The Ten Commandments by DrGBB



Don’t Do This (and That)


The Bible Tells Us So …


by Mark Levy

Contributing Columnist


We all know and some of us follow, more or less, the . But did you know the Old Testament actually includes 613 commandments? Some are positive and, of course, more are negative. Specifically 248 are positive commandments, things like love God, fear God, rest on the seventh day, and burn a city that has turned to idol worship.

More interesting, though, are the 365 prohibitions. The Bible warns us not to practice astrology, magic, sorcery, or witchcraft. In fact, the Bible says we should not suffer anyone practicing witchcraft to live.

We are not supposed to attempt to contact the dead. Don’t remove the signs of leprosy, the Bible tells us. As a more practical matter these days, we should not tattoo ourselves. A man shouldn’t wear a woman’s holy garments or vice versa, even if it’s only on a music video. And never wear garments made of wool and linen mixed together. Don’t ask me why. Just follow the rule and no one gets hurt.

Here’s another caution to avoid injury: kidnapping your brother is forbidden. So is selling him as a slave to strangers.

We are not permitted to curse parents or teachers or the deaf, even if we do it in a soft voice.

Some of the rules would be difficult for us to obey now, like do not abhor an Edomite who repents. If I ever should encounter an Edomite, I guess I’ll have to confirm that he has repented before deciding not to hate him. Anyway, that seems to conflict with the prohibition against hating anyone. Life isn’t always simple, even with the Bible to guide us.

If you hang someone, don’t allow his body to remain overnight. I guess that could freak out your neighbors.

Do not remove the poles from the Ark of the Covenant if you ever stumble upon it like Indiana Jones.

Don’t use dishonest weights and measures. In fact, merely possessing inaccurate weights and measures is prohibited.

Do not eat the Passover Lamb raw or boiled. Barbecued is still okay, I think. And whatever you do, don’t let a hired servant eat some of the Passover Lamb. In fact, if a person has not been circumcised, he’s out of luck, too.

We can eat some types of meat, of course, but it’s got to be cooked well done, until it is white inside with no tinge of red or pink. So if you’re a medium rare person, you’ve been sinning all along. Drunkenness is prohibited. It turns out, even after drinking one too many cocktails, you have no excuse for ordering your steak rare. And for the love of God, never eat the meat of a bull that has been stoned to death for goring someone.

The Bible has a lot to say about animal sacrifices and offerings. I’m going to skip that topic for now, since I’m still trying to digest the well done meat advice.

Speaking of food, we are not permitted to eat worms found in fruit or produce. In other words, if you bite into an apple and you see half a worm where you just bit, it’s best to spit out the other half. If you don’t, indigestion may not be the worst of your problems.

Oh, and we are not to destroy fruit trees. Ever. Simple enough, but what if one of them is growing in the middle of an airport runway?

If you’re a Nazirite, you’ve got a whole bunch or should I say “bunches,” of things you can’t eat or drink: fresh grapes or any beverage made from grapes; raisins; grape seeds; or grape skins. In other words, there’s something about grapes and Nazirites that just isn’t kosher.

As a farmer, you have to be careful not to gather all the olives from your trees or all the grapes from your vineyard, since the remaining fruits are for the poor. Also, don’t plant a field or a vineyard with two kinds of seed.

A rancher is prohibited from crossbreeding different species of animals, even if they consent, the way I read it. In fact, a farmer or rancher can’t even work with two different species of animals yoked together.

Sex is a touchy subject in the Bible. You cannot have sexual relations with your mother, your father’s wife, your sister, your half-sister, your daughter, or your granddaughter. Also forbidden is having sex with your father’s sister, your mother’s sister, or your father’s brother’s wife.

When it comes to marriage, be sure you don’t marry both a woman and her daughter, or both a woman and her granddaughter. If you’re a priest, I’m afraid you can’t marry a harlot. Moreover, a High Priest can’t marry a divorced woman or a widow, regardless of whether she’s also a harlot.

And, as if you have any control over this, don’t allow your daughter to play the harlot or fornicate.

Finally, a man must not allow himself to be castrated. I’m not a biblical scholar, but that sounds like good advice to me.



Photo by DrGBB