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.

 

 

 

 

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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 15 – The Law in the New Land; Death for Picking Up Sticks!

Jehovah tells Moses to tell the Israelites how to make offerings once they enter the land.

But wait, who is Moses going to tell this too, considering Jehovah, in Numbers 14, has banished everyone except Caleb and Joshua from entering the land?

The story has broken at this point, but I continue…

Numbers 15:22 – And if ye have erred, and not observed all these commandments, which Jehovah hath spoken unto Moses, Even all that Jehovah hatch commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that Jehovah commanded Moses, and henceforward among your generations…

Notice the phrase “from the day that Jehovah commanded Moses”… what about the commands BEFORE Moses? The ones like “go forth and multiply replenish the earth” and all plant and animals were for them to eat? Those commands came from the earlier god, Elohim.

Jehovah has once again distinguished himself from the Elohim and the Jehovah pre-Moses/pre-Exodus. I reiterate, are we dealing with another entity that has hijacked the Jehovah title? The more distinctions Jehovah creates the more I believe it to be true.

Jehovah makes a distinction between those who improperly obey his law about sacrifices out of innocent ignorance and those who do it knowingly.  The one who disobeys out of ignorance, must perform a ritual sacrifice to appease Jehovah. The one who disobeys knowingly will be cut off from his people.

It is at this point that I would feel being cut off from his people and being cut off from Jehovah would actually be a good thing.

The Man Who Picked Up Sticks

In another odd writing style switch, we go from explanation of the law to a narrative about a man who was found picking up sticks on the Sabbath, who is imprisoned until Jehovah is consulted on the matter (Remember: “Righteous and Forgiving):

Numbers 15:35 – And Jehovah said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.

For picking up sticks on the Sabbath, a man is to STONED TO DEATH. Why would anyone want to follow, worship, or praise this god unless they are doing it under duress and out of fear for punishment if they don’t. To me, this is the Theme of the post-Genesis story of Jehovah and the Israelites so far. There is NOTHING righteous about this deity, or his judgement against this man who picked up sticks. There was no offer to atone via sacrifice, no trial, no discussion, only straight to a death sentence.

15:36 – And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as Jehovah commanded Moses.

As if having a man stoned to death for picking up sticks was no big deal, Numbers 15 continues on with Jehovah instructing the Israelites on how and why to add fringes and a blue border to their garments, to remind them of the commandments he’s given them:

15:39 – And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye make look upon it, and remember all the commandments of Jehovah, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:

Ask yourself, if the Israelites followed this command of putting a blue ribbon and fringes on their garments, is it out of their own free will, or out of their fear of being taken outside the camp and stoned to death?

“seek not after your own heart and your own eyes”

No free will at all. They have to perform ritual after ritual under the watchful eyes of a priesthood who also are chained to ritual. They are only eating manna, and have been punished in the past for complaining about being thirsty and hungry. Their chief priest has slaughtered them for various reasons, and their god has slaughtered those who, like most humans, showed fear and doubt, with a deadly plague. Their children 3-4 generations down are being punished for things they did not do.

Yet this god is boasting he “rescued” them from Egypt? If they had a chance they’d already said they would run back to Egypt. Jehovah and Moses and the modern church want us to think Egypt was evil, which is why Jehovah punished them. Who’s demonstrated the most evil and wickedness so far? Not Egypt!

The answer is becoming clearer in my eyes and mind: Jehovah

Jehovah’s boast of being “righteous and forgiving” has become a lie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Numbers 7 – 8; Anointing of the Altar; The Levites Perform; More on Jehovah

Numbers 7

Numbers 7 describes the anointing of the Altar, and all the families, princes, and offerings made.

Each day a Captain from each of the 12 tribes gives their offerings. After looking it over, once again I conclude these people were NOT poor, subsistence pastoralists. Plenty of silver, cattle, gold, and flocks to offer. Plenty of SHEKELS.

Shekels: So were these shekels only to trade amongst themselves? Were shekels used to trade with foreigners? Why would a tribe of people under one god need a currency? After all, imbalance in a currency means there are rich and poor; the haves and have nots. Apparently this god is ok with this type of societal structure.

Compare this to the teachings of modern Christianity where such items are not of importance. This, to me, is a giant contradiction between Old Testament and New Testament.

So after 12 days of lavish offerings…

Numbers 7:89 – And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spoke unto him.

From a mountain/volcano top down to a mercy seat after 12 days of offerings. These are the actions of the god who supposedly created the heavens and the earth. This god requires extravagant offerings before he could speak from the mercy seat.

Compare this to the Jehovah in Genesis, and tell me they are the same. My thesis that the Jehovah in Genesis is not the Jehovah in Exodus/Leviticus/Numbers stands. This Jehovah requires rituals and offerings to “charge” himself to a point where he can speak out.

Numbers 8 – The Levites Perform their Duties

Remembering that much of what we’ve seen in previous verse was instructions on what to do in the future, we now see the Levites in action, following their orders. Much of Chapter 8 is just repetition and description of these instructions.

Fortunately, no one brought strange incense or touched something they shouldn’t have, so it looks like everyone survived this ritual. This may sound facetious, but I was truly expecting another set of events. After all, NO ONE is perfect. We are all human. We all make mistakes, we trip, we stumble, we forget, we confuse. You do any of these in certain situations under this god and you end up dead!

Levites seem to have performed as planned.

Numbers 8 – Jehovah Boasts; My Response!

Again, as if he needs to remind the Israelites about his deeds:

Numbers 8:17 – For all the firstborn children of Israel are mine, both man and beast: on the day that I smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for myself.

Is this supposed to impress the Israelites? Sure, they lived under duress of servitude to the Egyptians, but even as they wandered the wilderness after being carried out of Egypt, they WISHED TO BE BACK IN EGYPT! So it’s obvious their conditions weren’t ideal, but they were conditions they were ok with.

What does this tell me? They probably had decent relations with Egyptians. So here comes a god that kills all the first born of people the Israelites probably didn’t really hate to the point they would want the first born killed. I’m sure the Israelites were well intimate with Egyptian families. After all, not all Egyptians were Pharaohs, there were common people in Egypt! It takes one sadistic person to call for or enjoy the death of INNOCENT CHILDREN. Do I think the Israelites wanted to see their Egyptian counterparts lose their first born? They were human after all, and the concept of childhood innocence probably wasn’t lost on them. When you hear a baby cry, mankind, regardless of color or creed, run to the call. Jehovah was fine with killing them. Jehovah is NOT mankind.

But Jehovah killed them all, and now he boasts about this genocide. Most would say he did a good thing, I say he did a bad thing and is boasting about it to remind the Israelites of the fear they need to live under so the same doesn’t happen to them.

There are people in my life I really do not like, in fact, it borders on a type of hate that I know is not good for me, but it’s there. I have to be honest. To be more honest, regardless of how much I dislike these people, I DO NOT WANT TO SEE THEIR CHILDREN KILLED!

I probably wouldn’t have revisited this vile set of actions by Jehovah, if he hadn’t boasted about it to the Israelites. It caused me to ponder further, re-evaluate the story, and realize more and more about Jehovah and his personality.

Did Jehovah ever feel remorse for killing so many innocent people in Egypt? He didn’t show any remorse about killing Aaron’s sons.

Surprisingly, The Book of Numbers is doing a great job quoting things that make me look back and evaluate Jehovah’s past and present actions. The chapter ends with more mundane details on the Levites within the Tabernacle, details no longer applicable to the modern world.

Here’s one good thing: Those serving in the Levitical priesthood get to retire at age of 50 from serving within the tabernacle. BUT, they must continue to service those who do serve within the tabernacle.

Ask yourself this: Are These a FREE PEOPLE?!

Numbers 6 – Vow of a Nazarite; Jehovah Observation

The Vow of a Nazarite

So just what is a Nazarite? The Bible is incomplete at this point because this is the first we hear of this type of person and yet we know nothing about it. At first glance it looks like some sort of ultimate devotion to Jehovah requiring separation from cultural norms that the regular Israelites are allowed to carry on.

Here’s what I can tell about this vow:

  • They can’t drink wine or vinegar
  • They can’t drink liquor of grapes or eat any grapes
    • Isn’t this wine as we know it?
    • If so, then what is this “wine” that the author mentions?
  • They are not to eat anything from a vine tree
  • Their “vow” is not perpetual, it’s a set time
  • They are not to cut their hair
  • They are not to make themselves unclean for their father, mother, brother, sister when they die
  • All the days he is “separated” he is holy
  • If he kills a man (why would this happen at all?!) then he is defiled and must perform a ritual of head shaving and offerings.

Numbers 6 goes into more detail on the rituals regarding the Nazarite completing his vows.

Observation: Modern Christians mock and look down upon “rituals” performed by non Christians throughout the world, yet the progenitors and patriarchs of their religion were mired in ritual acts of sacrifice and death. How many animals were burned and how much animal blood was spilled to the god who claims from the people who believe he created the heavens and the earth? How many people were stoned to death for things that today, we would brush off and move on with our day?

Modern Christianity and the Contradiction of the Old Testament “god”

Like most modern Christians, let’s forget all the ritual practices and brutality explicitly stated thus far, and let’s jump right to a verse that conforms to modern Christian beliefs of a loving peaceful god, a needle in a haystack of vengeance and death.

Numbers 6:24 – Jehovah bless thee, and keep thee: Jehovah make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: Jehovah lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.

A couple of notes here. After studying the Bible, verse by verse, up to this point, I have these observations:

  • Jehovah has yet to bless ANYBODY; Jehovah “keeping thee” is akin to their slavery and servitude to their god, with the punishment of death at every corner
  • How could Jehovah’s face “shine” on anybody, after all he says no one can look at him without dying?
  • Jehovah’s “countenance” thus far has been jealousy, anger, and vengeance. Why would ANYONE want Jehovah’s countenance lifted on them?
  • The only PEACE they receive is the peace they receive by not being punished and DESTROYED (remember, this is HIS word) by him! He is giving them peace from his angry self!

A boastful self promotion by Jehovah, that his actions towards these people are “gracious”. I doubt the charred remains Aaron’s sons could look at this verse and agree with it. Everyone else will praise it because they don’t want to face the same wrath, hence, the verse lives on.

 

Numbers 5 – Trespass against Jehovah; Law of Jealousies

Numbers 5 begins with Jehovah instructing Moses to throw the following people out of the camp:

  • Lepers
  • Anyone with an “issue”
  • Those defiled by the dead

The Israelites throw them out of the camp.

Sins of Man – Trespass against Jehovah – Law of Jealousies

If a man commits a sin:

  • They will confess their sin
  • They will pay (money) for their sins, a principal plus 20 percent (a fifth part?)
    • Money goes to their victim or their family
    • If no family, money goes to Jehovah via a priest

If  a man’s wife commits a trespass against him, lays with another man, the husband does not see it, she is defiled, no witness against her…. (yikes, the conditions)

Numbers 5:14 – And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealouse of his wife, and she be not defiled.

I quote this text because of the idea that “jealousy” is considered a “spirit”. We call them, today, emotions. The author is using spirit in a different context than normal (today at least). Human emotion – spirit. This is important to know as we come across future use of the word spirit. It can be ambiguous to our current understanding of what a “spirit” is and thus can seriously change our translations of “spirit” throughout the rest of the Bible. In verse 18 we see that the woman is, as part of the ritual, to hold a “jealousy” offering, the priest will be holding bitter water causes the curse (curse is jealousy?)

So the woman is placed before the Priest as part of a ritual, if she was not defiled (after all no witnesses, etc) then she is free from the bitter water that causes the curse (curse of jealousy?)

If she was defiled then Jehovah will curse her with “thigh to rot, and belly to swell” after she drinks the water.

If she wasn’t defiled, then she is clean and is free to go and conceive children.

Unfortunately, we know today a wife can cheat on her husband, and pretty much get away with it, still have children, and can do so without drawn out rituals.

My question is: What about when the MAN is the one cheating? Does this go back to the idea that the sin in the Garden of Eden was Eve’s fault, so by default, men are not judged by the same standards as women, in this ancient Middle Eastern culture?

What about the man who the woman in question cheated with? Previous verse tells us both were to be stoned to death, but now we are told she has to go through a ritual, and no mention of the punishment for the man. A quick look at the next Chapter in Numbers and sure enough, this Law of Jealousies ends at this point. Seems like the women get the bad part of this bargain. What happens if the situation turns and her husband goes out and lays with another woman?

These “laws” are becoming ambiguous and repetitive with not a lot of consistency.

 

Leviticus – Redux

Leviticus must be frustrating for those wishing to learn more about the words in the Bible, and how it all meshes with modern religion.

Modern religion seems to be a frankenstein like beast, put together with fragments of dead stories which fit best with modern times and norms. The rest of the pieces of the stories are ignored or not discussed.

Who’s to blame them? There are so many foreign concepts and ideas in Leviticus, it’s almost as if the entire book of Leviticus, AND Genesis and Exodus, were clearly written for a specific set of people in a specific time in history in a specific geographic location. Which is one of my primary points in this blog, and Leviticus only solidifies my argument.

So why do modern Christians believe the bible, from beginning to end, is applicable to them as a whole? Is it the misused usage of words like “forever” and “the whole earth” when we see that “forever” ended A LONG TIME AGO (i.e. the Levitical priesthood) and the “whole earth” really only describes the geographic locations the author knew about at the time.

After all, it wasn’t until 1492 that people realized there was an entire Hemisphere between them and India. Suddenly, the concept of the “whole world” changed!

People today believe Jehovah is the creator of the universe. Yet Leviticus states that there are many rituals that are to be performed “for ever”. They have not been performed in thousands of years in the presence of the tabernacle. Yet the world moves on and progresses and the punishments Jehovah laid out in Leviticus 26 are not here.

Heave offerings, wave offerings, burnt flock, burning fat, altars, anointing, oils, priestly regalia. All foreign to most anyone outside the Middle East proper. Yet I’m supposed to believe this book is for all people throughout the world?

Oh, and who can forget the body count between Jehovah and the Devil at this point in the Bible, the end of Leviticus. All death and destruction has come at the hands of Jehovah. NOTHING from the devil. His only “evil” was telling Adam and Eve the truth about eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The Bible is clear on this point.

I can almost hear the cry of Christians saying I am a devil apologist, etc. I’m only repeating what the Bible clearly states. Jehovah said they would die if they ate the fruit; The Serpent said they would only open their eyes if they ate the fruit. They ate the fruit and opened their eyes. Who is the liar in this story!?

Look at what happened to the two sons of Aaron, burnt to death by Jehovah. Look at how Leviticus treats medical issues like leprosy, no actual treatment, except through burnt offerings and priestly rituals. Does this pass in modern times? Does a parent kill their children for bringing them the wrong food? When you have a flu, do you burn a goat to heal yourself?

The dichotomy between Jehovah and Elohim is briefly touched upon in Leviticus. Elohim gave us the stars to track days and times; Jehovah says do not observe times.

The church tells us there are 10 main Commandments. Well the 10 they talk about are actually part of 13 total if you single out the specific chapter they are mentioned in. Conveniently those last 3 are left out in modern times (picking and choosing?) Not only that, there are HUNDREDS more commandments laid out.

The writing style of Leviticus seems to be continuous from Exodus, but oddly scattered, as we find smack dab in the middle of the constant commandments coming out of Jehovah, a story about a man who cursed Jehovah and was stoned to death.

Leviticus 26 is probably the most potent chapter of them all when studying the personality of this god, Jehovah. The brutality of his punishments tells me he is no better, nay, he is much worse towards the Israelites than the Egyptians were.

The Israelites are clearly still under slavery and servitude, except instead of to a Pharaoh and his nation, they are shackled under an invisible god working through an intermediary via Moses and a priesthood clan.

I still stand on my belief that either a) Jehovah at this time is NOT the same Jehovah in Genesis and Exodus, but the entity (or Moses) has hijacked his name; OR; b) The Jehovah concept is being used by a powerful magician via Moses, who utilizes volcanic and natural events to control his people through fear.

The idea that Jehovah walked among Adam, Abraham, etc. but can not appear to anyone but Moses in Exodus and Leviticus tells me they are not the same entity. The term “elohim”, despite being the entities credited for all the good creation in Genesis 1, have all but disappeared from the Bible at this point. Yet modern churches preach that it is the same entity from beginning to end.

If I was being proselytized to, in a foreign land far from the cultures of the historic (or even modern) Middle East, this book thus far would have absolutely ZERO applicability on my life. The majority of the story would be completely foreign and inapplicable to my survival.

YET! This story has spread all across the world like wildfire. Is it because it is, indeed, applicable to all the world?

OR! Is it because the manner in which it was initially spread (by book or sword) and the ultimate message (follow this or you are going to burn in hell forever) have put absolute fright into those who receive the message?

Millions have died as these Abrahamic religions that reference these early books in the Bible spread around the world. At some point, a parent is going to accept these teachings in order to save their children from death at the hands of the religious fanatic. The children grow up, and pass it on to their children, etc. At some point, we forget just HOW this doctrine was given to us and we accept it all as fact, never remembering the dismembering, torture, burnings, and death that accompanied these religions as they spread into distant lands.

Problem is, unlike the peoples of the past, TODAY we are free people, we can read for ourselves, we can research the past for ourselves, we can analyze what religions tell us is “true” and make decisions on our own. Is it any wonder people leave modern religions despite the promise of burning hell and fire and brimstone as punishment if they do?

At some point the Boogy Man no longer puts fear in the child who has become an adult when the adult realizes there really wasn’t an actual Boogy Man. Reading the actual words of the Bible is slowly removing said fear, despite the modern churches still teaching this fragmented doctrine of eternal hell and an angry vengeful god.

I could easily toss this book aside at this point in the Bible for all said reasons above, but I am continuing forward because I enjoy the process of discovery.

Leviticus 27 – The Monetary Value of People and Property

It took a few re-reads to try to figure out exactly what is happening in Leviticus 27. The chapter describes “man making a vow” and then a “cost” depending on who or what the vow is.

Assuming the vow is to Jehovah, it looks like Chapter 27 is laying down the monetary value of vows that are too be paid to purchase this vow.

The idea of purchasing favor, forgiveness, etc. is an odd concept, and it really doesn’t mesh with the teachings of modern Christianity. Notice I only said “teachings” because the concept of buying forgiveness and rank in modern churches is alive and well.

The idea that we “pay for our sins” seems to be traced back to these times where people paid for their sins with offerings, and it seems eventually these offerings were replaced with an intermediary who says “Ok, give me money, and we will make these offerings for you” cutting out the persons need to bring their own flocks for sacrifice.

Same goes with valuing someone’s house: A priest is basically a home assessor who estimates the value of a house, so that future transactions can take place with an official price.

In another sort of cultural foundation of rules, this chapter says the only currency that can be used is the shekel of the sanctuary, which equals 20 gerahs.

My take: the laws set out here clearly state that most things have monetary value, including people. This would be a barbaric concept today because of our past with slave auctions and dehumanization of fellow human beings for profit and cash flow. Leviticus is so era and culturally specific, I don’t understand how and why people can pull bits and pieces out of it and say “You MUST follow these laws or you are going to Hell!” What about the rest of the rules?

I’ll say it again, when comparing modern Christianity to the words found in Exodus and Leviticus, the modern churches are guilty of picking and choosing verses that fit, if barely, into modern times and cultural norms. The rest of the laws and commandments are ignored despite the fact nowhere in the text does it say that following these laws is an option.

Not a lot to say about this chapter, except it ends Leviticus in a sort of boring fashion especially after the brutal descriptions we find in Leviticus 26.

Leviticus redux coming soon…

Leviticus 26 – The Law: When Israelites Disobey

Before we proceed, remember that Jehovah called himself a “loving and forgiving” god.

So what happens when the Israelites disobey the rules mandated them by Jehovah, through Moses, IN JEHOVAH’S OWN WORDS:

Leviticus 26:16 – I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of the heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

Ok so right off the bat, there is definitely ZERO forgiveness. Neither is their no trial, no sit down and consult, no mediation, straight to PUNISHMENT. Get the picture?

More punishments:

  • Jehovah will set his face against them, their enemies will kill them and reign over them, and they will flee wildly
  • They will be punished SEVEN TIMES for their sins
  • He will break the pride of their power; their heaven/skies will be as IRON, and their earth as BRASS
    • IRON and BRASS, two concepts to remember as we move forward to the prophecies found in the books of the prophets and the book of revelation.
  • Their strength in planting will be in vain, the land nor the trees will not yield
    • Today, the majority of Jehovah’s rules are not followed
    • Yet we see land and trees yielding their crops
  • Seven times more plagues according to their sins
  • Wild “beasts” (man and animals and other?) will:
    • Rob them of their children. WHY DOES JEHOVAH ALLOW THE CHILDREN TO SUFFER?
    • Destroy cattle
    • Decrease their population and make their “high” ways desolate (high places?)
  • A sword will avenge the quarrel of the covenant, and pestilence will be among them, and they will be delivered to their enemy
  • Leviticus 26:6 is of note, numerology and symbolically, for more research into this culture.
    • Quick glance, 10 women bake their quantity of bread, but it will not satisfy one mans hunger
  • Jehovah will walk contrary to them in FURY.

Please note the following verse in bold. The concept of starvation as punishment has already been established in verse 26:26. Jehovah tells them they will break bread and still be hungry, THEN, he says THIS. Do not tip-toe around this:

Leviticus 26:29 – And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.

THEY WILL EAT THEIR OWN CHILDREN AS PUNISHMENT.

Try as you may to say this is symbolic, allegorical, or taken out of context. But the context has already been put in place: the bread they cook will not make them full, they will have to eat their own children!

Can we make the obvious assumption that Jehovah DOES NOT care about children? In fact he uses them, innocent as they are, to punish their parents through death and cannibalism?!

As if this horrid treatment of children is nothing more than a basic judgement, Jehovah moves on with his list of punishments for disobedience:

  • The “high” places, images, and idols will be cut down, and the carcasses of the people will be thrown upon the carcasses of the idols
    • Any physical, archaeological evidence this actually happened?
  • Their cities will be wastes, desolation to their sanctuaries, and their burnt offerings will not be smelled (“sweet savours”)
  • Land will fall into desolation, and even their enemies will be astonished at the desolation
  • READ 26:31 – 26:33 and tell me this set of verses is NOT written in some sort of writing style unique to this historic author and culture!
  • After all the punishment, the land is going to enjoy its rest/sabbath
  • Any left over people are going to die at the sound of a shaken leaf, and they will flee when no one is chasing them; they will fall dead upon each other
  • They will die among the heathen, and the land will eat them up
  • Those left after all the genocide will pine away in the lands of their enemies, as well as those whose fathers screwed up, they will also suffer and pine away (AKA no forgiveness for the children)

So after all the death, cannibalism, and destruction, we FINALLY see the “forgiveness” Jehovah boasted about:

If the remnants of the people repent (and seriously, unless you are complete slaves, who is going to want to go back to be under the duress of Jehovah), then they have an opportunity for penance:

If they confess, are humbled, and accept their punishment:

  • Jehovah will remember the covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob; the land will rest
  • Jehovah will not COMPLETELY destroy them (only partially)
  • That’s it

With so many punishment and very few benefits, it can not be argued these people are NOT free, but under duress of slavery and servitude via Jehovah. Their punishments are truly seven times over, if not seven thousand times more brutal then their transgressions:

Eating your own children because Jehovah won’t let you fill from the bread you make?

Study the verses of this chapter. ALL OF THEM. Observe the context and understand exactly what is being said in Leviticus 26:29 and tell me this god is “loving and forgiving.”