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.

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