Sunday, September 23, 2018

19th after pentecost year b - numbers

This queery is brought to you by our periodic contributor, River Needham.

Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29
4And the mixed multitude that was among them fell to lusting; and the children of Israel also wept on their part, and said: "Would that we were given flesh to eat! 5We remember the fish, which we were able to eat in Egypt without thinking about it; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic; 6but now our soul is dried away; there is nothing at all; we have nothing except this manna to look to."

10And Moses heard the people weeping, family by family, every leader at the door of their family tent; and the anger of the Becoming One grew considerably; and Moses was displeased.

11Then Moses said to the Becoming One "Why have you dealt ill with your servant, and why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all these people upon me? 12Have I conceived all these people? Have I brought them forth, that you should say to me: Carry them in your bosom, as a nursing father carries the sucking child, to the land which you did swear to their parents? 13When should I have flesh to give to all these people, for they trouble me with their weeping, saying: Give us flesh, that we may eat. 14I am not able to bear all these people by myself, alone, because it is too heavy for me. 15And if you deal thus with me, kill me, I ask you, out of hand, if I have found favor in your sight; and let me not look at my wretchedness." 

16And the Becoming One said to Moses: "Gather unto me seventy of the elders of Israel, who you know to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring these elders to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 

24And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Becoming One; and Moses gathered seventy of the elders of the people, and set them round about the Tent. 25And the Becoming One came down in the cloud, and spoke to Moses, and took from the spirit that was upon him, and put it upon the seventy elders; and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, but they did so no more. 26But there remained two in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad; and the spirit rested upon them; and they were among those recorded, but had not gone out unto the Tent; they prophesied in the camp. 27And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said: "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." 28And Joshua, the son of Nun, the minister of Moses from his youth up, answered and said: "My lord Moses, shut them in." 29And Moses said unto him: "Are you jealous for my sake? I would prefer that all the Becoming One's people were prophets, that the Becoming One would put Xyr spirit upon them!"

Queeries for the text:
What are we missing?
How do we lust for flesh today?
What kinds of flesh do we lust after?
What are our unwritten expectations of God?
How does God meet our unwritten expectations?
How is Moses a nursing father? What does this mean?
Where else does 70 show up in the Torah?
Why is Moses despondent? How do we respond when dealing with depressed people? How can we make that better?
Is the Spirit zero-sum?
How can Joshua deal with a polyamorous God?

What are your queeries?

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