Background Probability

The Agnostic Popular Front has moved to its new home at Skeptic Ink, and will henceforth be known as Background Probability. Despite the relocation and rebranding, we will continue to spew the same low-fidelity high-quality bullshit that you've come to expect.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Numbers 1:1-4:20 (Bamidbar)

Numbers 1:1-4:20

This book leads off with a census of the tribes, which is preserved here for all generations to enjoy, purportedly as timeless and inspired wisdon revealed by G-d Himself. There is also the curious verse at 1:51, wherein we learn that it is a capital crime to attempt to sneak a peek at the Man Behind The Curtain.

We learn in chapter 2 how the marching shall commence, which tribes are arrayed where relative to each other and the Levites in the center. Instructions are also given here (in Drosnin's skip code) for the proper handling of the Holy Hand Grenade.

In chapter 3 we find once again that the Levites are to be given pride of place in all things, which is precisely what one might expect from a book written by priests in an attempt to secure their preminence and livelihood. Here is a shining example of self-serving "divine revelation" to the Levitical authors of the Torah:

3:48 And thou shalt give the money, wherewith the odd number of them is to be redeemed, unto Aaron and to his sons. 3:49 And Moses took the redemption money of them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites: 3:50 Of the firstborn of the children of Israel took he the money; a thousand three hundred and threescore and five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary: 3:51 And Moses gave the money of them that were redeemed unto Aaron and to his sons, according to the word of the LORD, as the LORD commanded Moses.

In other words the priests shall get theirs whenever you celebrate the joy of a firstborn. Now is that some Revealed Truth, or what?

Chapter 4 is mostly concerned with matters of interior decorating, and God has to be very specific in these commands, having already ordered the Israelites to kill of all their gays. Did I just type that out loud? Sorry.

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