Ex. 30-32 (slaughter)

The separation of the priestly cast continues in this passage.  It describes–in excruciating detail–the oil and perfume to be used on the altar and to anoint the priests, noting, “[w]hoever makes perfume like it and puts it on anyone other than a priest must be cut off from their people.”  Ex. 30:33.  Harsh.

Also, we have the ultimate flat tax of 1/2 of shekel to be paid by everyone whether rich or poor.  This is unusual because it explicitly forbids a pauper’s option.  Ex. 30:11-16.

Oh yeah, then there is chapter 32.  From childhood I remember Moses coming down from Mount Sinai, seeing the people worshipping Ba’al, breaking the commandments and then going back to God for another set.  Lots wrong with this memory.

One, I don’t see a reference to Ba’al.  Not super important I guess.  For two, before Moses goes down, God says to Moses, “Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them.”  Ex. 32:10.  Covenant, Schmovenant.  Luckily, Moses talks God out of it.  Ex. 32:14.

The following are the punishments put on the Israelites for worshiping the Golden Calf:
  1. witnessed angry Moses smashing the tablets Ex. 32:19
  2. forced to drink gold bits from shattered idol suspended in water Ex. 32:20
  3. blamed for making Aaron make them an idol Ex. 32:22-24
  4. 3 million slaughter by sword carrying Levites under Moses’ guidance 32:27-29
  5. “And the Lord struck the people with a plague” Ex. 32:35

I guess I don’t blame my Sunday School teachers for editing this down a bit.  I had actually forgotten, or never noticed, the after-the-fact plague that God dumps on those who remain after drinking heavy metals and being slaughtered by their fellow Israelites. 

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