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.