Thursday, July 19, 2018

Strangers In The Land: Ger 020

Numbers 9:6-14

Now there were certain men who were defiled by a human corpse, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day; and they came before Moses and Aaron that day. And those men said to him, “We became defiled by a human corpse. Why are we kept from presenting the offering of the Lord at its appointed time among the children of Israel?”
And Moses said to them, “Stand still, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.” 
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If anyone of you or your posterity is unclean because of a corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still keep the Lord’s Passover. On the fourteenth day of the second month, at twilight, they may keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break one of its bones. According to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it.  But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and ceases to keep the Passover, that same person shall be cut off from among his people, because he did not bring the offering of the Lord at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin.
‘And if a ger dwells among you, and would keep the Lord’s Passover, he must do so according to the rite of the Passover and according to its ceremony; you shall have one ordinance, both for the ger and the native of the land.’ ”

What Does It Say?

Numbers 9 takes place in the context of the second Passover, that is, the first one where Egyptian babies weren't being killed by the angel of death. Some of the men of Israel are ceremonially unclean at the time and ask Moses what they should do.

Moses asks the Lord for an answer (which you can read above), and the Lord throws in some bonus advice on ger who might want to celebrate the Passover. The short version: they can, as long as they follow the same rules.

This fits in with many, many other verses we've looked at that mandate one law for the native and the ger. Nothing really new here, but it is interesting to see the ger contrasted with the native born who fail to celebrate the Passover despite being able to. Where the ger can join in, the native-born who don't fulfill the law are cut off. As we've seen before, that may indicate being cast out of the land or perhaps even capital punishment.

Next: Numbers 15

1 comment:

  1. By the way, as a current ger in Japan, you might be interested in Dan Carlin's latest Hardcore History podcast. I don't know if you've heard of him, but he does fantastic work. You can find him at