Numbers – Chapter 10: The Silver Trumpets

Numbers has been an enlightening book in the Bible.  For example, we learned the Israelites think the clouds are God and refuse to travel when it is cloudy.  No wonder it took them so long to make their trip!  Let’s find out what Chapter 10 brings us.

“Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out.” – Numbers 10:2

I wonder what happens if gold is used instead of silver?

“When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies.” – Numbers 10:9

God needs a trumpet blaring to remember the Israelites?  The Israelites are God’s chosen people!  How the hell does He FORGET them?!?!?!

“On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the covenant law. Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran.” – Numbers 10:11-12

The clouds cleared, time to move.  J  Moses wants his father-in-law to travel with the Israelites, but Moses’ father-in-law declines.  Moses is upset by this.

“Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the Lord gives us.” – Numbers 10:31-32

Wait…where is God?  Why isn’t He leading Moses?

That concludes Numbers 10.  The Israelites have finally left Sinai, so that’s interesting, except they’ve just moved from one desert to another (Paran).  Thankfully God had the Israelites make silver trumpets to blare.  Without those, God would have forgotten the Israelites.

Coming Soon:  Numbers – Chapter 11:  Fire From the Lord

Luke 14:26

Most Christians will typically state that Jesus is all about love and kindness to others.  This is where the phrase “What Would Jesus Do” often comes from.  Since Jesus is full of love, we are to ask ourselves, during a difficult decision, what would Jesus do?  I believe that most Christians truly believe that Jesus really was full of love and kindness.  I don’t believe Christians who believe this are trying to mislead others.  They are just misinformed as to what the Bible actually says.  The Bible has many verses related to love, kindness, and Jesus, but there are several others in which Jesus does not promote love, and in fact, promotes hatred and anger.  One such verse is Luke 14:26

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:26

To be a true follower of Jesus, one must put Jesus first.  These are the direct words of Jesus in the Bible and not another Biblical character’s interpretation of what Jesus said.  These are the RED words in the Bible, for those reading a Bible in which Jesus’s direct words are colored red.  Not only does Jesus demand you put him first, he directly states that if you do NOT hate your family, you cannot follow him.  To follow Jesus you must hate your family.  Love?  I think not.  Jesus does ask you to love, but to love only him.  Showing love toward anyone else disqualifies you from being a follower of Jesus.

The Bible makes it clear that Jesus is not the lovey dovey character most Christians think he is.  He talks about love, but wants you to put all of your love in him, ignoring your family and out right hating them.  So the next time someone asks you what would Jesus do, respond with “hate his family.”

Numbers – Chapter 9: The Passover

In the last chapter of Numbers (Chapter 8) God passed down more rules but also made some sense regarding an appropriate retirement age for workers.  Unlike most Republicans in the U.S. today, God supports a retirement age that precedes death!  God supports a retirement age of 50.  Republicans today want to raise it from the current full retirement age of 67.  Given life expectancy for the lower to middle class has NOT risen over the last several decades, using death as the retirement age Republicans support has some truth to it.  Enough politics.  Let’s dig into Numbers Chapter 9.

“Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time. Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations.” – Numbers 9:2-3

This sets the tone for the chapter.  The Israelites are to celebrate the Passover.

“But some of them could not celebrate the Passover on that day because they were ceremonially unclean on account of a dead body.” – Numbers 9:6

God has very strict rules on being unclean.  I fully understand cleaning up after dealing with a dead body.  Not washing your hands or taking a shower is very unhygienic.  It’s important to clean oneself after dealing with the dead.  However, washing your hands and body isn’t good enough for God.  We’ve seen already that God often makes you wait until the sun has set to be clean again.  Moses doesn’t know what to do right now, so he consults with God.

“When any of you or your descendants are unclean because of a dead body or are away on a journey, they are still to celebrate the Lord’s Passover, but they are to do it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight.” – Numbers 9:10-11

A month?!?!  The unclean Israelites must wait a full month to celebrate the Passover!!!  Wow!  Better hope there are no more dead bodies to deal with if it takes a month to become clean again after dealing with the dead!

“They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones.” – Numbers 9:12

God hates those leftovers.

“But if anyone who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, they must be cut off from their people for not presenting the Lord’s offering at the appointed time. They will bear the consequences of their sin.” – Numbers 9:13

Nothing makes a party more exciting than being forced to attend for fear of being kicked out of the society you live in.  Yikes!

“On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire.” – Numbers 9:15

The cloud looks like fire?  This is supposed to be evidence of God, but the shape or look of a cloud is hardly that.  I’ve seen a lot of penis shaped clouds and clouds that look like boobs.  Yet you don’t see me bowing down to worship the dick and boob gods.  Why?  BECAUSE IT IS JUST A CLOUD!!!

“Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.” – Numbers 9:17

Ah…this explains why it took the Israelites a ridiculous amount of time (~ 40 years) to reach their destination.  They refused to travel when it was cloudy out!

“Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.” – Numbers 9:22

They waited a full year at one point!?!?!?  God must be laughing his ass off.  Everyone has fears, but a fear of clouds among an entire society of people?  Give me a break.

So what did we learn in Numbers 9?  For starters, God forces you to celebrate the Passover.  Great way to earn people’s trust.  We also learned the Israelites are journeying through the desert, but refuse to travel on cloudy days.  Not rainy days or dust storm days, but simple cloudy days.  That’s it, I’m calling my employer.  Whenever it is cloudy out, I refuse to leave the house for fear of upsetting God.  I wonder how long I will remain employed?

Coming Soon:  Numbers – Chapter 10:  The Silver Trumpets

_______ _______

Yes, the title of today’s post means something.  Today is December 25th as you well know.  What does that mean?  Well, it means different things to different people.  Most Christians celebrate Christmas.  Some Atheists, if not all, celebrate the non-religious aspects of Christmas.  Some people celebrate nothing on this day but celebrate Hanukah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day, etc, throughout the month.  It doesn’t matter what one celebrates today or this month as long as everyone is polite and respectful of others beliefs or lack thereof.  If someone says Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or Seasons Greetings, be respectful and accept the statement as a friendly statement.  It is most certainly that.  On the other side of things, feel free to say what you wish as long as you are respectful of others.  I celebrate Christmas in the sense of presents, family, friends, etc., but we do nothing religious.  I, however, do not say Merry Christmas to others because I don’t know what they believe in or celebrate.  I usually say Happy Holidays.  If you want to say Merry Christmas, do so.  You have every right to say Merry Christmas to someone else and that someone else should be respectful back to you.

Back to the title of this post.  Fill in the blanks with something respectful this December and you’ll be fine.  Someone may get mad or argue, but as long as the statement is respectful, you are in the right and they are in the wrong if they argue.

So with that, Happy Holidays!!!

Numbers – Chapter 8: Setting Up the Lamps

Our last look into Numbers taught us Moses has a serious mental condition (possible schizophrenia?).  Numbers Chapter 8 is titled “Setting Up the Lamps”.  Doesn’t sound too exciting, but I promised I was going through EVERY chapter of the Bible, so I can’t just skip the ones that look boring.  🙂

“The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you set up the lamps, see that all seven light up the area in front of the lampstand.’”” – Numbers 8:1-2

And the plot is set.

“To purify them, do this: Sprinkle the water of cleansing on them; then have them shave their whole bodies and wash their clothes. And so they will purify themselves.” – Numbers 8:7

Wait a second.  I know God hates foreskin and damaged testicles, but does He also hate pubic hair?  Are the Israelites required to shave their pubes to be purified?  What if a stray pube is left behind?

“From among all the Israelites, I have given the Levites as gifts to Aaron and his sons to do the work at the tent of meeting on behalf of the Israelites and to make atonement for them so that no plague will strike the Israelites when they go near the sanctuary.” – Numbers 8:19

What say do the Levites have in this?  They are forced to do this work, making them at worst slaves and at best indentured servants.

“Moses, Aaron and the whole Israelite community did with the Levites just as the Lord commanded Moses.” – Numbers 8:20

Well, that’s not exactly the truth.  It’s not really as Lord commanded, but as Moses commanded.  The Lord only reveals Himself to Moses, so Moses could make up anything he wanted to serve his purpose and simply pass it off as God.

“The Lord said to Moses, “This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting, but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer.”” – Numbers 8:23-25

When religious fundamentalists (almost always deeply conservative) are picking and choosing their verses to follow from the Bible, they should pick these last three.  They set the retirement age at 50, instead of today’s 65-67 in the U.S.  God may have gotten a lot wrong, but he’s correct on setting an appropriate retirement age, especially for blue collar workers such as the Israelites.

That does it for Numbers 8.  A few silly rules, but some common sense from God concerning the retirement age of workers.

Coming Soon:  Numbers – Chapter 9:  The Passover

Luke 11:9-10

Today’s crazy Bible verse comes straight from the lips of Jesus.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Luke 11:9-10

In these two verses Jesus makes it clear that our prayers will be answered.  All we have to do to receive help is ask.  I remember as a kid in Sunday School seeing other kids ask our teacher “why, if I pray to win the lottery, I don’t?”  The kids were asking as a joke, but now as an adult, it’s a serious question.  Jesus says we will receive if all we do is ask.  The counter-apologist argument is that God doesn’t work that way.  God only gives you what you truly need.  Okay, fine, but let’s look at a different pray.  “Dear God, please don’t let my daughter die of bone cancer.”  Does God answer?  Nope.  The daughter may survive, but only through modern medicine.  And what if the daughter dies?  Is God saying one didn’t need the daughter to live?  If so, that’s a crappy God.

So what to conclude from this?  Jesus and God do not exist, or Jesus is a liar.  Me?  I choose the former.

Numbers – Chapter 7: Offerings at the Dedication of the Tabernacle

We continue through the book of Numbers.  Thus far we’ve had numbers, misogyny, and silly rules.  What’s next?  Let’s find out!

“Then the leaders of Israel, the heads of families who were the tribal leaders in charge of those who were counted, made offerings.” – Numbers 7:2

And that’s about it.  Seriously, that’s it!  The rest of the chapter is a list of several people and what they brought for offerings so I won’t bore you with the details.  The chapter ends with:

“When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the Lord spoke to him.” – Numbers 7:89

Sorry Moses, that’s not God.  When ONLY you hear a voice, it’s not the voice of God.  It’s a sign of a possibly serious mental health condition (e.g. schizophrenia).

Coming Soon:  Numbers – Chapter 8:  Setting Up the Lamps

Numbers – Chapter 6: The Nazirite

Numbers Chapter 5 lacked any numbers but it made up for it with a huge dose of misogyny.  Now I don’t know what to expect in Chapter 6.  More numbers or more hatred of women, or possibly both?

“If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of dedication to the Lord as a Nazirite, they must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink. They must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. As long as they remain under their Nazirite vow, they must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins.” – Numbers 6:2-4

A wedding without wine?  What the hell God?!?!  🙂

“During the entire period of their Nazirite vow, no razor may be used on their head. They must be holy until the period of their dedication to the Lord is over; they must let their hair grow long.” – Numbers 6:5

Long hair is holy, short hair is not.  Good to know.

“Throughout the period of their dedication to the Lord, the Nazirite must not go near a dead body. Even if their own father or mother or brother or sister dies, they must not make themselves ceremonially unclean on account of them, because the symbol of their dedication to God is on their head.” – Numbers 6:6-7

A family member dies when you are about to get married?  Too bad, can’t go near the body.  So much for that open casket funeral!

“If someone dies suddenly in the Nazirite’s presence, thus defiling the hair that symbolizes their dedication, they must shave their head on the seventh day—the day of their cleansing. Then on the eighth day they must bring two doves or two young pigeons to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting.” – Numbers 6:9-10

Okay, this is just ridiculous.  Seriously?  Someone dies in your presence and you must shave your hair?  I suppose if the Nazirite lets the body decompose and rolls around in the maggot infested remains then I might shave my hair too, but otherwise this is just silly.

“After the Nazirite has shaved off the hair that symbolizes their dedication, the priest is to place in their hands a boiled shoulder of the ram, and one thick loaf and one thin loaf from the basket, both made without yeast.” – Numbers 6:19

A BOILED ram’s shoulder, not a FRIED ram’s shoulder, mind you.  🙂

That concludes Numbers 6.  A bunch of rules regarding the dedication (wedding) of a man and a woman who are Nazirite’s.  Shave your hair, don’t shave your hair, and shave it again.  Sigh.

Coming Soon:  Numbers – Chapter 7:  Offerings at the Dedication of the Tabernacle

Numbers – Chapter 5: The Purity of the Camp

The first few chapters of Numbers have contained a lot of numbers.  Let’s see if Chapter 5 continues the theme of numbers.

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites: ‘Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed.’’” – Numbers 5:5-7

This is reasonable.  I don’t agree with the Lord part since I don’t believe in a Lord, but in terms of not wronging another, I agree with punishing wrongdoing, obviously.

“Then the Lord said to Moses,  “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him so that another man has sexual relations with her, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act), and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing. The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the Lord. Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. After the priest has had the woman stand before the Lord, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse. Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband” here the priest is to put the woman under this curse “may the Lord cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.” – Numbers 5:11-22

WTF?!?!?!?  This is the test for an unfaithful wife.  First, why is it the woman’s fault?  Men can have concubines, but not women?  Second, what kind of test is this?  Bitter water determines faithfulness?  What a joke!  If this is the test for faithfulness, God has lost his marbles.  Third, God allows a curse that causes the woman to miscarry.  In other words, God commits abortion.  Fourth, and this is the funny (or maybe hypocritical part), the people are supposed to have full faith in God and trust Him, but women can’t be trusted.  The woman may be faithful, but she still must undergo the test for faithfulness.  Her word is not to be trusted.

“The husband will be innocent of any wrongdoing, but the woman will bear the consequences of her sin.” – Numbers 5:31

And there you have it.  Classic biblical misogyny.  The man is innocent of any wrongdoing.  The woman will bear the consequence.  The man may incorrectly identify his wife as unfaithful and force her to go through this test of faithfulness, but if he’s wrong, he faces no punishment.

This is a horrible chapter in the Bible in my opinion.  It further pushes the theme that men are better than women and women are not to be trusted.  A man needs no evidence of faithfulness.  He can have the woman tested at any time and he bears no fault in whatever happened.  Sickening.

Coming Soon:  Numbers – Chapter 6:  The Nazirite

Deuteronomy 22:28-29

The topic of today’s crazy Bible verse focuses on the topic of rape.

“If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.” – Deuteronomy 22:28-29

There is a punishment if a man rapes a virgin, but that penalty is a payment to the father.  Not death or banishment as many other much minor offense punishments are.  It’s a simple payment to the father and then the rapist gets to marry the woman!  Now the rapist can have sex with the woman all he wants and it won’t be considered rape according to the Bible!  The woman has no choice in the matter!  Granted, the man cannot ever divorce the woman, but there’s nothing stopping him from having a concubine.

Biblical law at its finest!