I do believe that a spiritual reality permeates this universe which I
call The Single Principle, I cannot believe in the absurd notion of the
deity invented by the primitive man that is being inherited by us
through the relics of their primitive religions. These religions do not
answer the intellectual quest of the modern wo/man and their god is
outdated and rationally untenable. So when I talk about feeling God, I
am not talking about Allah or Yahweh. These are figments of human
imagination in the early stages of its maturity. They have no place in
our modern world. They are stupid gods that cannot stand the test of
reason. The Single Principle underlying the creation, that eternal
spiritual reality permeating every atom of this universe is not what our
prehistoric ancestors invented and a bunch of charlatans calling
themselves prophets have echoed and perpetuated.
is not true that religions were the first to introduce the concept of
God to humankind. The notion of God is evolved with the intellectual
capacity of human brain. People believed in spirits and assumed that
behind every natural phenomenon there is a deity that makes it happen.
There was a god for thunders, a god for winds, a god for fertility and a
god for creation, a god for death and a god for birth. Gods were
abounding and they were all the products of human’s imagination.
prayed to these gods and offered sacrifices in their altars. They sought
their protection and invoked them in their wars. Shamans and medicine
men came along and took advantage of the credulity of people. They posed
as the mediums between men and gods and robbed them with their lies.
enforce their hegemony over the people they claimed to be the prophets
and messengers of these gods and demanded absolute obedience and payment
of money in exchange for salvation. No one could see these gods but them
and they were the vicegerents of the deities among men. Of course
rivalry arouse between the prophets, each claiming that their god is
superior and more powerful. A contest of power is reported between
Elijah the self acclaimed prophet of Yahweh and the followers of Baal in
a very naďf tale in the Bible. In this story Elijah challenges the
power of Baal by asking his followers to bring a bull, place it on the
altar and ask the Baal to set it to fire. The followers of Baal pray all
day and nothing happens. But when Elijah prays to Yahweh (Lord), the
bull is immediately consumed in fire. Then Elijah having proved the
superiority of Yahweh over Baal, orders the execution of Baal’s
followers. (Which makes one wonder why Yahweh himself who was so
powerful did not kill them?) This story is narrated in 1Kings 1Ki
no rational person can believe in the accuracy of such an absurd tale.
If it was so easy to prove the existence of God, then I challenge, the
Jews, the Christians and the Muslims to invoke their god and ask him to
perform the same miracle in front of TV cameras, (without any tricks) to
settle this controversy about his existence once and for all. With the
promise that if they end up making fools of themselves at the end of the
day, like the followers of the Baal in the above narrative, and their
god does not respond, their lives will be spared, thanks to our
Universal Declaration of Human Rights that allows people the freedom to
believe even in false and impotent gods like Yahweh and Allah.
the old days there were many gods. All these gods had prophets,
intermediaries and messengers. This was then, as is now, a very
lucrative and enticing business. It gave the prophets immense prestige
and a lot of power. In the above story it is said that Baal had 450
Elijah said to them, "I am the only prophet of the LORD
[Yahweh] who is left, but Baal has
450 prophets. 1Ki
those days people prayed to several gods. At first there was little
religious hostility between them. They simply prayed to each other’s
gods, just in case. If their prayers were answered, they attributed it
to the power of that god and promoted him amongst their own people.
However, the prophets and the priests were not happy of such an
arrangement. They wanted control over people. If people believed in
other gods then they would also take their offerings and sacrifices to
those gods. This would have damaged their [the prophets’ and
priests’] business and meant lost of income. So it was imperative to
dissuade people of praying to other gods.
Thus we hear such harsh condemnations like the following.
the Israelites did evil in the LORD's sight. They worshiped images of
Baal and Ashtoreth, and the gods of Aram, Sidon, Moab, Ammon, and
Philistia. Not only this, but they abandoned the LORD [Yahweh] and no
longer served him at all. Jud
even the famous biblical figure Solomon, “worshiped
Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians; Chemosh, the god of Moab; and
Molech, the god of the Ammonites”
11:33 and 1Ki
even built shrines for these gods. 2Ki
fact it was not just Solomon, but most of the Israeli’s believed in a
pantheon of Gods as is clear from this King Samuel rebuking of the Jews.
Samuel said to all the people of Israel, "If you are really serious
about wanting to return to the LORD [Yahweh] , get rid of your foreign
gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Determine to obey only the LORD; then
he will rescue you from the Philistines." 1Sa
confirmation that the Israelites were worshipping other gods can be
found in the following verses.
abandoned the LORD to serve Baal and the images of Ashtoreth. Jud
long Israel was joining in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the
LORD's anger to blaze against his people. Nu
25:5 , 1Sa
wonders if these “other” gods really did not exist, what was the big
fuss. Why should Yahweh and his priests and functionaries be so jealous
of gods that really do not have any existence? The answer is that the
authors of the Bible really believed that they did exist, but they did
not want the Israelis to worship them for the following reasons.
Israelis believed in other gods than Yahweh, (the gods of other nations)
they would feel friendly with their neighboring nations, associate with
them in amity, intermarry and the rulers would not be able to secure the
integrity of the Israeli nation. To have a sense of nationality you have
to have something that binds people together; something unique that is
not shared by other neighboring tribes. Israelites were a small nation
among many nations, all clustered in a small area. Intermixing and
intermingling was inevitable. A common religion, unique to the Israelis
would have given them a common cause and a sense of belonging. The kings
needed an excuse to secure the allegiance of the nation and instill in
them the hatred of the enemy. The religion with a different god would
have provided such an excuse; a god that was superior to the gods of
their neighbors - a god that was mightier than all other gods, and above
all a god that was jealous and vengeful that would not tolerate
priests also liked the idea of a single god. So when the nation of
Israel was released from the bondage of Nabuchadnezar and by the leave
of Cyrus returned to Jerusalem to rebuild her temple and worship her own
god, (Ezra 1) the priests of that time; Jeremiah, Ezra and perhaps
others regrouped the Israelis that were split in two separate nations,
Judah and Israel, each having a different country, a different king and
a different deity, into one nation. They blended their bibles (religious
lore) and amalgamated their gods, El and Yahweh [Lord], into one single
god. They instigated in the people the hatred of other gods and claimed
that their sufferings, exiles and captivities were caused as a
punishment because Jews had forsaken the Jewish god El/Yahweh, (now
posing as a single god). And
as Samuel promised them, if
they returned to Yahweh they would be victorious over the Philistines. 1Sa
story obviously makes little sense. Why should God be the god of the
Jews and not of the Philistines? But it made perfect sense to those
living in 700 BC. For them, there were many gods and each nation had its
own patron. Yahweh was the god of the Jews and other nations had their
thorough study of the Bible makes it clear that Yahweh is not the same
as El. These were two different deities that were later synthesized in
originally was the god of war, the deity of Yahwism --a very old Bedouin
religion of Arabia. His name is most likely the diminutive of
"Yahweh Sabaoth." Which means, "he musters armies."
reference to that can be found in the Ex 15:3
is a warrior
Yahweh is his NAME
is the exclusive God of the Hebrews. (Ex. 7:16) and it is him who plays
all sorts of trick and punishes the Pharaoh and the Egyptians. It is
again Yahweh who acts as the commander in chief when the Israelis led by
Moses and then by Joshua invade nation after nation, massacring them and
pillaging their towns and pledges to make them victories over their
enemies whose lands were promised to the Jews (Ex. 23:27-33)
was the religion of Judah the tribe that settled in southern regions of
Palestine and from there it must have spread to the rest of Arabia.
Yahweh is basically a chieftain very much concerned to find new homes
for his clan and assist them in their wars. The old version of Yahwism
was the religion of Ancient Arabia.
god of Jacob however, was El. El was worshipped in Aramea were Jacob
came from (Deut 26:5). Therefore Israelites are originally Arameans.
And El was worshiped in the kingdom of Israel.
82 leaves no doubt that indeed El and Yahweh are two distinct
gods. This short chapter is the minutes taken at the counsel of gods
where Yahweh is presiding. These are all sons of El, the Most High.
Yahweh is admonishing other gods, rebuking them and firing them for
being inept. In fact he reminds them that they are the sons of the
Almighty (Elyon). This makes it clear that Yahweh is not the Most High.
The Most High is El or Elyon, Yahweh's father and the father of all the
the end he cast an ominous condemnation at his sibling gods and warns
them that they shall die like Mortals. The Bible does not say whether
these gods actually died but Yahweh [LORD] calls upon The Most High [Elyon]
to rise up, judge the Earth, for all the nations belong to him.
82 6 I say, "You are gods, children
of the Most High, all of you; 7 nevertheless, you
shall die like mortals, and fall like any prince." 8 Rise
up, O God, judge the earth; for all the nations belong to you!
all the gods, condemning them to death and monopolizing the power in the
hands of El must have been a political move by the Israel to impose its
hegemony over other nations. It is possible that this decision was taken
during the kingship of Jeroboam I on behalf of the Elyon to establish
the superiority of Israel over Judah and most likely other nations.
the Psalms 82 is politically motivated, its implication on history of
monotheism and the subsequent monotheistic religions is immense. From
this moment on, Elyon, the sky god, the most high is to rule the entire
world single handedly without the help of intermediaries. This psalm
does not head off monotheism right away. But it levels the terrain for
the direct rule of one god over all the nations. With this psalm the
seed of monotheism is planted but the fruit of that will be harvested
when Paul travels to Rome and Athens to present the Jewish god as the
god of all humanity and the same god worshipped by the Athenians and
verses in Deut 32:8 and 9 reaffirm the existence of multiple Gods --
Each of which is in charge of a nation. The following translation is
from New Revised Standard
the Most High apportioned the nations, when he divided humankind, he
fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the gods;
Lord's own portion was his people, Jacob his allotted share.
verse in other versions is translated differently.
the Hebrew Names Version of World English Bible we read:
Ha`Elyon gave to the nations their inheritance, When he separated the
children of men, He set the bounds of the peoples According to the
number of the children of Yisra'el.
the LORD's portion is his people; Ya`akov is the lot of his inheritance.
is clear that the Most High is the Elyon. But unlike the translation in
NRS it says that the nations of the world were divided according to the
number of the children of Israel and not according to the number of the
gods. I asked my friend Shlomi Tal who knows Hebrew, Arabic and
Latin, just to mention a few among other languages for clarification. An
hour later I got the following response:
The exact wording of Deuteronomy 32:8-9 is:
32:8 b'hanhel elyon goyim b'hafrido b'ne adam yatsev g'vulot 'ammim
l'mispar b'ne yisrael
32:9 ki heleq YHWH 'ammo ya'aqov hevel nahalato
When Elyon (=Upper, Most High) apportioned [the] nations,
When he separated sons of Adam (=humankind),
[he] fixed the boundaries of nations
in the numbers of the children of Israel.
For the portion of YHWH is his nation,
Jacob [is] the portion of his land.
Elyon (Upper, Most High) is a name for the God of Israel, among others.
It may also be a pre-Biblical deity in which the Hebrews had believed.
Compare the Aramaic deity Ilyaan in cuneiform scripts. (Ilyaan = Elyon
just as Hebrew olam = Arabic 'aalam, "world"). So Elyon can be
translated as "Most High", but if you're writing an article on
Bible criticism then you can mention Elyon as the name of a previous
"In the numbers of the children of Israel" is correct - it
refers to the 70 children of Israel who are mentioned in the very
opening of Exodus. That is the meaning, which both critical and pious
(like Rashi, the 11th century commentator on the Torah, parallel to the
Jalaalain of Islam) gave, but the critical commentators also allow for
it to mean “in the number of the sons of El". El was a Canaanite
deity and had 70 sons.
Wherever "elohim" appears in the Bible, the Greeks translated
it as "ho theos" (God, Latin Deus), whereas "YHWH"
they translated "ho kyrios" (master, Lord, Latin Dominus). The
God of the Hebrews has many names: Elohim (plural of elo[a]h = Arabic
ilaah), El, YHWH, Shaddai. They may be names of previous separate male
deities (there were also female deities, such as "tehom",
abyss in Genesis 1, which is Babylonian tiamat, the Sea Godess if I
recall correctly). There is little doubt the ancient Hebrews believed in
many gods, but gradually a single Skygod became supreme among them (like
Allah among the pagan Arabs), eventually excluding their existence
altogether. What we have in the Bible is edited material striving to
wipe out the old polytheism, so we have to discern the old belief
through a filter. Whether the children of Israel were tossed from one
god to another is unclear - a possibility, but don't count on verifying
it through all this filtering.
Sources for my explanations: Torah with Rashi commentary and Olam
HaTanakh (World of the Bible) Encyclopedia (secular commentary,
published by Davidzon-Eti).
Shlomi Tal aka devnet, Al-Mulhid Al-Faaqidullaah.
that it pays to have erudite friends, doesn't it? . :-)
fact that Yahweh is portrayed as a jealous god is clear that the Jews
agreed that there are other gods. You cannot be jealous of
something that does not exist.
even Jesus believed that other nations
havd their own separate gods. The concept of monotheism was evolved
gradually and perhaps with no little thanks to the over zealot Christian
missioner Paul the apostle.
Even Muhammad had the slip of the tongue when one day next to Ka’ba
while discussing religious matters with some prominent men of Quraish
revealed this verse:
see ye not LAT and OZZA,
And MANAT the third besides?
are the exalted Females,
And verily their Intercession is to be hoped for.
story is reported by both Katib
al Waqidi p. 89; and
Tabari, p. 140.
open concession and the acceptance of Lat, Ozza and Manat, surprised and
pleased the Quraish who unanimously bowed in prostration when Muhammad
ended his speech with these words: “Wherefore bow down before
God, and serve Him.”
were happy for this concession and avowed to end hostility.
narrators say that on the very night of that day, Gabriel appeared to
Muhammad and said: “What is this that thou hast done? thou hast
repeated before the people words that I never gave unto thee.” (Muir
p. 151) And Muhammad realizing that these verses were put into his
mouth by Satan, retracted from what he said, disowned the whole
proceeding, and called those verses “Satanic Verses”.
the fact that the tidings of the reconciliation between the Muslims and
the Quraish reached Abyssinia and many of the immigrants returned to
Mecca makes us deduce that Gabriel did not appear to Muhammad on the
same night and this state of peace between the Quraish and the followers
of Muhammad went on for a while. Until Muhammad realized that by
accepting the three goddesses, the daughters of Allah, he is shooting in
his own foot and making superfluous his own raison de etre. So he
claimed that Satan put those words into his mouth and the real verse as
revealed by Allah should have been:
see ye not LAT and OZZA,
And MANAT the third beside?
What! Shall there be male progeny unto you, and female unto him?
That were indeed an unjust partition!
They are naught but names, which ye and your, Fathers have invented.”
verses were not only more in line with the misogynist nature of the
prophet, but also through them the prophet could reaffirmed himself as
the sole intermediary between Allah and man.
conclusion the concept of God did not descend from religions. Both
religion and god are the inventions of man. They both evolved as human
intellect kept growing. But today we have advanced to a stage that we no
more can accept those antiquated and unverifiable dogmas of our
forefathers. We can easily and logically disprove
the existence of the god given to us by our ancestors and then
enforced by the religions, but there is not a shred of evidence that can
prove the existence of such deity.