Recyclables: Nine Miscellaneous Things You Must Not Do

In 2006, my book Pocket Guide to the Bible: A Little Book About the Big Book hit bookstores. One of my favorite parts of the book was the last chapter, titled "List Ye Be Smitten (Biblical Flotsam and Jetsam)." This chapter was pretty much a hodge-podge of a whole bunch of extra Bible-related stuff I thought was interesting…but which never found its way into the rest of the book. (Regretfully, all attempts to insert the phrase "grievous murrain" — p. 173 — into the first seven chapters were unsuccessful.)

w, I know what you’re thinking, and it’s this: You, Jason, are a lazy person and that chapter was just an excuse to pad your word count so you could quit writing, turn in a manuscript of acceptable length, and go back to your privileged life eating calorie-rich snack foods on a mountain of pillows. Your assumption, of course, is mean…but generally correct. Still, some of the best content from the book is buried in that final chapter. And because I feel the need to keep up the blogging — Darn you, Winn Collier, for your theological astuteness! Darn you, Adam Smith, for your brilliant Rambo parodies! Darn you, Stephen Christian of Anberlin, for your refusal to use capitalization! — while deeply fearing the empty whiteness of a new post, I’m gonna do some recycling. The Releblog is green!

Here, then, is one of the many enthralling lists to be found in chapter 8 of PGTTB.

Nine Miscellaneous Things You Must Not Do, According to the Law of Moses (from p. 175 of Pocket Guide to the Bible)

1. Boil a young goat in its mother’s milk (Exodus 23:19).

2. Eat a bat (Leviticus 11:19).

3. Audibly mock the deaf, or attempt to trip the blind (Leviticus 19:14).

4. Wear a garment that mixes linen and wool (Leviticus 19:19).

5. Disfigure the edges of your beard (Leviticus 19:27).

6. Cut down the trees of a city while you are besieging it (Deuteronomy 20:19).

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7. Hide and refuse to help upon seeing your brother’s donkey or ox fall down in the road (Deuteronomy 22:4).

8. Charge interest on a loan, unless it’s a loan to a foreigner (Deuteronomy 23:19-20).

9. Pity a woman who gets her hand cut off because she grabbed the genitals of a man who was attacking her husband (Deuteronomy 25:11).

Now, here’s the fun part. What did I miss? Are there other more obscure and/or funny things from the Law of Moses (think of all the rules in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, or Deuteronomy) that I should have included? Anything in the list above that I should have left out? Am I being too juvenile to have included #9? Are any of you bankers feeling guilty over #8? Any of you bat-eaters wracked with remorse due to #2?

If so, let me hear it.

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