Sunday, 22 January 2017
The Bible: A Very Grim Fairytale - Leviticus: Chapter 17 - Blood and Jehovah's Witnesses
I think we can safely agree that Leviticus is not exactly light or entertaining reading is it. Lots of sub pagan claptrap about animal sacrifices and how wearing the wrong clothes or doing things the wrong way is a terrible sin against this weird and needy god. Many scholars think that Leviticus, for all of its idiocies, actually ended at Chapter 16. But someone decided we needed yet more rules about stuff. So now we get some ignorant and brainless rules about blood inserted later by more priests looking for free food and power. Are you listening Jehovah's Witnesses?
So, we are told, God spoke to Moses and gave him some more instructions for Aaron. Aaron of course is the chief priest. This is a clear and obvious power grab once more. The priests, who claimed to be descended from Aaron were inserting some more rules so as to establish their holiness and power. Nothing ever changes does it.
It was now made clear that any and all animals slaughtered had first to be taken to the Tabernacle and an offering made to the priests, sorry, God. These were fantastically well fed priests. Remember there was supposed be half a million Hebrews at this stage. The Tabernacle must have been swimming in blood and animal flesh.
But now we come to blood. Shedding blood without making an offering to God was a sin and meant whoever did it was cut off from his people.
The animal had to be brought to the Tabernacle and blood sprinkled on the altar. But here's the question: if there was only one Tabernacle in the whole of Israel was that not impractical? And how big was it? How many altars were there? Or was this a franchise operation, with branch Tabernacles all over the promised land. God is details obsessed with regard to what his priests should wear and what incantations and decorations his Tabernacle had to have but he didn't think this through properly did he.
And now we get the bit that Jehovah's Witnesses invoke for their idiocy. Leviticus 17:10 says that nobody should eat blood. God would set his face against anyone who broke this solemn injunction. From this Jehovah's Witnesses have invented the notion that this prohibition of eating blood somehow also prohibits blood transfusions.
Why is this? Well God says that blood is life and that he had given it to people. Now he's half right about this of course. Blood is life. But then so is the heart, so is the liver, the kidneys, the spleen, the lungs. Why is blood accorded this special protected status?
Nevertheless this is the instruction from God. No eating blood. And not just Jews were to obey this, anyone residing in Israel was to follow this ignorant and silly rule.
Oh and any animal that died naturally or was killed by other animals involved special instructions too. Anyone eating animals that had died in ways other than being sacrificed at the Tabernacle had to bathe themselves and wash their clothes and be regarded as unclean for the rest of the day. Fortunately God didn't foresee roadkill. Or Sainsbury's.