~~~~~Lesson: Leviticus: Chapters 11-15 (reading after lesson)
1) In the first section, we get lists after lists of what is allowed to be eaten. And rules about dealing with the dead bodies of both the clean & unclean animals. The ancient Israelites must have wondered just as much as we do WHY these rules existed. Luckily for both of us, God answers in verses 44-45. Because he is holy, and wants us to be the same.
Question: We not longer have rules on what we can eat; however, can you think of some rules that we do follow in order to be holy?
Do you think that the animals listed are something to be avoided or do you believe that God gave the rules in order for the Israelites to constantly be reminded of God's presence?
2) Chapter 12 deals with women and how they are unclean both after menstruation and after birth. After a boy's birth, she is unclean for seven days; after a girl's birth, she is unclean for fourteen days.
Questions: Can you think of a good reason why a woman would be considered unclean after birth? Is there a good reason for people to avoid her and the child for a few days?
Can you think of a reason for the difference in time for boys vs. girls? (There is no right answer; generally, scholars are guessing...this question is just for fun).
3) Chapters 13-15 mostly cover skin diseases. An interesting side-note is that while leprosy is referred to in the bible, it is not actually the disease we know as leprosy. It is a different skin condition that was simply translated as leprosy and then kind of stuck after awhile.
Can you think of a good reason for all of the rules about skin diseases? (again, an opinion question)
~Reading: Leviticus: Chapters 11-15- Rules for Holy Living
Chapter 11: 1-3, 9, 13, 20-21, 27, 29, 44-45
(1-3)The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Speak to the Israelites and tell them: Of all land animals these are the ones you may eat: any animal that has hoofs you may eat, provided it is cloven-footed and chews the cud."
(9)"Of the various creatures that live in the water, you may eat the following: whatever in the seas or in river waters that has both fins and scales you may eat."
(13)"Of the birds, these you shall loathe and, as loathsome, they shall not be eaten: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey...." (many more examples)
(20-21)"The various winged insects that walk on all fours are loathsome for you. But of the various winged insects that walk on all fours you may eat those that have jointed legs for leaping on the ground;"
(27)"Of the various quadrupeds, all those that walk on paws are unclean for you; everyone who touches their dead bodies shall be unclean until evening,"
(29)"Of all the creatures that swarm on the ground, the following are unclean for you: the rat, the mouse, the various kinds of lizards..." (many more examples)
(44-45) "For I, the Lord, am your God; and you shall make and keep yourselves holy, because I am holy. You shall not make yourselves unclean, then, by any swarming creature that crawls on the ground. Since I, the Lord, brought you up from the land of Egypt that I might be your God, you shall be holy, because I am holy."
Chapter 12: 1-2, 5
(1-2) The Lord said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites: When a woman has conceived and gives birth to a boy, she shall be unclean for seven days, with the same uncleanness as at her menstrual period."
(5) If she gives birth to a girl, for fourteen days she shall be as unclean as at her menstruation, after which she shall spend sixty-six days in becoming purified of her blood.
I'm not going to copy out specific rules for this section. It covers multiple rules for skin diseases, menstruation, uncleanness as related to sexual conduct, and many more.
Feel free to read the chapters in full if you so desire.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong