Friday, October 30, 2009

55: Vengeance

Numbers 31-32
I've decided my posts need more interesting titles. "Entry [number]" is boring and not very descriptive. I will be going through my old posts over the next couple of days/weeks and giving them new exciting titles. Check them out if your interested. Hopefully today's section will be exciting since it has a new exciting title... "Vengeance"...

God commands Moses to go take vengeance on the Midianites. Is this because the Midianite women put out? That's all I can figure out that they did. So they need to go kill all the men, because the women have sex with Israeli men? Ulterior motives maybe?

Moses sends 12,000 men into battle and they kill all the men of Midian, this includes Balaam. Was God not just having a conversation with this guy? Now, the Israelite army spares the woman and children. This doesn't excuse them killing all the men, but I guess it's better than just offing everyone. So they steal all of Midian's belongings and take the women, children, and plunder back to Moses.

So Moses is happy right? Job done? Wrong... Moses is angry that they haven't slaughtered the women and children. Really? This isn't the worst part. All the women who have "slept with men" and all the boys are to be killed, but they are going to keep the girls (the bible says girls not women) who "haven't slept with men". We can pretty much boil this down to "Kill the women and children, keep the virgins". These are the most righteous people in the world? This is the most just God that allows this to happen?

At the end of Numbers 31 they "divide the spoils", the spoils being animals and virgins. The bible says they give a certain number of the spoils as a "tribute" to God. As I understand it, tribute usually implies sacrifice. But a certain number of virgins (32) were given as "tribute for the Lord". So were they burnt offerings? I guess that wouldn't be that much more crazy than just killing them.

The officers of the army go through and count everyone, the Israelis had not lost a single person. What was the point of going and slaughtering a group of people that were obviously no threat to you? (hot virgins?) Again, this is the most just God we can find?

Numbers 32 is about the people not wanting to go to the promised land (again). Again they ask if they can just settle where they are. Moses says that they can only settle here if they go ahead to the promised land and fight for Israel. It's terribly convenient that "God" is always upset when the people don't loyally follow Moses. By the way, how long is Moses going to live? It says everyone from his generation has died (because God made them wander around in the desert), and he couldn't have been that young when he came out of Egypt. I'm sure some biblical scholar will know this answer.


  1. Moses was 40 when he killed the Egyptian and fled into the desert. He was 80 when he saw the burning bush, so yeah...

    All this killing the men and the nonvirgin women business sounds an AWFUL lot like a male lion or chimp that takes over a pride or tribe and kills his rivals and the offspring of his rivals.

  2. Is it "promise land" or "promised land"?

  3. It's promised land. Fixing it now.

  4. You made this typo on some earlier posts, too. Near the beginning, but I don't remember when.



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