Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Leviticus: Chapter 7

Bound together

or cut off

Divine and human eating

That which you bring 

becomes yours

[For full chapter, click here
This chapter expands and intensifies the themes of the previous chapter. The connection between kohen and offering becomes tighter. If in the previous chapter, the priests were given general rights to certain offerings, here an intense one on one relation is established between the offering and the priest that offers it: "The one who atones with it, to him it shall be" "The skin of the ascension offering shall go to the kohen who offered it, to him shall it be" "and the kohen who throws the blood of the sin offering it shall be".
Countering this intense bond between the priest and the offering is the threat of a broken bond to those who disrespect the offerings, to those who overstep the bounds of the holy: "and he shall be cut off (karet) from his people."
The sharing of the offering between the human and the divine is accompanied by limitations to protect the boundaries of the divine. The chapter closes with a reiteration of the prohibition of taking the blood or the fat--the two parts of the sacrifice consecrated for the altar. Those who do so shall be "cut off"]

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