I opened my Bible early one morning last week and read:
No one whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off shall bet admitted to the assembly of the Lord.
That’s an unusual way to start the day, even for me. I did not reflect long on that, because I have a vague memory as a child learning that many of the rules and regulations found in the book of Deuteronomy had roots in common sense. The dietary restriction against pork, for example, made sense because this was a nomadic tribe, and pork does not keep well.
But the rule about crushed testicles? I choose not to dwell on that.
(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 something else I found last week:)
I’d forgotten the story of Rahab, the prostitute in the early part of Joshua, who hides some Israelite spies as they look over Jericho in advance of taking it (by killing everything in it, including the donkeys). They are greeted by Rahab, who lives in the wall of the city. She hides them from the king, who hears that two spies from this awe-inspiring group have invaded. She then sends trackers off in the wrong direction, and tells the spies how to run and hide from them.
They follow her instructions, but before she lets them down outside the city wall by rope, they agree not to kill her family, so long as her family hides in her home during the siege, and she ties a crimson cord to her window.
This she does and her family is spared, and she lives among the Israelites. In fact, t he verse says “Her family has lived in Israel ever since.” So me, the literalists, wonders if the children of Rahab, who later on in the book of Hebrews, is considered a hero, are still around.