I have a test tomorrow for which I shall be spending my evening studying, but I want to bang out this post really quickly (there’s a dirty joke in there somewhere) before I sell my soul to the library. Of course the day I’m in a hurry is the day I’m supposed to read 4 chapters…
Let’s do this!
Chapter 17- The penalty for serving another god is stoning. Any time the people can’t resolve a dispute amongst themselves, they shall take it to the priests who will judge. They must do exactly as the priest says; anyone who doesn’t will be put to death. The people must take a king from among the Hebrews, and some rules for the king are given.
By now we’re pretty familiar with the idea that apostasy= death. I’m not even going to bother criticizing that again. But verse 12, ” Now the man who acts presumptuously and will not heed the priest who stands to minister there before the Lord your God, or the judge, that man shall die.” You mean to tell me that the penalty for being held in contempt of court is death?! That seems a little…extreme…
As far as the rules for kings go, they include not amassing horses, wives, silver or gold. *Spoiler alert* King Solomon, often considered one of the wisest men in the Bible, was a rich old sod with 700 wives and 300 concubines. I’m getting mixed signals here…one of the wisest kings did exactly what God said not to do. Hm, food for thought there.
Chapter 18- The Levites shall be fed from the offerings people bring. The people shall not follow witchcraft, sorcerers, mediums, etc. God will send a prophet to speak His will; any other person who presumes to prophesy is a false prophet who shall die.
God gives the people a method for determining which prophets are false in verse 22, “[W]hen a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously.”
If I may jump ahead to the New Testament for a moment, in Matthew 16:28 Jesus says, “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” It’s been 2000ish years since Jesus said those words. All the people who were standing there have most assuredly tasted death by now, but Jesus still hasn’t returned. According to Deuteronomy 18:22, that means Jesus was a false prophet.
Sorry Christians, I just calls it like I sees it.
Chapter 19-Instructions for setting aside the cities for the people who kill someone accidentally. Details about the difference between accidental and purposeful killing.
I understand that Moses is recapping the laws for the people about to enter the promised land. The people who originally heard the laws are now dead, so the new generation is getting a lesson from Moses. But, was it really necessary to include it in the Bible? Did future generations really need a deutueros nomos? I just finished reading Leviticus; I promise I haven’t forgotten it yet, Moses.
Chapter 20- Instructions for battle. God tells the people not to fear when they are outnumbered because He is on their side. Any city they destroy far from the promised land, they get to keep the women, children, livestock, etc as plunder. Any city in the promised land, they must kill everyone.
I’m torn as to which is a worse fate: becoming a prisoner of war, and possibly (likely) being raped and abused, or just being killed outright. I think I’d rather die than live to see my family get killed, land get stolen, children become captives, and myself and my friends get raped. Sad that those are the only 2 possible fates for those who weren’t fortunate enough to be born one of God’s chosen people. Such a gracious and merciful God…