The Bible Slam: Numbers Chapter 16

In this chapter, there's a rebellion against Moses, Aaron and the Levites.  The freethinkers of the group are sick and tired of Moses and his priests putting themselves above every one else, while at the same time, leading people around the desert without making it to the promised land (as mentioned previously, a 'normal' trek at that time would take about two weeks).

The entire community gets stirred up and the Lord shows up and destroys the leaders of the rebellion and all of their families, including women and children.

Later, 14,700 people are destroyed by Yahweh because they complained about the first batch of killings.

Incense burners that were being used at the time of God's appearance are considered hallowed and no one is allowed to use them except the Levite priests.

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Discussion Points.

The moral of this particular Bible story seems to be that even if you think the commands of the priests are stupid and impractical, you have to obey them anyway or else you, your wife, and your kids (even babies) get killed for questioning.  Never, ever question the priests.  In this chapter, however, Moses has the power and authority to tell God which offerings are not to be accepted.

Two times in Numbers 16, Moses "falls on his face."  Aaron "falls on his face" one time and the entire congregation "fell upon their face" one time.  How on earth does one "fall upon his face" and why?

As Skeptics Annotated points out, God first kills 250 people for burning incense, then saves a whole bunch more for burning incense.

We're going to start following Steve's killing tally in the Bible Slam.  This chapter represents God's 21st killing.  At the conclusion of Numbers 16, we're now up to 31,406,079 deaths by God, for things such as complaining, gathering firewood on the sabbath and so forth.

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