December 30, 2021

Examples of Myths in the Bible and the Talmud

The story of Moses starts where that of Joseph ends. As we have demonstrated about the story of Joseph that the Bible is full of illogical, contradictory and mythical content, but Talmud is even worse in this respect. The same is true when it comes to the story of Moses. In this section we will highlight only some examples of the questionable content which is used currently by the Jews and Christians to attack Islam or to legitimize their criminal, political and military activities in the name of mythical concepts such as chosen people, promised land, God’s children, etc. We will not point out all of the defective content of the Bible and the Talmud to keep this section short.

If the “Holy Land” or “promised land” was important, why did Jacob’s sons settle in Egypt?

The Bible claims:

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.” So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt. (Genesis 50:24-26).

The questions are:

Why did his brothers need help to take them out of Egypt into the “Promised Land”? Why could they not just go? If Abraham was promised that land by God, it must have been given into his control (1) and in the control of Isaac and Jacob, how did they lose the control? Why did they leave the “holy land” and go to live in Egypt? If they had to go temporarily due to famine and/or to re-unite with Joseph, what stopped them from coming back and maintaining the control of their God-given holy land? And if their settlement in the “promised land” was so important, why did Joseph not make arrangements to re-settle his brothers there during his reign before he died? If the “Promised Land” was of such religious significance that Joseph’s bones must be taken there to be buried, why did he defer the matter to the future, why did he not command that his embalmed body be taken and buried there? Above all, how can a patch of land be holy? A premises or precincts used for religious purposes will be holy for the followers of that religion, but what makes a country holy that even bones had to be buried there? Why would it be different from any other patch of the land of similar physical qualities? Or, was the promised land and its significance a myth fabricated long after Joseph, just to legitimize the Israelites’ conquest of Palestine after they had to leave Egypt?

1  God must have fulfilled His promise to Abraham that he made by saying, “The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” (Gen 17:8)

What was Egyptians’ fear and why?

The Bible claims:

Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them. Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.” (Exodus 1:6-10).

The Talmud claims:

“Behold, the people of the children of Israel are greater and mightier than we. Thou hast seen their strong power, which they have inherited from their fathers, for a few of them stood up against a people as many as the sand of the sea, and not one hath fallen.”… “In spite of all their tribulations, the children of Israel continued to multiply and spread abroad, so that the land was full of them as with thick underbrush--for the women brought forth many children at a birth... (2)

“Behold these people, the children of Israel, are greater and mightier than we.”… “The more we have oppressed them, the greater has been their increase, and now the land of Goshen is filled with them. (3)

2  Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg, Vol II, Ch IV, Pharaoh's Cunning and the Pious Midwives
3  The Talmud: Selections, by H. Polano, page 120, 122

If they were so numerous that the land was filled with them and they were mightier than the Egyptians, how did the Egyptians manage to enslave them? Also, if their number and their joining the enemy was a concern, the fear should have been that they would “take over the country”, as the Talmud states (4), not “leave the country” as the Bible claims! But despite the measures taken by Pharaoh, the Hebrews kept increasing in numbers, instead of going down: “So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous.” (Exodus 1:20)

4  The Talmud: Selections, by H. Polano, page 122 “Behold, we have been fearing for many years that a war may come upon us; we have been also fearing that the Israelites may so increase in the land and spread throughout it as to drive us from our own country” and in the Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg, Vol II, Ch IV, The Pious Midwives: “but to secure us against the fear that, if a war should come to pass, they may overwhelm us by reason of their numbers, and chase us forth out of the land…”

How long did it take them to become so numerous?

But how long did it take for them to become that numerous, because they were only seventy, counting even the baby boys and a new born girl, Jochebed, when they came into Egypt (5)?

5  Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg, Vol II, Ch I, Jacob Arrives in Egypt

According to the Talmud:

Just before the birth of Moses, Pharaoh had a dream, “In the one hundred and thirtieth year after Israel's going down to Egypt (6).

Moses’ father, Amram, and mother, Jochebed, were both born on the same day, when Joseph brothers were approaching Egypt. They married when they were 126 years old. Amram was the son of Kehath, the son of Levi, and Jochebed was daughter of Levi, Keahth’s sister; thus, the husband and wife were nephew and aunt (7).

6  ibid, Ch IV, The three Counsellors
7  Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg, Vol II, Ch IV, The Parents of Moses; The Talmud: Selections, by H. Polano, page 123

The same is mentioned by the Bible:

These are the families of Levi: … And Kohath was the father of Amram." The name of Amram‘s wife was Jochebed the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and she bore to Amram, Aaron and Moses and Miriam their sister. (Numbers 26:58-59).

"These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari,.. The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel... Amram took to wife Jochebed his father‘s sister and she bore him Aaron and Moses, the years of the life of Amram being one hundred and thirty-seven years." (Exodus 6:18)

According to the abovementioned quotes, the time period between the advent of Jacob’s family of 70 persons and the birth of Moses was 130 some years, because it was in the 130th year that the edict of drowning the Hebrew children was issued. This period was definitely less than 137 years because by that time Moses’ father, Amram, had died. In terms of generations, the third and fourth generations were still being born. Now, pray tell me, how did 70 persons become so many in such a short span of time and so few generations? Especially when some of them were getting married as late as 126 years according to the Talmud, and had only three or four children according to the Bible? The Bible (the Masoretic version) also claims: “Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years;” but the Samaritan and Septuagint version say: “in Egypt and Canaan”. Examples such as these show that the Bible and the Talmud are totally unreliable records of history. Many generations have been missed, many descriptions have been exaggerated, and many figures have been misquoted! Regardless of the scenario that is adopted (130 years or 430 years) to estimate the Hebrew population at that time, the following number of 600,000 families seems to be grossly exaggerated.

According to the Bible:

“The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.” (Exodus 12:37-38).

According to the Talmud:

“The cavalcade consisted of six hundred thousand heads of families afoot, each accompanied by five children on horseback, and to these must be added the mixed multitude, exceeding the Hebrews vastly in number (8).

8  Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg, Vol II, Ch IV, The Exodus

Even if this huge number is discounted for exaggeration, it still remains too big to be the result of natural growth from 70 persons. The size of this population indicates two things: Israelites population included all those people who had adopted the religion of Joseph, perhaps thousands of people. Secondly, it shows that as a result of the Islamic work of Moosa and Haroon, a substantial number of Egyptians had become Muslims and had accompanied them in Exodus. The terms “many other people” and “the mixed multitude” refer to all those who had accepted Islam but were not from the descendents of Jacob (Israel). It is possible that they were even more than the Israelite believers. This also shows that the term “Israelites” did not mean biological progeny of Israel but those who followed the religion of Israel, and that their division into twelve organizational units was not racial in nature, as generally claimed and portrayed.

To conclude the observations about numbers before moving on, consider the following claim:

On account of the merits of Moses, the six hundred thousand men children of the Hebrews begotten in the same night with him, and thrown into the water on the same day, were rescued miraculously together with him, and it was therefore not an idle boast, if he said later, "The people that went forth out of the water on account of my merits are six hundred thousand men (9). 

9  ibid, Moses Rescued from the Water

Where did these 600,000 Hebrew children begotten that night come from? If there were 600,000 births in one night, the population of the Hebrews must be many millions at that time to yield that kind of birth rate! If that was the population of the Hebrews at the time of Moses’ birth, considering their rate of growth claimed in the Talmud, what should it have been 80 years later when Exodus is claimed to have taken place? Especially when the killing of sons did not affect their birth rate because of polygamy – available men having more wives, and each wife having multiple children (10).

10  Ibid, The Pious Midwives

No Comment

The readers can draw their own conclusions on the Talmudic claims about Miriam, who was hardly 4-5 years old (11), such as her advising on the following matters:

Miriam, the daughter of Amram, the sister of Aaron, prophesied and said, "A second son will be born to my father and mother, and he will deliver the Israelites from the Egyptian power (12).

“When Amram separated from his wife on account of the edict published against the male children of the Hebrews, … his daughter Miriam said to him: "Father, thy decree is worse than Pharaoh's decree. The Egyptians aim to destroy only the male children, but thou includest the girls as well (13).

11  Estimate of her age is based on the Talmudic reports that her parents married at the age of 126, so they fathered her at 127, and Moses around age 131.  
12  Polano, page 125
13  Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg, Vol II, Ch IV, The birth of Moses

Or matters such as:

“At the moment of the child's appearance, the whole house was filled with radiance equal to the splendor of the sun and the moon. A still greater miracle followed. The infant was not yet a day old when he began to walk and speak with his parents, and as though he were an adult, he refused to drink milk from his mother's breast. Jochebed gave birth to the child six months after conception. The Egyptian bailiffs, who kept strict watch over all pregnant women in order to be on the spot in time to carry off their new-born boys, had not expected her delivery for three months more. These three months the parents succeeded in keeping the babe concealed, though every Israelitish house was guarded by two Egyptian women, one stationed within and one without (14).

“He was barely four months old when he began to prophesy, saying, ‘In days to come I shall receive the Torah from the flaming torch (15). 

“The women that remained united with their husbands would go out into the field when their time of delivery arrived, and give birth to their children and leave them there, while they themselves returned home. The Lord, who had sworn unto their ancestors to multiply them, sent one of His angels to wash the babes, anoint them, stretch their limbs, and swathe them. Then he would give them two smooth pebbles, from one of which they sucked milk, and from the other honey. And God caused the hair of the infants to grow down to their knees and serve them as a protecting garment, and then He ordered the earth to receive the babes, that they be sheltered therein until the time of their growing up, when it would open its mouth and vomit forth the children, and they would sprout up like the herb of the field and the grass of the forest. Thereafter each would return to his family and the house of his father. When the Egyptians saw this, they went forth, every man to his field, with his yoke of oxen, and they ploughed up the earth as one ploughs it at seed time. Yet they were unable to do harm to the infants of the children of Israel that had been swallowed up and lay in the bosom of the earth. Thus, the people of Israel increased and waxed exceedingly (16).

14  ibid
15  Ibid, The infancy of Moses
16  Ibid, The Slaughter of the Innocents
Posted in Prophets on December 30, 2021 by Ayub Hamid

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