A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible
Hunc tu caveto.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Image from Light4Us Blog

Gideon vs. the Midianites (Judges Chapter 6) - Right off the bat, I've come across yet another contradiction.  Remember in the Book of Numbers when the Israelites took out ALL of the Midianite men? (Numbers 31:7)  Well, they're back and they've become such a nuisance that Judges Ch. 6 is basically dedicated to their destruction - again.

This time the protagonist is a young man named Gideon.  While chilling under an oak tree (I'm reading King James version so I think that's what it's saying), Yahweh sends angel down to tell Gideon that he is chosen to be the Israelite's Next Top Warrior. 

Gideon, being skeptical said he's just a poor man, how can he be a warrior?  Yahweh says He's on Gideon's side, and He will personally help Gideon massacre the Midianites.  As proof that it is really Him, Yahweh cooks flesh and unleavened bread on a rock.  Apparently, fire came out of the rock.  I guess that must have been pretty cool back then.

So what did the Midianites do exactly?  Apparently, they retaliated against the Israelites for all of their previous acts.  They took their livestock and supplies, and rose up against the Israelites.

So Gideon and the Israelites counter-attack, tear down a statue of Baal, and this angers the Midianite and other non-Yahwehists.  The Israelites actually make a good skeptical argument.  Basically, they say, "If Baal is real, let him plead for himself.  If he is a god, let him retaliate."  

And, nothing happens.

Toward the end Gideon is still skeptical toward Yahweh and asks for more signs.  Apparently, cooking food on a rock wasn't as spectacular as we originally thought!  Well, it gets worse.  The sign Gideon asks for is utterly ridiculous.  He puts some sheepskin on the ground, and tells Yahweh that if the dew is only on the wool and not on the surrounding ground, THEN he will believe Yahweh's promise to him.

Actually, given Yahweh's reckless behavior in the past, I'd be pretty skeptical about his "promises" too.  I probably wouldn't resort to these odd requests, though.  I think I'd just be happy if Yahweh talked to people normally, in a language (like English) that wouldn't destroy us.

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