Numbers 19 – 20: The Water of Cleansing, and Moses and Aaron Sin For the Last Time

Moses Draws Water From the Rock by Francois Perrier, 1642, currently at the Capitoline Museums, Rome, Italy Ok. You know how for quite a few blog posts lately I've been complaining about how repetitive this part of the Old Testament is? That God is dictating His rules for cleanliness again and again and again? Well,…

Numbers 16 – 18: The Israelites Refuse to Learn From Experience

The Blossoming of Aaron's Rod by Augustin Hirschvogel, circa 1550, currently at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Frankly, I'm getting tired of the Israelites and their whiny ways. I've said it before and I'm saying it again: you'd think that people who witnessed amazing natural and unnatural miracles nearly every week would be…

Numbers 1 – 3: Two Censuses (Censi?)

Image from an etching by Philip James de Loutherbourg from the opening page of Numbers from the Bible published by Thomas Macklin, 1791, currently at The British Museum A new book! Numbers! The name for this chapter in the Christian Bible comes from the Septuagint, the pre-Christian Greek translation of the Torah, and is based…

Leviticus 19 – 21: Various Repetitive Laws

Moses and Aaron Rejecting a Hunchback, from the Bible Moralisée Part 1, 13th Century, Currently with the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford University, United Kingdom The NIV version of Leviticus 19 starts with the heading: "Various Laws" because it's a mish-mosh of laws for all ancient Jews, not just for the Jewish priests as related in previous…