My Mum's Ancient Family Bible

My Mum's Ancient Family Bible
Kept in the garage of all places for so many years, it's finally been put to good use.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ladies! Give Your Fat Up to the Lord! (Leviticus 1-5)

Leviticus is all about specifics. I like that. Whenever I watch comedy, it's always the specifics that make me laugh.

The first few chapters of Leviticus deal with the subject of animal sacrifice and what passes muster and what doesn't. Sacrificing a mangy animal is a no-no. Wasting the fat is a no-no. God is especially keen on the blood being splattered around as much as possible. He wants a show.

All the fat must be burned separately as an offering because "all fat is the Lord's" (Lev 3:16). This sounds to me like the slogan for a women's weight-loss clinic with evangelical leanings (Put down that Three Muskateers - give your fat up to Jesus!"). In my imagination this clinic would also incorporate a mild circuit of exercises resembling nothing more than shifting your weight back and forth. And possibly some calf stretches. 

Not every offering has to be an animal. If you're too poor to make a proper offering of a bull or a ram, you can offer up two turtledoves or pidgeons or even some flour. Leviticus 2 discusses these "cereal offerings". In the case of cereal offerings, if there are any leftovers (which is not a word I easily associate with the concept of religious sacrifices) then Aaron and his sons get them because they're the priests. That's the best. I love it when I host a party and people bring lots of food and it just gets left at my place afterward. The number of lunches I'm able to assemble is my gauge for how successful the party was (for me).

Leviticus 5 starts to get into sins. Did you know it's a sin to take a "rash oath" (Lev 5:4)? It doesn't even matter if you're promises to do good or bad - it's a sin to be hasty in your decision-making. There are also a lot of ways in which you can become "unclean". For example, "...if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort [italics added] the uncleanness may be with which one becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, when he comes to know it he shall be guilty" (Lev 5:3). This sounds wide-open but after reading it a couple of times, I think it's referring to getting a venereal disease with slow-to-show symptoms from someone you don't know very well (obviously). That's a sin.

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