I have to start by making a quick confession. I was looking at my tag cloud on the side bar, when I realized that both “atheist” and “athiest” were there. Turns out I had 3 posts tagged with the improper spelling! People who misspell atheist are one of my pet-peeves, so I feel the need to seek forgiveness for my hypocrisy. Apparently I can’t spell it either, but I’ve seen the error of my ways and have corrected the wayward tags.
Maybe I’m the athi-est atheist! *ba dum tss*
Chapter 24- God give Moses some rules for tabernacle housekeeping. A half Israelite, half Egyptian man blasphemes the name of the Lord, so the people take him to Moses for justice. God says to stone him, so the people do.
Man, Islam gets a bad rep for spreading via sword, but I think I’d rather die at sword point than by stoning. Although, ideally I think we shouldn’t kill anyone for what they think or say about god. Is the Jewish/Christian god so weak that he can’t handle a little criticism? I hate to Godwin my own blog- but you know who else killed dissenters? Hitler!
Chapter 25- Instructions for taking a Sabbath year every 7 years, and having a Jubilee year every 50 years. Rules for selling back property/servants that you bought and/or giving them back for free during the Jubilee year.
I’m confused about the rules for what one may eat during the Sabbath year.
4 But in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5 What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. 6 And the sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you, 7 for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land–all its produce shall be for food.
So, one may not reap anything that grows, yet the things that grow are to be food for the people, servants and animals? We get a little clarification later on:
20 And if you say, “What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?” 21 Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years. 22 And you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest.
That sounds like a very testable hypothesis. Are there records of consistently abundant harvests every six years in antiquity? Do modern day Jewish farmers see bounty crops on a regular schedule?
This business about giving/selling back land that has been purchased just sounds complicated. If I buy land in the first year after a Jubilee, how in the world is anybody going to remember who to give it back to 49 years later? What if it changes hands multiple times over the course of 50 years? Can you even imagine how the modern economy would collapse if the idea of property ownership weren’t permanent? If you had to pay for land, then give it back for free? Sounds crazy to my 21st century brain.
There is a command here against buying a fellow Israelite as a slave- you can only keep them as indentured servants, and you have to free the in the Jubilee. But, if it’s a foreigner:
44 And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have–from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. 45 Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. 46 And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor.
The Bible has gross morals. I hope everyone reading this understands just how inhumane it is to keep other human beings as slaves and pass them around like property. Even land gets to go free in the Jubilee, but not foreigners forced into slavery!
Now, take a moment to consider that the Bible voices its pro-slavery stance constantly throughout the book- faaaar more often than it has something to say about homosexuality. (I’m still annoyed about that stoning the gays business from yesterday.) If you understand that the Bible had the wrong of it about slavery- and that people who used the Bible to fight to keep slaves during the time of emancipation now look like racist, dogmatic assholes- then I hope you take a moment to think before you next use the bible to fight against gay marriage.
Tomorrow is going to be the last of Leviticus, which I suspect will be both a blessing and a curse. It means I’m making progress, but next comes Numbers, which is where I gave up last time I tried to read the Bible.