This story starts here.
For Yahweh it was like being stuck in a crowded car on a cross country trip with no a/c or radio. No matter what the Israelites did, they just got further under his skin.
Oh what now?”
Well, we’re a little thirsty. We could really use some water.”
“Oh, that’s it. Wiping you all out. Starting this whole thing over.”
And Moses would have to step in and talk Him down.
“Hey, hey, whoa, whoa. Let’s everybody just take a breather. It’s a long trip. It’s hot. It’s dry. We’re all a little ripe. I get that. But let’s save a little for the Canaanites, okay?”
But if the Israelites ever went at Moses? Different story.
“How come you’re the only one who gets to talk to him? What are we chopped liver?”
And Yahweh would flair up. “That’s it I’m wiping them all out and starting over!”
“Hey, hey, whoa, whoa. Let’s everybody just take a breather. It’s a long trip. It’s hot. It’s dry. We’re all a little ripe. I get that. How about you just wipe out several hundred of them? They’re the real enemy here.”
So Yahweh went all say-hello-to-my-little-friend on them.
Even Aaron made a play for power, trying to make a wedge issue of the fact that Moses married a Cushite woman.
“He married a foreign woman. Even before all this started, he married a foreign woman. And anyone who marries a foreign woman – who is foreign, I’d like to point out – shouldn’t have the ear of our Lord. Even though he was married to this foreign woman when the Lord called him – implying that it is okay to be married to a foreign woman – still, did you notice how she’s foreign? What, he couldn’t find a nice local girl, like I did with my Miriam? I mean, I guy like him could have his pick and he picks foreign? Come on.”
His punishment was that his wife got dry, flakey skin for a week. Yet, another guy who gathered some fire wood on the Sabbath got stoned to death.
Unless “gathering wood” is a euphemism, I’d say that was a little harsh.
Observer003 – Earthlings
Tomorrow: Part IV: Here There Be Monsters