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The ways of sacrifice; Claiming the firstborn

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posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 05:01 PM
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The God of Israel’s claim on the firstborn of Israel follows on directly from the events of the Passover.
The very first command which the Lord gives after Passover night is the instruction about celebrating the Passover itself, but the commandment about the firstborn follows immediately afterwards;
“Consecrate to me all the firstborn; whatever is first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, belongs to me” (Exodus ch13 v10).

The demand is explained (v15) in terms of the events which have just taken place.
The Lord has taken the lives of the firstborn among the Egyptians, both humans and animals, but left the Israelites untouched.
So in their case the lives of the firstborn are “owing” to him and claimed accordingly.

The practice might also go back to the more general premise that the Lord is the source of life and therefore the ultimate provider of the animals themselves.
Giving him the first of everything that is born would be a way of recognising that point.

In Deuteronomy, “giving to the Lord” means eating the animal in front of him, “at the place which I shall appoint”. As usual, the blood and the fat will have been set aside and given to the altar.
They are forbidden to shear the wool from the firstborn of their herds, or to use their firstborn cattle in their work (which seems to imply that they’re allowed to postpone the meal for some time after the birth).
Although if the accidents of birth have produced a blemished animal, they’re not expected to give it as an offering. They can eat it as casually as they would any other animal, even a wild gazelle
(Deuteronomy ch15 vv19-23).

In the case of an unclean animal, like an ass, the animal must be “redeemed”. The Lord wants a “firstborn” offering but does not want the animal itself. The solution is to offer a lamb instead (Exodus ch13 v13).

And what about the first-born sons?

One version of the command states bluntly “The first-born of your sons you shall give to me. You shall do likewise with your oxen and your sheep” (Exodus ch22 v29).
It isn’t obvious, from this kind of language, that the eldest child is not sacrificed along with the animals, and possibly that was the primitive custom.
The idolatrous practice of “sending children through the fire to Molech” (e.g. 2 Kings ch21 v6) might be a survival of it.
In the “sacrifice of Isaac” story, though, the demand for the sacrifice of the firstborn son is put forward only to be renounced.
The other laws make it clear that the sons, too, are to be redeemed.

In fact, according to Numbers, the firstborn sons of Israel are redeemed twice over.
There is the redemption money, “five shekels in silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary”, which has to be given for each one (Numbers ch18 v16).
But apart from that, the tribe of Levi themselves are a substitute for the sons of the rest of Israel;
“Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the people of Israel instead of the firstborn that opens the womb among the people of Israel” (Numbers ch3 v12).

Since the Levites have been detached from the rest of the people in order to belong to God, it becomes appropriate for them to take charge, in his name, of whatever else belongs to God.
So they can also present a claim on the other forms of “firstborn” offering;
“Everything that opens the womb of all flesh, whether man or beast, which they offer to the Lord, shall be yours” (Numbers ch18 vv15-18).
Therefore they receive the redemption money for the redeemed sons and animals and the flesh of the sacrificed animals.
This seems to replace the (probably older) Deuteronomy law that the owner and his household will eat the remainder of the sacrifice.

Nevertheless, there remains the basic principle, that the first-born of everything belongs to the Lord.
And making this offering is a way of acknowledging that all things, ultimately, belong to the Lord.
It amounts to an admission of human dependence.

The possibility of “redemption” and substitution leads to the same conclusion that we can get out of the story of Abraham and Isaac.
If one kind of sacrifice can be replaced by another, we should learn from this that God has little interest in the exact forms of sacrifice.
He does not want or need anything specific among the kinds of sacrifice which might be offered.
What he’s looking for is the willingness to sacrifice.

And even the willingness to sacrifice is only a symbol of what God really wants from us.
Namely, the acceptance of our dependence upon him, and the full offering of ourselves.




posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 05:10 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Nice research there. You should check this thread as I agree with some of his views.

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 05:12 PM
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a reply to: MGaddafi
No, I'm familiar with that poster.
He sees two Gods in the Old Testament, whereas I only see one.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Is your god suffering privations? What a shame, he has contributed so much loveliness to this world after all. Just look at how evolved palestine has been. Surely it lead the enlightenment that improved conditions on this planet since long before the Hellenic state was ever even imagined. Is the brutality of his adherents a good indication of his inherent nature as well?



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 05:23 PM
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originally posted by: Nechash
Is the brutality of his adherents a good indication of his inherent nature as well?

No, it's an indication of how hard he has to work before he can train them out of it.
It's a long, slow teaching process.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 05:27 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Well, he has his work cut out for him, because the kind of brutes that would torture a poor defenseless creature and offer it up as a holocaust to the gods are troublesome at best. If we must eat, then let us eat, but we needn't be superstitious or ritualistically horrifying about it. Thanks for reminding me how far we've come. The type of thing you are talking about makes the factory slaughterhouse of the modern day seem like a B&B.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 05:31 PM
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a reply to: Nechash
These were animals bred for food, so they would have been killed and eaten anyway.
All that's happening here is that they are being killed and eaten and the event is being called a sacrifice. The animals are no worse off than they would have been, any more than a cow suffers more because people say grace over a meal of roast beef. No need to dramatise it.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 06:19 PM
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The deception is deep and intoxicating, an inferno, a flame born in & out of lust indoctrination, sin the lust that we are born into that formulates,our Ego and Desire our self deception, the word, can we truly accept our dependence, addiction to thought and our own words, offer our self, our belief in the beliefs, to bring the balance of the unspoken.

Space filling, is not necessarily the truth?

www.beshara.org...



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 06:25 PM
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a reply to: Fingle
You have linked me to the Subud movement.
No thanks.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 06:32 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I believe that the practice of "consecrating" the first born to the "Lord" comes from the "Divine Right of Kings" to have sex with every bride before her wedding, insuring that a good portion of the first born are genetically the "Lord's" offspring.

We see the "genesis" of this ideology in the Epic of Gilgamesh, where we also get our flood mythology, when, as usual, Gilgamesh approaches the bridal chamber to have his way with the bride to be, but Enkidu decides to lie in wait, to challenge Gilgamesh!


Gilgamesh the king is about to celebrate marriage with the Queen of Love, and he still demands to be first with the bride, the king to be first and the husband to follow, for that was ordained by the gods from his birth, from the time the umbilical cord was cut. But now the drums roll for the choice of the bride and the city groans.' At these words Enkidu turned white in the face. ‘I will go to the place where Gilgamesh lords it over the people, I will challenge him boldly, and I will cry aloud in Uruk, "I have come to change the old order, for I am the strongest here."



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 06:35 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Yes, but your god lumps animals and human beings together in the same consideration. So the laws he makes regarding the sacrifice and consumption of animals could easily be applied to the unrectified outcasts as well.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 06:38 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

And today? Doesn't Jesus reconcile/redeem all things?

What about tithing? What about visiting the orphans and widows?

How far have you tracked this?

Thanks.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 06:38 PM
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a reply to: windword
That would only work if God himself was the one having sex with each and every bride.
There is absolutely nothing about that thought suggested in the texts.
You seem to forget, also, the the first-born of animals are being claimed, at which point the image gets bizarre.

To me it makes more sense to go with the Old Testament theme that God is the ultimate source of life in general, with the first-born being representative of that claim.




edit on 3-10-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 06:41 PM
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originally posted by: Nechash
Yes, but your god lumps animals and human beings together in the same consideration. So the laws he makes regarding the sacrifice and consumption of animals could easily be applied to the unrectified outcasts as well.

I quoted the laws showing that humans are not dealt with in the same way.
They are "redeemed"; a payment is made instead.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 06:46 PM
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originally posted by: Bleeeeep
And today? Doesn't Jesus reconcile/redeem all things?
What about tithing? What about visiting the orphans and widows?
How far have you tracked this?

I've postponed them all to different threads, so that I can cover one aspect of sacrifice at a time.
The thread on tithing has been written, but won't appear in 2014. There will be a further batch of threads on the same theme next year.
Similarly the place of Jesus in relation to the old sacrifice scheme is another massive thread, which hasn't been written yet.
The detailed actions of Old Testament sacrifice pass away; what is left is the essence of the sacrifice, namely the trust and sense of gratitude and the self-offering.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 06:52 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Are the Erev Rav treated as humans? What of the Amelekites? Or the Dannites, weren't they outcast for their pagan practices? If you read the Talmud, there are even suggestions that the entire rest of the world is fair game. So, who is really redeemable? If you are a brazen one born of a diverse many peppered into the generations of humankind, what is the response to you supposed to be? What is god's vision for the rectification of a rebel?



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 06:55 PM
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a reply to: Nechash
You are now wandering off the topic of God's claim on the "first-born".



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 06:59 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

No! Not linking you to any form of religion.. The example is not the religious belief …….. it is the deception we play out with the words!



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 07:00 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Well, I'd still like to hear your answer someday if you'd be so generous.



posted on Oct, 3 2014 @ 07:02 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I don't want to wait til next year.

How do you transpose sacrifice? Is Father paid with all due respect but praise, and now we are to give only to the poor amoungst us? Or is it the Son we are adding to/giving to? Or the Spirit, maybe even? Jesus surely brought the Spirit with him.

So many questions. You don't have to wait til next year to tell me what comes to mind.



The detailed actions of Old Testament sacrifice pass away; what is left is the essence of the sacrifice, namely the trust and sense of gratitude and the self-offering.


Who is the essence paid to? Respect to Father? Whose basket does it fill?
edit on 10/3/2014 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)



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