In our last look in Leviticus God handed down more rules to the priests of Israel, many of which were misogynist, favoring males over females. God did, however, have one jab at males. Males with damaged testicles are in the same company as women. In other words, damaged testicles are bad!!! Leviticus 23 brings us a look at festivals.
“There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord.” – Leviticus 23:3
This is something most Christians today ignore. Which is fine, as long as they aren’t picking and choosing other laws in Leviticus to hold against others (i.e. being gay is a sin).
“On the fifteenth day of that month the Lord’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast.” – Leviticus 23:6
Like damaged testicles and women, God hates yeast.
The next several verses point out time periods one must wait and the type of food or animal offering to give to God and the priests. In other words, the poor are to give food and/or animals (which can also be food) away to be burnt or to be eaten by the priests. What do the poor get in return? God’s grace I guess, but I’m not sure how helpful God’s grace has been to them so far.
“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.” – Leviticus 23:22
This is good, sort of. It’s good in the sense that food is left for the poor. It’s not good in the sense that the worst of the food (edges of the field) is the food given to the poor.
“Do not do any work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the Lord your God. Those who do not deny themselves on that day must be cut off from their people.” – Leviticus 23:28-29
Again, God makes it clear that certain days are to be free of work of any kind. To break this law results in the punishment of being cut off from your people. A bit harsh I’d say.
There are a few more verses related to festivals, but Leviticus 23 is basically a list of festivals one must observe. On these festival days the people must follow rules that are all somewhat similar. Provide a food or grain offering, don’t work, and only eat certain foods. Punishment can be harsh and can include banishment from the society in which you live.
Coming Soon: Leviticus – Chapter 24: A Blasphemer Put to Death