[b-hebrew] Re: Jeremiah’s undocumented wrong prophesy to King Josiah (was variant pronunciation)

Noam Eitan noameitan at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 24 09:15:50 EDT 2004


If you ask about what I believe, I believe the Bible contains a lot of historical information that is just as accurate as sitting in a trial and listening to the D.A. marshal  evidence and present opening and closing arguments against an innocent defendant (i.e., practitioners of religious syncretism, a.k.a. idolatry) without hearing the defendant or his assigned defense counsel at all.

 

I would like to use your question as an excuse to bring up a hypothetical example of the “historical events” the Bible may be concealing from us. WARNING: the following contains unbridled speculations.

 

Following the “discovery” of the “Book of the Law” in the Temple, King Josiah launched an intense puritan reform to eradicate “idolatrous” rites (2 Kings, parts of 22 and of 23.)  The prophet Jeremiah started his practice during his reign, the only one towards which the dyspeptic prophet was well-disposed (2 Chronicles 35:25.)

 

 

King Josiah died in Battle in 609 BCE while trying to stop the advance of King of Egypt, Necho II (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chronicles 35: 20-27). Would a Near-Eastern ruler go to battle without consulting his god first? And who would the righteous King Josiah consult other than the Yahwist clique, headed most likely by Baruch the scribe (son of Neriah) and his puppet Jeremiah (see Jeremiah 45: 5 and more bluntly 43:3 as to who was the dominant partner in this liaison)? Since King Josiah went ahead to battle (more according to Chronicles than to Kings), he most likely got the green light from Jeremiah, maybe even quoting from the “newly discovered” scroll regarding the rewards of faithfully observing Yahwe’s commandments :”Yahweh will conquer your enemies when they attack you” (Deuteronomy 28:7.) The results are documented in the Bible. 

 

Now, let’s fast forward to the amazing chapter 44 in Jeremiah. The prophet was addressing congregations exiled to Egypt after the fall of Jerusalem, ranting the usual Yahwist propaganda. This is one of the rare instances where the text (put down by Baruch?) describes the audience’s response (probably to illustrate their intransigence.) One wonders throughout the book of Jeremiah how his listeners put up with him for so long (probably because they feared his god), but here they finally have had enough: “We will not listen to your messages in the name of Yahweh, we will do whatever we want! We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and sacrifice to her just as much as we like – just as we and our ancestors did before us, and as our kings and princes have always done in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. FOR IN THOSE DAYS WE HAD PLENTY TO EAT AND WE WERE WELL OFF AND HAD NO TROUBLES! BUT EVER SINCE WE QUIT BURNING INCENSE TO THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN AND STOPPED WORSHIPPING
 HER WE HAVE BEEN IN GREAT TROUBLE AND HAVE SUFFERED THE EFFECTS OF WAR AND FAMINE” (Jeremiah 44:15-18) In other words, the men and good wives of the Judeans living in Pathros expressed the widespread sentiment that things started to go downhill for Judeans ever since the “idolatrous” cults were suppressed by King Josiah, whose death was divine retribution for angering so many ancestral gods. 

 

 

Baruch/Jeremiah’s bitterness stems from their downfall from being in the center of political power during King Josiah’s time to the status of outcasts. The people of Israel made a practical observation that turning their back to the ancestral gods just got them (and King Josiah) in trouble. This may explain why Jeremiah’s relatives were trying to pressure him to stop prophesying in the name of Jahweh. Lastly, if Jeremiah/Baruch indeed prophesized success to King Josiah against Necho II, this can explain why Jeremiah/Baruch’s admonitions were tolerated (reluctantly) rather than heeded to, and more significantly, that the book of Jeremiah documents Jeremiah/Baruch’s about-face. The death of King Josiah signified to him a change in Yahweh’s plan, and he therefore changed his direction and preached political servitude like no other prophet. I wonder if there is any example in ancient literature of a man of god trying so hard to convince his audience and their king to give themselves over
 the enemy. 

 

 

Noam Eitan, Brooklyn, NY (requesting your indulgence, or better, a referral to the appropriate group for discussing events in the Bible from a historical perspective, free from interests of currently existing religions)

 

>Noam:

 

>Are you claiming that because the Bible is a biased document that it 

>can’t be accurate?

 

>While I acknowledge that it is propaganda (arguing for a particular 

>viewpoint), it is at the same time an accurate record of the events 

>portrayed.

 

>Karl W. Randolph.

 

----- Original Message -----

From: Noam Eitan <noameitan at yahoo.com>

 

>

>  I believe every word in the Hebrew Bible is there to promote a 

Yahwist-cult-agenda. There is no evidence its writers were even able to 

grasp the concept of unbiased reporting of the “truth”, i.e., historical 

facts; they were trying to assert “THE” (Yahwist) truth. There is plenty 

of evidence they weren’t even able to entertain alternative viewpoints 

– when such are mentioned it is in derision.…

> 

>  Noam Eitan, Brooklyn,

 

 


		
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