And we continue exploring Moses’ very long (very boring) soliloquy to the Israelites. Certain people are not allowed in God’s special worshipping place. For instance: no one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting. Yikes. Bigger problems. No one born from a forbidden marriage or born out of wedlock is allowed. It doesn’t matter whether or not it was your fault. No foreigners. Or wait. I oversimplified that. No Ammonites or Moabites. They are naughty, never make friends with them. But the Edomite is your brother, they’re cool. Egyptians are also cool. Never mind that they enslaved your people.
Make sure to keep the camp clean! If a guy has a “nocturnal emission” (I think that means ejaculation) stay away from him until he is clean again. And I don’t mean as in wiped himself off with a sock or whatever happened to be around. Clean as described in Numbers. You have to wait until the next sunset and then sacrifice an animal or something. Designate a place outside of the camp to “relieve yourself.” And bury it. God lives among you, and He doesn’t want to step in that shit.
If a slave comes to you for refuge, do not hand him over to his master or oppress him. Give him refuge. No Israelite woman can be a shrine prostitute. It doesn’t specify about regular prostitution. However, it does say that no money made by male or female prostitutes can be used to pay a vow to God. He doesn’t want your sex money. But He also doesn’t specifically say that you can’t be a prostitute. Even if you’re a dude, prostitute away. Don’t charge other Israelites interest on anything. Always pay your vows to God in a timely fashion. And you can take whatever you want from a neighbor’s field or vineyard. You just have to eat it onsite, no doggie bags.
If a man marries a woman and decides he doesn’t want her anymore, he can write her a “certificate of divorce” and send her on her way. But he can’t take her back after she’s married (and been divorced by) another man, because he has defiled her. I think that applies to women being remarried and/or having sex with more than one guy ever. I think. You get one chance ladies, one guy. And you better be married to him. Also, you don’t get to pick the guy or decide if you get divorced or not. So… Yeah. After a man is newly married, he is to have an entire year without any responsibilities to focus on making his new wife happy. Probably by putting a bun in her oven.
Don’t take people’s millstones. Just don’t. If someone kidnaps a fellow Isrealite, kill him. If a guy owes you money, do not go into his house to get it. Let him bring it out to you. Hear that mafia? I’m guessing busting kneecaps is also out. Do not take advantage of hired men. Pay them promptly. Take care of the poor and needy and see that they get justice. You were once slaves too. And don’t go over your fields a second time looking for things you missed. If you missed it, it belongs to the poor. No takesy backsys.
If a man is found guilty of a crime the requires flogging, do not flog him more than forty times, or he will be degraded. And it would hurt really fucking badly. Widows must remarry within the family, most likely to her brother-in-law. And if the husband died without any children, the first child of the widow (and her new husband) will be named after the dead guy. That way his name does not die out. If the dead guy’s brother refuses to marry the widow, she gets to spit in his face and publicly shame him for not doing his brotherly duty. If a lady grabs a man by his private parts (when defending her husband in a brawl, of course) cut off her hand and show her no mercy.
Moses tells the Israelites that they are to offer fruits to the Lord once they are in the promised land (on top of all the dead animals they’re supposed to sacrifice and the pleasing aromas and the vows and the first-born livestock and the everything else). And the special worshipping spot will be on Mount Ebal. There, the Israelites are two set up an altar and write all of God’s laws on the walls. Then there is this really long prayer thing that the Levites are supposed to recite every so often.
Then there is a very long, very detailed rant about how awesome life will be if the Israelites follow the laws of God. Afterward, an even more impressive rant about what will happen if they don’t. To put this in perspective, the positives for worshipping God equal about one column and mostly deal with having plenty to eat, being rich, and having shit tons of babies. The negatives and how seriously fucked you’ll be if you screw up? It takes three columns to describe how badly life will suck. Some highlights: God will put pretty much every disease on you; you won’t be able to grow anything; your wife will be ravaged; your enemies will defeat you; you’ll be so distressed that you’ll try to sell yourself into slavery, but no one will buy you; your wife will try and eat your children while you’re being besieged by your enemies (probably after being ravaged); birds and wild animals will eat your dead carcasses. Bleak, dude.
Sorry, I thought that because there was a new heading that we were done with the threats. There’s more. Remember Egypt? God will pull that shit again if you disobey Him. But come back and worship Him, and He will restore you to the promised land and make you prosperous once again. Moses breaks it down this way: you choose life or death by choosing to follow or betray God.
Moses then reminded everybody that he would die before they reached the promised land and announced that Joshua would be the one to take his place. Then Moses writes down the laws of God and announces that the people should read them every seven years. Everyone is to be included, even aliens, so that they can learn the laws of God. Then God has Moses bring Joshua to Him, so that He could commission His new prophet. God also asked that the book of laws Moses had written be kept beside the Ark of the Covenant, aka that Indiana Jones thing.
Then God bursts Moses’ bubble real hard. Remember the very long warning Moses just gave to the Israelites about following God’s laws and not worshipping other gods? God tells Moses that before too long, the Israelites will do all of things they were just warned not to do. And God will do as promised: He will fuck their shit up. Moses doesn’t seem that surprised, tbh. God is so sure that the Israelites will screw up, that He has Moses write down a song that will serve as a “witness” to the Israelites’ wickedness in the future. The song is pretty long. It basically consists of I’m the best God, but you’re gonna forget that and cheat, and then I’ll kill you. Almost like the Carrie Underwood song, except the Israelites are the car. Moses recites the song to the Israelites in a last-ditch effort for them not to be assholes.
God clarifies that He only gave the promised land to the Israelites because He had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would. He tells Moses to go to the top of Mount Nebo; from there, Moses looked down and could see the promised land. Because I don’t think I explained this very well, let’s backtrack. God refused to let Moses into the promised land, because back in the desert when the Israelites were throwing one of their many bitch fits, God had Moses perform the water out of a rock trick for the Israelites. Which Moses did, but the problem was that he also took credit for the trick instead of giving the credit to God. Ok, fast forward to Moses looking at that place he’ll never get to go. Moses blessed the tribes, and then died at the age of 120. Though Joshua held the wisdom of God and the people listened to him, there has never been another prophet like Moses. Meaning that no prophet has known God face to face, and God has not performed miracles through a prophet like he did through Moses. Imagine that God was a ventriloquist, and Moses was His dummy. And then God realized that dummies are fucking creepy and decided to use a different method.
So ends Moses and his soliloquy, Deuteronomy. Next up, the book of Joshua. How Moses didn’t get a damn book named after him is beyond me. I think this next book gets real good and bloody, because we’re about to take over the promised land, motherfers.