Sunday, November 29, 2009


Chapter 10
Summary:Moses' speech continues:
"At that time, the Lord said to me, 'Cut two tablets of stone like the first pair, and come back up the mountain. Also you are to make an ark of wood. I will write upon the tablets the words that were written on the first tablets which you broke, and you shall put them into the ark.'

"So I made an ark from shittim wood, and cut two tablets of stone like the first, and went up into the mountain carrying the two tablets. He wrote on the tablets, the same as he had written before, the ten commandments - which the Lord dictated to you in the mountain out of the midst of fire - and gave them to me. I came down the mountain and put the tablets into the ark which I had made; and there they are, as the Lord commanded me.

"The people of Israel took their journey from Beeroth (of the children of Jaakan) to Mosera, and there Aaron died. After he was buried, his son Eleazar ministered as the head priest in his place.

"From there, the people journeyed to Gudgodah, and from there to Jotbath, a land with many rivers. It was at this time that the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant, to stand before the Lord, to minister to him, and to bless in his name, unto this day. While the Levites do not receive an inheritance like their brethren tribes do, the Lord is their inheritance - as the Lord your God promised them.

"I stayed up in the mountain, like the first time, for forty days and forty nights. The Lord listened to me up there, and would not destroy you all. The Lord then said to me, 'Take your journey before the people, that they may go in and possess the land which I had sworn unto their forefathers, to give to them.'

"And now, people of Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all of his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, to keep his commandments and statutes, which I command you this day for your own good? Behold, the sky and the heavens above is the Lord's, as is the earth and therein. The Lord loved your forefathers and chose their descendants above all people, as he continues to this day. Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and don't act stubborn.

"The Lord your God is God above all gods, the Lord of lords, a great God, mighty and terrible, which has no regard for any person, nor can he be bribed. He executes judgment of orphans and widows, and loves foreigners, giving them food and clothing. Therefore, you too are to love foreigners, as you were foreigners yourselves in the land of Egypt.

"You shall fear the Lord your God, and serve him, cling to him, and swear by his name. He is your praise, and he is your God, that has done for you all these great and terrible things, which you have seen with your own eyes. When your forefathers arrived in Egypt there were only seventy of them in number, now the Lord has made your population as numerous as the stars in the sky."
Thoughts:Moses's speech continues, and he recounts the tale of receiving the second set of stone tablets containing the "ten commandments". as originally told in Exodus: Chapter 34. Although Moses' speech claims that God also asked Moses to build the "ark of the covenant" at the same time, this contradicts the book of Exodus which has this event occurring in Exodus: Chapter 25 prior to the writing of the first set of tablets containing the "ten commandments".

Moses (again, self described as the "meekest man on earth") also contradicts the book of Exodus by taking credit for having built the ark of the covenant, when Exodus: Chapter 37 clearly credits Bezaleel for this task. He then restates that God wrote the "ten commandments" upon the new stone tablets and that Moses placed them into the "ark of the covenant".

Moses next states that the Israelites then traveled from Beeroth to Mosera, where Aaron died (it's unclear whether Mosera is an alternate name for Mount Hor or an encampment nearby) and his son Eleazar took over as the head priest. Moses then states that the Israelites journeyed from Mosera to Gudgodah, and from there to Jotbath, where he states that God appointed the Levites to 'minister' under him.

Moses then returns back to his story of staying up in the mountains for forty days and forty nights, and once again tells the people of Israel that he managed to talk God out of killing them all, as well as God's command for the Israelites to go take the "promised land".

He then tells the Israelites that the only things they are required to do, is to fear God, to "walk in all of his ways", to love him, to serve him with all your heart and soul, and to obey all of his laws and commands. Moses states that God owns the heavens and the earth, and because he "loved" Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Israelites should stop being such a stubborn group of people - in which he makes a rather humorous analogy to circumcising the foreskin off of one's heart in order to remove their stubbornness.

Moses continues, stating that God is the god above all gods; the ruler of all rulers; and is great, mighty, and terrible. He adds that God also cannot be reasoned with nor bribed, and favors the underdogs (orphans, widows, and foreigners) whom he loves - except for these foreigners. Moses states that they are to be loving towards foreigners, stating that the Israelites themselves were foreigners in the land of Egypt.

Moses concludes that the Israelites are to obey God and to swear by his name, because of all the great and terrible things he has done. He adds that when their forefathers arrived in Egypt, that there were only seventy of them, but now they are as numerous as the stars in the sky.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Chapter 9
Summary:Moses' speech continues:
"Hear, O [people of] Israel, you are to cross the Jordan River today, to go in and conquer nations greater and mightier than yourselves; to possess great cities that are highly fortified; against great tall people, the children of the Anakims - whom you know, and have heard it said 'Who can stand up against the children of Anak!'

"Understand that the Lord your God will be with you today, and that he will go before you [in battle], and as a consuming fire he shall destroy [the children of Anak]. He shall bring them before you, so you can drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the Lord has said unto you.

"After the Lord you God has cast them out before you, do not say in your heart that the Lord has brought you in to possess this land because of your righteousness, because it is due to the wickedness of these [heathen] nations that the Lord drove them out before you. You are not possessing this land because of your righteousness, but [again] the Lord is driving out these nations for their wickedness, and so that he may fulfill his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Understand that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land for being righteous, for you are actually stubborn and unruly people.

"Remember, and do not forget, how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day that you departed from Egypt, until you arrived at this spot today, you have been rebellious against the Lord. In [Mount] Horeb, you provoked the Lord to wrath - so much so, that the Lord was angry enough to have destroyed you all.

"When I had went up into the mountain to receive the tablets of stone containing the covenant which the Lord had made with you, I had stayed in the mountain for forty days and forty nights - during which time I neither ate bread nor drank water. The Lord had delivered to me two stone tablets - written by the finger of God - on which was written, all the words that the Lord had spoken to you in the mountain out of the midst of the fire. On the fortieth day, when the Lord gave me the two stone tablets containing the covenant, he said to me, 'Get back down the mountain quickly, for the people you brought out of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They quickly turned aside from the ways which I commanded them and have made themselves a molten image.'

"Furthermore, the Lord said to me, 'I have seen these people, and they are a stubborn group of people. Leave me, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven, and instead I will make you into a nation mightier and greater than they are.'

"So I came back down from the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire as I held the two tablets of the covenant in my hands. I looked, and behold, you had sinned against the Lord your God, and had made yourselves a molten calf. You had turned away quickly from the way in which the Lord had commanded you. I took the two tablets and threw them from my hands, breaking them before your eyes.

"I again fell down before the Lord, and as I had done before, spent another forty days and forty nights where I did not eat any bread, nor drink any water, because of your sins and in doing wickedness in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure that the Lord had kindled with wrath against you, for he had wanted to destroy you - however, the Lord listened to my prayers. The Lord was very angry with Aaron and wanted to destroy him as well, so I prayed for him as well.

"I took your sin - the calf you had made - and burned it with fire. I stamped it and ground it into a fine powder, and cast the dust into the brook that descended from the mountain.

"Again, at Taberah, and then again at Massah, and then even again at Kibrothhattaavah, you provoked the Lord to wrath. Likewise, when the Lord sent you from Kadeshbarnea, saying, 'Go up and possess the land which I have given you,' you still rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God, and didn't believe him or heed his words. You have rebelled against the Lord from the day that I met you.

"Thus I fell down before the Lord for forty days and forty nights, as I had done the first time, because the Lord had said that he would destroy you. So I therefore prayed to the Lord, and said, 'O Lord God, do not destroy your people and their inheritance, whom you had redeemed with your greatness and brought out of Egypt with your mighty hand. Instead, remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; focus not upon the stubbornness, wickedness, and sin of these people, or the land from which you brought us out from will claim, "Because the Lord was unable to bring them into the land which he promised them, he hated them and slayed them out in the wilderness." They are your people, and your inheritance, which you brought out with your mighty power and your outstretched arm.'"
Thoughts:Moses's speech continues, and he prepares the Israelites for their task of crossing the Jordan River and conquering the "promised land" and the giants - the sons of Anak - dwelling in their fortified cities. He tells the Israelites that God will destroy the giants, but that they are not to confuse the reason why God is allowing them to take their land.

Moses insists that God's reasoning for driving the giants out the land is solely because of the "wickedness" of the giants, and not because the Israelites are righteous in any way. In fact, Moses tells the Israelites that they are actually stubborn and unruly people.

He recounts to the Israelites the story of Exodus: Chapter 24 when God instructed him to ascend Mount Sinai, wait around for 40 days and 40 nights without eating and drinking, in order to receive the "ten commandments" carved onto two stone tablets, by the "finger of God". When Moses did this of course, fearing that Moses had gone missing, Moses' brother Aaron forged the Israelites a "golden calf" for them to worship. God's response naturally, is to get angry and decide to commit genocide upon the Israelites.

Moses recounts how God had told him to get down there and put a stop to all this "golden calf" worshiping, and how he himself became so angry that he broke the two tablets containing the "ten commandments". Moses states that he became afraid of God's threats to kill off all of the Israelites and prayed for them; in turn he also prayed for Aaron who God also was angry with and wanted to destroy as well. Moses tells how he destroyed the "golden calf", ground it up into fine powder, and tossed it into the stream. (Although Moses stops his story short of where he forced the Israelites to drink from the water, and ordering the Levites to slaughter the Israelites who wouldn't with their swords, regardless of their family relations.)

Moses then brings up more instances, such as the people whining about eating "manna" from Numbers: Chapter 11; the people whining about not having any water to drink from Exodus: Chapter 17; as well as the people gluttonously dining on the quails God gave them, also from Numbers: Chapter 11 - the bottom line being, God hates complainers. Moses then caps it off with the Israelites fear of the facing giants living in the "promised land" from Numbers: Chapter 14. Moses then basically says that the Israelites have always been a whiny ungrateful bunch of sods for as long as he can remember.

Moses closes out the chapter by telling the people that he had to talk God out of committing mass genocide against the Israelites, and God's desire of making Moses' descendants become the "chosen people", by convincing him that this would look bad to the Egyptians, and that if he killed everyone off, he would be breaking his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.


Chapter 8
Summary:Moses' speech continues:
"All the commandments which I give to you this day, you shall obey, so that you may live and multiply in the land which the Lord promised to your forefathers.

"You shall remember how the Lord your God led you these forty years through the wilderness, to humble you, and to prove to you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. He humbled you, causing you to suffer hunger before he fed you with 'manna' - a food that you had never seen, nor had your ancestors - so that he could teach you that man does not live by bread alone, but that he lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes haven't grown old, nor have your feet swollen throughout these past forty years. You should realize that just as a man punishes his son, so the Lord your God punishes you. Therefore you shall obey the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.

"For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land: a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of hills and valleys; a land of wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey; a land where food will not be scarce, and you will not lack a thing in it; a land where iron is as common as stones, and whose hills you will be able to mine for brass. When you have eaten and you are full, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which he has given you. Beware that you don't forget the Lord your God, in not keeping his commandments, judgments, and statutes, which I command to you this day.

"When you have eaten your fill, and have built goodly houses to live in; when your herds and flocks have multiplied; your silver and gold has multiplied; and your heart be lifted up, - lest you forget the Lord your God which brought you out from your slavery in Egypt; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, where there were "fiery serpents", scorpions, and drought; where there was no water, brought forth water out of a rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna - a food that your ancestors had never seen - so that he might humble you and prove to you, to do good to you later on.

"When you say in your heart, 'It was my power and my own will that has given me everything I have', you should instead remember the Lord your God, for it is he that gave you the power to acquire that wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he swore unto your forefathers, as it is this day.

"It shall be, that if you forget the Lord your God, and walk after other gods, and serve and worship them, I promise you this day that you shall surely perish. Like the nations which the Lord destroys before your eyes, so shall you perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God."
Thoughts:Moses's speech continues, this time focusing primarily on God's "testing" of the Israelites.

Moses begins by once again dangling the carrot of increased fertility over the heads of the Israelites, providing they obey all of God's commandments. He then states that this whole trek through the wilderness for forty years was actually a "test" to humble the Israelites - instead of God's originally stated intentions of waiting until the previous generation had died out. Moses claims that God had deliberately let the Israelites go hungry, so that he could feed them "manna" - a previously unheard of food - so that they could be taught that "man does not live by bread alone". While perhaps one could argue some plausibility about God's intentions with the "manna", clearly Moses is trying to be a revisionist in regards to God's intentions regarding why he had made the Israelites wander around in the desert for forty years.

Moses then asserts that none of the Israelites clothes have worn out, nor have their feet blistered from their forty year hike through the desert. He then compares God's punishments of the Israelites to the discipline a father shows his son - however, most fathers generally don't set their children on fire and infect them with plagues for complaining about the food, set them on fire for not lighting incense properly, or unleash poisonous snakes upon them for complaining about their hardships. Moses states that for this reason, people should obey God's commandments, but follows it up with a more convincing reason - fearing God.

Moses then boasts about how wonderful the "promised land" will be: that it will have plenty of water; the crops will be plentiful; it will be rich with olive oil and honey; iron will be as common as stones and rocks; and the hills will be able to be mined for brass. However, Moses warns, the people are not to forget that once they're accustomed to this wealth, they are not to forget that if it weren't for God taking them out of their slavery in Egypt and helping them commit genocide against the former inhabitants of this land, they wouldn't have any of these nice things, so therefore they have to obey God's commandments, judgments, and statutes. Moses tries to rub it in further, by mentioning that God protected them through the wilderness from "fiery serpents" (although he fails to mention that God sent them down there himself in the first place as a punishment), scorpions, and satiated their thirst by bringing forth water out of a rock.

Moses warns the people not to take credit for anything that they have acquired, and that they are solely to accredit God, or else they will somehow find the tendency to begin worshiping other gods - and if that happens, God will destroy them just the same as he had caused the destruction of all the "heathen" nations that formerly inhabited the "promised land".

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Chapter 7
Summary:Moses' speech continues:
"When the Lord your God brings you into the land and you go to possess it, he will cast out many nations before you: the Hitites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites - seven* nations greater and mightier than you. When the Lord your God delivers them before you, you shall kill them and utterly destroy them - you are not to make any covenant with them, nor show them any mercy.

"Neither shall you make any marriages with them - your daughters are not to be given to their sons, nor are their daughters to be taken by your sons. For they will turn your son away from following me, so that they may serve other gods, so the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you and will destroy you suddenly. Instead, the only manner in which to deal with them is to destroy their altars, break down their images, cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

"For you are a holy people unto the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a special people to himself, above all other people on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any [other] people - for you were the fewest of all people - but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn to your forefathers, and brought you out with his mighty hand, out of your enslavement by the hand of the Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Therefore, know that the Lord your God, he is God, the faithful God, which keeps his covenant and mercy with those who love him and keep his commandments for a thousand generations, and repays those that despise him by destroying them. He will not be lenient towards those who despise him, and will retaliate personally. You shall therefore keep these commandments, statutes, and judgments which I command to you today, and obey them.

"If you heed these judgments and obey them, the Lord your God shall keep his covenant and mercy that he swore unto your forefathers. He will love and bless you all, blessing you with fertility so that you may multiply. He will also bless the fruit of the land: your corn, your wine, your oil, as well as the increase of your cattle and sheep, in the land which he promised to your forefathers.

"You shall be blessed above all people - there shall not be male or female barren among you, or your cattle. The Lord will take away all of your illnesses, and will put none of the evil diseases that you saw in Egypt upon you, but will instead lay them upon all that despise him.

"You shall execute all the people whom the Lord thy God delivers to you; you shall have no pity upon them. Neither shall you serve their gods, for that will be a [deadly] trap for you. If you say in your heart 'These nations are greater than us. How can we defeat them?' You should not be afraid of them, but shall remember what the Lord your God did unto the Pharaoh, and unto all of Egypt. The great temptations which you saw with your very eyes, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand and the outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out [of Egypt]; so shall the Lord your God do to all the people of whom you fear. Moreover, the Lord your God will send hornets amongst them, until even those that are left and attempt to hide from you, shall be destroyed. You shall not be frightened of them, for the Lord your God is amongst you - a mighty and terrible God.

"The Lord your God will cast out those nations before you, little by little, for you are not to destroy them all at once, lest the wild animals of the fields multiply too rapidly. But the Lord your God will deliver them to you, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they are utterly destroyed. He shall deliver their kings into your hands, and you shall wipe their names from under heaven. There shall be no man to be able to stand before you until you have destroyed them.

"The graven images of their gods are to be burned with fire. You are not to desire the silver or gold that they are made of, not are you to take it, lest you are ensnared by this trap - for it is an abomination to the Lord your God.

"Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you become cursed like it; but you shall utterly detest it, and shall utterly abhor it, for it is a cursed thing."
Notes:1.) Yet another reference to the number seven in the bible.
Thoughts:Moses's speech continues, this time focusing on how to deal with the seven nations (the Hitites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites) inhabiting the "promised land". It should come as no surprise that it isn't anything pleasant, but Moses specifically states:
7:2 "...thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them"
He also forbids them from intermarrying, claiming that these "heathen" daughters will corrupt the Israelite males, turning them away from God, and causing them to worship pagan gods. When you deal in terms of absolutes like this, you're accepting broad sweeping generalizations - saying that marrying a non-Israelite woman will cause you to worship other gods is no different than claiming that marrying an Italian woman will cause you to eat pizza, marrying a black woman will cause you listen to rap music, or that marrying a Japanese woman will cause you become a Buddhist.

The apologist can't even argue that this sort of stereotyping is somehow justified by the smaller populations of people, because the first verse describes these seven nations as "greater and mightier than" the Israelites. Again with Moses' last census count of men fit for the military totaling at 601,730, we can extrapolate that there's at least one million Israelites. With seven surrounding "heathen" nations that are greater and mightier than the Israelites, it's safe to estimate that we're at least dealing with ten million other people. How accurate could a blanket statement be that could encompass every individual in a population of 10 million? This is roughly equivalent to the current population of Ohio, and would be akin to claiming that marrying an Ohio woman would cause you to become a Christian. It is thinking like this that makes religion such a dangerous tool to justify committing acts of violence and injustice towards others based on prejudice and stereotyping. When you reduce a group of millions of individual people down to a single subset of a subhuman characteristic, it becomes a lot easier to not see them as a fellow human being unworthy of redemption. While the Israelites rebel against God numerous times throughout the bible, we simply assume that the "heathens" are fiercely loyal to their gods and wouldn't rebel and choose to serve Yahweh instead.

Moses explains that if the Israelites did intermarry and therefore begin worshiping other gods, then God would become angry and have to destroy them. Instead Moses posits that the best course of action is to simply destroy all of their religious items, breaking their altars, and setting fire to their graven images.

He tells the Israelites that they are God's chosen people and God, that God likes them better than everyone else on the earth. He states that God didn't choose to favor them due to their population - where Moses states here that 600,000+ Israelites were in fact the least populated group of people(!) - but simply because God loved them better than other people, and had already made a promise to their forefathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).

Moses states that God is merciful to those who love and obey him, but will retaliate against the people who despise him by destroying them outright - so therefore, it's the Israelites duty to follow God's laws and not be destroyed. In an attempt to sweeten the deal, Moses adds that if the people obey God's laws, then God will in turn bless them with increased fertility - that none, even the Israelite animals, will become barren, and that the crops will flourish. Moses claims that God will even take away everyone's illnesses - like the "evil diseases" they apparently encountered in Egypt - and will instead infect everyone who "despises" God with these "evil diseases".

Moses again tells the Israelites that they are to destroy every last "heathen" whom God delivers to them, and they are not to show any mercy or sympathy towards their victims (which further dehumanizes them). He reminds the Israelites that should they doubt their ability to win a battle against these mightier "heathen" nations, they are to recall how God had taken them out of Egypt and remember the "signs and wonders" they saw (or at least that their parents saw, considering the original generation had since died off out in the desert). Moses also adds that God will send hornets to seek out any surviving "heathen" who manages to survive the Israelite's genocidal rampages and attempt to hide.

Moses states that God will drive out these "heathens" little by little, explaining that if they were driven out all at once, the land would become infested with wild animals. Once again, the point is driven home that the Israelites are to completely destroy these "heathen" nations and are to blot their names out from history.

Again, Moses repeats that their idols are to be burned with fire, and he warns the Israelites not to be tempted by the gold or silver they are made of, and commands that they are not to take these golden or silver idols, lest they become contaminated by them - as God considers these idols "abominations". An "abomination" is never to be brought into one's house, or you will become cursed just like it. Instead one is to utterly despise and detest any "abominable" thing, for it is a cursed thing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Chapter 6
Summary:Moses addresses the Israelites, saying,
"Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, for you to obey in the land you are to possess - that you might fear the Lord thy God and obey all of his statutes and commandments, which I command you, your sons, and your grandsons, all the days of your life, that your days may be prolonged. Therefore, people of Israel, listen and obey these commandments, that it may be well with you, and that you may increase mightily, as the Lord God of your forefathers had promised, in the land of milk and honey.

"Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord - and you shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your might. These words that I command you on this day, shall be in your heart, and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall speak these laws you are sitting at home, when out for a walk, when you go to sleep, and when you awaken. You should write them onto a sign bound to your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them upon the posts of your house, and upon your gates.

"It shall be, when the Lord your God has brought you into the land which he promised to your forefathers - Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - to give to you great and goodly cities, which you would not have to build yourselves; houses full of good things, which you didn't have to furnish yourselves; wells digged, which you did not have to dig; vineyards and olive trees, which you didn't have to plant. When you have eaten until you are full, then beware lest you forget the Lord, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, from your slavery.

"You shall fear the Lord your God, and serve him, and shall swear by his name. You shall not worship other gods, of the gods of the [heathen] people which are around you - for the Lord your God is jealous, lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroys you from off the face of the earth. You are not to tempt the Lord your God as you tempted him in Massah.

"You shall diligently keep the commandments, testimonies, and statutes of the Lord your God, which he has commanded you. You shall do what is right and good in the eyes of the Lord, that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land which the Lord swore unto your forefathers, to cast out all of your enemies from before you, as the Lord has spoken.

"When your son asks you later on in the time to come, 'What do these testimonies, statutes and judgments mean?' You shall answer your son, 'We were the Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt, and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. The Lord showed us signs and wonders, great and terrible, upon Egypt, upon the Pharaoh, and upon all the Egyptian people, before our very eyes. He brought us here from out of there, that he might bring us here to give us the land which he had sworn to our forefathers. The Lord commanded us to fear the Lord our God, for our own good, so that we may remain alive, as we are today. It shall be our righteousness if we obey these commandments before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us."
Thoughts:Moses addresses the Israelites again to enforce the importance of obeying God's commandments. He stresses that people's fear of God should motivate them to obey his laws. Basically Moses is stating that you must obey God if you want to live, even if it means doing something immoral, such as committing mass genocide upon a nation of people - except for the virgin daughters which can be 'kept for yourselves'.

Incredibly, some believers would argue that if the command was issued from God, then that alone makes it a moral act - no matter how heinous of an act it may be. If God told you to rape your grandmother and kill your grandfather, then it would be morally correct for you to do so. In response to this, the believer might insist that God would never command such a thing, but in the Old Testament outside of the countless genocides he's commanded, he also commanded Abraham to sacrifice his own son - which he was ready, willing, and able to do, and he attempted to do so before God stopped him. While the apologist will argue that this was "just a test" of Abraham's faith, this completely sidesteps the fact that Abraham was willing to sacrifice his own child simply because God told him to do so. Abraham didn't argue or plead with God, nor did he question him, he simply tricked his son into going on an errand with him alone, and after building an altar with Isaac's help, he then ties the boy to the altar and prepares to plunge a knife into his own son. The apologist tends to be quick to point out that God didn't allow Abraham to go through with this human sacrifice, however, that's not the point - if God commanded someone to rape their grandmother, and the man ties her to a bed, rips her clothes off, and is prepared to do the deed until God tells him to stop, he has still acted immorally. The act of attempting to murder or rape another human being is immoral, demanding that someone perform a heinous task is immoral as well - regardless of what the motivation might be. Just because the command to do something evil came from God and not a mortal man does not suddenly make it moral.

Moses then tells the people to love God will all of their hearts, which I simply find an impossible request. One simply cannot be commanded to love - love is something that usually must be earned, nurtured, and maintained to sustain itself. If you do not love someone or something, someone else requesting for you to do so isn't going to accomplish anything sincere.

Moses instructs the people that they are to also "love" God's laws, and are to be taught to their children, as well as repeated where ever they may be, from dawn to dusk, and that they are to be written down on a card and tied to their hands, as well as written on the posts of their gates and houses. This may mean to be taken for the people to simply memorize and live the commandments, but doubtless it has been taken literally by some.

Moses then tells the people to be grateful to God since he has brought them into a land where there would be no need to build cities, houses, wells, vineyards, and plants - even though God didn't build these things either. Simply put, he let the "heathens" stay in the land long enough to build "great and goodly cities" and then let the Israelites ransack and loot the place. Moses also makes sure to remind the Israelites yet again that God brought them out of their slavery in Egypt.

Moses' next commands the Israelites to fear God, serve him, and swear by his name, but warns them not to worship other gods - like the "heathens" that surround them do - or God will destroy the Israelites from the face of the earth. He tells the Israelites not to tempt God, like they had done in Exodus: Chapter 17 when they first whined about not having any water to drink.

He again restates that the Israelites are to keep the commandments and teach them to their future generations.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Chapter 5
Summary:Moses gathers the people of Israel and said to them,
"Hear, the people of Israel, the laws and judgment which I speak to you on this day, that you learn and obey them. The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Mount Horeb, and he made this covenant not with our forefathers, but with us who all of us are here alive to this day.

"The Lord talked with you face to face from the mountain out of the midst of the fire. I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to show you the word of the Lord, for you were afraid of the fire, and did not go up the mountain."
Moses then restates the ten commandments:
  • I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before me.
  • Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:

    Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
  • Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
  • Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:

    But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work , thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
  • Honour thy father and thy mother , as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
  • Thou shalt not kill.
  • Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
  • Neither shalt thou steal.
  • Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  • Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.
Moses continues,
"These words the Lord spoke to all of you at the mountain, from the midst of fire, from the cloud, and in thick darkness with a great voice - he added no more, but wrote them down onto two tablets of stone, and delivered them to me.

"It came to pass, when you heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness - for the mountain did burn with fire - that the heads of your tribes and your elders came before me saying, 'Behold, the Lord our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen a day where God has talked with man, and man survived, but why should we [tempt] death [again]? This great fire could consume us, and if we hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore we could die. For what mortal has ever heard the voice of God speaking out the fire, as we have, and lived?

'Go hear all that the Lord has to say and speak it to us afterward, and we will listen and obey.

"The Lord heard your words when you said this to me, and the Lord said to me, 'I have heard the words of the people, and they have spoken wisely. They have a great heart in them, that they would fear me, and always keep all my commandments. If they obey, all will be good for them and their children throughout their generations.

'Tell the people to return to their tents, but when you return, stand here and I will speak to you all the commandments, statutes, and judgments for you to teach them, that they may follow in the land which I give them to possess.

"You are to obey exactly as the Lord your God has commanded you, you are not to deviate from his law in either direction. You shall walk in all the ways that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that all may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess."
Thoughts:Moses gathers the Israelites and prepares them to listen to his retelling of the "ten commandments" that we first encountered in Exodus: Chapter 20.

Moses tells the people that these commandments differ from most of God's covenants, since the people this covenant was made with are still alive and listening to Moses' speech this day. However, this couldn't be possible considering that this speech occurs after the last generation of Israelites - the one who were present in Mount Horeb - were made to wander around the desert for forty years, and they had all died out since then.

Moses states that God spoke to the Israelites "face to face" from the midst of fire upon the mountain, and also claims that he served as an intermediary between God and the people, because they were afraid of the fire, and did not go up the mountain - which might very well have something to do with the fact that they were threatened with death if they were to attempt to approach the mountain.
Moses then retells the ten commandments, which is almost identical to how they appear in Exodus: Chapter 20 with only some slight differences to the wording of the fourth commandment, with an additional reminder of God's rescue of the people from slavery in Egypt. Moses tells the people that these commandments were written by God onto two stone tablets that were delivered to Moses.

He then mentions that the people were frightened of hearing God's voice and somehow couldn't shake the apparently common superstitious fear of the time, being that you apparently are not supposed to be able to hear the voice of God and live. The Israelites, according to Moses, asked Moses to be their middle man, delivering God's message to them, so that they would not have to fear God's voice speaking out of the flames again.

Obviously this sets Moses up in a position of power that is easily abused - as now anything that Moses claims is "God's word" is to be believed as such, without any way of discerning whether what is being said is in fact "God's word" or Moses' own personal agenda. The Israelites aren't even allowed to venture up near the foot of the mountain, nor are they allowed within the tabernacle, both under the penalty of death. Thereby creating a "man behind the curtain" facade in which Moses and the priests can take advantage of the blind trust the people have in that the edicts they receive are the "word of God", the privacy they are afforded by having areas that are off limits to the public - enforced with capital punishment, and very little recourse for anyone to dispute their leadership.

The biggest problem with religion is that it discourages critical thinking, that people are not to question authority for any reason, and that laws are not to be amended or adapted to evolve alongside of societal changes. Over time we find that many laws simply serve no function to us any longer, or were unjust from the very beginning (such as slavery) but were kept on the books to avoid civil unrest between proponents and the opposition. As we discover new technologies that alter the way we live - such as the automobile, radio, telephone, and the internet - we need new laws to regulate the usage of these technologies to protect people's safety. We simply can't rely upon the laws that were in effect in 1776 to govern the modern world in 2009. It's even more unfathomable to attempt to live as people did in the bronze age over 3000 years ago did, yet that is exactly what religion attempts to encourage. The Catholic church is against the use of contraception and carries this message even when dealing with HIV stricken countries like Africa where condom usage would better help contain the further spread of the disease than simply telling people to practice abstinence - which obviously doesn't work very well with their own priests and their ensuing sexual abuse scandals.

Moses tells the Israelites that even God himself approves of the Israelites suggestion of having Moses play middleman, and says that life will be peachy and keen so long as they follow all of God's commandments. God tells Moses to send the congregation of people back to their tents so that he can speak with Moses alone and give him all the commandments, statutes and judgments for him to teach the Israelites.

Moses finishes off the chapter by stating that these laws are to be obeyed exactly as God commanded them, and not to be added to or subtracted from, or altered in any way.


Chapter 4
Summary:Moses continues his speech to the Israelites, saying,
"Now therefore heed, O Israel, to the laws and judgments which I teach you. Obey them so that you may live and enter the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you. You are not to add to or subtract from the laws which I command you. You are to keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

"Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baalpeor. God had destroyed all the men who followed Baalpeor from among you, but those that followed the Lord your God are still alive to this day.

"Behold, I have taught you laws and judgments as the Lord my God has commanded me, that you shall do in the land when you arrive to possess it. Keep these laws and obey them, for this is your wisdom and understanding in the sight of [other] nations, which will hear these statutes and say, 'Surely this great nation are wise and understanding people.' For what nation is there so great, who has God amongst them, and that the Lord our God is in all things that we can call upon him for? What nation is there so great that has laws and judgments so righteous as this law, which I set before you this day?

"Take heed of yourselves, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things you have seen, and lest they depart from your heart for the rest of your life - teach them to your sons and grandsons; especially the day that you stood before God on Mount Horeb, when the Lord said to me, 'Gather the people together before me and they shall hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.'

"And you came near and stood under the mountain, while the mountain burned with fire into the heavens, and was covered in dark clouds and thick darkness. When the Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire, you heard his voice, yet did not see him. He declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to obey - the ten commandments - which he wrote upon two stone tablets.

"The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you laws and judgments for you to obey when you arrive in the land you are going to possess. Therefore take heed - as you had not seen any manner of image [of God] on the day that the Lord spoke to you in Mount Horeb from out of the midst of the fire - lest you corrupt yourselves by creating any graven image, the likeness of any figure, male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps along the ground, or the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth.

"Lest you look up into the heavens, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars - all that appear in the heavens - should you be driven to worship and serve them, which the Lord your God has commanded against - to separate you from the other nations under the heavens. The Lord has taken you and brought you out from the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as you are this very day.

"The Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and swore that I shall not cross the Jordan River, nor may I enter the land which the Lord your God has given you for an inheritance. I must die here in this land instead, but you shall go over without me and posses that good land.

"Take heed of yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and create a graven image, or the likeness of anything which the Lord your God has forbidden you - for the Lord your God is a consuming fire and a jealous God. When you have resided in the land long enough to produce children and grandchildren, and corrupt yourselves by creating a graven image - or the likeness of anything [forbidden by God] - and thereby do evil in the sight of the Lord your God, provoking his anger, I shall call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you will soon after utterly perish from the land where you are headed. You will not live any longer in the land, but shall be utterly destroyed. The Lord will scatter you amongst the nations, and you will be left few in number amongst the heathens, where the Lord will lead you. There you will serve gods created by men from wood and stone, which neither see, hear, eat, or smell.

"But if from then you you shall seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in tribulation, and all these things have come upon you, even in the latter days, if you turn to the Lord your God, and shall be obedient to his voice - for the Lord your God is a merciful God - then he will neither forsake you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your forefathers which he promised unto them.

"Ask now, even since the beginning of time, since the day that God created man upon the earth, in all of heaven from one side to another, whether there has ever been - or has ever been heard of - any such thing as great as people hearing the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you [all] have heard, and lived [to tell of it]? Or has anyone heard of God having taken our nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, signs, and wonders, as well as by war, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm, and by great terrors, such as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

"This was shown to you so that you would know that the Lord he is God, and that there is no other beside him. Out of the heaven he made you hear his voice so that he could instruct you, and upon the earth he showed you his great fire - and you heard his words from out of the midst of the fire. And because he loved your forefathers, he therefore kept his covenant with their offspring and brought them out of Egypt using his mighty powers. He drove out nations greater and mightier than you are, to give to you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day. Know therefore this day, and know in your heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath - there is none else. You shall therefore obey his laws which I command to you today, that you and your children after you may prolong your days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God has given thee forever."
Moses then set aside three cities on the east side of the Jordan River to be used as "cities of refuge". He picked Bezer (a city in the
wilderness in the plain country, given to the Reubenites), Ramoth (a city in Gilead given to the Gadites), and Golan (a city in Bashan given to the Manassites).

Moses set the law before the people of Israel, on the east side of the Jordan River, in the valley near Bethpeor, in the land of Sihon - king of the Amorites - whom Moses and the Israelites had slain. They possessed this land, as well as the land of Og - king of Bashan.

They had destroyed the two kings of the Amorites on the east side of the Jordan River, and occupied the land from Aroer - which is by the bank of the Arnon River - to Mount Sion (which is also called Mount Hermon), and the plains on the east side of the Jordan River, even unto the sea, under the springs of Pisgah.
Thoughts:Moses' speech continues taking on less of an air of recounting specific events and more of an establishment of God's law. He tells the Israelites that they are to obey the laws and judgments which Moses taught them and to practice them in the "promised land".

Moses specifically states that God's laws are not to be changed in anyway - they are not to be added to, nor are any laws to be subtracted, which seems to be in contrast with modern religious practice, else we would see a lot more public stonings.

Moses then mentions the Moabite/Midianite conflict in Mount Peor from Numbers: Chapter 25, reminding the people about God's wrath over the situation, and claims that every person who behaved themselves during that time is still alive today.

Moses then states that if the people obey these laws, he believes that they will impress other nations with their wisdom and understanding(!) I don't think Moses could be more off the mark as he is here. Stoning unruly children, accusing your wife of unfaithfulness and making her participate in a magic ritual to prove her innocence, stoning people to death for picking up sticks on a Saturday, and justifying the fatal beating of a slave - providing he survives longer than two days after the beating are not ethical, moral, wise, "righteous", or "understanding" by any means. Anyone who admires such ridiculous laws are as amoral as those who follow them.

Moses continues to boast about the nation of Israel, stating that it's better than other nations since God doesn't live amongst and speak to the other nations. He also boasts again about God's laws calling them "righteous", and stating that other nations don't have these "righteous" laws that the Israelites do.

He then tells the people to remember the events of the exodus (especially everything that occurred at Mount Horeb, and to retell these tales to their children and grandchildren, lest they become forgotten. He tells the people most of all to remember the day God appeared as a cloud of flaming smoke upon the mountain (which seems more probable that this was most likely a volcano erupting), and begins to recount this event.

Moses remind the people that while they heard God's voice bellowing from the fire on the mountain, they did not see him. Moses continues and recalls that God made his covenant with the people of Israel there upon that mountain and gave it to the people written on two stone tablets - the ten commandments. Since the people had not seen God's image, Moses sternly warns them never to make any graven image of anything in heaven, as well as on earth, male or female, beast or fowl, insect or fish. Moses states that worshiping the sun, moon, or stars - like he asserts that other nations do - is also forbidden, as God doesn't want his "chosen people" acting like the heathens in other nations.

Moses again rubs it in that he believes it is the Israelites fault that God got angry with him for striking a rock with a stick instead of speaking to the rock, thereby God refuses to let Moses cross the Jordan River enter the "promised land". Once again this seems a bit at odds with the book of Numbers claiming Moses to be the "meekest man on earth", when Moses can't even seem to accept responsibility for his own mistakes, and preferring to blame others.

Moses returns to his topic against creating graven images, stating that God is a "consuming fire" as well as a jealous god. Moses' tone then becomes a bit ambigious as to whether he is making a prophesy or a supposition about the Israelites creating graven images within the "promised land" - promising that if the people do such in the land, they will utterly perish and will be destroyed, with any survivors being scattered across the surrounding "heathen" nations - where they'll be forced to worship false gods made from wood and stone, that don't see, hear, eat, or smell as apparently God (Yahweh) is able to do. However, if after God has doled out all these brutal punishments, Moses adds, if you seek God out with all your heart you will find him. Moses claims that this is because God is in fact a "merciful" god.

This method of thinking is simply not rational and has always personally bothered me. If a parent severely beats a child for breaking a rule, and the beatings and punishments continue until the child has sincerely apologized, we would not consider the parent a "merciful" parent simply because they stopped beating their child after receiving an apology. Most rational people would not be calling that parent "merciful" for stopping the beating, rather they would most likely call them sadistic for beating their child in the first place. Yet when we substitute God into the analogy instead of the parent suddenly the rules change and the believer justifies behavior such as setting priests on fire for using the wrong fire to light incense, and threatening their surviving family not to grieve over their deaths or they'll be killed as well. It simply does not matter what rule was broken - even if the child pushed his sister down the stairs - the appropriate response is never non-stop continual violence until an apology is made, this simply is not justifiable as "mercy" in any way, shape, or form.

Moses now challenges the Israelites to think of whether anyone in the history of the earth has ever experience or heard of a nation of people hearing the voice of God speaking out of the midst of fire as they had, and lived to tell about it. He also posits that no other nation had escaped the oppression of another nation by the manner of "temptations, signs, and wonders" in addition to God's might and his "great terrors", such as how God freed them from their slavery in Egypt. However, many religions posit that their "chosen people" have direct contact with god(s) and have many incredulous myths which they assert are true despite credible evidence.

Moses now states that the whole exodus was a display of God's powers to the Israelites to prove that God is the almighty god, and that there are no other gods beside him. Moses states that God had driven out nations of people mightier than the Israelites (such as the "giants" Moses discussed at length in Deuteronomy Chapter 2 and Chapter 3) and gave their land to the Israelites, so therefore God's laws are to be obeyed.

Again, this is an argument I simply cannot understand. Moses is stating here that because God rescued the Israelites from slavery, helped them destroy other nations in battle, and allowed them to take the land, that these three conditions justify unwavering and unquestioning obedience. Basically what Moses has argued is that "might makes right", meaning that God's powerful actions for Israel's benefit mandate obedience in return. If you were wrongly imprisoned in jail and a heavily armed vigilante militia came to your aid, broke you out of jail by overpowering the police, and then gave you a home to live in by forcefully removing the occupants, this does not mean by any stretch that you must be obedient and condone the actions of the militia. While the militia may have had sincere and honorable intentions, they also broke the law and displaced an innocent bystander out their home in accomplishing their task. While your freedom was deserved for being wrongfully imprisoned, this obviously is not the right or proper way to go about vindicating yourself.

The chapter then sees Moses picking out three "cities of refuge" outside of the "promised land". He picks one city from the possessions of each of the tribes living outside the "promised land" - Bezer (Reuben), Ramoth (Gad), and Golan (Manasseh). It's now noted that two of the Amorite kings had been slain, and the chapter close out with Moses setting God's law before the Israelites.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Chapter 3
Summary:Moses continues his speech to the Israelites, saying,
"We then turned and went up towards Bashan, where the king, King Og of Bashan came out against us to battle us at Edrei.

"The Lord said to me, 'Do not fear [King Og], for I will deliver him, his people, and his land into your hand. You shall do unto him the same as you had done to the king of the Amorites, King Sihon.'

"So the Lord our God delivered into our hands King Og and all of his people, and we battled him until no one was left alive. We took all of his cities - there was not a single city that we did not take of his - all sixty cities, all of the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All of these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars, and we took the many unwalled towns that surrounded them. We utterly destroyed them, just as we had done to King Sihon, executing every last man, woman, and child in every city. Only the cattle did we allow to live, which we took along with the spoils of the cities, for ourselves.

"At that time we took out of the hands of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this side of the Jordan River, from the Amon River unto Mount Hermon (which the Sidonians call Sirion, and the Amorites call Shenir), all the cities of the plain, all of Gilead, all of Bashan, unto Salchah and Edrei - the cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.

"[King] Og was the last of the "giants" in Bashan. Behold his bedstead was made of iron (which can you not see on display in the city of Rabbath?) and was nine cubits* in length, and four cubits wide.

"This land which we possessed at that time, from Aroer - which is by the Arnon River, half of Mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, I gave to the Reubenites and to the Gadites. The rest of Gilead, all of Bashan - being the kingdom of Og - I gave to the half tribe of Manasseh. All the region of Argob, with all of Bashan which [I gave them] was called 'the land of giants'.

"Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi, and named the land after himself, Bashanhavothjair*, which it is still called today. I gave the land of Gilead to Machir.

"To the Reubenites and to the Gadites, I gave them the area extending from Gilead to the Arnon River to the Jabbok River, which borders the people of Ammon. They also received the plain on the coast of the Jordan River, from Chinnereth out to the Salt Sea, east to Ashdothpisgah.

"I commanded you [the Reubenites and Gadites] at that time, saying, 'The Lord your God has given you this land to possess it - but you shall first pass over armed before your Israelite brethren, all that are fit for war. However, your wives and children, along with your cattle - as I realize you have a lot of cattle - may reside in the cities which I have given you. Until the Lord has given rest to the Israelite army, as well as to yourselves, and until they possess the "promised land" across the Jordan River, then you will be allowed to return to your lands which have been given to you.'

"I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, 'You have seen with your own eyes what the Lord your God has done to these two kings [Sihon and Og], and so the Lord shall do the same unto all the kingdoms you shall pass. You shall not fear them, for the Lord your God shall fight for you.'

"I then sought the Lord, saying, 'O Lord God, you have begun to show your servants your greatness and your mighty hand; for what god is there in heaven or in earth, that could do all of these works according to your might? I pray to you, let me go over and see the good land that is beyond the Jordan River, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.'

"But the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and would not listen to me. The Lord said to me, 'Let it suffice to you, do not speak any more to me about this matter. Get up to the top of [Mount] Pisgah and lift your eyes westward, northward, southward, and eastward. Behold this [view] with your eyes, but you shall not cross the Jordan [River]. However, put Joshua in charge, and encourage and strengthen him, for he shall rule over the people, and will lead them to inherit the land which you shall see.'

"So we camped in the valley over toward Bethpeor."
Notes:1.) Moses is claiming that King Og's bed was 9 cubits long by 6 cubits wide, meaning it was approximately 13 1/2 feet long and six feet wide.
2.) Meaning "Jair's Villages" in Hebrew.
Thoughts:Moses continues his speech to the Israelites that he began in Chapter 1, recounting and expanding upon the stories in Numbers: Chapter 21, Numbers: Chapter 32, and Numbers: Chapter 27 which are noticeably out of sequence.

Moses' speech begins recounting God's command to destroy King Og and his people, and take his land in the same manner in which they had done to King Sihon, as first told in Numbers: Chapter 21 and detailed in the previous chapter. Once again the Israelites slaughtered everyone - every last man, woman, and child and left not a single survivor behind, only the cattle was left alive - which they took for themselves. The Israelites took all of King Og's sixty cities, not leaving a single city or town behind. Moses notes that the Israelites had now conquered and destroyed the kingdoms of two kings of the Amorites on their side of the Jordan River.

Moses now explains that King Og was the last of the "giants" in Bashan. As a testament to how big Og allegedly was, Moses mentions that King Og's bed still resides on display in the city of Rabbath, and that it is nine cubits in length, and four cubits wide - roughly thirteen and a half feet long, and six feet wide. If Moses' measurements are accurate, and if King Og's bed was made to fit, then we can assume that King Og would have to at least been twelve feet tall (almost 4 meters tall).

The necessity of presenting King Og's bed as evidence for his stature seems very suspect however, considering how recently this event occured in relation to it's telling here in the speech - according to the timeline given in the bible, the slaying of King Og must have occurred less than a year prior to this speech, which in that case it would be well known by the Israeli army how tall King Og was. This curious mention seems a bit more suspect that it was meant for more modern readers than to those of whom Moses would have been addressing in his speech.

Moses then skips ahead in his timeline to cover an event from Numbers: Chapter 32, where the tribes of Gad and Reuben ask for land outside of the "promised land", in the land of Gilead, due to its suitability for cattle. Moses talks about how he divides the land amongst the tribes of Gad and Reuben as well as the half tribe of Manasseh. He then recounts that the military vow that the tribes were bound to before they could claim their land, although the wording here in Moses' speech makes it appear as though Moses had drafted the conditions, when in Numbers: Chapter 32 they were volunteered by the tribes themselves - although the tribes would later appear to infer that it was really God's idea.

Also curious is that it that when Moses explains the clan of Jair naming "Bashanhavothjair", he caps it off saying that it has been called this "unto this day". Considering that the conquest of Gilead and Moses' speech couldn't possibly be more than a year apart, this wouldn't seem to be relevant or even make sense unless this was written long after the fact.

Next up Moses re-tells the story of God's appointment of Moses' successor Joshua which conflicts with the story from Numbers: Chapter 27. A comparison of the two different accounts:
Numbers 27:12-20Deuteronomy 3:21-28
The first event is that God tells Moses to climb Mount Abarim to see the "promised land" (Num 27:12), and that after Moses has seen it he shall be killed as Aaron was (27:13) for "rebelling" against God's commandment in the desert of Zin.The first event in Moses' speech is of him promising Joshua that God will destroy every kingdom that he (Joshua) passes through (3:21), telling him not to fear them as God will fight the battle for him.
The second event has Moses asking God (27:15) to appoint a new leader to replace himself after he is to be killed (27:16), because the people need leadership (27:17).The second event in Moses' speech has Moses speaking to God (3:23), praising him for helping the Israelite conquer and slaughter the kingdoms of Sihon and Og (3:21), and begging God to allow him to be able to enter and see the "promised land" (3:25).
The last event is God telling Moses to lay his hand upon Joshua (27:18) and to bring him before the people and appoint him as leader in front of them (27:19) so that the Israelites will obey him (27:20).The last event in Moses speech has Moses claiming that God was angry with him because of the faults of the Israelites, and would not listen to Moses' plea, telling him not to bring it up ever again (3:26). He tells Moses to climb Mount Pisgah, look in all directions at the "promised land" from up atop the mountain, because he won't be allowed to enter the land (3:27). Finally he tells Moses to put Joshua in charge of the Israelites, as he will be the one to cause them to inherit the "promised land" (3:28)
As you can see there are a few things at odds between the separate accounts of Numbers versus Deuteronomy, notably with the events almost being completely reversed.
  • In the account in Numbers, God first instructs Moses to climb the mountain and view the "promised land" from atop a mountain, whereas this is the final event in Moses' account in Deuteronomy.

    Also of note, although the names of the mountains seem to contradict (Abarim versus Pisgah) they technically do not. The Pisgah mountains refer to the northern end of the Abarim mountain range.
  • The first event in Moses' speech in Deuteronomy has him promising Joshua that God will destroy every kingdom that Joshua will pass through. Why Moses would say this to Joshua prior to Joshua being elected to be Moses' successor doesn't appear to make a lot of sense.
  • The first event in the account of Numbers also has God announcing Moses' death sentence after he instructs Moses to climb the mountain, and God makes it clear that his reasoning is that because both Moses and Aaron "rebelled" against him out in the desert of Zin.

    In Moses' speech however he claims that he begged God to allow him to see the "promised land", and explains that God refused Moses' request was angry at him and that it was due in fault because of the Israelites. Following this, then God tells Moses to climb the mountain to view the "promised land" from the top.
Moses concludes his speech by stating that the Israelites camped out near Bethpeor after this event.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Chapter 2
Summary:Moses continues his speech to the Israelites from the previous chapter, saying,
"We then turned and journey through the wilderness toward the Red Sea, as the Lord had had said unto me. We camped at Mount Seir for many days until the Lord said to me, 'You have camped at this mountain long enough. Turn northward and command the people saying, "You are to pass through the coast of your brethren, [the Edomites] the people of Esau, whom live at Mount Seir. Take good heed of yourselves and do not meddle with them, for I will not give you their land - not even so much as a foot of land - because I have given Mount Seir unto the descendants of Esau for their possession. You shall buy any food and water for yourselves from them that you need."' For the Lord thy God has blessed you in all of your works, he knows of your walking through this great wilderness these forty years, and the Lord thy God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.

"When we passed by our brethren [the Edomites], through the way of the plains of Elath, and from Eziongaber, we then turned and passed through the wilderness of Moab. The Lord said to me, 'Distress not the Moabites, nor engage them in battle, for I will not give you their land as a possession, because I have given [the city of] Ar* unto the descendants of Lot for a possession.' The Emims dwelt there in times past, a people great and many, and tall as the Anakims. They were giants as were the Anakims, but the Moabites called them Emims. The Horims also dwelt in Mount Seir beforehand, but [the Edomites] destroyed them and took over the land, as the people of Israel did unto the land of their possession, which the Lord had given them.

"'Now rise up', I said, 'and journey across the Zered Brook', which we did, but the length of time from which we came from Kadeshbarnea, until we crossed the Zered Brook took thirty eight years - until all the generation of the men of war [who refused to invade Canaan 38 years prior] had died off from amongst the population, as the Lord had sworn to them. For indeed the hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them from amongst the population, until they were all dead.

"So it came to pass when all of the men of war had died that the Lord spoke to me, saying, 'You are to pass over through [the city of] Ar, on the coast of Moab, today. When you encounter the people of Ammon, do not distress them or meddle in their affairs, for I will not give your their land as a possession, because I have given it to the descendants of Lot as their possession.' This land also was a land of giants, and giants lived there in the past. The Ammonites call them Zamzummims - a people great and many, and tall as the Anakims - but the Lord destroyed them before [the Ammonites], who succeeded them and dwelt there in their place, much the same as he did for the descendants of Esau, when he destroyed the Horims before them. The Edomites succeeded them and dwelt in their stead even to this day. The Avims whom dwelt in Hazerim and Azzah*, were destroyed and succeeded by the Caphtorims.

"[The Lord then said,] 'Rise up, and journey across the Arnon River. Behold I have lead you to King Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Possess his land and conquer him in battle. This day I will put the fear of dread upon the nations that are under the whole heaven. Whomever shall hear a report of you shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.'

"I sent forth messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to King Sihon, the king of Heshbon, with words of peace, saying, 'Let me pass through your land. I will go along the highway and will not veer from it. You shall sell me food and water, and I shall pay for it with money. I will pass through on foot (as the people of Esau who dwell in [Mount] Seir, and the Moabites who dwell in Ar allowed me to do) until I pass over the Jordan River into the land which the Lord our God has given us.' But Sihon, king of Heshbon would not let us pass, because the Lord thy God had hardened his spirit, making his heart obstinate, so that God might deliver him into the hands of the Israelite army this day.

"The Lord said to me, 'Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before you to conquer and possess, that you may inherit his land.'

"Then [King] Sihon came out against, he and his men, to attack us at Jahaz. The Lord our God delivered him before us and we destroyed him, his sons, and all his people. We took his all his cities and utterly destroyed every man, woman, and child - we left no survivors. Only the cattle did we keep for ourselves, along with the spoils of the cities we took.

"From Aroer, which is by the brink of the Arnon River, from the city that is by the river, and even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us [to conquer] - the Lord our God delivered them all to us.

"Only the land of the Ammonites, any place near the Jabbok River, and the cities in the mountains did the Lord our God forbid us [from invading]."
Notes:1.) Ar is a city of Moab near the Dead Sea. The Ancient Greeks called it Areopolis, and it was later called Rabbath.
2.) Azzah is the Hebrew name for Gaza.
Thoughts:Moses' continues his speech to the Israelites from the last chapter recounting and expanding upon the stories in Numbers: Chapter 20 and Numbers: Chapter 21" concerning the travel and conquests of the Israelites.

In the first part of Moses' story picks up with the Israelites being camped out near Mount Seir for quite some time until God tells them to head north, and here we hit our first contradiction.

In Moses' speech, God tells Moses to pass through the land of the Edomites, who are descended from Esau (the older brother of Jacob/Israel who sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup), and warns the Israelites not to interfere with or attack the Edomites, because God gave the land around Mount Seir to the Edomites. In Moses' speech, he claims that the Israelites "passed by...through the way of the plain from Elath, and from Eziongaber, we turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab." (Deuteronomy 2:8)

In Numbers: Chapter 20 we read a much different story. Here, Moses sent messengers to ask permission from the king to travel through the city of Edom, promising to stay on the main highway, that they would not disturb their fields or vineyards, nor would they veer from the path until they crossed through the border on the other side of the city. The king of Edom however, refuses to let the Israelites enter the city, and threatens them with military force if they try and cross through anyways. After the Israelites begged the king again, the king mobilized his army and the people journeyed from Kadesh to Mount Hor instead.

Even if the biblical apologist could somehow cobble together an explanation as to how both the passages in Numbers: Chapter 20 and Deuteronomy 2:8 could be describing the same event, later on verse 2:29 claims that the Edomites did allow the Israelites to pass through their land:
2:28 "...only I will pass through on my feet;"
2:29 "(As the children of Esau which dwell in Seir, and the Moabites which dwell in Ar, did unto me;) until I shall pass over Jordan into the land which the LORD our God giveth us."
This directly contradicts Numbers 20:21 which states:
20:21 "Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him."
Complicating this contradiction even more, Moses' speech continues and he explains that the Israelites also passed through the city of Moab, and were warned again by God that they were not to disturb or attack the Moabites, because just like as the case with Edomites, the Israelites were not given this land, because the city of Ar had been given to the descendants of Lot.

Both of these accounts of the Israelites passage through Edom and Moab contradict this verse in Judges Chapter 11:
11:17 "Then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: but the king of Edom would not hearken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel abode in Kadesh."
11:18 "Then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab."
In regards to the Edomites, Judges: Chapter 11 seems to validate the story found in Numbers: Chapter 20, however, the Israelites spent a great deal of time within Moab - including during this very speech - which runs contrary to what is being claimed in Judges 11:18, that the Israelites avoided crossing the border into Moab!

The only explanation that seems to fit and reasonably explains these contradictions is the "Documentary Hypothesis" which I briefly touched upon in my thoughts for Numbers Chapter 25 as a possible explanation for the contradiction in that chapter as well. The "Documentary Hypothesis" asserts that the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) is pieced together by several parallel but independently authored sources. Asserting that Moses single handedly authored the first five books of the bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) doesn't seem probable when we're faced with contradictions such as whether or not the Edomites granted passage through their land.

Moses' speech continues about how races of giants once lived in the lands of Moab and Mount Seir until the Moabites and Edomites destroyed them and took over their land, and how the Israelites will do the same thing to the giants living in Canaan.

He then states that the people were to cross the Zered Brook, but that it took 38 years(!) to do so simply to ensure that the older generation who were barred from entering the "promised land" would die off. After every last one of the older generation had died off, God then tells Moses to lead the people through the city of Ar and into the land of the Ammonites (the Ammonites are the incestuous offspring of Lot and his youngest daughter). Like with the Moabites and the Edomites, God tells Moses that the Israelites are not to bother the Ammonites, because God will not allow the Israelites to take their land, as it was given to the descendants of Lot as their possession.

Also like the lands "given" to the descendants of Esau, and to Lot's other incestuous son Moab, the land "given" to the Ammonites was also originally inhabited by "giants". Moses says that God destroyed the "giants" before the Ammonites, as he had apparently also destroyed the "giants" living in Moab and Edom as well.

Moses now recounts the Israelite's encounter with King Sihon from Numbers: Chapter 21, with a disturbing twist to the tale. Whereas the story in Numbers: Chapter 21 seems to appear that the Israelites conquered King Sihon's land in a brutal retaliation, Moses reveals that God had already commanded the Israelites to attack, destroy, and conquer King Sihon's kingdom, with the primary intention of instilling fear amongst the surrounding nations.

With this additional information added to the story, Moses' "peaceful" request to secure passage through King Sihon's land now appears to simply be a ruse. This request was simply a formality as the Israelites were commanded by God to destroy Sihon and the Amorites - regardless of whether King Sihon let them pass or not - the Israelites were ordered to destroy them. Even worse, God ensures that King Sihon won't opt for a peaceful solution and avoid conflict by "hardening his spirit" - much like he had "hardened the Pharaoh's heart" in Exodus: Chapter 9. So essentially God is forcing King Sihon to seal his own doom to justify the Israelites slaughtering his people and stealing his land.

When King Sihon attacks the "peaceful" Israelites who he refused passage to, Moses tells us that the Israelites left not a single survivor - specifically mentioning that not only the men, but every last woman and child was executed as well - only the cattle was left alive.

Moses explains that the Israelites continued to conquer and destroy civilizations in their paths with the exceptions of the land of the Ammonites, lands near the Jabbok River, and the mountainous cities that God forbade them from invading.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Chapter 1
Summary:These are the words that Moses spoke to the people of Israel, east of the Jordan River, in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red Sea - between Paran, Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab. (It was an eleven day journey from Horeb, by the way of Mount Seir, to Kadeshbarnea.)

Moses spoke to the people of Israel on the first day of the eleventh month* (since leaving Egypt) concerning everything that God had commanded since King Sihon (king of the Amorites, of whom dwelt in Heshbon) and King Og (king of Bashan, which resided in Astaroth in Edrei) had been defeated.
"The Lord our God spoke to us in [Mount] Horeb, saying: 'Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount. Turn around and journey towards the mount of the Amorites; to the plains, the hills, and the valley to the south; by the sea side to Canaan; and on to Lebanon - unto the great Euphrates River. Behold the land I have set before you, and go possess this land that the Lord had sworn unto your forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them and all their descendants.'

"And I spoke to you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear [this burden] myself alone. The Lord your God has multiplied you, and behold, today you are as numerous as the stars in the sky - may the lord God of your fathers make you a thousand times more as you are, and bless you as he has promised! However, how could myself alone bear your problems, burden, and strife? Take your men that are wise, understanding, and experienced among your tribes and I shall make them rulers over you.

"And you answered me and said, 'The thing which you have spoken is a good thing for us to do.' So I took the chiefs of your tribes - the wisemen and the experienced - and made them leaders over you. [They became] captains over thousands, captains over hundreds, captains over fifties, captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. I appointed and instructed your judges at the time, saying, 'Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. You shall not respect persons in judgment - you shall judge the poor the same as the rich; you shall not fear the reactions to your verdicts as the judgment is God's; and if a case is too difficult for you, bring it to me, and I will hear it.' And I commanded you at that time all the things which you should do.

"When we departed from [Mount] Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which you saw among the mountains of the Amorites, as God had commanded us, and we arrived in Kadeshbarnea. I said to you there, 'You have arrived unto the mountains of the Amorites, which the Lord our God has given to us. Behold, the Lord has set the land before us - go forth and possess this land, as the Lord has commanded. Don't be afraid or discouraged.'

"And you came to me, every one of you, and said, 'We will send some men before us, and they shall scout out the land, and bring us back word by what way we should approach, and which cities should we invade.'

"This idea pleased me, and I selected twelve men from each tribe to scout the land. They ascended the mountain, arrived at the valley of Eschol, and searched it out. They brought back a sample of the fruit of the land and said, 'It is a good land which God has given us.'

"Notwithstanding, you all refused to go up the mountain, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord - your God. You murmured and complained in your tents and said, 'Because God hates us, he has brought us out of Egypt to deliver us to the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. Why should we go?'

"Your brethren, the spies, had discouraged your heart saying, 'The people in the land are greater and taller than we, their cities are great and walled up to the heavens, and moreover, we have seen giants - the sons of the Anakim - there.'

"I then said to you, 'Fear not, nor be afraid of them. The Lord your God who goes before you, will fight for you, just as he had done for you in Egypt before your eyes. In the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord thy God has protected you - as a father protects his child - in every place you have went, up until you came into this land.'

"Yet in this matter, you did not believe the Lord your God, who had traveled before you, searched out places for you to pitch your tents in, guiding you by [a pillar of] fire by night and a cloud by day, to show you which direction to travel.

"The Lord heard your voices and was wroth, and swore, saying, 'Surely there shall not be a single man of this evil generation to live to see this good land, which I had sworn unto their forefathers.' Except for Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, who because he had wholly followed the Lord, shall be given as an inheritance, the land that he had trodden upon.

"The Lord was also angry with me due to your sakes, saying, 'You also shall not enter [the "promised land"]. But Joshua, the son of Nun, shall stand before you and lead the people in to the land. Encourage him, for he shall cause [the people of] Israel to inherit it. Moreover, the little ones whom the people said would die in the wilderness, and the children who had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall be allowed to inherit the land - and unto them I will give it, and they shall possess it. But as for the rest of you, turn and take your journey back into the wilderness toward the Red Sea.'

"Then you all answered and said unto me, 'We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight, according to all that the Lord our God has commanded us.' When you had armed every man with weapons, you were ready to go up into the mountains.

"And the Lord said to me, 'Say unto them, "Don't go up there, and don't fight, for I will not be amongst you", for they will be struck down before their enemies.'

"So I spoke to all of you, yet you would not listen, but instead rebelled against the commandment of the Lord, going presumptuously up the mountains. The Amorites who lived in the mountains came out against you and chased you - as bees do - and destroyed you in Seir, all the way to Hormah.

"You returned and wept before the the Lord, but he would not harken to your voice, or listen to your words. So you abode in Kadesh for many days, according unto the days that you abode there."
Notes:1.) Approximately February 15th by our modern calendar.
Thoughts:This opening chapter of Deuteronomy sees Moses addressing the people of Israel as they were camped in the wilderness east of the Jordan River. His speech takes place on the 15th of February, forty years after the exodus, and primarily encompasses the events from Numbers: Chapter 13 and Numbers: Chapter 14, but begins with the events of Exodus: Chapter 17 - despite that this chapter claims Moses' speech concerns the events that took place after King Sihon and King Og were defeated, which doesn't take place until Numbers: Chapter 21.

Although one would expect some slight differences in Moses' speech versus the events as they appeared in the book of Numbers, there are some jarring discrepancies within the two stories, which is further compounded by the claim that the Torah (the Pentateuch) - the first five books of the bible were written by Moses.

The following discrepancies are found within Moses speech:
Moses' Speech:Biblical Story:
Dt. 1:9 "And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you [the people of Israel] myself alone:"
Dt. 1:12 "How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?"
Ex. 18:17 "And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.
18:18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone."
Discrepancy: Mild
Moses makes the claim that he told the people of Israel that he couldn't handle their burden alone, yet this closely mirrors the conversation he had with his father-in-law Jethro, who actually told Moses this same thing.

While it might be possible that Moses simply repeated these complaints to the Israelites after his chat with Jethro, it also seems to appear that Moses might be taking credit for Jethro's wisdom.
Moses' Speech:Biblical Story:
Dt. 1:15 "So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes."
Dt. 1:16 "And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him."
Ex. 18:21 "Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
Ex. 18:24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said."
Discrepancy: Mild
Much like the previous discrepancy, verses 15 and 16 appear as though Moses is taking full credit for his father-in-law's advice - Moses' wording is almost identical to Jethro's wording in Exodus 18:21.

Another possibility for Jethro's absence from Moses' speech might be due to the fact that Jethro is a Midianite - and may have been amongst those slain in Numbers: Chapter 31.
Moses' Speech:Biblical Story:
Dt. 1:22 "And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come."
Dt. 1:23 "And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe:"
Num. 13:1 "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,"
13:2 "Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them."
13:3 "And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel."
Discrepancy: Strong
A major discrepancy is found in Moses' speech when Moses accredits the idea of sending spies into Canaan to the people of Israel, and not God, who had commanded this in Numbers: Chapter 13.

The reason that this is such a strong contradiction is that by changing the origin of who ordered the idea, it shifts the blame placed upon the spies later on (for having discouraged the Israelites to invade Canaan) away from God - who originally ordered the spies - and upon the Israelites themselves.

Had the Israelites come up with this plan to send the spies themselves, this bit of information certainly would be highly relevant and would warrant mention in Numbers 13 - leaving this bit of information out, and attributing the decision to God would change the context of the story completely.

While the apologist standpoint probably would be to somehow rationalize that somehow both the versions of events in Numbers 13 and Deuteronomy somehow coincide - presumably that the Israelites came up with the idea, and after God approved the idea himself, he commanded it - it still doesn't answer the question of the effect of the dramatic shift in context.
Moses' Speech:Biblical Story:
Dt. 1:29 "Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them."
Dt. 1:30 "The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;"
Num. 14:6 "And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:"
Num. 14:7 "And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land."
Num. 14:9 "Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not."
Discrepancy: Mild
Like the earlier discrepancies, verse 29 sees Moses again seemingly taking credit for something someone else had said.

In this case, it was Joshua and Caleb who in Numbers 14 confronted the Israelites and told them not to be afraid after they had reservations about invading Canaan due to reports of "giants". In verse 29, Moses takes credit for this and claims that it was he who confronted the people and told them not to be afraid.
Moses' Speech:Biblical Story:
Dt. 1:34 "And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying,"
Dt. 1:35 "Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers."
Num. 14:11 "And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?"
Num. 14:12 "I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they."
Discrepancy: Mild
This discrepancy is merely a case of oversimplification. Upon hearing the Israelites complaining, God initially decides to kill them all and instead have Moses' lineage become the new chosen people. Moses manages to talk God out of the mass killings, to which he instead decides to simply let this current generation of Israelites wander around in the desert for forty years until they all die off.
Moses' Speech:Biblical Story:
Dt. 1:37 "Also the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither."Num. 20:12 "And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them."
Discrepancy: Strong
While this discrepancy might upon first glance simply seem like an oversimplification and is merely skipping ahead in the story, it's actually more problematic when we examine it closer.

Moses states that God even got angry with him - which is correct - and has refused to allow him to bring the Israelites into the "promised land" - which is also correct. These events occur later in our story in Numbers: Chapter 20, instead of where Moses' speech seems to be implying - Numbers 14, however, that really isn't the problem.

The problem is that in his speech, Moses blames God's anger with him on the behavior of the Israelites, which is completely false. The reason Moses isn't allowed to enter Canaan is because he didn't follow God's instructions correctly about how to get water out of a rock (God said to talk to the rock, but Moses struck the rock with his rod) - the Israelites had no fault with Moses' inability to follow God's directions.
Moses' Speech:Biblical Story:
Dt. 1:44 "And the Amorites, which dwelt in that mountain, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, even unto Hormah."Num. 14:45 "Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah."
Discrepancy: Mild
This small discrepancy is simply a formality. The Amorites are in fact a particular race of Canaanites, but it appears to change the context slightly.