Basically, how to offer burnt-animal sacrifices to God. In a lot of detail.
How to offer grain-based offerings to God — again, in a lot of detail. The thing looks like a Martha Stewart cookbook. "If your grain offering is prepared on a griddle, it is to be made of the finest flour mixed with oil, and without yeast." And that's a good thing.
Animal-based offerings, of the non-burnt variety. Remember, remove the long lobe of the liver with those kidneys, those are the holiest parts! Also, "All the fat is the Lord's."
Wuh-oh, what to do if someone sins. I was expecting something juicier, but it's all about goats and what to do with them. Sometimes you sacrifice a male goat "without defects," sometimes a female goat "without defects." Good thing this book tells us which one.
If you keep quiet if you know something's wrong and someone gets nailed for it, if you touch something "unclean," it's all about lambs and doves. Or, if you sin and didn't really mean to, take a good ram from your flock. Because it's 2012 and we're all fucking shepherds.
Screw-over your neighbour? Pay back what you stole, add 20% and, you guessed it, a ram from your flock goes to God. Also, more about how exactly to burn offerings: burn it all night, the priest has to wear linen undies, change clothes before scooping out the ashes, and for crying out loud keep that fire going all night. Grains must give "an aroma pleasing to the Lord," but really, who knows what the Lord digs? Also, clay pots have to be smashed afterwards, but just make sure to give bronze pots a good scrubbing.
More about how to do offerings. Honestly, this all sounds pretty wasteful; why would you make awesome bread and then just burn it? This ghost in the sky has some really weird fetishes. If you sneak a bit of God's offering, though -- even if you're really peckish -- sorry, pal, but you're supposed to be "cut off from [your] people." Same goes if you're an Israelite and you eat the fat of cattle, sheep or goats, or blood. Cut off!
Can we please talk about something other than offerings? This is getting pretty repetitive.
Alright, so now we get Moses and Aaron into the picture... and all they do is talk about how they sacrificed things. Pleasing aromas, splashing some blood on the altar and their clothes, sometimes with and sometimes without yeast, yadda yadda.
Moses and Aaron invite some elders down for another goddamn sacrifice. PLEASE GET TO THE HOMOSEXUAL PARTS! (Tee hee, though... "And when all the people saw [the burning sacrifice], they shouted for joy and fell facedown." FAIL.)
Two of Aaron's sons lit up some incense, and because it wasn't holy, God burned them to death, and Aaron didn't say a thing. Also, if your hair is natty and your clothes are ripped, and you leave church early, or drink booze in church, GOD IS GOING TO KILL YOU. S'ok, though, Israelites can mourn your death. So you've got that going for you, which is nice.
Here's what you can eat: stuff with divided hooves and chews cud. But not camels, or hyraxes, or rabbits, or (obviously) pigs. Scales and fins on swimming animals? Fry 'em up. Eagles, vultures, kites, ravens, owls, and a few other birds are a no-go. Locusts and crickets are fine, but some flying insects aren't. If you touch something unclean, you're "unclean till evening." And, NO SNAKES.
Give birth to a son? You're unclean for a week, then wait another 33 days to be purified. DOUBLE THIS IF YOU GIVE BIRTH TO A DAUGHTER. (Why? Just because.) Oh, and circumcise the boy when he's eight days old. (Snippity-snip!) Oh yeah, and there's some burnt offerings involved, "to make atonement for her" — for what, squeezing a new potential minion for You out of her vag?!
Have a rash? Take it to a priest; he'll tell you if it's a "defiling skin disease" or not, because priests are totally doctors. Here's the punchline, though: "Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of their face and cry out, 'Unclean! Unclean!' As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp." Oh, and if mold grows on your fabrics, have a priest check that out, too. (They're so handy.)
What do you do if you're unclean from such a skin disease? Well, there's some cedar involved, and some scarlet yarn, and some birds you have to dip in other birds' blood. (Wait, what?) Then, you guessed it, animal sacrifices for all!
Have an unusual bodily discharge? You, and everything you touch, are unclean. Did you ejaculate? Unclean until evening. Did you cum on the sheets? Wash them... but they're still unclean until evening. Also, if a man and a woman screw... you'd better believe they're unclean until evening. Raggin' chicks are unclean for a week, as are dudes who do them and get a little Aunt Flo on their business. Then you wait a week, and sacrifice two doves (burning one of them). Man, you'd blow through your dove budget in no time flat!
I think all of this chapter deals with Aaron only, but I'm not sure. It talks about how Aaron has to wear linen and sacrifice something, but only on a certain day. But, at the end it says that everyone has to fast and rest on the tenth day of the seventh month, every year. Guess I know what I'll be doing on July 10!
You see, it's the blood of the animals you sacrifice that carries its life... so, eat it and God'll kick your ass.
Aha, the part I was waiting for. Don't screw close relatives; but more specifically, don't screw...
- your mom
- your stepmom
- your sister (or stepsister)
- your granddaughter
- your aunt
- your daughter-in-law
- your sister-in-law
- a mom/daughter combo
- your wife's sister that you have married (if your first wife's still alive)
- a chick on the rag
- your neighbour's wife
- a dude
- an animal (this apparently goes for chicks too)
All sorts of assorted rules in here, man... don't lie, slander, steal, all that good stuff. Don't harvest your grain to the edge of your property; that's for the poors, as are the grapes you try to harvest but, whoops, they fell on the ground. Don't cuss-out deaf people, and don't move furniture in the way of blind people, for kicks. Love your neighbour as yourself. (Actually, I could sorta get behind that last one.) A special kind of random crazy pops up next, though:
- don't mate different kinds of animals (although mules have been around for a while, no?)
- don't plant two different kinds of seeds in your field
- don't wear clothes of two diferent fabrics
- if you screw some other guy's chick-slave, it's bad, but it's not *that* bad
- if you plant a fruit tree in a foreign country, the fruit is unclean for three years; in the fourth it's holy enough for God, and in the fifth it's edible for you
- don't cut the hair on the sides of your head, or trim the sides of your beard
- don't get a tattoo
- don't make your daughter a prostitute
This reminds me of Jasper on the Simpsons describing what's worth a paddlin'.
- sacrificing kids to Molek = death
- visit a psychic = cut off from your people (and death to the psychic)
- cussing-out your parents = death
- screw another man's wife = death (for both of you)
- screw your mom, stepmom, daughter-in-law, a dude or an animal = death (for everyone involved)
- marry a woman and her mom at the same time = all three get burned to death
- marry and screw your sister, or do a raggin' chick = everyone's cut off
- screw your aunt or marry your brother's wife = you'll all die childless
Rules for priests, which oddly mentions how they're not supposed to marry a divorced chick or a prostitute, but I suppose marrying someone else is alright... right, Mr. Pope, sir? Anyway, if a priest's daugher is a prostitute, burn her. Also, high priests can't marry anyone but (a.) a virgin, (b.) of the same background as them, in addition to the above rules for regular priests. Also, keep the cripples away from the fucking offerings.
Actually, keep all the dirty pervs away from the fucking offerings. Oh, and if a priest buys a slave, it's cool if they eat food the priest makes — but not his daughter if she marries anyone except a priest, but if she's "back on the market" and hasn't squeezed out a kid yet, it's cool, she can eat that food again. And, remember, no crippled sacrifices — only the best of the best should be wasted for the Lord!
Don't work on the Sabbath. Passover's on such-and-such a day. Sacrifice the first grain you harvest, and then seven weeks later sacrifice a shitload more. Blow some trumpets on another day, take another day and atone for stuff you've done, then some time later take a whole week and just go to town on the whole "celebrating the Lord" thing — and make it a camp-out, for good measure.
This bit's a little confusing... keep olive-oil lamps burning all night outside the tent that houses the ark of the covenant, and stack up some awesome bread for Aaron and his sons while you're at it — after all, they're the ones tending to the lamps. Then it gets fun and random: the people you're supposed to stone to death, specifically blasphemers of the name of God and murderers. But hey, if you hit your neighbour, he can hit you back; "eye for an eye," after all. Same goes if you kill his animal; he can kill one of yours.
So, God's going to give the Israelites their country back, see? And when they get there, they're supposed to do all their normal farming and such for six years. But on the seventh, DON'T DO SHIT. Whatever the land gives you, man, just roll with it, it's yours. And on the seventh one of those seventh years, light 'er up and have a huge party, trumpets and all! Also, there are complex rules about buying houses in walled cities vs. non-walled cities, and remember not to charge people interest or gouge them on the price of food. AND HEY, SLAVES ARE ALRIGHT.
If you follow these rules, God will be awesome to you. And if you don't, God will fuck you up in ways you can't even fathom, including forcing you to eat your children. (And it goes on and on and on. Really.)
This is a little fuzzy. Apparently God said, "If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate a person to the Lord by giving the equivalent value, set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver." I'm not sure what "dedicate" means here (c'mon, human sacrifice!), but it goes on to list what everyone is "worth," and you'd better believe chicks are worth less than dudes. Later on you can see what other assorted items are worth if they're "dedicated."
Alright, children, what have we learned from this?
RELIGION IS COMPLICATED,
AND MOSTLY PRETTY FUCKING STUPID.
I liked the bit about loving your neighbour, though. That was alright.