#178. Only the pure are allowed to eat sacrificial meat OR both the pure and impure? (Lev 7:20-21 vs Deut 12:20-22)


The peace-offering is the sacrifice performed for the consumption of meat. But according to the Priestly writer’s strict ideology, any individual who has come into contact with an impurity (dead animal, corpse, bodily emission, illness, sexual taboos, or even has a tattoo, etc.) and is therefore impure himself, cannot eat of the sacrificial meat: “that person will be cut off from his people” (Lev 7:20).

The Levitical scribes of Deuteronomy did not partake in this same ideology of purity. Indeed, purity was an important issues to the Deuteronomist, but it did not share in the Priestly writer’s ideology of sacred space—wherein the whole camp and its people must be keep pure at all costs. For Deuteronomy 12:20-22 stipulates that in certain cases both the impure and pure may eat of the sacrificial meat.

This is totally anathema for the Priestly writer. Any impure individual who eats of the sacrificial meat which by its very ritualized nature is pure, risks profaning Yahweh and his holy cult. That individual, therefore, is to be cut off from the people.

Again, as in the previous entry, here too words and commandments are placed on the lips of Yahweh—but these very commandments are none other than the specific views, opinions, and ideologies of the writers of these very texts!

2 thoughts on “#178. Only the pure are allowed to eat sacrificial meat OR both the pure and impure? (Lev 7:20-21 vs Deut 12:20-22)

  1. Hmm, it’s been a week since last update. Hope things are going well. I know you didn’t run out of contradictions… ;-)

    1. Hey KW. Nice to hear from you. I sort of got busy with other commitments, but I’m back on track now. The contradictions posted on Genesis and Exodus had been work I was doing over the last 3 years, so it was easy to post every day. Most of the work was already done. Same thing with the book of Deuteronomy—all done. Leviticus and Numbers is a different case however. I’m working through them now, as I post them.

      On a different note, I see that you and some others have been enjoying an extended conversation on #6. Good! I’ll have to read what you’ve been writing and join in.


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