Sunday, January 20, 2013

Moses Came Down from the Mountain

During last week's show "Up" with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, where the major topic for the day was basically "the coin", Hayes wondered aloud more or less why the opponents of government "debt" securities take such an opposition to the concept of government securities issuance, if there is not some sort of strange "moral" objection to prosperity and economic success, so he asks Prof. Kelton if there are any "limits" involved in this process and of course Dr. Kelton responds that there are REAL limitations but not financial ones... here is a quote from the transcript:
HAYES: Here`s my question for you, what are the limits then? Because  I think the thing that -- in some ways, the moral subtext of the deficit conversation is this debate about virtue, right? Virtue and kind of  licentiousness, right?
That we were -- that we run wild, right? That Moses went up to the mountain and we went crazy with the golden calf and then he came back down bringing the kind of Lord`s vengeance, right? And now, we`re going to like -- now, we`re going to get good again. And that getting good, that virtue is paying -- is reducing the deficit and paying the debt.

And you`re telling me, no, you can just be licentious all the time.
There are no limits on the behavior. We can spend as much as we want and tax as little as we want.

KELTON: Of course. I didn`t say that at all. No. There are limits.
Of course, there are limits on how much you can spend. The limits are on the real side of the economy, though, not on the financial side. And what we`re so accustomed to hearing is we can`t afford it. We can`t afford it.  It`s always the financial side.

OK, I think Hayes question might have been a softball for Prof. Kelton which she of course proceeded to smash 450 feet out of the stadium.

But Hayes inquiry here reminded me of rhetorical questions Mike used to ask on his show, where Mike would seek to understand what was it with these people where they just seemingly cannot accept the concept of economic prosperity?  Or like my friend J.D. Alt asked me a while back: "why are people so reluctant to want to hear the good news?".

So you see this question come up in a lot of people's minds like it did with Hayes here.

It's like the "debt doomsday" crowd wants humanity to suffer, you even see this lately where some zealous GOPers seem to indicate that an emergent recession would be "good for us" or some nonsense.

This is hard to understand.

Well anyway Hayes referred to Exodus where "Moses went up the mountain" and came down  to chaos and had to administer discipline of sorts but Hayes equates "debt" to the pagan rituals that Moses returned to and Hayes is off the mark here but no worries.

However Hayes does bring up Exodus, which in fact does reveal much not about "debt", but those three so-called precious metals; gold, silver and copper which we see often used as coinage or what some may term "money" in human economies throughout history; fortunately not any longer.

No mention of the metal platinum of course in Exodus ;)

Let's take a look at what Exodus does in fact tell us about what events transpired "when Moses came down from the mountain":

We'll pick this up in Exodus right before the final plague, with the people of Israel still in Egypt:
"One final contagion shall I bring on Pharaoh and Egypt; afterward he will drive you from this place.... speak in the ears of the people that they should ask, each man of his associate and each woman of her associate, articles of silver and articles of gold.  And Yahweh gave the people grace in the eyes of the Egyptians..." Ex 11
It seems that God facilitated gifts of gold and silver from the Egyptians to the Israelites just before they were to leave Egypt.

After much travel and travails, the Israelites come into the wilderness at the base of the mountain.  God calls Moses to the summit of the mountain and gives Moses the law for Israel.  Among which was this mandate:
"You shall not make anything beside Me:  no elohim of silver, or elohim of gold shall you make for yourselves."
And this mandate:
"If you obligate My people, the humble among you, with silver, you shall not be as a money lender to him; you shall not impose interest on him."
So here we have a  prohibition on certain use of these two metals.

Now Moses is called up the mountain again by God to get the stone tablets and some further instructions to receive from the people an offering of gold, silver and copper, and some other materials.  Then, Moses is given some instructions for the construction of a sanctuary which he is to construct out of the materials provided via this offering.
"From every man whose heart is willing shall you take My heave offering...: gold, silver and copper"  Ex 25
Further very detailed instructions are provided for construction of the sanctuary:
"...You will overlay it; with pure gold inside and outside... a flange of gold roundabout...cast four rings of gold for it.... make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with will make two cherubim of gold.... You will make a lampstand of pure gold... the connections shall be made of silver, their hooks of silver.... the pegs shall be made of copper.... " Ex 27
This goes on and on.  Very detailed instructions on the construction of this sanctuary and specification of the use of gold, silver and copper.  Exodus has tremendous detail on this. Great detail and it goes on and on, and identifies many uses for these metals in the construction of this sanctuary.

God gives Moses the tablets; but in the mean time down at the bottom of the mountain:
"The people saw that Moses was tardy to descend from the mountain.  So the people assembled themselves against Aaron and said to him: Rise! Make for us an elohim who shall go before us, for this Moses , the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we know not what has become of him."
"Then Aaron said to them:  Tear off the pendants of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters, and bring them to me.... He took the gold from their hands and formed it with a graving tool and made of it a molten calf..... And the people sat to eat and drink, and they rose to make fun."
(Excuse the paraphrasing please): At this point God knows what they are doing at the bottom of the mountain and implies that He would like His anger to grow hot against them and "finish them", but Moses talks Him out of it though Moses is unaware of what is going on.  Then Moses now comes down off the mountain, sees what they are doing and Moses himself gets angry and flings the tablets and breaks them.
"Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it with fire and ground it until it was pulverized; he winnowed it upon the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it." Ex 32
It seems that this gold, which is non-toxic, after drinking it would then be excreted from their bodies in fine form and broadcast across a wide area and reintroduced into the ground from whence it came.  Probably irretrievable I would think.  I wouldn't go looking for it after where it ended up anyway but then again I am not a metal-lover so I guess you never know.

Moses complains to Aaron that he let things get out of hand while he was gone, and Aaron responds that the people are "unbridled" (interesting word...), and suggests leniency.  Aaron explains that the people thought something happened to Moses and Aaron explains:
"I said to them:  Anyone who has gold tear it off yourself.  So they gave it to me, and I fling it into the fire, and this calf came forth." Ex 32
Then Moses takes further action:
"Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said: Whoever is for Yahweh come to me!  So all of the sons of Levi gathered themselves to him; and he said to them:  Thus says Yahweh Elohim of Israel:  Each man place his sword on his thigh, cross over and return from gate to gate in the camp. Each man kill his brother and each man kill his associate and each man his near friend.  The sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses, and there fell of the people in that day about three thousand men." Ex 32
Seems perhaps Moses enlisted the Levites to kill all of those who gave up their gold earrings or jewelry and thus participated in providing their gold for the creation of the calf while physically identifying themselves as they were then without gold jewelry and could be easily identified.

To summarize at this point, Moses took the gold from the calf and made the Israelites drink it in powdered form to get rid of it, and then had the ones who donated their gold earrings for the construction of the calf sought out and killed.

Then, Moses sought out a new donation of gold, silver and copper from the people to be used in the construction of the sanctuary in accordance with the instructions he had previously received from God at the top of the mountain.
"Now the whole congregation of the sons of Israel went forth from before Moses, then every man whose heart prompted him entered, and everyone whose spirit made him willing brought.... every article of gold... a heave offering of silver and copper... " Ex 35
As far as the account in Exodus where "Moses comes down from the mountain" being applicable to the concept of "debt" or prosperity, or guilt or anything else, those issues don't have anything to do with what the scripture reveals; other than the detail where the law forbid the concept of interest being imposed with silver debts among the Israelites.

Exodus indicates that gold and silver were first distributed among the people while in Egypt, then used to identify idolators among the people who were then killed after their gold was effectively confiscated and scattered for eternity, then significant other amounts of these so-called "noble metals" were received from the people in offerings which were then used in the construction of the sanctuary in accordance with God's instructions.

These three metals gold, silver and copper look like dark and dangerous stuff to play around with.  I'm thankful that we have somehow reached the point where our current law here in the U.S. authorizes the use of an alternative metal, platinum, within our monetary system that we ourselves can designate the value of via the authority of our laws of our own civil government.


John Zelnicker said...

Matt -- Fascinating post. I'm curious as to which translation of the Scriptures you are using.

Also, I was just talking to my wife and learned something. Apparently the Egyptians worshiped cows or cattle among the animals in their religious system. Thus, the choice of a calf to be made out of gold, as opposed to a camel or donkey or other animal, was a remnant of the Egyptian mode of animal worship.

You mention the "debt doomsday crowd' wanting us to suffer. From the Lindner post above referring to the gratuitous recession in the Eurozone:

"These economists argued that the ensuing social hardship may be deplorable but necessary to throw unproductive firms out of the market and then allow high productivity firms to prosper..."

This is truly sociopathic. If only people would understand the power of fiat currency to provide prosperity for all within the limits of available real resources we could make some real progress in this country.

And, if these extreme right wing Evangelicals (I hesitate to call them Christian) would actually read the Bible, they might begin to see the truth. Instead they seem to believe that suffering is good for you (meaning others, of course, not them). It is hard to understand.

Matt Franko said...


Mike on his show used to rhetorically ask why these people think this way, and my friend J Alt mentioned this in a conversation I had with him and here Hayes is also asking about this so at least some of us can see this madness and can point it out...

And yes it seems that some of the people may have picked up some bad habits while in Egypt and perhaps the zealous idolators among them had to be exposed and "weeded out" so to speak....

And yes many in Christendom just dont seem to get the concept of socio-economic justice I'm afraid... I have the false "hell doctrine" that unfortunately still remains popular within much of Christendom in view wrt this particular psychosis...

I believe the version of the OT I have cited from is a literal translation of the Septuagint which I believe is the early Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures...

This whole "coin" issue has been very revealing and continues to be... to me, one could look at an individuals reaction to the coin just as God and Moses set up these metal-lovers...

We're seeing who stands for lawlessness and who doesnt out of all of this... it's revealing...


The Rombach Report said...

As long as we are on the subject of Scriptures, Egypt and gold, the mystical number 7 crops up in the Bible in Egypt in connection with Genesis 41:27 where Joseph interprets Pharoh's dreams as a sign to prepare for 7 lean years after 7 fat years.

Meanwhile, in an issue between the BUBA and the Fed has apparently been coming to a head for some time, the Germans has requested repatriation of their gold held at the Fed. Interestingly enough, the Fed says they need seven (7) years to return the 300 tons of gold to Germany.

Here is a list of articles from zerohedge:

"What is news is that courtesy of the supplied calendar of events in the Buba statement, it will take the Fed some seven years to procure Germany's 300 tons of gold. This is the same Fed that, in its own words, holds some "216 million troy ounces of gold" or some 6720 tons, in its vault 80 feet below ground level.

Putting the above in perspective, the amount of gold that Germany will have to wait 7 years for is shown in red. The amount of gold the Fed supposedly holds, is shown in yellow with a shade of tungsten. Why it will take the Fed 7 years to part with an amount of gold that is less than 5% of its total holdings is anyone's guess...

unless of course, the bulk of the gold in the column on the right has been rehypothecated numerous times to serve as collateral for countless counterparties, and it is no longer clear just who own what to anyone."

Does anyone care to speculate about why the Fed needs 7 years to return Germany's gold?

Matt Franko said...


Our Tom here has in the past actually been able to go down in those vaults in the NY Fed and has reported here that he has seen the actual gold bars down in those vaults so he has witnessed that it is indeed there and they move it around from vault to vault depending on the country...

But why it would take 7 years to transfer it to Germany I dont get that either... but probably nothing could surprise me around any of these 3 metals.... maybe they want to send it in small shipments so that if something happens to any one shipment, they dont lose very much... you often see humans exhibit such concern for these metals...

Ron Paul a while back proposed legislation that would impose draconian 60% cuts in the safety net thus probably putting many of our fellow citizens into malnutrition while at the same time proposing legislation to audit Fort Knox to make sure the US gold was all safe and sound and snug and warm .... so manifest human derangement around these metals is pretty commonplace...

looks like it has always been with humanity as exhibited by these gold-loving idolators that had infiltrated and polluted the people of Israel and perhaps had to be exposed and dispatched with in order to give the people a good head start...


John Zelnicker said...

Seven is an important number in Qabbalistic numerology. On the "Tree of Life" it is Netzach, that is, Victory. It is also the numerical value for the Hebrew word for Desire and the Hebrew word for Riches or Power.

For those unfamiliar with Hebrew, numbers are represented by the letters, there are no separate number symbols. Therefore, all words can be reduced to a numerical value by adding the values of the letters. Traditionally, words with the same or related numerical values were considered to be closely related or similar in meaning.

Hmm, let's see: Victory, Desire, Riches and Power.

Matt Franko said...


You can't make this stuff up!

The other number is 40 that you see a lot... anything on that number?


The Rombach Report said...

Maybe it will take 7 years to mine that amount of gold from the ground?

The Rombach Report said...

"Hmm, let's see: Victory, Desire, Riches and Power."

I see your point, which reminds me of the Golden Rule, although not the one from the Bible.

"He Who Has the Gold Makes the Rules"

John Zelnicker said...

Matt -- The number 40 doesn't represent any words that seem particularly pertinent. (My resource is far from comprehensive.) However, in Rabbinic Judaism, the form of practice that developed in the Jewish diaspora after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the codification of the Babylonian Talmud in the 2nd century CE, the number 40 is considered to represent a very large, but unknown number. Thus, 40 years wandering in the desert may have been a few generations.

Rabbinic Judaism developed because there was no Temple where the required sacrifices and other rituals could be performed. It is the form of Judaism found around the world today. There is no longer any priestly class, Rabbis are simply teachers, well versed in the Torah and the Talmud.

And that is your Judaism lesson for today. :-)

The Rombach Report said...

Don't forget how it rained for 40 days and 40 nights.

Matt Franko said...


Thanks for the lesson! ;)

Get this BS that is going on:

"Yoram Hazony is frustrated. A scholar at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, he has sought to bring Judaism in conversation with Western thought. The West, he believes, has not returned the favor.

Indeed, Hazony believes that academic opinion has turned against the Hebrew Bible. Neither professors nor their students, he notes, believe it contains any “ideas of worth and interest.” "

Not here at MNE professor!