Friday, February 11, 2011

Leviticus 19-23 Thou Shalt Not Eat Leftovers

Leviticus 19-23

Chapter 19-23  brings us a rehash of some old laws (Leviticus is the best evidence for multiple authors yet) and a mish-mash of new laws dealing with farming, clothing, sex and priestly duties.
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  1. Chapter 19 is "possibly constructed around a version of part of the Ten Commandments".

    Verses 3-4 and 11-12 mirror half of the classic Decalogue: Honor thy parents, keep the sabbath, no idols, no stealing, no taking god's name in vain.

    Interesting, the no false idols rule specifies "no molten images", which is only seen in J's Ten Commandments (Ex. 34)

    I never noticed that ch. 20 repeated a lot of ch. 18- mostly just adding penalties. There's a law about Molech, a bunch of sexual laws, and then a warning about Israel "spewing" them out if they're bad. Yep, definite example of textual evolution captured by wonderfully completest editors.

    Chapter 21 shows that God is flagrantly ableist.

    There are hints that the description of Succoth (Booths) is a late addition to the text. The main block of law is ringed with a repeated paragraph (verses 4 and 37). Then- with "Furthermore!" another festival is tacked on.

    Now turn to Nehemiah 8:14:

    8:14 And they found written in the law that the LORD had given commandment through Moses that the Israelites should live in arbours during the feast of the seventh month

    (description of the celebration)

    8:17 And the whole community of those who had returned from the captivity made arbours and lived in them, *a thing that the Israelites had not done from the days of Joshua son of Nun to that day.*

    This is FASCINATING because it explicitly mentions not only that the Israelites were surprised to find this law, but that the law had never been practised in Israel. The weird placement in Leviticus pretty much clinches that it was a late edition to the text. When the Torah got its final compilation, in the days of Ezra, this verse was added.

  2. Very cool about Succoth!

    Lev. 20 - What should we do with homosexuals, adulterers, and those who curse their parents?

    Death penalty for all, enough to make the Taliban envious!

    Why is separation of church and state so important again?

  3. This picture is mind-boggling. You almost have to respect someone who is literally wearing his intolerance on his sleeve.


  4. This picture is mind-boggling. You almost have to respect someone who is literally wearing his intolerance on his sleeve.


    I wonder if anyone has gotten the "no tattoos" verse inked.

    That would be pretty funny.

  5. @ Abbie, Thanks for the great info!
    @ Susan, ALMOST respect them!

    @ Brian, If we as a nation were to actually follow the laws that god gave to Moses, I would move to Afghanistan to feel safer!

  6. @ Abbie - THAT would be hilarious!

  7. 20:6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.

    Does this explain why my nephews are not allowed to dress up for Halloween or read Harry Potter? I have been wondering about that for a while. I am always mystified that educated people still think that witches actually exist and can have some magical effect on their lives. I guess it's not a huge step to move from supernatural creator to supernatural people but honestly is there no line between fiction and non fiction for evangelicals? And no I don't need another lecture about my demon worship....

  8. What's this in 22:11 about the priest buying souls? Whose souls?

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  10. Lev 25:11 A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather [the grapes] in it of thy vine undressed.

    If I'm reading this correctly, then every 50 years the Israelites couldn't grow/harvest anything from their fields for two years It's a long time to go without fresh food and wine.
    Perhaps it was a way to teach them to stockpile supplies.

  11. Doh! Should have read further in.

    Lev 25:20 And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase:

    Lev 25:21 Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years.

    Lev 25:22 And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat [yet] of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in ye shall eat [of] the old [store].

  12. @Bruce,
    "I would move to Afghanistan to feel safer!"
    If you moved to Afghanistan you would be forced to revert to the Muslim faith, or killed. You could probably get away with not being Muslim for a while, however sooner or later they would catch on.

    @momof atheists,
    "Does this explain why my nephews are not allowed to dress up for Halloween or read Harry Potter?"

    That is a good possibility. With this and the other verses that mention witches, wizards, etc. many Christians steer clear of those things. I would really like to know if they can defend their beliefs with more than just "Because God says it's wrong" Can they actually show you where it is written that it's wrong?

    These things are still practised today. The Kingdom of the Occult and The Kingdom of the Cults are two books on the subject, from a Christian perspective. Mostly modern accounts of people and their involvement in different cults. I have read The Kingdom of the Occult it was pretty good. Just a long read, allot of material.

  13. @Lorraine
    "What's this in 22:11 about the priest buying souls? Whose souls?"
    After a little reading i take this to be one of two things, possibly both. This could be the hired servants that have committed to staying with the priest for the rest of their life. In 10 it says no hired servant, a hired servant would only serve a specific time and then return to his own family, however the way i understand this is that if the hired servant did not want to leave then he would serve the rest of his life. (Exodus 21:6) Now granted you have the year of jubile (Leviticus 25:10), so they could have went free, however i am not 100% sure how all this worked. But committing to serve the rest of their life they became part of the family and then were allowed to eat of the Holy things. The other understanding i have is that this could also be the priests wife. Seeing that the priest, like any other man, would may have to give a dowry (Exodus 22:17) for his wife to purchase her hand in marriage that is what this could be covering, allowing his wife that was from a different tribe to eat of those Holy things. I think this one makes more sense.

    I am glad you pointed this out. It is something hopefully i will learn more now that i am consciously aware of it. As long as i don't forget. :-D

  14. @Brian Hitt
    "Why is separation of church and state so important again?"

    Now where specifically does that come from?

  15. On 22:10-11, I think 'souls' is another word for living humans (the Hebrew is nefesh). People in a priest's household could be of several types
    1. his own blood family including wife (remember Genesis where husband and wife are one flesh), sons, unmarried daughters. These verses make it clear that a widowed or divorced childless daughter living in the household is also entitled though she for a while she belonged to her husband's family and tribe (a widowed daughter with children presumably is the responsibility of her deceased husband's family and remains with his tribe).
    2. slaves either bought by the priest or born into his household. They are allowed to eat
    3. visitors to the priest unless they are also priests cannot eat.
    4. hired servants who cannot eat this food.