Oct 27

Ancient Mystery of the Teraphim

Over the centuries, the precise definition of the Hebrew word “teraphim” has eluded scholars. The mysterious teraphim appear only fifteen times in the Hebrew Old Testament (Gen 31:19.34.35; Judg 17:5, 18:; 1 Sam 15:23; 19:13.16; 2 Kings 23:24; Ezek 21:21; Hos 3:4; Zech 10:2). Of all these biblical verses, only 1 Sam 19:13-16 and Gen 31:34 give any clues to how these teraphim were formed. In both instances they were humanoid in appearance.

In regards to the etymological origins numerous theories abound. A detailed analysis from Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, states:

Teraphim is a loan word from Hit tarpi(s), which “denotes a spirit which can on some occasions be regarded as protective and on other malevolent” and which is parallel in lexical texts to Akk sedu, ‘spirit, demon’ (Hoffner 1967:230-238; 1968:61-68; CAD S II, 256-259; SEYBOLD 1976:1057). [1]

This etymological analysis may prove insightful considering the following evidence.


The usage of the word teraphim is connected to divination in all the biblical verses except in the Gen 31 and 1 Sam 19. Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible relates an excellent summary of the divinatory function of teraphim:

In Zech 10:2 the teraphim are portrayed as oracular devices which ‘speak iniquity’ (dibberu awen). They are condemned along with ‘diviners’ (qosemim) and false dream interpreters. Ezek 21:26 contains the famous passage about king Nebuchadnezzar using various types of divination to decide which fork in the road to take. Among the divinatory practices attributed to him are belomancy (use of arrows), the teraphim, and hepatoscopy (divination through examining livers). All three of these practices are summed up in Ezek 21:26 under the general heading of ‘practicing divination’ (liqsom qasem). A third passage which also associates the teraphim with divination (qesem) is 1 Sam 15:23. Here too it is used pejoratively and once again paired with ‘iniquity’ (awen uterapim).[2]

The Hebrew in Zechariah 10:2 ‘speak iniquity’ may be translated; speak (utter nonsense, worthlessness, deceit, lies, or delusion) which implies demonic lying spirits at work in their trade of deception.


The teraphim also were employed as an instrument of necromancy as demonstrated in 2 Kings 23:24:

Moreover, the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the teraphim, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord.

The familiar spirits (obot) and wizards (yidde onim) are associated with necromancy and the dead. The teraphim were vehicles to consult the dead ancestors. Ken Johnson in Ancient Paganism: The Sorcery of the fallen Angels writes:

The Talmud states that the name for a wizard, Yidde’oni, comes from a word loosely translated as an extinct animal. It also states that no one remembers exactly what kind of animal it was. The name carried over to mean those who used a bone of this extinct animal by placing it in their mouths and through some incantations can have the dead speak through this bone. This has been translated as a ventriloquist or medium. It is quite possible that the term in this ancient passage means, instead of “extinct animal,” a bone from the deceased. Mediums today often ask for an artifact of the deceased in order to try to make some sort of contact with them.[3]

The teraphim were used for communicating with deceased ancestors. For successful contact, magical rites were performed in precise astrological times.


Johnson continues to elaborate on the distinction between the types of teraphim:

There are two types of teraphim mentioned in the book of Jasher. The first type was created by taking the first born male of the family and cutting off his head. The victim’s head was supposed to retain contact with the departed spirit. With the proper ritual, the mummified head could serve as a conduit to the spirit world, passing information between a family and their ancestor gods.[4]












From the ancient historical Book of Jasher (book of the Upright), a detailed description of the first type of teraphim follows:

And this is the manner of the images; in taking a man who is the first born and slaying him and taking the hair off its head, and taking salt and salting the head and anointing it in oil, then taking a small tablet of copper or a tablet of gold and writing the name upon it, and placing the tablet under his tongue and putting it in the house, and lighting up lights before it and bowing down to it. And at the time when they bow down to it, it speaketh to them in all matters that they ask of it, through the power of the name which is written in it (Jasher 31:41-42).

In this macabre ritual of infanticide the victims head becomes an instrument for communication with the dead through its magical oracular function. Throughout the pagan world skulls or mummified heads have served the purpose for divination. Perhaps the mystery of some of the legitimate crystal skulls excavated around the world may center on this cult form of magic. Satanists and witches have used the skull as a gateway device to the spirit realm throughout the ages Today, one may discern the occult roots of symbols such as the “Skull and Bones” and other paraphernalia.






The Bible records an instance of the second type of teraphim:

Now Rachel had taken the teraphim , and put them in the camel’s furniture (saddle bags), and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but could found them not. And she said unto her father, let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched, but found not the teraphim (Gen 31:34 KJV).

The Book of Jasher records:

And some make them in the figures of men, of gold and silver, and go to them in times known to them, and the figures receive the influence of the stars, and tell them future things, and in this manner were the images which Rachel stole from her father (Jasher 31:43).

Johnson continues:

The second type of teraphim was created by constructing an idol of the deceased and was used in the same way. . . . Laban’s teraphim were the second type:  little gold gods with the astrological tables carved on them, rather than the first type mentioned, the mummified head of a real ancestor.[5]

Interestingly, the descriptions regarding the second type of teraphim have further confirmation from antiquity. In her book “The Secret Doctrine,” the famous theosophist, H.P. Blavatsky writes:

It is explained quite plainly by Maimonides and Seldenus. The former says:  The worshippers of the teraphim claimed that the light of the principle stars [planets], penetrating into and filling the carved statue through and through, the angelic virtue [of the regents, or animating principle in the planets] conversed with them, teaching them many most useful arts and sciences. [Maimon. More Nevochim,III. Xxx.] In his turn Seldenus explains the same, adding that the teraphim [Those dedicated to the sun were made in gold, and those to the moon in silver.] were built and fashioned in accordance with the position of their respective planets, each of the teraphim being consecrated to a special “star-angel.[6]

These second type teraphim were employed as necromantic devices throughout ancient Mesopotamia. They often represented the ghost or the dead person. Dictionary of Deities and Demons states:

In one instance, after mixing a concoction, one puts it on the figurine. As a result, “when you call upon him, he will answer you” (see I. J. Finkel, AfO 29-30 [1983-84] 5, 9). This oracular aspect of the necromantic figurine fits well with the description of the teraphim ‘speaking’ in the divinatory context of Zech 10:2.[7]

From the archaeological and historical records, both types of teraphim were cult objects used for the purpose of divination and necromancy. These practices were condemned as abominations in the biblical texts.


In the early 1950s, astonishing discoveries of plastered skulls were excavated in the ancient city of Jericho by Kathleen Kenyon and her team of archaeologists. Jericho has been considered one of the oldest cities on earth. Shockingly, dead bodies were exhumed from beneath the floors of houses.  In Canaainites, Jonathan Tubb describes the discoveries:

For in many instances the skull had been removed, and had then been carefully and sensitively remodeled with plaster to build up the facial features. Shells, either bivalves, or cowries, were then set into the empty sockets to represent the eyes. These plastered skulls were decorated with red and black paint to depict individual characteristics such as hair and even moustaches.[8]

Kathleen Kenyon and A.D. Tushingham in Jericho Gives Up Its secrets provide further detail:

The whole of the lower part was covered with plaster molded into human features. Eyes were inset with sections of shell. Central slits represented pupils. Cheeks were rounded and chubby, ears delicately molded, mouth prim. Only the nose was broken away.

Similar plastered skulls have been found in Turkey, Syria, Palestine and Jordan. Recent evidence in 2003 supports the postulation that these teraphim represented something more than a mere ancestral cult with the worship of elders. Scientific testing confirmed that there were no criteria for selecting older individuals. The skulls of old and young males as well as children and a majority of women provide ample evidence this was not based on ancestor worship.[10] One may surmise there was a divinatory or necromantic function involved based on previous ancient texts cited prior. Archaeologists have found bones of infants buried behind the walls of most homes in Egypt and Canaan. Johnson comments:

The Egyptians had burial grounds for regular Egyptians (Jasher 14:13-14); but they buried their firstborn children in the walls of their homes. This was the Egyptian form of teraphim. Jasher records that when the death angel killed all the first born in Egypt, the angel also tore the remains of the sacrificed firstborn children out of the walls of the Egyptian houses (Jasher 80:44-46). This information indicates the plague of the firstborn was directed against the teraphim, showing that the God of Israel was superior to all the so-called gods of Egypt, including all their ancestor gods![11]

These satanic inspired rituals incorporated the blood sacrifice of the innocent in sadistic slaughter.


Scholars have debated what type of teraphim was described in the account recorded in I Sam 19. The Israelite King Saul was jealous, envious, and afraid of David. An evil spirit came upon Saul and incited him to kill David. The account continues:

Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.” So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. Then Michal took an idol (teraphim) and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goat’s hair at the head (I Sam 19:11-16 NIV).

The teraphim in this passage, appears to have been a life-sized idol. Was this a third type of teraphim or perhaps a variant of the second type, only scaled larger? Whatever the type, one wonders why it resided in David’s house. The most likely explanation was that David’s new bride, Michal, brought one of her father’s teraphim with her when she married David. Michal’s father, Saul, was often plagued by an evil spirit. One time, he ordered a medium, the witch of Endor, to consult the dead prophet Samuel for advice. One wonders, did Saul practice divination via his personal teraphim prior to his encounter with the medium? Furthermore, was this the reason for his affliction of an evil spirit? These ancient pagan divination rituals were a constant temptation to the Israelites and serve as a warning to those who choose to practice these diabolical arts. Vexation by evil spirits and outright demon possession may result by experimenting with such abominations of divination.

[1] Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, eds. Karel Van Der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. Van Der Horst, 2nd rev. ed., (Brill:  William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 1999), 845.

[2] Ibid., 849.

[3] Ken Johnson, Ancient Paganism:  The Sorcery of the Fallen Angels (n.p.:  Biblefacts.org, 2009), 62-3.

[4] Ibid., 55.  [5] Ibid.

[6] H.P. Blavatsky, Occultism of the Secret Doctrine (n.p.:  Kessinger Publishing, 2004), 235.

[7] Dictionary of Deities, 849-50.

[8] Jonathan N. Tubb, Canaanites, Peoples of the Past Series, vol. 2, University of Oklahoma ed. (London:  British Museum Press, 1998), 28.

[9] Kathleen Kenyon and A.D. Tushingham, Jericho Gives Up Its Secrets (n.p.:  Nat Geographic Mag, 1953), 853-870.

[10] Michelle Bonogofsky, “Neoloithic plastered Skulls and Railroading Epistemologies,” The Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 331 (August 2003):  1-10.

[11] Johnson, Ancient Paganism, 56.
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Ancient Mystery of the Teraphim by Brett Stortroen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


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  • Schuh

    This is not my subject area, but I note that whole sections of your essay rely on — as their primary source — Ken Johnson’s book which quotes from the so-called ‘Book of Jasher’, an 18th century forgery. The book of that name mentioned in the Bible is lost and completely unknown. For what it’s worth.

    • BigFaith

      Indeed. There are 2 known forgeries but I have used the 1840 version which appears to be legit. Please see below link concerning the version I have referenced in article. Of course, I have merely cited the Jasher source in regards to the jewish mindset concerning Teraphim.


  • Adam Klingler

    Complements on a well writen artical. I must ask, however, why is it when Egyptians kill and bury their first born in the walls it is called by you a sadistic slaughter and satanic, yet when God Yahweh kills all the first born children in Egypt (Exodus 12:29-30) suddenly it is somehow a rightious act? Can you not see the overt double standard eminating from your bias?

    • BigFaith

      Yahweh gave the Egyptian Pharaoh warning after warning to free his people that were enslaved and tortured for 400 years. The Pharaoh as leader responsible for his own Egyptian people decided to fight Yahweh and sacrifice his own people. Seems to me like the onus and guilt should be laid on Pharaoh.

      • Adam Klingler

        The Pharoah decided? Yahweh hardened the Pharoah’s heart read your Bible Yahweh created the conflict, ergo the Pharoah was not responsible for what Yahweh did. You did not answer the orginal question so please do reply with anymore misdirections.

        • BigFaith

          Indeed, Yahweh instigated the conflict. However, the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart was another issue. Three different viewpoints are made regarding this hardening. First, the scriptures state God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (7:3, 9:12, 10:1, 20, 27, 11:10, 14:4,8) and the hearts of Egyptians (14:17). Second, it is stated that Pharaoh hardened his own heart (8:15, 32; 9:34), and that he refused to humble himself (10:3), and that he was stubborn (13:15). Third, the several verses use the passive form, thus no indication of the source. (7:13, 14, 22; 8:19; 9:7,35). All three of these declarations are true: 1. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart; 2. Moses hardened Pharaoh’s heart by his words. 3. Pharaoh hardened his own heart. In the Hebrew language and mindset the intended meaning would be (Yahweh allowed or permitted Pharaoh’s heart to be hardened). Many similar examples in the scriptures occur. Thus Pharaoh still had free will and responsible for his people.

          • Adam Klingler

            You are way out of context; Exodus 10:27 reads “but the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go.” Who hardened Pharoah’s heart? Yahweh did! When the NIV uses the word ‘LORD’ in all caps it is the translation for the word Yahweh. Chapter 11 of exodus is the plague on the firstborn let us read,in context, from Exodus 11:10 “…but the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.” Once again who hardened Pharoah’s heart? Yahweh did! You can’t just go around quoting out of context to push your point which is clearly incorrect with a quick read of scripture. Yahweh murdered the firstborn of Egypt in a sadistic slaughter of innocent children and you want to justify this how by invoking the israelites slavery. After God frees the Israelites he proceeds to give the Israelites a chapter full of rules (Exodus 21) on how they can now own their own slaves and if they like they can also sell their daughters into slavery as well. To use your words this is a “satanic” God who murders Egyptian children and tells his israelite devouts that they can sell their kids as slaves. Why justify sadistic acts? Only blind bias has the power to taint you, who are otherwise quite possibly a good person. I left the faith after 15 years of devotion because it was and still is the moral thing to do. I no longer have to justify the immoral acts of a God that does such evil things.

          • BigFaith

            Yes, as mentioned in my prior response – Yahweh did harden Pharaoh’s heart in some passages and in others Pharaoh hardened his own heart. Yahweh by interaction through Moses and the plagues hardened the heart. Or do you believe all Pharaoh’s free will was removed and became an robot? This would be a good word study in the original Hebrew. I have the lexicons so can check it out. Second point you made was good. But slavery in Egypt was brutal and included all the Israelites for 400 years. Yahweh gave instructions dealing with slavery but did not approve it. Yahweh also hated divorce as mentioned in Malachi 2:16. But he gave regulations for it. Here is a good web site dealing with that subject. http://godwords.org/515/does-the-old-testament-condone-slavery/

          • Adam Klingler

            Where is the verse that condemns slavery that is tantamount to the devorce condemnation you just sited from Malachi? Yahweh tells the Israelites they can sell their daughters into slavery. Do you interpet this as approval or disaproval? Is this an alowance that is not approved? I don’the approve of slavery but here is the best way to do it, sounds shady to me. If I were God I would condemn slavery in the 10 commandments and not outline the best ways to do it. It is morally reprobate to sanction slavery as Yahweh did if you read it you will see what is and is not approved
            Your second question “do I think the Pharoah was a robot?” No. You can be manipulated as a human being without being a robot and Yahweh manipulated the Pharoah in order to murder inoccent children.

          • BigFaith

            For the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of mothers, for menstealers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine (I Tim. 1:9-10). The original Greek renders ‘menstealer’ (antrapodistais) as: “Manstealer, a slave-dealer, kidnapper, one who unjustly takes free men into slavery, or one who steals the slaves of others and sells them.” In Exodus 21 it was customary in these primitive times to sell ones children as servants/slaves if they were too poor to take care of them. At least the Torah gave proscriptions for taking care of slaves versus other cultures in region who often did not. Egyptians during this period were brutal in their treatment of slaves and it was usually permanent for life. Maybe not a perfect black and white situation in the Old Testament but a gradual improved change in the treatment of slaves.

            In regards to Pharaoh there appear to be more than one issue involved. Pharaohs thought of themselves as divine demigods as well as their subjects. It appears Yahweh challenged this position and showed his power against the entire Egyptian pantheon of gods including their necromancy practices with their first born children. Was pharaoh’s will completely taken over? The scriptures claim he was stubborn. Was the hardening done by Yahweh’s sending Moses to challenge and sending the plagues? Theologians have debated this topic since ancient times. Even the Apostle Paul who studied his whole life including 3 years under the Holy Spirit in the desert still said, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I Cor 13:12. We are like a caterpillar that can only see 2 dimensions in the world.

          • Adam Klingler

            You have no option but to take shelter in the new testament where hundreds of years later morality has undergone greater devopment in spite of Yehweh’s crewelty. You say Yehweh hates devorce but there are rules for that. Yehweh hates working on the sabbath but where are the rules for that? Preachers work on the sabbath all the time -that is hipocritical: (a person whose actions belie stated beliefs). Yehweh had a man killed for gathering sticks in the woods on the sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36); this poor guy just wanted to make a fire because he was either cold or hungry -that is a dark and brutal thing for Yehweh to do. Yet today people work on the sabbath all the time mostlikly yourself included. It took hundreds of years of mental development before Jesus came along and said: (I believe it’s in Mark) "God made the sabbath for man not man for the sabbath." This is far better moral ideal that Jesus espoused; it does clearly contradict scripture, however, as it was Yehweh himself that commanded the wood gatherer be put to death for the mundane task of tring to make a fire and survive in the wild on the sabbath. This demonstrates that morality is progessing over time and it takes leaders, like Jesus, to pull us out of the darkness of Yehweh and the ignorance of myopic tunnel vision that is the impetus of religious adherence. If Yehweh behaves immorally, as we see he does, it is up to those of us with higher moral standards to rectify his wrong doings and to put an end to the justification of things like muder. Jesus condemned the pharisees for a literal adherence to the scripture and their inability to develop morally over time. The pharisees could not decern right from wrong themselves but could only adhere to abominations in scripture. Scriptural immorality must be rejected not justified if we are to progress morally as a society. I know Jesus said I have come to fulfill the law not to abolish it, however, he did overturn parts of it quite saliently. Turn the other cheek for example, is diametrically in opposition to the eye for eye tooth for tooth of Yehweh’s primitive violence. Gandhi said we must be the change we wish to see in the world. Beholden to justify violent acts of Yehweh is regressive and unhealthy we must think beyond scripture and call out the immorally that is there just as Jesus did. Blessed be Amenhotep The Fourth who carved a path toward monotheism and a relegation of the gods. As the Egyptians might say “amen.”

          • Candice Goddard

            And for all that you’ve said you still seem to be implying that Christians should answer for Jewish historical doctrine. It’s quite simple, Judaism and Christianity are not the same religion and/or race and you can not apply Christian or even contemporary morals with Jewish or even historical actions and vice versa. There’s a saying that hindsight is always 20/20. You’re reading the bible with 2000 years worth of hindsight and attempting to use contemporary morals to question actions which occurred in a very different time period. You refer to God sending the death angel to reap the first born Egyptian children as evil and immoral but is it? Actually why is death evil? That’s just your modern perspective based on your fear of the afterlife and how distanced humans have become from death. You see thousands of years ago when people’s lives were infinitely shorter and many people didn’t even survive infancy they didn’t think about death or even children in the way we do now. If they did why would the story of Job include the killing of his ten children, who are later replaced with 10 more? Honestly in this time period throughout the world “children” or rather offspring were a commodity, the property of their parents. Many of them were put to work at a young age, they weren’t spoiled and pampered like the children of today.
            Also you refer to the first-borns of Egypt as children but actually they included and were probably mostly adults. Not that this is an excuse but what you’ve said will give people the wrong idea. You’ve purposely tried to use emotive language to portray an inaccurate picture. Why?
            Another thing, you state that in Numbers 15:32-36 God had a man killed for gathering sticks on the sabbath and embellish the story by claiming that the man was either hungry or cold. Why didn’t you embellish an excuse for why he didn’t gather the wood the day before? The Sabbath happens every week and this man just what forgot to get wood the day before? What was he doing instead?
            You refer to Gandhi, a fine teacher to us all if only he wasn’t racist towards black people feeling that they were savages who were inferior to Indians.
            And it is usual to refer to Amenhotep IV as Akhenaten, but it’s a bit strange to imply that he “carved a path toward monotheism” when in fact as soon as he was dead he was all but obliterated from history (the written record) and the polytheistic religion came back with full force.

          • Adam Klingler

            You say “God is ineffable, it’s impossible for a human to describe him let alone fully understand.” In which case by your own admission you are describing something that is impossible to describe and claiming to understand what you yourself have just admitted that you don’t understand. You are contradicting yourself, but that is typically of the religious belief you have ascribed to and the mind conditioning in which that system engenders.

            You say “Jesus did his work experience placement on earth and was able to more fully understand the motivations and hardships of humanity.” Is Jesus God? Or is Jesus a learning agent for God? You are saying that God did not fully understand humanity. So you put your faith in a God that understands humanity no better than you do.

            You said ” leave the white race so you no longer have to justify the historic crimes of some of your race.” I don’t even know what you are talking about. How does someone leave their race? I never claimed the moral thing to do is leave your race that does not even make any sense at all. In the Bible God freed the Hebrews from their slavery in Egypt because they are his chosen people. God does not free the slaves because slavery is wrong we know this because in Exodus 21 God gives rules for the Hebrews to own their own slaves and to sell their daughters into slavery. I say slavery and murder is immoral regardless of race or time period, because I personally am more moral than your God. All races have done immoral and violent things Europeans and Native Americans alike, but your one sided view makes your bias overt.

            You say Americans are not remorseful about bombing Japan. This is a sweeping generalization and not true of the whole. And what is your point anyway, that God is equally remorseless?

            You said “turn the other cheek” and the pacifism of the TRUE christian (a person attempting to be Christlike and honestly follow Christ’s teachings)” Be honest with your self if somebody struck you would you seriously turn your other cheek and say please hit me again. These teachings are ridiculous. Perhaps you missed some of Christ’s other wonerful teachings like: Matthew 10:34-37 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.35 For I have come to turn

            “‘a man against his father,
            a daughter against her mother,
            a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
            36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[c]

            37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

            Mark 16:17-18 “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” Is is this good Christian advice to drink deadly poison? Have you tried it? is this rationale or true? No, it’s an outright lie!

          • Adam

            To address your first false claim about Christianity being separate from Judaism: Romans 3:2 “Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.” This is the new testament Paul letting you know that your Christian teaching about God came from the Jews!

            Jewdasim and Christianity are inextricably linked. It is the Jewish old testament that prophesies the anointed one to come (which means Messiah in Hebrew and Christ in greek). Without the old testament claim that a Christ is coming there is no Christianity. Judaism is the foundation of Christian phrophesy. Also, without Judaism there is no Garden of Eden and no fall of mankind and without that there is no reason to need a savior, Jesus. So you see, no Judaism means no Christianity.
            If you look at Matthew 5:18 in the New Testament in the the Sermon on the Mount Jesus has just reported that he came not to destroy the law, but fulfil it (simply put, the law is the old testament). In this verse Jesus claims that the old testment laws of Judaism are being fulfilled by him.
            With that being said, there are verses in the new testament that say to obey the old Jewish law and verses (mostly from Paul) that say you are free from the law. Unfortunately this is just another one of those seemly contradictory things about the Bible. Are Christians free from the law or do they follow the law? Depends on what scripture you choose to read. There is enough ambiguity that Christians seem to do what ever they want as they pick and choose which scripture they want to up hold and what they want to reject. This is why you can’t tell the difference between a Christian and an Atheist. “You shall know them by their fruits” is completely garbage when Paul says you are free from the law and that you are saved by faith not works. Without the law and with out works you cannot tell a Christian from an Atheist.

            Romans 3:29 “…is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.”

            Are you even at all aware of the fact that this entire article is referred specifically to the old testament written by the Jews?

          • Candice Goddard

            When you state: “I left the faith after 15 years of devotion because it was and still is the moral thing to do. I no longer have to justify the immoral acts of a God that does such evil things.” Which faith are you talking about? Judaism? As a Christian, archaeologist and human I feel no obligation to justify God’s actions good or “evil” especially those written in the Old Testament because:
            1)God is ineffable, it’s impossible for a human to describe him let alone fully understand him and therefore it is impossible to justify his actions. It’s actually a little disgusting to suggest that any human should have to and any person expecting another to do this is clearly showing that they’re already biased towards a lack of belief in God and no understanding of Christianity. Christians only have to answer for themselves.
            2) The Old Testament is supposedly a record of early Jewish history written from a perspective that the Israelites were a special people set apart by God and that’s why there is no biblical condemnation of the killing of the Egyptian first borns in order to free the Jewish people from slavery (or any of the other massacres / genocides of Israel’s enemies). It’s a bit like the lack of remorse of some Americans for the atomic bombing of Japan or how Europeans claimed that the native peoples of the Americas and Africa were violent, cannibalistic savages who needed to be subjugated for their own good (even though Europeans not only drank human blood and urine as medicine but also took ground up human bones and shite medicinally as well as eating thousands of mummified Egyptians). So I suppose given that and according to your logic if you’re a white person of European descent the moral thing for you to do would be to leave the white race so you no longer have to justify the historic crimes of some of your race. The fact is that from a certain perspective (not mine) the ends simply justified the means.

            If you were a Christian for 15 years then you should have realised that the message of the Old Testament and that of the New Testament are completely different. What I personally understand of this is that after Jesus did his work experience placement on earth and was able to more fully understand the motivations and hardships of humanity, salvation become open to everyone not just the Semites ie the descendants of Noah through his son Shem and his descendant Abraham. That was when the laws such as “an eye for eye”, utterly destroying one’s enemies etc turned into “turn the other cheek” and the pacifism of the TRUE christian (a person attempting to be Christlike and honestly follow Christ’s teachings) was born (in oppose to the opportunistic use of Christian doctrine for other purposes. That’s why reading all of the unfair and “evil” things that were done in the Old Testament is so troubling to someone who actually tries to study their bible with an unbiased mind.

          • Mariastella Danna

            Pharaoh hardened his own heart first. In fact, he continuously rejected God’s signs and refused to let His people go free. Therefore, Yehovah gave up on Pharaoh because he first gave up on God.
            When God hardens someone’s heart means that He stops giving him/her any more discerning or insights, or any more understandings to respond and act into a rational manner. Pharaoh acted like a foul, and not as a Leader, who would have accepted God’s signs and warnings, worked with Moses’ request, and saved his own family and his people the Egyptians.

  • Adam Klingler

    Your claim that the Egyptians were performing satanic rituals is unfounded and detracts from an otherwise intellegent article. No legitimate egyptologist would support that claim. Egyptians had many gods but Satan was not one of them. In addition there is nothing in the Bible that makes any such claim either. If you ment it as a metaphor you should have pefaced it as such. You may also construe, by your definition, the passover as a satanic ritual; because if God is all knowing then he knew which houses to passover negating any need for blood smearing on the doorways. Ergo, passover was nothing more than a ritual and sacrificing an animal to smear it blood about sounds like atypical satanic ritual (but it is not!). The problem with religious biased study is that a large part of it is metaphoric and over time those who study it lose the ability to descern the difference between metaphor and facts of reality which I surmise is the case with you. The Egyptians did not practice satanic rituals because Satan was not a character in their religion and that is a fact. There is no mention of Satan in the Ancient Egyptian book of the dead, pyramid text, tombs or any where else in Egyptian culture that I am privy to. Satan is primarily the invention of Hebrew prophets and is not mentioned by that specific name until the book of Job. Prior to Job there was no such thing as an entity with the definate artical called Satan in the Bible (see theology.edu or answersingenesis.org). There were general references to an obstructor, accuser, and a few other adjectives, which in some cases were no more than discriptions for ordanary human beings and Egyptians did not practice any accuser or obstructor rituals either. You are dead wrong about the Ancient Egyptians having satanic rituals.

    • BigFaith

      If you read the sentence correctly I had said “Satanically inspired rituals…” Satan had inspired the Egyptian idol worship for thousands of years. Satan has influenced and ruled over the world since the fall of mankind. Satan was always the serpent in the garden, always involved in corrupting mankind.

  • Bob Moore

    Under the heading “Second Type of Teraphim” there is a minor error. The KJV does not translate H8655 as “teraphim.” Many other translations explicitly state teraphim, so I suppose this doesn’t matter a great deal.