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.