The Tanakh is the foundation of all three monotheistic religions. The Tanakh, which is called the Old Testament in the Christian Bible, was created around 160 BC in Alexandra to support the war of the Maccabees against the Seleucid Empire. The motive for this support from the Ptolemaic rulers was their need to create a buffer between Egypt and the Seleucidan Empire to reduce the risk of new wars and invasions after the sixth Syrian war.
Therefore, the learned men of Alexandria strived to create texts that would provide a historical and divine legitimacy for the Maccabees to take possession of a country of their own and the authority as high priests in Jerusalem. This work started around 160 BC.
This new national history is preserved in Antiquities of the Jews I-XII attributed to Josephus. This history was the foundation of what became the Tanakh /the Old Testament.
The learned men in Alexandria translated the new history that they had created for the Maccabees to Hebrew from Greek, and divided it into different historical books. The new collection of books for the new rulers of the new country now included:
• The books of Moses
• Book of Joshua
• Book of Judges
• Book of Rut
• Book of Samuel
• Book of Kings
• Book of Chronicles
• Book of Daniel
In order to create a collection of books similar to the canons of the Mesopotamian religions, the new books of the Maccabees were supplemented with:
• Song of Songs. A description of the celebration of the New Year in Babylon where a Holy Wedding was consummated between Ishtar and Tammuz (Hieros Gamos)
• Books of Job and Ecclesiastes. These are imitating Mesopotamian wisdom literature like "The Righteous Who Suffers" and "I want to praise the Lord of Wisdom."
• Book of Proverbs. Another collection of wisdom literature in the form of aphorisms from various sources. The third part is for example a rework of the Egyptian text "Wisdom of Amenemopet" from the second millennium BC
• Book of Lamentations. Included because lamentations were an important genre in Mesopotamia.
• The Psalms. Included because Hymns were an important genre in Mesopotamia.
The Seleucid ruler Antiochos IV invades Egypt but is forced to leave again after an intervention by Rome.
Judas Maccabeus seizes power in the temple in Jerusalem and loses it again.
1. The same history as in Antiquities I-XII is also found in the historical books of the Tanakh.
2. However, the stories are more coherent and logical in Antiquities I-XII than in the Tanakh. Geographical names are more genuine in Antiquities I-XII. Explanations like for example, why the Hebrews are called Hebrews and who the man Hur really were, are found in the Antiquities but not in the Tanakh. This shows that Antiquities I-XII is a precursor of the Tanakh.
3. The sources for the new history in Antiquities I-XII, as for example the Babylonian historian Berossos, the Greek historian Herodotus and the Egyptian historian Manetho are pointed out in the Antiquities, but these sources have been excluded in the Tanakh.
4. Berossos, Herodotus and Manetho were active from the 400s to the 200s BC, which means that the precursor to the Tanakh, and thus also the Tanakh itself, must have been created after the 200s BC.
5. Daniel's prophecy, which is the highlight of the new history in Antiquities I-XII, was created after the death of Antiochos IV, which took place in 164 BC. Daniel's prophecy is about the event when Judas Maccabeus seized power in the Temple of Jerusalem, which took place in 164 BC, and it must therefore have been written after that event.
6. The new story in Antiquities I-XII began to be spread by Eupolemus and Artapanus from about 158 BC, which means that the first version in Greek (Antiquities I-XII) was completed by then.
7. The only ones who that around 160 BC had the motive create the new national history now found in Antiquities I-XII and Tanak / OT were the Ptolemaic rulers in Egypt. The motive was to create a new country as a buffer between Egypt and the Seleucid Empire to avoid new invasions from the Seleucids. The only ones who had the means and opportunity to create the new national history for the Maccabees were the Ptolemaic rulers who had all power over the library in Alexandria and over the learned men who worked there.
When Judas Maccabeus was killed in battle with the Seleucids in 160 BC, his brother Jonathan took over the leadership of the rebellious movement. The Maccabees engaged in a long-standing guerrilla war against the Seleucids, and Jonathan eventually managed to take power in Jerusalem in 153 BC. As a high priest in the temple, for the first time he was now able to read to his people from the new religious texts that had been created in Alexandria.
After Jonathan had been captured and killed by the Seleucids in 143 BC, his brother Simon Maccabeus took over the position as high priest and leader in Jerusalem. During the reign of Simon, the books of Moses were revised and the historical books were divided into several Chronicles and books of Kings. Simon also created the book of Isaiah and the other books of prophets.
The driving forces behind Simon Maccabeus's revision of Tanak were the need to:
• Make the people obey the him as high priest in Jerusalem.
• Clearly separate the people from the other inhabitants of the area.
• Promote lust for warfare in the new people.
• Scare the people so they would finance the Maccabees and their war through sacrificial offerings in the temple of Jerusalem and through fines for sins.
• Scare the people from forming alliances with others or worshipping other gods than the god in the temple in Jerusalem.
• Increase the hatred for the Seleucids and convey a message of revenge and conquest.
• Convey a prophesy about Simon Mackabeus as a divinely appointed ruler in Jerusalem (a Messiah).
Through Simon's revision of the Tanakh, the driving forces above were converted to a message that:
The people was since thousands of years bound to God in a covenant written in blood
• God had established a covenant of blood with the chosen people and ordered circumcision as a distinctive sign of this covenant.
• The first inauguration of the covenant occurred on the mount of Sinai when the chosen ones killed everyone who had fallen to worship of the golden calf, including their own neighbours, brothers and sons. The covenant was confirmed when Moses sprinkled the congregation with blood.
The people had always been sinful and disobedient
• They had rebelled against Moses and worshiped foreign gods, they had for example worshiped a golden calf on Sinai.
The people must obey the law of the Maccabees, otherwise they and their offspring will suffer and die
• The Ten Commandments are sent from God who is jealous and who punishes the children in the third and fourth generation for their forefathers' guilt.
• If the people obey all the laws of the books of Moses, they will experience all blessings in their own country and wipe out all other people who live there. But if they are sinful and disobedient and do not obey the laws, they will suffer the worst curses and be exterminated.
The people are only allowed to worship and pay taxes to the Maccabean god in Jerusalem
• The chosen people may not worship other gods than the God described in the books of Moses, the god who lives in the temple in Jerusalem.
• God may only receive sacrifices in the temple of Jerusalem.
• If you worship (pay taxes) to other gods than the one in the temple in Jerusalem or if you enter into covenants with those who worship other gods, for example by marriage, you will be wiped out.
• The chosen people shall destroy the sanctuaries of all other groups and kill their priests, priestesses and prophets. They shall particularly destroy the sanctuaries of the love goddess Asherah.
• Women must never prophesy, be priestesses or leaders as they are in other nations. Do not forget how Miriam was hit by the glowing rage of the Lord and was punished by being afflicted by unclean leprosy and being expelled from the people.
The people are only allowed to marry within the own group
• Women must not marry men outside their own congregation because their possessions then leave their own people. It is best if they marry close relatives like cousins.
• Men must not marry women outside their own congregation because then they risk being apostates from the God in Jerusalem.
The people must grow fast
• In the chosen people, a man shall make his brother's widow pregnant and interrupted intercourse is not allowed, because the ruling Maccabees need access to as many soldiers as possible in the war to defend and expand the new country. A cautionary example was created in the story of Onan, who did not make his brother's widow pregnant but spilled his semen on the floor.
The people must hate the enemies of their Maccabean rulers
• God has expressed a burning hatred against the Seleucids and promised their extinction through the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Hesekiel.
If someone dies in the holy war he will resurrect in his own body
• Through the prophecies of Isaiah and Hesekiel, God has promised the holy warriors the resurrection of the body.
Old prophesies have predicted that Simon Maccabeus will be an anointed king (Messiah)
• Through the prophecies of Jeremiah, Isaiah and other prophets, God has promised that a Messiah, an anointed king of the house of David, will rule in the stronghold of Zion in Jerusalem (the castle of Simon Maccabeus).
1. Because the precursor to the books of Moses are preserved in Antiquities I-XII, one can see what was changed in the books of Moses afterwards, such as the wordings of the Ten Commandments and the circumcision of Moses.
2. Alterations in the Book of Exodus made by Simon Maccabeus for example concern the Ten Commandments, the Covenant of the blood at Sinai, the prohibition on the worship of gods of other groups and against covenants with such groups, the requirements to destroy all shrines dedicated to other gods, the new Easter and the circumcision as a sign of belonging to the chosen people. All these alterations are included in one and the same context. That context is clearly described in chapters 1 to 12 of the Book of Deuteronomy that were created in the revision of the Tanakh made by Simon Maccabeus.
3. The changes in the Books of Moses are also reflected in the Books of the Prophets, which means that the changes in the Books of Moses must have been done about the same time as the Books of the Prophets were created.
4. If you analyse the books of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Hesekiel as well as the so-called Minor prophets it is clear that they all are written at approximately the same time and in a common context. These books contain very similar condemnations of the people's disobedience and false worship, as well as prophecies about countries, cities, and people to be destroyed by the God of war in Jerusalem. The books of the Prophets also contain prophecies about an anointed king (Messiah) and his heirs that would rule forever in Jerusalem.
5. The Great Isaiah Scroll (1QaIsa) that was discovered in Qumran is a work in progress on the way to the final version of Isaiah's prophecy. Through this text we receive direct evidence of when Isaiah's book was created. In 1QaIsa, there is a prophecy about the destruction of Carthage that occurred in 146 BC. This prophecy was produced to get support from the Romans for Simon Maccabeus's claim to kingship. The Senate in Rome also acknowledged the new dynasty in 139 BC when a delegation commissioned by Simon travelled to Rome. Because of this the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Hesekiel can be dated to the time between the destruction of Carthage in 146 BC and the visit of the Maccabean delegation in Rome in 139 BC.
6. One example of the fact that 1QaIsa is a working result on the way to the final version of Isaiah's prophecy is found in Isaiah 63:1-3. In 1QaIsa the text is speaking of someone wearing red clothes as a soldier, while the text has evolved into being about the Lord whose clothes are red by the blood of the trampled enemies in the final version of the Tanak /OT.
7. 1QaIsa, which is a working result on the way to finalizing the book of Isaiah, has with paleological methods been dated to about 150-125 BC. This fits well with the reign of Simon Mackabeus (142-135 BC).
8. The division of the historical books in First and Second books of Samuel, First and Second books of Kings and First and Second books of Chronicles was made when the original text, which in the Antiquities runs in a strictly chronological order, was divided into different books. In that process, some sections of the text were doubled, while the sections not doubled were distributed in the various books. One example is the description of the reign of David in Antiquities book VII. These events, that in Antiquities exist in one and the same context, are now found scattered over the Second book of Samuel, the First book of Kings and the First book of Chronicles.
9. The only one who had the motive to sharpen the message in the Books of Moses and create the books of the Prophets at the time when 1QaIsa (working material on the way to The Book of Isaiah) was created, was Simon Mackabeus. He needed to separate his own people from surrounding groups and make them obey his theocratic power in Jerusalem, as well as promote himself and his descendants as kings in Jerusalem. He was also the only one who had the means and opportunity to revise The Tanak because he had the power in the temple in Jerusalem and could do whatever he wanted with the books there.
The creation of the heaven and the earth in Genesis 1.
Origin: Berossos' (now lost) history of Babylonia: The Babylonian creation epos Enuma Elish.
The creation of Eve from the rib of Adam in Genesis 1.
The tree of knowledge in paradise.
Origin: Berossos' history of Babylonia: The Sumerian myth of Inanna and the Huluppa tree.
Noah and the great Flood
Origin: Berossos history: The Sumerian myth of Zi-ud-sura. Zi-ud-sura was forewarned by the god Enki about the great Flood and who built an ark. Zi-ud-sura is called Utnapishtim in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
The genealogy of the different peoples from Noah and beyond. Abraham, the patriarch who emigrated from the city of Ur.
Origin: Berossos' history of Babylonia: The genealogy of the different peoples was described in Berossos' history. According to Berossos a wise man from Sumer brought Chaldean civilisation and science from the city of Ur to Egypt and other areas on the West.
The captivity in Egypt and the escape from there.
Origin: Manetho's history of Egypt: The hyksos invaded Egypt and was driven out from there by the Pharaoh.
The chosen people who would possess the promised land.
Origin: A story that was put together in Alexandria to support the Maccabees in their struggle to win a land of their own and thus create a buffer zone between the Seleucids and Egypt.
The superhuman feats of Samson.
Origin: Berossos' history of Babylonia: The superhuman feats of Gilgamesh in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
Solomon builds the temple and meets the queen of Sheba.
Origin: Berossos' history of Babylonia: Gudeas builds the temple and meets the queen of Sabum.
Moses the lawgiver and theologian.
Origin: Musaeus, the orphic lawgiver and theologian.
The Ten Commandments
Origin: The commandments of orphism.
The laws of Moses about slaves, an eye for an eye, valuation of people, etc.
Origin: The Laws of Hammurabi.
The laws of Moses about forbidden food.
Origin: The laws for Egyptian priests about forbidden food, combined with Babylonian lists of animals and birds.
The purity laws of Moses about cleansing from leprosy and the whites, intercourse during menstruation, prohibition of homosexuality etc.
Origin: Purity laws in the Avesta of Zoroastrianism.
Circumcision as confirmation of the blood covenant between the chosen people and God.
Origin: Addition to the Tanakh in connection with Simon Maccabeus' revision with the goal to define his own people and to separate them from all other groups in the area.
Requests for marriages between close relatives.
Origin: Addition to the history about the daughters of Zelophehad in the Tanakh, created in connection with Simon Maccabeus' campaign to separate his people from other groups.
Prohibition of interrupted intercourse (masturbation).
Origin: The story of Onan was added in connection with Simon Maccabeus' revision of the Tanakh to counteract birth control.
Moses' blessings and curses that ends with Amen.
Origin: Blessings and curses from Hammurabi's law. Blessings and curses in the name of the Egyptian God Amen (Amun).
Moses' appeal for holy war against all other inhabitants of the promised land.
Origin: Propaganda created by the learned in Alexandria to support the war of the Maccabees against the Seleucids.
Kill all apostates, even if they are your sons or brothers.
Origin: The story of the inauguration of the covenant at Mount Sinai in Exodus 32:25-35, which was added in Simon Maccabeus' revision to scare the people to be faithful to the Maccabees and their new religion.
The jealous god who makes the sins of the fathers hit the children in the third and fourth generation and insists upon blood feud.
Origin: Addition to the Tanakh in connection with Simon Maccabeus' revision to scare the people obediently and to incite them to retaliation on the Seleucids.
God may only be worshipped in the temple of Jerusalem.
Origin: Addition to the Tanakh in connection with Simon Maccabeus' revision to get exclusive right to sacrifice and tenths.
All other gods and goddesses shall be extinct and their places of worship shall be destroyed.
Origin: Addition to the Tanakh in connection with Simon Maccabeus' revision.
Origin: The learned men in Alexandria created Daniel's prophecy. The prophecy is about Judas Maccabeus' conquest of the temple of Jerusalem in 164 BC.
The prophecies of Jeremiah and Isaiah about a Messiah who will rule in an everlasting kingdom of God from Mount Zion.
Origin: The books of the Prophets were created during Simon Maccabeus' time as high priest in Jerusalem. The prophecy about the Messiah was aimed at Simon Maccabeus himself and his descendants.
The prophecies of Isaiah and Hesekiel about the resurrection of the body.
Origin: Propaganda from Simon Maccabeus to make his warriors willing to sacrifice their lives in his wars.