It’s Time to Deal With This Most Misunderstood and Misinterpreted Passage of Scripture and Its Exoteric Meaning.
I believe any spirituality you choose is fine as long as you don’t unjustly hurt others and it is real and alive for you. Unfortunately everyone else does not feel the same, mostly because of a passage of scripture in Exodus 22. Let’s look at the true meaning of what this text is actually saying.
Exodus 22 Was Written in Hebrew by a Son of a Hebrew Slave. The Son Was Reared in an Egyptian Palace as Royalty Around 1400 BCE When Egyptians Spoke in Coptic Tongues.
That’s the first issue because he was speaking to people who had been slaves/workers in Egypt for hundreds of years and we know slaves don’t go to school. It would have been like an American slave master speaking and writing Bantu for his slaves in the 1800s.
For the sake of this text, we are going to assume that Moses did all of the writing in Hebrew and that the Hebrew slaves could read, even though they’d been in captivity for 200-400 years, give or take a few decades. There are no known records of the slavery of Jews, even though there are plenty of Egyptian wall paintings showing Hebrew workers.
Moses is said to have taken ‘slaves’ out of the house of Pharoah at about this time and he was given laws and rules during the exodus, or escape, resulting in Exodus 22.
Based on General Interpretation, Exodus 22 Requested That You Not Only Kill Sorcerers, But That You Give All First Born Sons Back to YHVH and Put Banks Out of Business.
So let’s look briefly at a few things that Exodus 22 says YHVH’s people should do if they are to please Him. Keep in mind everyone who believes they should not suffer a witch/sorceress to live has to do this:
Verse 16 – All of you men who entice a young unmarried woman to sleep with you have to marry her. If her father does not allow the marriage, you have to pay him what she is worth in dollars.
Verse 22-24 – If you afflict or cause widows or orphans to cry, you die. (Note a different Hebrew word for being killed is used in this text than in vs 18.)
Verse 25 – Nobody; that includes no BANK, TITLE PAWNER, LOAN AGENCY — nobody can charge interest on loans.
Verse 28 – You cannot say anything negative about Donald Trump.
Verse 29 – The first of all your crops, farm animals, batches of liquor, everything….goes to the church.
Verse 29 – All of your 1st born sons have to go to, you know who,….YHVH. The same way Hannah did with Samuel in I Samuel 1: 24-28. [operative word here is – נָתַן or nathan – to be given, be bestowed, be given up, be delivered up]
Now please tell me why the people who are so quick to preach only verse 18 are not talking about any of this other stuff?
If New Testament Grace is Preventing Everyone From Having to Follow These Old Rules, Why Are Christians Still Quoting Verse 18?
How many of you have been to church and the preacher is smiling, crying and saying, “That was the old law. We can eat pork and shrimp; you don’t have to pay tithes; you can shave your beards; and women need to come to church while menstruating.” Really now, but of all the old laws that have been cast off, from slicing off stealing hands, plucking out eyeballs to killing adulterers, there is one old testament verse that is alive and well in the modern church.
Let’s Take a Closer Look at the Hebrew Word for Sorcerer or Witch – KASHAPH.
I believe that in the times of Moses, the Sorcerers or kashaph represented the old pagan Priests and pagan worshippers, and YHVH of Exodus 22 wanted everyone to leave the old ways and serve only Him. If the pagan priests and priestesses were killed (or stopped from doing their work), no one would be around to lead the people into any other forms of religious practices, amongst that particular group only.
The Hebrew letters that make up the word kashaph are:
Koph – the open palm as in worship
Shin – the sound of whispering made as breath passes through the teeth
Peh – the mouth as in prayers coming through the mouth
Basically kashaph were ancient worshippers of other gods. So YHVH was saying anyone who worships other gods when they are suppose to be in this sect that I call mine and am giving you laws for, should not be preserved, given space to operate or have their roles perpetuated.
We Need to View One More Word – ‘To Live’ or Châyâh (khaw-yaw’).
So the verse once again according to the King James Version is:
Exodus 22:18 King James Version (KJV)
18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
Basically being interpreted by most that those who practice witchcraft should be killed, which inerrantly happened, specifically during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692-1693. Since this is such a strong order, proper interpretation is a must for everything that gets manifested in this dimension, from a spoken word, heart felt prayer, or request of divine intervention is MAGICK! Everything is Energy so how can we stop it???
Châyâh as interpreted in most text where it appears in the Bible, as to preserve, as in to preserve ‘seed’ or to denote how long someone like Adam or Seth lived; when Noah was told to keep alive or preserve animals on the ark; or preserving life in famine.
So basically no one was instructed to kill witches, they were instructed not to give pagan worshippers a role in spiritual rituals and services; not to preserve or train others for the office of the shamanic priest/priestess; not to allow the title or profession to have place or life amongst their congregation, not to preserve or continue the practices of the dark arts within the congregation, because that is what that particular religion was instituting. YHVH was not promoting witch hunts across the land and in other religions and spiritual practices, which is how we interpret it today. He was promoting that He be the only deity that this cult calls upon!
By the way, the word for killing someone is muwth used in Strong’s reference H4191 as when Saul was instructed to take action and go specifically to kill Agag and the Amalekites. This word muwth (sounds like the word mort – which is french for ‘to die’) was also used when the serpent told Adam and Eve they would not ‘surely die’ or ‘be killed’ if they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Or even nakah, Strong reference H5221, which David use to let Goliath know what he was about to do to him (kill him) or when Moses killed the Egyptian that was abusing one of his Hebrew brethen.
Clearly we are talking about two different things and the English words used to so loosely and irresponsibly interpret many of the words in the Bible are clear misinterpretations. When you begin advocating hunting people down and killing them for their religious practices, you must take on the responsibility to rightly interpret the words and times in which they were written, otherwise someone could get hurt due to mere ignorance.
We Need to Understand Monolatrism and Look at How Gods were Worshipped in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Times.
Back in those days, gods were like Governors. Each god had a certain group of people [a cult] following them, and though that cult knew about other gods, they were not to worship them, but were to remain true to their god only and to only worship at their temples. They dedicated themselves to this deity and created some ritual of initiation to indicate their allegiance. This is called Monolatry. This is why YHVH did not say there are no other gods, He told His cult don’t have any of those other gods before ME!
If one of the gods got tired of their people because the god found them cheating on him or her [worshipping other gods], they could simply change houses, meaning they could approach another family or clan and ask them for worship thereby making a pact or covenant of protection with them. YHVH never told Moses to proselytize to other nations so these rules were for YHWH’s sect only. Apparently the Midianites who re-introduced YHVH to Moses, did not please YHVH, which is why He quit as their god and had Gideon destroy them. YHVH chose a different group of people to be over and decided to change congregations resulting in His approaching Abram and asking him to worship Him. YHVH had never been the god or elowah of Abram’s father Terah who was worshipping other gods (or powers as represented by the letters for ox and ox goad) according to Joshua 24:2. YHVH was also not listed as the god or Elohim (company of gods/ powerful Rulers or Judges/ Angels) that created Adam and Eve in Genesis. Each word for ‘God’ in the English translations, is a completely different word in Hebrew, which makes it a requirement of each student of the Bible to learn Hebrew!!!
According to current statistics of those who do not follow traditional, orthodox Judaism, over 7 billion people that would have to be destroyed in order to properly follow Exodus 22 according to modern interpretations. Even Christians DO NOT follow the original instructions set out by YHVH, and it is evident that the extremely vocal YHVH of the Old Testament is not present in the New Testament.
By the way, those practicing kashaph would have included Moses’ brother Aaron, YHVH’s own High Priest, per Exodus 32.
At the end of the day, this is not about killing witches at all. This is really about YHVH establishing Judaic monolatry — establishing rules for His own cult. If you serve YHVH, you should not practice worship other gods — your allegiance should be to YHVH. Exodus 22:18 has been sloppily interpreted as has most of the entire Bible.
It is vitally important to properly respect and intuitively divide all ‘holy’ scripture, whether it comes from the Bible or another text. This includes confirmation of authenticity, deity, historicity and relevance to ancient culture vs. modern, specifically as it relates to monolatry. A truly dedicated student of biblical old testament texts MUST become proficient in the original languages — I cannot overstress this. This applies to any ancient holy scripture. Ironically, I don’t know of any stories where Jews hunted witches. If you do, please leave a comment. It is important to honor every individual’s spiritual convictions and respect other deities, whether you follow them or not [Jude 8-10].