Epistles of Thomas

February 17, 2009

Leviticus 16-18

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 0:16
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Moses is given instructions on how Aaron is to atone for himself so that he does not die when he approaches God. This regulation will continue for his descendants. He is also to make yearly atonement for the nation. In the following chapter command is made regarding the location of sacrifices. The people are currently sacrificing animals in the fields and honouring goat idols. They are only to present sacrifices at the temple to the Lord. Chapter 18 presents a list of unlawful sexual relations. These are generally still followed by all western societies. It is interesting that in the middle of this list it throws in “Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord” (18:21). Presumably this relates to the reason for all of these prohibitions. They are wicked things that the people who inhabited the land of Canaan were engaging in. More evidence that this material isn’t chronological is found in 18:28: “And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you. Obviously at this point in the story the Israelites are still in the desert and the people of the land are still living there. It seems reasonable to think that the Israelites do not as yet even know what sinful practices the people of that land are engaging in because they have only just left Egypt and journeyed through the desert. They know all about the idolatry of Egypt and are not above making a golden calf but what would Molek have meant to them at this stage? These laws reflect the reality of a later time after the conquest of the Promised Land.

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