, he was the greatest prophet and the culmination of the prophetic tradition, so his opinion on the matter is paramount.

The first and most obvious sign of whether someone pretending to be a prophet is really a false prophet is in his lack of concern for the welfare of animals, and particularly the fact that he goes out of his way to eat or otherwise destroy them. Regardless of how convincing and pleasant-sounding his words may be, if he ever eats flesh, then he is certainly not a prophet of the Most High God. If, on the other hand, he eats what God would have him eat, then he is beyond reproach in this area, and it may be assumed he is not a false prophet until his words fail the test of truth or he is seen to consciously commit some other grave sin. This is to say that anyone claiming to teach or prophesy in the name of Yahweh that also advocates, condones or fails to condemn the consumption of flesh and/or rampant abuse of the animal kingdom shall assuredly be “cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Thus said יהוה of hosts, “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, they lead you astray. They speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of יהוה. They keep on saying to those who despise Me, ‘יהוה has said you shall have peace.’ And to all who walk according to the stubbornness of their own heart they say, ‘No evil comes upon you.’” For who has stood in the counsel of יהוה, and has seen and heard His word? Who has listened to His word and obeyed it? See, a storm of יהוה shall go forth in a rage, a whirling storm! It whirls on the head of the wrong. The displeasure of יהוה shall not turn back until He has done and established the purposes of His heart. In the latter days you shall understand it perfectly. “I did not send these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, then they would have let My people hear My Words, and they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds. Am I an Elohim close by,” declares יהוה, “and not an Elohim afar off? If anyone is hidden in secret places, would I not see him?” declares יהוה. “Do I not fill the heavens and earth?” declares יהוה. “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsehood in My Name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ Till when shall it be in the heart of the prophets?—the prophets of falsehood and prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My Name by their dreams which everyone relates to his neighbour, as their fathers forgot My Name for Baʽal. The prophet who has a dream, let him relate the dream, and he who has My Word, let him speak My Word in truth. What is the chaff to the wheat?” declares יהוה. “Is not My Word like a fire?” declares יהוה, “and like a hammer that shatters a rock? Therefore see, I am against the prophets,” declares יהוה, “who steal My Words every one from his neighbour. See, I am against the prophets,” declares יהוה, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He declares.’ See, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares יהוה, “and relate them, and lead My people astray by their falsehoods and by their reckless boasting. But I Myself did not send them nor have I commanded them. And they do not profit this people at all,” declares יהוה. “And when these people or the prophet or the priest ask you, saying, ‘What is the message of יהוה?’ then you shall say to them, ‘What message?’ I shall forsake you,” declares יהוה. “As for the prophet and the priest and the people who say, ‘The message of יהוה,’ I shall punish that man and his house. This is what each one says to his neighbour, and each one to his brother, ‘What has יהוה answered?’ and, ‘What has יהוה spoken?’ But the message of יהוה you no longer remember! For every man’s message is his own word, for you have changed the Words of the living Elohim, יהוה of hosts, our Elohim! This is what you say to the prophet, ‘What has יהוה answered you?’ and, ‘What has יהוה spoken?’ But since you say, ‘The message of יהוה!’ therefore thus said יהוה, ‘Because you say this word, “The message of יהוה!” and I have sent to you, saying, “Do not say, ‘The message of יהוה!’” therefore see, I, I shall utterly forget you and cast you away from My presence, along with the city that I gave you and your fathers. And I shall put an everlasting reproach on you, and an everlasting shame that is not forgotten.’” Jeremiah 23:16-40

Verse 36 here says the message of Yahweh has been forgotten by the “prophets.” This is why conservative Christians recognize no prophets today, because there are none that they know of or acknowledge, and those who wear the mantle create their own prophesyings to suit their own agendas! Their habits are as filthy and abominable as anyone else’s, and God is not fooled. It would have been better for them if they had gone about their business without bringing God into it. Moreover, these people are truly prophets (of Baal), for they are possessions of demons who use them to teach falsehood and prophesy against Yahweh in the name of the LORD (Baal).

We have discussed previously how the basic premise behind eating flesh is to make us suitable habitations for demons. So it should not be surprising that divination, witchcraft and sorcery are all associated with idolatry. The fact that God disapproves of these practices enough to intervene on our behalf and to award us with new life also serves as the basis for the NT understanding of the resurrection, which was still a matter of great controversy at that time.

“And the spirit of Mitsrayim shall vanish within them, and I destroy their counsel. And they shall seek the idols and the mutterers, the mediums and the sorcerers.” Isaiah 19:3

They shall be put to shame, and even be humiliated, all of them—the makers of idols shall go away together in humiliation. Isaiah 45:16

The dead do not live; the departed spirits do not rise. Therefore You have visited and destroyed them, and made all their remembrance to perish. Let Your dead live, together with my dead body, let them arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; for Your dew is a dew of light, and let the earth give birth to the departed spirits. Go, my people, enter your rooms, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little while, until the displeasure is past. For look, יהוה is coming out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their crookedness. And the earth shall disclose her blood, and no longer cover her slain. Isaiah 26:14,19-21

“But come here, you sons of the sorceress, you offspring of the adulterer and the whore! Against whom are you sporting? Against whom do you make a wide mouth and stick out the tongue? Are you not children of transgression, offspring of falsehood, being inflamed with mighty ones under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks? Among the smooth stones of the stream is your portion; they, they, are your lot! Also to them you have poured a drink offering, you have offered a grain offering. Am I comforted in these? On a high and lofty mountain you have set your bed. There, too, you went up to make an offering.” Isaiah 57:3-7

We also mentioned earlier that Belial (‘worthless one’ or ‘worthlessness’) is the name ascribed to Satan in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and in one of Paul’s epistles. This concept of “worthlessness” is contrasted with compassion in the Prophets, indicating, once again, that that which is worthless, is that which is violent or destructive. Jeremiah’s use and repetition of the term leaves no room for doubt that the early Christians considered the “sons of Belial” those who were descended from the idolaters of the previous era. The contrast is always between the murder and abomination of the one offering sacrifices, and the prayer of the one worshiping Yahweh with thanksgiving and compassion for animals who would otherwise be victimized.

“When my life fainted within me, I remembered יהוה. And my prayer went up to You, into Your set-apart Hĕḵal [your holy temple]. Those observing false worthlessnesses forsake their own kindness. But I offer to You with the voice of thanksgiving, I pay what I have vowed. Deliverance is of יהוה.” Jonah 2:7-9

Thus said יהוה, “Do not learn the way of the gentiles, and do not be awed by the signs of the heavens, for the gentiles are awed by them. For the prescribed customs of these peoples are worthless, for one cuts a tree [an idol, but especially an asherah pole or “cross” (crux immissa) as it is typically known] from the forest, work for the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.” They [the tree cutter and the craftsman] are both brutish and foolish, an instruction of worthlessness is the tree. They are worthless, a work of mockery. In the time of their punishment they perish. Jeremiah 10:2-3,8,15

Are there among the worthless idols of the nations any causing rain? And do the heavens give showers? Are You not He, O יהוה our Elohim? And we wait for You, for You are the One who does all this. Jeremiah 14:22

And the priest of Zeus, being in front of their city, brought oxen and wreaths to the gates, and wished to offer with the crowds. And when the emissaries Barnaḇah and Sha’ul heard this, they tore their garments and ran in among the crowd, crying out and saying, “Men, why are you doing this? We also are men with the same nature as you, bringing to you the Good News: to turn from these worthless matters to the living Elohim, who made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and all that is in them, who in past generations allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways, though, indeed, He did not leave Himself without witness, doing good—giving us rain from heaven and fruit-bearing seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” Even with these words they still had difficulty in stopping the crowds from offering to them. Acts 14:13-18

All throughout Scripture, it is evident that God is infuriated by such wanton violence and destruction as is the norm now. Sodom and Jerusalem were nothing compared to our own Babylon, which far surpasses every city and every nation of antiquity in the measure and magnitude of its sin. Thus we find that the sin which provoked God’s wrath in the beginning is also prophesied as the catalyst for the Day of Wrath at the end of the world, as it is ultimately the cause of the great apostasy. As it was in the days when Jerusalem was under siege, so it is now—the calm before the greatest storm in our planet’s history.

See, יהוה is making the earth empty and making it waste, and shall overturn its surface, and shall scatter abroad its inhabitants. And it shall be—as with the people so with the priest, as with the servant so with his master, as with the female servant so with her mistress, as with the buyer so with the seller, as with the lender so with the borrower, as with the creditor so with the debtor; the earth is completely emptied and utterly plundered, for יהוה has spoken this word. The earth shall mourn and wither, the world shall languish and wither, the haughty people of the earth shall languish. For the earth has been defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the Torot, changed the law, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse shall consume the earth, and those who dwell in it be punished. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth shall be burned, and few men shall be left. Isaiah 24:1-6

And go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it on a scroll, that it is for a latter day, a witness forever: that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who refuse to hear the Torah of יהוה, who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right. Speak to us what is smooth, prophesy deceits. Turn aside from the way, swerve from the path, cause the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl to cease from before us.” Therefore thus said the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, “Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and rely on them, therefore this crookedness is to you like a breach ready to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, swiftly.” And He shall break it like the breaking of the potter’s vessel, which is broken in pieces, without sparing, so that there is not found among its fragments a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water from the cistern. Isaiah 30:8-14

“And peoples shall be like the burnings of lime, like thorns cut up they are burned in the fire. You who are afar off, hear what I shall do; and you who are near, know My might.” Sinners in Tsiyon shall be afraid; trembling shall grip the defiled ones, “Who of us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who of us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” He who walks righteously and speaks what is straight, he who rejects the gain of oppressions, who keeps his hands from accepting bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil—he shall inhabit the heights; strongholds of rocks be his refuge. His bread shall be given him, his water be steadfast. Isaiah 33:12-16

Neither shall the inhabitant say, “I am sick.” The people who dwell in it is forgiven their crookedness! Isaiah 33:24

“‘But they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. So I brought on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, and they did not do.’” Therefore thus said יהוה, “See, I am bringing evil on them which they are unable to escape. Then they shall cry out to Me, but I shall not listen to them.” Jeremiah 11:8,11

“So I shall scatter them like stubble that passes away by the wind of the wilderness. This is your lot, your measured portion from Me,” declares יהוה, “because you have forgotten Me, and trust in falsehood. I shall even draw your skirts over your face, and your shame shall be seen, your adulteries and your neighings, the wickedness of your whoring! I have seen your abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe to you, O Yerushalayim! How long before you would be made clean?” Jeremiah 13:24-27

And יהוה said to me, “Do not pray for this people for their good. When they fast, I do not hear their cry. And when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I do not accept them. Instead, I am consuming them by sword, and by scarcity of food, and by pestilence.” But I said, “Ah, Master יהוה! See, the prophets say to them, ‘You are not to see a sword, nor have scarcity of food, for I give you true peace in this place.’” Then יהוה said to me, “The prophets prophesy falsehood in My Name. I have not sent them, nor commanded them, nor spoken to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own heart. Therefore thus said יהוה concerning the prophets who prophesy in My Name, whom I did not send, and who say, ‘Sword and scarcity of food shall not be in this land.’ ‘By sword and scarcity of food those prophets shall be consumed! And the people to whom they are prophesying shall be thrown out in the streets of Yerushalayim because of the scarcity of food and the sword, with no one to bury them—them nor their wives, their sons nor their daughters. For I shall pour their evil on them.’” Jeremiah 14:11-16

“For look, יהוה comes with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His displeasure with burning, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword יהוה shall judge all flesh, and the slain of יהוה shall be many—those who set themselves apart and cleanse themselves at the gardens after ‘One’ in the midst, eating flesh of pigs and the abomination and the mouse, are snatched away, together,” declares יהוה. Isaiah 66:15-17

Woe to those plotting wickedness, and working out evil upon their beds! In the light of the morning they practise it, because it is in the might of their hand. And they coveted fields and seized them, also houses, and took them away. And they oppressed a man and his house, a man and his inheritance. Therefore thus said יהוה, “See, against this clan I am planning evil, from which you do not remove your necks, nor walk proudly, for this is a time of evil.” Micah 2:1-3

But truly I am filled with power, with the Spirit of יהוה, and with right-ruling and with might, to declare to Yaʽaqoḇ his transgression and to Yisra’ĕl his sin. Hear this, please, you heads of the house of Yaʽaqoḇ and you rulers of the house of Yisra’ĕl, who despise right-ruling and distort all that is straight, those building up Tsiyon with bloodshed and Yerushalayim with unrighteousness. Micah 3:8-10

“And I shall cut off witchcrafts out of your hand, and let you have no magicians. And I shall cut off your carved images, and your pillars from your midst, so that you no longer bow down to the work of your hands. And I shall pluck your Ashĕrim out of your midst, and I shall destroy your cities. And I shall take vengeance in wrath and rage on the gentiles who did not obey.” Micah 5:12-15

Some of the prophets’ rants are of a nature no less epic and severe than Yahshuah’s longer speeches against the Pharisees. Ezekiel in particular had a major problem with violence, of both the human and the nonhuman victim varieties. Then again, he was just reporting what God had told him to say, so we do well to remember that the ferocity of the judgment belongs to Yahweh (rather than the prophet delivering the message), from whose wrath no one can escape.

“They remove landmarks; they rob and feed on flocks; they drive away the donkey of the fatherless; they take the widow’s ox as a pledge; they turn the needy out of the way; the poor of the earth have hidden together. See, as wild donkeys in the wilderness they go about their tasks, eager seekers for prey; the desert gives his bread, for the children. They reap his fodder in a field and they glean the vineyard of the wrong. They spend the night naked, without a garment, and without covering in the cold. They are wet with the showers of the hills, and have embraced a rock for lack of shelter. They snatch away the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge from the poor; naked, they shall go about without a garment; and hungry, they shall take away sheaves. They press out oil within their walls; winepresses they shall tread, yet suffer thirst. Men groan in the city, and the beings of the wounded cry out, and Eloah does not regard it as foolish. They have become rebels against the light; they have not known His ways nor remained in His paths. The murderer rises at daylight, he slays the poor and needy, and in the night he is as a thief. And the eye of the adulterer watches for dusk, saying, ‘No eye sees me.’ And he puts a covering on the face.” Job 24:2-15

“And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who are prophesying out of their own heart, and prophesy against them. And you shall say, ‘This is what the Master יהוה said, “Woe to the women sewing cushions for all joints of the hand, and to those making veils for the heads of people of every size, to hunt beings! You hunt the beings of My people, while you keep alive your own beings! And you have profaned Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to put to death beings that should not die, and to keep alive beings who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies!” Therefore thus said the Master יהוה, “See, I am against your cushions by which you hunt the beings there like birds. And I shall tear them from your arms, and shall let the beings go, the beings you hunt like birds. And I shall tear off your veils, and shall deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand. And you shall know that I am יהוה. Because with falsehood you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad. And you have strengthened the hands of the wrong, so that he does not turn from his evil way, to keep him alive. Therefore you shall no longer see false visions, nor practise divination. And I shall deliver My people out of your hand, and you shall know that I am יהוה.”’” Ezekiel 13:17-23

“And speak a parable to the rebellious house, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה, “Put on a pot, put it on, and also pour water into it. Gather pieces of meat in it, every good piece, the thigh and the shoulder, fill it with choice bones. Take the choice of the flock, also pile bones under it, cook it thoroughly, also let the bones cook in it.” Therefore thus said the Master יהוה, “Woe to the city of blood, to the pot in which there is rust, and whose rust has not gone out of it! Bring it out piece by piece, on which no lot has fallen. For her blood is in her midst. She has set it on a shining rock. She did not pour it on the ground, to cover it with dust. To stir up wrath and take vengeance, I have set her blood on a shining rock, so that it would not be covered.” Therefore thus said the Master יהוה, “Woe to the city of blood! Let Me also make the pile great. Heap on the wood, kindle the fire, cook the meat well, mixing in the spices, and let the bones be burned up. And set it on the coals, empty, so that it gets hot, and its bronze glows. And its filthiness shall be melted in it, and its rust be consumed. She has wearied herself with sorrows, and her great rust has not gone from her. Into the fire with her rust! In your filthiness is wickedness. Because I have cleansed you, but you are not clean. You shall not be cleansed of your filthiness any more, till I have caused My wrath to rest upon you. I, יהוה, have spoken. It shall come, and I shall do it. I do not hold back, nor do I pardon, nor do I relent. According to your ways and according to your deeds they shall judge you,” declares the Master יהוה.’” Ezekiel 24:3-14

The major theme of the Prophets is reiterated again and again: “You have sinned. You think you will get away with it, but you shall surely have the consequence of your iniquity visited upon you. You shall surely die. God does not desire you to die. Repent, so that you might live.” Put another way, “Have compassion, and you will get compassion.” In fact, the whole Bible in a nutshell practically amounts to a single imperative: “Stop eating meat.” Have we not already seen that this is the case?

Half of it he shall burn in the fire; with this half he eats meat. He roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire.” And the rest of it he makes into a mighty one, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships, prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my mighty one.” They do not know nor understand, for He has smeared their eyes from seeing, and their hearts from understanding. And no one recalls it to his heart, nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire, and I have also baked bread on its coals; I have roasted meat and eaten it. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Should I fall down before a log of wood?” Isaiah 44:16-19

And in that day the Master יהוה of hosts called for weeping and for mourning, for baldness and for girding with sackcloth. Then see! Joy and gladness, slaying oxen and killing sheep, eating meat and drinking wine, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” And it was revealed in my hearing by יהוה of hosts, “For this crookedness shall certainly not be pardoned until you die,” said the Master יהוה of hosts. Isaiah 22:12-14

Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For יהוה has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, the prophets. And He has covered your heads, the seers. And the entire vision is to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men give to one who knows books, saying, “Read this, please.” And he said, “I am unable, for it is sealed.” And the book is given to one who does not know books, saying, “Read this, please.” And he said, “I have not known books.” And יהוה says, “Because this people has drawn near with its mouth, and with its lips they have esteemed Me, and it has kept its heart far from Me, and their fear of Me has become a command of men that is taught! Therefore, see, I am again doing a marvellous work among this people, a marvellous work and a wonder. And the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their clever men shall be hidden.” Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from יהוה, and their works are in the dark; they say, “Who sees us?” and, “Who knows us?” How perverse of you! Should the potter be reckoned as the clay? Should what is made say of its Maker, “He did not make me”? And what is formed say of Him who formed it, “He did not understand”? Isaiah 29:9-16

And in that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of gloom, and out of darkness. And the meek ones shall increase their joy in יהוה, and the poor among men rejoice in the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl. For the ruthless one is brought to naught, the scorner is consumed, and all who watch for evil shall be cut off, those who make a man to sin in word, and lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate, and turn aside the righteous with empty reasoning. Therefore thus said יהוה, who ransomed Aḇraham, concerning the house of Yaʽaqoḇ, “Yaʽaqoḇ is no longer put to shame, no longer does his face grow pale. For when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they shall set apart My Name, and set apart the Set-apart One of Yaʽaqoḇ, and fear the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl. And those who went astray in spirit shall come to understanding, and the grumblers accept instruction.” Isaiah 29:18-24

And Yonah began to go in to the city on the first day’s walk. And he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Ninewĕh shall be overthrown!” And the men of Ninewĕh believed in Elohim, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. And the word reached the sovereign of Ninewĕh, so he arose from his throne and took off his robe, and covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he proclaimed and said throughout Ninewĕh, “By decree of the sovereign and his nobles: No man or beast, herd or flock, shall taste whatever—let them not eat, let them not even drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and call mightily to Elohim. And let each one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows whether Elohim does turn and relent, and shall turn away from the heat of His displeasure, so that we do not perish?” And Elohim saw their works, that they turned from their evil way. And Elohim relented from the evil which He had said He would do to them, and He did not do it. Jonah 3:4-10

“And I shall sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean—from all your filthiness and from all your idols I cleanse you. And I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. And I shall take the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I shall give you a heart of flesh, and put My Spirit within you. And I shall cause you to walk in My laws and guard My right-rulings and shall do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers. And you shall be My people, and I shall be your Elohim. And I shall save you from all your uncleannesses. And I shall call for the grain and increase it, and I shall bring no scarcity of food upon you. And I shall increase the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of scarcity of food among the gentiles. And you shall remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good. And you shall loathe yourselves in your own eyes, for your crookednesses and your abominations. Not for your sake am I acting,” declares the Master יהוה, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and blush for your ways, O house of Yisra’ĕl!” Thus said the Master יהוה, “On the day that I cleanse you from all your crookednesses, I shall cause the cities to be inhabited, and the ruined places shall be rebuilt, and the land that was laid waste tilled instead of being a ruin before the eyes of all who pass by. And they shall say, ‘This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Ěḏen. And the wasted, the deserted, and the destroyed cities are now walled and inhabited.’” Ezekiel 36:25-35

And therefore יהוה shall wait, to show you favour. And therefore He shall be exalted, to have compassion on you. For יהוה is an Elohim of right-ruling. Blessed are all those who wait for Him. For the people shall dwell in Tsiyon at Yerushalayim, you shall weep no more. He shall show much favour to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears, He shall answer you. Though יהוה gave you bread of adversity and water of affliction, your Teacher shall no longer be hidden. But your eyes shall see your Teacher, and your ears hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the Way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right, or whenever you turn to the left. And you shall defile the covering of your graven images of silver, and the plating of your moulded images of gold. You shall throw them away as a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Be gone!” And He shall give the rain for your seed with which you sow the ground, and bread of the increase of the earth. And it shall be fat and rich, your cattle grazing in an enlarged pasture in that day, and the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground eat seasoned fodder winnowed with shovel and fan. And on every high mountain and on every high hill there shall be rivers and streams of waters, in the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall. And the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that יהוה binds up the breach of His people, and heals the wound of His blows. Isaiah 30:18-26

“For a little while I have forsaken you, but with great compassion I shall gather you. In an overflow of wrath I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I shall have compassion on you,” said יהוה, your Redeemer. “For this is the waters of Noaḥ to Me, in that I have sworn that the waters of Noaḥ would never again cover the earth, so have I sworn not to be wroth with you, nor to rebuke you. For though the mountains be removed and the hills be shaken, My kindness is not removed from you, nor is My covenant of peace shaken,” said יהוה, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:7-10

If the sin which requires repentance is violence, then obviously righteousness consists in peace, and remitting the sins of violence means practicing compassion. So when the violence ends, the land returns to its natural state of bounty and security for all who dwell in it. These passages typically contrast the blessedness of Eden with the ritual slaughter of animals, demonstrating that the only things standing between us and that blessedness are our privations against our fellow men, and our consumption of flesh as the main impetus of violence.

The palace is abandoned, the crowded city deserted. Hill and watchtower serve as caves forever, a joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks; until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness shall become garden-land, and the garden-land be reckoned as a forest. Then right-ruling shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the garden-land. The work of righteousness shall be peace, and the service of righteousness be rest and safety forever. Isaiah 32:14-17

With what shall I come before יהוה, bow myself before the high Elohim? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Is יהוה pleased with thousands of rams or ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my being? He has declared to you, O man, what is good. And what does יהוה require of you but to do right, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your Elohim? Micah 6:6-8

“Say to the righteous it is well, for they eat the fruit of their doings. Woe to the wrong—evil! For the reward of his hand is done to him.” Isaiah 3:10-11

In that day the Branch of יהוה shall be splendid and esteemed. And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for the escaped ones of Yisra’ĕl. And it shall be that he who is left in Tsiyon and he who remains in Yerushalayim is called set-apart, everyone who is written among the living in Yerushalayim. When יהוה has washed away the filth of the daughters of Tsiyon, and rinsed away the blood of Yerushalayim from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning. Isaiah 4:2-4

יהוה enters into judgment with the elders of His people and its heads, “It is you who have eaten up the vineyard, the plunder of the poor is in your houses. “What do you mean by crushing My people and grinding the faces of the poor?” declares the Master, יהוה of hosts. Isaiah 3:14-15

“But still, there is a tenth part in it, and it shall again be for a burning, like a terebinth tree and like an oak, whose stump remains when it is cut down. The set-apart seed is its stump!” Isaiah 6:13

“And He said to man, ‘See, the fear of יהוה, that is wisdom, and to turn from evil is understanding.’” Job 28:28

“I put on righteousness, and it robed me; right-ruling was my cloak and turban. I was eyes to the blind, and I was feet to the lame. I was a father to the poor, and I investigated the case which I did not know. And I broke the jaws of the perverse, and snatched the prey from his teeth.” Job 29:14-17

Revelation prophesies that this peace of righteousness will be enforced in the Millennial Kingdom by an iron rule. So it is not as though Christians have any cause to think that Heaven is some sort of hippie farm, much less an animal farm where we get a constant supply of fresh chickens to choose for dinner—“organic” or otherwise. Far from it; the implication is that there will be no tolerance of any type of disobedience to Yahshuah’s commands, and that whatever resistance our king meets with will be met with swift justice. Like everything else in Revelation (as we will examine later), this has other precedents in Scripture.

“But hold fast what you have until I come. And he who overcomes, and guards My works until the end, to him I shall give authority over the nations, and he shall shepherd them with a rod of iron, as the potter’s vessels shall be broken to pieces, as I also have received from My Father.” Revelation 2:25-27

And I saw the heaven opened, and there was a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Trustworthy and True, and in righteousness He judges and fights. And His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns, having a Name that had been written, which no one had perceived except Himself—and having been dressed in a robe dipped in blood—and His Name is called: The Word of יהוה. And the armies in the heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations. And He shall shepherd them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Ěl Shaddai. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: SOVEREIGN OF SOVEREIGNS AND MASTER OF MASTERS. Revelation 19:11-16

So the men of Yisra’ĕl said to Giḏʽon, “Rule over us, both you and your son, also your son’s son, for you have saved us from the hand of Miḏyan.” But Giḏʽon said to them, “I do not rule over you, nor does my son rule over you. יהוה does rule over you.” Judges 8:22-23

“And in kindness the throne shall be established. And One shall sit on it in truth, in the Tent of Dawiḏ, judging and seeking right-ruling, and speeding righteousness.” Isaiah 16:5

“‘It is sharpened to make a slaughter, it is polished to flash like lightning!’ Or shall we rejoice? My son, you have despised the rod, every stick! For it is a trier, and what if it even despises the rod? Shall it not be?” declares the Master יהוה. Ezekiel 21:10,13

Those who think that animal sacrifice will be the norm in the future age, based on superstitious suppositions, or upon the prophecy of the Third Temple in Ezekiel (which does not pertain to the Millennial Kingdom anyway), need to familiarize themselves with just how detestable the notion of animal sacrifice really is, by the Prophets’ reckoning. It may come as a surprise to Christians, but the Israelites did not even celebrate the Passover at all after the events in Exodus for several centuries, much less by sacrificing an animal. This helps to explain how the Paschal lamb and other such slaughter offerings were abominations, because they were not done in accordance with the Law of Moses, seeing how the Israelites were only commanded to butcher the lambs the one time, the night they were preparing to leave Egypt—not as part of the commemoration of the event, which is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Day of Preparation for said feast. The idea, for instance, that Joshua would have ordered animals to be slaughtered again in preparation for the feast is as preposterous as it is only inferred, based wholly on carnocentric bias, not on Scripture. When Joshua reigned, they ate only bread.

And the children of Yisra’ĕl camped in Gilgal, and performed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening on the desert plains of Yeriho. And they ate of the stored grain of the land on the morrow after the Passover, unleavened bread and roasted grain on this same day. And the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the stored grain of the land. And the children of Yisra’ĕl no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Kenaan that year. Joshua 5:10-12

And the sovereign commanded all the people, saying, “Prepare the Passover to יהוה your Elohim, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” For such a Passover had not been prepared since the days of the rulers who ruled Yisra’ĕl, nor in all the days of the sovereigns of Yisra’ĕl and the sovereigns of Yehuḏah. 2 Kings 23:21-22

Put simply, God never had any need for animal sacrifice; the whole institution of it depended solely upon the fact that the Israelites (the only people to whom such ordinances or instructions were ever given) were wholly unwilling to live according to his law. It is not as though the Levite and Nazarite prophets of ancient Israel were not aware of and attuned to this fact. Moreover, given the fact that all meat which was acceptable for human consumption consisted of such rites, the inevitable conclusion is that the prophets unilaterally opposed the consumption of all animal flesh. Anyone who has read the Old Testament should be well aware of this fact, and it is a wonder that any Jew or Christian who claims to have read it is not.

“What need have I of frankincense from Sheḇa, and sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, and your slaughterings have not been sweet to Me.” Jeremiah 6:20

Is Gilʽaḏ wicked? Certainly, they have been false! In Gilgal they have offered bulls. Also their altars are as heaps on a ploughed field. Hosea 12:11

“Come to Bĕyth Ěl and transgress, to Gilgal, increase transgression. And bring your slaughterings every morning, your tithes every three days. And burn an offering of thanksgiving with leaven, proclaim voluntary offerings, loudly. For you have loved this, you children of Yisra’ĕl!” declares the Master יהוה. “And I also gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places. But you did not turn back to Me,” declares יהוה. Amos 4:4-6

“I have hated, I have despised your festivals, and I am not pleased with your assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I do not accept them, nor do I look on your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I do not hear the sound of your stringed instruments. And let right-ruling roll on like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Amos 5:21-24

“A son esteems his father, and a servant his master. And if I am the Father, where is My esteem? And if I am a Master, where is My fear? said יהוה of hosts to you priests who despise My Name. But you asked, ‘In what way have we despised Your Name?’ You are presenting defiled food on My altar. But you asked, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’ Because you say, ‘The table of יהוה is despicable.’ And when you present the blind as a slaughtering, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Bring it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favourably?” said יהוה of hosts. Malachi 1:6-8

“For I, יהוה, love right-ruling; I hate robbery for burnt offering. And I shall give their reward in truth, and make an everlasting covenant with them.” Isaiah 61:8

This all being said, if the Bible really does prescribe a vegetarian diet for everyone who would live by its mandates, then we might suppose that there is a deficiency of evidence in support of this claim. Indeed, there is no such deficiency. It may be slightly more focused on eliminating sin than it is on upholding righteousness and compassion, but this is because of the circumstances of men refusing to repent. The Bible is still replete with admonitions to eat plants and plant-based foods, an imperative which is already taken for granted by anyone who knows the difference between right and wrong, anyway. Apart from the original intent discussed in Genesis, and the events surrounding the composition of the Law of Moses, we have already seen many examples within the Prophets as well, such as Hosea 10:12-13. Here are some more to further substantiate the point. (Keep in mind, regarding the first, that “fatness” is actually “the choice” in the original language of the Old Testament.)

“Why do you weigh out silver for what is not bread, and your labour for what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to Me, and eat what is good, and let your being delight itself in fatness.” Isaiah 55:2

For what goodness is His, and what comeliness is His. Grain make the young men thrive, and new wine the maidens! Zechariah 9:17

“And you, son of man, hear what I am speaking to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house, open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.” Ezekiel 2:8

“The hungry eat up his harvest, taking it even from the thorns, and the snare snaps up their wealth. For evil does not come from the dust, nor does trouble spring from the ground; for man is born for trouble, and the sparks fly upward.” Job 5:5-7

“‘Because your rage against Me and your pride have come up to My ears, I shall put My hook in your nose and My bridle in your lips, and I shall turn you back by the way which you came. And this is the sign for you: This year you eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that, and in the third year sow and reap and plant vineyards and eat their fruit. And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Yehuḏah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.’” 2 Kings 19:28-30

“If you do return, O Yisra’ĕl,” declares יהוה, “return to Me. And if you remove your abominations from My presence, and cease straying, and shall swear, ‘As יהוה lives,’ in truth, in right-ruling, and in righteousness—then nations shall bless themselves in Him, and they shall boast in Him!” For this is what יהוה said to the men of Yehuḏah and Yerushalayim, “Break up your tillable ground, and do not sow among thorns.” Jeremiah 4:1-3

However, the priests of the high places did not come up to the altar of יהוה in Yerushalayim, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers. 2 Kings 23:9

To Mitsrayim we have given a hand;
To Ashshur, to be satisfied with bread.
Our fathers sinned, they are no more.
We have borne their crookednesses.
Servants have ruled over us;
There is no one to deliver from their hand.
With our lives we bring in our bread,
Because of the sword of the wilderness.
Lamentations 5:6-9

יהוה has sworn by His right hand and by the arm of His strength, “No more do I give your grain to be food for your enemies, nor do sons of the foreigner drink your new wine, for which you have laboured; but those gathering it shall eat it, and praise יהוה. And those collecting it shall drink it in My set-apart courts.” Isaiah 62:8-9

“‘Is the seed yet in the storehouse? And until now the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit! From this day on I shall bless you!’” Haggai 2:19

Those who come He causes to take root in Yaʽaqoḇ, Yisra’ĕl shall blossom and bud. And they shall fill the face of the world with fruit. Has He smitten him as He smote those who were smiting him? Or were they slain as those they had slaughtered? Therefore by this the crookedness of Yaʽaqoḇ is covered. And this is all the fruit of taking away his sin: when he makes all the stones of the altar like chalkstones that are beaten to dust—Ashĕrim and sun-pillars rise no more. Isaiah 27:6-7,9

Does the ploughman keep ploughing all day to sow? Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods? When he has levelled its surface, does he not sow the caraway and scatter the cummin, plant the wheat in rows, the barley in the appointed place, and the spelt in its place? For He instructs him for right-ruling, his Elohim teaches him. For caraway is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a wagon wheel rolled over cummin, but caraway is beaten out with a stick, and cummin with a rod. Grain is crushed, so one does not go on threshing it forever, nor break it with his wagon wheel, nor crush it with his horsemen. Even this has come from יהוה of hosts, who did wonders in counsel, who made wisdom great. Isaiah 28:24-29

Now that that is all out of the way, we can focus our attention on the historical element of the prophetic tradition, which is so critical to our understanding of the New Testament. After all, the central figure of Christianity is Christ, and Christ’s teachings come entirely from the Old Testament, just as the rest of the New Testament does. The name of Christ itself is simply a translation of the Hebrew name for Moses, as transliterated into English. So if we were operating with the assumption that the Bible is the internally consistent, divinely inspired Word of God, then we would at least expect to see some sort of affinity between Moses and Yahshuah, which is to say, between the Law and the Prophets. Indeed, such affinity is grossly apparent, albeit universally undervalued and misunderstood by the Christians, and we will definitely see it.

The prophetic tradition of Israel effectively begins with Moses, because he was the first prophet whose birth is depicted as having entailed some sort of miracle, conferring a divine origin and mandate. While others such as Joshua and Deborah served in capacities no less important in their own times as Moses’ was in his, the next prophet after him whose authority is unquestionably of divine origin is the judge Samson. It is typically thought that the judges of Israel were quite distinct from the prophets, but this owes more to a misconception of what a prophet really is than to any real difference. The major difference is that the judges were warriors, as they were those who led Israel in its wars with its neighbors. So the mightier the judge, the greater he was, and there was no one mightier than Samson.

If Moses is depicted in the Bible as a sort of real-life wizard like the Merlin or Gandalf of fiction, then Samson is a sort of real-life Hercules or Conan. The circumstances of his birth set several precedents for the rest of the prophets that followed, namely that they were miraculous and foretold by a messenger of Yahweh, that he was a Nazarite (a vegan) from the womb, and that he was put in charge of the faction of Israelites who opposed the common practice of Baal worship in Israel. The references to the Nazarite customs are especially insightful, as they describe an interaction which clearly shows that his upbringing was not the design of his parents, but of God—and also that his veganism imbued him with an unnatural, superhuman strength.

And there was a certain man from Tsorʽah, of the clan of the Danites, whose name was Manowaḥ. And his wife was barren and had not borne. And a Messenger of יהוה appeared to the woman and said to her, “See now, you are barren and have not borne, but you shall conceive, and you shall bear a son. And now, please guard, and do not drink wine or strong drink, and do not eat any unclean food. For look, you are conceiving and bearing a son. And let no razor come upon his head, for the youth is a Nazirite to Elohim from the womb on. And he shall begin to save Yisra’ĕl out of the hand of the Philistines.” And the woman came and spoke to her husband, saying, “A Man of Elohim came to me, and His appearance was like the appearance of a Messenger of Elohim, very awesome. But I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not declare to me His name. And He said to me, ‘See, you are conceiving and bearing a son. And now, drink no wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean food, for the youth is a Nazirite to Elohim from the womb to the day of his death.’” And Manowaḥ prayed to יהוה, and said, “O יהוה, please let the Man of Elohim whom You sent come to us again and teach us what to do for the youth who is to be born.” And Elohim listened to the voice of Manowaḥ, and the Messenger of Elohim came to the woman again as she was sitting in the field, but Manowaḥ her husband was not with her. And the woman ran hurriedly and informed her husband, and said to him, “See, He has appeared to me, the Man who came to me the other day!” And Manowaḥ arose and went after his wife, and came to the Man, and he said to Him, “Are You the Man who spoke to this woman?” And He said, “I am.” And Manowaḥ said, “Now let Your words come true! What is to be the rule for the youth’s life and his work?” And the Messenger of יהוה said to Manowaḥ, “Let the woman guard all that I said to her.” Judges 13:2-13

What is the “unclean food” that Samson’s mother is told to abstain from, lest she make the child in her womb impure? Some writers observe that this is nothing more than a reiteration of the basic dietary laws given to all of Israel by Moses, such as what is contained in Leviticus 11. However, this notion is untenable, seeing how the vows of a Nazarite were more strict than what was imposed on the general population, not less, and even applied to the mother before her conception and throughout the pregnancy, as shown in this passage. (The rule which Moses established for the Nazarites was only for admission into their order, and for coming out of it to be placed under his law once again—he would have much preferred if all Israel had been set apart to Yahweh, and lamented that they would not be). Furthermore, the critical imperative translated here as “guard” is השמרי (ha’shamaray, H8104), normally translated as “keep,” as in “keep the command,” which is the root of the term ‘Samaritan,’ synonymous in Scripture with ‘prophet,’ as we will see. So it would be absurd to suppose that the most basic dietary laws of the Law of Moses would have needed to be repeated to a woman found worthy of bearing a Nazarite from the womb, and to a father so eager to obey Yahweh already that he felt obligated to ask for further instruction. Clearly, they both anticipated that whatever instruction they might receive for raising the child would go beyond the dietary restrictions of the Law of Moses.

It has also been suggested that “unclean food” is a reference to the Nazarite vow to not consume grapes or grape products (Numbers 6:3-4). However, this ignores the fact that the Law of Moses only makes distinctions between clean and unclean animals; such designations are never attached to plants. That is to say that grapes and grape products were not considered unclean by Nazarites; rather, they were to be avoided due to their potential for intoxication. However, the point is moot, considering that the messenger makes clear in v. 14 that he certainly was not referring to the Nazarite vow to abstain from grapes, but that both were to be avoided.

“Let her not eat any food that comes from the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, or eat any unclean food. Let her guard all that which I have commanded her.” Judges 13:14

So if “unclean food” is not a reference to grapes, and it is not a reference to the traditional Israelite dietary laws, then what is it a reference to? With the exception of grapes given here, and of the “fruit” of the Tree of Knowledge (which is no fruit at all, but meat), no fruit or herb was ever forbidden to anyone in the Bible, unless we interpret Genesis 1:29 strictly to exclude whatever does not have seeds (i.e. everything but fruit!). So the most reasonable supposition would be that Samson was supposed to eat a natural diet of healthy plants, as allowed in Eden, and that all else (i.e., meat and overly processed or genetically modified foods) was disallowed, or at least suspect. At the very least, we would have to say that it is a command to abstain from more animals than those that are listed in the Law of Moses, but put in the context of the historical record of Nazarite behaviors and beliefs, it is clear that the messenger’s command to Samson’s mother was to abstain from eating all meat. This thought is underscored when the messenger politely declines the meal of clean goat meat that is offered to him:

And Manowaḥ said to the Messenger of יהוה, “Please let us detain You, and prepare a young goat for You.” And the Messenger of יהוה said to Manowaḥ, “Though you detain Me, I do not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, offer it to יהוה.” Judges 13:15-16

After this episode the angel vanished in a column of fire at the altar, just as in the case of Gideon a few chapters earlier. It is quite evident from this that the angel was not about to eat the slaughter offering under any circumstances, to the point that we can safely assume that the gods are not at all interested in human food (implying that our interpretation of the “offerings” of Cain and Abel—that they presented their children—is indeed the correct one), and that all the talk of the “sweet aroma” of burnt flesh in Scripture is solely from the human perspective of the writers. This is even more evident in the circumstances of the birth of Samuel, discussed below.

Samson’s parents did as they were instructed, no doubt rewarded for the zeal which caused them to seek out a second set of instructions just to make sure they got it right. As a result, Samson grew proverbially strong. According to the narrative, the secret of his strength lay in the fact that he was a Nazarite (specifically, that he never cut his hair, but realistically, because he was undefiled). Like the other judges, he is said to have performed many heroic acts, culminating in the destruction of the temple of the Philistine god Dagon at Gaza. Judges 16:23 says that the Philistines held a great slaughtering in Dagon’s honor to celebrate the capture of their nemesis, and that is why they had all congregated at the temple. So, while Samson asked for vengeance on account of his eyes (16:28), the narrative seems to indicate that God answered his prayer specifically to punish the flesh-eaters for their idolatry, the implication being that this is why he had been set apart and imbued with his great strength all along, before his birth.

There were judges between Moses and Samson, but by the time Samson was born, Israel had fallen so deep into its apostasy and was so immersed in the ways of the pagans that it was on the verge of formally adopting a king for itself, without God’s permission (thus effectively rejecting the sovereignty of Yahweh once and for all). So he was really the last and the greatest of the judges apart from Gideon. Thus, establishing the continuity between Samson and Samuel is crucial to showing that Samson was actually a prophet as well as a judge (i.e. that the rulers of Israel were prophets, rather than that just one happened to be so) and that Samuel was actually a judge as well as a prophet (i.e. that the prophetic tradition descends from the kingship of Salem).

It is clear that God had already decided to hand the power of the Levitical priests over to the judges by the time Samuel was born. So it is no surprise that he required another Nazarite to receive the honor, given the circumstances of Samson’s birth. Yet this time, instead of being chosen to bear a son dedicated to Yahweh, the mother herself repented of her carnism, adopted the Nazarite customs by her own free will, and also offered the boy into service by her own choosing. We know that Samson ate honey from the carcass of a lion he had killed with his bare hands, and it is well known that he betrayed his own people for the love of a Canaanite woman, i.e. that he was an only semi-sincere prophet who consorted with his (Israel’s, and God’s) enemies, and paid the price with his life. Samuel, on the other hand, was a true offering to Yahweh, and remained so until his dying day.

Notice that Samuel’s mother Hannah was already holy before she made her pilgrimage. This strongly implies that God answered her prayer favorably due to her desire to obey him. The irony is that her husband thought he was doing her a favor by offering her a double portion of his annual sacrifice. If not for the miraculous intervention, we might even wonder whether her barrenness was a result of her omnivorous diet, seeing how it is the one thing that changed.

And there was a certain man of Ramathayim Tsophim, of the mountains of Ephrayim, and his name was Elqanah son of Yeroḥam, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Tsuph, an Ephrayimite. And he had two wives, the name of one was Ḥannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Ḥannah had no children. Now this man went up from his city year by year to worship and to slaughter to יהוה of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Ěli, Ḥophni and Pineḥas, the priests of יהוה, were there. And when the day came for Elqanah to make an offering, he gave portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters, but, although he loved Ḥannah, he gave only one portion to Ḥannah, because יהוה had shut up her womb. Moreover, her rival also provoked her greatly, to make her irritable, because יהוה had shut up her womb. And so he did, year by year. Whenever she went up to the House of יהוה, she was provoked, so that she wept and did not eat. And her husband Elqanah said to her, “Ḥannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” And Ḥannah rose up after eating and drinking in Shiloh, while Ěli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the Hĕḵal of יהוה. And she was bitter in life, and prayed to יהוה and wept greatly. And she made a vow and said, “O יהוה of hosts, if You would indeed look on the affliction of your female servant and remember me, and not forget your female servant, but shall give your female servant a male child, then I shall give him to יהוה all the days of his life, and let no razor come upon his head.” And it came to be, as she kept on praying before יהוה, that Ěli was watching her mouth. And Ḥannah spoke in her heart, only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. So Ěli thought she was drunk. Then Ěli said to her, “How long are you going to be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” And Ḥannah answered and said, “No, my master, I am a woman pained in spirit. And I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my being before יהוה. Do not take your female servant for a daughter of Beliyaʽal, for it is out of my great concern and provocation that I have spoken until now.” And Ěli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl give you your petition which you have asked of Him.” And she said, “Let your female servant find favour in your eyes.” And the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no more sad. And they rose up early in the morning and worshipped before יהוה, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elqanah knew Ḥannah his wife, and יהוה remembered her. And it came to be at the turn of days, that Ḥannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Shemu’ĕl, “Because I have asked יהוה for him.” And the man Elqanah and all his house went up to offer to יהוה the yearly slaughtering and his vow. But Ḥannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “When the child is weaned, then I shall take him. And he shall appear before יהוה and remain forever there.” And her husband Elqanah said to her, “Do what is good in your eyes. Remain until you have weaned him. Only let יהוה establish His word.” And the woman remained and nursed her son until she had weaned him. And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, and one ĕphah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the House of יהוה in Shiloh. And the child was young. And they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Ěli. And she said, “O my master! As your being lives, my master, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to יהוה. I prayed for this youth, and יהוה has granted me what I asked of Him. So I have also loaned him to יהוה. All the days that he lives he shall be loaned to יהוה.” And he worshipped there before יהוה. 
1 Samuel 1

The English translations of this passage are based on the Masoretic Text. The much older Dead Sea Scrolls have “(let Yahweh establish) your [Hannah’s] word” rather than “his [God’s] word,” and “I have dedicated him as a Nazarite” after “he will live there always.” The implication is that the Nazarites of the Judges period served the Levites at the Tabernacle, which necessarily means they were effectively in charge of the nation, whereas judges rose up every now and then, sporadically, according to need. (The implication of that is that the judges served the Nazarites.) The fact that a humble woman knew how this system worked, well enough to say no razor would come upon his head, suggests that it was common knowledge. However, the priests themselves were far from perfect, which means that they were ultimately divested of their authority, which then fell back to Samuel, for he, being a Nazarite in the true sense of the word (i.e. he had none or their selfish ambitions or carnal desires), and dedicated at the Tabernacle (the central authority), was a much better candidate for wielding power. There is no doubt that Hannah was righteous, and her prayer is a good indication that she raised her son the same:

“Do not multiply words so proudly, proudly; let no arrogance come from your mouth, for יהוה is an Ěl of knowledge, and by Him deeds are weighed.” 1 Samuel 2:3

Samuel basically became the ringleader of the prophets of Israel, the de facto king or regent (de facto because he ruled in the name of Yahweh). The fact that he wore a linen ephod is the first indication that the prophets were vegans in the modern sense of the word, rather than merely ovo-lacto vegetarians, and it sets the precedent for the vegan ideal personified most clearly by James the Just later on. The sin of the sons of Eli, on the other hand, which merited their death, was none other than their appetite for flesh; we will see the term “sons of Belial” again, in a context which makes it clear that it is the prophets’ name for meat-eaters.

And the sons of Ěli were sons of Beliyaʽal—they did not know יהוה. And the ruling of the priests with the people was that when any man offered a slaughtering, the priest’s servant shall come with a three-pronged flesh-hook in his hand while the meat was cooking, and shall thrust it into the basin, or kettle, or cauldron, or pot. And the priest would take for himself all that the flesh-hook brought up. Thus they did in Shiloh to all the Yisra’ĕlites who came there. Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who slaughtered, “Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he does not accept cooked meat from you, but raw.” And if the man said to him, “Let the fat be burned up first, then take as much as your being desires,” he would then answer him, “No, but give it to me now. And if not, I shall take it by strength.” And the sin of the young men was very great before יהוה, for the men despised the offering of יהוה. But Shemu’ĕl was attending before יהוה—a youth, wearing a linen shoulder garment. 1 Samuel 2:12-18

“‘Why do you kick at My slaughtering and My offering which I have commanded in My Dwelling Place, and esteem your sons above Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Yisra’ĕl My people?’” 1 Samuel 2:29

The lineage of Eleazar was restored to the priesthood when God punished the sons of Eli for their sin by killing them. Considering they were priests at the Tabernacle, we hardly think their punishment was too severe. The precedent was already there in the Law, and the fact that they were eating the choice parts of the animal and even taking them by force proves that they were expressly contravening its intent. The point was not to give them some flesh to eat, but to symbolize the redemption of the supplicants; if the priests themselves were sinning in the process, then the function was entirely without merit, and the priesthood itself was ruinous.

“‘But the being who eats the flesh of the peace offering that belongs to יהוה, while he is unclean, that being shall be cut off from his people. And when a being who touches that which is unclean, of the uncleanness of man, or of the uncleanness of beast, or of any unclean swarming creature, and shall eat the flesh of the peace offering that belongs to יהוה, that being shall be cut off from his people.’” Leviticus 7:20-21

Knowing he was so zealous for Yahweh, we might wonder whether Samuel was the one who actually killed the sons of Eli, rather than supposing it was the “angel of the LORD” or whoever. (Even if the text spoke of the “messenger of Yahweh” here, Samuel still would have qualified as that.) In any case, the punishment was meant to be a sign—that is, a warning to others, as well as a messianic prophecy. The significance of this passage is incredible; animal flesh (and therefore the slaughter offerings themselves) is conspicuously absent from the wages accrued by the priestly functions, “forever,” clearly implying that God has no intention of allowing the sacrificial customs to persist indefinitely, and that they would be gone as soon as his will was established, while those who had performed sacrifices would have to beg for bread.

“‘And this is the sign to you that comes upon your two sons, upon Ḥophni and Pineḥas: in one day they are going to die, both of them. And I shall raise up for Myself a trustworthy priest who does according to what is in My heart and in My being. And I shall build him a steadfast house, and he shall walk before My anointed [messiah] forever. And it shall be that everyone who is left in your house shall come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a cake of bread, and say, “Please, put me in one of the priestly positions to eat a piece of bread.”’” 1 Samuel 2:34-36

The high priest who took the place of the sons of Eli, as prophesied here, was named Zadok, which means ‘righteousness,’ or ‘the righteous one.’ The other high priest at that time, Abiathar, was later dismissed by David, so Zadok was the sole legitimate priest at the time of the consecration of Solomon’s Temple, but he was deposed (unlawfully) and driven to exile by Solomon. Thus there was a feud between the establishment (the “sons of Belial”) and the exiled “sons of Zadok” all the way up to the point of the compilation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which was made more intense when the Zadokites were deposed once again by the wicked Maccabees (c. 167 BC). Recall the prophecy in 1 Samuel, and consider that Jubilees was composed with the following in mind, according to the man whose translation we have cited in the previous chapter:

This kingdom was to be ruled over by a Messiah sprung, not from Levi—that is, from the Maccabean family—as some of his contemporaries expected—but from Judah. This kingdom would be gradually realized on earth, and the transformation of physical nature would go hand in hand with the ethical transformation of man until there was a new heaven and a new earth. Thus, finally, all sin and pain would disappear and men would live to the age of 1,000 years in happiness and peace, and after death enjoy a blessed immortality in the spirit world. R.H. Charles544

Saul, Israel’s first king, was from the tribe of Benjamin (1 Samuel 9:1-2), which was already infamous by that time for a war between Benjamin and the other tribes. Jewish scholars have observed that the event which supposedly led to war is probably a political invention, and that it is reminiscent of the inhospitality of the Sodomites.545 The text of Judges 19 certainly seems to indicate as much, by way of a parable associating the Levites with the prophets of Bethlehem in Judah, with a particular focus on what a certain Levite (representing the priesthood situated at Salem and Shiloh) from the mountain of Ephraim (Mt. Moriah) was eating (i.e. bread, as Bethlehem is the “place of bread”).

In this parable, the Levite sojourns to Bethlehem to fetch his adulterous wife (representing Judah) and restore her to himself. In the context, it is his servant (representing the debauched priests in Judah) who suggests they stay in the Hittite city of Jebus (Jerusalem) in Benjamin, rather than going all the way to Ramah (i.e. his home of the Bethlehem in Ephraim—either Shiloh or Salem, the original Nazareth). The association between Jebus and Sodom is unmistakable, blatant and deliberate, rather than merely reminisent, as is that of the old man from the mountain of Ephraim who was living in Gibeah and took them in, with Lot in Sodom. In other words, the tribe of Benjamin was all but eradicated (Judges 20) because of the sin of Jerusalem, deliberately equivocated here with the sin of Sodom, which was so great that the union of the Levites at Shiloh and the Nazarites at Bethlehem called the rest of the tribes to war against it until it had been almost completely destroyed. The clear implication is that the sin of Benjamin was its decision to adopt the pagan practice of animal sacrifice in opposition to the mandates of the Law of Moses and the tradition of the Nazarites. Considering that Jebus is deliberately likened to Sodom, the description of the “Sodomites” at Gibeah as “sons of Belial” leaves no room for doubt as to what the actual sin of Benjamin was that brought about its downfall, as well as that of Israel, once Israel accepted one of Gibeah’s own as king over itself.

And all the men of Yisra’ĕl were gathered against the city, knit together as one man. And the tribes of Yisra’ĕl sent men through all the tribe of Binyamin, saying, “What is this evil that has come about among you? And now, give us the men, the sons of Beliyaʽal who are in Giḇʽah, so that we put them to death and put away evil from Yisra’ĕl!” But the children of Binyamin would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the children of Yisra’ĕl. So the children of Binyamin gathered together from their cities to Giḇʽah, to go to battle against the children of Yisra’ĕl. Judges 20:11-14

Here it says that this war was instigated “to put away evil from Israel.” Given Jebus’ supremacy over Gibeah, the whole tribe of Benjamin, and therefore the whole of Israel under Saul, was effectively ruled by Canaanites—at least culturally, which is what concerns us the most. Thus the subsequent accession of a Benjaminite and his acceptance by the Israelites demonstrates how far they had rejected Yahweh, and that their intent, ultimately, was to preserve the evil, which Judges 19 describes as a priestly function equivocal to the sin of Sodom. (More evidence of this can be gleaned from the fact that Yahweh told Amos to go through the same thing with his wife (a prostitute), in direct and expressly stated allusion to Israel’s adultery, and in clear association with the events described in Judges 19-20.) Saul was a logical choice for the kingship, as he hailed from Gibeah, but only because of Israel’s apostasy. Gibeah was the Benjaminite settlement—a suburb—of the Hittite city of Jebus. Bible scholars and archaeologists are unsure as to Gibeah’s location, but its name is a variation of a word meaning ‘hill,’ and is commonly interpreted as signifying a hill in Jerusalem. In fact, that hill is none other than Mt. Zion, which is where the Benjaminites camped when they settled in with the local Hittites, and the so-called City of David to the South of the Temple Mount is actually the historical Jebus. David simply annexed Jebus to Gibeah when he conquered it and renamed it Jerusalem, presumably in order to make sure everyone knew that it had been conquered and was to be ruled by the Kingdom of Salem and the order of Melchizedek. The name of Jebus itself hints of textual revisionism, even as the name of Sodom does: yebus (יבוס, H2982) is a Hebrew name (rather than a Canaanite name, as would be expected of a Canaanite settlement) and means ‘trodden’ or ‘trampled,’ as though suggesting ‘the conquered city.’

We will provide a more detailed explanation of Jerusalem’s sin in a moment. Interestingly enough, it is already hinted at in Samuel’s dealings with Saul. 1 Samuel 13 describes the latter’s fall from grace as a matter of cowardice, or lack of faith, culminating in disobedience to the prophet’s commands. Saul may have been anointed King of Israel, but he was still obligated to obey Israel’s prophet in every regard, for if he failed to do so, he would face defeat and his kingdom would be ruined. This is precisely what happened. Furthermore, when Samuel rebuked him for his disobedience, instead of repenting, he offered a burnt offering, which only provoked Samuel even further. Contrast this outcome with that of David, who not only repented of his sin when confronted by Nathan, but even repeated Samuel’s own words with his own understanding and in his own words throughout the Psalms.

Then Shemu’ĕl said, “What have you done?” And Sha’ul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered at Miḵmash, so I said, ‘The Philistines are going to come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not appeased the face of יהוה.’ So I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” And Shemu’ĕl said to Sha’ul, “You have been foolish. You have not guarded the command of יהוה your Elohim, which He commanded you. For now יהוה would have established your reign over Yisra’ĕl forever. But now, your reign is not going to stand. יהוה shall seek for Himself a man after His own heart, and יהוה shall command him to be leader over His people, because you have not guarded what יהוה commanded you.” 1 Samuel 13:11-14

Then Shemu’ĕl said, “Does יהוה delight in burnt offerings and slaughterings, as in obeying the voice of יהוה? Look, to obey is better than an offering, to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and stubbornness is as wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of יהוה, He also does reject you as sovereign.” 1 Samuel 15:22-23

Needless to say, this clearly establishes that God desires mercy, obedience and righteousness, which are the antitheses of animal slaughter both theologically and in point of fact. Samuel ought to have known; he was the very “voice of Yahweh” which he spoke of. To reject him is to reject the authority of the prophetic tradition altogether in favor of pagan idolatries, as Israel had done, prompting them to seek a king to rule over them. This is absolutely essential to establishing why David’s reign was legitimate, whereas Saul’s was not, even though David was only a humble shepherd, anointed while he was still in Saul’s service. The difference is that he listened to and obeyed the word of God as it came to him from the prophets.

I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my crookedness I did not hide.
I have said, “I confess my transgressions to יהוה,”
And You forgave the crookedness of my sin. Selah.
Psalm 32:5

Slaughtering and meal offering You did not desire;
You have opened my ears;
Burnt offering and sin offering
You did not ask for.
Then I said, “See, I have come;
In the scroll of the Book it is prescribed for me.
I have delighted to do Your pleasure, O my Elohim,
And Your Torah is within my heart.”
Psalm 40:6-8

“You have opened my ears” is a poetic way of saying “I have listened to your words.” We see in this some of the strongest evidence that the text of the New Testament (Hebrews 10) was deliberately tampered with in order to substantiate an ecclesiastical doctrine, given that the culprits either forgot to change the source material accordingly, or, more likely, they were simply ignorant of it, presumably because it is not a verbatim quotation, but needs to be understood in order to be reinterpreted. The writer of Hebrews was echoing the sentiment of the Prophets, as recorded by the contrite psalmist. Instead of “you have opened my ears,” the text of Hebrews says “a body you have prepared for me,” which is completely inconsistent with the context (and with the Bible as a whole) and consistent with the exact opposite ideal (that God indeed requires carcass-offerings for appeasement, rather than obedience and humility), demonstrating that the text of Hebrews 10 was originally in line with Psalm 40, if not actually a verbatim quote. Here is the most relevant part again, as a reminder:

Therefore, coming into the world, He says, “Slaughtering and meal offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and offerings for sin You did not delight. Then I said, ‘See, I come—in the roll of the book it has been written concerning Me—to do Your desire, O Elohim.’” Saying above, “Slaughter and meal offering, and burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor delighted in,” which are offered according to the Torah, then He said, “See, I come to do Your desire, O Elohim.” He takes away the first to establish the second. By that desire we have been set apart through the offering of the body of יהושע Messiah once for all. Hebrews 10:5-10

This shows how blatantly the evil shepherds of the Church have discredited the prophetic tradition in order to establish the their own carnivorous tastes, just as the sons of Eli took whatever parts of the offerings they desired and let God have the rest, rather than vice-versa. No one else has ever had the capacity to change the text of the epistles this way, much less both the capacity and the incentive to do so. The meaning of the text both of Psalm 40 and of its quotation in Hebrews 10 is clearly that inspiration and spiritual development give us understanding as to what God wants of us, leading to obedience, while the Church closes our ears and turns our hearts away from God. Instead, what they have given us is a scriptural basis for their atonement doctrine—what God desires is the opposite of what he expressly says he desires in the exact same context: that Jesus should die in your place so that you do not have to repent of your sins, rather than that you repent, so that no one has to die. In spite of all this, the words of the Prophet are clear: “to obey is better: because you have rejected the word of Yahweh, he rejects you.”

It is more than a little relevant that it was Samuel himself who was set over Israel and who not only anointed both Samuel and David, but also delivered the prophecy against the sons of Eli. This great apostasy of the priesthood which extends all the way into the present time could be said to have begun with them, but it was offset by the emergence of the Zadokites, so the blame does not properly belong to the priests of Israel. Nor are its origins even in the Roman sect, which has never been at all Christian in any sense of the word, except in vague pretension. Its origins are in the reign of the most evil of the kings of ancient Israel—virtually all of whom were constantly condemned by the prophets—namely the murderous Jebusite bastard Solomon, who usurped the authority of the prophets at Shiloh and established his capital in the city which, according to Revelation 11:8, “spiritually is called Sodom.” This association is confirmed elsewhere, outside the context of Solomon, but always in direct reference to his apostasy.

The precious sons of Tsiyon
Who were weighed against fine gold,
How they have been reckoned as clay pots,
The work of the hands of the potter!
Even jackals have presented their breasts,
They have nursed their young.
The daughter of my people has become as cruel,
As ostriches in the wilderness.
The tongue of the infant has clung
To the roof of its mouth for thirst;
Children asked for bread,
No one breaks it for them.
Those who ate delicacies
Have been laid waste in the streets;
Those who were brought up in scarlet
Have embraced dunghills.
And the crookedness of the daughter of my people
Is greater than the punishment of the sin of Seḏom,
Which was overthrown in a moment,
And no hands were wrung over her!
Her Nazirites were brighter than snow
And whiter than milk;
More ruddy in body than rubies,
Their cut like sapphire.
Their appearance has become blacker than soot;
They have become unrecognised in the streets;
Their skin has shrivelled on their bones,
It has become dry, it has become as wood.
Better off were those pierced by the sword
Than those pierced by hunger;
For these pine away,
Pierced through for lack of the fruits of the field.
The hands of the compassionate women
Have boiled their own children;
They became food for them
In the destruction of the daughter of my people.
יהוה has completed His wrath,
He has poured out His burning displeasure.
And He kindled a fire in Tsiyon,
And it consumed her foundations.
The sovereigns of the earth did not believe,
Nor any of the inhabitants of the world,
That an adversary and enemy
Would enter the gates of Yerushalayim.
It was because of the sins of her prophets,
The crookednesses of her priests,
Who shed in her midst the blood of the righteous.
Lamentations 4:2-13

Ironically, Solomon’s name means ‘peaceable.’ Yet it is evident that the violence of his disposition surpassed even that of his hired assassins, as we will demonstrate below. At the very least, he was guilty of murdering Joab right at the altar of the Tabernacle (the same crime which Yahshuah condemned the Pharisees for and likened to the murder of Abel in Matthew 23:35), for no reason other than that Joab had been loyal to David, from whom Solomon himself claimed succession, and who was already dead by that time. This reason was presumably enough to make Joab loyal to any of the half dozen or so of David’s sons whose succession would have been more legitimate than Solomon’s simply on account of the rule of primogeniture, and unlike Solomon’s bid, did not depend on a conspiracy to murder them off and on the testimony of a single false witness to carry it out after a solemn oath had been sworn (to Yahweh) to the contrary. Knowing, therefore, that Joab was righteous, to the point of only giving Solomon any leeway because he did not want to see Israel plunged into another civil war, and that he was loyal to the House of David, even unto death, as well as that he was the commander of David’s troops, he was therefore the biggest threat to Solomon’s usurpation of the throne, and the first to go.

We do well to remember that Solomon was born of covetousness, adultery and murder, and that his older brother was punished with death for being the same product of David’s sin that Solomon also was. And it is not as though Solomon knew he was nowhere near the top of the line of succession and that he had to plot and murder his way to the throne, for Deuteronomy 21:15-17 stipulates that the right of the firstborn belongs to the firstborn, and that a man’s property must not be bequeathed to the son of a second wife even if he loves the second more than the first, as David loved Solomon’s mother Bathsheba more than his other wives, and the only evidence we have that David suddenly changed his mind about the succession the moment before he died is the word of Solomon and Bathsheba themselves—and this only because they had conspired to drive the rest of his family out of the palace and to shut David up so that only they had access to his chambers. Seeing how all these events happened right at the beginning of his reign, that he would not have reigned at all except for these sins, that these sins were far greater than any of David’s (one of which was significant enough to merit the kingdom being torn from him until he repented of it), and that Solomon never took any steps to repent of the sins which he committed daily for nearly half a century, it is quite clear that he had an extremely violent, domineering and ambitious personality—i.e. that he was a totally deranged psychopath. Even his “wisdom” is evidence of his violent temperament, yet Christians would invoke it to justify their own violence, as though the man who burned his newborn children alive and then feasted on them is the one we ought to be taking parenting lessons from.

He who spares his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him, seeks him with discipline.
Proverbs 13:24

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Proverbs 22:15

Do not withhold discipline from a child;
If you beat him with a rod, he does not die.
Beat him with a rod
And deliver his being from the grave.
Proverbs 23:13-14

A rod and reproof give wisdom,
But a child unrestrained brings shame to his mother.
Proverbs 29:15

Even though a full millennium later Yahshuah was still openly mocking Solomon (e.g., Matthew 6:29), his own ancestor according to Matthew 1:6-7, Christians have so much love for him that they call him “Righteous Prophet and King” (his official title in Orthodox Christianity, where he is venerated as a saint) and “the wisest man who ever lived.” When we have questioned them about how they can venerate such an openly and unapologetically wicked man, they have consistently refused to even so much as acknowledge that the Bible paints him in the opposite light, or when the evidence that it does is presented, they remark, contrary to all available evidence, that his mistakes were negligible compared to his allegedly great deeds, and that he repented toward the end of his life. These great deeds all revolve around his materialism and vanity, and the heavy taxation which he imposed on his subjects in order to finance the dismantling of the Tabernacle and the building of a temple to Molekh in Jerusalem in its place—an act which his father David was expressly forbidden from doing, even though he intended to dedicate it to Yahweh. And just in case anyone reading this is thinking that it could not possibly have been the case that there were ever any altars dedicated to Molekh or any other god than Yahweh in Solomon’s Temple while Israelite kings still reigned in Judah:

And there was a great scarcity of food in Shomeron. And see, they besieged it until a donkey’s head went at eighty pieces of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five pieces of silver. And it came to be, as the sovereign of Yisra’ĕl was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my master, O sovereign!” And he said, “If יהוה does not help you, where do I find help for you? From the threshing floor or from the winepress?” And the sovereign said to her, “What is troubling you?” And she answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son and let us eat him today, and tomorrow we eat my son.’ “So we cooked my son, and ate him. And I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son and let us eat him.’ But she has hidden her son.” 2 Kings 6:25-29

Menashsheh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Yerushalayim. And his mother’s name was Ḥephtsiḇah. And he did evil in the eyes of יהוה, according to the abominations of the gentiles whom יהוה dispossessed before the children of Yisra’ĕl. For he turned and built the high places which Ḥizqiyahu his father had destroyed, and raised up altars for Baʽal, and made an Ashĕrah, as Aḥaḇ sovereign of Yisra’ĕl had done, and he bowed himself to all the host of the heavens and served them. And he built altars in the House of יהוה, of which יהוה had said, “In Yerushalayim I put My Name.” And he built altars for all the host of the heavens in the two courtyards of the House of יהוה. And he made his son pass through the fire, and practised magic, and used divination, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the eyes of יהוה, to provoke Him. 2 Kings 21:1-6

Incidentally, the Hebrew word translated here as “winepress” in 2 Kings 6:27 is יקב (yeqeb, H3342), an abbreviated form of יעקב or Jacob (H3290), as well as having its own meaning of ‘vat’ (as opposed to ‘press,’ but the semantics concern us little). The word for “threshing floor” (הגרן, H1637) is used derogatively, for example, in Jeremiah 51:33, to denote the “daughters of Babylon,” thus demonstrating that it is indeed used metaphorically in Scripture to denote an apostate people. So the fact that the name of Jebus is also thought to mean ‘threshing floor’ is illuminating. The implication, if only as a play on words evidencing the narrator’s subtle bias, is that the King of Israel is asking, “Who should I ask for help: the Jebusites, or the Israelites (i.e. Judah or Israel/Samaria)?”

We see, therefore, that a subtle association is still being made during the time of Elisha between the apostate rulers of Judah in Jerusalem and their Canaanite predecessors, regardless of what we choose to make of it. More likely is that the Jews simply deleted the ayin from ya’aqob in order to cover up this association: we already know that this has been their policy in other passages that portray them in a similarly bad light, but it gets even worse where the reign of Solomon is concerned. Although the text of 1 Kings clearly has multiple sources, one of which was evidently state propaganda intended to whitewash Solomon’s apostasy, especially in regards to his early reign (a fact which we will have to substantiate later), we take it at face value that Solomon’s Temple was consecrated to Yahweh with the understanding that the Israelites were going to stop sinning and that he was therefore going to have compassion on them for repenting.

“When they sin against You—for there is no one who does not sin—and You become enraged with them and give them to the enemy, and they take them captive to the land of the enemy, far or near; and they shall turn back unto their heart in the land where they have been taken captive, and shall turn, and make supplication to You in the land of those who took them captive, saying, ‘We have sinned and acted crookedly, we have committed wrong,’ and they shall turn back to You with all their heart and with all their being in the land of their enemies who led them away captive, and shall pray to You toward their land which You gave to their fathers, the city which You have chosen and the House which I have built for Your Name, then shall You hear in the heavens Your dwelling place their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause, and forgive Your people who have sinned against You, and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You? And give them compassion before those who took them captive, and they shall have compassion on them.” 1 Kings 8:46-50

And יהוה said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your supplication that you have made before Me. I have set this house apart which you have built to put My Name there forever, and My eyes and My heart shall always be there.” 1 Kings 9:3

So we see just how merciful God really is, that he would spare the Israelites from the doom they were warned about, just as he spared the Ninevites during Jonah’s time and would have spared Sodom if there had but been a handful of people worth sparing to be found in it. Except that the Israelites were not so spared, because they went the way of Sodom rather than Nineveh in their refusal to repent, and it was Solomon who led the apostasy. He made no effort at all to turn his people back to Yahweh, for his own lust for flesh and indulgence in other carnal pleasures had already turned him away from Yahweh well before the Temple was even constructed, and it seems the long-winded prayer recorded in 1 Kings was just to keep up appearances and let everyone know who was in charge.

And Sovereign Shelomoh loved many foreign women in addition to the daughter of Pharaoh: Mo’aḇite, Ammonite, Eḏomite, Tsiḏonian, and Ḥittite women; from the nations of whom יהוה had said to the children of Yisra’ĕl, “You do not go into them, and they do not go into you, for they shall certainly turn away your hearts after their mighty ones.” Shelomoh clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. And it came to be, when Shelomoh was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other mighty ones. And his heart was not perfect with יהוה his Elohim, as was the heart of his father Dawiḏ. And Shelomoh went after Ashtoreth the mighty one of the Tsiḏonians, and after Milkom the abomination of the Ammonites. Thus Shelomoh did evil in the eyes of יהוה, and did not follow יהוה completely, like his father Dawiḏ. Then Shelomoh built a high place for Kemosh the abomination of Mo’aḇ, on the hill that is east of Yerushalayim, and for Moleḵ the abomination of the children of Ammon. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and slaughtered to their mighty ones. 1 Kings 11:1-8

Considering that Solomon had a thousand consorts, it is a wonder that the Bible only ascribes one son to him. It does not suffice to suggest that he was impotent, and that the son was not his, for that would beg the question of why he had such an enormous harem. Yet the answer is as plain as day: Solomon produced many children, most of whom were sacrificed to Molekh, and this was done at Solomon’s own discretion. Otherwise, at least some of these women would have obeyed their natural instincts and preserved their children’s lives, but he was King, which means he had the power to prevent it. What we are looking at is a matter of abortion on demand being instituted by the man whom Christians revere as the “best king” the world has ever known, but unlike modern abortions, his children were roasted alive and feasted on, as the main course of a somewhat solemn, somewhat joyous religious celebration venerating the Devil. Consider this in light of the fact that Christians universally hold the place where it happened to be God’s sanctuary, and in light of the punishment prescribed by Moses for this particular abomination.

And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying, “Say to the children of Yisra’ĕl, ‘Any man of the children of Yisra’ĕl, or of the strangers who sojourn in Yisra’ĕl, who gives any of his offspring to Moleḵ, shall certainly be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. And I, I shall set My face against that man, and shall cut him off from the midst of his people, because he has given of his offspring to Moleḵ, so as to defile My set-apart place and to profane My set-apart Name. And if the people of the land at all hide their eyes from the man, as he gives any of his offspring to Moleḵ, and they do not kill him, then I shall set My face against that man and against his clan, and shall cut him off—and all who go whoring after him, even go whoring after Moleḵ—from the midst of their people.’” Leviticus 20:1-5

In other words, simply turning a blind eye to Solomon’s sin merits death according the Law. Imagine, then, how grievous an affront it is to Yahweh to actually be carrying on his legacy to the fullest measure, and that is essentially what Israel’s sin was, and what every single meat-eater on the planet is guilty of. Molekh is Lucifer; the most perfect way of worshiping him is by cooking and eating one’s own children, and secondary to that is some other form of blood sacrifice (especially suicide, according to Satanism, but Luciferianism a.k.a. Theistic Satanism diverges on this point). Think about it. The one who does not eat his own children, but still consumes animal flesh, still eats the children of another of God’s creatures. Satan’s prerogative is to destroy God’s creation, especially its living souls, so what could be more in line with his will than the permanent and perpetual establishment of the Abomination of Desolation, as accomplished by Solomon, save perhaps the end of all things? Viewed in this light, only a true Luciferian could ever actually regard Solomon as the “best king” the world has ever known.

Yet someone may say that Solomon did not actually sacrifice his own children, but only encouraged others to do it to theirs. However, 1 Kings 11 lists the gods he worshiped: Chemosh is just the Moabite name for Molekh, and Ashtoreth was the consort of Molekh, so it is not as though he was unaware of what he was doing, or that he was much interested in worshiping any other gods besides Molekh, or that he did not participate in the rituals. Again, he had a thousand wives, whom the Bible calls worshipers of Ashtoreth, a Canaanite fertility goddess worshiped by unbridled sex rites. Shall we assume that none of them got pregnant during such rites except on one occasion, or that none of their children survived infancy save that one, or that they somehow failed to venerate the consort of their goddess while simultaneously drawing their own husband into such veneration? It would take at least one of these absurdities to establish this premise!

To demonstrate that worship of Molekh necessarily entailed child sacrifice, and that Jerusalem (as Gibeah) was established as nothing more or less than the center of his cult, we find plenty of evidence in the historians of antiquity. The best evidence is from Carthage, as Carthage was a colony of Tyre, a Canaanite city which Solomon allied himself with and from which he supposedly hired a master builder to construct his temple in Jerusalem. The Carthaginian version of Molekh is Kronos, equated with Saturn in the Roman pantheon and Satan in the contemporary Christian cosmology. The founding myth of Carthage indicates that it was established by a certain Elissar, a princess of Tyre who was also a grandniece of King Ahab’s infamous wife Jezebel. (Ahab solidified an alliance with the Phoenicians by marrying the Sidonian princess. This constitutes fornication, hence Jezebel’s name being a byword representing Israel’s apostasy, and personifying the archetype of the Whore of Babylon in particular. Elissar herself was married to the high priest of Molekh in Tyre before his assassination, which caused her exile.)

The following descriptions of the Carthaginian fire god are from Cleitarchus (c. 315 BC), Diodorus Siculus (90-30 BC) and Plutarch (46-127 AD), respectively.

There stands in their midst a bronze statue of Kronos, its hands extended over a bronze brazier, the flames of which engulf the child. When the flames fall upon the body, the limbs contract and the open mouth seems almost to be laughing until the contracted body slips quietly into the brazier. Cleitarchus546

There was in their city a bronze image of Cronus extending its hands, palms up and sloping toward the ground, so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit filled with fire. Diodorus Siculus547

The whole area before the statue was filled with a loud noise of flutes and drums so that the cries of wailing [of the children being sacrificed] should not reach the ears of the people. Plutarch548

One can readily see why God and Moses called this pagan religious practice and the sexual rites associated with it, abomination. This last description comes from no less authority than the senior priest of the Oracle at Delphi. Keep in mind this practice of drowning out the screams of the roasting infants may have been around for several centuries by Plutarch’s time, but the practice had certainly originated in Canaan without it. This gives us a significant insight as to the hermeneutics of Scripture, especially considering that Molekh was generally known by his generic title of Baal, which simply means ‘the Lord’ (The LORD, by Christians’ reckoning).

The insight which this affords relates to the New Testament name for the lake of fire, γέεννα (Ge’enna, or Gehenna). It is widely accepted that this place name is a transliteration of the Old Testament הנם (H2011), which refers to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, where the inhabitants of Jerusalem made their sacrifices to Molekh. This fact is confirmed several times in the Old Testament (e.g., Jeremiah 7:31-32; 19:2,6; 32:35). Considering that winding up in the lake of fire is a far worse fate than simply going to hell (i.e. dying), the Valley of Ben Hinnom is portrayed as the most detestable place on Earth—or anywhere, for that matter.

Even modern, contemporary ideations of hell come from the early Christian concept of Gehenna, being a place where butchers and meat-eaters go. The most relevant source of these ideations outside the Bible, of course, is Dante’s Inferno. While he may not have intended his readers to interpret the lowest pits of the Inferno as being reserved for animal farmers (especially those running the “humane” farms and buying their products), that is certainly the implication which his descriptions invoke. The qualities of the people for whom these places are reserved there are definitely intended; the only difference is in whether or not they are interpreted as pertaining to our treatment of animals as well as of humans.

In Dante Alighieri’s fourteenth-century epic poem Divine Comedy, the first part, entitled Inferno, famously reserves the deepest of the nine circles of hell for the betrayer, while violence is only considered the seventh, followed by fraud, which is the eighth. Because these concentric circles represent a gradual increase in wickedness, Dante is issuing a clear statement: to covertly deceive with malicious intention is even worse than an overt act of violence. Perhaps this distinction is subjective, but it is important to note that violence, betrayal, and fraud are all committed in the act of killing an animal, especially one with whom we’ve developed a bond of trust (betrayal) and one that will be labeled humane (fraud). Hope Bohanec549

Christian theologians have encountered the etymology of the name of Gehenna, but have been too terrified by the implication to confront it directly—the reason being that it is a matter of karma. (The implication is that when they are thrown into the lake of fire, they will only be getting what is coming to them, on account of their dietary habits.) For example, Strong’s relates that the derivation and meaning are dubious, and acknowledges that Jewish scholars have given us the meaning of “wailing ... from cries of children,” but then it goes on to say “but this [is] improbable.” No alternative etymology is provided, and no explanation as to why this one is “improbable” is provided, either. Even so, Strong’s describes it as a “proper name, of a location of valley south of Jerusalem & always with reference to the sacrifice of children by fire,” so the Christians recognize that it is only ever called the Valley of Ben Hinnom in Scripture when the context is associating it with this cannibalistic ritual, even if they fall short of recognizing that the name itself is in reference to the cries of these poor victims, or even that such rites were indeed cannibalistic in nature.

Ben, of course, is ‘son’ or ‘offspring,’ so gai ben hinnom literally means ‘valley of the wailing son(s).’ Consider that the blood of Abel cried to God from the earth (Genesis 4:10), and it ought to be obvious that he hears the blood-curdling screams of all the millions of innocent animals that get senselessly butchered every day just to suit people’s unnatural tastes. Consider that according to every criterion we can judge by, the difference between eating one’s own child and eating a hog or chicken is far less significant than the different between eating the same animal and any plant-based foods. With this in mind, Yahshuah’s most concise description of the lake of fire is not just merely ironic or coincidental, but decidedly fitting as God’s means of administering justice on behalf of all the innocent victims—human and nonhuman alike.

“The Son of Aḏam shall send out His messengers, and they shall gather out of His reign all the stumbling-blocks, and those doing lawlessness, and shall throw them into the furnace of fire—there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:41-42

This is the basis for what is probably the clearest indication in all of Scripture that it is never okay to eat meat, because the punishment for murder is to have the killer’s life taken away from him, and this is made abundantly clear in Yahshuah’s teachings, even more than in the Law and Prophets. In Yahshuah’s approach, the mere temptation to sin is not to be countenanced. (And temptation is a matter of what you desire, not what someone else is offering you.) A good analogy for us would be pornography; even though watching a pornographic film does not constitute fornication, a married man would do well to stay away from it, because the moment he envisions himself cheating on his wife, he has already committed the act in his heart. This is so well understood and accepted that it is exactly the point Yahshuah made when he commanded his audience to do away with the source of the temptation. Remember that adultery is a deliberate metaphor for eating flesh!

“You heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone looking at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. And if your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you. For it is better for you that one of your members perish, than for your entire body to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away from you. For it is better for you that one of your members perish, than for your entire body to be thrown into Gehenna.” Matthew 5:27-30

The reference to adultery makes it clear what this is talking about, though it will be misinterpreted by anyone whose mouth waters at the site of a big, juicy steak, but still applies an overly literal interpretation to the analogy. To paraphrase, if your hand is bringing the wrong food to your mouth, it is better for you to chop it off than to continue to let it feed you. (How else can your hand cause you to sin?) It is better for you to lose one appendage than for another being to lose its life, for which you, too, will lose yours, in order to balance the debt. Clearly, the two lives in question are of far greater value and importance than either of your hands. In any case, the punishment for the crime is clearly the Second Death, which is not the case for adultery in the traditional sense of cheating on one’s spouse, which merits a less severe punishment by the law of return. Not only that, but the same punishment is also prescribed for teaching children to do the same, which means it cannot be reasonably associated with the matter of fornication, as children are biologically incapable of fornication to a certain point.

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling-blocks! For it is necessary that stumbling-blocks come, but woe to that man by whom the stumbling-block comes! Matthew 18:6-7

Yahshuah could just as easily have said that sinners are all going to be thrown into a volcano, such as Mt. Etna, which had had one of its most destructive eruptions in fairly recent memory (122 BC), and the name of which is thought to derive from the Phoenician word for ‘furnace.’550 The reason gehenna was an obvious choice for describing the lake of fire is that Molekh worship had gone on for at least 1000 years, with hardly any interruptions, right outside the main gate of Jerusalem’s walls. Everyone would have been familiar with the abominable practice there, so Yahshuah’s teachings would have induced repentance by way of fear of the consequences of sin, as it would have been hard for such simple people to imagine a more terrible fate than the one which had roasting infants screaming in their death throes.

The Valley of the Wailing Son is depicted in the Bible as having been named after the rephaim, which implies that Mt. Zion was the major cult center of the Watchers in Canaan from the earliest time, at least as far as the Israelites of Gibeah were concerned. As Molekh was the one known as Baal, he is therefore presumably a chief among the Watchers, either Semyaza or Azazel (or both, as these two are generally equated). There is no doubt that the Valley of the Wailing Son and the Valley of Rephaim were connected, at least, and that Jerusalem therefore was seen as having been surrounded by abominations, which can only mean that the citadel on Zion was the cult center. The book of Joshua seems to indicate a distinction between Hinnom and the Ben Hinnom, which means there would actually be 3 distinct valleys associated with Jerusalem, indicating that Rephaim would be a larger area, and that ben hinnom is actually just another name (a colloquial name) for the Kidron, between Mt. Zion and the Mount of Olives, contrary to popular belief which locates the Ben Hinnom on the south side of Jerusalem.

And the border went up by the Valley of the Son of Hinnom to the southern slope of the Yeḇusite city, that is Yerushalayim. And the border went up to the top of the mountain that lies before the Valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the Valley of Repha’im northward. Joshua 15:8

And the border came down to the end of the mountain that faces the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, which is in the Valley of the Repha’im on the north, and went down to the Valley of Hinnom, to the side of the Yeḇusite city on the south, and went down to Ěn Roḡĕl. Joshua 18:16

So the northern boundary of Judah is clearly depicted as ending where it meets the boundary of Benjamin, on the west side of the Valley of Hinnom. The only mountain that faces it from the West is Mt. Zion. This necessarily means that the author of Joshua considered it common knowledge that Molekh was worshiped at Mt. Zion around 1400 BC, which leaves no room for doubt that Solomon chose this location to build the Temple (in part, at least) for that very reason. Moreover, the association between the Ben Hinnom and the Kidron also has substantiation where the name of Kidron seems to apply to the fire pit of the Ben Hinnom, where we might otherwise expect the latter name to be used (e.g. 1 Kings 15:13).

Here is a map of the ancient city and its boundaries, with our corrections based on Scripture in red. From this it should be apparent that Jerusalem was regarded as evil from the earliest days and had no terminus that did not have a derogatory name attached to it, and that the Christian scholars have got a lot of explaining to do as to why they have located the Valley of Ben Hinnom so far from the city. The Bible’s description of the Valley of Rephaim being the terminus between Benjamin and Judea seems far more plausible, does it not?

 

 

As for why Jerusalem is called the “city of blood” in the Prophets, it has recently come to light that “animal sacrifice at [the] temple powered ancient Jerusalem’s economy,” that evidence “confirms visions of the temple depicted in historical Jewish texts [the Talmud and Josephus] and suggests the economic heart of the city was its slaughtering operation.”551 It just so happens that the study of animal remains which this conclusion is based on dates back 2 millennia, between 37 BC and 66 AD, putting it right in the timeframe of Yahshuah’s antagonism. These remains are in an unusually high concentration for a city dump, and prove that animals were brought from hundreds of miles away to be butchered. (It has long been accepted that the Valley of Ben Hinnom was used as a dump. This only makes sense if it was adjoined to the place where the sacrifices occurred, as new archaeological evidence confirms.) This was Solomon’s legacy to the world, which he undoubtedly established as much for his love of coin as for his own lust for flesh—having the monopoly on murdering animals was as profitable back then as banking monopolies are now, and he had the enormous hoard of wealth to prove it.

As for why the location of Jebus was chosen for the capital of Solomon’s kingdom when it was not even an Israelite city, the historical background of this decision sheds a whole lot of light as to why the Nazarite prophets were against it. The story begins in Joshua 18, right before the parable of the Levite which we have already alluded to, where Benjamin draws the first lot for the tribal allotments following the initial conquest of Canaan. That is to say that Benjamin had first pick of the allotments, and chose the smallest one, which can only mean it was the most coveted by whatever standard they were judging by.

The most lamentable fact of the Judges period is that several tribes did not complete their conquests, which led to all sorts of problems down the road. In the case of Dan, this was because the other tribes had settled in and they refused to help, as Dan had helped them. Dan, therefore, was innocent of any wrongdoing, in keeping with the tribe’s role as the “judge of his brothers.” In the other cases, such as that of Judah, the Israelites killed off large portions of the Canaanites, but refused to kill their kings. In the case of Benjamin, however, it was simply a matter of not wanting to participate in the ban. So the Benjaminites settled into their inheritance, and rather than taking possession of the land like they were supposed to, they simply moved in next door to the local inhabitants—they being evidently the most wicked of the Canaanites, or at least what remained of them after the Conquest. Either Benjamin chose this allotment with this in mind, as a premeditated will to blend in, or else it happened by default, as a result of not eradicating the Canaanites. Either way, Benjamin was a tribal nation utterly divorced from Israel and married to the Hittites by the end of the Judges period.

The story of Benjamin’s apostasy as told in Judges 19 is regarded by scholars now as being a metaphor created to retroactively explain the falling out which the tribe had with the others. We see no cause to dispute this interpretation, and have presented the same conclusion. Yet a few things stand out which the scholars have yet to latch onto. For instance, Jebus is actually clarified as Jerusalem in v. 10, being deliberately likened to Sodom, and this necessarily conveys that the author (or possibly the redactor) of Judges was not content to let the association between Jerusalem and Sodom pass by undetected with his description of Jebus. The Bethlehem of the North—that is, Nazareth—on the other hand, is plainly regarded (v. 18) as the true “home” (capital) of the nation, even as the Bethlehem of the South was regarded as the capital of Judah, though Benjamin despised them both. The fact that the crime which the Benjaminites committed was against a traveling Levite and his wife from Bethlehem suggests that Benjamin either provoked the rest of the nation by its apostasy (i.e. its adopting the sacrificial customs of the Jebusites), and the rest of the nation responded with a call to arms, or that it did something even more deliberate. Either way, the association with Lot and Sodom is so clear, in several places, that the crime of Benjamin cannot possibly have been anything other than the act of violence. Notice again the use of the term “sons of Belial” to describe the inhabitants of Gibeah, and it should be clear by now that this is the real meaning of the term ‘Sodomite,’ as opposed to anything having to do with buggery.

Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Seḏom, both old and young, all the people from every part, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, and let us ‘know’ them.” Genesis 19:4-5

They were making their hearts glad, and see, men of the city, sons of Beliyaʽal, surrounded the house, beating on the door. And they spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came to your house, so that we know him!” But the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my brothers! I beg you, do no evil! Since this man has come into my house, do not do this folly.” Judges 19:22-23

הנבלה (hanebalah, H5039), the word rendered “folly” here is used 4 times in the OT: 3 times to describe the matter in question in Judges 19 and 20, and once in 2 Samuel (13:12) to describe Amnon’s rape of his sister Tamar, which was likewise beyond unthinkable and led to a civil war. In fact, the word actually means both ‘disgrace’ and ‘dead body,’ as evidenced by the fact that Strong’s defines nebelah (נבלה, H5038) as “carcass” or “corpse.” Other definitions of variations of the same root (נבל, H5034: [to be] senseless, foolish) include ‘fool’ (נבל, H5036), ‘senselessness, disgrace’ (נבלה, H5039), ‘immodesty, shamelessness’ (נבלתה, H5040). In other words, a corpse is literally an act of folly in the ancient Hebrew language itself, and based on this, we can plainly see how those who practiced carnism came to be regarded as “sons of Belial” by those who opposed it. After all, the “folly” goes all the way back to Genesis 3: the immediate result of the Fall was that Adam and Eve were ashamed and disgraced.

It is precisely the knowledge of good and evil which distinguishes the gods from regular mortals in that context. However, it is also what makes a person a prophet—the difference between ‘prophet’ and ‘disgrace’ (or ‘fool,’ as an object of disgrace) in Hebrew is extremely slight: נביא (nabiya, H5030) versus נבל (nabal, H5036). Consider the meaning of the final letter aleph itself, which is not even intoned in nabiya (pronounced na-bee or nabi, which is how it is routinely transliterated from both Hebrew and Arabic).

In Modern Standard Arabic, the word أليف /ʔaliːf/ literally means ‘tamed’ or ‘familiar’, derived from the root |ʔ-l-f|, from which the verb ألِف /ʔalifa/ means ‘to be acquainted with; to be on intimate terms with’. In modern Hebrew, the same root |ʔ-l-f| (alef-lamed-peh) gives me’ulaf, the passive participle of the verb le’alef, meaning ‘trained’ (when referring to pets) or ‘tamed’ (when referring to wild animals). Wikipedia552

In other words, a prophet is literally one who is ‘folly-tamed,’ or who has “tamed the beast” within, so to speak. So it is that a prophet is not without esteem except in his own land, among his own people. What esteem is there to be had among one’s own peers? If everyone practices temperance, then the one doing it will simply blend in with the rest of the crowd, rather than have all the exotic appeal of a prophet. This is not the meaning of Yahshuah’s remark in Mark 6:4, of course, yet the implication therein is certainly that he was recognized as a prophet in Judea, among the sinners there, though not to the same extent in Galilee.

Furthermore, Nehemiah 11:34 lists a certain Neballat (‘place of folly’) as a place inhabited by Benjaminites; without any further indication of how this settlement came to be (there is no other mention of it in Scripture), there is no reason to assume that it was not so named because of its association with the very same sin which instigated the war between Benjamin and the other tribes. Given the fact that Benjamin occupied a small area, the likelihood that Neballat was actually associated with Jerusalem itself (for instance, as an alternative name for the Temple Mount) is very high.

Thus it is apparent that the historical background for the emergence of Jerusalem as the capital of Judea leaves no room for doubt that the whole nation of Judea was thoroughly wicked right from the beginning of its association with the remnant of Benjamin. (And the Israelites spared Benjamin by giving their daughters to the Benjaminites to reproduce. Clearly the tribe of Judah was chiefly involved with this.) Moreover, we see from Judges 1 that Jebus was not the only city which was integrated into one of the tribes without conquest. The prophecy that these peoples would become a “snare” to Israel if they did not put them under the ban is fulfilled in each and every case recorded in the first chapter of Judges. It seems that some settlements (e.g., Megiddo in Manasseh, Sidon in Asher) were too strong for the Israelites to muster a large enough force against, but not so with Benjamin, which would have had the assistance of both Judah and Ephraim, if not all of the others, being not only the first of the tribes to claim its allotment, but also the most protected, as the very heart of the nation, just as Jacob and Moses had both intended.

However, the children of Binyamin did not drive out the Yeḇusites who inhabited Yerushalayim, so the Yeḇusites have dwelt with the children of Binyamin in Yerushalayim to this day. Judges 1:21

Most of the towns listed in Judges 1 are incidental to the overall theme of the Conquest. The most telling sign of this theme is the issue of the “snare,” as failure to eradicate the local populations and adopting their customs both heavily factored into the causes of strife between the tribes themselves. This establishes without a doubt that the war between Benjamin and the rest of the tribes is attributable to its adopting of the sin of Sodom specifically at Jebus, we are told in Judges 19. (Again, this is immediately after the description of Benjamin’s allotment.) Even earlier, the seeds of disaster were already sown in other cases, such as Manasseh’s decision to extend its influence across the Jordan in Bashan (Judges 1:27), exactly where the remnant of the rephaim is said to have been, which led to the other major civil war during this period, though it was fought mostly between the western and eastern factions of Manasseh, with the other tribes coming to the aid of the western faction against the apostates in Bashan (17:11-16).

Now consider that Benjamin had already occupied Jebus for hundreds of years, according to Judges. The fact that David had to capture it, then, means that he was battling Israelites as well as Hittites when he did. This is owing to the fact that Saul (who was a Benjaminite) reigned at Gibeah for 38 years, and was apparently also from there. The Jebusites were loyal to Saul, yet they forbade David from coming into the city when he brought his army there, for obvious reasons (1 Chronicles 11:4-5). In fact, rather than negotiating, they actually taunted him from the walls. This proves the affinity which Saul had with them, and suggests a date of authorship for Judges contemporary with David’s influence, though there are not enough indications in Scripture of the history of Bethlehem to merit the conclusion that it had not already been considered the capital of the South in the eyes of the prophets as early as the Judges period.

It is quite remarkable that after David was anointed at Hebron in front of the elders of the tribes, his first act as King of Israel was to besiege Jebus. This makes it abundantly clear that he was finishing what had been started during the Conquest, which was the extermination of the remnant of the rephaim (e.g., Joshua 12:4; 13:12). Joab was also promoted to command all his forces for being the first to go up, which demonstrates Joab’s ideological disposition as surely as it does his bravery—hence the fact that Solomon had him murdered in retaliation for his loyalty to David. We think that his role in the capture of the city played no small part in Joab’s assassination, given Solomon’s love for the City of Blood.

David took up residence in Jebus right after its fall, which indicates that he intended to leave a garrison there in order to prevent it from falling back into the hands of the wicked Benjaminites. This seems to be the only mistake he ever really made, as it directly led to his coveting of Uriah’s wife. One might wonder why he did not just put it under the ban if it was indeed inhabited by Hittites only rather than by some Hittites and some Benjaminites, or why a distinction was even made between a Jebusite and a Hittite from Jebus, such as Uriah. However, it is clear that the Hittites and the Benjaminites had lived together and mixed their bloodlines centuries since, and that no such distinction could even be made by that time. This, of course, begs the question of whether Saul himself was not of predominantly Canaanite lineage. Such a notion would certainly be in keeping with the rest of the nation’s hidden history, beginning with Solomon and ending with the last King of Judea.

Just one other thing about this subject is worth mentioning here. Joshua 10 indicates that God caused the Sun to stand still so that Joshua could conquer the Amorites led by Jebusites, and that he put to death all the captured kings, as well as the residents of all the cities he conquered. This is exactly what Saul failed to do, which is exactly why he incurred God’s wrath, as indicated earlier by 1 Samuel 15:22-23. Perhaps one of the most dramatic events in the whole Bible is that which follows Samuel’s condemnation of Saul, whereby he tells Saul to “Shut up and listen,” and then takes matters into his own hands. Note that Saul calls Yahweh “your God.”

And the word of יהוה came to Shemu’ĕl, saying, “I am grieved that I have set up Sha’ul as sovereign, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My words.” And it displeased Shemu’ĕl, and he cried to יהוה all night. And Shemu’ĕl rose early in the morning to meet Sha’ul, and it was told to Shemu’ĕl, saying, “Sha’ul went to Karmel, and see, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and passed over, and went down to Gilgal.” And Shemu’ĕl came to Sha’ul, and Sha’ul said to him, “Blessed are you of יהוה! I have performed the word of יהוה.” But Shemu’ĕl said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the cattle which I hear?” And Sha’ul said, “They have brought them from Amalĕq, because the people spared the best of the sheep and the cattle, to slaughter to יהוה your Elohim. And the rest we have put under the ban.” And Shemu’ĕl said to Sha’ul, “Wait, and let me declare to you what יהוה said to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak.” And Shemu’ĕl said, “Though you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Yisra’ĕl? And did not יהוה anoint you sovereign over Yisra’ĕl? And יהוה sent you on the way, and said, ‘Go, and you shall put under the ban the sinners, the Amalĕqites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ And why did you not obey the voice of יהוה, but swooped down on the spoil, and did evil in the eyes of יהוה?” And Sha’ul said to Shemu’ĕl, “I did obey the voice of יהוה, and I went on the way on which יהוה sent me, and brought back Aḡaḡ sovereign of Amalĕq, and I put Amalĕq under the ban. But the people took of the spoil, of the sheep and cattle, the best of that which should have been put under the ban, to slaughter to יהוה your Elohim in Gilgal.” 1 Samuel 15:10-21

And Sha’ul said to Shemu’ĕl, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the command of יהוה and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice. And now, please pardon my sin, and return with me, and let me bow myself to יהוה.” But Shemu’ĕl said to Sha’ul, “I do not return with you, for you have rejected the word of יהוה, and יהוה does reject you from being sovereign over Yisra’ĕl.” And as Shemu’ĕl turned around to go away, Sha’ul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. And Shemu’ĕl said to him, “יהוה has torn the reign of Yisra’ĕl from you today, and has given it to a neighbour of yours, better than you. Moreover, the Eminence of Yisra’ĕl does not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent.” Then he said, “I have sinned. But esteem me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Yisra’ĕl, and return with me, and I shall bow myself to יהוה your Elohim.” And Shemu’ĕl turned back after Sha’ul, and Sha’ul bowed himself to יהוה. And Shemu’ĕl said, “Bring Aḡaḡ sovereign of the Amalĕqites here to me.” So Aḡaḡ came to him delightedly, and Aḡaḡ said, “Truly, the bitterness of death has turned aside.” And Shemu’ĕl said, “As your sword bereaved women, let your mother be bereaved among women too.” Shemu’ĕl then hewed Aḡaḡ to pieces before יהוה in Gilgal. 1 Samuel 15:24-33

If Saul’s decision to spare one Amalekite king was a cause of such great distress due to the Jebusite association that it had Samuel up all night crying, then obviously David would have had a lot of incentive to put every Jebusite he could get his hands on to the sword, but for the fact that the Benjaminites had made Jebus their stronghold. The Amalekites were actually offspring of Esau, whereas the Jebusites were the most wicked of all the Canaanites. It is as if God chose Saul to be the king specifically in order to show the Israelites what would become of them in the long run if they did not repent, because Saul was basically the worst man available for the job, and he wanted to punish them and force them to realize that it was not in their best interest to reject him (God), much like mainstream voters in America and Britain routinely select the very worst possible candidates imaginable for positions in government, to bring about perpetual calamities upon themselves, though their intent is not that, but only to be ruled. Clearly, what God really wanted was to spare them the fate of being ruled by a manmade government, so Saul was a good candidate for demonstrating how evil and oppressive manmade governments are.

And all the elders of Yisra’ĕl gathered together and came to Shemu’ĕl at Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a sovereign to rule us like all the nations.” But the word was evil in the eyes of Shemu’ĕl when they said, “Give us a sovereign to rule us.” So Shemu’ĕl prayed to יהוה. And יהוה said to Shemu’ĕl, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from reigning over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Mitsrayim, even to this day—forsaking Me and serving other mighty ones—so they are doing to you too. And now, listen to their voice, but you shall certainly warn them, and shall make known to them the ruling of the sovereign who does reign over them.” And Shemu’ĕl spoke all the words of יהוה to the people who asked him for a sovereign, and said, “This is the ruling of the sovereign who does reign over you: He shall take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and they shall run before his chariots, and appoint commanders over his thousands and commanders over his fifties, or to plough his ground and reap his harvest, or to make his weapons, and equipment for his chariots. And your daughters he is going to take to be perfumers, and cooks, and bakers. And the best of your fields, and your vineyards, and your olive-trees he is going to take and give them to his servants. And a tenth of your grain and your vintage he is going to take and give it to his officers and servants. And your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys he is going to take and use for his own work. A tenth of your sheep he is going to take, and you are to be his servants. And you shall cry out in that day because of your sovereign whom you have chosen for yourselves, but יהוה is not going to answer you in that day.” However, the people refused to listen to the voice of Shemu’ĕl, and said, “No, but let a sovereign be over us. Then we shall be, we also, like all the nations, and our sovereign shall rule us and go out before us and fight our battles.” And Shemu’ĕl heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of יהוה. And יהוה said to Shemu’ĕl, “Listen to their voice, and make them a sovereign.” And Shemu’ĕl said to the men of Yisra’ĕl, “Each of you go to his city.” 1 Samuel 8:4-22

Notice that Samuel was dwelling at Ramah when this happened, while his sons were ruling Israel. This suggests that this is where he kept his personal residence, which also suggests that he personally knew (or knew of) David’s father and his family history. That is, Samuel sought out the worst possible man to rule Israel in Gibeah/Jerusalem, and then returned to Bethlehem to find his polar opposite. The concept of “good cop, bad cop” ought to come to mind, just as it should be obvious to anyone who has searched the Scriptures that Jerusalem is regarded by each and every prophet as the epitome of evil, and that the towns of the prophets (Salem, Nazareth and Bethlehem or Ramah) are seen as bastions of righteousness in the midst of a world of sin. With all this in mind, we may as well just throw the name of Zion (temple and all) into the same bowl of infamy as Rephaim and Hinnom, because that is exactly where it belongs. After all, even Hinnom is just an afterthought of Zion, the Temple of Solomon’s dump or landfill; the sins which provoked God took place on the mountain, where the government was situated and the policies were enacted, more than in the valley where they were carried out.

“But indeed as a wife betrays her husband, so have you betrayed Me, O house of Yisra’ĕl,” declares יהוה. A voice was heard on the bare heights, weeping supplications of the children of Yisra’ĕl, because they have perverted their way, they have forgotten יהוה their Elohim. “Return, O backsliding children, I shall make your backslidings cease.” “See, we have come to You, for You are יהוה our Elohim. Truly, delusion comes from the high hills, the noisy throng on the mountains. Truly, in יהוה our Elohim is the deliverance of Yisra’ĕl. For shame has devoured the labour of our fathers from our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.” Jeremiah 3:20-24

And יהוה said to me, “Even if Mosheh and Shemu’ĕl were to stand before Me, My being is not toward this people. Send them away from My presence, let them go.” Jeremiah 15:1

“And they have turned their back to Me, and not their face—though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, they did not listen to receive instruction. And they set their abominations in the house which is called by My Name, to defile it. And they built the high places of Baʽal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and their daughters to Moleḵ, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My heart, that they should do this abomination, to make Yehuḏah sin.” Jeremiah 32:33-35

They have gone through the pass [the Valley of Jehoshaphat], they have taken up lodging at Geḇa [‘the Hill’]. Ramah is afraid, Giḇʽah of Sha’ul [Jerusalem] has fled. Lift up your voice, O daughter of Galliym! Listen, Layishah—O poor Anathoth! Isaiah 10:29-30

“And I raised up some of your sons as prophets, and some of your young men as Nazirites. Not so? O you children of Yisra’ĕl?” declares יהוה. “But you made the Nazirites drink wine, and commanded the prophets saying, ‘Do not prophesy!’” Amos 2:11-12

“In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of Dawiḏ and for the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, for sin and for uncleanness. And it shall be in that day,” declares יהוה of hosts, “that I cut off the names of the idols from the earth, and they shall be remembered no more, and I shall also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the earth. And it shall be, when one prophesies again, then his father and mother who brought him forth shall say to him, ‘You shall not to live, because you have spoken falsehood in the Name of יהוה.’ And his father and mother who brought him forth shall pierce him through when he prophesies. And it shall be in that day that the prophets shall be ashamed, everyone of his vision when he prophesies, and not put a hairy robe [Hebrew: ‘robe of leather,’ i.e. an imposture of the Mantle of Elijah] on in order to deceive.” Zechariah 13:4

“For this city has been a cause for My displeasure and My wrath from the day that they built it, even to this day that I should remove it from before My face.” Jeremiah 32:31

This ought to dispel any doubt that Jerusalem was altogether evil, or that it only became that way through a process of steady decline, or that it will have become that way in the future due to the rule of the Antichrist or whatever. Moreover, the main point of focus in the books of the Prophets is not so much on Jerusalem itself or the inhabitants thereof, but its violence against innocents, and its adultery and abominations. In other words, Jerusalem was seen by the Prophets as the center of Satan’s stranglehold over Israel (if not the nations in general) specifically because it was the center of the cult of Molekh, due to the Abomination of Desolation, which is to say, animal sacrifice.

Of course, Molekh worship was infamous not for animal sacrifice (that seems to be associated more with his consort Ashtoreth), but for human child sacrifice. Apparently, the only thing preventing child sacrifice from happening at Zion after the construction of Solomon’s Temple (it certainly happened before) was the fact that the Zadokites remained in control of the priesthood until the Hasmonean period. This is practically incredible, given how wicked the kings who ruled from the same Temple Mount were, and suggests that the restrainer of the mystery of iniquity mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 (in reference to Daniel) is the Zadokite priesthood, or, perhaps by extension, the order of Melchizedek. This certainly seems to be the case in 1 Maccabees as well, which is also obviously an interpretation of Daniel, seeing as Daniel and his companions are mentioned by name and extolled for their faithfulness (2:59-60).

Now on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-fifth year [December 8, 167 BC], they erected a desolating sacrilege on the altar of burnt-offering. They also built altars in the surrounding towns of Judah, and offered incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets. 1 Maccabees 1:54-55

Critical to our understanding of how the Abomination was still active at Zion during Yahshuah’s time is that it had never been dismantled or otherwise thwarted by the Hasmoneans (descendants of the priest Mattathias who led the Maccabean Revolt). In fact, Herod the Great not only came to power by marrying into the Hasmonean line, but he also built up the Temple and expanded it. The Hasmonean Dynasty itself was effectively started by what appears to have been the very first documented human sacrifice (in the killing sense, not in the cannibalism sense) performed at the Temple. The parallel with Mark 13:14 is obvious, and shows that Yahshuah’s remarks were deliberately aimed at denouncing the Maccabees who had usurped the priesthood from the Zadokites, and replaced it with a lust for violence which had not been seen since the time of Solomon.

When he had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein, according to the king’s command. When Mattathias saw it, he burned with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him on the altar. At the same time he killed the king’s officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar. Thus he burned with zeal for the law, just as Phinehas did against Zimri son of Salu. Then Mattathias cried out in the town with a loud voice, saying: “Let everyone who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!” Then he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that they had in the town. At that time many who were seeking righteousness and justice went down to the wilderness to live there, they, their sons, their wives, and their livestock, because troubles pressed heavily upon them. And it was reported to the king’s officers, and to the troops in Jerusalem the city of David, that those who had rejected the king’s command had gone down to the hiding-places in the wilderness. Many pursued them, and overtook them; they encamped opposite them and prepared for battle against them on the sabbath day. They said to them, “Enough of this! Come out and do what the king commands, and you will live.” But they said, “We will not come out, nor will we do what the king commands and so profane the sabbath day.” Then the enemy quickly attacked them. But they did not answer them or hurl a stone at them or block up their hiding-places, for they said, “Let us all die in our innocence; heaven and earth testify for us that you are killing us unjustly.” So they attacked them on the sabbath, and they died, with their wives and children and livestock, to the number of a thousand people. 1 Maccabees 2:23-38

Even though the text of 1 Maccabees is extremely suspect, as it is a propagandized history with an overtly pro-Jewish bias, Yahshuah’s referencing it still shows that it was clear that in his mind, it was better to kill a wicked human presenting a sacrifice at the altar than it was to kill an innocent animal at the altar, even though the animal in question was the victim of a “Jew” sacrificing the “Jewish” way, to a foreign god. (To all Jews, Yahweh was also a foreign god.) Moreover, according to the same logic, it was also better to keep one’s innocence and die a martyr than to offer a sacrifice or participate in the profaning of the Sabbath (or the Temple). The association between Yahshuah’s prediction of great turmoil and the need to remain steadfast in spite of it with the events of the Maccabean Revolt are obvious enough.

But many in Israel stood firm and were resolved in their hearts not to eat unclean food. They chose to die rather than to be defiled by food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die. Very great wrath came upon Israel. 1 Maccabees 1:62-64

We know that being true to the end and choosing to die an innocent martyr is exactly what Yahshuah himself did, so it is not as though his words were altogether meaningless, as Christians might suppose. In fact, they were revolutionary and imperative, and clearly intended to be so, just as those of Mattathias were. That is to say that Yahshuah was deliberately instigating a civil war in Judea just to put an end to the Abomination at Zion, which is to say the sacrifice according to the Law of Moses (not to some other sacrifice, as the Maccabean Revolt had done)—a fact which would have been very clear to those who were familiar with the events from 200 years before, which was everyone in the range of his voice.

Yahshuah said, “The kingdom of the Father is like a certain man who wanted to kill a powerful man. In his own house he drew his sword and stuck it into the wall in order to find out whether his hand could carry through. Then he slew the powerful man.” Thomas 98

Yahshuah said, “Men think, perhaps, that it is peace which I have come to cast upon the world. They do not know that it is dissension which I have come to cast upon the earth: fire, sword, and war. For there will be five in a house: three will be against two, and two against three, the father against the son, and the son against the father. And they will stand solitary.” Thomas 16

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword, for I have come to bring division, a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—and a man’s enemies are those of his own household.” Matthew 10:34-36

When Mattathias and his friends learned of it, they mourned for them deeply. And all said to their neighbours: “If we all do as our kindred have done and refuse to fight with the Gentiles for our lives and for our ordinances, they will quickly destroy us from the earth.” So they made this decision that day: “Let us fight against anyone who comes to attack us on the sabbath day; let us not all die as our kindred died in their hiding-places.” Then there united with them a company of Hasideans [the ‘pious’], mighty warriors of Israel, all who offered themselves willingly for the law. And all who became fugitives to escape their troubles joined them and reinforced them. They organized an army, and struck down sinners in their anger and renegades in their wrath; the survivors fled to the Gentiles for safety. And Mattathias and his friends went around and tore down the altars; they forcibly circumcised all the uncircumcised boys that they found within the borders of Israel. They hunted down the arrogant, and the work prospered in their hands. They rescued the law out of the hands of the Gentiles and kings, and they never let the sinner gain the upper hand. 1 Maccabees 2:39-48

These Hasideans are thought to have been the Essenes by some scholars, and to have evolved into the Pharisees by others, but these positions are both based on ignorance, as both the Essenes and the Pharisees had origins which were already ancient prior to the period in question. In any case, the commonality is evident in that if they were zealous for the Law, then they would fight for it. So in that sense, the Hasideans were the predecessors of the Zealots of Yahshuah’s time who ultimately fought the war he instigated, and we might suppose continuity between the Hasideans and the Zealots owing to the fact that the Hasideans never really disappeared, nor assumed power. (Had they assumed power along with the Maccabees, then they would have been the object of Yahshuah’s contention, as the Hasmoneans were.)

There is no clear evidence of who the Zechariah, son of Baruch mentioned in Matthew 23:25 is, but the most logical deduction we can make is that he was the man who was murdered by Mattathias in this context. If this association holds, then the Maccabees are deliberately likened to Cain, and every murder is therefore pinned on the Jews (or on Satan and his progeny, to and including the Pharisees, i.e. the Persian colonists who had rebuilt Solomon’s Temple), and the one offering a sacrifice in this context, according to the custom prescribed by the Law of Moses, is an innocent victim. This is obviously not the common interpretation, but no one really knows who this Zechariah was, and we have to wonder how the supposedly righteous murder of the unnamed man in 1 Maccabees was in fact righteous, when he could have been prevented some other way than spilling his blood in the Temple. Otherwise we are left to think that it was indeed the righteous course, and the rule of the Hasmoneans therefore would not have merited the same circumstances that had brought the whole nation to open rebellion 2 centuries earlier, much less the kind of vitriol that Yahshuah was pouring out against his enemies, the Jews.

If, on the other hand, this association is incorrect, and the Maccabees were really the good guys, and the apostasy of the Pharisees and Sadducees was merely incidental to the fact that they thrived under Hasmonean rule, then the righteousness of Mattathias is still nothing more than the extension of his will to stop the sacrifice, which Christians already associate with the role of their Antichrist. In this case, we also have the precedent for saying that Yahshuah’s provocation of the Pharisees amounts to a call to arms among the mob, or at least an escape from Jerusalem before the war broke out. (The significance of this will be apparent later.) Indeed, even 1 Maccabees indicates that Mattathias had come to Modein due to the fact that the sin of Jerusalem was so great that it was intolerable, and we have in this depiction the origin of the the motif of the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11:3 being clothed in sackcloth, for they are described in there as protecting the Temple Mount from the Zionists trampling the city, as the Seleucids and Hellenized Jews were doing during Mattathias’ time. (In other words, the Two Witnesses—heaven and earth—are depicted as mourning because the Abomination has been reinstituted.) This is confirmed by the phrase, “heaven and earth testify for us that you are killing us unjustly.”

In those days Mattathias son of John son of Simeon, a priest of the family of Joarib, moved from Jerusalem and settled in Modein. He had five sons, John surnamed Gaddi, Simon called Thassi, Judas called Maccabeus, Eleazar called Avaran, and Jonathan called Apphus. He saw the blasphemies being committed in Judah and Jerusalem, and said,

“Alas! Why was I born to see this,
the ruin of my people, the ruin of the holy city,
and to live there when it was given over to the enemy,
the sanctuary given over to aliens?
Her temple has become like a person without honour;
her glorious vessels have been carried into exile.
Her infants have been killed in her streets,
her youths by the sword of the foe.
What nation has not inherited her palaces
and has not seized her spoils?
All her adornment has been taken away;
no longer free, she has become a slave.
And see, our holy place, our beauty,
and our glory have been laid waste;
the Gentiles have profaned them.
Why should we live any longer?”

Then Mattathias and his sons tore their clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned greatly. 1 Maccabees 2:1-14

We do well to recount that even Samuel’s sons did not walk in his ways (1 Samuel 8:3), nor did David’s, nor did Gideon’s, etc. So it should not be taken for granted that the apostasy of the Hasmoneans is evidence that Mattathias was not righteous himself, only that the text of 1 Maccabees is overtly hostile to the early Christian paradigm. Of course, supposing that Yahshuah wanted to create a war just to oust the priesthood in Jerusalem and thereby purge Judea of its sin would require a precedent in the Old Testament. There are some such precedents, but they are few and far between, as the only people who wielded the authority to overturn the apostasy after Solomon deposed the prophets and judges were the kings, and every king of Israel was party to it, as was virtually every king of Judah. The most notable interruptions of the Abomination occurred when the relatively good king Josiah took measures to make sure that people stopped doing it, and then when the city was destroyed altogether during Jeremiah’s time.

And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, so that no man could make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Moleḵ. 2 Kings 23:10

And he broke in pieces the pillars and cut down the Ashĕrim, and filled their places with the bones of men. And also the altar that was at Bĕyth Ěl, and the high place which Yaroḇʽam son of Neḇat made, by which he made Yisra’ĕl sin, both that altar and the high place he broke down. And he burned the high place and ground it to dust, and burned the Ashĕrah. Then Yoshiyahu turned, and saw the tombs that were there on the mountain. And he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar, and defiled it according to the word of יהוה which the man of Elohim proclaimed, who proclaimed these words. And he said, “What tombstone is this that I see?” And the men of the city said to him, “It is the tomb of the man of Elohim who came from Yehuḏah and proclaimed these matters which you have done against the altar of Bĕyth Ěl.” And he said, “Let him alone, let no one move his bones.” So they left his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came from Shomeron. And Yoshiyahu also took away all the houses of the high places that were in the cities of Shomeron, which the sovereigns of Yisra’ĕl had made to provoke. And he did to them according to all the deeds he did in Bĕyth Ěl. And he slaughtered all the priests of the high places who were there, on the altars, and burned men’s bones on them, and went back to Yerushalayim. 2 Kings 23:14-20

Thus said יהוה, “Go and get a potter’s earthen jug, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the elders of the priests. Then you shall go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and shall proclaim there the words that I speak to you, and shall say, ‘Hear the word of יהוה, O sovereigns of Yehuḏah and inhabitants of Yerushalayim. Thus said יהוה of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, “See, I am bringing evil on this place, that makes the ears tingle of all who hear it. Because they have forsaken Me and have profaned this place, and have burned incense in it to other mighty ones whom neither they, their fathers, nor the sovereigns of Yehuḏah have known, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocents, and have built the high places of Baʽal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baʽal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My heart. Therefore see, the days are coming,” declares יהוה, “that this place shall no more be called Topheth or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but rather the Valley of Slaughter. And I shall pour out the counsel of Yehuḏah and Yerushalayim in this place, and I shall make them fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hands of those who seek their lives. And I shall give their corpses as meat for the birds of the heavens and for the beasts of the earth. And I shall make this city a ruin, and a hissing—everyone who passes by it is appalled and hisses because of all its plagues. And I shall make them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and eat one another’s flesh in the siege and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their lives distress them.’” And you shall break the jug before the eyes of the men who go with you, and shall say to them, ‘Thus said יהוה of hosts, “Even so I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which one is unable to repair again. And let them bury them in Topheth till there is no place to bury. This is what I shall do to this place,” declares יהוה, “and to its inhabitants, so as to make this city like Topheth. And the houses of Yerushalayim and the houses of the sovereigns of Yehuḏah shall be as unclean as the place of Topheth, because of all the houses on whose roofs they have burned incense to all the host of the heavens, and poured out drink offerings to other mighty ones.”’” Jeremiah 19:1-13

Tôpheth (תפת, H8612) is thought to mean ‘fire-place.’ This has substantiation in the book of Isaiah, where it is used the same way that Yahshuah used Gehenna, strongly implying that Gehenna in the Greek is the equivalent of Tôpheth in earlier generations. Furthermore, Death and Hades (i.e. hell) are depicted in Revelation 20:14 as being thrown into the same lake of fire as Tôpheth and Gehenna refer to. So the concept of the lake of fire and its associations are very, very old, and consistent throughout Scripture, indicating that the Christians’ ideations of hell itself actually originate in animal sacrifice. Put simply, the lake of fire is intended to give meat-eaters what they deserve, because the very idea of it is born out of the same sin which they have committed against God’s creatures. Have we not seen that God judges and punishes (or rewards) every man according to his works, and that this is a necessity of justice?

See, the Name of יהוה is coming from afar, burning with His wrath, and heavy smoke. His lips shall be filled with rage, and His tongue be as a devouring fire; and His breath shall be as an overflowing stream, which reaches up to the neck, to sift the nations with a sieve of falsehood, and a misleading bridle on the jaws of the peoples. Let the song be to you as in a night set apart for a festival, and gladness of heart as he who is going with a flute, to come into the mountain of יהוה, to the Rock of Yisra’ĕl. And יהוה shall cause His excellent voice to be heard, and show the coming down of His arm, with raging wrath and the flame of a consuming fire, with scattering, downpour and hailstones. For through the voice of יהוה Ashshur is broken down, with a rod He smites. And every passage of the ordained staff which יהוה lays on him, shall be with tambourines and lyres, when He shall fight with it, battling with a brandishing arm. For Topheth was ordained of old, even for the sovereign it has been prepared. He has made it deep and large, its fire pit with much wood; the breath of יהוה, as a stream of burning sulphur, is burning in it! Isaiah 30:27-33

Assuming this association is indeed accurate, then Josiah’s decision to defile the fire pit of the Molekh worshipers is ironic, considering that it had already been defiled by the blood of innocent children thousands of times over. But the focus here is still on the Valley of the Wailing Son, because human suffering is a lot more nerve-wracking to humans than is animal suffering. Even supposing that human beings are more precious to him, it still does not stand to reason that God makes such distinctions, as suffering is suffering. Even when animal slaughter was allowed under the Law of Moses, it was still never allowed to cause the victim to suffer needlessly. Also, if it had ever suffered during its life, it was not an acceptable sacrifice. So any kind of animal which was roasted alive could never be considered clean by the Law of Moses, and it takes a truly depraved individual to desire to eat such an animal, human or otherwise, after they have been listening to its screams. Of course, the difference between the suffering of an animal that has its throat slit with one which is roasted alive is subjective, as a matter of degree rather than kind. Either way, such depravity simply does not happen overnight, and can only result from a long-term desensitization to that which is otherwise abhorrent to anyone with a conscience.

Enter Solomon, the veritable founder of the Synagogue of Satan, and probably the most violent and detestable human being that ever lived. We have demonstrated from 1 Kings 11 how he unapologetically flaunted his love for Molekh all around the nation, but really, his apostasy started much earlier than that, and we see this as just the inevitable result of an incredibly evil soul given (or, rather, having usurped) an extraordinary amount of power. Chapter 8 of the same book shows just how susceptible he was to the customs of the heathen nations around him, as it accounts for his great lust for flesh and how he imposed it on the rest of the nation, in the name of God even (as “peace” offerings!), the way Yahshuah warned against in Matthew 18:

And the sovereign and all Yisra’ĕl with him made slaughterings before יהוה. And Shelomoh brought peace offerings, which he slaughtered to יהוה, twenty-two thousand bulls and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep. Thus the sovereign and all the children of Yisra’ĕl dedicated the House of יהוה. On that day the sovereign set apart the middle of the courtyard that was in front of the House of יהוה, for there he made burnt offerings, and the grain offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar that was before יהוה was too small to contain the burnt offerings, and the grain offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings. And Shelomoh at that time observed the Festival, and all Yisra’ĕl with him, a great assembly from the entrance of Ḥamath to the wadi of Mitsrayim, before יהוה our Elohim, seven days and seven days—fourteen days. On the eighth day he sent the people away. And they blessed the sovereign, and went to their tents rejoicing and glad of heart for all the goodness that יהוה had done for His servant Dawiḏ, and for Yisra’ĕl His people. 1 Kings 8:62-66

So Solomon was a complete scoundrel with an insatiable appetite for flesh, so much so that it is a wonder he did not depopulate Israel of its entire livestock commodity, and we have no doubt that he was so from before the very beginning of his reign. Nor do we have any doubt that he doctored the official history to make sure that he would be viewed in a positive light, a fact which has led to mixed reviews of his reign, both of which are evident in the later chronicles which have made their way into the Bible. For example, there is a discrepancy in 1 Kings 2:35, which says that Solomon appointed Zadok to be the high priest in place of Abiathar, but Zadok was already in this position during David’s reign (2 Samuel 8:17), so the only thing that could have happened is that Abiathar was removed. This particular lie (in 1 Kings 2) is obviously intended to demonstrate that Solomon had authority over Zadok, the very man who allegedly anointed him, and that he (Solomon) was therefore not subject to the conditions imposed on him by God and the prophets, as Saul and David were. This forever consolidated the apostasy of the entire nation, as Yahweh hinted when he told Samuel, “It is not you they have rejected, but me.”

This is, of course, a controversial statement, as we are supposed to believe that Solomon was chosen by David to succeed him, that he was anointed by Zadok, and that he deserved the throne because he was a good, God-fearing man, but in reality he was an illegitimate bastard of a publicly disgraced foreigner, the consequence of David’s self-professed “great sin” (the murder of Uriah the Hittite), and nowhere near the top of the line of succession. It is plainly evident that he conspired with his own brothers to kill them off, as they were his rivals, even causing one of them to lead an open rebellion and civil war against David just so he could maximize his chances of moving up a single notch, and that he remained in the palace while they were out fighting each other so that he could usurp the throne when his father died, inventing the ridiculous story that David had suddenly changed his mind about who was to rule in his stead, with no corroborating evidence other than his own word, though David had never even so much as hinted that he favored Solomon. When the throne rightly passed to his older brother Adonijah, who was next in line, he again conspired with his mother to murder him by setting him up on a false charge and making sure he was killed without any due process so that he could not respond to it, thereby clearing his name. (In fact, it was no charge at all, because the charge was treason, and Solomon was not the king, which makes it ironic, because apparently Adonijah did not even want the throne—if he did, then Solomon and his mother would not have had to invent a charge, as he simply would have taken it.) This story is recorded in 1 Kings 2, and shows how Solomon swore by Yahweh that he would not kill Adonijah, and then not only did it, but conspired to do it for no other reason than that he coveted the throne. But the treachery does not end there.

Solomon’s first act as King was to exile the priest Abiathar, which is the only time in history that a king ever deposed a high priest in Israel, effectively asserting his authority over both the Levitical Priesthood and the Law of Moses. Indeed, he actually threatened to kill Abiathar, without any grounds whatsoever, but it behooved him instead to pretend like he was “merciful.” Like Joab, Abiathar’s only alleged crime was that he supported the rightful king Adonijah. It would have been politically expedient for Solomon to keep him on as High Priest, but it is inconceivable that Abiathar would have kept his mouth shut about the murder of Adonijah after Solomon had solemnly sworn on the name of Yahweh that he would not do it, so like Joab, he, too, had to go.

Solomon’s second act as King was to hunt down Joab, the commander of David’s armies, who had remained loyal to David throughout his life, and who had put down the rebellion of Absalom. Joab’s loyalty was to Adonijah, in accordance with David’s will, but he chose to flee rather than instigate an open rebellion, because he was obviously not keen on seeing another civil war break out due merely to the petty cause of Solomon’s treachery and unbridled ambition, but Solomon hunted him anyway. Joab found refuge at the Tabernacle and clung to the altar there, apparently thinking that Solomon would never have him murdered for no real reason at the altar of Yahweh. He was mistaken, for Solomon did indeed command him to be so murdered after his assassins hesitated and asked him to relent, and even cursed him in the process.

Solomon’s third act as King was to put David’s friend Shimei under house arrest, presumably because Shimei was loyal to the monarchy, or Solomon at least suspected him of being so. Shimei did what Solomon told him to, but was eventually framed and murdered the way Adonijah had been. Then, 1 Kings 2 tells us, and only then, the reign of Solomon was established.

Now, we hope that this sufficiently demonstrates the low moral character of Solomon well before his old age, which Christians always write off as the easily forgivable mistakes of an old man (if that—many blindly reject the fact that he ever erred at all, even when confronted about it), and which they even tell us he repented of, in blatant contradiction to the Bible. The whole idea of Solomon being given “wisdom” by God—his one redeeming quality—is only even attested to by Solomon’s own mouth, with no corroboration, and it is expressly refuted by Yahshuah’s nature-friendly teaching in Matthew 6:29-33. We have already seen that his “wisdom” consists of quips such as the ones about how parents ought to beat their children interspersed among the other Proverbs, a policy which has been soundly refuted by pediatricians and which causes a great deal of animosity toward the Bible by people who know better, so even this characteristic is spurious. The episode of his alleged meeting with Yahweh is recorded in 1 Kings 3:5, after a description of how Solomon forged a marriage alliance with Egypt and made a thousand burnt offerings. With the recognition of how detestable each of these acts was, in consideration of the evidence we will examine below, the notion that Yahweh could have rewarded him for it, as alleged, is utterly asinine. What Solomon claimed to have asked for (and we say “claimed,” because it is apparent that God never consorted with him, and it is upon Solomon’s word alone that he ever did—in a dream) was not wisdom, as many allege, but “understanding … that I may discern between good and evil.” In other words, Solomon merely claimed to have eaten the forbidden fruit, and now we are supposed to believe that God loved him for it, even though we are told in the Bible that the division of the kingdom happened specifically because of his debauchery, and that had it not been for the sake of his father, Solomon himself would have been deposed and killed, the way Saul had been.

Furthermore, Masonic tradition holds that Solomon hired Hiram of Tyre to build the Temple, which was used to justify his decision to destroy the Tabernacle which he had already profaned with the blood of Joab. Judeo-Christian tradition even holds that he built it with the labor of demons, as recorded in the Testament of Solomon. Hiram was presumably chosen because he had also built an identical temple in Tyre, which was likewise dedicated to Molekh, and Solomon was so apostate already by that time that he had unapologetically aimed at mimicking the Baal worship of Tyre and imposing it over all Israel. So it is only natural that the Valley of the Wailing Son would have thrived under his rule, as he mercilessly exploited the Israelites and all the nations offering him tribute in order to transform Jerusalem into a meat-centric megalopolis. To this day, Freemasons regard Hiram and Solomon, together, as the founders of their craft.

Knowing all this, it really should not be a surprise that Solomon participated in the heathen rituals which sometimes included cooking and eating one’s own offspring. After all, this was the high point of the ceremonies convened to worship the gods which the Bible says he worshiped, and the one which any man who had such great lust for flesh as Solomon did no doubt would have enjoyed the most. More importantly, it was Solomon who established the Molekh and Asherah/Ashtoreth cult throughout the land. So, given that he had a thousand wives and only one documented son, and that most people eat every day, it is likely that he participated in these rituals almost every day, and that he brought all these women to himself so that he could have a steady supply of bodies to enable him to indulge in the sex rites of the Ashtoreth cult, and the sacrificial rites of the Molekh cult, which required the sacrifice of one’s own children, rather than any random animal. Apart from these two causes, why else would a man have need of more than a few, much less a few hundred wives? (And the needs of the first could easily be met by just a few, irrespective of the man in question.)

Even so, Solomon was just one man, practically a footnote in the more than 2 millennia of almost continuously documented history of Abraham and his descendants in the Bible. If the fact that the king who built the Temple where the sacrifices were performed (hence his great desire to build it in the first place, as it was right next to his palace) also ate his own children, combined with the new knowledge that such practices are actually what they envision as pleasing to God, is not enough to turn Jews and Christians off to the practice of eating meat, then it bears reminding that the reason Solomon was easily one of the most despicable men in history is that he only instituted the practices among the Israelites and suppressed the prophets’ resistance to his religious reforms; he was not the originator of them, nor was he by any means the greatest persecutor of the prophets of Yahweh. As uncanny as it is, the kings of Israel and Judah actually just got progressively more wicked as time went on.

1 Kings relates that Jeroboam did more evil (defined in the context as idolatry, so this evil necessarily denotes sacrifices) than all before him (14:9), that Omri did more than all before him (16:25), and that Ahab also did more than all before him (16:30,33). 16:33 explicitly states that Ahab sacrificed his own sons to Molekh (though this decision was almost certainly made by his wife Jezebel), and by implication, so did the kings before him all the way back to Solomon. This probably also shows why Jeroboam’s rule was accepted in Israel, as ultimately the common man’s palate was what determined whether the reigns of the various kings were accepted, as evidenced by the fact that David’s rule was not accepted by the Jebusites, whereas Saul’s was, even though Saul was the oppressor and David the liberator. In fact, those few kings who did not openly support the Molekh cult to the point of participating themselves were assassinated.

1 Kings also provides substantiation to claims we have already made in previous chapters, as well as numerous other insights, such as that the cult prostitution was clearly associated with the Abomination (i.e. that Molekh worship was associated with Ashtoreth worship), implying that the many condemnations of adultery and fornication in Scripture still evidence the distaste the prophets had for human and animal sacrifice, even where they are meant to literally refer to sex rites. Ultimately, Israel’s apostasy is represented as “Jeroboam’s sin,” which was originally an answer to the dilemma which Solomon’s rebellious captain Jeroboam faced when he feared that Israel’s allegiance would revert back to Solomon’s son Rehoboam after the prophets cut off Jerusalem from ruling over Judah. That is, Jeroboam was afraid that Rehoboam might win the people over to his side by outdoing him in terms of feeding them meat, so he set up a couple of golden calves closer to home, for their convenience—like the world’s first fast food joints—in order to pacify them.

And Yaroḇʽam said in his heart, “Now the reign shall return to the house of Dawiḏ. If these people go up to do slaughterings in the House of יהוה at Yerushalayim, then the heart of this people shall turn back to their master, Reḥaḇʽam sovereign of Yehuḏah, and they shall slay me and go back to Reḥaḇʽam sovereign of Yehuḏah.” So the sovereign took counsel and made two calves of gold, and said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Yerushalayim. See, your mighty ones, O Yisra’ĕl, which brought you up from the land of Mitsrayim!” And he set up one in Bĕyth Ěl, and the other he put in Dan. And this matter became a sin, for the people went before the one as far as Dan. And he made the house of high places, and made priests from all sorts of people, who were not of the sons of Lĕwi. And Yaroḇʽam performed a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival that was in Yehuḏah, and he offered on the altar. So he did at Bĕyth Ěl, slaughtering to the calves that he had made. And at Bĕyth Ěl he appointed the priests of the high places which he had made. And he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bĕyth Ěl on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart. And he performed a festival for the children of Yisra’ĕl, and offered on the altar and burned incense. 1 Kings 12:26-33

Needless to say, the fact that this amounts to a repeat of the Golden Calf incident following the Exodus is representative of nothing so much as Israel’s stubborn refusal to obey God and stop eating meat. The unnamed prophet of the next chapter (13) who was told to prophesy against Jeroboam’s altar was explicitly told not to eat anything near the altar, and when the king offered him a meal and a gift, he declared that he would not partake of it even for half the kingdom (1 Kings 13:1-9). True to the cryptic speech of the Prophets, what he was really telling Jeroboam is that he would not do it even if he were to abdicate and set up him in his place, because Jeroboam only ruled over half his own kingdom.

The prophecy of the punishment for Jeroboam’s sin, delivered by the prophet Ahijah, is recorded in the next chapter (14), where his house is cursed to be eaten by dogs and birds because they made asherim, or Asherah poles (14:15), which is a fancy way of saying ‘barbecue spits.’ (Yes, the origin of the cross or crux immissa in Christian worship is a barbecue spit. This is not an exaggeration. Nor is it any wonder, considering that church-going Christians universally hold themselves to be eating the body and drinking the blood of their sacrificial victim.) According to this curse, only one of Jeroboam’s children gets buried (14:12-13), and this because he is the only one in whom God has found anything good. This signifies that God’s sense of karma (or of irony) has not diminished between the Law and the Prophets—a fact which feeds heavily into certain descriptions of the consequences of the sin of eating meat in Revelation and elsewhere in the Prophets. At the same time, Jeroboam’s fear that Israel might return to Yahweh under Rehoboam’s guidance turns out to be completely unfounded, for Judah was no better off with Solomon’s son in charge than it had been under Solomon himself. The irony of the prospect of Israel being ruled by the House of David under Rehoboam is also great, because David was the only one of Rehoboam’s grandparents who was even an Israelite—and that is even assuming that David was really Solomon’s biological father. (He was certainly not his father in the other sense of the word.)

Meanwhile Reḥaḇʽam son of Shelomoh reigned in Yehuḏah. Reḥaḇʽam was forty-one years old when he became sovereign, and he reigned seventeen years in Yerushalayim, the city which יהוה had chosen out of all the tribes of Yisra’ĕl, to put His Name there. And his mother’s name was Naʽamah the Ammonitess. And Yehuḏah did evil in the eyes of יהוה, and they provoked Him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. For they also built for themselves high places, and pillars, and Ashĕrim on every high hill and under every green tree. And there were also cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the gentiles which יהוה dispossessed before the children of Yisra’ĕl. 1 Kings 14:21-24

Notice that the reference to male prostitutes seems to indicate that Judah was worse than Israel at this time. Thus the circle of the association between Jerusalem and Sodom is complete, as the practice of sodomy and the practice of eating of meat are deliberately and unquestionably linked to each other, to the point that they are synonymous. So it is no wonder that Isaiah prophesied Jerusalem’s fiery destruction, or that Yahshuah likened its valley to the lake of fire, as the precedent was already there in the fate of Sodom.

After Jeroboam, the same curse that was delivered to him was also made (16:1-2) against Baasha, the king who accomplished the curse of Jeroboam’s house by deposing Nadab and killing off his other descendants. Once again, the irony is immediately apparent. 15:30 actually says it was done on account of Jeroboam’s sins, meaning that the one thing which God had against all these proverbially wicked kings was the fact that they were eating meat, and that this was the constant. This fact is reaffirmed in 21:17-24, and again in 2 Kings 9:9-10, where exactly the same curse is made against Ahab. We are told that God deprived the rain due to Ahab’s sins (i.e., the common punishment for eating meat is famine), a fact which obviously factors into the description of the Two Witnesses, and therefore the Abomination of the Third Temple prophesied by Ezekiel.

And Ěliyahu the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilʽaḏ, said to Aḥaḇ, “As יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl lives, before whom I stand, there shall be no dew or rain these years, except at my word.” 1 Kings 17:1

These possess authority to shut the heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy. And they possess authority over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they wish. Revelation 11:6

Notice how God’s sense of irony in this context also works to the opposite effect. In Elijah’s case, God has the birds feeding him, as opposed to feeding from him. The obvious implications are that living in harmony with Nature (as opposed to viciously exploiting animals) has its benefits, and that God goes out of his way to nourish those who are willing to risk starvation for the sake of obedience to his will. Yet, at the same time, he also sends plagues to wipe out whole populations that are disobedient.

And the word of יהוה came to him, saying, “Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the wadi Kerith, which flows into the Yardĕn. And it shall be that you drink from the stream, and I shall command the ravens to feed you there.” And he went and did according to the word of יהוה, for he went and dwelt by the wadi Kerith, which flows into the Yardĕn. 1 Kings 17:2-5

This curse of drought was so bad that the brook dried up and Elijah had to go elsewhere to be fed, and it was a blessing to the one who fed him, because her pot of flour was miraculously restored when it should have been depleted. The implication is that God will go to the same lengths to punish sin as he will to reward obedience, even if it means the land gets stricken in the process. So the land suffers because of Man’s sin, whether or not the suffering is the direct consequence of the sin, because God will still mete out the same punishment. That is to say that while most people are content to let some future generation reap the consequences of our mismanagement of the environment, God’s sense of justice is not so skewed that we are allowed to escape the consequences of our own actions—so much so that the righteous Elijah was spared the consequences he did not incur.

Other kings who are described as having followed the way of Jeroboam include Nadab (1 Kings 15:26), Baasha (15:34; 16:2,7), Zimri (16:19), Omri (16:26), Ahab (16:31), Ahaziah (22:52), Jehoram (2 Kings 3:3), Jehu (10:29,31), Jehoahaz (13:2,6), Jehoash (13:11), Jeroboam II (14:24), Zechariah (15:9), Menahem (15:18), Pekahiah (15:24), and Pekah (15:28). In other words, every king of Israel that came after Jeroboam is described as upholding his legacy of apostasy, meaning specifically that they all worshiped a golden calf and ate meat, with the exceptions of Elah, Shallum and Hosea. However, these three also sinned the same way, though their sins are not explicitly likened to Jeroboam’s because none of them reigned long enough to merit the attention. Elah’s sin is equated with his father Baasha’s (1 Kings 16:13), and therefore also Jeroboam’s, Shallum only reigned a month (2 Kings 15:13), and Hosea’s sin (2 Kings 2:2) was sufficient to warrant the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel and the captivity of the Ten Tribes, though Judah’s was avoided by virtue of Hezekiah’s actions. That is to say that from the time of Solomon’s apostasy, Israel never repented of its carnivorous and idolatrous practices, even for a moment, and that these practices are continually cited in the Bible as the reason for God’s anger with the Israelites, right from the beginning in the wilderness where they fashioned the Golden Calf, leading all the way to the whole nation’s destruction, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Ahijah in 1 Kings 14:15-16.

Judah is a little different, because there were several kings who did not follow Solomon’s apostasy, namely Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Amaziah, Azariah (or Uzziah), Jotham, Hezekiah and Josiah. Most of these are described as having been good, but not good enough to take down the high places (the altars) and the asherim, which means that Judah itself continued to sin under their rule. As with those of the wicked kings, the accounts of their reigns make it very clear that the main interest of the people who recorded them was whether or not they were eating meat, and whether or not they were discouraging their subjects from doing so.

And Asa did what was right in the eyes of יהוה, as his father Dawiḏ had done, and put away the cult prostitutes from the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. And he also removed Maʽaḵah his grandmother from being sovereigness mother, because she had made an abominable image for Ashĕrah. And Asa cut down her abominable image and burned it by the wadi Qiḏron [that is, the Valley of Ben Hinnom]. But the high places were not removed. However, Asa’s heart was perfect with יהוה all his days. 1 Kings 15:11-14

And Yeho’ash did what was right in the eyes of יהוה all the days in which Yehoyaḏa the priest instructed him. However, the high places were not taken away; the people still slaughter and burned incense on the high places. 2 Kings 12:2-3

And he [Azariah] did what was right in the eyes of יהוה, according to all that his father Amatsyahu did, however, the high places were not taken away. The people still slaughtered and burned incense on the high places. 2 Kings 15:3-4

And he [Jotham] did what was right in the eyes of יהוה. He did according to all that his father Uzziyahu did. However, the high places were not taken away. The people still slaughtered and burned incense on the high places. He built the Upper Gate of the House of יהוה. 
2 Kings 15:34-35

And he [Hezekiah] did what was right in the eyes of יהוה, according to all that his father Dawiḏ did. He took away the high places and broke the pillars, and cut down the Ashĕrah, and broke in pieces the bronze serpent which Mosheh had made, for until those days the children of Yisra’ĕl burned incense to it, and called it Neḥushtan. 2 Kings 18:3-4

Notice that Hezekiah, several centuries removed from David, is called David’s son. This is the other sense of the word ‘father’ that we have remarked about. The difference between Solomon and Hezekiah is that Hezekiah did the works of David and Solomon did not.

This all shows how the main preoccupation of the historiographers who compiled the biblical chronologies cared about precisely 3 things: recording the names and reigns of the various kings, ascribing a moral disposition to them, which is inferred from their own personal values, and whether or not they disestablished the Asherah cult and its slaughter offerings, which is to say, whether or not they made concerted efforts to turn the Israelites away from their carnism. This ought to explain how big a deal this latter interest was to the Nazarite prophets and to the Zadokite priests who maintained proper stewardship of the Temple according to the Law of Moses, right next door to the wicked kings of Judah, throughout the generations.

Joash is listed as a good king because he was raised in the Temple, anointed at the age of only 7, and did as the priest instructed, including restoring the Temple. Jotham also built up the Temple (15:35) and had a close association with the priesthood: his mother was the daughter of Zadok (15:33), which means she was a member of the family which administered the Temple. Hezekiah’s mother was the daughter of Zechariah (18:2), which likely means she was a member of the family of priests. This clearly shows the influence of the Zadokites, and it also establishes that Zadok was a direct ancestor of Yahshuah, as Yahshuah well knew. (Matthew 1:14 also records another Zadok, a descendant of Jotham, in Yahshuah’s patrilineal genealogy.)

Joash was murdered by his servants and replaced with Jehoahaz, who did evil in the eyes of Yahweh by repeating Jeroboam’s sins (2 Kings 13:2), but also made appeal to Yahweh, which was heard (13:4-5). This suggests either that Jehoahaz did not want to upset any of the gods, including Yahweh, or that he worshiped Yahweh and simply did not know any better than to ban the sacrifices, which is what we might expect if he had a carnivorous appetite. (17:32-33 shows that at a later date, people were worshiping both Yahweh and foreign gods, so it seems clear that this had been going on since at least the time of Solomon.) Either that or he must have just been afraid to do the right thing, on account of what had happened to his predecessor. Either way, Israel continued to sin, and the asherim remained in Samaria during his reign (13:6)—and this was one of the few relatively good kings of Judah.

Jehoahaz’s son Joash persisted in the way of Jeroboam (13:11). Amaziah, the son of the other Joash (the one that was murdered)553 did right (14:3), but again, the high places were not taken down and people continued slaughtering (14:4). This suggests that Amaziah did not participate like Jehoahaz and Joash did, which must have aggravated somebody, because he met with the same fate as his father (14:19). It was about this time that God evidently decided he had had enough.

The account of Ahaz is a good indication of just how wicked Judah had become by the time the Assyrians were converging on Israel. It says he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, rather than those of his ancestor David, strongly implying an association between the sin of Judah and that of Jeroboam, though technically Jeroboam’s was specific to the Golden Calves and to Israel proper. Like Ahab of Israel before him, Ahaz even sacrificed his own children (or, at least, his son—the difference is not always clear in Hebrew).

In the seventeenth year of Peqaḥ son of Remalyahu, Aḥaz son of Yotham, sovereign of Yehuḏah, began to reign. Aḥaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Yerushalayim. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of יהוה his Elohim, as his father Dawiḏ had done. But he walked in the way of the sovereigns of Yisra’ĕl, and he also made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the gentiles whom יהוה had dispossessed from before the children of Yisra’ĕl. And he slaughtered and burned incense on the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree. 2 Kings 16:1-4

Hosea (the king, not the prophet), too, is described as doing evil, but not as those before him (17:2), which suggests that he ate meat, but did not sacrifice his children or do anything quite that drastic. So even among the “good” kings of Judah, the only ones who were actually good were Joash and Hezekiah, both of whom ascended before their 17th birthday and were manipulated by the priests. By the time the Hasmoneans from Levi took the reins of power, the priesthood based in Jerusalem was even more abominable than the ruling dynasty, if that were possible, so the priests’ option of putting a monarch under their sway when he was young and returning Judah to something resembling a godly nation was no longer available. And this was the legacy of the Israel after Saul and Solomon, until God finally put an end to it.

In the ninth year of Hoshĕa, the sovereign of Ashshur captured Shomeron and exiled Yisra’ĕl to Ashshur, and settled them in Ḥalaḥ and Ḥaḇor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. Now this came to be because the children of Yisra’ĕl had sinned against יהוה their Elohim—who had brought them up out of the land of Mitsrayim, from under the hand of Pharaoh sovereign of Mitsrayim—and feared other mighty ones, and walked in the laws of the gentiles whom יהוה had dispossessed from before the children of Yisra’ĕl, and of the sovereigns of Yisra’ĕl that they had made. And the children of Yisra’ĕl secretly did against יהוה their Elohim matters that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower unto the walled city, and set up for themselves pillars and Ashĕrim on every high hill and under every green tree, and burned incense there on all the high places, like the gentiles whom יהוה had removed from their presence. And they did evil matters to provoke יהוה, and served the idols, of which יהוה had said to them, “Do not do this.” And יהוה warned Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah, through all of His prophets, and every seer, saying, “Turn back from your evil ways, and guard My commands and My laws, according to all the Torah which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.” But they did not listen and hardened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not put their trust in יהוה their Elohim, and rejected His laws and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His witnesses which He had witnessed against them, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless, and after the gentiles who were all around them, of whom יהוה had commanded them not to do like them. And they left all the commands of יהוה their Elohim, and made for themselves a moulded image, two calves, and made an Ashĕrah and bowed themselves to all the host of the heavens, and served Baʽal, and caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, and practised divination and sorcery, and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of יהוה, to provoke Him. So יהוה was very enraged with Yisra’ĕl, and removed them from His presence—none was left but the tribe of Yehuḏah alone. Yehuḏah, also, did not guard the commands of יהוה their Elohim, but walked in the laws of Yisra’ĕl which they made. And יהוה rejected all the seed of Yisra’ĕl, and afflicted them, and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them out from His presence. For He tore Yisra’ĕl from the house of Dawiḏ, and they made Yaroḇʽam son of Neḇat sovereign. And Yaroḇʽam drove Yisra’ĕl from following יהוה, and made them commit a great sin. And the children of Yisra’ĕl walked in all the sins of Yaroḇʽam which he did. They did not turn away from them, until יהוה removed Yisra’ĕl from His presence, as He spoke by all His servants the prophets. So Yisra’ĕl was exiled from their land to Ashshur, as it is to this day. 2 Kings 17:6-23

There was absolutely no need for this whatsoever, apart from the Israelites’ stubborn refusal to stop defiling themselves with their abominations. All God really wanted them to do was stop eating meat. That is hardly a lot to ask of anyone, much less the Israelites, considering everything he had done for them and the fact that he had given them the land to begin with, after delivering them from bondage. The Israelites wanted a king and a savior to lead them out of their oppression, but they rejected Yahweh in both capacities, as well as everyone he sent them, from Moses to James. Who can deny that they were thoroughly wicked? And yet their sin is that of our society, which has taken it much further than Solomon and Ahaz ever could have imagined.

The idea of salvation is alive throughout the OT, but it is always a matter of something people must do for themselves, and it always entails repentance, without which justice and mercy cannot coexist. That is exactly the point of the metaphorical demonstration of the scapegoating ritual, which Christians mistake for a covering of sin, as though God will not punish you if you call on the name of the victim, but stubbornly refuse to take the blame for your own actions and do what he commands you to. The idea that you are saved by the blood of Jesus begs the question of why the name of the real Messiah (as opposed to the Roman Apollo/Mithras) means ‘Yah saves,’ or why Psalm 20 indicates that the Messiah himself needs salvation by the same.

Now I know that יהוה shall save His Anointed;
He answers him from His set-apart heavens
With the saving might of His right hand.
Psalm 20:6

The Psalms contain many such references to God’s mercy and to his majestic power to save, but they are usually in reference to our part in the process, which is what the Israelites utterly failed to do: repent. More often than not, the key point is the fact that God requires nothing from us but a shred of remorse for our sin, so that we do not keep doing it. When the fact that animal sacrifices are expressly forbidden is taken into account (a theme which is repeated throughout the Prophets), and that these poems were written a full millennium before Yahshuah’s supposed atoning sacrifice, then it is apparent that God did not give the go-ahead to slaughter these animals because he enjoys it when animals die and people eat them, but because they are stubborn sinners, and the practice was meant to teach them a lesson. What God delights in is obedience, a contrite spirit, and the offerings of our hands and mouths. So say the Prophets.

“Hear, O My people, and I speak,
O Yisra’ĕl, and I witness against you:
I am Elohim, your Elohim!
I do not reprove you for your slaughterings,
And your burnt offerings are continually before Me.
I do not take a bull from your house,
Nor goats out of your pens.
For every beast of the forest is Mine,
The cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the mountains,
And all moving in My field are Mine.
If I were hungry,
I would not speak to you;
For the world is Mine,
and all that fills it.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls,
Or drink the blood of goats?
Offer thanksgiving to Elohim,
And pay your vows to the Most High.
And call upon Me in the day of distress—
Let Me rescue you,
and you esteem Me.”
But to the wrong Elohim said,
“What right have you to recite My laws,
Or take My covenant in your mouth,
While you hated instruction
And cast My Words behind you?”
Psalm 50:7-17

O יהוה, open my lips,
And that my mouth declare Your praise.
For You do not desire slaughtering,
or I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
The slaughterings of Elohim are a broken spirit,
A heart broken and crushed,
O Elohim,
These You do not despise.
Psalm 51:15-17

Please accept the voluntary offerings
Of my mouth, O יהוה,
And teach me Your right-rulings.
Psalm 119:108

Let my prayer be prepared before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.
O יהוה, set a guard for my mouth;
Watch over the door of my lips.
Psalm 141:2-3

He who declares the wrong right,
And he who condemns the righteous,
Both of them are an abomination to יהוה
. Proverbs 17:15

All a man’s ways are right in his own eyes,
But יהוה weighs the hearts.
To do righteousness and right-ruling
Is more acceptable to יהוה than a slaughtering.
Proverbs 21:2-3

Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be in the fear of יהוה all day long;
For certain, there is a hereafter,
And let your expectancy not be cut off.
Hear, my son, and be wise,
And guide your heart in the way.
Be not among heavy drinkers of wine
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat.
Proverbs 23:17-20

We ought not to think of OT prophets as all inspired by God so that they would fall into deep trances and murmur the secrets of the universe, like the intoxicated Pythian Oracle. Rather, they were practical men like David and Samuel; they had a lot of common sense, knew the difference between right and wrong, and chose the right. Sometimes they dreamed and interpreted the will of Yahweh, as Samuel did on a few documented occasions. Sometimes they ventured out of their hometowns and preached among the heathens in Judah and Samaria, but these rare exceptions are not the blueprint for what it meant to be a prophet or even to prophesy. Always, they were carrying on the legacy established by Samuel, the vegan.

Very little is actually known about these men apart from what we have already covered, but there is still plenty of evidence to suggest that many were related, that several were Nazarites, and that several others were priests who did not stray from their obligations to Yahweh. For example, literally nothing is revealed in Scripture about Zechariah except that his grandfather was a prophet (i.e. a Nazarite), Ezekiel was a Levite priest who was certainly not affiliated with the sacrificial system (he was with the Israelites in exile after the destruction of Solomon’s Temple before becoming a prophet), and John the Baptist was the firstborn son of a Levite priest, also named Zechariah (implying an ideological if not biological relationship with the prophet).

The incident recorded in 1 Kings 18:3-4 of Obadiah rescuing a hundred prophets from Ahab’s persecution demonstrates that they were many in number, as opposed to the idea that there were only one or two for each generation at most, and that those happen to have been the ones we know about through the books which bear their names. Elijah, the main ringleader after him is not even such a prophet, as his entire ministry is only recorded by the chroniclers, whereas the later prophets wrote down their own words, or had scribes do it for them. This makes perfect sense, as Samuel was not born in a vacuum, nor did he die in such. Rather, he left behind a legacy which made it easier for people to pursue the prophetic tradition and lifestyle within the nation of Israel.

This issue of the great persecution under Ahab is not a matter of all the prophets being represented, either, but only the remnant of them, after Jezebel had slaughtered the rest. (It is significant here that Jezebel gets the credit, as Ahab was afraid to go against the prophets, though several prophets had spoken against him directly to his face.) So we might infer that if a hundred were left over, huddling in a cave, then there had certainly been hundreds of others. Based on the fact that this happened right after Elijah’s announcement of drought and the mention of the severe famine in Samaria, it would seem the king blamed the famine on the prophets, and that someone among his counselors advised him to retaliate against them. This would explain how Obadiah knew to save the ones closest to him. Their identity would have been well known just on account of their diets and their associations, each of which would be a death sentence for anyone implicated in arousing the anger of the gods who demanded perpetual sacrifices, considering that the prophets’ stated mission was to destroy their altars and abolish the practice altogether, and that they were all very vocal about it, to a man. The prophets of Asherah, on the other hand, ate at Jezebel’s table (1 Kings 18:19), so we can clearly see what kinds of influences factored into her decision to persecute the prophets of Yahweh to death. These demented fools actually cut themselves until their blood gushed out in an attempt to draw the attention of their god (18:28), and we know that this same god also relished child sacrifice, so there is really no reason to suppose their counsel consisted of anything other than “Kill them all; hunt them down to the ends of the earth, whatever it takes.”

This persecution was very great and required miraculous intervention in order for any of the prophets to survive. Already so weak that he had given up and prayed for death, Elijah gained enough strength from a cake baked on coals to last him 40 days and get him all the way from Beersheba to Mount Sinai (1 Kings 19:2-8)—Beersheba having been identified as in the vicinity of Shechem, so a much further distance than most would already suppose. Anyone who has fasted more than just a few days ought to know how arduous this trek would have been for him due to calorie restriction and the resultant metabolic efficiency (that is, conservation of energy, as opposed to metabolic inefficiency, which is the term for energy expenditure, which is the norm among active people when they have sufficient calorie intake), so the significance of a single cake giving him this kind of strength is tantamount to the Bible’s debunking of the notion that we all need animal flesh to thrive or to survive famine, even if only because God rewards those who are faithful to him with supernatural nourishment.

When Elijah finally got out of his predicament, he was told to anoint Hazael as King of Aram (which caused Hazael to usurp the throne of Aram), Nimshi as King of Israel, and Elisha as his own replacement. This demonstrates the supremacy and continuity of the prophetic tradition in Israel since at least the time of Abraham and Melchizedek. The text indicates that all of these men were from Damascus, and that Elisha in particular was a farmer. This is the Damascus in Aram (modern Syria), and as we will see, it is the namesake of the one in Judah which became the hotbed of Christianity.

And יהוה said to him, “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus. And you shall go in and anoint Ḥaza’ĕl as sovereign over Aram. And anoint Yĕhu son of Nimshi as sovereign over Yisra’ĕl. And anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Aḇĕl Meḥolah as prophet in your place. And it shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Ḥaza’ĕl, Yĕhu does kill. And whoever escapes from the sword of Yĕhu, Elisha does kill. And I shall leave seven thousand in Yisra’ĕl, all whose knees have not bowed to Baʽal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” And he went from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. And Ěliyahu passed by him and threw his robe on him. 1 Kings 19:15-19

This seems to indicate (if the number is to be taken literally) that there were only 7000 Israelites who had not given in to carnivorous tastes and/or societal conventions—a staggeringly low number, considering that Israel was supposed to be God’s set-apart nation, and there were already 100 times as many men among the tribes counted at the time of the Exodus many centuries earlier. Elisha’s hometown was east of the Jordan (i.e. in Gilead), indicating that it was beyond Ahab’s reach. This shows that Aram’s power over Israel had increased prior to the battle of Ramoth Gilead, probably due to the famine, but certainly in spite of Ahab’s alliance with Tyre. The famine itself was likely caused by the Arameans’ invasions, which culminated in their occupation of the whole of Naphtali (1 Kings 15:20).

The Arameans defeated an alliance of Ahab of Israel and Jehoshaphat of Judah, and Hazael would later return to fight against Joram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah. Jehu was Joram’s commander, so it is clear from this, as well as the text cited above, that Elijah’s intent was to fight back and avenge the slain prophets, which desperately required military intervention. 2 Kings 9 records that Jehu was anointed specifically for this reason.

And he rose up and went into the house. And he poured the oil on his head, and said to him, “Thus said יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, ‘I have anointed you sovereign over the people of יהוה, over Yisra’ĕl. And you shall smite the house of Aḥaḇ your master, and I shall avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of יהוה, at the hand of Izeḇel. And all the house of Aḥaḇ shall perish. And I shall cut off from Aḥaḇ all the males in Yisra’ĕl, both those shut up and those left at large. And I shall give up the house of Aḥaḇ like the house of Yaroḇʽam son of Neḇat, and like the house of Baʽasha son of Aḥiyah. And the dogs are going to eat Izeḇel in the portion of Yizreʽĕl, with none to bury her.’” Then he opened the door and fled. 2 Kings 9:6-10

And it came to be, when Yehoram saw Yĕhu, that he said, “Is there peace, Yĕhu?” But he answered, “What peace, as long as the whorings of your mother Izeḇel and her witchcraft are so many?” 2 Kings 9:22

Jehu deposed Jehoram, going so far as to throw him on a particular plot of land in order to see the prophecy fulfilled (9:26), had Jezebel and all of Ahab’s friends and family killed, persecuted the servants of Baal and destroyed his temple, and returned Israel to Yahweh. However, in the same context which describes all this (2 Kings 10), it is said that he did not guard the Law of Yahweh with all his heart because he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, and that his descendants would only rule to the fourth generation. Thus it is evidenced that even when God hands someone the reins of a kingdom, the cycle of violence is never finished, except in the exceedingly rare case of David or Hezekiah.

So we see that in the case of both Samuel and Elisha, violence against humans is more than merely justified—it is actually God’s will that his own prophets should finish the job by killing off any and every survivor of the wars against the apostates—even though violence against animals is intolerable, which is the exact opposite of the Christians’ speciesist argument for eating meat. Furthermore, failure to carry out this sacred duty of administering God’s justice merits the same fate, just as it did with Saul—hence the fact that the prophets have to finish the job, and why none of the dynasties after David lasted very long, in spite of the fact that God set up an “everlasting” throne for him in the land which he had given to Abraham as an “everlasting” inheritance.

And he said to him, “Thus said יהוה, ‘Because you have let slip out of your hand a man whom I put under the ban, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.’” 1 Kings 20:42

Lest we think that these punishments are too severe, and evidence only of a bloodthirsty God, rather than of the necessity of justice—a necessary attribute of a benevolent God—it is clear that the people whom God condemns are always getting exactly, or else far less than they deserve. The irony and karma of the circumstances they die under are always immediately apparent, as though God would not have it any other way. Thus the justice is always evident. The one who eats meat and drinks blood (a metaphor for the persecution of the prophets in Revelation 17:4-6) shall also die the same way; his blood will water the earth, and his flesh will be food for beasts. Certainly we can recognize this as a major theme of Yahshuah’s teachings, as well, without the need for explanation, but it is even more apparent in their source (the OT).

“And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus said יהוה, “Have you murdered and also taken possession?”’ And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus said יהוה, “In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naḇoth, the dogs are going to lick your blood, even yours.”’” And Aḥaḇ said to Ěliyahu, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” And he answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of יהוה.”
1 Kings 21:19-20

“And also of Izeḇel יהוה has spoken, saying, ‘The dogs are going to eat Izeḇel by the wall of Yizreʽĕl.’ The dogs are going to eat whoever belongs to Aḥaḇ and dies in the city, and the birds of the heavens are going to eat whoever dies in the field.” 1 Kings 21:23-24

Ahab was able to recapture the lands lost to the Arameans, but he let their king Ben-Hadad go, just as Saul had done with the Amalekite king. After the prophets announced his punishment, he tried to escape it by fasting (i.e. repenting of his abominable practices). Actually, it was not even the crime of letting Ben-Hadad go for which his death had been pronounced, but acting abominably in following idols (i.e. eating flesh—especially that of his own children). Needless to say, he did not escape his fate.

And when the chariot was washed at a pool in Shomeron, the dogs licked up his blood, where the whores bathed, according to the word of יהוה which He had spoken. 1 Kings 22:38

Jehoshaphat was spared in the same battle (at Ramoth Gilead, where Ahab was mortally wounded), because he did what was right in the eyes of God, but the people in his domain continued to slaughter at the high places (1 Kings 22:43). He cleared out the cult prostitutes who had persisted since the time of his father (22:46), which effectively staved off further incursions. This ought to be clear due to the affiliation which Elijah and Elisha had with the kings of Aram. (When the Arameans invaded Israel, they were doing so at the behest of the prophets.)

There is much we could say about the fate of Ahab and his house. The main point we want to make is that God rewards saints and punishes sinners according to their works, and that the punishments of the sinners always revolve around their carnivorous practices, and are coated with a sense of irony and propriety. This is a major theme in Scripture, no less in the Prophets than in the Law. It is also the reason why Israel and Judah were both destroyed and put into captivity.

But they did not obey, and Menashsheh led them astray to do more evil than the gentiles whom יהוה had destroyed before the children of Yisra’ĕl. 2 Kings 21:9

And also, Menashsheh shed very much innocent blood, until he had filled Yerushalayim from one end to another, besides his sin with which he made Yehuḏah sin, in doing evil in the eyes of יהוה.
2 Kings 21:16

Only at the command of יהוה this came upon Yehuḏah, to remove them from His presence, because of the sins of Menashsheh, according to all that he did, and also because of the innocent blood that he shed. For he filled Yerushalayim with innocent blood, which יהוה would not forgive. 2 Kings 24:3-4

“And I shall scatter you among the gentiles, and shall disperse you throughout the lands, and shall consume your filthiness out of you.” Ezekiel 22:15

You who are putting off the day of evil, yet bring near the seat of violence, who are lying on beds of ivory, and are stretched out on your couches, and are eating lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall, who are singing to the sound of the harp, having composed songs for themselves like Dawiḏ, who are drinking wine from bowls, and anoint with the finest ointments, yet they have not been pained over the breach of Yosĕph! Therefore they shall now go into exile, with the first of the exiles, and the feasting of the stretched-out ones shall cease! Amos 6:3-7

Notice that when Israel and Judah were each put into captivity, it was the meek, the farmers of the land, that did not starve to death or go into exile. We have all heard that it is they who would inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). Well, the earth is the land—the tillable soil, which God has historically given to those who use it to the ends that he has designed, and in the future intends to give it to no one else. Or did you think it was just a nice sentiment devoid of any real meaning?

And what does one answer the messengers of a nation? “That יהוה has founded Tsiyon, and the poor of His people take refuge in it.” Isaiah 14:32

By the ninth of the month the scarcity of food had become so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 2 Kings 25:3

And they seized the sovereign and brought him up to the sovereign of Baḇel at Riblah, and they pronounced sentence on him. And they slaughtered the sons of Tsiḏqiyahu before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Tsiḏqiyahu, and bound him with bronze shackles, and took him to Baḇel. 2 Kings 25:6-7

And Neḇuzaraḏan the chief of the guard took into exile the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who deserted to the sovereign of Baḇel, with the rest of the multitude. But the chief of the guard left some of the poor of the land as vinedressers and farmers. 2 Kings 25:11-12

And he took from there all the treasures of the House of יהוה and the treasures of the sovereign’s house, and he cut in pieces all the objects of gold which Shelomoh sovereign of Yisra’ĕl had made in the Hĕḵal of יהוה, as יהוה had said. And he exiled all Yerushalayim, and all the officers and all the mighty brave men—ten thousand exiles—and all the craftsmen and smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land. 2 Kings 24:13-14

But Neḇuzaraḏan, chief of the guard, left in the land of Yehuḏah the poor people, who had naught whatever, and gave them vineyards and fields on the same day. Jeremiah 39:10

It is commonly known that the Temple was plundered when the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem. (They sacked it about half a century before they destroyed it. Had the people of Judah learned their lesson in the first instance, the destruction would not have happened at all.) What is not commonly known is that the booty consisted mainly of cooking utensils—a very large booty, owing to how ridiculously overgrown the practice of sacrifice had become.

The bronze of all these utensils was beyond measure—the two columns, the one Sea, and the stands, which Shelomoh had made for the House of יהוה.
2 Kings 25:16

Recall that the Chaldeans were actually from Aram, as descendants of Abraham’s nephew Kesed. In fact, they had already fought many engagements against the Babylonians and Assyrians, and were finally displaced by the Assyrians during the reign of Ahaz (c. 732 BC), at which point they presumably began their migration to Babylon. Given the Assyrians’ policy of relocating large populations, this was probably a forced migration, just as the captivity of the Israelites about 2 decades later was. After all, both groups ended up in Babylon. So did those in Judah who went on to compose the Talmud, acknowledging that God had deserted them completely (as evidenced by the fact that there were no longer any prophets among them), and who became the Pharisees.

“Thus said יהוה of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, concerning Aḥaḇ son of Qolayah, and Tsiḏqiyahu son of Maʽasĕyah, who are prophesying falsely to you in My Name, ‘See, I am giving them into the hand of Neḇuḵaḏretstsar sovereign of Baḇel, and he shall smite them before your eyes. And because of them all the exiles of Yehuḏah who are in Baḇel shall use a curse, saying, “יהוה make you like Tsiḏqiyahu and Aḥaḇ, whom the sovereign of Baḇel roasted in the fire.”’” Jeremiah 29:21-22

“‘And I shall give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life. And their corpses shall be for food to the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth.’” Jeremiah 34:20

The idea of Zedekiah and Ahab being roasted in the fire is more than a little ironic, is it not? It is a fate perfectly befitting any man who would delight in the flesh of an infant roasted alive, with or without a famine to compel him. No one in his right mind would ever justify this kind of behavior, as the Christians routinely do, even citing Scripture, whenever it is done to any other species. This sickness of the mind, so common among the masses of Christians, is so depraved, that God, through Jeremiah, calls it “incurable.”

“For thus said יהוה, ‘Your breach is incurable, your wound is grievous. No one pleads your cause, to bind up. There are no healing medicines for you. All those loving you have forgotten you, they do not seek you. For I smote you as an enemy smites, with cruel chastisement, because your crookedness is great, your sins have increased. Why do you cry about your breach? Your pain is incurable. Because of your many crookednesses, because your sins have increased, I have done this to you.’” Jeremiah 30:12-15

Knowing, as we do now, that the Arameans were invading Israel at God’s behest in order to purge the land of its sin, it is no wonder that the Chaldean king of Babylon is called the servant of Yahweh in Scripture. As far as the prophets were concerned, he was a savior of the righteous and oppressed, the lowly and humble, and their obedience lay with him, not with the king of Judah. In some instances, Babylon is even compared with Canaan as though it was a new Promised Land. The implication is that those who were taken into exile were given another chance at life, as though the bondage of Canaan was like the bondage of Egypt, even though they had to be forced to eat proper food—just as the Israelites of Moses’ time only begrudgingly accepted their manna out of dire necessity. Notice that there is not even a mention of milk this time, as though the “milk” of “milk and honey” actually refers to olive oil.

“‘Then I shall take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive-trees and honey, and live, and not die. But do not listen to Hizqiyahu, when he misleads you, saying, “יהוה shall deliver us.”’” 2 Kings 18:32

The episode of the sack of Jerusalem makes it crystal clear that the Israelites living there never even considered doing the will of Yahweh even then, because instead of humbling themselves and obeying the word of the prophets, they chose to complete the cycle of the Exodus by actually going back to Egypt. The king, in remarkably stark contrast, having been humbled, made peace with his newfound diet of bread and wound up living a full life, against all odds. So God is merciful after all … but only to those who repent.

And Geḏalyahu swore to them and their men, and said to them, “Do not be afraid of the servants of the Chaldeans. Dwell in the land and serve the sovereign of Baḇel, and let it be well with you.” And in the seventh month it came to be that Yishmaʽĕl son of Nethanyah, son of Elishama, of the seed of the reign, came with ten men and smote Geḏalyahu that he died, and the Yehuḏim, and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mitspah. And all the people rose up, small and great, and the commanders of the armies, and went to Mitsrayim, for they were afraid of the Chaldeans. And it came to be in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Yehoyaḵin sovereign of Yehuḏah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh of the month, that Ewil-Meroḏaḵ sovereign of Baḇel, in the year that he began to reign, released Yehoyaḵin sovereign of Yehuḏah from prison, and spoke kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the sovereigns who were with him in Baḇel, and changed his prison garments. And he ate bread continually before the sovereign all the days of his life. 2 Kings 25:24-29

Against those who do not repent, the sense of karma sometimes takes an almost humorous (certainly sarcastic) tone in Scripture, such as when Isaiah declares that the asherim shall have no food (17:8). This can happen right in the midst of a dire rant against a city or nation. Isaiah’s prophecies against Damascus really ought to have been enough to have gotten the Israelites to repent, seeing how Israel was next on Assyria’s list of nations to conquer. Thus we see that another major theme of Scripture is the stubborn refusal of these people to repent of their sins, because they just cannot imagine what pleasures life has in store for anyone who decides not to eat meat and worship some nonexistent deity by fornicating with a prostitute. Always the invaders are seen as saviors of the earth, sent by God to return the land to its rightful possession in the hands of the innocent, and to spare the nonhuman victims of the human vices being practiced there.

Woe to you ravager, while you have not been ravaged, and you treacherous, while they have not betrayed you! When you have ceased ravaging, you shall be ravaged. And when you stop betraying, they shall betray you. Isaiah 33:1

The message concerning Damascus. “See, Damascus ceases to be a city, and shall become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroʽĕr are forsaken, they are for flocks which shall lie down, with no one to frighten. And the stronghold shall cease from Ephrayim, and the reign from Damascus, and the remnant of Aram be as the esteem of the sons of Yisra’ĕl,” declares יהוה of hosts. “And in that day it shall be that the esteem of Yaʽaqoḇ wanes, and the fatness of his flesh grows lean. And it shall be as when the harvester gathers the grain, and reaps the heads with his arm. And it shall be as he who gathers heads of grain in the Valley of Repha’im. And gleaning grapes shall be left in it, like the shaking of an olive tree, two or three olives at the top of the uppermost branch, four or five in its most fruit-bearing branches,” declares יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl. In that day man shall look to his Maker, and his eyes turn to the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl. And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands; and he shall not see that which his own fingers made, nor the Ashĕrim nor the sun-pillars. In that day his strong cities become like a forsaken forest and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Yisra’ĕl. And it shall become a ruin. Because you have forgotten the Elohim of your deliverance, and have not remembered the Rock of your stronghold, therefore you shall plant pleasant plants and set out foreign seedlings, by day make your plant to grow, and in the morning make your seed to flourish—but the harvest is a heap in the day of grief and incurable pain. Woe to the uproar of many people who make a noise like the roar of the seas, and to the rushing of nations that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters—nations rushing like the rushing of many waters. But He shall rebuke them and they shall flee far away, and be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, like whirling dust before the whirlwind. At eventide, look! Alarm! Before morning, it is no more. This is the portion of those who plunder us, and the lot of those who rob us. Isaiah 17

Isaiah himself was clearly a meat-eater prior to his career as a prophet, which he rightly thought exempted him from assuming that role. His “unclean lips” were sanctified in the most appropriate manner; the coals which burned the flesh that touched his lips, also burned his lips. Thus the debt was paid without Isaiah dying, because God desires mercy, so that the dead might live, not that a life should pay for a life.

And I said, “Woe to me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips—for my eyes have seen the Sovereign, יהוה of hosts.” And one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your crookedness is taken away, and your sin is covered.” Isaiah 6:5-7

Probably the most significant of the irony-laden judgments in Isaiah is that of the weeping and wailing. When one of their major preoccupations was killing children in such a torturous way that they became known as the “wailing sons,” what better way for God to punish this people of unclean lips could there have been but to cause them to wail over the sons they wished they had not lost? Isaiah actually likens the weeping of Moab to that of a sacrificial bull. If the punishment of the sinner can be applied to the scapegoat under the Law of Moses, then why should the punishment of the sinner not be applied to the sinner himself, who no longer finds any use for the scapegoat, but prefers the taste of cannibalized infants?

The message concerning Mo’aḇ. Because in the night Ar of Mo’aḇ was laid waste, was silenced! Because in the night Qir of Mo’aḇ was laid waste, was silenced! He has gone up to the house and Diḇon, to the high places to weep. Mo’aḇ is wailing over Neḇo and over Mĕyḏeḇa; on all their heads is baldness, and every beard is cut off. In their streets they shall put on sackcloth; on the tops of their houses and in their streets everyone wails, weeping bitterly. And Ḥeshbon and Elʽalĕh cry out, their voice shall be heard as far as Yahats. Therefore the armed ones of Mo’aḇ shout; his being shall tremble within him. My own heart is toward Mo’aḇ; her fugitives cry unto Tsoʽar, like a three-year-old heifer. For by the ascent of Luḥith they go up with weeping; for in the way of Ḥoronayim they raise a cry of destruction. For the waters of Nimrim are wastes, for the green grass has withered away; the grass fails, there is no greenness. Therefore the wealth, acquired and stored up, they take away to the wadi of the Willows. For the cry has gone all around the borders of Mo’aḇ, its wailing to Eḡlayim and its wailing to Be’ĕr Ělim. “For the waters of Dimon shall be filled with blood; for I shall bring more upon Dimon, lions upon him who escapes from Mo’aḇ, and on the remnant of the land.” Isaiah 15

So Mo’aḇ wails for Mo’aḇ, everyone wails. For the raisin-cakes of Qir Ḥareseth they moan. They are utterly smitten. For the fields of Ḥeshbon languish—the vine of Siḇmah. The masters of the gentiles have broken down its choice plants, which have reached to Yaʽzĕr and wandered through the wilderness. Her branches are stretched out, they are gone over the sea. Therefore I bewail the vine of Siḇmah, with the weeping of Yaʽzĕr. I water you with my tears, O Ḥeshbon and Elʽalĕh, for acclamation have fallen over your summer fruit and your harvest. Gladness is taken away, and joy from the orchard; in the vineyards there is no singing, nor shouting; No treaders tread out wine in their presses; I have made their acclamation cease. Therefore my inward parts sound like a lyre for Mo’aḇ, and my inner being for Qir Ḥeres. And it shall be, when it is seen that Mo’aḇ has wearied herself on the high place, that she shall come to her set-apart place to pray, but not be able. Isaiah 16:7-12

Here are a few more examples of the fate which God has set in store for flesh-mongers. And no one will deny that we all either become food for worms or are immolated like the bodies of the animals we consume. That is simply the reality of our existence.

“And I shall put hooks in your jaws, and I shall make the fish of your rivers cling to your scales. And I shall bring you up out of the midst of your rivers, and all the fish in your rivers cling to your scales. And I shall leave you in the wilderness, you and all the fish of your rivers. On the face of the field you shall fall, and you shall not be picked up or gathered. I shall give you as food to the beasts of the field and to the birds of the heavens.” Ezekiel 29:4-5

Come near, you gentiles, to hear. And listen, you people! Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world and all its offspring. For the displeasure of יהוה is against all the gentiles, and His wrath against all their divisions. He shall put them under the ban, He shall give them over to the slaughter, and their slain be thrown out, and their stench rise from their corpses. And mountains shall be melted with their blood. Isaiah 34:1-3

[T]herefore thus said יהוה of hosts, “See, I am punishing them, the young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by scarcity of food.” Jeremiah 11:22

“They shall die of deaths from diseases, they shall not be lamented nor be buried, but be like dung on the face of the earth, and be consumed by sword and by scarcity of food. And their corpses shall be meat for the birds of the heavens and for the beasts of the earth.” Jeremiah 16:4

Is prey taken from the mighty, and the captives of the righteous delivered? Yet thus said יהוה, “Even the captives of the mighty is taken away, and the prey of the ruthless is delivered; and I strive with him who strives with you, and I save your children. And I shall feed those who oppress you with their own flesh, and let them drink their own blood as sweet wine. All flesh shall know that I, יהוה, am your Saviour, and your Redeemer, the Elohim of Yaʽaqoḇ.” Isaiah 49:24-26

Now compare that to the fact that Moses lived to be 120 (Deuteronomy 34:7), and Joshua to 110 (Joshua 24:29; Judges 2:8). Nor are these two just the rare exceptions, given abnormally long life because God just happened to like them more than anyone else. Some of the elders of Israel, when the nation had actually served Yahweh throughout Joshua’s long life, actually outlived him (Joshua 24:31; Judges 2:7). That is what God has in store for those who appreciate the gift of life enough to not pilfer and squander it. And who does not wish to live a little longer than the date of his premature death?

“For what is the expectancy of the defiled one, when He does cut off, when Eloah takes away his life? Would Ěl hear his cry when distress comes upon him? Would he delight himself in the Almighty—call on Eloah at all times? Let me teach you by the hand of Ěl, that which is with the Almighty I do not hide. See, all of you have seen it. Why then are you altogether vain? This is the portion of a wrong man with Ěl, and the inheritance of cruel ones, which they receive from the Almighty: If his children are increased, it is for the sword; and his offspring shall not have enough to eat. Those who remain of him are buried in death, and their widows do not weep.” Job 27:8-15

Before we move on, let it not be said that there is a deficiency of evidence to support the vegetarian ideal at this point. Here are a few more examples of explicit condemnations of meat-eating (as opposed to sin in general), admonitions and commands to do what is right (fairness, compassion, nonviolence), and judgments against meat-eaters. Bear in mind that there was no such thing as meat (sanctioned meat, anyway) apart from sacrifice back then, that the whole point of the prophesying is to induce repentance, and that (only) repentance leads to salvation.

Hear the word of יהוה, you rulers of Seḏom; give ear to the Torah of our Elohim, you people of Amorah! “Of what use to Me are your many slaughterings?” declares יהוה. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats. When you come to appear before Me, who has required this from your hand, to trample My courtyards? Stop bringing futile offerings, incense, it is an abomination to Me. New Moons, Sabbaths, the calling of meetings—I am unable to bear unrighteousness and assembly. My being hates your New Moons and your appointed times, they are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. And when you spread out your hands, I hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I do not hear. Your hands have become filled with blood. How the steadfast city has become a whore! I have filled it with right-ruling; righteousness lodged in it, but now murderers. Isaiah 1:10-15,21

“See, all beings are Mine, the being of the father as well as the being of the son is Mine. The being that is sinning shall die.” Ezekiel 18:4

“Build houses and dwell in them, plant gardens and eat their fruit.” Jeremiah 29:5

Who is an Ěl like You—taking away crookedness and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His inheritance? He shall not retain His wrath forever, for He Himself delights in kindness. He shall turn back, He shall have compassion on us, He shall trample upon our crookednesses! And You throw all our sins into the depths of the sea! You give truth to Yaʽaqoḇ, kindness to Aḇraham, which You swore to our fathers from the days of old! Micah 7:18-20

O Yisra’ĕl, return to יהוה your Elohim, for you have stumbled by your crookedness. Take words with you, and return to יהוה. Say to Him, “Take away all crookedness, and accept what is good, and we render the bulls of our lips.” Hosea 14:1-2

Seek יהוה while He is to be found, call on Him while He is near. Let the wrong forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to יהוה, who has compassion on him, and to our Elohim, for He pardons much. Isaiah 55:6-7

“And I shall turn back the captivity of My people Yisra’ĕl. And they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them. And they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them, and shall make gardens and eat their fruit. And I shall plant them on their own soil, and not uproot them any more from their own soil I have given them,” said יהוה your Elohim! Amos 9:14-15

 

 

 

 


 

 

544 R.H. Charles, “The Book of Jubilees,” The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Clarendon, Oxford, 1913; retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jubilees#Content.

545 “Battle of Gibeah,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Gibeah#Scholarly_view.

546-548 Rick Brentlinger, “Who was Molech or Moloch?” http://www.gaychristian101.com/Molech.html.

549 Hope Bohanec, “The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat? An Excerpt from the Book,” Free From Harm, 19 Sep 2013, http://freefromharm.org/animal-products-and-ethics/the-ultimate-betrayal-is-there-happy-meat-an-excerpt-from-the-book/#sthash.zckKSp5g.dpuf.

550 “Mount Etna,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Etna#Etymology_according_to_Andrew_Room.27s_researches.

551 Tia Ghose, “Animal sacrifice at temple powered ancient Jerusalem’s economy,” NBC News, 4 Sep 2013, http://www.nbcnews.com/science/animal-sacrifice-powered-ancient-jerusalems-economy-8C11073738.

552 “Aleph,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleph.

553 Historians are confused about this because there only seems to have been one Joash. This does not make sense, however, as it implies that Joash was murdered and replaced by his own father, who was then succeeded by his own uncle. It also overlooks that the main focus of the narrative is on the ideological dispositions of the kings, and Joash and his son Amaziah were aligned to each other in this regard, whereas Joash and Jehoahaz were not, so no biological relationship is implied, either.