21 July 2014

EJ&T: Leviticus 24: Baking cakes, stoning blasphemers, eye for eye and tooth for tooth

In the Every Jot and Tittle project, I am listing all of the Bible's commandments from Genesis to Revelation, in accordance with Jesus's words in Matthew 5:18-19. I have no idea how many commandments I'll find, but Jewish tradition claims there are 613. See here for a list of those that I've found so far.

  1. Bake twelve cakes using two kilograms of flour. Put them in two rows on a table with frankincense on them. Each Sabbath set them before the Lord, where Aaron and his sons (and their descendants) will eat them.
  2. Thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake. And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD. And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD. Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute. Leviticus 24:5-9

  3. Blasphemers shall be stoned to death.
  4. He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death. Leviticus 24:16

  5. If you kill someone else's animal, you must replace it.
  6. He that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast. Leviticus 24:17

    He that killeth a beast, he shall restore it. Leviticus 24:21a

  7. If you damage another person, you will be damaged in the same way. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, blemish for blemish.
  8. If a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. Leviticus 24:19-20

  9. The same laws shall apply to foreigners as to those who live in the country.
  10. Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country Leviticus 24:22


Unknown said...

These laws have always confused me. From when to when was stoning blasphemers the right thing to do? Did this law apply to homo erectus? Is this law still applicable or did God change his mind? Perhaps someone could clarify.

Stephen said...

God *does* change his mind from time to time... just ask the mormons. AFAIK, the stoning law has never been rescinded and like many of the other laws is just ignored. Wow, are we going to be in trouble! ;-)
Steve Weeks

Steve Wells said...

I agree, Fritz. It is confusing.

I find orthodox Judaism's position especially strange. They follow the Torah's dietary laws to the letter, but completely ignore God's commands to stone people to death and sacrifice animals for him. Their excuse is that they can't do that anymore since they don't have a Temple and Sanhedrin. But I think the real reason is that they know that stoning people and sacrificing animals is cruel and disgusting. I very much doubt that if they rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem, they'd start stoning and sacrificing again.