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Quotes

Leviticus Sex Quotes Page 1 Theme

How we cite the quotes: (Chapter:Verse)

Quote #1

He washed the entrails and the legs and, with the burnt offering, turned them into smoke on the altar. (NKJV 9:14)

And he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the burnt offering on the altar. (KJV 9:14)

As anthropologist Mary Douglas notes, in the Bible, the word "legs" is often a safe-for-work way of saying genitals (source). The upshot here is that when you make a ritual offering, you are giving life and fertility back to their source. In contemporary rituals commemorating the reproductive process or givers of life, it's probably safer to go with flowers and chocolate.

Quote #2

If a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water, and be unclean until the evening. Everything made of cloth or of skin on which the semen falls shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the evening. If a man lies with a woman and has an emission of semen, both of them shall bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening. (NRSV 15:16-18)

And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even. The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even. (KJV 15:16-18)

Masturbation, nocturnal emissions, and sex make a man unclean in the same way that menstruation makes a woman unclean. And what's the best way to correct for a leaky faucet and the outflow of life? That's right: a sin offering and a burnt offering, not to mention a steady supply of tissues.

Quote #3

None of you shall approach anyone near of kin to uncover nakedness: I am the Lord. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife; it is the nakedness of your father. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether born at home or born abroad. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son's daughter or of your daughter's daughter, for their nakedness is your own nakedness. (NSV 18:6-10)

None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord. The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness. The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover. The nakedness of thy son's daughter, or of thy daughter's daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness. (KJV 18:6-10)

Leviticus has a lot to say about incest, although what it means isn't completely obvious. For example, Jewish legal scholar David Daube points out that while a man cannot sleep with his granddaughters, the law does not expressly forbid him from sleeping with his daughters. The apparent reason: a daughter is his father's property to do with as he pleases. If blood ties aren't enough to provide a basis for a rule against incest, what is really going on in these laws?

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