Thursday, May 19, 2011

Deuteronomy 14-25: Where to poop (and other rules)

Yeah, this is a really huge section of bible, but it's mostly a repeat of the rules from before, with a few new things thrown in. I marked the new things; you could just read those parts and not miss anything. That's pretty much what I did.

We get reminded what food is clean and unclean. It still says that rabbits chew the cud and bats are birds, just incase that wasn't wrong enough before.

Then it says that thing about "don't cook a baby goat in its mother's milk." That never gets any less weird, no matter how many times I read it.

NEW: Tithes. Reserve 1/10 of your harvest, and once a year travel to that one place where God is going to "put his Name," (since it doesn't have a name yet, I will call it "God's Special Place") and eat it there. If it's too far and you can't carry it all, go there with an equivalent amount of money and buy food there to eat in God's presence. Every year do that, except on the third year. On that year, store all the tithes in the cities so the Levites and other people who don't have much (widows, orphans) can use it. How nice.

If God really cared about the poor, he'd give all the tithes to them, not just 1/3 of them. Just a thought.

Every 7 years, all debts between Israelites are cancelled (debts with foreigners remain). This is kind of random, and seems to be pretty much a "because I'm God and I say so" thing. There is an admonition to not be tightfisted toward the end of those 7 years, because you won't be paid fact, you should be extra generous then.

Sorta new: A small change from Leviticus... all servants go free after 6 years, including the women. That's the different part, used to be female servants were yours forever and ever. Like before, if a servant wants to stay, you have to nail their earlobe to the doorframe. Then they stay forever.

As we've heard before, God wants the firstborn of all the livestock. But here we finally find out what that means. You're supposed to take them with your tithe to God's Special Place, and eat them.

This is a TON of food they're supposed to eat in God's Special Place. How does that work? Or are they just supposed to stay there for months until it's all eaten? How inconvenient.

Once again, celebrate the Passover! No fucking yeast. It must be celebrated at God's Special Place. Also, celebrate the festival of weeks and the festival of tabernacles.

NEW: Select judges for each city, and they shall judge with fairness, justice, and no bribes. If a case is too hard for these judges, go to God's Special Place and bring the case to the Levitcal priests (apparently the Levites got a promotion). You must accept their ruling, anyone who doesn't will be killed.

Don't sacrifice any animal with a defect.

Stone to death anyone who worships other gods. You must have at least 2 witnesses to do so, and they must throw the first stone.

NEW: When you are set up in the promised land, you can have a king, but only the king that God chooses. That king may not have too many horses, too many wives, or too much money. He must have his own personal copy of all these rules, so he can become familiar with them. And even though he is the king, he may not break them.

Levites and priests don't get their own stuff. For food, they eat specific parts of the sacrifices and other offerings (grain, etc).

Do not follow the ways of the people you're about to wipe out. No other gods, no divination, child sacrifice, witchcraft, etc.

NEW: Apparently, there is going to be a prophet to talk for God, because at some point the people said they couldn't stand to talk to God themselves (I don't remember that). Any false prophet must be killed. You can tell the difference by whether what they say is true or not. Lol, clearly there are no problems with that.

Set up cities of refuge for people who accidentally kill someone to go to and be safe from revenge. Here it gives a ridiculous example of an accidental murder: you could be cutting down a tree, when the head of your axe flies off and kills someone! That's random.

You need at least 2 witnesses to convict someone of a crime. If a witness is found to be lying, they will suffer the same fate as though they had committed the crime they lied about.

NEW: When you go to war, don't worry if the opponent is stronger, because God is with you. You should bring a priest, and just before the fighting starts he should address the soldiers with an uplifting speech. And apparently after that, the officers will give everyone one last chance to desert. Weird. Then, before you attack, offer them peace. If they accept, you just got some new slaves!! Congratulations. If they refuse, you can kill all the men, and keep the women and children. If there's a woman you fancy, you can take her as your wife. Take her home, give her a month to mourn, then fuck her. If it wasn't to your satisfaction, throw her out. But you can't make her into a slave at this point, you have to just let her go free. This is disgusting.

However, in the conquest of the promised land (which I'm sure they'll get around to eventually), spare no one. Also disgusting.

NEW: This is weird. If a murdered person is found in the middle of nowhere, the leaders of the nearest city have to make atonement to God. I'm not sure why they are to blame. Anyway, they have to make atonement by finding a cow that has never worked, take it to a valley that has never been plowed and that has a stream, and break its neck. Random as ever.

NEW: You have to give your firstborn son a double share of the inheritance, even if he's not your favorite. It also casually mentions what to do if you have 2 wives here, so clearly the Bible still doesn't care about monogamy. Just an FYI.

If you have a "stubborn and rebellious son" and he just won't obey, everybody in town must stone him to death. That'll show him.

NEW: If you put someone to death for some crime, you may hang their corpse on a pole, but only til sundown, then you have to take it down and bury it. Don't want to stink up the place I guess.

If you see something that someone lost, return it to them.

If you see someone with an animal that fell down, go help them get it up again.

NEW: No transvestites. "A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this." Awesome, I will add this to my big list of reason God hates me. I honestly had no idea the bible says this, I'm surprised it's not brought up more often.

NEW: You can take eggs from a bird's nest, but don't get greedy and take the bird also. Random.

NEW: When you build a new house, include a parapet (a wall around the roof) so no one will fall off the roof and hurt themselves. Also random.

Don't crossbreed your crops.

Don't yoke a donkey and ox to the same plow.

No fabric blends.

Attach tassels to the corners of your cloak, to remind you of God's rules somehow.

NEW: If a man, after sleeping with his new wife, suspects she is not a virgin, he can accuse her of being a whore. Now the burden of proof falls on her father. He must "display the cloth before the elders of the town." Apparently that proves it somehow. I don't know what cloth it's talking about. Anyway, if it can be proved that she was a virgin, the man must pay a fine and is never allowed to divorce her. If it cannot be proved, she must be stoned to death in front of her father's house. Yay, biblical morality. I guess "innocent until proven guilty" hasn't been invented yet.

If a man sleeps with a married woman, they both need to die.

NEW: Here's an interesting rhetorical question for you: if a woman is raped in a forest and there's no one around to hear it, is she still guilty? Guilty of what, you might wonder? Don't think about it or you'll just get angry. Here's what the bible says:
  • If a virgin is raped inside a city: they both get stoned to death. (The woman must be punished because she didn't call for help, obviously.)
  • If a virgin is raped outside a city: only the man is killed, do not punish the woman. (Because, clearly, there was no one to hear her scream.)
If a man rapes a virgin who is not betrothed to marry anyone yet, he must pay her father a fine and they have to get married. Because that's fair.

Hey bible, what happens if a woman who isn't a virgin is raped? Or what if a man is raped? I guess that just doesn't matter. It's almost like the bible doesn't care about rape for the reasons a normal human being would (because rape is obviously horrible), but because virginity is some sort of commodity that is stolen, and you must be punished for the theft of it. Or for not protecting it by screaming loud enough, I guess.

Don't marry your father's wife.

NEW: The following people may not enter the "assembly of God," whatever that is:
  • anyone who has lost his testicles in an accident (random)
  • no bastards, or any of their kids for 10 generations
  • no Ammonites or Moabites, no matter how many generations later
  • Edomites and Egyptians can join after 3 generations
NEW: Go outside the camp to poop. When you do, dig a hole and bury it. Seriously, the bible has rules for pooping. And it's not because it's more hygienic, it's because poop is unholy. Apparently God is in the camp, and if he sees you pooping, he'll be all grossed out and "turn away from you." So, since omnipresent God is somehow not outside the camp (I still haven't figured that one out), you have to out there to poop. What is God, 2 years old? I really think he needs to read "everybody poops" or something. Seriously.

Don't give foreign runaway slaves back to their masters. That's actually pretty good.

Don't be a shrine prostitute. I don't know what that is.

Don't charge an Israelite interest when you loan them money.

If you make a vow to God, do whatever it is quickly.

You can go eat from someone else's field, but just eat there and don't take anything away with you. Like a buffet!

NEW: Say a man and woman get divorced, the woman remarries, then divorced again. The first guy isn't allowed to marry her again "because she has been defiled." I really don't know why it matters.

NEW: A man can't be drafted for 1 year after being married, because he should have a chance to be happy with his wife. Aww.

Kidnappers must die.

Be nice to the poor, foreigners, widows, and orphans. Let them forage in your fields.

NEW: Don't punish the parents for the children's sins or vice versa.

NEW: The maximum number of lashes as punishment is 40.

If a man dies, is brother has to marry his widow. If he doesn't want to marry her, God will kill him!!! Ahem, or, she goes and complains to the town elders, and the elders try to talk him into it. If he still doesn't want to, she gets to spit in his face in front of everybody. She also takes one of his sandals, and his family will ever after be known as "The Family of the Unsandaled." Oh snap! (I assume someone from that time and place would say) That is fucking silly, is what I, from this time and place, would say. But at least God changed his mind about killing people in this situation. Good.

If a man is in a fight and his wife tries to help out by grabbing the other guy's junk, her hand must be cut off. "Show no mercy!!"

Use honest weights and measures.

God still hates the Amalekites.

And that's about it, I think. The whole rulebook for the Israelites. Interestingly, as much as it repeated the stuff from Leviticus, there's a bunch of stuff that got left out. Like the bit about "man shall not lie with man, blah blah, etc." Totally not in Deuteronomy (so far, but I think rule-making time is over). I guess that's just not as important as "no fabric blends," which did make the final cut. Oh yeah! That's right. God does care more about fabric blends than homosexuality. Bwah haha.

Anyway, most of this stuff is either just plain weird or morally reprehensible. This is where people claim to get their morals from? I would fear for my safety if I thought that was true. And I'm the immoral one, because I don't believe in this shit. Really?

1 comment:

  1. Your grasp of the concepts and reasons behind these laws is weak at best. The Bible has rules about pooping away from water. You think that's because Israel was superstitious? You're not a skeptic. You're kidding yourself.