1. After the plague God asks for another census to be taken. This gives us a chance to review several of the "stories."
2. From Reuben's clan we have Dathan and Abiram. Remember they joined forces with Korah in a rebellion against Moses. Korah was swallowed up by the earth and 250 others were devoured in flames.
3. From Judah's clan we have Onan. Remember the "sin of Onan." According to the text, after God had killed Onan's older brother Er, Judah asked Onan to have sex with Tamar, Er's former wife, so that the offspring could be declared Er's heir. Onan didn't seem to object to the sex itself, but seed upon the ground, so that there wouldn't be any offspring he couldn't claim as his own; the passage goes on to state that for this act, a displeased Yahweh (God) killed him.
The text emphasises the social and legal situation, with Judah explaining what Onan must do and why; the plain reading of the text is that Onan was killed because he refused to follow instructions. Onan's role in the story is thus as the brother abusing his obligations by agreeing to sexual involvement with his dead brother's wife, but refusing to allow her to become pregnant as a result. But we know that the story of Tamar and Judah goes beyond these incidents.
4. There are now over 600,000 Israelites to make an army. A far cry from the small group of individuals who joined Joseph in Egypt.
5. Anna, another prophet(ess) speaks expectantly of Jesus, and His coming to "rescue" Jerusalem. What do we learn about Anna
-- She was an aged Jewish prophetess who prophesied about Jesus at the Temple of Jerusalem.
-- She was a daughter of Phanuel.
-- She was a member of the tribe of Asher.
-- She was widowed after seven years of marriage (her husband is not named).
--She was a devout Jew who regularly practiced prayer and fasting.
6. We next really see Jesus when He is talking to the teacher at the Temple at the age of 12. He amazed the teachers of the Law by His understanding.
- But the most striking note is that afterward, Jesus "went down to Nazareth with [His parents] and was obedient to them."
- Though the Son of God and far beyond His parents understanding even as a Child, Jesus fulfilled the commandment that ordained, "Honor your mother and father."
7. "With God’s help we will do mighty things"
8. "...it’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt."
See you next post...