May 10, 2007

Breadcrumb: Do you drive on the sabbath?

In Num. 15:32-36, the Israelites find a man gathering sticks in the wilderness on the sabbath. Not knowing what to do, they put him into custody and bring the case before Moses and Aaron, who bring it before God. The lord tells them to stone him, and the people do. Case closed. Except that collecting sticks on the sabbath seems a fairly minor infraction to be punished by death. The implication seems to be that he was collecting the sticks in order to make a fire, which is strictly verbotten on the Sabbath. In any event, we'll never know, because that's all the text has to say on the matter.

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