11 Deuteronomy 12-26 – Specific Covenant StipulationsLeviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy - Life in the Desert
In Deuteronomy 12-26 Moses continues to spell out, explain, and elaborate on the Ten Commandments by declaring the particular requirements of God’s covenant. Some sections repeat what we have already seen. Others expand those teachings further or reveal additional laws not yet stated. One writer in the College Press NIV Commentary notes, “Moses anticipated settlement in the Promised Land and therefore dealt with issues not found in earlier legislation. The intention was to apply the broad principles of the Ten Commandments to everyday life in the land. Because of this focus Deuteronomy had a continuing relevance for the people of Israel, and each new generation could hear it afresh. It is because of this nature of the material that it lends itself to reflection and meaning for God’s people through the ages.”
All written materials for this series will be posted on this website, http://servingandsharing.com/, under the category, “Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy – Life in the Desert.” Here is my video presentation introducing this series – https://youtu.be/Lynx51p0tJA. The video of this specific class presentation, as well as all the others in this series, will be posted to this playlist as they are recorded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKKB1uvyHFM&list=PL7JRppjEn33bCHyqZFRQ2JDiJnGRnOYyR. Please use the “Contact” button to request corresponding handouts and outlines.
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Deut 12 Proper Worship
12:1-4 Destruction of Canaanite Idols
12:5-14 Holy Offerings at the Chosen Place
Eventually God will say, “Jerusalem. The Temple.”
To prohibit pagan places and acts of worship.
12:15-28 “Non-Holy” Meat at Any Place
Israelites could eat regular meat anywhere, but not the animal’s blood.
12:29-32 Rejection of Canaanite Religion
“Beware that you are not ensnared.”
“Do not add to or take away from what I command.”
Deut 13 Threats of Idolatry
Three sources that may say, “Let us serve other gods!”
13:1-5 A Prophet or Dreamer of Dreams
The sign may occur, and yet the doctrine is false. Don’t be misled!
13:6-11 Your Relative, Spouse, or Best Friend
Do not yield, listen, pity, spare, or conceal him.
13:12-18 One of Your Cities Led Astray
Destroy man and beast. Burn city and booty.
Deut 14 Foods and Tithes
14:1-21 Clean and Unclean Foods (cf. Lev 11)
No cutting or shaving (re: pagan magic, polytheism).
Rationale for food distinctions: promotion of personal hygiene? Avoidance of pagan practices? Economy? Obedience? Self-control?
Note: they consumed the tithe they brought to Yahweh.
14:28 Additional tithe every 3 years for the landless.
Inclusion of the alien, the fatherless, and the widow.
Note further discussion in 26:12.
Deut 15 Sabbatical Year; the Firstborn
God’s plan to relieve Israelites’ debt and poverty.
15:1-3 All debts of Israelites to be canceled in the 7th year.
15:4-6 Ideally, none poor. Obedience, blessing.
15:7-11 Generosity, not stinginess, toward those in need.
15:12-18 Kind provision for bondservants (cf Ex 21:2-6).
To be released in the 7th year and furnished liberally.
Remembering that you were slaves in Egypt.
He may love you and want to stay. If he leaves, don’t feel wronged.
15:19-23 Dedication of firstborn male animals.
Deut 16 Annual Feasts; Judges
16:1-8 Passover (Unleavened Bread)
Abib – 1st (lunar) month, Mar/Apr
16:9-12 Weeks (Harvest, Pentecost)
16:13-15 Booths (Tabernacles, Ingathering)
16:16-17 Presence of All Males at the Chosen Place
16:18-20 Judges and Equal Justice
16:21-22 No Asherah Images or Sacred Pillars
Deut 17 Just Administration
17:1-7 Trial and Execution of Idolaters
Only on the evidence of two or three witnesses.
“Purge the evil from your midst.” Cf. 1 Cor 5 re: the immoral brother.
17:8-13 Dealing with Difficult Cases
Homicides, lawsuits, and assaults.
Central tribunal or “Supreme Court.”
Execution of any who refuse the priest’s verdict.
17:14-20 Choice and Qualities of the King
God provided for and did not prohibit having a king. Cf. 1 Sam 8-9.
Deut 18 Supernatural Guidance
18:1-8 Provision for Priests and Levites
Not having any land inheritance, they would be supported by the offerings that the people brought to Yahweh.
18:9-14 Prohibition of Spiritism
Divination, witchcraft, sorcery, omens, mediums.
Instead, God’s directions through His prophets.
18:15-22 Promise of the Coming Prophet(s)
In a partial sense, Joshua and others. Deut 34:9-12
In the full sense, Jesus. Acts 3:22–24; 7:37
Deut 19 Protection of Life
19:1-13 Three More Cities of Refuge – on the West Side
To complement the three cities in the east. Deut 4:41-43
Protects life. Clarifies and specifies the command, “Do not kill.”
19:14 Protection of Land Boundaries
19:15-21 Witnesses and Justice
A false witness would have to pay the very penalty he sought.
Deut 20 Rules of Warfare
20:1-4 Courage in Battle Because of the LORD
20:5-9 Exemptions from Military Service
New homeowners and vineyard owners.
Engaged men and fainthearted men.
20:10-15 Treatment of Distant Cities
20:16-18 Treatment of Canaanite Cities
20:19-20 Treatment of Trees in the Land
Save the fruit trees for food. Cut the others for siege works.
Deut 21 Responses to Specific Situations
21:1-9 Atonement for Unsolved Murders
21:10-14 Treatment of Captive Girls
Respect. Marriage. Time to mourn. Divorce, but.
21:15-17 Inheritance Rights of Firstborn Sons
Double portion, even if born to an “unloved” wife.
21:18-21 Treatment of Rebellious Sons
Elders’ leadership role. All to stone. Purge the evil. Deter others.
21:22-23 Proper Burial of Hanged Convicts
Capital punishment. Cf. Gal 3:13 – Christ became the curse for us by hanging on a tree.
Deut 22 Morality in Daily Life
22:1-4 Care for Others’ Lost Animals, Property
22:5 Prohibition of Cross-Dressing
22:6-7 Preserving the Producers of Life (Birds)
22:8 Protecting Against Falling from Roofs (Parapets or Roof Fences)
22:9-12 Laws of Separation
Don’t mix two seeds (pure crops), two animals (clean and unclean, opposite in temperament), two fabrics (wool and linen – paganism?).
Tassels on Garments. As reminders. Cf. Num 15:38-40.
Maintain God-given distinctions, set apart from the world.
22:13-21 Charges of Premarital Immorality
Proof of virginity: blood-stained cloth from wedding night.
If false, the man to be chastised, fined c. 2.5 lb. of silver.
If true, the woman to be stoned. Purge the evil.
22:22-29 Adultery, Premarital Sex, Rape
Rape of an engaged virgin: the man to be executed.
Rape of non-engaged virgin: the man to be fined, forced to marry her for life, support her, and protect her.
22:30 Incestuous Marriage – Stepmother
Lev 18:6-8; 20:11; Deut 27:20; 1 Cor 5:1
Deut 23 Cleanliness and Purity
23:1-8 Exclusion from the LORD’s Assembly
Due to pagan practices or acts against Israel.
23:9-14 Cleanliness in the LORD’s Camp
Nocturnal emissions, human waste.
23:15-16 Protection of Escaped Slaves
23:17-18 Prohibition of Cult Prostitution
23:19-20 Prohibition of Lending with Interest
23:21-23 Completion of Vows Made to the LORD
23:24-25 Limited Food from Others’ Vineyards
Deut 24 Protection of the Weak
24:1-4 No Remarrying of One’s Divorced Spouse
Intended only to protect divorced women, not to endorse divorce.
Yet the Pharisees turned it into a “command.” Matt 19:7
24:5 No Military Service in First Year of Marriage
24:6 No Taking of One’s Livelihood in Pledge
24:7 No Kidnapping, Abuse, or Sale of Others
24:8-9 Obedience to the Laws re: Leprosy
24:10-13 Taking Collateral for a Loan
Respect his person and his property. Return his cloak.
24:14-15 Paying a Hired Man
Give him his wage before sunset, lest you sin.
24:16 Punishing Only Personal (not Fathers’) Sin
Emphasis on justice, individual responsibility.
Children may suffer consequences, but not guilt.
24:17-22 Being Fair and Generous to the Poor
Because God redeemed you from Egyptian slavery.
Deut 25 Respect and Responsibility
25:1-3 Limits on Punishment – Maximum of Forty Stripes
Not to degrade the wicked man unnecessarily.
25:4 Fair Treatment of Animals – Ox not to be Muzzled
Cf. NT preachers, elders. 1 Cor 9:9; 1 Tim 5:18
25:5-10 Levirate (Brother-in-Law) Marriage
Man dies w/o child. Brother marries widow. First child continues the name of the dead man. If the brother refuses, he is to be publicly disgraced. Cf. Boaz’ marrying Ruth, redeeming the estate.
Sadducees’ test question: seven brothers, one wife. Mark 12:18-27
25:11-12 Prohibition of Unfair Fighting
If a wife attacked her husband’s enemy literally “below the belt,” her hand would be cut off as her penalty.
25:13-16 Just Weights and Measures
25:17-19 Extermination of the Amalekites
Amalek – the grandson of Jacob’s brother Esau. Gen 36:12
Attacked Israel’s weak stragglers. Ex 17:8-16; Num 24:20
Deut 26 Offerings of Acknowledgement
26:1-11 Firstfruits: Best Produce of the New Land
Because God blessed, heard, saved, led, and brought us.
Giving – worship to God, to be shared with others.
26:12-15 The Third-Year Tithe
Two great commands: love God; love neighbor.
So, tithes were to be generous gifts to the needy and the poor.
26:16-19 Concluding Exhortation
Closes the covenant stipulations that began in 12:1.
Command. Agreement. Obedience. Blessing.