Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Iron Furnace of the Bible.....Santorini?

'But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.' Deuteronomy 4:20

For they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron. 1 Kings 8:51

Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God. Jeremiah 11:4

Why would the phrase 'iron furnace' be used? What could have made the authors or story tellers use such a phrase?

Suggestions as to the meaning of this are skant, but heres is one...

A furnace, on the other hand, has the specific function of refining gold. We can learn from here that God sent us into the Egyptian exile because He considers the Jewish people to be as precious as gold. No one bothers to refine ordinary rocks, because the result is worthless; however, people will expend great effort to refine gold, because we know that the outcome is valuable.

You can read the full explanation for the 'iron furnace' here.

Does that sound logical or does that sound like a far fetched explanation that fits the purpose? Considering the furnace is described as an iron furnace, to turn it into a gold refining furnace just to perpetuate the myth that the Jewish race is the golden children is a clear case of a delluded mindset and a sense of superiority.

The logical explanation for the iron furnace is the Santorini volcano eruption that happened arguably around the time of the Exodus.

You can fnd out more about the eruption here.

Given the Bible tells us that the Hebrews were treated like slaves in Egypt, would it be stretching the imagination to picture the Hebrews leaving Santorini, Crete and other parts of Greece, arriving in Northern Egypt as refugees, being taken on as servants by the Egyptians (only being paid in food and shelter, which is not a bad deal for a refugee), witnessing the fallout of the main Santorini eruption, fleeing with the trusting Egyptian masters' gold? Given the Santorini eruption happened in stages, giving everyone plenty of time to make their escapes by boat, Greek refugees must have flooded the shores of Egypt.

Studies have identified four major eruption phases, and one minor precursory tephra fall. The thinness of the first ash layer, along with the lack of noticeable erosion of that layer by winter rains before the next layer was deposited, indicate that the volcano gave the local population a few months' warning. Since no human remains have been found at the Akrotiri site, this preliminary volcanic activity probably caused the island's population to flee.

Another piece of proof for this theory is in the first Biblical verse above....'brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt'. The iron furnace is seperate to Egypt, but the two things are tied together by the author.

During the Hebrews' stay in Egypt, they were likely described as Habiru, and you can find out more about them here.

One more thing that I've noticed is the golden calf, which of course the Hebrews quickly reverted to at Mount Sinai while waiting for Moses to descend the mountain of God. The Minoans' (Cretians') sacred symbols included the bull and its 'horns of consecration', and they used horn-topped altars. This correlates to the Hebrews' use of symbolism...

This is a digital recreation of the altar of incence, which was used in the Hebrew tabernacle tent...

Notice the horns at the corners?

....and this is a digital recreation of the Hebrew Brazen Altar...

Notice the horns on the corners?

Given Santorini is tiny in comparison to Crete, which is its neighbour, most refugees leaving the area would have been from Crete and would have been Minoan. The Minoan civilisation was wiped out, at least indigenously, around the time of the eruption.

Could it be that the people who were, for thousands of years, without a homeland are in fact descendents of people who lost their homeland? Could it be that the magnitude of the eruption and the devastation it caused on these people compelled them to worship the eruption and all eruptions after it, and reject their other gods and goddesses? Of course, old habits die hard, hence the golden calf and the horns.

Check my blog archive for many more posts and please post a comment or ask questions.

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  1. look up

  2. What for? The same old drivel that I could hear from any other Christian? I'm past that Bob. It'd doesn't work on me anymore. I've grown up and smelt the coffee.

    Don't misunderstand me. I'm not big on 'sinning' but just because a person is religious does not mean they don't sin. In fact, as sinning is such a big issue for religious people, it holds too much power over people. Once you drop the religion, you drop the obsession with sinning, something which your blog suggests you like to talk about a lot.

    My suggestion is you test yourself to see how long you can go without obsessing about sin. If you can't go for longer than a day then you've got a problem. People who tend to obsess about sin tend to be the ones who cannot help themselves when faced with a temptation. That explains why priests kiddie fiddle, grande stage preachers can be caught with young rent boys, etc.

    Fear of god is possible even if god is non-existent. That is proven by my theory. People used to fear all previous gods as though they were real but who would suggest Zeus was real now? Not one person probably. All those people in the past were wrong and all Christians, Jews and Muslims are wrong today.

    Believe it if you like. A lot of people would continue to believe it even when faced with insurmountable evidence to prove its falsehood. But then some people prefer to focus on sinning and religion gives them a good excuse for doing just that.

  3. I suggest that you think about combining the iron-furnace concept with the high-places concept. In Canaan, the Hebrews would set up altars on the summits of high hills and would burn sacrifices on those fiery altars. It seems to me that these fiery altars on high places were recreations of the volcano about which you are writing.

    Of course, the most important such sacrificial site would be the one where there was the unique, ancient iron furnace that had been brought from the Sinai Desert.

  4. You're right. Talking about the 'Most High' was one post in the pipeline but I'd not thought of relating it to what happened later on in thanks for the suggestion. Let me know if you spot any more. They will all be logged :)