The Meat Sweats (Numbers 11-12)

The people are getting complain-y. They were just starting to feel settled in their camp at the base of Mount Sinai but for some reason, God’s decided that it’s time to move. After some trekking, they start to get hungry. Naturally. The manna doesn’t cut it anymore. They crave meat. Out of all the many things he’s able to do (whip up multiple plagues, for example), God can’t seem to produce a Brazilian buffet for his people. What gives?

A side note: You might have noticed that I remark frequently on meat. This is true. As a former vegetarian (for seventeen years, eleven of which I was also a vegan), I am now obsessed with meat, having leapt back into the fold about ten months ago. It is delicious and I crave it every single waking hour. Plus, I’m way skinnier now. I’m thinking of starting a meat blog in which I write about my experiences buying meat, cooking meat and, of course, eating meat. Thoughts? I’m also thinking about starting a club called “Meat Mates” for like-minded individuals looking to eat at amazing steak houses and enjoy good conversation that mostly revolves around what is being delivered to the face via fork. I know one person who definitely would be into this (M. Sellers). Again – thoughts?

Anyways, God gets annoyed that his people are going on and on about meat and makes threats that are exactly like a father catching his kid smoking: “Oh, you like cigarettes, eh mister? Well, then you can just sit here and smoke the whole damned pack!”). God says, “Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. You shall not eat one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the Lord who is among you…” (Num 11:18-20). I don’t really see how the digestive system can work this way; at worst, the Israelites might suffer constipation and the meat sweats after such an extended gorge.

Next, God does a weird thing. He summons wind to carry in a large number of “quails from the sea”. Does that mean tuna? I don’t know. Regardless, the meat-crazed Israelites dive in and then – God gets pissed and sends a plague down upon them. What? “While the meat was yet between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague” (Num 11:33). At least let them finish eating. So random. And he just had Moses do a big, boring census, too. Now those numbers are irrevelant.

In Numbers 12, which veers sharply away from the narrative of Numbers 11, Aaron and Miriam (his wife, I think) get all uppitty about the fact that God seems to be communicating directly only with Moses. Isn’t there room for other prophets (like them, implicitly)? God doesn’t like being questioned on such matters so – ZAP – he gives Miriam leprosy. No punishment for Aaron, other than not being able to have sex with his leprous wife.




Published in: on February 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. You suspected right. I am drawing up a logo for “Meat Mates” as we speak. It will be glorious.

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