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.
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?
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?
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…