The first time I read (well, skimmed) the bible all the way thru, Numbers was where I started to get bogged down, and now I remember why. So boring and repetitious. Here we go again with the holy offerings to the priests. The Levites collect tithes, and then they give the best of the tithe collection to Aaron and his family. And make sure to burn the fat on the altar, ‘cause god loves the smell of burning fat. All right, for the umpteenth time, we get it.
We continue with another absurd and barbaric cleansing ritual. It requires a perfect red heifer (verse 2). Some modern Jews are still searching for this… I kid you not. Which reminds me of a novel I read a couple of years ago, which includes all sorts of interesting religious references, including to this perfect red heifer. If you’re is looking for something more interesting than the bible to read, check it out.
In chapter 20, more déjà vu. Moses gets water from a rock again, just like in Exodus 17. I don’t get verse 24 – what the heck did Aaron do wrong at Meribah? It was Moses who struck the rock and messed up the magic trick. And Aaron’s death in this chapter means that the previous chapter, in which Eleazar is the priest, is out of order – Eleazar would not have become the priest until Aaron died.