The TL:DR Bible: Leviticus 17-18

Chapter 17:

Aaron and the priests want a monopoly on sacrificing to God, so any man found killing an animal for the purpose of making an offering to God outside of the Tabernacle is to be killed.

The reason why is stated right in the text:

The reason is so that the sons of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they were sacrificing in the open field, that they may bring them in to theLord, at the doorway of the tent of meeting to the priest, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to the Lord.

You can’t worship God on your own, people, you need a priest to do it for you and consequently collect a fair percentage of your offering for his own use.

God would also like the people to stop worshipping goat demons. Goat demons? Seriously? Why are we just hearing about this? That sounds a lot more interesting than 5 chapters of designing a tent and 5 chapters about building the tent…

God repeats himself and says seriously, if you try and make an offering to me and don’t involve the priests, you should be killed.

God: Psst… hey… Moses…. Mooooooooseeeeees. I know you can hear me, Mooooses… tell the people don’t eat the blood. Never eat the blooooooood. (whispers) the life… is in… the blood, Mooooooses… the life is in blood….

If you eat blood, you die. I guess that precludes ordering a rare steak. That hurts, Lord… that really hurts…

And if you eat roadkill, you have cooties until you do your laundry and bathe and wait until sundown. If you don’t bathe and do your laundry, they should kill you.


Chapter 18:

God: Hi, Moses… whatcha doing?

Moses: Mostly living in fear, what’s up?

God: Oh, just got a few rules on what you hairless monkeys can do and shouldn’t do with your wee wees and your hoohahs. For starters: No more incest.

Moses: You… wait… I’m okay with this, but considering the book of Genesis was filled with blood relatives having sex, I’m a bit shocked.

God: Yeah, I’ve just been thinking it over and it’s just kinda gross now. So no more. Also, that extends to in-laws, so no sleeping with your brother’s wife.

Moses: Wait, didn’t you kill a guy for not wanting to have sex with his brother’s wife?

God: Hmmm… oh, yeah… yeah I did… okay, no sleeping with your sister-in-law while your brother’s still alive then. Also, no mother-daughter three ways, those are right out. And no marrying two sisters while they’re both still alive.

Moses: Okay, just a minute. That’s exactly what Israel, our founding father did. And now you’re not cool with it?

God: … what’s your point?

Moses: I just thought, well, everyone kind of talks about sexual ethics like they’ve always been written in stone and don’t change, and you’re kind of changing things up here.

God: Things change. Get used to it. Things might change in the future too. Like, remember how I said if you had sex with your menstruating wife you’d both need to wash and would be unclean until evening? Yeah, changed my mind. It’s gross. Stop it. No adultery, we already covered that. Don’t sacrifice your kids to gods, and yes, I know, I told Abraham to do that, but that was a joke. Who knew he’d take it seriously?

Moses: Anything else?

God: No gay stuff.

Moses: Then why did you make gay people?

God: I don’t know… things were so busy then. I had put off this whole creation thing like forever, and then the deadline came on so fast, I had to get everything done in like six days…

Moses: …

God: But hey, I didn’t mention lesbians, so I guess they’re still cool…


God: And this should really go without saying, but don’t screw animals.

Moses: Even if you’re cold, and it’s been a while, and that horse is looking at you like she wants it?

God: Neigh means nay, Moses. Neigh means nay.

Moses:  Fine…

God: Anyway, if, uh, anyone has a problem with any of these, go ahead and kill them, m’kay? Just remember… (whispers) I’m always watching, Moses… always…

The TL:DR Bible: Leviticus 16

Fifteen chapters into this book, I’m starting to doubt that the Psalmists who kept saying over and over again how much they love God’s law have ever read it.

The majority of it is drudgery, a few bits of it are quite entertaining in a “what in the world is this?” way, and a tiny percentage of it seems to be actual worthwhile commands such as, “Don’t murder people.”

Anyway, onward we press…


Chapter 16:

God: “Psst… Moses… Mooooses… (whispers) I seeeeee you…”

Moses: “Urk… Yes, Lord? And as always… please don’t kill me.”

God: I’m not going to kill you. But I will kill Aaron and anyone else who goes into my inner sanctum in the Tabernacle. Except for one time each year, Aaron can come in. He’s got to bring a bull for a sin offering, a ram for a burnt offering, put on his holy underware and holy bath robe, and his holy turban. But he’ll have to take a bath first. I don’t want you humans bringing in human cooties to my sanctum. Oh, and he should take two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering for the people. He gets to kill the bull for himself and his family, then roll the dice to see which goat gets to live and which goat gets to die. After he kills the first goat, he’s to bring me the second goat. Then he should kill the bull as a sin offering for himself and his family…”

Moses: Forgive me, O Lord, but you told him to kill the bull before he cast lots for the goats.

God: Well, he can kill it again, can’t he? It’s been a very naughty bull. After setting the bull on fire, Aaron needs to bring in some incense for me. He’s to bring some blood from the bull and sprinkle it on the ark. Then he’s to kill the goat…

Moses: He would have already killed it back after the dice roll…

God: We’ve been over this. The goat too was quite naughty. Kill it again. Light some incense. Sprinkle the blood on the ark. Sprinkle blood on the altar. Then present the live goat to me. Aaron is to place his hands on the goat and confess all of the people’s sins, then send it away. The goat gets to bear all the sins of the people… a… scapegoat, if you will.

Moses: That all sounds rather elaborate and a bit odd, couldn’t you just forgive us our sins when we confess them to you?

God: No, that’s for the Gentiles who I didn’t choose. You lucky Chosen People have to do this stuff and not eat bacon and be violently persecuted, hated, and oppressed throughout history. Anyway, after Aaron’s done with the goat, he has to take off his holy bathrobe and kill some more animals. And this has to be done on the tenth day of the seventh month. And make sure you use a lunar calendar too, so it’ll be extra confusing for later generations to switch to a solar one.

The TL:DR Bible: Leviticus 13-15

Chapter 13:

God: Now, when you get sick, make sure you go see your priest, and not a doctor. I mean, I am God and I could tell you all about how your body works and what causes diseases and how to prevent and treat them, but then… uh… I don’t know… something… something… something… just go see the man with a funny hat if you have a rash or scab or mark on your skin. If you can’t trust a Bronze Age priest to make an adequate medical diagnosis, who can you trust?

If the mark changes, the priest will declare you a leper and you are unclean. If it doesn’t quite look like leprosy, he’ll isolate you until it heals or until it looks like leprosy.

Once you’re a leper, you have to tear your clothes, cover your mouth, and say “Unclean!” and live alone outside the camp.

Apparently, clothing can get leprosy too, which does not seem likely, but I’ll go with it. So God runs down how to detect leprosy in your clothes. I’m now imagining a pair of pants walking with no one in them shouting “UNCLEAN!” as dresses and infant clothes and socks scurry quickly away from them.


Chapter 14:

Oh, look a ritual to do when an leper is healed from leprosy. Guess what the leper has to do. No, really, guess. You’ll never get it.

Kill an animal? That’s right. How did you know?


It’s science.

So if you’re healed of leprosy, you put in a call to the priest who meets you outside of camp and inspects you. Then the priest kills a bird over running water and dips some wood, a string, and another bird into its blood and then splashes the blood on the healed leper, declares the leper healed and releases the bird to go fly away.

Then the leper has to wash his clothes and shave his head and bathe, then he can come back to the camp, but he has to live outside his tent for seven days, then shave all his body hair again, then do laundry again, and bathe again. Then he has to bring two male lambs and a one year old ewe to the priest. He also needs to bring some dough and some oil. They kill one lamb for a guilt offering, present God with the oil, slaughter the other lamb where they kill lambs for the burnt offering, the priest puts some blood on the former leper’s right ear lob, right thumb, and right big toe, and puts oil on his forehead. And the leper is clean.

If the leper can’t afford three sheep, he can bring one male offering and two doves.

Okay, in addition to clothes, leprosy can also infect stones and plaster? Oh… o-okay…

Anyway, if you find a leprous mark on your house, you have to go and get the priest, who then has the house emptied for seven days, and if the spot spreads, they have to tear out the affected stones and plaster and dump them in an unclean place outside of the city and then rebuilt the wall. If the spot comes back, then the entire house has to be demolished.

If the spot doesn’t come back, the priest declares the house clean and, yeah… kills more animals.

Seriously, what did the sheep, goats, and doves do to make God so angry at them?


Chapter 15

If you have a discharge… which I guess would be blood, fluid, or pus… you’re unclean and everything you touch is unclean. And when you’re better, you wait seven days and go to priest so he can kill some animals and appease God because you… got sick? Seriously? Getting sick is a sin?

So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf before the Lord because of his discharge.

Okay, I guess… getting sick is now a sin.

If you masturbate, have sex, or a wet dream, you’re gross and icky and unclean until you take a bath and it’s night time. Okay, got it… getting sick is a sin, and bodily emissions are evil too… I mean sure God gave us these bodily functions, but it seems reasonable that God would then also declare them disgusting and unclean. Sure.

God: “Ladies, if you’re, I don’t know… bleeding out of your whatever, you’re gross and icky and unclean until it stops. Then wait seven days and see the priest and he’ll kill some animals for me and I’ll let your gross bleeding stuff go.”

Otherwise, God will kill you if you try and worship him.

Hmm… that is quite a dilemma… stop having sex with my wife Saturday nights or stop going to church…Hmm…

The TL:DR Bible: Leviticus 10-12

Chapter 10

Two of Aaron’s sons go out and offer up incense to God, but they offered the wrong kind or they were a bit tipsy, so seeing this misguided act of worship, God does the perfectly reasonable thing, and sits the two young men down and explains that while he appreciates their zeal, they have to follow the rules, and sends the boys to time out to sober up or think about what they’ve done, and they all have a good laugh about it in the morning.

Uh, no, wait… God kills them with fire.

kill it with fire

You know that meme is a joke, right, Lord?

My bad.

Aaron: Uh… what the…

Moses: God, huh? What are you going to do? Probably… uh… don’t mourn or God will kill us all. And don’t leave the Tabernacle or God will kill you. We’ll have a public funeral for them, but you can’t come or… you know…God. Kaboom. Fire. Death. And you should probably not drink any wine while you’re in the Tabernacle or… Death. Fire. Serpents. Plague… the usual.

Aaron: … You know I think I like Cow God better. All he ever wanted us to do was drink and have sex.

Then Moses reminds Aaron and his surviving kids that they get to eat from some of the sacrifices and then gets angry that they didn’t eat of a sacrifice.

Aaron: Yeah… I just watched two of my sons get turned into burnt crisps. Forgive me if I’m not in the mood for BARBEQUE RIGHT NOW!

Moses: Uh… oh… okay… just don’t let happen again…


Chapter 11:

God: Hey, guys.

Moses: Uh… hey.. we’re good, right? No fire, plagues, or death coming, right? Not that we’re not okay with that, I’m just asking, you know… for a friend….please, don’t kill me…

God: No, no, we’re good. I have some more rules for you. I’ve been noticing how you guys are just eating like everything down there. Just grabbing it and stuffing it into wet, fleshy maws… it’s kind of disgusting really. I probably should have come up with another way for you to get energy, like photosynthesis, but what’s done is done. Anyway, I have a list of animals you shouldn’t eat anymore.

Moses: But you told Noah he could eat anything, except for blood.

God: That’s right… (whispers) the life is in the blood, Moses… the life is in the blood…

Moses: Urk…

God: Anyway, cows, sheep, goats are all good. They have split hooves and chew their cud. No camels. It chews the cud, but doesn’t have a split hoof. No large rodents. No rabbits because while they chew the cud, they don’t have split hooves.

Moses: Rabbits don’t chew the cud.

God: I’m pretty sure they do.

Moses: No, they don’t. They only have one stomach. Sometimes they’ll eat their own poo to redigest it, but they don’t chew cud.

God: They eat their own poo? Who came up with that? Gabriel? Did you come up with that idea? That’s just… gross…

Moses: So cross that bit about rabbits chewing the cud out then or leave it in?

God: Just leave it in. My liberal hippie son is just going to abolish the whole food laws thing in 1500 years and no one’s going to read this part anyway.

Moses: Your… your son?

God: Oh crap… you’re not supposed to find out about that. Just forget I mentioned it. Anyway, no pigs. No tasty, tasty bacon… fish, but no shellfish, and if you want to eat birds: no eagles, vultures, kites, falcons, ravens, ostriches, owls, sea gulls, hawks, other owls, cormorant, great owls… I mentioned owls right? Storks, hero, hoopoe, or bats.

Moses: Bats aren’t birds. They’re mammals.

God: Of course they’re birds. They fly don’t they?

Moses: Yeah, but…

God: See? Birds. Bats are birds. You can eat grasshoppers and crickets, but no other bugs.

Moses: Okay, anything else?

God: Yeah, if you touch a dead unclean animal, you get unclean cooties until sundown. Oh, and no cats or dogs or rats. No moles, voles, mice, lizards, geckos, crocs, lizards, chameleons, and seriously, anything that touches one of their carcases gets unclean cooties, Moses… (whispers) un-clean….Moses…. un-clean…

Moe: Anything else?

God: Yeah, touching a dead body in general makes you unclean. It’s really creepy that you’re all made out of meat, you know? I’m really starting to regret that choice, you know? Maybe I should make you all out of rocks now or something…. That’d be cool. Rock monsters. Rock cows. Rock pigs. Rock lobsters.


Chapter 12:

Hey, ladies, we get to talk about your sinful icky parts now.

  • If you give birth to a male, you have icky cooties for 7 days, then on the eighth day, you have to chop off part of your son’s wiener.
  • After that, you still have icky girl cooties for 33 more days. That’s what you get for being born with a vagina, girls.
  • If you give birth to a girl, she totally sucks and is icky, so you’re unclean for 2 weeks, and then for 66 days after that. Girls, ppppht… am I right?

After you’ve lost the magic girlie cooties, you have to offer a lamb for a burnt offering and a pigeon or dove for the sin of having a vagina and giving birth.

The word of the Lord…

Next time, we get to take a look at ancient health care in Israel. Surprisingly, it does not involve killing anything.

The TL:DR Bible: Leviticus 5-9

Chapter 5:

Have you sinned? Have you say, not testified in court when you were called? Have you touched a dead rabbit or lobster or bug? Have you masturbated or menstruated lately? Have you made a promise you didn’t keep? Well, God has the answer.

Kill an animal.

Yes, killing an animal will make that sin go right away. It’s just that easy.

Bring a ewe or a female goat to the priest, and kill that critter.

If you can’t afford ewes or goats, God also takes doves and pigeons. But not Pidgeys. He’s already got like 10,000 of them.


Go home, Pidgey. No one likes you.

Oh, but if you can’t afford an animal, God will also accept flour. Just have the priest throw it on the fire.

Unless you sin against the holy things, in which case, it’s a ram you need or nothing. None of this weak flour stuff.


Chapter 6:

If you rob someone or take their stuff, you have to pay it back, and add 20% on top of that before you can kill your animal for God.

Rules for priests:

For burnt offerings, keep the offering on the altar all night. Put on a linen robe, go scrape off the ashes and put them on the side of the altar, then go change your clothes and take the ashes outside of the camp to a clean place. I don’t know why God wanted the priests to dirty two sets of clothes, but apparently it’s very important.

Priests can’t let the fire on the altar go out.

The priests get to keep the leftovers of the grain offering and bread offerings to eat.

When the high priest is chosen, they have to bring bread to God. He likes the smell.

The priests get to eat the sin offerings, unless the magic spell involved sprinkling blood in the Tabernacle, in which case, they have to burn the carcass completely.


Chapter 7:

We’re still talking about killing animals and the exact ways God wants them killed. Anyone else starting to think that the first copy of this manuscript was found in a drifter’s van parked near a site where they found like 100 dead women?

  • The priests also get to eat the guilt offering.
  • They get to keep the animal hides from the burnt offering.
  • And in another case of déjà vu, God says they get to eat the bread offered up too, just like he said in the last chapter.

If you kill an animal as a “Thank You” card to Jehovah, it has to be eaten the same day, unless it’s a votive or freewill offering, in which case, you can eat it the next day too. But seriously, if anyone eats any of it on the third day, God will have you straight up killed.

If you’re not ceremonially clean and you grab a leg of lamb and chow down on it: death.

If you eat fat from an ox, sheep, or goat: death.

If you eat fat from a roadkill animal: death.

If you eat the fat from the wrong type of offering: death.

If you eat blood: death.

God: Yes, I am an omnipotent, omniscient being who is very, very concerned with your diets. You can have all of the Cheetos you want, but no black pudding.

Hey, look, another reason to kill an animal, and the priests get a nice cut of meat.

It does occur to us that the idea that every act of worship would involve butchering an animal did not come from God so much as from a poor and hungry priest.


Chapter 8

Aaron gets dressed up and kills some animals. He also becomes high priest and he and his kids eat the animals they totally, seriously, we completely swear, killed for God.


Chapter 9:

Aaron kills some more animals.

Good job, Aaron, now you guys are not going to get to put that SPCA “No animals were harmed in the making of this religion” blurb on your scripture now.


Next time… well, I have no idea, but I bet it will involve some more reasons to kill an animal.

The TL:DR Bible – Leviticus 1-4

Chapter 1

More rules…

  • When you bring your offering, take it to the tent of meeting. It has to be a male (girls have cooties, remember?) without defect. You have to put your hand on its head and cut it’s throat. The priests will sprinkle the blood around the altar, while you skin the animal and cut it up. Wash the entrails and legs with water. Then the priests will lay it on the fire and God gets to smell some awesome BBQ aroma and forget what horrible people we all are and how He really wants to kill us.
  • Unless it’s a sheep or goat, then you have to kill it on the north side of the altar. And God gets to enjoy that nice BBQ meat smell again.
  • If it’s a bird, the priest has to wring its neck. The blood is to be drained on the side of the altar, and the crop and feathers are to be thrown east of the altar. The priest is to tear it by the wings, but not sever it and then BBQ it, so God gets to enjoy the BBQ chicken smell.

Chapter 2

  • If you bring flour as an offering, mix it with Frankincense and oil and the priests will throw it on the fire and the burnt flour and oil smell will be pleasing to God.
  • But if you bring bread as an offering, make sure you don’t put yeast in it. The priest will take part of it and toss it into the fire because God likes the smell of toast and the rest will be eaten by the priests. Being a priest would have been an awesome job back then. Nice clothes, no back-breaking labor, free food, just have to say some mumbo jumbo stuff for the peasants and you’re done.

Chapter 3

  • The rules for the peace offering: you can bring a boy or girl animal this time. No defects. Lay your hand on it and cut its throat. The priests will sprinkle the blood around the altar. And you remove the fat, the loins, the entrails, and the kidneys and the rest the priests burn.
  • If you’re offering a lamb, same deal, but there are different organs and parts that God doesn’t want.
  • If you’re offering a goat, same deal, but there are different organs and parts that God doesn’t want.

God is a picky eater is what I’m taking away from this chapter.

Chapter 4.

  • If any of you sin accidentally, here’s the list of rules for killing more animals!
  • You have to offer a bull? For every sin? You know… I don’t think there are going to be enough bulls to go around to cover 2,000,000 people, Moses.
  • Kill the bull before the tent of meeting, sprinkle the blood seven times, put some blood on the horns of the altar, Put your right hand in, put your right hand out, you put your right hand in and you shake it all about… okay, not really. Pour all of the blood at the base of the altar where you burn things. Take out the fat, the caul, the kidneys, and the liver and throw them on the fire. Drag the bull carcass outside of camp and set it on fire.
  • If the entire congregation sins, do the same thing, but instead of one guy laying his hands on the bull before you kill it, it’ll be a cross section of people from the tribe.
  • If a leader sins, he has to bring a male goat and do the same thing…
  • If you commoners sin, you have to bring a female goat or sheep and do the same thing…

I guess the smell of burning meat and organs and fat makes God happy so he’ll overlook your sin.

Seriously, I can’t even imagine the smell of that camp. I think the Canaanites might have moved out of their cities voluntarily as the Israelites got closer just to get away from the stench of fetid blood and the flies and animal carcasses.

I guess I’ll stop here for now because there are still like a gazillion more chapters ahead of us detailing how we’re supposed to kill and burn different animals for every occasion? Did you sin? Kill an animal. Want to send God a thank you card? How about a dead animal? Did you pee this morning? Probably should kill an animal this way!

I’m starting to worry a bit about God… maybe he should consider therapy for this animal killing obsession before it escalates? What? Oh… right… the Flood… Egypt… we’re too late.

The TL:DR Bible – Exodus 34-40

Chapter 34:

God tells Moses to make two more stone tablets himself since he broke the two God gave him.

AND DON’T LET ANYONE TOUCH THE MOUNTAIN!  God said yet again in case we forgot the last four or five times He said it.

So God covers Moe’s eyes and walks past him, then uncovers his eyes and lets Moe see God’s back with the sweet Celtic cross tattoo.

God declares himself: compassionate and gracious (some Egyptians might disagree), slow to anger (two chapters after almost destroying all of Israel for making an idol and having a wild party), abounding in love and truth, and a forgiver of sins, but He’ll totally punish the guilty and the guilty’s sons and their sons and maybe even their sons. Those last two things seem like they contradict each other. Just saying…

Moses: Cool. Come with us then?

God: Sure. I’m going to come and I’ll do miracles and they’ll be yoouge. The best miracles ever. I’m totally going to help you kill all of the Canaanites.

More rules:

  • Don’t make any treaties with Canaanites. Kill them all, says the one abounding in love.
  • Don’t worship other gods. Seriously, don’t. Don’t make me hurt you, Baby.
  • Don’t marry icky foreigners. They have cooties.
  • I’m totally serious here. Don’t make any more gods.
  • Keep the Feast of Unleavened bread, in case we forgot the other two times He mentioned it.
  • God repeats that every firstborn belongs to him and has to be redeemed and oh look, more baby donkey killing! Come on, God, I thought the Shrek sequels weren’t that great too, but you don’t see me holding a grudge against donkeys.
  • Seriously, take Saturday off, in case you forgot.
  • Once again, God hates leavened bread.
  • Once again, bring me your first fruits. God has to eat.
  • Once again, don’t boil a goat in its mother’s milk.

Moses spends 40 more days with God without eating before he comes back and his face is glow in the dark. All of the other Israelites, used to laugh and call him names, no that’s not right… all of the other Israelites were freaked out and stayed away from Moe until he put on a face covering.


Chapter 35:

Again, don’t work on Saturday, Moses says to everyone.

Hey, Moses, question, so we should or should not work on Saturday? Because you haven’t been really clear on that.

Moe asks the people to donate the stuff for God’s tent. They do. Once again we’re told that Oholiab and Bezalel have had the knowledge on how to build this stuff downloaded into them.


Chapter 36:

The build God’s tent. Moses has to tell the people to stop bringing him stuff.

They build the Tabernacle just like God wanted it. It really is the most boring HGTV show ever.


Chapter 37:

They’re still building God’s tent. The contractors promise it will be done in two more weeks.


Chapter 38:

They finish building God’s tent. And here’s the invoice for the materials and labor.


Chapter 39:

They make Aaron’s threads and the divining stones. The author takes 43 verses to tell us this.

You’re welcome.


Chapter 40:

They set up God’s tent. There was much rejoicing.

God moves into his tent.

And we move into Leviticus next time which sounds… is there a word that combines fun and boring? Fuboring? Let’s go with fuboring.