Chapter 22- More rules. These deal mostly with making restitution for theft, and some various other things thrown in.
Most of this chapter is… *yawn*
A couple points of interest: If a man has sex with a virgin, he has to pay for her- either the bride price to marry her, or the equivalent cash if her father refuses to give her up for marriage. Again women have zero autonomy. These verses follows immediately after the rules about making restitution for theft, so it seems that sleeping with a virgin in like theft against her father.
The penalty for being a sorceress, having sex with animals, or sacrificing to any god besides the God is death. Those don’t seem like equivalent crimes, and none of them seem worthy of the death penalty.
If you afflict a widow or orphan, and they cry out to God, God will “kill you with a sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” Look, being cruel to widows and orphans is no good, I agree. But making more widows and orphans doesn’t seem like the best solution.
Verse 25- “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a money-lender to him; you shall not charge him interest.” Interesting how the political party who tout the bible the hardest are also the ones with a love affair for capitalism. Even before Jesus’s time, the bible was kinda socialist.
Chapter 23- More rules. God establishes 3 feasts to be observed every year. God promises to help the Israelites run off the people who currently live in their promised land, but warns them not to worship their gods.
This chapter contains the prohibition against boiling a young goat in its mother’s milk that you may have heard about. Over time, it has morphed into the Jewish dietary restriction against mixing meat and dairy products in the same dish. Gotta wonder why it was important to prohibit such a thing in the first place…to avoid adding insult to injury after you slaughter dinner?
The only other point of interest for me here was verses 25&26, “So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.” Interesting. Too bad God doesn’t do this for his people any more.
Chapter 24- In previous chapters, it has been God giving these rules to Moses. Now in chapter 24, Moses writes them down and presents them to the people, who agree to follow them. God calls Moses up onto the mountain again where he stays for 40 days.
After the people agree to follow these rules, Moses performs sacrifices. Verse 8, “And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and…” Ewwww!
This chapter is a little confusing. Moses told the rules to the people, then wrote them down in a book, then God tells Moses to come to the mountain so He can give Moses stone tablets with these laws on them. Why are the tablets necessary if Moses has already written them down? Also, why do people these days depict the stone tablets as only containing the 10 commandments? God gave more than just those 10 laws to Moses.