Sepphoris Mosaic

Sarah, mother of the Jews

Judaism is a matriarchy

This universe might be a virtual reality created for entertainment for someone we call God. And God may use avatars and appear like an ordinary human to us. Hence, quite a few biblical personalities might have been avatars of God. Sarah is the matriarch of the Jews. Jewish tradition holds that Jewishness is inherited via the matriarchal family line so Jews are children of Sarah. This resembles the concept of Christians being born of God and children of God. Hence, Sarah could have been an avatar of God.

This post is part of a series called God Is A Woman And Jesus Was Her Husband. It is advised to read the following articles first in the order suggested below:

Inventing a nation and a religion

Long ago El was the supreme deity of Israel and the goddess Asherah was his wife.1 Baal was also worshipped by the Israelites. Over time El became the generic word for god so the supreme deity of Israel became Yahweh. Asherah then became Yahweh’s wife. When Israel and Judah became kingdoms, the kings were the head of the national religion of Yahweh. The kings of Judah used this religion to exert their authority. Other kingdoms in the region also had national deities, for example Molek was the god of Ammon and the god of Moab was Chemosh.2

Jews began to worship Yahweh alone after the advent of Zoroastrianism, the first major monotheist religion. The prophet Zoroaster believed in a good creator god and an opposite evil power. Zoroastrianism came to prominence around 600 BC in Persia and was widespread at the time the Jewish priests were compiling the Torah. Zoroastrianism exerted a great influence Judaism. Zoroastrianism included messiahs, free will, heaven and hell. Under the influence of Zoroastrianism some of the Greek philosophers around 400 BC became monotheists.

Around 450 BC Jewish society was at the brink of being wiped out. The Persian Emperor Cyrus the Great allowed Jews to return to Israel and commissioned the Jewish temple to be rebuilt. People already living in Israel opposed their return as well as the building of the temple. A political struggle unfolded. After seven decades the Ezra and Nehemiah succeeded in rebuilding the temple. Judaism as a monotheist religion and the identity of Israel as a nation began to take shape. In this era the Torah was written. It was compiled from existing tales and writings, some of them as old as five centuries.3

Archaeological evidence doesn’t support the account of events in the Torah from before the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. The writers of the Torah used sources such as Mesopotamian myths, royal archives and oral traditions, and rewrote them to forward their agenda, which was to preserve Jewish identity around a common religion, history and cultural heritage. The biblical scholar Jacob Wright claims that the stories about Abraham, Isaac, Moses and David may have been based on legends from different local communities connected into a historical narrative to promote a sense of single nation.3

The absence of archaeological evidence for many of the stories in the Torah can be an issue when looking for potential avatars of God. A question that might arise is how could God exist while having played a role in tales that never happened? If this universe is a virtual reality running a script then the contents of the Torah can be the way our creators meant them to be. The potential avatars could have emerged because of some consideration of the editors of the Torah.

How the avatars may have emerged

Wright points out that the authors of the Torah may have refashioned the role of men and women in order to involve men in raising children and preserving Jewish culture. In the Torah men play a significant role in family life while women contributed to military victories. One of the great Jewish heroines was Deborah in the Book Of Judges. Wright contends that these stories were meant to undermine the pretence males had to power. The men in the Torah weren’t valiant warriors.3 For example, Abraham said that his wife was his sister because he was afraid of being killed.4 Isaac did the same.5

The Jews didn’t have the military power to maintain a state of their own. They had little to gain by military adventurism, which was a typical activity on which male power in society was based. Wright thinks that the authors of the Torah recognised this, hence there is no commemoration of the war dead in the Torah.3 Women determined the fate of the most important male prophets and kings such as Moses and David. And so it may be possible to identify potential female avatars of God in the Torah.

Sarah and Abraham

According to the Torah Judaism started off with Sarah and Abraham. God wanted Sarah to become the Mother of the Jews. She became pregnant at the age of 90.6 Jewish tradition holds that Jewishness is inherited via the matriarchal family line. And so Jews are children of Sarah. The will of God coincided with the wishes of Sarah several times. God summoned Hagar to return to her mistress Sarah.7 God told Abraham to send Hagar away when Sarah wanted this.8 The Egyptians were subject to plagues when the Pharaoh tried to make Sarah his wife.9 King Abimelech received threats from God when he tried to do the same.10 Sarah may have been an avatar of God. She may have put up a charade when three angels came along informing Abraham that she would become pregnant.

Asenath and Joseph

According to the Book of Genesis, Joseph was a handsome man. When Joseph was Viceroy of Egypt, he married Asenath, the daughter of an Egyptian high-priest. The Torah tells very little about her. There is an account of this marriage dating from the first century BC. It probably was invented to explain how Joseph came to marry a pagan priestess. According to the story known as Joseph and Asenath, Asenath was proud and despised men, the story tells us, but she became impressed by Joseph’s good looks.11

Joseph at first did not want to marry her because she bowed before idols and did not worship the God of Abraham. Asenath then showed penitence and an angel from heaven came to her chamber to bless the marriage. When she told Joseph of the angel, he changed his mind and decided to marry her.11 Asenath’s penitence and change of faith appear insincere and the result of a desire to marry Joseph. The marriage nevertheless was approved by God. Asenath may have been an avatar of God.

The Quran dedicates an entire chapter of 111 verses to Joseph. It expands on his good looks as well as the desire women had for him.12 Hence, Joseph may have been important to God and his good looks may have been worth mentioning.

Zipporah and Moses

In the Book of Exodus it is written that Moses was married to Zipporah. Zipporah saved Moses’ life. God wanted to kill Moses for neglecting the rite of circumcision of his son. Zipporah averted this by hastily performing the circumcision.13 She apparently knew of God’s intention to kill Moses even though this happened without notice. She apparently also knew the reason why. Zipporah may have been an avatar of God. In the Quran it is written that Moses sighed and said: “My Lord, indeed I am in need for whatever good You would send down to me.” Then one of the daughters of Reuel came to him and invited him to the house where the proposal for marriage was made.14

Bathsheba and David

Bathsheba caused severe embarrassment to King David. She was bathing on a roof where David could see her naked from his palace. David ordered her to come to his palace. She became pregnant after sleeping with him. David then commanded her husband Uriah to go home hoping that he would sleep with her so that the scandal would remain unnoticed. Uriah didn’t comply. David then asked his general to place Uriah in front line of the battle so that he would die. After Uriah died David married Bathsheba.15 The marriage was considered to be a sin but God loved Bathsheba’s son Solomon who was destined to become King.

David lost control over his kingdom so Bathsheba turned out to be a fate changer. The prophet Natan told David that his house would be cursed because of his act.16 David’s eldest son Amnon was killed by his half brother Absalom after he had raped Absalom’s sister Tamar.17 Later Absalom was killed after he had declared himself king and raised a revolt against David at Hebron.18 In this way two potential heirs to the throne were eliminated. In David’s old age Bathsheba secured the succession to the throne of her son Solomon as David had promised this to her.19 An obvious question to ask is why Bathsheba was bathing naked on a roof where David could see her? Bathsheba may have been an avatar of God.

Featured image: Sepphoris Mosaic. Pbs.org. [copyright info]

1. Dijkstra, Meindert (2001). “El the God of Israel-Israel the People of YHWH: On the Origins of Ancient Israelite Yahwism”. In Becking, Bob; Dijkstra, Meindert; Korpel, Marjo C.A.; et al. Only One God?: Monotheism in Ancient Israel and the Veneration of the Goddess Asherah
2. 1 Kings 11:7 [link]
3. Wright, Jacob L. (2014). The Bible’s Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future. Coursera.
4. Genesis 20:2 [link]
5. Genesis 26:7 [link]
6. Genesis 17:17 [link]
7. Genesis 16:9 [link]
8. Genesis 21:12 [link]
9. Genesis 12:17 [link]
10. Genesis 20:3 [link]
11. Joseph and Aseneth
12. Quran 12 [link]
13. Exodus 4:24-26 [link]
14. Quran 28:24-27 [link]
15. 2 Samuel 11 [link]
16. 2 Samuel 12:10-11 [link]
17. 2 Samuel 13 [link]
18. 2 Samuel 15 [link]
19. 1 Kings 1 [link]

Lucretia Garfield. Library Of Congres

The identity of God

Jesus was one of the end time prophets travelling around in Israel and Palestine at a time when the Jews began to resist Roman occupation. He stood at the cradle of Christianity, a global religion with more than two billion followers, an enigma that baffles historians. Six centuries later, in an equally astounding turn of history, a small band of Arab warriors created an empire that stretched from the Atlantic to India. They spread a religion called Islam. These historic turns made the God of Abraham the dominant deity on the planet, a promise allegedly made to Abraham.1

Archaeological evidence indicates that the God Of Abraham was invented by the Jews like all the other gods humans imagined. Nevertheless, the God Of Abraham may not have become the dominant deity by accident as the course of events on this planet could be scripted. And so the God Of Abraham may well be the veil behind which the owner of this universe is hiding.

This universe might be a virtual reality created by an advanced civilisation for the purpose of entertaining someone we call God. If that is true then God might use avatars and appear as an ordinary human to us. The Gospels state that Jesus had a personal and intimate relationship with God so Jesus may have known the avatar of God personally. Scholars agree that the Gospels have been edited.2 Apparently God is a ‘Father’ who can give birth.3 Jesus is referred to as the Bridegroom and Son of God. There is a possible explanation that can also shed some light on why Jesus felt he was so special that he believed that no one comes to God except through him.4

Mary Magdalene could have been the Bride and the Gospels may originally have stated that Jesus was a reincarnation of Adam and that Mary Magdalene was a reincarnation of Eve. Eve may not have been made out of the rib of Adam but Eve may have given birth to Adam. Eve is called Mother of All the Living,5 Adam is named Son of God6 while Jesus is the firstborn of all creation,7 hence Adam may have been born. Initially Christianity might have been about the marriage between Mary Magdalene and Jesus representing the Kingdom of God. The love of God Jesus was speaking of8 may have been the love of a Goddess for her husband. This could explain why Christians believe that God is love.9 It sheds some new light on Jesus’ assertion that he is one with God10 as marriage is the way to become one with another person.11

It makes little sense that a woman was created from the rib of a man. It makes more sense that the woman gave birth to the man. Mary Magdalene may have convinced Jesus that Eve was the mother of Adam. The Quran mentions the creation of Adam extensively but tells little about the creation of Eve. The Quran states that Jesus’ creation is like that of Adam and that they were both created from dust.12 It may indicate that Adam was born as the first son of the virgin Eve and that God can perform such miracles as the Quran also contends that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was also a virgin.13

The Jewish scriptures allow for the idea that Abraham was a husband of God like Joseph, Moses and David. Muhammad might have been God’s husband too. At the age of twenty-five he married his boss, the forty year old merchant Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid. She had been married before and could have been his mother. Khadijah was the first to convert to Islam and her support was invaluable to his mission. Avatars of God may have played a significant role in history. And God could still be dwelling amongst us like an ordinary human.

What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home?
Just trying to make his way home
Like back up to heaven all alone
Nobody calling on the phone
Except for the Pope maybe in Rome
And yeah, yeah, God is great
Yeah, yeah, God is good
And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah

– Joan Osborne, What If God Was One Of Us

Featured image: Lucretia Garfield. Library Of Congres.

1. Genesis 12:3 [link]
2. Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Saviour. Bart Ehrman (2016). Harper Collins Publishers.
3. John 1:12-13 [link]
4. John 14:6 [link]
5. Genesis 3:20 [link]
6. Luke 3:38 [link]
7. Colossians 1:15 [link]
8. John 17:23-26 [link]
9. John 10:30 [link]
10. Mark 10:8 [link], Matthew 19:5 [link]
11. 1 John 4:16  [link]
12. Quran 3:59 [link]
13. Quran 3:47 [link]