Tuesday, February 08, 2011

New Year: Nm 3-4 for Feb 8

Everyone counts. Every firstborn belongs to God, and is stood for by the Levites, but for the 273 more firstborn (Lv 3:46) than there are Levites to stand for them. Those 273 are "ransomed" separately.

God is seen to be interested in exact fairness. He is not the God of the "close enough" or the "pretty good" but the God of the perfect and the God of a ransom that is exact. His interest is toward the atomic, in the etymological sense, the individual, un-subdivide-able human being.

There is an echo of this also in the teaching of Jesus (Mt 10:30). Creation is not a blur. The very stuff of creation has a quantum-ness to it, which even modern physics further discovers, the more it discovers particles. Although Gertrude Stein lamented the negative of this for Oakland, California, regarding individuals, God is interested in individuals: there is, for them, a "there" there, unlike for Stein's Oakland.

Similarly, Nm 4 proceeds with the duties of "numbered men" (4:49). And the very hairs of the disciples' heads, and ours, are numbered.

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