Conjecture: wherever in the Bible God makes a covenant He is changing some covenantal order in Nature. For instance, after Creation the relation between the animal species, that is Man and the beasts, was in this unstable place where they could either consume each other in competition or they could pro-create with each other in covenantal relation. Since the latter was abominable to God's vision of the world He brought on the great 'carcassing', the mabul (from neveilah – a carcass), and opted for a new covenant that moved Man a bit higher toward the divine, and allowed Man to consume the beasts so long as that consumption mimicked God's consumption, i.e., so long as the consumption served the shift in the divine direction. So the institution of animal sacrifice turns out to be an institution that, in effect, shifts Man in the direction of the divine by artifice rather than by nature. Animal sacrifice redraws the covenantal allotments between Beast, Man and God and changes the order of reverence.
11 November 2010
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