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 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 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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Numbers 16 – A Rebellion; Death Toll from Jehovah Increases

After all the bad things that have happened to them, the thirst, starvation, death at the hands of a god they can not see and who will not talk to them, death at the hand of their chief priest, and the forcing of them to kill their own people, some Israelites had enough.

Korah (Levite) and On (Tribe of Reuben) gathered 250 “men of renown” against Moses and Aaron. It seems that these men are now questioning why Moses and Aaron are so much above them when “seeing all the congregation are holy”, that they should be more equal.

Moses tells these men to gather the next day with incense censers, and to burn them in front of Jehovah, and Jehovah will proclaim just who is holy.

Numbers 16:8 – And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the *elohe* (god) of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of Jehovah, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them?

I can’t imagine this “task” they were all forced to do, in all pomp and ritual, is something Moses should make them feel appreciative of. We have an entire “tribe” of people, and if you think about mankind in general, you have all different walks of life even within small families. While some family trades do carry on through generations, not ALL end up doing so as well. In a family of doctors you may find some plumbers. In a family of plumbers  you may find a nuclear scientist. What do you find in this family?

Everyone does the same thing, every day, in and out. If they don’t do it, they are punished with death. Is it any wonder at this point the Levites aren’t as grateful as Moses thinks they should be?! Is it any wonder at some point, the man who wished to be a plumber but instead became a doctor, snaps? Of course, we can’t use this example today because it rarely happens. Why? BECAUSE WE HAVE FREE WILL!

Moses reaches out to the sons of Eliab, who refuse to partake in this incense ritual, again, repeating to Moses what I’m sure the majority of Israelites are afraid to speak out on:

16:13 – Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us?

So not only are they angry at their situation, they are also resentful against Moses who has elevated himself above them in rank, and by doing so, put them all in a precarious situation. Can you not understand why the Israelites are rebelling?

The next day the ritual is performed in front of the door of the Tabernacle. Jehovah speaks to Moses and Aaron:

16:21 – Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.

Once again Moses has to change the mind of Jehovah, asking him not to punish the entire congregation for the sins of one man

Note that Jehovah’s default punishment in cases like this: wipe the entire congregation of people out.

Moses separates the congregation. Note how it is separated and who stands with Dathan and Abiram:

16:27 – So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children.

Moses explains to the people that two things will happen:

  1. The families of Dathan and Abiram will die normal deaths
    1. This will prove that Jehovah did NOT send Moses to perform his deeds
  2. The families of Dathan and Abiram will be swallowed up by the earth
    1. This will prove that Jehovah DID send Moses to perform his deeds

16:31 – And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.

This “Righteous and Forgiving” deity has just murdered women and children because their fathers stood up for what they felt was right. Now you can add women and children to Jehovah’s body count. To make things worse, these were his own people!

In a state of panic, and what I imagine most people would do who were under the tyrannical rule of an angry deity, the Israelites reacted:

16:34 – And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.

These were their own relatives they watched die, children who they probably helped raise. Swallowed up by the earth by a deity who boasts he has rescued them. If they, moving forward, worship this god, is it out of sincerity, or out of fear that they too may be swallowed up by the earth if they don’t?

The punishment wasn’t over, the 250 men that were told to be part of bringing their censer of incense were next:

16:35 – And there came out a fire from Jehovah, and consumed the 250 men that offered incense.

Jehovah’s body count increases.

16:36 – And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the censers out of the burning, and scatter thou the fire yonder; for they are hallowed. The censers of these sinners against their own souls, let them make them broad plates for a covering of the altar: for they offered them before Jehovah, therefore they are hallowed: and they shall be a sign unto the children of Israel.

“a sign” aka a WARNING that death is around the corner if they mess up.

Jehovah again reminds Moses to tell the Israelites that the punishment for the wrong ritual regarding incense equals death. We already know that Aaron’s sons brought strange incense and Jehovah burned them to death. Jehovah tells Moses to tell the Israelites that anyone who is NOT of the tribe of Levi who brings him incense will receive the fate of Korah (burned to death).

The Next Day: More Rebellion

As if not understanding that the deaths of their people the previous day were due to Jehovah:

16:41 – But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of Jehovah.

This is an interesting verse:

  • We are told Jehovah killed all these people, but to the Israelites it was Moses and Aaron that did it
  • Why is there such a large gap in understanding between what we are told by the author and what the Israelites believe?
  • What is the author trying to tell us when the subjects of his story are not privy to the information the author is telling us?

As this all happens, the cloud appeared above the Tabernacle, in a repeat of what we were told before:

16:45 – And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.

If you dispute my thesis that this deity really does want to commit genocide against his own people, in his own words he’s repeated it, TWICE. This time Moses and Aaron are unable to persuade him to change his mind.

16:46 – And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from Jehovah; the plague is begun.

Here’s what we should note about the Tabernacle, from it comes “fire” and “plague”. Aaron runs to the congregation with his censer of burning incense and made an “atonement for the people”

  • So now we have a precedent where “atonement” is merely an act of protecting the people with incense
  • How does this interfere with Jehovah’s actions? How does incense prevent the plague from spreading?

16:48 – And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.

So, despite Jehovah (the supposed creator of the universe, almighty) spreading the plague, the mere action of protecting the people with burning incense halted Jehovah’s actions. Does this make sense?

Jehovah’s Body Count

Even the author is trying to tell us something, he finishes Numbers 16 with a death toll at the hands of Jehovah:

  • 14,700 of Jehovah’s own people died from the plague he sent them
    • Would everyone have died (as Jehovah himself admits was his goal) if Aaron had not interceded with incense?
    • Why did Moses and Aaron intend to save lives? Was it because if all the house of Jacob were murdered off, Jehovah had already stated his intention to pass the covenant on to their family? Which would submit Moses and Aaron’s family to the brutal treatment of Jehovah?
  • Unknown men, women and children in the Korah incident added to this death toll

“Righteous and Forgiving” – What is the author trying to tell us about Jehovah?! Numbers 15-16 have been brutal so far, and this is not information I was taught about in bible school. What gives modern Christian churches?! Why leave this information out?!

 

 

 

 

Numbers 13 – Spying on Canaan; Giants!

The land of Canaan is near, and Jehovah tells Moses to send out men to “spy” on the land of Canaan before they enter it.

Why would an all knowing god need his people to send spies to see what the land they are headed to looks like?

Moses sends Jehoshua (aka Joshua) to lead the spies.

Geographical note: They are in the wilderness of Paran, and Moses instructs them to go *south* and to go up the mountain to look down on the land (Numbers 13:17).

Considering they traveled north from Egypt, why would the end up going south? More research needs to be done on this one. What we are looking for is a mountain north of Canaan that the Israelites would be able to travel to without actually traveling through Canaan.

It was grape harvesting season, and this is what happens next:

Numbers 13:22 – And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypty)

Note: The author is making the assumption that the reader knows not only Anak, but his children, and also knows a land called Hebron and Zoan. Written for the people of the time or applicable for people in the future?

13:23 – And they came unto the brook (KJV note: valley) of Eschol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs.

These had to be GIANT grapes, for one cluster to be carried between two men holding a staff. Will future verse expound on the concept of giant fruits? Giant people? A land of giant things?

grapes-on-stick
Author example of a Biblical author and his exaggeration? Or were the grapes really gargantuan in size?

Joshua and his spies returned after 40 days of spying. In the spies own words to Moses:

13:27 – And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and morever we saw the children of Anak there.

Ok, from an anthropological point of view: If there are giant grapes (and seeds) and great, walled cities, surely there would be some physical evidence of them today? Or is the author going to tell us that EVERYTHING (walls and giant things) was wiped out when the Israelites enter the land? I look forward to discovering.

Here are the aforementioned indigenous peoples and their location in Canaan:

  • Amalekites in the south
  • Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites in the mountains
  • Canaanites by the sea and the coast of Jordan

If the Israelites have spent the past few generations in Egypt, how in the world did they know who the sons of Anak were? Or what the names of said people living in Canaan?

So the land is flowing with milk and honey, the grapes are substantial, but apparently all is not good with the land.

13:32 – And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature.

Look at the language in this verse, how it contradicts:

  • The land is flowing with milk and honey
    • Yet we are told it is “evil”
  • The land is eating up its inhabitants
    • Yet we are told the inhabitants, ALL of them, are men of great stature

So the land, which flows with milk and honey, is evil, and is eating up men of great stature.

Is this great stature literal? The people are giants? Or does stature refer to ordinary, yet, mighty men, men of renown (as we saw in Genesis 6). Genesis 6:4 tells us there were giants in the days of Noah, AND afterwards.

To answer the question in their own words:

13:33 – And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

Let’s rephrase the earlier conclusion:

The land, which flows with milk and honey, is evil, and is eating up giants.

Does this make sense? Are there giant bones found in Canaan today?

Let’s go to the Hebrew interlinear for some clarification: the term translated into giants is *Nephilim*. Strongs Concordance (word 5303) translates *nephilim* as stemming from the word (5307) *nephal* which means, “to fall”. Were these fallen beings?

If they were “giants” or “fallen ones”, then WHO was Anak?

Rabbit hole? Go look up the Annunaki, and notice the similarity between the name Anak and the name Annunaki.

Anyhow, the spies have mentioned that they were like grasshoppers in the sight of the giants. Yet they say the land is eating up its inhabitants (as if to justify the upcoming genocide by pointing to the concept that the land is corrupted).

Numbers 9 – 10: Offerings, Fire and Cloud, Trumpets, Signals; Journey Resumes

Numbers 9 – The Defiled and Offerings

Numbers 9 starts with a repeat of instructions regarding “the passover”. It also explains another situation where members of the Israelites have come to Moses to ask about giving offerings when they were “defiled” by handling a dead body. Giving offerings while defiled was against the law.

Numbers 9:8 – And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what Jehovah will command concerning you. And Jehovah spoke unto Moses saying…

While we are told Moses can communicate with Jehovah, we don’t know exactly HOW. This verse gives us a little bit of insight. Moses is obviously in the presence of the defiled men, so he tells them to stand still so Moses can hear what Jehovah requires. This must be some sort of mental telepathy, where Moses can hear his voice. Contrast this to visions, where he would see instructions.

Jehovah explains the required ritual for the defiled to make proper offerings.

Numbers 9 – Fire and Smoke as Signals

In earlier verse we were told that, by night, a Pillar of Fire would lead the Israelites on their journey. A Pillar of Smoke/Cloud would lead them during the day. This concept gets mixed into the existence of the Tabernacle. Now: the Fire and Cloud indicate a sort of Stop and Go signal. If the Israelites see Fire above the altar, they are to journey until the Cloud appears above the altar, at which point they stay where they are.

Numbers 10 – Trumpets and Signals

Jehovah instructs that trumpets of silver be made, and how they are to be blown to signal an assembly of the people, or an assembly of certain groups as they were allocated in different parts of the camps. They are also to be blown over burnt offerings.

Numbers 10 – The Cloud Disappears and They Move On

As mentioned in Numbers 9, the Cloud has finally signaled for the Israelites to move on out of the Sinai wilderness where the Cloud rests in Paran. Also as described earlier, the various armies with their banners and princes moved on as instructed.

Moses speaks with his brother-in-law Hobab (son of Reuel the Midianite) and tells him that they are to journey on, that things with Jehovah are good, and he asks him to follow along. Hobabs response:

Numbers 10:30 – And he said unto him, I will not go; but I will depart to mine own land, and to my kindred.

We know that the Israelites are distantly related to the Midians. We are also told that supposedly Jehovah created EVERYBODY. So why the distinction between the Israelites and Hobab’s kindred? Does Hobab not recognize Jehovah as supreme god? If no, then why isn’t Hobab, who is obviously within the presence of Moses and the Israelites, punished by Jehovah?

Is it because Jehovah is merely the patron god of the Israelites? Not of the entire world?

While it’s unclear if Hobab agreed or not, we are told the group has taken a 3 day journey.

10:33 – And they departed from the mount of Jehovah three days’ journey: and the ark of the covenant of Jehovah went before them in three days’ journey, to search out a resting place for them.

We can conclude that the Levites in charge of the ark went forward before the Israelites, waiting for instructions on when and where to rest to come from the ark/Jehovah. Again, note the distinction between Jehovah being able to speak to anyone freely, and now Jehovah only being able to communicate within the confines of the ark.

10:35 – And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up Jehovah, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return O’Jehovah, unto the many thousands of Israel.

So the Fire and Cloud signals are pretty much random. Going back to my volcano theory, the same could be said for live volcanic activity. A volcano can smoke (Pillar of Cloud) for hours, days, weeks, etc. Same can be said for an eruption (Pillar of Fire). As if to proclaim it all to be the decision of Jehovah, Moses comes up with saying to take away the possibility that the Fire and Cloud be associated with nature, and instead making it sound like it is Jehovah’s will that decides when the smoke and fire appear.

 

Numbers 3 & 4 – Instructions and Census of the Levites

Numbers 3 – The Levites

Numbers 1 and 2 dealt with the non Levitical tribes. Numbers 3 discusses the Levitical roles, their designs, and their rankings.

The sub-families within the Tribe of Levi were assigned roles around the tabernacle.

Numbers 3:38 – But those that encamp before the tabernacle toward the east, even before the tabernacle of the congregation eastward, shall be Moses, and Aaron and his sons, keeping the charge of the sanctuary for the charge of the children of Israel; and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

“Righteous and forgiving” he calls himself.

Numbers 3 – Taxing to Provide for the Levites

Jehovah tells Moses to run a census of the firstborn males, and in a difficult to comprehend set of events, it sounds like Moses taxes the people based on the number of the firstborn, and gives that tax money to the Levites.

Numbers 4 – More Directions for the Levites

Numbers 4 starts with instructions on how to deal with the Tabernacle as they move along in their journey, how to prep things, cover them, and maintain them while traveling.

Numbers 4:15 – And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.

So what we have are man made items, that are made “holy” which now have the sentence of death if they are touched improperly. No cleansing rituals, no wave offerings, just death.

Numbers 4 continues with more instruction regarding the various families within Levi, all assigned various “burdens” regarding the Tabernacle and its items.

So far Numbers has continued in the process of making the text of the Bible, so far, inapplicable to just about anywhere in the world except for this small group of people in the Middle East wilderness 3,000 (give or take) years ago. Yet I am told the Bible from beginning to end is valid for all peoples in all eras. 

My point: At some point in future verse, we will come across something that can be valid today, and thus people say “See, right there, there it is!” yet the rest of the Bible is ignored because it just doesn’t fit in to today’s norms, and, unfortunately, methods of healing used by the priesthood (offerings sacrifices) we know for a fact do not heal the way modern medicine does consistently.

 

 

 

Leviticus 21 – Rules for the Priesthood of Aaron

We get a slightly different set of rules for the Priesthood of Aaron. Rules about what defiles him in regards to touching the dead. How they are not to shave their heads, or again, corner their beards or cut their flesh.

  • Can’t take a whore, a profane woman, or a woman put away from her husband for a wife
  • If a daughter of a priest profanes herself, she is to be burnt with fire
    • So this must be where the cruel and inhuman concept of burning at the stake comes from.
    • From a loving and forgiving deity (in his own words)

High Priests

  • High priests consecrated for certain garments, are not to uncover their heads or “rend” their clothes (possibly meaning when mourning)

Leviticus 21:11 – Neither shall he go in to any dead body

The wording of this is too ambiguous, but you can see how it can easily be translated in a perverse way.

  • High priests must take a virgin for a wife; not a widow, divorcee, profane woman, or harlot, only a virgin of his family.

The Blemished Children of Aaron

Imagine you are born with a deformity, a blemish, a disease, a mutation. You become blind, or crippled. By modern standards, you are still a child of God. What does Jehovah have to say about you?

Leviticus 21:17 – Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of eloh*aw (his god).

That’s right, don’t even think of getting near the altar, even though you were born into the priesthood. You aren’t perfect, you are a blemish of creation, and you are not allowed to go near to Jehovah.

NOW we get PLENTY of details about what is not allowed to be. If  you are:

  • Blind
  • Lame
  • Flat nosed
  • Have extra digits/parts (superfluous)
  • Brokenfooted
  • Brokenhanded
  • Crooked back
  • Dwarf
  • Blemish in your eye
  • Scurvy
  • Scabbed
  • Broken stones (testicles?)

Too bad, you can not approach Jehovah for an offering. Compare this to modern Christian teachings, where ALL, especially THESE types of people are to be welcomed and accepted. The chasm between Jehovah and the teaching of Christ continues to widen.

Because if you are blemished, and you get near to Jehovah, you profane his sanctuary. His own words.

A very important chapter of Leviticus, for those who call themselves Christians, to ponder over when reflecting on the teachings of Christ.

 

Leviticus 18 – Cultures, Nakedness, Abominations

Jehovah speaks to Moses telling him to tell the Israelites:

Leviticus 18:3 – After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.

So there are cultural practices and norms that Jehovah does not want them to do, practices they did in Egypt, and practices of the people of Canaan.

Nakedness

The concept of “uncovering nakedness” has been somewhat ambiguous. When Noah’s nakedness was uncovered by Ham, it was such a serious event that Noah cursed his own grandson, (ironically Canaan). So there is more to this “uncovering” than I believe Ham seeing his own father nude. We get hints that “uncovering” a female relatives nakedness meant actually laying with her in a sexual manner. Did some perverse sexual encounter take place with Ham and Noah that the author didn’t describe? All we are told is that Ham told his brothers, who then came and covered their father (but didn’t look at his nakedness) yet Ham’s son was cursed for it all!

Jehovah lays out rules about “uncovering nakedness” and after reviewing Leviticus 18:6 through 18, it really does sound like a mandate to prevent incest within family members, blood or marriage relatives. Also included are “approaching” (as is used in verses 6-18) an unclean woman to “uncover her nakedness” or “laying carnally” with your neighbors wife.

IS JEHOVAH THE ONLY DEITY AROUND AT THIS TIME?

18:21 – And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy god…

Who is Molech? It is a deity? It is a concept/idea? Why is this name capitalized in the text the way a proper name is? Modern interpretation tells us that children were sacrificed to Molech by burning them. Was Abraham familiar with the deity or concept of Molech? After all he was willing sacrifice Jacob to Jehovah at his request, WITHOUT QUESTION! Is this concept of child sacrifice normalized to these Hebrew peoples at this time?

  • It is an abomination to lie with mankind as it is to lie with womankind
    • This the verse that tells us that “the Bible says” homosexuality is immoral (Leviticus 18:22)
    • What is the punishment for breaking this rule?
  • It is an abomination to lie with Animals
    • It is not considered an abomination but “confusion” (Leviticus 18:23)
    • Does this concept go back to Genesis 6, pre-flood world where (in Elohim terms) ALL CREATION (animals and man) were defiled?

18:24 – Defile not  ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations that are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.

This verse :24 accomplishes multiple goals:

  • Lays down future law
  • Explains the reasoning for the supposed upcoming slaughter of the indigenous people of Canaan (who are related to the Israelites through Abraham)

Interesting chapter. We get some specifics on the people that are about to be genocided, and why Jehovah lays out certain rules to his people.

Sidenote: If Jehovah supposedly created the heavens and the earth and breathed life into ALL mankind, then he really screwed up by allowing his creation to go against him. This concept that creator does not have control over his creation flies in the face of what we are told “god” is today, that ALL THINGS are possible with god. Not only that, Jehovah has never claimed that these Canaanite nations, nor the Egyptians, were his creation. This is an assumption that is made.

Not only that, the whole PURPOSE of the Great Flood was a FAILURE. There is still “evil” on earth (yet the word evil hasn’t really been used, instead we get the term “defiled”.)

Not once has he said “my creation is compromised”. Is it because he is embarrassed by the creation? Or that he really didn’t create man and is merely responsible for this one group of people which he “inherited” according to Moses.

18:27 – (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.

This verse is talking about the future as if it were in the past (“as it spued” = past tense) yet the nations of Canaan, at this point in the narrative and timeline, have yet to be removed. This tells me this text was written long after the events took place. Which also tells me that much of the explanation of events could very well be made up to explain the past (Sodom & Gomorrah destroyed by volcanic activity – Explanation: the people MUST HAVE been wicked to suffer such a fate, etc.)

Also note: NONE of the defilement has been attributed to Satan.