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Golden Calf
A Musing Upon the Autodeified State: 1/2/2023
© 2023 James LaFond
JUL/3/23
Listening to good fire and brimstone sermons always serves to get this crackpot brain wandering into fields that would no doubt horrify the giver of the sermon. When hearing such a sermon from the sanitized modern Bible, going back to King James and getting closer to the truth on audio, listening over and over again, is instructive, as much for what is taken out of sacred textual presentations over time as anything left in.
This last sermon involved Exodus 32.
To set the stage I listened to Exodus 20
“Out of the house of bondage…” God tells Moses he had delivered him and His people.
God goes on:
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me... for I the Lord thy God am a jealous god.”
The modern mind has been conditioned to read this as there is only one God, and all other gods are fake. That is not what God says. God acknowledges other gods and declares that he is “a god,” among others and that he is jealous. God here, sounds very much like Zeus or Jove.
Sabbath work prohibitions include, “manservant and maidservant,” then cattle, chattel to cattle as in Plantation America inventories, placing slaves halfway between human and cattle, which is exactly what chattel means. God has freed His People from chattel bondage in Egypt.
In Exodus 1 it is clear that the pharaoh of the Bronze Age Collapse, who “slew the Denyen who are in their isles,” held the tribes of Israel in slave colonies, cities with gates barred from the outside. The sons of Dan, Samson’s people, might have been the Denyen. The boasts of the pharaoh that he enslaved the Sea Peoples he captured matches very closely Exodus. Also, these sea peoples, some of them, are shown in art to be beef herders.
Egypt, due to its flood dynamics, may have been a refuge in a climatic crisis, as described in The Odyssey. These Sea Peoples may well have included coastal migrants, driving cattle by land and cruising down the coast as did Alexander on his return from India.
The reading of Exodus 32 that I heard in church was sanitized to speak of jewelry in general as a sign of wealth, rather than what it was, in ancient times and The King James Bible, a symbol of bondage and domination. This is unfortunate, semantically induced ignorance. The preacher’s sermon would have made his point more strongly, that the golden calf idol constructed by Aaron for the faithless people in violation of God’s commandments was a form of self worship. The pastor was leading the church towards a discussion of postmodernism, transhumanism and autodeification and was ill-served by his new and improved translation.
First, Moses, is a man with moxie, who pleads with God to “repent from the evil,” the “evil” that God wants to do to His people! Moses plays to God’s sense of reputation among other, non believer people, by telling God that if he kills his people for sinning, that the Egyptians will think he is a trickster god, a misleading power. And God repents, not the One and Only God of modern myth, but “a jealous god,” the God of Abraham, the mightiest god.
Homer would have loved Exodus. Xenophon would have seen in Exodus Zeus Deliverer, God of Oaths, who brought he and The Ten Thousand down to the sea out of enemy lands, just as Moses, which means Deliverer, was freed for an upward journey out of enemy lands.
Exodus 32, has Aaron state, when the faithless herd of Israel pleads for an idol: “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters,” stopping there and not going on down the list to man servants and maid servants. It is not simply jewelry, but only these golden earrings, that are melted to make the golden calf idol.
These earrings are ownership tags, the same as Mosaic law places in the ears of slaves, for the wife, son and daughter are the father’s property. Thus the golden calf represents the men of this refugee camp giving up their symbols of family domination into the idol crucible, in essence, the making of a god that is forged from the self-image of their social domination. It is no accident, I suspect, that the god is a young cattle, symbolizing a young nomad nation, newly bound in a covenant with its material self.
Of interest, is that the Sons of Levi, who could not have numbered more than 1 in 10 men, probably less, take up swords and enter the camp from outside through gates and slaughter 3,000 men, indicating that these men were unarmed and possibly locked into their camp after the Egyptian fashion. In Egypt it was where Exodus 1 points out that Israel waxed strong, stronger than the Egyptians, perhaps as the slaves of the French in Haiti grew too strong for their masters to hold down, even as the African American slaves have grown to become the dominant culture group in America, with their 13% of the population over represented in commercial, celebrity, historical, political and murder culture, the last making them something of the postmodern Sons of Levi, committing over 56% of all killings.
The vast majority of men—not their human property, just the men—are slaughtered by a handful of swordsmen while in a camp that seems to be constructed like a cattle pen. Taking war and bondage out of ancient texts and sanitizing them much reduces their meaning. This suggests that the people of Israel were, in part, policed and kept to their tasks by members of their own race, or of other bound slaves set over them, and that either in imitation or continuation of this, a slave structure was maintained during Exodus, with most of the men unarmed and only the priesthood armed. [1]
A close reading of the texts confirms a polytheistic reality, a mighty, penitent, wrathful, jealous God of very Zeus-like persona, not the sanitized Only God shopped around churches in modern times, an idea that is utterly dispelled, and then forgotten, in Genesis when man is made, according to God, “in Our image after Our likeness.” [2]
Notes
-1. This calls for a close reading of Leviticus in a pastoral rather than agrarian light.
-2. Another aspect of ancient thought that escapes the modern mind is the fact of angels, devils and demons. As late as Bunyan in The Heavenly Footman, there is a very pagan like belief that angels will either gather the dead to heaven or devils to hell. In Ancient terms, an angel is a lesser god, as is a devil. It is this reader’s opinion that much of the success early Christians had in converting heathen Europeans and Central Americans was the very polytheistic nature of the Bible, a book that recognized many powers, with One Supreme, exactly as Homer, Hesiod and Xenophon did. Indeed, the idea that there is only one supra human power and that all lesser powers are illusory shams to hypnotize the idiot masses, does not come from the Bible, but from Aristotle, and is essentially deistic.
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