In 597 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar deposed Jehoiakim, took the Jewish nobility hostage, and looted the Temple.
But Nebuchadnezzar was a generous man and believed that the barbarian Jews might be civilized, so he ordered his chief of staff to select all the likely Jewish lads for a three-year education program in which they would be taught the language and literature of Babylon. He even condescended that these Jewish scholars should be fed with the leftovers from his own royal table.
Among those chose were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, who were renamed Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, respectively. These boys were particularly devout and were revolted at the thought of not keeping kosher meals. So they begged the chief of staff to allow them eat vegetarian. Continue reading “Daniel 1: About those Jewish boys”
Israel, babe, in the beginning I came to you, asking to be your one and only God. And for a long time, things were good. But lately, baby, your obstinacy has really turned me off. You Jews cheat on me in front of my face. Offering sacrifices and prayers to other Gods! And the things you eat! You know I can’t abide pork and many other meats, yet you eat them all the time! So really, you deserve whatever wrath I choose to mete out. But I still love you, babe. So I won’t kill all of you. The most deserving Jews I’ll not only let live, I’ll let you return to Judah and rebuild! You will be prosperous again. So rejoice in the bounteous beautiful future we’ll have together! The rest of, though, deserve to suffer. And you will. Suffer. You’ll wish for death before it comes.
So David fled to Nob. Ahimelech the priest was a little freaked out that David showed up without a retinue, but David assured him that he was on a secret mission for Saul and that the other soldiers were nearby. He asked Ahimelech to give him some food and a weapon. Ahimelech was all, well the only food here is the day old bread for God from yesterday, but you guys can’t eat that unless you are all clean from women.
David was all, me and the young men are always clean when we go on a campaign. So Ahimelech gave him five loaves of holy bread. Then David was all, And how about a weapon? Ahimelech was all, well the only weapon is Goliath’s sword that you gave to the Tabernacle. David was all, That’ll do. And took it and the bread and left. Continue reading “I Samuel 21: David Tricks a Priest”
Then Moses went over all the foods that Hebrews could and could not eat, and how they should tithe after settlement.
God told Moses that it was really important that he remind everyone about how to do all the daily offerings, and the sabbath offerings, and the holiday offerings before he died.
God also explained to Moses that It wanted the extra-fanatical followers to form a special club called the Nazarites, so that they could feel extra-special holy. The rules of the club were that no member could eat any grape product–fresh, dried, or fermented; they weren’t allowed to cut their hair or to ever ever touch or go near a corpse.
If a Nazarite was accidentally defiled (like by eating couscous salad with sultanas or getting tricked into touching a dead body), then he would have to be unclean for a week, and then on the eighth day, he would have to shave all the hair off his head and body and then offer some birds as a sin offering. Continue reading “Numbers 6”
Another time that God and Moses were talking, God reminded Moses that the Hebrews were supposed to keep a Sabbath year every seventh year and let their fields lie fallow. Moses was all, what are supposed to eat? And God was all, um, didn’t you guys learn anything from Joseph? Store up grain so that you have it for that year. I’ll also make sure that you have a great harvest the year before. Also it’s okay if you reap and eat whatever grows of itself. Just don’t plant and plow!
Also, you will hold a Jubilee year every fifty years, which you will treat like a Sabbath year. And in the Jubilee year, all debts should be forgiven, land redeemed, etc. Continue reading “Leviticus 25”
God continued, Ok, a few more things about priests. Only a priest’s family, including his slaves, sons, wives and unmarried, childless daughters can eat holy food. No one else! And priests nor their kinfolk can eat holy food if they are ritually unclean. If someone accidentally eats holy food, then that person must repay it with 1/5 interest.
And it should be needless, but let me remind you that all sacrificial animals need to be perfectly healthy–no deformities or injuries or illnesses. You also can’t sacrifice animals you bought from foreigners. Also, don’t kill an animal before its eight days old and don’t kill a mother and her offspring on the same day. Oh, and remember to eat sacrificial meat within three days or it attracts ants.
Do these things because I say so and if you don’t, you’ll incur my wrath.
Next God was all, Ok, I have a random bag of regulations that I need to tell you. Some we’ve talked about, some we haven’t, some I just forgot to mention earlier. So get that stylus ready, Moses, because here we go. Like, keep the ten commandments, but especially be sure to keep the second, fourth and fifth. And don’t lie or cheat or make false promises in my name.
Be sure to eat peace offerings–i.e. most butchered meat–within three days. Otherwise it starts to stink, gets full of nasty bacteria, and attracts ants.
Don’t oppress people or refuse to pay your debts or needlessly fuckwith disabled people to make their lives hard. In other words, try not to be a dick. Continue reading “Leviticus 19”
While the Hebrews were still camped at Sinai, probably making all the stuff that God wanted for Its sanctuary, God called Moses and Aaron back up the mountain to add to Its rules. This time, It wanted to explain what animals It approved of the Hebrews eating. It was all, ok guys, let’s talk about what animals it’s ok for you to eat and what you can’t. And don’t question the restrictions, m’kay? So, the “clean” animals that are okay to eat include animals with cloven hooves that also chew cud, seafood with fins and scales, most birds, and insects with jointed legs like locusts, crickets and grasshoppers.
But all other animals are “unclean” and therefore off the menu, got it? Forbidden animals are those that only have cloven hooves (like pigs) or only chew cud (like rabbits and hares); anything in the ocean without scales (like shrimp) or fins (like squid); and these birds: raptors, ravens, ostriches, gulls, storks, herons, hoopoes, and bats. Oh, and all reptiles and anything with paws.
Also, if you touch any unclean animal, you will be ritually unclean until evening, and you will need to wash your clothes, etc. before you can partake in any rituals. And anything that these animals touch is also unclean and needs washed. Also, throw out any food or water that they got in. Don’t eat it. Ew. That’s how I spread plagues. It’s still ok to plant seeds that they touched though. Finally, touching any dead animal makes you unclean.