8/21 Reading (Numbers 4-5; Acts 12)

I saw a total solar eclipse for the first time ever today. It was cloudy, but wow was it an amazing experience. I loved it. I will have to do another one in the future.

Numbers 4: Further preparation for the journey. Different clans within the Levites are assigned various tasks with respect to the movement of the tabernacle and the items inside. Aaron and his sons have to prepare everything in a particular way and then everything can be moved. Very meticulous.

Numbers 5: Chapter is first about impurities (such as leprosy and other discharges) and the fact that people can’t be close to the camp because they are unclean. Again with the leprosy. Then we get into what happens if a man or woman wrongs another person and the punishment. Finally, the majority of this chapter is about how a woman is treated if she is suspected of committing adultery by her husband. The ritual is pretty harsh. The woman has to go through this ritual even if there is no evidence of any wrongdoing. Again, pretty harsh. It’s interesting that even if the man is wrong, he isn’t punished. It’s also interesting that men can have multiple sexual partners but women can’t. Seriously? No wonder there are some religious groups who still practice polygamy. The text also uses the following phrase: “while under her husband’s authority” (Num. 5.29). Again, no wonder women are treated as possessions in some societies (including parts of the US). Yikes!

Acts 12: King Herod killed the Apostle James right at the beginning of this chapter. He arrests Peter, but an angel of God comes down and rescues Peter. King Herod gets angry, seems to lash out at the people, they then refer to him as a God, and an angel of God strikes down Herod right away because he doesn’t argue against that title. Finally, we see Saul and Barnabas return to Jerusalem.

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