Sunday, 25 June 2017
The Bible: A Very Grim Fairytale: Numbers: Chapter 12 - Don't Mess With Moses on Pain of Leprosy
God and Moses are the best of pals. We know this because they spent so much time talking to one another on Mount Sinai. So you don't go dissing Moses. If God finds out, which of course he will because he is God, then you're in trouble. Even if you're Moses' brother.
The tribe of Israel was on the move. They were moving through the desert and making camp in various places throughout it.
Now I may have forgotten to mention previously that Moses had married an Ethiopian woman. In my defence the reason I forgot to mention this was because the Bible forgot to mention this. It tells us thus:
'because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman.'
Now they tell us.
Anyway, for some reason this prompted some resentment in Aaron and his wife and they talked about it angrily. But God heard all about this. It's odd how sometimes God hears things and sometimes he doesn't isn't it. It's almost as if they make it all up to suit the story.
Anyway, God called Aaron and his wife to see him in the Tabernacle where he spoke to them from behind a big pillar of cloud. If only they did weather forecasts like that.
God told the two of them that Moses was his pal and that, though he was speaking to them from behind this big cloud, - it's not mentioned whether or not they had umbrellas - when he spoke to Moses he did so face to face. No clouds or speaking through visions or dreams for his mate Moses. In other words Moses was the main man, second only to God and God had his back. So why were they talking badly about him? Aaron and Miriam, his wife, were sent on their way but Miriam was afflicted with leprosy as punishment.
Why though wasn't Aaron punished? He was the chief priest. His sons had been killed by God for not getting things right in the Tabernacle, not wearing the right clothes in the right order or treading on the cracks in the pavement or some stupid reason. Aaron had been rude about God's best friend and his own brother and he was let off and his wife was punished. More casual misogyny there from the Bible and from God.
Aaron went to Moses to plead for Miriam and so Moses, humble chap that he was, went to plead with God for her salvation and cure. Don't worry, said God, just chuck her out of the camp as per my standing instructions about lepers and she will miraculously get better without antibiotics and you can let her back in again. So that's what they did. Fortunately they didn't move the camp during her isolation. They waited for her to stop being scabby. All in all she got off more lightly than her sons did. But not as lightly as her husband.
But the bigger question is, why have we only just been told about Moses getting married? It's like they make this stuff up as they go along isn't it.