It Always Helps to Be a Virgin When Trying Not to Die (Numbers 31-32)

Some rules are universal. Whether it’s a horror movie or the Bible, it always helps to be a virgin when trying not to die. The Israelites wage war on the Midianites, who had been giving them grief for a while, and win, hands down. The Bible says that the Israelites managed to kill every single male. This seems unlikely to me. In every battle there is at least one jerk who deserts when the going gets rough. I learned this from Braveheart (You cowardly nobles! You could’ve founded the Scotland of Sean Connery’s dreams!). But supposedly all the Midianite men are slain, leaving just the women. The Israelites grab all the booty they can get their manna-stained hands on and take the women captive. When they return to Moses (who I suppose was holding down the fort… excuses, excuses) he is incredulous and asks, “Have you let all the women live?” (Num 31:15). Moses commands that any woman “who has known a man by lying with him” be killed immediately (Num 31:17). Only the virgins are kept alive.

Anyways, since God and Moses are both obsessed with counting (traces of OCD here… before it became a thing), they count all the virgins. There are 32, 000 of them. What a boon. That’s a lot of virgins. I hate to think of what their first week living with the Israelites was like. Then again, are first times ever magical and romantic for anyone? I sometimes think that first times should be treated like horrible operations during the American Civil War were. Drink a lot of whiskey and just get it over with. Bite down on something if you have to. If I ever have a daughter (hopefully not) I will pass this sage bit of advice on to her while we perch on her canopy bed and I drink a vodka-soda.

In Numbers 32, some of the Israelites get tired of moving and fighting different people for equally crappy lands. So they put forth this idea: “Why don’t we stop moving around and just stay here? The grass is good for the cattle.” This pisses God off royally because he wants them to cross over the Jordan for some reason. So he makes them wander in the wilderness for forty years as punishment. What happens during that time? I don’t know. Probably a lot of orienteering practice.

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Published in: on March 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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