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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 ...


12

In modern Hebrew, עטלף, the word to which I believe you are referring, indeed means bat. But Targum Yonason (I know the Hebrew, I am referring to the source material at the moment) 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 ...


11

The talmud explains that this is not directly because of either giving birth or being ritually impure. (Many things can cause ritual impurity, ranging from being in the same room as a dead human to having certain bodily emissions.) The sin-offering after birth is to atone for inappropriate things she might have said during the birth (remember, no drugs to ...


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 ...


10

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 ...


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

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 ...


7

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, ...


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

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 ...


5

The Hebrew word here is כרת‎ (karet). The precise meaning is uncertain, but it seems to be a punishment at the hands of heaven, not one that a human court hands down. Depending on whom you ask, this might be an early death (at the age of 50, according to one talmudic opinion), extinction of the soul (spiritual, not physical, punishment), or a punishment in ...


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

Rashi (Rabbi Shimon ben Yitzchak, 12th century) explains the first as meaning that Avraham is a resident alien -- not from this land but living here (even though God promised him the land at some indefinite time in the future). He is silent on the second passage. (So are the other commentaries I have to hand, beyond a general sense of "God owns the land, ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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

The translation from chabad.org makes things a bit clearer. The Hebrew text is available there as is a commentary on the text. You shall not make cuts in your flesh for a person [who died]. You shall not etch a tattoo on yourselves. I am the Lord. It's easy to see that there are two separate sentences containing two distinct commands. The first is ...


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

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 ...


2

This is obviously an accidental textual insertion due to careless copying of the scroll. There is no resolution to this contradiction, other than ignoring the offening phrase. It's a typo. To support this, here is the English translation of the relevant verse Lev-13:55 in the Septuagint bible: And the priest shall look upon it after the plague has been ...



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