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2013-11-07

How else would it make sense?

In Numbers 8:1-4 God tells Moses to tell Aaron how to light the menorah. Then, Aaron lights the menorah per Godís second-hand instructions. Howís that for confidence? God doesnít even trust the Israelites to light an oil lamp without directions! I wonder if he even trusts them enough to sit the correct way on a toilet seat?

So, we learn that Aaron lights the lamps, and after that, weíre told that Moses made the menorah out of beaten gold according to Godís instructions. Does that seem bass-ackwards to anyone else? How can you use the lamp stand before itís made? Also, we were already given the instructions for how to make the menorah way back in Exodus, and told that it was constructed by Bezaleel not Moses. I donít see that as a true contradiction, since this wording is vague enough to interpret it to mean that Moses oversaw the construction of the menorah, but I donít see this passage as being harmonious with Exodus either.

The apologist argument often made to try and harmonize passages like this is to use the car crash analogy. Two people can witness a car crash and give differing vantage points of the same event. The problem here is that both Exodus and Numbers are supposed to be written by the same person! Why does Moses recount Godís initial instructions for the menorah and describe it as being built by Bezaleel, only to describe it being built without any of the original information two books later? The follow up apologist argument is that Moses was writing for two distinct audiences, but knowing what we know about the Documentary Hypothesis, that seems far-fetched.

Even more unharmonious is why the passage is even here to begin with. We just finished up a painfully long list of items to be sacrificed, and after this passage, we will talk more about sacrifices. So why are we re-reading the menorah crafting process now? Why is the making of the show-bread table left out? What about the incense altar?

 

Comments

Ladyofthemasque writes:

 

Apprentice scribes: "Oh shhh! We're still short a few lines of padding up this fake book we were supposed to have done--look, there's some spare room there on that part of the scroll--write something down, Araham!"

tussock writes:

 

Thanks for the link to the Documentary Hypothesis.

"If this is the case, the original E source had Abraham carry through with the sacrifice of Isaac."

No wonder the story was a little disjointed, the test audience didn't like the ending and they stuffed a new one on the last minute. 8]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_L._Thompson
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_minimalism

More reading, turns out you can't even get work in the US if you point out the lack of evidence supporting any of this ever having happened, and all the evidence which says it did not.

It's good to see this is still taken seriously as something to debunk though. Past efforts are now widely accepted, so continuing effort seems well placed.


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Oh the irony!