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.


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