Leviticus

Repent, sinners!I’ve been hearing a lot about the book of Leviticus lately. Because I’m interested in the many ways that I and those around me are continually damning ourselves, I figured I’d check it out for myself. I found some interesting passages, some of which are quoted below (quotes come from the King James version of the Bible).

We all know that God hates gays: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” (20:13) On the other hand, it seems that he’s only against man on man – there’s no mention of lesbians anywhere, so it looks like lesbian porn is okay.

There are plenty of other interesting passages that are referenced less often, however.

For example, eating rabbit or pig is a sin: “These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.” (11:2-8)

For that matter, shrimp, swordfish, and many other types of seafood are not okay: “And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.” (11:10-12)

And no turtle on the half shell or escargot: “These also [shall be] unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole.” (11:29-30)

Farmers must not grow more than one type of crop, nor are people allowed to wear garments of mixed fabric: “Thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.” (19:19)

If you have an orchard, you can’t eat the fruit there for the first three years: “And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.” (19:23)

A man cannot cut his bangs or trim his beard: “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.” (19:27)

Also, God hates tattoos: “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” (19:28)

A man cannot lie with a woman or see her naked during her period: “And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.” (20:18)

No shaving one’s head, and a reminder that God hates goatees and tattoos: “They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.” (21:5)

If you marry, the woman must be a virgin. A widow or divorced woman must remain single for the rest of her life. Oh yeah, and interracial marriages are bad, bad, bad: “And he shall take a wife in her virginity. A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.” (21:13-14)

Slavery, on the other hand, is okay, so long as the slaves are not from Israel: “Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.” (25:44-45)

I don’t really have a conclusion to draw from all of this, except that those who like to hold up the Bible as the ultimate moral authority might want to give it a read-through, particularly when it comes to sections like the Book of Leviticus. From the looks of it, we’re all major sinners.

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