Numbers 18 – Clarification on the role of the Levites
In another repetition of previous verse, Jehovah instructs Aaron on what his and his children’s roles are in the keeping of the Tabernacle.
Again, anyone unauthorized who comes near will die. Jehovah seems to lay the future punishments of the Israelites squarely on Aaron’s shoulders:
Numbers 18:5 – And ye shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar: that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel.
So is it because Aaron and his sons didn’t keep charge of the sanctuary properly in the past that the children of Israel received wrath? If not, then what is this statement all about? Despite what the Israelites do, as long as Aaron and his sons minister properly, the children of Israel will not receive future wrath?
Numbers 18 continues with more mundane and repeated commands about offerings, gifts, responsibilities, etc.
When we get to verse 24 we hear about “tithes” and how the tithes the Israelites offer are the inheritance of the Levites.
Jehovah can’t be Jehovah without yet another death threat:
18:32 – And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die.
Numbers 18: repetition, with a bit of clarification, ended with a death threat.
Numbers 19 – Eleazar and the Clean/Unclean (More Repetition)
Numbers 19 clarifies the role of Eleazar the priest, and his ritual handling of a red heifer. Clean, unclean, defilement, cutting off of people, hyssop, cedar, clean and unclean vessels, etc.
This is all repetition and, to refute the statement by modern Christians that the Bible in its entirety is applicable to all the world throughout all time, Numbers 19 is yet another chapter that disproves this concept.
Numbers 19 ends in an interesting, if not foreign concept to those of us today: If you are unclean during the day, you will suddenly become clean once evening comes. No medicine, no washing, no ritual, just time/sun down.
A quick look at numbers 20 will require it’s own blog post, so I end this one here.
As if Jehovah’s authority is still in question (and it definitely is because the people are finally standing up to Moses and Aaron), Jehovah asks for another ritual to be performed before him, so he can display yet another sign.
For every house of Israel, one rod will be placed, with the name of the prince of each tribe on each rod, before Jehovah. For the house of Levi, Aaron’s name is placed.
Jehovah then instructs the group that the next morning the rod that has budded will indicate a chosen prince, and will also stop the children of Israel from “murmuring”.
Yet another “sign” that Jehovah will do, when we already know that all previous signs have either terrified or lacked the ability to have the Israelites put faith in Moses, Aaron, or Jehovah. Will this one stop the Israelites from murmuring?
Of course, the next morning, Moses finds that it was Aaron’s rod has budded almonds, so Moses removes the rest of the rods that didn’t bud.
Note that of all the “princes” listed, Aaron is the only one that has previously worked any magical signs. Is this another sleight of hand by Aaron the priest magician to indicate the wishes of their god?
The chapter still is unclear how this sign is going to change anything, so I’ll have to read on to see if it becomes clearer.
Numbers 17:10 – And Jehovah said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.
Not sure how the simple placement of a rod in the Tabernacle is going to prevent future murmurings, especially considering the root cause of the murmurings (the mistreatment of the Israelites) is still in place.
The Israelites still despair:
17:12 – And the children of Israel spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish. Whosoever cometh any thing near unto the tabernacle of Jehovah shall die: shall we be consumed with dying?
Despite the signs, the punishments, the burnings, the plagues, and all the death, is it any wonder the Israelites are still in despair? Jehovah has done nothing to allay their depression, he only prolongs it.
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:
The families of Dathan and Abiram will die normal deaths
This will prove that Jehovah did NOT send Moses to perform his deeds
The families of Dathan and Abiram will be swallowed up by the earth
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?!
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.
Apparently, the Israelites who were NOT spies, realizing the land they were about to enter was filled with giants of great power, began to mourn at their prospective future. In an oft repeated theme I like to point out when comparing their captivity in Egypt to their captivity under Jehovah, the Israelites react:
Numbers 14:2 – And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God had we died in this wilderness!
Notice that I left the word “God” in this verse, which I have not done recently. In the past I have inserted the word Elohim, Jehovah, or the various other names of potentially different deities. Why this time? Because I believe KJV (and thus MAN) has mistranslated this verse from the original Hebrew. Here’s the interlinear:
The translators of the Bible lose major credibility with mistranslation like this. When you look at non-KJV versions, you see their translation is more aligned with the original Hebrew (see biblehub.com)
What’s Strong’s Concordance say about “lu” (word 3683):
It’s hard to want to move forward with the KJV bible when evidence of mistranslation like this shows up.
Back to the story…
The Israelites once again repeat their disdain with their current situation:
14:3 – And wherefore hath Jehovah brought us into this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
Apparently, the “miracles” and “power” of Jehovah up to this point were not enough to persuade the Israelites that they are in no danger. What does this mean?
Jehovah’s powers, and his powers through Moses, were complete exaggerations
The Israelites had no regard for Jehovah’s powers
The Israelites ask to make a captain for them, and to return to Egypt. Moses and Aaron react negatively falling on their faces (14:5). Joshua and Caleb, rent their clothes (14:6).
14:7 – And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.
But WAIT! Didn’t they return with an “evil” report that the land was consuming its inhabitants?! So did they lie about their evil report? Or are they lying about it being a “exceeding good land”?
Here’s the ultimate in warnings. We already know what Jehovah is capable of when it comes to punishing his own people:
14:9 – Only rebel not ye against Jehovah, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and Jehovah is with us: fear them not.
Interesting verse. The people in Canaan are “bread” for the Israelites… are they going to eat them?
And more importantly, they are saying that the people they are about to slaughter ARE DEFENSELESS.
Note, my KJV version says “defence” = “shadow” aka “their shadow is departed from them…”
Regardless, the Israelites wanted to stone Moses, Aaron, and possibly Joshua and Caleb. Even Jehovah does not understand how his *signs* have not struck complete fear into the Israelites:
14:11 – And Jehovah said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them.
Remember he boasted he was “righteous and forgiving”:
14:12 – I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.
Jehovah is more than willing to destroy “his” people, and pass the covenant on to Moses and his kin. He boasts he would make Moses a “greater” nation, but how in the world can this be true if he can’t even control his current people? What’s he going to do differently with Moses’ kin as compared to Jacob’s kin? Exact more brutal punishment for not following him?
Moses, speaking to a supposedly almighty god, tries to persuade Jehovah:
14:13 – And Moses said unto Jehovah, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;) And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou Jehovah art among his people…
Once again, Moses throws the Egyptians in the face of Jehovah, the concept that Egyptians would think negatively of Jehovah, in order to change Jehovah’s mind. Apparently we now find that the Egyptians are in communication with the Canaanites (which shouldn’t be surprising considering that trade routes and intermingling of cultures are widespread despite the Bible’s insistence that this group of people are isolated under their patron god.)
14:15 – Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, Because Jehovah was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.
Moses has just called into question, the almighty power of Jehovah. He’s basically saying “You promised this people this land, yet you could not deliver, and you had to kill them, what would the people already in this land think!?”
Powerful verse. He’s telling Jehovah that his inability to keep his promises to his own people will make him look weak in the eyes of the people in the land of Canaan.
How much more proof do you need that Jehovah is not an all powerful or almighty deity?!
This is a very BOLD statement for Moses to make in front of a deity that has shown no inhibition to destroy, burn, and murder his own people. So Moses goes into to kiss-up mode to avoid Jehovah’s wrath:
14:18 – Jehovah is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people, from Egypt until now.
Jehovah concedes to Moses’ plea. But, there are conditions:
14:20 – And Jehovah said, I have pardoned according to thy word. But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of Jehovah. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice. Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it.
Seriously, focus on the Jehovah’s own words and compare it to the boasts that not only makes of himself, but also the boasts of Moses.
Did he seriously say he PARDONED the people? Did he also say “hearkened to my voice” when he won’t even speak to the Israelites directly? He has just said that everyone alive at the time will not enter the land he promised them. If that’s the case, then his “sware” became a “LIE”.
Ah, but there’s one exception: Caleb, who in previous Chapter believed the Israelites should immediately move into the land of Canaan with no fear while the rest of them feared.
14:24 – But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
Just what was this “another spirit” that Caleb had in him? We know that, in previous verse, the word spirit also meant human emotion, so while everyone else showed fear, Caleb showed bravery (or foolishness depending on which side of the aisle you are on.)
14:26 – And Jehovah spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith Jehovah, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:
Note the phrase that Jehovah, supposedly an all-knowing and all-powerful god, repeats: “…as truly as I live…” does this mean Jehovah has a life expectancy?
“Righteous and Forgiving”
14:29 – Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
All those in the presence at the time, 20 years and older, will die in the wilderness. DESPITE THE FACT that Jehovah SWORE they would enter their land. In other words, Jehovah is admitting he’s breaking a VOW.
The only ones alive at the moment who will enter Canaan are Caleb and Joshua. No mention of women, however, considering the fact that women are simply property to the culture at this time, it’s not surprising. Note that Moses and Aaron are not considered exclusions to this mandate, they too will not enter the land.
So if the current Israelites aren’t going to enter the land, then their children will. What kind of situation will the children be looking at?
14:32 – But as for you, your carcasses, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness.
So the children are going to watch their parents DIE in the wilderness, and the children will roam the wilderness for 40 years, and they are supposed to somehow find favor in the deity that swore to their parents they would enter the land, and then broke that vow?! Is it any wonder the children also defied this tyrant deity?! (spoiler alert).
Even Jehovah admits he’s broke his vow:
14:34 – After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
It gets worse:
14:36 – And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before Jehovah.
“Righteous and Forgiving”
The Israelites mourned at the current situation. The subjugated people attempted to reconcile, after all they have just watched their own people die from the plague, what other recourse do they have?
14:40 – And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which Jehovah hath promised: for we have sinned.
So the people seek penance, their sin was having *doubt* (they were humans after all, we all have doubt). So what does Moses and Jehovah do?
14:41 – And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of Jehovah? but it shall not prosper. Go not up, for Jehovah is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from Jehovah, therefore Jehovah will not be with you.
No forgiveness to be seen, despite Jehovah boasting he is “Righteous and Forgiving”.
14:45 – Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.
So the people, being simple humans and having doubt, turn to Moses and Jehovah for penance, and are ignored and allowed to be punished by the Amalekites and Canaanites.
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?
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).
In Numbers 12 we learn Moses was a polygamist much like the patriarchs. Not only did Moses marry the daughter of Reuel the Midianite, he also married an Ethiopian woman!
Does this not PROVE that the Israelites were NOT isolated from surrounding peoples.
If this is the case, these *others* are obviously not worshiping Jehovah, yet they are not being punished for it.
Strengthening my argument that Jehovah is god ONLY TO THE ISRAELITES
NOT THE ENTIRE WORLD
So what’s wrong with Ethiopian women?
So Miriam (Moses’ sister) and Aaron (his brother) were not happy with Moses marrying an Ethiopian woman.
Would they instead prefer him to marry a half sister or cousin as the patriarchs did?
The author, to help us understand more about Moses at the time:
Numbers 12:3 – (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
Moses, a great priest who wielded great power with his staff/rod, and his ability to speak directly to Jehovah, is called “meek”. So we know his meekness does not come from his spiritual abilities. Can we conclude he is meek in the sense that he is SMALL/LITTLE physically?
Now we learn who exactly is like Moses, who can speak to and hear from Jehovah:
12:4 – And Jehovah spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto to the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.
We also learn, as noted previously, in a stark contrast to Jehovah supposedly speaking to the patriarchs, just how he *speaks* to people now:
12:6 – And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I Jehovah will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
For future reference, to check for validity:
Prophets of Jehovah will:
Receive visions of him
Be spoken to in dreams
For a supposed omnipresent god, this is an awkward protocol to speak to his supposed creation. Jehovah then goes on to explain that Moses, however, is different than a regular prophet, who he speaks to directly. Jehovah chastises Miriam and Aaron.
12:9 – And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and behold, she was leprous.
As if Aaron was somehow receiving punishment as well (when really wasn’t):
12:11 – And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon *us*, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
So Miriam turns leprous and Aaron, well, nothing happens to him. We can clearly see the distinction between men and women in regards to punishment from Jehovah. He has no problem brutally punishing women and children.
“Righteous and Forgiving”
Aaron and Miriam are clearly equals in regards to their accusations against their brother, yet who received the punishment? What does this tell you about Jehovah?
Moses pleads with Jehovah to heal his sister.
12:14 – And Jehovah said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received again.
“Righteous and Forgiving”
Remember Jehovah’s words and compare them to his actions. Miriam was thrown out of the camp for seven days. The camp waited the seven days before moving on, where they left Hazeroth and entered Paran, where in the previous chapter we are told the Cloud rested.
Numbers 11:1 – And when the people complained, it displeased Jehovah: and Jehovah heard it; his anger was kindled; and the fire of Jehovah burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
Let’s rephrase this with the KJV footnotes I have:
Numbers 11:1 – And when the people were as it were complainers, it was evil in the ears of Jehovah…
See that? Complaining is *evil*. Note that there is no mention of the devil BTW, who is supposedly the source of evil in modern church philosophy.
Remember, this is a god that boasts that he is “Righteous and Forgiving”
The spot where the burning of the people took place was named Taberah, because “the fire of Jehovah burnt among them”
The last time we heard the “fire of/from Jehovah” was Sodom and Gomorrah, where fire and brimstone rained down upon the city, again, like a volcanic eruption.
It must have been a serious set of circumstances because, despite some already being burnt to death:
11:4 – And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting; and the children of Israel also (returned and) wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
Still think that the Israelites saw the Exodus and servitude to Jehovah as being better than living in Egypt?
11:5 – We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
Remember back in the Elohim creation story, as well as Elohim’s instructions to Noah and his family that left the ark? They were told that ALL plants and herbs and animals were there for them to subjugate and eat. This includes fish, and cucumbers, and melons, etc. NO MENTION OF MANNA.
What is happening here? This Jehovah deity is breaking the mandates of the Creation and the Replenishment of the earth by only providing manna for the people to eat. Isn’t this going against the mandate that was already put in place, supposedly by him?
So, ALL THIS TIME, all the people had to eat was manna, and they were not happy about it. This strengthens my argument that these people were taken out of “slavery” in Egypt and given a new form of slavery that they are not happy with.
Moses’ heard the cries of the people, and panic set in. He pleads with Jehovah, asking him what he did to deserve this affliction and burden, and he pleads that the burden is too heavy. Harking to the Moses of old:
11:15 – And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.
So, the supposedly almighty god, capable of ANYTHING in the universe, has a solution: spread the pain of the burden. He tells Moses to gather 70 elders and to bring them to the tabernacle to stand with him.
11:17 – And I (Jehovah) will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.
So, rather than providing the Israelites with what we would consider basic food (fish and vegetables), he decides to pass this spirit of “wretchedness” on to a bunch of elders so that Moses isn’t carrying it all by himself. So instead of one man being wretched, 70 elderly people will be wretched with him.
11:18 – And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of Jehovah, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore Jehovah will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.
In a sadistic and sarcastic manner, Jehovah continues:
11:19 – Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; But even a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised Jehovah which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?
Can we not continue to conclude that the people “worship” and follow the commands of this god, not out of loyalty and thanks, but out of fear?! Look at his response to a mere human condition of complaining? Would you stuff your children’s mouths and nostrils with food if they complained they were hungry?
Moses questions Jehovah, asking him just how Moses is going to supply all the “flesh” to eat, asking if cooking all their “flocks”.
So now we know the purpose of their flock, at this juncture, was NOT for food (as it was in previous verse in Genesis and as commanded during Creation and after the Flood), but the flock merely existed to supply Jehovah with offerings!
The event of “passing the spirit of wretchedness” took place. What happened to those who received the spirit:
11:25 – And Jehovah came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
The first mention of prophecy. So just what did they prophecy about? Does the word used here actually mean what we are told “prophecy” is?
Take a look at Strong’s Concordance (word 5012:naba) to this particular word. It can also mean “rave”, as in “raving lunatic”. Just what really happened to these elders? Were the speaking of the future, or were they, after receiving a “spirit”, possessed and raving? Will we see future events where people receive a “spirit” and then go into an unnatural state?
Apparently two elders, Eldad and Medad, began to prophesize/rave *outside* of the tabernacle, which must have been taboo, so Joshua tells Moses to forbid them:
11:29 – And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God* that all Jehovah’s people were prophets, and that Jehovah would put his spirit upon them!
Can we conclude that prophesying/raving was something that normally happened inside the tabernacle?
Back to the eating of “flesh”. In a telling statement that Jehovah does NOT want the flocks to be turned into food (meaning they were ALL for him and his offerings):
11:31 – And there went forth a wind from Jehovah, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.
So, while the people suddenly have meat to eat:
11:33 – And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of Jehovah was kindled against the people, and Jehovah smote the people with a very great plague.
“Righteous and Forgiving”
The place where the plague was kindled was then called Kibroth-hattaavah, because “there they buried the people that lusted” aka the “graves of lust”
Notice the word usage here: “lust”. The connotation of lust is negative. Go back to the beginning of the chapter and realize the people just wanted to eat regular food. Is that LUST?! Especially considering that Elohim creation and the family of Noah were told that all plant and animals were there for them to eat. ALL plant and animals.
So now we see the Israelites being punished for something mankind was told to do during Creation and Post-Flood. It almost seems Jehovah has hijacked these people away from the commands of the Elohim and made his own set of rules.
Yet I was taught that it was all one god in the Bible? Jehovah is proving that he is completely different than previous versions.
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 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.