A GRAVEN IMAGE? OR JUST A STATUE?

A GRAVEN IMAGE? OR JUST A STATUE?

Judging from the articles I've received, this week may turn out to be a more than unusual week, and that's saying something since I specialize in "strange stuff." And one of this week's stranger articles was so strange I decided to lead off this week's blogs with it. It was shared by my colleague-in-strangeness, Bernard Grover, whom many of you are probably familiar with for his excellent posts and analyses of the Q phenomenon, or as we like to call it, the Qult (his term).

Now, as regular readers here know, I usually will link the article first, then cite a few passages I think are important, and then talk about them and offer my high octane speculation of the day. Sometimes, I precede the article link with a bit of "background context" preparation.

Not so today.  Today I am breaking with tradition, and quoting the article, without so much a hint of context as to what the uproar is about. So without further ado, here's the uproar:

“Unfortunately, this article is pure sensationalism that caters to popular, money-generating, demand, in presenting an unfounded and (at best) tentative identification as factual as he ignores existing professional research and studies, including avoiding reference to any of the publications by the excavators,” wrote Tel Motza excavation co-directors Shua Kisilevitz (Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University) and Oded Lipschits (Tel Aviv University), whose finds served as a major basis for Garfinkel’s article.

That's all the following article is: "pure sensationalism" that is nothing but a shameless grab for attention to generate some money. Worse than that, the Sensationalist-in-chief here is a professor at the Hebrew University, Yosef Garfunkel, and the purely sensationalist money-generating article he published was in Biblical Archeology Review, which is, of course, not a mainstream academic journal at all, but more of a magazine:

His theory was firmly rejected by all archaeologists who agreed to respond to Garfinkel’s premise. Some would not give it the time of day, while others said it is not coincidental that his article was printed in a mainstream magazine and not an academic journal.

So what's all the controversy about? Well, finally, here's the article:

Face of God? Archaeologist claims to find 10th cent. BCE graven images of Yahweh

About a decade ago Garfinkel’s team discovered what he said was a rare male head at his Khirbet Qeiyafa excavation in a layer that he says is securely dated to the 10th century through over 30 radiocarbon dated organic samples.

And just what did Prof. Garfinkel's archaeology team discover? Well... uhhh...  this:

The rider on horse figurine from the Moshe Dayan Collection

What we have is a very odd-looking figure, riding a plump little horse with stubby legs. Big deal.

Except, according to Professor Garfinkel, it may be a big deal, a very big deal:

What has led Garfinkel to believe that he holds a statue of Yahweh in his hands is a combination of an anthropomorphic biblical verse from the Book of Habakkuk, the fact that neighboring nations in the biblical era had national gods, and the relative scarceness of male figurines made of clay such as the one his team uncovered at his Khirbet Qeiyafa excavation, some 20 miles or 30 kilometers southwest of Jerusalem.

Uhhh... wait a minute... it's a statue of Yahweh? But I thought those graven images were Verboten.

Garfinkel acknowledged that the Bible is very clear on the prohibition against physical representations of god. Whereas neighboring peoples worshipped many gods, “the Kingdom of Judah was a different story and based on two concepts — that there is only one god and not many, and that you shouldn’t make a statute, a graven image of it.”

However, he said the distance between theology and what happened on the ground may be worlds apart. The Bible is rife with exhortations of leaders to the people of Israel to stop worshipping household gods and excavation sites are filled with remains of cultic deities.

Garfinkel said that the Canaanite tradition depicts the god “El,” a name also preserved in the Hebrew Bible, as an older god, a Zeus-like figure often sitting and holding a scepter. He believes that his clay figurine depicts a god unlike all others because the god riding a horse is “a totally different iconography, the horseman is something new,” he said. (Emphasis added)

Shortly after Garfinkel’s male figurine was discovered, the excavations at the unexpected temple complex at Tel Motza, 9 kilometers or 5.5 miles northwest of ancient Jerusalem, uncovered two similar heads, which were found near to horse figurines. (The temple complex, which would have been active during the First Temple period, is not documented in the Bible, nor is a similar compound discovered in Arad in the 1960s.)

Seeing the heads in the same context as the horses, Garfinkel was then reminded of another male horseman from former defense minister Moshe Dayan’s collection, now found in the Israel Museum. The Hebrew Univerity professor began to wonder: Are these figures related? Is this a god? And if so, which?Saying that since these presumed horsemen god figures were found in the Motza temple complex — and not at a home — ruled out that they were simple household deities. Therefore, the statues must have represented “the religion of the time” and its god, Yahweh.

Shortly after Garfinkel’s male figurine was discovered, the excavations at the unexpected temple complex at Tel Motza, 9 kilometers or 5.5 miles northwest of ancient Jerusalem, uncovered two similar heads, which were found near to horse figurines. (The temple complex, which would have been active during the First Temple period, is not documented in the Bible, nor is a similar compound discovered in Arad in the 1960s.)

Seeing the heads in the same context as the horses, Garfinkel was then reminded of another male horseman from former defense minister Moshe Dayan’s collection, now found in the Israel Museum. The Hebrew Univerity professor began to wonder: Are these figures related? Is this a god? And if so, which?

Saying that since these presumed horsemen god figures were found in the Motza temple complex — and not at a home — ruled out that they were simple household deities. Therefore, the statues must have represented “the religion of the time” and its god, Yahweh.

As one might expect, Professor Garfinkel has his detractors, who argue that the Moshe Dayan figurine of a rider on a plump horse with stubby legs simply is anachronistic:

But more strikingly, the god Yahweh, they said, simply did not appear in the region before the 9th century BCE. Garfinkel’s Khirbet Qeiyafa figurine precedes that date. Likewise, they state that Garfinkel’s closing argument, “denying the existence of horse and rider figurines after the 8th century BCE, is patently incorrect.”

The reason that Garfinkel associates the Moshe Dayan figurine of a rider on a horse is because Yahweh is so depicted in the book of Habbakuk chapter 3 verse 8.

For the sake of some high octane speculative questions, however, suppose Professor Garfinkel might ultimately turn out to be correct. Why would anyone depict Yahweh in such a very strange fashion, with protruding eyes, flat heads, and in the case of the figure on the horse, not only a flat head that also comprises most of the "body" of the figure, but also with appendages that appear to look more like tentacles and backward-bending knees? Is this simply a matter of style? The Moshe Dayan figurine's strange features would suggest that whatever is going on, it might stylistic, or it might perhaps represent a tradition of some sort. Who knows? If Professor Garfinkel is correct, it raises all sorts of questions. For example, it certainly is a strange imagery to invoke or resort to for the Yahweh that according to Genesis 3 walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Or are we looking at something, a tradition of some sort, that might have to do with those strange statements in John 8:44-45?

For the moment, this little archeological controversy appears to be headed for a resolution that says Professor Garfinkel is incorrect. But archaeological controversies of this sort tend to go away, and then return.

So for the moment, we have to file this on in the "we shall see" box.

See you on the flip side...

48 thoughts on “A GRAVEN IMAGE? OR JUST A STATUE?”

  1. For a serious look at some Antiquity Thinking; have a look at Billy Carson’s work!! I was blown away by it!!

    It seems our Western Thinking has been SO imbedded by Biblical Thinking that whatever we find HAS to fit into the Biblical scheme of things that has been imposed upon us from childhood!!

    I recall watching some W-blower videos & being surprised how even some of our Scientists felt they had to “fit” their findings into the Biblical way of thinking!! Our Belief Systems DO affect our perceptions because one starts with an already established guideline, or box, outside of which one may not stray!!

    Of course we also know about Academia having to subscribe to certain guidelines in order to keep the pay checks coming in!!

    I think we can gain much by considering ALL the writings from the Ancient World & comparing them. If one has to do all of one’s thinking within a prescribed set of rules, then one’s “growth” is stunted!!

  2. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    The arguments on both sides are full of bombast, over-reach and presumption; quelle surprise.

    Is it even a horse? Maybe it’s a donkey. Maybe the donkey is a god. Who knows? /s

  3. To me these figurines do not look at all unsophisticated. While bulging eyes do appear in Sumerian and other art (actually you occasionally come across ordinary people with this feature, less accentuated but very evident), there is the shape of the heads. Perhaps not representing the same thing as the figure on the horse.
    Let’s recall the Biblical narrative with all the elaborate secrecy surrounding the appearance of “the Lord”, his large stature and his concealed face (I don’t think it was a respirator against some human “germ”, but you never know…). Yet people did see him when he issued orders, and given the long dominion of this “god” (or “gods”), they could very welll have made figurines for propitiatory purposes.

    1. The torch-holding figurine in New York looks like a Roman emperor, from my perspective.

      The founding fathers in the USA look like a sect of apron-Jesuits, from my perspective.

      The biblical narrative looks like the story of resistance against empires, from my perspective.

      Today, idolatry could be seen, as iconography of propatainment, in starstruck hall of fame.

  4. Iconography, idolatry, deified representations in a crafted form or into a symbolic form or even a faceless humanoid representation seem to be one and the same from a blurry distance. The eye-of-the-beholder it is, after all, a matter of perception. The sensory apparatuses and what they perceive or tell the brain change from cradle to grave despite a need to retain familiarity in a literal sense of recognition. The functioning senses remain a learning and adaptive bio form throughout ones’ lifespan.

    Subtle changes catch up over time or are taken for granted unless imprinted somehow. Crafted things do that. Taken for granted or not those sensory apparatuses are unique to each individual which might lead to why there are differences from one person to another, one group to another, one generation to another, . . . . or strangeness’s in figurines, idols, graven images, and even more abstract symbolizations over time and why that preoccupation with them were verboten. They seem to create confusion or perhaps a condition of false witness based on an imprecise perception or incomplete perception of that which IS or Yee who art ad infinitum. There seems a disconnect between changing perceptions and perceptions ad infinitum that might serve the God like infinity. Such is ignorance that one has that that business of false gods and thou shalt not of graven images remains a conundrum, especially, in written symbology let alone crafted figurines and such.

    In one’s younger years sculpting was never a skill one could grasp. Preferred the potter’s wheel with clay’s and stone-wear. There was a certain attainable practicality to spinning a pot, vase, plate, or mug.

    Then again, symbology of the presumed horse as that four-legged creature, is very complex. Whether an ancient symbol of cyclic movement or the steeds that Neptune lashes up from the waves or a dedication to Mars, horse symbology is found throughout most ancient cultures. Mediaeval illustrations of the Zodiac, the sign for Gemini is sometimes portrayed as two horsemen, as for example in the Zodiac of Notre Dame de Paris. The movement of the horse seems almost magical even in the Middle East in ancient times the horse was thought to be a gathering of the four winds by Allah.

  5. The female octopus wants the essence of the male, to conceive, and pop out the future, in the flesh contest.

    There is a lot of trickery involved. When the deception has eaten the heart out of the warrior horse, then society falls.

    Jousting nature of male is to make a stand, by logic and reason, not deception, and by calling out opponent in fair fight.

    Then victor of tournament wins the day.

  6. I don’t know where else to post this Joseph. Sorry for going out topic. But it looks like Indian mission to moon was not crashed after all.
    https://www.timesnownews.com/amp/technology-science/article/chandrayaan-2-pragyan-rover-not-damaged-new-nasa-images-shows-rover-separated-from-lander-after-crash-landing/631089

    It was working fully, even that so it deployed the rover and rover were working, and actually traveled distance (might be for 14 days before getting dead because of the lunar night).

    I don’t know but it now looks like the whole thing was staged about the crash. I don’t know how a crash looks like a landing and a rover as working fine which actually traveled distance.

  7. Everyone knows that John was referring to the King of Tyre, but the line from Habakkuk was intriguing in the context of Yahweh as an avenging god, and avengers often being associated with horses in art history for their important military advantages.

    The figurine, for me, calls up similar depictions of gods in the Americas that appear to wear some kind of technological armor or (dare I say it) environmental suits (Buluc Chabtan). It also calls to mind Durga in the Vedic tradition, though female, has many arms and rides an animal (usu. lion).

    Bulging eyes is a trope frequently seen in vengence gods. Asia is full of depictions of demons and angry characters with wild hair and popping eyeballs. If we take this feature to resemble goggles or eyewear of some kind, then the field opens up to include all sorts of iconography.

    In any event, a thought-provoking article, as usual. Many thanks to the good doctor!

    1. In the seven seals, all the horses are war horses, and clandestine quagmire weakens moral, turning Odysseus’s men into lesser beast.

      A feminist octopus tries to eat Gilgamesh, and like Arthur, he ought to cut his way out of uterus, with a toothpick, he pulls out of a stone.

      Her name is Ishtar, and she wears heavy makeup, in feminist Hollywood, where aging starlets try to lure younger males.

      Holy scripture is a bestseller.

    2. Durga in the whole of India is not as prominent as people in the west might like to think. Durga is not a goddess in monotheism sense.

      Actually Durga is more prominent in West Bengal and Odisha, with the festival of Durga Puja. In rest of India not so much.

      Actually, in the old days, there were two branches of Hinduism Jainism or Buddism ( all are so much intermixed and interlinked that separation of these is too much difficult) were Vashvanites and Shivites.

      And empires, kingdoms were created and fallen because of these two separations. There is recorded history of violent riots between these two sects. Then came the Bhakti movement, which taken over whole of India, and also caused the creation of Sikhism. But the result of these was it destroyed Shivites and Vashvanites.

      The Gandhi used to sing like Gujarati poems like “Vaishnava Jana To Tene Kahiye” were all written during the Bhakti movement.

      The religion Hinduism as we know right now created in the 15th 16th century, actually before the British coming to India there was no word like Hinduism?

      But then the question is what was Hinduism some 1000 or 2000 years ago? No one knows about it.

      1. Also I like to add, Durga Puja and Dussera as a festival happen to be on the same day. While most people celebrating ram victory over ravan.

        And I am emphasizing on “most”, people don’t know about it. But there are lot of tribes and people in India who do puja/prayer of Ravan, and not of ram.

        There are lot of interesting contradictions.

      2. As a student of Yoga, I do the Samadhi thing, that we in Old Norse call “placing the eye in the well”.

        In Old Norse, we identify Ashtanga as diametrical oppositions, and that is implicit in Patanjali.

        This thinking is derived from the 8-point compass, and Old English tides were also used in Old India.

        Tides are Odin’s eight legged horse, Dharmachakra.

        1. There are lot of interesting things and contradictions, I always suggest people read Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi. It’s fictional but quite thought-provoking about India which is getting out of Glacial Maxima.

  8. Even primitive societies make better art than this. This looks more like what a child would make. The archeologist does have a point that the ruling classes might frown on images that would not mean that the rest of the people would not pray before a statue. Though that would not necessarily make them idolaters if they were only using the statue to focus their prayers.

  9. That’s one of the most primitive and lousy sculptures I’ve ever laid eyes on. It doesn’t look like it belongs in a temple and looks almost like a child’s toy. If that is the best they could do then they were a very primitive, unskilled, and unsophisticated lot.

  10. LOL!
    Face of God!
    But as a money maker, in the vein of Jesus imprints, it is a sure thing. Just marketing.
    [Now metaphorically, written through time; one can imagine an attempt to capture a window to the “light”, and beyond its manifestations.]

    In these times[as the magazine…

    White Rabbit

    1. Last night I started reading Alpha Omega by Nicholas Bowling which is about an academy of education where profit motives are becoming literraly deadly. A student has uncovered a Driud skull[at the school’s upgrading surveilance construction site]; that the British museum is trying to recover. Is 7G, and the whole electromagnetic soup creating health issues?
      Oh, and there’s a deadly disease that’s making the rounds w/in the student body. Those bodies are being hidden; instead of paraded, as in the current covid1984 times.

      Holy Cow Batman!
      Moses is going to be shocked
      when he returns from the mountain top!

      Are we up to four horseman yet?

        1. Probably as dangerous as covid1984.
          Although, perception managers riding such weak contenders; are the real threats.

          Still, I wonder about covid1984…
          … that ambiguous nano-connection?

          The on/off switch?

          Then the covid1984 illusion masking a real electromagnetic soup, beefed-up by a ubiquitous 5th generation, aka 5G.

          All is not as it seems; by design.
          The art, is in its deception.

  11. I had a subscription to this magazine over 30 years ago. It was saying odd things then. Biblical Archeological review reminds me of the National Inquirer, but I wouldn’t want to dismiss either lightly.

  12. I was surprised to see the octopus on the horse, as I recently had the vision and intuition that the octopus “archetype” goes beyond the underwater animal used as meal at the seaside; my intuition is that it actually represents a very different pattern in terms of evolution: it is obvious when considering its physical properties; is it possible to extrapolate something on its “psychological” structure and abilities?
    We know these are clever animals with some branches ( such as the cuttlefish ) that are able to morph instantly their skin structure, their color ( and sometimes shape) in whatever they see… even in the dark! ( makes me wonder what kind of sense or ability is this ) .

    We know also these stories of whales hunting giant octopuses down in the abysses. I was always wondered: why are they doing this? Might this be a reminder of a time when cephalopods and mammals had a deadly war? And cachalots deep dive to fight the last survivors of these times, as a way to signify that they’ll never be forgotten neither forgiven?

    Of course this is pure speculation. But in one of my mediations I had the vivid feeling that a cephalopod energy was trying to make its way to me. Whatever such experience means and wether we should give credit to it (or not), I’m leaving upon to you. Nevertheless, as this is a high octane speculation blog, I’m sharing it with you: this cephalopod thing was a very strong and clever energy, but lacked empathy. It might be in a certain way appealing to us, as humans, as it seeks and provides pleasure, but it definitely lacks some backbone (pun intended).
    So, whatever this cephalopod does on this horse, i’m pretty confident that it’s not God, but just one of it’s miserables yet mighty creatures.

    1. Alex,
      So was I thinking of the octopus.
      I picked up a non-fiction book, Future Minds: The Rise of Intelligence From the Big Bang To the End of the Universe by Richard Yonck. About thirty plus pages in, and am not impressed one iota.
      Not a mention of the octopus. A very intelligent life that may well originate from somewhere else.
      Indeed, not a mention of other intelligence life forms on Earth. Yet, the book has artificial intelligences galore!
      Looking at just man, AI, and to the stars.
      Limited vision hangout.

      1. Thank you Robert for your feedback. I read somewhere about the hypothesis that life on Earth might not have originated in a unique process, but could have been brought in different waves via panspermia processes.
        Pretty interesting, cephalopods have at a certain extent a quite different use of their own DNA (actually RNA editing) compared to most of the living things on this planet: https://www.sciencealert.com/it-s-official-octopus-and-squid-evolution-is-weirder-than-we-could-have-ever-imagined
        As this is the right place, let’s jump to some fun speculations:
        if DNA is not the only player in the game of shaping our bodies and there is a thing such as a “morphogenic field” involved in the process, we might speculate that a specific species could make use of DNA or whatever ingredients ( in this case RNA) to complete its “program” via morphic resonance.
        In this case, the cephalopods’ morphogenetic information could be indeed alien; perhaps many animals’ morphogenetic information living on this planet originated somewhere else … and found a way to get in and make use of the abundant opportunities here 🙂
        According to Sheldrake, morphogenetic information is not local. How and why this information can be “downloaded” remains a mystery. It might be even possible that morphic resonance can act even between different species, and that this process can be led consciously. Spooky, brrrr… :)))

        1. I too think life originated elsewhere; and the universe is teeming with living spirits.
          The octopus family probably is alien in the since of “earthlings”.

          Loved your detailed analyses.

        2. Alex, another life form, that doesn’t get much ink, is the fungus. Fungi provide a key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways that we think, feel, and behave.
          I wonder if their spores have and are traveling across the deepness of space?

          Panspermia, in Cold War paranoia, came to resemble horizontal gene transfer on a cosmic scale. Life on Earth could no longer be considered a genetically closed system, a planetary island in an uncrossable sea.

          1. Thank you both for your inputs!
            It looks like we have similar questions and researches:
            – Goshawks, I also consider the Cambrian Explosion as a “smoking gun” for a process that goes beyond the standard explanation of the evolutionary process; it simply doesn’t make sense: the diversity of shapes, organs, functions and senses cannot be explained only by random mutations, successful coincidences and selection. Or at least we should change our mathematical paradigms regarding statistics.
            Very probably, as the article states, the increase in the oxygen proportions gave the potential conditions for these organisms to emerge with such metabolic processes; but it looks like some organs, functions and highly complex structures appeared at once, without obvious ancestors, as if the “blueprints” were pre-existing.
            – Robert, I am big fan of mushrooms, thanks for mentioning them, perhaps our true architect down here 🙂
            I used to be very cautious with the use of words like “living spirits”, but I understand your point as it becomes increasingly obvious to me that we need to open to a broader understanding of what Life is and question our purpose on Earth, while keeping a high living spirit within us :)))
            Also: could you please tell me more or provide a reference about this paranoia regarding panspermia during the Cold War, I’m very interested!

          2. Alex, in answer to your specific question, it’s in another book I’m currently reading: Entangled Life: How Fungi Make our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Future by Merlin Sheldrake, 2020; pages 76 to 78 & is also footnoted to those pages. Also, just address it here, in this forum; I prefer everyone to see what’s discussed.
            The above author is quite good, & I think you’d enjoy his subject matter and approach.
            Thanks your reply and comments.
            Looking forward to more.

          3. Alex
            On page 42 Merlin addresses the matter of talking about other life forms w/o either reducing them to an “it”, a mere thing. Discussing how some indigenous languages are rich in verb forms that attribute aliveness to the more-than-human world.

          4. Robert
            I’m amazed that you mention the indigenous languages because it’s a field of research I’m interested in and had some experiences.
            For instance, I spent some time with the Shipibos, close to the border Brasil / Peru, and after several years I was truly initiated to their language. I realized progressively that language is not a tool that describes reality, but rather a tool that shapes reality, at least the way we represent it ( which is almost the same).
            Shipibo language doesn’t have references to time ( there are no translations for yesterday or tomorrow ) and there are no numbers!
            It’s a language based on relations and empathy among the living kingdom, something I call an “emotional geometry”; thus, Shipibo Shamans can “talk” with plants and trees as entanglement and empathy allows some type of communication, obviously very different form what we use to think and how we consider language.
            Our Western mindset, despite being extraordinary efficient in terms of rational reasoning, is so narrow when it comes to deal with this type of relations and “emotions”; we even don’t have the words and concepts to represent them!
            It’s a long way to go, but it’s possible and very rewarding: Life is much more that what we use to reduce it. We can lear this language, which would allow us to consciously co-create with Nature in unbelievable ways. I was reading this article today, which is giving a little hint about processes that become visible and conscious when a different language is used; it’s still very limited, but it’s a step into the right direction: https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/full/10.1063/PT.3.4546

          5. Alex,
            We’re definitely on the same wavelength; language not only shapes the reality, but the living culture.
            In those societies, the economy is based upon “living wealth”.
            Time is ever present, in the moment; one w/nature. In fact, nature speaks.
            Yes! Talk w/plants!{I post as I read]
            It’s not that the “western” mindset is so narrow; it’s been purposely enclosed, and that enclosure is being exacerbated by the digital medium phased transition.
            It is very refreshing Alex to see your path as one that is communicating w/living spirits.
            [in my mind’s eye].

            “Entangled Life” is what you’ve been living and researching!
            Serendipity once again manifests itself[for lack of a better language].

        3. Might want to try a couple contextual changes to help with removing consensus science ideas. Ex. Darwin could not have been more innaccurate. Neither could big bang. These maybe possible ideas. They are proving less plausible daily. Electric universe explains much better and comprehensively than big bang. Epigenetics give light to Darwin’s eugenic agenda.

        4. Alex, just picked up a sci-fi book that features South American indigenous languages as a major part of the book[so far]: The Genius Plague by David Walton Oct 3, 2017. For example/There’s a group of people living along a tributary of the Amazon called Jonura. Maybe three, four hundred people tops, who speak a language that has three vowels and eight consonants.
          A NSA is hunting down a group using a language spoken in whistles for code purposes.
          The plot involves an alien fungus that is, in part, taken control of people’s minds – in “a good way”.
          About a third of the way through; but the storyline goes deep into indigenous South American languages[at least in the part I’m at now].
          You may be interested in how the author presents/frames the language aspect.

          So far it’s an excellent read.

  13. When approaching multilayered terms, we distinguish between abstraction, concrete and flavor – in deep poetry.

    Concept of Year is already highly abstract, even though it is seen as concrete, and its flavor is fourfold seasonal – and angelic.

    Expressing the One Year in itself, we could follow Old English nomenclature, and speak of Yearship, as God, as the Year of the Lord.

    That Ship travels without moving, and folds space – as Ryne in Religō – closing circle of spiraling stairway to heaven.

  14. The Israelite’s have always been an arrogant, willful, and wicked people who have allowed their “chosen” status get them into trouble innumerable times. They turn to their God only when is it is convenient to get them out of whatever trouble they have gotten themselves into; then they drop Him like a hot potato and resume their wicked ways.
    This new lot occupying the land of Israel today is even worse. I’m not convinced they are even true Israelite’s at all.
    It is no surprise when one of their “scholars” comes up with an “octopus on a horse” as a graven image of their “God”. They have worshiped so many over the course of their history. The current flavor of the day being mammon and the power it brings with it.
    I had a good laugh over this article when I first read it and am surprised it made it into the daily blogs here; but then we tend to follow weird stuff at times and this is definitely a “you tell me” topic. God is, after all, God; and He can appear as anything He likes. Why not an octopus on a horse…

    1. Original Isra-lights had more watt in their lightbulbs, than present-day pretenders squeezing moisture at the wall.

      It is always the moneylenders, that try to switch off the Isra-lights, because the mafia hates the lightbulbs.

      Pretenders like to pretend, and they playact, as monarchs on thrones. They think, it is real in their mind.

      Six million jokes are on fire.

  15. So somebody is displeased that portraits of that weird character may have turned up? Sure the Biblical Archaeology Review is a “mainstream magazine” on everybody’s coffee table!
    This idea that since there were prohibitions against image making means that no images were made over all those centuries is like saying that since theft was prohibited, there were no thieves at all, ever. Illogical and anti-scientific, for one thing.

    1. Think there were 9th century tech executives and cancel culture? Those folk probably had better paper and book tech than we did – and then Antifa came through and burned it all.

  16. I tend to reject “God on a horse” for the same reason James T. Kirk questioned, “Why does God need a starship?” If there is ‘Someone’ so powerful that they are near-omnipotent, why do they need transportation?

    There is strange stuff around the reported ‘God’ during the Israeli wandering-in-the-desert period. They had a portable shelter/temple which they would set-up each stop. ‘Something’ would descend-into this structure who/which they were not allowed to look-at during entry, but could be sensed by its ‘presence’ when the structure was occupied (if I remember the sequence correctly). This seems to imply more a descending-into-materiality than a UFO landing. Once in the temple, however, the Being seemed to have material needs, like an appetite for fine food. (And, it killed temple-helpers who surprised it.)

    All of the above seems, in my opinion, to be much more intriguing and sophisticated than an crudely-shaped figure on a horse…

    1. I agree Goshawks.

      Why do archeologists assume that “Anything that you use in a temple, the animals or the vessels, is imbued with religious symbolism and becomes sacred on its own when used in religious rituals. So they can’t be discarded; rather are deposited in the sacred terminus.” Seriously, they need to visit Williams Sonoma.

      Dr. F – I like the break from tradition, my left field just zoomed in and created my own bubble. This reminded me of the graven image concept, which seems like a healthy precursor to the anti-materialism vibe. This commandment always gets me thinking about attachment to stuff and how important the life force is for well being. I then checked my twitter feed and this image popped up and it seems right on point, as well as not so dissimilar to those cute little artifacts.

      https://twitter.com/backt0nature/status/1290211303156482048
      God as – an experience and not an object.

      1. Yep. My wife introduced me to alpaca. They hum when they’re happy. Loved hearing that little guy laugh. Wish we’d have been there. I’m sure the goofy haircut alpaca was saying something as delightful. Better than a apit in the eye, right ? Thank you for posting that.

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