Click this link for TOPICAL INDEX OF POSTS

About Me

No longer take comments. Post's 'labels' are unreliable for linking or searching. Use the INDEX OF POSTS instead. A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview and understanding of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. IF YOU GET A MESSAGE THAT THE POST IS MISSING - LOOK FOR IT IN THE INDEX or search or the date is found in the address.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Kuzari Argument Part 17 - Apple White Theorem, Rabbi Kelemen

Updated thru 3/30/2018 4/20/2018

Most of Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen’s (RK)  Kuzari argument has been repudiated in my Kuzari posts and it would help to read, or at least skim them for more details, support and documentation. Begin with Kuzari Argument Part One.  There is some important  new material in this post that repudiates the Kuzari argument, so please read carefully.

If there was a revelation at Sinai, the Israelites did not hear much of the Torah. Some say they heard the first two of the 10 commandments, others say the first 10, others say they heard no Torah at all just noise. Except for that, Moshe  was the translator/interpreter/messenger between G-d and the people.  It was Moshe that gave the Torah, not G-d. How do we know Moshe was providing G-d’s words ? 

Since RK’s book Permission to Receive 1996, RK has added something called  the AppleWhite Theorem (AT) to his argument.  For example in this video at about 22 minutes

Applewhite Theorem (AT) : (a) People are gullible and will believe anything, even claims (or lies)  that demand painful, destructive or suicidal observances; (b) as long as the claims (or lies) cannot be checked.

I will just use the term claim(s), to represent ‘claims or lies’. Lie is sometimes a misleading term when discussing the evolution of religions, mythologies, cults, rumors etc:. Sometimes it is an accurate term.

FYI: Heavens Gate cult evolves out of extant new age concepts and beliefs, extraterrestrial literature, religions, spirituality, occult etc: that permeated and still permeate  USA culture and entertainment media. Apple White and his crew found fertile ground (horse sh-t) upon which their cult could mushroom. Could a similar Idea, in the sense that extant very ancient beliefs and superstitions predating the Exodus-Sinai stories provide a fertile ground to evolve the Exodus-Sinai stories ? You bet. 

I can not source the AT, and my guess is RK concocted the AT. [If so, a more accurate description would be the RK hypothesis. Theorem invokes an aura of certitude, even mathematical truth; intimidation; as if AT has been ‘proven’ and well received by the experts. If my guess is correct,  I remind RK of Leviticus 19 not place a stumbling before the blind...   .

“The blind may come to see, for I too was once blind and have come to see the light. May my blog posts enlighten those blinded by superstitions, religions and cults.”  ACJA 3/28/2018]

Lets examine the AT, including questions about it's parameters and underling definitions.

1) The what, who and how of determining  when a claim can or can not be checked ?

2) Do mythologies, religions qualify as a ‘claim’  per AT ? What qualifies as a claim ? For example, an ancient near east people had a belief in a mythology. Nobody is making a claim. The mythology is something the people believed in and took as self evident. That is how it was in ancient times. Tribes, nations etc: had their god(s) and it was taken for granted.  

3) What does it mean to be ‘checked’ ? For example would inquiring the authority figures, theologians, body politic, military, and the priests qualify as ‘checking’ ? Perhaps those  people may have been considered the ‘go to source’ for information. For large segments of a population,  those sources  informed the ‘truth’  regardless what  your parents or neighbors thought or remembered or did not remember.

4) What are the qualifications of the people doing the ‘checking’ ? Suppose the people are  unqualified to do the checking ?  Why should I rely on the fact checking abilities of a particular group of people ?  Maybe the people did not check enough or were mistaken for one reason or another. Peoples standards of evidence will depend on the time period and the culture. The checking performed by ancient superstitions unscientific tribe(s) or nations  may not correspond to what the modern hard nosed scientific community considers checking. 

5) Under what  circumstance is checking being performed ? For example, a nation threatened or  thinks it has just been attacked may do very poor checking before responding and accepting the party line.  

6) Imagine a fertility cult making sacrifices and rain came. Something like that could convince ancient people when checking the veracity of the cult. Once the cult is accepted as ‘truth’ it can be embellished over time. 

7) Does AT hold from the inception of the homosapien species or had it become valid only after some point in human history ?  Which  people qualify for the AT ? For example how could ancient people check even if they wanted to ? Were they going to survey numerous of  their neighbors ?  How could they evaluate the truth of the response ? Did they have time to check ? Why would they want to check ? 

8) A mythology can gain traction regardless if it can be checked or not. For example: Intimidation; fear of questioning; disapproval; etc: may allow a myth to gain traction. The myth could have been checked but it was not for any number of reasons. Till this day, in some countries  atheists are killed because they dare to question, ‘check’ and deny. Do you think ancient Israelites that questioned  and checked  would fare well ? 

Consider the White Buffalo Calf Women (WBCW) Story. It is alleged by many Dakota that an ancestral  tribe of theirs,  had contact with a supernatural being and is foundational to their religion.  An individual may ‘check’ this story by asking  holy men,  perhaps other community leaders, or members. Many offer the oral story  plus the  revered  pipe delivered by WBCW.  This fulfills the AT criteria and RK should believe their story. After all, they checked the story. 

Ancient people (including the Israelites) believed in supernatural being(s)  and sometimes associated them with mountains. That provides a base for future evolution of mythology/religion. 

The idea of a ancestral revelation at a mountain  may have arose amongst  the people ala etiological mythology or for one reason or another. Alternately  King(s)/Priests/leaders/scribes could have evolved a story of an ancestral revelation at a mountain for one reason or another. Why would the Israelites want to check such a claim if they were the ones evolving it ? I am not sure people are necessarily inclined to ‘check’ a mythology/rumors/religions developing in their country.

The Palestinian leadership and people tell their history and stories about how events unfolded prior to the creation of the State of Israel and subsequently. No doubt, many of them believe it.  Do you think the Palestinians are inclined to ‘check’ their versions of stories and history  ?  How well would they check it ? Would they protest if it does not 'check’ ?  Moreover, many other people of other countries also accept the Palestinian stories and version of history. Do you think  those others  have ‘checked’ or are inclined to ‘check’ before accepting ?  Does RK accept the Palestinian version of history ?  If not why not ? The Palestinians would not accept a false history because they could and would check it. Therefore using the AT we have proven the Palestinian version of history.  (I think Rabbi Gottliebs principle can also be used to 'prove' the Palestinian version of history.) 

I  have written posts about Rumors and especially the Rumor of Orleans.  How could  Rumors spread and be accepted ? Many rumors can be checked yet are not checked and then accepted. Or they are inadequately checked and come to be believed. People accept stories, rumors, superstitions, myths, religions  etc: whether they can be checked or not checked.  Sometimes group think and peer pressure assist the spread of mythology, rumors etc:  I find it incredulous that the academic community would accept the AT. I do not think they have, even if RK claims they do. I wonder how many Orthodox Jews or RK's  potential recruits will 'check' RK's statements. I suspect not many, so much for the AT.

The Sinai revelation may have been a man made event, some sort initiation  rite  - see Psychiatrist  Reik. There may have been nothing to check as it was understood as  invoking the deity. 

RK implies most experts have discarded “present theory” to explain the Exodus/Sinai stories because AT invalidates that possibility. (Present theory means for example a leader or group  convince people that you just heard G-d speak.)  However, the most likely reason those ‘experts’ discard present theory is because the Exodus story is considered ahistorical. Those experts would probably reject Reik's or my maximalist narration which postulates an event did occur at Sinai. 

{ETA 3/30/2018 RK argues the Israelites would not accept the onerous or risky commands of the Torah unless they came from G-d at Sinai. I beg to differ. Overtime, King(s)/Priests/Holy Leaders can get people to accept such commands if appropriate methods are used; proper carrots and sticks are used. The laws may have evolved some time after Sinai. Thus, even at a much later period than Sinai, new commands could have come into existence. More details see the sequence of posts beginning at Proof / Disproof of God based on Fallow }

{ETA 4/20/2018 Prior Kuzari posts and perhaps some other posts discussed some Torah rituals/commandments that predate Sinai. Examples include Circumcision, Sinew prohibition, animal sacrifice. If Moshe informs the Israelites to circumcise there would be no reason for objecting to an already extant practice. Moreover, the Torah is providing a basis for already extant  practices - etiological mythology.} 

Rabbi Gottliebs Kuzari Principle and  Rabbi Kelemen’s Apple White Theorem are invalid guides to evaluate the truth of people’s beliefs, mythologies, religions, rumors, cults etc: I am extremely skeptical of 1) the validity of the AT 2) RK's claim that the AT is a  theorem 3) AT is accepted by experts

P.S. I hope to review more of RK’s video and Book Permission to Receive in the future.

P.S. Rabbi Gottieb's Kuzari Principle and what  Rabbi Kelemen's calls AT are similar and faulty for many of the same reasons.

{ETA 3/30/2018  From my post Proof of God via Jewish Survival, Jewish Suffering, and the Bible Predictor (Part Two) ? "When some Rabbis advocate the Kuzari argument and claim religions require a giver or founder they are either lying or ignorant.  Some religions may have a founder others do not. And ‘Judaism’  has a fare number of potential ‘founders’ as mentioned in my discussion of the Kuzari argument. " }

Continued Kuzari Part 18 unbroken chain ? -hints for Rabbi Kelemen

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Kuzari Argument Part 16 - Permission To Receive Rabbi Kelemen

Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen (RK) Kuzari style argument from RK’s book Permission to Receive 1996

RK seems to explain on page 21 that his book assumes the existence of G-d and builds on that premise. If you need intellectual comforting for that premise, RK  mentions his other book Permission to Believe: Four Rational Approaches To God’s Existence.

In other words, he seems to be of the opinion that his version of Kuzari argument does not ‘prove’ the existence G-d.  Yet in conversations I have had with many Orthodox Jews they opine the Kuzari argument is proof of G-d. Maybe RK knows something they do not.  I have read Permission To Believe and I am still not intellectually comfortable with the premise and have written why in numerous blog  posts.

Most of RK’s Kuzari argument has been repudiated in my Kuzari posts and it would help to read, or at least skim them for more details and support. Begin with Kuzari Argument Part One. I think there is some new material in this post. 

RK assumes “potential recruits”  to a religion would like to know how the religion obtained it’s superlative knowledge and or methodology. 

However,  there are a plethora of reasons people will come to accept mythology or religion. There are  nation foundation myths, etiological myths, myths told by authorities or ruling parties, myths and rumors that surface amongst the people  etc: Why does  he assume ancient near east people would be so skeptical ? From all appearances ancient people (even numerous modern people) are not that skeptical.  

RK’s words ‘potential recruit’ colors his perception of the origins of religion and mythology. This is confirmed by his comment about asking about the difficulty of “selling “ the revelation narrative of the particular religion.  

Ancient near east religions, gods, mythologies are often associated with the nation. Moab had their state god(s), Egypt theirs etc: It need not require or be about selling. Ancient people would welcome stories and explanations about their history, why events unfold this way or that etc: They would adopt/adapt religions, myths, folklore from neighbors and sometimes evolve it. RK is a professional missionary thus he thinks in terms of ‘selling’ and  ‘potential recruits’. (BTW You, the non Orthodox Jew or the questioning Orthodox Jew are amongst his potential ‘recruits’. I suggest due diligence before committing to any cult or religion.  If now in a cult or religion do research on it's origins. What real evidence is there for it ? What do academic scholars write about it ? Is there evidence repudiating your religion or cult ? )  

Alternately: myths, etiological myths, foundation myths , legends etc: were circulating amongst parts of the population. The mythology is growing and becoming embellished. Eventually, the Priests/Kings have them recorded. Nothing was ever sold by anybody. (The Torah’ redaction implies such a possibility since it strongly suggests the recording of disparate traditions/myths that are sewn together.)

When critiquing ‘many’ modern religions RK writes they are built on objectively unverifiable stories. Yet the same applies to the Exodus/Sinai stories which are also objectively unverifiable stories !
Not only are the Exodus/Sinai stories not verifiable, there is evidence the stories could not have happened as described in the Torah. 

RK summarizes that for many new and old religions (Christianity is treated separately by RK)  there were few people witnessing anything miraculous. RK seems to then imply the reason is the difficulty of having a mass  conspiracy based on a lie. (RK writes Christianity basis is also impeachable.)  

RK did not discuss religions and  myths of the Ancient Near East. Perhaps  religions and myths were just accepted by many back then. King/priests claimed god willed it perhaps for one reason or another and that was enough for the public. In general, maybe there was no desire or need to creates religions / myths using conspiracies or alleged mass revelations.  That is not to say it did not ever happen. We have very limited data from ancient times so it is  possible the Israelite claim of mass revelation is not the only such story.

RK writes the ancient Israelites being slaves will accompany even a liar to escape.  Has he considered the possibility that such a liar could convince them to accept a  religion if the appropriate methods are used ?  Actually there is no need to posit deceivers to rationally explain why people may come to accept a divine revelation, even though in reality there was no divine revelation.  

RK  gives reasons why the biblical accounts of pre Egyptian prophecy do little to enhance Judaism’s credibility. 

I agree that the accounts do little to enhance Judaism’s credibility,  and for additional reasons RK has not provided. ‘Judaism’ did not start at Sinai. In other words, the ancient Israelites were already predisposed to belief in supernatural.  Also, long before Sinai, per the Torah there already was a preexisting relationship and covenant with a deity. Moshe could have used that prior ‘religion’ to evolve a new one for the Israelites, just like the early Christians evolved Judaism.

Could The Sinai Story be False ?

That is possible. For example, Kings/Priests/Scribes/Redactors may have recorded oral stories, folklore, legends  that eventually become accepted by many as true history. Or perhaps, leaders proclaim study these stories and follow  the commandments or else. The stories  are then taught to children and after a  few generations they are accepted as happening. Is it not a wonderful feeling being the chosen people and having the greatest divine warrior on your side ?

RK writes if Judaism is a lie, the lie must have been launched generations after the events described in the Torah. I am not so sure and have provided plausible scenarios where something did happen at Sinai.  Nor must Judaism be a ‘lie’ ‘launched’. That is not how myths or religions necessarily emerge or necessarily why people accept them. RK is thinking used car sales mode which is probably not the correct model in general for ancient near east religions, gods, mythology, legends etc:

Alternately, there could have been a ‘collective memory’ of historical event(s) that gets embellished upon. People may have heard  grandpas and grandmas tell stories about some thunder, noises at a quaking mountain many moons ago.  Perhaps they heard stories of Egyptian slavery with some slaves escaping.  The stories get embellished upon. On this kernel,  mythology and religion can be built.  Kings/Leaders/Priests eventually record the mythology in the Torah.  This responds to RK’s question why is there no ‘leader‘ who reminded the Israelites/Jews of the Sinai.  It was not that a leader ‘sold’ a story, it is almost as if the other way around. The people had stories that are used by King(s) and Priests.  

RK asks why has no other nation or religious movement claim a mass revelation ? 

Why does RK think they would want to ? Maybe other ancient nations/religions  had no need to. Maybe the Israelites/Jews needed such a mythology for one reason or another. Other nations had other reasons why they accepted their religion/mythology/legends.  Maybe there were such claims but we have no records of them. Maybe the conditions when Christianity is evolving are different than the conditions of ancient Israelites.  For in ancient Israel we are speaking of a nation under conditions significantly different from when Christianity evolves. Maybe, other nations did not have folk memories of their ancestors at a quaking smoking thundering mountain or something like that. Historical conditions, events, resources, political or religious needs  etc: differ from one tribe to another, from one nation to another, from one period to another. It is not comparable to a science experiment conducted under similar conditions and for which we expect more or less similar outcomes. Nevertheless, almost all the features of the Torah story may be found amongst other cultures. 

Some of my Kuzari posts discuss some ‘mass’ revelations/miracles and other analogs of the Exodus Sinai Story.  Even if the Torah story is in class by itself, that is all it means. One can argue the rise and spread of Islam is in a class of itself. Will that convince RK Islam is miraculous ?  One can argue the Miracle of the Sun is in a class of itself. Will that convince RK that a Miracle really happened ? 

There is an interesting verse:

Per Jewish Publication Society Jewish Study Bible (Editors Berlin and Brettler 2004)

Deuteronomy 4:33 “Has any people heard the voice of a god speaking out of a fire, as you have, and survived?”

[ I ask why does the Torah write and ‘survived’ ? Does it mean to imply ‘other people’ , even a mass of them, have heard the voice of a god speaking out of a fire, but unfortunately they died. However, the Israelites were special because they survived while others did not. Is this evidence that the Israelites where aware of the existence of other divine revelations that occurred amongst other peoples ? ]

Continued Kuzari Argument Part 17 - Apple White Theorem, Rabbi Kelemen

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Proof of God From Secrets In Holy Texts Part Two (Dead Stars)

This post is dedicated to D.A.

The proof to be discussed may be categorized as  "proof of god from secrets in holy texts see Part 1.  Please skim part one before reading this part two. 

Psalms 148:  2 Praise ye Him [the Lord], all His angels; praise ye Him, all His hosts. 3 Praise ye Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all ye stars of light. 4 Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that are above the heavens...

The argument claims that Psalms 148:3 has secret knowledge. Praise him ..."stars of light". As if to imply there are stars that do not give off light ! How did those ancients know that some stars do not give off light ? Thus the text must be of divine origin.


So according to the theologians advocating the above ‘proof’ only stars of light should praise the Lord ? Those stars not giving light should not praise the Lord ?  Why would the Psalms intend that ? 

Verse 4 speaks about waters above the heavens. This refers to the incorrect notion of water above the firmament with the Lord controlling it's sluices to withhold water or provide it like described in the Noach flood story of Genesis. How ironic to quote verse 3 to support secret science in Psalms, when the very next verse is factually wrong !

Furthermore, why can't it be poetic license to add the word light ? The Tenach when writing about stars sometimes associates them with  light, but more often Tenach just writes stars with the implicit understanding the stars give light.  (see below for various Tenach verse relating to stars. }. 

Even if the word light in Psalms 148:3 is superfluous on what basis may one  presume it was done to teach there are stars with no light ? There could have been any number of other things it may want to teach or perhaps not teach anything at all. Maybe Psalm wrote light for poetic reasons. It is an attempt to retroactively shoehorn a scientific fact into the Tenach.  

Moreover, consider Psalms 14 and 53 which are very similar. Also Psalms 40:14-18 is found in Psalm 70.  Are there hidden secrets in these duplications ? Maybe the editor of Psalms just included duplication or  superfluousness for one reason or another and for reasons having nothing to do with 'teaching' us science secrets. 

Why does finding secrets of science in holy texts require these mental gymnastics ? Why are these science secrets only found  after science discovers them ? 

When the Tenach uses the term stars it is not being used the way science uses the term. Science may include stars with extreme poor eye visibility to those actually visible by eye.  So the ‘proof’ is comparing apples to oranges.  

Even if  Tenach  directly wrote of the existence of stars that do not give off light it is not proof of anything.  The ancients observed stars with strong light and those with weaker and weaker light, and extrapolated to the existence of stars with no light.  How miraculous is that ? 

Finally, it is important to note the translation usually provided for Psalm 148:3 may not be correct ! The  Anchor Bible Psalms III by M. Dahood 1970  pages 351-353 discusses Psalm 148:3. The translation is frequently rendered 'shining stars' or 'stars of light'. However Dahood argues the hebrew word which has been translated as 'light' should be translated as 'morning' as in  Neh VIII:3. Dahood uses  Job XXXVIII:7  to translate Psalms 148:3 as morning stars: Stars visible at dawn, meaning the planets. 

Thus the translation of Psalm 148:3 is uncertain; the so called superfluous word is not extra at all and the 'proof' collapses.

Here are some related Tenach verse involving stars with of my related  commentary.

a) Nehemiah 4:15 So we wrought in the work; and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.

It does not make a distinction between types of stars. It is understood by the Tenach that stars give us light.

b) 1 Chronicles 27 : 23 But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under; because the LORD had said He would increase Israel like to the stars of heaven.

No distinction between types of stars.

c) Psalms 136:9 The moon and stars to rule by night, for His mercy endureth for ever. 

Implicit the stars give of light. Does it make sense that dead stars are to rule the night ?

d) Isaiah 13 : 9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel, and full of wrath and fierce anger; to make the earth a desolation, and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it, 10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to ...

Should we infer that there exist stars not in heaven ! ? Of course that is not the intent of the verse. Notice the verse again links Stars with light. 

Notice verse does not write the stars of light will not give their light. This because it is understood stars give light, not that there are stars that do not give light. 

e) Ecclesiastes Chapter 12. 1 Remember then thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say: 'I have no pleasure in them'; 2 Before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars, are darkened, and ..

Implicit the stars, sun and moon give off light.

f) Joel 4 : 15 The sun and the moon are become black, and the stars withdraw their shining...

Implicit the stars, sun and moon give off light.

g) Genesis 26: 3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore unto Abraham thy father; 4 and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven...

So does this imply some stars do not exist in heaven ? I do not think that is the intent. Should we infer that there are stars not in our heaven and this proves a Multiverse  ? 

h) Jeremiah 31: 34 Thus saith the LORD, Who giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who stirreth up the sea, that the waves thereof roar, the LORD of hosts is His name: 

Clearly writes the stars are for light. Nothing about giving us stars that do not give off light. 

i) Joel 2 : 10 Before them the earth quaketh, the heavens tremble; the sun and the moon are become black, and the stars withdraw their shining

The STARS withdraw their shining. Implies that Stars means the object giving off light.

j) Genesis 1 : 16 And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.

The Moon and Stars are about light.

k) Ezekial 32: 6: I will cover the sky And darken its stars;

Does not specify darken only the stars giving light. That is because the presumption is all stars give off  light.


The Tenach assumes the natural thing is for stars to give off light. It is an a distortion of the Tenach to claim the Tenach intends there exist stars that do not give off light. The Tenach gives us a Theology: The Lord can darken the Stars which shows his power over nature; the Lord made them, praise emenates from them etc:. Are you surprised ancient people would ascribe god(s) the power to control nature or create things ? Do not be. The ancient Greeks claimed Zeus controls weather and lightning. The list of creator gods and gods controlling this or that part of nature or how certain events should unfold is a long one.  There is some related information my post  Psalms, Ancient Near East Texts, Prayer, Science

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Psalms, Ancient Near East Texts, Prayer, Science

I have classified a selection of some Psalm verses by category although some verses may overlap category. Of course this is not a complete classification of these Psalms nor the only one possible. 

The actual words, phrases, expressions, themes and the hopes expressed in Psalms are duplicated sometimes word for word in Ancient Near East (ANE) Texts.  These themes and expressions and such, are still used in the prayers to 'G-d' by Orthodox Jews. Most Orthodox Jews do not realize how much their prayers have in common with ancient near east cultures. It is almost as if to make the transfer from the Psalms to portions of these other ANE texts just change the name of the god(s). 

I will first supply some but not all Psalm verses illustrating some of the verbiage and will include some commentary on Monotheism, Science in Psalm etc:. After I will provide some but not all corresponding snippets from ANE texts.  A careful reading of the ANE texts snippets will demonstrate the parallels to Psalms. There are other points of contact between Psalms and the ANE literature perhaps to be discussed in future posts, as this one is already pretty long, sorry. 


The Lord Hiding his Face

When evil befalls the Jews, some Orthodox Jews claim G-d is hiding his face from them especially if he does not answer their prayers for deliverance. {ETA God(s) Hiding Face found in some ANE texts}

Psalms 102: 2 O LORD, hear my prayer, and let my cry come unto Thee. 3 Hide not Thy face from me in the day of my distress; 
incline Thine ear unto me; in the day when I call answer me speedily.

Psalms Chapter 13 : 2 How long, O LORD, wilt Thou forget me for ever? How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?

PSALMS 69:18 And hide not Thy face from Thy servant; for I am in distress; answer me speedily.

Psalms:88:5 LORD, why castest Thou off my soul? Why hidest Thou Thy face from me?

Praising, Exalting the Lord's Warrior Powers, Power, Glory, Strength etc:

Similar to other ANE texts. 

Psalms24:8 'Who is the King of glory?'  'The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.'

Psalms 21:4 Be Thou exalted, O LORD, in Thy strength; so will we sing and praise Thy power. 

Psalms24:8 'Who is the King of glory?' 'The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.'

Lord's Mercy, Righteousness, Truth, Care for Down Trodden, Poor, Savior 

All very Similar to other ANE texts

Psalms 111:7 The works of His hands are truth and justice;

Psalms 119:160 The beginning of Thy word is truth; and all Thy righteous ordinance endureth for ever.

Psalms 12:6 'For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise', saith the LORD; 'I will set him in safety at whom they puff.'

Psalms 35:10 All my bones shall say: 'LORD, who is like unto Thee,who deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?'

Psalms 136:2 O give thanks unto the God of gods, for His mercy endureth for ever. 3 O give thanks unto the Lord of lords, for His mercy endureth for ever.

Psalms 33:4 For the word of the LORD is upright; and all His work is done in faithfulness. 5 He loveth righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD.

Psalms 57:11 For Thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and Thy truth unto the skies.

Lord's Deliverance from Enemies and the like. Plea To Be Heard

Similar to other ANE texts

Psalms 143:9 Deliver me from mine enemies...

Psalms Chapter 55 :2 Give ear, O God, to my prayer; and hide not Thyself from my supplication.

Psalms Chapter 59 :2 Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God; set me on high from them that rise up against me. 3 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from the men of blood.

The Lord Is Above All Other Gods 

The following Psalms strongly suggest the author of Psalms believed other gods exist. A form of monolatry as opposed to Monotheism. Lord above other Lords also found in other ANE texts. 

Psalms 136:2 O give thanks unto the God of gods, for His mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the Lord of lords, for His mercy endureth for ever.

Psalms 135:5 For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.

PSALMS 86: 8 There is none like unto Thee among the gods, O Lord, and there are no works like Thine.

PSALMS 71:19 Thy righteousness also, O God, which reacheth unto high heaven; Thou who hast done great things, O God, who is like unto Thee?

Psalms 95:3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods;5 The sea is His, and He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.

Psalms 97: 9 For Thou, LORD, art most high above all the earth; Thou art exalted far above all gods.

Psalms 102:16 So the nations will fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory;

Psalms 113:5 Who is like unto the LORD our God, that is enthroned on high,

Appeal To Lord's based on what Nations May Say

Similar to other ANE texts

Psalms 115:2 Wherefore should the nations say: 'Where is now their God?'

Blessing The Lord and Flattery

Similar to other ANE texts

Psalms 145 1...I will extol Thee, my God, O King; and I will bless Thy name for ever and ever. 2 Every day will I bless Thee; and I will praise Thy name for ever and ever.  Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.

Lord as Creator

(In the ANE texts to be cited the god creates by word. See Psalm 33:6) {ETA This or  that god being a creator also found in other ANE texts}

Those religious that advocate 'science' in Tenach take heed.  See below - Psalm 104:5 is factually wrong. The ovoid Earth spins on its axis and has an elliptical orbit. 

Psalms 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.

Psalms 104: 5 Who didst establish the earth upon its foundations, that it should not be moved for ever and ever;

Psalms 115:15 Blessed be ye of the LORD who made heaven and earth.


My source will be this wonderful book:

'Relating to the Old Testament Edited by James Pritchard Third Edition with Supplement  Fifth Priniting 1992

The very themes and phrases of Psalms are found in these ANE texts.

[In The following Hymn notice Amon-Re 1) giving breathe.2) Is The creator. Concepts found in Genesis. Amon as Lord of Truth... If you keep my category list in mind and have read Psalms and carefully read all the following ANE snippets you will discern the similarities of which I have written of. ]

Page 365 A Hymn to Amon-Re

Hail to thee, Amon-Re....Who made mankind and created The beasts,
Lord of what is, who created The fruit tree,
Made herbage, and gave life to cattle....Who made what is below and what is above...The chief one, who made The entire earth.
MORE DISTINGUISHED IN NATURE THAN any (other) god,..The lord of fear, great of dread,
Rich in might...Lord of eternity...HAIL TO THEE, O Re, lord of truth!...Who hears The prayer of him who is in captivity,
Gracious of heart in The face of an appeal to him.
gods...,THOU ART The sole one, WHO MADE [ALL] THAT IS,
[The] solitary sole [one], who made what exists...Praises are thine, when they all say:
"Jubilation to thee, because thou weariest thyself with
us!...We praise thy might, according as thou didst make
us. Let (us) act for thee, because thou brought us forth.
We give thee thanksgiving because thou hast wearied
thyself with us!"
The sole king
Who overthrows his enemies...For The enemies of Atum are overthrown...The righteous one, Lord of Karnak,

Page 369 The Hymn to The Aton forever and ever; The living great Aton ...lord of
heaven, lord of earth, lord of The House of Aton...Creator of seed in women,
Thou who makest fluid into man, Who givest breath to sustain all that he has made!...O sole god, like whom there is no other!
Thou didst create The world according to thy desire,
Whilst thou wert alone:
All men, cattle, and wild beasts,
Whatever is on earth, going upon (its) feet,
And what is on high, flying with its wings.
The countries of Syria and Nubia, The land of Egypt,
Thou settest every man in his place,
Thou suppliest their necessities...The lord of every land...The world came into being by thy hand,...
For one lives (only) through thee.

Page 380 E G Y P T I A N H Y M N S AND P R A Y E R S The Memorial Prayer
....Giving praises to Amon. I make him adorations
in his name; I give him praises to The height of heaven
and to The width of earth; [I] relate his power to him
who travels downstream and to him who travels upstream.
Beware ye of him!Thou art Amon, The lord of The silent man, who
comes at The voice of The poor man. If I call to thee
when I am distressed, thou comest and thou
rescuest me. Thou givest breath (to) him who is
weak; thou rescuest him who is imprisoned.

Page 379 A Prayer to Re-Har-akhti

Thou one and only, O Re-Har-akhti! There is no
other here like unto him, who protects millions while he
rescues hundred-thousands! The protector of him who
calls out to him, The Lord of Heliopolis.

Hymn To Ishtar page 383 Who—to her greatness who can be equal ?

Hymn to The Moon-God Page 385 In heaven who is exalted? Thou! Thou alone art exalted. On earth who is exalted? Thou! Thou alone art exalted.

Hittite Prayers/Hymns Page 396 But now all The surrounding countries have begun to attack The Hatti land. Let it again become a matter of concern to The Sun-goddess of Arinna! O god, bring
not thy name into disrepute!

Page 383 Hymn to Ishtar

Praise Ishtar, The most awesome of The goddesses....The fate of everything she holds in her hand...Strong, exalted, splendid are her decrees. Ishtar—to her greatness who can be equal?......Ishtar among The gods, extraordinary is her station.
Respected is her word; it is supreme over them.

Page 383 Prayer of Lamentation to Ishtar

{ETA Notice this Prayer seems to suggest that not only can Ishtar cure
sickness she can resurrect the dead ! Many Orthodox Jews believe
a resurrection of the dead will occur in the future.}

O possessor of all divine power, who wears the crown
of dominion,
O Lady, glorious is thy greatness; over all the gods it
is exalted.
O star of lamentation,...O mighty one, Lady of battle, who suppresses the
mountains,..To thine awesome name mankind must pay heed.
For thou art great and thou art exalted...
The judgment of the people in truth and righteousness
thou indeed dost decide.
Thou regardest the oppressed and mistreated;...Where thou dost look, one who is dead lives; one who
is sick rises up; 
The erring one who sees...1 have cried to thee, suffering, wearied, and distressed, as thy servant. See me O my Lady; accept my prayers.
Faithfully look upon me and hear my supplication....How long, O my Lady, shall my adversaries be looking
upon me,...Forgive my sin, my iniquity, my shameful deeds, and
my offence.
Overlook my shameful deeds; accept my prayer;
Loosen my fetters; secure my deliverance;
Guide my steps aright; radiantly like a hero let...How long, O my Lady, wilt thou be angered so that
thy face is turned away ?
How long, O my Lady, wilt thou be infuriated so that
thy spirit is enraged ?
Turn thy neck which thou hast set against me; set thy
face [toward] good favor.


Psalms gets Science wrong.  See category Lord as Creator - Psalms 104 above.  Also for example Psalms 75:4 When the earth and all the refugees there are recognized, I Myself establish the Pillars of it. Also Psalms 104:5 Who did establish the earth upon its foundations, that it should not be moved for ever and ever;

The ancients Israelites incorrectly understood planet Earth as established on pillars. The Earth is in constant motion with no pillars at all.  It is amusing when people claim there is science to be found in holy texts when there are often so many facts wrong in those very texts.  The science they claim is in the holy texts is retroactively shoe horned into the texts. 

Why are there so many Psalm parallels to the ANE texts ?

Why do the Israelites supplicate, flatter and use the very terminology and motifs of the Pagans ?

Did all those other cultures copy the Israelites or did the Israelites copy them or was there shared concept how to beseech the god(s) ?

{Here is one response for a specific Psalm. Regarding Psalm 93. “Yahweh is acclaimed as King of the earth. Why ? Because he has subdued the raging and contumacious floods. Where is he enthroned ? In the special house which ‘holiness beseemeth for evermore.’ What does he do there ? He issues decrees which are ‘very sure.’ At first blush, this sequence is somewhat bewildering, but to anyone who has read the Canaanite poems from Ras Shamra the implication is obvious: The psalm is an adaption to the cult of Yahweh of the Canaanite myth of Baal.” MOREOVER, “The story has several parallels in ANE literature.” From Page771  in Myth, Legend And Custom In The Old Testament by T. Gaster 1969 }

From The Interpreters One-Volume Commentary On The Bible sixth printing 1982 edition - Per Page 253 - writes regarding Authorship of Psalms: It is now clear the theory of Davinic authorship can not be maintained. Archaeological discoveries in the Near East have given us literature of Israel's neighbors:Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptian, and Canaanites. "This news knowledge makes clear that Israel originated neither the poetic form of the pss. (see 'Literary Forms of the OT," pp. 1077-81) nor their use in worship." 

What expressions and themes did the Ancient Israelites use in prayer (as found in Psalms) ?  Often similar to the pagans. Why did the Israelites engage in these prayers ? Often it seems to court divine intervention for one thing or another just like the pagans. 

Psalms mentions the promise to Abraham,  Exodus, the importance of the Temple and Jerusalem but amazingly never mentions the giving of the Ten commandments or the Torah at Sinai.  How could such an important event not be mentioned ? Could it be The Psalm author was unaware of it ? That it was a later innovation ?