Sunday, 4 January 2009

Numbers 19

1And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,

2This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:

3And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and one shall slay her before his face:

4And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times:

5And one shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn:

6And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer.

7Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even.

8And he that burneth her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even.

9And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation: it is a purification for sin.

10And he that gathereth the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: and it shall be unto the children of Israel, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among them, for a statute for ever.

I am curious, there seems to be no reason for this slaughter, yet the cremation seems to be complete, far more than the standard sacrifice.

Or perhaps I am missing the point. Maybe , just maybe if it is completely burned does it appear on the spiritual plane so god can fuck it at his leisure, with no witnesses, unlike when he tempted Aaron with the goat. Or maybe someone, somewhere, was worried that the heifer would kiss and tell.

However the following passages are for the time and accepted location reasonable guidelines for dealing with the dead. Implying a rudimentary idea of the spread and possible attempt to control some diseases.

11He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days.

12He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean.

On the other hand it could just be a load of ritualised religious bullshit designed to make the peasants feel something has been done for their deceased loved ones.

Either way I am sure it will involve the priesthood getting a few shekels for the privilege

13Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him.

14This is the law, when a man dieth in a tent: all that come into the tent, and all that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days.

15And every open vessel, which hath no covering bound upon it, is unclean.

16And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.

17And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel:

18And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:

19And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even.

20But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD: the water of separation hath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean.

21And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them, that he that sprinkleth the water of separation shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of separation shall be unclean until even.

22And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean; and the soul that toucheth it shall be unclean until even.

Regardless of your culture the death of someone close to you , has an affect. Unfortunately for the religious, especially the christian branches of the judeo-christiqan tree the grieving process has been hijacked, on the pretext of some mediation between god and the dead sinner. Mourners are now subjected to a tirade of bullshit pertaining to jesus and what a good bloke he was instead of what a wonderful person the dead dude was. Perhaps death would be better tackled in remembering the good times with a person than focusing purely on the fact that they are now dead. You would have thought that since people have been dying since long before people were people that society would have by now worked out a better way to deal with it than saying He/She is in a better place.

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