Month: May 2020

Were the ten biblical plagues natural events? Would it matter if they were?

One of the most debated stories in the Bible is the Exodus story of Moses and the ten plagues bestowed upon Egypt for their refusal to release the Israelites from slavery. It has been proposed that the ten plagues were nothing more than natural phenomena. It would certainly be within God’s realm to bring the plagues via the natural environment that he created, but attributing the biblical plagues to natural events seems to be an attempt to invalidate the Bible’s message. I find it puzzling that biblical scholars would support this. There are clearly errors in their logic. The ten plagues Plague 1: The Nile river is turned to blood “With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it

God strikes down all the firstborn in Egypt triggering the beginning of the Israelite’s’ exodus (Exodus 12:29 – 12:39).

As he had warned he would do, at midnight, God struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, including Pharaoh’s firstborn son and the firstborn of all livestock as well. Pharaoh and his officials rose in the middle of the night to hear great wailing throughout Egypt for there was not a single home without someone dead. Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites, go! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds – and also, bless me.” The Egyptians urged the Israelites to leave the country as quickly as possible “for otherwise, we will die!” The Israelites took their dough before the yeast was added and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in

Jewish Babylonian Talmud – Tracts Baba Bathra – Rules and regulations concerning rocks and pits in ground solid…

p. 231 CHAPTER VII. RULES AND REGULATIONS CONCERNING ROCKS AND PITS IN GROUND SOLD; THE QUANTITIES OF GREATER OR LESS MEASURE WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT VOID A SALE OF FIELDS, VILLAGES, ETC. MISHNA I.: If one says: "I sell you earth the size where one kur can be sown, and there were crevices ten spans deep, or rocks ten spans high," they are not measured, but if less than that size they are measured. If, however, he said to him, "about the size of a kur," and there were crevices or rocks even more than the size of ten spans, they are measured. GEMARA: Said R. Itz'hak: The statement of the Mishna about rocks and crevices which are measured when they are less than ten spans holds good

Jewish Babylonian Talmud – Tracts Baba Bathra – Rules and regulations concerning the sale of seeds which become spoiled, the quantity of dust which may or may not be accepted in measures of grain…

p. 215 TRACT BABA BATHRA (LAST GATE). (PART II.) CHAPTER VI. RULES AND REGULATIONS CONCERNING THE SALE OF SEEDS WHICH BECOME SPOILED, THE QUANTITY OF DUST WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED IN THE MEASURES OF GRAIN AND FRUIT, AND WINE WHICH BECOMES SOUR AFTER SALE BEFORE DELIVERY.--CONCERNING CONTRACTORS FOR HOUSES AND STABLES, WELLS AND GARDENS SITUATED IN NEIGHBORS' PROPERTIES OR PUBLIC THOROUGHFARES IN PRIVATE GROUND, AND CONCERNING GRAVES AND CAVES FOR BURYING. MISHNA I.: If one sold fruit or grain (without any stipulation), and the buyer sowed it but it did not sprout, even if this were seed of flax, the seller is not responsible. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel, however, maintains that if he sold seeds for gardens, which could not be used for eating, the seller is

Jewish Babylonian Talmud – Tracts Baba Bathra – Part II synopsis.

p. i NEW EDITION OF THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD Original Text, Edited, Corrected, Formulated and Translated into English BY MICHAEL L. RODKINSON SECTION JURISPRUDENCE (DAMAGES) TRACT BABA BATHRA (LAST GATE, PART I.) Volume VI. (XIV.) BOSTON THE TALMUD SOCIETY 1918 Next: Explanatory Remarks p. ii EXPLANATORY REMARKS. In our translation we adopted these principles: Tenan of the original--We have learned in a Mishna; Tania--We have learned in a Boraitha; Itemar--It was taught. Questions are indicated by the interrogation point, and are immediately followed by the answers, without being so marked. When in the original there occur two statements separated by the phrase, Lishna achrena or Waïbayith Aema or Ikha d'amri (literally, "otherwise interpreted:), we translate only the second. As the pages of the original are indicated in our new Hebrew edition, it is not deemed necessary to mark them in the English edition, this being only

Jewish Babylonian Talmud – Tracts Baba Bathra – Rules and regulations concerning sales of ships, boats, animals, and teams…

p. 167 CHAPTER V. RULES AND REGULATIONS CONCERNING SALES OF SHIPS, BOATS, ANIMALS, AND TEAMS; CONCERNING BROODS OF PIGEONS AND BEASTS; TREES, WITH THE GROUND AND WITHOUT. HOW TO ACQUIRE TITLE TO FRUIT AND FLAX. OF ARTICLES WHICH BECAME DEARER OR CHEAPER BETWEEN THE TIME OF SALE AND DELIVERY. AT WHAT TIME THE WHOLESALERS AND STOREKEEPERS HAD TO CORRECT THEIR WEIGHTS AND MEASURES, AND OF WHAT MATERIAL THE WEIGHTS MIGHT AND MIGHT NOT BE MADE. MISHNA I.: If one sells a boat, the sale includes the mast, the flag, the shovels, and all things pertaining to the leading of the boat, but not the slaves, and the sacks for carrying goods, nor the entheca. If, however, he sells the boat with all its contents, all is sold. GEMARA: The

Jewish Babylonian Talmud – Tracts Baba Bathra – Rules and regulations concerning unconditional and conditional sales or gifts of buildings, houses, and palaces…

p. 147 CHAPTER IV. RULES AND REGULATIONS CONCERNING UNCONDITIONAL AND CONDITIONAL SALES OR GIFTS OF BUILDINGS, HOUSES, AND PALACES: WHAT IS AND WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED; AND ALSO CONCERNING YARDS, BATH-HOUSES, AND PRESS-HOUSES FOR OIL AND WINE. SALES OF WHOLE CITIES, VALLEYS, FIELDS, WELLS, ETC. MISHNA I.: If one sells a house unconditionally, the yeziah which is upon it is not included in the sale, even when it is open to the house, neither the chamber which is inside, nor the roof if it has a railing ten spans high. R. Jehudah, however, maintains that if it has the appearance of a door, although it is less than ten spans high, it is not included in the sale. GEMARA: What does yeziah mean? Here (in this college) it was

Jewish Babylonian Talmud – Tracts Baba Bathra – Rules and regulations concerning occupancy, at what time and in what respect it gives title…

p. 83 CHAPTER III. RULES AND REGULATIONS CONCERNING OCCUPANCY (HAZAKAH)--AT WHAT TIME AND IN WHAT RESPECT IT GIVES TITLE. REPLEVINS BY COURT. PROPERTIES OCCUPIED BY A DEFENDANT WHO IS MIGHTIER THAN THE PLAINTIFF BUT EQUAL IN EVIDENCE. A PROTEST AGAINST OCCUPANCY IN ONE'S PRESENCE: OR ABSENCE BY ONE'S OPPONENT. THE WRITING OF BILLS OF SALE AND DEEDS OF GIFT. OCCUPANCIES WHICH CAME FROM INHERITANCE. THE OCCUPANCIES OF SPECIALISTS, PARTNERS, GARDENERS, AND GUARDIANS. OBTAINING PROPERTIES FROM THE CONTRACTING COLLECTORS OF DUTIES AND TAXES. BAILMENTS--OF WHOM THEY MAY BE ACCEPTED. PERSONAL PROPERTIES TO WHICH THE LAW OF OCCUPANCY DOES AND DOES NOT APPLY. OPENING OF WINDOWS AND DOORS TO NEIGHBORS' OR PARTNERS' PROPERTIES, AND BUILDING OF CAVES, PITS, ETC., UNDER PUBLIC GROUND. MISHNA I.: The law of hazakah (occupancy) is,

Jewish Babylonian Talmud – Tracts Baba Bathra – Rules and regulations concerning space to be left between one’s property and another’s, be it one or two kinds…

p. 55 CHAPTER II. RULES AND REGULATIONS CONCERNING SPACE TO BE LEFT BETWEEN ONE'S PROPERTY AND ANOTHER'S, BE IT OF ONE OR TWO KINDS. UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS A TENANT MAY PLACE AN OVEN IN HIS DWELLING. UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES A SHOP IN A YARD MAY BE PREVENTED. CONCERNING THE SPACE TO BE LEFT BETWEEN A CITY AND PIGEON-COOPS, TREES, BARNS, CEMETERIES, AND TANNERIES. MISHNA I.: One must not dig a well near that of his neighbor, nor a channel, cave, aqueduct, or basin, for washing, unless it be removed to a distance of at least three spans from that of his neighbor, and plastered with lime. Olive or poppy waste, dung, salt, lime, and flint-stones must also be removed to a distance of three spans, and must be

Jewish Babylonian Talmud – Tracts Baba Bathra – Rules and regulations concerning houses, yards, and fields in partnership or jointly, fences and walls, looking into other’s property…

p. 1 TRACT BABA BATHRA (LAST GATE). CHAPTER I. RULES AND REGULATIONS CONCERNING HOUSES, YARDS, AND FIELDS IN PARTNERSHIP OR CONJOINTLY; THE SHARING IN PARTITIONS, FENCES, AND WALLS; LOOKING INTO OTHERS' PROPERTY; CLAIMS PAID BEFORE DUE; DUTIES OF ONE TO HIS CITY--STREETS, ETC.; CITIZENSHIP BY LAPSE OF TIME, AND CONCERNING THE SIZE OF A YARD LIABLE TO DIVISION. MISHNA I.: Partners in a courtyard surrounded by two houses, each of them belonging to one of the partners, one of whom (or both) may desire to make a Me'hitza (partition) in the yard, the wall is to be built in the middle exactly. The material for it and all other things must be as is customary in the country; viz.: in the case of unhewn stones (of which the thickness