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The Weekly Cycle points to the Sabbath from Creation. #194771
05/06/22 08:40 PM
05/06/22 08:40 PM
Rick H  Offline
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Florida, USA
I came across a discussion in a forum on whether understanding the Creation account as literal or non-literal, affects our understanding of Gods truth. When you read the Bible or any book for that matter, you must look to see if the author intend it to be fiction or real actual events. One must first show from the given text that the author did not intend for anyone to read his words as a literal historical account. Any assertion that states that a non-literal reading is the most appropriate reading must provide evidence of specific figurative indicators in the text such as metaphors, similes allegories, hyperbole, symbolism and such.

Well it is very clear the weekly cycle was set up and Sabbath was given to us at creation as the seventh day of the week as we read in Genesis. God created our world in six literal 24-hour days, and rested on the seventh day. The various days of the week were in ancient times called the first day, the second day, etc., for these were their Biblical names. But Satan wanted to see if he could throw off the idea of a weekly cycle or the numbering so as to veil the seventh day, and by Roman times, non-Christians began calling them the day of the sun, the day of the moon, etc., in honor of different heavenly bodies. This was known as the "planetary week."

The Babylonians tracked the Sun, Moon, and the five planetary bodies they knew of and believed that each of these seven celestial bodies was ruled by a god or goddess. In the seven-day week of the Babylonian calendar, each day was influenced by a particular god or goddess. The Greeks from the Hellenistic period pick up the seven-day ?planetary? week, naming the days after their own deities with Helios, Selene, Ares, Hermes, Zeus, Aphrodite, and Cronos. The ancient Romans adopted the seven-day week, basing the day names on the known planets, Sun, and Moon and their own deities.

Each day was ruled over by a different pagan god, but the most important of all gods was given the rule of the first day of the week, with the idea in mind that the first is always more important than that which follows it. The most important of all gods was given the rule over the first of the seven days. It was his day, the day of the Sun, and all the worship of the week centered on his day.

Now, although these names for the days of the week were new, the sun god wasn't, for his worship came from a devotion to that most powerful of natural objects. It was one of the most ancient forms of worship and is represented by solar disc images found on nearly every continent of our world. So Satan used a form that was known all throughout the earth, the heavens and its bodies, very sly.

By changing the names he could veil the seventh day in the cycle and at the same time bring in the worship of the sun. This was idolatry of the highest degree as it could be passed on no matter the people, language or nation, and it was.

"Sun worship was the earliest idolatry."--Fausset, Bible Dictionary, page 666.

The early pagan cultures picked up and worshiped the sun directly, and we clearly see that Abraham was called out of all this when he went to the promised land. We find Ra as the Sun god in Egypt, and Heliopolis (Gr., meaning "city of the sun"; Egyptian, Iunu; Heb., On) was the city of Sun worship. But the Jewish week was always divided into seven days, but instead of being based on the planets tied to pagan deitis, this system was tied to the account of Creation in the Hebrew Bible and the days had numbers with the seventh day being the Sabbath. However, entering Canaan under Joshua, the Hebrews again met Sun worship, that of Baal, which God clearly condemned.

So Satan has been trying with every means in his disposal to draw Gods people away from the true worship, from the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. And if he can break the weekly cycle or change the days so as to make them indistinguishable, he could accomplish his purpose, yet the weekly cycle remains, and testifies to Gods seventh day Sabbath, from Creation.

Re: The Weekly Cycle points to the Sabbath from Creation. [Re: Rick H] #194772
05/07/22 01:45 AM
05/07/22 01:45 AM
Kevin H  Online Content
SDA
Active Member 2022

Senior Member
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 507
New York
Excellent post Rick. thank you. Only one thing, while there were a few different Baals and one may have been connected to the sun, the Baal that the Hebrews met in Canaan was mostly the storm god, not the sun god. Otherwise your post is excellent!!!!

The land of Canaan is right where Europe, Asia, Africa and Arabia all meet. The weather patterns of all these places also met there and competed with each other. The sun usually meant that the dryness of Arabia was bringing a famine. They feared too much rain on end due to mildew. But the quick storms brought in good crops, especially in the areas of better farmland.

In modern culture, having lost the context of the Bible and reading that the promised land was flowing with milk and honey must be everything peachy. But to the ancient world the two phrases were geographical descriptions. The word translated "honey" means more than what the bees made, but meant any preserved food. It indicated good land for agriculture, plenty of food, as you preserve the left overs. Thus you have a life that if predictable, fairly easy (especially to the wealthy landowners who can have workers) and thus free time to fill with excitement.

The word translated "milk" was actually a sour thick sort of yogurt. It came from animals, mostly goats that were kept out in the desert, moving around to find plants for them to eat. Not knowing if your garden will produce a good crop or better luck next year. It describes a life that is unpredictable, hard and lonely.

Egypt was a land of milk and honey, but more organized. You had a strip of honey on the sides of the Nile, otherwise you had milk in the desert.

Biblical Israel was only about 150 miles long and 50 miles wide, about the side of New Jersey. But no place else on earth has as much variety in geography, agriculture, plant and animal life in such a small area. It is almost as if the whole world was squeezed into this little area. You find plants that you would expect in North America and plants you would expect from Africa. There are rolling hills to flat plains, Snow capped Mt. Hermon to the Dead Sea.

This piece of property was also quite literally the center of the ancient world, the major intersection for the trade routes. This situation did not change until the age of sea, and a few centuries later air navigation.

The Canaanites made some horrible rituals and superstitions trying to appeal to Baal and the gods of honey, and to try to avoid the gods of milk. These rituals caused their worship to be horrible, and these superstitions made this all most important intersection one of, if not the most dangerous place on earth. These were stupid things but which were gross and dangerous and deadly all hoping to get the benefits of honey and avoid the milk.

The Hebrews were to make this major intersection the safest place on earth for the trade routes. They were to trust in the God of total life, both milk and honey to protect them. There were advantages and disadvantages of both milk and honey, And they, instead of trying to appease one group of gods and avoid the other group, just had the one true God who personally cared for them.

If faithful God would bless them. Merchants traveling the trade routes would realize that they were safe at this intersection, but wonder about their simple religion with just limited ritual and free from superstition. As the merchants travel the world they would tell stories about these people. Nations would come to find out about these people and thus the gospel spread to the world and God would set up his kingdom.

If they were not faithful, then God would see that they got either the over wet mildew or, more likely, the sun and famine. This was to encourage repentance. If nothing else worked, then they were to go into exile. In exile they were to share with their neighbors their unfaithfulness and their God's faithfulness. Thus they go into all the world to spread the gospel and if faithful, the exile would end in a second great exodus lead by the messiah.

These two possibilities, of the land or of exile were how God was going to use his people to spread the gospel. Again, since the age of sea navigation and even more so with air navigation, God can't use his people in the way he offered to use them on this strip of property. So God's people are again in exile to the whole world where we share our God with our neighbors, and the exile will end in a second great exodus lead by the Messiah to the true promised land, and Isaiah 35 is full of the milk and honey imagery, but where instead of them being separate and competing, they balance each other out and thus has the positive elements of both the milk and honey, and none of the negative aspects.

These were also issues involved in Joshua 10, where we read into the text ideas that are not really in the language, but even stronger in the geography, culture, and layout of the battle field. An amazing miracle did indeed happen. but not how distance from the location and history and language has caused to form in our modern culture.

Re: The Weekly Cycle points to the Sabbath from Creation. [Re: Rick H] #194773
05/07/22 08:09 AM
05/07/22 08:09 AM
Rick H  Offline
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Group: Admin Team
2500+ Member
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,784
Florida, USA
Very true, I was surprised at the many aspects of Baal, but there was that connection. Here is from a study on it.."Baal, with its literal meaning of "lord," in the Canaanite pantheon was the local title of pagan gods. Baal never emerged as a rain god until later times when he assumed the special functions of other pagan gods. Although there is no equivalent in Canaan of the sterile summer drought that occurs in the Mesopotamia area of Babylon, the season cycle was marked enough to have caused a concentration on the disappearing fertility god, who took with him the autumn rain clouds into the nether world.

According to legend, after defeating the sea god Yam, and building a house on Mount Saphon, and taking possession of numerous cities, Baal announced that he would no longer acknowledge the authority of Mot, "death." Baal not only excluded Mot from his hospitality and friendship, but also told him that he could only visit the deserts of the earth. In response to this challenge, Mot invited Baal to his abode to taste his fare, mud. Being terrified and unable to avoid the dreadful summons to the land of the dead, Baal did unspeakable things with a calf in order to 'strengthen himself for the ordeal', and then set out. El and the other gods donned funeral garments, poured ashes on their heads, and mutilated their limbs, while Anat, aided by the sun goddess Shapash, brought the corpse back for burial. El placed Athtar, the irrigation god, on the vacant throne of Baal, but Anat bitterly missed her dead husband. She begged Mot to restore Baal to life, but her pleas went without avail, and Anat's attempts to interest the other gods in helping her were met with cautious indifference.

So according to legend, Baal's wife and sister, the fierce goddess Anat, traveled to the underworld. After splitting Mot with her sword, she assaulted Mot, ripping him to pieces "with a sharp knife," scattering his members "with a winnowing fan," burning him "in a fire," grinding him "in a mill," and "over the fields strewing his remains." According to legend, in the due course of time Baal was restored, and Athtar fled from his throne. Yet Mot was able to arrange another attack, but on this occasion all of the gods supported Baal, and neither combatant could gain the victory. Finally El intervened and dismissed Mot, leaving Baal in possession of the field. This looks to be the local Canaanite variation of the Nimrods death, and Semiramis his wife.

Baal was the son of El, or Dagon, an obscure deity linked by the Hebrews with the Philistine city of Ashdod. Dagon was perhaps associated with the sea, as a coin found in the vicinity portrays a god having a fish tail. Another echo of the Mesopotamian Babyon thought patterns are nestled in these reasons advanced by Baal for needing a "house." His food offerings were too meager for a god "that rides on the clouds." As far apart as Carthage and Palmyra were temples dedicated to Baal-Hammon, "the lord of the altar of incense," whom the Greeks identified with Cronos. On Mount Carmel it was the prophet Elijah who discredited King Ahab's belief in the power of Baal, when at his request "the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice," and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. Afterwards Elijah had the people slay "the prophets of Baal," thereby assuring the survival of the worship of Yahweh in Israel.

The worship of Baal extended from the Canaanites to the Phoenicians who also were partially an agricultural people. Both Baal and his cohort Ashtoreth, or Astarte, who is equivalent to the Greek goddess Aphrodite, were both Phoenician fertility symbols. Baal, the sun god, was fervently prayed to for the protection of livestock and crops. Priests instructed the people that Baal was responsible for droughts, plagues, and other calamities. People were often worked up into great frenzies at the prospects of displeasing Baal.. The religion of the sun god Baal crept into the worship among the ancient Jews, and although it was put down at times, it was never permanently stamped out. The people worshipped this sun god because their prosperity depended on the productivity of their crops and livestock. "

Last edited by Rick H; 05/07/22 08:17 AM.
Re: The Weekly Cycle points to the Sabbath from Creation. [Re: Rick H] #194777
05/09/22 02:05 AM
05/09/22 02:05 AM
Kevin H  Online Content
SDA
Active Member 2022

Senior Member
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 507
New York
Excellent!!!! Both Egypt and Babylon had their milk and honey regulated by the river and it's cycles, so the sun would be more important to them. The Jordan was not a mighty river. Canaan depended on rain, due, springs etc. so the sun to them would represent more of a drought and time of milk, compared to the showers of blessings that in the quick storms meant honey.

These are issues in Joshua 10 where the Gibeonites had converted from worshiping Baal the storm god to Yahweh the God of Israel, but wondering if Baal was going to punish them. The nations that came to attack Gibeon were Baal worshipers who had the same spirit as those who were upset with Gideon destroyed the alter to Baal. These nations came to attack, and lead by a King of Jerusalem, who's name is closely related to an earlier King of Jerusalem who worshiped, not Baal but the God Most High. They would have hoped that Baal would show up and assist them in punishing these apostatizing Gibeonites and heretical Hebrews. But even if Baal did not fight for himself, they would fight for him.

We tend to miss the richness of what the Bible is trying to teach us. Thank you for sharing the culture that the Bible was dealing with, and the other points on the weekly cycle!!!! I really appreciate and enjoyed both of your posts!!!

Last edited by Kevin H; 05/09/22 02:07 AM.

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