Obama’s Cairo speech and the topic of crucifixion.


Obama’s Cairo speech and the topic of  crucifixion.

President Obama held a speech in Cairo Jun 4 and quoted the Holy Quran a number of times. I looked up a few of the verses in context and stumbled on the term Crucify in the next verse in the same Sura. It seems that the punishment for murder is Crucifixion, mutilation or forced exile. Let us look at all the instances of Crucify  and compare it with the account in the Holy Bible.

The verse Obama quoted is from Sura 5 (The Feast) The Authorized English translation of the Quran, by Dr. Rashad Khalifa

[5:32] Because of this, we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. Our messengers went to them with clear proofs and revelations, but most of them, after all this, are still transgressing.

[5:33] The just retribution for those who fight GOD and His messenger, and commit horrendous crimes, is to be killed, or crucified, or to have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or to be banished from the land. This is to humiliate them in this life, then they suffer a far worse retribution in the Hereafter.

[5:34] Exempted are those who repent before you overcome them. You should know that GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

The punishments are severe indeed. Not only for murder , but also for working against GOD and His messenger.

Next comes 3 instances of Moses and the Egyptian magicians They are in Sura – 7 The Purgatory, Sura – 20 T.H. (Ta Ha) and Sura – 26 The Poets (Al-Shu`ara’)

[7:117] We (Allah) then inspired Moses: “Throw down your staff,” whereupon it swallowed whatever they fabricated.

[7:118] Thus, the truth prevailed, and what they did was nullified.

[7:119] They were defeated then and there; they were humiliated.

[7:120] The magicians fell prostrate.

[7:121] They said, “We believe in the Lord of the universe.

[7:122] “The Lord of Moses and Aaron.”

[7:123] Pharaoh said, “Did you believe in him without my permission? This must be a conspiracy you schemed in the city, in order to take its people away. You will surely find out.

[7:124] “I will cut your hands and feet on alternate sides, then I will crucify you all.”

The second recount of the same occurrence.

[20:60] Pharaoh summoned his forces, then came.

[20:61] Moses said to them, “Woe to you. Do you fabricate lies to fight GOD and thus incur His retribution? Such fabricators will surely fail.”

[20:62] They disputed among themselves, as they conferred privately.

[20:63] They said, “These two are no more than magicians who wish to take you out of your land with their magic, and to destroy your ideal way of life.

[20:64] “Let us agree upon one scheme and face them as a united front. The winner today will have the upper hand.”

[20:65] They said, “O Moses, either you throw, or we will be the first to throw.”

[20:66] He said, “You throw.” Whereupon, their ropes and sticks appeared to him, because of their magic, as if they were moving.

[20:67] Moses harbored some fear.

[20:68] We said, “Have no fear. You will prevail.

[20:69] “Throw what you hold in your right hand, and it will swallow what they fabricated. What they fabricated is no more than the scheming of a magician. The magician’s work will not succeed.”

[20:70] The magicians fell prostrate, saying, “We believe in the Lord of Aaron and Moses.”

[20:71] He said, “Did you believe in him without my permission? He must be your chief; the one who taught you magic. I will surely sever your hands and feet on alternate sides. I will crucify you on the palm trunks. You will find out which of us can inflict the worst retribution, and who outlasts whom.”

And once more the same account:

[26:43] Moses said to them “Throw what you are going to throw.”

[26:44] They threw their ropes and sticks, and said, “By Pharaoh’s majesty, we will be the victors.”

[26:45] Moses threw his staff, whereupon it swallowed what they fabricated.

[26:46] The magicians fell prostrate.

[26:47] They said, “We believe in the Lord of the universe.

[26:48] “The Lord of Moses and Aaron.”

[26:49] He said, “Did you believe with him before I give you permission? He must be your teacher, who taught you magic. You will surely find out. I will sever your hands and feet on alternate sides. I will crucify you all.”

The corresponding Old Testament version is taken from Exodus 7:

6 Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them. 7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.

8 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.”

10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the LORD had said.

Note that there is no retribution in the biblical account, and certainly no crucifixion. In fact crucifixion is not mentioned even once in the Old Testament. I have been told that crucifixion was invented by the Romans as the most visible, slow and cruel torture-execution they could think of. So if Pharaoh did crucify people, this should be general knowledge among the Egyptologists. But I have not found it so.

The next account is Joseph in jail, and Pharaoh’s dream; it is found in Sura – 12 Joseph ( Yousuf).

[12:38] “And I followed instead the religion of my ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We never set up any idols beside GOD. Such is the blessing from GOD upon us and upon the people, but most people are unappreciative.

[12:39] “O my prison mates, are several gods better, or GOD alone, the One, the Supreme?

[12:40] “You do not worship beside Him except innovations that you have made up, you and your parents. GOD has never authorized such idols. All ruling belongs to GOD, and He has ruled that you shall not worship except Him. This is the perfect religion, but most people do not know.

[12:41] “O my prison mates, one of you will be the wine butler for his lord, while the other will be crucified – the birds will eat from his head. This settles the matter about which you have inquired.”

[12:42] He then said to the one to be saved “Remember me at your lord.” Thus, the devil caused him to forget his Lord, and, consequently, he remained in prison a few more years.

[12:43] The king said, “I saw seven fat cows being devoured by seven skinny cows, and seven green spikes (of wheat), and others shriveled. O my elders, advise me regarding my dream, if you know how to interpret the dreams.”

The corresponding biblical account is found in:

Genesis 40 (NIV)

The Cupbearer and the Baker

1 Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.
After they had been in custody for some time, 5 each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.

6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why are your faces so sad today?”

8 “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.”
Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”

9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”

12 “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15 For I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”

16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread. 17 In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”

18 “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”

20 Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand, 22 but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.

23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.

Genesis 41

1 When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2 when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4 And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.

5 He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. 7 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.

8 In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.

9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10 Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12 Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13 And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was hanged. ”

(The term hang could also be impale, which means stick a spear through the body of the condemned, stick the spear in the ground and leave them  up for public exposure. Since the spear is stuck through the heart it means instant death. This too is not crucifixion.)

And finally:  Sura – 4 Women (Al-Nesaa’)

[4:157] And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of GOD. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him – they were made to think that they did. All factions who are disputing in this matter are full of doubt concerning this issue. They possess no knowledge; they only conjecture. For certain, they never killed him.

[4:158] Instead, GOD raised him to Him; GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.

Here the New Testament accounts are numerous, but also the Old Testament accounts testify of a crucifixion, but since it was not invented yet, it was described in other words

Here are two of the Old Testament accounts:

Isaiah 53

1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

11 After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied ;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

The oldest preserved copy of Isaiah was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and dates back to around 150 B.C. (or BCE for non-Christians)

Another source is:

Psalm 22

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David.

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?

2 O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, and am not silent.

3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the praise of Israel.

4 In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.

5 They cried to you and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed.

6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by men and despised by the people.

7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads:

8 “He trusts in the LORD;
let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”

9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you
even at my mother’s breast.

10 From birth I was cast upon you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.

13 Roaring lions tearing their prey
open their mouths wide against me.

14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted away within me.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.

16 Dogs have surrounded me;
a band of evil men has encircled me,
they have pierced [c] my hands and my feet.

17 I can count all my bones;
people stare and gloat over me.

18 They divide my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.

19 But you, O LORD, be not far off;
O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

20 Deliver my life from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.

21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

22 I will declare your name to my brothers;
in the congregation I will praise you.

23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!

24 For he has not despised or disdained
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.

25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows.

26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
they who seek the LORD will praise him—
may your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,

28 for dominion belongs to the LORD
and he rules over the nations.

29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.

30 Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.

31 They will proclaim his righteousness
to a people yet unborn—
for he has done it.

These two Old Testaments depicts how the Messiah must suffer and die.

Jesus quotes Psalm 22 when He is on the cross.  This is a quote from Matthew 7:

45From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 46About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

 47When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

This is significant for many reasons. The Hebrew word for GOD is Elohim and the same word in Arabic is Allah. They are both plural, and since they are semitic languages plural means three or more. Here Jesus uses the word El, which is GOD in singular. When some heard it they did not understand, since they had never heard GOD referred to in singular, so rhey thought he must mean Elijah. David penned the sentence many centuries before under the leading of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had said before “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Here is the first and only time when they are separated, by the conscious act of the Father (forsaken, not forgotten). As we saw from Isaiah 53:10 above this makes sense that He must suffer and die to take away our sins. But also , by becoming a man, He could do away with the physical sacrifice once and for all. So He died, was buried, and on the first day of the week He rose again. Forty days later He was taken up to Heaven (Ascension Day).
Luke 24:50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
Acts 1:9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11″Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Now the accounts in the Bible and the one in the Quran converge again, and we can agree:

[Sura 4:158b]GOD raised him to Him; GOD is Almighty, Most Wise. This is the Easter message of the bodily risen Messiah. The New Testament accounts go into more details about this and provide confirmation that the Old Testament prophesies indeed are true.

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