Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Numbers 25-27

Happy holidays everyone! My Christmas gift to you shall be illicit sex followed by a swift and violent punishment. 

Chapter 25: 

We kick off this chapter with Israelite men having "illicit" sex with the foreign Moabite ladies. They didn't dance around describing it either. No "The Israelite men got to know the Moabite women" euphemisms.  It spells it out pretty clearly. Israelite men "made themselves impure by having illicit sex with Moabite women." I guess having sex with women who don't have at least a 1 in 3 chance of being your cousin makes you impure in this book.

Maybe God could have forgiven this non-cousin banging offense with some plaguing, but the Israelite men cross the line by worshipping the god (no capital letter for this one) of the Moabite women: Baal of Peor. Lord God insists that Moses kill all the leaders of all the people in broad daylight. Moses doesn't exactly follow this order and instead goes for a slightly more logical approach: just punishing the people who actually offended Lord God. He asks the Israelite officials to kill any of their men actually worshipping the foreign god with the fancier name.

Is your bloodlust still unquenched? Well, don't worry, we're reading the Holy Bible. An Israelite man brings a Midianite woman to hang out by the meeting tent. A guy name Phineas sees this and isn't a fan. Instead of venting his feelings through gossip or blogging, he decides to stab the Midianite woman and Israelite man through the stomach with a spear. Then a plague stops? A plague that I didn't know was happening until that sentence? Who edited this? I get that it's long, but you can't just throw a "Oh right btw there was a plague, and making a bloody mixed couple kabob put an end to it."

 Lord God's all "I like this kid, he's a real go getter." Remember how murdering thy neighbor is supposed to be a sin or whatever? Well, God doesn't.

"Because he was jealous for me among you, I didn't consume the Israelites due to my jealousy. Therefore, say: I'm now giving  him my covenant of well-being. It will be for him and his descendants a covenant of permanent priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and sought reconciliation for the Israelites."

Yeah, makes sense.

Lord God then tells Moses to go ahead and destroy the rest of the Midianites. Oh Midianites. We hardly knew ye.

Chapter 26: 

A second census is taken. Names are listed. Descendants names are listed. Land is divided among clans. I will not make you suffer as I have suffered. I offer a picture of this hideous cat instead.

Chapter 27: 

God does something weirdly progressive. He's a complicated all powerful being. A man named Zelophehad dies and doesn't have a son, only daughters. The daughters say that it is unfair that his name shouldn't be passed on just because he didn't have a son and that they should get some land. God does not smite them, burn them, or poison them, but says that they have a POINT and should get some of the land from their uncles. He then says that whenever a man dies without a son, the property should go to the daughter(s).

That shit is more progressive than a Jane Austen novel and I don't know how to feel about it. Maybe he feels bad about giving women periods? And childbirth?

Next, God tells Moses to isolate himself and prepare for death because apparently he fucked up somehow: "you rebelled against my command to show them my holiness by means of the water." Dear authors, do you think that maybe...just maybe, when important plot points happen, you could actually write that plot point out instead of having a character vaguely mention it in passing?

Moses is cool with dying and asks God to appoint a new leader. God picks some guy named Joshua. That poor son of a bitch.

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