Book of Leviticus

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Leviticus is (along with Deuteronomy) one of the two “law books” of the Old Testament and apparently the most popular book of the entire Bible. It expounds in detail what Jews can and cannot do. In fact, Leviticus has exactly zero plot and is 100% exposition of the Law. If the Bible was a Special Edition DVD, Leviticus would be on the "extras" disk as an interview of the director rambling on about what it all means.

Contents

[edit] What is forbidden

Chapters 1–16 detail the priestly rituals, such as sin offering and other fun things. God is very particular about how He likes His barbecue done. Chapters 17–26 include the instructions on how to go about your daily lives. Of particular note are "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination" (Leviticus 18:22) [1] and "For every [child] that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death. he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him." (Leviticus 20:9). There are quite a few other laws in Leviticus which get you the death penalty, such as eating the fat or blood of any beast, or a whole plethora of other ones, some of which are quite silly:

  1. Adultery (Leviticus 20:10)
  2. Bestiality (Leviticus 18:23–29)
  3. Blasphemy (Leviticus 24:11–16)
  4. Consecration of children to idols (Leviticus 20:1–5)
  5. Eating sacrifices at the wrong time (Leviticus 19:5–8)
  6. Eating shellfish, not to mention a ton of other things (Leviticus 11:10)
  7. Football (Leviticus 11:8)
  8. Killing sacrifices other than at the door of the tabernacle (Leviticus 17:1–9)
  9. Incest (Leviticus 18:6–29)
  10. Murder (Leviticus 24:17, Leviticus 24:21)
  11. Polyester (Leviticus 19:19)
  12. Refusing to fast on the day of atonement (Leviticus 23:29)
  13. Ritual uncleanness (Leviticus 7:20-21)
  14. Round haircuts (Leviticus 19:27 -- no heaven for you, Beatles)
  15. Sacrilege (Leviticus 22:3)
  16. Sex with a menstruating woman (Leviticus 20:18)
  17. Spiritualism (Leviticus 20:6, Leviticus 20:27)
  18. Tattoos[2] (Leviticus 19:28)
  19. Whoredom (Leviticus 21:9)
  20. Working on the day of atonement (Leviticus 23:30)

You get the picture.

[edit] Ceremonies for specific situations

These ceremonies are done in order to repent or offer something to the lord. Also, God has a thing for killing animals.

Note: Burning honey or anything with leaven is prohibited.

  • Offering something to the Lord, mainly for atonement (Lev. 1:2-17)
    • Location: the door of the tabernacle of the congregation
    • Conditions: burning must be of person's own will
    • Sacrifice: male herd (cattle), male flock (sheep or goats) without blemish (spoiled marks), turtledoves, young pigeons
    • Method: Burning
    • Procedures:
      • Kill sacrifice at the altar (if it is cattle, kill at the northeast altar; if it is a bird, cut off its head and burn that first)
      • Have the priests sprinkle the blood around the altar
      • Cut the offering into pieces
      • Have the priests light the altar and provide wood (if birds, pluck crop and feathers out, and cast it at the the east part of the altar)
      • Have the priests lay the body parts, head, then fat, in order on the burning fire (for birds, cut off the wings)
      • Wash his (presumably of the sacrifice) inwards and legs in the water (birds ignore this one)
      • Burn all of it; the sweet scent will please his holiness.


  • Burning grain as a sacrifice (Lev. 2:1-9)
    • Location: not specified
    • Conditions: not specified
    • Sacrifice: fine flour, cakes or wafers with oil without leaven; you also need to add salt, even if it's from the covenant.
    • Method: Burning
    • Procedures:
      • Pour oil on sacrifice, put frankincense (only for grain/flour) on top
      • Give it to the priests; priests will take out a handful of the flour/oil, which become theirs and doesn't need to be sacrificed
      • Burn! It is a sweet savour to the Lord.


  • Sacrificing first fruits (the first harvest) (Lev. 2:10-16)
    • Location: not specified
    • Conditions: mustn't be burnt at the altar
    • Sacrifice: Green ears of corn dried by fire, even if beaten out
    • Method: Burning
    • Procedures:
      • Put oil and frankincense on sacrifice
      • Have the priest burn part of the sacrifice, along with part of the oil, and all the frankincense.

God also has a frankincense fetish, as well.


  • Sacrificing herd as a peace offering (Lev. 3:1-5)
    • Location: Altar
    • Conditions: not specified
    • Sacrifice: male or female herd (cattle) without blemish
    • Method: Burning
    • Procedures:
      • Lay hand upon head of offering
      • Kill it at the door of the tabernacle
      • Have the priests sprinkle the blood around the altar (!!!)
      • Take out the following: the fat covering the inwards, all the fat upon the inwards, the kidneys and fat on them, and the caul above the liver. Like the others following, these aren't supposed to be sacrificed.
      • Burn! It is a sweet savour to the Lord.


  • Sacrificing lamb/flock as a peace offering (Lev. 3:6-11)
    • Location: Altar
    • Conditions: not specified
    • Sacrifice: male or female flock (sheep/goats) without blemish, lamb (blemish is not mentioned)
    • Method: Burning
    • Procedures:
      • Lay hand head of upon offering
      • Kill it at the door of the tabernacle
      • Have the priests sprinkle the blood around the altar
      • Take away the following: all the fat inside, the whole rump, 'the hard by the backbone', the two kidneys, the caul above the liver. They don't need to be burnt.
      • BURN!!!


  • Sacrificing goats (Lev. 3:12-16)
    • Location: Altar
    • Conditions: not specified
    • Sacrifice: male or female flock (sheep/goats) without blemish, lamb (blemish is not mentioned)
    • Method: Burning
    • Procedures:
      • Lay hand upon head of offering
      • Kill it at the door of the tabernacle
      • Have the priests sprinkle the blood around the altar
      • Take out all of the following: the fat covering the inwards, all the fat upon the inwards, the kidneys and fat on them, and the caul above the liver
      • Burn... you get the idea.


  • Sin offering for an anointed priest (Lev. 4:1-12)
    • Location: door of the tabernacle of the congregation
    • Conditions: If the priest sins, of course
    • Sacrifice: Young bullock (i.e. cows) without blemish
    • Method: Burning
    • Procedures:
      • Bring sacrifice to the tabernacle of the congregation
      • Touch the sacrifice's head (reasons are not explained)
      • Kill the sacrifice
      • Take the blood of the bullock and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation
      • Dip his finger into blood, and sprinkle the blood seven times in front of the tabernacle
      • Put some of the blood onto the horns of the 'altar of sweet incense'
      • Pour all of the bullock's blood at the bottom of the altar of the offering
      • Take out the following from the sacrifice: the fat covering the inwards, the kidneys, the fat on the kidneys (reiterated again for some reason), the caul above the liver, with the kidneys (again)
      • Burn the above
      • Carry everything else (the bible emphasizes 'all the flesh, skin, head, legs, inwards, and dung') without the camp to a clean place. Take the ashes of the burnt fat/kidneys and pour it onto the ground.
      • Where the ashes are poured, burn everything else.


  • Sin offering if all of Israel's congregation sins (Lev. 4:13-21)
    • Location: door of the tabernacle of the congregation
    • Conditions: If all of Israel's congregation breaks any of the commandments
    • Sacrifice: Young bullock (i.e. cows) without blemish
    • Method: Burning
    • Procedures:
      • Bring sacrifice to the tabernacle of the congregation
      • All elders of congregation touch the sacrifice's head
      • Kill the sacrifice
      • Take the blood of the bullock and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation
      • Have the anointed priest bring the bullock's blood to the tabernacle of the congregation
      • Have the priest dip his finger into blood, and sprinkle the blood seven times in front of the tabernacle
      • Pour some of the blood upon the horns of the altar in the tabernacle, and pour out all the blood at the bottom of the altar
      • Take out all the fat and burn it at the altar
      • Literally 'what was done for the sin offering', which is the ceremony above
      • Have the priest make an atonement for the sin; they are forgiven at this point
      • Carry the bullock without the camp
      • Burn whatever's left of the bullock at this point.


  • Sin offering if a ruler sins (Lev. 4:22-26)
    • Location: Altar
    • Conditions: If the ruler sins, either without knowing or when he finds out he has sinned
    • Sacrifice: Young male goat without blemish
    • Method: Burning
    • Procedures:
      • Lay hand upon head of offering
      • Kill it (at the altar)
      • Have the priest take the blood and put it on the horns of the altar, and pour all the blood at the bottom of the burnt offering
      • Burn all the fat on the altar
      • Have the priest make an atonement; sin is now forgiven


  • Sin offering if a common person sins (for all you guys out there!) (Lev. 4:27-35)
    • Location: door of the tabernacle of the congregation
    • Conditions: If the ruler sins, either without knowing or when he finds out he has sinned
    • Sacrifice: Young female goat/lamb without blemish
    • Method: Burning
    • Procedures:
      • Lay hand upon offering
      • Kill it (at the altar)
      • Have the priest take the blood and put it on the horns of the altar, and pour all the blood at the bottom of the burnt offering
      • Take out all the fat; it does not need to be burned
      • Burn the rest of the goat
      • Have the priest make an atonement; sin is now forgiven

Gee, really makes you wonder what the animals had done to deserve the crap they get in the Old Testament.

[edit] Statistics

These words and terms are used the following number of times in Leviticus:

  • Blood: 88
  • Bullock(s): 34 times a singular, 3 as possessive, but none as plural—bullocks!
  • Nakedness: 32 (saucy!)
  • Sweet savour: 16
  • I am the Lᴏʀᴅ: 45
including
I am the Lᴏʀᴅ your God: 21
  • variations of "creep": 18
  • woof (possible term in textiles, not once as the carnivourous animal): 9
  • beeves (the plural of "beef", used to refer to all ruminating animals except camels):[3] 2
  • Israelitish (this might be useful the next time you play Scrabble): 3 (all as adjectives)
  • the children of Israel: 54
including
Speak unto the children of Israel: 15
in turn including
Speak unto the children of Israel: 8
and
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: 7
  • And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying: 27
  • sprinkle the blood: 5

[edit] Jewish and Christian beliefs

Jews think that Leviticus is the unadulterated word of God, as dictated to Moses on Mount Sinai. Unfortunately, the atheistic liberal modern world doesn't allow them to follow all of these laws. Christians think that it's the word of God, but point to 1 Corinthians 10:23–26 as exemption from following these laws. Interestingly, many fundamentalists still cite Leviticus 18:22 or Leviticus 20:13 (kill the gays) as legitimate, even though they reject the book on principle. Other Christians accept all the laws with the exception of the ritualistic ones. That’s the definition of irony.

[edit] Goats

The procedure in Leviticus for cleansing the people of their sin was to take two goats, and draw lots. One of the goats was killed, and its blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. The high priest then laid his hands on the head of the other goat, confessed the sins of the people of Israel (thus transferring them to the goat) and the "scapegoat" was released into the wilderness.

[edit] Gender

As the passages do not specify gender, 18:22 could also mean that Women sleeping with Men is an abomination, and that they should sleep with other women. Considering that this is the exact opposite of what people usually want to use the passage for, this interpretation is usually not even mentioned.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. And how should we interpret the relevant section of the bible? Context and analysis of Leviticus 18:22
  2. Oh the irony
  3. BibleStudyTools.com


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