CREATION OF THE WORLD.
The Bible opens with stories of a seven day creation,
sequenced, if not timed, by evolution;
telling how one thing led to another
and culminated in mankind.
It tells how man progressed from hunter-gatherer in the garden of plenty
to a settled agricultural existence and of the tensions which that change created.
It tells of how people developed different skills, broke up into tribes or nations
and even how they came to need religion, a code that all could follow.
All this was framed into individual stories
framed by ancient shamans to provide reason
for the world around them to their followers.
Stories, parables, not facts.
The stories lived on within the tribal memory
of inundation of their lands by flooding, of the Nile or some other mighty river.
The first experience of such devastation.
The stories tell of new inventions, brick and mortar,
and of how new knowledge threatened the shamatic leaders.
The people were divided by conflicting ideas, even new languages to express them.
Finally, in this section, we come to the tale of Abraham.
How famine in their lands caused them to seek aid in Egypt.
From there they were ejected as a threat to monarchy,
but returned, begging for food, a generation later,
leading to their enslavement in Egypt.
Of course these ideas were woven into a narrative
for consumption around desert campfires.
Only much later were they written down
and so conserved for the deception of
the credulous and literally minded.
FORMATION OF A PEOPLE
It is adversity that brings a people closer together.
Out of the depths of slavery, the people fought back
bringing plague and disaster to their masters.
Finally, discovered in their group treachery,
the remnants fled to join their fellows in the desert
pursued by a war-band of Egyptians seeking revenge;
evading them in the sea of reeds that such brigands knew well
This was the tale of what grew into the Exodus legend.
The exiled nation wandered the desert seeking a foothold
thus becoming a viable nation and hardened warriors,
through the inspired leadership of Moses,
and his successors.
The Gods and ways of ancient Egypt were reimagined.
A new God, superior to all others, was created;
a God caring specially for the embryo nation;
a God who guided them through the desert
providing for them in their need,
but demanding obedience to new laws
that brought the people closer together
gave them a national coherence, an identity;
An identity which they have maintained to this day.
Having built up their strength and numbers
Israel invaded Canaan, slaughtering its inhabitants
and forming a powerful nation amidst competing tribes.
The tales of heroic kings and national glory
emerge from this time of conflict.