Day 57

Numbers 35-36

Chapter 35

cities of refugeThis is just house-keeping rules for the settlement of the Israelites. The first part grants property and land rights to the Levites – pretty good deal for a tribe that does no substantial work. (Insert joke here). The second part deals with penalties for murder. They’re somewhat progressive, in that they differentiate between willful murder and manslaughter. But what’s with getting off if you outlive the high-priest? And wouldn’t that provide an incentive to just off the high-priest?

Chapter 36

Haha – I knew the property rights granted to women in Numbers 27 were too good to be true! Sure enough, patriarchy comes back to bite them in chapter 36. They are required to marry within their own tribe in order to keep the property within the tribe. As a result, they are forced to marry cousins. So the property comes at the cost of freedom, and as soon as they have a son, it will revert to male ownership. Yup, makes sense. And thus concludes the book of Numbers. Good riddance.

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