Continuing a plan to get through the entire Bible in a year, follow as I journal through the reading. I have chosen a straightforward approach that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. This will not be an in-depth study or a comprehensive commentary. There are plenty of sources for such material. This is stage one Bible reading, taking the text at face value and sharing impressions.
Today’s reading comes from the book of Deuteronomy, chapters 21 through 23, listing miscellaneous laws for Israel. Some impressions from the text:
- These chapters list various laws covering a wide range of topics, many repetitions or clarifications of laws previously received.
- Many of these laws prove confounding, especially from a modern perspective. Woman marrying their rapists? Woman stoned to death for losing their virginity before marriage? It’s difficult to process these laws without a deeper cultural understanding.
- A notion of generational guilt manifests in Chapter 23, where the Ammonites and Moabites are banned from entering the assembly of Israel to the tenth generation.
- Cleanliness is next to godliness, the old saying goes. That sentiment may have originated from the laws Israel received regarding cleanliness, the purpose of which were to keep the congregation holy so that God could remain among them.
- We get a sense from some of these laws that Israelites were to be their brother’s keeper to a large extent. They were not to charge interest among their own. They were to assist wherever possible when they saw an opportunity. To be an Israelite was to never be alone, but to be part of a whole.
Return soon as we continue our year-long journey through the text of the Bible.
Catch up on the previous entries:
Moses recounts Israel’s journey through the wilderness. – Deuteronomy 1 and 2
Moses emphasizes obedience to, and glorification of, God. – Deuteronomy 3 and 4
God’s commandments serve a holy purpose. – Deuteronomy 5 through 7
Moses implores Israel to know, trust, and obey God. – Deuteronomy 8 through 10
Focused wholly on God. – Deuteronomy 11 through 13
Holiness requires us to be intentionally different. – Deuteronomy 14 through 16
Trust in the inerrancy of the Lord. – Deuteronomy 17 through 20