Sunday, 2 October 2016

The Bible: A Very Grim Fairytale - Leviticus: Chapter 3: The Peace Offering

We are still in the business of creating a religion. That is what Leviticus is all about. We've had the fable about Moses and the exodus, now we get the price that his followers have to pay for belief in this very demanding God.

So now we come to the peace offering. This is yet more animals to be sacrificed for the glory of God. This peace offering, or wellbeing offering or fellowship offering or something like that - translations vary - is just another excuse for a ceremony and for the priests to get some food. These were very well fed priests.

The only difference between this offering is that God will accept a male or a female beast as his sacrifice to be slaughtered, butchered and laid upon an altar in the Tabernacle. Otherwise it's the same as the others: the animals have to be perfect and blemish free. But God will accept a bull or cow, a male or female sheep or a male or female goat. Which is generous of him.

The priests, Aaron's descendants, were to slaughter these beasts - the place must have looked more like an abattoir than a place of worship - cut out the kidneys and the liver and the fat from the flanks and then burn it all on the altar. Sounds delicious doesn't it.

Oh and here we also get the first of those weird stipulations that religions make about what can and cannot be eaten. It shall be a perpetual statute it states, that the fat should not be eaten. That is for God. The rest of it can be eaten.

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