Epistles of Thomas

February 16, 2009

Leviticus 10-12

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 20:22
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Chapter 10 also records an occurrence of God’s fire coming out from the presence of the Lord but this time it is in reaction to Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, who had taken their censers, put fire in them, added incense and then offered unauthorised fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. Both were thus killed and Aaron and his remaining sons were not allowed to mourn for them because they had died for dishonouring God.

Chapter 11 details which animals are clean and which are unclean. Although there are consequences to allowing unclean animals to touch objects used by the people they are not commanded to kill the unclean animals that they encounter.

Among the commands in Leviticus 12 is that a woman who gives birth to a boy will be unclean for seven days and he will be circumcised on the eighth day. The woman then must wait 33 days to be purified from her bleeding. Mary and Jesus fulfilled this requirement after his birth. For a daughter the time doubles. It is not clear why this is but may be related to the fact that daughters are not circumcised and thus the woman’s time is doubled. This difference has been a major bone of contention since the feminist movement became popular becomes it seems to imply that daughters cause more impurity. However, I think girls would choose this over circumcision. It is interesting that in China it is customary for a woman not to leave the house for a month after the birth of a baby. As a consequence Chinese airlines only allow babies less than one month to fly free!

After this period is over, the mother is to bring a lamb for a sin offering or if she cannot afford that two doves or young pigeons. Mary brought two birds so we know that she was on the lower end of the economic scale.

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