Numbers 33 – A Review of the Journey from Exodus to Numbers

Numbers 33 is a good review of the events that have taken place from when the first born of Egypt were supposedly killed by Jehovah to the current time in this chapter of Numbers. We are reminded of Jehovah slaying the first born, and get a little more insight on what the aftermath was:

Numbers 33:4 – For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which Jehovah had smitten among them: upon their gods also Jehovah executed judgements.

Take note: Jehovah executed judgement on the gods of the Egyptians. If the gods of the Egyptians were not real/fake/idols, etc. then why would Jehovah need to exact judgement on them? Is the author telling us that these are living gods? Are there more living gods coming up in future verse? (Spoiler alert: Yes)

We get a very specific list of geographical locations where the Israelites camped in their journey from Egypt to Canaan. Here’s some verse to note:

33:5 – And the children of Israel removed from Rameses, and pitched in Succoth

Finally we get some detail on Egypt.

33:9 – And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim: and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there.

Reminder that Marah was named so because the water there was bitter. When the thirsty Israelites complained to Moses, they were punished (Exodus 15:24).

33:11 – And they removed from the Red Sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin.

Note there is a land called Sin. Is there any correlation to the name place Sin and the verb “sin”?

Numbers 33:5 – 22:47 lists a handful of geographical locations. Can these locations be placed on any map, current or historical?

We find that Jehovah spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho (all currently named locations)

  • Can we be sure the Jordan mentioned in the Bible is the same Jordan we know today?
  • Same with Jericho?

We get a review of the commands Jehovah gives to Moses to give to the Israelites regarding what they are to do when they enter the land Jehovah has given them, Canaan.

33:52 – Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places.

Note that in the Interlinear Hebrew, “pictures” in verse 52 can also mean “carved images.”

We get a reminder of what happens when the Israelites do not follow Jehovah’s commands and do not wipe out the people they encounter:

33:55 – But if  ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.

A stern chastising from Jehovah. He leaves it up to the Israelites to deal with these people, and in a sense, he is telling them to commit complete genocide on them.

More importantly, Jehovah is admitting that as much as he wanted to punish the original inhabitants of Canaan, he didn’t. But the things he “wanted” to do to the Canaanites, he will absolutely do to the Israelites if they don’t follow his orders. Why didn’t he just do these things he “thought” to do on the Canaanites? Is he powerless to do so?

What’s good to know is that the fulfillment of the covenant/promise is coming soon, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Hopefully the repetitious and mundane reviews of the law can come to an end, and we see just how this covenant works out.

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Numbers 32 – Reuben & Gad Change the Plan. Moses Agrees with Conditions

In a sort of hat tip to a point I made in the previous blog post regarding the fixed amount of land and an increasing population of people, we find that the families of Reuben and Gad have asked Moses to grant them the land of Jazer and Gilead, as they are cattle men and the land is good for cattle.

Numbers 32:5 – Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan.

This is an important point to notice: the plan was for everyone to cross into the land, suddenly, the plan has changed. Where is Jehovah in this matter? The plan already seems to be falling apart, as a whole, as two of the tribes are asking NOT to cross the Jordan into Canaan. What other parts of the covenant/plan are going to falter?

Not sure why there is any doubt regarding the plan, after all Jehovah is supposedly all powerful and all knowing, but Moses reacts:

32:6 – And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which Jehovah hath given them?

So it’s all about war for Moses. Despite all the promises of Jehovah, Moses seems to not want to lose so much of his army moving forward. Moses tries to lay more of a guilt trip on them, reminding them that they should be grateful for Jehovah giving them the land, after all he was angry with their forefathers and kept them from entering the land he promised.

What’s important to note that Moses is still alive while the generation that preceded the current Israelites who were not allowed to enter the land are now gone. Just how old is Moses?

Moses reminds them of the threat Jehovah poses if they go against his will. The children of Reuben and Gad meet Moses halfway: they will stay in and build in the land they want to, but will not return to the land until the Israelites enter the land Jehovah gave them. They will move forward as soldiers.

Note that it is the children of Reuben and Gad that make the conditions. Not Moses. Not Jehovah.

Moses agrees, and Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh take land that once belonged to King Sihon and the Amorites, King Og of Bashan, and build multiple cities as laid out in verses 34 – 42.

A couple of observations:

  • Does the historical material record show any evidence of:
    • The Amorites and King Sihon?
    • King Og of Bashan
    • Giants?
  • Did the original inhabitants of this land completely die off? Or did the remnants scatter out past Canaan and enter the land of other peoples?
    • If so, is there historical record of this happening?
    • Just how different were the Israelites, culturally, than the Amorites or the people of Canaan in general?
  • I really hope future books will go into detail on how the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh being separate from the “inheritance” affect the inheritance over all.

 

 

 

 

Numbers 28-31: Review of Laws; War against the Midianites

Numbers 28 – A review of Offering Laws (again)

Jehovah tells Moses to speak to the Israelites regarding offerings.

Numbers 29 – Holy Convocation

Jehovah tells Moses to speak to the Israelites regarding a holy convocation on the first day of the 7th month.

Numbers 30 – A review of Vows (again)

Once again we review a woman’s “vows” and how they are to be handled between a man and his wife, and a man and his daughter, and widows. Christian woman’s rights advocates, I’d be curious to know what you think about Numbers 30 (and the OT so far as it related to the treatment of women.)

Numbers 31 – War Against the Midianites

Moses has one more task before “being gathered unto his people”, which now seems to be a euphemism for dying and joining your ancestors who have died before you. Though aren’t the Levites still alive among the Israelites still “his people”? His task: Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites. One thousand of each group of the Israelites are set as soldiers and go to war. The end result:

  • All male Midianites were killed
  • The kings of Midian were killed:
    • Evi
    • Rekem
    • Zur
    • Hur
    • Reba
  • Balaam the son of Beor was killed

Wait! What? Balaam, the one who “blessed Israel” was killed? What was the saying:

“He who blesses you shall be blessed…”

So, despite blessing Israel, Balaam was killed? Is this rule just talk? Seems so. So far, there has only been one person who has blessed Israel, and he was killed at their hands. So this rule really has no past precedence of being legitimate.

More casualties: All the women, children, cattle, flocks, and goods were taken captive. The cities and their “castles” were burned.

Castles?

KJV discrepancy: the word ti*ro*tam (Strong’s Hebrew 2918) is translated as “castle” in KJV. In Interlinear Hebrew it is translated as “camps”. Camps vs Castles. That is a HUGE difference to us today. Were these kings and their people living in camps or castles?

This story worsens. When Moses finds out the Israelites took the women and children captive, ALIVE:

31:14 – And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host (army), with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?

Moses is angry because the women were not slain in battle. He blames the women for making the Israelites trespass against Jehovah. So here’s Moses solution:

31:17 – Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

That’s right: Kill innocent children. Kill every woman that is not a virgin. What happens to the virgin girls?

31:18 – But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Disgusting. I felt somewhat sorry for Moses because the way Jehovah treated him. Now I hate him (if he indeed was real and not just a character in a story.)

Today, we can distinguish between innocent and guilty. Back in the days of Moses, this concept was foreign. Today, most civilized people agree that a child of a guilty person should not face the death penalty for a murder the parent committed. This barbaric treatment was sanctioned by Jehovah, as he did not speak out against it. This is the god civil people worship today. The soldiers get to keep the virgin girls. Let’s not fool ourselves here, we are talking about little girls and teenagers. The soldiers get to keep them for themselves. What in the world do you think these soldiers are going to do with them?! Take them in as their own daughters? Or defile them? I hope future verse explains it, but I doubt it.

Why not just send the remnants of the Midianites, who Moses obviously blames for the transgressions of the Israelites, off to a foreign land? How wily and cunning are babies and children that Moses wants them dead so they don’t tempt the Israelites to transgress again? Why not make them slaves and enact heavy rules against their influence on the Israelites? Why is death the only answer for Moses and Jehovah? This is a death cult.

After the spoils of war and combat are done, the priesthood demands that the soldiers go through a series of “cleansing” rituals for themselves and their spoils. Chapter 26 then goes on to quantify the “spoils” in numbers. In a strange offering to a deity that supposedly created the heavens and the earth:

31:54 – And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tabernacle of the congregation, for a memorial for the children of Israel before Jehovah.

Why would Jehovah require an offering of gold? Didn’t he create gold and every other thing in this universe?

Chapter 31 was very insightful into the minds and culture of this tribal nation and their patron god. Nothing ethereal, universal, or global about it all. This belongs to a specific people in a specific time in a specific geographical location. This is becoming increasingly clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Numbers 26 – A Census for War & Land; Numbers 27 – Moses End is Near

Numbers 26 – Another Census

Another census takes place to count an army to prepare for more war.

26 – Equality

Chapter 26 numbers all the men of all the families over age 21. It is also by these numbers that their “inheritance” will be doled out. Does everyone get an equal “inheritance”?

Numbers 26:54 – To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him.

Not everyone is equal, and the larger the group, the more land they get. I will go out on a limb and say that this will create problems in the future.

Reiterating my past point: Just what was the end goal of this covenant in a specified chunk of land? We know that Abraham and Lot had a land squabble because both were “great in numbers”. What is going to happen with this land with pre-defined borders as the generations grow and grow in population? What happens when “nations” encroach upon each other, both thinking they have right to land and resources? WAR.

The author ends chapter 26 by reminding the reader that no man, except for Caleb and Joshua, who wandered the desert, were now in the land of inheritance.

Numbers 27 – Inheritance Rules

A new scenario has taken place: The daughters of a man named Zelophehad (notice one of the daughters is named Noah) questions Moses about their inheritance because their father died in the wilderness and he had no sons. Moses speaks to Jehovah on what to do:

27:7 – The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.

A few observations:

  • Jehovah’s laws are, at this point, still incomplete. Of all the laws he has made in the past, he didn’t make this one until Moses put the scenario forward.
  • Interesting cultural insight: A daughter is allowed to receive their father’s inheritance. This may be one of the more *fair* choices made by Jehovah in regards to women.

As if realizing this new scenario might bring forth even more questions, Jehovah clarifies his position on this inheritance, who it passes to in the event there are sons or daughters or receivers of said inheritance missing.

27 – Moses’ Punishment Begins

Remembering Moses and Aaron were both punished because the thirsty Israelites complained about water, Jehovah tells Moses to prepare to no longer move forward in the journey.

27:12 – And Jehovah said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. And when thou hast seen it, thou shalt also be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered. For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.

“Righteous and Forgiving”

After ALL Moses has done for this deity, he is not forgiven and now faces his punishment. In a somewhat humiliating request, Jehovah tells him to look upon the land he is NOT allowed to enter and he is going to receive the same humiliating fate his brother Aaron met. Moses seemed to a be a devoted servant who received no reward. And I highly question the motive of his devotion. Was it:

  • He was truly devoted to serving Jehovah
  • He was truly devoted to not dying or being punished by Jehovah so he followed instructions
    • Modern Christians will say the first option is correct. I say it’s the second
    • After all, Jehovah CLEARLY made an attempt to take Moses life, and he had no problems brutally punishing his brother Aaron and sister Miriam.

Moses answers:

27:16 – Let Jehovah, the *elohe* of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may got out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of Jehovah be not as sheep which have no shepherd.

You tell me the Bible is applicable to all people throughout the world at all times. Yet the concept of “sheep” and a “flock” is key to understanding the culture at this time. Not every civilization had sheep and shepherds. I stand by my conclusion that this book, at least to this point, is merely for a group of people in a specific time in a specific location (historic Middle East).

Also note: Moses calls Jehovah the *elohe*/god of the spirits of all flesh.

Also, the concept that these people, with their numbers and organized tribes/families, need a “shepherd” is interesting. The story is telling us there still needs to be an intermediary between the people and their god. Their god is unable to speak to them any other way. There are no councils, no representatives, no other form of organization to speak to a supposedly almighty all knowing god?

Jehovah chooses Joshua to take Moses place, he also instructs Moses:

27:19 – And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.

In other words, Joshua is going to replace Moses as an intermediary. Moses was a man of magic, with his supernatural staff. Is Joshua going to be the same?

Also interesting to note that Moses is going to give Joshua *some* of his honour… not all of it. Is *honor* some sort of energy source where you can mete it out as needed? A quick look at the Interlinear Hebrew and the word looks to mean more of vigor/splendor. KJV translation in action.

 

 

 

 

 

Numbers 25 – Israelites Intermingle with Moabites; Punishment; Human Sacrifice?

The Israelites are now in Shittim, among the daughters of Moab (note that Moab was the first born son of Lot and one of his daughters after they fled Sodom and Gomorrah). The Israelites have, after being warned not to, sacrificed, eaten and bowed to the gods of the Moabites.

What is the author trying to tell us here, after ALL the supposed wonders and miracles performed by Jehovah and Moses, the Israelites quickly turn to other peoples deities? Are the Israelites looking for ANY way to relieve themselves from the subjugation of Jehovah and Moses? Are the wonders and miracles exaggerated by the author, when in reality, the didn’t really exist, which explains why the Israelites are so quick to turn to other gods?

Not surprisingly, Jehovah’s reactions was not one of “righteousness and forgiveness”:

Numbers 25:4 – And Jehovah said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before Jehovah against the sun, that the fierce anger of Jehovah may be turned away from Israel.

This time, Moses was happy to comply with the demand for blood:

25:5 – And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one of his men that were joined unto Baal-peor.

Go to verse 25:3 “And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor”… this makes it sound like the entire congregation committed this transgression. Yet we are told in 25:5 that it was only certain ones of Israel that did so. This is important to know because the definition of “all” or “forever” does not translate into what we know as today. So the next time we see “all” or “forever” used we must understand that the meaning quite possibly does not mean what we think.

So an Israelite man brings and Midianite woman in the presence of Moses, in front of *all* (verse 25:6) the congregation who were weeping.

25:7 – And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.

Commandment Number 6 of 10: Thou shalt not Kill

Note that it wasn’t until blood was shed (a sacrifice?) that the plague was stopped. Going back to Commandment #6: I made the argument that this commandment only applies to Israelite vs Israelite. Anyone else? Free to kill as seen in verse 25:7, since there is NO MENTION of Phinehas being punished for breaking this commandment. In fact, by breaking this commandment he did a good thing by stopping the plague.

Don’t agree? Jehovah agrees:

25:10 – And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.

So, by killing these two individuals, Jehovah was pleased and was no longer angry at Israel. The deeper meaning exposes itself further:

25:13 – And he shall have it (covenant of peace), and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his god, and made an *atonement* for the children of Israel.

Atonement = offering. In this case, the atonement was the murder of two people. Murder = Atonement. In other words: Phinehas, by offering the blood and lives of two people, made an atonement for the transgressions of the Israelites.

Human Sacrifice. And Jehovah was pleased with it, after all he “stayed” the plague and even mentioned he turned away his wrath because of it.

No human sacrifice in the Bible? Abraham was more than willing to please Jehovah. Phinehas did it and it pleased Jehovah. Spoiler alert: These aren’t the only instances.

The punishment doesn’t stop there. We find out that the Israelite was of the tribe of Simeon, son of a prince. The Midianite woman was the daughter of head of a chief house in Midian. In other words, two important people from each nation. Also note, Midian was a son of Abraham, brother of Isaac, hence distant relatives.

25:16 – And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, Vex the Midianites, and smite them: For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor’s sake.

So now all the Midianites must suffer the consequences.

“Righteous and Forgiving”

So, despite ALL the supposed signs, miracles, and wonders, the Israelites easily intermingle with other nations. Despite ALL the murder, death, plagues, fires, disease, and other mortal punishments at the hand of Jehovah, they easily turn to other nations.

What gives?

What are we, as readers, missing? Did these miracles truly exist? If so, are the Israelites beyond stubborn? OR, is the author exaggerating about the miracles and we are seeing the normal course of human activity when two nations meet. Especially when you take into consideration that Midian was a son of Abraham, uncle to Jacob/Israel.

If Jehovah truly was the creator of the universe, why can he not control his own people? Punishment after punishment, they still disobey… so is he really almighty? Is this the work of an all powerful god?

If it’s not obvious by now, Jehovah has very little control of his *inheritance*, his seed, his own people.

If that’s not a sign of a deity that is not all powerful I don’t know what is.

 

 

Numbers 24 – 3rd Divination; Divination for Balak; Five Deity Names

The Third Divination/Offering

With the 3rd go around, Balaam instead of seeking divination between him and Jehovah again, rather, “set his face towards the wilderness” and received a vision:

Numbers 24:2 – And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of Elohim came upon him. And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the sone of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: He hath said, which heard the words of Elohim, which saw the visions of sad*day (almighty), falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:

This verse is Balaam describing himself, what he initially saw, and take note that he admits he’s in a “trance” the way man diviners receive their visions.

He then goes on to poetically describe what he sees. Notice the word switching between Jacob/Isreal and Elohim/Jehovah:

24:5 – How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side, as the trees of lign aloes which Jehovah hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters. He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. Elohim brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with arrows. He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.

Observations:

  • Jehovah has planted trees? Is he seeing into the future? Will the verse verify this?
  • Look at all the mention of “water”. Two chapters ago, the Israelites were being KILLED because they had no water and complained about it.
  • Who’s seed is being referred to in 24:7?
    • Remember: It wasn’t until Jehovah “visited” and “did that thing” to Sarah that she bore children.
    • I conclude he speaks of Jehovah’s seed. The verse speaks directly to Jacob and Israel in the first verse, but speaks of Jehovah in 3rd person
      • Verse 5 starts out speaking directly to Jacob and Israel (underlined).
      • Jehovah is mentioned in the 3rd person (red)
      • The rest of the 3rd person uses he, thus
        • Jehovah has planted lign aloes and cedar trees
        • Jehovah will pour water out of his buckets and his seed will be in many waters
        • Jehovah’s king will be higher than Agag, his kingdom will be exalted
        • Elohim brought Jehovah out of Egypt
        • Jehovah has the strength of a unicorn
          • Remember, this was already mentioned regarding Jehovah
          • Thus, it CAN NOT be referring to Isaac or Jacob
      • The verse ends back to 1st person when Balaam speaks to Isaac and Jacob saying “those who bless thee are blessed, etc.
    • My conclusion confirmed by verse: the seed referred to in 24:7 is the seed of Jehovah: the Israelites who descend from Sara being *visited* by Jehovah

So Balaam’s vision tells him the Israelites are to be blessed, and this angers King Balak because he wanted them to be cursed, and apparently, in each of the 3 divinations, Balaam put a blessing on Israel.

Remember: Who ever blesses Israel will be blessed. Balaam blessed them three times. Will this rule stand?

Balak was hoping to heap great honor upon Balaam for cursing the Israelites, however:

24:13 – If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of Jehovah, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what Jehovah saith, that will I speak?

Notice in verse 13 Balaam clearly knows Jehovah, and calls him by his usual name Yaweh.

Balaam’s Proverb for Balak

Before Balaam returns to his people he offers a vision to Balak. Notice the usage of the three names/titles mentioned in previous verse. Three different entities? Or all the same?

24:16 – He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open (KJV)

Here’s the same verse using Hebrew Interlinear:

24:16 – He hath said, which heard the words of *El*, and knew the knowledge of El*Yon, which saw the vision of Sad*day…

So Balaam has attributed three different characteristics to each name:

  • El – words
  • El*Yon – knowledge
  • Sad*day – visions

Notice no mention of Yaweh/Jehovah. People argue they are one in the same. I conclude otherwise.

He explains to Balak how Israel will dominate the various peoples in the land: Moab, children of Sheth, Edom, Seir, how Amalek was destroyed forever, the Kenites will be carried away by Asshur.

24:23 – And he toook up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when *El* doeth this?

Ships from the coast of Kittim will come, afflict Asshur and Eber, and he (one of them?) will perish forever.

So who is Balaam referring to when he speaks of *el*? Remember, *el* is singular. Is he speaking of a different deity other than Jehovah? If not, why not just use Jehovah, as he did in verse 13?

Is there another force behind Jehovah, that gives him his power to be “strong like a unicorn”? Is this deity *El* that Balaam refers to?

The deities listed so far, for reference:

  • Elohim – gods (plural)
  • Jehovah/Yaweh – The LORD (singular)
  • El*yon – most High (singular)
  • Sad*day – Almighty (singular)
  • El – god (singular)

More questions that require rewinding back to Genesis:

  • Who is Sheth?
    • Is this the same Seth, 3rd child of Adam and Eve?
    • When did Seth’s bloodline go wrong?
    • How did Seth’s bloodline live on after Noah’s flood?
  • Who is Seir?
    • Seir was a Horite
    • Later references refer to Seir as a “land”
  • Who is Asshur?
    • Second son of Shem, Noah’s son
    • Thought to be named for Assyria, responsible for building Ninevah
    • Note that in some cases, Asshur was considered “a god”
  • Where is Kittim?
    • Thought to be an island or set of islands
    • Possibly current day Cypress
  • Who is Eber?
    • Great great grandson of Shem
    • Father of Terah, Abraham’s father

Looking at the genealogy of Eber, despite him being the grandfather of Abraham, that lineage is not part of the covenant and those people are visioned to perish forever.

This reminds me, just how did Abram end up in Ur of Chaldee, Babylon? Maybe a look back at that part in Genesis is necessary.

Numbers 23 – 3 Offerings of Divination; Elohim vs. Jehovah vs. El

The First Offering/Divination

Balaam instructs Balak to build 7 altars, and prep 7 oxen and 7 rams for sacrifice, and Balaam made these offerings.

Numbers 23:3 – And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure Jehovah will come to meet me: and whatsoever he sheweth me I will tell thee. And he went to an high place.

So, it’s becoming clearer that for Balaam to speak to Jehovah and/or Elohim, there needs to be a burnt offering. Isn’t this a form of divination? Isn’t divination frowned upon by modern churches? Yet, if Jehovah is the god of the modern churches, divination was definitely one way to speak to him.

Also don’t forget Abram’s divination process of cutting animals open and laying them in a pattern on the ground for Jehovah to clarify his prophecy of the future. (Genesis 15:9 – 17).

So the divination works, and Elohim meets with Balaam during the offerings, and tells Balaam what to speak to Balak.

Balaam to Balak: Balak (saying he came from Aram) summarizes how Balak has asked him to curse the Israelites. Balaam says he is not able to curse or defy anyone that Elohim has not cursed or defied. He can see Elohim from the tops of rocks and hills, and that the Israelites are to be left alone. Balaam also ends by saying he wants to die like Jacob, and die the death of righteousness (though I believe while Jacob’s death may have been righteous, his actions during his life were definitely NOT.)

In summary: King Balak brings Balaam up to a “high place”, offers burnt offerings for divination, and Balaam divines with Elohim and/or Jehovah, then tells Balak what is supposed to.

The Second Offering/Divination

Repeat this procedure again. This time Balak takes Balaam to another high place and the procedure is repeated.

Balaam to Balak: Elohim is not a man and thus does not lie. Nor is he a son of man, who repents. What he says he makes good. Balaam was told to bless, so he blessed and it can’t be reversed.

Take very close note of this next verse. Remember that Jehovah and Moses have found iniquity in the Israelites, to the point they are punished with plagues and death.

23:21 – He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: Jehovah his god is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.

Major Observations:

  • There seems to be a pattern on the word usage of Elohim and Yaweh (Jehovah).
    • Elohim, Yaweh, Elohim, Yaweh
  • Elohim does not see iniquity or perverseness with Jacob/the Isrealites
    • Jehovah HOWEVER has seen iniquity and has punished them multiple times
    • CAN YOU SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ELOHIM AND JEHOVAH!
      • They are NOT the same
  • Even the verse separates “He” (Elohim as mentioned in verse 19) from “Jehovah his god”
  • The “shout of a king” is a thing, and should be marked down for future reference

Balaam continues to speak to Balak

23:22 – Elohim brought them out of Egypt; he hat as it were the strength of the unicorn.

Ok, we are supposedly dealing with an All Mighty and All Powerful god, and he is described as having the “strength of a unicorn”? Let’s look at the Interlinear Hebrew:

23:22 – El brought them out of Egypt; he has it were the strength to of a unicorn (re*em)

Remember:

  • El – singular – “god”
  • Elohim – plural – “gods”

This changes the dynamics of this story. According to Balaam, *El* brought the Israelites out of Egypt. According to Jehovah, he *Yaweh* brought the Israelites out of Egypt. Why not just use the word Yaweh/Jehovah? Is *El* a different deity? Balaam has used the word Yaweh before, so why not now? Why the distinction?

Also note: the term “unicorn” is Hebrew *ra-am* which can also mean “wild ox”

So, according to Balaam, who’s god is Jehovah, Elohim (who is also supposed to be Jehovah and brought the Israelites out of Egypt) has the “strength of a wild ox”? That’s an ODD way to describe an omnipotent deity!

Balaam continues:

23:23 – Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath Elohim wrought!

Observations:

  • Note that the writing style differentiating Elohim/Yaweh has also changed in regards to Jacob and Israel
    • Why the term “Jacob and of Israel” if they are the same
    • Is the author and/or Balaam saying they aren’t the same?
      • No enchantment (*nahas*) against Jacob
      • No divination (*qesem*) against Israel
  • Is it really true there is no “enchantment” against Jacob/Israel?
    • Supposedly there is an enchantment aka BLESSING for Jacob/Israel
      • Enchantment: *nahas*
      • Blessing: *barak*

The Third Offering Divination

As if the individual who applied verse numbers to these books (remember there was no original “bible” and verse and chapter numbers were man made), we are told a 3rd  offering was made (7 and 7 again) but Numbers 23 ends.

 

 

 

Numbers 22 – King Balak, Balaam, Elohim, Jehovah, Satan; Baal

The children of Israel move forward on their journeys into Canaan, pitching their tents in the plains of Moab.

New Character: Balak, king of the Moabites, son of Zippor

Balak has seen all that has happened with the Amorites, and he feared for his own people, so he consults with the elders of Midian and then reaches out for help.

Numbers 22:5 – He (Balak) sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pehtor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me:

Note the use of language here, while there is a “children of Israel” there is also a “children of Balak”, meaning Balak is a patriarch to his people the way Jacob/Israel was to his. Balak has a special request for Balaam:

22:6 – Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.

Balaam must have special powers, after all, as Balak affirms, when Balaam blesses or curses someone, they indeed are blessed or cursed. Take this as: not just ANYONE can bless or curse another. So the group of elders being consulted seek out Balaam:

22:7 – And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him words of Balak.

So it looks like, according to this verse, the cost of divination is considered “rewards of divination” which go to the diviner. Balaam tells the elders to stay the night there, because Jehovah is going to speak to him.

22:9 – And *elohim* came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee?

Now we have the Elohim speaking to Balaam, not only that (whether it is Jehovah or the multiple Elohim), this being is NOT All Knowing. He has to ask “who are these guys?”

Wouldn’t an all knowing god already know who they are!

Balaam speaks the words of Balak to Elohim, and Elohim denies his request to have them cursed. The group returns a second time, with more prominent princes to make the request to Balaam.

22:18 – And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of Jehovah my god.

So, despite not being part of the 12 tribes as mentioned so far, Balaam says that Jehovah is his god.

In a strange turn of events:

  1. Elohim speaks with Balaam at night, and tells him to go with the men who called him, but to wait for Elohim’s word on what to do
  2. Balaam wakes up in the morning and went with the men

22:22 – And Elohim’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of Jehovah stood in the way for an adversary against him.

Balaam does what Elohim tells him to do, and Elohim becomes angry? This type of illogical instruction is exactly what Jehovah does (remember how he sent Moses off to Egypt and then went to kill him?)

Let’s break off from the narrative and look at verse 22 again, this time in the Hebrew Interlinear:

22:22 – And was kindled the anger of Elohim because he went, and the malak (angel) of Jehovah stood in the way le*satan (for an adversary).

Note that the word for adversary is *Satan*, and that the Angel of Jehovah is technically a Satan. This is the ORIGINAL Hebrew, and it defines Satan as a title, not as an actual person. Remember in Genesis 2, with the Serpent that modern churches call the Devil, the word “serpent” was NOT Satan or Devil.

So “Satan” in the Old Testament is nothing more than a title meaning adversary.

It’s right there in the Original Hebrew of Numbers 22:22.

So this Satan stands before Balaam as he travels on his donkey. The donkey sees the Satan and buckles 3 times, and 3 times Balaam strikes the donkey to get it moving again.

22:28 – And Jehovah opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these 3 times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.

Observations:

  • The donkey is female (any significance to this?)
  • We know the serpent is able to speak to mankind, now we find a talking donkey
  • Balaam responds to the talking donkey with little surprise:
    • Instead of “What is this, a talking donkey?!”
    • Balaam answers the donkey as if talking donkey’s were normal
  • The donkey could see the Satan, but Balaam couldn’t, until his “eyes were opened” by the angel

The angel repeats the words of Elohim “go with the men, and wait until I speak to you to tell you what to say” (which is odd because previous verse says he already went with the men.)

King Balak goes out to meet Balaam, and Balaam tells Balak he is only going to speak the words Elohim put in his mouth. They travel to Kirjath-huzoth “a city of streets.”

22:40 – And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him.

Who did Balak offer oxen and sheep to? We already know Jehovah demands these offerings. Did he offer them to Chemosh? Another god?

The next day Balak took Balaam into the “high places” of Baal, so he could view all the people.

 

 

 

 

 

Numbers 21 – King Arad & King Sihon; Seraphim Serpents; Another god: Chemosh

Apparently the Canaanites were quite aware that the Israelites “spied” on them. We have a new character, King Arad the Canaanite, who fought and took Israelites hostage.

Numbers 21:2 – And Israel vowed a vow unto Jehovah, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.

Why have their not been any other vows between Israel and Jehovah? Just how did they make this vow, was Moses an intermediary? In every verse before this, Moses was always an intermediary. How were the Israelites able to make a vow to a deity that could (or would) not speak directly to them? This vow makes little sense.

Numbers 21:3 – And Jehovah hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and he called the name of the place Hormah.

Why didn’t the Israelites make a vow in exchange for food and water? When it comes to WAR, Jehovah “hearkens” to them immediately.

Is Jehovah a war god?

Jehovah Body Count: The entire Canaanite population of Hormah. (Though, it must be noted that it was the Israelites who did the destroying)

So the Israelites have now found favor with their god?

21:5 – And the people spake against *Elohim*, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

Observation: The Narrative style has changed dramatically from previous verse. After studying and analyzing Numbers 21, I believe it was written by a different author and added to the story line. Why?

  • The Israelites are now vowing/speaking directly to Jehovah
    • In previous verse, Moses was ALWAYS an intermediary
    • Jehovah immediately “hearkens” to them as opposed to punishing them
  • The use of *elohim* instead of *yahweh*/The Lord/Jehovah
  • The style in which they complain about not being Egypt is different (i.e. no bread and water vs. we had plenty of vegetables and meat to eat)

Despite these differences and my observation, the overall theme stays the same: Israelites complain = Jehovah punishes.

21:6 – And Jehovah sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

Jehovah’s Body Count: “Much” people of Israel at the hands of fiery serpents.

“Fiery” serpents. My word choice would have been “fierce” since “fiery” pertains more to the word “fire”. But the author clearly used “fiery.” Were they blazing serpents? Were they of bright light? Glowing? Burning Are we talking about snakes or other creatures?

A quick look at Strong’s Concordance and we find the word “fiery” to be “Seraphim”. One alternative explanation is that Seraphim were “beings mythically conceived with serpent bodies.” So another way to translate this would be *seraphim serpents*. Not your average snake.

In one verse the people were able to vow to Jehovah, in the next verse, we are back to the part where they have to intermediate using Moses (?)

21:7 – Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against Jehovah, and against thee; pray unto Jehovah, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

Today, when we receive snake bites, first aid requires removal of the venom, other types of aid. What was first aid like for snake bites in the time of Moses?

21:8 – And Jehovah said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

Moses is told to make his own “fiery serpent” aka “seraphim serpent” and place it on a pole so that anyone who looks at it will not die.

bronze snake staff
One rendition of the snake on a pole, what’s missing? The “fiery” part. Was it burning, glowing, etc. What made it fiery? This rendition is lacking that adjective.

So the Israelites (the ones who survived Jehovah’s snake bite punishment anyways) moved on, journeying and pitching their tents in various places. We are introduced to a geographical location named Arnon, which is the border of Moab, between Moab and the amorites (Numbers 21:13)

21:14 – Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of Jehovah, What he did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon, And at the streams of the brooks that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth upon the border of Moab.

The “Book of the Wars of Jehovah”? I thought the Bible was complete and divinely compiled? Yet we are referenced to a book that is NOT in the bible.

A quick online search reveals that this “book” the bible mentioned is lost to history. Yet the Bible references it. The Bible is not complete, the author clearly meant for the reader to reference it. The reader being a contemporary where the Book of the Wars of The Lord/Jehovah were readily available to them. Yet I am told the Bible is fully applicable today and for all time? This verse clearly shows it is not so, when it references a Book we have no access to.

Tribal cultures are rife with “song”, here we have a song of the Israelites in regards to Beer, the well where Jehovah told Moses “Gather the people together, and I will give them water”:

21:17 – Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it: The princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves.

So now we know Moses has a title: The Lawgiver

The Israelites journey further, and as they approach the Amorites, the Israelites sent messengers to a new character: Sihon, King of the Amorites.

They received the same response from the Amorites as they received from their brethren the Moabites: No.

Again, two possible reasons:

  • The Amorites hated the Israelites and were against everything they did
  • The Amorites did not want Jehovah’s presence in their lands
    • Jehovah has already declared his disdain for the indigenous Canaanites
    • With Jehovah’s track record of punishing his own people, and others, to death, would you want him to walk through your lands?

Israel fought against the Amorites and won, and inhabited their land. What we find out is that, before Sihon owned the land, it was inhabited by the Moabites

Here’s a verse I found interesting:

21:27 – Wherefore they that speak in proverbs say, Come into Heshbon, let the city of Sihon be built and prepared: For there is a fire gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon: it hath consumed Ar of Moab, and the lords of the high places of Arnon.

So just who are *they* that speak in proverbs? Prophets? The proverb continues:

21:28 – For there is a fire gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon: it hath consumed Ar of Moab, and the lords of the high places of Arnon. Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites. We have shot at them; Heshbon is perished even unto Dibon, and we have laid them waste even unto Nophah, which reacheth unto Medeba.

Just what was this “fire”? Was it a destructive force of fire like what we say with Sodom and Gomorrah?

And who is Chemosh? Notice that his “sons and daughters” are the Moabites. Is he the patron/tribal god to the Moabites the way Jehovah is to the Israelites?

The concept that a deity sells or gives their people into captivity won’t be found only with Chemosh and the Moabites, as we will see in future verse.

Also, note that Chemosh is considered alive and active. A living god, just like Jehovah. Not a wooden idol, like with Terah, but an actual other god. Note at this point we don’t know if he’s good or evil.

Now we have two living gods, and the second one has been given a proper name: Chemosh.

 

 

 

 

Numbers 20 – The People Thirst; Moses & Aaron Banished! Edomites. Aaron Dies in Humiliation

A quick rundown of the current situation:

Numbers 20:1 – Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.

A couple of conclusions since they are still in the “desert”:

  • They are still eating manna when they knew at one point while in Egypt they ate bountiful amounts of fruits and vegetables
  • They are probably thirsty

Verse 2 proves the point: “And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.”

Do they not go after Jehovah? Do they not recognize Jehovah? Has Moses and Aaron actually ever told them “Do not do this or Jehovah will become angry?”

This repetition is mind boggling, and is akin to the repetitive actions of Jehovah in Egypt. One sign after another, to prove the same point, over and over and over. What kind of Almighty god needs to repeat and repeat his signs to prove his might?

In what is probably going to be yet another affront to Jehovah as his “people” “murmur” against him, the people tell Moses:

20:5 – And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us into this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.

Think about this: seeds, figs, vines, pomegranates, and water. ALL THINGS that in the beginning of creation, were given to mankind to partake of as needed. Now we have Jehovah depriving this group of people of these things. In essence, Jehovah is going against the good creation we saw in Genesis 1.

Moses and Aaron plead before Jehovah, who tells them:

20:8 – Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring fort to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

Sounds nice right? Jehovah is finally giving them water to drink. Oh, but there are CONDITIONS THOUGH! (After all, we are talking about Jehovah who does not *give* without exacting PUNISHMENT.)

20:10 – And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?

WHAT!? These people were dying of thirst, and they get chastised by Moses and Aaron because they had to perform a magic trick to split a rock open to let water flow out! That is one SADISTIC response to a people dying of thirst, by calling them “rebels”.

So the people and cattle drink. Finally, we find the condition that Jehovah has set for ALLOWING the people to finally drink water:

20:12 – And Jehovah spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

FIRST OFF: NONE of the people alive at this time are going to enter the land. Jehovah already promised that. So this statement makes no sense, because “this congregation” he mentions has already been banished from the land.

SECOND OF ALL: After ALL Moses and Aaron did to compromise their lives, and in Aaron’s case, his own SONS, Jehovah has just prohibited them from entering the land because the Israelites were dying of thirst and spoke out.

Amazing that anyone would agree with this deity and his boastful statement that he is “Righteous and Forgiving”

The water they drank is called “Meribah” which also means “Strife”.

Numbers 20 – The Brothers of Edom

As the people travel, Moses sends messengers to the king of Edom:

Numbers 20:14 – And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us:

Once again, if what Moses says is correct, the Israelites are NOT wandering unobserved, and their neighbors are clearly aware of their situation. Moses runs down the situation of the Israelites:

20:15 – How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers.

Stop right there: Time and Time again the Israelites have mentioned just how good they had it in Egypt, they had it really good when Joseph was there, and apparently despite their servitude they miss Egypt, but now that they are under the servitude of Jehovah, they “lust” after water and vegetables.

So who REALLY vexed the Israelites? Jehovah? Or the Egyptians?

Before you read the next few verses and anger at Edom, just remember how Jacob treated his own twin brother Esau (who somehow became Edom) with deceit and lies. While the love of brotherhood was there while the twins walked the earth, it may not pass on to the next generations (especially when you understand the FACT that Jehovah punishes into 3rd and 4th generations):

20:18 – And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword.

Stop with your emotional conclusions and think about this rationally. Why would Edom not want the Israelites to proceed through their land?

  • The Edomites truly hate their brethren
    • They do not state this specifically, HOWEVER
    • It is inferred by modern Christians
  • The Edomites don’t want Jehovah passing through their land
    • They do not state this specifically, HOWEVER
    • This makes the most sense to me: Knowing everything you know, and which the bible states, about Jehovah, would you want him passing through your neighborhood? Would you want your families burned to death? Stoned to death? Plagued to death? Starved to death? Thirsted to death?
      • These are all Jehovah’s deeds, as verse clearly states.
      • If, as Moses says, the Edomites are aware of the travails of the Israelites, they are also aware of Jehovah’s deeds
      • I would defend my family with a sword to keep Jehovah away from them

20:21 – Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him

Would you allow a known murdered into your town? Your job? YOUR HOUSE! As bad as verse 21 makes the Edomites sound, if you really pay attention they did what was right by the Edomites and their children.

So the Israelites turned from Edom and ended up at Mount Hor. Interestingly enough, Jehovah had nothing to say about the refusal by the Edomites to let the Israelites pass.

Numbers 20 – The cold death of Aaron, priest of Jehovah

In a somewhat humiliating set of events… well, let’s let the verse speak for itself:

20:24 – Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah.

“Righteous and Forgiving”

20:25 – Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor: And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there.

Imagine the humiliation Moses had to endure to perform this feat on his own flesh and blood, his brother, in front of the ENTIRE congregation of Israelites:

20:27 – And Moses did as Jehovah commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount.

So with all the death, punishment, humiliation… just who are the actual humans in this entire scenario?

20:29 – And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.

Put yourself in Moses’ shoes: You lead a group of people who starve and thirst, who are punished when they complain. The deity that leads you is angry, vengeful, and bloodthirsty. He’s already tried to kill you, but then later on tries to pass on his vengeful covenant to your bloodline. You’ve watched him burn your nephews to death, burn the congregation for complaining about hunger and thirst, and finally, in a very humiliating situation, you strip your own brother of his ritual clothing and give it to your brother’s son because your brother was human and had doubt. At this point your brother falls dead.

The people mourn, and the deity has nothing to say about the matter at all.