Chapter 19- A list of rules.
You guys! I found some rules I like in the Bible! Like, actual good ideas for living morally and peacefully!
Help the poor: “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger.” (9&10)
Be fair to your neighbors, employees, and people you do business with: “You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning.”(13) “And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him.” (33) “You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin.” (36)
Don’t be a dick to people with disabilities: “You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind.” (14)
Don’t sell your daughter into prostitution: “Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to be a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry, and the land become full of wickedness.” (29) Of course, this one is only a command out of concern for corrupting the whole land, not specifically b/c it’s wrong to do that to your daughter. Baby steps in the right direction…
But, there’s some pretty crappy/inane things here as well:
“You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.” (19) Mules and ligers are right out, sorry, as are those packages of mixed wildflowers and wearing polyester.!
“When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as uncircumcised. Three years it shall be as uncircumcised to you. It shall not be eaten. But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the Lord. And in the fifth year you may eat its fruit, that it may yield to you its increase.” Hope you aren’t concerned about vitamin C deficiencies, because you can’t eat fruit for 4 years after you move somewhere new.
Those guys with the long, curly sideburns? They’re just keeping God’s commands. “You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard.” (27)
Chapter 20- A list of things for which the punishment is death.
Verse 11, “The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.” Why is sleeping with your (step)mother considered uncovering your father’s nakedness? Again, no consideration is given to the woman and her wishes here.
Verse 13- “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.” Please refer to yesterday’s commentary about chapter 18. Fuck you if you use this verse to condemn homosexuals, while you also trim your beard and eat cheeseburgers.
Chapter 21- Rules on who the priests can approach/touch/marry.
This chapter gives the command that the woman you marry must be a virgin, which people use to this day to shame non-virginal women. But, this chapter is a list of rules specifically for the priests, which means we can glean two important bits of information: clergy can marry (I’m looking at you, Catholic church) and the rest of us should chill out about virginity! If you’re interested in further reading about how virginity shouldn’t be such a big deal, I recommend The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti (if you know me IRL, I own it and would be happy to lend it to you).
“Speak to Aaron, saying: ‘No man of your descendants in succeeding generations, who has any defect, may approach to offer the bread of his God. For any man who has a defect shall not approach: a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb too long, a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, or is a hunchback or a dwarf, or a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or is a eunuch.” (17-20) Man, the Bible was doing so great in chapter 19, advising us to be nice to the blind and deaf, but it seems that people with certain disabilities aren’t good enough for God. If you need glasses, don’t try to become a priest!