16 Unexpected Practices Condemned in the Bible

The Bible is full of teachings that guide us to live well. Some of these teachings may surprise you because they talk about things you would not expect to be in there.

We have reviewed online sources and forums and come up with some unexpected practices that the Bible does not approve of. These practices might be part of our daily lives without knowledge.

Home Ownership (Leviticus: 25:23)

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The concept that owning a home is wrong can surprise many devout Christians. The passage suggests that land cannot be sold permanently. This implies that it belongs to God and humans are temporary stewards.

Short Hair (Leviticus 19:27)

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The passage goes, “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads.” It suggests a prohibition on certain haircuts. The ancient rule against cutting hair might have made balding men feel bad about their hair loss. During those days, women had fewer beauty rules to follow than men.

Companion Planting (Leviticus 19:19)

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In the past, mixing different seeds in one field was forbidden in the Old Testament Laws, particularly for the Levi tribe. The prohibition is a commandment for Israelites to maintain distinct boundaries and avoid blending practices.

Handling Unblessed Meat (Leviticus 5:2)

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The Leviticus rule warns against touching anything unclean, like the carcass of an unclean animal. The Israelites believed contact with certain dead animals made them ceremonially impure. If they touched then they needed to purify themselves before participating in any religious ritual.

Defending your Husband from a Beating (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)

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If a woman has to protect her husband by grabbing the genitals of another man during a fight, she would be punished by getting her hand cut off.

Shaving (Leviticus 19:27)

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Men are instructed not to shave the hair on the sides of their heads or trim their beards. This is to distinguish themselves from pagan practices of the time, which often involved specific grooming rituals associated with idol worship.

Eating Bugs (Leviticus11:27)

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According to ancient Israelite dietary laws, eating certain bugs is prohibited because they are unclean. This prohibition stemmed from hygiene concerns and cultural beliefs regarding what was suitable for consumption.

Eating Four-Legged Animals (Leviticus 11:27)

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According to Leviticus 11, certain animals were considered unclean. People used to avoid eating them.  Examples include pigs, camels, rabbits, and certain rodents and reptiles. However, animals with split hooves that chew their cud (cows, sheep, and goats) were considered clean and permissible to eat.

Eating Eagles (Leviticus 11:13-20)

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Eagles are among the birds considered unclean for consumption according to the dietary laws outlined in the Old Testament. These laws were likely intended to promote health and hygiene. They also symbolically reinforced separation from certain practices associated with Pagan cultures.

Eating Fat or Blood (Leviticus 3:17)

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Avoiding the consumption of blood was a measure to ensure the community’s health and hygiene. Abstaining from eating fat may have been a way to express reverence for offerings made to God. These dietary restrictions fostered a sense of reverence and obedience to religious teachings.

Eating Yeast and Honey (Leviticus 2:11)

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The Israelites were instructed not to include yeast or honey in their grain offerings to the Lord. The prohibition stemmed from the desire for purity and simplicity in these offerings. This is as yeast and honey could ferment and alter the nature of the offering.

Picking Fallen Grapes (Leviticus 19:10)

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The prohibition against picking up fallen grapes was part of the broader agricultural laws given to the Israelites. It was a directive to leave some of the harvest behind for the poor and the needy to gather. The thought behind the practice was to ensure the poor had access to food. This practice reflected principles of compassion, social justice, and communal responsibility within ancient Israelite society.

Wearing Jewelry or Makeup (Timothy 2:9)

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The verse advises women to prioritize inner qualities like modesty and self-control. They should be prioritized over outward adornments like expensive jewelry, fashionable hairstyles, and luxurious clothing. It highlights the significance of humility and encourages women to value spirituality above materialistic displays of wealth or vanity.

Worshiping Other Religions (Deuteronomy 17: 2-7)

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In these verses, there are strict consequences for those who worship other religions. This ancient text mandates stoning those who engage in such practices, a punishment far removed from contemporary notions of religious freedom, pluralism, and tolerance that advocate for coexistence and respect for diverse belief systems.

Mistreating Foreigners (Leviticus 19:33-34)

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Leviticus 19:33-32 commands Israelites to treat foreigners with kindness and fairness, extending empathy and hospitality to those who are not native of the land. It underscores the Israelites’ own experience of being foreigners in Egypt. There are severe consequences for oppressing or mistreating foreigners, often aligning with broader principles of justice and righteousness within the community.

Tattoos (Leviticus 19:28)

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Tattoos were prohibited due to the cultural and religious beliefs of the time. The verse commands them not to mark their bodies with tattoos, likely to maintain purity and distinction from neighboring cultures. This prohibition aimed to uphold traditional values and practices, emphasizing the importance of maintaining cultural and spiritual identity.

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