Why Read Leviticus?


Deep Down Things

While reading in Leviticus, I cannot help but notice the obvious economic implications of religious sacrifice. Burnt offerings, peace offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings: all of these require a lamb, a goat, a bull, or birds. I may not be a rancher, but I know that livestock is expensive. A good Black Angus bull, used for commercial grade beef, can run anywhere from $1,400 to as much as $3,400. If I had several bulls, or even goats or lambs, I could count as them as an investment worth protecting. If I lived in a mobile, agrarian society, like the Israelites in Leviticus, the value of my livestock would increase, because livestock might possibly be my only property of significant value. With no house, no car, no stocks, and no investment funds, the fortune 500 of ancient Israel may have very well consisted of 500 bearded men with the biggest herds…

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