Howdy folks! Just a forewarning: I’m on vacation until Sunday. I’m going to try to keep up with my daily posts, but if I disappear for a day or two, just know that I’m happily pool-side.
Chapter 16- Instructions are given to Aaron about how to properly prepare for entering the holy place of the tabernacle, as well as instructions for offering atonement for the people once a year.
The idea of a scapegoat is introduced here. Aaron is to take 2 goats, cast lots for the them, then one goat gets offered as a burnt sacrifice, and the other becomes the scapegoat, gets metaphorically burdened with the sins of the people, and released into the wilderness.
It’s interesting to me, that in today’s parlance “scapegoat” tends to mean the person who takes the brunt of the blame and punishment, but in the bible the scapegoat is the one that gets to live. I’d rather be the scapegoat than the burnt offering.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the penalty for entering the holy place improperly is death. The scapegoat may get to live, but if Aaron wears the wrong tunic he’s going to snuff it.
Chapter 17- After killing an animal, people must take the fatty bits to the tabernacle as an offering. The rule against eating blood is repeated.
Verse 7, “They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generation.” I wonder if this is the Bible saying that demons are real, or if it’s just saying that the people thought they were real. It’s unclear, and I’m curious.
Chapter 18- Rules against “uncovering the nakedness” of your relatives, sleeping with your neighbor’s wife, homosexuality, and bestiality.
There are several verses that prohibit “uncovering the nakedness” of your kinfolk, which I at first assumed meant sexual relations. But, later verses say not to “lie carnally” with certain people. Are those two phrases synonyms, or different things? Can you sleep with a close family member of the opposite gender as long as you don’t get naked?
And, of course, we need to take a moment to discuss verse 22. “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”
I hope that image tells you all you need to know about my views on the matter. This verse is joke, not to be taken seriously, and certainly shouldn’t be used to deny rights to part of our population. If you have a shred of decency about you, take a moment to consider that other people’s sex lives aren’t your business and gay marriage is about so much more than sex. If that’s the only part of a couple’s relationship you’re able to focus on, you’re the one with the problem. (Honestly, sometimes I think the anti-gay folks spend more time thinking about gay sex than gay people do.)
And please take a moment to consider all the other rules from the Old Testament that we all ignore. If you eat meat and dairy together, wear garments of mixed fibers, have a tattoo, eat shrimp, don’t make your wife live in a tent during her period, don’t stone your children when they are disobedient, etc, etc, etc, why in the world is this the one verse you’d insist on enforcing? If gay sex grosses you out, don’t do! Easy as that.
Also, this verse says nothing about women lying with women, so I guess God was cool with lesbian sex.