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2013-01-18

Seriously, it’s a crazy Voodoo ritual! In Leviticus 14:1-7, God explains that, when a leper recovers from the disease, they are to be examined by the priest. If the priest determines that the leprosy has healed, then they must perform a ritual. The ritual is actually quite long, so I’ll start by explaining the first part.

The leper must procure two healthy birds, some cedar wood, scarlet yarn, and a branch of hyssop—an interesting side note: unlike most lists of ingredients in the bible, nearly every version agrees on the translation of these items. Anyway, the first bird is killed and its blood is drained into a clay pot. Also for some reason, the killing and bleeding must take place over running water. Next, the living bird, the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn, and the hyssop branch are all dipped into the pot so that they’re covered in the blood of the first bird. Then, the blood is sprinkled onto the leper, and finally, the leper is pronounced clean as the bloody living bird is taken to an open field and allowed to fly away.

Now if any modern day Christian read a ritual like that from a book other than the bible, they would immediately scream, “Witchcraft!” This is precisely the sort of thing you’d expect to find in a ancient book of magic spells or the kind of ritual that modern day believers accuse the Pagans and Satanists of performing.

Finally, this ritual isn’t even meant to heal the leper, or even to ask God to heal the leper. This is the ritual you perform after the body has healed itself! The bizarre magic spell is completely useless!

 

Comments

Ladyofthemasque writes:

 

I do think those last two words there pretty much sum up most of this shhh...

Ladyofthemasque writes:

 

By the way, one of the things I got to bring back from my archaeological biblical tour of Israel (I went for everything but the religion) were little baggies of hyssop.

For those of you who don't know, its nickname locally is "biblical oregano" and it is actually pretty tasty. Milder than actual oregano, with a slight hint of sage, only better than that combination sounds.

I picked them up at the biblical-era gardens of Neot Kedumim, where they show a lot of the animals and plants raised in ancient days, along with a lot of the equipment used to process it, such as the olive oil presses, water wheels for irrigation, and so forth. Grinding hyssop in a mortar & pestle was one of the hands-on things our tour group got to do...and we got to take some home with us.

*cough*Itookwaymorethanmyfairshare*cough* It was cool, because most of the others on the tour were willing to give me their shares. It ended up in homemade herb-stuffed bread for a medieval society feast; everyone was rather impressed with it. (Did I mention it's tasty?)

Literally home, since that was the last day we were in Israel; right after the tour at Neot Kedumim, we went to an arabian restaurant four our last meal (tastiest hummus in existence, it looked like sour cream, it was so smooth), and then to Tel Aviv for the flight home. The incredibly long flight home.

If they ever pull their heads out of their political shhhholes, I'll consider going back. Alas, the people in that region have been crazy ever since, oh, probably 6,000 B.C.E. Maybe 6,050.

...But the hyssop was tasty!

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

I must now find some hyssop to eat!

 

Oh the irony!