Posts Tagged ‘Old Testament’
At first, when they found that they were denied passage through inhabited lands, the Hebrews avoided confrontation by prudently skirting these areas. But as they grew in strength and numbers, they began to fight those who would not allow them to pass through peaceably. As they had God on their side, they invariably won these battles, whereupon they took possession of the lands and slaughtered the inhabitants, sparing only the virgins for their own personal use. Of course, they were careful to purify the girls before using them, lest the Hebrew men be defiled. No doubt the maidens felt highly honored to be made use of by such fastidious men.
When they reached Moab, near Jericho, the King of the Moabites worried that his country would be overrun in turn, so he summoned Balaam the seer, offering him honors and rewards to put a curse on the Hebrews so that they could be driven away. After much coy hesitation—possibly designed to drive his price up—Balaam agreed to meet with the king but he made no promises, for he’d heard that the Hebrews had been blessed by a very powerful god.
Balaam climbed on his ass and set out for Moab, but the ass startled him with an assortment of uncharacteristic antics, bolting off the path, squashing up against a wall—crushing Balaam’s foot in the process—and most inconveniently falling down flat on the ground under him.
Balaam’s beatings elicited an unexpected response from the ass. “Hey, don’t blame me! An angel made me do it,” she said.
“An angel,” scoffed Balaam. “I doubt it.” Read the rest of this entry »