Friday, February 5, 2010

Exodus Chapter 19

The build-up to the ten commandments.

The Israelites make camp at the foot of Mount Sinai. God calls to Moses from inside the mountain, because in this chapter he's Sauron, and Moses goes up to talk to him. God reminds Moses about how he saved them from the Egyptians, and promises that if they keep their covenant with him, he'll reward the Israelites. Jerry says 'This covenant was given to Israel in order to reveal sin and death. The Law reflected the holiness of a personal God, instructed the people in God's discipline, reminded them through its priests and sacrifices of God's salvation, and acted as a pedagogue to lead them to Christ.' Lets deconstruct every sentence of this, shall we? First off, if the covenant reveals sin and death, why does Jerry get to pick and choose which parts of it to follow? It will tell us eventually that we should kill homosexuals and witches, which Jerry agrees with, but also people who wear mixed fabrics and eat shellfish, which he doesn't seem to mind as much. Next, a personal god. Not till about 2200 years after this book was written, Jerry, or 3000 years according to your biblical timeline, when Luther nailed his theses to the church wall. Up until then, you went to church to find out what god was thinking, which you acknowledge in the second part of that sentence. Also, what sacrifices do you make? And that last bit, about Christ. Any time the KJV mentions an angel, Jerry sees a manifestation of Jesus, even though the Old Testament and the New were written hundreds of years apart. He'll in fact spend so much time looking for signs of the Messiah that he'll miss really important stuff, like polygamy, polytheism and anti-death penalty verses to point them out.

Anyway, god tells Moses to go back to the priests and pass the message along. They promise, and Moses brings their promise back to god. God says he's going to come back in three days in the form of a cloud, and he'll speak loud enough that the people will hear their conversation and believe Moses. Why can't he appear and speak to them directly, exactly? He tells Moses to tell them to get ready and wash their clothes and they'll see him on Sinai. He's to set up barriers around the mountain, and anyone who crosses them, man or beast shall be surely put to death (v. 12) by stoned, or shot through (v. 13), but when the trumpet sounds, they can approach the base, but only Moses can come up. Hmm... god is... the Wizard of Oz? Whatever you do, don't go behind the screen come up the mountain!

Moses goes down and tells them to get ready, by doing laundry and abstaining from sex. And on the third day, a dark cloud covers the top of the mountain and the people tremble. Moses leads them to the foot of the mountain. God comes down in fire, but no one can see him for the smoke. Moses calls up to him and is allowed up. God sends him back down to tell people not to look directly at god, otherwise they'll die. He's like a solar eclipse! He says the priests should purify themselves before they come up. Moses points out that he already said no one can come up, and god is too busy and important to remember little things like who he threatened with death and why. He tells Moses to go back down and get Aaron, but no priests and no people, or he'll kill them. Moses goes and relays the message.

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