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.

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