Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The Israelites discover an interesting way to qwell a rebellion: give 'em what they want.
A few significant things happen in Numbers, Chapter 20. Miriam dies, Aaron dies, another rebellion occurs, and the Kingdom of Edom refuse to give the Israelites passage through their kingdom.
To sum it up, on the way to the land of milk and honey (aka "the Promised Land"), the Israelites have pass through the desert of Zin. There is no water, and so the people begin complaining again. This time, they know what's going to happen, but in their words, they'd rather die by Yahweh's hand then to die of thirst.
After consulting with Yahweh, Moses comes back with an interesting tactic to qwell the rebellion; give 'em what they want. Yahweh told him to gather the congregation and basically impress them by making water come from a rock.
Moses gathers the congregation and yells out, " Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?" And then he taps the rock twice and a fountain of water shoots out. Everyone is happy; except Yahweh. Yahweh is pissed! You see, Yahweh told Moses to simply speak to the rock; not hit it.
And for this transgression, Yahweh tells Moses and Aaron that they won't be able to see the promised land. Sucks for them. But still, the people didn't get slaughtered off, and that's a good thing.
Well, they continue on their journey and find they have to cross the kingdom of Edom. Edom does not allow them to pass, even after some reasonable bartering on the part of the Israelites. In fact, Edom sends out his army to make sure the Israelites don't pass. And so the Israelites have to go around.
The Israelites come across Mount Hor. At this mountain, Yahweh says that Aaron will die here. He tells Aaron to go up the mountain a ways, and Moses is to take off Aaron's clothing, and put the clothing on Aaron's son. They take off Aaron's clothes, put them on his son, and Aaron dies, presumably butt naked, on the mountain.
As we can see, this is starting to sound like Greek mythology, of sorts. Yahweh is acts like a Greek god or goddess. Sure, He's one god, as opposed to many. But in this one god, we have the traits that stand out in any god at that period of time. Yahweh isn't a vague mysterious deity; He's personal and He's very emotional, and He's definitely got some MAJOR character flaws. Talk about touchy!
Next time, the Israelites massacre two cities and have yet another rebellion, and this time Yahweh qwells the rebellion with snakes.