Anyone ever wish Numbers chapter 7 wasn’t so tedious to read? Or some other passages of Scripture?
Me too! (I once read it as penance.)
The first few chapters of 1 Chronicles are also “fun”.
Would be interesting to see how someone might reword it!:shrug: One could say that the tribe of Judah gave their offering of so and so and the each of the other tribes brought the same offerings in their turn. Done. End of chapter! Another “fun” passage is Ezekiel chapters 40-42 where Ezekiel has the vision of measuring the Temple. Get about half way through that and you could fall asleep pretty quick!:sleep:
And let’s not forget the censuses.
And, of course all the “begats”.
And the geometric parcelling of the Land of Israel at the end of Ezekiel.
Could we add the Christmas carol, The twelve days of Christmas? But then that isn’t in the Bible.
I’ve always wondered if that carol was influenced by Numbers 7.
Interestingly: is there a quick way to calculate how many gifts the poor guy ended up with at the end, apart from adding them up painfully? Maybe integrate Gauss’ formula (n * (n+1))/2) between the limits of 1 and 12? My wife (who is a mathematician) told me that was bunk, but I’m sure there’s a trick.
Any mathematicians out there?
Actually that Carol came out of the fact that under the reign of Henry VIII, Catholicism was illegal in Britain and each one of the gifts mentioned was a Catholic code for something in the gospels. Example, the partridge in the pear tree was code for Christ crucified. Etc One can look up the rest on the 'net.
Hey, I didn’t know that! Thanks.
But why would Henry VIII object to the Gospels? The Church and the Pope, perhaps, but why things like Christ crucified?
ETA: Snopes has a write-up on the interpretation, and they’re skeptical: snopes.com/holidays/christmas/music/12days.asp
He objected to anything Catholic. (I don’t think he objected to the Crucifixion, just any Catholic doctrine about it) :shrug: I understand that Protestants just thought the carol was a harmless little ditty and they began to sing it without really knowing what it was about!
All right, I get it now! Thanks.
Even today many non-Catholics object to having Jesus portrayed as hanging on the cross, rather than having an empty cross.
A valid point . Some of the more “Reformed” Protestants have a passionate dislike for the crucifix.
That said, what’s even sadder is the way many entertainers use the cross / crucifix as a fashion symbol, with no respect for its true meaning. They should be made to read Numbers 7 about 1,44,000 times.
I’ve even seen some teenagers wear it or Rosary beads as fashion symbols. The local Cadillac car dealer used to have problems with kids stealing the Cadillac logo hood ornaments off the new cars on the lot and putting them on necklaces. So the dealer had to remove them from the cars until the cars were sold. They should have to read Numbers 7 about 288,000 times:rolleyes:
Let’s talk about the Book of Numbers.
It is not that tedious when one understands the place of Numbers in Scripture.
The Book of Numbers is supplemental to and adds to the Book of Exodus. It covers the 38 years when Israel wandered in the desert, from the time of the encampment at Mt. Sinai to the time just prior to crossing over the Jordan river into the promised land.
There were two census’ taken during this time. The book is therefor divided into two sections, and each section starts with a census. When someone takes a census, it means that they are preparing for something, usually for war.
God tells Israel to conquer the promised land and so Israel prepares - takes a census of the people. The people don’t trust God however, so they send spies into the land. They are disheartened at the report they hear and refuse to go into battle, and God dooms them to wander in the desert for a whole generation. After a generation passes, they are again told to go into the promised land and take another census to prepare. This time they trust God and succeed.
The entire book is interspersed with commands of the law.
Chapter 7 is interesting because Aaron blesses the people at the end of Chapter 6 and then each tribal leader immediately brings the offering which God commanded - so many sheep, so many oxen, etc. This is a ratification of God’s law. It shows that they obeyed the command of God, brought the offering, and thereby accepted God’s law as their own.
Reading the individual offerings and the census and all the tribes can be tedious, but the book as a whole becomes much more interesting when one understands the story behind it and it’s place relative to the rest of scripture.
Thanks Tim. Not understanding Numbers or any other Scripture that has censuses or a whole bunch of unpronounceable names can be very tedious reading. I guess when a person understands this stuff in relation to the rest of Scripture, it’s not so bad after all:blush: Like the Ethiopian eunuch said to Phillip in Acts 8 “How can I (understand what I’m reading) unless someone guides me!”
Ha ha ha… good Scripture quote!!!
One of the best resources out there is the Bible Timeline study from Great Adventure/Jeff Cavins. The Jeff Cavins studies are excellent, and the Bible Timeline study goes over all the main books of the Bible, explains the place of the other books in relation to those, who the prophets were, the kings, and traces the story of salvation. It is a wonderful resource, well worth the cost and effort.
The DVD’s are pricey but not if you split the cost or get the Church to buy them so that the study can be reused by the parishoners.
our parish has at least some of Jeff’s Bible studies. They for sure have Acts that they have been conducting a study of this past year.
The footnote to Numbers 7 in the New American Bible is interesting. “The repetitious account of the same offerings brought by each of the twelve tribal princes and the summary of them are characteristic of an official registration”