The Book of Leviticus opens with details of the evening snacks/burnt offerings which Yahweh required, speaking to Moses ‘from the tent of meeting’ where He seemed to reside:
Then he shall kill the bull before the LORD; and Aaron's sons the priests shall present the blood, and throw the blood round about against the altar that is at the door of the tent of meeting. (1:5)
As usual, blood gets spattered all around, to atone for sin, “Then the anointed priest shall bring some of the blood of the bull to the tent of meeting, and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD in front of the veil.” (4:17)
Lo, the glory of the Lord appears:
And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting; and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. And fire came forth from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat upon the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted, and fell on their faces. (9:23-4)
Yahweh seemed to have special-effect, electrical-fiery abilities, able to kill a lot of people; also some skill in weather-manipulation. His power in the Tent of Meeting could short-circuit and kill people, perhaps unintentionally:
Now Nadab and Abi'hu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer, and put fire in it, and laid incense on it, and offered unholy fire before the LORD, such as he had not commanded them. And fire came forth from the presence of the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD (10:1)
Aaron doesn’t get an apology, au contraire he has to make a sin-offering to be forgiven!
and the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron your brother not to come at all times into the holy place within the veil, before the mercy seat which is upon the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. (16:2)
Aaron has to make a sacrifice and sprinkle blood round the place, to atone for what has just happened…
List of CursesIn the first part of this book Yahweh appears quite benevolent, but later the terrible list of curses begin, (Ch 26) with long lists of who is to be put to death, for failure to ‘obey.’ Quoting a brief section:
if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my ordinances, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, I will do this to you: I will appoint over you sudden terror, consumption, and fever that waste the eyes and cause life to pine away. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it; I will set my face against you, and you shall be smitten before your enemies; those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when none pursues you. And if in spite of this you will not hearken to me, then I will chastise you again sevenfold for your sins, and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like brass; and your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit. Then if you walk contrary to me, and will not hearken to me, I will bring more plagues upon you, sevenfold as many as your sins. And I will let loose the wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number, so that your ways shall become desolate. And if by this discipline you are not turned to me, but walk contrary to me, then I also will walk contrary to you, and I myself will smite you sevenfold for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute vengeance for the covenant; and if you gather within your cities I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. When I break your staff of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and shall deliver your bread again by weight; and you shall eat, and not be satisfied. And if in spite of this you will not hearken to me, but walk contrary to me, then I will walk contrary to you in fury, and chastise you myself sevenfold for your sins. You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters. …etc.
And the pretence s made, by those composing this ghastly text, that ‘These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai.’ i.e an ‘oral tradition’ is averred, here written down.
The content of these books are the very opposite of morality, Seymour Light reflected to himself: it's obedience or death, commands and vengeance. Surely no tribes had ever existed, who believed anyone had to be put to death, if they were found doing any work on the Sabbath? It was hard to believe. Who would want or choose a god like that, he wondered?
Seymour Light pondered again the wise words of Douglas Reed. There had been, he held, an earlier, benevolent God of Israel, which nation vanished around the tenth century, whose memory had been carried down in an oral tradition, before the priests wrote down their texts of entrapment - ever using the ‘The Lord spake to Moses’ ploy.
The Levites in Babylon added Exodus, Genesis, L eviticus and Numbers to Deuteronomy. Genesis and Exodus provide a version of history moulded to fit the “Law” which the Levites by then had already promulgated, in Deuteronomy… Whatever has survived of the former Israelite tradition is in Genesis and Exodus, and in the enlightened passages of the Israelite prophets. These more benevolent parts are invariably cancelled out by later, fanatical ones, which are presumably Levitical interpolations. The puzzle is to guess why the Levites allowed these glimpses of a loving God of all men to remain; as they invalidated the New Law and could have been removed. A tenable theory might be that the earlier tradition was too well known to the tribespeople to be merely expunged, so that it had to be retained and cancelled out by allegorical incident and amendment. Although Genesis and Exodus were produced after Deuteronomy the theme of fanatical tribalism is faint in them. The swell and crescendo come in Deuteronomy, Leviticus and Numbers, which bear the plain imprint of the Levite in isolated Judah and Babylon. Thus in Genesis the only fore-echo of the later sound and fury is, “And I will make of thee a great nation and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed … and the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land …”
Burning your Daughter'And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father and shall be burnt with fire' (21:9) Commented Merlin Stone, 'since it was the Levite priests who wrote the laws, this willingness to burn their own daughters to death perhaps most clearly reveals the intensity of the Levite attitude towards the sexual autonomy of women.' (The Paradise Papers p.208)
For a whole chapter on the virtue of burning your own daughter alive, as an acceptable sacrifice to
But no devoted thing that a man devotes to the LORD, of anything that he has, whether of man or beast, or of his inherited field, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy to the LORD. No one devoted, who is to be utterly destroyed from among men, shall be ransomed; he shall be put to death. (Lev 27:28-9)
We saw how in the Book of Exodus, every firstborn child (or animal) belonged to the Lord, and that this had the implication of human sacrifice. It was a nightmare carry-over from the last of the plagues of Egypt, where the Lord ‘smote’ every firstborn child in Egypt. However, Exodus made clear that the child could be ‘redeemed’ from this thread by paying five shekels to the priest. It was thus little more than a tax-raising scheme – with nightmare undertones. Here, however, Yahweh is objecting to this remunerative scheme, saying He wants the blood! As the God from Hell He does need the prana or life-force that is released (or so occult books tell us) upon the sacrifice of a child.
We are here reminded of the Book of Proverbs – supposedly the oldest book of the Old Testament – holding forth about what the Israelites have done wrong:
They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood. (106, 36-7)
Book after book of the Old Testament comes back to this theme, of child sacrifice – which is the exact definition of black magic. We discuss it again in the Ezekiel section.