Sunday, 14 February 2010

The Holy Slaughterhouse

The first seven chapters of Leviticus are also a bit of a fag to read. They give all the rules for the offering of the various sacrifices - sin offerings, thank offerings, whole burnt offerings etc etc. Then the eighth chapter describes how Aaron and his sons were ordained as priests (more sacrifices), and the ninth describes how they made all these sacrifices, and then the glory of God descended on the Tabernacle and the fire of God consumed the burnt offerings.
We get all the details about killing the animals, removing the fat and the offal, what to do with the blood and so on. It looks a bit like a butcher's manual. If you are squeamish and really think about what you are reading, it's all a bit sickening. It makes you wonder whether, if the Temple was restored today, modern Jews would want to go back to all that.
We tend to think of a place of worship as somewhere clean and quiet, with a peaceful atmosphere. But the Temple in its heyday was evidently flowing with the blood of rams, bulls, goats and all sorts, not to mention the noise they all must have made when they were dragged in and slaughtered. It was certainly no religion for vegetarians!
Again, I can't help asking: how, for Christians today, can this be the word of God?

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