The Omniscient God of the Universe commands Moses to take a census of Israel’s warriors.
There were just over 600,000 men able to go and fight.
The Levites don’t have to go and fight, because it’s really good to be related to the people who are writing the laws, I mean… who are listening to God tell them the laws.
Moses: “Okay, okay, there are a lot of us here, so let me tell everyone where their campsite will be.”
Moses tells them where to camp.
God: The Levites get to be priests.
Moses: It’s purely a coincidence that a Levite probably wrote this book.
God: Go number the Levites.
Moses numbers the Levites and tells us what their jobs were.
God: Tax the firstborn men and deposit it in the Tabernacle.
Moses: Again… purely a coincidence that the priests probably wrote this book.
Look, here’s a group of people you won’t know and don’t care about and here’s what they did for God.
And here’s another group of people you don’t know and don’t care about and here’s how they served in the Tabernacle…
And another group of people you don’t know and don’t care about and how they served in the Tabernacle…
God: Get rid of the lepers, they’re contagious.
Israel: Duuuuuuuh… okay…
God: Great, now if anyone sins, he has to pay back what he owes plus 20%. And if he can’t pay it to anyone, then he can pay it to the priests.
Moses: Complete coincidence!
Oh, but this was worth it just to get to this part. This part is maaaaaagic. Not just because it’s so crazy it sounds like something Moses and Aaron came up with after too much wine, but because it is literally a magic ritual.
This is the adultery test:
So let’s say you’re an ancient Jewish wife, and your husband suspects you might be getting too friendly with Abel the Butcher. He’s giving you the best cuts of meat at a good price and smiling and waving at you, and now your husband who paid good money for your vagina thinks that the butcher might be throwing some free sausage your way.
Husband: Come on, we’re going to see the priest!
And he grabs a handful of barley on the way out, because you just don’t get to interact with a priest for free. Now you can protest your innocence all you like, but you’re a woman so your word is about as good as a $3 bill, so off to the priest you get dragged.
After your husband explains the situation to the priest, he approaches you with holy water and he grabs some ashes and throws it into the holy water, then he strips you of any veils you have and possibly of your shirt, so you’re standing there accused of adultery with your breasts exposed, and the priest hands you the barley your husband brought.
Then he says, “Repeat after me: If no man has lain with you and you have not gone astray into uncleanness, being under the authority of your husband, be immune to this water of bitterness that brings a curse, however, if you have gone astray, being under the authority of your husband, and if you have defiled yourself and a man other than your husband has had intercourse with you, the Lord make you a curse and an oath among your people by the Lord’s making you (the language is weird here, but it’s basically) sterile and bloated and possibly miscarry any babies you are currently carrying.”
Then you say, “So be it.”
Then the priest writes the curse on the scroll, then washes it in the mix of holy water and ash, then he forces you to drink it and everyone watches to see if you get a tummy ache or some bloating or a miscarriage. And if you don’t, then you’re free to go home with your husband! You lucky girl!
And, of course, because he has a penis, nothing happens to him for falsely accusing you and having you stripped and forced to chug filthy water while everyone watches.
I think I prefer the Magic Missile spell.