Leviticus: Cruelty and Violence
- God gives detailed instructions for performing ritualistic animal sacrifices. such bloody rituals
must be important to God, judging from the number of times that he repeats their instructions.
Indeed the entire first nine chapters of Leviticus can be summarized as follows: Get an animal,
kill it, sprinkle the blood around, cut the dead animal into pieces, and burn it for a "sweet savor
unto the Lord." Chapters 1 - 9
- The burnt offering: An unblemished bullock 1:1-9
- The burnt offering: An unblemished male sheep or goat 1:10-13
- The burnt offering: A dove or a pigeon 1:14-17
- The meat offering 2:1-16
- The peace offering: An unblemished bull or cow 3:1-5
- The peace offering: An unblemished male or female sheep 3:6-11
- The peace offering: A goat (blemished or unblemished, male or female) 3:12-17
- The offering for an individual who sins through ignorance: An unblemished bullock 4:1-12
- The offering for a congregation that sins through ignorance: A bullock (blemished or unblemished) 4:13-21
- The offering for a ruler who sins through ignorance: A young unblemished male goat 4:22-25
- The offering for a common person who sins through ignorance: A young unblemished female sheep or goat 4:27-35
- "He shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD ... a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats."
If you touch an insect, dead animal, or "the uncleanness of man" or if you swear to do something good or bad (5:2-4), kill a female lamb or goat for God. (A female
will do since it's a minor offense.) 5:6
- "If he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring ... two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD ...
and wring off his head."
If you don't have a lamb to kill for God, then you can wring off the head of a pigeon or dove. 5:7
- "And he shall sprinkle of the blood of the sin offering upon the side of the altar; and the rest of the blood shall
be wrung out at the bottom of the altar: it is a sin offering."
- If you sin without knowing that you've done anything wrong, kill an unblemished ram for God. 5:14-15
- The law of the burnt offering 6:8-13
- The law of the meat offering 6:14-18
- "This is the law of the sin offering: the sin offering [shall] be killed before the LORD: it is most holy." 6:25
- The holy law of trespass offering: Find an animal; kill it; sprinkle the blood around; offer God the fat, rump, kidneys,
and caul; burn and eat it in the holy place, for "it is most holy." 7:1-6
- Kill the trespass offering: and the blood thereof shall he sprinkle round about upon the altar." 7:2
- The law of peace offerings requires a priest to sprinkle blood around. 7:11-14
- Be careful what you eat during these animal sacrifices. Don't eat fat or blood -- these
are for God. (And he doesn't like to share!) 7:18-27
- The fat with the breast shall be waved for a wave offering before the Lord. 7:30
- The priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the breast is for Aaron and his sons. 7:31
- Give the priest the right shoulder for a heave offering. 7:32
- Aaron's sons offer the blood and fat of peace offerings, so they get the right shoulders. 7:33
- God gave the wave breasts or heave shoulders to the priests by a statute forever. 7:34
- The law of the burnt offering, meat offering, sin offering, trespass offering, and peace offering are all
commanded by God to be statutes forever. 7:36-37
- Moses does it all for God. First he kills an animal; wipes the blood on Aaron's ears,
thumbs, and big toes. Then he sprinkles blood round about and waves the guts before the Lord.
Finally he burns the whole mess for "a sweet savour before the Lord."
- "Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bullock for the sin offering and he slew it." 8:14-15
- "Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger .. and poured the blood at the bottom of the altar."
- "And he took all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, and Moses burned it upon the altar."
- "But the bullock, and his hide, his flesh, and his dung, he burnt with fire without the camp; as the LORD commanded Moses."
- "Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. And he killed it." 8:18-19
- "Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about." 8:19
- "And he cut the ram into pieces; and Moses burnt the head, and the pieces, and the fat." 8:20
- "And he washed the inwards and the legs in water; and Moses burnt the whole ram upon the altar: it was a burnt sacrifice for a sweet savour, and an offering made by fire unto the LORD;
as the LORD commanded Moses." 8:21
- "Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. And he slew it." 8:22-23
- "Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron's right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot."
- "And he brought Aaron's sons, and Moses put of the blood upon the tip of their right ear, and upon the thumbs of their right hands, and upon the great toes of their right feet:
and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about." 8:24
- "And he took the fat, and the rump, and all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys,
and their fat, and the right shoulder." 8:25
- "And he put all upon Aaron's hands, and upon his sons' hands, and waved them for a wave offering before the LORD." 8:27
- "Moses ... burnt them ... for a sweet savour." 8:28
- "And Moses took the breast, and waved it for a wave offering before the LORD." 8:29
- "And Moses took ... of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his
sons' garments." 8:30
- "Moses said unto Aaron and to his sons, Boil the flesh." 8:31
- And that which remaineth of the flesh .... shall ye burn with fire." 8:32
- More killing, sprinkling of blood, waiving animal parts, and burning carcasses "before the
- "Take thee a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the LORD."
- "Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering."
- "Also a bullock and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD; and a meat offering." 9:4
- Kill the calf, dip your finger in the blood, sprinkle the blood round about,
burn the fat and entrails, and wave the breast for a wave offering before the Lord.
- "Aaron ... slew the calf of the sin offering." 9:8
- "And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him: and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar."
- "But the fat, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver of the sin offering, he burnt upon the altar; as the LORD commanded Moses."
- "And the flesh and the hide he burnt with fire without the camp." 9:11
- "And he slew the burnt offering; and Aaron's sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled round about upon the altar."
- "And they presented the burnt offering unto him, with the pieces thereof, and the head: and he burnt them upon the altar."
- "And he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the burnt offering on the altar." 9:14
- "And he ... took the goat ... the people, and slew it." 9:15
- "He slew also the bullock and the ram ... and Aaron's sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled upon the altar round about."
- "And the fat of the bullock and of the ram, the rump, and that which covereth the inwards, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver."
- "And they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burnt the fat upon the altar." 9:20
- "And the breasts and the right shoulder Aaron waved for a wave offering before the LORD; as Moses commanded." 9:21
- Two of the sons of Aaron "offered strange fire before the Lord" and "there went out fire
from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord." 10:1-2
- Moses tells Aaron that his sons were burned to death to sanctify and glorify God. 10:3
- Moses tells Aaron's cousins to drag the burned bodies out of the camp, and he warns Aaron not to mourn the death of his sons or God will
kill him too, along with everyone else. 10:4-6
- If priests misbehave at the tabernacle by uncovering their heads, tearing their clothes, leaving
with holy oil on them, or by drinking "wine or strong drink", then God will kill them and send his
wrath on "all the people." 10:6-9
- God will kill any priest that leaves the tabernacle. 10:7
- If priests misbehave at the tabernacle by by drinking "wine or strong drink," then God will kill them and send his
wrath on "all the people." "It shall be a statute for ever." 10:9
- "And the wave breast and heave shoulder shall ye eat in a clean place." 10:14
- "The heave shoulder and the wave breast ... bring with the offerings
made by fire of the fat, to wave it for a wave offering before the LORD." 10:15
- "She shall bring a lamb ... for a burnt offering, and... a young pigeon, or dove, for a sin offering."
After a woman gives birth, a priest must kill a lamb, pigeon, or dove as a sin offering. This is because having children is sinful and God likes it when things are
killed for him. 12:6
- "If she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons ... and she shall be clean."
- Lepers must tear up their clothes, not wear hats, cover their upper lips, and cry "unclean, unclean."They are defiled, unclean,
and must live alone, away from everyone else. 13:45-46
- The Law of the Leper (for those who can afford it) 14:2-20
- "Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean ...
and the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water." 14:4
- "And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish ...
And the priest shall take one he lamb, and offer him for a trespass offering ... and wave them for a wave offering before the LORD."
- "And he shall slay the lamb ... in the holy place: ... it is most holy." 14:13
- "And the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and ...
put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed,
and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot." 14:14
- "The priest shall offer the sin offering ... and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering." 14:19
- The Law of Leprosy (for those who can't afford the standard law) 14:21-32
- "If he be poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb for a trespass offering to be waved ... and two turtledoves,
or two young pigeons ... and the one shall be a sin offering, and the other a burnt offering." 14:21-22
- "And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering ... and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD:"
- "And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the
trespass offering, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed,
and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot." 14:25
- "And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get." 14:30
- "Even such as he is able to get, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, with the meat offering."
- "When ye be come into the land of Canaan ... I put the plague of leprosy in ... the land of your possession."
God "put the plague of leprosy" on the Canaanites. 14:34
- "He shall take to cleanse the house two birds ... And he shall kill the one of the birds ...
And he shall take ... the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird ...
and sprinkle the house seven times ... And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird." 14:49-52
- "On the eighth day he shall take to him two turtledoves, or two young pigeons ... and ... offer them, the one for a sin offering,
and the other for a burnt offering." 15:14-15
- "On the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons ... for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement
for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness." 15:29-30
- God warns Aaron that he might have to burn him to death like he did his sons. (10:1-2)
- God explains the use of scapegoats. It goes like this: Get two goats. Kill one. Wipe,
smear, and sprinkle the blood around seven times. Then take the other goat, give it the sins of all
the people, and send it off into the wilderness. 16:8-28
- "Kill the bullock of the sin offering." 16:11
- "Take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it ... seven times." 16:14
- "Kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood ... and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat."
- "Take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about."
- "He shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times." 16:19
- Sprinkle the blood and burn the fat for a sweet savour unto the Lord. 17:6
- If you upset God, he'll cause the land to vomit you out.
- "Keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations ... that the land spue not you out also,
when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you." 18:26-28
- "Whosoever shall commit any of these abominations ... shall be cut off from among their people." 18:29
- Don't eat sacrifices on the third day or God will cut you off from among your
- "Whosoever ... giveth ... his seed unto Molech ... the people ... shall stone him with stones." 20:2
- If you refuse to kill someone who gives his seed to Molech, God set his face against you and your family.
- "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Couldn't
we try spanking first? 20:9
- Both parties in adultery shall be executed. 20:10
- If a man has sex with his father's wife, kill them both. 20:11
- If a man "lies" with his daughter-in-law, then both must be killed.
- If a man has sex with another man, kill them both. 20:13
- If you "lie" with your wife and your mother-in-law (now that sounds fun!), then all three
of you must be burned to death. 20:14
- If a man or woman "lie with a beast" both the person and the poor animal are to be
- People with "familiar spirits" (witches, fortune tellers, etc.) are to be
stoned to death. 20:27
- A priest's daughter who "plays the whore" is to be burned to death.
- "Ye shall offer ... a male without blemish ... Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye
shall not offer these unto the LORD ... Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or
broken, or cut."
God wants us to kill lots of animals for him. Not just any animals, though. God only wants dead, male animals without any blemishes. Don't
kill any blind , broken, maimed, or scabbed, or female animials for him. 22:19-24
- God gives us more instructions on killing and burning animals. I guess the first nine
chapters of Leviticus wasn't enough. He says we must do this because he really likes the smell
-- it is "a sweet savour unto the Lord." 23:12-14, 18
- Don't do any work on the day of atonement or God will destroy you.
- A man curses and blasphemes while disputing with another man. Moses asks God what to
do about it. God says that the whole community must stone him to death. "And the children of Israel did as the Lord
and Moses commanded." 24:10-23
- Anyone who blasphemes or curses shall be stoned to death by the entire community.
- "He that killeth any man shall surely be put to death." 24:17
- "If a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him." 24:19
- "Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again."
- "He that killeth a man, he shall be put to death." 24:21
- God tells the Israelites to make slaves out of their neighbors and their families. The "heathens" and
"strangers" are to be their possessions forever. 25:44-46
- God tells the Israelites to "chase" their enemies and make them "fall before you by the
sword." He figures five of the Israelites will be able to "chase" a hundred of their enemies, and a
hundred will be able to "put ten thousand to flight." 26:7-8
- If you don't follow all of the laws in the Old Testament, God will shower you with all of the curses in the next 25 verses.
- "I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning
ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed
in vain, for your enemies shall eat it." 26:16
- "I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies." 26:17
- "I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins." 26:21
- "I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle." 26:22
- "I will bring a sword upon you ... I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy."
- "And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat." 26:29
- "I will ... cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you." 26:30
- "And I will make your cities waste." 26:31
- "And I will bring the land into desolation". 26:32
- "And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste."
- "And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your
- "And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up." 26:38
- All "devoted" things (both man and beast) "shall surely be put to death."