Reason 5 - Children of Israel and Heroes of the Torah Depicted Negatively
The Children of Israel and the heroic figures of The Torah are often depicted negatively
Not only are the Children of Israel as a people sometimes presented in a negative light but so are the story’s heroes including Isaac, who was duped by Jacob’s pretending to be Esau, Jacob, who misled his father, Rebecca, who assisted Jacob to do so, Joseph, who boasted to his brothers of his dreams, his brothers who wished to kill him put him in a pit and allowed him to be sold into slavery and then misled Jacob into thinking he had been killed, Jacob who complained to Pharaoh about the suffering and shortness of his life, Moses who killed an Egyptian, and in the desert defied God by striking the rock to produce water instead of speaking to it, and Moses then being denied entry into the Promised Land, Aaron, who assisted the Children of Israel in making the Golden Calf, Miriam, who spoke ill of Moses and was struck by leprosy for doing so. No people concocting a story of its heroes would include such a litany of negativity. Cf Rabbi Pinchas Taylor in Pillars of Faith on pages 176-7.
In Dennis Prager’s The Rational Bible – Genesis he says on pages xxiii– xxiv:
The other major reason I am convinced the Torah is not man-made is it so often depicts the people of the Book, the Jews (“Israelites”, “Hebrews”) in a negative light. Had Jews made up what is, after all, their book and their story, they would never have portrayed themselves as critically and even negatively as the Torah (and the rest of the Hebrew Bible) often does. There is no parallel to this in any ancient national, or any religious, literature in the world. (my emphasis)