The more I read the bible, the more I find myself asking, “Really? People really believe this?” I mean, I can understand the vast majority of Christians who claim the bible is perfect—it’s easy to do so when you’ve never even cracked the cover of you confirmation bible—but what about all the Christians who actually do read these passages and maintain their belief? It’s truly staggering. Let see if we can swallow Numbers 12:2-10, shall we?
We learn that the reason Miriam and her brother Aaron are grumbling about Moses’ until-now-unheard-of second wife is because they’re jealous that Moses is being favored by God, not just with special powers, but being allowed to speak directly to the Almighty. Unfortunately for them, God hears them grumbling and decides to open a can of whoopass on them. God demands that they step outside of the tabernacle, and when they do, he descends as a pillar of cloud. He calls forth Aaron and Miriam and tells them he only talks to prophets ambiguously through visions and dreams, but Moses is special. To him God speaks face-to-face and in a clear manner, and only Moses gets to see the form of the Lord.
Three problems with this, the first two are quite old. One, the all-powerful creator of the universe thinks that sending ambiguous messages to dreaming people is an effective way to communicate. Two, everybody who sees God’s face is supposed to die, yet God says that Moses sees his form and speaks to him face-to-face. Three, and this is the new one, this automatically negates every believer who has claimed to hear or see God in any medium other than dream or vision.
And just to show how pissed off he is, God smites Miriam with leprous skin that is white as snow. And to really let his anger burn bright at Aaron, he… doesn’t do a damn thing. That’s right, Miriam gets a potentially fatal infectious disease and Aaron gets a bros-only-club style fistbump.
The narrator also reminds us that Moses is the most humble and meek person on the face of the Earth. But of course, Moses is supposed to be the author of Numbers, which means that one of the tasks expected from the most humble man on the face of the Earth is writing—in third-person, mind you—how you’re the humblest man on the face of the Earth! Considering that Moses ordered the execution of 3,000 people, I’d say that’s a pretty bad commentary on the overall meekness of humanity at the time.