Another atheist chimed in to show off his tat, and I’m happy to share it.
Just to save everybody the trouble of looking it up:
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.(KJV)
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
I’m willing to bet when this passage was written, there were nearby cultures that inked themselves up and this was just petty Hebrew bigotry on display. Part of me wonders just how much of Leviticus was all about not doing what other tribes and cultures were doing more than anything else.
Monocle Smile @ # 2 –
Worshiping golden calves? Check.
Religious services on hilltops? Check.
Boiling young goats in their mothers’ milk? Check.
Eating shellfish? Check.
As you surmise, the list goes on and on and …
I would imagine the shellfish prohibition was about someone getting a tummy ache — or hepatitis — after eating a bad oyster, more than it was to serve as a tribal marker.
Remember the map was far different then than it is today. The Phillistines occupied the Mediterranean coastal areas at the time. Neither Judah nor Israel had any easy access to shellfish. So, the prohibition could have simply been dietary guidelines for people without ice.
The not eating of pork, however, does seem to be one of those tribal markers. Why? Dunno. Only that surrounding areas did eat lots of pork, but the “Jewish” countries didn’t at all. (Which, FWIW, makes the whole New Testament story about Jesus sending demons into swine and hurtling them off a cliff that much more laughable. Where did he get the swine from?)
Kevin, the egyptians considered pork to be impure, too. Or maybe the hebrews had a serious case of trichinosis.
Kevin @ # 4: I would imagine the shellfish prohibition was about someone getting a tummy ache … The Phillistines occupied the Mediterranean coastal areas at the time.
The tribes weren’t always at war, and the Hebrews (as you say, landlocked hillbillies) were desperately concerned to keep up their population numbers in the face of numerous enemies just as violent as they were. Ergo, their customs included strong prohibitions against any temptations to enjoy the bright lights of the big cities, or whatever else might draw young men away from the joys of goat herding.
Where did he get the swine from?
Pls recall, at the time that legend was written down, Palestine had been under Greek domination for about 4 centuries, with the Romans having rolled in on top of them for the last century. Neither culture was about to give up their bacon (bacon!!!) on account of local superstitions.