Leviticus 25 -27
Great! The last three chapters of Leviticus, so within 2 months we’ve covered four books, the first three of the Bible and Job.
Chapter 25 is really good to read considering what Leviticus has presented us with, it covers a whole lot about redeeming people and possessions.
No, americans can’t buy Mexicans and Canadians as slaves. The Law regarding buying neighbours as slaves was to prevent Israelites from being brought and sold as slaves. An Israelite could sell himself as a slave, but he had to be redeemed in the year of jubilee. The slaves of other nations got to share in being members of the people of God, provided they lived as God had commanded, there’s more on foreigners worshipping God later, so while slavery was bad, it presented quite a good opportunity for non-Israelites.
A year of rest
The Sabbath year allowed the land to rest, since these people weren’t practising crop rotation, this was probably really good for the land. As Christians, care for the world God made us is very important, and we should remember this.
You’ll eat your kids
We’ll have more on this later, especially going through the major profits. I don’t think it was God’s intention for people to eat their children. A more likely explanation is that the consequences of disobedience would be so bad (in proportion to the immorality of the people) that they’d end up eating their kids.
Note that 26:41 shows that all these things are consequences of free will, and if people humble themselves to God and obey, the bad stuff won’t be so bad. Obviously God talks of punishing people, but this seems to be hyperbole (later we see David living through consequences of a repented sin) and rather he’s deliberately pointing out that as the originator of the moral code, he’s created a situation where obedience would lead to a better world, and disobedience to a worse world. In a post titled Suffering; God and moral awareness I argued that the consequences, no matter how bad, are necessary for true understanding of morality, that post may help people understand, but still probably wouldn’t satisfy a critic, as can be seen from the comment thread.
I’ll pay fifty Shekels for you
The sections of putting a monetary value on people bothers me, but I suppose that in an era where people were brought and sold, these laws may make more sense. I’m intrigued about no value being put on small children, and women costing less, and don’t really know what to say, please comment if you have any thoughts on that.
What are your thoughts?
Please give the reading through the Bible page a look if you haven’t already, there are some background posts and the index to this reading plan. Share it with others who you think can benefit from Reading the Bible.