Sunday, October 24, 2010

Exodus 17-20: The 10 commandments

So, once again, the Israelites have no water. But rather than asking God for water, they complain about Moses. So God tells Moses to hit a rock with his magical staff, and water comes out. Fantastic.

You know, I have to wonder... since God can apparently make it rain quail and bread every day, can't he also make it rain rain every day?? Then they would always have something to drink. How is making water come out of a rock one time any solution, since they're traveling, and thus not going to be there the next day? Oh well.

Then they are attacked by the Amalekites. Moses sends Joshua out to fight them. While the fighting is going on, Moses stands well back, but he "helps" by holding up his hands. Apparently whenever Moses's hands were up, the battle was going well, and whenever Moses's hands were down, the battle went badly. Really? So they win, and it's clearly all because Moses managed to hold his hands up the whole time. And then when it's all over, God decides that he really hates the Amalekites, so he will "be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation." Well that's friendly.

Apparently Moses didn't bother to bring his wife and kids with him when he left Egypt. So they came and found him in the desert, and the father-in-law, Jethro, came too. Jethro noticed that Moses was acting as the only judge for everyone's disputes. It said earlier that there were 600,000 men, not to mention the women and children of course, who left Egypt with Moses, so it was all more than Moses alone could handle. So Jethro suggests that he pick out some other judges to handle the simple cases. So that's what he did, yay.

Then, even though he was apparently a total convert (he went on about how great it was, what God did it Egypt, and he gave God burnt offerings!), Jethro goes back to Egypt (or wherever he came from).

This next story is a bit weird. They are near Mount Sinai, and Moses is having a friendly chat with God. God tells Moses to go tell everyone that so long as they "obey me fully," then "out of all nations you will be my treasured possession." Err, I thought this was already thoroughly established in Genesis. So Moses does that, and everyone is like, "yeah, sure."

Then God tells Moses that he is going to appear to everybody as a "dense cloud," so that they will stop giving Moses shit, basically. And they should prepare for this by being "consecrated" by Moses, washing their clothes, and abstaining from sex, for 2 days, until God appears on the 3rd day. That is so random. I mean, I already knew God is totally obsessed with the sex that his followers are having (what a perv), but why does he care if their clothes are clean? Is this like people dressing up to go to church? Cause I never understood that either.

God also tells Moses that he is going to be appearing on the mountain, and that Moses should tell all the people that they are not allowed to so much as touch the mountain, or they will die (apparently by a hail of stones or arrows). Well, that's convenient.

On the third day there is a cloud, and thunder and lightning, over the mountain. Then there's a trumpet, then a whole lot of smoke, apparently because God descended on the mountain "in fire." Then God is on top of the mountain and says "Moses, get up here!" Moses is allowed to go up the mountain, but no one else is? Again, that is very convenient.

God tells Moses to go tell everyone (again) to not come up the mountain. Apparently God is very concerned that they will charge up there to try to see him, and then die. Because God himself would kill them. He could just... not kill them. But what fun would that be.

So, again, Moses is acting as messenger. How is this "appearing to everybody" thing any different than usual?

Ah, here we go. God does address everybody, with the 10 commandments, which everyone knows about.

There was this funny tidbit in the "no idols" one:
I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Got that right.

Then God is talking to just Moses again. God says, tell them "no idols!" again. Apparently that is the most important one. God also says to tell them to be sure to build alters to me, and to sacrifice burnt offerings on it. But, random alter rules: "you will defile it if you use a tool on it" and "do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it." WTF? I don't even know what that second one means. I imagine someone going up on an alter by a set of stairs, and then suddenly their clothes vanish. I guess God is a fan of sight gags? And really hates stairs?


  1. Umm clearly you do not read the scriptures correctly nor understand ancient history LOL. There is a reason for all that was said and done.

  2. Clearly God was addressing the situation of being sanitary. god walks among us means God wants His people to be clean. Unlike countless civilizations that like back in London, they threw chamber pots into the streets and poop and piss was everywhere and was walked in, drew insects and disease you ignorant fool.