June 25, 2012 Deuteronomy
Back on the Bible. Has it really been over a year?
There are a lot of redundancies in this book. The 10 Commandments come back, lots of rules we’ve seen before and lots of reminders that Yahweh got the Israelites out of Egypt. Seriously, it gets annoying. Like that friend who helped you move a year ago and is still milking it for favors.
So Yahweh has the tribes pick leaders and takes a reconnaissance group into the Amorite highlands and told them they could have all this land if they just kill everyone. But the leaders choked and as punishment Yahweh kept them wandering for another 38 years so a generation if real men can take over the army. And the genocides recommence.
Nations like Sihon and Og are wiped out. God hardens the heart (mind control) of the Sihon king so that they’ll resist the Israelites resulting the the deaths of all men, women and children 2:34. The Esau and Ammon nations are spared for no specific reason.
Moses asks if he can lead the invasion of Lebanon but God shuts him down and says that’s for Joshua to invade. Then Moses sets aside three towns where accidental killers can find refuge.
A hit list of seven more nations is made and so is the Ark of the Covenant. And finally Moses dies after 120 years after Yahweh tells him that the Israelites will inevitably rebel against God again.
I am the Law!
Like I said there are a lot of the same laws as in earlier books. But Deuteronomy really comes down hard on the first commandment. When Yahweh says, “I am a jealous god” he’s not kidding around.
God takes a stand against human sacrifice in 12:31. I believe that’s a first. Also, did you know that griffins aren’t kosher? 14:12. And a very specific rule about fighting, “If, when two men are fighting, the wife of one intervenes to protect her husband from the other’s blows by reaching out and seizing the other by his private parts, you must cut off her hand and show no pity.” 25:11-12 I’m guessing this could be traced back to one woman in particular.
If a man accuses his new wife of not being a virgin and her parents can’t prove that she is then she is stoned to death. If he’s a liar then he gets flogged and fined. 22:13-21
We finally get a ruling on rape. If a betrothed woman is raped, outside of the city then the rapist is put to death. However, if the rape happens inside the city it’s assumed that she didn’t call for help because she was consenting so they’re both to be stoned. If the girl in question isn’t betrothed then the rapist owes her father 50 shekels and has to marry his victim. RomComs were a lot darker back then.
And we also get a rule about divorce, another first I believe. It’s okay to divorce a woman who displeases you, but if she marries and divorces another man you can’t marry her again. Not sure if you can remarry immediately though.