Thursday, April 5, 2012

THE FIFTH QUESTION: I don't know why it's taken me 39 years to wonder about this, but here goes: since God is omnipotent and omniscient, why did God ask the Hebrews to mark the doorposts of their homes with lamb's blood to know which homes to pass over in inflicting the tenth plague? Wouldn't God just know which were the non-smiting homes?


  1. Maybe it was kind of an audience participation thing?  The band doesn't need the crowd to clap along, but it's nice to know they're into it.  That guy who's into it but too aloof to put his hands together?  SMITE!

  2. spacewoman8:41 AM

    Isn't it the angel of death who does the smiting? Maybe that's a little more of a "HULK SMASH" situation, in which case you'd see the need for clarity.

  3. lisased8:45 AM

    Efficiency. That way, he doesn't have make a list and check it twice.

  4. Joseph J, Finn8:47 AM

    Because while God may be both things, the Angel of Death is neither and needed the guidance.

  5. Jenn.9:00 AM

    Also, it's a sign of faith.  The God of the Old Testament liked to tell the people to do something (or not to do something) to show that they believed in him and his rules.  If you believed in God enough to paint your doorway with blood, your first-born son survived.

  6. Anonymous9:03 AM

    Compliance with authority.

  7. dpmorri9:34 AM

    Long time lurker, first time commenter...actually reading that link had some weird if you were a first-born jew in an Egyptian house without blood you would have been saved but an Egyptian first-born in a jewish house would die even with the blood...So i'm going with a test like the Van Halen M&M rider

  8. Meghan9:49 AM

    That's what I was going with too. But it may also be a matter of who wrote what down. Maybe the guys who transcribed the word of God threw in some extra details.

  9. Jim Bell10:07 AM

    I'm going with, makes a better story.

  10. Jim Bell10:13 AM

    My own wonder at this time of year is universally why is Judas Iscariot a villain?  Judas is predestined by God to betray Jesus.  The Easter stuff just don't happen unless he's betrayed.  He needs to be betrayed.  Jesus knows he's going to be betrayed and that Judas will be the one to betray him.  How can this be bad if all of Christendom believes Christ's death is necessary for their salvation.  One New Testament account has Judas' entrails spilling out on the ground during his hanging; so pissed is God at the betrayal.  I think this is internally inconsistent.  Judas should get an honored spot in Narnia at the right hand of the trinity (assuming holy ghost has hands).

  11. kd bart10:49 AM

    Too bad Charlton Heston has Alzheimer's.  I'm sure he knows why.

  12. Anonymous11:00 AM

    Or dead, exactly four years ago today. So I guess that the latest thing to pass through his mind at this point is a worm.


  13. Samir Patel11:14 AM

    Because, obviously, God was sending his wrath down via Jewpacabra.  And everyone knows Jewpacabras aren't very bright.

  14. Jordan11:23 AM

    A couple people got it right, that it was marked for the Angel of Death.  My question is why people keep repeating this nonsense about the Red Sea.  Not only does it not make sense, the book DOESN'T EVEN SAY IT!

  15. I figured there was some subcontracting involved.

  16. kd bart12:20 PM

    Maybe I have Alzheimer's.

  17. Marsha2:05 PM

    The laws od the Torah aren't for G-d's benefit - they are for humans. Much of what G-d commanded is pretty easily undertood by human nature and our capacity to understand (or not). The lamb's blood isn't for G-d's information, it's for us to stand up and be counted. We have to mark our doors because it is an act of rebellion, an act of defiance, an act that shows that not only did we want to be redeemed, but that we were ready to be redeemed. G-d knew that this was the last plague, and that we were leaving right after the mass execution, and it was time for us to decide whether we were strong enough to leave the only life we'd ever known and follow G-d and Moses into the desert. Given what we know about all the whining we did in the desert, it makes a gear al of sense that G-d would ready us psychologically for freedom by requiring an overt act of announcement that we wanted to be counted, that we wanted to be free. It was a hard road ahead, and those who didn't have the strength to mark themselves as Jews who believed in G-d were not worthy of being taken out of Egypt.

    Or something like that.

  18. The Pathetic Earthling3:37 PM

    First, I tried to free them.  I open the gate to their pen but they wouldn't run.  They just stood their, confused.  But they wouldn't run.

  19. The Pathetic Earthling3:37 PM

    More likely premorse.

  20. Joseph J. Finn5:33 PM

    Pathetic wins for a surprisingly relevant Thomas Harris quote.

  21. isaac_spaceman6:30 PM

    GOD:  Okay, I've got another plague.
    PEOPLE:  Another?  Um, thank You, sir?
    GOD:  Got some smiting on the way.
    PEOPLE:  Can we opt out?
    GOD:  Sure.  Gonna let the righteous people off the hook, here.
    PEOPLE:  Amen.
    GOD:  Gonna make it real easy for you. 
    PEOPLE:  Hallelujah.
    GOD:  Gonna give you a code, let you put it right up there on your door.
    PEOPLE:  That's the right plan, G-d.
    GOD:  If the door has the code, gonna blow right on by to smite the next guy.
    PEOPLE:  Music to our ears.
    GOD:  So write this down.  The code is ...
    PEOPLE:  Lay it on us. 
    GOD:  You just mark your door with ...
    PEOPLE:  Got our letter and number stencils right here, been practicing drawing Timmy the Turtle, just let us know what to mark them with. 
    GOD:  Lambs' blood.
    LAMBS:  Oh, for fuck's sake. 
    SOME PEOPLE:  Would you accept vegan lambs' blood substitute? 

  22. Becca9:15 PM

    I am delighted to live in a world where my acts of defiance and rebellion are blood-free, and generally only involve muttered curse words (or shouted, if I'm in my car). I'm happy to proclaim myself a Jew, but since G-d's already marked me with the name, the nose, and the hair, I generally don't have to. Thanks to the past for creating a future in which I don't have to be terribly badass. 

    Chag Sameach, y'all! 

  23. Joan H.12:10 AM

    You are not the first to ask such questions.