Who were the beings that appeared to Abraham, Moses and Jacob?
“Okay, so you say there is one great intelligence occupying the universe that does not match up to orthodox ideas. How about the stories of the prophets who said they met God who seemed to appear in human form? Did they meet the Big Guy or something else?”
This is awkward for believers to explain. On one hand they say God is an invisible spirit that is everywhere, and, on the other, the Bible presents him as a being in human form occupying no more space than you and me.
Here are some examples:
God takes a walk in the garden
“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8
God eats dinner with Abraham
“And the Lord (Lord is from the Hebrew YAHOVAH which means Jehovah) appeared to him (Abraham) in the plains of Mamres and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, THREE MEN stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, and said My Lord (This Lord is from the Hebrew ADONAY meaning master.), if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and WASH YOUR FEET, and REST yourselves under the tree: And I will fetch a MORSEL OF BREAD, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, SO DO, AS THOU HAST SAID. And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly THREE measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hastened to dress it…. And he took butter and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, AND THEY DID EAT…. And the MEN rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. And the Lord (Again YeHOVAH translated Jehovah.) said shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?… And the men (two of them) turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the Lord” (YeHOVAH) (Gen 18:1-8; 16-17, & 22)
God wrestles with Jacob
“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled A MAN with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he (Jacob) said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel (means “the face of God”): for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Gen 32:24-30)
Moses sees God’s body.
And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. Exodus33:23
So, how do believers explain away an invisible God as being everywhere, yet appearing in a human body, even sharing the fatted calf with Abraham?
The answer they give is this. God is indeed a formless spirit, which is everywhere, but because he is all-powerful he can make anything happen he wants, including making it seem like he has human form. He will sometimes appear as human so we can understand the communication delivered.
That is probably the only explanation a guy could come up with who is trying to harmonize such conflicting beliefs. The only trouble with such an explanation is that it has little appeal to logic and is also not supported in the Bible.
Nowhere does God or the Bible give any hint that he appears in physical form just to make communication easier. Such reasoning is just a guess at explaining something that seems contradictory.
So what is the real explanation here? There’s got to be more to it than some magical all-powerful God pretending to be human now and then.
Here is an answer that will solve the mystery.
The thing that causes confusion is that many other entities are called gods in the Bible other than the One Great Life whose body is the universe. I’m not talking about idols and false gods condemned by the prophets. I’m saying that there were many who were called legitimate Gods in the Bible who were not creators of heaven and earth.
Here are some of the people who were called Gods in the scriptures. Most Bibles do not translate the Hebrew word ELOHIYM consistently as God or Gods, hence the confusion.
Abraham was called a mighty god (mistranslated in most Bibles) Gen 23:6
Moses was called a god. Ex 4:16 & 7:1
The judges of the people of Israel. The word “judges” is inaccurate and should read “Gods.” Exodus 21:6; 22:8-9, 28.
The physical being who ate with Abraham and the one in human form who wrestled with Jacob were obviously humanoids who were called gods.
In addition Jesus acknowledged that those prophets who received the Word of God in ancient times were gods. He said: “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came…” John 10:35-36
ELOHIYM is the most common Hebrew word for God and is plural. We see evidence of why this is so in the first book of the Bible:
“And God (should be translated “the Gods”) said, Let us make man IN OUR IMAGE, after OUR likeness.” Gen 1:26-27
“Behold, the man is to become AS ONE OF US, to know good and evil.” Gen 3:22
Obviously, more than one entity is legitimately called a god in the Bible.
Here is the explanation.
It is true that there is One Great Life who we generically call God. We as living entities are like cells in his body just as our cells are living entities in our physical bodies.
In addition to the One Life being call God, so are others. These include those who receive the Word of God for the people as well as powerful supernatural beings who are sometimes referred to as powerful angels as in the case of the being who dealt with Moses.
So, the gods of the Bible are really powerful humans who are in tune with the Spirit of the One God. Some of them are powerful mortals and others are supernatural humans.
Who are these supernatural humans and whence came they?
To answer this question we must again examine ourselves, but this time look into the future to see where we may be heading.
Look at the progress we have made in just the last 200 years. We’ve gone from the horse and buggy and slide rules to space travel and sophisticated computers. If we have accomplished such progress in 200 years what will happen in another 200, 2000 or 2 million years?
The universe is 13.8 billion years old so 2 million years is like about 13 seconds if we compressed the age of the universe down to a day. Consider that two million years is ten thousand times as long as two centuries yet still a drop in the bucket or cosmic time. Just imagine what we will accomplish in such a time period.
We will not only explore outer space, but inner space and eventually we’ll figure out how to extend our lives as long as we want, becoming virtually immortal. Sure, we’ll build bigger and better rocket ships, but we’ll eventually figure out how to travel without them and teleport ourselves from one place to another.
Two million years from now we will be so advanced that if we were to go among a civilization like ancient Israel or even twenty-first century humans we would most likely be seen as gods with supernatural powers.
It is not only logical, but it is indeed true that in this ancient universe there exists many lives that have progressed far beyond our primitive state of existence. Sometimes these exalted beings decide to help us out and, when time permits, they will assist us in our spiritual progress.
If this sounds fantastic consider this. Many ancient teachings tell us that this is not the first universe but there have been innumerable ones before this. Even many scientists now believe this is the case.
If this is true then life has an unlimited amount of time to evolve into states of consciousness and power that is far beyond our comprehension. It is completely within the limits of reason to conceive that one of these could pay us a visit and part the Red Sea.
Copyright by J J Dewey 2014
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