Israeli Researcher Suggests Moses, Followers Were High On Drugs

An Israeli researcher suggests the biblical Israelites who followed Moses may have been inspired by substances closer to earth, according to a Reuters report.

Benny Shanon, a psychology professor at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, writes that the ancient Jews may have been high on a hallucinogenic plant when the prophet delivered the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, Reuters reported.

The thunder, lightning and blaring of a trumpet recorded in the Book of Exodus could have been the imaginings of a people in an “altered state of awareness,” from two plants found in the Sinai desert, Shanon writes in the British journal “Time and Mind,” said Reuters.

Sharon writes in ‘Time and Mind’ that the two plants contains psychoactive molecules as those found in the powerful Amazonian hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca, reported Reuters.

Shanon writes that he has “partaken of the … brew about 160 times in various locales and contexts.”


“On such occasions, one often feels that in seeing the light, one is encountering the ground of all Being … many identify this power as God,” Shanon says.

Orthodox rabbi Yuval Sherlow told Israel Radio: “The Bible is trying to convey a very profound event. We have to fear not for the fate of the biblical Moses, but for the fate of science.”

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This post was last updated: Friday, October 31, 2014 at 12:05 PM, Central European Time (CET)