Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Record-Keeping (Numbers 33)

Under God's instruction, Moses kept a log of every time they moved, camp by camp. 

In today's passage, Moses added the list of all the stops to the biblical record.

The most likely writing material would have been papyrus. Papyrus was made from papyrus plants, plentiful in Egypt - not likely to be found in the desert.

And Moses did a lot of writing. Earlier he commanded tribal leaders to list the names of all the men of fighting age. He had made a written record of the first three books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus).  At some point he recorded Numbers and Deuteronomy as well.

With papyrus running at most 25 inches per sheet, that's a lot of papyrus.

When the Egyptians sent them off with gifts of gold and silver, did they include papyrus in the gift bags?

Moses had a royal education. But I've always been amazed at the range of skills exhibited by a people who spent their days making stones for the pyramids.  Musicians and artists, weavers and artists, goldsmiths and clerks.

Today to make a list all we need to do is to pull out our cell phone, not go to the scroll cart and find a blank sheet of papyrus.

Details matter to God. Names, places, times. If He wanted Moses to keep a record, I bet He expects us to account for our time as well.

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