Monday, July 30, 2007

Rounding Off Beards & Body Cuts in Lev 19.27-28

Here's a speculation about Lev 19.27-28 maybe echoing back the law in Ex 25.25.

Below I remarked about the possibility that humans are, as it were, human altars. Altars were supposed to be made out of earth, like humans are (Ex 20.24, Gn 2.7) & etc. (see the argument below).

So in Exodus 20.25, God tells Moses that "If you make an altar of stone for me, you shall not build it of cut stones, for if you wield your tool on it, you will profane it."

Now think about what's going on in Lev 19.27-28: "You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads not harm the edges of your beard. You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD."

Here the Israelites were prohibited from "wielding [their] tools" on themselves to makes cuts in their hair or skin. Just like they were prohibited from wielding tools to make an altar of cut stones.

I wouldn't insist on it, but the law in Leviticus might be an echo of the law in Exodus, teaching the Israelites (and us) that they are God's true temple, a temple to be made with "living stones" rather than with stones of rock (1 Peter 2.5).


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