In last week’s reading of the Hebrew scriptures…

Ms768_500_339(As a reminder, I, the fundamentalist with Mad Bible Skills, have started re-reading the Bible, from Gen. 1, using a guide I loaded onto my phone. Obviously, people read the Bible and find different things. Here’s what I found last week:)

Moses was continually being told by God to rein in the Israelites, who couldn’t seem to stay faithful, despite God having brought them out of slavery in Egypt. In fact, God gets so angry at the group that they are told they won’t see the promised land.

Honestly, the Israelites don’t come off as very grown up. I look forward to the Book of Deuteronomy, where at least we make it to the Promised Land. I feel I have earned it.

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  1. It does seem to take a painfully…literally painfully…long amount of time for the Israelites to learn there’s no such things as a righteous beef with God. Or Moses. Or Aaron and Miriam for that matter. Even Moses seems incapable of resisting the urge to piss off a God so obviously fond of plagues and fiery serpents…among other things. Moses gets off easy, in my opinion.

    (And there’s a discussion possible here on Miriam and the role of women…and how they’re treated.)

    Speaking of Moses, he who speaketh for the High and Almighty, it’s always interesting to discover things that rarely, if ever, make it into the popular characterization of the Prophet and Deliverer:

    13) Moses, Eleazar the priest and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. 14) Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle.
    15) “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16) “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. 17) Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
    Numbers 31:13-18 (NIV)

    I can just see Charlton Heston waving his staff and calling out those instructions to soldiers who’ve already won the war. Or Ted Cruz maybe…with Bickle as the priest. (And again…the discussion potential on the role of women.)

    I was always interested in the notions of “pollution of the land by blood” and “cities of refuge” as well. Is this all God’s Law, or something dreamed up by lawyers to keep the shekels flowing?

    One begins to see why someone…either God or Man…(and probably Woman)…might begin to see some necessity for a re-conception of the Christian God and a rebranding the religion that sustains Him. A metamorphosis into a structure that is ennobling, life-affirming and uplifting. (And maleable?) A New Testament. And a new public relations structure to sell the fresh brand.

    1. Sadly, I keep flashing back to Charlton Heston, as well. Dammit. It’s just a long slog for those Israelites and to be honest, I think I’d get cranky, too.

      1. Cranky: ?If God didn’t want me to be scared of giants, He could have made me a little taller. And just between you and me…the fiery serpents? Not helping.”

  2. I am behind you, but am slogging through and staying the course. I am disgusted by the constant requirement of killing birds and sheep and can’t wait to get beyond this part.

    1. I’m in Deut., right after the 10 commandment stones are handed down. There’s a passage that says if the Israelites stray, God will strike them down — and then a few verses that, they are reassured that God is a merciful God. Uh…

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