Saturday, March 20, 2010

Deuteronomy, Chapters 1-3

Chapter 1

Moses recounts the Israelites' 40-year journey again. He promises that god will multiply them a thousandfold in Canaan. That certainly didn't happen. He reminds them how he set up the government, and how he was going to lead them into the promised land, but they wouldn't go, how they were faithless except for Caleb, and how they lost the right for one generation. He blames them for the fact that he won't make it: Also the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, saying Thou also shalt not go in tither (v. 37). No, Moses, it's your own damned fault. Yes, your god was being petty and spiteful, but if you're going to believe in him and accept his commandments and punishments, you're the one who got it wrong. Finally, he reminds them of their failed invasion of the Amorites.

Moses really sounds like a bitter old man, here, blaming everybody else for what has gone wrong in his life.

Chapter 2

Moses continues to wax on, and I can just picture the Israelites wishing watches had been invented, so they could make a big show out of looking at them impatiently.

He reminds them of passing through Edomite territory, the descendants of Esau, whom god instructed them to leave alone. Then they passed through the territory of the Moabites, the descendants of Lot's daughters' drunken father-raping. Same with the Ammonites, who are the other tribe that descended from those nights. Then he reminds them of the Amorites, whose hearts god hardened, so they massacred them when they refused to grant them safe passage. Same with the people of Shihon, whom they also massacred.

Chapter 3

More nostalgia: how they defeated Og the king of Bashan and his people and took over their cities. Apparently Og was the last of the giants, with a 13-foot bed. The left the tribes of Reuben and Manasseh there. He reminds them that the lord promised Joshua he would kill for him, too. He reminds them again that he won't get to the promised land because of them, and urges them to take it.

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