Tuesday, October 13, 2009

38: Love Aliens as Yourself

Leviticus 19-21
Leviticus 19 and 20 are laws and punishments for sin, I will list the law or punishment and comment.

Respect your father and mother. Said that already (10 commandments).

Do not make cast idols. Said that already in the 10 commandments and various other places.

Do not reap the edges of your field, leave the edges for the poor and the alien. I know of no christian that does this.

Don't lie/deceive/steal/speak God's name in vain. Said that already in the 10 commandments. What is with the extreme repetition?

Don't curse the deaf, or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear God. But fear God? What does that have to do with the deaf or blind?

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge, but love your neighbor as yourself. I wonder why our Christian president sought revenge against Afghanistan. (because no revenge ever is impractical) What happened to "eye for an eye"?

If a man sleeps with a slave girl then there is to be due punishment, but he's not to be killed because the woman was a slave. As long as the man brings a ram to be sacrificed, he is forgiven. Yet another section that implies slaves are sub human.

Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip the edges of your beard. What? Right next to the inspiring "love your neighbor as yourself" is instruction on the holy way to trim your facial hair? I wonder what the punishment for improper hair trimming is.

Do not cut your bodies or put tattoos on yourself. I know a lot of Christians that have tattoos, this seems like a pretty easy thing not to do if you wanted to follow the bible to the letter. I'm not sure why this is an important law that God would bring up though.

This one needs to be quoted. "When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God." You're kidding me right? Why is it that the Christians are leading the movement to eject aliens from the country? Either follow the moral principles in the bible or don't, you can't just pick and choose (I vote don't because most of the "moral" principles are ridiculous, but this one seems to be sound).

Next is punishment for sins. Let me guess, death?

Anyone who curses their father or mother. Death.

If a man commits adultery. Death for him and the adulteress.

If you sleep with your father's wife. Death for you and your father's wife.

If a man sleeps with his daughter-in-law. Death for him and his daughter-in-law.

Gay sex. Death.

If a man marries his mother and her daughter. They will all be burned.....to death.

If a man has sex with an animal. Death for him and the animal.

If a woman even approaches an animal for sex. Death for her and the animal. (The animal didn't even do anything)

If a man marries his sister. Dea... Wait. Cut off from his people! That's where the line is? Daughter-in-laws are death, but marrying your sister is just kicked out of town?

If a man sleeps with a woman on her period. Cut off from the people.

This one is interesting. Leviticus 20:19 says don't have sexual relations with the sister of your father or mother. Then Leviticus 20:20 says don't have sex with your aunt. Oops, same thing. Typo? Misprint? NO! The bible is infallible how dare you?

The end of Leviticus 20 is just repeating "follow all my laws" and "make sure to make distinction between clean and unclean animals". Ok, so we're done... Wait, no. At the very end, after two closing paragraphs, the writer remembers to mention that if a man or a woman is a spiritist. Death!

Leviticus 21 is a bunch of rules about priests.

Priests should not make themselves unclean for anyone who dies, unless they are a close relative. I'm not sure how you would make yourself unclean with someone who died, so I won't speculate.

Priests can't shave their heads or shave off the edges of their beards. They can't marry divorced women or prostitutes. If a priests daughter becomes a prostitute she has to be burned to death. They must marry virgins.

The final paragraph is interesting. None of Aaron's descendants that have defects are allowed to offer food to God. He (the defective descendant) can't go near the altar because it would "desecrate [God's] sanctuary". These defects include crippled, hunchback, dwarfed, or an eye defect. Why do these physical ailments make them any different than Aaron's other descendants?

4 comments:

  1. Priests should not make themselves unclean for anyone who dies, unless they are a close relative. I'm not sure how you would make yourself unclean with someone who died, so I won't speculate.

    This is one of those places where the explanation comes later - in the next book in fact.

    Numbers 19:
    11 "Whoever touches the dead body of anyone will be unclean for seven days. 12 He must purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. ...

    I don't think the "don't touch dead bodies" rule was previously mentioned in Leviticus or Exodus - though I could be wrong. This rule basically says that a priest can't touch a dead body unless it's the body of a close relative, in which case it's okay. I assume that this rule is to get the priests out of body burying duty.

    Do not cut your bodies or put tattoos on yourself. I know a lot of Christians that have tattoos, this seems like a pretty easy thing not to do if you wanted to follow the bible to the letter. I'm not sure why this is an important law that God would bring up though.

    Is that a rhetorical "I don't know" or an actual "I don't know"?

    If it's actual, the translation I've got handy says "do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tatoo marks on yourself". The "for the dead" part, and the fact that it's in the middle of a bunch of commands about divination, hair cutting, keeping the Sabbath, necromancers, and spiritists suggests to me that these are all things that other tribes did to appease/worship their own gods, and this is a big block of details on how Yahweh is a Jealous God and you aren't supposed to have any other gods other than Yahweh. (My understanding is that the "making your daughter a prostitute" thing is another one of those things - though my knowledge of the goddess cults of the time is admittedly not so good.)

    I'm enjoying the blog! Hope you can keep up the pace for a whole year (I doubt I could).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooh, looks like your translation is no fun! I think in others it specifically mentions a man with crushed testicles, but maybe this version air-brushed it out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So God is prejudiced against the disabled, too? Didn't he make them that way?

    ReplyDelete
  4. You missed that in 19:13 it says that you should pay your employees the same day. There was also a part about not wearing a garment made of 2 different kinds of material, but I forgot where.

    ReplyDelete

 

Copyright © 2009, Page Info, Contact Me