Review of Leviticus

I recently finished discussing the last chapter of Leviticus.  I started Leviticus on September 30 and finished it on November 30.  Two months for a full chapter?  Not too bad!  Let’s do a quick recap of Leviticus before moving on to the next chapter, Numbers.

The Israelites have been led out of Egypt by Moses and Leviticus begins with the rules that the Israelites must follow.  The rules come from God, but God doesn’t speak directly to the Israelites.  God speaks through Moses who passes the rules down to the Israelites.  As far as the Israelites know, Moses is making these rules up.  They have no evidence of God.

A few of the rules are good rules that every society should have.  Helping the poor and not taking advantage of each other are good rules that appear in Leviticus (although these really just refer to the year of Jubilee).  Other rules however, are not good.  Women being worth less than men is not a good rule.  Treating a person with damaged testicles with less respect is not a good rule.  Disobeying the petty rules and being kicked out of the town or put to death is not a good rule!

Leviticus is a great chapter to test on Christians.  Do they agree with these rules?  Do they follow these rules?  Most people find these rules ridiculous and to the credit of Christians, they don’t follow or agree with most of these rules.  However, too often the same Christians who argue those rules are not to be followed in today’s society condemn homosexuality and point to Leviticus 18:22.  It’s not okay to pick and choose which Bible verses to follow based on convenience or based on apologizing away the things you don’t agree with and keeping the things you do.

Leviticus basically taught us the importance of obeying God in everything He says.  It doesn’t matter how crazy or ridiculous the rule is, one must follow God or suffer horribly.

Next up is Numbers!  Can’t wait!  I really mean that!  I’ve had fun reading through the Bible and writing on each chapter at the same time.  Moving on to a new chapter is always interesting.

Leviticus – Chapter 27: Redeeming What Is the Lord’s

Leviticus continues although each chapter is basically the same.  God hands down rules.  A few rules make sense and are good rules, but most are petty rules with ridiculous consequences.  Let’s see what Leviticus 27 brings us.  Will it be anything good?  This is, after all, the very last chapter of Leviticus!  Did the authors and God save the best for last?

“If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate a person to the Lord by giving the equivalent value, set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel; for a female, set her value at thirty shekels; for a person between the ages of five and twenty, set the value of a male at twenty shekels and of a female at ten shekels; for a person between one month and five years, set the value of a male at five shekels of silver and that of a female at three shekels of silver; for a person sixty years old or more, set the value of a male at fifteen shekels and of a female at ten shekels.” – Leviticus 27:2-7

It’s no mystery the Bible is full of misogyny, but these verses show the Bible states that men are literally worth more than women!  Men are twice as valuable as women!!!  Wow!  Why was this never discussed in church?  If you are too poor, you can give up livestock, a house, property, etc.

“If anyone making the vow is too poor to pay the specified amount, the person being dedicated is to be presented to the priest, who will set the value according to what the one making the vow can afford.” – Leviticus 27:8

In other words you’d better be on the good side of the priest for he is the one who will determine what you owe!

“A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.” – Leviticus 27:30

In addition to all of the rules, one must give a tithe (tenth of what you own) to the Lord.  The Lord does a great job of taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

“Whoever would redeem any of their tithe must add a fifth of the value to it.” – Leviticus 27:31

To redeem what you are required to give to the Lord you must add a fifth of the value to it!  That’s another 2%, so you are really required to give 12% to the Lord for redemption.

The most alarming thing in this chapter is the Bible (and according to the Bible these are the words of God) telling the Israelites that men are worth more than women.  The Bible makes no apologies, women are worth half that of men.  So if you consider misogyny a good thing, well, you can probably argue that the authors and God did save the best for last in Leviticus.

Coming Soon:  Numbers – Chapter 1:  The Census

Leviticus – Chapter 26: Reward for Obedience

In the last chapter of Leviticus we learned (again) that God supports slavery.  Leviticus 26 brings us the reward for obedience.  Reward?  Sweet!  Let’s find out what it is!

“If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.” – Leviticus 26:3-4

I guess that means that people living in drought or flood stricken regions of the planet are not obeying God’s commands.  If they were, they’d have the appropriate amount of rain, right?  Or science.  I’m going with science.

“I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid.” – Leviticus 26:6

So no one is obeying God?  There is conflict and fear in all lands.  God has apparently decided none of the lands are obeying to His standards for Him to removes the fear.

“I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.” – Leviticus 26:12

Except God has NEVER shown himself to the Israelites, aside from Moses and possibly Aaron, so we are told.

“But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you.” – Leviticus 26:14-17

Given this happens every day on Earth, God must have decided humans did not obey.

“I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted.” – Leviticus 26:22

Ah, the loving God kills innocent children once again.

“You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters.” – Leviticus 26:29

Who knew?  God likes zombies!!!  And once again sentences innocent children to death.

“But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.” – Leviticus 26:40-42

Too bad this didn’t apply to Job.

Leviticus 26 is a 46 verse chapter.  The first 13 verses focus on the reward of obedience and the final 33 focus on the punishment.  God is clearly focused on the negative of the situation.  If He created humans then He has the power to shape them.  If humans are disobeying God, God is the one to blame.  He’s never made Himself known to the people.  He speaks only through Moses so there’s no clear reason to believe God exists if you are an Israelite.  Picture yourself as a common Israelite.  All you hear is Moses tell the people to do this, do that.  Give me your animals, give me your food, and give me your money.  The people are supposed to have faith in what Moses says.  It doesn’t take a genius to determine the people are going to be skeptical and have a hard time following all of the senseless rules.

Coming Soon:  Leviticus – Chapter 27:  Redeeming What Is the Lord’s

Leviticus – Chapter 25: The Year of Jubilee

I find it interesting that in Leviticus 24 God commands a blasphemer to be stoned to death.  The Israelites do so, and the next chapter focuses on celebrations.  Are they celebrating the stoning?  No, but it’s an interesting placement of chapters in the Bible!

“If you sell land to any of your own people or buy land from them, do not take advantage of each other.” – Leviticus 25:14

This is good, until you realize it only applies to the Year of Jubilee!  Why not ALL the time?!?!

“Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land.” – Leviticus 25:18

Tell that to Job!!!

“If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you.” – Leviticus 25:35

Again, good, if it only extended to ALL the time and not just during the Year of Jubilee!

“Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.” – Leviticus 25:44-46

God likes slaves.

Leviticus 25 is a long chapter, but it all follows the same trend of different rules on buying and selling stuff, including slaves.  This chapter is another example of God supporting slavery.

Coming Soon:  Leviticus – Chapter 26:  Reward for Obedience

Leviticus – Chapter 24: A Blasphemer Put to Death

Leviticus 24 is a short chapter covering two very different topics.  The first is on bread and oil while the second focuses on killing a blasphemer.  Go figure.  There’s nothing much to say on the first topic.  God sends down some instructions on using oil for lamps and making bread.  Let me focus on the second topic.

“The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought him to Moses.” – Leviticus 24:11

This sets up the story.

“Then the Lord said to Moses: ‘Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who curses their God will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.’’” – Leviticus 24:13-16

The all mighty, all powerful God is so fearful of one person blaspheming His name that He has the person put to death.  Is God (or the authors believing in God) so afraid of their faith faltering?  Is their faith so weak they can’t hear dissenting views?  If God is truly powerful, the faith people have in Him should be strong enough to overcome the simple words of one individual.  If God is the truth, it doesn’t matter what others say.  You don’t see scientists killing the climate change deniers.  The scientists rely on the science informing the people.  If the science is strong, it doesn’t matter what the climate change deniers say.  Facts are facts even if one doesn’t believe them.  Science is far more moral than God.

“Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death.” – Leviticus 24:17

Wait a second?  The previous verse has God commanding people to kill.  The very next verse God says don’t kill.  Make up your mind God!  I guess God is now saying all of the people who stoned someone to death must now be put to death.  Logic was never God’s strong suit.

That concludes Leviticus 24.  God is so weak that He must silence a dissenter.  God says to kill but then commands not to kill.  Yeah, makes sense.  🙂

Coming Soon:  Leviticus – Chapter 25:  The Year of Jubilee

Leviticus – Chapter 23: The Appointed Festivals

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

Leviticus 22 – Chapter 22: Rules for the Priest Part II

Leviticus 22 picks up were Leviticus 21 ended, with rules for the priests.  God loved the Israelites so much he gave the priests rules to follow.  Unfortunately for mankind, none of those rules told priests not to rape little boys.

“For the generations to come, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean and yet comes near the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate to the Lord, that person must be cut off from my presence. I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 22:4

God really does not like unclean people!

“When the sun goes down, he will be clean, and after that he may eat the sacred offerings, for they are his food.” – Leviticus 22:7

What is it with the sun that causes people to go from unclean to clean?  What happens if the moon is out?  The moon is reflected sunlight, so are people still unclean if the moon is out reflecting sunlight to Earth’s surface?

“But if a priest buys a slave with money, or if slaves are born in his household, they may eat his food.” – Leviticus 22:11

God condones slavery.  He’s nice about it, however, and allows the slave to eat!

“If a priest’s daughter marries anyone other than a priest, she may not eat any of the sacred contributions.” – Leviticus 22:12

Not only is a priest’s daughter defiled for life if she has sex, but she MUST marry another priest or lose out in eating the sacred food.  Wow.  God really hates women!

“You must present a male without defect from the cattle, sheep or goats in order that it may be accepted on your behalf.” – Leviticus 22:19

Even female sacrifices do not meet God’s demands.  All sacrifices must be male!

“Do not offer to the Lord the blind, the injured or the maimed, or anything with warts or festering or running sores.” – Leviticus 22:22

Just as God hates the disabled people, he hates disabled animals.

“You must not offer to the Lord an animal whose testicles are bruised, crushed, torn or cut. You must not do this in your own land, 25 and you must not accept such animals from the hand of a foreigner and offer them as the food of your God.” – Leviticus 22:24-25

God really does NOT like damaged testicles.  LOL!

“Do not slaughter a cow or a sheep and its young on the same day.” – Leviticus 22:28

Yes, because one must suffer the loss of the other for at least one full day before also being slaughtered.

“It must be eaten that same day; leave none of it till morning. I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 22:30

Yes, for I am the Lord and I say fuck you to leftovers!  🙂

To sum up Leviticus 22, God sends down more laws for the priests.  Most are related to being clean and unclean, but many are misogynist, preferring males to females.  God doesn’t like damaged testicles nor does he like leftovers.  🙂

Coming Soon:  Leviticus – Chapter 23:  The Appointed Festivals