Review: We have the ordinance of the red heifer (19:1-10)…Purification, for those who contact a dead body (19:11-22)… Miriam, Moses and Aarons sister, dies (20:1)…Israel complains of a lack of food and water (20:2-6)…In response, Moses in a fit of rage, disobeys’s the LORD’s command to speak to and instead strikes a rock (20:7-13)…Edom refuses Israel passage through their land (20:14-22)…Aaron dies (20:23-29)…Military wins (21:1-4, 21-35)…Israel encounters a serpent (21:5-20).
Analysis: These physical OT concepts of “clean” and “unclean” have the spiritual allegories of “holy” and “profane.”…As is typical of the OT, God attempts to law and regulate Israel into goodness; what amounts to externalities…The NT is far more concerned with internals; that of the heart of a person…Which side are you on?…What difference does it make?…Related to these concerns, H. Fielding (“Tom Jones“) quips, “It is far easier to make a good man wise than to make a bad man good.”…Cleanings and washings (19:7-9, 12-13, 17-19, 21-22) were not easily accomplished, given Israel’s arid wanderings…RE: The Spewing Rock episode (20:7-13), it is a product of Israel’s and Moses’ lack of faith and failings…More allegories, Paul saw this rock as a type of Christ (1 Cor. 10:1-10)…The Edomites are related to Israel through Issac (Gen. 25:19-34), hence the disrespect…Aaron’s death (20:28-29) is God’s response (20:12) to Moses’ sin…The fiery serpent symbolizes sin (Gen. 3:14-19)…The poled, bronzed serpent symbolizes judged sin (21:8-9)…NT thinking states Christ “was made sin for us” (John 3:14-15, 2 Cor. 5:21), necessitating His separation from God on the cross (Mark 15:33-34)…From a purely literary perspective, one must admit that the Bible, a book assembled over hundreds of years by many authors, is cohesive…Exactly how this was accomplished is a discussion for another day (2 Tim. 3:14-17).