Sunday, August 26, 2012

Leviticus 20: 1 to 21

It seems as though it would be much easier to re-read the Bible and write about it if I were actually reading the part I like--the Old Testament--instead of the New Testament, which I find boring (not as many battles, JC says a lot of weird, conflicting things, Paul hates women, and so on).

So I'm thought of following the old practice of picking up the book, closing my eyes, opening it and pointing to a passage, at least as a way to jumpstart my writing.  The trouble is, I can manipulate the results, so I've decided to use a random Bible verse generator.

Yeah, this is definitely more fun.  The verse that the Random Bible Verse generator gave me is this one from Leviticus  20:7-8.  "Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God.  Keep my statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sanctifies you." Leviticus is a book of laws, and it establishes God as a strict guy.  A lot of the laws concern the commandment that the Israelites should worship only one God.

Let's play a game and see how many of these laws I've broken:

Leviticus 20: 2:  "Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death.  The members of the community are to stone him.  3:  I myself will set my face against him and will cut him off from his people; for by sacrificing his children to Molek, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name.  4:  If the members of the community close their eyes when that man sacrifices one of his children to Molek and if they fail to put him to death, 5: I myself will set my face against him and his family and will cut them off from their people together with all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molek."

No problem there.  I don't worship god, let alone Molek, and I've never sacrificed anyone, let alone one of my children.

Leviticus 20: 6:  "I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostittue themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people."

No problem there.  I don't believe in mediums and "spiritists" any more than I believe in God.

Leviticus 20: 9:  "Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.  Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head."

I am not fond of my parents, but he seems to be talking about cursing them like a witch would.  I had no role in their deaths (one is still living), so there's no problem here.

Then we go into laws related to sex.  Verse 10:  commit adultery, but both the adulterer and the adulteress to death.  Verse 11:  Have sex with your father's wife, both will be put to death.  Verse 12:  Have sex with your daughter-in-law, both will be put to death.  Verse 13: A man has sex with a man, both will die.  Verse 14:  a man marries both a woman and her mother, they all have to be burned in fire.  Verse 15:  a man has sex with an animal, kill both.  Verse 16:  A woman has sex with an animal (or, as it says "approaches an animal to have sexual relations with it", kill both.  Verse 17: A man marries his sister and they have sex, they are to be publicly removed from their people (wow, at least aren't stoned or burned).  Verse 18:  A man has sex with a woman while she's menstruating--cut them off from their people.  Verse 19-20:  Have sex with your aunt, and you're held responsible.  the punishment?  They will die childless.  Verse 21:  Marry your brother's wife, that's impure, and you won't have children.

We were taught in Sunday School that the laws in Leviticus were designed in part to minimize conflict in a nomadic tribe.  I suppose it's good that they spell out clearly what's forbidden and what the punishments were, but since there is no god, I wonder how they made people die childless?

Next time, I'll write about the rest of Leviticus 20.

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