Do Not Cross
April 15, 2012 Leave a comment
OT: Exodus 29-31
Here’s how to ordain priests. Dress them up fancy and send them to the temple with some livestock and artisanal breads. There, now they’re ordained. The priests should touch the livestock, then kill them, then throw the blood around, then set the organs on fire. This will be a “purification offering” (14), because purity consists of biohazardous fluid-flinging and the stench of scorched flesh. Also the priest clothes should be hand-me-downs.
God also decrees that the Israelites should sacrifice a lamb every day, along with some wine and a flour-oil mixture (I can only assume that he trying to make a roux for holy gumbo), and he promises to meet them at the tent to speak with them. Then he goes power-tripping: “I will be at home among the Israelites, and I will be their God. They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could make a home among them. I am the LORD their God” (45-46).
God gives a lot of instructions for building an incense altar and warns people not to burn the wrong kind of incense. #priorities
God also decrees that when the census happens, each person counted should donate half a shekel to support the temple upkeep, as a “compensation for their life” (12). If you pay your half shekel, you won’t get divinely plagued. God also specifies that the rich and the poor should all pay exactly the same amount, which I guess is nice since it signifies that the lives of the rich and of the poor are valued equally.
God also specifies that a washbasin has to be put in the temple for people to wash themselves before presenting offerings “so that they don’t die” (20). I feel that the prevalence of capital punishment in this society is…excessive.
God gives Moses a special incense recipe and decides that the punishment for anybody who copies the recipe for non-sacred purposes should be shunned by the tribe. Ditto with some special oil.
God announces that he has chosen two specific Israelites, Bezalel and Oholiab, and given them the skills required to make all the stuff he just gave instruction for. Which kind of make one (well, me) wonder why he didn’t just give them the instructions to begin with instead of using Moses as a middle man.
God reminds Moses that everybody has to keep the Sabbath holy in order to remind themselves of God, or else they will be put to death.
When God is done talking to Moses, he gives him two stone covenant tablets. Finally.
Good news – we are done with the interior design/fashion instructions! The golden calf is up next!
So much capital punishment!