Exodus 23-26, 32 – All My Friends

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Due to schedule clutter, this is appearing a full two and a half days after its cross-posting in other places (namely, my class site).

Exodus 23:20-33. They were an amicable bunch. They will be missed.

Who can forget Abimelech, the Hittite king whom Abraham and then Isaac took advantage of? Who can forget the Canaanite women who repulsed Rebbekah and made her life no longer worth living? Who can forget the countless clans that struggled to maintain alliances with the descendants of Abraham and who made Abraham a prince in their lands? Who can forget these people whose kindness and utility enabled Genesis to happen?

Perhaps it can all be explained away with God’s mind control, much like how Scrapped Princess was explained away with the Guardian gene.

But why are these people—these people who did so much on the good faith of Abraham and his descendants being the chosen ones of God—being wiped out?

E23:23—God will wipe them out.

And, after four weeks of God being nothing but a “wind in a vacuum,” I have my first visual of him: a crazed-looking Russian gentleman in uniform, beating his pulpit with his shoe.

“AMORITES, HITTITES, PERIZZITES, CANAANITESA, HIVITES, JEBUSITES—I. WILL. BURY YOU!!”

E23:24—God preaches intolerance.

E23:27—maybe “terror” refers to divine wrath (what at?) or retribution (what for?) or perhaps “His angel” (an interesting take on those ‘cherubic’ beings). Alternatively, God is setting the grounds for 1984 and 2001-2008 America.

E23:28—I’m not sure what hornets have to do with either terrorism or angels but I always thought Beedrills looked cool.

E23:32—alliances are covenants by definition. As are peace treaties. And cease-fires. God, belligerent brinksman that he is, is commanding that the Israelites be forever at war. Ahhh, the power of self-fulfilling prophecy (thanks, Mrs. Tammer! Four months of Othello DID pay off in the end!).

Exodus 24. Moses is clergy, Israelites are serfs.

And so we get into the medieval feudal system and some REAL slavery: Moses has a book, and he reads it to his people, and they agree to be bound to what he says. This was before the printing press (printing press came after Bible, Bible came after Hebrew Bible, Hebrew Bible did not forecast, etc.), meaning before populations of people were capable of becoming literate. My knowledge of history and logic are both completely infallible.

E24:8—I don’t know about you but to me, a blood shower does not sound like the most appealing thing first thing in the morning.

E24:12—God once more teaches Moses bad grammar… or maybe I’m really, really failing hard, and there IS an appropriate antecedent for the “their” of “I will give you the tablets of stone, with the laws and commands I have written for their instruction.” Englishing well or Englishing poorly aside, another visual: God is clearly corporeal, because he has quite explicitly written something down. This doesn’t necessarily clash with my Nikita Khrushchev image mentioned earlier, but toss in one of Izzard’s big fuck-all beards and some scholarly robes.

E24:13—God’s education was not in vain; Moses has learned to fail language. God specifically asked for only Moses to come up the mountain, yet Moses goes up with Joshua. Is this a parallel to Abraham going up a mountain with Isaac? Possibly, but whatever it is, it’s thanks to what one might call a “failure to communicate.” GG, God, you’ve established in Moses one of the most annoying aspects of humans: their inability to understand each other.

Though I must say, it makes a good excuse. Tomorrow morning, when I’m supposed to go in to make up an Economics test, I’ll simply not. When called on it by Mr. Meyer, I will beg him to forgive me and grant me another make-up opportunity. I shall say that thanks to God’s teachings, I failed to understand that Meyer wanted me to take the test at the appointed time.

E24:15-18—clouds‚â†fire. I won’t budge on this one, either, kinda like the slavery in Egypt thing.

Exodus 25. What I hate dislike most about the Bible.

Whew, I caught myself there. I’ve been on a “don’t use the word ‘hate’ campaign” for a while. So no, I don’t -hate- this aspect of the Bible, I just find it extremely infuriating. The aspect in question? The meaningless ‘why’ questions.

There is absolutely no way to answer them definitively and thinking about them goes in circles. Heck, just trying to explain my beef with them has me rambling meaninglessly…

Basically.

Why does God ask Moses to have the Israelites give him gifts and build him furniture when he can just make it all exist, himself, in a flash? Or, if he wants the Israelites to waste their lives making shit for him, he could just take over their minds and have them do it.

Why the middleman? Why Moses? Why ark and table and lampstand? Why conversation when telepathy is possible?

“Because he feels like it” — “because he’s psychotic” — “because he’s a bored toddler” — all plausible at this point. Plausible, but not telling at all. All I know, after about an hour agonizing over this stupid chapter and all its pointlessness, is that whichever loggers invested in acacia struck it big with God in this round.

Exodus 26. It is our most modestly priced receptacle.

I took one look at this chapter, noticed that it was nothing more than a variation on E25’s theme, and proceeded to read each word only once.

Because I read each word only once, the repetition really stood out—for some reason, God kept saying good-bye to a barnacle.

Also, there are Holy Places and also Most Holy Places.

From now on, in my writing, I will randomly capitalize things. It worked for the Bible and it worked for The Hobbit, maybe it’ll work for me. Watch out, soon we’ll have Joe heading into the Office and examining the Broken Analogue Clock and Tossing his gum Wrappers in the waste basket. And when that happens, I’ll lose all my readership and my rating will drop from a respectable 6.4 to a measly 4.2 and—

(Anyone ACTUALLY reading this right now is probably shaking their heads and wondering, “so that’s how this complete dolt fills up those long entries!” I, uh… assure ya’ll that I’m not making anything up. And it’s all relevant. Mmmhm. And uh. Tangents about tangents are metatangents, and now I’m really happy that I signed up for this class {as if I weren’t before} because I just invented a new word.)

—and, as I was saying, I’ll lose my motivation to keep writing and then I’ll find Jesus and he’ll keep me from killing myself with a stale manuscript.

Exodus 32. And now, for something interesting and nonsensical.

Biblical narrative back at its prime.

E32:1—in class we talked about how the Israelites liked bitching and moaning because it got them what they wanted. I don’t remember if this came up or not, but at least I made a note of it: they don’t like blaming things on God. They like pinning them on Moses. Here we have more complaining and more pinning on Moses, but the first obvious turn away from God. The people don’t want him. They want their idols.

E32:2—why is Aaron so quick to comply? He and Moses were supposed to be in with each other, and both serving God.

E32:4—Aaron fashioned the calf “with a tool.” For such a specific ‘means’ construct, that’s one damn vague description of means.

E32:4—A calf is gods.

E32:7—O SHI—Moses’s people have become corrupt.

E32:11-14—Moses is channeling Genesis 18 Abraham here, chiding the destructive God for wanting to destroy Israel. Of course, whereas Abraham argued on the basis that righteous men should not be killed due to the existence of the unrighteous nearby, Moses uses the faulty logic that God in the past spared these people. God is CLEARLY not consistent, and Moses being unable to recognize this is further evidence that his mind is addled. At least he’s not a stuttering nincompoop anymore, I guess?

E32:20—Forcing your own people to drink molten gold sounds like recipe for disaster. No need for divine intervention, no need for plagues, none of that. I can’t imagine gold possibly being good for the constitution. Oh, also, E32:19’s angry Moses was unbearably cute.

E32:22-24—Aaron is a total weasel.

E32:27-28—Levi was a murderous, violent bastard, as I’ve mentioned previously and as Jacob recognized on two occasions. Now his entire clan, led my Moses, begins massacring various other Israelites. What is this nonsense? It’s all Aaron’s fault for making the idol in the first place. Moses is supposed to be a judge and judges are supposed to be like hidden characters in games allies of justice!

So uh, I kind of liked Moses in all his flaws and quirks until this chapter. But now we’re back into the thick of what I loved to dislike in Genesis—a nonsensical plot that makes every single character look like the stupendous ass he is! Poor judgment, deception, slaughter; it’s all in there. Please, Bible. I understand that you like laws and rules and genealogies and measurements, but seriously, you only have one redeeming factor, and that’s /b/.

"Exodus 23-26, 32 – All My Friends" was posted by on Thursday, March 13th 2008. This post is categorized General Writings and tagged , , , .

9 thoughts on “Exodus 23-26, 32 – All My Friends

  1. Quick question: are those stories you wrote that I said I’d maybe read but never did as filled with utter spite as these are? Because I think Gem Hunter would be a more interesting character if he ranted about everyone he met.

  2. You’re supposed to be understanding and knowledgeable and insightful and a good judge of character. You thought this was filled with utter spite?

  3. Actually, it’s not hard to come to the same conclusion when Tsar God says he will ‘blot [these people] out’, send hornets to drive them away, and bless the Hebrews for overthrowing them utterly and breaking their pillars on the ground. I wonder how many people exactly have died because of this and similar passages? When a central part of your religion tells you that you will prosper for killing these groups of people because they live in ‘your’ land, it’s time for a serious editing job. Flak is quite right – none of these people are guilty of nothing but settling in land the Hebrews abandoned. The only ones I can think of who fought with Abraham or any such person are already dead – the Sodomites and Gomorrahans.
    .
    Indeed, I have no objections with this entire post. The whole section is bloody ridiculous and bloodily horrifying in turn. Notice how God spends four chapters describing in detail his acacia wood and gold sanctuary and altar and ark with the onyx stones like this and the purple curtains arranged exactly like this. This takes longer to describe than the flood that destroyed mankind, the destruction of the tower of Babel, and Sodom and Gomorrah combined. Each of these takes longer to describe than all moments in Genesis and Exodus where God expresses his love and support for someone combined. The Old Testament God likes himself first, destroying things second, and helping out men a distant third.

  4. Karamazov—I think fucking with people for fun comes in between destroying things and helping out men.
     
    KCG—I’m not playing word games. It’s not full of “utter spite.” It’s full of my attempts to rationalize with something that so far has proven to have little to no redeeming value. It’s also full of my gut reactions to things. It’s got absolutely no calculated hatred.

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