Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Numbers 21-25

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

21:29 - "Woe to you , O Moab. You are undone, O people of Chemosh. He has made his sons fugitives and his daughters captives to an Amorite king, Sihon.

Numbers 22 - No mention of any women.

Numbers 23 - No mention of any women.

24:9 - "He crouched, he lay down like a lion, like a lioness; who will rouse him up?"

25:1-2 - While Israel was staying at Shittim, the men began to have sexual relations with the Moab women. "These" invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed to their gods.
25:6-9 - An Israelite man brought a Midianite women into his family in the sight of Moses and the sigh of the whole congregation of the Israelites. When Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest say this he went into the man's tent and pierced both him and the women through their stomachs with a spear. The plague was stopped among the people of Israel, but twenty four thousand had already died.
25:14-18 - The name of the slain Israelite man was Zimri, son of Salu, and the name of the Midianite woman was Cozbi daughter of Zan, who was the head of an ancestral house in Midian. The Lord told Moses to harass the Midianites because they had deceived him in the affairs of Peor, and in the affair of Cozbi, the daughter of a leader of Midian, their sister. She was killed on the day of the plague that resulted from Peor.

My Comments

Once again, Numbers 22, God gives someone an order and when they follow it God gets totally pissed. Why is this every where in the Bible? I mean seriously. Balaam was doing the right thing by not helping Moab and his officials out. But then God shows up and tells Balaam "No, go ahead and go with the officials." And so Balaam does because God told him to and then God gets angry ("God's anger was kindled because he was going, and he angel of the Lord took his stand on the road as his adversary.") and sends an angel down to mess with Balaam and his donkey. And then God speaks through the donkey, which Balaam totally takes in stride, and asks Balaam why he's been hitting the donkey to make it go forward. And then God shows him the angel and Balaam is all like "I'm so sorry I didn't know you were there!" And then God tells him to again go to the officials, the very thing that kindled God's anger in the first place. I mean, seriously, what the hell?

23:19 - "God is not a human being that he should lie, of a mortal that he should change his mind." Really? God lied to Adam and Eve in the garden when he told them the Tree of Knowledge would kill them. And he's changed his mind multiple times, like we he said he would kill the Israelites that made the golden calf and Moses talked him out of it. So do the worshippers of God always lie like this? Or, actually, since these are supposed to be the exact words of God coming from Balaam's mouth then that means God is saying this. And that God is lying yet again. Seems God just likes to blow his own horn and make himself sound better than he really is.

25:2 - So, women who are not of the people are just refered to as "these." Not these women, or these people, just "these." Even if they are from another people that just seems uncalled for. We haven't seen the men of other people or places just refered to as "these."

And then in Numbers 25 a man is killed for sleeping with the wrong sort of woman. I'm not sure if in cases like these the man is blamed more because he took a woman that was deemed unworthy or the woman is blamed more for "tricking" the man into taking her for a wife. The end seems to make it very clear that the woman is the one at fault, for he came in and deceived and tricked the Israelites and allowed a plague to come upon them. Which makes sense, women, while thought of as lower on the totem pole than men and less intelligent and what not, are at the same time always considered great tricksters and threats to men. It seems that even "stupid" women understand that men are solely slaves to their sex drives and are powerless when it comes to women. Or something. The whole idea really makes no sense, either women are smart or men are smarter, you can't have women being dumb and inferior all the time and yet have the ability to bring all of men down with a single hip thrust. Of course this idea is the reason why women's sexuality is so closely controlled, in Biblical times and even today. Women who are sexual and considered a threat and treated as less than then those women who are virginal and chaste. We just don't have laws that allow us to kill women who dare to be sexual (not that woman aren't killed for being sexual even today).

So women are weak but are man's one true weakness. So I guess with that logic it is always a woman's fault if a man succumbs to immoral behavior through them, either by taking a woman that is against his people or adultery or rape or what have you. And if it isn't strictly the woman's fault she at least shares half the blame and usually the punishment of the man, which in the Bible's case seems to almost always be death.

I also love how God is so pleased that Phinehas killed Zimri and Cozbi in a flight of passion that God blessed Phinehas and all his progeny that they may be priests because they so zealously fought for God. You know, by killing an unarmed man and woman. So noble. If these are the people were are supposed to look up to and the people that God holds up as the pinnacle of morality and good deeds I don't see how this is a good book to get one's morality from. Or how anyone can separate this heartless blood thirsty God from their beloved hippie God of the new testament. If people truly believed that God is NOTHING like the bastard God of the Old Testament then why do Christians still read it? Why not just read the New Testament with the new and improved God? And if we are to believe God and his prophets, that God is in fact all powerful and never changing then why do we believe that the God of the New Testament isn't the same God from the Old? If God never changes then he is still the heartless bastard I'm reading about right now. Is that comforting?

Not to me. And since there is no human on earth who could possibly live up to God's standards then I wonder how it can be a comfort for anybody.

Tomorrow: Numbers 26-30

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