PART TWO – EXODUS AND LEVITICUS
The familiar stories continue in Exodus, with the plagues of Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the Ten Commandments, and instructions on how to buy a slave (and beat him), and how to sell your daughter. In the last few chapters, God calls Moses up the mountain, where he gives instructions about the building of the Tabernacle. While he is gone, Aaron makes a golden calf – uh oh! Yahweh doesn’t like idol worshippers. We learn that the penalty for law-breakers is, in most cases, death.
Next is Leviticus, the book about the Levites, the tribe from whom the priests were drawn. We will learn about the faithful enactment of God’s rituals in detail – the rules for burnt offerings, instructions for priests, the treatment of various types of uncleanliness, and prescriptions for holiness with references to sexual behavior, crimes, blasphemy, and sacrifices. This book tells us that bats are unclean birds, baby girls are twice as dirty as baby boys, what to do “if any man’s seed of copulation go out from him”, homosexuality is an abomination, we shouldn’t wear garments of mixed fibers, children who curse their parents must be killed, and handicapped people are not welcome at worship. Lovely stuff.