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The ways of sacrifice; The shared meal

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posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 05:02 PM
One of the reasons for sacrifice, in the Old Testament, was that the Israelites were not supposed to eat meat without sharing it with their God.

The original principle is laid down in Leviticus;
“If any man of the house of Israel kills an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or kills it outside the camp, and does not bring it to the door of the tent of meeting, to offer it as a gift to the Lord before the Tabernacle of the Lord, bloodguilt shall be imputed to that man; he has shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people”- Leviticus ch17 vv3-4

This goes back to the basic premise that the Lord is the source of life and therefore the ultimate provider of the animals themselves.
Therefore his people should recognise their dependence upon him when they take these animals.

Their chosen way of expressing this recognition is to give him a share of the slaughtered beast.
To be exact, he receives the blood, which is sprinkled upon the altar, and he receives the fat, which is burnt upon the altar.
Since “the life is in the blood”, the offering of blood is returning the essence of the animal’s life to the one who gave it in the first place.
Part of the reason for this demand, as we learn from the end of the passage, is to divert the offerings away from the other deities, the “satyrs”, who had been receiving them previously (vv5-7)
The Lord has no need, of course, for the blood and fat of animals, and we ought not to suppose that he wants them for their own sake.
What he wants more, it seems, is the symbolism of having them offered upon his own altars instead of elsewhere.

The ideal of taking every animal to the tent of meeting is only workable as long as the people are close to the tent of meeting.
It becomes impossible once they are spread across the land, so the basic rule is modified in Deuteronomy.
“When the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as he has promised you, and you say “I will eat flesh”…If the place where the Lord your God will choose to put his name there is too far from you, then you may kill any of your herd or your flock…and you may eat within your towns as much as you desire”.
The only condition is that the portion which has been reserved to God may still not be consumed.
The blood must be poured away upon the earth (which might be regarded as another way of returning it). Deuteronomy ch12 vv20-24

This applies to ordinary meals.
However, the special offerings which are expected from them, or which they choose to make, are not to be consumed at home.
“You shall eat them before the Lord your God in the place which the Lord your God shall choose” (v18).

But the special offerings are to be sacrificed by a priest, in which case the priests are also entitled to a portion of the animal.
The division becomes clear in the law on “peace offerings” (Leviticus ch8 vv28-34).
These are the more voluntary offerings, made for thanksgiving or similar purposes.
As usual, the Lord receives the blood and the fat.
The right thigh of the animal belongs to the individual priest who makes the sacrifice.
The breast of the animal is passed on to the priesthood in general (“shall be for Aaron and his sons”).
Leviticus is not interested In what happens to the rest of the peace-offering, so that is apparently left for the people who brought the animal for sacrifice- “eaten before the Lord”, as we saw from Deuteronomy.

As we learn from the story of the sons of Eli, this three-way division of the animal was a source of temptation to the priesthood, who might not be able to resist taking more than their fair share.
The general custom in their period of service was that whenever a man was offering a sacrifice and the meat was being boiled (to remove the fat, I would assume), the servant of the priests would come along with a three-pronged fork.
He would thrust this fork into the cauldron and take for the priests whatever the fork brought up.
Obviously there was no guarantee that this would be restricted to the appointed portions of “right thigh and breast”.
He would do this, overriding any protests, even before the fat had been burnt- which seems to mean that some of the fat, the Lord’s portion, would have been taken as well.
“Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord; for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt”- 1 Samuel ch2 vv12-17
Once again (for it is a common problem) human impulses were distorting their God’s intentions.

Nevertheless, the basic principle holds good, that this kind of sacrifice was a shared meal.
So Paul says about the sacrifices of Israel that those who eat of the sacrifice are KOINONOI TOU THUSIASTERIOU (1 Corinthians ch10 v18).
This is commonly translated as “partners in the altar”, but the phrase is clearly meant as a contrast with “partners with demons” (KOINONOUS TON DAIMONION) in v20.
So part of Paul’s meaning must be that the Israelites eating the sacrifice are partners with the altar, “the altar” being an indirect way of naming God; that is to say, they’re sharing a meal with God as well as with each other.
He then develops this thought into an understanding of the Christian communion as a meal of the same kind, “eaten at God’s table”.
An eating of the same bread, going back to the time when Jesus and his disciples were eating from the same bread.

The result of these customs is that the meat on the table, which would have been eaten anyway, becomes a means of giving the people of Israel a sense of close contact with their God, in acknowledging their dependence upon him.

posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 05:37 PM
Zeus was determined to exterminate the human race because the children of the Immortals (demigods) were mating with mortals. Zeus wanted the two races (Immortals and mortals) to live separately on the earth but he could not keep them from consorting with one another; the flood was intended to solve that problem. After the waters subsided, Deukalion and Pyrrha repopulated the earth by throwing stones onto the earth; the stones which Deukalion threw became men and those which Pyrrha threw became women.

Prometheus's first act of rebellion was to try and make Zeus look foolish by offering him a false sacrifice. Prometheus prepared two animal sacrifices for Zeus ... he made one of fat and bones and the other of the finest meat. Prometheus offered the two to Zeus expecting him to mistakenly choose the fat and bones because Prometheus had wrapped the fat in such a way that it looked to be the most sincere tribute of the two. Zeus saw through the trick and magnanimously controlled his anger. He warned Prometheus not to provoke him but did not punish him. As a way of showing how little the trick had effected him, Zeus commanded that, in the future, all animal sacrifices would be of fat and bones.

Zeus had many plans for the reshaping of creation. After the fall of his father, Kronos (Cronos), and his confinement in Tartaros, Zeus took no interest in the mortal race of men on the bountiful earth ... he intended for them to live as primitives until they died off. Zeus said that knowledge and divine gifts would only bring misery to the mortals and he insisted that Prometheus not interfere with his plans.

Despite Zeus's warning, Prometheus took pity on the primitive mortals and again deceived Zeus. Prometheus gave the mortals all sorts of gifts: brickwork, woodworking, methods for telling the seasons by the stars, numbers, the alphabet (so that they could record and remember things), yoked oxen, carriages, saddles, ships and sails. He also gave other gifts: healing drugs, the gift of prophecy, signs in the sky, the mining of precious metals, animal sacrifice and all forms of art.

This is the only story of a God that I have ever appreciated. Prometheus is my hero.

posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 05:39 PM
a reply to: Nechash
I don't think this relates to the topic of Old Testament sacrifice.

posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 05:50 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

It does. Any god which demands sacrifices from humankind is a tyrant who should be deposed. The above was the Hellenic interpretation of the very same memes that created the rise of monotheism in Babylon and Egypt, well, and much of the rest of the world really. The Hellenics were the only beings on the planet that heard the siren song and saw it for what it truly was. Their artistic interpretation is the one I find favorable.

posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 05:53 PM
a reply to: Nechash
This thread is about the Israelite practice of sacrifice (one aspect thereof).

posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 05:59 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Yes, the hydra has many heads and when you chop off one, another one or twelve slithers out to take its place. Isn't it natural for an egotistical being to divide his creation against itself so that he can be the center of all attentions? Some day he will pay for his hubris, to his bafflement. There are those of us who have walked through the pits of hell itself and there is no power left he has over us. We are willing to go to any length to guarantee his destruction or his rectification. He will flutter about a throne singing the glory of humankind for all of eternity. Until that day comes, justice has yet to be served.

posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 06:03 PM
a reply to: Nechash
Let me remind you once again of the topic of this thread, which is "the shared meal" as an aspect of Israelite sacrifice.

posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 06:23 PM
Any person that claims to have knowledge of what a God truly wants is either a liar or a fool. Using the text of books that have been written by men to suit the people that want to control populations is not a valid reason to follow a particular religion.

How I kill and gut my goat after a bash on the head, or if I decide to eat a lobster, none of this has anything to do with pleasing a deity. These rules were originally put in place to ensure people didn't become ill from what they ate.

If the Lord wants to sit at my table and share a meal, He would be welcomed as any other guest in my home. Dinner will be ready in about an hour. We're having pan fried kale with garlic and onion, broiled fish with lemon and thyme, and I'll put up a pot of rice that you can add some butter and hot sauce to if you're so inclined.

If I do a leg of lamb for Sunday night, even if I share it with the entire town, it won't bring me any closer to a God.

It's time to end superstitious nonsense and move on to action instead of prayer. Don't go to church on Sunday, go to a library and study. Tithe to a scholarship fund at your local schools and universities, your money would be better spent.
edit on 26/9/2014 by anxietydisorder because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 06:30 PM

originally posted by: anxietydisorder
These rules were originally put in place to ensure people didn't become ill from what they ate.

Deciding to set apart some of the beast for God has no impact whatever on becoming or not becoming ill (both fat and blood are partof the normal diet in many other cultures).
Consider the possibility that it really was, as I suggested, about the sense that their God was the ultimate provider.

edit on 26-9-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 07:14 PM

originally posted by: DISRAELI
Consider the possibility that it really was, as I suggested, about the sense that their God was the ultimate provider.

"About the sense"...

That's how they felt, and that's where it all falls apart. Setting aside valuable nutrition to a God that will never consume the meal seems a little odd to me. I see some value in the Bible, and there are lessons to be learned. I wouldn't be the man I am today without having read the Book Of Job countless times.

I just think too many people treat it as the gospel truth and miss the broader picture. The same could be said for Star Wars fanatics, in the way they form clubs, emulate the characters, and even believe in the Force. Fiction is still fiction, but that doesn't mean you can't learn something from it.

Your thread is interesting, and I gave you a star and flag because it made me think.

Please don't take my reply as a disparagement of the topic, even if it comes across that way. You can't expect much more from an atheist like me.

posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 07:21 PM
a reply to: anxietydisorder
I used to be an atheist myself, though not of the aggressive type that they seem to breed nowadays.
A lot of the argument in this forum is whether everything in the OT comes from God or nothing in the OT comes from God. I take the median view what comes from God is mixed with what comes from man, and the task is to separate out the two strands.
Even if he does not need the nutrition, allowing them to offer it encourages the thought in their minds that they owe it all to somebody.Their giving is more important than his receiving.

posted on Sep, 26 2014 @ 08:11 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I am surprised to learn you are a former atheist!

Anyway that's a whole different discussion that isn't for this particular thread. You already have an idea of my stance on Christianity. That said I could appreciate the beauty you feel in this view of sacrifice and communion. I thought it was a well written post from a perspective that isn't my own.

edit on 26-9-2014 by WakeUpBeer because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 01:00 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Great article


When the Israelites brought their animal sacrifices to the Temple and the priest slaughtered the animals - reminds me how professional butchers slaughter. Half priest half butcher (not making a joke here) But the priest definitely knew the proper way to slaughter an animal before eating it.

Still today in Europe (see it many times) farmers strangle their chickens, ducks and turkeys! YUCK. We bought a beautiful turkey one day from a well known turkey farmer and could not wait to cook it. It looked beautiful until the following day, we opened the fridge and the animal was BLACK! He never drained the blood from the animal. I went back and wanted a new animal but slaughtered properly and he would not do it because he said the meat taste better with the blood in it. We buy our poultry now in the grocery store and we use only trusted butchers now....actually only one because we know how he butchers his animals. People need to be careful where they buy their meat -many butchers do not follow Kosher rules which we demand. Also we expect every animal to be properly killed with the respect and honor it deserves.

Eating blood is forbidden. But over here in Germany some go crazy for blutwurst (bloodwurst) I watched how they make this and got sick just watching...... I watch Catholic and Prostestant priests eat this and when I question them about not eating blood they say something stupid like ....... "well now you can".
edit on 27-9-2014 by Jesuslives4u because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 01:57 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Sorry, my old troll tendencies come back to haunt me from time to time. I get swept up by my anger sometimes and forget to separate the person from the ideas. You are a very thoughtful being and have displayed amazing patience here. I wouldn't have reacted as well in your place, although better than in the past. This has weighed on me heavily tonight and were I not out in the wilderness around a camp fire, I would have apologized sooner. I will attempt in the future to either avoid your posts or to remain on topic. You've made your boundaries clear and I can at least try to be evolved enough to respect them.

I really hope someday the independent few and the unity bound can cohabitate in peace. I had a sudden clarity about the allegory of Solomon judging the case of two women fighting over a baby and I realized which mother I was emulating in this instance.

posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 02:05 AM
Why, Oh why, are we still following the archaic rules of a desert-dwelling tribe of ancient hebrews, in this day and age?

Why? Don't tell it it's anything to do with god - just don't bother to use that ridiculous excuse.

Explain to me why anyone in this age should be concerning themselves with what those people did or wrote, because hardly any of it is relevant. Don't even bother to say anything about how it's because so few follow these old rules that the world is in the state it's in today, because the world is not in the state it's in today because I didn't bring my bbq'd steak to the front friggin door.

posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 04:53 AM

originally posted by: WakeUpBeer
I am surprised to learn you are a former atheist!
Anyway that's a whole different discussion that isn't for this particular thread.

Perhaps I can anticipate your question with this link;

How an atheist became a Christian

posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 05:08 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Interesting, Now why would they share with a God you can't see and you know isn't there?

Know my friend DISRAELI, you also know I don't Know Anything About Religion.
I was just wondering.

Did you come by Hernando's Hideaway and have supper tonight?
We had some Entertainment, I think their still playing and the Soup is warm.

posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 05:14 AM
a reply to: guohua
Because in those days they didn't equate "not being seen" with "not being there".
They thought he was there because they believed that he had communicated with some of them.
That's the basis of Biblical teaching- the communication with God.

Yes,I did hang around over there, gulping down the coffee to keep myself awake, but once things went quiet on this thread I went to bed.

edit on 27-9-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 07:18 AM
a reply to: Nechash
At least you will appreciate why I get so stubborn on the point.
A standard tactic of the religious sceptics on this site is to broaden the discussion as far as possible and take it away from the original issue, like a wife arguing with her husband ("All right, so you did take the rubbish out, but what about that time when you...").
If I followed after all these will-o'-the-wisp lights, I would be chasing around in endless circles, piskie-led across the moors.
So I don't.

edit on 27-9-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 08:46 AM

originally posted by: Jesuslives4u
I watch Catholic and Prostestant priests eat this and when I question them about not eating blood they say something stupid like ....... "well now you can".

They are right in terms of the teaching of the New Testament.
You will recall Peter's vision and "What God has cleansed, do not call unclean". This is a metaphor about not excludng the Getiles, but also a valid point about the food-laws of the Old Testament. It is one aspect of Paul's teaching that we are no longer bound by the written law of Moses, but are governed by the Holy Spirit.

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