Genesis: Nephilim, Dominance and Liberty

by Manfred Davidmann



Contents

Introduction and Overview
Nephilim (Chapter 6: 3-5)
Wanderings of Nimrod and Asshur (Chapter 10: 8-12)
The Allegory of 'The Tower of Babel' (Chapter 11: 1-9)
Enslavement, then Liberty and Good Life for All (Chapters 41-47)
God, People and Behaviour, Help and Protection, Reward or Punishment
Lessons from History
Humane Behaviour
Social Background
Domineering, Oppression, Exploitation, Misuse of Others
Armed Forces, Military Strength. Dictatorship and Authoritarianism
Possessions, Ownership and Riches
Social Laws and Social System of the Bible
Government; Positions of Trust, Responsibility and Authority; Hierarchies
Ten Commandments
Social Cause-and-Effect Relationship
Social Laws, Social System
Notes and References
Notes   <..>
References   {..}

Relevant Current and Associated Works

Relevant Subject Index Pages and Site Overview



Introduction and Overview

This report is one of a series which together describe and illustrate the meaning and intent of Genesis. Each is self-contained but together they provide the knowledge needed for understanding Genesis, its allegories and their significance. These allegories illustrate and define the difference between good and evil, and the importance of behaviour on social strength, well-being and good life under modern conditions.


Genesis begins by describing how the planet was created, in other words how it was formed, the changes which occurred as the planet aged, how plants and animals were formed, evolved and populated the planet. It describes how human beings evolved and also how the behaviour of life forms changed as human beings evolved.

When the Pentateuch (Torah, Five Books of Moses) was written about 3,400 years ago, people had but little knowledge about science or evolution compared with what is known today. So concepts for which we now have precise terms were described rather than stated and expressed in religious terms so that they could be appreciated and followed by the population.

Understanding this we see that there is no conflict, no contradiction, no divergence, only awe-inspiring agreement, between what is stated in Genesis and what we now know about the evolution of human beings.

See The Meaning of Genesis: Creation, Evolution and the Origin of Evil


Chapters 5 and 6 then describe the behaviour of human beings before the flood. There is no conscious knowledge of good and evil and of the difference between them and their behaviour is like that of their primitive ancestors. Their behaviour is stated and condemned as evil. These two chapters of Genesis outline evil behaviour.

Chapter 5 shows people amassing possessions and wealth and dominating others by brutal strength.
See Genesis' Secrets: Pre-flood Evils and the Social Problems of Our Time
Chapter 6 adds unrestrained sexual behaviour
See Genesis: Morality, Sexual Behaviour and Depravity
and Chapter 6 also adds the gaining and misuse of power over others.
See Genesis: Nephilim, Dominance and Liberty


The flood follows and from here onwards Genesis shows a conscious knowledge developing of good and evil, stressing consequent reward and punishment, justice and retribution.

Human beings are shown to be becoming numerous and spreading out, behaving much as before the flood. Different communities developed different customs, traditions, ways of behaving and, with the life and travels of the Patriarchs, some learned to know the difference between good and evil, learned to behave humanely.
See Genesis: Differentiating Between Good and Evil
Genesis records what is, and is not, moral sexual behaviour and the consequences of depravity. Clearly stated is that the consequences cannot be avoided.
See Genesis: Morality, Sexual Behaviour and Depravity
Genesis considers the gaining and misuse of power over others. We are told the consequences of allowing some people to misuse their abilities to manipulate, control and enslave others. And the Pentateuch states social laws of behaviour and a social system which have to be kept as they enable people to gain and keep liberty and good lives of high quality.
See Genesis: Nephilim, Dominance and Liberty


The abovementioned reports also summarise corresponding present social problems and describe the Pentateuch's social laws and social system for overcoming them.

Further relevant knowledge and information necessary for understanding the meaning of Genesis can be found in the following reports:

Meaning and Significance of the Names of God in Genesis
Describes the meaning and significance of the names of God which are used in Genesis. These are of greatest importance for understanding the meaning of the text of the Bible.

Meaning and Intent of Genesis: Essential Notes on Hebrew Grammar
Lists and illustrates the grammatical rules which help to differentiate between references to individuals and references to groups or life forms. Essential information for understanding the meaning of Genesis.

Bible Translations, Versions, Codes and Hidden Information in Bible and Talmud
Shows how changes made in the past have obscured the original intended meaning. Describes the ways in which hidden information has been encoded and labelled so that its original meaning could not be misunderstood or misinterpreted.


In this report, more detailed explanations and comments are indented as follows:

Indented explanations and comments.


Nephilim (Chapter 6: 3-5)

The information in Chapter 6 about 'nephilim' appears vague, is among the least understood of the passages of the Pentateuch (Torah, Five Books of Moses), and yet deals with behaviour which underlies evil and is quoted as a direct cause of the subsequent flood.

But we are here being told about another key aspect of human behaviour and social organisation which has been carried forward from our primitive ancestors, we are here being given essential core information about the roots of evil.


In Chapter 6, verses 1 and 2 record that men are misusing their abilities regardless of the cost to others. {4}

Verse 3 states that man's lifespan is to be limited to 120 years.

Verse 4 is about nephilim and about the exceptional abilities of some descendants.

Verse 5 sums up what we have been told in chapters 5 and 6, stating that 'the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.'


That verses 3 and 4 are connected is indicated by information relating to 'lifespan' and 'descendants'. And we are told about another aspect of human behaviour, namely that there are 'nephilim' and that their behaviour is evil.

To find out who or what the nephilim are, and about their behaviour, we need to look more closely at verses 3 and 4. And what we see is so evident that it raises the question why their meaning has not previously been seen.


3 And the Lord said: 'My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for that he also is flesh; therefore shall his days be a hundred and twenty years.'

'the Lord' (Yhwh): God as cause, as cause of what happened. {2}

'And the Lord said': In other words, this is happening, is what happened. {2}

'in man' (Heb. 'ba'adam'): 'ba'adam' stands for 'be ha adam', so that Adam stands for human beings. {6}

'he also is flesh': Meaning of the Hebrew is 'for flesh is weak'.

The verse reads 'My spirit' cannot stay in human beings for ever. Flesh is weak and the lifespan of human beings is 120 years.

Which means that the mind, the soul, stay with the human being as long as the human is alive and the life span of human beings is limited.

4 The nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.

'daughters' refers to 'daughters' in general, to the female of the life form, to women. {4}

'sons of God' refers to males among human beings. In other words, 'sons of God' refers to 'men'. {4}

'they bore children to them (who) were ... the men of renown': The abilities of the nephilim are passed on by heredity.

'and also after that': As lifespan is limited (previous verse) this phrase is another pointer towards hereditary passing on of abilities. People die but the abilities of the nephilim are passed on by heredity.

We are being told about human beings.

What verses 3 and 4 have in common is that they deal with extraordinary abilities people have while alive, with mind and soul on the one hand and with the abilities of the nephilim on the other. In this way each of these two verses confirms the intended meaning of the other.

Where Pentateuch and Talmud contain hidden information, then this is pointed to, stated and confirmed, at the same time and in a number of different independent ways, to ensure the message is understood as it was intended to be understood. That verses 3 and 4 confirm each other is intended and meaningful. <1>

And so 'nephilim' are simply human beings without distinguishing physical characteristics who intermarry with others human beings and whose extraordinary abilities and skills are hereditary. Their abilities and skills appear to be somewhat rare.

'Heredity' is the inheritance of mental or physical characteristics from parents or ancestors. So 'hereditary' does not imply 'to all sons' nor does it imply 'in every generation'.

And what else have we been told about the nephilim:

They were so named because they fell (naphal) and caused the world to fall <2>. From the Hebrew 'naphal' (to fall) which can mean a fall, a deterioration, in the moral sense.

In the Hebrew language (nephilim) has the meaning of 'giants' {10}. It can refer to mental rather than to physical giants.

'the mighty men':

They were mighty in their rebellion against God. <2>

'ha-gibborim': 'the mighty men'. Also 'the mighty ones'.

'The men of renown'

'anshe ha-shem': People of name (well-known people). <3>


And so 'nephilim' refers to human beings with hereditary abilities which appear extraordinary. These abilities apparently enable them to influence, organise, manipulate, control, dominate other human beings. They are misusing their abilities for their own ends, their behaviour is 'evil'.


Human beings are capable of distinguishing between good and evil and of choosing good while rejecting evil. But they do not do so. And the nephilim among them are corruptly and evilly misusing their extraordinary abilities.

We do not at this point know who the nephilim are. But we know that their abilities are extraordinary and hereditary, that they are with us here and now just as before, within our communities at the present time. That they are referred to as 'fallen' indicates that their capabilities are being used for selfish ends. Their descendants are 'mighty' (powerful) and 'of renown' (well-known, prominent, in the public eye).

In other words, there are among us people with extraordinary abilities which are hereditary and who are using them for their own selfish corrupt ends, and who are likely to be powerful or influential and well-known.

So we need to see what else we are told about them. This matter of the nephilim has remained a mystery to our days, but we are told more. The pattern is becoming clearer and we will see just who and what the nephilim are and become aware of their activities.


5 And the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

The thoughts people were imagining, that is the thoughts arising from their imagination, were evil continually. Human beings as a whole are using their thinking and evaluating abilities towards evil, towards evil behaviour, are misusing and exploiting each other for personal gain. <4>


Genesis is here describing, and defining, evil. Describing it as taking place. But not defining evil openly in plain language. Not stating the cause of evil.

And associating nephilim with evil, possibly as a hidden cause. They are misusing their abilities for personal gain, are corrupting, are dominating.


Wanderings of Nimrod and Asshur (Chapter 10: 8-12)

Chapter 10 of Genesis records how the planet was repopulated after the flood, tells us about peoples, lands, nations. But exceptional are the few sentences relating the deeds of individuals. So let us see what the Bible tells us about the travels of these individuals.

In the immediately preceding Chapter 9 of Genesis, Ham and his descendants (Canaan) were condemned by Noah because of Ham's (and their) immoral unrestrained behaviour {4}. And about Ham's grandson Nimrod we are told

10: 6 And the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim, ... and Canaan.

10: 8 And Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

10: 9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord (Yhwh); wherefore it is said: 'Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the Lord.'


The Bible text specifically refers to Nimrod as an individual. He is called 'mighty' (gibor) three times in two successive verses, and in this way our attention is focussed on the attribute 'mighty'.

Gen 6: 4 made the point that the capabilities of the nephilim are hereditary and that their descendants are the mighty men, the men of renown. That their descendants are 'mighty' (powerful) and 'of renown' (well-known, prominent, in the public eye).

In this way we are told that Nimrod was one of the nephilim.


Which is further confirmed by what we are then told about him. What we are told also tells us that nephilim used their extraordinary abilities for their own benefit, for dominating, organising, manipulating and exploiting other human beings.

10: 10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel ... in the land of Shinar.

Babel: Babylon. The well-known city in South Mesopotamia. {12}
In the immediately following chapter of Genesis we are told that

11: 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

11: 9 Therefore was the name of it called Babel; because ...

and in this way is Nimrod linked with the events told in the allegory of The Tower of Babel.


Shem, who was praised by Noah in the immediately preceding chapter of Genesis for his moral and considerate behaviour, has a son called Asshur {30}.

And Asshur then leaves Shinar and builds Nineveh and other cities, told as follows:

10: 11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and built Nineveh, and ...

'out of that land went forth Asshur':

When Nimrod ruled over that country, Asshur abandoned it, being opposed to his rule. <5>

Since Asshur saw his sons listening to Nimrod and rebelling against God by building the tower, he went out from their midst. <6>

Nineveh: This is the famous city on the river Tigris, which was, after the city of Asshur, the principal city of the kingdom of Assyria. {12}


There was conflict between Babylonia and Assyria, and they struggled with each other, for hundreds of years.



So these verses in Chapter 10 about Nimrod and Asshur show that as people populated the planet, the nephilim were among them and moved with them. And tell us much about their behaviour and who they are.

Summing up, so far:

Human beings are capable of distinguishing between good and evil and of choosing good while rejecting evil. But the nephilim among them are corruptly and evilly misusing their extraordinary and hereditary abilities to dominate, corrupt, control and manipulate other human beings.

They are with us here and now just as before, within our communities at the present time. That they are referred to as 'fallen' indicates that their abilities are being used for selfish ends, that their behaviour is 'evil'. Their descendants are 'mighty' (powerful) and 'of renown' (well-known, prominent, in the public eye).

In other words, there are among us people with extraordinary abilities which are hereditary and who are using them for their own selfish corrupt ends, and who are likely to be powerful or influential and well-known.



Figure 1    Relevant Family Trees    (Chapter 10)

Ham, Nimrod, Shem, Asshur


The Allegory of 'The Tower of Babel' (Chapter 11: 1-9)

The allegory <7> of The Tower of Babel describes key and focal events which determined the quality of life itself, and which enabled the development of humane behaviour, life and living, as you will see. Of the greatest importance then, of utter and determining importance at the present time. The fate and future of humankind, of all human beings, is balanced on a razors edge between oppression, exploitation and enslavement on the one side, and liberty, equality and a good life for all on the other side.

It is essential that we understand the deeper underlying meaning and significance of these events and apply the knowledge we will have gained to the way in which we live and organise our lives, to communities, societies and social organisation.


Story

We are told what happened in the land of Shinar in a city called Babel, about the city of Babel and the tower its people attempted to build at a time when all people spoke the same language.

We are then told that, as a consequence of what happened at Babel, different languages developed, that people ceased to understand each other, that they were scattered from there over all the countries of the world and stopped building the city.

The people were scattered because they were building the tower. Of particular interest is that verse 8 states that they then stopped building the city but pointedly does not mention that they stopped building the tower.


Allegory

There are two intertwined, interwoven and interconnected, stories here. The first is about the scattering of people and their developing different languages, the second is about building the tower.

Note that in the whole of this allegory (Gen 11: 1-9) God is referred to by the name 'Yhwh' and that God is not mentioned again in this chapter.

Yhwh: God as cause of what happened. In other words, this is happening, is what happened. Here 'this is what happened'. {2}


In Babylonian the name Babel means 'Gate of God'. {12}


Verse 9 (Gen 11: 9) states the city was called Babel because 'the Lord (Yhwh) did there confound the language(s) of ... . So the name 'Babel' in Hebrew is a designation for confusion {12} derived from Hebrew 'balal', to confound {11}.

The Hebrew 'babel' could possibly also stand for 'to create a mixture of'.


What we are told is

11: 1 And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech.

So that all people could communicate with each other.

'All the earth' here means 'all mankind'. It is repeated at the end in a different sense, there signifying 'all the countries of the world'. {12}

11: 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

11: 3 And they said one to another: 'Come, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly.' And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.

11: 4 And they said: 'Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.'


We have already been told that the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom was Babel in the land of Shinar (Gen 10: 10). It was called Babel because of the building of the city and of a tower with its top in heaven and of the resulting scattering of the people (Gen 11: 9).

In this way is Nimrod linked with what happened in Babel, that is with founding the city (Gate of God) and with building the tower 'with its top in heaven'.


11: 5 And the Lord (Yhwh) came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

'bnei ha-adam' here rendered 'children of men'. The literal meaning is 'sons of the life form', that is sons of human beings, that is 'men'. {1, 2}

Builded: Which they had begun to build (were building). {12}

11: 6 And the Lord (Yhwh) said: 'Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do; and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do.

Cassuto records this as:
And the Lord said, 'Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and now nothing will prove too hard for them of all that they purpose to do. {12}

A settlement or town, even a city, can arise haphazardly, at random, but to build a tower requires resources, planning and organisation of many people.

The driving force behind the building of the tower appears to be Nimrod. The 'fallen' nephilim are selfish, corrupt, dominating, exploiting and oppressing. It is the ability of such nephilim to manipulate ordinary people into working for the nephil, which is here being pointed out and criticised. Ordinary people are being manipulated into serving nephilim, into working to increase a selfish and corrupt nephil's personal influence and power.


11: 7 Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.'

Yhwh: God as cause of what happened. In other words, this is happening, is what happened. {2}

And the Hebrew for 'us' refers to the confounder, not to the confounding.

So in 'let us go down' the plural indicates a plurality of change, indicates many such changes, possibly in many places.

'And there confound their language': 'In this way we shall destroy the prerequisite that assures the success of their work.' {12}

That is, destroy their organisation and their ability to organise on a large, overall dominating, scale by destroying their ability to communicate and cooperate, their teamwork.


11: 8 So the Lord (Yhwh) scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city.

This verse does not say that they left off building the tower.

Common explanation for the tower not being mentioned is that it follows that they had to stop building the tower when they were dispersed.

But the tower is the cause of the scattering and so it seems that there is another reason why it is not mentioned.

One likely reason is that they kept on building 'towers' wherever they lived, wherever they built their settlements, on a much smaller, more limited, scale.


Hence they kept on doing what 'building towers' stands for, wherever they lived and built their settlements and communities, but on a much smaller, more limited, scale.


11: 9 Therefore was the name of it called Babel; because the Lord (Yhwh) did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did the Lord (Yhwh) scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

'All the earth': In the opening sentence it signified 'all mankind', here it signifies 'all the countries of the world'. {12}


Have another look at verse 4:

11: 4 And they said: 'Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.'

The story tells that they were scattered by God. So they are opposing God by what they are doing.

And the name they wanted to make for themselves while opposing God was Babel meaning 'Gate of God'.

And the tower was to have its top in heaven.

Aiming to reach heaven and become god-like, to set themselves up in opposition to God. Which means that Nimrod who is referred to as their king is attempting to gain, to assign to himself, god-like authority and power.

'Tower': Organisation, command structure, chain of command of kings, rulers, those with authority, those above.

'Gate of God' and 'top in heaven': In their thinking, they are going to dominate, be divine. Be powerful, supreme, like God.

Assuming, taking to themselves, god-like power over people concerning good life or bad life, concerning life or death.

So they are apparently driven by Nimrod who, being one of the nephilim, is using his extraordinary abilities for setting himself up as all-powerful supremo in opposition to God, that is in opposition to humane behaviour, equality, independence, liberty, shared wealth and good life for all.


And now have another look at verse 8:

11: 8 So the Lord (Yhwh) scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city.

My comments (verbatim, see above) were

This verse does not say that they left off building the tower.

Common explanation for the tower not being mentioned is that it follows that they had to stop building the tower when they were dispersed.

But the tower is the cause of the scattering and so it seems that there is another reason why it is not mentioned.

One likely reason is that they kept on building 'towers' wherever they lived, wherever they built their settlements, on a much smaller, more limited, scale.


Hence they kept on doing what 'building towers' stands for, wherever they lived and built their settlements and communities, but on a much smaller, more limited, scale.


Now consider this

They were stopped from getting together and cooperating (city building) but not from tower building.

So it seems they kept on building towers, elsewhere. Elsewhere after having been scattered, divided. Separately, and not all together.


It appears that they stopped building this city and consequently the tower they had been building.

And, having been dispersed, they continued to build cities, smaller cities, elsewhere, each presumably with its own 'tower'.

So the allegory states that if any become too powerful, a threat to that which is humane and good, then they need to be, and are to be, dispersed. In other words, their tower (power, organisation, country, empire, corporation, monopoly, government, rulers, multinational, global corporation) needs to be dispersed.

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Hence the great need, and the importance of the need, for scattering and dispersal, for multiplicity and variety.



The designation for God's name in the first part of the chapter indicated 'this is happening, this is what happened'.

And in this same chapter of Genesis, what follows is the direct line of descendants to Abram, that is to Abraham the Patriarch.

So the point is being made that 'Good' developed, prospered and gained strength following the scattering of the power-seekers and the development of separate and distinct languages, customs and traditions. {3}

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Humanity and human behaviour depend on opposition and balance, on democracy. <8>


Enslavement, then Liberty and Good Life for All (Chapters 41-47)

Joseph, son of Jacob (Israel), is given enormous power by Egypt's Pharaoh. He marries an Egyptian woman, daughter of an Egyptian priest, and has two sons whom he names Manasseh (Making to forget) and Ephraim (To be fruitful).

In his youth Joseph had previously been sold by his own brothers. There was no appreciation of a human being's right to liberty and to the humane treatment of one person by another.

There is famine and when Jacob's sons come to Egypt to buy food, Joseph's 'father's house' are allowed to settle in Egypt.

Joseph then used their extreme need to compel the people to sell all their land and possessions and themselves to the ruler. He used his extraordinary abilities to create and install an inhuman economic system in which ownership of all land and farm animals, that is property and wealth, belonged to Pharaoh, with the Egyptians enslaved to Pharaoh and sharecropping for him, to the point where he could move them at will from one end of the country to the other (Gen 47: 21).

The priests were serving Pharaoh and retained their lands and freedom. Their role apparently being to use religion to tranquillise the population into accepting their condition (Gen 47: 22).


In due course the Hebrews were also enslaved but were freed by God (Elohim), Creator of all that is good (Exodus 2: ), with consequent writing down of rules of behaviour and of a social system which together ensure liberty and a good life for all. {5, 8}


God, People and Behaviour, Help and Protection, Reward or Punishment

God told Moses not to be an enemy of Moab, and not to fight them, because God gave Ar to the children of Lot as a possession. (Deut 2: 9)

And God told Moses not to harass the children of Ammon, and not to struggle with them, because God gave their land to the children of Ammon as a possession. (Deut 2: 19)


But at Shittim, the people began to commit harlotry with the daughters of Moab who called the people to sacrifice and bow down to their gods, to worship Baal-Peor (Numb 25: 1-3). They were causing the children of Israel to break faith with God (Numb 31: 16).

And so we read that because Ammon and Moab did not meet Israel 'with bread and water' when Israel came out of Egypt, because they opposed Israel ('hired Balaam to curse you'; Deut 23: 5), because they opposed Israel instead of supporting it, that
You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days for ever (Deut 23: 7).

In other words, one may not aid or support those who oppose (opposed) one on the way to liberty.


And we know that {21}

God helps, protects and rewards manifold those who act for God and people.

When people do not act for God and people, then God withdraws his protection from them.

The consequences cannot be avoided.



Lessons from History


The Monarchy {9}

During the period of the monarchy, that is during the period of Saul, David and Solomon, we see central military authority being more effective in an emergency and see the military leader subsequently taking over the administration, taking over the government. This is followed by increasing centralisation of power and the formation of an establishment (secular and religious) which serves the source of power and is used to oppress the people.

Military personnel are used to give and obey orders but the skills involved are completely different from those expected from an effective manager. In general, while authoritarian organisations are effective in an emergency they are generally ineffective and wasteful at other times {19}. And what took place during the monarchy was increasing centralisation of power, increasing corruption and oppression, increasing enslavement of the people with consequent social stress and subsequent destruction. {9}


Struggle of the Maccabees {9}

The Maccabees were united and struggled against brutal foreign oppression. They struggled for Pentateuch, freedom and the people. Against them were foreign invaders who believed in slavery and who were trying to impose their way of life through imposing their beliefs.

Together they defeated the invaders. But after three generations the situation had changed and we now see very clearly increasing internal confrontation, a struggle between people and Pentateuch on the one hand against their own oppressive rulers and their oppressing establishment on the other.

The oppression of Jew by Jew, of the Jewish people by their own rulers and establishment, and the resulting struggle between them defeated both. It ended Maccabean rule, lost the land which had been gained, resulted in enormous hardship to the people.

What stands out is that the people were unable to restrain their leaders. The result was total destruction of people and country, and the dispersion of the Jewish people. {9}


Humane Behaviour <14>

Humane behaviour is aimed at survival of the young and of the family, and then is for the good of family, other people and the community. It is based on feelings of care and affection for others. From this emerges a sense of social responsibility: people matter and are important, need to be treated well and looked after, are entitled to share equally. Backed up by knowledge, understanding and reason. {22}

We know that dominating others is conditioned, that is unnatural, behaviour which is destructive of humane behaviour. A throw-back to the level of the unthinking unfeeling primitive animal. {22}

And knowledge of good and evil enables us to choose that which is good and to overcome that which is inhumane, which is evil.


Chapter 5 of Genesis said much. About inhuman behaviour, about possessions, ownership and riches, about domineering, oppression and misusing people by force. Emphasized by the statement that whatever pre-flood human beings were considering was evil.

These themes are continued in Genesis and in the other four volumes (books) of the Pentateuch. We are told about the obligatory social laws and social system which have to be kept if evil is to be overcome, so that human beings can have good lives of high quality.

What follows reviews present social background corresponding to the evils of dominating, oppressing and exploiting listed in chapters 5 and 6 of Genesis. This is followed by a short summary of the social laws and social system of the Pentateuch in so far as these relate to these evils.



Social Background


Domineering, Oppression, Exploitation, Misuse of Others

What we see in the working environment is a worldwide struggle to achieve a humane way of life, each person, family or community struggling to advance at their own level of development, struggling against those who wish to dominate, exploit, oppress. A struggle whose successful outcome depends on trustful cooperation, companionship and teamwork. {23, 24, 25}

The struggle is against those who wish to dominate other people. Against those who want primitive power over others, against those who wish to exploit, against those who may brutally and without feeling oppress human beings so as to exploit them. And 'to exploit' includes the whole range of antisocial decisions and activities of those who put profit before people and community. {17}

Human rights are based on controlling primitive dominant behaviour, on concern, care and affection for our young, for our families, people and communities, and express themselves in cooperation and teamwork between men and women to achieve a good life of high quality.


Armed Forces, Military Strength. Dictatorship and Authoritarianism {23}

Sometimes one has to fight to preserve a good way of life, to prevent others from taking what has been achieved. Or one is expected to fight on behalf of those who dominate and exploit.

Our primitive animal ancestors behaved instinctively. Hunt for food, kill or be killed, fight or flee. Self before others, regardless of needs of others, marking out and defending territory.

Later mammals tend to have feelings, care and affection for their young. Human beings think as well as feel, and care for and look after their young for many years.

Having to fight, maim and kill amounts to a throwback to primitive animal behaviour, to behaviour which puts self before others. A throwback to beast-like behaviour for those who attack, to beast-like behaviour to counter beast-like behaviour for those who defend.


Authoritarian organisations are much less effective than participative ones. In authoritarian organisations morale is low, people cease to care and tend to work against each other instead of cooperating with each other for the benefit of the organisation. {19, 26}

One way of countering viciousness is by greater strength. If attacked, we have to defend ourselves.

Human beings cooperate well and achieve effective teamwork. Reason and evaluation can temper (add to, or change) emotional and instinct-motivated behaviour and combine with cooperation and teamwork so as to counter, and overcome, threats.

One has to be stronger than the enemy, socially as well as militarily. Essential is greater social as well as military strength. But the authoritarian (which includes military) mind has to be balanced to prevent it from taking over, has to be motivated towards 'good'.


Possessions, Ownership and Riches

Ownership {27} is the right to possess something and to decide what is to be done with it. If I own something it belongs to me and I decide what is to be done with it. An example would be owning a house.

Possession is having something in one's custody as distinct from owning it. If I possess something it belongs to another but I can decide how to use it. An example would be renting a house.

Another example would be deciding what to do with my money (ownership) or deciding and controlling the use of money belonging to someone else (possession).


And considering the right to ownership, two questions need to be considered. Namely where does the right come from and how is it exercised.


The right to own property varies among societies. Ownership laws which assign ownership 'rights' to owners have been devised by the owners themselves or by those who serve them. {18}

Ownership of land and means of production, of funds and wealth, has always been accumulated at someone else's expense. All belonged to the community, belonged to all alike. And this is what Chapter 5 of Genesis appears to be saying {5}.

A human right is a something one may legally or morally claim, is the state of being entitled to a privilege or immunity or authority to act. Human rights are those held to be claimable by any living person, apply to all living people. Every living person is entitled to them.

So ownership of land and means of production, of funds and wealth, rightfully belongs to the community, belongs to all alike, is a human right. Those who have accumulated them have only possession, which means they can use and apply them but may do so only on behalf of, and for the benefit of, the community and that they are accountable to the community for the way in which they do so. {20}


Hence we have the use of possessions as long as we use them to provide a good living for our family, and beyond that for the benefit of the community. For the benefit of others less able or fortunate, for the benefit of the community around us and then for the benefit of communities abroad.

But we may only support those who themselves genuinely support our benevolent ideals and principles and their application and who themselves live and act accordingly, who behave humanely. <10>



Social Laws and Social System of the Bible


Government; Positions of Trust, Responsibility and Authority; Hierarchies

Here we are looking at the laws of the Pentateuch which control the behaviour and limit the power {8, 9} of government, of top executives and of the establishment, of those in positions of trust, responsibility or authority. The Pentateuch {28} leaves little doubt about what they must not do.


Positive laws tell what has to be done so as to create a strong and just society, point the way ahead towards greater strength, freedom and a good way of life.

Negative laws (prohibitions) state what must not be done and such laws protect the people from oppression and exploitation, from the antisocial behaviour of others, safeguard the people's strength and freedom. {9}

So the laws quoted here protect people and safeguard their strength and freedom.


These laws of government relate to 'rulers', apply to all in positions of trust, responsibility or authority, no matter whether secular, religious or military, no matter what the hierarchy or organisation.

Such people may not amass servants and may not oppress the people for their own benefit. They may not amass possessions and wealth, may not grasp power or behave promiscuously.

In other words, they may not put themselves above others by grasping power, may not satisfy personal desires at the expense of others.


And a ruler (person in position of trust, responsibility or authority) has to follow these laws and abide by them every day if he wishes 'to prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children'. For 'kingdom' read 'position'.


So the Pentateuch laws quoted here protect people and safeguard their strength and freedom by laying down that those in positions of trust, responsibility or authority may not grasp power, may not oppress the people, may not behave promiscuously, may not enrich themselves.


Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments {29} <11> are so important and are so well known because it is behaviour in accordance with these laws which is the basis for people trusting each other and so for people cooperating and working well with each other.

When Moses brought the tables of the law he brought 'freedom upon the tables'. It is the Ten Commandments as a whole which underlie freedom, independence and strength to oppose and resist oppression. Wherever there is any spiritual and material freedom today it exists because people followed these laws (rules) of behaviour and it exists to the extent to which they do so. {8}

In other words, following the provisions of the law results in freedom and ensures it, ensures strength and security.


Social Cause-and-Effect Relationship <12> {8}

We saw <13> that a covenant is an agreement in which each of the parties undertakes duties and obligations towards the other. God promises that certain things will be so, as long as human beings fulfil their obligations under the covenant, as long as human beings follow God's laws, as long as they behave like human beings.

In the language of religion the Pentateuch later on states a fundamental scientific law, the Social Cause-and-Effect Relationship {8} <12>, which is that the consequences of keeping or not keeping the Pentateuch laws are inescapable, that what happens to one is in the end the inevitable result of one's own behaviour. Also clearly stated is that this is a scientific law which was defined and stated using the language of religion so that people would benefit from knowing the effects (consequences) of their behaviour. The relationship is stated in precise terms. History {9} and social science {17} confirm it.

We are told that the Cause-and-effect Relationship applies to all without exception and at all times, wherever one may be, regardless of type of government, form of religion or social system or country. It applies whether you like it or not, agree or disagree.

The consequences of one's behaviour are detailed both ways, clearly and powerfully illustrating intermediate stages between the two ends of the scale, and we are told that the process is reversible: Increasingly disregarding the Law results in greater suffering and oppression, increasingly behaving according to the Law results in greater freedom and a better life.


The relationship applies to all. It is stated in a way which enables people to benefit from knowing the effects of their behaviour, even if they do not understand the underlying interrelation.

Freedom and independence of mind and person and the quality of life depend on one's behaviour. The consequences of observing the Law are described and so are those of disregarding the Law. The consequences of one's behaviour are inevitable, inescapable. Keeping or not keeping the Pentateuch laws has consequences which cannot be avoided.

Those who behave according to the law have good and satisfying lives, gain social and military strength. Behaviour which is contrary to the law lowers the quality of life, increases internal stress and conflict to the point of social disruption and military weakness.


Social Laws, Social System

It is the social laws of the Pentateuch which in effect state that all are equal, that no person may exploit another or oppress so as to exploit. All have the right to be free and independent masters of their own fate and there has to be a system of social security which guarantees not just freedom from need but also protection against loss of material and spiritual independence. In effect, oppression can be and has to be resisted, struggled against and opposed.

The essential social provisions of Pentateuch law are clear and to the point. This is what the Pentateuch lays down as a matter of law {8}:

  1. Every seventh day is a day of rest for all, for those who are employed as well as for those who employ. Work stops on the weekly day of rest, the Sabbath, to let those who labour have a regular day of rest. On this day the servant is as free as the master, the worker is as free as the employer. The weekly day of rest has spread and benefits almost all the civilised world.

  2. The community has to provide ('lend') money to those who need it, free of interest.

  3. All such loans, if outstanding, are to be cancelled every seventh year.

  4. The country's wealth, and this applies particularly to productive capital such as land, belongs equally to all and needs to be shared out.

  5. The country's inhabitants are entitled to have a sabbatical year every seventh year. During this sabbatical year they are entitled to be freed from work at the expense of the community.

Every person is entitled as a matter of right to social security. This means that people are entitled to be supported by the community not only when they fall on hard times but also to maintain their independence as independent breadwinners for their families. For example, the community has to provide backup funds to those who need them and they have to be provided as and when required.

To prevent people being exploited through their need these funds have to be provided without charging interest and such 'loans' are cancelled every seventh year if the borrower has been unable to repay them.


The community supports the individual but only if the individual in turn supports the community. Those supported by the community are under obligation to support others in need of support, in due course and when able to do so, to share with others who are in need. Where need includes the need for capital to secure their operation, to achieve the general standard of living and quality of life.

It is those who themselves keep and apply these benevolent social laws, who keep Pentateuch law, who are entitled to these rights.



Notes and References


Notes

   < 1>     See {7} for more information and detailed examples illustrating code checks and confirmations.
     
< 2>   Soncino {11} quoting Rashi {10}
     
< 3>   The Hebrew words 'ha-shem' (name) and 'shemamon' (desolation) are similar so that 'anshe ha-shem' could possibly be interpreted to mean 'men of desolation' {10}, later paraphrased to 'men who brought desolation upon the world' <2>. This seems far fetched but may be appropriate.
     
< 4>   In {5} see Appendix 2 'The Flood'
     
< 5>   Soncino {11} quoting Nachmanides and Sforno
     
< 6>   Rashi {10} quoting from Bereshith Rabbah (Midrash Rabbah to Genesis)
     
< 7>   An allegory is a story or description in which the characters and events symbolise some deeper underlying meaning (Oxford Concise Dictionary)
     
< 8>   See {17, 18, 19, 20}
     
< 9>   In {15} see Appendix 2 'Holocaust'
     
<10>   In {5} see 'Social Laws, Social System'
     
<11>   The Ten Commandments are listed both in biblical language and in plain English in Appendix 5 of {8}
     
<12>   The Cause-and-Effect Relationship is listed both in biblical language and in plain English in Appendix 4 of {8}, with detailed references to the Torah text.
     
<13>   In {5} see 'Behaviour and Consequences (Genesis Chapter 9)'
     
<14>   The whole of this section has been reproduced here from {5}


References

{ 1}     The Meaning of Genesis: Creation, Evolution and the Origin of Evil
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{ 2}   Meaning and Significance of the Names of God in Genesis
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{ 3}   Genesis: Differentiating Between Good and Evil
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{ 4}   Genesis: Morality, Sexual Behaviour and Depravity
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{ 5}   Genesis' Secrets: Pre-flood Evils and the Social Problems of Our Time
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{ 6}   Meaning and Intent of Genesis: Essential Notes on Hebrew Grammar
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{ 7}   Bible Translations, Versions, Codes and Hidden Information in Bible and Talmud
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{ 8}   Struggle for Freedom: The Social Cause-and-Effect Relationship
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{ 9}   History Speaks: Monarchy, Exile and Maccabees
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{10}   The Pentateuch and Rashi's Commentary
S. S. & R. Publishing Company, Inc.
New York, 1949
     
{11}   The Soncino Chumash
Edited by Rev. Dr. A. Cohen
Soncino Press, 1947.
     
{12}   A Commentary on the Book of Genesis.
Part 1: From Adam to Noah;
Part 2: From Noah to Abraham.
By U. Cassuto (1944)
Translated from the Hebrew by Israel Abrahams (1961)
The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
     
{13}   Eichmann in Jerusalem - A Report on the Banality of Evil
Dr. Hannah Arendt
Faber and Faber, 1963
     
{14}   Black Sabbath
Robert Katz
Arthur Barker, 1969
     
{15}   Wake Up Israel
Manfred Davidmann
Social Organisation Ltd, Sept 1973
     
{16}   Lodz Ghetto
Alan Adelson and Kathryn Taverna
TV documentary, Channel 4, 06/05/1991
     
{17}   Social Responsibility, Profits and Social Accountability
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{18}   What People are Struggling Against: How Society is Organised for Controlling and Exploiting People
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{19}   Style of Management and Leadership
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{20}   Co-operatives and Co-operation: Causes of Failure, Guidelines for Success
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{21}   Faith
Manfred Davidmann
27/12/2000
     
{22}   How the Human Brain Developed and How the Human Mind Works
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{23}   Family, Sex and the Individual; Women's Liberation, Feminism and Community
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{24}   The Will to Work: What People Struggle to Achieve
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{25}   Motivation Summary
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{26}   Role of Managers Under Different Styles of Management
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{27}   Understanding How Society is Organised for Controlling and Exploiting People
http://www.solhaam.org/
Manfred Davidmann
     
{28}   Deut 17: 14-20
     
{29}   Deut 5: 6-18; Exod 20: 2-14
     
{30}   Gen 10: 22



Relevant Current and Associated Works

Other relevant current and associated reports by Manfred Davidmann:
     
     
Title   Description
     
ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY and JUDAISM   Proves by methods of biblical archaeology what Jesus really taught, how Paul changed what Jesus had taught, how this became Christianity's official doctrine. Outstanding are sections on Paul and the Gospels, on concurrent corresponding changes in Judaism.
     
Liberation Theology: Basis - Past - Present - Future   Discusses Christianity's origins using Christian and Jewish sources. Liberation theologians emphasise compassion and leadership in the struggle for a better life. Shows that one can analyse effectively how the Christian Canon developed.
     
Struggle for Freedom: The Social Cause-and-Effect Relationship   Major review and analysis of the social laws and social system of the Torah and of the Social Cause-and-Effect Relationship. Also reviews the role of religion and of Judaism under modern conditions.
     
History Speaks: Monarchy, Exile and Maccabees   Major review and analysis of Jewish history, of King Solomon's reign and of the Maccabean dynasty, locating the causes of subsequent defeat of the people and loss of country. Covers Jewish belief and practice, social conditions and government.
     
At the Time of Jesus, This is What Actually Happened in Israel: The Truth about Hillel and his Times   Factual conclusive document describing what happened at the time of Jesus to Jewish belief and practice, based on research into texts published close to the events. A fully documented record of previously undiscovered material in the Talmud about Hillel.
     
One Law for All: Freedom Now, Freedom for Ever   Document describing the struggles within Judaism which accompanied the birth of Rabbinical Judaism, how people felt about what was happening, how the Talmud recorded events and what would have to be done to reverse the trend of events.
     
Causes of Antisemitism   Shows that there are two separate root causes of antisemitism. One cause can be remedied by increasing peoples' awareness, the other is under the control of the Jewish people and can be remedied from within.
     
The Right to the Land of Israel   This report proves that the right to the land in which one lives, that is the strength and success of a people, depends on how people behave towards each other. This applies to all. The history of the Jewish people provides a convincing example.
     
How the Human Brain Developed and How the Human Mind Works   Describes clearly what happens while sleeping, role of dreaming, meaning of dreams. Functioning of the two halves of the human brain is related to the autonomic nervous and the immune systems. Shows how human behaviour is affected by primitive instincts.
     
Family, Sex and the Individual; Women's Liberation, Feminism and Community   This report investigates casual sex and its effects on individuals, family and community. It examines the role of the family in bringing up children and relates dominance and confrontation within the family to that in the working environment.
     
Role of Managers Under Different Styles of Management     Short summary of the role of managers under authoritarian and participative styles of management. Also covers decision taking and the basic characteristics of each style.
     
The Will to Work: What People Struggle to Achieve   Major review, analysis and report about motivation and motivating. Covers remuneration and job satisfaction as well as the factors which motivate. Develops a clear definition of 'motivation'. Lists what people are striving and struggling to achieve, and progress made, in corporations, communities, countries.
     
What People are Struggling Against: How Society is Organised for Controlling and Exploiting People   Report of study undertaken to find out why people have to struggle throughout their adult lives, in all countries, organisations and levels, to maintain and improve their standard of living and quality of life. Reviews what people are struggling against.
     
The Meaning of Genesis: Creation, Evolution and the Origin of Evil   Shows that there is no conflict, no contradiction, no divergence, only awe-inspiring agreement, between what is recorded in Genesis and what we know about the evolution of human beings. And Genesis defines good and evil, pointing to the root of evil.
     
Compiling the Koran: Hadiths (Traditions) State the Underlying Reality   Zaid bin Thabit compiled the Koran, Caliph Uthman had an official version prepared. Mohammed taught that people (believers) should have a good life, the ruling elite considered that people should serve willingly.
     
Prophet Mohammed's Word of Allah and the Voice of the Ruling Elite   Mohammed's social teachings are stated from chapters (suras) singled out by 'Abbreviated Letters', statements of revelation from compassionate and caring Allah. It seems that some self-seeking doctrines were added later by the ruling elite of that time.

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Relevant Subject Index Pages and Site Overview


The Site Overview page has links to all individual Subject Index Pages which between them list the works by Manfred Davidmann which are available on the Internet, with short descriptions and links for downloading.

To see the Site Overview page, click Overview

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History
10/01/01 Work Completed
30/05/01 To Website