Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Year: Dt 7-9 for Feb 22

We can picture the 2nd and 3rd generation after the Exodus in Dt 7-9. Moses, addressing them, might have in his mind, "will this religion carry over into the next generation?" In Dt 5, Moses does one specific thing about that: he retells the story to the new generations, just as it had happened between God, Moses, and them (5:3): "The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us...."

In Dt 7-9 Moses continues his sermon to the generation who are going in to fight "today" (9:3). A sociologist might find things in common that religious generals all tell their fighters, about how whomever or whatever the culture has set apart as sacred is going ahead of them (9:5). But funny thing: do religious generals ever tell their fighers that, oh, by the way, don't forget how you messed up in the past, and the whole time since this thing started (9:7)? Is that how societies prep their fighters?

But was Moses putting the enterprise at risk? Most definitely so, unless 9:3-5 is actually true. If a god gets invoked to put adrenalin into a fighter, but the fighter is lousy, then the battle will involve lousy fighters with adrenalin. But if God Himself is the weapon that is deployed (to use modern terms for "God ... is crossing over before you" and "God is driving them out" in 9:3,5), then fighters might themselves learn from the event.

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