Where they came from is described in Angelica. Rebekah is a young Jansai woman — unmarried, but whose marriage is soon to be arranged. Jansai women are confined within their homes, and must not be seen by men other than their male relatives. On the rare occasions when they go outside, they are veiled and escorted by a male relative.
Sometimes they travel in the wagons as part of the family group, in which case they are confined within the tented wagons if there are unrelated males present. When necessary, and unseen by unrelated males, they go out to gather food or other necessities from the desert areas where they travel. It is on one of these trips that Rebekah is sent to the oasis to bring water back to the camp. And she finds the injured Obadiah lying there. She talks to him, tends to his injuries, and provides him food, water and shelter, keeping all this secret from her family.
But soon she must move on with her family. Obadiah flies back to the Cedar Hills but, still being weak, has another fall on the way, but is rescued and returned to the angel hold. His injuries are attended to by the healer, Mary, assisted by Elizabeth. Elizabeth meets an Edori man called Rufus, who is working as a builder. Rufus is one of the freed slaves, but is afraid to return to the nomadic Edori lifestyle because he has been away so long.
Obadiah returns to Breven and attends the harvest festival. Rebekah, disguised as a boy, sneaks out of the house and goes to the festival. She manages to meet Obadiah. The next night she meets him at his hotel, and they make love. She arranges to meet him there whenever he comes to Breven.
However this is dangerous. She must go at night, making sure that no one sees her leaving the house or returning, and that no one notices that she is gone. But eventually Rebekah discovers she is pregnant. She must escape, and leave with Obadiah. Otherwise, if her condition is discovered, she will be taken out into the desert, stoned and left there to die. This presumably relates to the time the story is narrated, when Eden is Eden belongs to the Karsh family of the Manadavvi people, the wealthy owners of property in the province of Gaza. She is very much involved in the social life of high society.
Her father, Joseph Karsh, is an unscrupulous businessman, with a fiery temper. He hates angels, and is especially critical of the reforms that Gabriel brought in, as it increased his taxes. At one of her social events, Eden hears about a young male angel called Jesse, a rebel who is always getting into trouble. She eventually meets Jesse when she attends a wedding. A group of angels and mortals, including Eden and Jesse, leave the party and fly to the nearby coast the angels carrying the mortals , to have a picnic and watch the crashing waves.
Eden finds herself attracted to Jesse. Later, Jesse takes her out over the sea, while he calls down thunderbolts from Jovah: it is quite a light show. She would meet him a few more times over the years that follow. But at a later date, Gabriel and other angels descend on the Karsh manor.
Joseph has broken the tax laws. An angel must be present to supervise all his financial dealings. First this is an angel called Diana, who is later replaced by Adam. But to their shock, the baby that is born is an angel. Adam must be the father. The family are in disgrace. Eden is left to run the household. But when Joseph takes out his anger on Eden, she too flees to Monteverde. But eventually Joseph comes to Monteverde to take Eden back.
But while he is there, an angel kills Joseph. Jesse is convicted of the murder, and exiled, by chaining him to a rock in the mountains. Flight novella in collection Quatrain Salome had formerly been an angel-seeker, having relationships with various angels. But for some years now, she has been working on a farm in Jordana. Her niece Sheba lives with her. Raphael and two other angels come to the farm, to sing a weather request to Jovah.
All the young women of the farm have romantic feelings towards them. After this, there is a festival in the nearby country town of Laban. A group from the farm, including Salome and Sheba, travel there and stay at an inn. There are angels singing at the festival. One of these is Stephen, with whom Salome had previously been in a relationship.
Salome and Stephen meet again, and discover that they are both very much in love with each other. They plan that Salome will go to live with Stephen at Monteverde angel hold. Stephen first has to report to Ariel, the leader of the host at Monteverde, but he would return for her. But later at the inn, Salome discovers that Sheba has gone; she has run away with Raphael to Windy Point angel hold. Salome resolves to get her back. But there will be difficulties.
A mortal can only get to and from Windy Point, which is high on a mountain, by being carried by an angel. And even if Sheba wants to leave, Raphael will not willingly let her go. Nocturne novella in anthology Angels of Darkness This school is at the edge of the desert, next to the Caitana Mountains, far away from other settlements. Being the last employed, she has been given the shift, on her own, from midnight to dawn. And having lots of time on her hands, she spends some time exploring the school. The one building that everyone has been forbidden from visiting is the Great House, where the headmistress lives with a housekeeper and a footman.
Then one night Moriah sees a figure on the roof of the Great House, and a sound of weeping. Continuing to watch on successive nights, she discovers that the figure is of an angel, and the angel is blind. When the headmistress goes away of a trip with her footman, Moriah visits the house. She finds the housekeeper, Alma, has been injured and needs help. Moriah meets the angel, a man called Corban, who tells her he was blinded in an accident when one of his students called down lightning; the student himself was killed.
Corban feels guilty about what happened, as well as feeling sorry for himself. And she encourages him to fly around the Great House, by listening for sounds, particularly the sound of her voice, calling and singing to him from the roof. And so it happens. And after that, he flies with Moriah in his arms, with her giving him directions. And gradually a romance develops. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.
You are commenting using your Twitter account. See all 3 questions about Gods of Eden…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Sep 07, Daria marked it as to-read. Even I myself am not entirely sure what this book is doing on my to-read shelf. I think it comes from watching too much of "Ancient Aliens" on the History Channel.
View 1 comment. Jul 30, Brent Cope rated it it was amazing Shelves: history , paranormal. William Bramley's tome, Gods of Eden, is an excellent examination of our world, its hidden history, and the causes of today's tragic circumstance. Originally released in , Gods of Eden is a critical look back at our history. It starts in in ancient times and gradually moves forward, giving us information and analysis that we never would have expected. Bramley examines ancient texts, reviewing the UFO phenomenon as it presented itself in pre-history. He interprets writings in a much more liter William Bramley's tome, Gods of Eden, is an excellent examination of our world, its hidden history, and the causes of today's tragic circumstance.
He interprets writings in a much more literal fashion then most historians and fails to excuse their words as metaphor, nonsense or hysterical babble. For example, he quotes the bible in several parts, and demonstrates that the appearance of 'God' in several passages is marked by thundering, smoke, or strange aerial phenomenon And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the lower part of the mountain. And Mount Sinai was altogether covered with smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke from the fire billowed upwards like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.
A later visit by Jehovah contained the same phenomena: And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightenings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they moved away and stood far off. Genesis Lest it be assumed that these descriptions might be of a volcano, further sightings reveal that Jehovah was a moving object: And the Lord travelled before them [the Hebrew tribes] by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, or the pillar of fire by night, from in front of the people.
Exodus Thus Bramley argues it was a custodial race extra-terrestrials, higher life forms, or perhaps humans with advanced technology left over from prior great civilizations that formed the basis of the ancient Hebrew religion. He gives bits from the Sumerians as well as ancient Mayans and Aztecs which demonstrate similar phenomenon took place and again, the instigators labeled themselves gods. We're shown how they perverted Christs teachings merely a few centuries after his death, and how they were perverted to give us such dark tidings as the Crusades and the Inquisition.
Islam was also manufactured by these same Custodians, and thus the three major religions of our world likely not come from God, but from a ruling class that maintains its power by keep us ignorant, servile and ensnared in constant war. He also gives us vivid descriptions how these custodial rulers fostered and controlled different secret societies, and in a very Machiavellian fashion, pitted them against one another in various wars and conflicts in order to keep humanity embroiled in violence.
We're also shown how eschatology, or the concept of an apocalypse was given to us by the same custodial sources. The modern financial system, the concept of paper money, also came out of the very same houses that were profiting from war. Without paper money, debt and the modern banking system it was very difficult to keep a war running, and thus the custodians manufactured an artificial system of economics that allowed unlimited spending as long as it was violence and destruction being sown, not peace nor prosperity.
Moving forward through time he demonstrates again, and again their connection to revolution and any new philosophy that gains a foothold in our global culture: Protestantism, Calvinism, Marxism and Fascism. Even the American and French revolutions, as well as the Bolshevik revolution in Russia were are produced specifically to create sides that would be pitted against each other in violent conflict! We're also given an examination of what true human spirituality can look like in its unfettered form, and how humans when not manipulated or controlled inherently seek amicable and peaceful relations with their fellow man.
Overall the book is incredible, it contains facts and research I haven't seen anywhere else except for a few other incredible books. Were given a clear look at our history, with facts and information you don't get in high school or college, and a hypothesis that is mind-blowing as well as critical if we are to understand the current plight of humanity. If you're looking for answers to how and why our society is the way it is you definitely want to check out this book.
Jun 16, Matt rated it liked it. If you've got a conspiracy theory- this book takes it on. This is one of those I've figured it all out" type of books. It's all well footnoted and that's why the book gets a 3 star rating. That and the fact he's a very good writer and it had very few If you've got a conspiracy theory- this book takes it on. Would I read it again? It's a long and tiresome book. I think my time would haaave been better spent elsewhere.
William Bramley makes the case that governments and religions, throughout history, have had their strings pulled by "the brotherhood" in order to keep us at war, in poverty, or otherwise distracted to retard our spiritual growth. I found the historical evidence to be informative and accurate. He covers the crusades and Knights Templar of , Freemasonry of to the present, Adam Weishaupt's Bavarian Illuminati of , the problems associated with fiat currency such as hyperinflation, Americ William Bramley makes the case that governments and religions, throughout history, have had their strings pulled by "the brotherhood" in order to keep us at war, in poverty, or otherwise distracted to retard our spiritual growth.
He covers the crusades and Knights Templar of , Freemasonry of to the present, Adam Weishaupt's Bavarian Illuminati of , the problems associated with fiat currency such as hyperinflation, America's central bank of , CIA and US Army open-air germ warfare experiments directed against American citizens from , the Russian use of low frequency radar waves targeting the United States to change human behaviour by targeting neurological and physiological functioning of the s, and international bankers repeatedly funding both sides of a war.
I am familiar with and fascinated by each of those subjects and greatly enjoyed reading more about them. The book maintains the theme that Adam and Eve were prisoners in the Garden of Eden and that their unjust creators wanted to keep them ignorant of their true potential hence the rules: don't eat from the tree of knowledge and don't eat from the tree of life.
He claims that ever since our creation, our creators have worked behind the scenes to keep us conflicted and in turmoil. It was difficult to get through the "alien overlords" part but every other claim is backed by exhaustive references and citations which is what ultimately redeemed this book in my opinion. Oct 12, Mel rated it really liked it Shelves: from-the-library , ancient-aliens , alternate-history. This book was interesting and while I really can't buy into some of his theories they were well thought out and seemed to be well researched.
I love a good conspiracy theory and if it involves the possibility of extraterrestrials known as "custodians" teamed up with secret societies well then it is even better in my mind. This book was well done and did a good job of pointing out the machiavellian nature of our society through history and the history of a "brotherhood" i. Masons etc. This book was a real trip "down the rabbit hole" as they say. Mar 06, Jessi rated it really liked it Shelves: mystery , non-fiction , history , ancient-alien-theory , new-age , conspiracy , favorites , mythology , science. Did my history teacher forget certain things in my lectures in my youth?
Probably not because it seems the truth is well hidden and corrupt. William Bramley went writing a book about why we humans fight and kill each other all the time and it turns out there are many factions and hidden truths that keep us from knowing who we are and what our potential is. Jul 03, Ben rated it liked it. Shelves: historic , mystery , non-fiction , eschatology. Disclaimer: reviewing this book is in no way endorsing or supporting the theories contained in the book.
This is a unique mashup. However it was published in so you can conclude many of those things were influenced by this work. This is a book of speculative theories regarding how humans were created, how societies evolved, who those early gods were and what influence they have today.
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The beginning w Disclaimer: reviewing this book is in no way endorsing or supporting the theories contained in the book. The beginning won't be news to anyone interested in this field. Or anyone who watched StarGate. But what the author does spectacularly is show the overlap of myths, writings and societal behaviors. It is better than any Western Civ 1 class I ever had. His work on the fall of the Stewarts, the rise of the Hanoverians, central banks and mercenary armies is just stunning and shocking. The beginning and the end of the book is a bit dry and hard to get started but once you do it is entertaining.
The book is extensively footnoted and has a lengthy bibliography. View all 5 comments. A near perfect text that delves into the hidden history of humanity. In it you will learn the history of several orders including that of Freemasonry that will make you more knowledgeable than Master Masons and both Illuminatis. If you are interested in history or the hidden truth this is most definitely a book for you but it comes with one fall. The book fails to go into the collapse of the Vedic Empire and thus has one crucial flaw in its proposition regarding the transition of power. This requires, to begin with, a summary of the details of the Assyrian advance upon Palestine.
In the far past Palestine had often been the hunting-ground of the Assyrian kings. But after b. Then Assyria resumed the task of breaking down that disbelief in her power with which her long withdrawal seems to have inspired their politics. In Assurnasirpal reached the Levant, and took tribute from Tyre and Sidon. Omri was reigning in Samaria, and must have come into close relations with the Assyrians, for during more than a century and a half after his death they still called the land of Israel by his name. In , and he conducted campaigns against Damascus. In he received tribute from Jehu,  and in again fought Damascus under Hazael.
After this there passed a whole generation during which Assyria came no farther south than Arpad, some sixty miles north of Damascus; and Hazael employed the respite in those campaigns which proved so disastrous for Israel, by robbing her of the provinces across Jordan, and ravaging the [Pg 46] country about Samaria. The first consequence to Israel was that restoration of her hopes under Joash, at which the aged Elisha was still spared to assist,  and which reached its fulfilment in the recovery of all Eastern Palestine by Jeroboam II.
It is hard to think that he paid no tribute to the "king of kings. Their dreams were brief. Before Jeroboam himself was dead, a new king had usurped the Assyrian throne b. Borrowing the name of the [Pg 47] ancient Tiglath-Pileser, he followed that conqueror's path across the Euphrates. At first it seemed as if he was to suffer check. His forces were engrossed by the siege of Arpad for three years c. Combining, they attacked Judah under Ahaz. But Ahaz appealed to Tiglath-Pileser, who within a year had overthrown Damascus and carried captive the populations of Gilead and Galilee.
There could now be no doubt as to what the Assyrian power meant for the political fortunes of Israel. Before this resistless and inexorable empire, the people of Jehovah were as the most frail of their neighbours—sure of defeat, and sure, too, of that terrible captivity in exile which formed the novel policy of the invaders against the tribes who withstood them. Israel dared to withstand. The vassal Hoshea, whom the Assyrians had placed on the throne of Samaria in , kept back his tribute. The people rallied to him; and for more than three years this little tribe of highlanders resisted in their capital the Assyrian siege.
Then came the end. Samaria fell in , and Israel went into captivity beyond the Euphrates. In following the course of this long tragedy, a man's heart cannot but feel that all the splendour and the glory did not lie with the prophets, in spite of their being the only actors in the drama who perceived its moral issues and predicted its actual end. For who can withhold admiration from those few tribesmen, who accepted no defeat as final, but so long as they were left to their fatherland rallied their ranks to its [Pg 48] liberty and defied the huge empire.
Nor was their courage always as blind, as in the time of Isaiah Samaria's so fatally became. For one cannot have failed to notice, how fitful and irregular was Assyria's advance, at least up to the reign of Tiglath-Pileser; nor how prolonged and doubtful were her sieges of some of the towns. The Assyrians themselves do not always record spoil or tribute after what they are pleased to call their victories over the cities of Palestine. To the same campaign they had often to return for several years in succession.
These facts enable us to understand that, apart from the moral reasons which the prophets urged for the certainty of Israel's overthrow by Assyria, it was always within the range of political possibility that Assyria would not come back, and that while she was engaged with revolts of other portions of her huge and disorganised empire, a combined revolution on the part of her Syrian vassals would be successful.
The prophets themselves felt the influence of these chances. They were not always confident, as we shall see, that Assyria was to be the means of Israel's overthrow. Amos, and in his earlier years Isaiah, describe her with a caution and a vagueness for which there is no other explanation than the political uncertainty that again and again hung over the future of her advance upon Syria. It, then, even in those high minds, to whom the moral issue was so clear, the political form that issue should assume was yet temporarily uncertain, [Pg 49] what good reasons must the mere statesmen of Syria have often felt for the proud security which filled the intervals between the Assyrian invasions, or the sanguine hopes which inspired their resistance to the latter.
We must not cast over the whole Assyrian advance the triumphant air of the annals of such kings as Tiglath-Pileser or Sennacherib. Campaigning in Palestine was a dangerous business even to the Romans; and for the Assyrian armies there was always possible besides some sudden recall by the rumour of a revolt in a distant province. Their own annals supply us with good reasons for the sanguine resistance offered to them by the tribes of Palestine.
No defeat, of course, is recorded; but the annals are full of delays and withdrawals. Then the Plague would break out; we know how in the last year of the century it turned Sennacherib, and saved Jerusalem. Mere mountain-cats of tribes as some of them were, they held their poorly furnished rocks against one, two or three years of cruel siege. In Israel these political reasons for courage against Assyria were enforced by the whole instincts of the popular religion.
The century had felt a new outburst of enthusiasm for Jehovah. Add this dogma of the popular religion of Israel to those substantial hopes of Assyria's withdrawal from Palestine, and you see cause, intelligible and adequate, for the complacency of Jeroboam and his people to the fact that Assyria had at last, by the fall of Damascus, reached their own borders, as well as for the courage with which Hoshea in threw off the Assyrian yoke, and, with a willing people, for three years defended Samaria against the great king.
Let us not think that the opponents of the prophets were utter fools or mere puppets of fate. They had reasons for their optimism; they fought for their hearths and altars with a valour and a patience which proves that the nation as a whole was not so corrupt, as we are sometimes, by the language of the prophets, tempted to suppose. But all this—the reasonableness of the hope of resisting Assyria, the valour which so stubbornly fought her, the religious faith which sanctioned both valour and hope—only the more vividly illustrates the singular independence of the prophets, who took an opposite view, who so consistently affirmed that Israel [Pg 51] must fall, and so early foretold that she should fall to Assyria.
The reason of this conviction of the prophets was, of course, their fundamental faith in the righteousness of Jehovah. That was a belief quite independent of the course of events. As a matter of history, the ethical reasons for Israel's doom were manifest to the prophets within Israel's own life, before the signs grew clear on the horizon that the doomster was to be Assyria. For except the prophets had been previously furnished with the ethical reasons for Assyria's resistless advance on Israel, to their sensitive minds that advance must have been a hopeless and a paralysing problem.
But they nowhere treat it as a problem. By them Assyria is always either welcomed as a proof or summoned as a means—the proof of their conviction that Israel requires humbling, the means of carrying that humbling into effect. The faith of the prophets is ready for Assyria from the moment that she becomes ominous for Israel, and every footfall of her armies on Jehovah's soil becomes the corroboration of the purpose He has already declared to His servants in the terms of their moral consciousness.
The spiritual service which Assyria rendered to Israel was therefore secondary to the prophets' native convictions of the righteousness of God, and could not have been performed without [Pg 52] these. This will become even more clear if we look for a little at the exact nature of that service. In its broadest effects, the Assyrian invasion meant for Israel a very considerable change in the intellectual outlook. Hitherto Israel's world had virtually lain between the borders promised of old to their ambition— the river of Egypt,  and the great river, the River Euphrates.
These had marked not merely the sphere of Israel's politics, but the horizon within which Israel had been accustomed to observe the action of their God and to prove His character, to feel the problems of their religion rise and to grapple with them. But now there burst from the outside of this little world that awful power, sovereign and inexorable, which effaced all distinctions and treated Israel in the same manner as her heathen neighbours.
This was more than a widening of the world: it was a change of the very poles. At first sight it appeared merely to have increased the scale on which history was conducted; it was really an alteration of the whole character of history. Religion itself shrivelled up, before a force so much vaster than anything it had yet encountered, and so contemptuous of its claims. What is Jehovah , said the Assyrian in his laughter, more than the gods of Damascus, or of Hamath, or of the Philistines? In fact, for the mind of Israel, the crisis, though less in degree, was in quality not unlike that produced in the religion of Europe by the revelation of the Copernican astronomy.
As the earth, previously believed to be the centre of the universe, the stage on which the Son of God had achieved God's eternal purposes to mankind, was [Pg 53] discovered to be but a satellite of one of innumerable suns, a mere ball swung beside millions of others by a force which betrayed no sign of sympathy with the great transactions which took place on it, and so faith in the Divine worth of these was rudely shaken—so Israel, who had believed themselves to be the peculiar people of the Creator, the solitary agents of the God of Righteousness to all mankind,  and who now felt themselves brought to an equality with other tribes by this sheer force, which, brutally indifferent to spiritual distinctions, swayed the fortunes of all alike, must have been tempted to unbelief in the spiritual facts of their history, in the power of their God and the destiny He had promised them.
Nothing could have saved Israel, as nothing could have saved Europe, but a conception of God which rose to this new demand upon its powers—a faith which said, "Our God is sufficient for this greater world and its forces that so dwarf our own; the discovery of these only excites in us a more awful wonder of His power. To them He was absolute righteousness—righteousness wide as the widest world, stronger than the strongest force.
To the prophets, therefore, the rise of Assyria only increased the possibilities of Providence. But it could not have done this had Providence not already been invested in a God capable by His character of rising to such possibilities. Assyria, however, was not only Force: she was also the symbol of a great Idea—the Idea of Unity. We have just ventured on one historical analogy. We may try another and a more exact one. The Empire [Pg 54] of Rome, grasping the whole world in its power and reducing all races of men to much the same level of political rights, powerfully assisted Christian theology in the task of imposing upon the human mind a clearer imagination of unity in the government of the world and of spiritual equality among men of all nations.
A not dissimilar service to the faith of Israel was performed by the Empire of Assyria. History, that hitherto had been but a series of angry pools, became as the ocean swaying in tides to one almighty impulse. It was far easier to imagine a sovereign Providence when Assyria reduced history to a unity by overthrowing all the rulers and all their gods, than when history was broken up into the independent fortunes of many states, each with its own religion divinely valid in its own territory.
By shattering the tribes Assyria shattered the tribal theory of religion, which we have seen to be the characteristic Semitic theory—a god for every tribe, a tribe for every god. The field was cleared of the many: there was room for the One. That He appeared, not as the God of the conquering race, but as the Deity of one of their many victims, was due to Jehovah's righteousness. At this juncture, when the world was suggested to have one throne and that throne was empty, there was a great chance, if we may so put it, for a god with a character. And the only God in all the Semitic world who had a character was Jehovah.
It is true that the Assyrian Empire was not constructive, like the Roman, and, therefore, could not assist the prophets to the idea of a Catholic Church. But there can be no doubt that it did assist them to a feeling of the moral unity of mankind. A great historian has made the just remark that, whatsoever [Pg 55] widens the imagination, enabling it to realise the actual experience of other men, is a powerful agent of ethical advance.
Consider the universal Pity of the Assyrian conquest: how state after state went down before it, how all things mortal yielded and were swept away. The mutual hatreds and ferocities of men could not persist before a common Fate, so sublime, so tragic. And thus we understand how in Israel the old envies and rancours of that border warfare with her foes which had filled the last four centuries of her history is replaced by a new tenderness and compassion towards the national efforts, the achievements and all the busy life of the Gentile peoples.
Isaiah is especially distinguished by this in his treatment of Egypt and of Tyre; and even where he and others do not, as in these cases, appreciate the sadness of the destruction of so much brave beauty and serviceable wealth, their tone in speaking of the fall of the Assyrian on their neighbours is one of compassion and not of exultation. But in that Fate there was more than Pity. On the data of the prophets Assyria was afflicting Israel for moral reasons: it could not be for other reasons that she was afflicting their neighbours. Israel and the heathen were suffering for [Pg 56] the same righteousness' sake.
What could have better illustrated the moral equality of all mankind! No doubt the prophets were already theoretically convinced  of this—for the righteousness they believed in was nothing if not universal. But it is one thing to hold a belief on principle and another to have practical experience of it in history. To a theory of the moral equality of mankind Assyria enabled the prophets to add sympathy and conscience. We shall see all this illustrated in the opening prophecies of Amos against the foreign nations.
But Assyria did not help to develop monotheism in Israel only by contributing to the doctrines of a moral Providence and of the equality of all men beneath it. The influence must have extended to Israel's conception of God in Nature. Here, of course, Israel was already possessed of great beliefs. Jehovah had created man; He had divided the Red Sea and Jordan. The desert, the storm, and the seasons were all subject to Him.
But at a time when the superstitious mind of the people was still feeling after other Divine powers in the earth, the waters and the air of Canaan, it was a very valuable antidote to such dissipation of their faith to find one God swaying, through Assyria, all families of mankind. The Divine unity to which history was reduced must have reacted on Israel's views of Nature, and made it easier to feel one God also there. Now, as a matter of fact, the imagination of the unity of Nature, the belief in a reason and method pervading all things, [Pg 57] was very powerfully advanced in Israel throughout the Assyrian period.
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This title, which came into frequent use under the early kings, when Israel's vocation was to win freedom by war, meant then as far as we can gather only Jehovah of the armies of Israel —the God of battles, the people's leader in war,  whose home was Jerusalem, the people's capital, and His sanctuary their battle emblem, the Ark. Now the prophets hear Jehovah go forth as Amos does from the same place, but to them the Name has a far deeper significance.
They never define it, but they use it in associations where hosts must mean something different from the [Pg 58] armies of Israel. To Amos the hosts of Jehovah are not the armies of Israel, but those of Assyria: they are also the nations whom He marshals and marches across the earth, Philistines from Caphtor, Aram from Qir, as well as Israel from Egypt. Nay, more; according to those Doxologies which either Amos or a kindred spirit has added to his lofty argument,  Jehovah sways and orders the powers of the heavens: Orion and Pleiades, the clouds from the sea to the mountain peaks where they break, day and night in constant procession.
It is in associations like these that the Name is used, either in its old form or slightly changed as Jehovah God of hosts , or the hosts ; and we cannot but feel that the hosts of Jehovah are now looked upon as all the influences of earth and heaven—human armies, stars and powers of nature, which obey His word and work His will. The genuineness of the bulk of the Book of Amos is not doubted by any critic. The only passages suspected as interpolations are the three references to Judah, the three famous outbreaks in praise of the might of Jehovah the Creator, the final prospect of a hope that does not gleam in any other part of the book, with a few clauses alleged to reflect a stage of history later than that in which Amos worked.
Each of them can be discussed separately as we reach it, and we may now pass to consider the general course of the prophecy which is independent of them. The Book of Amos consists of Three Groups of Oracles, under one title, which is evidently meant to cover them all. A series of short oracles of the same form, directed impartially against the political crimes of all the states of Palestine, and culminating in a more detailed denunciation of the social evils of Israel, whose doom is foretold, beneath the same flood of war as shall overwhelm all her neighbours.
A series of various oracles of denunciation, which have no further logical connection than is supplied by a general sameness of subject, and a perceptible increase of detail and articulateness from beginning to end of the section. They are usually grouped according to the recurrence of the formula Hear this word , which stands at the head of our present chaps. But even more obvious than these commencements are the various climaxes to which they lead up. These are all threats of judgment, and each is more strenuous or explicit than the one that has preceded it.
They close with iii. After the main theme of judgment is stated in 1, 2, we have in a parenthesis on the prophet's right to threaten doom; after which , following directly on 2, emphasise the social disorder, threaten the land with invasion, the people with extinction and the overthrow of their civilisation. Jehovah God of Hosts is His Name. Affirming that the eagerly expected Day of Jehovah will be darkness and disaster on disaster inevitable , it again emphasises Jehovah's desire for righteousness rather than worship , and closes with the threat of captivity beyond Damascus.
Jehovah God of Hosts is His Name , as at the close of 3. The second Woe , on them that are at ease in Zion 1, 2 : a satire on the luxuries of the rich and their indifference to the national suffering : captivity must come, with the desolation of the land 9, 10 ; and in a peroration the prophet reiterates a general downfall of the nation because of its perversity. A Nation —needless to name it! The Visions betray traces of development; but they are interrupted by a piece of narrative and addresses on the same themes as chaps.
The First two Visions vii. The Third is in the sphere, not of nature, but history: Jehovah standing with a plumbline, as if to show the nation's fabric to be utterly twisted, announces that it shall be overthrown, and that the dynasty of Jeroboam [Pg 64] must be put to the sword. Upon this mention of the king, the first in the book, there starts the narrative of how Amaziah, priest at Bethel—obviously upon hearing the prophet's threat—sent word to Jeroboam; and then whether before or after getting a reply proceeded to silence Amos, who, however, reiterates his prediction of doom, again described as captivity in a foreign land, and adds a Fourth Vision viii.
Here it would seem Amos' discourses at Bethel take end. Then comes viii. A Fifth Vision , of the Lord by the Altar commanding to smite ix. Then 8 b we meet the first qualification of the hitherto unrelieved sentence of death. Captivity is described, not as doom, but as discipline 9 : the sinners of the people, scoffers at doom, shall die And this seems to leave room for two final oracles of restoration and glory, the only two in the book, which are couched in the exact terms of the promises of later prophecy and are by many denied to Amos.
Such is the course of the prophesying of Amos. To have traced it must have made clear to us the unity of his book,  as well as the character of the period to which he belonged. But it also furnishes us with a good deal of evidence towards the answer of such necessary questions as these—whether we can fix an exact date for the whole or any part, and whether we can trace any logical or historical development through the chapters, either as these now stand, or in some such re-arrangement as we saw to be necessary for the authentic prophecies of Isaiah.
Let us take first the simplest of these tasks—to ascertain the general period of the book. Twice—by the title and by the portion of narrative  —we are pointed to the reign of Jeroboam II. The principalities of Palestine are all standing, except Gath;  but the great northern cloud which carries their doom has risen and is ready to burst.
Now Assyria, we have seen, had become fatal to Palestine as early as So far then as the Assyrian data are concerned, the Book of Amos might have been written early in the reign of Jeroboam. Even then was the storm lowering as he describes it. Even then had the lightning broken over Damascus. There are other symptoms, however, which demand a later date. They seem to imply, not only Uzziah's overthrow of Gath,  and Jeroboam's conquest of Moab  and of Aram,  but that establishment of Israel's political influence from Lebanon to the Dead Sea, which must have taken Jeroboam several years to accomplish.
With this agree other features of the prophecy—the sense of political security in Israel, the [Pg 66] large increase of wealth, the ample and luxurious buildings, the gorgeous ritual, the easy ability to recover from physical calamities, the consequent carelessness and pride of the upper classes. All these things imply that the last Syrian invasions of Israel in the beginning of the century were at least a generation behind the men into whose careless faces the prophet hurled his words of doom.
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During this interval Assyria had again advanced—in , in and in In , when the Assyrians for the second time invaded Hadrach, in the neighbourhood of Damascus, their records mention a pestilence, which, both because their armies were then in Syria, and because the plague generally spreads over the whole of Western Asia, may well have been the pestilence mentioned by Amos.
In a total eclipse of the sun took place, and is perhaps implied by the ninth verse of his eighth chapter. If this double allusion to pestilence and eclipse be correct, it brings the book down to the middle of the century and the latter half of Jeroboam's long reign.
In the Assyrians came back to Hadrach; in to Arpad: with these exceptions Syria was untroubled by them till after It was probably these quiet years in which Amos found Israel at ease in Zion. Towards the middle of the eighth century—is, therefore, the most definite date to which we are able to assign the Book of Amos. At so great a distance the difference of a few unmarked years is invisible.
It is enough that we know the moral dates—the state of national feeling, the personages alive, the great events which are behind the prophet, and the still greater which are imminent. We can see that Amos wrote in the political pride of the latter years of Jeroboam's reign, after the pestilence and eclipse of the sixties, and before the advance of Tiglath-Pileser in the last forties, of the eighth century.
A particular year is indeed offered by the title of the book, which, if not by Amos himself, must be from only a few years later:  Words of Amos, which he saw in the days of Uzziah and of Jeroboam, two years before the earthquake. This was the great earthquake of which other prophets speak as having happened in the days [Pg 68] of Uzziah. The mention of the earthquake, however, introduces us to the answer of another of our questions—whether, with all its unity, the Book of Amos reveals any lines of progress, either of event or of idea, either historical or logical.
Granting the truth of the title, that Amos had his prophetic eyes opened two years before the earthquake, it will be a sign of historical progress if we find in the book itself any allusions to the earthquake. Now these are present. In the first division we find none, unless the threat of God's visitation in the form of a shaking of the land be considered as a tremor communicated to the prophet's mind from the recent upheaval.
But in the second division there is an obvious reference: the last of the unavailing chastisements, with which Jehovah has chastised His people, is described as a great overturning. Nor does this exhaust the tremors which that awful convulsion had started; but throughout the second and third divisions there is a constant sense of instability, of the liftableness and breakableness of the very ground of life.
Of course, as we shall see, this was due to the prophet's knowledge of the moral explosiveness of society in Israel; but he could hardly have described the results of that in the terms he has used, unless himself and his hearers had recently felt the ground quake under them, and seen [Pg 69] whole cities topple over. If, then, Amos began to prophesy two years before the earthquake, the bulk of his book was spoken, or at least written down, after the earthquake had left all Israel trembling.
This proof of progress in the book is confirmed by another feature. In the abstract given above it is easy to see that the judgments of the Lord upon Israel were of a twofold character. Some were physical—famine, drought, blight, locusts, earthquake; and some were political—battle, defeat, invasion, captivity.
Now it is significant—and I do not think the point has been previously remarked—that not only are the physical represented as happening first, but that at one time the prophet seems to have understood that no others would be needed, that indeed God did not reveal to him the imminence of political disaster till He had exhausted the discipline of physical calamities.
For this we have double evidence. In chapter iv. Amos reports that the Lord has sought to rouse Israel out of the moral lethargy into which their religious services have soothed them, by withholding bread and water; [Pg 70] by blighting their orchards; by a pestilence, a thoroughly Egyptian one; and by an earthquake. But these having failed to produce repentance, God must visit the people once more: how, the prophet does not say, leaving the imminent terror unnamed, but we know that the Assyrian overthrow is meant.
Now precisely parallel to this is the course of the Visions in chapter vii. The Lord caused Amos to see whether in fancy or in fact we need not now stop to consider the plague of locusts. It was so bad as to threaten Israel with destruction. But Amos interceded, and God answered, It shall not be. Similarly with a plague of drought. But then the Vision shifts from the realm of nature to that of politics. The Lord sets the plumbline to the fabric of Israel's life: this is found hopelessly bent and unstable.
It must be pulled down, and the pulling down shall be political: the family of Jeroboam is to be slain, the people are to go into captivity. The next Vision, therefore, is of the End—the Final Judgment of war and defeat, which is followed only by Silence. Thus, by a double proof, we see not only that the Divine method in that age was to act first by physical chastisement, and only then by an inevitable, ultimate doom of war and captivity; but that the experience of Amos himself, his own intercourse with the Lord, passed through these two stages.
The significance of this for the picture of the prophet's life we shall see in our next chapter. Here we are concerned to ask whether it gives us any clue as to the extant arrangement of his prophecies, or any justification for re-arranging them, as the prophecies of Isaiah have to be re-arranged, according to the various stages of historical development at which they were uttered. We have just seen that the progress from the physical chastisements to the political doom is reflected in both the last two sections of the book. But the same gradual, cumulative method is attributed to the Divine Providence by the First Section: for three transgressions, yea, for four, I will not turn it back ; and then follow the same disasters of war and captivity as are threatened in Sections II.
But each section does not only thus end similarly; each also begins with the record of an immediate impression made on the prophet by Jehovah chaps. To sum up:—The Book of Amos consists of three sections,  which seem to have received their present form towards the end of Jeroboam's reign; and which, after emphasising their origin as due to the immediate influence of Jehovah Himself on the prophet, follow pretty much the same course of the Divine dealings with that generation of Israel—a course which began with physical chastisements, that failed to produce repentance, and ended with the irrevocable threat of the Assyrian invasion.
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Each section, that is to say, starts from the same point, follows much the same direction, and arrives at exactly the same conclusion. Chronologically you cannot put one of them before the other; but from each it is possible to learn the stages of experience through which Amos himself passed—to discover how God taught the prophet, not only by the original intuitions from which all prophecy starts, but by the gradual events of his day both at home and abroad.
This decides our plan for us. We shall first trace the life and experience of Amos, as his book enables us to do; and then we shall examine, in the order in which they lie, the three parallel forms in which, when he was silenced at Bethel, he collected the fruits of that experience, and gave them their final expression. The style of the book is simple and terse. The fixity of the prophet's aim—upon a few moral principles and the doom they demand—keeps his sentences firm and sharp, and sends his paragraphs rapidly to their climax.
That he sees nature only under moral light renders his poetry austere and occasionally savage. His language is very pure. There is no ground for Jerome's charge that he was "imperitus sermone": we shall have to notice only a few irregularities in spelling, due perhaps to the dialect of the deserts in which he passed his life. The text of the book is for the most part well-preserved; but there are a number of evident corruptions. Of the Greek Version the same holds good as we have said in more detail of the Greek of Hosea. The Book of Amos opens one of the greatest stages in the religious development of mankind.
Its originality is due to a few simple ideas, which it propels into religion with an almost unrelieved abruptness. But, like all ideas which ever broke upon the world, these also have flesh and blood behind them. Like every other Reformation, this one in Israel began with the conscience and the protest of an individual.
Our review of the book has made this plain. We have found in it, not only a personal adventure of a heroic kind, but a progressive series of visions, with some other proofs of a development both of facts and ideas. In short, behind the book there beats a life, and our first duty is to attempt to trace its spiritual history.
The attempt is worth the greatest care. When charged at the crisis of his career with being but a hireling-prophet, Amos disclaimed the official [Pg 74] name and took his stand upon his work as a man: No prophet I, nor prophet's son, but a herdsman and a dresser of sycomores. Jehovah took me from behind the flock. In the time of Amos Tekoa was a place without sanctity and almost without tradition. The name suggests that the site may at first have been that of a camp.
Its fortification by Rehoboam, and the mission of its wise woman to David, are its only previous appearances in history. Nor had nature been less grudging to it than fame. The men of Tekoa looked out upon a desolate and haggard world. South, west and north the view is barred by a range of limestone hills, on one of which directly north the grey towers of Jerusalem are hardly to be discerned from the grey mountain lines. Eastward the prospect is still more desolate, but it is open; the land slopes away for nearly eighteen [Pg 75] miles to a depth of four thousand feet.
Of this long descent, the first step, lying immediately below the hill of Tekoa, is a shelf of stony moorland with the ruins of vineyards. The eastern edge drops suddenly by broken rocks to slopes spotted with bushes of "retem," the broom of the desert, and with patches of poor wheat. From the foot of the slopes the land rolls away in a maze of low hills and shallow dales, that flush green in spring, but for the rest of the year are brown with withered grass and scrub. This is the Wilderness or Pastureland of Tekoa ,  across which by night the wild beasts howl, and by day the blackened sites of deserted camps, with the loose cairns that mark the nomads' graves, reveal a human life almost as vagabond and nameless as that of the beasts.
Beyond the rolling land is Jeshimon, or Devastation—a chaos of hills, none of whose ragged crests are tossed as high as the shelf of Tekoa, while their flanks shudder down some further thousands of feet, by crumbling precipices and corries choked with debris, to the coast of the Dead Sea. The northern half of this is visible, bright blue against the red wall of Moab, and the level top of the wall, broken only by the valley of the Arnon, constitutes the horizon. Except for the blue water—which shines in its gap between the torn hills like a bit of sky through rifted clouds—it is a very dreary world.
Yet the sun breaks over it, perhaps all the more gloriously; mists, rising from the sea simmering in its great vat, drape the nakedness of the desert noon; and through the dry desert night the planets ride with a majesty they cannot assume in our more troubled atmospheres.
And it is a very savage world.