Rules, Rules, Rules
The first seven chapters are all about sacrifices, animal or cereal. Sacrifices of sin, depending on the sinner’s station in the tribe. Chapters eight, nine and ten are rules for the priesthood, consecration and such. Eleven through sixteen are about cleanliness, or rather uncleanliness because the focus is on traits possessed, not traits absent. Animals, sexual relations and skin diseases are the three big uncleans, here’s where the rules for kosher foods first come up. The origin of the scapegoat is in here too, place all the guilt of the tribe on a goat and then send it off into the wild.

Let’s talk about sexual prohibitions, baby.
18:22 “You will not have intercourse with a man as you would a woman. This is a hateful thing.” But Girl-on-girl action is totally cool.
Twelve of the sexual prohibitions are incestuous in nature, listed specifically by relation. Also forbidden is sex with a woman on her period, bestiality and doing it with a fellow-citizen’s wife. While male homosexuality is the only act described as hateful there doesn’t seem to be much difference in the punishment according to the previous chapter, just a sacrifice.
Having sexual relations with one’s children is not specifically forbidden, which is odd because incestuous relations with one’s grandchildren is. And it is okay to cheat on your wife as long as the other woman isn’t married. Also, rape is not expressly forbidden.
Chapter twenty repeats the naughty sex acts, but not all of them. There’s a lot or repetition in Leviticus, it repeats itself and the Ten Commandments pop up here in incomplete form.

And then… more rules! Society rules this time, how to treat your deadbeat brother, a schedule of annual feasts and rituals for the nomadic Israelites to perform when moving into a new land.

God Will F- You Up!
Then there’s the threats. 26:14-46 is all about the horrible things God will do to you if you cross him. And Yahweh really didn’t like Moloch he’s forbidden twice by name. And I say it’s about time Moloch gets taken down a peg, he’s had it too good for too long.

If I ever crash a fundamentalist event I found my sign: “Leviticus 19:19 you will not wear a garment made of two kinds of fabric. And I vote!”

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Comments: (2)


  1. Interesting post. I was reading “How To Be Perfect”, a book by Daniel Harrell. It is about one church’s experiment in living the Old Testament book of Leviticus. Taking Leviticus laws and trying to apply them to a modern-day world can be a daunting task. It is a good read. It covers a lot of interesting points you make. In my mind, it is probably the toughest book of the Bible to grasp.

    Comment by Leviticus — January 4, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

  2. I’ve read The Year of Living Biblically that inspired the book you reference.
    I’ll know for sure when I get to the New Testament but wasn’t part of Jesus’ message that he brought a new covenant and the covenant in Leviticus could be forgotten?

    I’ll see… sometime next year, probably.

    Comment by Tone — January 4, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

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