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Ancient Outrage

The ancients were so perverse, certainly not occupying the moral high ground we have.

Doctrine (3)

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Exegesis (2)

  1. Numbers 31 : 13 -18 See Doctrine

    Exegetical Patterns and Emphasis in this Doctrine:

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    1. Small males were put death because of evil of Israel and the pervasiveness of pederasty
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      Why does this doctrine include the passing reference to the “word of Balaam” and the injunction against “these women”? Here’s verse 16 in Hebrew:

      הֵ֣ן הֵ֜נָּה הָי֨וּ לִבְנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ בִּדְבַ֣ר בִּלְעָ֔ם לִמְסָר־מַ֥עַל בַּיהוָ֖ה עַל־דְּבַר־פְּע֑וֹר וַתְּהִ֥י הַמַּגֵּפָ֖ה בַּעֲדַ֥ת יְהוָֽה׃

      16These [female ones] behold they were to/for the sons of israel in the matter/word of Balaam to/for separation/betrayal/infidelity in Yahweh on the word/matter of Peor and the plague in the community/assembly of Yahweh.

      This verse is referring back to the matter of shrine prostitution in Baal Festivals and worship feasts that included sexual rites. Sexual misconduct is referenced by Moses, at the root of his anger, and in view when he commands them. This command, terrifying, brutal, and heart-wrenching, has many more dimensions than a flattened out perspective on ritual warfare and property rights: the command exists in part to spare these from the hands of the sons of Israel. While the English seems to lay the blame on the women, the Hebrew does not whitewash the sons of Israel, but rather maintains their culpability.

      The practice of pederasty is so pervasive in so many geographical regions in ancient history, it could be argued to be a touchstone to claim part of the anthropological experience. Various historical chronicles and ethnographies cite the practice in Greece, China, Japan, various Central Asian tribes, various Middle Eastern tribes, African territories and many other locales.

      Here are some lines from Abu Nuwas, a highly praised Muslim poet who lived from 756-814 AD writes the following lines about boys:

      • O the joy of sodomy! So now be sodomites, you Arabs. Turn not away from it—therein is wondrous pleasure.Take some coy lad with kiss-curls twisting on his temple **and ride as he stands like some gazelle standing to her mate.
      • A lad whom all can see girt with sword and belt 
        not like your whore who has to go veiled.

      • Make for smooth-faced boys and do your very best 
        to mount them, for women are the mounts of the devils.

      The prophet Muhammad himself is attributed with the following warning:

      Beware of beardless youth for they are a greater source of mischief than young maidens.

      Here is a few ancient Jewish perspectives on the ease and pervasiveness of adult male initiated pederasty:

      Kiddushin 82a:2 MISHNA: A bachelor may not act as a teacher of children, nor may a woman act as a teacher of children. Rabbi Elazar says: Even one who does not have a wife may not act as a teacher of children. Rabbi Yehuda says: A bachelor may not herd cattle, nor may two bachelors sleep with one covering, lest they transgress the prohibition against homosexual intercourse, but the Rabbis permit it.

      Niddah 13b - Our Rabbis taught: ‘proselytes and those that play with children delay the advent of the Messiah’. The statement about proselytes may be understood on the lines of the view of R. Helbo, for R. Helbo said, ‘proselytes are as hard for Israel to endure as a sore’,15  what, however, could be meant by ‘those that play with children’?16  If it be suggested: Those that practise pederasty [it could well be objected]: Are not such people subject to stoning?17  If, however, it be suggested: Those that practise onanism through external contact18  [it could be objected]: Are not such deserving destruction by flood?17  — The meaning rather is: Those that marry minors who are not capable of bearing children, for R. Jose19  stated: The Son of David20  will not come before all the souls in Guf21  will have been disposed of, since it is said, For the spirit that enwrappeth itself is from Me, and the souls which I have made.22

    2. The command was given because of the hardness of the hearts of the sons of Israel
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  2. Deuteronomy 23 : 17 -18 See Doctrine

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  3. Matthew 19 : 1 -12 See Doctrine

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Tradition (0)

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Ancient Outrage : Explained