Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Numbers 25-27

Happy holidays everyone! My Christmas gift to you shall be illicit sex followed by a swift and violent punishment. 

Chapter 25: 

We kick off this chapter with Israelite men having "illicit" sex with the foreign Moabite ladies. They didn't dance around describing it either. No "The Israelite men got to know the Moabite women" euphemisms.  It spells it out pretty clearly. Israelite men "made themselves impure by having illicit sex with Moabite women." I guess having sex with women who don't have at least a 1 in 3 chance of being your cousin makes you impure in this book.

Maybe God could have forgiven this non-cousin banging offense with some plaguing, but the Israelite men cross the line by worshipping the god (no capital letter for this one) of the Moabite women: Baal of Peor. Lord God insists that Moses kill all the leaders of all the people in broad daylight. Moses doesn't exactly follow this order and instead goes for a slightly more logical approach: just punishing the people who actually offended Lord God. He asks the Israelite officials to kill any of their men actually worshipping the foreign god with the fancier name.

Is your bloodlust still unquenched? Well, don't worry, we're reading the Holy Bible. An Israelite man brings a Midianite woman to hang out by the meeting tent. A guy name Phineas sees this and isn't a fan. Instead of venting his feelings through gossip or blogging, he decides to stab the Midianite woman and Israelite man through the stomach with a spear. Then a plague stops? A plague that I didn't know was happening until that sentence? Who edited this? I get that it's long, but you can't just throw a "Oh right btw there was a plague, and making a bloody mixed couple kabob put an end to it."

 Lord God's all "I like this kid, he's a real go getter." Remember how murdering thy neighbor is supposed to be a sin or whatever? Well, God doesn't.

"Because he was jealous for me among you, I didn't consume the Israelites due to my jealousy. Therefore, say: I'm now giving  him my covenant of well-being. It will be for him and his descendants a covenant of permanent priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and sought reconciliation for the Israelites."

Yeah, makes sense.

Lord God then tells Moses to go ahead and destroy the rest of the Midianites. Oh Midianites. We hardly knew ye.

Chapter 26: 

A second census is taken. Names are listed. Descendants names are listed. Land is divided among clans. I will not make you suffer as I have suffered. I offer a picture of this hideous cat instead.

Chapter 27: 

God does something weirdly progressive. He's a complicated all powerful being. A man named Zelophehad dies and doesn't have a son, only daughters. The daughters say that it is unfair that his name shouldn't be passed on just because he didn't have a son and that they should get some land. God does not smite them, burn them, or poison them, but says that they have a POINT and should get some of the land from their uncles. He then says that whenever a man dies without a son, the property should go to the daughter(s).

That shit is more progressive than a Jane Austen novel and I don't know how to feel about it. Maybe he feels bad about giving women periods? And childbirth?

Next, God tells Moses to isolate himself and prepare for death because apparently he fucked up somehow: "you rebelled against my command to show them my holiness by means of the water." Dear authors, do you think that maybe...just maybe, when important plot points happen, you could actually write that plot point out instead of having a character vaguely mention it in passing?

Moses is cool with dying and asks God to appoint a new leader. God picks some guy named Joshua. That poor son of a bitch.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Numbers 23- 24

Chapter 23:

If you recall from last time, King Balak is really afraid of those Israelite foreigners. He's worried about what those refugees will do to his people and his land and ends up making some rash decisions.  Decisions that seem to ignore history and logic and education. If only this story were relevant to today.

He asks Balaam, a man who's name is annoyingly similar to Balak, and yes that was confusing for me, to curse them. Balaam checks in with God and learns that the Israelites are God's chosen people. He tries to tell King Balak that he cannot help him out but Balak isn't good at understanding things.

In this chapter, Balaam goes to Balak and asks that the king build 7 altars to sacrifice 7 bulls and 7 rams. Balaam tells Balak to chill out, he's just got to go talk to God for a sec. God gives Balaam a boring poem to read to King Balak, which blesses the Israelite people and makes them uncursable. King Balak is not pleased with this betrayal, but suggests:

"Come with me, please, to another place where you'll see them. You'll see only part of them. You won't see all of them. Then curse them for me from there." 

Balak provides another 7 altars, 7 rams, and 7 bulls to sacrifice. Balaam tells him to wait a minute while he talks to God again then comes back and says another creepy poem to bless the Israelite people. King Balak is super bummed out about getting betrayed a second time. What does he suggest next you ask?

"Please come and I'll take you to another place. Perhaps God will prefer it, so that you could curse him for me from there." 

Can you guess what happens next?

King Balak's all "Why would you do this to me? I am so very surprised that after telling me several times that you could not curse the Israelite people, and after blessing them these two times, that you would betray me a third time. I really thought you'd change your mind the third time."

And Balaam's all "I literally couldn't have made my intentions any clearer."

Chapter 24: 

God comes down to tell say some creepy stuff about how he's going to break people's bones and devour nations and describes himself as a lion and also a lioness because God doesn't believe in having only one gender identity which is cool and progressive if it weren't for the bone breaking and nation devouring. He/She says that Balaam will be blessed and King Balak will be cursed.

Balak gets super pissed and is all "I can't believe you betrayed me like this."

Balaam's all "I can't believe you still can't believe I didn't do the thing I kept telling you I couldn't do literally over and over again."

Balaam thing goes on to predict the demise of Balaam's people as the Israelites get closer.

I have to say, I know Balak's super dumb, but I really thought he would have punished Balaam for screwing him over. All he did was send him home He's pretty merciful, unlike SOME lionesses I know.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Numbers 21-22

Hi 2 or 3 fans. I've been away doing life things. That will happen sometimes. Sorry about that. Moving onto chapter 21. We start off with some excitement or it could be exciting if the writers wrote better. They manage to turn war, death, and carnage into a blurb about as interesting as a Calculus textbook.


"When the Canaanite king of Arad, who ruled in the arid southern plain, heard that the Israelites were coming on the Atharim road, he fought against Israel and took some of them captive. Then Israel made a solemn promise to the LORD and said, 'If you give this people into our hands, we will completely destroy their city."'The LORD heard the voice of Israel and handed the Canaanites over. They completely destroyed them and their cities, so the name of the place is called Hormah."

Fucking yawn right?

Where's the varied sentence structure? Where's the character development? The build up? The tension?  This whole book is just: "and ridiculous name did a thing in a ridiculously named place and then some other people were involved and then some death happened and that is why this place is now named Hormah." It sounds like they're just doing a lazy summary and I'm the one who's supposed to be doing a lazy summary here.

And another thing, James and Jesus, stop throwing out all this arbitrary geography and character names at me. At least Lord of the Rings has the decency to draw me a little map for it's fake world and Game of Thrones writes up little character family trees. You can't just keep throwing these characters out with little to no development when they mean so little to the plot. This isn't American Horror Story. You can't get away with what they get away with.

The audience still waiting for a plot to develop

The Israelites whine some more about how they'd rather be slaves so naturally LORD shows them compassion and understanding until they truly love him. JK. LORD sends poisonous snakes after them until a bunch died and others begged for mercy. LORD's mercy does not involve him getting rid of the snakes, but tells Moses to do some witchcraft:

"'Make a poisonous snake and place it on a pole. Whoever is bitten can look at it and live.' Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole."

A few things.

1. How does one make a bronze snake poisonous?

2. I like that LORD doesn't take away the snakes all together. He's just all "No, no, you whiners are definitely still getting bitten repeatedly but I'll keep you from dying if you do some weird dark arts and crafts."

Moving on.

There's a repeat of what happened in chapter 20. The Israelites want to pass through Shihon and message the Amorite king. They're all "We'll be cool." and he's all "Fuck no." And then some fighting with swords happens and the Israelites take over some land and slaughtered some guy named "Og" and his family.

Chapter 22: 

While the Israelites are camping out in Moab, the Moab King, Balak, is freaked out. He's worried his land will be destroyed and apparently he didn't hear about the part where the Israelites only killed the other kings and destroyed the other lands because those kings were being dicks, so King Balak decides to be a dick. He sends men to seek out Balaam, a man who has the power to curse and bless people. Balaam is interested because he's a fan of money but says that he must first consult with Mr. God. Mr. God tells Balaam that he may not curse them ("only I'm allowed to do that") and informs Balaam that the Israelites are a blessed people.

Balaam informs King Balak's men that he cannot go with them because Mr. God said no. Balak sent more men after Balaam and offered up any sort of favor Balaam could think of and Balaam's all "None of the gold or silver could convince me. Have you heard what that Lord guy does to the people he's 'protecting?'"

That night, Lord God tells Balaam to go with King Balak's men if they summon him but to only do what Lord God specifically tells him to do. The next morning, Balaam saddles up his donkey and heads to King Balak. Lord is pissed off for reasons I don't understand and sends an angel with a sword to block Balaam's way. Balaam does not notice but his donkey does and continues to try and turn away and avoid the angel. Balaam still does not see the angel and keeps hitting his donkey because he's an unobservant animal abuser. Eventually the donkey lays down and God speaks through the donkey's mouth:

"What have I done to you that you've beaten me these three times?"

Balaam doesn't even fucking stop to think the donkey talking is weird and proceeds to argue with his donkey:

"Because you've tormented me. If I had a sword in my hand, I'd kill you now."

The donkey continues to plead with Balaam until Balaam notices the angel with the sword blocking his way and even the angel is not cool with the animal abuse:

"Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I've come out here as an adversary , because you took the road recklessly in front of me. The donkey saw me and turned away these three times. If it hadn't turned away from me, I would have just now have killed you and let it live."

I like that the angel is making Balaam feel like an asshole for hitting his donkey but're just going to murder someone because they're walking toward where you're standing in the road? I can't like...move out of the way?

Balaam's super apologetic to the angel. The personal space obsessed angel tells Balaam to continue on the road after King Balak's men.

Was I supposed to learn something from this situation? Is there some kind of moral here?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Numbers 18-20

Remember how Aaron and his sons and the Levites are priests and have priestly duties? I do and that's why most of this section was unnecessary. But we do learn that the priests can't inherit land but they do get a bunch of the purification offerings to eat, or maybe we had already learned that. We probably already learned that too. I can't keep track anymore.

Lord requires that the Israelites bring a red cow to Moses and Aaron, it must be without defect and flawless because this book is redundant. The red cow must also never have had a yoke laid on it. We can only assume that chickens in this book commonly do their laying on cows perhaps because it's the best way to transport chickens when you're on a 40 year road trip through the desert.

Lord then requires that Eleazar, the priest, you know that priest we've been going on about the whole time and definitely not someone who was just brought up just now, will slaughter the red cow in front of Moses and Aaron. Next, Eleazar must dip his finger in the blood and must forcefully and powerfully sprinkle it around the meeting tent seven times. Then, Eleazar must burn the red cow's skin...and also flesh, and blood, and dung. Eleazar must then add cedarwood, hyssop, and crimsoncloth to the fire. After, Eleazar must wash his clothes and bathe his body. The ashes of the cow then must be gathered and put outside the camp. This is a permanent regulation because reasons.

This is giving me a real witchcraft vibe, but Lord said that witches must be stoned to death. I wonder if this is because he has actually been the supreme all along and wants no competitors.

Maybe the actions of Lord would make more sense to me if he were a Jessica Lange character on American Horror Story. She is quite moody and switches from good to bad, merciful to exacting, and doesn't seem to know what the hell she wants and you're not really sure if her being on your side is all that great but you definitely know you don't want her to be against you. It's all making sense now.

The next section gets into what to do should you make contact with a dead body. The person is unclean for seven days and must be cleansed with the super special purification water, which is water and some ashes from the "purification offering" i.e. a burned up animal, on the third and seventh days. If he misses those days for cleansing, he is then unclean and must be cut off from the community. Here's a thought, maybe it was less the touching of a dead body that made him unclean and more the fact that he only showered twice a week with burned animal ash and a bit of water instead of soap. I guess coroners would be forbidden in this book. No crime solving here. Also surgeons and EMTs can probably only work every seven days.

Also Heathens

It's at this point that the Israelites are really just in a hostage situation with Lord. They whine about needing minor things like water, (BABIES) so Moses and Aaron go beg Lord. Lord tells them to hit a rock with the staff and it will produce water, so they do that, then Lord gets really pissed?

"Because you didn't trust me to show my holiness before the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land that I am giving them."

Are Moses and Aaron in trouble for asking for help? When did they indicate distrust? They did the stupid rock thing didn't they? So after everything Moses and Aaron went through, after Lord killed off Aaron's sons for basically nothing, they don't get to go to the promised land? For what exactly? WTF Lord? What the actual fuck?

The next section is a pointless interlude where the Israelites try to cross though some land in Edom. Edom's all "no" and the Israelites are all "but we'll be cool" and Edom's all "still no" and that goes on for a bit and then it comes to a exciting conclusion when the Israelites decide to walk around Edom. Side note: I thought Lord said he'd stop any Israelite enemies from hurting them as they went to the Promised Land? Why are Moses and Aaron even still trying?

In the next section, Lord demands that Aaron be punished for his "rebellion" with a bit of slow death. Moses and Aaron's son must take Aaron to the top of Mount Hor, take all his clothes, and leave him to die. The Israelites wept over Aaron's death for 30 days.

I'm struggling to get through this book. No one seems likeable anymore. I really want this Israelite section to be over because it's bumming me out. Is this all building up to an epic revenge story against Lord? Because that's the only way I see myself enjoying the rest of this book. I take back what I said about Lord being like a Jessica Lange character. He's more a Joffrey Lannister type and I hope this book ends with a wedding gone wrong.

Sorry I'm not sorry for all my lazy pop culture references.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Numbers 15-17

Hi again Holy Bible Blog Review readers. It's been a long time. I spent my summer working and studying the GRE which I passed. So now I'm back, at least until I'm a grad student.

I would summarize what we went over last time but this whole blog thing is already a summary of a book so if you need a refresher, read the past entries or don't. You're your own person. Onward!

Chapter 15: 

Lord talks about the kind of food gifts you can/should/absolutely have to give him unless you want to burn with the fire of a thousand suns. It is a very complicated system with very specific instructions about the type of food, down to the gender of the meat, the way it is burned, and the fraction that is to be given. Lord must be such a pain in the ass at restaurants.

If the whole community sins accidentally, and if you have seen how many rules there are, you can see how that can happen, the whole community must offer up a single ram to Lord.

If an individual sins accidentally, they must offer up a one year old female goat.

I can mostly get behind this. I am also more forgiving if people give me food. Though I'm not as picky as Lord. I'll accept any number of food items if you offend me accidentally or purposefully. However, Lord will not accept any food items for purposeful offenses i.e. intentional sin. Lord insists that an individual be forever cut off. He's still working on that whole merciful God thing.

The next section has a mini story. Once upon a time, the Israelites found a man gathering wood on the Sabbath. They took the man to Moses because they weren't sure what to do with him. Moses asks Lord what they should do with the man who did a thing on the Sabaath. Can you guess what Lord suggests? Is it:

a. Burns him with holy righteous fire
b. Has the whole community stone him to death in a way that's sure to bond them
c. Opens the ground beneath him to swallow him whole and also maybe a few innocent bystanders fall in
d. Forgives him and lets the man learn from the experience to then tell others of his super great leader

Hint. It's not d.

I'll tell you at the end of the blog and if you got the answer right, I want you to give yourself a little pat on the back.

The next section is Lord's fashion decree. He wants Moses and the Israelites to sew blue fringe cords on the ends of their that they will not explore the lusts of their own heart or eyes?
The fringes help her reflect on her promises to the Lord.

Chapter 16:

250 men from various tribes get all jealous that Moses gets all this special attention from Lord considering they are all supposed to be the chosen people, and try to rise up against him. Moses gets so mad that he falls on his face then suggests that they all light some incense and see if they are worthy to approach the tabernacle.

Moses tries to send for some back up and back up is having none of it. Their reasons...confuse me:

"We won't come up! Isn't it enough that you've brought us up from a land full of milk and honey to kill us in the desert so that you'd also dominate us? Moreover, you haven't brought us to a land full of milk and honey"

You took us away from the land of milk and honey! Moreover, you actually never took us to a land of milk and honey in the first place!

So everyone gets their incense together as an offering to Lord. Moses tells Lord to pay no mind to the offering from the rebels.

Lord: "Stand aside a sec, I'm going to sort this out real quick."

Moses and Aaron:  "Wait, wait, Loooord, you're not planning on killing EVERYONE are you?"

Lord: "Would...that be an issue?"

Moses and Aaron: " could just kill the individuals that were actually causing a problem and not kill the entire community?"

Lord: "Fiiiiine, but everyone better get out of the way because I'm about to open the ground up and if anyone innocent bystanders are too close to the rebels" *shrug*

Lord then tells them to melt down all the incense censers that the rebels used, melt them down, and put them on the altar. He tells them to do this since the incense censers were in Lord's presence, they are now holy. Lord's not too concerned with modesty.

The very next day, after Lord's display of "mercy" more Israelites come to complain some more. They are not pleased with all of the murdering. I wouldn't be too pleased either but at this point, I'd be smart enough to keep that shit to myself. The Israelites are not so Lord plagues them some more with some plagues.

Aaron starts an incense ritual for reconciliation because Lord really calms down when he gets a whiff of that anti stress lemon grass smell. Eventually the plaguing stops, after only about 14,700 chosen people die. There's going to be so much free open space in that Land of Milk and Honey.

Chapter 17:

Lord tells Moses to take a staff from each chief of the twelve households and to write the chiefs' names on the staffs. Aaron takes over the Levi Household because the Levis are part of his priesthood. Once they do this, Aaron's staff sprouts blossoms and almonds which is okay. Everyone in this book seems really impressed with healthy food like almonds and apples. I mean, I think I'd be more inclined to accept Aaron as special if his staff grew waffles and more waffles. Moses shows the staffs to the Israelites and then puts it on the covenant to serve as a sign to the rebels. The Israelites are not pleased.

"We are perishing. We are being destroyed. All of us are being destroyed. Anyone who approaches the LORD's dwelling will die. Are we doomed to perish?"


Is this book a long horror novel about an all powerful murderer who starts off with good intentions until he slips into madness?

Did you guess the right punishment for the wood collector? It was b. the community stoned him to death! Give yourself a pat on the back.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I Haven't Given Up On This

In case you were actually worried. I haven't forgotten or given up on this blog. I mostly just have time for working and studying for the GRE at the moment, but will return to the exciting adventures of the bible after August 17th when I take my test. Promise. And to make up for the abandonment, I'll draw another embarrassingly horrible bible related drawing.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Numbers 11-14

Chapter 11: 

Chapter 11 starts with a real bang.

"When the people complained intensely in the LORD's hearing, the LORD heard and became angry. Then the LORD's fire burned them and consumed the edges of the camp. When the people cried out to Moses, Moses prayed to the LORD, and the fire subsided."

Let's say you go to a party, and maybe you didn't really like the snacks, so you kind of mutter to your friends about the lack of variety in the snacks and then the host of that party's solution is to....set everyone and everything on fire? This is kind of like that. This whole chapter is kind of like that.

In the next section, the COI complain that they miss eating meat. They might have been slaves back in Egypt but they apparently got to eat really well. They are not at all deterred from complaining after almost being burned alive. I've been complaining a lot about the character of Lord God. We've established that he's a sensitive soul who isn't very good about criticism or disagreement and his responses are a bit sporadic and...extreme, but let's turn to the COI for a moment. They have learned nothing. They prefer slavery over a hike in the desert. They hate hiking so much that they'll continue to piss off the guy who has shown that he isn't at all afraid to kill every single member of the COI in new, painful, and creative ways. If you want to be a slave that badly, go back and be a slave. Moses, let the people go back and be slaves.

So in this section, they complain that they miss meat. Moses goes to talk to God and complains about how he's sick of trying to lead the whiny complainers. LG allows Moses to set up a committee to share his powers and take some of the workload off. LG then says that he's going to give the COI the meat they've been missing. How strangely generous of him.

"A wind from the LORD blew up and brought quails from the sea. It let them fall by the camp, about a day's journey all around the camp and about three feet deep on the ground. Then the people arose and gathered the quail all that day, all night, and all the next day." . . . "While the meat was still between their teeth and not yet consumed, the LORD's anger blazed against the people. The LORD struck the people with a very great punishment. The name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had the craving."


Chapter 12:

After a bunch of people die from eating the meat, the COI learn their lessen about questioning LG and everyone gets along famously forever.

Just kidding. Moses's sister and brother get jealous about Moses's special God conversation privileges. LG agrees to meet with that he can give Moses's sister a skin disease. Moses begs God to cure her but LG's all "just shun her to live in the wilderness for 7 days she'll be fine." I'm going to choose to believe that the brother isn't punished because God already murdered his sons and not because of penis privilege.

Chapter 13:
LG tells Moses to send scouts out to the land of Milk and Honey i.e. Canaan. When the 14 scouts return, they tell Moses to say that the land is ACTUALLY full of milk and honey. What does that mean? Are there rivers of milk? A slow sticky water slide made with honey? What?

Of course, aside from the world's worst water slide, there's a catch. The land is full of powerful giants called Nephilim, that already live there.

Chapter 14:

The COI complain that LG is sending them to their deaths in the Land of Milk and Honey. They say that they should go back to Egypt. They even say that they'll pick a new leader and head back. LET THEM. Moses tells them to seriously shut up, LG's going to hear, seriously just be quiet, you know how he gets, but it's too late. LG gets his feelings hurt. Moses and LG have a chat.

LG: "Why doesn't anybody like me? Is it the plagues and murder? Do you think I'm not doing enough of that? I'm going to go ahead and plague and murder some more."

Moses: "How about a different approach? You see, if you kill everyone who you promised you'd protect and lead to safety, other people might get the wrong idea. You  remember how you said you were a loving and forgiving God? Maybe follow up on that?"

LG: "Ok...I guess you're right. I'll be merciful. I'll let everyone 20 years and younger enter the promised land and all the oldies can just wander the desert and rot."

Moses: "That's the best you can do huh?"

LG: "But the young people still have to wander the desert for 40 years first."

When Moses passes along the news, the 20 years and older crowd decide that they'll just find the Land of Milk and Honey themselves. Now they really want to go? After all that bitching about wanting to go to Egypt? What is wrong with them?! So, they try to head to the mountains in the direction of the Land of Milk and Honey and are beaten and/or murdered by the giants.

That was all pretty bleak, but you know what? I didn't read about one single rule. No mention of ritual sacrifices, uncleanliness, or dietary restrictions. Just petty disputes, plagues, and murder. Things are starting to look up.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Numbers 7-10

Chapter 7:

God gets presents from all the chiefs. One chief comes a day and brings some gifts. There are many chiefs. There are many gifts given. Nothing cool though. Just like dishes and farm animals and stuff. This was before gift cards. I would have given God this:

Chapter 8:

The first section of this chapter is titled "The Lampstand" and it's about as exciting as you would expect.

After all the lampstand action, the Levites are offered up to God in a ram butchering and burning ceremony. God loves BBQs. God reminds everyone that the Levites are owed to him since he killed the Egyptian first born sons and no Jewish ones. Well done, God. We really owe you for not killing the children of the people whose side you said you were on.

Remember in Guardians of the Galaxy, how that blue guy was always reminding and guilting Starlord about being nice enough to not eat him when he was a child? God's kind of like that.

"Normal people don't even think about eating someone else, much less, that person having to be grateful for it."

Chapter 9:

You know that friend who just keeps telling the same stories over and over and who would never admit it if you tried to call them out on it? This section reviews the Passover rules. Lots about eating the right kind of bread on the right kind of day and being clean and not touching dead bodies in this section.

The COI go on a road trip through the desert and are led by a magical cloud. The cloud leads them on when they need to move and holds still over the area that they need to make camp at. Magical cloud eh? So....Moses first met God as a burning bush and God's a magical cloud leading them around? 

Chapter 10: 

God has Moses makes some trumpets to signal the people and God and stuff.

To illustrate the situation, Moses, the trumpet musician, must now lead his people to follow a magical cloud through the desert.

Why is everyone so uptight? This sounds like a great time.

Moses goes to talk to some guy name Hobab the slutty Kebab who isn't so sure about this music festival. He'd rather go back home and be a slave again. Moses says that the COI could really use his help in the desert finding their way, even though all they actually have to do is follow the cloud. Why is it that Hobab knows the desert any better than anyone else? Wasn't he also just a slave back in Egypt? Do the slaves get a study abroad program in order to become more well rounded and cultured slaves? Anyway, Moses promises Hobab that if he sticks by the COI and God, that God's totally going to bless him and the Land of Milk and Honey is going to be sick. Hobab gives in. I'm sure we'll hear about Hobab again and get his origin story straightened out soon and that this little exchange was in no way a pointless waste of time and plot.

Anyone else miss the sodomy and incest sections? When's that coming back?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Numbers 4-6

I am sorry for the month long hiatus. I am trying to be ambitious and prepare for grown up things right now and it hasn't left a lot of time for whatever this is. But I will try to do better for the 1-2 people who might have noticed my lack of posts and were genuinely disappointed. I'm hazy on what happened most recently, but if I had to guess, it probably involved contradictory rules that don't make any sense. Onward.

Chapter 4: 

People from different families are going to be assigned to carry stuff from the meeting tent. They are going to do this because the Israelites are going on a road trip. Aaron and his sons must prepare the things by covering the things up because if the other people see them with their worthless peasant eyes, they'll die. BECAUSE REASONS. People have very specific things they are supposed to carry. OR ELSE. Here's a taste of how exciting this chapter was for me:

"When it's time to break camp, Aaron and his sons will enter and take down the screening curtain, and they will cover the chest containing the covenant with it. Then they will place a covering of fine leather on it. They will spread a whole cloth of blue over it, and they will set its pole in place. They will spread a blue cloth on the presentation table and place on it the plates, the dishes, the owls, and the container for the drink offering. The usual bread will be on it. They will spread on them a red cloth, cover it with fine leather, and set its poles in place. They will take a blue cloth and cover "....this goes on.

Chapter 5:

"The LORD spoke to Moses: Command the Israelites to send out from the camp anyone with a skin disease, an oozing discharge, or who has become unclean from contact with a corpse. You must sent out both male and female. You must send them outside the camp so that they will not make their camp, where I live among them, unclean."

TLDR? God's a total germaphobe. He wants them to kick out all the sick folks before they they for the next place. I thought he was all powerful but he's apparently helpless around cooties.

Next, there's a section about what to do with a woman accused of adultery. Basically, if a husband gets jealous, EVEN IF HE HAS ZERO PROOF OF ANYTHING, he brings his wife to the priest. The priest throws some dust from the ground into some water and makes her drink it. It is called "the water of bitterness."

If she is guilty, her uterus will drop it likes it's hot, or as the bible puts it: "(her) womb will discharge and make (her) miscarry."  Sooo if she happens to have a particularly heavy period, or if her husband had happened to impregnate her and it didn't go well, she's fucked.

There's no mention of what happens if a woman gets jealous of her husband potentially committing adultery. That must come later right?

Chapter 6: 

This section is about men or women who want to be Nazirites, who I guess are just more special and more dedicated to LG. Can you guess what it takes? If you guessed giving up fun stuff and following arbitrary rules,  you'd be correct!

Things Nazirites can't do:

  • drink wine
  • drink brandy
  • consume wine vinegar
  • consume brandy vinegar 
  • drink grape juice
  • eat grapes
  • eat raisins
  • shave
  • cut their hair
  • go near corpses-if you do, you have to shave your head and kill some cute animals

Sooo are the Nazis somehow connected to this? Were they big fans of this book? If so, I don't remember them having crazy long hair or beards, so if that's what they were going for, they really sucked at it. 

LG has Aaron say something nice to the people for once: 

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace." Unless you fuck up the slightest minute detail of one of my hundreds of rules of course. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Numbers 1-3

Chapter 1 "First Census":

Brace yourselves for some excitement guys. We jump right into an action packed plot here in numbers. The Almighty God commands that Moses shall take a census!

Moses is to count the men over 20 who are eligible for military service. Moses's census team shall be composed of 12 men from the 12 different tribes who have awesome sci-fi warrior sounding names like Zebulun, Pedahzur, Ochran, and then there's...Dan. Dan must be such a disappointment. Even his father, Ashminadab has a cool name so it isn't a family thing. Ashminiadab must have known his son Dan's destiny and greatest achievement was to be a census taker.

The 13th tribe, the Levites, are excluded from census duties and get to babysit the Tabernacle i.e. God's special dwelling place. They must defend it with their lives. If anyone approaches the Tabernacle, the Levites will kill them. The Levites get this special honor because they were the only tribe that did not worship the golden calf and they did not hesitate to murder their loved ones who did worship the calf when God asked. The Levites are really intense teacher's pets.

Chapter 2 "Wilderness Camp's Arrangement" 

God wants each of the 12 Israeltie camps to have their own banner with a symbol of their household just like Game of Thrones. God's a huge fantasy nerd. The Camp arrangement will have the bloodthirsty, approval seeking Levites at the center guarding the tabernacle, and a square around that with 3 tribes at each side of the square.

There is no mention of what the symbols of the banners are for each tribe so I've put down suggestions for a few of them. Here's a diagram:

If you, dear one of my 3 readers, has a suggestion for a cool banner symbol for the tribes, you should put it in the comments or draw it and I'll put it in the next blog. 

Chapter 3 Aaron's Sons (or what's left of them anyway): 

As you might recall, Aaron's older sons Nadab and Abihu died from an "unauthorized offering" to God. His two left are Eleazar and Ithamar. The Levites tribe work for the remaining sons of Aaron and are a "gift" to Aaron. We're talking about slaves again right? Is this a slave thing? God goes on about how if anyone other than the Levites approach Aaron for the new priestly job, they will be put to death. God's job agency is pretty fucking serious about you showing up to the right interview.

Moses and the Census Bureau count up all the Levites that are over 1 month old because that's the age where you've really got to stop being such a freeloader.

God then goes on a bit, reminding the COI of their debt to him because he killed all the Egyptian first born sons back in Exodus but none of the Israelites sons.

"The LORD spoke to Moses: I claim the Levites from the Israelites in place of all the oldest males who open an Israelite womb. The Levites are mine because all the oldest males are mine. When I killed all the oldest males in the land of Egypt, I reserved for myself all the oldest males in Israel, both human and animals. They are mine; I am the Lord. 

God wants to make it clear that all the oldest sons in town belong to him. Apparently, God's been a teenage girl this whole time.

Now I want you to picture this as God for the rest of the book.

Now the firstborn sons belong to him but he'll graciously let the Levites stand in for the first borns and all the first borns have to do is pay 5 shekels for the Levites service. It's a lot like hiring interns.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Leviticus 20-27

I didn't think it was possible, but I actually long for the days of reading lists of men who begatted other men. I thought Exodus was a bunch of boring towards the end, but I'm just going to call it now. Leviticus is the worst. There are no redeeming qualities in this section. Why didn't the publisher catch this and cut it out in editing?

Like...I think we covered most of these rules in Exodus. We get it. God likes rules. And doling random cruel punishments. His character is very much established. I miss reading about brothers getting into fights and running across the country and other brothers selling brothers into slavery and other brothers murdering their brothers then getting sassy about it. I even miss the sodomy. I especially miss the sodomy.

I'm trying to hold out but I don't know how much longer I can push through this. I didn't think I'd ever actually say this about anything, but this section of the book has less of a plot than TWILIGHT. Get it together Jesus and James. Who is Leviticus anyway?

Chapter 20 Executions: 

Basically all the rules are repeated and God mentions that he would kindly appreciate it if all those rules breakers were executed via being stoned to death or maybe burned to death. God has unaddressed OCD issues about "cleanliness."

Worthy rule mentions:

"If someone, whether male or female, is a medium with the dead or a diviner, they must be executed. They will be stoned; their blood is on their own head."

"If anyone curses their father or mother, they must be executed."

Don't talk back to your parents.

Other reasons to be burned or stoned as a COI (Child of Israel): if you're a man and somehow manage to have sex with a man in the same way you would with a woman (clearly because you'd then be a sorcerer and as mentioned earlier, sorcerers must also be put to death), if you have sex with a daughter in law, your father's wife, have sex with a married woman, if you marry a woman and her mother, if you have sex with an animal, if you're a woman who even attempts to have sex with an animal.

Luckily if you have sex with a woman on her menstrual cycle, marry your sister, sleep with your aunt, or marry your brother's wife, you'll only be shunned and who'd want to hang out with these guys anyway?

The big takeaway here: Marrying your sister is slightly less offensive to God than sleeping with your daughter in law, father's wife, or some other married woman who isn't your sister...

Chapter 21 Priest Rules:

"None of you are allowed to make yourselves unclean by any dead person among your community except for your closest relatives: for your mother, father, son, daughter, brother; also for your unmarried sister, who is close to you because she isn't married-you may be polluted for her sake. You must not make yourself unclean for in-laws, defiling yourself by doing so."

Don't mourn your dead unless it's someone close like your mother, father, son, daughter or brother. But never mind non-virgin sisters, wives, or in-laws.

"Priests must not marry a woman who is promiscuous and defiled, nor can they marry a woman divorced from her husband, because priests must be holy to their God." ... "The high priests must marry a woman who is a virgin. He cannot marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by promiscuity. He can only marry a virgin from his own people so that he doesn't make his children impure among his people"

Priests can't hook up with women who've been "defiled" even if they were married and their husband died...even widows create impure children. You know...there seems to be a lot of hate toward vaginas and how "unclean" they mustn't be but the thing that's keeps making them unclean is when they encounter a penis. So the real question here is, what's wrong with the COI penises eh?  There's no mention of divorced, widowed or defiled men being impure because they encountered vaginas. So really it's the penises fault. Maybe they should clean their penises up and they wouldn't have these problems.

"If a daughter of a priests defiles herself by being promiscuous, she defiles her father. She must be burned with fire."

This is exactly what I'm talking about guys. You know what the solution is? The COI ladies should just be lesbians. No rule here mentions anything against it. It's only sodomy if there's a penis involved.

"None of your future descendants who have some kind of imperfection are allowed to offer their God's food. No one who has a imperfection will be allowed to make an offering: this includes anyone who is blind, crippled, disfigured, or deformed; anyone who has a broken foot or hand; anyone who is a hunchback or too small; anyone who has an eye disease, a rash, scabs, or a crushed testicle."

You must be this tall for God's love.

Chapter 22 If you have to keep saying it:

"I am the LORD." You must keep my commands and do them; I am the LORD. You must not make my holy name impure so that I will be treated as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD--the one who makes you holy and who is bringing you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the LORD."

Chapter 23 Sacred Times:

Sabbath and Passover rules AGAIN.

Chapter 24 Something actually happens:

Oh wait...what's that...a thing happens?

A boy got in a fight and used some naughty words while doing it so the Israelites stone him to death.

The lessen here. When you say bad words, you should be stoned to death.

Then there's an ominous section about not hurting or murdering others, just after the town stones a boy to death:

"If anyone kills another person, they must be executed." . . . "If someone injures a fellow citizen, they will suffer the same injury they inflicted: broken bone for broken bone, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."

Chapter 25 Slavery's cool so long as you don't do it to your own race: 

"If one of  your fellow Israelites faces financial difficulty with you and sells themselves to you, you must not make him work as a slave. Instead, they will be like a hired laborer or foreign guest to you. They will work for you until the Jubilee year, at which point the poor Israelite along with their children will be released from you" . . . "You must do this because these people are my servants--I brought them out of Egypt's land. They must not be sold as slaves." . . . "Regarding male or female slaves that you are allowed to have: You can buy a male or a female slave from the nations that are around you. You can also buy them from the foreign guests who live with you" . . . "These can belong to you as property. You can pass them on to your children as inheritance that they can own as permanent property. You can make these people work as slaves, but you must not rule harshly over your own people."

It's not cool that you guys were owned as slaves based on your race but it's totally cool for you to own foreigners as slaves and mistreat them all you want. Knock yourself out. 2 wrongs do make a right.

Chapter 26 Covenant Blessings:

God gets all jealous boyfriend again. In the first section, he says if the COI listen to him they'll live in a paradise with rain and fruit and butterflies but if they don't listen...

"I will bring horrific things: wasting diseases and fevers that make the eyes fail and drain life away" . . . "I will turn your sky to iron and your land to bronze" . . . "I will send wild animals against you, and they will kill your children" . ..  "You will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters. I will eliminate your shrines, chop down your incense altars, and pile your dead bodies on the dead bodies of your idols."

It goes on like that for awhile...

Chapter 27 Dedications:

God talks about the value of people, animals, and land that are dedicated to God. It goes without saying that women are worth less than men.


Next week we read a section called "Numbers."

Monday, April 20, 2015

Leviticus 19

Can you guess what this chapter is about? If you guessed repetitive rules, then you would be correct! I'm pretty sure everything that was said in this section was already said before. I'm guessing this is a setup for all kinds of rule breaking later in the book and maybe there will be an actual plot instead of lists and lists of least I really hope so.

So we've got your basics that seem reasonable, at first, if you don't think too hard about it or ask too many questions, such as respecting your mother or father. No word on if your mother or father are terrible or actually the kind of people who don't follow this God guy. What if your mother and father tell you to break those other rules? Like what if they want you to worship cows? God clearly hates cows. Then again, God also seems to hate when you disobey your parents. Then again, God's made it pretty clear that he'll punish the future generations of someone who disobeyed him regardless of whether or not those future generations will/have do/done anything wrong. Sometimes this God guy turns these characters into pillars of salt for looking back but maybe doesn't punish the daughters of that pillar of salt for drugging and raping their own father...there are some consistency issues with all this.

I'm not sure this God guy really knows what he wants, you know? He seems conflicted about his own identity. Like one moment he says that he's a merciful, loving God and the next he's a vengeful, I'm never going to forget that you fucked up this one little thing, God. If only God had someone to talk to about his identity crises.

Here are some highlights:

Chapter 19:

"When you sacrifice a communal sacrifice of well-being to the LORD, offer it so that it will be accepted on your account. It must be eaten on the day of your sacrifice or the following day; whatever is left over on the third day must be burned with fire" . . . "Anyone who eats it will be liable to punishment."

God isn't a fan of leftovers.

"do not pick your vineyard clean or gather up all the grapes that have fallen there. Leave these items for the poor and the immigrant"

Aw well that's actually nice.

"you must judge your fellow Israelites fairly."

"Do not stand by while your neighbor's blood is shed."

"You must not hate your fellow Israelite in your heart."

"You must not take revenge nor hold a grudge against any of your people."

These are all pretty solid rules. Too bad they only seem to apply to how Israelites treat other Israelites and not all people in general. After these nice, thoughtful rules, we get back to some weirdly specific stuff.

"Do not crossbreed your livestock, do not plant your field with two kinds of seed, and do not wear clothes made from two kinds of material."

Hmm looks like a lot of denim mixing with leather. BURN THEM ALL.

"If a man has sexual relations with a woman who is a slave engaged to another man, who hasn't yet been released or given her freedom, there must be a punishment. But they will not be put to death because she had not yet been freed. The man must bring as his compensation to the LORD at the meeting tent's entrance a ram for a compensation offering."

You can clear your conscience of your act of slave rapery by slaughtering an animal in a tent.

"You must not participate in divination or fortune telling."


"You must not cut off the hair on your forehead...


...or clips the ends of your beard."
Oh thank goodness. Tom Hardy is safe.

"Do not defile your daughter by making her sexually promiscuous or else the land will become promiscuous and full of shame."

Don't rape your daughter or your front lawn will feel embarrassed? Did I read that right?

"You must rise in the presence of an old person and respect the elderly."

No joke here. Just a nice rule to live by.

And lastly, here's a rule God keeps repeating again and again. Must be really important to him.

"When immigrants live in your land with you, you must not cheat them. Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. You must love them as yourself, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God."

Monday, April 13, 2015

Leviticus 13-18

Shockingly, these chapters are about rules. Rules about what to do about "uncleanliness."

Chapter 13-14 Skin Diseases:

There's a whole lot of discussion about what to do if you should notice a weird mark or swelling on your skin. I am very grateful not to be one of the COI. Just last week, I went the doctor for eczema and if she had been one of the priests in this book, I would have been quarantined for a week, then I would have been exiled, made to wear torn clothing, and shout "unclean." Even if my eczema got better on its own, they'd make me shave my head and body, while sprinkling bird blood all over me until I was "pure" again. Thankfully, she only prescribed steroid cream.

Chapter 15 Male Genital "Emissions":

Sperm is gross. If you ever unleash your sinful juices upon anything that isn't a monogomous fertile egg, that thing and yourself remain unclean for 8 days.

You'll have to kill some turtle doves and pigeons to make up for your uncleanliness EVERY SINGLE TIME you have an "emission." If the men actually followed through on that, turtle doves and pigeons would have become extinct several times over.

Chapter 16 Lady Stuff is Still Really Gross:

Menstruating women are gross. Keep them away from everything. Don't even look at them. Also, every time a woman menstruates, she has to kill some turtle doves and pigeons to make up for the natural thing that happens to her every month. Should have tried harder to get a Y chromosome I guess.

Who let her out of quarantine?

Chapter 17 Boring Reconciliation Ritual Stuff: 

Aaron, Moses's brother, has to purify the Tabernacle with some ritual animal killing stuff i.e. he has to clean up the crime scene of his sons' murders with more blood.

Chapter 18 Don't Have Sex with your Relatives, Seriously, None of Them:

I'm just going to quote this for you:

"No on is allowed to approach any blood relative for sexual contact: I am the LORD. You must not uncover your father's nakedness, which is  your mother's nakedness. She is your mother; you must not have sexual contact with her. You must not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife; it is your father's nakedness."

You heard him. Don't have sex with your mother or your father's wife. Those are two different people in this scenario. Hurray bigamy.

"You must not have sexual contact with your sister-regardless of whether she is your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether born into the same  household as you or outside it." 

God: "Seriously, how many different fucking ways do I need to phrase this for you?"

"You must not have sexual contact with your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter, because their nakedness is your own nakedness. You must not have sexual contact with the daughter of your father's wife, who was born into your father's family, she is your sisterYou must not have sexual contact with your father's sister; she is your father's blood relative. You must not have sexual contact with your mother's sister because she is your mother's blood relative. You will not uncover the nakedness of your father's brother-that is, you will not approach his wife for sex; she is your aunt. You must not have sexual contact with your daughter-in-law; she is your son's wife. You must not have sexual contact with her. You will not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife; it is your brother's nakedness. You must not have sexual contact with a woman and her daughter. You will not marry her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter thereby uncovering her nakedness. They are her blood relatives; it is shameful."

Some thoughts: Remember how there was this big rule about not marrying folks outside your tribe? It's kind of a big deal to them...yet you can't have sex with any relatives or the relatives of anyone you've had sex with before. How are they managing that? And how are they managing that with men clearly participating in bigamy? They are going to run out of non relative Israelites.

"You will not have sexual relations with any animal, becoming unclean by it."

I'm just really concerned that the people of the COI had to be told this...

"You must not have sexual intercourse with a man as you would with a woman."

Well, duh, I mean a man can't have sex with another man in the EXACT  SAME WAY he would with a woman. They'll of course have anal or oral sex.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Leviticus 11-12

Chapter 11: The God Diet

In order to be most holy and fit, you have to eat clean. God's all about clean eating, though a simple Paleo diet won't cut it. Here's a list of Clean and Unclean Foods.


  • Any Land Animal that has divided hooves, that are completely split, and that rechews its food.
  •  Water animals that have scales and fins
  • Four footed flying insects that have jointed legs which include: migrating locusts (no locals), any kind of bald locust, any kind of cricket, any kind of grasshopper

Some things to think about:
  1. God clearly still hates cows. 
  2. God thinks insects only have 4 legs.  


Land animals: 
  • Hares
  • Camels 
  • Rock Badgers
  • Pigs
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Lizards
  • Geckos
  • Skinks
  • Chamelons
Water animals:
  • Any that don't have scales or fins i.e.
  • lobster
  • shrimp
  • crabs
This is a den of sin

  • eagle
  • black vulture
  • bearded vulture
  • kite
  • any kind of falcon
  • any kind of raven
  • tawny owl
  • fisher owl
  • screech owl
  • white owl
  • scops owl
  • osprey 
  • stork
  • any kind of heron
  • hoopoe
  • bats
  • Any flying insect that walks on four feet

Some things to think about: 
  1. God thinks bats are birds. 
  2. God still thinks insects have only 4 legs. 
  3. God does not like the delicious kind of seafood.
  4. Rock Badgers look like this:
No Rock Badger Burritos for the Children of God

Other notable rules in this sections:
  • The COI can't eat things with paws.
  • You can't eat "swarming" things?
  • If the dead body of one of the unclean animals listed above falls on your oven or stove, you must destroy your pricey kitchen appliance because Easy Off won't cut it. 

Chapter 12: Purification After Childbirth

Here's a lesson about the birds and the bees. When a man and a woman love each other very much, they create something beautiful together and bring life into the world. Unfortunately, after the woman has carried the burden of bringing that life into the world, she is icky and must be isolated from all things holy. This is her time of "purification." She also must do this during her menstrual period. Really anything natural that happens to the female body is disgusting. 

"If a woman conceives a child and gives birth to a son, she will be unclean for seven days-just as she is during her menstrual period."..."For thirty-three days the mother will be in a state of blood purification. She must not touch anything holy or enter the sacred area until her time of purification is complete.

If the woman is lucky enough to have a child of worth, i.e. a boy, she will only have to be isolated from holy things for up to 33 days. If she however, has a girl: 

"she will be unclean for two weeks-just as she is during her menstrual period-and will be in a state of blood purification for sixty-six days.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Leviticus 6-10

Chapter 6-7:

God repeats himself. A lot.

He keeps talking to Moses about the ritual sacrifices and what everyone's supposed to do. Particularly the priests.

Chapter 8:

Moses dresses up his brother Aaron and Aaron's sons to be fabulous priests.

Chapter 9:

They have a sacrificial BBQ. God shows up and brings the fire.

"Moses and Aaron then entered the meeting tent. When they came out, they blessed the people, and the LORD's glorious presence appeared to all the people. Fire flew out from before the LORD and devoured the entirely burned offering and the fat pieces on the altar. All the people saw it. They shouted for joy and fell facedown."

Chapter 10: 

Aaron's sons have a hard time following the rules. Nadab and Abihu "each took an incense pan. They put fire and incense on them and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD." From what I gather they smear incense and fire on themselves? Which is...weird? Lord God does not appreciate the sons unauthorized fire: "Then fire flew out from before the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD."

Moses is kind of a dick to his brother and is all "See? That's what happens when we don't listen to instructions."

The lesson I took away from this is this is what happens when you invite God to your BBQ.

Aaron remains silent. Moses doesn't bat an eye before bringing in some cousins to dispose of the bodies, then tells Aaron's remaining sons that they cannot mourn their dead loved ones, his own nephews, or they will die too. Anyone else feeling that Moses is kind of a dick? Anyone?

God lays on some more good news. Aaron and his remaining sons and their descendants must remain the DD's of Israel forever:

"Both you and your sons must not drink wine or beer when you enter the meeting tent to that you don't die--that is a permanent rule throughout your future generations."

Then Moses throws a hissy fit about Aaron's remaining sons not eating goat meat at the exactly precise time and place.

"Then Moses asked about the male goat for the purification offering, and discovered that it had already been burned. He was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's remaining sons, and asked, 'Why didn't you eat the purification offering in the holy area? It's most holy, and it was assigned to you for bearing the community's punishment by making the reconciliation for them before the LORD. Since its blood wasn't brought into the sanctuary's interior, you were to have eaten it in the sanctuary, just as I was commanded."

Aaron then breaks his silence and calls Moses out for being an idiot who also can't listen to instructions.

"'Look,' Aaron said to Moses, 'today they offered their purification offerings and their entirely burned offerings before the LORD, but these things still happened to me! Would the LORD have approved if I had eaten a purification offering today?'"

Yeah, I didn't get it either. I looked it up for you. You're welcome. Basically, Aaron is saying that God wouldn't want them to eat the goat meat now because the ritual needs to be pure and now the bloodied corpses of his loved ones have made everything all icky.

What we have learned today is that Moses also has difficulty listening to instructions but isn't getting punished for it. Moses is a teacher's pet for a teacher that has the worst kind of zero tolerance policy.

Next time on the bible blog, we learn about dietary rules and presumably Moses is still a dick.