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|When the soldiers came to kill her family, Miriam told them who she was, and asked them if they would dare to slay the Prophetess Miriam and Moses' immediate family. She played on the superstitions Moses had ingrained in them and asked them to imagine the wrath of God such an act would invoke. She concluded with, "Tell Moses if he wants his family killed, to do it himself."
Moses took the dare and came to the prison camp where they were. He drew his sword, babbled incoherently about his family betraying him, and raised his sword over Miriam's head. "Moses,"she said, "We Midianites knew how to share in times of bounty and pull together in times of dearth. Greed was one of our seven deadly sins (the other six being dishonesty, unkindness, cruelty, immoderation, power lust, and apathy). We would have been glad to share all we had with you. But you preferred to spend your energies taking everything by force.
|"But all you'll get, Moses, is the least of what we had- our material possessions, the land, the flocks, the houses. You'll still lack the best of what we had- our learning, our respect for each other, our zest for fun, our caring; in short, Moses, the things that happiness is made from. You've missed the golden nugget and ended up with a sandstone pebble."
The only reason Moses listened to Miriam's remarks was because he believed he was about to acquire the "vindication" he so craved. In his psychotic state, he actually believed Miriam was about to beg his forgiveness and plead with him to spare her life, because psychos buy into the premise that might makes right. How diametrically opposite were the psyches of these two siblings.
"Moses," Miriam went on, "Have I ever in our lives brought up how I protected you in the reeds of the river in your infancy?"
"No, our mother told me, but you have never mentioned it."
"So, I have never held it over you, thrown it in your face that I preserved your life?"
"No, you never held it over me." Moses was excited. He was sure the begging for mercy was about to commence.
"Well, Moses, today I die with that act of saving your life as my only regret. It would have been better for you to have drowned in the Nile. You're an evil man who has wrought the worst, most heinous crime against a gentle, loving people, without whom I don't care to continue on. Had I known the future, I would have held you under the water myself. Lucky for you, I wasn't much of a prophetess!"
With that, Moses ran her through with his sword, and then murdered the rest of the women of his family. He proceeded to count (Numbers 31:32) "the booty and captives: 675,000 sheep, 72,000 oxen, 61,000 asses, and right in there with the livestock 32,000 women (girls) who had not known man by lying with him" (and that count was after a preponderance of the girls fought valiantly to their deaths to avoid captivity).
|Unfortunately, history is full of genocidal maniacs like Moses: Hitler, the Crusaders, the CIA, Mossad, KGB, Pinochet, Milosevic, Pol Pot, Jim Jones, to name but a few. And all of them, with the possible exception of Pol Pot, have in one way or another used the Men's Bible to justify their actions. Moses was quite the trendsetter.|
|And the moral of the story is, and it's extremely important with regard to how we use our energies in this, our only known lifetime: Good does not automatically win out over evil, like the simple-minded New Testament pabulum would have you believe. It must be fought for and eternally, vigilantly guarded. Power hungry, evil people who want to force everyone else to do as they say, sexually, economically, morally, or politically, are energetic, ambitious, driven, formidable forces in the world, who cannot be contained merely by wishing for it.
It's really great to be laid back, but sometimes we have to get up off our mellow asses and make a stand. It's really a bother for us normal people to expend our energies on thinking about how to beat these power mongers, I'd personally rather be daydreaming about lying on the beach with classical harp music playing in the background, but something has to be done to offset the fact that they spend all their mental faculties thinking up ways to take everything over.
The greedy, powerlusting corporate despots are delirious if the rest of us just sit around, praying to a supernatural being to fix everything. That means we're not doing anything proactive to stop their schemes. That's the most dangerous aspect of religion. Sorry, please excuse the sermonette.
|End of the Book of Numbers|
|Onward to Deuteronomy|