Monday, April 20, 2015

Leviticus 19

Can you guess what this chapter is about? If you guessed repetitive rules, then you would be correct! I'm pretty sure everything that was said in this section was already said before. I'm guessing this is a setup for all kinds of rule breaking later in the book and maybe there will be an actual plot instead of lists and lists of least I really hope so.

So we've got your basics that seem reasonable, at first, if you don't think too hard about it or ask too many questions, such as respecting your mother or father. No word on if your mother or father are terrible or actually the kind of people who don't follow this God guy. What if your mother and father tell you to break those other rules? Like what if they want you to worship cows? God clearly hates cows. Then again, God also seems to hate when you disobey your parents. Then again, God's made it pretty clear that he'll punish the future generations of someone who disobeyed him regardless of whether or not those future generations will/have do/done anything wrong. Sometimes this God guy turns these characters into pillars of salt for looking back but maybe doesn't punish the daughters of that pillar of salt for drugging and raping their own father...there are some consistency issues with all this.

I'm not sure this God guy really knows what he wants, you know? He seems conflicted about his own identity. Like one moment he says that he's a merciful, loving God and the next he's a vengeful, I'm never going to forget that you fucked up this one little thing, God. If only God had someone to talk to about his identity crises.

Here are some highlights:

Chapter 19:

"When you sacrifice a communal sacrifice of well-being to the LORD, offer it so that it will be accepted on your account. It must be eaten on the day of your sacrifice or the following day; whatever is left over on the third day must be burned with fire" . . . "Anyone who eats it will be liable to punishment."

God isn't a fan of leftovers.

"do not pick your vineyard clean or gather up all the grapes that have fallen there. Leave these items for the poor and the immigrant"

Aw well that's actually nice.

"you must judge your fellow Israelites fairly."

"Do not stand by while your neighbor's blood is shed."

"You must not hate your fellow Israelite in your heart."

"You must not take revenge nor hold a grudge against any of your people."

These are all pretty solid rules. Too bad they only seem to apply to how Israelites treat other Israelites and not all people in general. After these nice, thoughtful rules, we get back to some weirdly specific stuff.

"Do not crossbreed your livestock, do not plant your field with two kinds of seed, and do not wear clothes made from two kinds of material."

Hmm looks like a lot of denim mixing with leather. BURN THEM ALL.

"If a man has sexual relations with a woman who is a slave engaged to another man, who hasn't yet been released or given her freedom, there must be a punishment. But they will not be put to death because she had not yet been freed. The man must bring as his compensation to the LORD at the meeting tent's entrance a ram for a compensation offering."

You can clear your conscience of your act of slave rapery by slaughtering an animal in a tent.

"You must not participate in divination or fortune telling."


"You must not cut off the hair on your forehead...


...or clips the ends of your beard."
Oh thank goodness. Tom Hardy is safe.

"Do not defile your daughter by making her sexually promiscuous or else the land will become promiscuous and full of shame."

Don't rape your daughter or your front lawn will feel embarrassed? Did I read that right?

"You must rise in the presence of an old person and respect the elderly."

No joke here. Just a nice rule to live by.

And lastly, here's a rule God keeps repeating again and again. Must be really important to him.

"When immigrants live in your land with you, you must not cheat them. Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. You must love them as yourself, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God."

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