Those who take the bible literally never really seems to understand the scope of the numbers found in Numbers. God tells Moses to shave the body of every Levite. Let’s ignore the fact Leviticus forbids people from ever shaving, and just imagine the logistics of this process. The bible doesn’t say to shave only the males, but I think it’s fair to ignore the women and babies (they’re not people, after all), which means that they’ll have to shave 44,300 people! It’s not like the Israelites have a truckload of laser-sharpened razors at their disposal, they’re task will be completed with sharped seashells, jagged rocks, soft bronze, and rusty iron. Hello tetanus!
And that’s only one part of the ceremony. They’re also supposed to all be sprinkled with the magical water of purifying, which still hasn’t been explained, and then they must wash their clothes. Are you kidding? They’re wandering around an arid desert! Where could they possibly find enough water for a laundry day of that magnitude? Next, they have to perform a sin offering. Each of them? That’s 44,300 bulls to be executed!
Finally, God tells Moses to gather the whole assembly of the Israelites, all 3,000,000 or so, to watch the ceremony, and then lay hands on each of the Levites. Okay, things have just went from unlikely to inconceivable.
First, Moses needs to disseminate a message to 3,000,000 people to show up in a single place. They also have to understand that they will be laying hands on the Levites, and in order to get this done in an efficient manner, they would have to be positioned in a very specific fashion. And since none of the Israelites have Facebook, and nearly all of them were illiterate, this must be done entirely through word of mouth.
But how do you get a huge amount of people gathered in a manner that they can hear and understand you as you talk? If such an undertaking were done today, we would use a stadium. They’re specifically designed to get people into one location quickly and they’re equipped with PA systems and massive LED displays. But even the world’s highest capacity stadium, Strahov Stadium in Prague, can only house 220,000 people.
Of course, a stadium only allows people to see and hear what’s going on, this is an interactive outing. We need to picture 3,000,000 people trying to lay hands on 44,300 people. An efficient way to getting every Israelite to touch every Levite would be to run a sort of gauntlet, only with touching instead of hitting; two parallel lines of Israelites (at 1 yard per person, each line would be about 537 miles long), one shorter line of Levites walking between them being touched from both sides. At a brisk pace, it would take about 17 sleepless days of constant walking and touching to finish (assuming each touch took only a second). But this requires a fair amount of preparation to be communicated. In reality, this process would be done quite haphazardly; people would have to sleep, eat, and relieve themselves, and the touches would last much longer than a second. The entire process would be measured in years, not days.
The process could certainly be done in a day if only one Israelite needed to touch each Levite, but the bible doesn’t say each Levite was touched by an Israelite, it says the Israelites (plural) touched the Levites (also plural).
Those who aren’t biblical literalists can easily make sense of this by having only the major heads of families among the Levites be touched by only the most important Israelites, in a ceremony that would only take a couple hours, but we all know how evil those fake believers are!