Exodus 32:1 to 40:38
32:1 What could be taking Moses so long? The people grew restless for mindless rituals and excessive dogma so Aaron collected all the men’s earrings and molded them into the figure of a young cow. The people looked at the statue and said "There he is! That’s him! That cow helped us escape from Egypt. Oh thank you golden cow. Isn’t golden cow adorable? We love you golden cow.”
Aaron proclaimed a new holiday to honor golden cow and then killed and burned some livestock for golden cow’s amusement. The people ate and drank, and played games, and had a raging all-day party to celebrate their new golden cow religion.
Yahveh shouted to Moses "HOLY CRAP! Better get back down there fast Moses! The people made a statue of golden cow and they are saying that golden cow brought them out of Egypt instead of me!" Yahveh's temper started flaring up big. He was ready to blast the people to bits.
"They are a stiff-necked people!" he screamed. His temper grew so hot that he could have let them have it right then and there. He was ready to kill them all on the spot but then he let Moses talk him out of mass murder. "But Lord," Moses pleaded. "The Egyptians will say you are mischievous if you kill all the Israelites. Now you say you are sorry for thinking such evil thoughts. Remember the promise you made to Abe and Isaac and Israel?"
Yahveh apologized to Moses for thinking evil thoughts and remembered the promise he made to Abe and Isaac and Israel. Moses took the rock on which Yahveh had inscribed all the detailed religious dogma about blood smearing and the fancy gold box and expensive churchy stuff required of the tribes. He considered these rocks to be a legally binding agreement.
Moses and Commander Joshua headed down the mountain and when they got close to camp they heard all the noise from the golden cow party and thought it must be some kind of a war going on. When Moses came around the corner and saw them dancing he totally lost control and smashed the holy rocks on which Yahveh had personally written the new rules and dogma. He grabbed golden cow and melted it down and ground it up and put it in some water and made all the partiers drink it. Then he turned to his brother Aaron who had made the cow. "How could you? My own brother!" Aaron said "Ah Moses, don't get mad, we were only fooling around. Besides, we didn't think you were ever coming back."
Then Moses noticed that the people were completely naked because Aaron had taken their clothes as punishment for honoring golden cow. Moses yelled "Who here is on God's side, come with me." Only one tribe responded to the request, it was the Levite tribe. Moses said to them "OK Levites, take your swords and kill your brother and your neighbor and your friends." The Levites obeyed and killed about three thousand of the other Israelites. Moses said that Yahveh favored the Levites most of all. Moses said that they were easily Yahveh’s fav of all the tribes. Fortunately for Moses he just happened to be one of the Levites, so that worked out nice.
The next day Moses said "You people are so guilty, you badly misbehaved with that golden cow business and now you must be appropriately punished, I mean, of course, in addition to my tribe killing three thousand of you. Wait here, I'll go ask God how to punish you." So back up the mountain went Moses to converse with Yahveh again, this time about punishing the tribes. "God, if you're going to wipe their names out of that book where you keep notes on everyone, then you might as well wipe my name out too." Yahveh answered "No, I'll just wipe out the names of the guilty cow-loving types so just go back and wait. A bad ass angel will come down and take care of everything. I got this."
Yahveh caused the Israelite people great suffering because Aaron had made golden cow. Yahveh said "Tell them I said they are a stiff-necked people and I still might destroy them in an instant! Take away all their jewelry and then get the group headed on towards Canaan. I'll be sending you one of my assistants soon to help you rid Canaan of all the damn Canaanites."
When Moses told the people that they were a stiff-necked people and Yahveh might destroy them in an instant they became very depressed. Moses took away the people’s jewelry and used the money to have a huge tent constructed. When Moses went inside the big tent the people peeked out of their own tents and saw a billowing black cloud come down from outer space and hover right next to the big tent. Then Moses started talking to the cloud and the cloud talked back to Moses. This really amazed them, that Moses was chatting with a space cloud, so they all came out of their tents and bowed down to the billowing black talking space cloud.
33:20 Yahveh talked to Moses face to face. But Yahveh said "You can't actually see my actual face or it would actually kill you. So I’ll tell you what, You need to be inserted into a shallow rock crevice as I come flying over you. As I start to pass by, I'll cover your eyes with my hands. After I'm half way by I'll drop my hands so you can see my ass, but not my face." Not being able to resist the offer to see God's ass, Moses hiked up to the crevice and he brought along some fresh blank stone slabs in case Yahveh wanted to jot down a few notes or some more rules or something. While passing over Moses in the rock crevice, Yahveh shouted out...
God, God, merciful, good, and true.
Merciful and forgiving.
Except for the guilty.
And their children down to the fourth generation.
Yahveh recited another long list of demands very similar to the list he had given Moses earlier, this time including "Don't ever cook a goat in its own mother's milk. Because, you know, that’s disgusting."
Moses stayed with Yahveh for another 40 days listening to long boring speeches and recording more legal code. Then he went back to his people and read to them all the religious and social rules. Some people brought him jewelry and money or donated time and skills for building the fancy religious furniture and other ornamental crap Yahveh had demanded. Soon Moses had more than enough financial resources to build the elaborate tabernacle and told them to withhold further donating for now.
The tribes built the most beautiful and exotic tent you could ever imagine. They also made the fancy clothing for the priesthood, including the high priest breastplate with the question and answer dice in the pocket. When they were finished and Moses and Aaron had set it all up exactly the way Yahveh wanted it, Yahveh came down from space and covered the whole tent as a thick black cloud. Whenever the cloud lifted Moses would have the tribes continue their meandering about the desert but when the mysterious cloud just hung around they would remain encamped. At night the cloud would change into a scary glowing crackling ball of fire. And that's how Yahveh behaved throughout the erratic wanderings of Moses and the Israelites.
Next: The show must go on.
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