Monday, February 15, 2010

Ah, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers

Hubby and I are now in Numbers - the book of wanderings, the book of the census of Israel.

Gotta say that Exodus is totally fun. It's like a God production. Hey, God himself said so. This massive plague and destruction of Pharoah was made so that people would believe and talk about it forever. From God's show-down with Pharoah, to God presenting himself to his people (you can feel the excitement), to the directions to make the ark of the covenant, the altar and the tabernacle, to the total building up of them. Talk about organization! And then there's the culmination after the tabernacle is built and God enters the tabernacle to live with his people. WOW! Super-exciting!

What really got me was the way God proclaimed himself! I am The Lord! Then he expands a bit. But yes! He seemed to be overjoyed at the prospect of meeting and living with his people. Also, before that --when he says to the children of Moses, "Your forefathers knew me as the Lord Almighty but now I tell you my name. It is The Lord. I am." Just very sweet. Also a favorite...when Moses saw the glory of God, seeing God's back parts -- wow, the glory of that. The cherubim go around the throne saying holy, holy, holy. What is God's part like? What other multiverses and aspects of his beings are there to see!

Okay, so stuff that made me go....uhmmm

Joseph had commanded his family to take up his body and bring it into the Joseph's body is being carried around by the people as well as the ark. Uhm... so there are the people carrying the ark and carrying a dead corpse as well -- cause they hadn't gone into the promised land yet.

The list of sexual sins in Leviticus: I wonder when these laws began to take affect. The sin against marrying one's half-sister for instance. Abraham was married to his half-sister. So the law didn't grandfather all the way back. But among those 1.5 million folks travelling across the desert...I suspect some of these folks must've been married to folks they shouldn't have been. We don't hear anything about folks suddenly tossing their wife-sisters -- or tossing their father's widow-- when they heard Moses make this law. So maybe there was a cut-off line.

The son of the the Egyptian who cursed God. I always wondered why this guy cursed God. Sure we get mad and have fights so I understand why he was fighting in the camp. But why curse God? Just a wild guess here but I suspect someone insulted him because he wasn't fully Israelite and he came back with "F*ck you and f*ck YHWH too." He probably was specifically mad at their God because the guy who was fighting with him had said something theological to annoy him. Just a thought.

The Levites -- I think I finally figured out why God chose them as the holy tribe. From what I saw about Levi in Genesis he was a murderer (the murder of prince Shechem) and Jacob had cursed him. But he might have had a relationship with God that we don't see. After all, when Moses called people to his side -- after he saw the partying after the Golden Calf etc-- it was the Levites who came to his side. Of course they might have gone to his side because Moses was from their tribe. But I suspect Levi had taught them something very deep that had stayed with them throughout the generation.

Numbers -- Yes, the Baalam story. Christians get worked up about God supposedly changing his mind by telling Baalam not to go to the prince then supposedly "changing his mind" and telling him to the princes. (Not really worked up about the horse, though.) But to me this is a theological problem caused by bad translating. In most Bibles around the world, God says to Balaam "IF the princes of Moab call you, THEN go." And the next morning Baalam rose up. And the princes of Moab hadn't come and called him. But Christians have pet theologies and common sense and obvious Biblical exegesis won't get in the way.


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