There Were Not Really 12 Tribes of Israel

by Ronald Duane Cochran
(Garden Grove CA. U.S.A. )

9. Hebrew History
(1071.6) 97:9.1 There never were twelve tribes of the Israelites — only three or four tribes settled in Palestine. The Hebrew nation came into being as the result of the union of the so-called Israelites and the Canaanites. “And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites. And they took their daughters to be their wives and gave their daughters to the sons of the Canaanites.” The Hebrews never drove the Canaanites out of Palestine, notwithstanding that the priests’ record of these things unhesitatingly declared that they did.

(1071.7) 97:9.2 The Israelitish consciousness took origin in the hill country of Ephraim; the later Jewish consciousness originated in the southern clan of Judah. The Jews (Judahites) always sought to defame and blacken the record of the northern Israelites (Ephraimites).

(1072.1) 97:9.3 Pretentious Hebrew history begins with Saul’s rallying the northern clans to withstand an attack by the Ammonites upon their fellow tribesmen — the Gileadites — east of the Jordan. With an army of a little more than three thousand he defeated the enemy, and it was this exploit that led the hill tribes to make him king. When the exiled priests rewrote this story, they raised Saul’s army to 330,000 and added “Judah” to the list of tribes participating in the battle.

(1072.2) 97:9.4 Immediately following the defeat of the Ammonites, Saul was made king by popular election by his troops. No priest or prophet participated in this affair. But the priests later on put it in the record that Saul was crowned king by the prophet Samuel in accordance with divine directions. This they did in order to establish a “divine line of descent” for David’s Judahite kingship.

(1072.3) 97:9.5 The greatest of all distortions of Jewish history had to do with David. After Saul’s victory over the Ammonites (which he ascribed to Yahweh) the Philistines became alarmed and began attacks on the northern clans. David and Saul never could agree. David with six hundred men entered into a Philistine alliance and marched up the coast to Esdraelon. At Gath the Philistines ordered David off the field; they feared he might go over to Saul. David retired; the Philistines attacked and defeated Saul. They could not have done this had David been loyal to Israel. David’s army was a polyglot assortment of malcontents, being for the most part made up of social misfits and fugitives from justice.

(1072.4) 97:9.6 Saul’s tragic defeat at Gilboa by the Philistines brought Yahweh to a low point among the gods in the eyes of the surrounding Canaanites. Ordinarily, Saul’s defeat would have been ascribed to apostasy from Yahweh, but this time the Judahite editors attributed it to ritual errors. They required the tradition of Saul and Samuel as a background for the kingship of David.

(1072.5) 97:9.7 David with his small army made his headquarters at the non-Hebrew city of Hebron. Presently his compatriots proclaimed him king of the new kingdom of Judah. Judah was made up mostly of non-Hebrew elements — Kenites, Calebites, Jebusites, and other Canaanites. They were nomads — herders — and so were devoted to the Hebrew idea of land ownership. They held the ideologies of the desert clans.

(1072.6) 97:9.8 The difference between sacred and profane history is well illustrated by the two differing stories concerning making David king as they are found in the Old Testament. A part of the secular story of how his immediate followers (his army) made him king was inadvertently left in the record by the priests who subsequently prepared the lengthy and prosaic account of the sacred history wherein is depicted how the prophet Samuel, by divine direction, selected David from among his brethren and proceeded formally and by elaborate and solemn ceremonies to anoint him king over the Hebrews and then to proclaim him Saul’s successor.

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Nov 07, 2011
History is never what it seems.
by: Ronald Duane Cochran

1. Philosophy of Religion

(1129.8) 103:1.1 But since personality is unique ? no two mortals being alike ? it inevitably follows that no two human beings can similarly interpret the leadings and urges of the spirit of divinity which lives within their minds. A group of mortals can experience spiritual unity, but they can never attain philosophic uniformity. And this diversity of the interpretation of religious thought and experience is shown by the fact that twentieth-century theologians and philosophers have formulated upward of five hundred different definitions of religion. In reality, every human being defines religion in the terms of his own experiential interpretation of the divine impulses emanating from the God spirit that indwells him, and therefore must such an interpretation be unique and wholly different from the religious philosophy of all other human beings.

(1130.1) 103:1.2 When one mortal is in full agreement with the religious philosophy of a fellow mortal, that phenomenon indicates that these two beings have had a similar religious experience touching the matters concerned in their similarity of philosophic religious interpretation.

(1130.2) 103:1.3 While your religion is a matter of personal experience, it is most important that you should be exposed to the knowledge of a vast number of other religious experiences (the diverse interpretations of other and diverse mortals) to the end that you may prevent your religious life from becoming egocentric ? circumscribed, selfish, and unsocial.

(1130.3) 103:1.4 Rationalism is wrong when it assumes that religion is at first a primitive belief in something which is then followed by the pursuit of values. Religion is primarily a pursuit of values, and then there formulates a system of interpretative beliefs. It is much easier for men to agree on religious values ? goals ? than on beliefs ? interpretations. And this explains how religion can agree on values and goals while exhibiting the confusing phenomenon of maintaining a belief in hundreds of conflicting beliefs ? creeds. This also explains why a given person can maintain his religious experience in the face of giving up or changing many of his religious beliefs. Religion persists in spite of revolutionary changes in religious beliefs. Theology does not produce religion; it is religion that produces theologic philosophy.

(1130.4) 103:1.5 That religionists have believed so much that was false does not invalidate religion because religion is founded on the recognition of values and is validated by the faith of personal religious experience. Religion, then, is based on experience and religious thought; theology, the philosophy of religion, is an honest attempt to interpret that experience. Such interpretative beliefs may be right or wrong, or a mixture of truth and error.

Nov 07, 2011
Interesting Fiction
by: M. Blondino

With due respect to the poster, The Urantia Book leaves many questions. For those who are unaware, it was the result of a debunker turned medium named William S. Sadler and his wife. The book was finished in 1934 and published in 1955. History directly conflicts with the premise in the post from The Urantia Book.

Aside from Genesis itself, there are many historical evidences outside of the Genesis that fully support the historicity of Genesis from the Middle Bronze age, well before Jacob and his sons enter the annuls of biblical history. There are many evidences that support the biblical account in the late bronze age as well.

As with most fiction, a bit of truth helps to pass it along to the reader. Yes, Canaanites did blend in some instances with Israelites. Some of the most notable instances were between Hittites and Israelites (the Torah states this explicitly as well).

Procopius of Caesarea wrote in the sixth century AD:

They [the Canaanites] also built a fortress in Numidia, where now is the city called Tigisis [probably in Algeria]. In that place are two columns made of white stone near by the great spring, having Phoenician letters cut in them which say in the Phoenician tongue:

?We are they who fled from before the face of Joshua, the robber, the son of Nun? (Frendo 2002: 37).

The Merneptah Stela discovered by Egyptologist, William F. Petrie, demonstrates conclusively that Israel was a recognized international power by 1210 BC, before Saul's (1049-1007 BC) or David's (1010-970 BC) monarchies.

The Tell el-Amarna clay tablets dated 1400-1370 BC are urgent requests from Canaanite kings to the Egyptian king for military help for invaders called the Hapiru or Apiru, generally accepted as referring to the "Hebrew" people. This is consistent with timing of the conquest of Joshua.

The Urantia material is interesting to be sure, and fun to read, but it is neither historical or consistent with known history.

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