top of page

3.30 Summary of Leviticus Racial Teachings

          a. God is at the center of the new society and permeates all human relationships
          b. Israel is constituted a holy people by adherence to a covenant with God.
          c. The covenant involves obeying an extensive list of approved/rejected behaviors, governing even the most intimate details of life and body.
          d. The common characteristic of all the laws is to cause the people to know the difference between the holy and the common, the clean and the unclean.  
          e. This introduces into their consciousness an extraordinary preoccupation with righteousness.  The business of daily life is not survival, but personal cleanliness before God -- either maintaining it or recovering it.
          f. The flip side of the complex list of rules is an equally specialized ritual of sacrifice and penance, to make up for the failures to keep all the laws.
          g. This is a new servitude unlike that of Egypt, but equally rigorous.  The oversight of an autocratic Pharaoh and his taskmasters is replaced by the all-seeing eye of God and His priests.  And it is obvious that Israel did not take to it readily.
          h. The "sting" of the covenant was the law, the "promise" of the covenant was being God's special possession of all peoples on earth.  These two aspects of covenant were indivisible.
          i.  God makes provision for freeborn non-Israelites to dwell among Israel and share in its favor, so long as they also keep the covenant.
          j. God permits Israel to maintain a permanent subclass of foreign-born slaves as personal property.

bottom of page