- Aug 3, 2014
If it is spewing molten lava most people will not live within a certain distance from it....I already state that contrary to what you stated that people can get relatively close to a volcano without special advance protective devices or clothing."Flying is not general knowledge....recognizing a airplane is.
Driving is not general knowledge but knowing what a car is general knowledge.
I feel safe in assuming that these people knew what a volcano is"
That's because it's common knowledge to us. But think about WHY it is common knowledge to us. Again, the word comes from the Roman vulcanus. Why is it that the romans didn't use a pre-existing term if it was common knowledge? Common knowledge = common terminology. A camera in Japan is still a "camera" because they didn't invent it. So they try to pronounce it the best they can. Do you see my point?
"If it was a volcano, then Jethro and his family would not be living within a days walk from it, if he is tending Jethro's flock the the place where he is tending them would be a locale frequented by Jethro's family."
1. I think you're getting hung up on taking the bible literally instead of a story that is being retold.
2. There are no witnesses to what Moshe claims he saw
Exodus 3 says the burning bush happened at "the far side of the wilderness" near Horeb. Again... volcanoes can lay dormant for hundreds of years. I don't think we can assume with ANY certainty that someone wouldn't live there as if they know where all the volcanoes are. People live near volcanoes all the time. Look at Hawaii. Look at Crete. As many as 20,000 people were killed as a result of the volcanic explosion at Pompeii. But somehow you want to believe that a Midianite priest would be smart enough not to live close to one? I don't follow your logic. We have tons of people who live in tornado alley, tons of people who live near fault lines, tons of people who live below sea level in flood zones. But a Midianite priest wouldn't do any of these things?
"The problem is... humans really can't get close to a volcano without advanced materials and very protective gear."
I do not take the story literally, but I also do not take ancient peoples for fools.
So using your own logic, you have answered your own question, Raging mountains they let out smoke .....not a pillar of smoke that stands a the entrance to a tend or between two encampments"What we know about Volcanos is that when the become active it tends to be ongoing for several days if not years. So if God was the Volcano in Jethro's Country how could also be in the Moses Camp.
They not talking about a volcano"
Again... if they don't know what a volcano is then in their minds all they are connecting together is "mountain" and "fire". I've already proved this by showing you in the scriptures where they saw the "mountain" was "smoking". You are simply choosing to believe that wasn't a natural event. But in geology if you have a smoking mountain its most likely a volcano because the peak of a mountain is typically cold because of the altitude. Mountains and Islands are often formed by volcanic activity in the first place. Therefore, because of the size of the eruption there could have been other veins and areas where the pressure was trying to release itself. That doesn't mean that it had an eruption at all of these places.
The main point I'm making is in regards to the idea of "mountain" and "fire". The story can always be backfilled with the same elements. And once these elements are used in connection with God then instead of an idol of a calf, the Israelites would be thinking about fire and smoke and cloud. This could be created artificially if they wanted people to "see" the presences of God or an angel. However, if its just for the sake of story telling, one only has to write it into the narrative.
And the one thing you haven't taken into account is the fact that never once did the Israelites ever write about ANY "volcano" if they knew what one was. You're suggesting they did know but never wrote about one. Why not? How would there be an eruption, visible from space, visible from Egypt, an explosive force equal to more than 2,000 megatons of TNT, even causing crop failure in China...
An astronaut on the space station snapped an amazing photo of Santorini, an ancient catastrophic volcano.slate.com
possibly mentioned in the Egyptian Tempest Stele
But the bible... which we are to believe has a perfect recording of history going back to Adam... never mentions any such geological formation, as a volcano, at all. You want me to believe they knew what a volcano was and that it was common knowledge.
Show me a volcano in the bible then. What is the Hebrew word for volcano?
Let's learn how to say "volcano" in Hebrew. Click and go to Ulpan La-lnyan website and start learning Hebrew with us!ulpan.com
Even this site, that teaches Hebrew mentions "Exodus Decoded" and its suggestion that the Ten Plagues were caused by the Santorini eruption. This page also tells us that...
Volcanoes appearing in literary contexts may appear with richer description, as in the Biblical:
The One who glances at the earth and it shakes; who touches the mountains and they let out smoke. (Psalms 104)
So again... you're not getting a single word for volcano. In Hebrew volcanos are "raging" mountains. So they are known by their description. "they let out smoke". So even though we see this in psalms and hebrew speakers agree that is describing a volcano, the biblical writer obviously connects God to the geological event.
This is no different from people thinking that a god hurls lightning bolts. It's superstition caused by them not knowing the origin and reason these things exist and occur. What more proof do you need at this point?
Offering up "burnt offering" is an act of Worship, and thee God they are worshipping is Yahweh
"Jethro saw Yahweh as the most powerful God, and they worship Yahweh."
How would Jethro know about Yahweh? Are you forgetting that it was Moshe that even gave Yahweh this name? The first 5 books of the bible are attributed to Moshe. It would be incredibly easy to have invented the whole thing from a period of time after the Exodus. For all we know Jethro/Reuel/Hobab could have chosen to live somewhat near Horeb because it was called "mountain of God"... BECAUSE it was a volcano, not in spite of it. Some believe this is within the Sinai peninsula.
wikipedia: Jethro is revered as the chief prophet in the Druze religion. They believe he was a "hidden" and "true prophet" who communicated directly with God and then passed on that knowledge to Moses, whom they describe as a "recognised" and "revealed prophet." According to Druze belief, Moses was allowed to wed Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, after helping save his daughters and their flock from competing herdsmen.
if Horeb was thought to be the "mountain of God" this could have been a place Jethro went to communicate in the same exact way that Moshe claimed to do at mount Sinai. Do you see the connection now? Moshe could have definitely learned the whole "mountain" "fire" relation to God from his father-in-law and simply created a new god and told the Israelites that it was the same God of their ancestors. But they didn't know that God and it had been 400 years. So just like with African Americans. After 300+ years of slavery a lot of us think that the god of the bible is the true God because that's what we were taught and because that's who we gave credit to for helping us gain freedom. Moshe could have told them anything but people tend to believe what they see. And that's where the "mountain", "fire", and "cloud" come in at. But you also see other effects of a volcano like tremors, lightning, and thunder. All of these things just so happen to be present but you're saying its not a volcano.
12 And Jethro, Moses' father in law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father in law before God.
Exactly if it was a "burning bush" he could probable not see it, but if as you content it is a volcano how could he not see it"So you saying this volcano Could be seen from Egypt but Jethro who lived under it and pastured his flocks on the mountain did not see it.....Thats like saying Christopher Columbus Discovered America"
No, I'm saying Jethro didn't see the burning bush. He likely believed that Horeb had some connection to god but that doesn't mean he knew it was a naturally occuring geological formation. He called it the mountain of God. Whose God?
Does volcanic Smoke tend to go up or down?"So you know what a pillar of smoke or cloud is now....Now in Numbers 12
5 Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent"
yes... "came down in a pillar of cloud" is the same artistic license that says God descended on a mountain in fire. If you take it literally then you must believe "God came down". If you don't take it literally, then yes... it was a volcano, and it was probably just a fire near the temple; that, or it didn't happen at all and was just written into the story for dramatic effect. I mean according to Aaron the golden calf magically walked out of the fire. According to another writer, Jonah was swallowed by a whale, whole, and he survived inside it like it was a boat. Breathing oxygen and all.
While perhaps we are more familiar with the destructive nature of earthquakes and hurricanes and tornados, since they occur more ...www.myjewishlearning.com
The revelation at Sinai is not a quiet affair, as we read in the book of Exodus,
“Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke, for God had come down upon it in fire; the smoke rose like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled violently.” (Exodus 19:18)
Sounds like a volcano to me.
Now you quoting excerpts that support what I have said earlier and you said was not so....that it was Jethro who told Moses about the 'burning bush'..... explain yourself?I encourage you to read the rest of this article from a jewish believer.
wikipedia: Horeb is thought to mean "glowing/heat", which seems to be a reference to the sun, while Sinai may have derived from the name of Sin, the Sumerian deity of the moon, and thus Sinai and Horeb would be the mountains of the moon and sun, respectively.
chabad.org: We read in the Book of Kings1 how, hundreds of years after the giving of the Torah, Elijah the prophet fled the wicked queen Jezebel and took refuge in a cave on “the mountain of G‑d, Horeb,” which is identified as none other than Mount Sinai.
It is likely that this is exactly where they went and so Moshe already knew the dangers of the mountain because he had been told/warned by his midianite father-in-law, who didn't go to Egypt with him but was with them after they came out. The warnings about the mountain being sacred would disguise the fact that if there were vents releasing toxic gases they could have died in certain spots. But all this is dressed up in superstition which in turn is dressed up in religion.