Kids these days

Leviticus 10: Problems with authority

One day Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, being precocious young teens with an aptitude for challenging authority, lit some incense without prior authorization from the Lord. Naturally, the Lord swooped down upon them in a pillar of fire, stripping skin from bone in a nuclear rage. What little remained of them was …Continue reading Kids these days

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

The ‘Other’ Commandments II

Exodus 22-23: Even more rules

Continuing from the previous chapter’s set of moral guidelines, these additional rules remain a crucial pillar of our entire legal system. While all of God’s Laws are undoubtedly important, highlighted here are the most significant:

If you kill a thief while he’s breaking in during the night, you’re not guilty of anything. But …Continue reading The ‘Other’ Commandments II

The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20: Finally, some moral guidance!

Fire, lightning, and thunder were continuing to boom all around Mount Sinai, and up on the summit, Moses and Aaron were receiving some moral guidance from the Lord. “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of Egypt, and here are the rules you must follow,” said the …Continue reading The Ten Commandments

Try, try again

Exodus 11: Infanticide is not the answer

“I’ve got it!” the Lord said to Moses, “I know how we’re going to get Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go out of Egypt to worship me! Here’s what we have to do:

“First, all the Hebrews need to borrow as much gold, silver, and jewels as they can get their …Continue reading Try, try again

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

Moses

Exodus 1-2: The basket case

Sometime long after the events of Genesis, and after Israel and sons had passed away, the Israelites (that is, those descending from Jacob/Israel) had grown in population and the king of Egypt decided there were just too many Jews, and they were just too powerful. The Egyptian government enslaved the Jews (or …Continue reading Moses

Joseph I

Genesis 37: You already know this story

Of all his sons, Israel (recall: Jacob) liked seventeen year-old Joseph the best. Israel made him a multicoloured coat so Joseph could flaunt his father’s favouritism, and needless to say, his brothers didn’t take kindly to this.

To make matters worse, Joseph was a little insensitive, so when he told his …Continue reading Joseph I