Watermelons and Canteloupes, Watermelons and Canteloupes (Numbers 13-14)

Moses and his people are on a search for new lands to inhabit. God sends out bunch of spies to check out Canaan for forty days (thorough) and pick up some fruit while they’re at it (it’s grape season). For whatever reason, the spies lie, saying that the Israelites can’t take over the lands because the people who live there are too big and strong and likely wouldn’t take well to being told to vamoose. I think the spies are trying to avoid packing up their stuff and moving, a process which we all hate.

However, one of the spies pipes up and says that the Israelites are indeed capable of overcoming the current inhabitants of Canaan, causing a terrible row among them. Everyone is arguing about this, which pisses off God because apparently he doesn’t like murmuring: “How long shall this wicked congregation murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the people of Israel, which they murmur against me.” (Numbers 14:27). I appreciate the deft use nouns and verbs in this passage; murmurings (noun) are without a doubt, murmured (verb). God threatens to kill everyone unless they stop it. If I were directing a re-enactment of this scene – une petite vignette, if you will – I would have all the actors turn back and forth between each other quietly whispering, “Watermelons and canteloupes, watermelons and canteloupes” until God’s booming voice cut in, accusing them of being “out of order”. In my experience, that watermelons and canteloupes trick works well.

Moments later, God softens up a bit and decides just to kill the spies who lied rather than everyone. What a guy.

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Published in: on February 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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