2.4. Israelite Practices (How Should We Live Our Lives?)

Israelite Ideas About How God Wants Us to Live Our Lives

Theories of Ritual and Dietary Impurity

Examples of things considered impure: pork, catfish, vultures, skin disease, dead bodies, semen, menstrual blood, birth defects, male homosexuality, four-day-old meat, foreskins, rival nations.

Moral Impurity

Moral impurity is much more serious than ritual impurity

Sins: idolatry, bloodshed, adultery

Consequence: defiles the sanctuary and the land


Different Views of the Function of (Animal) Sacrifices

Submitted Questions

Limitations of Human Culture and Context

Views that are progressive in one time period can seem primitive in a later time period.

Is god meant to be a perfect being, and if so, would God's ethics and morals change over time?

Why were women deemed as property by their husbands was it due to the fact that the time frame in which they lived in dictated it to be the societal norm or was it because of what god instructed their role to be?

The chapter also states that the bible is written by a male perspective. What is God's message in regards to this? Surely it has to be one that is fair to both the husband and wife.

How is owning slaves and treating women as property not also moral impurity? And if you’re supposed to “love your neighbor as yourself”, wouldn’t it seem odd to then turn around and treat somebody as less than yourself?

Identity Markers (Ethnicity, Temple, Religious Exclusivity)


How come Catholicism does not oppose intermarriage, but the Israelites back then did? What changed?

Was there punishment for living too far from the temple?

How did the Israelites create boundaries from Canaanites since they were from the same place?

What happened if you wanted to follow Ba'al instead of God?

Would they try to convert other people to their beliefs or were they strictly set in keeping their beliefs among themselves? Would they go out of their way to help their neighbors despite having differences in beliefs?

If the Israelites believe God only has a relationship with them and no other group of people. How did they understand the appearance of Islam and Christianity?

I have always been interested in how religion affects eating habits (Catholics during Lent, pork for Muslims and Jews).

Other practices

Why did animal sacrifices help their relationship woth god? Another thing I still don't understand is why is blood so holy? Why can't it be consumed?

There must be some catches to the loan system. I bet people who gave loans often pressured quick returns because of the risk of the 7 years.

How would they know if you were "impure"?

"Moral impurity is a kind of pollution created by sin, particularly idolatry, adultery, and murder." If I am correct this would kind of be like the concept of the Ten Commandments?