Sunday, October 11, 2009

Who is standing?

This is from a portion of Deuteronomy, called Nitzavim, and it means 'standing'.
'Today you are standing, all of you...'
is how this portion starts. Then there's a list of the people who are there.

*leaders of the tribes.
*all the other men of Israel
*aliens here in the camp
*the aliens who chop your wood and carry your water.

Different translations say in different ways and it was confusing. I am not from a group of people who say the King James version is the only way, but KJV seems to work the best here, especially the last group of people in the list - the aliens who chop your wood and carry your water. The way some translations say makes me think that all the aliens chop wood and carry water, but it is not so.

Who chop wood and carry your water?

In Joshua 9, the people from Gibeon deceived the Israelite and Joshua did not kill them but he kept them as wood choppers and water carrier. One commentary says that just like Joshua, Moses made the aliens to chop wood.

The word 'aliens' in Hebrew in this passage is not 'gentiles'. I assumed it was, but it was not. This word means 'sojourners'.

The Bible emphasizes over and over that we are not to worship idols of wood, stone, etc. God does not live in man-made items. But we humans like having something to worship. In both OT and NT, I see that God wants us to choose to come to him from our heart. He showed the Israelite people two paths in this portion of the Bible. One for blessings and the other for curses. We have plenty of warnings. May our eyes be opened so that we can choose to be with God.

(from 09/?/2008)

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