Friday, May 3, 2013

#74- Trial By Ordeal

trial by ordeal - a primitive method of determining a person's guilt or innocence by subjecting the accused person to dangerous or painful tests believed to be under divine control; escape was usually taken as a sign of innocence


This idea came to me after watching videos of people in modern times doing primitive things to determine the guilt of members of their ilk.  In one place a woman (it always seems to be a woman!) had to lick the bottom of a pot several times and display her tongue afterwards for signs of swelling.  This pot was on the fire just minutes before she licked it.  If my memory serves me right, this was a test for adultery.

Another video showed a dispute involving two farmers on a matter of theft.  The accused man (who was the best friend of the offended) had to prove his innocence by dipping his hand into a boiling pot of hot oil and retrieve a few items from the bottom of said pot.

If the accused refused to take the test, he was guilty.  If the accused failed to secure the items at the bottom of the pot, he was guilty.

This still goes on today.  One may excuse these people for their superstitious ways and the history of their culture but some may find this shocking and out of place.  Then I remembered that similar things were done in the Jewish Bible.  This is my examination of the trial by ordeal featured in the Torah.

I maintain that the Hebrews of the Jewish Bible were on par with their neighbors as far as crudeness and their understanding of their world. They were not given special insights by any useful agency and by no means moral doctors that I wish to model after; nor should anyone else for that matter. I have chosen a choice morsel of barbaric depravity to demonstrate the misogynistic sentiment that permeates the book of the ancient people of Israel.

The following is from Numbers chapter 5 verse 11-21.

11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him 13 so that another man has sexual relations with her, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act), 14 and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure—or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure— 15 then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah[a] of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing.

16 “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the Lord. 17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. 18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the Lord, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. 20 But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”— 21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the Lord cause you to become a curse[b] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell.

Did you get that?  This is all about the female's unfaithfulness.  There is no such test explicitly laid out for males in the Torah.  Also notice in verse 14 that a female can be taken in by her owner for "jealousy".  Do she have the right to resist?  Of course not!
Notice the explicit directions in part one.  All these ingredients are available today and this would provide a splendid test to show how effective is recommendation is.  What country on Earth today would allow this without it being a crime?

In verse 16 the female is to "stand before the Lord".  How does one stand in front of invisible creatures?  Perhaps a wise rabbi can detangle this messy quandary for me.  Obviously the woman is to stand in front of the priest as he is the charlatan that is orchestrating this ghastly buffoonery.

Verse 19 has the priest put the accused woman under an oath.  This is strictly forbidden by Jesus (who is rumored to be Yahweh) in Matthew 5:34.

Finally, in verse 21 we see the superstition of the Hebrews taking form in a "curse" if the woman should be found to be pregnant.  What if the child was for the husband (I prefere the term "owner" as the females are treated too much like cattle)?  Did you notice the sentence for the crime?  The woman is to miscarry.  That is right folks, the child must die?  Why because that is what Yahweh and the priest have determined in their infinite wisdom.

How is it that Bible lovers are "Pro-Life" again?  To add insult to injury, the woman's abdomen is to swell.  If the father of the child was to be found I am sure he would be put to death.

So, this is the recommendation of the Hebrew god Yahweh to Moses to Israel.  Christians now say that Yahweh is Jesus.  Therefore Jesus, who supports the Torah in all its gruesomeness, is the one giving these edicts according to Christians.

Forgive me if I do not subscribe and follow such things.

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