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.
- witnessed angry Moses smashing the tablets Ex. 32:19
- forced to drink gold bits from shattered idol suspended in water Ex. 32:20
- blamed for making Aaron make them an idol Ex. 32:22-24
- 3 million slaughter by sword carrying Levites under Moses’ guidance 32:27-29
- “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.