Moses Tames the Lord’s Fury

Exodus 33: The Smoke Monster

Moses had a special tent in the Israelite camp where he would go to convene with the Lord. Moses would enter the tent, and the Lord’s pillar of cloud would descend and wait outside the door. This particular day, the Lord was thoroughly perturbed about the previous events involving the Golden Calf, …Continue reading Moses Tames the Lord’s Fury

The Golden Calf

Exodus 32: Supervision required

While Moses was up on Mount Sinai receiving his moral guidance from the Lord, the Children of Israel naturally assumed he had gone AWOL, and so turned to Aaron for spiritual guidance.

Not having had the benefit of the Lord’s guidance, Aaron did the best he could: he collected up all the Israelites’ gold …Continue reading The Golden Calf

The Death Penalty

Exodus 31: “I’m no judge, but isn’t that a bit harsh? Maybe just a teensy-weensy bit?”

The Lord Almighty realized that his frail human followers might not be able to live up to his expectations. Between all metallurgy, woodwork, and engineering needed to build all the altars, golden rings, lamps, and so on, there was a lot …Continue reading The Death Penalty

Holy Interior Design

Exodus 25-28: Moses gets micromanaged

The Lord gave Moses a long grocery list of items he was to collect from the Israelites as offerings, including precious metals, fine linens, spices and incense. “Make a sanctuary exactly in the way I’m about to explain to you,” the Lord told Moses.

“First,” God began, “an Ark. I want it made …Continue reading Holy Interior Design

The Genie

Exodus 13: God leads the way

Moses turned to the Hebrews, who had just been given permission to leave Egypt, and announced, “Remember way back when, when the Lord promised your fathers and your fathers’ fathers, and their fathers’ fathers’ fathers that he would deliver you to a land flowing with milk and honey? He’s finally coming …Continue reading The Genie

The Task

Exodus 3-4: “I am that I am and that is that.”

While tending to his flock one day, Moses stopped at the ‘mountain of God’, when suddenly a nearby bush spontaneously burst into flames. Mesmerized by the soft, warm glow, Moses realized that the flames were actually speaking to him! “Moses, Moses,” the voice called, “Take off …Continue reading The Task

Death of a Prince

Genesis 50: It’s coming – sooner or later

When Israel had breathed his last, Joseph fell upon him and wept. Then collecting himself, he ordered his father to be embalmed, which took forty days to complete. Accompanied by his family and the Pharaoh’s servants, Joseph took his father’s body for burial to the cave in Canaan where …Continue reading Death of a Prince

Benjamin

Genesis 35: An obstetrical death

After the massacre of Shalem, God told Jacob to flee to Bethel and build an altar there, so Jacob told his family and followers to get into clean clothes, purify themselves, and abandon their pagan gods. The party left towards Bethel, and although the neighbouring Canaanite towns were furious at Jacob for …Continue reading Benjamin

A Wrestling Match

Genesis 32: Why we don’t eat hip tendon

Returning home, Jacob sent off a messenger ahead of him to tell his brother Esau where he’d been and to ask for his hospitality, but the messenger returned with news that Esau was riding out to meet Jacob with four hundred men. Jacob was afraid for himself and his …Continue reading A Wrestling Match

Jacob Makes a Friend

Genesis 28: A decent ROI

Before Jacob fled, Isaac called him into his tent again and told him he wasn’t allowed to marry a Canaanite woman, and to go to Laban and marry one of his cousins instead. Jacob did just that. In response, Esau took on yet another wife and married one of his other cousins.

One …Continue reading Jacob Makes a Friend