Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Bible: A Very Grim Fairytale - Leviticus: Chapter 6: Holy Meat



Leviticus is still concerning itself with sins and atonement at the moment. But in this chapter we get down to the nitty gritty of what happens in that Tabernacle. And surprise surprise, the priests are allowed to eat some of the meat. Well who saw that coming eh?

So God supposedly told Moses that there was yet another type of offering that had to be made. This was if someone lied or got some property through dishonesty. Fair enough you might well think. Turns out that God will forgive this. How? By taking yet another burnt offering. This time it has to be a ram. A heavy price indeed. Oh and there has to be full restitution of the goods or chattels that were gained dishonestly. Plus 20 per cent.

Then we get into the real nitty gritty. You may have noticed that Leviticus keeps repeating itself. It does so again now. More talk of all of those burnt offerings. But we are told something interesting. The fires under the various altars for burnt offerings have to be kept burning in perpetuity. Imagine how much wood that would take. There are several altars remember.

And we get some talk of ceremony too. The priests - all descendants of Aaron of course - have to go in and change their clothes, probably because they are blood soaked and then they change clothes again and make the burnt offering.

There are subtly different ceremonies to be performed and different rules according to the different burnt offerings that God has decided are necessary. But, and this is the really important bit, for some of these burnt offerings the priests, the descendants of Aaron are allowed to eat the meat and the bread. Who would have thought it eh? You could knock me over with a feather.

So there are lots of rules and laws about what people have to do. People have to make regular burnt offerings just to keep God happy. They also have to make burnt offerings if they break the rules, even if they do so by accident. And the priests get to eat the leftovers. It's a nice living. And just by the act of eating this meat and other tasty treats the priests are rendered holy. So says God.

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