Saturday, February 12, 2011

Leviticus 20-27: Yet more random shit

Now we get a list of punishments for this stuff they aren't supposed to do.
  • Sacrificing your children to Molek - stoned to death. (Who the fuck is Molek?) You also get "cut off from your people," though I don't see why that matters when you're dead.
  • If you know of someone who sacrifices children to Molek, but you ignore it, you also get "cut off from your people." But you don't get bludgeoned to death with rocks.
  • Following spiritists and mediums - cut off from your people
  • Cursing your mother or father - death. Obviously.
  • Adultery - both people die
  • Gay sex - death for both people
  • Marrying both a women and her mother - all 3 of you get to "burn in the fire, so no wickedness will be among you." Err...burn that wickedness away? Again, not sure why it matters that you got rid of your wickedness when you're dead.
  • Bestiality - death. Also, death for the animal.
  • Having sex with a women on her period - you both get cut off from your people!
  • Having sex with a close family member - you get cut off from your people.
  • But if you have sex with your aunt, you will both "die childless." Uh huh.
  • Being a medium or spiritist - stoned to death
Again there is a little statement about the Israelites had better be damned sure to not follow the ways of the people they're about to conquer, because they were bad, horrible people and God hates them all. Even though God already knew they were going to be bad back in Genesis and did absolutely nothing to prevent it. I don't get this book.

Now, there's even more stupid rules to torture the priests with! Gah. The priests must not make himself unclean by handling dead bodies. They must not cut their hair or beards. The girl they marry must be a virgin. If their daughter becomes a prostitute, she must be burned to death. Any person with a "defect" cannot be a priest, clearly because he would desecrate the tabernacle if he went in it.

The priests must be ceremonially clean when they do sacrifices, otherwise they will be cut off from the people. Also, "The priests are to perform my service in such a way that they do not become guilty and die for treating it with contempt." WTF?

It says (AGAIN) that the animal sacrifices cannot have a defect (which includes everything from a wart to crushed testicles). Also, animals become eligible for sacrifice after they are only 8 days old.

Then the holidays are listed, and details about how to celebrate them are given. Seriously, it's been over all this so many times already, I'm not going to go into it again.

And here, again, is the command that Aaron light and tend the lamp in the tabernacle all night, every night. When is this guy supposed to sleep? Seriously? And, again, God says that he wants bread on the table in the tabernacle. Why, who knows.

Now here's a charming little anecdote about someone (possibly a little boy? hard to tell) who blasphemes the name of God! Oh such horribleness. Then God tells Moses to have the entire assembly stone him to death. Make an example of the cheeky bastard, I guess... I remember something about "don't blaspheme," but, interestingly, I don't remember anything about the fact that if you do, you get stoned to death. Surprise!

Funnily enough, God seems to take this opportunity to ramble on some more about his laws. Immediately after the stoning, God says, "Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death." So... I guess that means all the Israelites have to die now. As well as God himself, really. Wonderful.

He also rambles on about some other stuff at this point, but it's nothing we haven't heard already, repeatedly.

They must give the land a "sabbath," every 7th year, where they don't plant anything. We've heard this a few times before.

Now here's some stuff about property. Some confusing stuff about a "year of jubilation" every 50 years... something about how on that year, everyone is supposed to return to his family's property. So as I understand it, the Smiths own this chunk of land. But young Bob Smith buys a piece of land from the Johnsons and starts his own farm or whatever. But on the year of jubilation, Bob gives the Johnsons back "their land," for good, and goes back to the Smith land. This excludes houses in a walled city, apparently. That is so weird. But that's how it sounds.

Hmm, apparently none of this matters at all, because all the land actually belongs to God: Leviticus 25:23, God says, "The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers." WTF??? The Israelites are all going to be foreigners in the promised land? After God has been going on since Genesis about how "the land is going to be yours!" This God makes no fucking sense.

Also, more thinly veiled threats from God...apparently the land will only produce food if the Israelites are good and do what they're told.

There's some stuff about how you really shouldn't take advantage of poor Israelites... don't turn them into slaves or whatever. Nope, the slaves are supposed to come from other nations. This part downright encourages them to enslave other people, actually.

Here's that threat from God what I say, and you get rain, and abundant food, and peace, and wild beasts and enemies won't attack, and lots of babies. Great.

Now, holy crap. God rants for about a chapter about all the stuff he will do to the Israelites if they disobey him. Really twisted shit. Here's a good part: Leviticus 26:29 "You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters." Great. It goes on like that for a whole chapter. How can anyone reconcile chapter 26 with a loving God?

Chapter 27 is really weird, and all about "dedicating" stuff to God. Apparently you can dedicate something (a person, animal, house, etc) to God, by giving...someone (the priests?)...the equivalent monetary value. Aside from the fact that I don't know what it means to "dedicate" something like a house to God, this chapter is fun because it gives monetary value for human beings, something I didn't really think was possible... Is it any surprise to anyone that men are twice as valuable as women? Also age factors in, basically people in their prime are worth the most, the elderly are worth not much, and babies are worth almost nothing at all. Interesting.

So that's basically Leviticus. Seriously, so fucking boring and repetitive. They have been at Mt. Sinai for the entire book and half of the last one, listening to God lay down random, arbitrary, wandering, repetitive, stupid, tedious laws. The only break in this was the parts where God demonstrates his cruelty and wrath by ruthlessly burning Aaron's sons to death, for no obvious reason, and by ordering the stoning of the guy who blasphemed. And I guess the part where they find out they get to eat their own children if they disobey. Ugh.

This covenant just gets better and better. We've gone from tons of descendants and good land, no strings attached, to you people get to live as strangers in my land, provided you mutilate your genitals, are willing to sacrifice your own children to me, get enslaved by the Egyptians for 400 years (at least that part is over now), and you generally have to follow every single one of my stupid little nit-picky commandments, or I'll kill you or send you away. What a load of bullshit.

And this is how God treats his favorite people! What horrible things does he do to the people he doesn't like? I suspect we'll find out soon, if God ever shuts his mouth and they leave Mt. Sinai.

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