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2013-10-29

God has already told priests that they can’t cut their hair, touch dead bodies, or drink alcohol. He’s even told the general public that they can’t cut their hair or touch dead bodies. Nobody is allowed to cut their hair or touch dead bodies, so why does God make it part of the vow of the Nazirite? Are they doubly not allowed to touch corpses?

Allow me to give an alternative origin to this story that doesn’t involve the creator of the universe telling people not to get a hair cut. A long time ago, there were specific groups of people among early Hebrews who were superstitious about cutting their hair, touching corpses, and drinking alcohol. There may have been three separate groups, or they may have been some overlap, but regardless, it wouldn’t have included the general public because the rules are far too constrictive. At some point, these groups wrote down their oral tradition of rules, but they didn’t preface their rules with “this only applies to our select group of people.” There would be no reason to do so, as the scriptures were only for the in-groups. As time went by, and the groups conquered, or were conquered by others, but the scriptures remained, but they were altered with the changing tides of power. As the generations went by and the laws were consolidated, lost, found, redacted, and re-written, people lost sense of their original intent. However, since they were bound to scriptures, they continued to follow their laws, even though they didn’t understand why they were doing them. We see this all the time with traditions. Even a historian can’t give you an all-encompassing explanation for the Jack-o’-Lantern, the Easter Egg, or the Christmas Tree. But as far as I know, no culture was ever systematically murdered for failing to carve pumpkins.

Regardless of their blotchy source material, many believers still treat Numbers 6:5-6 and the rest of the bible as perfect unadulterated perfection.

I find it disturbing that my spell checker wants to change “Nazirites” to “Nazi rites.” I never knew LibreOffice was such an anti-Semite!

 

Comments

Baughbe writes:

 

Just looking at one of these rules: Not touching a dead body, ever. OK, then nobody from your group can dispose of the dead. Which means either 1) the bodies are left to rot , spread disease and eventually kill your little clan or 2) you have to bring in outsiders to do the work. But since it is "unclean" work, they are automatically treated as second class citizens at best, leading to the usual elitist bull****. A rule that gurantees you to becoming a jerk society.

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

@Baughbe: Yeah, the bible is kind of strange about this. Even though it says you can't touch bodies, it also explains how to ceremonially wash yourself after you do. It seems like God just really likes putting people in positions where they're forced to sin.

Maju writes:

 

"It seems like God just really likes putting people in positions where they're forced to sin".

True: that way they'll always feel guilty and will be more easily dominated.

Rice writes:

 

i see a pattern in there too: "I find it disturbing that my spell checker wants to change “Nazirites” to “Nazi rites.” I never knew LibreOffice was such an anti-Semite!" try " Nazarite" instead and your Libreoffice will scatter in thousand pieces inside your HDD ;)

and it seems they was Vegetarians, dead bodies include animal carcasses as well don't it ?
and still WOW ! 4 Years where you get deeply in touch with the bible on this in-depth basis with a Rulebook which has come mostly Obsolete in the first 3 books/chapters.
i wonder what will come as next after the bible! :D

Sharkie writes:

 

God can't make a worse mistake than the platypus at the very least.

 

Oh the irony!