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THE WAGES OF DEFAMATION ARE DEATH,
FOR IT RUPTURES THE CONNECTION WITH LIFE
AND ONLY MERCY CAN INTERVENE.
EXODUS OF THE EXODUS OR THE ENTRY OF LIFE
The Australian, August 7, 2006
See also THE EXODUS ESCAPE
A FILM FEATURE FOCUSES THE POINT
In The Australian, August 7,2006, we find a reference to the Exodus, a topic fascinating it seems to a film producer, James Cameron, the director of Titanic. He claims, the report advises us, to have uncovered evidence confirming the Exodus through the sea at the border of Egypt. It is to appear, it seems, in a month, in a 90 minute documentary, 'The Exodus Decoded'. They speak of a volcanic eruption on the Greek island of Santorini, as triggering a chain of catastrophes recorded in the Bible, and even relates this event to the 10 plagues of Egypt (not of course the first to do so).
He states, the report continues, that he is confirming that the Bible is correct, whatever some may have imagined to the contrary. Claiming to have unearthed more than a dozen archeological relics suggesting the Exodus took place far earlier than many, contrary to the biblical record, imagined, he considers the 10 plagues of Egypt part of a domino effect. After all, we are elsewhere told of the scope of this geological disaster: that it was of such proportions that 100 feet of ash are related to it, not the one foot that related to the more contemporary Krakatoa case. The proportions of such an episode defy the imagination, until one begins to conceive of things on such a scale, seriously, and ponder probable consequences.
In the film-maker's account, it is reported that they hold that this vast episode in course led to such a destabilising of the entire Nile Delta system that part of it slid off the African continental shelf, raising the land around the maritime crossing area of Israel, at the Exodus. Thus the 'sea parted', and water would have 'cascaded from higher ground to lower', so creating the dry land for Israel. An enormous 'backsplash', a virtual tsunami resulting, even if proceeding only 12 km inland, would have drowned the Egyptian army.
They go further, holding that the sea may have been turned red by the release of underwater chemicals, released in the surging tremors and forces.
We have already discussed some of the features of the actual Exodus. It is good to draw some of these together in terms of the present news of the film-maker's documentary topic.
THE VELIKOVSKY PARALLEL IN THE PAPYRUS IPUWER
In a way not unlike that of Velikovsky, who made references to astronomical events with a vast store of attestation, they are reported to seek a point by point correlation of plagues with such events. Velikovsky in particular took much account of the Ipuwer papyrus, which he correlated with the plagues preceding the Exodus, and indeed there are very considerable similarities both emotionally, atmospherically - in the literal sense as well as the personal, and sequentially. As with many, he has a tendency to try to make the matter of a naturalistic sequence, as if God were not in ACTION, a point many often confuse; for an artist or artisan, an agent or entrepreneur is not CAPTURED by his media, merely using them as TOOLS!
What Velikovsky had to say in his work, Ages in Chaos, is actually available at this time, on line, and it makes fascinating reading. In particular, it shows the devastation, the fear, the terrors, the loss of life in Egyptian households, the upset, the blame on misrule, the escaping servile inhabitants, and the fatal impact on the kingdom!
Nevertheless, his theme is confirmatory of the Exodus in such archeological terms, one of very many different ASPECTS, covered now here, now there.
THE SALIENT, SOLID TEXTUAL SITUATION
Thus in SMR pp. 68ff., we find some of the futile, misguided, anti-evidential imaginings that have occurred in former efforts to dis-establish biblical truth. How delightful has been the debunking! We cite from SMR as background here.
Here also, not only does the Bible abound in remedy and verification in volumes; fulfil the logical need, hence being clearly the truth. It fulfils this need par excellence. Thus, archeology also, the force of evidence being in view, continually abounds nowadays as science makes it so effective, in confirmation of the Bible. Perhaps the most remarkable find in recent years is that at EBLA where the very early Old Testament names, places and customs are staggeringly verified in a civilisation going back to around 1000 years before Moses, as Dr Clifford Wilson of Monash University indicates in his work, The Impact of Ebla... (1977, p. 24).
Tablets around 2300 B.C. appear in the midst of a thriving, erudite-seeming civilisation. This in addition to the case of Hammurabi of Babylon, somewhat later, shows the quite ridiculous error of unbelief committed by such scholarly romanticists as Welhausen, whose irrational tyranny worked so long in theological circles, more related to temporary popularity than to abiding logic... or faith!
The contention was that in the writings of Moses, there was far too much development of literature, thought, complexity and sacrificial system for the times of Moses; and they therefore assaulted these books, challenging their authenticity, despite the Jewish clear title to their own history, and the continued and consistent claims. After all, with the death sentence for false prophecy and a theocratic government, there is no room to manoeuvre! It was rather like saying that Hadrian's Wall really couldn't be genuine in Britain; only much more vituperative and dogmatic, against far more reason.
Now we see, from archeology, not only was there such development as this by Moses' time, linguistically and legally, and in terms of literature, but such developments were in place nearly 1000 years before Moses' day. So far from culture being alien to the Bible statements, it supported them, when the facts were known.
In fact, this is just one more verification in the everlasting seeming stream, of the factuality and reality of the Old Testament: theories, made in ignorance to attack the Bible, retreat like the Russian junta of August 1991, before the evidence (as the junta retreated before the people). Indeed, we even see an intimate correlation socially, in names and designations, with the culture assumed Biblically (in Genesis) for Abraham, and we see it as an historically traceable background. The Biblical picture, in other words, in the background to Abraham, is in fact a marvel of accuracy, as one might expect from an author living at that time, as confirmed by modern archeology and in particular, by the diggings of Ebla. Once more, the evidence does not trickle in, as it were, reluctantly, but has rather all the stout indifference to challenge, of the truth.
We now even have, at Serabit el-Khadim, near Moses' Mt Sinai, evidence indicative of ordinary labourers being well able to read and write in religious and commercial matters, and this in their own language, a variety of Canaanite close to Hebrew! The site in view was an Egyptian mine for opals and the find is indeed one more gem of comedy, against the ponderous follies of pouting, doubting and aggressive unbelief. (See Professor Gleason Archer's Encyclopedia, p. 52.)
One of the most intensely humorous elements of the Bible's constant triumph over attack, useful here because the rebuttals are constant verifications, comes in the form of the Hittite nation. Once regarded by armchair critics as an error in the scripture, through a former failure to 'dig up' evidence of such a race, the Hittite nation has now been rediscovered in secular history, through archeology. Kitchen in his excellent work, Ancient Orient and the Old Testament, even notes this morsel on p. 25:
The valid and close parallels to the social customs of the Patriarchs come from documents of the nineteenth to fifteenth centuries BC (agreeing with early-second millenium origin for this material in Genesis), and not from Assyro-Babylonian data of the tenth to sixth centuries BC... Likewise for Genesis 23, the closest parallel comes from the Hittite law which passed into oblivion with the fall of the Hittite empire about 1200 BC.
The delightful point here is that the nation once held to show the Bible wrong - when archeology gets to work as now - becomes the nation which shows the closest of parallels in custom to a section of Genesis! This is what fact does relative to the Bible, when fiction ceases for a while, from the clever-seeming but ultimately ignorant contrivances of man's imagination. Kitchen's interesting point is that knowledge of the surrounding cultures, relative to these early Biblical records, shows the authenticity of these records in historical terms; and that although much stress was laid on just this historical point, in hostile attitudes to the Bible in former times: it is ignorance which has made all the clamour, an ignorance in exact contradiction of the facts.
Knowledge confirms continually the correctness; while premature attacks merely show the state of the minds so engaged... and the impregnable character of the word of God. It is rather like tennis: the more attacks you successfully overcome, the more obvious it is that you are a champion.
To revert to the recent pinnacle of confirmation, Ebla, Wilson in his Impact of Ebla, p. 37, notes an interesting aspect. Professor Pettinato, a major participant in the work, acknowledged that there was a creation tablet in the Ebla find. Dr Wilson observes concerning Pettinato:
He stated that the record appeared to be remarkably like that found in the first verses of Genesis - "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."
This is how Wilson ponders the data: he states, p. 92, that the theory rejecting Moses as author of Genesis 1:1 (inter alia) is now facing the simple fact that 'a somewhat similar account must be dated to approximately 2,000 years earlier than that time. The "oral tradition" apparently was written after all.' (That is, the date is about 2000 years before the imagined time, wrongheadedly proposed for part of the books of Moses!)
This is a marvellous fall for a theory hostile to the Bible, which in lordly style set that part of Moses as written nearly 1000 years after his time. Now the objection finds, in archeological exhibit, something similar nearly 2000 years before they thought; and long before Moses. That in turn fits with Wiseman's evidentially based reasonings that early Genesis shows clear evidence that it relates to or utilises written records extending back to the earlier phases of history (New Discoveries in Babylonia about Genesis - is the title of his work). There is, a topic we are about to consider, a stringent sort of humour about this rebuff of the 'mighty', in their assault on the word of the Almighty!
What one must note is that these antagonistic theories, based on wishes and imaginations, rather than scientifically constructed from facts, do not last very long, but what they attack, the word of God, has no failures to find! Perhaps it is that which so stirs some of those who cannot stand a sovereign ultimately beyond them, whose word is unfalsifiable! But in truth, the presence of perfection is a stimulus to attainment, and a thrill to wonder.
Incidentally, the longevity of this Bible, under assault for so long, is just one more of its attestations to itself, that it is the word of God. It simply constitutes one more verification, heightened in significance by the fact that the assaults are so continual, so acrid often, and so much lauded and praised in the world, till, quite consistently, they fail. That further verifies the word of God, for this reason: the vigour, and sometimes the venom, indeed, of these attacks fully accords with its analysis of the heart of fallen man, towards God (cf. Ephesians 4:18-19).
This remorseless persistence of assault, in the face of irresistible truth attests in general, a chronic removal from the divinely provided way: to repent. This is reminiscent of Amos (4:6 ff.), where this failing is almost humorously exposed, though the humour is not so much presented as implicit: a grim and almost ghoulish persistence that repeatedly ignores even the provisions for correction, like some cartoon figure that will not learn! Yet the pathos of this pathology is terrible, a remorseless rejection of truth. Does it not however serve God by showing the remorseless truth of His word; so does the wrath of man serve Him (Psalm 76:10 - "Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee"). Predictions, like archeology, make a fascinating study of fulfilment; and a large presentation is available on the topic of prophecy in this work (Chapters 8-9 infra, passim, esp. 712 ff., 755 ff., 965 ff.).
The fulfilment which is crucial to Christians is that of the personal promises which they find to operate in their lives continually - just as one might expect from an association with one's Creator in a world set on fire, like this one. These make available the force of verification internally, as fulfilled prophecies to the present and archeology for the past, do externally. You would expect just that. It verifies.
THE JERICHO JOY
Thus the guns of evidential reality cast down the febrile and tatty constructions of imaginative unbelief. Professor Gleason Archer also provided sound scholarship in terms of the related topic of Jericho and the Exodus date, in his work Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. On this topic of Jericho, he is featuring the work of Professor John Garstung of Oxford, the intervening era of Kathleen Kenyon, while the decisive pottery and soot contributions of the ancient pottery world expert. Dr Bryant Wood must be added. This coverage we recapitulate here, briefly, to show another gun. It is taken from SMR pp. 1185-1186A.
Extension - Excursion into Archeology
Archeology, like the sure-footed and crisp tread of some great cat, comes into sight, growling with assurance. Jericho fell to Joshua, and we read in Joshua 6:24, it was burned, the walls having fallen.
Its latest leap in this area is radio-carbon 14 dating of soot found in the Jericho site, with abundant evidence of conflagration. This development is reported by archeologist and technical ancient pottery author, Dr Bryant Wood. The Biblical Archeology Review (March/April 1990) as noted in the US Time Magazine, p. 59, March 5, 1990, gives this confirmation both of the fire and the c. 1400 B.C. dating that fits deftly into Biblical statement (I Kings 6:1), which would set it there.
In the 1930's, Professor John Garstung, famed and extraordinarily diligent Oxford Professor, over years of excavation revealed some 150,000 shards that both fitted into the common typing of the period, and held only one case of Mycenaean, a type that is noted as reaching Canaan soon after 1400. Garstung cited the data of his researches with complete and sustained confidence in his c. 1400 B.C. dating. Indeed, as has long been known, at Jericho in the associated cemetery, Egyptian scarabs were found, but none later than the the time of Amenhotep III (c. 1412-1376 B.C.), in whose reign, Biblically, Jericho fell.
Earlier moreover, Kenyon found bushels of grain, likewise akin to the Biblical account, in that no long siege is indicated before the massive destruction so extensively revealed, and vigorously researched and documented by the Garstung team. In fact, the Biblical record is that the campaign was - in the specific investment of Jericho, a matter of days! In silent witness of ravaging disaster, the two parallel walls were exposed, almost entirely fallen and in ruin, and strongly marked with conflagration. Garstung's writings (The Fall of Jericho) and indeed, the Encyclopedia of Professor Gleason Archer (pp. 191-198 op.cit.) provide fascinating data and detail.
In particular, Dr Bryant Wood called attention to Jericho scarabs of Pharaohs Hatshepsut (possible foster-mother of Moses - and what a brilliant one!), Thutmose III and Amenhotep II. With these are well-matched the sequence: Moses' 'Princess' who adopted him; her reign, and that of Thutmose III ('the Napoleon of Egypt'), appearing as the heartlessly domineering Pharaoh of the Jewish oppression, whose vizier's tomb at Thebes showed in picture Semitic slaves with bricks, a-building. His long reign (c. 1501-1447 B.C.) extended distinctively, so providing ample room for Moses' 40 years in the wilderness after fleeing the country. There would follow Thutmose's death - Exodus 4:19 prima facie would indicate a new Pharoah had come; Moses' subsequent return to Egypt; and the royal successor, Amenhotep II with his apparently crippled power, then reducing foreign aggression and all but arresting Palestinian action, in stark contrast to his father (Archer op.cit. pp. 195-198)! He would then rate as the wounded grisly, of the Exodus.
This is superbly consistent with a Red sea chariot-force catastrophe at the Jewish Exodus, such as the Bible describes, while linking closely with the 'dream stela' of this king's son, Thutmose IV. The latter artifact, implying this son was not eldest in the family, is in turn elegantly consistent with a plague death for the eldest son (or 'first-born', as would biblically be required - Exodus 11:5 - of the house of Amenhotep, as the Pharaoh of the Exodus). Significantly, as a scarab shows, this Amenhotep II, despiser of mercy if indeed the Pharaoh whom Moses challenged, was born in the very delta area by which the Jews were slaving. Here his royal father evidently resorted, erected famed red granite obelisks before the temple of Ra at delta-base city Heliopolis, announcing himself ''Lord of Heliopolis'', a seemingly hectically active delta military area, requiring military constructions and allied building for his almost endless Palestinian-Syrian invasions. At Goshen nearby, was Israel.
Thus for Thutmose III, cheap (Jewish) labour would be both convenient and a containment of a hosted people, now become numerous and captive. This in turn could strongly affect the demeanour, or labour-lust of his later famous - or infamous - son Amenhotep II, just as it was reflected in the art-work of his vizier's tomb (q.v. Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, p. 215). If, on the other hand, Thutmose III himself were the Pharaoh whom Moses challenged - and so had not for his own part, personally been among those engaged in seeking Moses' life, as in Exodus 4:19, what then ? Then, his death as noted by Dr Clifford Wilson - New Life, Melbourne, 7/7/94 - "just after" the time of the Jewish Passover appears as a deadly Exodus item of no mean interest! ... enhancing the impact of this arresting structure of events.
Drs. Garstung-Wood have become a spiritual sleuth team in their field of archaeology; and there they have exhibited one more Biblical triumph.
Ebla has set the tone; the Hittite discoveries have provided the accompaniment: confirming once again the Bible, in its pre-archaelogical disclosure of this race at all, in the matching cultural setting evidenced and in the ancient covenantal forms and practices, perfectly slotted into Biblical dates. Meanwhile overflooding testimony of ancient monotheism (cf. pp. 1026 ff. supra) exposes the historic lurches of man, just as the findings on Jericho's fall and the testimony of the flood attest the response of decreed, divine judgment. Indeed, history becomes a placard, in the past as in the present, in accuracy conforming to the Bible, as in prophecy accepting direction; rather like an athletic squad taking up a prepared position in some Games. The critiques of ignorance fall into an endless pit, meanwhile, as more and more becomes known, in biology as in computing, in archeology as in politics, in gender as in genetics, in language as in cells ... a pit for what has pitted itself against what stands: the Bible. Standing is one of its favourite postures; and this it never changes; nor does it need to do so.
THE TELLING TESTIMONY OF TELL EL-AMARNA
A third gun comes from more distinctively from the fascinating source of Professor Gleason Archer, and it concerns the famous Tell el-Amarna correspondence, which is placed at the time of the Exodus, so giving, as one might expect from so vast and amazing a racial movement as is there recorded, one more feature to exhibit in a tapestry of verification, things knit together, like a fabric on which the colour of actual history might be made to rest. Archer, this time in his work, "A Survey of Old Testament Introduction," on pp. 253-259, gives a masterly and scholarly survey of the evidence from this archeological find, made in 1887, at Tell el Amarna, the site of the ancient Akhetaton, capital of King Amenhotep IV.
Written on clay tablets in Babylonian cuneiform, "the accepted language for international correspondence during the Egyptian Eighteenth Dynasty", and dated around 1420-1380 B.C. (op. cit. p. 52), the Biblical period designated for the Exodus, they have, Archer observes, led to many excellent scholars becoming convinced that they refer to the very invasion of Joshua, at least, and he cites some of these.
In his intriguing discussion of the name of the invading people, Habiru, he shows that could be used with the term 'warrior', or might be related to migratory groups. The term could be used of inferior social status, but not always, as Archer cites Kline, who showed the term could be applied to administrators.
Archer then proceeds to note that discoveries at Ugarit show incontestably, in a bilingual text, that the Habiru were the same people as those referred to by the term 'Apiru in Egyptian records. This led to the consideration that the term Habiru could be used in the sense of 'migrants'. It might indeed have been used fairly broadly in this sense.
Abraham, Archer points out, may have been called Habiru by the Canaanites, accordingly, because he was both foreign and travelling. His descendants then might have adapted the name to the closely related one, 'Ibriy, as found in Hebrew records, designating 'the Hebrew'.
the terror, the anguish, the consternation, the sense of amazed horror and
urgent request for help are to be seen in the correspondence of Tell el-Amarna, as cities or people
are distressed by the onset of the vast racial movement into the land. One says this (EA No. 286):
"As truly as the king, my lord, lives, when the commissioners go forth I will say, 'Lost are the lands of the king! Do you not hearken unto me ? All the governors are lost; the king, my lord, does not have a [single] governor [left]!' Let the king turn his attention to the archers, let the king, my lord, send out troops of archers [for] the king has no lands left! The Habiru plunder all the lands of the kings..."
Archer points out that this correspondence may have related to the latter part of Joshua's invasion, for it features cities in that period, according to the biblical record, namely: Megiddo, Ashkelon, Acco, Gezer and Jerusalem. Of great interest is reference, in EA 256, the name 'Benenima', with that of 'Yashuya' in terms of consultations about the conflict, equivalent to Benjamin and Joshua.
'Virtually none' of the letters contain dates, Archer records, but the appearance from the letters is that the Habiru have come into the land firstly with great force, and secondly, with a procedure of subjugating large tracts of land. However the term 'Habiru' is found from the time of Thutmose III, before what we have ground to believe is the date of the Exodus, and it continues to be applied to much later. It all fits without difficulty, except where ignorance leaves certain issues open, into the biblical picture and is the sort of correlative evidence one might hope to unearth, brilliantly displayed.
Archer in his work, Dictionary of Bible Difficulties, pp. 191-198, presents severe, simple, varied data and establishes the point of the DATE of the Exodus from evidence clearly. All things fit. How WELL they fit we now show further from an excerpt from an earlier chapter in this site, The Exodus Escape. Moreover this will take us back to our news item, on the making of the new documentary film on the Exodus in connection with the island of Santorini, so completing our review, before the conclusions are drawn.
OF HISTORICAL SURROUNDS,
One of the most monumental, vital and epochal happenings in the whole Bible occurred in the Exodus, that tramp out of Egypt, that massive, milling surge of a people out of slavery, into liberty. The people of
, the forerunners of Israel today, issued forth like an army - indeed, they were literally pursued by an army! Israel did not want to lose such industrious, cheap and effective labour as a WHOLE PEOPLE would provide! Stunned by the miracles of the Red Rivers, the Locusts, the Flies and so forth, and stricken by the loss of eldest sons of Egypt , Pharaoh had relented at last. Egypt
Confronted by Moses in the NAME of the Lord God, Pharaoh had wilted after many hardenings of his heart, many equivocations, many offers, yes, but no episodes in which he actually allowed their departure. Each time, he revoked the decision to liberate them when a plague was stilled. THIS TIME, with the heir of
and many more eldest sons dead, Pharaoh let them go... that is, until a new surge of possessive passion urged him to go after them before they had gone TOO FAR, indeed out of his land. Gathering an army and 600 chariots, he set forth in hot pursuit! With his vast army, chariots of iron and men of war, he did a sort of proto-Panzer division push to recapture the fleeing Jews. Little did he know that what he had lost already would be small compared with what was to follow - the loss of an army, massive equipment and some of the necessities to make Egypt a first-rate power. Who would have thought that the God of the Jews could do that to HIM! Certainly, he did not think it! Egypt
Gleason Archer, the distinguished author of Old Testament works, points out that the records show a surprising lack of Egyptian military movements into Palestine and surrounding areas in the period starting shortly after 1447, the death date assigned for Thutmose III; and this in great contrast to the military expansiveness and scale of action of Thutmose himself. That, says Archer, is precisely what you would expect when such a massive disaster as the destruction of the army which pursued the Israelites into the
Red Sea, had just occurred.
He also notes that the son of this Pharaoh, 18th dynasty Amenhotep II, namely Thutmose IV, is notable in archeology for a dream, recorded in the "Dream Stela". In this, he believes himself to receive from a god, assurance that he would ascend to the throne of
. Archer points out that this would seem ludicrous if he were the eldest son, whose right and due would be to do this. If however the eldest son of Amenhotep had been killed in the confrontation between Pharaoh and Moses, where the eldest sons of Egypt were lost when God demanded the liberation of his 'son', Egypt , and was denied: then this dream makes eminent sense. Again, the death could have occurred in the Israel Red Seapursuit, for a young man of hot blood and royal passion.
With the eldest gone, this son might well be encouraged in a dream in the HOPE that MAYBE he could come to the throne: indeed, the dream would be to lead him on to the DUBIOUS becoming SURE. Uncertainty about succession would be encouraged into certainty, BY the dream. That of course would precisely fit the Biblical narrative.
Again, Archer further indicates that ONLY Thutmose III fits the Biblical data BEFORE the Exodus. That is, in Exodus and we find that the Pharaoh who had been in power when Moses was in trouble over the killing of an Egyptian, had died shortly before Moses confronted the ruler of
. Thutmose III is cited as the ONLY Egyptian ruler who would fit such a long reign, for Moses was in the wilderness 40 years, and in fact this Thutmose ruled for some 54 years, allowing not only the 40 years in the wilderness, but whatever prior part of his reign occurred before Moses grew up to kill the Egyptian and then flee to Midian. Egypt
It appears that the Pharaoh of the "oppression", when the Israelites had their harsh brick-making time in
, was Thutmose III; and that the one who succeeded his father shortly before Moses' confrontation was Amenhotep II. Archer in his work, Bible Difficulties, pp. 191ff. gives a masterly survey of much further evidence. Egypt
Now it is relevant to observe that this Thutmose was regarded as perhaps the "greatest" of the kings of
(Joseph Free, Archeology and Bible History, p. 89). Free tells of his coming to the throne and reorganising the army of Egypt , campaigning into Pales tine and Egypt . He even went through the narrow mountain pass at Syria in the North, rather than choosing two more open routes, so that he could directly attack "the Asiatic hosts". Tremendous wealth came to him as these Asiatics fled, taking refuge in Megiddo while he took the plunder they left. Then, besieging Megiddo , until those inside surrendered, he gained yet more wealth in silver, gold, armour. Megiddo
Year by year this Thutmose made expeditions into
, "subjugating peoples and exacting tribute from them". In 19 years he made 17 campaigns, even bringing northern Palestine into submission. Called "the Napoleon of Egypt", he fits to perfection the harsh, unyielding picture of the Pharaoh of the oppression, just as he fits the dates concerning Moses' exile. Syria
It is his son, Amenhotep II, who then appears as Moses' man - the Pharaoh whom he confronted just before the Exodus of Israel from
As to Amenhotep II (op.cit. p. 91), at the outset we find him carrying on with his father's force: for learning that tributary princes were rising up, at the news of his father's death, he marched into Asiatic territory, up to the Euphrates River, returning with "over five hundred north Syrian lords as captives". He boasts of his physical strength, in that he claimed no man could draw his bow.
These early exploits however, as also the constant work of his father abroad, come into sharp contrast with the evidence of his later times, as Archer (op.cit. p. 198) notes, only minor campaigns proceeding for many years. As Archer observes in his "A Survey of Old Testament Introduction", p. 217, Amenhotep was "unable to carry out any invasions or extensive military operations after his fifth year" in 1445 B.C., and even in his 9th year it was a small affair.
What a confirmation of the Exodus, that this STRONG MAN with rule over an army accustomed to constant and continual victories, exploits, expeditions, almost yearly, with such a stunning series of subjugations as to earn the title "Napoleon of Egypt" as a far roving and mighty ruler, should have so short a period, following the change of rulership period of Thutmose's death, with his very notable victory exploit, and then? Then he seems to have become so meek, or weak, or inactive, or unsuccessful! It is rather like a business tycoon after a motor accident. It was however no accident that his army was lost. Yet it had results, as indeed one might expect: including some relief from that quarter as the Israelites made their way over the years to their new land.
In passing, we might note the grand consequences which can come when a person departs from the clear leading of the Lord. Thus because Israel FAILED to enter the promised land when the time came and opportunity offered, therefore the period to their settlement was extended for 40 years in a divine discipline. That in turn might further expose them, and reduce the value of the settling in period, so marvellously and miraculously, indeed, obtained fro them by the Lord! Let us however return to young Amenhotep II.
For the new ruler, after such a short beginning to his reign, the calamity would be humiliating in the extreme, making future action a matter of extreme care! And this is what fits the historical evidence.
Before we complete this section of our excerpt, it is convenient for the reader that a heading be placed, in order to connect this use of the excerpt with our theme for this chapter. After the heading, the excerpt continues, showing how much was being said about the Santorini evidence, way back in 1967, now nearly 40 years ago!
MOVING ON TO SANTORINI
this is not a new point, but the film is
dealing with it anew
B) A SEASON FOR MAGNIFICENCE AND MAGNITUDE
In addition, we have yet another impressive confirmation of these exact events. The Reader's Digest, December 1967, had an article of great interest. Ronald Shiller, on pp. 157-170 traces evidence for the ancient Atlantis, long notable for sinking into the sea, being the island, Stronghyli. Now it appears that we have the Santorini island group only, as far as residue is concerned! The earlier large island, some 70 miles north of
Crete, apparently remains today as a cluster of little isles. Shiller lists evidence of ash and burials, including ash some 100 feet thick, and obtained a radiocarbon analysis for a date of around 1400 B.C. for charred wood from a char-blackened stone house.
Comparing the one foot of ash left from Krakatoa's eruption in the
East Indiesin 1883, and noting the "fiery column" 33 miles into the air from Krakatoa, with rocks hurled 50 miles, he considers what the case may have been in the Stronghyli eruption. Citing geological opinion, he proceeds to relate that the Stronghyli case must far have surpassed that of Krakatoa, which in itself was virtually epochal. The wind, he shows, in this Mediterranean area of our interest, spread the ash over an 80,000 square mile area, where it may yet be seen as a layer of the seabed, up to many feet thick.
He proceeds to note that this date coincides with the fifteenth century B.C. Exodus date, which of course agrees with the specific statement in I Kings 6:1 that it was 480 years after this Exodus that Solomon began to reign.
1) The Fact
The tidal eruptions and recessions which resulted must have been truly enormous in the maritime
Middle East. That the LORD did the miracle of the Red Seacrossing is a clear Biblical statement; and why He did it is just as clear, as noted above. It was deliverance and it was demonstration, both! Miracles however have RESULTS, and are associated with OTHER events. Thus, if two children are fighting, and we consider this as a closed or natural system, and I as an adult were to be considered as an OUTSIDE SOURCE, and I should intervene, there would be a number of results.
As far as their child-system is concerned, it is something ELSE. It is unpredictable, powerful, and will have RESULTS. Some of these are necessary, the express purpose of the intervention. Others however, unless there be still more intervention, will merely follow. If then an adult were to drag one child away from the blows of the other, then heel marks might be left on the ground, and a drag mark. That is not the 'miracle' in this illustration; it is a RESULT of it.
Here then we have what fit snugly as associated events in the epoch. Massive water movements might well have been associated with such splitting of the seas, may have been partly natural, partly utilised, but in any case they would have significant maritime effects. Similarly, the chariots that sank in their hundreds (600 are noted as sent after the Israelites) would leave substantial debris. Again, a path which led to this sort of shutting in at the
Red Sea, TO which the Lord expressly led them, and THROUGH which He designed to deliver them, would need to be geographically in place. It is. It all is there, the path, the chariots, the bones, the raised submarine causeway, and even the maritime possibilities which fit so well, of massive water movements, and with this, the fatal historical 'litter' and the surrounding data.
2) The Procedure
Finally, it is worth noting that Exodus does NOT say that the Lord divided the sea by a mighty East Wind. Keil and Delitzsch in their Commentaries on the Old Testament, Vol.2, produce the translation here:
The Lord "made the water go (flow away) by a strong east wind the whole night, and made the sea into dry (ground), and the water split itself."
The events are an East Wind which moves the waters; a making of the sea into dry ground by the Lord; and a splitting of the waters. The three divinely controlled and initiated movements are these:
a) The wind MOVES the waters
b) the LORD makes the ground dry, and
c) so acts that the waters split! In the first, a medium, wind, is noted.
In the others, none is stated.
It is not that, in the first action, the Lord made the waters to "go back" as the NKJV has it; for as that very translation shows, the word "back" being in italics, that is merely added by the translators.. The word in the text is: FLOW. It comes from WALK, or GO, and is used of the movements of a snake (CRAWL) and in similar ways SIMPLY to indicate relevant styles of procedure or motion (cf. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Harris, Archer, Waltke). It does NOT specify recession at all, merely action.
The Lord turned it into dry land and He used an East Wind to move it. Whether this was a sufficient condition or a contributory cause is not stated. It moved the sea, and the Lord made the land dry, so acting in whatever way, that the waters split. It is entirely within the possibilities of this statement that the wind merely contributed. If so, the maritime disaster to the North may well have been a major player in the divine action.
Miraculous? Entirely. But with results, and with whatever contributory forces the Lord chose, as He brought the vast Israelite mass of people with precise timing through the sea, at His pleasure, and allowed and indeed caused the sea to return at the precise time needed to ruin the Egyptians. In fact, increasing 'leakage' from the sea wall, perhaps as the initial forces assuaged, may have been the cause in slush developing fast, and hence of the Egyptians chariot wheels coming off; for the strain on them would then be so considerable as to make rupture from the chariot bodies likely.
As to the miraculous, let us be very explicit. GOD works what He will, how He will, and intervenes WHEN He will with WHAT He will - either simple supernatural force and work, or with means and elements which He chooses to deploy in the process.
In a sense, it can be a miracle even if ONLY natural forces are used: for if He moves the one to be delivered to be WHERE what is to happen will deliver him/her, at the right time, and uses surrounding natural events entirely, this is still deliverance with guidance and placement as the case requires*1. In that case, it is as if I shouted to a child about to fall into a trap, so that he did not; but took no other action. In this
Red Seacase, however, it is evident that no known NATURAL SEQUENCE ALONE would be adequate for the task, though co-ordinating features and observable results attest the magnificent wisdom of the method!
In Exodus 15 6-8, we read:
- "Thy right hand, O LORD, is glorified in power;
Thy right hand, O LORD, shattered the foe.
In the greatness of Thy majesty Thou didst pull down
those who rose up against Thee; Thou didst loosen Thine indignation
which consumed them like stubble.
At the blast of Thy nostrils the waters were heaped up;
the streams stood up like a wall;
the waves were congealed in the heart of the sea."
It is fascinating to notice that not only did the Lord Himself actively intervene physically, but He did so in the minds of the adversaries of
. Thus in Exodus 14:17-18, He says, Israel
- "As for Me, take note!
I will encourage the minds of the Egyptians to follow them.
Through Pharaoh, through his armed forces,
his chariots and his horsemen My honor will be sustained;
the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD" - italics added.
End of citation.
It is a close contest between comedy and farce, whether to regard as one or the other, the attempts to minimise the reality or distort the timing, or significance of the Exodus in this or that one of these domains; and it is delightful to see how the negative fever – we might call it Negation Fever, being indulged in gratuitously, in defiance of all common sense and reason, then has to meet endless empirical impacts to the contrary. It is from another point of view, rather like someone with a sore foot, trying to compete in an athletics contest. First, it hurts to kneel down for the start, then to start rapidly for effective acceleration in the contest, then at the finish, to make the final lunge and so on. The tell-tale facts accrue. So here. Everything comes in due course from the spade and the pen, and nothing can by any means stand even feasibly, in their regions.
It was always a farce to try to imagine that a whole nation
vigorous, oppressively insistent religious legal system spilt into sin
whose priests had imposing power,
whose past was continuously
rehearsed before them in prophet and Psalm,
whose hearts were moved by the sense of the past work of the Lord, and
whose victories repeatedly came as they relied on the same Lord
would be able to live AS IF it had happened, when it fact they knew nothing of it.
It is like a married couple WHEN they constantly revert to their engagement, their marriage, their honey-moon, their early married life, and use these things in endearing each to the other, and exhorting their children, who in fact never married, had no courtship, were mere casual sex-partners, carnal fornicators. Living a lie can be entertaining in a play; it is draining in real life; and when it is the religious life of a nation, in such intense and vast situations, it is a mixture between farce and drivel. In the end, such travesty and misconception does not rise to comedy.
The short shrift given to the ludicrous endeavours to have this and that writer doing the books of Moses, on assumptions that such and such a writing could be done ONLY later because it is so technical and so forth, wilt before the FACT that such ELABORATE documents were in vogue in the region nearly a millenium before at Ebla in Syria, while as to writing, the Tell el-Amarna letter writers were not the only ones around who could write. In the Serabit el-Khadim inscriptions, it is found that “already back in the seventeenth or sixteenth centuries B.C.” not only professional scribes, but ordinary workers wrote in “a new set of alphabetic symbols resembling Egyptian hieroglyphs but written in a dialect closely resembling Hebrew” (Archer, Encyclopedia ... op. cit., p. 52). Mining quotas and religious material were among their topics, and their style of execution was not polished, but somewhat irregular. This was a site in Egyptian turquoise mines operated in the Sinai area!
Indeed, even the inhabitants of the land into which Israel crusaded in the name of the Lord (cf. SMR pp. 1175ff., 1186Aff. for its distinctives) had not merely a sensitive and highly developed literature, but religious writings with some technical aspects similar to some of those of David. The writing 'problem' can not only be 'written off', but appears as a gaunt masterpiece of philosophical engineering made up for the purposes of negativism, so misaligned with fact as, like Goliath, to constitute an everlasting shame for sham.
Thus the complexity is antedated by nearly a millenium, the writing by centuries, and the norms of writing are seen far further back, in Ebla, than those wedded to philosophy might ever have imagined, until the vile verificatory reality hit their soaring dream, which like any balloon, could only stay up for so long. The efforts to divide the books into contributions from various authors not only failed in an Israeli computer test of the Pentateuch, carried out some years ago, to give any attestation of different authors, but left it attested as of one source. Moreover, this raucous ruckus, this verbalised rumpus and ruction could not even manufacture anything plausible, seeking to identify this or that usage of a term, for example, for God, and then having to divide again since it could not fit into the facts!
As in any writer's works, diversity is the flow of dynamic, whilst similarities are the thrust of identity. Reconstructing 'authors' from modes is as wise as reconstructing firms from models of a car. If imagination is to speak, we might as well prepare for vaudeville; if scholarship weighs, we need more weighty affairs; and it always helps to consult facts, distinct from insidious surmising and invidious invasions of the text.
Facts! they make ballooning imaginings fatuous; but then, as with a life of crime, where is there peace, even in your mansions, when the heart is wrong, and the head is based only in bias! Indeed, this Negation Fever is precisely what the Bible with the infinite wisdom of God not only diagnoses in the fallen state of rambunctious man, but specialises in focussing for the End of the Age phenomena; and this, it is a magnificent verification*2A both of its word, and of the pathology in unbelieving man. It is not for nothing that he disbelieves, and the underlying cause manifests itself.
How any church could ever have suffered such superficial, simplistic, ill-conceived and unevidenced ideas remains a jolt, a reminder to that fall in many churches, through misled leaders from within, of which Peter spoke in II Peter 2, and to which Paul referred in II Timothy 3-4, I Timothy 4. False prophets ? this has always been their mode and milieu in Biblical environments! They sneak in and find out the wayward, like wolves, insatiable with desire (cf. Matthew 7:15ff., Acts 20:28ff).
Indeed, as to the authority and antiquity of the early life of Israel, it is necessary to consider the whole realm objectively. You do not value or respect even the antiquity of an old school because someone said it was old; you are aware of its longevity by constantly, generation by generation, your own family or those who knew, living with it, experiencing it, watching it in adversity, observing it in triumph, following its course and seeing its contribution. People are not really asses at all; it is only the hatred of the living God which makes them appear so! When the old school songs and litanies, the old duxes and captains, the old triumphs and failures are held in mind, with the creepers of continuity on the walls, it is then that no one could possibly doubt the reality of the antiquity.
There is a certain relish, a certain flamboyance, or tragic sense of failure, here are standards in such living cases of continuity, there are developments which tend to flow and overflow into the hearts of the current generation, and to seek to have them take flight in the midst of these contours of history, engraven with the rivers of time in the valleys of peace and crisis alike, into dismissal of it all: it is inane. It is febrile thought, which history never wrought.
Israel indeed departed in the Exodus of the 15th century B.C., and in this it was certainly delivered from an Egypt which as in the Ipuwer papyrus, as in the Tell el-Amarna letters of haunting horror at the overwhelming in-sweeping tide of the Habiru, was confounded and disgraced, with results observable for a good time afterwards. Here is the woof and warp of Jewish background, here the basis for exhortation and reproof as so often, and here the recollection of former times, whether leading on to exploits later, or to shame, a living shame, one livid in temper, as the follies wrought are compared with the triumphs of God in their midst, when they were led in the way. With such thoughts, the one and the other, the Psalms are alive (cf. 78,105-106).
We look back to the Exodus, the imperial taunting with its power, the abasement of Israel, the crimping or crippling of the status of Israel, the misuse of their labour, the endeavour to reduce them to serviceable units, without land, without freedom: and it is in a certain degree, paralleled today. To be sure there is now their own land, they are back as prophesied so often (cf. Ezekiel 36ff., SMR Appendix A); but they are also abused in name, in settlement, crimped and cramped, their very existence almost as if it should become the topic of apology, in their divinely appointed land. Certainly they asked for the exclusion for so long (as in Leviticus 26); but the world is not sinless, and it is asking for its own rebuke. It will not be too long in coming, as it did for Egypt in the day of the Exodus.
There is then today something similar, at this very moment. We are not having Tell el-Amarna correspondence, Santorini submergence with volcanic dynamism, but Middle East dynamism of another kind. Israel is not being enslaved, this time, by Egypt, but attacked with the explicit idea of extermination, by forces in Lebanon (called by the government, it appears, 'the resistance' or resistance movement! a government which by report carefully let missiles into the country from Syria, with Hezbollah destination - The Australian, August 10, Features p. 12.
Many thousands of missiles have thus entered a country which has been noted by Annan of the UN, as indicating that "the Lebanese Armed Forces has (sic) not been authorised to prevent further movement of the ammunitions", Hezbollah, he also advised, had publicly declared that the arms were being sent to themselves.
Thus Lebanon in terms of a subsidiary 'resistance' force called Hezbollah, is at war with Israel. Since the arms appear to be coming from Iran, via Syria, and Iran has also publicly declared that it desires the complete extermination of Israel, and that recently, while Hezbollah, Lebanon's 'resistance' forces, make it clear that they have precisely the same intention, we have quite a spread of foes, directed to devastation of and in Israel. Not only so, but in an editorial in The Australian, August 7, 2006, we have noted this reflection from Nazrallah, the leader of Hezbollah: that if Jews "all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."
The Jews, he is cited there as having declared, "love life and we love death". Moreover, in pursuit of his perception that the Jews love life, Nazrallah adds this: "so that is what we shall take away from them." His motivation seems to be to taunt, gauntly relieving life-loving denizens from the world, at his say so! He believes his army of assassination, or whatever other nomenclature he may have, will win BECAUSE they love death.
It is not surprising, in terms of such loyalty to a false prophet as is gripping these people (cf. *6 in Chapter 2, above), that such utterances should come. Thus when someone or some group loves death in CONTRADISTINCTION to life, it is apparent that what life is for, has been forsaken, is not realised, draws a blank, as if someone on a journey had only one aim, to hit a light pole at the side of the road. A failure in life is thus in view, and this is BECAUSE it is in a religion where force is used to ram its tenets home, whereas faith is immiscible with the domain of force over the life, the soul and the spirit. They are mutually exclusive, like oil on water. If one is at the bottom, the other is at the top; and vice versa.
It is not surprising, likewise, that Proverbs 8 declares of the divine wisdom, that all "who hate Me, love death." This does not mean that ONLY those who hate Him love death; but it does require that such an attitude to life is moribund.
A hatred of Christ is certainly involved, since the verbal or physical 'death' has one spirit; for even to be angry with a brother without a cause is near to the judgment that leads to hell, Christ declared. If you LOVE Me, He declared, you would keep My words. You do not believe, He revealed, because I tell you the truth (John 8:45).
It is the truth that followers of false prophets are kept from finding. In finding non-truth, as here, they may find any number of nominal and phenomenal evils, and since Christ is the life, these will tend to death. In the case of Hezbollah, they not only TEND to death, they glory in it, especially if it is that of Jews. Anti-semitism has here its finest parody of life, equal to that of Hitler, whose passion in this was just the same, whose determination similar, and whose end will also have strong resemblance to that of Hezbollah.
Thus Israel, as in the day of the Exodus, is once again under the eye of imperial power. It is not this time in ONE place, as in the earlier case, that of Egypt; but at the present, it includes three near neighbours in considerable concert: Lebanon, courtesy of its 'resistance' forces, Iran in terms of its declarations, and of course the PLO, whose view of Israel was once indited as this, that they can go to hell. His efforts to this end were not small or insignificant, Israel even catching him importing arms, which he busily exported in any way that appealed, to Israel: but not, you see as a commercial operation, but a physiological one.
Syria by one map, has become a way-station for Iranian arms to reach Israel, Damascus the landing place for the planes, the rest being done overland. That makes four countries involved. The Jewish mini-State, almost bikini level, is thus being battered; and the UN, whose requirement in its Security Council Resolution 1559 is that Hezbollah be disarmed, has not so very disarmingly allowed it to be supplied quite openly for years, despite this declaration, by the Syria-Iranian connection.
This is justice ? this is meaningful international politics ? In what sense then is it meaningful and what DOES it mean ?
It means that it is as helpful for Israel as it was when it withdrew its troops from the dividing line between Israel and Egypt, in the interests of Nasser having free access in his rolling and rollicking invasion of the tiny state of Israel. The UN ? It is of course an organisation with far more people of Islam, than Jews, far more interested it seems in oil, than in unction. It was even once nearly involved in an attribution of racism to the concept of Zionism!*1 If in this attitude to Israel, its heart is not on its sleeve, it at least appears in this to be attached to its cuff-links.
Its resolution in 1947, to internationalise Jerusalem and give Israel bits in Palestine, is the equivalent of war, since Jerusalem is the capital by historical fame, of Israel. The Jews indeed appear to have been in occupation in their land, overall, far longer than the Moslem! But then, they have no oil; and anti-semitism has its own power to propel, and anti-biblical humanism detests Israel in its land, with Jerusalem in Israel, all under the Jew! It is precisely the biblical depiction, down to the details (cf. SMR Chs. 8-9); and it tends to reek of horror to the infidel mind, whether Islamic or humanistic, communist or naturalist, and that, perhaps, in declining order!
Thus we have 5 enemies or virtual enemies of Israel, one with international clout, determined that Israel vacate more of its minority portion of the promised Palestine, that donation from League of Nations' days in the 1920s, on which the powers reneged.
The Lord has shown his hand concerning the results of this, which we have reviewed as recently as in Dig Deeper ... Ch. 5, and that hand will prove more than a holocaust in the end, to those who think that because it was pierced in love, it has no sanction left in judgment for those who reject the salvation purchased and made freely available to ALL men, through those same hands, and that Person who was with them, crucified as a sin offering (cf. Psalm 2, Micah 7, Deuteronomy 32, Isaiah 2, 49-55, Habakkuk 3, Ezekiel 37-39, II Thessalonians 1-2).
As in the flood, Jesus indicated, the time swept up on them, and they were still cheerily building and marrying away, so will it be at the end. Even the end, has its own motions as the above references abundantly attest!
Neither will the past Flood had its time and mode of exit, so will the new one come and not depart, till it is done! (Matthew 24:21).
As therefore, James Cameron proceeds with his 'The Exodus Decoded', noting its biblical truth and historical confirmation, so the new Exodus comes quickly. The impossible seeming feat of overthrowing the angry nations, hurt in their resources, eager for oil, wanting profit, not too concerned about justice, and delivering Israel remains less so than in 1948, when in the British case, the preference of oil to Jews' welfare was quite explicitly named by Bevin, as Foreign Secretary, as we have seen before*2.
Nevertheless, without divine power, the combined greed and delusions of man are looking with increasing desire for the elimination of this divine resource, the as yet unrepentant Israel. This is so, though deep in the history of revelation, it has provided by the power of God, the Old Testament, the predictions of the Messiah and the site for their fulfilment in Jerusalem and in their land, ghoulish as was their final national response to the Christ. As to the Messiah, Jesus Christ*3, though not accepting Him as a nation, they provided in the thousands, initial recruits for the Christian Church, and the apostles, through the hand of God.
With withering continuity, however, there appears an intolerance of long European standing, with pogrom, tax gluttony and derision, exclusion and Inquisition. It has not died.
In the new
Exodus, however, it is not just the Jew - and many are to be convicted and
in a vast national movement in Israel, as has frequently been noted (cf. Walking on the Mountains of Grace), but also the believing Gentile who as ONE glorious exhibit, will be given a DIVINE Exodus indeed, when the Lord returns, and leaves the dregs still sunk in the bottom of the barrel in their spiritual intoxication, and takes His own.
Yet there is abundant room for reflection. Just as Israel in its long historical fulfilment of the words of Moses, declared from the first, has suffered much, and one weeps for them - being astray, so vital and intelligent, imaginative and enduring, and yet so aristocratic before God, in all their servitudes, since they will not relent, repent and return to Him, their own Messiah; so there is the parallel.
How many individuals, bodies, in the Gentile world have wandered witless, informed and ignorant, sophisticated and superficial, wise and foolish, eating much of what does not fill, perform or satisfy, and vomiting daily, in its weakness! In much, they are mini-Israels in themselves, still unwilling to surrender to God (Luke 14)! To them Paul declares this, in his parable of the olive tree from which Israel, its branch, was cut off because of unbelief:
“Do not boast against the branches.
“But if you do boast, remember that
you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
"You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.’
Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith.
Do not be haughty but fear. For if God did not spare the natural braches,
He may not spare you either.”
The point is that if one ‘trusts’ in something other than the living, resurrected Lord, the Messiah who at last came, and who has done all, then how do you differ from the Jew ? Are you too not SURROUNDED with testimony, but empty of truth in that case ? Were they in spirit worse!
Yet let us think of the more glorious way.
As we move now to our conclusion, let us review what was said at this point, in Walking on the Mountains of Grace.
Blindness, says Paul, has in part happened to Israel, UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles has come. They had their innings long ago; we have had ours; then there is this precious regrafting, this major national awakening in Israel, as indeed there has been in countries like the USA and Wales, Scotland and England, in the 18th and 19th centuries, now here now there. THAT was part of the Gospel glory to the Gentiles; but this is the residue of the opening to Israel, so that “all Israel shall be saved” – Romans 11:;26.
In this way, what had become a channel of division, becomes an overflowing grace. Just as in the Exodus, there was a channel for Israel to pass over, before the waters covered the Egyptians, as they resurged, killing those in hot pursuit, now a more mellow scenario appears, a more ample channel for a broader people whose rescue the Lord fulfils, even for all who receive Him according to His own Gospel of grace, by faith. This time it is a multi-national channel.
Just as in more recent times, a way of divisions came because of Israel's unbelief, and as a folly of self-aggrandisement came to Gentile nations seeking to interfere with and acting to oppress Israel, so do the waters of blessing surround and sway out from the path of those who act through faith in the Lord, revealing a highway to encompass more as more receive from this and that nation, this same Lord in this same Gospel.
Yet at last these same waters overflowing from the channel, to bare it, become a snare; for the time is not unlimited for man’s passage on that clearly-defined path for which Christ has both given description and invitation (Matthew 7:15ff.). Then these waters do indeed obliterate all pursuit. It was literal then, is metaphorical now; but it is still destruction which awaits what disdains mercy and discards opportunity (II Thessalonians 1, Matthew 22:1-10, Mark 9).
It is now, as faith arises and resorts where it belongs, taking its journey as it may, while the way is still open, that the people of its domain are safe, whatever their source, race or place: grace is sufficient where the way of God is taken while open.
As before, the time is not unlimited, either now for the response to the Lord on the part of individuals, or those from propelled from any nation or culture, to come and join the multi-national new ‘Israel of God’ (Galatians 6:16), in its Exodus from unbelief into the land of faith.
Thus there still remains the same exclusion zone of calamity for the people or peoples who refuse this inclusive grace, offered to all, rejected by many for their pride, their nationality, their false dream, for their false gods as in Egypt in its day - some with imperialistic overtones as they had - yes and pride in their culture, just as Egypt had in its own, in its day. Indeed, the opportunity is discarded for the sake of their arrogant invasive designs for this or that prize, national, political, racial, or pseudo-religious, while they seek to engage in harassment of the word of God, of the will of God, which being impregnable, is merely the prelude to their needless ruin.
There is, in short, a new Exodus not in mere body but in spirit, and a new 'drowning' in the floods of shame; for than this very Gospel, this same Gospel, this prophesied Gospel, this fulfilled Gospel, this operative Gospel, this insistent Gospel of grace, this immutable Gospel of God, there is no other (Galatians 1:6-9, Ephesians 1:10); nor will the Lord change His ways, His word or His will.
It has been secure from before our time began (Ephesians 1:4), and remains past its little day. His word and will, His Gospel and glory come to all nations; it is received by many from many; it is rejected by a host, however, by still more, just as was mercy rejected by the pursuing hosts of Pharaoh’s army, who drowned in their inveterate passion, and failed in their domineering surge. False prophets and false religions, whether focussed on myths, like organic evolution now, or vain deities, as then and now, whether or not as with militant Islam, they stir up inveterate hatreds and invasive assaults: these have but one course to follow, one place to be swept aside. Error has its come-uppance in one judgment, by the truth; and it varies not at all throughout all millennia.
There is ONE operation from ONE Saviour who in ONE act has in ONE way brought to faith and repentance, ONE result, which is eternal life by grace as a gift, the very righteousness of God the grant (Romans 5:17, Ephesians 2), irrevocable (I John 3:9, 5:24, John 10:9,27-29, I Peter 1:3-8), and joyous.
Thus, all of His people at last stand safe by the oceans of His grace in admiration and delight, in fellowship in Christ. To be sure, the Lord will again devastate the proud hosts seeking to take over the promised land (Micah 7:15, Is. 66, Ezek. 38-39, Habakkuk 3), as His people seek Him; but past geography is grace; and the believing remnant of Jew and Gentile become as one.
That is to come, and with the glory of the unity in Christ of what had grown to be different roads, that of Judaism and Christianity, the latter having sported many false prophets arising from its own midst, such as popes and Muhammad, indeed, but a whole host (as in Matthew 24:24 predicted by Jesus Christ): with this, there comes also a purging. This is not one of mere force, but based on rejection of reality in Christ Jesus; and it is with no possibility of overthrow, wrought by God Himself! (cf. Isaiah 2, 59, 66, Revelation 19), both in the anteroom to it, and in its finale section!
This reminder, then, of the Exodus in the film documentary, The Exodus Decoded, recalls to us the FACT of the Exodus, the POWER of its happenings, the USE God may have made of the various instruments in the nature of things maritime, geological and biological, indeed meteorological and astronomical, which He had made and the RESULT in judgment on the arrant and arrogant armed forces of Pharaoh.
It is necessary to learn. This film is coming while a new imperial set of largely but not entirely Islamic forces, marauding bodies from the power of a false prophet, a development constituting a judgment on the false teachers which for 150 years of horror, have been finding more and more place in what were once Christian Churches (cf. II Peter 2:1 and the prediction of this every thing as a signal of the end of the Age).
On them ? but also on the ecclesiastical bodies (one can scarcely call some of them 'churches'), with their 'gay' horrors and manifest rebellion against the God of creation and of the Bible, has this judgment been poured. Indeed, it is poured on the entire world systems of humanism, relativism, on the sickening urbanity of churchianity, untrue to its task, forsaking its foundation as did Israel, as well as on false prophets both religious and secular (cf. Dig Deeper ... Ch. 2, *6).
The EXODUS beautiful, then, it is to come by the same power of God which will first deliver Israel and bring His saints through the testing times of the initial movements of the antichrist (cf. Revelation 12:11, Matthew 10). Again, it will have events of magnitude enough for any, both for Israel and for all, when all believes, leaving multiculturalism, multi-fidelities and multiple infidelities (cf. Isaiah 53:6), are joined in one! (cf. Revelation 11, 6-9). As this proceeds to its culmination, the earth will writhe like one in a fit (cf. Matthew 24, Isaiah 2, 24, Hebrews 12:26ff., Isaiah 51:6), before its final and eventual departure (cf. Matthew 24:35, II Peter 3:10ff.). That, it does not come before Christ has spread the meaning and mastery, magnificence and power of the Lord throughout the entire earth (cf. Isaiah 11, 65, Micah 4, Isaiah 2, Psalm 73, Revelation 20, Habakkuk 2:14).
It will however come when the works of this world are at last burnt up! (II Peter 3, Isaiah 51:6, Matthew 23:35).
After all, defamation of life, as in the Moslem case noted above, love of death instead of loving life, love of lust, of pleasure, of promiscuity - mental, spiritual, physical, of psychic vagrancy and spiritual autonomy: this is productive only of the morbid, the racking, the wretched and the wrecked. Whether an insane paranoia or a disdainful worldliness grip man, and whether or not the one hates the other, both astray, there is one basic and underlying disease: departure from the living God, whether to the domain of the imaginary gods, as with Elijah's taunt (I Kings 18:27ff.), or the the mere attribution of autonomy either to oneself or one's ... nominees!
In the delusions of confounded life, it may not appear obvious that the life is dead, and coffins may appear roomy when the occupants are so busy as not to look about them. However, the end is the same. The damage of defamation is always the same in the end: you defame because you do not know God, you reject Christ because you do not believe the God who acts, the God of power and of creation, of revelation and of verification. Very well, this being the product, that is its reward.
To defame Him, in word, in spirit, in heart, in life, in motivation, in conception: it is all one. It becomes another name, another life, a brief and fatuous edition that has been pirated; and its end like its beginning, is unsavoury; and being false, it will not because it cannot stand.
That is another way of saying that it will fall; and for the fallen in THAT war, there is no glory. Name God and teach, preach or believe some concoction, not found in the verified Bible, and you defame Him. Reject His name for your own or your own choice, and you inflame yourself, AND defame Him; for in NOT believing you are deceiving only yourself. Proceedings against defamation, the adherence to another Christ, another spirit, another Gospel, these are dire because it is like befouling needed medicines, a cause for the lost! (cf. II Corinthians 11).
COME OUT OF HER, comes he divine voice in Revelation 18, concerning false religion with its expansionist and Romanist connections. It is no less clear to the arenas of those deceptive spirits which grope for the heart of man (cf. Revelation 16). There is no use living in spiritual shanty downs about the site of the Exodus to come; you need to be in the army of the faithful, the Commander in Chief, your personal and living Lord and God (cf. Joshua 5:13, Luke 6:46), and to wait on Him, doing the will of God.
Sinner ? Yes of course (I John 1). Slave of sin ? No, of course not (John 8:34-46, Romans 6, 8).
COME UP HERE! comes the other call in Rev. 11, as the faithful witness of the Church as one, the actual body of Christ, not the merely institutional distortions, is removed from the scene (cf. Matthew 24:38ff., and see Acme, Alpha and Omega: Jesus Christ Ch. 5).
The Christian is already delivered from slavery to sin (John 8:34-36, Romans 6, 8). Now comes the resurrection, to, with and for Christ, the redemption of the body, the deliverance from the defiled embroiled world (Romans 8:23), through which he or she has passed as a stranger and a pilgrim: the testimony clear, the witness working, the completion reached.
THERE, there is the Exodus that counts. Do not then linger in the Egypt of unbelief, and false gods and prophets: come out of that, and be ready to go up to Him. Believer: He has come down to us; it is soon to be time to go up to Him, out of this, into that celestial citizenship which being now the object of our spiritual visas, with the visits of His grace abundant (cf. John 14:21-23), will then be the manifest place of our lives.
In "Of the Earth, Earthy, or Celestial in Christ" Ch. 13, we have this perspective.
Where does the UN acknowledge Christ as Lord and Saviour ? Nowhere. What does it consistently implement ? An attitude towards Israel which at times seems to resemble that of Iraq (just before its recent defeat) when it referred to Israel as the "Zionist Entity"! in seeking to compare Israel's action towards the Palestinians with the allegations concerning Iraq's approach to its own suppressed. When the draft resolution for the UN Conference on Racism in 2001 was exposed, even the EU demanded immediate removal of anti-Israel references. The US walked out, as did Israel. It was only then that the "equation of Zionism with racism" became taboo; for it was BECAUSE of this that the withdrawal statedly occurred.
In fact, racism involves an attitude which simply because of a genetic or national identity, more or less to be found in some body of people, there is an adverse generalisation about all of them; and of course, it may apply in the opposite sense, as in the Aryan idea for Nazi Germany.
In the case of Israel, there is not the thought that simply because someone is or is not Israeli, therefore he is to be viewed adversely or conversely, as sublime, or superior. This is not and never was the point (cf. Deuteronomy 4, 7). There was and is a divine directive concerning events in this part of the earth which has been published for millenia (cf. Galloping Events Ch. 4). People who reject the God of the Bible can do nothing to eliminate it. The concept is that to Israel a particular land is given for a supremely important divinely led purpose (cf. Romans 9:1ff., Isaiah 43:21); and that, like it or not, Israel is to be obedient to the God, whom after all, they freely endorsed and desired (cf. Joshua 24).
The world, also, like it or not, has to face it or face the God of the Bible. In many ways, for many reasons, it has chosen the latter. It has been outfaced many a time, most notably in Hitler's highly scientific mass-expulsion technologies, not from the land, since they did not have one, but from this land altogether, the earth. It is completely in vain to pretend pogroms and the Inquisition did not further the same end.
Jews endured much, since they had as a nation turned their backs on God, as foretold (Isaiah 49:7), and had suffered accordingly as foretold (Leviticus 26), in particular, as foretold, losing their land.
Their desire to return (cf. Deuteronomy 30) is not adverse to divine directives. It is a matter of divinity, not race. The Jew is not scorning other races, but seeking a place for its own; and this, not least, because it has been divinely directed to it. If God selects an orchestra and apportions sites for players, it is a direct assault on Him, as Conductor, to seek to disturb, and far more, to kill certain players. Further, Jesus Christ made it clear that even though Israel would be devastated (Matthew 24:1ff., 23:37ff., Luke 19:42ff.), they would eventually regain their land (Luke 21:24), and that this would be when the Gentile era and opportunity, had also had its own full term, and was finished.
This is not very difficult to discern...
Racism is as far from Zionism as God from man. In racism, man despises (or fecklessly admires) man; in Zionism, God directs a people to a place. Having a place is not despising a race.
It is time something other than such forces as those of negative emotion, disguised ferocity and greed ruled minds, when such topics arise.
EXCURSION ON DOCUMENTS, DECEIT, BLINDNESS AND HEARTLESSNESS IN TERMS OF THE DIVINE DIAGNOSIS
Amazing as it is, then that any should ignore the magnitude of the evidence, as if to pass through the Canadian Rockies in the magnificent Canadian Pacific train, and not notice them; there is what is not only far more amazing, but also an entity which explains the source of what is such a cause of astonishment.
The Bible not only verifies itself, historically and archeologically, but psychologically and spiritually as well. There is a kink in the character of unsaved man, this creation unredeemed: it is one which is irreversible except by God, and that likewise betrays man's state and exhibits his error - like a cardiograph for a sick heart.
Isaiah 1, , Hosea, Jeremiah 1-17, for example, delineate it at length - "the heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things," declares the last (17:9-10), before going on to note that it is the LORD who knows its ways, indeed tests it. In fact, it is towards Himself that this blind buffoonery and tragic licence to shut the eyes is most prominent.
In its essence the most visible in the presence and realm of the precepts of God, it can reach appalling depths (cf. Matthew 13:14ff.). It is such in this domain, that even when it is faced with the obvious and the simple - like a straight highway for one hundred miles as in parts of Australia, it wonders if anything has happened. Even then, as blind, it MUST turn off, leave the track, avoid the way. Truth affronts it - as Christ said:
"You do not believe,
because I told
you the truth" (John 8:45); and
as Isaiah 53 has it:
"He was cut off from the land of the
living, for the transgression of My people
This is amazing until one realises that of course the God who made life understands its pathology, its wilful pathology, and how it works! Then one sees it with simple awe, the divine diagnosis and its verification! its reaching to the root and its exposure of the evil fruit (cf. Isaiah 8:20ff.). One can regard its awe-ful accuracy, its dire discerning, and weep for the follies that consumed so many in such ways for so long.
Of course, as He reveals His written word, the Bible, the Lord God may use any document as a reference for an inspired writer, that He pleases; but He is not bound nor is He limited to it. He may use any writer, but He is not limited to the intellectual perceptions nor to the cultural norms of that individual. With God, there are no limits. When HE speaks, it is He; and as to Him, His word is truth (John 17:17); it cannot be otherwise, for truth He is, and He speaks as He is.
One has only to work with the Lord, to see that there are no limits: He can take what you have, like the five loaves and the two fishes of the boy, used to feed 5000 persons, and leave you astounded at what He does with it. He may bypass what you have as you work in any field for Him, and use something else. What He does not do is have someone wait a millenium after death, before 'using someone to write a scripturally inspired word, or distil wisdom through errors or false attributions! Such libels on the Lord merely meet their due come-uppance in good time, while the authors of them are exposed in their follies, when fashion changes, and truth cuts.
It is the devil who loves lies and is the author of them; and as to that fiend, man follows him ... or not!
The devil, author of lies and the father of them ?
History does not follow him, that proud and unsagacious spirit, for history is bound and can no more break its appointments than can the ocean (Jeremiah 5, 23, Amos 3:7); but many in it do so, they follow his outrageous ways (cf. SMR pp. 590ff., The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 8). Yet even as they do so, they fulfil the word of all-knowing and truth-speaking God in their unutterable iniquities. It is necessary to realise once and for all that God is not only very powerful and none can stand when He works (Isaiah 14:27), but very wise, and can readily use even abuse such as has been ignorantly spouted by so many for so long; and in doing so, show both their inanity of spirit and urbanity of soul, while destroying their works with truth.
How have the PREDICTED words of the prelates who derided Christ, heartlessly, on the Cross, declaring, Let Him deliver Him, since He delighted in Him! fallen to the dirt. Spoken as if to taunt Christ, to incite Him to avoid His sacrificial service to man, by utilising the power of the loving God to be a shield from duty, or the Father to abort His mission, they are as lively as the heart of a statue! Indeed, these very taunts now become rusting nails in the armoury of unbelief, exposing both its weakness and its wickedness.
Thus God predicted these words in Psalm 22:8, and ever since they show how mockers deserve their due reward, their hearts having evaporated in the space race, or some alternative race, to make of such a spirit in any of this race a living libel on the Lord, a defamation of His glory, in its cynical indifference, its wanton cruelty and its wilful ignorance. It taunts, it vaunts, it is vaporous, vapid, the rapid fire ire of the blind chatter of spiritual vacuity.
As to this wilful ignorance, this divinely diagnosed blindness, this spiritually specified pathology: It appears from the vile passions and constant anti-biblical contrariety of many who disgraced the offices of teachers in the many a large church in the last century, to say no more, that they would rather be damned than directed (II Peter 2:1ff., John 14:24 and I Corinthians 16:22, Psalm 119:155ff.), be irrational than instructed, and that the word of Proverbs 3:11-24, and 4:5-13 were as desirable to many who grew old in office, the office of church destruction, and as palatable as they were to that King Ahaz who through lack of faith brought disaster of Israel. As to their hearts, however, God knew them (cf. SMR pp. 685ff,).
This divine diagnosis and biblical exposure also explains the amazement one first feels at failure of so many to see so often what is so obvious, in the domain of God. Christ declared to those whom He challenged in His own generation, that they SHUT their own eyes LEST they should see, and understand and He should heal them! (cf. Matthew 13:14ff.); for sin is seductive.
It is thus a double verification: both of the power of God and the truth of His word. He knows and He speaks. He speaks and it occurs. History does not revolt, though man often enough does so!
We are not indebted to evil, for this result, but to God who, as with Joseph and his brothers, knows well how to turn evil for good. The blind rage against the word of God, whether in writing or in flesh, is its own testimony to the plight of those who so indulge; and it is its own testimony no less to the wisdom of the God who knew and stated both its outcome on the Messiah and that in the later part of this our Age (cf. II Peter 2-3, Revelation 13, II Thessalonians 2). That He knows, it is a further place for verification, for in Amos 3:7, He tells Israel that He will not fail to show what He is going to do! He did; and so it has been to the end (cf. SMR Chs. 8-9).
See Regal Rays from Revelation Ch. 1, Dastardly Dynamics Ch. 1, *2.
See SMR Chs, 6 and 8, The Magnificence of the Messiah, and Christ the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 8, with Repent or Perish Ch. 2, for example.