Study Guide

Leviticus Morality and Ethics

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Morality and Ethics

The Israelites cannot live by rituals alone. The holy land has to be, well, holy. And that's where morality and ethics comes in.

An ethic of mutuality runs through all of Leviticus. Israelites look out for other Israelites. They follow through on their promises. They pay a fair price, don't cheat in business dealings, and don't exploit the weak. Even the rules about things like adultery, incest, and same-sex sexual intercourse might be more about respecting other Israelites than having too much fun.

Oh, and if they muck up the rules and hurt someone in the process, the Israelites have to atone for it by paying a proportional amount. You might say an eye for an eye. Or something like that.

Questions About Morality and Ethics

  • Is God a closet vegetarian?
  • In the worldview of Leviticus, are morality and ethics possible outside the sacred covenant?
  • If eating blood is so abominable, why does splashing and sprinkling blood at the Tabernacle wash away uncleanness and atone for sin?
  • How might the rules on sex help strengthen the community through mutual respect?

Leviticus Morality and Ethics Study Group

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