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 them...so 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 uh...now 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.