Friday, February 28, 2014

The Bible, Pt. 27: Leviticus, Chapter 21 - 24

This follows Part 26 in my Bible reading series. (As if you couldn't figure that out, huh? I'll bet you even figured out that Part 28 comes next! I sure can't put anything past you, can I? Heh, heh.)

Note that all quotes are from the King James Bible.

Chapter 21:
1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people:

2 But for his kin, that is near unto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother,

3 And for his sister a virgin, that is nigh unto him, which hath had no husband; for her may he be defiled.

4 But he shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

OK, I must admit that I don't know what this means. This whole chapter is about rules for priests, and I'm guessing that this has something to do with funeral rites. Dead people are 'unclean,' but priests are exempt from that, unless it's a member of their own family?

That's my best guess, but that's all that it is. Sorry.
5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

Um, God already prohibited these things, in Chapter 19, for everyone, so why would priests need a separate prohibition? No shaving your head (in Chapter 19, it was no haircuts at all, seemingly), no trimming your beard, and no tattoos. Got it.

(Note: This is why, when I was ten, my public school teacher - who also taught Sunday school in a Christian church - told me that tattoos were "pagan." Yup, it's right here in Leviticus. But we see a lot of Christians with tattoos these days, don't we?)
9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.

Luckily, tattoos aren't the only thing Christians ignore in Leviticus. At least they're not burning girls alive for having premarital sex! No, they just ignore this. So why do they still cling to the gay thing, then? Pick and choose much?

Also, note how there's no punishment specified for the man - it takes two to tango - and no requirement that the priest's sons stay virginal, either.
13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity.

14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.

Priests have to marry virgins. No widows or gay divorcees for them!
17 Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.

18 For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,

19 Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,

20 Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;

21 No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.

And no handicapped person - or a man with any 'blemish' at all - may be a priest, on God's direct command.

This was a big deal in Christian churches, apparently, when they finally allowed handicapped people to become priests. From what I hear, there was a lot of opposition to that - and it wasn't all that long ago. (Unfortunately, I can't find anything about this online. If you've got a link about this issue, one way or another, please leave it in the comments.)

Chapter 22:
9 They shall therefore keep mine ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, and die therefore, if they profane it: I the LORD do sanctify them.

10 There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or an hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing.

11 But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat.

More of God's commandments, specifically to priests. Earlier, we saw God kill two of Aaron's sons for using the wrong incense when they were worshiping him! Here, he threatens them again. Screw up and you'll die.

Priests - and everyone else in the priest's household - get to eat the 'holy' offerings left for God. Note that that doesn't include visitors, but it does, specifically, include the priest's slaves. (As we saw previously, he just has to circumcise the male slaves.)

Chapter 23:
9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:

11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.

12 And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD.

13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.

14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Priests eat quite well, apparently.
17 Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD.

18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.

19 Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.

20 And the priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits for a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs: they shall be holy to the LORD for the priest.

Very, very well.
26 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.

29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.

30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.

31 Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

But most of this chapter is about the holidays God commands that people celebrate forever (by worshiping him, of course) - holidays which Christians ignore completely. Of course, they also ignore that part about killing anyone who works on the sabbath, so it's just as well, I guess.

Chapter 24:
10 And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp;

11 And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:)

12 And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them.

13 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

14 Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.

15 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.

16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.

Yup, death for blasphemy - by the direct order of God. It's sure a good thing that modern Christians don't believe in their own Bible, isn't it? (Note that a lot of people were killed in the 2,000 years or so it took them to start ignoring the most insane parts of their holy book.)

And note how this passage is careful to explain that the blasphemer's father was Egyptian. Yeah, of course he was no good - he was just a half-breed, right? Really, is there any other reason for that detail? What difference did it make, after all? This was just bigotry, don't you think?
23 And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should bring forth him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones. And the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.

Luckily, these last few chapters have been quite short. Even so, I've been skipping a lot. Honestly, this has been the only interesting thing in all of them, and the repetition in the book has been killing me. As I said last time (yeah, I'm repeating myself, too, aren't I?), I'm sick to death of Leviticus.

And so,... I'm going to stop here, for now. Yes, I know that there are only three more chapters in Leviticus, but they're a little longer than these last few. Also, there's actually more to talk about in the next chapters (more to think about, too).

So I'll see you next time.

Note: This entire series is listed here.

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