Saturday, November 17, 2012

Numbers & Deuteronomy

Well, it's the end of uni and I was finally able to relax and read two very different books in their entirety tonight - the BFG and Deuteronomy.

BFG: short, humourous and brought back nostalgia about the good old days of reading Roald Dahl :)

But this post is mostly about Deuteronomy and the book before it, Numbers, which I read during semester.

So what happened was that I've been sorta putting off reading the Numbers-Deuteronomy-Leviticus trio ever since, well, I started reading the bible really. Every time people talked about reading the bible it would be "I started off in Genesis and got stuck in -one of those three-". It also seems commonly accepted in Christian culture to groan / be sympathetic whenever someone talks about studying or reading these particular books. So it ended up that I read most of the other books in the bible first but never went near these ones.

Anyway, I was running out of books to read so finally decided to get started in Leviticus, and as of tonight, Deuteronomy. They were beautiful. No, seriously, I mean beautiful. There were so many references from other parts of the bible, both old and new testament, which originated from these books. It's like when you first enter a new subject area, and there's all these terms, phrases and lingo that keep cropping up that you learn to recognise and understand their meaning. But then you find out where they came from, what it really meant in the original context to the people who first used it...and it's just beautiful.

I'm not sure how well I've explained it, but I tried :P

I have no doubt that as I go back to reread various passages in the bible that I'll come across these references and phrases again. And they will mean doubly more to me compared to the first time, because now I know where they first came from. Not to mention that it feels like a glimpse into Jewish culture and how they think as a nation!

To anyone who hasn't wanted to read these books because of what you've heard, I'd encourage you just go and read it :) They're not so bad. Yes, there will be some bits which are somewhat-meaningless lists of names and numbers. But that's ok, since it's all part of history and part of the bigger picture!


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