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?