Help, Deuteronomy 13 and the Omphalos hypothesis

I have discovered a passage which is troubling me:

If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.

With this in mind, could God have invented all the evidence for an old earth, or for other things which contradict the Bible in order to test our faith?

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@Reggie_O_Donoghue, good but troubling passage. It’s more in the range, though, of the “God tempting Pharaoh” which I think is from the Hebrews’ poor insight into God’s nature (a la Greg Boyd and Cross Vision–the NT and Jesus is a better revelation).

There are other explanations for the temptation of Pharaoh but I certainly would be more likely, in view of comparative religion, to take our own evidence and presume that the Hebrews got it wrong than presuppositionalism.

Good passage. Thanks.

@Reggie_O_Donoghue only if you want to equate God with a false prophet. If you think the evidence for an old earth is faked then you have fallen for the “God is a trickster” belief of, let us say, another religion.


How would you explain Deut 13?

Everything is there in the Bible. The problem is with the Interpretations of the Translations. For instance, in Hebrew, “in the day”, in Chapter 2, is “be-yo-wm” Genesis 2:4 Interlinear: These are births of the heavens and of the earth in their being prepared, in the day of Jehovah God's making earth and heavens;
but we are referred to the Strong’s Number 3117: yom; day. Strong's Hebrew: 3117. יוֹם (yom) -- day

The Hebrew word for all six days in Chapter 1 of Genesis is “yo’wm” which, there is no translation for so, “yom” is used again. Genesis 1:5 Interlinear: and God calleth to the light 'Day,' and to the darkness He hath called 'Night;' and there is an evening, and there is a morning -- day one.

The NAS Exhaustive Concordance states that the Hebrew word “yom” has been used to signify
a long period of time, years, even an age, (rather, “The Creation Age”).

The LORD said, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet
his “days” shall be a hundred and twenty years.”

The Hebrew word here for “days” is ya’ma which has no definition because “yom” is used again to describe the meaning of the word so, one day (yom) can be 120 years but, the “first day” would be closer to a thousand years.

And all the “days” (yo’me/yom) that Adam lived were Nine Hundred and Thirty YEARS: and he died. Genesis 5:5 So Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the LORD a day is like
a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. II Peter 3:8

For You, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours. Psalm 90:4 ESV

The test was if a prophet was successful in telling the future (it implies it is God that gives them this information) but then tells you to follow another god then don’t do it.

I am not seeing how this would apply to a false history of the age of the earth. We aren’t talking about the future but the past for one thing. And the ancient age of the earth says nothing about following another god despite what Ken Ham says on the subject.

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@3nme Did you post this in the wrong thread?

It still implies that God could test people by deceiving them.

Yes. God will test us. We need to read the Text Book to find the answers. Surely you will not die if you eat the fruit. Come on, don’t be a square, everyone is doing it. Resist the devil and he will flee.

original post

But the test was to not turn from God. How does this apply to an ancient earth?


Have you studied Hebrew linguistics? You can’t do proper translation with Strong’s and an interlinearized text. Trust me, it’s pretty hard to do translation with a highly trained team of native speakers, the best exegetical software available, and several years of master’s level training in linguistics, anthropology, and translation theory.

Just because it occurs in idiomatic expressions in some places does not make that a valid translation choice for every situation. Yom is not being used idiomatically in Genesis 1. There are pretty extensive technical discussions on this topic here if you are interested. You have to wade through some excess blah blah.

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God puts the evidence there to test if people will turn from God or not

How about this. God can test people through acts which happen in history, which is not the same as making up lies about a false history. Not a perfect answer, but it’s the best I can think of.

So I’m backing up a bit. There are lots of confusing things in the world that mislead us–from wrong teachings and writings (from Scientology to animism to Raelians and wrong books). Does God mislead us by letting those occur? If we are born into those wrong teachings, does He blame us for following what we think is right?

Then, if He is God, does He actually lead us into the wrong way because He let us see those things? What’s the difference between that and actually sending us a false prophet? There is a nuance of difference, but at the end, it really matters whether God is just and will judge us according to what we know or not.

I think that God knows our hearts, no matter what. I really like The Last Battle quote by C S Lewis, in which Emeth, who thought he was doing right by serving Tash, found he had been serving Aslan all along. It reflects what my hopes are that God is truly the Just Judge.:

“Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, though knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.”

Better. Just like God can use crappy things that happen to us to further our sanctification and reveal his love and care. I recently had to fly home to the U.S. for emergency surgery and have spent much of the last few months in a lot of pain on my back on the couch. During the same time period, our truck broke beyond fixing and the city we live in was on the brink of armed conflict in the streets. Many well-meaning people said things to me like, “God caused this all to happen because he wanted to teach you X.” (insert your favorite lesson)

I don’t believe that God breaks our bodies (or vehicles, or communities) to teach us lessons. But I do believe that there is something profound about suffering that allows what God wants to teach us to be more visible and more easily learned. God works in the midst of our circumstances, even the crappy ones, to make us more Christ-like and to demonstrate his love and provision. But I don’t think you have to attribute the crappy stuff to God’s intention in order to see God’s hand making a way for you through the messes.

Light shines into the darkness, and sometimes the contrast makes the light seem so much brighter and noticeable. So maybe the idea is that God can even work through the idolatry of his people to glorify himself, because upon “testing” (being held up next to the true God for comparison), it clearly comes up lacking.


Good insight. Sorry you have been ill! Best wishes for improvement.

Thanks! I’ve been away from my family for six weeks, but I fly back on Friday.

that’s the worst. We’ve run into that lots in the mission field–best wishes.

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I tried to respond last week but I posted a response too many times as a new member and was not allowed to respond for three hours so i lost interest. this is what was still up when i came back . – Yup, it’s a good way to see who is loyal. God also disciplines His children. Love is Obedience. He warns us of eternal punishment. The Fear of the LORD is the beginning of Wisdom. For lack of knowledge My people are destroyed. Be wise a serpents but harmless as doves.