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?!