This chapter is about war against the Philistines. Other than Jonathan killing the Philistine commander, this chapter contains mostly bland details about various troop movements and armaments.
When the priest Ezra traveled to Jerusalem to enforce the Law, he was dismayed to discover Israeli men had married foreign women and had children with them. This racial intermarriage was a terrible sin, so Ezra convened a meeting of all the men in the land and commanded them to separate themselves from any foreign wives and children. The crowd chanted in approval. Soon they had compiled a list of all the guilty men, and so the women and children were “sent away.”
They say you learn something new every day. Today, I learned that there are two different places in The Bible where the story of Moses and the 10 commandments is told. This version, found in Exodus, doesn’t stop at 10, but goes on with something like 600 more commandments. This chapter is the commandment about exactly how the priest’s robes and garments are to be made and worn.
This chapter is a little bit like opening 32 fortune cookies, and discovering that each one contains an equal measure of good and bad, so they all cancel each other out.
Today’s random chapter is sort of a cook book, a recipe for how to properly prepare a grain offering for the Lord. The highly detailed instructions dictate the exact use of ingredients and procedures to make sure the offering, when burned on the alter, will create an odor pleasing to the Lord. Not all of the offering is burned, however. The extra portion is delivered to Aaron and his sons who, I assume, eat it (hence God’s command, “A little dash of salt”).
A long list of names. Lots of begetting.
Another detailed list of names and descendants and land allotments. There is a little bit at the end about how some of the descendants of Joseph wanted more land, so Joshua assures them that they can defeat the Canaanites and steal the land from them.