Are they getting ready for war again?
“Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, the son of the families of Manasseh, the son of Joseph’s firstborn: and these are the names of his daughters; Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah.
And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,
Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons.
Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.
And Moses brought their cause before the LORD.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them” (Num 27:1-5).
It became a new law, if a man dies without and his inheritance first goes to his daughter, if he has no daughter, then it goes to his brothers, then to uncles, then to his cousin.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel.
And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered.
For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin” (Num 27:12-14).
“Moses then suggested that God find his replacement, so God chose Joshua the son of Nun.
God then told Moses to remind the people of the offerings He had explained to them in Num 1-7.
If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth” (Num 30:2).
This is the same for women, accept if she lives with her father or is married at the time she makes the vow, but if her father vetoes the vow than God disregards it.
This law was probably designed for the protection of the woman, who in ancient Near Eastern society was subject to strong societal pressures, some of which would leave her without defense. God could be, but is not, a despot.
He has His laws, but as long as the laws that man makes do not violate His laws He will not intervene, it goes with the freewill He gives us.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.
And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian.
Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war” (Num 31:1-4).
The Israelites killed all the males and the kings of the Midianites, as well as five other kings: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur,and Reba. They also killed Balaam.
They kept the women, children, the cattle, flocks, and all their goods. They then burnt the cities and castles.
Moses was angry with them when they came back because they didn’t kill the women, they were just as evil as the men. By not killing them it was a trespass against God.
Moses ordered that they kill all the male children and any woman that wasn’t a virgin.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation:
And divide the prey into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation:
And levy a tribute unto the LORD of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep:
Take it of their half, and give it unto Eleazar the priest, for an heave offering of the LORD.
And of the children of Israel’s half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the LORD” (Num 31:25-30).
The total booty was:
Sheep – 1,350,500
Beeves – 144,000
Asses – 122,000
Virgins – 64,000
And the amount of gold offered to God was 16,750 shekels ($4,373.36 dollars). That’s a lot of money at that time, around 1451 B.C.
The Scorpion in Ancient Egypt
The ancient Egyptians knew the scorpion and its toxicity, and venerated it since pre-dynastic era.
They used the scorpion as a king’s name, a name of a nome
(county), and a symbol to their goddess, Serqet, that protects the bodyand the viscera of the dead, and that accompanies them in their journey to the afterlife.
They had medical prescriptions and magical spells to heal the stings. Since the 5th dynasty, the title of a “Follower of Serket” wasgiven to clever physicians.
Scorpions are most famously depicted on Horus Cippus, a talisman featuring Horus the Child holding in his hands figures of serpents, scorpions, and dangerous animals.
A drawing of a scorpion with twometasomas was found in the tomb of the pharaoh Seti I (1290–1279 BC), probably the first record of thisabnormality, more than 13 centuries before Pliny the Elder.
Scorpion in the ancient Egyptian myth andreality Scorpions have influenced the imagination of the peoples of the Orient and the Mediterranean since earliest times.
In ancient Egypt, scorpions were frequently depicted in tombs and on monuments. They are mentioned in the Ebers papyrus (“How to Rid the House of Scorpions”) and in several passages of the Book of the Dead (Cloudsley-Thompson, 1990).
The writings about scorpions found on ancient Egyptian papyri were confined to myths, to advice onhow to get rid of the scorpion and its venom, or how toheal its sting.
Nothing was recorded about geography of scorpions, which was first noted by Aristotle (384–322BC).
The dwellers on the Nile in ancient Egypt knew the scorpion and venerated it since pre-dynastic era. They used the scorpion as a king’s name, Scorpion I and Scorpion II, a name of a nome(county), and a symbol to their goddess Serqet (in addition to other goddesses).
Scorpions invoke, for many people, as much fear as venomous snakes. That is probably precisely the reason that one of Egypt’s most most famous predynastic rulers chose this invertebrate for his name.
Of course, that ruler’s widespread fame is mostly due to the movie, “Scorpion King”, which is a completely fictional account grounded in virtually no factual history.
Really, we know very little about that king’s true historical role, but we know much more about the creatures sacred significance in ancient Egypt.
Scorpions did, during ancient times, inhabit the mostly the deserts of Egypt, as they continue to do so today. Of course, they are found in dry climates throughout the world and are certainly not unique to Egypt.
While the Scorpionidae is relatively harmless. The venom of both scorpions and snakes is neurotoxic, and if their bite results in death, it is by asphyxiation.
Scorpions are certainly well attested from the earliest times in Egypt. During the PredynasticEarly Dynastic Periods, the scorpion is depicted on various painted vessels and carved on schist palettes, as well as sculpted in the round, often in precious metals.
The scorpion ideogram, one of the earliest known hieroglyphic signs, was depicted on wooden and ivory labels found in the early period Dynastic royal necropolis at Abydos and also among the cache of cult equipment of the Early Dynastic temple at Hierakonpolis.
Usually, depictions of the scorpion from ancient Egypt show the animal in side or three-quarter view, with the number of legs varying from three to four pairs.
When drawn in texts or engraved on monuments, it is typically shown flat, positioned either horizontally or, in later periods, vertically, with two to four pairs of legs.
After the Old Kingdom, the scorpion was no longer found on vessels, but was often made into a talisman sculpted in the round.
There were various names for the scorpion in ancient Egypt, and yet, it was actually rarely mentioned in text and is not found at all in the Pyramid Texts, even though serpents and are frequently referred to in those compositions.
In the Coffin Texts, it serves only as the determinative of a goddess. In fact, the scorpion is mostly found in a few medical papyri and particularly magical texts, in formulas either to repel them, conjure away their venom or cure their sting.
Ostraca discovered at Deir el-Medina on the West Bank at ancient Thebes (modern Luxor) mention workers bitten by scorpions, and therefore absent from work.
In the Late Period, several Greek funerary stelae also mention young people who were killed by a scorpion’s sting.
The magical text used to cure such stings is both a treatises with recipes for the bite and a collection of incantations that are a psychological means fortifying the patient.
The incantations are sometimes hidden within mythological events.
In a recently published papyrus, a list of snakes in Egypt is provided with descriptions on how to treat, or not treat their bites in cases of high toxicity.
This document belonged to the library of “the exorcisor of the goddess Serket (Selket)”, who was herself a scorpion deity.
When laborers from Egypt went to the turquoise mines in the Sinai, a particularly hot, desert environment, they brought with them “the one who removes scorpions”, servants of the goddess Serket and specialists in the prevention and cure of scorpion stings and snake bites.
Of course, they also took along embalmers for situations where the specialists’ skills were insufficient.
In general few gods were associated with insects or invertebrates in ancient Egypt. Notable among these was Khepri, the personified in the scarab beetle.
There were actually only a very few examples of deified scorpions in ancient Egypt, all of which personified goddesses, mostly as a result of syncretism.
The goddess Serket was the principal divine personification of the scorpion and was usually depicted with a scorpion perched on her head.
She was a protector goddess, perhaps best known to the public at large as one of the four goddesses who’s golden statues surrounded the sarcophagus of Tutankhaman in his tomb.
Her full name, Serket hetyt itself means “she who causes the throat to breath”, referring to the effects of a scorpion sting.
However, there were other gods and goddesses also associated with the scorpion. One of the most famous is Isis, who is said to have been protected from her enemies by seven scorpions.
Isis herself may have at times been depicted in scorpion form, though this is not clear.
Interestingly, it is not Serket, but rather Isis who is more frequently mentioned in many magical spells for scorpion stings.