Haggai wrote other letters to Governor Zerubbabel ben Shealtiel and High Priest Joshua ben Jehozadak about to give them God’s messages. In one of these letters, Haggai wrote, So God wants to know if any of y’all ever saw the Temple before it was destroyed? Or even read a description of it? Because It’s not, how shall I put this? impressed with the results so far. But no matter. It’s going to shake up the nations and make it rain on Judah so y’all can bling it up.
And another time, Haggai wrote to them to ask, Do y’all understand the difference between clean and unclean things? Like, have you even cracked open Leviticus? Because y’all keep offering some things the Lord don’t like. But, here’s what God’s willing to do. If you only offer the right sort of things in the right sort of ways, God will make sure that the crops stop suffering from blight and drought and that the next harvest will be huge.
In a third letter, Haggai wrote to Zerubbabel to tell him that God had chosen him as Its signet ring, and to remember that he was blessed and loved by God during the coming wars.
The end! More about the Second Temple in Zechariah next time!
Israel is a cheating whore and will be cast out and sent back to Egypt. Or taken as slaves to Assyria, where they will be forced to eat unclean food. They’ll lose all their money and all their children will die or never be born!
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.