Thursday, February 11, 2010


Leviticus 9-11

In chapter nine, Moses summoned Aaron and his sons and his elders, "on the eighth day." They gathered to begin the priestly ministry of Aaron and his family. Aaron offered a calf as a sin offering from himself and a lamb as a burnt offering. He then sacrificed a goat as a sin offering for the people. He offered hte burnt offering and the grain offering. He then sacrificed an ox and a ram as a fellowship offering for the people, then he turned and lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. Moses and Aaron entered the tent and blessed the people when they came out. And the glory of the LORD appeared, and fire came out and consumed the offerings on the altar, and the people prostrated themselves.

Chapter ten opens with Nadab and Abihu, two of Aaron's sons, offering unauthorized fire before the LORD, and fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them. Moses told Aaron that the LORD had warned people not to approach him in an unworthy fashion. He then called two of Aaron's cousins and had them remove the dead bodies outside the camp. He then warned Aaron and his other two sons Eleazar and Ithamar to maintain a calm demeanor "or you will die and the LORD will be angry with the whole community." And he told them that they couldn't leave the entrance to the Tent of Meeting because they had the anointing oil on them. Then the LORD gave Aaron and his sons more instructions, including that they were not to drink when they went to the Tent of Meeting. "This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, 11 and you must teach the Israelites all the decrees the LORD has given them through Moses."

Moses told Aaron and his sons to take the grain offering left over and eat it "in a holy place, because it is your share." When he asked after the goat from the sin offering and discovered that it had been burnt up, he was angry, but Aaron asked, "Would the LORD have been pleased if I had eaten the sin offering today?" That appeased Moses.

In chapter 11, the LORD began to lay out the dietary laws to Moses and Aaron.

Thoughts, questions, issues

  • Chapter 9 starts "on the eighth day," but eighth day of what, I don't know. I've lost track of what the timeline is, and am unsure of the reference. Is is the eighth day of the first month? The eighth day after the erection of the tabernacle? I do not know.
  • The deaths of Nadab and Abihu seem almost extravagantly unnecessary. "They offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command," but I don't understand what command is being referenced. The only thing that I see that comes close in from chapter 6, but that just said that the fire on the altar should be kept burning, not that fire couldn't come near to the altar from other places. I just don't understand what the background is, what command has been violated.
  • I presume that there is some logic to the list of clean and unclean animals. I haven't done any research into it, but there is nothing obvious to me.

Psalms 11

Number 11 is a psalm expressing trust in the LORD.

I never noticed before how many verses in the psalms sound exactly like verses from proverbs. Consider verse 5 - "the LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates." Out of context, would you be able to identify the source?

1 In the LORD I take refuge.
How then can you say to me:
"Flee like a bird to your mountain.

2 For look, the wicked bend their bows;
they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
at the upright in heart.

3 When the foundations are being destroyed,
what can the righteous do [a] ?"

4 The LORD is in his holy temple;
the LORD is on his heavenly throne.
He observes the sons of men;
his eyes examine them.

5 The LORD examines the righteous,
but the wicked [b] and those who love violence
his soul hates.

6 On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulfur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.

7 For the LORD is righteous,
he loves justice;
upright men will see his face.

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