Thursday, October 9, 2008

Leviticus, chapter 20

1 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

A stranger, once again, is a foreigner. The murder of infants in a religious ceremony was common in the Ancient Near East and it has been said by historians that in Carthage, a former Phoenician colony, that 300 upper class babies were killed in one day in this way to Baal in hopes of ending a siege. The different names of various gods are all simply manifestations of Satan.
3 And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.
4 And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not:
5 Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.

It’s very clear that the Hebrew religion was a communal one. They were responsible for chastising and even executing members of their community who, regardless of belief, transgressed God’s commandment. Those of us who consider America to be a Christian Nation or to have once been a Christian Nation often have the faulty thinking that the magistrate should enforce God’s laws.

However, under the Dispensation of Grace we have no such command. Christianity is a personal religion and no nation can be Christian, only individuals can. America’s first error was in its freedom of religion, allowing political religions such as Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Communism, and now Islam to influence its national character.

This is the philosophy that destroyed America’s promise; that government is God and that God is so weak He needs humans to enforce His statutes and that America is a kind of ancient Israel. Both Republicans and Democrats have this false messianic vision of our country.

6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.

Idolatry is often likened to sexual immorality. Here, it is said that they would “go a whoring” after familiar spirits and wizards. God will kill that person who does this, among them.

7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.

Set yourself apart for God, being holy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God and not anything else.

8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.

Here He orders them to keep His statutes and to do them but here He says He is doing the sanctifying.

Psalm 119:1 ¶ ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. 4 ¶ Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. 5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! 6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 7 ¶ I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. 8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

Those Christians who want to put us all back under the Mosaic Law don’t like to pay heed to the rules such as this. We would today regard it as a tad extreme to put a child to death for cursing his parents. There is no comparable verse under the doctrines of Grace that would permit us to consider this remedy.

10 ¶ And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

If adultery were punishable by death under our laws our population could be halved.

11 And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Was this Ham’s crime?

Genesis 9:22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

It certainly was the crime of the churchgoer in First Corinthians.

1Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father‘s wife.

12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.

The same applies to the man’s daughter in law.

13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Under the Mosaic Law, male homosexual behavior was proscribed and the offenders would be put to death.

14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.

In the same respect, a man having sex with a woman and her mother was ordered to be put to death.

15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.

Bestiality with regard to male sexual behavior is condemned here.

16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Bestiality with regard to female sexual behavior is condemned here.

17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.

Incest is forbidden. Oddly, it doesn’t mention a man having sex with his daughter but only sister, half-sister, or step-sister seems to be included in this proscription.

18 And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.

Here is an interesting rule for the Hebrews. It was forbidden to have sex with a woman during her period. This is curious due to certain fetishes and practices today. In addition, there are a great many emotional concerns around this time of the month for a female. Truthfully, since during her period it was not likely she could get pregnant this may have been an admonition to discourage the practice of having sex during this time to prevent pregnancy.

19 And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister, nor of thy father’s sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity.

It was forbidden to have sex with an aunt by blood.

20 And if a man shall lie with his uncle’s wife, he hath uncovered his uncle’s nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.

It was forbidden to have sex with an aunt by marriage, also.

21 And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.

They were forbidden to have sex with a sister-in-law.

22 ¶ Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out.

There is a threat here that the sexual immorality that they might commit will result in their being vomited out of the land like the Canaanites before them.

23 And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.

These forbidden sexual acts were, apparently, commonplace among the Canaanites, the sons of Ham, who lived here.

24 But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people.

Here is given the purpose of the sexual admonitions, to separate these people from others.

25 Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.

The dietary regulations also made them different, which eventually became the grounds for much baseless pride.

26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.

Again, he stresses the differentness of the Hebrew from the ethnic groups around them.

27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

The spirit medium and the wizard was not to be tolerated by them.

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