I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses: Searching for the Why

Searching for the why—at first glance, what could be easier? Just read the charges. But when Putin says, “Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians, too. I really don’t understand why they are persecuted”—there appears more to it than meets the eye. When Human Rights Watch says, “Russia’s religious persecution focuses almost exclusively on Jehovah’s Witnesses,” the plot thickens.
 
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Like Luke to Theophilus, here is a book that “traces everything from the start with accuracy.” Like Luke to Theophilus, here is a book that tells it from the believer’s point of view. Stripped of the red herrings that plagued Dear Mr. Putin—Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia, updated to the February 2021 present, and ever respectful towards the land of the bear, in most ebook forms it continues to be free, a labor of love.

Here are presented the modern-day Acts of Russia with regard to worship, the acts of believers and of those who oppose them. The acts of Russia have taken a dark and perplexing turn, puzzling even Putin. Can it be? The wizard who runs Oz doesn’t know how his contraption works? Here is a book that picks up where Baran’s Dissent on the Margins (2014) leaves off. The tale has not yet ended. But then, neither had the tale ended when Luke completed the first century Book of Acts.

Early in 2017, every Jehovah’s Witness in the world was invited to write letters to designated Russian officials, urging that justice be done in their case. I wrote one. Here is my expanded version.
Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Live Tweets from Ancient Egypt: Part 9

Great Courses, Bob Brier, tweets composed and sent while dog-walking. AI screwups corrected in brackets

For continuity, start with Part 1:

Queen heavy [Hatshepsut—I’ll render it right from now on] . 12 years old, royal blood. The one who married her, Todd most the second, [Thutmosis II—I’ll do this right as well, and even the other names] reigns as king for 20 years. Then talk most third [Thutmosis III—sorry] rains. [reigns]

Eventually, Hatshepsut herself begins to rain [reign] not as queen, but as king. Where’s [Wears] the false beard of authority, the hieroglyphic on her to him [tomb] reveals. Tied the beard on with chin straps.

The tallest obelisk still standing in Egypt, go to car next [Karnak] temple to see them. Hatshepsut  has them in hieroglyphic on her tomb. They weighed 250 tons. Transported by 27 barges on the Nile, quarried and S one.

The Pharaoh was always associated with Forrest [Horus], the falcon God. Hatshepsut was the female falcon. Ruled as a king, but did not hide that she was a woman.

Did Hatshepsut usurp the throne from her stepson?

The theory goes that she did, and upon her death, the stepson ruled again, became very great, and in anger he raised [erased] her name from her own tomb, substituting he, his father, and his brother.

Bob Hatshepsut doesn’t buy the theory. Had her name was a raced, [erased] but not till 20 years after the stepson began raining. [reigning] Maybe they just wanted to erase traces of a woman raining. [reigning]

Send bought [Senemut] appears, after Hatshepsut becomes a widow. Very close, were they lovers? A successful commoner, with many titles, overweight, which was a good thing in Egypt, Bob says. It means you could eat.

A pornographic relief suggest that people were talking, the workmen on break from sun, in another cool tomb, produce a porn drawing of the two carrying on. Bob describes it. Will I, on this family blog? No

Look on the kings list and you will not findHatshepsut. All traces of her erased. Maybe to cover up that one of the kings was a woman?

End of lecture 17 on Hatshepsut. Start lecture 18, on obelisk.

Obelisk comes from the Greek word for meat skewer! That’s how it gets its name.

Heliopolis, Helio, son, polis, city, is the same as the biblical On. The most obelisk ever in that city, today there is but one. And one more, if you count the one of heavy, which is wild them.be

Here Bob defines electrons, [electrum] used in the obelisk. I read it so often in the Bible. Not quite knowing what it is, it is a mixture of gold and silver.

Now Bob  Brier will discuss how to quarry and erect and obelisk. Start with granite. Aswan granite, at Egypt’s southern border.

How big were they? And unfinished one atS one [atd Aswan] weighs over 1000 tons. As big as two jumbo jets

Pounding out the obelisk, with dolomite balls, keep dropping them and they eventually chip away, it is a job probably reserved for prisoners, Bob Brier says. He’s pretty sure no one wanted the job.

Bob has used these balls. Hard work. Your lungs were filled with granite dust. And then swinging them sideways to pound out caves, so as to separate the obelisk from the earth.

Put on rollers roll to barges float them down the Nile. I don’t know. I suppose, but it’s a lot of work. No Egyptian records of this, by the way. No papyri. It is all the speculation of later historians.

After slanting it on a ramp, tie ropes to the top and pull it with “lots of guys“ to get it upright.

Now I recall the objections to theories of building the pyramids. They mostly revolve around physics, moving that much mass. Ramps supposedly would crumble under the weight. ...1/2

Nor could that weight be pushed up ramps by sheer manpower. No matter how many guys. Don’t know if Bob will come back to this topic. Maybe he has already dealt with it...2/2

Trivia question: what city in the world has more obelisks than any other? Rome. 13. Augustus moved two obelisks from Heliopolis in 10 BC.

What holds them in place? Gravity alone, Bob Brier says.

Paris has an obelisk, a gift, give it an 1830. England has two, in London, in 1877. One of them was lost at sea. Another vessel came along and claimed that, then negotiated its return. 

Bob says if he could make a feature movie, it would be the one of the obelisk coming to New York. After London got theirs, New York said they needed one too. William Vanderbilt paid for it. “Go orange [Gorringe] was a really cool guy“ says Bob Breir of the one put in charge of transport. Tons of obstacles, And he overcame them all.

Gorringe bought a transport ship cheap from the bank robbed [bankrupted] Egyptian post office, opened it up, rolled the obelisk onboard over cannonballs, contended with alcoholic Yugoslav crew.

Sailed to New York. Refused to pay outrageous landing they demanded, landed at 96 street. Transported the obelisk to Central Park, made just a block all day. Bob Brier wishes he was a kid at that time, to see it.

Bob says you should go to New York and see it in Central Park. It’s right behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gorringe wrote a book about his exploits. Should I seek it out?

Bob thanks I will list [obelisks] are just as great achievement as the pyramids, but in a different way.

 

Go to Part 10

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of April 12, 2021

Okay, we shall soon start with the witticisms that since the circuit overseer was with us last week but as moved on to the next congregation....

that means today’s Watchtower Study directed towards wives will be full-strength one hour, whereas last week’s directed towards husbands was diluted by half to give the CO time to speak.

That’s okay, because the men don’t need it anyway.

But pity the poor congregation with the circuit overseer this week! Vital counsel for the women will be cut in half! Whereas completely unnecessary counsel for the men was applied full strength the previous week.

And—let us give credit to David, (and maybe make it hot for him with his wife) that, whereas ‘mental,’ as in ‘mental turmoil’ starts with MEN, ‘maladies’ starts with MA (who are always women) AND ‘LADIES.’

....

Weekend Meeting:

Oh dear. The public speaker opened his talk by not unmuting himself.

Who is the 2nd oldest person in the Bible? Is is Jerrod? Or did the speaker just happen to mention him next in the examples that started with Methusaleh?

Caught my wife multi-tasking. It is not only me. She just dashed off a Get Well card to the 30-year-old sister who just had her tonsils removed. I had mine out long before then. But I guess you don’t have it done unless need be. What are those things for anyway? Illness-control?

It is a very competent public talk, given by a respected workhorse in the circuit. But it is also the old of Matthew 13:52: “Every public instructor, when taught respecting the kingdom of the heavens, is like a man ... who brings out of his treasure store things new and old.”

“While you throw all your anxiety on him” The speaker identifies this very as “very easy to say, very difficult to do.” My wife reminds me that he lost his son to death a few years ago. “The things seen are temporary, but the things unseen are everlasting.”

Watchtower Study:

My wife just messed me up on the song, singing not the words that are there but the words that used to be there. “That woman you gave me....”

Whoa! My wife gave the very first comment and it was an implicit endorsement of ME. Now, aren’t I ashamed of myself for saying how she messed up my singing?

The elderly sister who, if anyone did, had a perfect marriage before her husband dies, just commented on the paragraph of how there is no perfect marriage because the two partners are imperfect.

Now the paragraph of Marisol, from the United States, who says “women were constantly told that they must be equal to men in everything.” Next the one of a developing nation, who says women a treated very much as second-class citizens.

It gets worse. One sister, the vet, tells of how in some lands female babies are aborted. In another, since they are thought to arouse “evil thoughts in men,” they must cover up head to toe, so “it gets pretty extreme,” she says.

Oh no! My wife took a bite from her unfinished breakfast in the background, with back to Zoom audience. She forgot the video always watches. It looks like I am making her take a time-out.

One sister quotes the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff” as a way of dealing with issues in a marriage.

Submissiveness is a tough sell, yet the Bible recommends it for women (the focus of today) but also men, also cong members in general, also elders, also Jesus. Much emphasis on how ones “choose” to be submissive. They could choose otherwise, but they don’t.

“My goal is to forgive freely, as Jehovah does,” someone says.

Comment made on Proverbs 31 and how the household is “her household.” Micromanaging men on a power trip more often than not simply mess things up.

The brother who likes to explain things just commented.

Uh oh. Now the paragraph about Abigail, whose husband Nabal was a “good-for-nothing man.” Just what DO you do with a good-for-nothing man?

Oh no! A sister just mentioned how Nabel was a “Calebite”—it’s in the footnote. But she pronounced it more like ‘celebate’ and in her nervousness she jumbled it, my wife did a double-take, because it sounded a little like “sonuvab*tch!”

And the thing is, barring the crude word, that would have been a very accurate comment!

“What can wives learn from Abigail’s example?” is the paragraph 18 question. Will anyone say, “See if you can get David not to kill your worthless husband.”

One brother came pretty close, saying what his wife had said to him, but not the whole congregation. He said it himself: “That God rewarded her by having her no-good husband die.”

“Not looking for any unscriptural solutions,” the serious-minded Watchtower conductor adds.

In the breakout rooms after the meeting, one sister says how she might go fishing today since she still have minnows. It is a beautiful sunny day. Several have commented on the birds just outside their windows.

Now talk in the breakout room turns to how and where to get a fishing license. “Do seniors get a break?” the retired brother says. For crying out loud, it only cost $23!

Midweek Meeting: Bible Reading: Numbers 20-21

You know, I’ve never thought of this but...Moses did lose his life on account of the people. Jesus did lose his life on account of the people. Jesus is the ‘greater Moses’

Okay, okay, so Jesus didn’t pop off at the mouth, Still, what Moses did wasn’t THATbad.

If the circuit overseer gives a great talk and you say afterwards, “Great talk!” he will murmur something modest about how it is not really he, but Jehovah. He will do this even though he is perfectly capable, after all these years, of giving a great talk whether Jehovah ...1/2

is around or not. So how does it play, then, when the man Moses takes full credit for what no human in 1000 years would be able to do?...(Numbers 20:12)...2/2

Someone related how Moses’ sister Miriam died, yet there is no indication that the Israelites gave a hoot—they just kept bellyaching about their problems—and maybe if they had, Moses wouldn’t have lit into them as he later did. (Numbers 20: 1-12) #midweekmeetings

“Good job!” said my wife, after one student was counseled and didn’t get an automatic ‘G’ “I’d beat him up if he said that to me,” I answered her. (It was just for her sake. I wouldn’t really)

Another Zoom householder breathless with appreciative excitement at the prospect of another Bible discussion, just like they are in real life.

‘How can I control my temper?’ is the theme. For some reason the speaker cannot unmute and must switch devises with his wife, to sounds of audio feedback. That he kept his cool means an automatic G in my eyes—I don’t care what the counselor says.

“Even when people are rude, there’s usually an explanation,” the speaker says. “Yeah—like they’re jerks,” I tell my wife. He may even have shortened his talk to make up for the blown time—a real mark of a pro, if so.

“I embarrassed my wife tonight...I knew in my heart she was right.” Confessions of a bellyacher. “Rotten words are as disgusting as rotten food.”

Standing up to peer pressure.” “Kind of like being a puppet with your friends pulling the strings. I love these whiteboards. Sometimes at the door I would play the one on being social network smart. I’ve never had one young person not watch to the end.

Whoa! One part conductor has a blue background. Virtual or real—dunno. What I do know is that last week it was the pipes and washer/dryer in his basement.

“What lessons can we learn from Israel’s dealings with the Philistines? Jehovah’s modern-day people have faced opposition from some of the most powerful nations ever to dominate mankind...1/2

the enemies of pure worship may at times seem to prevail” Yeah, I can think of an example right now....2/2

Someone else—wasn’t me—mentioned ‘Operation North’—the 1949 deportation of almost 10K Russian JWs to Siberia. Quoted from the article. Even went over the 30 second limit!

“Should these events cause us to give in to fear or to lose faith? No! Jehovah will preserve his loyal people.” Matthew 10:28-31 quoted: “And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, fear him who can destroy both soul and body ...1/2

in in Gehenna. Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.”...2/2

One sister chimes in with Joel 3:4: “Also, what do you have against me, O Tyre and Siʹdon and all the regions of Phi·lisʹti·a? Are you repaying me for something? If you are repaying me, I will swiftly, speedily bring your repayment on your heads.”

“My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them everlasting life, and they will by no means ever be destroyed, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is something greater than all other things, ...1/2

and no one can snatch them out of the hand of the Father,” says Jesus at John 10_27-29)...2/2

 

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Mathematics and Everything—From Hannah Fry to Stephen Fry—Part 1

I see one of those mathematics shows trying to make me mad is coming up on PBS. Subject: Is math discovered? Or is it invented? The show is hosted by Hannah Fry. It is entitled: Magic Numbers. “Look hard enough at anything, mathematics is lying beneath,” she says. “Is math all in our heads, invented? Or is it an eternal physical reality, something existing out there, waiting to be discovered.”

Now, can a guy be forgiven for thinking that a dumb question? E=mc2, for example. Why should it be that way? Why should it be writable in such a simple way? Why shouldn’t it be a hopeless hodgepodge? I mean, just try writing the formula for this:

C3030D38-E63E-429D-8375-52D7965D3621

Mathematics is the alphabet with which God has written the universe,” said Galileo. Duh. It all reduces to usually very compact math.

But along come others to say that mathematics is not discovered at all. It is invented. The learned one fuss and fret, tossing away one measure that doesn’t work after another, till they finally find something that does work to describe something. You mean that there were a few thousand wanna-be Galileos describing gravity in all sorts of harebrained ways, until the master himself came along and found a way to reduce it all to a few letters and numbers?

Something about this “dissident” (which is now the mainstream) view reminds me of Larry King telling how it was with 7-Up. The soft drink was wildly successful—but only after the inventor flopped with 1-Up, 2-Up, 3-Up, 4-Up, 5-Up, and 6-Up..

So I’m in the mood to be surly. All I can say is that Paul Halpern had better stay on the right side of this. He may. He is a scientist, which is fine. He doesn’t extend it (so far as I know) to scientist-philosopher-cheerleader-atheist, which is not so fine. I am embarrassed to say I have not yet read his Synchronicity (which title implies he is not in the latter category), but I mean to. It’s on the list.

I did start to review his 2019 book, The Universe Speaks in Numbers, only it turned out to be not his book. It was from Graham Farmelo! Paul let me tweet on for quite some time before he said, “Um, you know, you’ve got the wrong guy. Graham’s a good writer, but he’s not me.” I was following them both on Twitter and I got them mixed up!

I had also almost reviewed Morris Kline’s 1985 book Mathematics and the Search for Knowledge. Alas, both reviews are still on the drawing board, and may never get off it (unless they do so right now. Alas, I can no longer find my Farmelo notes—it drives me nuts!) Kline offers gems like: “The work of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and most eighteenth-century mathematicians was...a religious quest. The search for the mathematical laws of nature was an act of devolution that would reveal the glory and grandeur of His handiwork.”

It works for me. But it wasn’t until the second, or maybe even third, reading, that I realized Kline himself doesn’t buy that view. He sides with the inventors, not the discoverers! Is that what is called “confirmation bias” that I had not noticed it before?

“Each discovery of a law of nature was hailed as evidence of God’s brilliance rather that that of the investigator,” he writes, and I should have noticed in the phrasing that Kline seems to think it wrong that it should be that way. Newton, Galileo, Kepler, and others took for granted that it was right to credit God’s brilliance rather than their own. Is it a mark of moderns that they want the credit?

Regarding a contribution of Faraday, Kline writes, “It may be too much to expect that . . . the function sine x should serve. Yet nature never ceases to accommodate itself to man’s mathematics.” Is it only me who draws the parallel of the would-be tourist who envisions paradisiac scenes of Tahiti, then goes and finds such a place, and says, “nature never ceases to accommodate itself to man’s daydreaming!” I mean, what is wrong with people? He saw Tahiti on the brochures—then he went and discovered it.

Kline elaborates: “If math is discovered, not invented, then it must exist somewhere. Where? Would not the plain answer be in the mind of God a la Galileo—god wrote the universe in the language of mathematics. But what if one does not believe in God?”

Well, I would say in that event that nature has provided a fine reason to reconsider, but if you don’t want to believe in God, you don’t want to believe in God. Kline is not so easily dissuaded.

Kline says: “Whereas until around 1850, mathematical order and harmony were believed to be inherent in the design of the universe and mathematicians strove to uncover that design, the newer view, forced on mathematicians by their own creations, is that they are the legislators who decide what the laws of the universe should be. They impose whatever plan or order succeeds in describing restricted classes of phenomena that for inexplicable reasons continue to obey the laws.”

Nah, I don’t buy it. But you might buy it if you think the “inexplicable reasons” is just “one of those things” and it doesn’t otherwise get under your skin.

“Does this last fact mean that there is an ultimate law and order that mathematicians approximate more and more successfully? There is no answer to this, but at the very least, faith in mathematical design had to be replaced by doubt,” Kline says. Is it, “There is no answer to that?” Or is it, “There is no answer that I accept to that?”

Ultimately, is it not other factors, not mathematical at all, that determine whether that “doubt” becomes “conviction?”

“Yet what of the calamities of nature-earthquakes, meteorites striking the Earth, volcanoes, plagues-the unanswered questions of cosmogony, and our ignorance of what lies beyond our ken in our own galaxy, to say nothing of other problems facing humanity, do these not deny any likelihood of ultimate order?” Note that having or not having an answer to the problem of suffering and evil influences one’s assessment of the power of mathematics. The “other problems facing humanity”—problems that he has no answer for—bother Kline. And the only reason earthquakes, meteorites striking earth, and volcanoes registers on his scale is that they cause additional “problems facing humanity.” So it all boils down to: Why is there suffering and evil?

Hannah’s Fry’s kin, fellow Brit Stephen Fry, comedian, is also obsessed with this question. Only they are not kin, but upon doing an online search, I found I was not the only person to speculate they were. Nah, there’s no relation, the fact-check site told me—they don’t even follow each other on social media. But they both in a roundabout way (Fry, through her fellow mathematician Kline) settle into the same question: Why would a supposed God of love permit evil and suffering?

Stephen Fry does more than “settle into” it. He rams it headlong, like one of those horned animals ramming his fellow on Nature just to prove ‘Who’s the man?’ He rams it so forcefully that he triggers violation of the since-repealed Irish Blasphemy law. He figures (not unreasonably) that if an answer exists to evil and suffering, the self-proclaimed experts of the clergy will have it. Since they merely issue such pablum as “God works in mysterious ways,” he erupts into fury.

“Why should I respect a mean-spirited, capricious, stupid God who creates a world that is so full of injustice and pain?....Bone cancer in children, what’s that about? How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault. It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. . . . Because the god who created this universe, if it was created by God, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish.”

I develop this topic at some length in the “Fake News” chapter of I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses —Searching for the Why. After all, “Why so Much Suffering?” is a chapter title of their basic Bible teaching book, and has been dealt with in more or less identical words throughout the Witnesses’ history. But the Witnesses stand for the “wisdom that cries out in the street” of Proverbs 1:20. “Hogwash!” the world thinkers are inclined to say. “It cries out from the quadrangles. Only ignoramuses are to be found in the street.”

 

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For a Limited Time Only—3 Barbs for that Speaker You Love to Tease

For a limited time only I have removed copyright protection on 3 playful retorts toward that speaker you love to tease:

  1. “When I hear you speak, I marvel at the wisdom of God’s organization in cutting public talks from 45 minutes to 30.”
  2. “Brother, if we ever have to give a hard-hitting message of doom, I think I would be very scared to do that. But if I had practice it might help. Can I announce it when you are scheduled to give the public talk?
  3. If, for whatever reason, turnout is noticeably light, say to that brother, “Do the friends think that you are giving the talk today?”

Now, remember. This is like spice. Don’t cover the plate with it. I don’t know what it is with guys. Once in a while it is women, but it is nearly always guys who crack non-stop (and usually corny corny corny) jokes. I think it is almost a nervous habit. These are generally very nice people, but, I mean, enough already!

Also don’t use it on anyone insecure in his speaking. Don’t use it on anyone you don’t know very well. And don’t be too cavalier about the power of a put-down, however much in jest. But with those preceding caveats—go for it.

Remember, the purpose of humor is to make the medicine go down. It is not to make you popular. If that happens, it is a by-product. And it is unpredictable—with some it will make you a pariah.

 

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Live Tweets from Ancient Egypt: Part 7

Great Courses, Bob Brier, tweets composed and sent while dog-walking. AI screwups corrected in brackets

For continuity, start with Part 1:

King Amenemhut I has a prophecy about himself. It is an Leningrad museum. He is prophesied as son of man. Previous ferrules [pharaohs] were son of Ray. [re—the sun-god] It is to say a commoner is destined to be King.

Brier thanks he may have been someone like a prime minister to the previous feral [pharaoh], not royalty.

Amenemhut does a land survey. It is as if to say “I have arrived.” The bad old days are gone. He has himself a pyramid build, just like in the good old days.

The opening of Amenemhut Pyramid, alligns north. Lines up with the North star, the north star is fixed. All the stars rotate around it. It is as if the feral [pharaoh] says I am fixed, I am just as stable.

He was murdered, Brier is pretty sure. But he had made his son as a call regent. [co-regent]How do you say the feral [pharaoh] was murdered, when the feral [pharaoh] is a God? ...1/2

How do you say the pharaoh is God when there are two coexisting ferrules? [pharaoh] Bob brings up, but doesn’t know the answer, to these questions....2/2

Six pharaohs with alternating names, Amenemhut alternates with Sesotris. Amenemhut II is grandson of Amenemhut.

Artwork that shows tired pharaohs, facially. Well-built, but tired, as the board [bored] with being feral? [pharaoh]

Papyrus exists supposedly from Amenemhut warning his son to always watch his back. ‘I was benevolent, and look where it got me,’ Very cynical papyrus, Bob Brier states.

One tired barrel [pharaoh] of that time built his pyramid with the entrance facing south, unlike all the others. To fool to robbers? It fooled Petrie the archaeologist....1/2

He found it only by excavating from the top street down until he hit the burial chamber. Even then it was an easy, for there were many passages that were dead ends...2/2

Amenemhut IV dies, he is the last of the dynasty. We don’t know too much about him. He has a temple, but it has been ruined. The dynasty ends with a queen, a sign of trouble, Bob says. Why didn’t they have a king?

Beginning of lecture 14, the second intermediate.

It is for the second time that Egypt civilization collapses almost totally, Brier says. In fact, he says Egypt is the only civilization ever to have completely collapsed twice and got its act back together both times.

If you build your pyramid in Dash sure [Dashur], Brier says, he calls it “going back to the good all days”. It is where feral Steven [Pharaoh Snefuru] build his massive pyramids. ...1/2

The others that the 12th dynasty built were not that good, the ones the intermediate. Were worse still....2/2

Did those later ferrules [pharaohs], pyramids, built in – have an inferiority complex? Bob uses the phrase. He thinks so lost half. One says, not since the days of Snefuru. A bit like the temple OK guys time [of Haggai’s time] that was good, but not like of old

And early feral [pharaoh] of that next period, Whore, [Hor] short for Horus, has a statue with two arms extended straight up from the head. Bob Lykins [likens] it to a referee signaling a field goal.

Again, Brier  point salt [out] that when the Greeks came in from the north, they saw this marshy triangular land at the mouth of the Nile. Because it was triangular, they called it the delta, their triangular letter. So all river deltas are named by the Greeks.

When Egyptology started, the motive was to prove the Bible. The first society so dedicated was called the Delta Exploration Society.

They dug in the Delta, hard to do because it has standing water, but they were looking for traces of the Israelites leaving Egypt.

In time it became known as the Egypt Exploration Society, I name it still holds.

The 14th and 13th dynasty, temples and tombs supposedly in the Delta, but the Delta is marshy and stuff has sunk down very hard to excavate and who knows if claimed temples are actually there? ...1/2

Bob doesn’t think much of the ferrules [pharaohs] of the 13th and 14th Dynasty.

Dynasty 15 is Egypt under foreigners....2/2

The Egyptians had a very special history, Brier says. They never kept records of the bad days.

The ferrules [pharaohs] of that time record no defeats. They just keep recording victories, each one closer to home, as they retreated.

This is the warmest day of the year so far. A beautiful spring day. 78. Low humidity. No box. [bugs] Mild breeze in the dog park. No wonder those agents [ancients] went bonkers in the spring, when the earth comes back to life.

I know my dog. It does not go in the water unless it is warm, to take a drink. Some dogs instantly head for it, warm day or not.

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Of this period, Egyptians worship south.[Seth] I let this pass unmentioned before, but Seth is the evil god from a prior lecture. How can a Gyptian’s were shipped [Egyptians worshipped] the evil God? Bob says we don’t really know. Maybe, he speculates...1/2

the evil god turned over a new leaf and became good....2/2

Many times, Brier says: we can’t really be sure of this, or we don’t really know much about that. I can’t help but wonder, what of the things he is sure of or thinks he does know? Is all of it that way?

The Hyksos [AI spelled this correctly—first try!] didn’t integrate well Brier says, they ruled from the north. Some have said they were the family of Joseph. Bob thinks they were illiterate. Reliefs are art work only, with no words.

There is no dynasty 16, Bob says, it’s a spurious dynasty. And he passes on to Dynasty 17, the dynasty that kick the pixels [Hyksos] out. Bob cheers this, the Egyptian‘s are back in charge—his guys.

“The hippo pot a mess [hippopotami] is in your pool are keeping me awake at night.They have to be silenced.” It’s a papyrus, from the last Hyksos king to the Prince of thieves [Thebes] 500 miles south. Inflammatory for sure.

The prince sends an army in retaliation. How does it turn out? No idea. The papyrus breaks off.

The first and the last part of the papyrus role is often no good the inside one so tightly wound that it breaks. the outside on the outside where it gets knocked around a lot.

The thieves king retaliates, dies in battle, as Bob thinks can be told from his mummy, which exists. His sons succeed in chasing the Hyksos out of Egypt, and to Palestine. Bob likes this. He sides with Egyptian’s always. They are his people.

Go to Part 8

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Live Tweets from Ancient Egypt: Part 8

Great Courses, Bob Brier, tweets composed and sent while dog-walking. AI screwups corrected in brackets

For continuity, start with Part 1:

Joseph in Egypt. Now we’re talking.

“Based upon Joseph’s interpretation of dreams, the economy of Egypt is planned for the next 14 years.” Seven lien [lean] ones, preceded by seven fat ones during which preparation’s can be made for the Lyn [lean] ones.

Bob Brier assigns everyone homework. Tonight, read Genesis 37 through 50, the account of Joseph. Then he narrates who was Joseph and what was his involvement with Egypt.

Could Joseph’s family have been the Hyksos? Not much is known of the exhaust [Hyksos] ,Brier says.

It was the Hyksos, though, who introduced the horse and cherry [chariot] up into Egypt.

Archaeology has much to say, corroborates the Bible in many things, says BobBrier, but it says very little [or did he say nothing?] about the Israelites in Egypt.

Wherever Joseph goes in Egypt, he is called Abrek. It is enigmatic because it means nothing whatsoever in Hebrew.

Bob Brier narrates the Bible story, which ends in a tearful tale of forgiveness, he even tells where the family settled. It is Goshen. Goshen is in the delta region of Egypt.

Joseph shows what a sharp businessman he is during the period of famine. “Sharp businessman” is how Bob Brier puts it.

Jacob and bombed [embalmed] by the objections. [Egyptians] Mourned for 70 days. Jacob one of only two people in the Bible to be mummified. (Joseph the other)

Joseph, the sharp businessman, bought up all the land for feral, [Pharaoh] making feral [Pharaoh] very wealthy. But he did not buy the land that had been given to the priests.

Here in our walk we come across guys blowing mulch. It’s spring time, beautiful weather today, I’ve never seen this before. Mulch being applied that way.

There is external evidence and internal evidence, Bob wire [Brier] says no external evidence exists for Joseph, what is the internal evidence? Does the story hang together? It does, Bob thinks.

There is an ancient Egyptian story roughly paralyzing peril apparel [paralleling] the tale of Joseph accused by Potiphar’s wife, called the tale of two brothers.

The name part of her [Potipher] is Egyptian, that fits, says Bob. Calling priest from the house of life to interpret a dream also would fit, says Bob Brier.

The Egyptians believed that everyone had prophetic dreams, that all dreams were prophetic. The real trick was in interpreting them.

There is a papyrus in the British Museum which is a book for interpreting dreams. When you had a dream, you went to the priest, they did not wing it, they looked it up in a book.

Bob was long troubled that they say for the Bible record, that they don’t know, but this may account for it. The dream wasn’t in the book. No lean cows, No fat cows.

Example of the British papyrus: if a man dreams of himself with a dwarf, the interpretation: bad. The expanded version: half his life is gone, Bob thinks it is because a dwarf symbolizes half a man.

The existence of the ancient Egyptian dream book to a great extent confirms how dreams are dealt with in the Joseph story, Bob Brier says. Lean cows, fat cows, they weren’t in the dream book, which Bob says might account for why they would say ‘we don’t know.’

If it’s not in the book, you’re stuck, Barb [Bob] says. So Joseph‘s account has the ring of truth to it, he says.

In Egypt there is a tradition of a seven-year famine. Inscribed in say hill [Sahel] island, I’ll place that many and scription’s were made. [It’s the place where many inscriptions were made.]

The nail den at [Nile didn’t] rise, the reason for the famine. The feral [Pharaoh] made offerings to the guards [gods], he knew enough to do that, and then go to years of plenty. That’s how it is presented.

The Joseph story is written by someone who knew Egypt, Bob Brier  states. I didn’t know if he would blow the story off as fairytale or not. He doesn’t. He’s very respectful of it.

The ring that Farrell [Pharaoh] gives to Joseph, that also is how they would do it in Egypt, a ring to the right hand man. A signet ring. A sign of authority.

When the Bible says, everybody cried out Abrek after him, that’s real Egyptian. Somebody knew what he was talking about. He deciphers the phrase as roughly meeting let God be with you.

Internally, we get a feeling for the Joseph story that it fits. It’s not archaeological evidence, but the story fits. And bombing [Enbalming] for 40 years. Morning [Mouring]  for70. For a long time that was not understood, but it turns out that is how Egyptian‘s did it.

Next is the beginning of the new kingdom: the fabulous 18th dynasty.

Queens become very important in Egypt during this time. Two capitals, Memphis in the north, thieves [Thebes in the south. The return to use of large standing armies. All items Bob Brier means to touch upon.

Women in Egypt were more important than they were in any other country in the ancient world.

Egyptologist don’t know the rules for succession of kings in Egypt. They weren’t written down. This is because of the belief that divine order would prevail. But they more or less agree that it was by marrying the right woman, the woman with the most royalty in her veins.

Reading the meta-data for this course, I note that Bob Brier was born in the Bronx, and still lives there, as he teaches at Long Island University. He narrates like someone from the Bronx. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but he does, he’s a great storyteller, not stuffy, not follow [full of] himself.

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Amos [Ahmose] brought back hands from battle, Bob briar says. They really were a nation of accountants. How do you keep track of deaths in battle? Cut off the right hand. Of those slain.  Almonds sun [Almose’s son] becomes Amenhotep.

How many times do we hear hotel [Hotep] in those dramatizations from Jehovah’s Witnesses? Would they do it today? They do make a huge deal about artwork being historically accurate in the most minute detail.

Do you know that pipe under your kitchen sink that juts around? Bob Brier poses. It’s called an elbow joint. He uses it to illustrate the course of the Nile upstream. It’s called an S trap! What kind of a plumber is he?

Todd most the first [Thutmosis I] nails the carcass of the concord [conquered] Nubian king to the proud [prow] of his ship. When it’s Sales into sibs, everyone gets the message: you don’t mess with topmost the first. [When it sails into Thebes, everyone gets the message that you don’t mess with Thutmosis I]

Thutmosis is the first feral [Pharaoh] to be buried in the valley of the Kings. That’s the fourth development Bob Brier meant to speak of, I only listed three, I had forgotten the fourth. Reuse of the valley of Kings.

As with prior burial places, the valley of the Kings is on the west side of the Nile. The west, where the sunsets, associated with the end. There is no Egyptian word for queen. What we know as queen, they actually call great wife.

Go to Part 9

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Tweeting the Meeting: Week of April 5, 2021—Visit of the Circuit Overseer

Midweek Meeting:

For the “I...Am your Inheritance” opening talk the speaker made reference to the Wilkes-Barre convention. It was worrisome when the Rochester convention was cancelled with but 3 weeks to go, but a substitution was quickly made.

Someone commented on Numbers 19:22, “ Anything the unclean one touches will be unclean...” That’s how it works, it’s why Paul says “Bad associations spoil useful habits. Sometimes good rubs off on bad, but much more likely bad on good.

Another reference to how you just can’t thumb your nose at the whole arrangement, and how that triggers punishment more than the offense itself:...1/2

“But the man who is unclean and who will not purify himself, that person must be cut off from the congregation, because he has defiled Jehovah’s sanctuary. (Numbers 19:20)...2/2

That white brother has still not figured out how to put down his brown Zoom hand. Unless it is some sort of gesture of “solidarity,” but usually we figure we are solid enough in the congregation and don’t go in for such things....1/2

He does come from a liberal background, though. Hmm....2/2

The final student talk cites a favorite Rev 4:11 verse of mine: “You are worthy, Jehovah our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they came into existence and were created.” Of course.

Covid reminders is the topic of Local Needs. Really? I suppose. “Beware Caution Fatigue” was an Governing Body update not too long ago. There is a current resurgence.

“Happy is the man who is always on guard, But whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.” Proverb 28:14. But I have my app set on Reference Bible, which says the man is “feeling dread constantly.”

(Footnote on the Study Bible is: Or ‘who is never without fear’)

A smart phone is buzzing. Is it ours? my wife says. I don’t think so—our doesn’t sound like that. I think it is the speaker’s. Once, it did that onstage, and flummoxed, he answered it! “Wrong number,” he said after listening.

17 were announced aux pioneering for the month. That’s a lot. The CO is with us. It is his 6th visit? Is he gone? It is usually 6 and out. “You want our answer?”  the CO says. “We have no idea.” Next month they expect to find out.

My guess is they will stay—not mess with things during Zoom. On the other hand...Zoom may last awhile. Life must resume.

Weekend Meeting:

It is the Circuit Overseer’s visit this week. I wrote his opening talk up separately. The other two I won’t touch much on account of spoiler-alert. He gives the same talks over the course of 6 months. The title Sunday, tho, is ‘Jesus Christ—World Conquerer—How and When?’

He does bring his Dad into the picture—he always does. Dad, teaching his son how to drive the AstroVan onto metal ramps (to change the oil) and how that is daunting at first for fear you will drive over the edge, which he did. (and I did, too)

He drove it over a 2nd time! His brother (who had done it right) was cracking up with laughter, just like mine does when he wins at Scrabble by cheating. It’s embarrassing to drive over the ramps because you have to jack the car up to pull them out.

Of course, he uses his Dad to illustrate the Greater Dad. “Son, you’ve got this,” his dad reassured him after giving more instruction. And the third time he did it right.

Alas, my Dad didn’t teach me many practical skills. I called him out on it years later. “How come you didn’t teach me car or home repair?” “I did,” the amiable fellow replied, “but you weren’t paying attention that day.”

Watchtower Study:

63 scriptures! [the conductor’s count, not mine. I just knew there were a lot.] in the Watchtower study—unusually high. What an impossible study to cut in two because the circuit overseer is visiting.

The Head of Every Man is the Christ’ is the theme. Sorry, with no paragraphs read, I can’t quite take the time to tweet.

Except for the opening verse about ‘making the word of God invalid because of your tradition.’ (Mark 7:13) I thought of Fiddler on the Roof where Tevye sings on and on about tradition.

Much as I like that musical, if it is of things on which God provides instruction (not everything is), should not he be singing ‘invalid?’

It’s sort of too bad. This article, counsel for husbands, unusually heavy with scriptures, deserves a full hour. Next week’s follow-up, counsel for wives, will not be truncated, as the CO has moved on. “That’s about right,” I tell my wife.

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Live Tweets from Ancient Egypt: Part 6

Great Courses, Bob Brier, tweets composed and sent while dog-walking. AI screwups corrected in brackets

For continuity, start with Part 1:

After the first Egyptian dynasty period of six dynasties, comes the intermediate period, About which we know almost nothing, says Bob Brier.

Kurt Mendelson gets credit; he’s written books that Bob thinks is wrong. But Bob likes that he thinks things through. Kurt thinks Egypt went into decline when priests persuaded people that temple pyramid building was wrong ...

and this led to unemployed laborers, who got so rowdy that the country went into downfall. Bob thinks he’s all wet. But who can say?

Manetho says of the first intermediate period that there were 70 Kings in 70 days. It’s not literal, Bob says. But it means turnover was high, or there were kings raining [reigning] consecutively in different places.

Bob Brier explains the period of limitations, [Lamentations] of the middle., By saying “people are complaining” it’s as good an explanation as any. And the Bible book of Lamentations is not the only such collections out there!

The value of a book of Lamentations is from the early middle period. In that, from what they are bitching about, you can piece together what went wrong in the intermediate., About which Bob says we know almost no nothing, even though they lasted as long as the current history of the United States.

Bob repeats that Snefaru was his favorite feral, [Phoraoh] for he taught the Egyptians how to build pyramids . The book of Lamentations longs for the good all days of Snefaru..

When Egyptian’s traveled, which they almost never did because Egypt was the best place on earth, and it rained, which it never did and Egypt, they said “this land has its Nile in the sky.” 

That was bad. Their Nile flowed down the middle, predicable and always there. It didn’t fall haphazardly, unpredictable and not always there.

Lamentations is about divine order and social order being turned upside down. It rather reminds of the Ecclesiastes verse of foot soldiers on horseback, and princes plodding along on fort. 

“I have seen servants on horses but princes walking on the earth just like servants.” Ecclesiastes 10:7

Egypt was the worlds largest bureaucracy, the first one to systematically tax. They text [taxed] according to how high was the Nile. The higher it was, the better your crops should have been.

Oh. OK. Another reason the intermediate is so hard to study is that the capital Memphis is gone. It is underwater. Two or 3 feet. Probe with a pole if you are excavating, hit something and somehow dig down to find what you have hit

So, the middle period consists of the 11th and 12th dynasties. I’ve got it now. The dynasties are consecutively numbered, and then imposed upon them is, first period, intermediate, middle, and so forth.

Bob likes the dynasty that built the pyramids, the first period. Which consisted of the first six Dynasty’s, though the fifth and sixth was all downhill, maybe even the fourth. I forget.

Bob has reached the point in history where he comes across the feral [Pharaoh] described as the first dog lover. He had five dogs. One of them was named Blackie. [this revelation caused Samson to stop in his tracks and suddenly take notice.]

This is not Sampson the Bible hero, who pushes apart the pillars. This is Samson the dog, who pees on them.

Egyptian’s were pet lovers. Look under any chair or table in the artwork, and there is often a pet. Samson is very interested now. Oh. Bob just said cats are the most highly prized Pat. Samson has lost interest, and pulls on his leash. Time to get a move on, he thinks.

I forget the rationale, but Bob is calling Kings by the name of Intel [Intef] now, first beginning with the 11th and 12th dynasties

The Egyptian’s loved words that were on the wedding poetic. [onomatopoetic]Cat was they ‘meaw.’ Donkey was a ‘ee-aw.’ Wine was urp. Bob thinks it is from burp, which is what you would do after much wine

Almost always. Middle kingdom burials are lying on their side, facing west. “They know where they’re going,” says Brier.

It is during the intermediate that all the tools [tombs] are robbed. That is one of the themes of limitations. [lamentations] “Kings have been cast up.” That is, they were dug up from their burial tubes and just cast on the earth as robbers made off with there stuff.

The New York Metropolitan Museum of art displays nearly everything at the house. There’s nothing in the basement. Unusual for a museum, which is often keeping the good stuff out of sight.

Winlock, 1920 Director of the New York Museum of Art, excavated in Egypt. He found many cool things. His museum has health [half], the Cairo Museum has the other half. It was the deal back then. Today, Egypt keeps all.

A certain religious figure is described by Bob as the Ka priest. Were the ‘ah’ sound, as in Brooklyn .Sorry, but my mind wandered to a used car lot where the star salesman might be called a cah priest.

Death Comes in the End, an Agatha Christie novel, was based on the Haggadah letters that Winthrop discovered. Agatha’s husband was an Egyptologist. She knew Egyptology.

The 11th dynasty, in the middle period, starts to restore Egypt to its heyday. Recall it started to go downhill beginning with the fifth dynasty of the first period. No more lectures for a while, until I get the next batch of CDs from the library.

Walking the dog, finishing up now, I’m passing through a field  and I see many discarded masks. Did you know that those things are not biodegradable? They leave trace plastic everywhere, and animals ingest them. 

And don’t get me going about plastic in the waterways. Someone this picture says more that 10K words will:

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Of course, that reminds me of the NPR story about the plastic scam. 10% of all discarded plastic has been recycled, no more. It’s not feasible to recycle, for new is cheaper, and the recycled is not as good. And the makers always knew it but tried to salve public conscience to go full steam ahead with sales.

Somehow I’ll let that stand as a metaphor for this entire system of things, that promises so much, has you believing it for decades, and only toward the end do you find it delivered just 10%, if that.

Go to Part 7

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I Knew the Punchline

The circuit overseer related how one couple divorced after 60 years marriage—or was it an anecdote he related? It hardly matters, for it served not to illustrate marriage, but to distinguish between faithful and loyal. The two partners in marriage had been faithful, but they had not been loyal.

I knew the punch line before he arrived at it. I knew it because many years ago Garrison Keillor had told the story on A Prairie Home Companion.

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An elderly couple appears before judge to say they want a divorce. He’s 95. She’s 89. “Why do you want a divorce?” the judge says. “Because we don’t like each other. We have never gotten along. It has always been awful.”  “My.gracious!” the judge asks in astonishment, “Why did you ever wait so long?”

“Well—we had to wait for the children to die. The shock would have killed them,” is the reply.

So it was with the circuit overseer’s story—they had to wait for the children to die. Keillor played it for laughs, not the tragedy it really would be. His ‘Tales from Lake Wobegon’ monologue series was immensely popular in the 80s, poking gentle fun at the people of his fictional Minnesotan home-town. One of their attributes was that they would do their duty even if it killed them.

The show’s popularity landed him on the cover of Time Magazine (leading him to write the song Mr. Coverboy). Did the divorce story filter down from Garrison to the C.O, or did both of them pick it up from an actual experience? In a country of 300 million people, it has probably happened many times.

The circuit overseer wasn’t talking about marriage—not that he hasn’t done so many times before, but he was not this time. He was speaking of loyalty to God. The word loyalty has a sticking connotation to it, he said, as he displayed a photo of foxtail barley along side one of barnacles. Both stick, but the first dislodge fairly easily. The second you cannot get off if your life depends upon it. So, with regard to sticking with God, the second is the one to go for.

It is one of those scenarios in which creation provides something that humans allow themselves to be instructed by without crediting the creator. I love posting about this and have done so before. In this case it is how scientists research the ingredients of barnacle glue so as to make better glue themselves. There are four ingredients to loyalty, the circuit overseer identified—appreciation, self-control, love, and faith—and he went on to analyze each one.

Appreciation took him to Psalm 116, the first eleven verses containing more or less eleven reasons, some overlapping, to be appreciative. This was followed up with the rhetorical verse 12 question, “What shall I repay to Jehovah for all his benefits to me?” The CO’s own take was that appreciation unexpressed was like a present wrapped but not given.

Self-control launched into controlling one’s thoughts, speech, and actions. It begins with thoughts. Thus, 2 Corinthians 10:5 came into play, that “we are bringing every thought into captivity to make it obedient to the Christ.” We are the landlords of our minds, he said, the one who decides with thought stay and which ones are evicted. Why would you ever view entertainment that plants thoughts in your mind to make that job more difficult?

Love was next, the “perfect bond of union,” according to Colossians 3:14. “Keep seeking not own advantage, but that of the other person, (1 Corinthians 10:24) does wonders for that quality, in this case the “other person” being God.

Faith was the last of four discussed. It triggered discussion of faithful, and that led into the opening anecdote of the couple seeking divorce after so many years.

It is a special week of activity when the circuit overseer hits town. Besides the ministry, he gives three talks, one of his own devising and two from Bethel. To fit two of them in on Sunday, the Watchtower Study is cut in two, and the paragraphs are not read. COs hardly ever sit though a full-length Watchtower Study. One COs wife told of a time she did that she thought it would never end.

Garrison even made mention of Jehovah’s Witnesses on his show. Reflecting the confidence you gain after you have acted in an opera, he said: “When Jehovah’s Witnesses come around, you don’t just hide. You go out and talk to them.”

 

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Live Tweets from Ancient Egypt: Part 5

Great Courses, Bob Brier, tweets composed and sent while dog-walking. AI screwups corrected in brackets

For continuity, start with Part 1:

Lecture 9-10

Oh my. The individual tweets from Egypt are coming out pretty rough. AI does a number on them. I dress them up later for the blog post, but—should I spare followers these tweets? AI somehow managed to put a Starbucks in Ancient Egypt.

I am going to rename the Pharaohs on account of AI. Not only it screws up the names, but even one or two words on either side. Sometime I can’t decipher the sentence I have tweeted. So if you read about Richard the pyramid builder, don’t worry. I’ll make it right in the blog

Or put brackets to indicate the correction.

Now Bob is talking about the Great Pyramid. And he’s about to go into conspiracy theories. Let’s see what he has to say. Incidentally the builder of the Great Pyramid was Kenny [Khufu], son of Steven [Snefaru], who built the first one

Bob relayed some stories about the pyramid, it’s magical qualities, he doesn’t buy that I had never heard myself. 

Napoleon went inside the Great Pyramid as his men marched around it. He asked to be left alone for a time. When he emerged, he was Adam.[ashen—thanks, AI] People asked him why, he would not tell them. Even on. St. Helena . He almost told someone. And then didn’t.

The Great Pyramid was built with free men, paid.Not slaves. Very little slave labor in Egypt, Bob says. The time of the Exodus was much later.

90,000 men working in three shifts.

Howard [Herodotus] the Greek historian said a Gyptian’s [Egyptians, not ‘a Gyptians’] used machines. Did he mean levers? There is no written record of how the pyramids were built. Like a trade secret.

There is a helicopter hovering 200 yards away. With a guy perched on the runner. Are they setting him down atop the power tower? I think so. Let me get it from a different angle.

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Yes. It is somehow servicing the tower. Didn’t Jehovah make flying things that are soundless? Lord, this thing is noisy!!

Oh, and in case anyone is confused, this helicopter I see while walking the dog and narrating the Egyptian tweets. I’m not saying the helicopter is in ancient Egypt.

No more than 2 inches variation of level over 2 acres. Precise, but no great need for mathematics, says Bob. Still, I am reminded of Smart Ancient Syndrome (SAS). Just once I would like to see archaeologist say, my God these people were stupid! But no, it is always about how smart they were.

Tourists enter the Great Pyramid by the robber’s entrance. It was chiseled in the ninth century. The actual entrance was unknown. Today it is known, but sealed up.

Here is a pup that just brought his ball to me on the end of a strap. Dropped it at my feet. He wants me to fling it! I do and he runs happily to fetch it. Uh oh. Now he is bringing it back.

They use core bald [“corbelling”] step ceilings to relieve the weight on pyramid ceilings. I have avoided this word because a, I wasn’t sure what it was, and B, I know full well that AI would mess it all up

It is how the upper portions of the interior rooms gradually come together in a series of step-like patterns to distribute the weight. If you were upside down, you could climb them from the top as though climbing stairs..

Two theories on how the mass of stones got so high. A long ramp. That would have been a quarter-mile. A huge undertaking in itself. Or corkscrewing around the structure as it is being erected. I think I have read massive objections to both simply

as a matter of moving that much mass. Don’t know if he will go there or not. At this point, it seems like he will breeze over them as to trivial appoint to consider.

Yes, he does not expand. But does say how you can’t get a sheet of paper between the blocks. A remarkable achievement, Bob says, and then moves on to the trick of coordinating so many people to do it. 

Oh OK. He attributes it to the power of a god-king, who can lean into people, make them do what he wants. That’s why he likes powerful kings so much. I’m not sure I buy that either. I mean, they can lean into him, but I’m still not sure with what result.

While all the other dogs run around the dog park, there are six now in total, but my old dog walks straight up to the people and stands by them. They always like him. One of them called him wise.

If I am right there Bob ignores the physical impossibility of certain feeds, or at least extreme improbability, then it is an example of how this system of things work. People become brilliant in their own fields, not worrying overmuch about how or if they link to other fields.

You really don’t get as much battery life as you think you should. No wonder they sell them by the dump truck load at Costco. The first time my batteries went dead, I didn’t recognize the problem. I had expected the narrative to slow down, as it would on a cassette tape.

Bob blows away the theories of some competing archaeologists. They’re wrong, he says. They probably are. Bob represents the majority view

Bob represents the majority view, and he has the platform for that reason, but so much of history is the victor writes the rules. How much of it is true here? He presents it all very well, but what of that verse that the rival comes through and says it all differently.

”The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.” Proverbs 18:17

The Greek archaeologists of another lecture series stated, What if you found figurines and Arches? Are they gods and temples? Or are they Barbie dolls and McDonald’s?

No, Napoleons troops did not shoot off the nose of the spanks. [Sphinx]  Napoleon would not have allowed it.. He revered history. And a prior relief of the spanks shows its nose already shut off.

One portion of the Sphinxes beard is in the Egyptian museum. Another portion in the British Museum. Egypt would like it back. Bob thinks the British would like to give it back.

But they don’t give it back due to the president. [precedent]  Give the beard back, and next thing you know, they will want the Rosetta stone back.

Almost all Egyptian tombs were west of the Nile. They even said, he’s a westerner, just as people say, ‘He’s gone south.’ Why west?  Sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Ra was the sun god.

Last king of the 6th dynasty—Pepi II, is the longest ruling king in history. Ruled from a boy till his death at 98.  Bob thinks maybe that’s why the old kingdom collapsed. He is a god-king, and thus cannot be supplanted. But he is too old to lead armies. Do I buy this?

Go to Part 6

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