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The Reinforcement of Separation

February 8, 2008

The separation between God and people was born at the very beginning of the existence of human beings. Chapters 1-3 of the book of Genesis illustrate the famous Creation account where the idea of separation was first established. From this point and further in the Old Testament, this idea was even more reinforced. The strongest proofs of division between God and people are found in the stories about God’s choice of Abraham to form a chosen nation, God’s exclusive defense of his special people in Egypt, God’s support of Israel‘s holy war against the inhabitants of Palestine, and God’s ultimate revenge on Israel‘s enemies at the end of all time.

The separation idea is based mostly on division of all the people by God into two groups – “insiders” (chosen or special) and “outsiders” (not chosen). In Gen. 4 God likes Abel more than Cain and this is because Abel brought God “fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock” (Gen. 4:4) as an offering while Cain brought him some fruits. It follows that God likes fat that is the flesh of an animal. But to get this fat somebody must kill an animal. It means that God needs death and pain (sacrifice). When God showed preference to Abel’s offering, he treated Cain unfairly. This situation created a feeling of jealousy and separation which in its turn served as an incentive for Cain to kill his brother. It looks like God is guilty for everything that happened because he showed a special love.

In Gen. 12 God makes a great choice – he chooses Abraham in order to create a chosen nation through him. First God makes Abraham leave his country and people (God separates him from others), then God blesses him and all his descendants, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you… and all peoples on earth will be blesses through you” (Gen. 12:2-3). Again God shows preference to one person and one nation over others. God doesn’t explain why he likes one people and hates others. It is a sign of his capriciousness and ego. It is very similar to that how people now choose friends to support their ego. God promises Abraham to make his name famous (Gen. 12:2) but the whole sense lies in such words, “I’ll make your name famous, because you’re going to be my guy. You’ll go to other places and tell about me”. This is exactly how God supports his ego. In Gen. 12:7 God promises that he will give the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants (so that Israel could feel superiority to Canaanites). When Abraham comes to Egypt (Gen 12:14), he says that his wife Sarah is just his sister. Pharaoh takes her in his palace as a wife and Abraham acquires a lot of stuff (Gen 12:16). But God punishes Pharaoh and his household because of Sarah (Gen. 12-17). If to think logically, Pharaoh is not guilty at all. It is only Abraham who is really guilty for this because he himself said that Sarah was just his sister. It follows that God anyway cares about chosen people only, since he punished Pharaoh instead of Abraham.

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