which the exiles mark the Passover
the LORD said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, for it
is you I have seen righteous before Me in this generation. Of every clean
animal take you seven pairs, each with its mate, and of every animal that is
not clean, one pair, each with its mate. Of the fowl of the heavens as well
seven pairs, male and female, to keep seed alive all over the earth. For in
seven days’ time I will make it rain on the earth forty days and forty nights
and I will wipe out from the face of the earth all existing things that I have
made.” And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.
said the Master, the LORD: “In the first month, on the first of the month, you
shall take an unblemished bull from the heard and purify the sanctuary.
the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall have the
Passover, a festival of seven days. Flatbread shall be eaten. And the prince
shall do for himself and for all the people of the land an offense-offering
bull. And the seven days of the festival he shall do a burnt offering to the
LORD, seven unblemished bulls and seven unblemished rams each day of the seven
days and an offense-offering of a he-goat each day. And a grain offering, an ephah
for each bull and an ephah for each ram he shall do, and oil, a hin
for each ephah…”
is not just a model for the survival of biodiversity, fitting though that may
be for our own time of climate crisis. He is instructed to take more of the
animals that will be at the heart of the sacrificial system at the heart of the
day-to-day life of the future Temple and the annual cycle of pilgrim festivals
new ark, this Temple, that the exiles are to build is to be a house of intercession
and of remembrance. A place where confession is made, and stories are told, and
food is shared—actual food, for the body—and whereby, through these practices,
we are sustained as a priestly people interceding for the needs of the world.
What do these practices look like for you, in your life?
texts: Robert Alter, The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary