Bible study 132 – Numbers 15

A short interlude from the current story, with rules for how much grain you should offer with each animal sacrifice and so forth. The rules are mostly repetitions or slight modifications of rules from Leviticus, and not very important. The only new rule is that the Israelites are ordered to attach blue cords to their chords, to remind them of God’s countless commandments. I first assumed that this was an ancient rule that nobody cares about anymore, but it turns out that Jews still wear them today! Except they don’t colour them anymore, because nobody remembers what type of dye is supposed to be used anymore, and it is apparently better to not colour them at all than use the wrong type of dye.

There is also a story about a guy who gathers sticks on the Sabbath. When the Israelites ask God what to do with him, God reaffirms that the punishment for working on the sabbath is death. I’ve mentioned several times that keeping the sabbath seems to be one of the most important and most repeated rules so far in the Bible. If you could only learn one thing from the Pentateuch, I think “keep the sabbath holy” would be a safe choice.

Numbers 15:36
The whole congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Full text.


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