Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Leviticus 8-10: Tabernacle = fiery death trap

So now we have the ordination of the new priests, Aaron and his 4 sons. Lots of detail of course. Seriously, it seems that all I've read out of this damn book lately is endless repetition about the tabernacle, animal sacrifice, and stupid rules like "don't cook a baby goat in it's mother's milk." Of course, this is the perfect and inerrant word of God, so he must have had a good reason to go into excruciating repetitive detail about inconsequential shit like this, while remaining conspicuously silent on matters like "who was Cain's wife," or helpful science-y things like medicine and the germ theory of disease.

Anyway, the ordination of the priests. Basically they dressed them in the priestly garments, doused the tabernacle and the priests with anointing oil, and sacrificed a bull, 2 rams, and some bread (without yeast, obviously). And they had to stay in the entrance of the tent for 7 days, and if they left they would die!

Flash forward to 8 days later. The ministry of Aaron and his sons begins! Basically they spend their first day sacrificing a shit-ton of animals for everybody. Being a priest sounds like you're effectively a butcher, plus a bunch of stupid ceremony. While all this is going on, the "glory of the LORD" appeared to everybody. (Side note: what the hell is the "glory" of the lord?) And what marvelous things did he do while he was there? "Fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar." God does love him some BBQ, I guess.

Then this happened:
Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.
I wonder if God found the aroma "pleasing." As usual, I don't get this. For all the plethora of rules we've heard out of God lately, there has been absolutely nothing about fire, authorized or otherwise. And the only thing it had to say about incense was that the recipe was holy and they should only use it for holy reasons; what's holier than burning it in God's presence? Well...I guess that's just what you get for trying to upstage God? I am so over trying to figure this shit out. God randomly and arbitrarily kills people, especially his chosen people. Great.

God kills so many people over such small things... I think my continued existence is the best evidence that this particular god does not exist. If he did, he'd kill me for this blog, among other things.

Of course, I have to wonder... these guys have still got anointing oil all over them, and they are playing with open flame. I wonder if they didn't just burn up cause they were covered in oil, and it turned into a story of God's wrath. Hmm.

Actually, all the priests still have anointing oil on them, and there's anointing oil all over the tent, and they have been doing burnt offerings all day...and the alter is inside the tent. What a bunch of idiots. Of course, God supposedly told them to set it all up that way. Is God really that stupid? Or did God just want to create a fiery death trap for his priests?

Anyway, then Moses says something totally unhelpful to Aaron about how in killing his sons God is furthering his own holiness, or something (I'm finding this whole thing rather confusing). Poor Aaron.

Moses makes the dead guys' cousins drag them outside of the camp, where they apparently just leave them to rot (nothing more is said about it, anyway).

Then Moses tells Aaron and his 2 remaining sons that they are not allowed to mourn, or they would die. Also, they are not allowed to leave the tent (again), or they'll die. Then God comes along and tells them they can't drink alcohol in the tent, or they'll die. What, you thought God might say something more along the lines of "sorry I burned your sons to death?" Lulz.

Also, what's with all the threatening the priests with death? Seemingly, if they priests do anything, they die. That's the impression I'm getting so far, anyway.

Then Moses finds out that part of one of the sacrifices from earlier in the day that was supposed to be eaten was actually burned. He asks Aaron, "What the hell?" And Aaron is like, "Seriously, I've had a terrible day." And Aaron was not burned to death by God for fucking up the sacrifice, for some reason. That is so...inconsistent. I don't get it.

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