A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible
Hunc tu caveto.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Above: Just before sacrificing a lamb at the Grand Opening of the new Third Tabernacle Church!

We should do Grand Openings this way

Chapter 7, if I'm not mistaken, is about the Grand Opening of the Tabernacle. Rather than the usual tame ribbon-cutting affair practiced by modern folks, representatives of the 12 tribes got together and sacrifces bulls, rams, lambs, baby goats, and oxen. Approximately 240 animal sacrifices were done on that day.

Y'know, we should bring that back! Imagine a steakhouse's grand opening with 240 animal sacrifices! Or, better yet, a bank! Or a preschool! Or even just a church. A church is probably the closest thing to a Tabernacle, anyways. And so what if PETA gets angry. Eff' PETA!
Being a Nazarite
Let's imagine that you are a Nazarite, or Nazirite. A Nazarite is a person who set himself aside in devotion to Yahweh, in order to live an ascetic life - a mystic, if you will. That's what Chapter 6: 1-21 is about.

It's similar to a Buddhist monk, too. Sorta. Except I imagine these guys are a lot hairier than your average Buddhist monk.

Anyways, no drinking liquor or wine, or grapejuice. He can't even eat grapes. Presumably, the Israelites must have thought grapes had some sort of alcohol content in it, because grapes are the main ingredient in wine. There could be other reasons, but because grapes are grouped in with alcohol, I'm just going to guess that's their reasoning.

Here's where it gets silly. Nazarites have to let their hair grow out, BUT if he comes into contact with a dead person - if someone dies right next to him, for example - the Nazarite will be unclean for seven days, and on the seventh day he must shave his head. On the eighth day, the Nazarite must bring two turtles and two pigeons to the priest

When the Nazarite fulfills his vow (usually after a 30 day period), the Nazarite must bring:
An unblemished lamb as a burnt offering
  • A ewe lamb as a sin offering
  • One ram as a peace offering
  • A basket of unleavened bread
  • Cakes of fine flour mingled with oil
  • unleavened bread wafers
  • meat offering
  • drink offering

Being a priest must have been very lucrative. And so, after a lot of hocus pocus, waving various offerings in the air, shaving the Nazarite's hair, etc. Finally, finally, the Nazarite may drink wine (Numbers 6:20).

I'm all for being a mystic, as long as the attempt is both rational and reasonable. Which means, the experience can be had by anyone, but we don't need to have all the extra, irrational baggage that religion adds to the mix.

No comments: