Sunday, 6 November 2016
The Bible: A Very Grim Fairytale - Leviticus: Chapter 8: The Priestly Ceremony
We've just spent the first seven chapters of Leviticus with God supposedly telling his prophet Moses how he wanted to be worshipped from now on. Conveniently this came in the form of lots of free food for God and his priests. This is what Leviticus is all about. It's nothing to do with morality. It's about rules and payments for the priests. They are literally profiting from their prophet.
So God had given Moses all of his rules and he now went down to the people of Israel and addressed them. He must have had a very loud and booming voice because there were supposed to be half a million of them.
This is all about the claims of the entirely fictitious Aaron and his alleged descendants and their claims to be priests in perpetuity. Remember Aaron had been inserted gratuitously into the narrative throughout Exodus. He had also encouraged the making of the golden calf but that seems to have been forgotten about now. But now we see why he was inserted. Now he gets to be a priest. A very rich priest.
Moses now had a big ceremony to ordain Aaron and his sons as the official priests of the tribe of Israel. They would from now on be the official priests and receivers of lots of lovely meat and gifts for God.
Moses first washed Aaron and his sons and then started sprinkling blood all over them. They had a thing about blood, presumably this is why they decided it couldn't be eaten.
And there was anointing oil and nice clothes and crown for Aaron's head. And then they did all of the sacrifices that have been described in the previous chapters, lots of animals are slaughtered for no good reason, lots of blood is sprinkled around and lots of burning of flesh is done on the altars of the Tabernacle.
Once all of this was done and they had all been dressed in their new finery Moses told them that they had to stay in the Tabernacle for seven days. God had decreed it. Still, once they had done this they were to have a nice easy, rich and well fed life in perpetuity. Nice.