The prayer of Elizabeth (Lk 1:25-1:25)

“Elizabeth said.

‘This is what

The Lord

Has done to me.

He looked on me.

He took away

The disgrace

That I have endured

Among my people.’”

 

λέγουσα

ὅτι Οὕτως μοι πεποίηκεν Κύριος ἐν ἡμέραις αἷς ἐπεῖδεν ἀφελεῖν ὄνειδός μου ἐν ἀνθρώποις.

 

Luke has this prayer of Elizabeth.  She said that the Lord had done this to her (ὅτι Οὕτως μοι πεποίηκεν Κύριος).  Many believed that only God could help people get pregnant, since he controlled the opening and closing of the womb, as indicated in Genesis, chapter 16:2, about Sarah and being barren.  That was the reason that there were so many pagan fertility gods, rites, and rituals, since giving birth was considered to be some kind of magical or divine action.  Also, contemporary political gesturing around reproductive rights has its basis in religious beliefs.  Elizabeth said that in those days (ἐν ἡμέραις), the Lord had looked on her (αἷς ἐπεῖδεν), since he took away her disgrace or reproach (ἀφελεῖν ὄνειδός) that she had endured among her people or other men (ἐν ἀνθρώποις).  Being barren or sterile was considered a punishment from God.  The prime example of a happiness at birth would have been in Genesis, chapter 29:31-30:23, where Rachel finally had a son, Joseph.  Elizabeth understood her pregnancy as a personal vindication or reward for her righteousness.  She did not seem to understand the wider consequences of her pregnancy.

 

The idol worship in Canaan (Ps 106:34-106:39)

“The Israelites did not destroy the peoples,

As Yahweh commanded them.

But they mingled with the nations.

They learned to do as they did.

They served their idols.

This became a snare to them.

They sacrificed their sons to the demons.

They sacrificed their daughters to the demons.

They poured out innocent blood,

The blood of their sons and daughters.

They sacrificed them to the idols of Canaan.

The land was polluted with blood.

Thus they became unclean by their acts.

They prostituted themselves in their doings.”

This section of this psalm is based on the description in Judges, chapter 2, when the Israelites worshipped Baal in their new home. Instead of destroying the people of Canaan as Yahweh had instructed, they mingled and intermarried with the local inhabitants. With that, they did what the locals were doing, worshiping the local gods of Baal as they served these local idol gods. Part of their rituals was the sacrificial offering up of sons and daughters. They sacrificed their children to the demons. In thus killing their own children the blood of the young children polluted the land. The psalmist here calls them prostitutes who became unclean by their own acts.

Outline of the Book of Leviticus

The Book of Leviticus

Leviticus General Structure (per Jerusalem Bible)

 

I. The ritual of sacrifices

 The animal sacrifices (Lev 1:1-1:17)

The grain offering (Lev 2:1-2:16)

The well-being offering (Lev 3:1-3:17)

The offering for unintentional sins (Lev 4:1-4:2)

The priests (Lev 4:3-4:12)

The assembly of Israel (Lev 4:13-4:21)

The ruler (Lev 4:22-4:26)

The ordinary person (Lev 4:27-4:35)

Sins that need a sin offering (Lev 5:1-5:6)

The sin offering of an ordinary person (Lev 5:7-5:13)

The sin offering (Lev 5:14-5:19)

The offering for a sin against your neighbor (Lev 5:20-5:26)

The priest and the burnt offering (Lev 6:1-6:6)

The grain offering ritual (Lev 6:7-6:16)

The sin offering ritual (Lev 6:17-6:23)

The guilt offering ritual (Lev 7:1-7:6)

The rights of priests (Lev 7:7-7:10)

The well-being offering ritual (Lev 7:11-7:15)

Spontaneous or free will offerings (Lev 7:16-7:18)

General food rules (Lev 7:19-7:27)

The portions for the priests (Lev 7:28-7:38)

  

II. The investiture of priests

The Ordination Ritual (Lev 8:1-8:36)

The priestly functions (Lev 9:1-9:24)

Death of Nadab and Abihu (Lev 10:1-10:5)

Special rules for mourning priests (Lev 10:6-10:7)

No wine drinking (Lev 10:8-10:11)

Priests and the offerings (Lev 10:12-10:15)

Problems with the sin offering (Lev 10:16-10:20)

  

III. The rules for clean and unclean items

 The clean and unclean animals (Lev 11:1-11:8)

Fish and birds (Lev 11:9-11:19)

Winged insects (Lev 11:20-11:23)

Contact with unclean animals (Lev 11:24-11:28)

Swarming creatures (Lev 11:29-11:31)

Other rules for contact with unclean things (Lev 11:32-11:40)

Doctrinal considerations (Lev 11:41-11:45)

Conclusion (Lev 11:46-11:47)

Purification of females after birth (Lev 12:1-12:8)

The leprosy diagnosis (Lev 13:1-13:8)

Chronic lepers (Lev 13:9-13:17)

Boils (Lev 13:18-13:23)

Burns (Lev 13:24-13:28)

An itch in the head or beard (Lev 13:29-13:37)

Rashes and baldness (Lev 13:38-13:44)

Statutes about lepers (Lev 13:45-13:46)

Leprous clothing (Lev 13:47-13:59)

Ritual for the purification of lepers (Lev 14:1-14:32)

The leprous house (Lev 14:33-14:57)

Male sexual impurity (Lev 15:1-15:18)

Female sexual impurity (Lev 15:19-15:30)

Conclusion (Lev 15:31-15:33)

The Day of Atonement (Lev 16:1-16:34)

  

IV. The law of holiness

The sacrifices (Lev 17:1-17:16)

Conjugal sexual rules (Lev 18:1-18:30)

Elaboration on moral prescriptions (Lev 19:1-19:37)

The punishment for sacrificing to Molech (Lev 20:1-20:7)

The penalties for sexual misconduct (Lev 20:8-20:21)

Clean and unclean (Lev 20:22-20:25)

Holiness of Yahweh (Lev 20:26-20:27)

Holiness of the priests (Lev 21:1-21:9)

The high priest (Lev 21:10-21:15)

Infirmity as an impediment for the priests (Lev 21:16-21:24)

The holiness of the sacred priests (Lev 22:1-22:9)

Lay people (Lev 22:10-22:16)

Sacrificial animals (Lev 22:17-22:30)

Final exhortation (Lev 22:31-22:33)

The Sabbath and the rituals of the year (Lev 23:1-23:4)

The Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:5-23:8)

The Feast of the First Harvest (Lev 23:9-23:14)

The Feast of Weeks (Lev 23:15-23:22)

The Feast of Trumpets (Lev 23:23-23:25)

The Day of Atonement (Lev 23:26-23:32)

The Feast of Tents (Lev 23:33-23:36)

Conclusion of festivals (Lev 23:37-23:38)

Thanksgiving festival of Yahweh (Lev 23:39-23:44)

The perpetual flame (Lev 24:1-24:4)

Bread on the golden table (Lev 24:5-24:9)

Blasphemy and the law of retaliation (Lev 24:10-24:23)

Sabbatical year (Lev 25:1-25:7)

The Jubilee Year (Lev 25:8-25:19)

Divine guarantee (Lev 25:20-25:22)

Exchange of property (Lev 25:23-25:34)

Relatives and slaves (Lev 25:35-25:55)

Conclusion (Lev 26:1-26:2)

The blessings (Lev 26:3-26:13)

The curses or punishments (Lev 26:14-26:46)

  

V. Consecrated vows

The value of people’s vows (Lev 27:1-27:8)

Presentations of Animals (Lev 27:9-27:13)

Vowed Houses (Lev 27:14-27:15)

Vowed Fields (Lev 27:16-27:25)

First born animals (Lev 27:26-27:27)

Non-redeemable items (Lev 27:28-27:29)

Tithing (Lev 27:30-27:34)