0 What to do with blasphemers (Lev 21-25)

Episode 53: What to do with blasphemers

(Leviticus 21-25)

Rules for priests

21 1 God said to Moses,

Say this to the priests, the sons of Aaron,

7 Don't marry a whore or a divorced woman. (Because priests are holy to me.)

9 If your daughter plays the whore, burn her to death. (Because she has profaned you.)

11 Don't come near any dead bodies. (Not even your father or mother.)

15 Don't profane your seed among the people. (Because I sanctify you.)

17-21 Any man who has a blemish, or is blind, lame, short, or has a flat nose, or damaged testicles, or broken hands or feet, or a crooked back, or who has scurvy or scabs, or who has anything superfluous must not approach my altar.

22 2 Stay away from holy things while you have your uncleanness upon you.

4-6 If a priest has leprosy, or a running issue, or has touched an unclean dead thing, or has touched a man whose seed has gone from him, or has touched a creeping thing, he is unclean until the evening and shall not eat the holy things until he washes his flesh with water.

10 No stranger or hired servant shall eat holy things.

11 But if a priest buys a slave, the slave shall eat the holy things.

20 Don't offer me any animals that have a blemish.

22 They must not be blind, broken, maimed, diseased, or scabbed.

23-24 Don't sacrifice animals to me that have anything missing or superfluous, or is bruised, crushed, broken, or cut.

25 And don't offer me animals that you've obtained from strangers.

Their animals are always filled with corruption and blemishes. I won't accept them.

23 God's feasts (1-34)

24 Twelve cakes for the Lord (1-9)

A blasphemer is stoned to death

10-11 There was a fight between an Israelite man and a man whose mother was an Israelite but whose father was an Egyptian. During the fight, the son of the Egyptian man cursed and blasphemed the name of the Lord. So they brought him to Moses to ask what to do about it.

13 God said to Moses,

14 Bring the man who cursed and let all the congregation stone him.

23 Moses said to the Israelites,

Stone to death the man who cursed.

And the Israelites did as God commanded Moses (and stoned him to death).

Miscellaneous laws

19 If a man causes a blemish in his neighbor, the same blemish will be made on him.

20 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.

The sabbath year

25 1 God said to Moses,

4 Every seventh year is a sabbath year, during which no crops may be planted or harvested.

The jubilee year

8 Every fifty years blow a trumpet to announce a jubilee year.

10 Proclaim liberty throughout all the land.

11 Don't grow or harvest any crops during the jubilee year.

17 Don't oppress one another.

20 If you're wondering what you're going to eat during the sabbath and Jubilee years, don't worry.

21 I will make three times as much fruit the year before, so you can eat that.

35 Help the poor, even if they are strangers.

39-40 If your brother becomes poor and you buy him as a slave, treat him more like a servant than a slave. And give him his freedom on the jubilee year.

44 Buy some heathen neighbors for slaves. They and their families are to be your possessions forever.

45-46 When you die, your children will inherit your heathen slaves as their possessions.

A few more words about this episode

Sabbath and Jubilee years (25:20)
If you're wondering if the sabbath and jubilee years are still observed by Jews today, the answer is yes and no. Sabbath years are still observed in Israel, the last one was in 2021-22. But the jubilee years haven't been observed since the destruction of the second temple in 7 CE.

Wikipedia: Smita (Sabbath year)
Chabad.org: When is the next Jubilee year?

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