Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Exodus 20-21

It's time for God to come on down and tell his holy chosen COI (Children of Israel) all the rules they now have to follow now that they're in a relationship with him. There's a lot of them. Nobody seems to question them. I might have raised my hands a few times.

This is me the whole time. 

Chapter 20: 

They can't have any other Gods. This is a monogamous relationship. God doesn't want them to worship any other idols. This is where things get a little intense:

"Do not bow down to them or worship them, because I, the LORD your God, am a passionate God. I punish children for their parents' sins even to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me. But I am loyal and gracious to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments."

See what I mean about the intensity of this relationship? I would like to direct the COI to this article about the early warnings signs of an abusive relationship. Some of those signs are "He will want to commit--quickly" and "He will want you all to himself."

God doesn't want the COI to go throwing around his name like it doesn't have any meaning. He doesn't want them working on Sundays which sounds fine to me. I'm all for vacations where I can tell people I physically can't work or my God boyfriend will absolutely lose his shit. God wants you to honor your father and mother. This is where I would raise my hand and ask things like "What if my mother and father hate you and are cheating on you with other Gods? Should I still honor their wishes then? Or does it even matter because you said earlier that you would punish me for the sins of my family whether or not I actually committed those sins?" But nobody in the book asked that question so I'm not sure what God would have to say to that one.

Other basic rules involve not killing, committing adultery, stealing, and lying about your neighbor. Here I would shrug and mostly agree. Mostly. Then comes the more hand raising parts like not desiring your neighbor's house, wife, servants, ox, donkeys, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor. It's not the gist of it that bothers me so much as the part where he threw in the neighbor's wife as a belonging equal to donkeys and servants...

Apparently God doesn't make time for a question answer session and leaves the COI shivering in fear with a thunder and lightening display before peacing out. The COI suggest that maybe only Moses talks to them from now on because God is super intense and kind of freaks them out. Moses is all "He's cool guys. You've just got to get to know him. And never ever break one of his many rules or contradict him and everything will be ok."

God passes some more rules along to Moses about worship. It's all basically just "I want you to make the worshipping altar out of this material instead of this kind" some might call him high maintenance but he's just been around long enough to know what he wants, you know? Then there's this sentence thrown in there:

"Don't climb onto my altar using steps: then your genitals won't be exposed by doing so."

Make what you will out of that.

Chapter 21:

This is a section on what to do with your slaves. It says "Free them. It's wrong to own human beings." Just kidding. The instructions are very very detailed. You can own a male Hebrew slave for 6 years but on the 7th year, you have to free him. If he started out single, he leaves single. As in if the slave married some other slaves and had children with her, the wife and children must still remain slaves. If the male slave does not want to leave his family behind, and remain a slave, he has to get an ear piercing and remain a slave for life.

See above: A slave. 

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, a different sort of sweet sixteen tradition, she is not to be treated the same way as a male slave. Of course. If she doesn't please the master, whatever the hell that means, she must be sold back to the family where I'm sure she'll be welcomed with open arms. If he makes her his son's wife, she must get daughter benefits which I'm sure are awesome. Basically what I'm getting from this is lady slaves remain slaves for life vs. the male slave's 6 years unless they displease the master in some way.

Next there's a section on human violence. Basically if you kill or hit anyone you die. If you kill someone on accident, the Lord will bring you to safety. So remember if you're a jury member on a murder trial. If they didn't do it, God would have hid them away and the police never would have found them in the first place. Glad we could save everybody so much time and taxpayer money with that one. If you hit your mother or father, you die. It's cool if they hit you though because children are barely people. If you kidnap someone, you die...which is totally different from buying someone as a slave against their will. Two totally different things.

If you hit someone with a stone or your fist and they die, you die but if they're only knocked out for a couple of days, you're totally fine you just have to pay off the labor costs they missed out on. If you hit a slave with a rod and they die on the spot, you will be punished, not die, just punished but if the slave is only out cold for a couple of days, you're totally fine, no fines to pay because that slave is your property. If fighting people injure a pregnant woman and cause a miscarriage, they have to pay a fine to be determined by the husband.

Then there's this really ominous quote:

"If there is further injury, then you will give a life for a life, (unless it's a slave because slaves don't count) an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, a burn for a burn, a bruise for a bruise, a wound for a wound."

Then the chapter ends on a section that is entirely too long about the semantics of oxen violence and fines. Like just so long and detailed. Way more detailed than what happens to violence against actual human beings.

Next time on the bible blog: More rules. Just so many rules.

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