Saturday, January 1, 2011

Exodus 32-40: Moses throws a tantrum

So, Moses is up on the mountain talking to God for 40 days, though I don't know why it had to take that long.

Meanwhile, the Israelites are getting restless. They get Aaron to make them the golden calf idol, and they sacrifice to it, and there's all sorts of "revelry."

God tells Moses to "leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” God is so predictable. But Moses convinces him that it's a bad idea. Wait, is it even possible to talk God out of something? Never mind.

So Moses goes down the mountain, back to the Israelites, with the covenant tablets. He sees the idol, and he sees them dancing, and flies into a rage (even though God already told him all about this, so I don't know why he's so surprised). He throws the tablets to the ground, breaking them. Then he ground up the idol to a powder and made everyone drink it. (I don't get this...why would you do that? Is it not good enough to destroy the idol...melt it down or something?)

Moses tells the Levites that God wants them to kill everyone. So they do that...they kill 3000 people. Of course, as far as the bible says, God never actually said that, Moses just made it up. God was going to just let it go! So that's just great.

Then Moses goes back up the mountain to talk to God some more. He asks God to forgive them, and God just says something about how anyone who sins will be "blotted out of his book." Err, what book? And he gives them a plague for good measure.

Then God tells them to go on to Canaan, but he won't be going with them, because they are "a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way." lol. Like God has any business calling anybody "stiff-necked."

Moses asks to see Gods "glory." So God says he's going to walk in front of Moses and say his (God's) name. But, since no one can see God's face and live (when did that happen?), God will be kind enough to cover Moses's face with his hand until he's passes, then Moses gets to see his back. There is a plan to do this, but it never says whether it actually happened.

Then Moses goes back up the mountain to make new tablets. They are supposed to be exactly the same as the ones that are broken. But, here's what God told Moses to write on this set of tablets:
  • Do not make a treaty with the people already in Canaan; worship meee goddamnit!!!
  • Do not make idols
  • Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread
  • The first offspring of every womb belongs to me (I still don't know what this is about...God's been going on about this since the very beginning of Exodus, but I still don't get the point, or even what that means)
  • Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest
  • Celebrate the Festival of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the year
  • Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel.
  • Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast
  • Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God
  • Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk
So I know he said all this stuff before. But there's nothing about not killing, stealing, or any of the other stuff that makes sense on it's own. Nope. There's this, which is apparently the most important part. Seriously. And the bible actually calls these 10 things I've just listed "the 10 commandments." This is totally different than the 10 commandments that everyone knows (which the bible doesn't actually call "the 1o commandments"). That is just crazy.

I gotta say, the idea that the 10 commandments form a good basis of morality, or of US law, or anything else besides batshit-crazy-mumbo-jumbo, is completely ludicrous.

God also promises that he is going to go ahead of them and "drive out" all the people already in Canaan. And you people be damn sure to destroy all their temples and idols!!! For I am a ridiculously jealous and insecure god.

And Moses is up there for 40 days again, without food or water. Wow. That sounds horrible.

Actually, here's a great video summing up all this Mount Sinai stuff.

Lol. "They're the hos, I'm the pimp. And people needs to know who their pimp is." Yep, I could not have summarized Exodus any better than that.

Anyway, When Moses comes down from the mountain this time, he glows in the dark. Actually, he's "radiant" because he was talking to God. So after that, Moses took to wearing a veil, which he only removed to talk to God. I guess he didn't want to freak people out.

So then Moses goes about soliciting donations for the tabernacle, and getting people to build all that stuff. And it goes on for 6 chapters about how they made it, and how much stuff was used, and what the finished product was like. It is all extremely repetitive from before (like it wasn't boring enough to read one time. Seriously, this is a terrible book.)

Then God tells them that they are to set this up on the first day of the month. In all their travels, they set up the tabernacle on the first of the month, and then the "cloud of the lord" would descend on the tent, and they would wait (sometimes for days) for it to lift before they moved on.

I don't get the point of setting up a tent so God can visit, because I thought God wasn't going to be with them in their travels. Oh well.

I also don't get why they are hanging around at Mount Sinai to build all this stuff, when God clearly told them like 8 chapters ago that they have to get a move on to Canaan.

So I'm getting a clearer idea of why it took them 40 years to get to Canaan...not only do they have to haul all this stuff around, but every month they have to hang around for some indeterminate number of days waiting for God to clear off so they can keep going.

Anyway, this is the end of exodus. Pretty boring toward the end. If I had to sum up Exodus in just 2 sentences, it would have to be:
  • "They're the hos, I'm the pimp. And people needs to know who their pimp is."
  • No fucking yeast!

No comments:

Post a Comment