I’m reading Leviticus which is basically a manual of instruction for the Levites–the tribe of Hebrew priests.
A lot of it is repetition as far as animal sacrifices, when someone is considered “unclean,” and how to be cleansed. Some of it seems harsh, especially how women are treated with regard to their menstrual cycle, and how long they had to be sequestered after they gave birth. The time of sequestration also varied depending on whether they had a boy or a girl.
I have to remember, that was a very different time, and they didn’t know as much about hygiene as we do–much of which we take for granted today.
But I digress.
The Hebrews, before the Exodus were surrounded by people who worshipped false gods, many that made human as well as animal sacrifice.
Why God felt it wise to continue the animal sacrifice I can’t answer, but I trust that his reasoning was both important and logical for the Hebrews at that time.
Again, I digress.
Why did people sacrifice to their gods? What’s the first thing you think of? For me, in stories I’ve read and movies I’ve seen, people sacrificed to their gods in order to find some kind of favor.
In Leviticus 8, God requires sacrifices for forgiveness or thanksgiving (and animal sacrifice only. No human sacrifice, another stark difference with their neighbors). Leviticus says nothing about sacrifices in order to receive anything else such as wealth, status, children, and long life. I can’t help but wonder if that’s on purpose, as another means to set the Israelis apart from their neighbors–and to show that God can neither be bought nor bribed.
It occurred to me then that sometimes what’s not said is just as important as what is said.