Does the Gender of God Matter?
Although referred to as a Neolithic Goddess, these icons are female from the front but also clearly phallic from the back, the hips being the balls and ....is dick head too blunt?
This hermaphrodite condition is common for figurines of the Paleolithic as well as Neolithic. Aphrodite remained both male and female, as did Ashur from Assyria and Bes from Egypt. At Ugarit pairs of deities were interpreted as god and consort, but it is equally valid to interpret the pair as a double name of a single god. (Frank Moore Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, p. 51) Acknowledging the hermaphrodite condition of Near Eastern gods would be in keeping with ancient precedent.
Is the God of the Bible also a hermaphrodite? The Bible says there is only one God and that God is one. Yet God speaks of himself in the plural (Genesis 1:26, Genesis 3:22, Genesis 11:7).
Does the Bible say that God is male alone?
Let's begin by finding all the body parts of God. God has a nose (Genesis 8:21, Exodus 15:8), an arm(s) and hand(s) (Numbers 11:23, Deuteronomy 5:15), ears (2 Samuel 22:7, Genesis 21:17), a heart (2 Chronicles 7:16), feet (Exodus 24:10), eyes (Genesis 6:8, Psalms 11:4) face (Exodus 33:20) and bowels (Isaiah 63:15...KJV). In addition, God has a womb "rechem", which is the root throughout the Bible for God's mercy (Isaiah 63:7..."which He hath bestowed on them according to His rachamim"...Orthodox Jewish Bible). Then again God carried his people from his womb:
“Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb;"
Isaiah 46: 2-4 (ESV)
Then there's the important name of God "El Shaddai". After discussion Frank Moore Cross concludes in Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic, p. 55:
"The epithet sadday thus proves to mean 'the mountain one'. The primitive meaning of tdw/y is obviously 'breast', Arabic tdy, Hebrew sadayim, Ugaritic td and perhaps dd, Aramaic tedayya', and so on. However, the secondary meaning 'mountain' developed for transparent reasons, and early in Semetic, in view of its occurrence in both East and West Semitic."
God Almighty is an epithet for the original "One of Breasts".
In Genesis 49:25 a blessing true to character:
"by the God of your father who will help you,
by the Almighty [El Shaddai] who will bless you
with blessings of heaven above,
blessings of the deep that crouches beneath,
blessings of the breasts and of the womb."
In Exodus 6:3 God identifies himself:
" I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as El Shaddai but by my name YHWH I did not make myself known to them."
So the earliest name of God specifically mentions the attribute of breasts.
No where does the God of the Bible have loins. In this he is distinguished from all the pagan Gods. Prove me wrong, just find a reference.
But we know he is a male because he is a Father.
"Do you thus deal with the Lord,
O foolish and unwise people?
Is He not your Father, who bought you?
Has He not made you and established you?"
Deuteronomy 32:6 (KJV)
" I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men."
2 Samuel 7:14 (KJV)
“I will declare the decree:
The Lord has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You."
Psalm 2:7 (KJV)
The evidence is in. Those who can only worship a male God can be assured that God is a Father (albeit with breasts and a womb but no loins). Amen.
The Orthodox Jews refer to God as "Hashem", the name. In this way they defer from imposing human preconceptions onto the Almighty. Who are we to say the name of God? No wonder God loves Jews. No wonder the rest of us (Muslims, Mormons and Christians) approach God by grafting ourselves onto a Jewish Root. Not from what they say, but by what they do (and refuse to do); thus are we led to God. Salvation is through the Jews (as Jesus said).
Does the Name of God Matter?
Seems that as Moses was coming down the Mountain he heard the singing of the people celebrating their deliverance before a golden calf which Aaron had made. (Exodus 32:15-29) Who was this golden calf? To quote from John Day, Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan, p.16-17:
"In favor of a pre-monarchic El religion amongst the Hebrews one may first of all note the very name Israel, meaning probably 'El will rule', a name already attested in the late thirteenth century BCE on the stele of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah. It is surely an indication of El's early importance that the very name of the people incorporates the name of the god El. Secondly, as various scholars have noted, prior to the rise of the monarchy theophoric personal names including the name 'el are very common, whereas explicitly Yahwistic personal names are very rare (apart from Joshua only five from the Judges period)."
Frequently in the Ugaritic texts, dating from the late bronze age, El is called "tr 'il", i.e. Bull El. In Genesis 35, Jacob builds an altar to "the God who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone". He calls the place El-Bethel. The epithet of this God is 'Abir Ya'qob", meaning the Bull of Jacob. Afterwards God renames Jacob as Israel, and then repeats the promise he had made to Abraham and Isaac. When Jeroboam set up his golden calves at Dan and Bethel, he states "Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt" (1 Kings 12:28). Nor did Jehu remove the calves when he wiped out Ba'al from Israel. (2 Kings 10: 28-30) Despite the disapproval of the editor in verse 31, God commends Jehu, implying that the calves are indeed kosher. Neither Elijah nor Elisha prophesy against the calves. Finally, archaeology provides, on Samaria ostracon 41, the Yahwistic name 'glyw, which means 'Yahweh is a calf'. (John Day, p.36)
Considering the above there is plenty of evidence that the calf symbol represented the God of Israel from the late bronze age to well into the Monarchy. How is Moses so surprised that Aaron could make a golden calf and say of it "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt." and "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord."
In Exodus 20, it is only Moses and Aaron who hear the commandments of God. The rest hear of them in Exodus 24:7 when Moses reads the book of the covenant in the hearing of the people. Unfortunately, if there's one thing we know about Moses, it's that he had a speech impediment. Not even Aaron comprehends how a calf is a graven image but a cherubim isn't. Upon seeing the golden calf Moses get's so angry that he casts down the only tables of stone written with the finger of God [in person]. (Exodus 31:18) He let's Aaron off the hook with this lie: "I threw it (gold) into the fire, and there came out this calf." Exodus 32:24 Then Moses proceeds to lead the Levites to slaughter 3000 men. "Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the Lord, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, that He may bestow a blessing upon you this day." Exodus 32:29. It was murder. And it shows an astonishing lack of humility for someone not a Pharaoh.
Through the course of Exodus, we go from an altar of earth to "And if you make me an altar of stones, you shall not build it of hewn stones; for if you wield your tool upon it you profane it." (Exodus 20:25-26) Then in Exodus 27:1-8 it has to be made with acacia wood and overlain with bronze. Further on, Exodus 30:1-5, the altars are made of acacia wood but overlain with pure gold. (Just to trace the altars and ignoring all the other equipment to outfit God.) Through the course of Exodus, how the spirit of worship has changed from simple to lavishly materialistic. Homeless, jobless, barely enough food in a water-less desert, and God needs What?
Is the God of Moses the same God of Genesis 6:13? "And God said to Noah, 'I have determined to make an end of all flesh; for the earth is filled with violence through them; behold, I will destroy them with the earth." This is a God who hates violence, and even repents of his own: "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth..." Genesis 8:21.
Likewise, Moses' story is not consistent in Exodus 33:11, when he claims "Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend." Yet in Exodus 33:20 the Lord said "but you cannot see my face; for man shall not see me and live." Moses is put into a cleft of the rock until God passes by, "then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen."
And yet, Moses claims in Numbers 12:8 that God said "with him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in dark speech; and he beholds the form of the LORD." Again in Numbers 14:14 "..thou, O LORD, art seen face to face,". Attempts are made to impose consistency on the text by confusing the Glory of God with the Face of God. But the Glory of the Lord is shown to all the people, specifically in Exodus 16:10, Leviticus 9:23, Numbers 14:10, Numbers 14:22, and Numbers 16:19. God never prohibited the sight of his Glory.... Far from it.
What am I saying; that Moses lacks integrity? I do not impugn Moses, the text does, and anyone reading it within 500 years of the Exodus would know it. The only good character in the Bible is God. Or if Moses is good, then God must be a greedy, bloody, flip flopping tyrant. No contest there. The Bible tells the truth that, yes, it contains lies because it contains people. For this God gave us a brain to think for ourselves and winnow the grain from the chaff. Those who claim otherwise see in Moses a man after their own greedy heart.
Moses enforced his conception of God (and harlotry) with murder, and that's about where we've been stuck for 3000 years. No wonder Moses didn't get into the holy land. It was his fault the Israelites spent a generation lost in the weeds. It's our fault that the Rabbis, the Priests and the Mullahs have kept us there.