Fireball, stock photo.Twelve Spies
Numbers 11:1 to 14:39

11:1 When people complained about stuff it really irritated Yahweh. He would become very moody and go around randomly burning innocent people to death. The people ran crying to Moses about the unfairness of it all. Moses had a little talk with Yahweh who agreed to stop the random burning of people for the moment.

11:4 By this time the tribes were getting pretty tired of eating almost nothing but manna. It appeared as a scum on the ground with the morning dew and they scraped it up and made a sort of pastey bread out of it. It tasted like oil. After years of this being their primary meal they became depressed. They began to weep. They remembered Egypt where they ate fish, cucumbers, melons, onions, and garlic. Upon hearing the people weeping, Yahweh and Moses once again both became very angry. Moses said to Yahweh "This is just too much responsibility trying to please these whiners. I'd rather die so why don't you just kill me and end all my stress." At that point Yahweh took some of the authority and responsibilities away from Moses and reassigned them to the individual leaders of the various tribes.

Yahweh said "I hear the damn whiners whining about the food and talking about Egyptian groceries. I will give you some food. How about some meat? I'll have you eat so much damn meat that it comes out of your damn nostrils. You'll eat meat for a month and you will hate it. This I will do because you hate me and all you do is talk about Egypt like it was the good ol' days!" Moses responded with "Meat? Seriously? 600,000 infantry plus women and children eating meat for a whole month? Really? What are we going to do, slaughter every cow and sheep we have in every herd?" Yahweh said "You think I've grown weak? Just you wait. I'll show you some meat."

While Yahweh was stewing about the meat a young boy came running up to Moses and said "There is someone going around saying that God is talking to him and telling him what's in the future." At first general Joshua said "Moses forbids this." But then Moses said "No no, actually God wishes everyone was like that."

Old World Quail (Coturnix ypsilophora)Meanwhile Yahweh got busy with making an odd wind blow. This wind came in hard from the sea and was strong enough to bring with it lots of quail which for some reason were out to sea. It dumped all the birds around the camp for miles, three feet deep. The people worked around the clock for two days gathering the millions of dead quail. The least amount anybody gathered was well over a ton. While they were stuffing their faces with windblown quail, Yahweh suddenly became all angry again, remembering something from earlier, and he killed a bunch of random people by sending a fatal illness, Salmonella maybe.

Roast quail with oyster and bacon stuffing.

12:1 Moses’ brother Aaron and his sister Miriam conspired against him behind his back. They were talking trash about him because he had a foreign wife. She was one of those detestable Cushite bitches. They started bragging that Yahweh talked directly to them as much as he did to Moses. Yahweh heard this mean-spirited gossiping and ordered all three siblings to meet him immediately in his big tent.

Yahweh, add your own meme.Yahweh appeared before the siblings as a cloud and said "When I talk to prophets I do so in the form of dreams and visions, all symbolic-like and with cloudy vague analogies that can be interpreted lots of different ways. But when I talk to Moses it’s in plain everyday language, from my mouth to his ears. Obviously he is special so what's with all this talking smack behind his back, hmm?" Uh oh... Yahweh was mad again. He left the meeting abruptly after first giving Miriam leprosy, white leprosy, which is the really bad kind.

Aaron was totally freaked out and started begging Moses to save their sister from the fatal disease. So Moses asked Yahweh if he could possibly be a bit more tolerant of humans being you know, human, and asked him to remove the disease. Yahweh asked rhetorically "If her dad spits in her face shouldn't she be ashamed for at least a week? Throw her outside of the camp for a week." So they threw her out and the whole confederacy of tribes including 600,000 troops stopped for the week and camped there staring out at Miriam while she stared back at them until she could be allowed to come back in. Then they packed up again and continued onward towards Canaan.

12:16 The tribes pitched camp just south of the Canaanite border where they began to plan their military offensive with the intention of conquering and seizing the land for themselves. Yahweh ordered them to send in twelve spies first to recon the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses for him. Of these twelve spies, only two eventually became famous heroes, Joshua of Ephraim and Caleb of Judah.

Camouflaged Israeli troops in a wheat field on Israel's border with Gaza.

The spies sneaked into Canaan and spread out and explored all over the tiny country. They returned from the mission and reported that the land was beautiful, and that the grocery stores had great produce sections. The salads they brought back were awesome, especially compared to eating that greasy manna crap.

Caleb suggested they attack immediately while they had the element of surprise. But some of the spies told stories of the gigantic armor-clad troops that protected the land. They told of fortresses. They spoke in fear of Amalekite armies and Hittite armies and Jebusites and Amorites and all kinds of ites. Worst of all they saw fearsome giant Anakites! That night the tribes wept about the weakness of their position. They were stuck out on the desert facing well-entrenched land owners. They reckoned Yahweh would let the Canaanites come kill them and steal their women. They blamed Moses and some of them began plans to nominate and elect a new leader and head back to Egypt. Moses and Aaron fell on their faces while the two more optimistic spies tried to encourage and persuade the people. They said not to fear, that God would make the enemy a pushover.

Agent 86, Maxwell Smart 1965.14:10 The mobs grew all discontented and hostile again and they were all starting to chant loudly "Kill Moses and Aaron. Kill Moses and Aaron. Kill Moses and Aaron." Yahweh finally had enough of the political unrest so he appeared to Moses. He said "Moses, me damn it, there they go again! I'm going to send bunches of insects and rodents! I will no longer consider them my children. I'll, I’ll, you know what, I’ll make another nation for you Moses, a way better one I swear, bigger and stronger I promise." Moses sobbed "But then the Egyptians will laugh at you. Is that what you want? Come on now, give them a break. You said you could be forgiving, except of course for the guilty and their children down to the fourth generation." Yahweh said "Ok Moses, I'll forgive them this time. But sure as I live the people will see how glorious and fearsome I am. For every person who saw me being glorious back in Egypt, but who now has doubts about my military strategy, I hereby sentence them to wander around in this desert until they die. Twenty years and older, all Israelites must die in this desert. In forty years I'll probably take their children into Canaan. Caleb and Joshua however, they’re good spies. They're the exception to this punishment, they're ok." To make his feelings clear Yahweh sent a special spy disease that killed only the ten reluctant spies.

14:39 When Moses told the mob of doubters the bad news of Yahweh's decision to make them die in the desert the people became very depressed. In the morning they showed up and sincerely apologized and begged for forgiveness. They even said they were willing to go to Canaan and fight but Moses explained that the deal was off and that God would show no mercy and refused to protect them from harm. Sure enough some bad ass Amalekites came and killed the malcontents.

Spy vs. Spy, Antonio Prohías, Mad Magazine 1961.

Next: A Talking Donkey

More at Skywise Unlimited

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Tags: bible, cosmology, creation, genesis, god, moses, mythology, religion

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