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24

The Hebrew word was used for winged creatures that weren't insects. Applying 'modern science' to an ancient culture's classifications of the world is anachronistic. The Tyndale Bible Dictionary reads: Modern scientists classify organisms on the basis of internal and external structure, but the biblical writers generally classified organisms according to ...


14

All citations are from the orignal Hebrew and Aramaic, not translations In modern Hebrew, עטלף, the word to which I believe you are referring, indeed means bat. But Targum Yonason translates that word as טרפידא in Aramaic, which, based on the roots, (to capture prey by chasing it down and ripping it apart) leans more towards a sort of owl or other bird of ...


13

The passage can be made to mean what the author wants it to mean, although the meaning produced is absurd. "For whatever reason," the author shrugs, two men who lay down in a bed that belonged to a woman should be put to death. Whatever reason, indeed! As this person correctly notes at the bottom, men were forbidden from "lying in the bed" of a woman at ...


11

The answer to the who Cain married is likely found in the next chapter: After the birth of Seth, Adam lived 800 years and begot sons and daughters.—Genesis 5:4 (NJPS) In other words, Cain probably married one of his younger sisters. If not, he could have married a niece: a daughter of Seth or one of his other brothers. Of course, that changes ...


11

In the Hebrew Scriptures, death was "dirty." For example, contact with anything dead (whether animal or man) made the Israelite unclean in the ritual sense. Thus any scavenger was not appropriate for human consumption, since such animals consumed the refuse and/or carcasses of other animals. Only animals who chewed the cud (and split the hoof) were consumed ...


8

The bible was written in a time of a primarily oral culture. Repetition is often used for emphasis or to drive home a point (as Seeker of Truth mentioned), and to make things easier to remember. So important things were repeated a whole bunch of times in slightly different words to make it easier to remember. Even if you didn't remember it the first several ...


8

There is an obvious implied rule from the actual listed forbidden birds, that you can use to infer the rules: birds that eat seeds or insects are fine, birds that eat meat, fish, or carrion are not. It's basically an injunction against birds of prey, sea-birds, and carrion birds, and (I believe) this is how it is interpreted. So that if you ask is an emu ok, ...


8

The punishment is "cutting off" or "caret", which is never elucidated in the text and is therefore conventionally understood as referring to a divinely delivered punishment of some severity. The practical consequence of the act, regardless of the punishment, is ritual defilement or disqualification from participating in temple sacrifices (but not from ...


7

Levirate marriage in the Bible predates the legal source you reference in Deuteronomy 25: And Judah said unto Onan: 'Go in unto thy brother's wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother unto her, and raise up seed to thy brother.' (Genesis 38:8 JPS) Therefore, Boaz's concern with levirate marriage and the keeping of property in the family ...


6

The exact reason for Ruth being introduced to the transaction is undetermined in scholarly literature (Expositor's Bible Commentary Introduction to Ruth). Here is one possibility that isn't explicit from Scripture, but I can see the law being interpreted this way. Not only must the land stay in the clan, but it must stay as close within the family as ...


6

It's a great question, and the truth is that the sentence is fairly ambiguous despite attempts to translate it otherwise (as in the ChaBaD translation brought in @crownjewel82's answer). Here's the verse - note that the closest we get to punctuation are the cantillation marks, which have a zaqef qaton (a minor disjunctive, like a comma or semicolon) at the ...


5

וְשֶׂ֣רֶט לָנֶ֗פֶשׁ לֹ֤א תִתְּנוּ֙ בִּבְשַׂרְכֶ֔ם וּכְתֹ֣בֶת קַֽעֲקַ֔ע לֹ֥א תִתְּנ֖וּ בָּכֶ֑ם אֲנִ֖י יְהוָֽה Grammatically speaking, "the dead" isn't even mentioned in the original Hebrew text. It was simply "the soul." In Hebraic thought, the soul is the unified body and spirit. The soul can be dead, or the soul can be alive. The text doesn't say one ...


5

Although I'm familiar with the traditional Orthodox Jewish understanding of the word עזאזל, it's my personal belief that the Hebrew word עזאזל, which occurs four times in the Tanakh (Lev. 16:8 x1; Lev. 16:10 x2; Lev. 16:26 x1), is the proper name of a fallen angel, i.e. an evil spirit/ demon. This Hebrew name is very similar to one found in 1 Enoch. For ...


5

While not a "secular source", there is a reference in 1 Kings 18 to false prophets cutting themselves in the "showdown" between the prophets of Baal and Elijah. v28: So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them. Also, in Leviticus 21, in the descriptions of the ...


4

The Wikipedia article on the sabbatical year, called the shmitta year is a good start. Here are some additional comments. For non-farmers, the sabbatical year affects observant Jews mainly with respect to which agricultural produce they do or do not buy or eat. For Jews living outside the land of Israel the primary observance is not acquiring or eating ...


4

John Gill uses these sources: Jarchi says, it was the custom of the Amorites, when anyone died, to cut their flesh, as it was of the Scythians, as Herodotus relates, even those of the royal family; for a king they cut off a part of the ear, shaved the hair round about, cut the arms about, wounded the forehead and nose, and transfixed the left ...


4

I would not translate Azazel as being the goat itself. The verse at Lev. 16:10 specifically says that Aaron the priest would draw lots on Yom Kippur day -- the Day of Atonement. There were two lots corresponding to two goats there before the altar. The lottery would determine which goat became a communal offering at the Temple, and "and the he goat upon ...


4

One half: Half the people Jos 8:33 See also Dt 27:12-13; 1Ki 16:21; Ne 4:16; Ne 12:31-32,38; Ne 13:24 The half-tribes of Manasseh Dt 3:13 See also Nu 32:33; Nu 34:13-14; Dt 29:8; Jos 13:29-31; Jos 22:10; 1Ch 5:23 Halves in offering sacrifices Ge 15:10 See also Ex 24:6; Ex 30:13; Lev 6:20 Significant examples of halves 2Sa 10:4 pp 1Ch 19:4 David’s men and ...


3

We find even within scripture that there existed a heathen practice of cutting the flesh as part of an attempt to appeal to the gods, a kind of unholy sacrifice if you will. So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. (NIV 1 Kings 18:28) There are other references to cuttings ...


3

Sergey, you ask a very valid question, especially given what is stated in Matthew 6:7 about not using meaningless repetition ( “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words." Mt. 6:7, NASB). Given this teaching, we can know that the repetition in Leviticus and ...


3

As a practical matter, birds are harder to catch and distinguish from afar. Remember, you could corral a pig or cow, but domesticated fowl were far more rare. (I'm forgetting now if they had chickens in ancient Israel or not). Bird hunting with bow and arrow is also not something you did very often either. In short, you don't really get close up to birds, ...


3

I’m trying to restrict my answer to explaining the text; the full question is perhaps better asked on Jewish Life and Learning. Wiki is flat-out wrong. Psalms 107:22 reads “ויזבחו זבחי תודה” let them offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving; the word זבח unambiguously refers to sacrificial offerings. Psalms 107 is referring to reasons why someone would bring ...


3

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, in his commentary to Leviticus 12, explains the sin-offering of the new mother (and the nazirite’s, in that chapter) as a sort of prophylactic offering: At the moment the woman (or the former nazirite) re-enters ordinary human interactions after her period of impurity, she brings this offering to symbolize her commitment to ...


3

Following Bob Jones’ tip to search Herodotus on the previous question about 'flesh cutting' I found a very interesting article that seems to explain the circular hair cutting. It seems the "secular source" for much of these pagan rites come from Herodotus. According to an article by Avram Yoehoshua, Herodotus said: The Arabians acknowledge no other ...


3

The phrase you translated as “… in his bald-spot or in his receding forehead”, is here translated by the Targum as “… in his new garment, or in his worn garment”. The Hebrew words here are, however, identical to the words used earlier in the text for bald-spot & receding forehead. Whether these words are homonyms used for effect, or whether this is a ...


3

Probably not. The key is the parallel structure built into the verse: You shall rise before the aged and show deference to the old... —Leviticus 19:32a (NJPS) So the second statement is a parallel to the first. Therefore, whatever it means to "rise", it must be a sign of deference to the old. The Hebrew word translated rise here is quwm ...


3

Literally: And direct-object male not you-shall-lie lying of-woman abomination it. “lie lying” is what in linguistics we call a figura etymologica: a verb followed by a noun from the same root. It does not work in English, but it works in Hebrew and many other languages. “Lie the lying of a woman” means “lie the way you would lie with a woman”. The KJV ...


3

This is a seemingly unusual action by the Lord, in that Nadab and Abihu had offered incense before the Lord, without provocation from the Lord. It's important to understand that a priest acts for God on behalf of the people. Mal. 2:7, "For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the ...


3

very nice human rationalizations, but none of these reasons is given in the Hebrew bible, because the simple reason is that this is a commandment from God. If a reason were given, then a person might come along some time later and give his own take on why that reasoning no longer applies as we see above. The same reasoning can be applied to all ...


3

I don't think any of your four options answer your question. From an Orthodox Jewish perspective, the answer to your question is that each verse serves a different purpose. In the Torah -- the Five Books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy) negative commandments (i.e. anything that says, "thou shalt not...") are brought out in two separate verses -- one ...



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