Sunday, March 21, 2010

Deuteronomy, Chapters 5-7

Chapter 5

Moses is still talking. Now he's reminding them about the time he went up the mountain and talked to 'god' and reminds them what the commandments were. Even though the third commandment Thou shalt not make thee any graven image or any likeness of any thing that is in the heaven above or that is in the earth beneath or that is in the waters beneath the earth (v. 8), Jerry still insists that this only means deities, and is in no way meant to stifle artistic creativity.

Chapter 6

More reminders, namely, teach your children about god, and don't worship any other gods. On the first, Jerry instructs us that we are to teach god's principles every day in our homes. Which ones? Certainly not the ones about not eating shellfish or tying ribbons to your clothes or sacrificing an animal every time you give birth, or paying 5 shekels for your firstborn son, or not sleeping with your wife when she has her period. No, he means the ones he likes. And on the second principle, this is what he has to say: "By definition, there can be only on all-powerful, infinite, limitless god. To speak of more than one supreme absolute, perfect and almighty being is to say something contradictory. There canot be two absolutes, for then there would be no absolute." See? He hasn't even read this chapter. Of course the Israelites were worshipping other gods! If they weren't, there would be no point in telling them not to! Also, according to Jerry, this god created the entire universe, including any other gods people might be worshipping. So he's either dumb or not very powerful.

Chapter 7

God promises to cast out the seven nations that currently occupy Canaan. Of course, this will never happen. He instructs them to slaughter them completely, and not to make treaties or show mercy or intermarry with their offspring. Then they have to destroy their property. Jerry does not say if these are the kinds of values we should be teaching to our children. And of course Moses has two foreign wives.

In return for worshipping god, the Israelites are promised that they will never be infertile, nor will their cows, and they will never get sick, but those afflictions will be laid on their enemies instead. Of course, this doesn't come with fertility clinics or vaccines or anything, but it does give the convenient reasoning that if you're sick, it's because you did something to piss god off.

There are some more threats and promises, including that god will send hornets out against their enemies. It's all very turgid.

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