Monday, May 24, 2010

Numbers 32 - Deuteronomy 6:25

We finally made it to Deuteronomy! I've never read Deuteronomy. Up until just now, in fact, I didn't even know how to spell it.

I've read the rest of the Torah - but this will be totally new for me. I'm excited! Sooo, let's get to it!

The skinny:

Chapter 32: The Reubenites and the Gadites take notice of the land to the east of the promised land (I thought that might have been the land they just plundered, but I'm not sure). They decide that they'd rather not venture into the promised land, but that this is close enough, right? At first Moses is super peeved and he reminds them of all that has brought them here - but then they suggest that they will build their cities and fortify them so that their women and children will be protected and then go and help the rest of the tribes fight off promise land's current inhabitants. This satisfies Moses and so they, along with a half tribe of Manasseh, do just that. Chapter 33: Moses records all the places that they lived during the 40 years - 40 in all plus one more - the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho - and it is this last spot that God instructs Moses to tell the Israelites that it is time to enter into the promised land. He tells Moses about the importance of killing off it's current inhabitants - that if they fail to do this, God will do to the Israelites what he plans to do with them. Chapter 34: God tells Moses where the Israelites need to set up boundaries in the land. He names the guys that will lead in the divying out - one man from each tribe. Chapter 35: The Levites don't get their own land. They get 48 towns in the midst of all the other tribes - pasturelands so that they might be shepherds in more than one way. 6 of these towns are "cities of refuge". If someone kills another person accidentally, they can flee to one of these cities and not be put to death by the guy whose job title is "Avenger of Blood". You might be able to guess what his job description entails. The last paragraph of the chapter warns the Israelites not to pollute the land with bloodshed - because the only thing that make atonement for bloodshed is the blood of the person who shed it. Chapter 36: Another question about Zelophehad's Daughters - what if they marry someone outside their clan - would the land be transferred to that tribe? God instructs them to solve the problem by marrying within their tribe and they do. DEUTERONOMY Chapter 1: Moses begins a recap as they prepare to enter the promised land. He starts at the appointment of the leaders/helpers to Moses. He talks about the spies being sent out and then Israel's rebellion and how that was a total bust. Chapter 2: More recapping. Life after the rebellion - the consequences and how the Israelites were instructed not to mess with Esau's and Lot's descendants. And also Heshbon (I'm not sure if they are Esau or Lot's descendants - I couldn't figure it out) but how Sihon, King of Heshbon was stubborn and wouldn't let the Israelites pass through - so then they had to destroy them - taking everything - including their women and children. Chapter 3: Moses recaps how they destroyed Og, King of Bashan, how they divided out the land and finally, reveals that he blames the Israelites for God not letting him into the promised land and that he begged God to let him in, but God wasn't having it - but Moses was allowed to look at it. Chapter 4: A sermon from Moses - warnings and blessings and mystery and worship. Then Moses sets aside 3 Cities of Refuge for the tribes that are going to live east of the promised land. Chapter 5: The reiteration of the 10 commandments and a final recap - ending with the Lord expressing his deep desire that his people would love and respect him so that they might prosper. Chapter 6: More sermonizing from Moses - Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. And when your children ask why we must follow these decrees explain to them that we were once slaves in Egypt and the Lord saved us and brought us to this place flowing with milk and honey.

A couple of things, notable or otherwise:

Just had this thought: This whole idea of women and children as spoils, it bothers me, of course. But, I was thinking, keeping Israel pure seemed to be kind of a big deal - you know, that's why you didn't marry outside of the community - or in some cases - even outside of your tribe. If the women and children of other nations were taken as plunder, well, how did that work, exactly? Did the women and girls become Israelites because they would eventually marry an Israelite man? But, then, what about the little boys? Are plundered people grafted into society or made to become slaves?

Next up, Chapter 6 - I really love the wording. We are our ancestors - we were brought out of slavery, God brought us into the promised land. It's beautiful. It makes me think of my own history and America's history and how truly interconnected it is.

On an entirely different note, Sadie, Jermaine and I looked up the history of cheesecake the other day and it turns out that the dish is ANCIENT. It was invented before Jesus walked on earth . . . so we got to thinking, how would ancient people make cheesecake? The answer? Milk and honey!!! Proof that God loves cheesecake.

Reading for next time: Deuteronomy 7-22.

And that is all. :)

1 comment:

  1. Deuteronomy is such a crazy book but as for keeping Israel pure... If Noah's group was the only survivors of the flood, wouldn't the whole world be Israelites?


Thank you! I love comments. :)