Friday, 22 August 2014

I could be prophet, in theory ...

"It was the characteristic of the spirit of the Jewish people that whenever monarch, priest or nation went astray, some ordinary man or woman would simply appear and announce what he or she believed to be God's view on the matter. In Hebrew such individuals were known as nabi' im, literally mouthpieces of God. In modern religious teaching they are referred to as 'prophets', but this is really a misnomer since foretelling the future was the least of their many attributes. Most importantly, a nabi was not a priest per se. The Jewish people had priests by this time, but they were regarded, and would continue to be regarded, as mere functionaries, supervisors of animal sacrifices, and ultimately of no religious importance. A nabi could be anyone. a courtier such as Isiah, priests such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel, even a woman, such as Deborah, but quite often an uncouth countryman, such as Eligjah the Tishbite, who in the ninth century, clad in a goat's hair shirt, came forward to condemn Israel's King Ahab and his flagrantly pagan Queen Jezebel. A nabi was supremely important because he represented the voice of God, but his inevitable problem was that of convincing others that he was what he claimed to be. The surest sign was working of what appeared to be 'miracles'. Moses reputedly first attracted notice by turning his rod into a snake, a story which, fantastic as it may sound, may well be true. A cobra, if given a sharp blow on the back of the neck, will go catalepitcally rigid like a rod, as Egyptian snake-charmers can still demonstrate. Moses seems simply to have reversed the process. And he followed this trick with some water-divining in the desert. The common feature of nabi'im was a commanding, probably hypnotic personality which enabled them, as in the cases of Elijah and Elisha, to practice 'natural magic', sometimes returning 'dead' people to life.

Nabi'im, because they tended towards an ascetic, 'back to nature' outlook, continually railed against the Jewish people for lapsing into hedonism and materialism that Moses had led them away from in Egypt."

From Ian Wilson's JESUS: THE EVIDENCE.

Just imagine, folks! I could be prophet.

Maybe I should just learn hypnosis and a few magic tricks.

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