About yesterday’s post: I’m back home with my trusty NKJV bible, and chapter 13 is labeled “Signs and Treatment of Leprosy” in this version. So, that makes a little more sense as to why only white rashes were a concern here. But, treatment? If by “treatment” you mean “sequester infected people and hope it goes away”, then okay. But there are no instructions here for actual treatment of the disease. Wikipedia says that effective treatment for leprosy didn’t arise until the 1940s. Thanks for letting people suffer and die for thousands of years before humans discovered bacteria and medicine, God!
Okay, moving on.
Chapter 14- Instructions for ritually cleansing a human or house that has recovered from leprosy/mold.
I wonder how many priests contracted leprosy/other infectious skins diseases after being required to examine every sore that sprouted on the people. Add that to my list of reasons I’m glad I’m not a priest.
As part of the ritual for becoming clean post-leprosy infection, one had to take 2 birds to the priest. One bird was slaughtered, then the other bird was dipped in the dead bird’s blood then released into an open field. Ewwww. And later a lamb had to be killed, and the former leper was to be smeared with lamb’s blood. This Biblical obsession with putting blood on everything is grossing me out.
Verse 34, “When you have come into the land of Canaan, which I give you as a possession, and I put the leprous plague in a house in the land of your possession….” The footnotes say that “leprous plague” means “decomposition by mildew, mold dry rot, etc.” I just wanted to point out that God straight up takes credit here for making mold grow in houses.
Chapter 15- Rules about bodily discharges making a person unclean, specifically semen and menstrual blood, and how they are to become clean again.
Verses 2&3, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them; ‘When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean. And this shall be his uncleanness in regard to his discharge– whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body is stopped up by his discharge, it is his uncleanness.” Can you be more specific, please? Mucus? Vomit? Urine? Feces? Blood from a cut? Spit? A runny nose? Tears?
If being “stopped up by discharge” is grounds for uncleanliness, I’m screwed. My allergies are such that my nose is never completely un-stuffy. What about if you wake up in the morning and realize you drooled in your sleep? Are you unclean for the rest of the day just for a little drool?
Verse 6, “He who sits on anything on which he who has the discharge sat shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.” Again, this is God setting people up for failure. How can you possibly know if the chair you want to sit in was previously occupied by a man with a discharge?
A man who has a discharge specifically of semen, a woman who sleeps with the man who discharged the semen, a woman on her period, and a man who sleeps with a menstruating woman are all unclean, and their beds, chairs, clothes etc are also unclean. How can you possibly avoid every surface that may have been touched by a person with natural bodily functions?
Verse 18, “Also, when a woman lies with a man, and there is an emission of semen, they shall bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.” It’s my understanding that sex back in those days was more commonly for reproductive purposes than for recreation, so isn’t an emission of semen the whole point? It’s a good idea to rinse of any stray semen after the fact, but to then be ritually impure the rest of the day just seems unnecessary. God thinks sex is dirty, mmkay?
Verse 19, “If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening.” *Sigh* What a hassle. And how lonely it must have been to have no human contact for a week. (or longer. There are provisions here for periods that last longer than 7 days as well.) Well, except other menstruating women, I suppose.
To become clean from a discharge, a sin offering and a burnt offering had to be made. Excuse me? What part of normal, natural bodily function am I supposed to consider sinful? There is no sin in menstruation, or wet dreams, or becoming sick and vomiting. This is one of the things that really grinds my gears about religion- perfectly normal things are now considered sinful, all because some ancient book says so.