Today was the first day of summer classes. I don’t know who had the bright idea to schedule a 7:30 am summer class, but I need to rediscover my inner morning person. In my first class this morning, the professor emphasized to us that we’ll be covering 16 weeks of material in 23 days, which gave me feelings both of relief and terror. Relief that I only have to drag myself out of bed that early for 5 weeks, but terror that we’re covering 16 weeks of material in 23 days!
I’m taking 2 classes: Mechanics of Materials and Differential Equations. It’s 3 hours of class every day Monday-Friday, but if today was any indication, I’m not going to have much free time. First day of class and I had to spend 5ish hours in the library to finish the homework for tomorrow. I’m a wee bit exhausted from all that thinking.
Is it Christmas break yet?
Anyway, along with starting new classes today, I’ve also graduated to a new book of the Bible! I know you’re super excited about “statistics, population counts, tribal and priestly figures, and other numerical data” as one website describes it. Last time I tried to read through the the Bible, about 4 years ago, this is the book that did me in. Hang with me though; this time I promise we’ll make it through.
Chapter 1- It’s the second year since the Israelites left Egypt. God commands Moses and Aaron to take a census of every male aged 20+ who would be able to go to war. Names are given for the leaders of each tribe.
There are a lot of people- more than I expected, honestly. There were six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty men who were 20+ and able to go to war! That number doesn’t include women, children, or anyone of the tribe of Levi (as they are the priests and caretakers of the tabernacle, thus they shan’t be going to war).
I’m disappointed that the ability to make war is what makes a person worth counting. It explicitly leaves out women (because women are too frail to be soldiers, amiright) and I assume it also excludes the elderly. I understand that these people are about to invade their promised land and steal it away from the natives, so an accurate account of fighting ability is important, but I would’ve liked to see an acknowledgement of the fact that women, children and the elderly are humans as well.
Or, even better, it would’ve been awesome if God’s people were peaceful instead of war-starting property thieves.
Also, my previous concern about where these people found enough bulls/sheep/goats/wood for making sacrifices has been intensified. If there were 603,550 warriors, just imagine the total number when counting women, children, the elderly and the priest class!
About the tabernacle, only the Levites may set it up or take it down when the people travel. If anybody else touches it, guess what the penalty is? Death! Maybe all this death-penalty-as-retribution-for-petty-crime was God’s way of keeping the population in check.
Chapter 2- Instructions as to where each tribe should camp, and in what order they should break camp when they move locations.
Noting to see here, move along.