A Mosaic of murder, invasion, slavery and incest: Numbers 31 to 36

In which Moses commands murder of men, children and non-virgins. And then enforces incest. No, really.

Numbers 31

God tells Moses He wants him for One Last Job

Verse 2 Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.

(“Gathered unto thy people” is a euphemism for terminated, dephysicalised, whacked, etc)

Moses obeys

Verse 6 And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of [every] tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.

With God on their side, they win. And then indulge in a little slavery, having slewed all the men…

Verse 9 And the children of Israel took [all] the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.

Moses has ‘wroth’ issues with the victorious army when it gets back with its booty of booty. And he only wants the virgin females left alive…

Verse 17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Charming. He could get a job with the US military at that rate…
But apparently killing is a Dirty Business, since he orders them

Verse 19-20 And do ye abide without the camp seven days: whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify [both] yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day. And purify all [your] raiment, and all that is made of skins, and all work of goats’ [hair], and all things made of wood.

God then tells Moses to divvy the spoils between the pointy end of the spear sorts and the REMFies…

Verse 27 And divide the prey into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation:

And how many virgins?

Verse 35 And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him.

And the Lord’s percentage (it’s not clear what he does with them – is this what is meant by the Second Coming?)

Verse 40 And the persons [were] sixteen thousand; of which the LORD’S tribute [was] thirty and two persons.

And there’s further kick back for tha Lord…

Verse 54 And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tabernacle of the congregation, [for] a memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD

Numbers 32
The “children” of Reuben and Gad have lots of cattle and a hungry eye for land, and say to Moses et al.

Verse 4-5 [Even] the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, [is] a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle: Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, [and] bring us not over Jordan.

Moses calls them peacenik pussies and God ain’t happy either, for a change.

Verse 13 And the LORD’S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.

Moses is quite determined that his followers don’t get soft and settled. And doesn’t even bother with any sort of WMD pretext. Straightforward “God is on our side” stuff. Refreshingly honest..

Verses 20-3 And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the LORD to war, And will go all of you armed over Jordan before the LORD, until he hath driven out his enemies from before him, And the land be subdued before the LORD: then afterward ye shall return, and be guiltless before the LORD, and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the LORD. But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.

Yup, it’s gonna be the biggest fight over Jordan until Peter Andre and that cage fighter guy.
And they fight, and win, and there’s loads of person x built villages y and z (begatting) , and might makes right. No change there then…

Numbers 33
Now a flashback/recap/retcon of their itinerary out of Egypt.
Verse 11 is a corker! I wanna live in the wilderness of Sin!!

Verse 11 And they removed from the Red sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin.

And of course a recap of the “God gave it to US” thing-

Verse 52-3 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: And ye shall dispossess [the inhabitants] of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.

Which in no way breaks the rules about murder and coveting thy neighbours ox, since these rules are purely intra-tribal… Or some such ludicrous get-out clause…

Oh, and if you don’t man up and murder, (or if you -gasp, give land back?) there’s a stick instead of a carrot.

Verse 55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them [shall be] pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.

Numbers 34
And God tells Moses what the boundaries all shall be. Doubtless this line

Verse 10 And ye shall point out your east border from Hazarenan to Shepham:

means – “it’s ours, all ours”

And some princes get named as the inheritors of different portions of (other people’s) land.

Numbers 35
And the suburban sprawl starts early…

Verse 1-2 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan [near] Jericho, saying, Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give [also] unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them.

Just out of curiosity, I wonder if this is where the term levy actually comes from?? Probably not.

And God seems to want sanctuary for the performers of his wet work…

Verse 6 And among the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites [there shall be] six cities for refuge, which ye shall appoint for the manslayer, that he may flee thither: and to them ye shall add forty and two cities.

Ah no. it appears that I have rushed to judgment. It’s a simple judicial process in case of manslaughter/accidental killing

Verse 11-2 Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares.And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment.

And revenge when your dander is up is ok, but premeditated is gonna get ya killed…

Verse 19 The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him. But if he thrust him of hatred, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die; Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote [him] shall surely be put to death; [for] he [is] a murderer:

There’s some stuff on the rules of sanctuary… and then this on rules of evidence in capital cases. Has anyone told those loons in Texas?

Verse 30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person [to cause him] to die.

Numbers 36
And Moses, still not dead, is sorting out inheritance rules.

Exogamy is out, it seems

Verse 6 This [is] the thing which the LORD doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, Let them marry to whom they think best; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry.

Keep The Money In The Family…

Verse 8 And every daughter, that possesseth an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel, shall be wife unto one of the family of the tribe of her father, that the children of Israel may enjoy every man the inheritance of his fathers

And thus incest becomes the Law. Kissing cousins? Shagging cousins more like…

Verse 11 For Mahlah, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married unto their father’s brothers’ sons:


About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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One Response to A Mosaic of murder, invasion, slavery and incest: Numbers 31 to 36

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