Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Finished reading Numbers tonight. There's a lot more sacrificing of animals, same as in Leviticus, plus a lot of human bloodshed. Moses and his people continue to wander around the desert, (mostly) following God's commands, which often happen to include going to war with other nations. Um, what?

Did the Lord not explicitly say, just a few months before at Mt. Sinai, "Though shalt not kill"? Yet, here we have in Numbers 31:7 -- "And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses; and they slew all the males." What's this about? Not only is God okay with the Isrealites slaughtering other people for their land, He's actually commanding them to do it.

It gets worse.

Numbers 31:9-11 -- "And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword. And the children of Isreal took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire."

Moses, by the command of God, is inciting wars against everyone so that his people can inhabit their promised land. I just don't get it. I also don't get why in Chapter 15 that poor guy who goes out into the desert on the Sabbath to collect sticks is stoned to death. Okay, he wasn't supposed to be working on the official day of rest, but does picking up sticks really warrant a horrible execution?? What the %$@! happened to the sixth commandment? This Old Testament God is not only moody and vengeful, smoting everyone in his path (even Moses at one point!), but is He not also hypocritical?

Of course, anyone who knows the Bible would say "no," and explain to me what I've missed. I'd love to hear it. I clearly have much to learn about the message that is not made clear from the text itself.

**NEXT: Deuteronomy

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