Epistles of Thomas

February 17, 2009

Leviticus 19-21

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 14:29
Tags: , ,

Chapter 19 is comprised of miscellaneous laws, some of which have been mentioned before. These laws are aimed at keeping the people of Israel holy before their God and separate from others. ). It could be a natural conclusion that they are to hate foreigners because of all their wickedness but God asserts that this is not to be the case.
The chapter concludes with a warning not to mistreat foreigners: “The foreigners residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (19:34).

The next chapter begins with another prohibition against worship of Molek, the punishment for which is death. This is also the punishment for deliberate murder, which is what sacrificing your child(ren) to Molek is. It also goes through the list of sexual sins again but this time it also lists the punishment, which is invariably death.

Chapter 21 explains how priests can remain holy in order to perform their duties before God. They are only allowed to become ceremonially unclean after the death of a close relative and the high priest may not even do that. Mourning is very important in this culture so it was a hardship not to mourn in the normal manner. The priests were also to marry holy women so that they would not be defiled. The shock of Hosea marrying Gomer can be seen in the light of this requirement for God’s holy men. Six verses in this chapter focus on the people’s holiness which stems from God being holy. Have we not lost sight of this fact when we “do” church today.

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