Chapter 3: Leviticus
Lev:3:7: If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before the LORD.
This is just a sample of several chapters of redundancy, in which virtually the same procedure is reiterated for each of the various animals that God told people to kill. What moral lesson do we learn from all of this? That if you sin, you should then kill an animal, dissect it, sprinkle its blood, and burn it? I would venture to say that such actions would simply add more wrongdoing to the original sin!
Lev:5:3: Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever uncleanness it be that a man shall be defiled withal, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty.
This contradicts what Jesus is recorded as saying in the Gospels:
Mk:7:18: And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
If ingesting something cannot defile a man, how much less would simply touching something defile him! Yet, Leviticus claims that touching something unclean shall defile a man. Which are we to believe?
Lev:7:8: And the priest that offereth any man's burnt offering, even the priest shall have to himself the skin of the burnt offering which he hath offered.
Here we learn the possible ulterior motive behind the burning of all of these animals: the priests got to eat the leftovers!
Lev:10:1: And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.
Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu attempted a little spontaneous "worship" and were promptly burned to death by God for their presumption. Moses attributed this to God’s "sanctification" and being "glorified"! He wisely counseled Aaron not to mourn the loss of his sons, lest he also suffer from God’s temperamental and violent nature.
Lev:11:13: And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,
Bats are not fowls: they are mammals.
Lev:11:20: All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.
Which fowls have four legs? Had the creator forgotten what he had and hadn’t created?
Lev:11:43: Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.
Why did the "holy" creator create "abominable", "unclean", "unholy" things?
Lev:12:2: Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.
Why would childbirth render a woman "unclean"? Why would giving birth to a girl render the mother unclean for a period of time twice as long (2 weeks, followed by a 66 day period of "purifying") as for giving birth to a boy (1 week, followed by a 33 day period of "purifying")? Is this yet another instance of females being considered inferior (hence more unclean)?
Earlier (Lev. 11:10), God said that turtles were an "abomination", but here he says that "two turtles" may be offered upon his altar!
Why would two animals have to be killed whenever a child was born? How would this ‘cleanse’ the mother ‘from the issue of her blood’? Is there any explanation other than barbaric superstition?
This is the law Mary observed after giving birth to Jesus: dutifully observing the purification period, and killing two animals:
Lk:2:22: And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
It must be then, that "immaculate" Mary wasn’t so immaculate for that month; she was "unclean".
Lev:18:6: None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.
The above law would make it very difficult for a parent or grandparent to give their children or grandchildren a bath.
Lev:18:19: Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.
This would seem to indicate that if a woman were not "unclean" (i.e. having her menstrual period) it would be all right to strip her naked.
Lev:18:20: Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her.
Notice that the woman’s right not to be molested is not acknowledged; a man must not lie with his neighbor’s wife because it would defile him! Once again, the Bible fails to consider things from the woman’s point of view.
Lev:18:24: Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
I wonder if God had laid down all these laws for the inhabitants of Canaan before he judged them guilty of breaking them. It hardly seems fair to make up some laws, deliver them to one group, and then punish a different group, ignorant of those laws, for not upholding them. The Bible records atrocities committed by the Israelites which were far more serious than uncovering a relative’s nakedness, homosexuality, or bestiality. Yet, as the Bible relates it, God ordered the Israelites to butcher the Canaanites (men, women, children, infants, and babies still in the womb) based on this travesty of justice. The land did not "vomit out her inhabitants," the Israelites murdered the inhabitants, raped the women, and stole the land.
Lev:19:20: And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.
It was evidently only considered a sin to have sex with a "bondmaid" due to the fact that she was the property of her master. Although it takes two to "lie carnally", it was only the woman who was to be scourged: the man would be "forgiven" (after the usual killing of an animal).
Lev:20:12: And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
God specifically mentioned "uncovering the nakedness" of one’s half-sister, one's daughter-in-law, and one’s aunt as sins which the Canaanites had committed. These sins were used to justify the wholesale slaughter of these people and the stealing of their land by the Israelites. Just from reading this passage, one would assume that the Israelites were innocent of such sins, and that is why God proposed to annihilate the Canaanites and give their land to the Israelites.
But, if you’ve been reading the Bible up to this point you know that the Israelites were guilty of the sin of incest. Abraham, for instance, married his half-sister, and he became the patriarch of the Israelites. His son Isaac also claimed to have married his sister (though this, apparently was a lie). Judah, the patriarch of one of the most important tribes of Israel, had sex with his daughter-in-law. Moses himself, to whom these words of God were supposedly directly spoken, was the child of incest; his father had married his aunt:
Ex:6:20: And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.
So, were the Israelites really so much better than the Canaanites? The Bible’s own record supplies a negative answer, and leaves us to conclude that the slaughter of the Canaanites was not only unjust, but also a horrible crime against humanity.
The prohibition given here against "uncovering the nakedness" of one’s brother’s wife contradicts what we read in Deuteronomy:
Deut:25:5: If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
In Leviticus God said that a man should not take his brother’s wife. In Deuteronomy God said that a man should take his brother’s wife. So, if my brother were to die, should I marry his wife or not? Looking to the Bible for guidance on this issue would only lead to confusion.
Lev:21:7: They shall not take a wife that is a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he is holy unto his God.
This prohibits a divorced woman from ever remarrying once her husband has "put her away". There is no restriction on the man remarrying (since he is "holy unto his God"). Once again the "perfect law of God" contains a double standard.
Lev:21:17: Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.
According to this, if a man was born with some deformity, or had broken certain bones, or had "broken" testicles, he could not perform one of the duties of a priest. None of these things directly relate to one’s moral character, nor are they things that one could have any control over. So God was judging by one’s outward appearance, something that Paul indicated was wrong at 2 Cor. 10:7, and something that God claimed not to do (1 Sam. 16:7).
Lev:22:11: But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat.
In a book which many claim to be the laws of the "loving God", one would expect to find rules regarding ethical conduct and fair play in one’s relationships with others. In stark contrast, we find a book so obsessed with the minutest details centering around the offering of sacrifices, that it accepts the violation of basic ethical principles in passing. In this verse, God does not condemn a priest for buying a slave: God’s only concern is whether the slave should be allowed to eat the priest’s meat!
Lev:25:44: 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.
More instruction on how to buy and keep slaves from this "holy book" of moral instruction!
Lev:26:3: If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
According to this, God is in full control of whether it rains, or the crops do well. This means that droughts and famines are his fault. He is also in control of war and peace, and can choose to bring about peace if he so desires. So the fact that there is war in the world means that God must find it entertaining, and so has no desire to bring about peace.
The text also reveals that God is in control of human reproduction. So the mass starvation and environmental perils humankind faces due to our overpopulation must also amuse the Lord.
The text mentions how God will "rid evil beasts out of the land". If God created all things and declared them all "very good" (Gen. 1:31), how could there be such things as "evil beasts"? If we argue that the animals were created "good", but chose to do evil (the familiar argument used to explain evil humans), then we must accept the fact that beasts have a moral sense. But if non-human animals have a moral sense, then how could it be ethical to kill them as sacrificial offerings as if they had no feelings and no worth of their own?
Lev:26:22: I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate.
Why would a just God punish the children and the cattle? It was not up to them to keep the covenant!
Lev:26:28: Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
Here, God promised to induce cannibalism amongst the Israelites! They would eat their own children! Only an insane imagination could’ve come up with such a horrible threat!
Lev:27:28: Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD.
Here, God approved of human sacrifice!