Ezekiel 44: Odds and ends

God continued, The East gate will never be opened! Never! Because it will be my private entrance and I’m insubstantial. Only the king will be allowed to approach the East gate, but he will have to use the vestibule door.

The Temple priests. Well, most of the Levites pissed me off, but they are still of the priestly class, so they will be assigned to all the menial Temple duties. Only the descendants of Zadock will be allowed to do duty in the Inner Temple. All priests will have to wear all linen. No wool! Even if it’s a bad winter. Wool makes you humans sweat, and I can’t abide human excretions. I don’t know why I made you so leaky. It’s just gross. The priests will need to keep their hair trimmed nicely–not too long or too short, but they should grow glorious hipster beards. They must marry Jewish virgins or widows of priests.  They are not allowed to drink in the Temple complex! They should also always abide by all my laws! For this they will receive the firstfruits.

One of the things that pissed me off the most and that caused me to destroy Jerusalem was that you guys let all kinds of people and things in the Temple. No more of that! No foreigners or uncircumcised people are allowed in the Temple!

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Ezekiel 22: The reasons why

God told me to judge Jerusalem and to list all the reasons why It was angry and had decided to destroy the city. So I announced to everyone, Jerusalem has been condemned to doom and destruction for these reasons:

  1. The people worship idols, practice polytheism, and all around cheat on God.
  2. The rules are violent and corrupt and the religious leaders find excuses for all of their misdeeds.
  3. Many people openly despise their parents.
  4. People generally treat foreigners badly and they don’t take care of poor women and children and other needy people.
  5. They break the Sabbath and bastardize the rituals God prefers.
  6. People lie and slander in order to incite violence.
  7. Did I mention they cheat on God? It especially dislikes the fertility rituals people commonly perform.
  8. Sons sleep with their fathers’ wives and girlfriends.
  9. Men sleep with women on their periods and that really grosses God out.
  10. Men also sleep with their friends’ wives–some even rape their daughters-in-laws and sisters.
  11. There are hitmen and goons who commit violence for money.
  12. People there loan money at interest and generally make profits from their neighbors’ work.

For these reasons God has decided to destroy Jerusalem and kill or scatter its people.

Jeremiah 22: Salt in the wound

Then Jeremiah went and stood outside of the palace and shouted, If you start making sure everyone follows God’s rules, It might yet spare you! But you have to stop oppressing and cheating poor people! You have to treat widows and orphans well–with charity and love! You can’t abuse and mistreat immigrants! And you have to stop killing the innocent. If you do these things, God will forgive you and spare the city! But you won’t, of course, and so everyone will die and the the city will be destroyed!

Here me, King Zedekiah! Your brother, King Jehohaz isn’t king anymore because he is a captive and will die one! And your brother, King Jehoiakim, who mourns him? Or his ill-fated son, who will also die a slave in a foreign land, childless and forgotten!

Exodus 22

God continued, Ok, if someone steals an ox or a sheep and kills or sells it, ten the thief has to repay five oxen for the ox or four sheep for the sheep.

If someone is killed during a robbery, that’s his own fault. If he is merely injured, he will need to pay his victims restitution. If he doesn’t have any money, then he is to be sold into slavery.

If someone lets his animals eat up another person’s vineyard or field, then he’ll have to pay restitution.

If someone causes a fire that burns up stored or standing grain, then he will have to make restitution.

If someone gives money or goods into the safekeeping of another, then it gets stolen, if the thief gets caught, he will have to pay double. If the thief is not caught, then the neighbor will have to go before the altar and swear his innocence and let God decide.

If someone gives livestock into the safekeeping of another, then the livestock becomes ill or dies without an obvious cause or gets eaten by wild animals, the neighbor will swear before the altar about his innocence.

If someone borrows something and it gets broken or dies, then he will make restitution. If it was hired, then the borrow bought what he broke.

If a man seduces (or rapes) an unengaged virgin, then he has to pay her bride price and owns her as a wife. If her father refuses to part with her, then he still has to pay the bride price.

If someone commits bestiality, execute him.

Oh, did I mention that you should summarily execute any sorceresses or witches? No, well, you should.

Along those same lines, again, I am jealous, so if anyone sacrifices anything to some other god, that person needs to be “devoted to destruction” immediately.

And don’t revile me. Or any of your rulers either. They rule because of me.

Hmmmmm….. what else, what else? Oh, don’t cheat or enslave anyone who ends up sojourning with you. Remember what it was like being sojourners that got enslaved.

Also, don’t mistreat widows and orphans. That’s a real dick move and I will rain wrath upon you and make your wives widows and orphans.

If you loan money to poor people, don’t charge them interest. They’re poor, for goddsake. And if you take necessities like blankets or clothes for collateral, give it back. They need that shit.

Mmmmm…..mmmmm….mmmeeee. Yes back to me. You will always offer the firstfruits of your harvest as a sacrifice to me, promptly and without complaint. And don’t forget that every firstborn belongs to me, too. Firstborn animals you will need to sacrifice to me on the 8th day of their lives. And don’t actually sacrifice your kids. Redeem those.

Also, I really don’t approve of humans eating roadkill or carrion. I don’t care how fresh it is. Throw that shit to the dogs.