Tuesday, June 15

Disciple Bible Study: Week 6

I’m participating in Disciple Bible Study, a 34 week intensive. For five days, we have different readings.  I have decided to document my initial noticings from a close reading of the scripture. Well, an attempt at a close reading.

Week 6 Theme:  Order


Week six: order

Exodus 19

  • verse one – "third new Moon" I find it interesting that it's on the third new Moon
  • verse five – her it says of all the people are God's people the "whole earth" but the Israelites are the priestly kingdom and a holy nation
  • verse 10 – the people have to be consecrated here
  • verses 12 to 13 – God spends some time scaring the heck out of these people
    • at the end of verse 13, God invites the people to go up the mountain when the trumpet sounds
    • this is in direct contradiction to what comes up later on God is like "stay away from the mountain" and God is all like a volcano, so it is a mixed message here
    • verse 17 – will this brings the people to meet God
    • verse 23 – Moses reminds God that the people are not permitted to come up the mountain. Here is the contradiction to the earlier invitation

Exodus 20

  • verses one and two – a reminder of who God is and what God has done
  • verses four through six – it starts off referencing idol worship and then goes to punishment; I am wondering if this specific punishment of punishing the children unto the third and fourth generation is specifically for the sin of idol worship
  • verse 19 – the people that are making an "Idol" out of Moses by saying you can speak to us that if God speaks to us we will die. We will listen to you but not God.

Deuteronomy 4:44 through 5:33

  • verse 5:3 – the promise, the covenant, is with us the people who are here and alive today
  • the differences between the 10 Commandments that are listed here in the 10 Commandments that are listed in Exodus are:
    • in verse 15 an addition is the reminder that you are a slave in Egypt and that God rescued you
    • in verse 16 which is about honoring your mother and her father the addition is "that it may go well with you"
    • the addition regarding coveting which is in verse 21, is that you should also not covet your neighbor's house worth to you
    • verse 25 – people are happy with Moses talking to God. They are afraid that they will die if they talk to God.
    • Verses 28 to 33 – warning to Moses to stay on the straight and narrow path and do not diverge from God's plan at all. Verse 33 specifically foreshadows Moses not being able to enter the promised land.

Exodus 21:1 - 23:19, 31:18 – 32:35

  • in verses five and six of chapter 21, the law about slaves, if the slaves comes in to the family and is married off to someone and has children and they want to stay together in the family, he has to remain a slave and even be marked with a piercing. This seems very unfair.
  • It is also unfair in verse 21:20-21, that if the slave dies from an injury a few days after the injury there is no recompense
  • verse 21:22 – 25 – the infamous line "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" occurs here. And it seems to reflect specifically upon injury to a pregnant woman. This does not open up "eye for eye" in all situations.
  • verses 21:28 – 36 – there are lots of rules about ox's. They must be important.
  • Verse 22:9 – how can we tell who is the one that God condemns?
  • Verse 22:18 – what about male sorcerers?
  • Verse 22:21 – 24 – again, an emphasis on caring for the alien, the widow, and the orphan. If you do not care for these people in verse 24, it says that God will kill you with the sword and your wives shall become widows and your children become orphans.
  • Verse 22:29 – God is not taken any second born sons like a he does in other places
  • Verse 23:9 – another reminder to take care of the alien
  • Verse 23:19 – odd place for this rule, don't you think?
  • Verse 31:18 – written with the finger of God.  J
  • Verse 32:1 – who decided to not capitalize gods?
  • Verse 32:4 – this almost sounds like little kids who play house.  so the Israelites play church by creating little gods while Moses is away.  And Aaron plays along.
  • Verse 32:11 – Moses is manipulating God!
  • Verse 32:22 – choice not to capitalize lord (Lord)
  • Verse 32:25 – ha ha ha!  and out popped a calf!  like magic!
  • Verse 32:27-29 – the Levites are priests and warriors apparently

Leviticus 11, 17:10-19:37

  • Verse 11:5 – what did the rock badger ever do?
  • Verse 11:22 – locusts, crickets, and grasshoppers are fair game!  (but don't they swarm?)
  • Verse 11:41 – no swarming creatures!!
  • Verses 17:10-16 – all this blood business.  I wonder…what about rare meat?  how does that qualify?  But, blood carries life and is sacred in this rendition of the rules.  It carries both death and life; sacredness and earthiness.  A confusing thing to be sure!
  • Verses 18:1-30
    • What did they do in the land of Egypt and Canaan that we need to watch for (v. 3)
    • Reminds me of Noah and Ham story.  Does it all boil down to 'honor thy mother and father?' (v. 6-18) And Lot and his two daughters.
    • Speaking of Molech (v. 21) leads directly to male homosexuality discussion.  Let's be clear that it is only male/male, male/animal, female/animal intercourse that comes up for discussion.  Where were these practices taking place?
      • "Judah’s syncretistic worship was reflected in the practice of swearing by the Lord and, at the same time, by Milcom, who may be either the Ammonite deity of 1 Kings 11:5, 33 or Molech, the worship of whom included child sacrifice, astrology and temple prostitution (cf. Lev. 18:21; 2 Kin 17:16; Ezek 23:37; Amos 5:25, 26; Acts 7:40-43)."
      • The MacArthur Bible Commentary, 2005, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, p. 1038.
    • verse 24 specifically tasks 'nations' that do these practices, not people.  What is the difference?  I can think of a significant difference.  The nation of Israel worshiped the Golden Calf, not individual people.  God was ready to wipe everybody out for that.  Is it possible that God would wipe out an entire people because of false idol worship here?
    • Chapter 19
      • Verses 1-4 seems to be a reminder of the 10 Commandments
      • Verse 10 – take care of the poor and the alien!
      • Verse 18 – love your neighbor as yourself!!
      • Verses 20-22 – I wonder if it was confusing for the Israelites to differentiate between worshiping at the "tent" abd worshiping at the various "temples?"
      • Verse 34 – love the alien as yourself

Numbers 6, 13:1-14:38, Deuteronomy 5-9

  • Numbers 6
    • There are a bunch of different offerings here.  Something to investigate some day.
      • v. 11, sin offering, burnt offering
      • v. 12, guilt offering
      • v. 14, burnt offering, sin offering, offering of well-being
      • v. 18, sacrifice of well-being
      • v. 20, elevation offering
      • Numers 13
        • A-spying we shall go!
        • Strong land, strong people, strong cities, good food!
        • v. 32 – report the land as scary and the people too.
        • Numbers 14:1-38
          • v. 2 – again with the "oh, only if we had died in Egypt!"
          • v. 10-11 – God has to appear again to those stiff-necked people!
          • Moses, the great manipulator of God, is back at work flattering and changing God's mind.
          • Deuteronomy 6
            • v. 5 – the great commandment
            • v. 7-9 – it appears tattoos are okay here!
            • v. 25 – if the great commandment is observed, "we will be in the right."  What does that mean?  to be right?
            • Deuteronomy 7
              • v. 8 – God keeps promises
              • theme:  remember
              • Deuteronomy 8
                • theme:  be humble, remember
                • v. 17-20 – the nations before Israel perished because they forgot God.  Tells me there was a pre-existing relationship of some sort!
                • Deuteronomy 9
                  • v. 4 – it is not because you are good that God pushes these nations out, but because they are wicked
                    • It's not you, it's God.  Grace.
    • some additions to the previous story here…
      • v. 18 – Moses lay prostrate for 40 days and nights
      • v. 20 – God so angry with Aaron he was ready to destroy him (really, God was going to destroy everybody)
      • v. 21 – Moses then destroys the calf.  that's out of order.
      • Deuteronomy 13
        • v. 1-2 – warning against prophets and those who divine by dreams.  Seems to be only bad if people follow and serve them.
        • v. 9-10 – but should kill people that try to 'lure' you away from worshiping God.  Should the bankers be under judgment?  The market-ers

Numbers 18, Deuteronomy 14:22-15:23, 21-22, 25, 34

  • Numbers 18
    • peopleàpriestsàAaronàGod
    • tithe of a tithe of a tithe
    • Deuteronomy 14:22-29
      • tithing, tithing, tithing
      • Deuteronomy 15:1-23
        • Sabbath years and debts
          • I wonder what it would look like to forgive debts every seven years?
          • (except from foreigners) v. 3
    • v. 4-5 – there will be no one in need if you do what God says
    • v. 7-11 – if there is anybody in need, open your hand willingly to the poor and needy, since there will always be someone in need
      • so, these verses show that God expects us to fail from the get-go
    • v. 22 – you can eat within the town, the unclean and clean alike – what the heck?
    • Deuteronomy 21
      • v. 1-13 – this whole story is weird.  whatever town is closest to an unknown murdered person has to put out a cow and break its neck?  what?
      • v. 10-14 – justice for female slaves, right on.
      • v. 17 – the rights of the first born are a double portion (of what?).  except if you're God!  then you pick the runt of the litter.
      • v. 23 – explains lynching
      • Deuteronomy 22
        • v. 5 – what is woman's apparel and man's apparel?
        • v. 21-22 – seems a woman can be either a virgin or a prostitute.  With only these two choices, I'm drawn to the Temple Prostitution model.
        • Deuteronomy 25
          • v. 4 – random insertion
          • v. 5-10 – this whole rules around protecting a widowed sister-in-law is bizarre.  Who wants to be known as "the house of him whose sandal was pulled off?"
          • Deuteronomy 34
            • v. 6 – to prevent idol worship
            • v. 10-12 – never has there been someone like Moses!

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