Exodus 21 Slaves, Killing, Fighting and Goring

Slaves, Killing, Fighting and Goring

 

 

Background and printed text: Exodus 21

 

Exodus 21:1 And these are the justices that thou shalt set to their faces.

 

2When thou shalt buy a Hebrew slave, he will serve six years. And in the seventh he will exit to freedom gratis. 3If he will come with his body, he will exit with his body. If he is a husband of a woman, and his woman will exit with him.

 

4If his lords will give a woman to him, and she will child to him sons or daughters, the woman and her children will be to her lords. And he will exit with his body. 5And if the slave will say, saying, “I loved my lords, my woman and my children! I will not exit free!” 6And his lords shall approach him unto the Elohim. And he shall approach him unto the door or unto the Mezuzah. And his lords shall pierce his ear with a piercing-tool. And he shall serve him to Hider.

 

7And when a man will sell his daughter to a slavemaiden, she shall not-exit as the exiting of the slaves. 8If she-is-bad in the eyes of her lords who did not betroth her, and she shall be redeemed. He shall not rule to sell her to a foreign people in his defrauding via her. 9And if he will betroth her to his son, he will do to her as the justice of the daughters.

 

10If he will take to himself another {feminine}, he will not diminish her remainder, her blanket-covering and her cohabiting. 11And if he will not do these three to her, and he will exit her gratis─there is no silver.

 

12The smiter of a man, and he will die: dying, he shall-be-made-to-die! 13And whoever did not stalk, and the Elohim situated to his hand, and I will put a place to thee that he will flee there.

 

14And when a man will presume upon his neighbour to slay him via guile, thou shalt take him from with my altar to die.

 

15And the smiter of his father and his mother: dying he shall-be-caused-to-die!

 

16And a stealer of a man, and he sells him, and he will be found in his hand: dying, he shall-be-caused-to-die!

 

17And he lightly esteems his father and his mother: dying, he shall-be-caused-to-die!

 

18And when men shall fight, and a man shall smite his neighbour via a stone or via a fist and he will not die, and he will fall to bed, 19if he will arise and he will walk himself into the outside upon his staff, and the smiter will be innocent. Only he will give his sitting and healing—he-will-cause-healing!

 

20And when a man will smite his slave or his slavemaiden via a rod, and he will die under his hand, avenging, he shall be avenged! 21Only if he will arise a day or days, he will-not-be-avenged. For he is his silver.

 

22And when men will physically-fight, and they will smite a pregnant woman, and her children will exit, and there will not be injury, amerced, he shall be amerced just-as the husband of the woman will set upon him. And he will give via the deliberators. 23And if injury will be, and thou shalt give, being under being!— 24eye under eye, tooth under tooth, hand under hand, foot under foot, 25branding under branding, wound under wound, bruise under bruise.

 

26And when a man will smite the eye of his slave or the eye of his slavemaiden, and he will blind her, he will send him to freedom under his eye. 27And if a tooth of his slave or a tooth of his slavemaiden will fall, he will send him to freedom under his tooth.

 

28And when an ox will gore a man or a woman and he will die, stoning, the ox shall be stoned! And he shall not eat his flesh. And the husband of the ox is innocent. 29And if an ox—he gored from yesterday three days ago, and he was testified via his husbands, and he will not guard him, and the ox will cause- a man or a woman -to-die, he will be stoned, and also his husbands─he will-be-caused-to-die! 30And if a covering will be set upon him, and he shall give a redemption of his being as all that will be set upon him! 31Or he will gore a son, or he will gore a daughter, he will be done to him as this justice.

 

32If the ox will gore a slave or a slavemaiden, he will give silver of 30 shekels to his lords. And the ox will be stoned.

 

33And when a man will open a pit, or when a man will dig a pit, and he will not cover him, and an ox or an ass will fall ‘thereward,’ 34the husband of the pit will make peace. He will return silver to his husbands. And the dead will be to him.

 

35And when the ox of a man will attack the ox of his neighbour, and he will die, and they shall sell the living ox. And they shall halve his silver. And they shall also halve the dead. 36Or it was known that the ox—he gored from yesterday, three days ago, and his husbands will not guard {singular} him: making-peace, he shall make peace, an ox under the ox. And the dead will be to him.

 

37When a man shall steal an ox or a sheep and slaughter him or sell him, he will-make-peace: five of the herd under the ox and four of the flock under the sheep!

 

 

 

I. The Justices (verse 1)

 

Yehovah commanded Moshe to set these justices to the faces of the Israelis. How surprising to find that the first justices pertain to proper treatment of slaves!

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Why did Yehovah call these things justices?

 

2.     Why must these be “set to their faces” (instead of being told to them or written for them)?

 

 

 

II. Buying a Hebrew Slave (verses 2-3)

 

Israelis will purchase Hebrew slaves. (A Hebrew slave is an Israeli slave.) The slave will serve six years. In the seventh year, the slave will exit from slavery to freedom gratis—that is, without having to pay anything.

 

If the slave will come with the only possession being his own physical body, he will exit with his physical body. If, on the other hand, he is a husband of a woman, his woman will exit with him.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Who is thou in, “When thou shalt buy a Hebrew slave”?

 

2.     What is a Hebrew slave?

 

3.     The text states, “He will serve six years.” Can’t the time of his serving as a slave be less than six years?

 

4.     Why did Yehovah choose six years (instead of seven or five, for examples)?

 

5.     What does gratis mean?

 

6.     Suppose that this slave had run up a debt that is equivalent to 25,000,000 dollars; how would his being a slave for six years come anywhere near paying that debt?

 

7.     The text states, “If he will come with his body, he will exit with his body.” How could he come without his body?

 

8.     If he is a husband of a woman, does his woman also become a slave when he does?

 

9.     If he went into slavery with his children, would they also come out with him?

 

10.  Suppose that an Israeli purchases a slave who isn’t a Hebrew. Will that slave also exit in the seventh year?

 

 

 

III. Slaves Making Babies (verses 4-6)

 

A slavemaster of a Hebrew slave can give a woman to the slave to make babies. If she does become pregnant for the slavemaster, the woman and her children will be the property of the slavemaster (and not the slave who impregnated her—who got her pregnant). When the time comes for the slave to exit, he will exit with his own physical body, and not with the woman or the child that he fathered.

 

Now, if the slave will insistently say, “I loved my lords, my woman and my children! I will not exit free,” his slavemaster will ‘approach’ him unto the Elohim—unto the Gods of Israel. And he will ‘approach’ him unto the door or unto the Mezuzah (the doorpost). The slavemaster will then pierce his ear with a piercing-tool. The slave will then serve the slavemaster to Hider—he will permanently become his property. (That way, he can keep his woman and his child/children.)

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Why is lords plural? Does this refer to a slavemaster and his wife?

 

2.     If the slave’s lords will give a woman to him, does she become the slave’s wife?

 

3.     Aren’t a man and a woman supposed to be married in the Bible before having sex and producing children?

 

4.     Why would a slavemaster desire a slave to produce children for the slavemaster?

 

5.     What does “he will exit with his body” mean, again?

 

6.     In what order will the slave declare his love?

 

7.     What else must the slave declare?

 

8.     Under what conditions would a slave be willing to voluntarily become a permanent slave to another human?

 

9.     Isn’t slavery evil?

 

10.  The next verse states, “And his lords shall approach him unto the Elohim.” What does this mean, and how can this happen?

 

11.  Why should he approach him unto the door, and what door is this?

 

12.  What is a Mezuzah?

 

13.  What is a piercing tool?

 

14.  Why must the ear be pierced?

 

15.  What does “he shall serve him to Hider” mean?

 

16.  Since a human cannot serve another to Hider (due to finally becoming old and dying), what does this section of the text typify?

 

 

 

IV. Selling a Daughter (verses 7-9)

 

An Israeli can sell his daughter as a slavemaiden. (See questions to learn why this might occur.) This slavemaiden shall not exit (go out) as the exiting of the slaves. She must be treated differently from the other slaves.

 

If her slavemaster doesn’t look at her in a good light, and if he also didn’t betroth her (either to himself or to his son), she must be redeemed. The slavemaster is never permitted to sell her to a foreign people in the process of defrauding (dealing crookedly with her) by means of her.

 

If, on the other hand, he will betroth her to his son, he must do to her exactly what is the justice to do with daughters.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Does the man really sell his daughter to a slavemaiden?

 

2.     Isn’t selling a daughter to become a slavemaiden really cold, an act of total lovelessness, and just cruel?

 

3.     What does “she shall not-exit as the exiting of the slaves” mean?

 

4.     What does “she is bad in the eyes of her lords” mean?

 

5.     What does betroth mean?

 

6.     What does “she shall be redeemed” mean?

 

7.     What does defraud mean?

 

8.     Explain “He shall not rule to sell her to a foreign people in his defrauding via her”:

 

9.     Can this slavemaster betroth this slavemaiden to his son without her parents’ permission?

 

10.  What does “he will do to her as the justice of the daughters” mean?

 

 

 

V. Second Wife (verses 10-11)

 

If the son of the slavemaster who has married the slavemaiden takes another woman to himself as a second wife, he will not diminish the remainder of the woman who was both the first woman and the slavemaiden. He will not diminish her blanket-covering, and he will not diminish her cohabiting—sleeping with her. If he will not do these three to her, he will exit her without any redemption price—that is, gratis; there must be no silver exchange for her leaving.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Does the Bible permit an Israeli to have more than one wife?

 

2.     Why would Yehovah permit a man to have more than one wife?

 

3.     Can a man have more than one wife in the United States and in countries with similar cultures?

 

4.     Isn’t taking on another wife a form of cruelty to the first wife?

 

5.     Who is taking to himself another woman?

 

6.     What does “he will not diminish her remainder” mean?

 

7.     What does “he will not diminish … her blanket-covering” mean?

 

8.     What does “he will not diminish … her cohabiting” mean?

 

9.     Verse 11 states, “And if he will not do these three to her, and he will exit her gratis─there is no silver.” Does he send her away after living with her as a wife for a while, and then after obtaining a second wife?

 

 

 

VI. Murderer and Manslayer (verses 12-13)

 

Anyone who smites a human such that he dies, the smiter shall be likewise made to die.

 

Now, if anyone killed another, and that person didn’t stalk the one he/she killed, and the Elohim situated the victim to the hand of the one who killed him, Yehovah will put a place to Israel so that this ‘manslayer’ will flee there.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What does “The smiter of a man, and he will die” mean?

 

2.     What does “dying, he shall-be-made-to-die” mean?

 

3.     Is Yehovah for capital punishment, or is He against capital punishment?

 

4.     What does “the Elohim situated to his hand” mean?

 

5.     What does “whoever did not stalk, and the Elohim situated to his hand, and I will put a place to thee that he will flee there” mean?

 

 

 

VII. Plotting Murderer (verse 14)

 

When a man will presume upon his neighbour (assume with arrogance in a prideful approach) to slay him via guile, Israel must take that person from being with Yehovah’s altar so that the man will die (being put to death).

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What does presume mean in the Bible?

 

2.     How can a person presume upon his neighbour (to slay him via guile)?

 

3.     Why must he slay him with guile?

 

4.     Why did Yehovah state, “thou shalt take him from with my altar to die”? Why was the man at Yehovah’s altar?

 

 

 

VIII. Parent Murderer (verse 15)

 

Smiting (striking) one’s father and one’s mother is a death-penalty offense; that person must be put to death.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What is a smiter of his father and his mother?

 

2.     Why is this a death penalty?

 

3.     Suppose that one’s father and mother are drowning; is smiting them in order to bring them to shore or to a ship also a death penalty?

 

 

 

IX. Kidnapper (verse 16)

 

Anyone who kidnaps another and either sells him or still has him must be put to death.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What is a stealer of a man?

 

2.     If he sells him, how can he be found in his hand?

 

3.     Why is kidnapping a death penalty offense?

 

 

 

X. Light-Esteemer of Parents (verse 17)

 

Anyone who views parents with contempt as if they have little value must be put to death.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What does lightly esteem mean?

 

2.     Why is lightly esteeming father and mother a death penalty offense?

 

 

 

XI. Fighting and Reparations (verses 18-19)

 

Israeli men will fight. If one of them smites his neighbour via a stone or via a fist, and the neighbour doesn’t die, but he does fall to bed, if he later arises and walks on his own power into the outside upon his staff, the smiter will be innocent. In the meantime, however, the smiter must pay for whoever has to care for the man and for medical bills; the smiter must make sure the man is healed.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Will Israelis fight with each other?

 

2.     Is smiting a neighbour via a stone against the Torah?

 

3.     What does “he will fall to bed” mean?

 

4.     The text continues, “if he will arise and he will walk himself into the outside upon his staff …” What does this mean?

 

5.     Why will the smiter be innocent in this case?

 

6.     What does the text require the smiter to do?

 

7.     The text states, “he will cause healing!” What does this mean?

 

8.     Suppose that both men injure each other, and both are stuck in bed for a while. Are they even?

 

 

 

XII. Smiting a Slave (verses 20-21)

 

When a slavemaster smites a male or female slave via a rod, and the slave dies under his hand, vengeance must be taken for the slave.

 

If instead the slave arises in a day or several days, no vengeance will be taken for the slave since the slave is the silver of the slavemaster.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Is an Israeli in violation of the Torah if he/she smites a slave?

 

2.     In the case that a slave dies under a smiting, the text states, “avenging, he shall be avenged.” It doesn’t say what will be done. What will be done in such a case?

 

3.     Explain this: “Only if he will arise a day or days, he will-not-be-avenged. For he is his silver”:

 

4.     Doesn’t this paragraph permit the general mistreatment of slaves?

 

 

 

XIII. Pregnant Woman’s Injury during a Fight (verses 22-25)

 

Israelis will physically fight. If they will smite a pregnant woman in the process of fighting, and if her children will exit (from her womb), and there won’t be injury, there will still be a monetary fine for causing this birthing at this time. The husband of the woman will set the fine, and the one who smote the woman causing the birth will pay the fine. Deliberators will decide if the fine’s size is right, and the man will give according to the deliberators.

 

If, on the other hand, there will be injury, whatever the nature of the injury is, that will be done to the man who smote the pregnant woman!

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Why would men smite a pregnant woman?

 

2.     Why does the text state, “and her children will exit,” instead of this: “and her child will exit”?

 

3.     What does amerced mean?

 

4.     Why does the woman’s husband (and not the woman) get to set the amount that must be paid?

 

5.     What is a deliberator?

 

6.     How many deliberators will be involved?

 

7.     What occurs if the deliberators determine that the amount declared by the husband is too high or too low?

 

8.     What must be done if the woman is injured?

 

9.     Why is the Torah so hard on the man who accidentally harmed the woman while fighting with another Israeli?

 

10.  What does under mean in “eye under eye,” etc.?

 

11.  Suppose that the injury is to the baby—what is the ruling regarding this?

 

 

 

XIV. Damaging a Slave (verses 26-27)

 

A slavemaster who will smite a slave might put out the slave’s eye. If he does, he must send the slave to freedom in the place of his/her eye. The same is true regarding a tooth.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Does it matter if putting out the eye of a slave was an accident, or was intentional?

 

2.     Why isn’t the eye of the slavemaster put out in an ‘eye-for-an-eye’ response?

 

3.     Supposing that both eyes are put out; wouldn’t sending the slave or slavemaiden to freedom be cruel, since he/she cannot do anything much for quite a while?

 

4.     Only the blinding of an eye or the falling of a tooth is mentioned. Suppose that the little toe of the slave is broken; what must be done in that case?

 

5.     Why does Yehovah pick things like the losing of a tooth when they are so minor compared to other things, and when the Torah is truly so short (in contrast to other bodies of ‘law’ in other lands)?

 

 

 

XV. A Goring Ox (verses 28-31)

 

An ox that gores a man or a woman to death must be stoned. No one is permitted to eat the flesh of the ox. The husband (ox owner and handler) is innocent.

 

On the other hand, if the ox gored yesterday or even three days ago, and someone testified this to the ox’s husbands (handlers), and the husband will not guard the ox, and the ox will cause a man or a woman to die, the ox will be stoned, and the ox’s husbands—he will also be put to death!

 

If a covering will be set upon the husband, the husband will give a redemption of his being according to all that will be set upon him!

 

If the ox will gore a son or a daughter, this same justice will be done to the husband.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Why must the ox be stoned to death instead of just being slaughtered?

 

2.     Who is he in, “And he shall not eat his flesh”?

 

3.     What does “the husband of the ox is innocent” mean?

 

4.     What does “he gored from yesterday three days ago” mean?

 

5.     Explain “he was testified via his husbands”:

 

6.     The text states, “and he will not guard him.” Does the husband of the ox refuse to guard the ox? Suppose that the husband was willing, but just couldn’t guard the ox for a short time; doesn’t that mean that he will guard him?

 

7.     Why must the husbands also be caused to die even if the ox broke down a fence (say), and then gored a man?

 

8.     How will the husband of the ox be caused to die?

 

9.     The next verse states, “And if a covering will be set upon him…” What does this mean?

 

10.  Under what circumstances might a covering keep the husband of the ox that gored from being put to death?

 

11.  Why is verse 31 necessary?

 

12.  How could this justice be the means of making a proper law regarding someone who drives after having become a little drunk, and kills someone?

 

 

 

XVI. Ox Goring a Slave (verse 32)

 

If the ox will gore a male or female slave, the husband will give 30 shekels of silver to the slavemaster, and the ox will be stoned.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Thirty shekels isn’t much at all—the equivalent of perhaps $50. Why is this all that occurs from an ox goring of a human?

 

2.     What will occur if the ox of a master kills that master’s slave?

 

 

 

XVII. An Open Pit (verses 33-34)

 

When a man opens or digs a pit, it is up to the man to provide a cover for the pit that will keep humans and large animals from falling into the pit. If the man who opens or digs the pit doesn’t provide such a cover, and an ox or an ass falls into the pit, the husband of the pit (the one who is responsible for the pit being opened or dug) will make peace. He will return silver to the husbands of the dead animal; he will now own the dead animal.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What does this text mean by cover him?

 

2.     What is the purpose of digging such a hole?

 

3.     Suppose that the animal falls into the pit, but isn’t hurt; must the one who dug the pit pay something?

 

4.     What does “thereward” mean?

 

5.     What does “the husband of the pit will make peace” mean?

 

6.     Suppose that the animal that was harmed or killed was a pet or a prize animal to the owner; how would peace be made?

 

7.     What does “He will return silver to his husbands” mean?

 

8.     Why must the price be in silver? Why didn’t the text specify that silver or gold could be used?

 

9.     Suppose that he doesn’t want the dead animal; can he leave the animal in the pit, and cover it?

 

10.  If the animal is an ox, and it just recently fell into the pit and died, can the new owner eat the animal?

 

 

 

XVIII. Ox Duel (verses 35-36)

 

If one ox of one man attacks another ox of a neighbour, and the neighbour’s ox dies, both men must sell the living ox. They must then halve the silver for the ox. They will also halve the dead ox.

 

If it was known that the ox gored yesterday or even three days ago, and his husbands will not guard the ox, that owner must make peace, replacing the ox with one of his own oxen (or acquiring an equivalent ox for the victim’s husband). The owner of the goring ox will now own the dead ox.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What must they do if an ox attacks and kills two oxen of his neighbour?

 

 

 

XIX. Animal Theft (verse 37)

 

A sheepstealer or an ox thief who slaughters or sells the animal must make peace with the owner. Making peace includes this: he must give five animals of the herd in the place of the ox, and four of the flock in the place of the sheep!

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What must be done to a man who steals an ox or a sheep, and is found with the animal alive and unsold?

 

2.     What will happen to the thief if he cannot cover these costs?

 

3.     Why are the rates for oxen and sheep different—that is, five of the herd under the ox, and four of the flock under the sheep?

 

Exodus 21 Slaves, Killing, Fighting and Goring QA

Slaves, Killing, Fighting and Goring

With Questions and Proposed Answers

 

 

Background and printed text: Exodus 21

 

Exodus 21:1 And these are the justices that thou shalt set to their faces.

 

2When thou shalt buy a Hebrew slave, he will serve six years. And in the seventh he will exit to freedom gratis. 3If he will come with his body, he will exit with his body. If he is a husband of a woman, and his woman will exit with him.

 

4If his lords will give a woman to him, and she will child to him sons or daughters, the woman and her children will be to her lords. And he will exit with his body. 5And if the slave will say, saying, “I loved my lords, my woman and my children! I will not exit free!” 6And his lords shall approach him unto the Elohim. And he shall approach him unto the door or unto the Mezuzah. And his lords shall pierce his ear with a piercing-tool. And he shall serve him to Hider.

 

7And when a man will sell his daughter to a slavemaiden, she shall not-exit as the exiting of the slaves. 8If she-is-bad in the eyes of her lords who did not betroth her, and she shall be redeemed. He shall not rule to sell her to a foreign people in his defrauding via her. 9And if he will betroth her to his son, he will do to her as the justice of the daughters.

 

10If he will take to himself another {feminine}, he will not diminish her remainder, her blanket-covering and her cohabiting. 11And if he will not do these three to her, and he will exit her gratis─there is no silver.

 

12The smiter of a man, and he will die: dying, he shall-be-made-to-die! 13And whoever did not stalk, and the Elohim situated to his hand, and I will put a place to thee that he will flee there.

 

14And when a man will presume upon his neighbour to slay him via guile, thou shalt take him from with my altar to die.

 

15And the smiter of his father and his mother: dying he shall-be-caused-to-die!

 

16And a stealer of a man, and he sells him, and he will be found in his hand: dying, he shall-be-caused-to-die!

 

17And he lightly esteems his father and his mother: dying, he shall-be-caused-to-die!

 

18And when men shall fight, and a man shall smite his neighbour via a stone or via a fist and he will not die, and he will fall to bed, 19if he will arise and he will walk himself into the outside upon his staff, and the smiter will be innocent. Only he will give his sitting and healing—he-will-cause-healing!

 

20And when a man will smite his slave or his slavemaiden via a rod, and he will die under his hand, avenging, he shall be avenged! 21Only if he will arise a day or days, he will-not-be-avenged. For he is his silver.

 

22And when men will physically-fight, and they will smite a pregnant woman, and her children will exit, and there will not be injury, amerced, he shall be amerced just-as the husband of the woman will set upon him. And he will give via the deliberators. 23And if injury will be, and thou shalt give, being under being!— 24eye under eye, tooth under tooth, hand under hand, foot under foot, 25branding under branding, wound under wound, bruise under bruise.

 

26And when a man will smite the eye of his slave or the eye of his slavemaiden, and he will blind her, he will send him to freedom under his eye. 27And if a tooth of his slave or a tooth of his slavemaiden will fall, he will send him to freedom under his tooth.

 

28And when an ox will gore a man or a woman and he will die, stoning, the ox shall be stoned! And he shall not eat his flesh. And the husband of the ox is innocent. 29And if an ox—he gored from yesterday three days ago, and he was testified via his husbands, and he will not guard him, and the ox will cause- a man or a woman -to-die, he will be stoned, and also his husbands─he will-be-caused-to-die! 30And if a covering will be set upon him, and he shall give a redemption of his being as all that will be set upon him! 31Or he will gore a son, or he will gore a daughter, he will be done to him as this justice.

 

32If the ox will gore a slave or a slavemaiden, he will give silver of 30 shekels to his lords. And the ox will be stoned.

 

33And when a man will open a pit, or when a man will dig a pit, and he will not cover him, and an ox or an ass will fall ‘thereward,’ 34the husband of the pit will make peace. He will return silver to his husbands. And the dead will be to him.

 

35And when the ox of a man will attack the ox of his neighbour, and he will die, and they shall sell the living ox. And they shall halve his silver. And they shall also halve the dead. 36Or it was known that the ox—he gored from yesterday, three days ago, and his husbands will not guard {singular} him: making-peace, he shall make peace, an ox under the ox. And the dead will be to him.

 

37When a man shall steal an ox or a sheep and slaughter him or sell him, he will-make-peace: five of the herd under the ox and four of the flock under the sheep!

 

 

 

I. The Justices (verse 1)

 

Yehovah commanded Moshe to set these justices to the faces of the Israelis. How surprising to find that the first justices pertain to proper treatment of slaves!

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Why did Yehovah call these things justices? A definition of justice is rendering (that is, finally concluding and telling) a right decision based on all facts. Elohim will be telling the Israelis what justice is in each case.

 

2.     Why must these be “set to their faces” (instead of being told to them or written for them)? The Israelis must see these justices occurring in order for them to know that they are good and right. Just hearing them won’t necessarily show them that they are good or right.

 

          Also, the Israelis are in unbelief; thus, they go by sight rather than by faith. They must have Truth put right in front of them.

 

          If something good is set to their faces, they will be more likely to go after it.

 

 

 

II. Buying a Hebrew Slave (verses 2-3)

 

Israelis will purchase Hebrew slaves. (A Hebrew slave is an Israeli slave.) The slave will serve six years. In the seventh year, the slave will exit from slavery to freedom gratis—that is, without having to pay anything.

 

If the slave will come with the only possession being his own physical body, he will exit with his physical body. If, on the other hand, he is a husband of a woman, his woman will exit with him.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Who is thou in, “When thou shalt buy a Hebrew slave”? Thou is Israel. Again, whatever an individual Israeli does, all Israel does.

 

2.     What is a Hebrew slave? Anyone who is a Hebrew is descended from an ancestor named Ever (Eber in regular translations). The following text gives the genealogy from Shem, one of Noah’s sons, to Avraham:

 

          1 Chronicles 1:24 Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah, 25Ever, Peleg, Reu, 26Serug, Nahor, Terah, 27Avram; the same is Avraham.

 

          The term Hebrew later came to be used mainly for the Israelis, though it originally included other non-Israeli groups who came from Ever’s lineage. If Yehovah’s command includes all who come from Ever’s lineage, that would include descendants of Ishmael, of Moab, of Ammon, of Esau… Had Yehovah said, “When thou shalt buy an Israeli slave…,” I would have known that this command was only for Israelis. Yehovah worded it the way He meant it.

 

3.     The text states, “He will serve six years.” Can’t the time of his serving as a slave be less than six years? Yehovah could have worded this, “He will serve no more than six years,” but He didn’t word it that way. The period of six years is the maximum (unless the slave desires to become a permanent slave), but it seems that it is also the required length of time. Yehovah will give exceptions if the slave can be freed before that. Of course, if the slavemaster wants the slave to be freed before six years, he can command the slave to be freed, in which case the remainder of the six years will be under the command of freedom!

 

4.     Why did Yehovah choose six years (instead of seven or five, for examples)? This length of time is also a type—a picture of events to come.

 

          The one future event of which I am aware that lasts seven years is the Tribulation. The Israelis will be as slaves to the lusts of others for six of those years, and the seventh year will be especially when the Israelis come with freedom to Mount Zion. I don’t know of another seven-year event that this could typify at this time.

 

5.     What does gratis mean? This means without price or payment of any kind.      

 

6.     Suppose that this slave had run up a debt that is equivalent to 25,000,000 dollars; how would his being a slave for six years come anywhere near paying that debt? It wouldn’t come near paying the debt. That is exactly what Yehovah is teaching the Israelis. No matter how great the debt, that debt will be canceled after six years and in the seventh year. That is exactly what will happen to Israel. The People of Israel will have accrued a debt (will have run up a debt) that will be so large, that no amount of time would permit the Israelis to pay that debt. Yet, Yehovah will cancel that debt in the seventh year of the Tribulation; the Israelis will request forgiveness, and Yehovah will grant it; the Israelis will ask for it in Truth.

 

7.     The text states, “If he will come with his body, he will exit with his body.” How could he come without his body? This wording in Hebrew implies that he comes into this slavery position without any other possessions except his physical body.

 

8.     If he is a husband of a woman, does his woman also become a slave when he does? If his debt is great enough, she does, and so do his children!

 

9.     If he went into slavery with his children, would they also come out with him? They do!

 

10.  Suppose that an Israeli purchases a slave who isn’t a Hebrew. Will that slave also exit in the seventh year? No! That person is a slave for life, and the children of that slave are also slaves:

 

          Leviticus 25:39 And when thy brother with thee will be impoverished, and he will be sold to thee, thou shalt not slave-drive via him the slavery of a slave. 40He will be with thee as a hireling, as a resident. He will slave with thee unto the year of the flowing. 41And he will exit from with thee—he and his children with him. And he will return unto his family. And he will return unto the possession of his fathers. 42For they are my slaves—them whom I exited from the land of Egypt. Ye shall not sell the selling of a slave. 43Thou shalt not descend into him via rigour! And thou shalt fear from thy Gods! 44And thy slave and thy slavemaiden who will be to thee: Ye shall acquire a slave and a slavemaiden from them—from with the races that are around you 45and from the children of the residents, the sojourners with you. Ye shall also acquire from them who are with you and from their families who childed in your land. And they shall be to you to a grasping. 46And ye shall self-inherit them to your children after you to a possession of grasping to hider. Ye shall slave-drive via them. And thou shalt not descend into him via rigour via your brothers, sons of Israel, a man via his brothers!

 

 

 

III. Slaves Making Babies (verses 4-6)

 

A slavemaster of a Hebrew slave can give a woman to the slave to make babies. If she does become pregnant for the slavemaster, the woman and her children will be the property of the slavemaster (and not the slave who impregnated her—who got her pregnant). When the time comes for the slave to exit, he will exit with his own physical body, and not with the woman or the child that he fathered.

 

Now, if the slave will insistently say, “I loved my lords, my woman and my children! I will not exit free,” his slavemaster will ‘approach’ him unto the Elohim—unto the Gods of Israel. And he will ‘approach’ him unto the door or unto the Mezuzah (the doorpost). The slavemaster will then pierce his ear with a piercing-tool. The slave will then serve the slavemaster to Hider—he will permanently become his property. (That way, he can keep his woman and his child/children.)

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Why is lords plural? Does this refer to a slavemaster and his wife? It isn’t referring to a second human slavemaster/slavemistress. It is referring to one slavemaster/slavemistress. It is plural because the slavemaster/mistress is the boss in the many areas of the slave’s life. This is also the reason why Yehovah is so often called my Lords Yehovah in Hebrew in the Bible. Yehovah isn’t merely the Lord, but He is boss in this area and in this other area and in this other area… He is all the Lords over all things.

 

2.     If the slave’s lords will give a woman to him, does she become the slave’s wife? No! That is the point of this section: she doesn’t become his wife, and he isn’t her husband. (There is one exception to this.)

 

3.     Aren’t a man and a woman supposed to be married in the Bible before having sex and producing children? That is the rule except in this one case, and in one other case given in the Bible. A slavemaster can have a slave produce children through a woman that the slavemaster provides, and the woman and the children will not belong to the slave, but to the slavemaster unless the slave meets certain conditions (given next in the text). This is not wrong; it is perfectly right in the eyes of Yehovah.

 

          The other exception occurred with Judah and Judah’s daughter-in-law, Tamar. When Judah’s son who was married to Tamar died, Judah’s next son was responsible to take Tamar, and try to produce children to his deceased brother. He refused, and he died. Judah was afraid to give his third son to Tamar because Judah knew that the third son might also end up dead like the first two (they were evil, and Yehovah killed them). Judah cheated Tamar by promising the third son to Tamar, and not giving him to her. So, Tamar dressed up like a prostitute, and Judah had sex with her thinking she was a pagan temple whore. She became pregnant by Judah, her father-in-law, and had twins. What she did was right, and the tribe of Judah in Israel became the most notable among the tribes of Israel, the tribe that will prove to be the most Spiritual at the earliest time.

 

          Apart from these types of justices, when a man and a woman (including a girl and a boy) who are not married to anyone engage in sex together without forming marriage bonds, they are committing fornication, and fornication is sin before Yehovah. Now, since most folks do not fear Yehovah, and most folks do not believe in Yehovah and in His Messiah (Yeshua), they follow their own gods; most gods are not against fornication. Those who fear Yehovah have no business judging those who serve other gods regarding such things; the True and Living God will judge those who are outside of the faith of Yehovah. These texts in Exodus that we are considering are the Teachings of Yehovah, and not the teachings of other gods. Getting to know the Teachings of Yehovah can save lives.

 

4.     Why would a slavemaster desire a slave to produce children for the slavemaster? Children are very valuable in the Bible. I don’t mean that they are worth a lot of money; they have great abilities to benefit those around them, and they are worth all the difficulties that come with rearing children if they decide to have good character.

 

          Suppose that a slavemaster and his wife cannot have children for one reason or another; obtaining children from a slave would be an excellent and simple way to solve this problem. That is one of Yehovah’s solutions.

 

5.     What does “he will exit with his body” mean, again? He won’t take anyone with him; the woman and the children are not his.

 

6.     In what order will the slave declare his love? He starts by stating, “I loved my lords.” He then says, “… my woman …” and finally, “… my children.”

 

7.     What else must the slave declare? He must declare, “I will not exit free!” Thus, he is declaring his intention to be a slave to this slavemaster for the rest of his life.

 

8.     Under what conditions would a slave be willing to voluntarily become a permanent slave to another human? There can be many conditions, including the following:

 

  • The slave loves and trusts the slavemaster
  • The slave greatly desires to keep the woman and the children
  • The slave does much better in life with the slavemaster handling his affairs than he would do handling his own affairs
  • The slave is confident in the ability of the slavemaster to provide protection
  • The slavemaster is very good at finances and runs his holdings very well

 

 

          Many volunteered to become slaves of others in Biblical times when masters were very good to those around them.        

 

9.     Isn’t slavery evil? Slavery is evil under the following conditions:

 

  • When a person has been kidnapped for slavery purposes (as in the cases of slavery in the early United States)
  • When slaves are mistreated
  • When slaves are treated as cattle rather than as humans (made in the image of God)
  • When corrupt laws of humans cause free-born persons to become slaves
  • When slave drivers and slavemasters don’t value the lives and limitations of their slaves

 

 

          Otherwise, slavery isn’t evil; it is actually an excellent relationship that all countries in the world use and acknowledge. Marriage is voluntary slavery; every form of the military is always slavery; life-and-death forms of work are usually slavery.

 

          The military is slavery because officers can and do send men and women into life-threatening positions and assignments. They order men and women to do tasks that can easily get them killed. The military tells folks where to go, where to live, what to eat, how to dress, how to behave, etc. Even when a person retires from the military, every military can always call the retired to return to active duty. The country owns its military personnel; that ownership is for life. Thus, slavery is not automatically evil. Some thrive as slaves.

 

10.  The next verse states, “And his lords shall approach him unto the Elohim.” What does this mean, and how can this happen? The Elohim, of course, is the Gods, usually (if not always) a reference to the Messiah, and definitely a reference to the Creator. This slavemaster must bring this slave to approach the Creator.

 

          Now, the text doesn’t tell how this must be accomplished. (When I ask a question about what these things typify, you will probably see that the type will be clear.) The normal way to approach the Elohim is by coming to the altar of the Temple or Tent of Appointment. That act of coming to the altar is considered approaching Him.

 

11.  Why should he approach him unto the door, and what door is this? The text doesn’t tell what door is in mind, but the door will be made of wood, and will be hard. It will be the backdrop for ear piercing.

 

12.  What is a Mezuzah? That is the Hebrew word for a doorpost—the hard wood structure that fits around the door on the left and right upon which the door is either hinged or latched.

 

13.  What is a piercing tool? It is a tool designed to make a small but permanent hole in the lobe of the ear.

 

14.  Why must the ear be pierced? Apart from the type (that I will discuss shortly), this is usually for the placement of an earring, and if so, it shows that the man is owned as a permanent slave.

 

15.  What does “he shall serve him to Hider” mean? Since Hider refers to a time that isn’t revealed, serving to that time is serving throughout all of revealed time! The Bible reveals what will happen up to the creation of the New Earth! Thus, Hider must be beyond this present earth’s history!

 

16.  Since a human cannot serve another to Hider (due to finally becoming old and dying), what does this section of the text typify? Suppose that the slave’s lords is a type of Yehovah Himself. If this is correct, Yehovah is the one who gives a woman to the slave. She can bring forth children to him, but the woman and the children belong to Yehovah, the owner. When the slave’s time with Yehovah ends, he exits with his body. The woman who belonged to Yehovah and the children that belonged to Yehovah still belong to Yehovah; the exit of the man (I am proposing) is his death. If, however, the man declares, “I loved my lords”—that is, that he truly loved Yehovah, and, “I loved my woman and my children, I will not exit free,” his lords (supposing that this is Yehovah) will approach him unto the Elohim—that is, unto the Messiah, Yeshua. He will also approach him unto the door or unto the doorpost; the door and the doorpost are designed to keep undesired persons out. His lords (again, supposing that this is Yehovah) will pierce his ear with a piercing-tool, and I propose that this typifies the hearing of the man being opened so that he can hearken. The man who is the slave will now serve Yehovah to Hider—that is, even beyond his own death, since he will return in the resurrection of the dead to continue serving Yehovah. Since the woman and the children belonged to Yehovah, his relationship with them will also continue, though there is no marriage after death; marriage is only for this life.

 

          If what I propose is correct, this text pictures how things change when a man is born of God, opting to become a permanent slave of Yehovah and of His Messiah.

 

 

 

IV. Selling a Daughter (verses 7-9)

 

An Israeli can sell his daughter as a slavemaiden. (See questions to learn why this might occur.) This slavemaiden shall not exit (go out) as the exiting of the slaves. She must be treated differently from the other slaves.

 

If her slavemaster doesn’t look at her in a good light, and if he also didn’t betroth her (either to himself or to his son), she must be redeemed. The slavemaster is never permitted to sell her to a foreign people in the process of defrauding (dealing crookedly with her) by means of her.

 

If, on the other hand, he will betroth her to his son, he must do to her exactly what is the justice to do with daughters.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Does the man really sell his daughter to a slavemaiden? That is the Hebrew way of wording that he is selling his daughter to become a slavemaiden.

 

2.     Isn’t selling a daughter to become a slavemaiden really cold, an act of total lovelessness, and just cruel? While this could be the case, doing this among the Israelis under the Torah (Teaching) was often quite different in results. Now, if a man must sell his daughter to become a slavemaiden, it is usually because the financial situation of his family has become desperate. Now, suppose that he sells his daughter to become a slavemaiden, and the couple who purchases her has a son about her age. Suppose that this couple truly loves this hard-working and very gracious slavemaiden, and suppose that their son also does. She can easily go from being poor to being the wife over much property. In cases like this, selling her wasn’t cold, it wasn’t a loveless act, and it wasn’t cruel. It was a step up for her, giving her opportunity to demonstrate her quality of character.

 

          While every daughter-selling will not be so romantic, some of them will be, and the two families will then be bonded by a strong love for each other. Yehovah’s commands are good; they are not designed to do bad to the innocent.

 

3.     What does “she shall not-exit as the exiting of the slaves” mean? This can mean two different things; I propose that both are what is in mind.

 

          When the male slaves go out in the morning, most going into the fields to tend crops or to tend cattle, the slavemaiden is not to accompany the male slaves. Accompanying them would put her at risk of being raped and of being mistreated in various ways. She must be given safe tasks in safe places so that her time of slavery is not dangerous.

 

          Also, when the time comes for her to be freed from her slavery, she must not be sent out with just her body and her clothing; she must be accompanied and treated as a daughter.

 

4.     What does “she is bad in the eyes of her lords” mean? For one reason or another, her slavemaster (or slavemistress) just didn’t like her. Instead, he (or she) viewed her as destructive to his/her goals. This doesn’t imply that she did anything wrong. Yehovah knew that the Israelis were not born of God, and their senses of justice can be all wrong because of the hardness of their hearts.

 

          On the other hand, the slavemaiden might truly be destructive; still, she must be treated in a right manner.

 

5.     What does betroth mean? This means to seal a marriage relationship; the two involved are indeed husband and wife, but they haven’t yet come together for sexual intercourse.

 

          Betrothal can occur at any age. Parents of a son can betroth their son to the daughter of another set of parents when the son and daughter are, say, six years old. (I am speaking of another set of cultures, and not the cultures of the United States.) The children are husband and wife, but they are not old enough for many things. Later, when they are ready and mature enough, they can live under the same roof and can live as husband and wife. In the meantime, though, they are still married, and the term betrothed explains their relationship. Once they are betrothed, only divorce or death can break that relationship.

 

6.     What does “she shall be redeemed” mean? This form of redemption refers to a monetary price being paid for her release from slavery. Someone who is near of kin to her must pay the redemption, since her lords sees her as bad, and he didn’t betroth her to himself or to his son. The text doesn’t tell who must do this, but only that it must be done. (Someone who fears Yehovah, who is near of kin, and who can afford the redemption price will redeem her.)

 

7.     What does defraud mean? It means to cheat; to claim the willingness to do something, and then not do it; to fool another and then refuse to do what was promised.

 

8.     Explain “He shall not rule to sell her to a foreign people in his defrauding via her”: The slavemaster acquired her as a slavemaiden, and then he didn’t like her. He gave her the impression that she would do well under him, but instead he turned against her. He cannot rule over her to sell her to a foreign (non-Israeli) people; if he did, he would be selling her to folks outside of Israel who are not bound by the Teaching (Torah) of Yehovah, and who therefore could do with her whatever they wanted. If he were to sell her to a foreign people, he would be both violating this commandment and defrauding Israel and Yehovah by means of her! Yehovah will not be happy!

 

9.     Can this slavemaster betroth this slavemaiden to his son without her parents’ permission? During the time that she is a slavemaiden to this master, he owns her—but he owns her as a daughter. If his son is of good character, and if he is of good character, I don’t think that her parents will be against this betrothal. If the slavemaiden didn’t desire to be betrothed, she could express this; forced marriages do not usually work well. I propose that a wise slavemaster will speak with the slavemaiden’s parents, and will also speak with the slavemaiden herself to make certain that his son and this woman will work well together.

 

10.  What does “he will do to her as the justice of the daughters” mean? Doing as the justice of in the Bible means treating as—that is, doing things in the right manner that Yehovah has commanded.

 

          Justice is a right decision based on all facts. If the justice of a daughter who is about to be married includes giving her a dowry (a gift that is like an inheritance to help supply things needed during the marriage), the slavemaster must likewise give her a dowry! He must treat her exactly as if she were his natural daughter. (This is the only right way to treat a slavemaiden.)

 

 

 

V. Second Wife (verses 10-11)

 

If the son of the slavemaster who has married the slavemaiden takes another woman to himself as a second wife, he will not diminish the remainder of the woman who was both the first woman and the slavemaiden. He will not diminish her blanket-covering, and he will not diminish her cohabiting—sleeping with her. If he will not do these three to her, he will exit her without any redemption price—that is, gratis; there must be no silver exchange for her leaving.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Does the Bible permit an Israeli to have more than one wife? Yes.

 

2.     Why would Yehovah permit a man to have more than one wife? Yehovah knew that wars would leave shortages of men, and Yehovah gave most women the desire to have children. He therefore gave that option so that a woman would not have to be without a husband and a means of legitimately having children if there were not enough men.

 

3.     Can a man have more than one wife in the United States and in countries with similar cultures? No; it is against the laws of these lands. These lands are not Israel. Yehovah has commanded those who fear Him to obey the laws of the lands in which they live as long as those laws do not command citizens to violate the Scriptures.

 

4.     Isn’t taking on another wife a form of cruelty to the first wife? Work for women and men was usually very hard. A woman might be able to have slaves who worked with her, but at times, she desired to have help that was more personal, and she might have a true friend who was in need of a marriage relationship. In other words, at times, the women found this arrangement good, and they would basically run the household while their husband did his labour.

 

          In many of our cultures, such a relationship would make for terrible jealousy, frustration and even hatred. Under the conditions of the cultures in which Israel was placed, such a relationship could be very beneficial.

 

          Yehovah never permits a woman to have more than one husband; that confuses the lineages, and men are liable to kill each other in such a case.

 

          Also, Yehovah never recommended that a man have more than one wife; He permitted it, and He gave the conditions under which it could occur.

 

5.     Who is taking to himself another woman? I propose that this is the son whose father has betrothed a slavemaiden to his son.

 

6.     What does “he will not diminish her remainder” mean? If a man will take on a second wife, the man is not permitted to cut down on what the first wife (the slavemaiden) previously was given. He cannot take what is hers and share it with the second wife; mistreatment is not permitted.

 

7.     What does “he will not diminish … her blanket-covering” mean? The husband is not permitted to take blankets (or clothing) of the first wife (the slavemaiden) to give to the second wife. He is not permitted to take part of the tent or all of the tent of the first wife and give it to the second wife.

 

8.     What does “he will not diminish … her cohabiting” mean? This means that the first husband is not permitted to diminish the amount of time that he sexually sleeps with his first wife (who was a slavemaiden). He is not to position his second wife as a replacement for his first.

 

9.     Verse 11 states, “And if he will not do these three to her, and he will exit her gratis─there is no silver.” Does he send her away after living with her as a wife for a while, and then after obtaining a second wife? If the son who has been betrothed to the slavemaiden is not willing to meet these three conditions from the beginning of his coming together with this woman, the slavemaiden’s betrothal becomes a form of fraud against her. Thus, she will be immediately sent away from being a slave.

 

          If the son takes another woman before coming together with this betrothed slavemaiden, and the son isn’t willing to make the other woman second to the slavemaiden, this also is a form of fraud against the slavemaiden, and has mandated her freedom.

 

          If the son comes together with this slavemaiden to whom he is betrothed, and then later takes another woman, and he isn’t willing to do the three things commanded to the slavemaiden, he again has defrauded her (cheated her). She must be freed. (I do not know if this constitutes a divorce since the only allowable divorce is for fornication.)

 

 

 

VI. Murderer and Manslayer (verses 12-13)

 

Anyone who smites a human such that he dies, the smiter shall be likewise made to die.

 

Now, if anyone killed another, and that person didn’t stalk the one he/she killed, and the Elohim situated the victim to the hand of the one who killed him, Yehovah will put a place to Israel so that this ‘manslayer’ will flee there.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What does “The smiter of a man, and he will die” mean? This means that a man struck another man such that the other man died.

 

2.     What does “dying, he shall-be-made-to-die” mean? This means that this person must be put to death.

 

3.     Is Yehovah for capital punishment, or is He against capital punishment? Yehovah isn’t for death at all, but He commanded capital punishment for certain crimes. If He commands something, it is morally right.

 

4.     What does “the Elohim situated to his hand” mean? This means that Elohim (Gods) placed the one man (or woman) who is about to be accidentally killed into the hand of the other man (or woman) who is about to do the accidental killing. Thus, this accidental killing involves Elohim’s direct action. (Life and death are in Elohim’s hands.)

 

5.     What does “whoever did not stalk, and the Elohim situated to his hand, and I will put a place to thee that he will flee there” mean? This describes a man who didn’t stalk another person to kill him, and he didn’t plan to do so. Elohim placed the other man into the hand of the man who accidentally kills him. Elohim will designate (point out) a place for the accidental slayer so that the slayer will flee there. (He will be tried there, and if found to be an accidental slayer, he will remain there until the death of the High Priest—see Numbers 35, beginning at verse 9; you will have to read quite a few verses to see what is occurring.)

 

 

 

VII. Plotting Murderer (verse 14)

 

When a man will presume upon his neighbour (assume with arrogance in a prideful approach) to slay him via guile, Israel must take that person from being with Yehovah’s altar so that the man will die (being put to death).

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What does presume mean in the Bible? It means to assume with arrogance. Assuming anything means that one figures that it is the case without checking it out. Assuming with arrogance means pridefully figuring that something is the case without a willingness to be corrected if it isn’t the case.

 

2.     How can a person presume upon his neighbour (to slay him via guile)? This person pridefully figures that he has the right to kill his neighbour, and that his neighbour deserves being killed. Thus, this person is behaving as a judge, the jury, and the executioner.

 

3.     Why must he slay him with guile? If he doesn’t, the neighbour might be able to defend himself!

 

4.     Why did Yehovah state, “thou shalt take him from with my altar to die”? Why was the man at Yehovah’s altar? If a person accidentally kills someone, that person can flee to a city of refuge where he will be safe until he is put on trial.

 

          If a person slays another using guile, that person might also flee to a city of refuge in order to make the claim that the killing was accidental!

 

          There is one detail this murderer doesn’t know: that Yehovah knows that he did his murder with presumption and via guile! Thus, Yehovah is quite capable of showing the truth of this to the judges at the city of refuge!

 

          Now, Yehovah is indicating that the murderer has fled to the city of refuge, and that he also has taken hold of the horns of the altar (see 1 Kings 2, especially at verse 28, but read the surrounding text to see an example) in order to avoid being killed until he will give his version of what took place. Once the judges find out that the man actually murdered his neighbour, they will take the man from the horns of the altar, and they will see that he is put to death.

 

 

 

VIII. Parent Murderer (verse 15)

 

Smiting (striking) one’s father and one’s mother is a death-penalty offense; that person must be put to death.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What is a smiter of his father and his mother? This is one who strikes his father and his mother (that is, who hits them very hard, and not in play).

 

2.     Why is this a death penalty? This is also a type.

 

          First, the image of God is on these parents, and Yehovah gave these particular parents to this youth in order for these parents to benefit him. Smiting them, then, is an attack of Elohim.

 

          Secondly, these parents are a type, as proposed in the last chapter. The father, I proposed, typifies Avraham, and the mother Jerusalem. Smiting Avraham, the father of faith, and smiting Jerusalem, the free mother of all Israelis is striking out against the two by which Yehovah has brought Truth to all of Israel. That will lead to death, and not to life.

 

3.     Suppose that one’s father and mother are drowning; is smiting them in order to bring them to shore or to a ship also a death penalty? Doing what is necessary to save their lives is different, and is the right thing to do. Again, these things are types—pictures of actions and situations that are far more important. Smiting parents to save their lives is heroic.

 

 

 

IX. Kidnapper (verse 16)

 

Anyone who kidnaps another and either sells him or still has him must be put to death.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What is a stealer of a man? This is a kidnapper.

 

2.     If he sells him, how can he be found in his hand? This is describing two different cases, though it is connected by and in Hebrew. This is the way to read it: “And a stealer of a man, and he sells him; and a stealer of a man, and he will be found in his hand; dying, he shall be caused to die!” Whether the kidnapped person has been sold or not, the kidnapper will be put to death.

 

3.     Why is kidnapping a death penalty offense? This action violates ownership, destroys relationships, causes (and is) violence, and brings death. It brings the great mistreatment and murder of others as if they are worthless objects. It destroys society, causes wars, breeds bitterness, and is cruel.

 

          Yet, war is not wrong, though one can take others for slaves in a war. That is not kidnapping (according to the Bible). It is quite different from kidnapping since taking slaves in a war is acquiring very valuable acquisitions of others. A slave legitimately acquired can be so good for all involved (it can even be good for the one taken into slavery, as the Bible shows).

 

 

 

X. Light-Esteemer of Parents (verse 17)

 

Anyone who views parents with contempt as if they have little value must be put to death.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What does lightly esteem mean? It means to view and treat as of little worth and value. It is why some show contempt for their parents and treat their parents as excess baggage to be dropped off and abandoned.

 

2.     Why is lightly esteeming father and mother a death penalty offense? This shows contempt for Yehovah who gave the father and mother, since the image of God is in the father and the mother, and they were given the role of God for a while in the life of the child. Yet, the type shown by this is very important.

 

          If Avraham is the father and if Jerusalem is the mother, lightly esteeming Avraham will not only stop one from having faith (since Avraham is the father of faith), but it will also lead to contempt for fellow-Israelis who are children of Avraham. Thus, it will lead to every form of mistreatment of others. Lightly esteeming Jerusalem will stop a person from heroism during the Tribulation, and will instead cause that person to focus on self-preservation (a form of selfishness) instead of focusing on preserving others. This will be one of the reasons why Yehovah’s wrath will be against Israel! Thus, such action is worthy of the death penalty since it causes great death among the Israelis (and others).

 

 

 

XI. Fighting and Reparations (verses 18-19)

 

Israeli men will fight. If one of them smites his neighbour via a stone or via a fist, and the neighbour doesn’t die, but he does fall to bed, if he later arises and walks on his own power into the outside upon his staff, the smiter will be innocent. In the meantime, however, the smiter must pay for whoever has to care for the man and for medical bills; the smiter must make sure the man is healed.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Will Israelis fight with each other? They will until they will all be born of God. Until that occurs, some of their fights will be severe.

 

2.     Is smiting a neighbour via a stone against the Torah? I haven’t seen where that is against the Torah, but the command to love one’s neighbour as oneself is part of the Torah, and using a stone or a rock in a fight isn’t normally a good way to show love toward a neighbour. If the one who is using the stone or rock is considerably weaker or smaller than the other, that might be the advantage needed to even out the fight, but it has its risks as the text will explain.

 

3.     What does “he will fall to bed” mean? This means that the hit with the rock/stone or with the fist was great enough, that the other person has been injured and cannot get up out of bed. This is quite an injury.

 

4.     The text continues, “if he will arise and he will walk himself into the outside upon his staff …” What does this mean? This means that the person who was injured was later able to get out of bed and was able to walk without aid, using his own staff to walk. Thus, the injury wasn’t permanent or very long-lasting.

 

5.     Why will the smiter be innocent in this case? The smiter didn’t do permanent damage to the injured person.

 

6.     What does the text require the smiter to do? The text requires the smiter to “give his sitting and healing”—that is, to pay for another to sit with the injured person until the person can get up, and to pay the medical bills and medication costs until the person can get up.

 

7.     The text states, “he will cause healing!” What does this mean? This means that the smiter must bring about the healing of the injured person! This can be very expensive; it might be worthwhile for the smiter to decide to not smite with his fist or with a rock/stone!

 

8.     Suppose that both men injure each other, and both are stuck in bed for a while. Are they even? No! They each must pay for the sitter for the other, for the medical bills for the other and the medication costs for the other! Their bills and costs might not be similar!

 

 

 

XII. Smiting a Slave (verses 20-21)

 

When a slavemaster smites a male or female slave via a rod, and the slave dies under his hand, vengeance must be taken for the slave.

 

If instead the slave arises in a day or several days, no vengeance will be taken for the slave since the slave is the silver of the slavemaster.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Is an Israeli in violation of the Torah if he/she smites a slave? No; this isn’t a violation as long as there is no permanent damage from the smiting.

 

2.     In the case that a slave dies under a smiting, the text states, “avenging, he shall be avenged.” It doesn’t say what will be done. What will be done in such a case? The slavemaster will be put to death. Though the person beaten was a slave, that doesn’t diminish the crime of murder that was committed.

 

3.     Explain this: “Only if he will arise a day or days, he will-not-be-avenged. For he is his silver”: If the slave that was beaten doesn’t die, and will be able to get out of bed in a day or two days, the slave won’t be avenged; nothing will happen to the slavemaster. The reason is given: the slave is the slavemaster’s ‘silver’—that is, he is his money! If the slavemaster wants to beat a slave, and have that slave useless for a time, such that the slavemaster must take care of the slave, that is the choice of the slavemaster. (If the slavemaster damages the slave, however, another text commands what must be done.)

 

4.     Doesn’t this paragraph permit the general mistreatment of slaves? It may appear to do that, but it doesn’t. The Torah is such that all of it must be taken together; taking only parts will certainly lead to taking it wrong!

 

          Some slaves are at first very unwilling to do what they are told; and sometimes what they are told to do is good, and not bad. The slavemaster must be careful to not permanently hurt the slave, however, since another text teaches that the slave must be released from slavery under that circumstance. If slavemasters were never permitted to strike their slaves who refused to work, no one would desire to be a slavemaster since almost no slaves would voluntarily work. The Bible shows a number of slaves and slavemasters who developed a relationship with each other that included great love and trust. Besides this, anyone entering into a marriage is volunteering to be a slave; anyone entering into the military is becoming a slave; slavery is a normal part of life.

 

          Now, some slavemasters are just evil. Yehovah later gives rulings about the treatment of slaves who run away. For example, if a slave runs away and comes to the home of another Israeli, that Israeli must treat that slave well, and that Israeli is not permitted to return the slave back to the slavemaster! The slavemaster must come for the slave on his own!

 

 

 

XIII. Pregnant Woman’s Injury during a Fight (verses 22-25)

 

Israelis will physically fight. If they will smite a pregnant woman in the process of fighting, and if her children will exit (from her womb), and there won’t be injury, there will still be a monetary fine for causing this birthing at this time. The husband of the woman will set the fine, and the one who smote the woman causing the birth will pay the fine. Deliberators will decide if the fine’s size is right, and the man will give according to the deliberators.

 

If, on the other hand, there will be injury, whatever the nature of the injury is, that will be done to the man who smote the pregnant woman!

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Why would men smite a pregnant woman? Normally, this is an accident. This text doesn’t make a distinction between an accident and an intentional attack on the pregnant woman; what must be done is the same.

 

2.     Why does the text state, “and her children will exit,” instead of this: “and her child will exit”? She might be carrying twins (or more). (He children exiting means that she gave birth.)

 

3.     What does amerced mean? This means to impose a financial penalty that is not fixed by any statute. The woman’s husband (along with deliberators) will determine how much the one who struck her and caused the premature birthing must pay.

 

4.     Why does the woman’s husband (and not the woman) get to set the amount that must be paid? Some women would feel very uncomfortable having to set a price for what took place. The husband is more likely to not be stressed by such a decision. Since the woman and her husband are one flesh, and since he wasn’t directly involved, he can participate in this way without being dishonoured for setting the price high.

 

5.     What is a deliberator? This is a person who thinks things (including very difficult things) through in order to reach a good decision.

 

          Folks who participate in a jury are supposed to deliberate on what they hear in court; they are supposed to carefully weigh all testimonies given to determine who is innocent and who is guilty, and whether the evidence presented is truly convincing evidence.

 

6.     How many deliberators will be involved? The text doesn’t give this information; the reader can tell that there are at least two. That way, the decision will probably be wiser.

 

7.     What occurs if the deliberators determine that the amount declared by the husband is too high or too low? I propose that the deliberators will change the amount to reflect what they feel is wise.

 

8.     What must be done if the woman is injured? Whatever the injury of the woman is, that same injury must be done to the man who injured her! Thus, if one of the two fighting men broke her leg, the judges will appoint someone to break the leg of the guilty man!

 

9.     Why is the Torah so hard on the man who accidentally harmed the woman while fighting with another Israeli? Every Israeli is a guard (‘keeper’) of his brother and his sister. Becoming angry at one Israeli, and then hurting another in the process of getting back at that Israeli is wrong. (The Israelis could have gone to the judges instead of fighting.) Thus, the retribution (payback) must be exactly according to the damage.

 

          The Israelis will usually fear this ruling, and will be careful to stop the fight when any woman comes into the area.

 

10.  What does under mean in “eye under eye,” etc.? It means in the place of. Thus, if the fighter puts out the woman’s eye, the fighter’s eye is put out in place of her eye that was put out.

 

11.  Suppose that the injury is to the baby—what is the ruling regarding this? Since the text doesn’t specify whether the injury is to the woman or to her children, I propose that the same would be true. If the baby dies, the man who struck the woman will be put to death (if I am right about this).

 

 

 

XIV. Damaging a Slave (verses 26-27)

 

A slavemaster who will smite a slave might put out the slave’s eye. If he does, he must send the slave to freedom in the place of his/her eye. The same is true regarding a tooth.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Does it matter if putting out the eye of a slave was an accident, or was intentional? It doesn’t matter.

 

2.     Why isn’t the eye of the slavemaster put out in an ‘eye-for-an-eye’ response? There isn’t a way to tell if the slave or slavemaiden was intentionally fighting with the slavemaster in a case where the slavemaster was truly being kind and very reasonable (even if there were witnesses, since things can be made to look like they are not). The slave/master relationship can start out being very adversarial (that is, with the slave seeing the slavemaster as a terrible enemy, and the slavemaster seeing the slave as doing everything to not participate in work that needs to be done). If there were danger of kind-for-kind retribution in such cases, a slave could intentionally receive payment to have his own eye put out, and then to claim that the slavemaster did it. This would make holding slaves very dangerous for even the best and kindest of slavemasters. Yehovah has limited the damage response to losing the slave.

 

3.     Supposing that both eyes are put out; wouldn’t sending the slave or slavemaiden to freedom be cruel, since he/she cannot do anything much for quite a while? Once the slave is free in Israel, the Israelis have other commands that take care of such cases. The Israelis must take care of their brethren who become poor.

 

4.     Only the blinding of an eye or the falling of a tooth is mentioned. Suppose that the little toe of the slave is broken; what must be done in that case? This must be asked: will the toe heal? The eye won’t, and the tooth won’t. If the toe won’t heal, the slave must be freed. If the toe will, the slave won’t be freed. (Time will tell.) Now, if the slavemaster causes the slave to lose a toe or a finger, the slave must be freed.

 

5.     Why does Yehovah pick things like the losing of a tooth when they are so minor compared to other things, and when the Torah is truly so short (in contrast to other bodies of ‘law’ in other lands)? Yehovah gave rulings in order to keep lives from being lost.

 

          Suppose that Yehovah had not covered this issue of slaves. Now, supposing that a man in Israel had a sister whom he loved, and who was married to a man who became poor. Suppose that the man with the sister couldn’t afford to pay for her freedom. Now, suppose that she had a tooth knocked out during an angry response of her slavemaster, and the slavemaster still kept her as a slave. Her brother, who loves her a great deal, might go to find the slavemaster, and might intentionally knock out three of his teeth. His kinfolks, hearing about this, might get together to go after this brother and his kin… This would begin a feud and much bloodshed. Thus, Yehovah ruled on such things so that like things could also be judged by judges, and so that feuding would be far less likely to occur, thus saving lives.

 

 

 

XV. A Goring Ox (verses 28-31)

 

An ox that gores a man or a woman to death must be stoned. No one is permitted to eat the flesh of the ox. The husband (ox owner and handler) is innocent.

 

On the other hand, if the ox gored yesterday or even three days ago, and someone testified this to the ox’s husbands (handlers), and the husband will not guard the ox, and the ox will cause a man or a woman to die, the ox will be stoned, and the ox’s husbands—he will also be put to death!

 

If a covering will be set upon the husband, the husband will give a redemption of his being according to all that will be set upon him!

 

If the ox will gore a son or a daughter, this same justice will be done to the husband.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Why must the ox be stoned to death instead of just being slaughtered? The ox has acted as a type—as if the ox were a group that committed murder! Therefore, the ox is treated as a murdering group and is stoned to death. The outrage of the Israeli community must be shown against this animal. This will also cause other oxen owners to fear so that they will be far more careful to keep their oxen from harming others. (An ox is very valuable; losing one is a great loss.) If the ox is stoned, it cannot be used for food.

 

2.     Who is he in, “And he shall not eat his flesh”? This refers to the owner, and to any Israeli (or sojourner).

 

3.     What does “the husband of the ox is innocent” mean? The husband of the ox is either the owner or the person taking care of the ox. That person didn’t do anything wrong since this is the first incident of the ox goring.

 

4.     What does “he gored from yesterday three days ago” mean? This means that the ox tried to ram someone with its horns yesterday, or three days ago, or sometime in the past (it could be two months ago!).

 

5.     Explain “he was testified via his husbands”: Someone told the husbands of the ox—that is, the ox tender(s) who take(s) care of the ox—that the ox has a tendency to try to gore humans, and that the animal is dangerous. If the husbands received this information, it changes everything!

 

6.     The text states, “and he will not guard him.” Does the husband of the ox refuse to guard the ox? Suppose that the husband was willing, but just couldn’t guard the ox for a short time; doesn’t that mean that he will guard him? The statement, “and he will not guard him,” has nothing to do with his willingness in his mind; it has everything to do with whether or not he has taken precautions and measures to make sure that the ox never has opportunity to gore anyone. If the husband permits the ox to take any opportunity to gore another person, that husband isn’t guarding the ox!

 

7.     Why must the husbands also be caused to die even if the ox broke down a fence (say), and then gored a man? The husbands knew very well of the danger. He could easily have had the ox dehorned! (A dehorned ox cannot gore; it can kick and stomp, but it can’t gore.) The owner could also have traded the ox to a butcher, and used the proceeds to purchase a more docile (quieter and calmer) ox.

 

          Once an Israeli knows the danger, and that Israeli is always his brother’s and sister’s keeper, that Israeli is responsible to take action, and to do it right away!

 

8.     How will the husband of the ox be caused to die? The text doesn’t say. Stoning would be appropriate, in some cases!

 

9.     The next verse states, “And if a covering will be set upon him…” What does this mean? Since the covering is connected to a redemption, I propose that this covering will keep the husband from being killed, and the redemption is what the husband must pay because of the death that the animal he was tending has caused.

 

10.  Under what circumstances might a covering keep the husband of the ox that gored from being put to death? I thought of several, and I suspect that you also can think of several circumstances. Here is one: Suppose that the owner of the ox didn’t know that the ox tended to gore humans. Now, suppose that the owner traveled to a distant part of Israel. In the meantime, while he is gone, he receives a communication from the person he put in charge to watch his oxen, and this communication tells him that his ox tried to gore one of the cowboys. This owner now knows, but he is still a distance from being home. Suppose he writes a communication back, telling the person in charge of the ox to keep the ox carefully tied up until he gets back, because he intends to use the ox in some form of work in which the ox won’t be dangerous. Now, the one in charge of the ox is the husband of the ox while the owner is out of town. He receives the note, and he carefully ties up the ox. In the meantime, the ox breaks loose. A cowboy is passing through the field, and the ox goes after him; the ox gores the cowboy, who then dies. Now, the husband of the ox tried to restrain him, and the owner told the husband of the ox to restrain him. The judges hear this case, and they put a covering on both men. They can’t blame the husband of the ox because the owner didn’t permit him to destroy the animal; they can’t blame the owner because the owner gave specific directions to keep the ox tied. Thus, I propose that the judges will set a covering upon the husband of the ox—the man hired, and he must give a redemption of his own being according to whatever is set upon him because though the ox escaped, it was his responsibility to make sure that the ox didn’t escape. If the man isn’t married, and if the cowboy was married, and she is now a widow, she might insist that his redemption be that he will take her husband’s place, and become her husband!

 

11.  Why is verse 31 necessary? If the ox (that has gored before) gores a child, someone might think that the child was foolish for being in the area of the ox, and that it was an accident. The Torah doesn’t permit this view; the ox was already dangerous, and it is up to the husband of the ox to make certain that the ox doesn’t hurt anyone!

 

12.  How could this justice be the means of making a proper law regarding someone who drives after having become a little drunk, and kills someone? While these Teachings are designed for the Israelis in the Land of Israel, the correctness and the justice of these teachings will sometimes be wise considerations when making laws in other countries and cultures.

 

          For example, here is a way that a law could be constructed in another country that would resemble this: Suppose that a person who has never been tipsy or drunk before becomes tipsy, and then drives. If that person hits and kills another person, manslaughter has taken place, and the laws regarding manslaughter should be enforced.

 

          Now, suppose that the person had previously become tipsy or drunk, and drove the car. This person now drives drunk again, and kills someone. This person should be held for murder since the person already has shown the tendency to drink and then drive, and also to be dangerous to others. Thus, this person should be put to death. (Of course, most places are doing away with capital punishment because of terrible justice inconsistencies that have put innocent folks to death, and because there isn’t the view that the image of God is on each person, making capital punishment both right and necessary when there is valid proof of murder.)

 

 

 

XVI. Ox Goring a Slave (verse 32)

 

If the ox will gore a male or female slave, the husband will give 30 shekels of silver to the slavemaster, and the ox will be stoned.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     Thirty shekels isn’t much at all—the equivalent of perhaps $50. Why is this all that occurs from an ox goring of a human? The text assumes that the reader realizes that this ox wasn’t previously known to try to gore and ram humans. This exchange of currency is more than what would have been exchanged if the person had not been a slave, since there would have been no monetary compensation or compensation of any kind. This ox goring destroyed the property of another: a slave. The 30 shekels should remind readers who have read the entire Bible of another incident in which this price was exchanged. (See Zechariah 11:12-13, Matthew 26:15, and Matthew 27:3-9.) This is the price of a slave.

 

2.     What will occur if the ox of a master kills that master’s slave? He cannot pay himself; he has lost a slave.

 

 

 

XVII. An Open Pit (verses 33-34)

 

When a man opens or digs a pit, it is up to the man to provide a cover for the pit that will keep humans and large animals from falling into the pit. If the man who opens or digs the pit doesn’t provide such a cover, and an ox or an ass falls into the pit, the husband of the pit (the one who is responsible for the pit being opened or dug) will make peace. He will return silver to the husbands of the dead animal; he will now own the dead animal.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What does this text mean by cover him? It refers to placing something over the entire hole so that even a large animal cannot fall into this hole. (Of course, the man could put a fence around the hole, but that would defeat the purpose.)

 

2.     What is the purpose of digging such a hole? There can be a number of reasons. It might be to start a well; it might be to trap deer or similar animals; it might be to catch a lion; it might be to look for minerals or for valuable items in the ground that can be used for various purposes; it might be to catch rainwater… Regardless of its purpose, if an ox or ass owned by someone else falls into this pit, the one who dug the pit must compensate (pay out for damages).

 

3.     Suppose that the animal falls into the pit, but isn’t hurt; must the one who dug the pit pay something? This text assumes that the animal that fell into the pit was harmed or killed. If the animal isn’t harmed or killed, the one who dug the pit must get the animal out of the pit.

 

4.     What does “thereward” mean? This is a coined word(a made-up word) that means toward there—toward the pit (the bottom of the pit), in this case.

 

5.     What does “the husband of the pit will make peace” mean? The husband of the pit is the one who dug the pit. (This could easily be a worker who was told to dig the pit.) This person must make peace—that is, must pay a reasonable price for the damages so that theowner of the harmed or dead animal doesn’t feel as if he had been cheated regarding the actual value of the animal.

 

6.     Suppose that the animal that was harmed or killed was a pet or a prize animal to the owner; how would peace be made? In very difficult cases like that, where the owner has a value on the animal that is far above any market price (the price that would normally be paid for the animal at a place where animals are sold), the judges in the city gates will hear, and will determine what must be done.

 

          There are some folks with whom peace just cannot be made; they will insist on being unreasonable no matter what. Some of them try to make a huge profit from such a case. The judges at the gate will hear such cases, and they will force a peace on that man even if he doesn’t like it; the peace that must be made also has Yehovah in mind!

 

7.     What does “He will return silver to his husbands” mean? This means that he won’t give an animal for an animal, but will instead pay a price in silver (it doesn’t say, in gold).

 

8.     Why must the price be in silver? Why didn’t the text specify that silver or gold could be used? All of these texts are types—pictures of things that are even more important. Silver is a picture of redemption in the Bible. To redeem (with this kind of redemption) is to pay a price in order to bring a person from some sort of a held state—like being held as a hostage, as a slave, as a prisoner, etc. The one paying the silver is thus redeeming the dead animal! The dead animal therefore becomes “to him” (becomes his).

 

9.     Suppose that he doesn’t want the dead animal; can he leave the animal in the pit, and cover it? He can do whatever he wants with the animal. He cannot tell the previous owner to come and get it! It is now the property of the one who dug the pit, and it is also his problem!

 

10.  If the animal is an ox, and it just recently fell into the pit and died, can the new owner eat the animal? Yes!

 

 

 

XVIII. Ox Duel (verses 35-36)

 

If one ox of one man attacks another ox of a neighbour, and the neighbour’s ox dies, both men must sell the living ox. They must then halve the silver for the ox. They will also halve the dead ox.

 

If it was known that the ox gored yesterday or even three days ago, and his husbands will not guard the ox, that owner must make peace, replacing the ox with one of his own oxen (or acquiring an equivalent ox for the victim’s husband). The owner of the goring ox will now own the dead ox.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What must they do if an ox attacks and kills two oxen of his neighbour? If no one knew that the ox showed this behaviour before, the living ox must be sold, and half its value must be given to the owner of the dead oxen; and half the price of another ox of equal value must be given by the husband of the ox that gored; and both dead animals must be halved between the husband and the owner of the dead oxen. It will come out equal for both.

 

          If the oxen’s reputation as a gorer was already established, however, peace must be made, and the two dead oxen will then belong to the husband of the goring ox. This could become quite expensive! 

 

 

 

XIX. Animal Theft (verse 37)

 

A sheepstealer or an ox thief who slaughters or sells the animal must make peace with the owner. Making peace includes this: he must give five animals of the herd in the place of the ox, and four of the flock in the place of the sheep!

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.     What must be done to a man who steals an ox or a sheep, and is found with the animal alive and unsold? I can only propose an equitable solution, since I don’t know. I propose that instead of five of the herd, he will return the ox with four other oxen; instead of four of the flock, he will return the sheep with three other sheep.

 

2.     What will happen to the thief if he cannot cover these costs? He will become a slave of the man or woman from whom he tried to steal. If the man or woman doesn’t want him, the man or woman can sell him to another Israeli who can deal with such a person with ease.

 

3.     Why are the rates for oxen and sheep different—that is, five of the herd under the ox, and four of the flock under the sheep? Stealing an ox is stealing an Israelis tractor! It is taking away not only an animal that could be eaten, but also one that can be used to farm and raise crops! Therefore, the theft was much more severe than the theft of a sheep.

 

          (Now, if that sheep were like a daughter, that is a very different case, again! In such a case, the judges will determine what to do. King David almost ordered the death of a man who took the only sheep of another man; King David almost ordered his own death! See 2 Samuel 12!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exodus 20 Ten Statements

Ten Statements

 

 

Background and printed text: Exodus 20

 

Exodus 20:1 And Elohim spoke all these speeches to say,

 

2 “I am Yehovah thy Gods Who exited thee from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves!

 

3 “He shall not be to thee—other gods—upon my faces! 4Thou shalt not make to thee an engraved-[image] and every picture that is in the heavens from above and that is in the land from under and that is in the waters from under to the land. 5Thou shalt not prostrate to them. And thou shalt not serve them. For I am Yehovah thy Gods, a jealous mighty-[One] visiting iniquity of fathers upon children upon thirds and upon fourths to my haters, 6And doing Grace to thousands—to my lovers and to guards of my commandments!

 

7 “Thou shalt not carry Name Yehovah Thy Gods to a vanity! For Yehovah will not clear whoever will carry His Name to a vanity!

 

8 “Remember-thou Day of the Ceasing to sanctify him! 9Thou shalt slave and do all thine errand six days. 10And Day the seventh is a ceasing to Yehovah thy Gods. Thou shalt not do any errand—thou and thy son and thy daughter, thy slave and thy female-slave and thy cattle and thy sojourner who is in thy gates. 11For, six days Yehovah did the heavens and the land, the sea and all that is in them. And He ceased in Day the seventh. Yehovah therefore blessed Day the seventh, and He sanctified him!

 

12 “Glorify thy father and thy mother so-that thy days will lengthen upon the soil that Yehovah thy Gods gave to thee.

 

13 “Thou shalt not murder.

 

“Thou shalt not commit-adultery.

 

“Thou shalt not steal.

 

“Thou shalt not answer via thy neighbour, a witness of a lie.

 

14 “Thou shalt not covet a house of thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet a woman of thy neighbour and his slave and his female-slave and his ox and his ass and any that is to thy neighbour.”

 

15And all the people, they are seeing the voices and the torches and a voice of the shofar! And the mountain is smoke! And the people saw. And they tottered. And they stood from a distance. 16And they said unto Draw [Moshe], “Speak thou with us! And we hearkened! And Elohim will not speak with us lest we will die!”

 

17And Draw [Moshe] said unto the people, “Don’t fear-ye. For the Elohim came in order to test you and in order that His fear will be upon your faces so-that-ye-shall-not-sin!”

 

18And the people stood from a distance. And Draw [Moshe] neared unto the neck-falling-darkness where there is the Elohim.

 

19And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe], “So thou shalt say unto children of Israel, ‘Ye, ye saw that I spoke with you from the heavens! 20Ye shall not make with me gods of silver! And ye shall not make gods of gold to you! 21Thou shalt make an altar of soil to me. And thou shalt sacrifice thine ascensions and thy ‘peaces,’ thy flock and thy herd upon him. I will come unto thee in each place that I will remind my Name. And I will bless thee. 22And if thou wilt make an altar of stones to me, thou shalt not build them a cutting. For thou did swing thy sword upon her, and thou profaned her! 23And thou shalt not ascend upon my altar via steps so-that thy nakedness will not-be-exposed upon him!’”

 

 

 

I. All These Speeches (verse 1)

 

Elohim spoke all these speeches. This section shows what all the speeches said.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Who is Elohim?

 

2.    How many speeches are given in these texts?

 

3.    This speech of verse 1 states, “Elohim spoke all these speeches to say.” What are these speeches saying?

 

4.    To whom did Elohim speak all these speeches?

 

 

 

II. The First Statement: The Identity of Yehovah (verse 2)

 

Yehovah identified Himself: “I am Yehovah thy Gods.” He said what He did: “… Who exited thee from the land of Egypt (Double-Adversity)…” He also did this: “… Who exited thee from the house of slaves!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does the name Yehovah mean?

 

2.    Why does the text state, “Yehovah thy Gods instead of “Yehovah thy God”?

 

3.    Why does Yehovah identify Himself as the Gods “who exited thee from the land of Egypt,” of all the different ways that He could describe Himself?

 

4.    What does house of slaves mean?

 

5.    Who is thee in, “Who exited thee?”

 

6.    Why did Yehovah exit Israel from the land of Egypt?

 

 

 

III. The Second Statement: NO Other Gods (verses 3-6)

 

Yehovah stated very specifically: “He shall not be to thee—other gods—upon my faces!”

 

He then added details: “Thou shalt not make to thee an engraved-[image].”

 

“Thou shalt not make to thee every picture that is in the heavens from above.”

 

“Thou shalt not make to thee every picture that is in the land from under.”

 

“Thou shalt not make to thee every picture that is in the waters from under to the land.”

 

Yehovah then commanded what not to do:

 

“Thou shalt not prostrate to them.”

 

“And thou shalt not serve them.”

 

He then gave the reasons:

 

“For I am Yehovah thy Gods, a jealous mighty-[One].”

 

What does a jealous mighty One do?

 

“…visiting iniquity of fathers upon children upon thirds and upon fourths to my haters…”

 

He also does beneficial things:

 

“…And doing Grace to thousands to my lovers and to guards of my commandments!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Why did Yehovah word this, “He shall not be to thee—other gods—upon my faces,” instead of wording it this way: “Other gods shall not be to thee upon my faces”?

 

2.    Why does He say, “upon my faces”?

 

3.    Why does the text read, “upon my faces,” instead of, “upon my face”?

 

4.    What is an engraved image?

 

5.    Is Yehovah commanding the Israelis to refrain from every carving and sculpture?

 

6.    Is this text commanding the Israelis to never make any pictures?

 

7.    What would an engraving or a picture look like if it is “in the heavens from above”?

 

8.    What is “the land from under”?

 

9.    Does this command prohibit making photographs?

 

10. What are the “waters from under to the land”?

 

11. Are only pictures of these gods and goddesses prohibited?

 

12. What does prostrate mean?

 

13. What does “Thou shalt not prostrate to them” mean?

 

14. What is involved in serving them?

 

15. Do folks today serve false gods and goddesses?

 

16. Who is thou in, “Thou shalt not prostrate to them”?

 

17. Is this command only to whom you identified in the answer above?

 

18. What is the reason Yehovah gives for not prostrating to or serving false gods?

 

19. Isn’t being jealous very childish?

 

20. In what way is Yehovah jealous?

 

21. What is iniquity?

 

22. What does visiting iniquity upon someone mean?

 

23. Is Yehovah doing right by visiting the iniquity of fathers upon children? Should children be held responsible for what their fathers did?

 

24. What is Grace?

 

25. What does doing Grace mean?

 

26. What is a ‘lover’ of Yehovah?

 

27. What is a guard of Yehovah’s commandments?

 

 

 

IV. The Third Statement: Carrying the Name to a Vanity (verse 7)

 

Yehovah commanded, but He spoke of Himself in the third person (as if He were speaking of another being): “Thou shalt not carry Name Yehovah Thy Gods to a vanity!” (A vanity includes a false god; see the questions.)

 

He then gave the threat, but again in the third person, as if He were speaking of another: “For Yehovah will not clear whoever will carry His Name to a vanity!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What is a vanity in the Bible?

 

2.    What does “Thou shalt not carry Name Yehovah Thy Gods to a vanity” mean?

 

3.    What does Yehovah say that He will do to anyone who carries this Name to a vanity?

 

4.    Most translations give the impression that using God’s name in vain is what this command about. This gives the impression that this command is against cussing/swearing using His name. Is this also correct?

 

 

 

V. The Fourth Statement: the Day of Ceasing (verses 8-11)

 

The commands continued as if Yehovah were not the speaker, since they are not in the first person (“I,” “my” or “me”), but in the third person (“He,” “His” or “Him”). “Remember-thou Day of the Ceasing to sanctify him!”

 

Yehovah then gives the directions: “Six days thou shalt slave and do all thine errand. And Day the seventh is a ceasing to Yehovah thy Gods. Thou shalt not do any errand—thou and thy son and thy daughter, thy slave and thy female-slave and thy cattle and thy sojourner who is in thy gates.”

 

He gives the reason: “For six days Yehovah did the heavens and the land, the sea and all that is in them. And he ceased in Day the seventh.”

 

“Yehovah therefore blessed Day the seventh, and He sanctified him!”

 

Questions

 

1.    What is this Day of Ceasing?

 

2.    What do the Days of Ceasing picture?

 

3.    What does sanctify mean?

 

4.    How can one sanctify a Day of Ceasing?

 

5.    How many days of the week is Israel assigned to work?

 

6.    Why must Israel slave? What does this mean?

 

7.    What is an errand, and how does this differ from work?

 

8.    Why is errand singular (“all thine errand”)?

 

9.    Why is Day the seventh a ceasing to Yehovah instead of being a ceasing to Israel?

 

10. Why mustn’t Israel do any errand, including even a sojourner who is in Israel’s gates?

 

11. What did Yehovah do for the six days mentioned in verse 11?

 

12. What does bless mean, and how did Yehovah bless Day the seventh?

 

13. How did Yehovah sanctify him, and who is him?

 

 

 

VI. The Fifth Statement: Glorification and a Prolonged Stay (verse 12)

 

Yehovah commanded one being (described by thy) to glorify this being’s father and mother. He gave the reason: “so-that thy days will lengthen upon the soil that Yehovah thy Gods gave to thee.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does glorify mean?

 

2.    Who is thy in, “Glorify thy father and thy mother…”?

 

3.    If the answer to the above text is true, identify the father and the mother:

 

4.    How will glorifying Avraham lengthen Israel’s days upon the soil that Yehovah, Israel’s Gods, gave to Israel?

 

5.    How will glorifying Jerusalem lengthen Israel’s days upon the soil that Yehovah, Israel’s Gods, gave to Israel?

 

6.    Has Yehovah given the soil of the Land of Israel to the Israelis?

 

 

 

VII. The Sixth Statement: Don’t Murder (verse 13)

 

Again speaking to one being, Yehovah commanded, “Thou shalt not murder.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What is murder?

 

2.    Who is being commanded to not murder?

 

 

 

VIII. The Seventh Statement: Don’t Commit Adultery (verse 13)

 

He then commanded to this one being, “Thou shalt not commit-adultery.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What is adultery?

 

2.    Who is being commanded to not commit adultery in this text?

 

3.    With whom might Israel as a whole commit adultery?

 

4.    Is Israel as a whole committing adultery right now?

 

 

 

IX. The Eighth Statement: Don’t Steal (verse 13)

 

Yehovah told this one being, “Thou shalt not steal.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Who is being told to not steal?

 

2.    From whom could Israel steal?

 

 

 

X. The Ninth Statement: Don’t Answer as a Witness of a Lie (verse 13)

 

Yehovah commanded against answering a question by means of a neighbour such that the person answering is a witness of a lie.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does “Thou shalt not answer via thy neighbour, a witness of a lie” mean, and how does it differ from “Thou shalt not answer, a witness of a lie”?

 

2.    Is lying as a witness ever right?

 

3.    How else can Israel answer via Israel’s neighbour, a witness of a lie?

 

 

 

XI. The Tenth Statement: Coveting What Can’t Be Obtained (verse 14)

 

Yehovah commanded against coveting particular items: a house of one’s neighbour, a woman of one’s neighbour, a male slave of one’s neighbour, a female slave of one’s neighbour, an ox of one’s neighbour, an ass of one’s neighbour, and any item that is holy to one’s neighbour.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does covet mean?

 

2.    Who is thou in, “Thou shalt not covet…”?

 

3.    If the answer above is correct, what is wrong with Israel coveting a house of Israel’s neighbour?

 

4.    What is wrong with coveting a neighbour’s woman?

 

5.    If the neighbour has a slave, can’t the slave be purchased if the one who is coveting can afford the price?

 

6.    Can Israel go to war with neighbours, and take property (including slaves and women for wives) from the neighbours?

 

 

 

XII. Terror of Dying (verses 15-16)

 

All the people of Israel are seeing the voices! They see the torches, and they see the voice of the shofar! The mountain is smoke. Upon seeing these things, the people tottered, and they stood from a distance!

 

The Israelis then said unto Moshe, “Speak thou with us!” They guaranteed, “And we hearkened!” They then requested, “And Elohim will not speak with us lest we will die!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    How can all the people see voices, including the voice of the shofar?

 

2.    What torches were there?

 

3.    What do torches do, and why were they there with Elohim?

 

4.    If the above answer is correct regarding the torches, what do the voices do, and why did Elohim send the sounds of the voices?

 

5.    What is a shofar?

 

6.    What does “the mountain is smoke” mean?

 

7.    Why did the people totter, and what does that mean?

 

8.    What did the Israelis do as they tottered?

 

9.    What did the Israelis desire Moshe to do, and why?

 

10. Would they have died if Elohim had continued to speak with them?

 

 

 

XIII. The Test and Sin-Preventing Fear (verse 17)

 

Moshe responded by saying unto the people, “Don’t fear-ye.” He explained, “For the Elohim came in order to test you.” That wasn’t the only reason, however; He also came “in order that His fear will be upon your faces;” that fear was intentional. That way, the Israelis won’t sin!

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What good did Moshe’s telling them to not fear do? Does telling fearful folks to not fear do any good?

 

2.    What is the purpose of a test from Elohim?

 

3.    What are the two reasons given for Elohim coming (to Mount Sinai)?

 

4.    What does fear being upon a person’s face have to do with not sinning?

 

5.    Does anyone show a fear of Elohim on his/her faces today?

 

 

 

XIV. Neck-Falling Darkness (verse 18)

 

The people of Israel still stood from (at) a distance. Moshe neared unto the darkness where Elohim was. It was ‘neck-falling’ darkness.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Why does the text again state, “And the people stood from a distance”?

 

2.    Why is the darkness described as neck-falling?

 

3.    Why did Moshe approach this? Wasn’t he afraid?

 

4.    Does Elohim show up in great darkness elsewhere in the Bible?

 

5.    What is the benefit of Elohim’s appearing in neck-falling darkness?

 

 

 

XV. Against Idolatry (verses 19-23)

 

Yehovah now gave Moshe more things to say unto the children of Israel. Yehovah started with what He did: “Ye, ye saw that I spoke with you from the heavens!”

 

Since Yehovah is therefore right there with them, He commanded, “Ye shall not make with me gods of silver!”

 

He also commanded against making gods of gold to (for) themselves.

 

Now, He commanded them to make one item: “Thou shalt make an altar of soil to me.” He gave its purposes: “And thou shalt sacrifice thine ascensions and thy ‘peaces,’ thy flock and thy herd upon him.”

 

How will Yehovah respond? “I will come unto thee in each place that I will remind my Name. And I will bless thee.”

 

He didn’t command against a stone altar, but He gave one restriction: “And if thou wilt make an altar of stones to me, thou shalt not build them a cutting. For thou did swing thy sword upon her, and thou profaned her!”

 

There was one other restriction regarding an altar: “And thou shalt not ascend upon my altar via steps so-that thy nakedness will not-be-exposed upon him!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Did Moshe now see Elohim (since Moshe just entered into the neck-falling darkness)?

 

2.    Yehovah told Moshe to tell the children of Israel, “Ye, ye saw that I spoke with you from the heavens!” Did Yehovah speak to them from the heavens, or did He speak to them from Mount Sinai?

 

3.    Why did He speak with them from the heavens instead of appearing on the land where they were?

 

4.    What does Yehovah’s speaking with them from the heavens have to do with their not making gods of silver with Him and not making gods of gold to them?

 

5.    Yehovah said two different things: “Ye shall not make with me gods of silver” and “Ye shall not make gods of gold to you.” What is the difference between the two besides the metal from which the gods are made?

 

6.    Why did Yehovah specify that the altar must be made of soil?

 

7.    What is an ascension, and how is it sacrificed?

 

8.    What are ‘peaces,’ and how are they sacrificed?

 

9.    Why did Yehovah specify, “thou shalt sacrifice … thy flock and thy herd upon them” when that is obvious?

 

10. Yehovah next stated, “I will come unto thee in each place that I will remind my Name.” What does He mean by “remind my Name,” what places are these, and what will Yehovah do?

 

11. Yehovah mentioned two types of sacrifices: the ascension and the peaces. Why didn’t He also include the various sin sacrifices?

 

12. Why will Yehovah bless Israel?

 

13. What does “build them a cutting” mean?

 

14. What is wrong with cutting the stones into shapes in order to make a pretty altar to Yehovah?

 

15. What nakedness will be exposed if Israel ascends upon Yehovah’s altar via steps?

 

16. What is wrong with nakedness? Doesn’t Yehovah have the ability to see through all garments, and didn’t He design the human body in the first place?

 

 

 

Exodus 20 Ten Statements QA

Ten Statements

With Questions and Proposed Answers

 

 

Background and printed text: Exodus 20

 

Exodus 20:1 And Elohim spoke all these speeches to say,

 

2 “I am Yehovah thy Gods Who exited thee from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves!

 

3 “He shall not be to thee—other gods—upon my faces! 4Thou shalt not make to thee an engraved-[image] and every picture that is in the heavens from above and that is in the land from under and that is in the waters from under to the land. 5Thou shalt not prostrate to them. And thou shalt not serve them. For I am Yehovah thy Gods, a jealous mighty-[One] visiting iniquity of fathers upon children upon thirds and upon fourths to my haters, 6And doing Grace to thousands—to my lovers and to guards of my commandments!

 

7 “Thou shalt not carry Name Yehovah Thy Gods to a vanity! For Yehovah will not clear whoever will carry His Name to a vanity!

 

8 “Remember-thou Day of the Ceasing to sanctify him! 9Thou shalt slave and do all thine errand six days. 10And Day the seventh is a ceasing to Yehovah thy Gods. Thou shalt not do any errand—thou and thy son and thy daughter, thy slave and thy female-slave and thy cattle and thy sojourner who is in thy gates. 11For, six days Yehovah did the heavens and the land, the sea and all that is in them. And He ceased in Day the seventh. Yehovah therefore blessed Day the seventh, and He sanctified him!

 

12 “Glorify thy father and thy mother so-that thy days will lengthen upon the soil that Yehovah thy Gods gave to thee.

 

13 “Thou shalt not murder.

 

“Thou shalt not commit-adultery.

 

“Thou shalt not steal.

 

“Thou shalt not answer via thy neighbour, a witness of a lie.

 

14 “Thou shalt not covet a house of thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet a woman of thy neighbour and his slave and his female-slave and his ox and his ass and any that is to thy neighbour.”

 

15And all the people, they are seeing the voices and the torches and a voice of the shofar! And the mountain is smoke! And the people saw. And they tottered. And they stood from a distance. 16And they said unto Draw [Moshe], “Speak thou with us! And we hearkened! And Elohim will not speak with us lest we will die!”

 

17And Draw [Moshe] said unto the people, “Don’t fear-ye. For the Elohim came in order to test you and in order that His fear will be upon your faces so-that-ye-shall-not-sin!”

 

18And the people stood from a distance. And Draw [Moshe] neared unto the neck-falling-darkness where there is the Elohim.

 

19And Yehovah said unto Draw [Moshe], “So thou shalt say unto children of Israel, ‘Ye, ye saw that I spoke with you from the heavens! 20Ye shall not make with me gods of silver! And ye shall not make gods of gold to you! 21Thou shalt make an altar of soil to me. And thou shalt sacrifice thine ascensions and thy ‘peaces,’ thy flock and thy herd upon him. I will come unto thee in each place that I will remind my Name. And I will bless thee. 22And if thou wilt make an altar of stones to me, thou shalt not build them a cutting. For thou did swing thy sword upon her, and thou profaned her! 23And thou shalt not ascend upon my altar via steps so-that thy nakedness will not-be-exposed upon him!’”

 

 

 

I. All These Speeches (verse 1)

 

Elohim spoke all these speeches. This section shows what all the speeches said.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Who is Elohim? The title, Elohim literally means gods. This is plural; yet it is singular when used of the Creator described in the first chapters of Genesis. While Elohim refers to Yehovah, it specifically refers to the One Who is sent from Yehovah to interact with Israel and with others. He is both Yehovah and with Yehovah. Thus, this is the Messiah Himself.

 

2.    How many speeches are given in these texts? There are many speeches. Each speech gives a different teaching, and each teaching has at least one saying, and often many sayings. (A speech is made of a group of sayings.) The Ten Statements given in this chapter have at least ten speeches, and the chapter contains more. Since the Bible was never originally divided into chapters and verses, the speeches to which Elohim is referring don’t stop or start with this chapter.

 

3.    This speech of verse 1 states, “Elohim spoke all these speeches to say.” What are these speeches saying? This information is given later by the same One who gave these speeches (that is, by Elohim):

 

Matthew 22:34 But the Pharisees, having heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, were gathered together. 35And one of them, a doctor of the Torah, questioned Him, tempting Him and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Torah?” 37And Yeshua said to him, “Thou shalt love Yehovah thy Gods with all thy heart and with all thy being, and with all thy very much! 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40All the Torah and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 

       The Book of Mark gives this event in a more complete way:

 

Mark 12:28 And one of the scribes came. And having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” 29And Yeshua answered him, “The first of all the commandments is, ‘Hearken Israel! Yehovah, our Gods, Yehovah is One! 30And thou shalt love Yehovah thy God with all thy heart and with all thy being and with all thy mind and with all thy strength!’ This is the first commandment. 31And the second is like this: thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There isn’t another commandment greater than these.” 32And the scribe said to Him, “Right, teacher. Thou hast said that God is one according to Truth. And there isn’t another besides Him. 33And to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the soul and with all the strength, and to love a neighbour as oneself is more than all the ascensions and the sacrifices.” 34And Yeshua, seeing that he intelligently answered Him, said to him, “Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God.” And no one dared to question Him any more.  

 

       Thus, these speeches are all given to say to the Israelis to love Yehovah, the Elohim of the Israelis, with all their everything, and their neighbours as themselves.

 

4.    To whom did Elohim speak all these speeches? He spoke them to Moshe to speak them to the Israelis; He spoke them to the Israelis to speak them to the races of the world.

 

 

 

II. The First Statement: The Identity of Yehovah (verse 2)

 

Yehovah identified Himself: “I am Yehovah thy Gods.” He said what He did: “… Who exited thee from the land of Egypt (Double-Adversity)…” He also did this: “… Who exited thee from the house of slaves!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does the name Yehovah mean? It means He will be, He is, He was. It is an abbreviation (contraction) for the following:

 

Ye-he-yay Hovay Hi-yah

 

       Yeheyay: He will be; Hovay: He is; Hiyah: He was.

 

       Take the emboldened and underlined parts and put them together:

 

Yehovah

 

       This Name is sometimes contracted to Yah.

 

2.    Why does the text state, “Yehovah thy Gods instead of “Yehovah thy God”? The Israelis have a tendency to have many and different gods. In other words, they have a tendency to be idolatrous (believing in idols). Yehovah is all the Gods that there are, and He is all the Gods that the Israelis will ever need. He is the God of the sea, the God of the land, the God of the air, the God of crops, the God of the universe, the God of the constellations, the God of war, the God of protection, the God of fertility, the God of life, etc. He is the Gods of Israel.

 

3.    Why does Yehovah identify Himself as the Gods “who exited thee from the land of Egypt,” of all the different ways that He could describe Himself? While unbelieving Israelis could refuse to recognize Yehovah as the source of many other things, they would have a hard time denying that Israel had been in Egypt as slaves, and that they were later no longer slaves in Egypt. Egypt was a great military power; no large group of slaves just walks out of Egypt.

 

4.    What does house of slaves mean? A house in the Bible can refer to the structure in which a family lives, but more often it refers to the smallest unit of government—a household. All members of a house are not necessarily related family members, but they all live in the same area and work together. Their livelihoods depend on each other. Slaves of a family are still members of that house. Thus, it is like a small unit of government.

 

       The Israelis were all part of a house in Egypt that was designed for slavery to the Egyptians. They who were members of this ‘house’ therefore had a government by which they ran that house. The entire government was a slave to Egypt, and all worked for Egyptian prosperity.

 

5.    Who is thee in, “Who exited thee?” This refers to Israel—the entire people (as if they all are one person, since they are one group).

 

6.    Why did Yehovah exit Israel from the land of Egypt? That was His plan from the beginning. He claims Israel as His property. He used Egypt to ‘grow’ Israel into a great race in a very short amount of time; Egypt toughened Israel up into a strong army. Once Israel was ready, Yehovah took His own property from Egypt. The Egyptians clung to the Israelis, so that Yehovah had to give them ten incentives to send the Israelis. Even after these ten incentives, Egypt sent its army to retrieve them, so Yehovah set a trap for the Egyptian army in order to stop Egypt from trying to re-enslave the Israelis.

 

 

 

III. The Second Statement: NO Other Gods (verses 3-6)

 

Yehovah stated very specifically: “He shall not be to thee—other gods—upon my faces!”

 

He then added details: “Thou shalt not make to thee an engraved-[image].”

 

“Thou shalt not make to thee every picture that is in the heavens from above.”

 

“Thou shalt not make to thee every picture that is in the land from under.”

 

“Thou shalt not make to thee every picture that is in the waters from under to the land.”

 

Yehovah then commanded what not to do:

 

“Thou shalt not prostrate to them.”

 

“And thou shalt not serve them.”

 

He then gave the reasons:

 

“For I am Yehovah thy Gods, a jealous mighty-[One].”

 

What does a jealous mighty One do?

 

“…visiting iniquity of fathers upon children upon thirds and upon fourths to my haters…”

 

He also does beneficial things:

 

“…And doing Grace to thousands to my lovers and to guards of my commandments!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Why did Yehovah word this, “He shall not be to thee—other gods—upon my faces,” instead of wording it this way: “Other gods shall not be to thee upon my faces”? The way He worded it is far more personal: He shall not be to thee!” This shows the jealousy of Yehovah over this issue! Any other Elohim will make Yehovah very, very jealous, and thus, very, very angry!

 

2.    Why does He say, “upon my faces”? He doesn’t want to even see other gods! Since He doesn’t have a back side, and everything that happens occurs right in His faces, any Israeli who has another god at all will be having that god upon His faces! He will be furious!

 

3.    Why does the text read, “upon my faces,” instead of, “upon my face”? Faces are always plural in the Bible since every object and every person always has more than one face. (The face of a rock in the front of the rock isn’t the same as the face of that rock in the back of that rock. On the other hand, the face of a person can be a smile one moment and a frown the next. Faces are made of curves, being three-dimensional; human and animal faces also experience changes and expressions. Yehovah’s faces are of the same nature. He is everywhere, and His faces vary a great deal. Every human holds the very image of God, and every human therefore reflects the faces of God.

 

       Thus, any action that humans do is done upon Yehovah’s faces!

 

4.    What is an engraved image? It is an image that has been carved into something or sculptured from something.

 

5.    Is Yehovah commanding the Israelis to refrain from every carving and sculpture? This section is about other gods; it isn’t about carvings, sculptures or pictures in general. Yet, with this in mind, one person’s nature sculpture can easily become another person’s deity. If the one who made the sculpture did it for its beauty (only), and if another worships it as a deity, that isn’t the fault of the one who produced it, but it is the fault of the one of makes it into a god.

 

6.    Is this text commanding the Israelis to never make any pictures? Again, this text refers to pictures that are of gods or that are used as pictures of gods. Thus, if an Israeli person recognizes a certain picture as a picture of Jesus, and if that Israeli person views Jesus as God, having that picture is a violation of this commandment for every Israeli. Yehovah commands against having such a picture upon His faces.

 

7.    What would an engraving or a picture look like if it is “in the heavens from above”? That would be an engraving or a picture that is supposedly set in the heavens. (Pictures that show Jesus going up into the heavens or coming down out of the heavens are perfect examples of this; if Jesus is God, such representations are violations for the Israelis.)

 

8.    What is “the land from under”? That is the land that is under the heavens (referring to all the land on earth).

 

9.    Does this command prohibit making photographs? It prohibits the Israelis from making photographs of gods and goddesses. This prohibition therefore includes all pornography since pornography pictures a man, woman or child as a god or goddess of pleasure and desire.

 

10. What are the “waters from under to the land”? They are the waters that are lower than the land (and thus include all oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, and the great underground waters that exist).

 

11. Are only pictures of these gods and goddesses prohibited? Engraved images are also prohibited. Thus, the Israelis must not make to themselves any statues of gods or goddesses, as well as pictures of the gods or goddesses.

 

12. What does prostrate mean? It means to lie down flat, face-down.

 

13. What does “Thou shalt not prostrate to them” mean? It means that the Israelis are not to lie down flat (showing the willingness to serve) to any god or goddess, to any engraved image of a god or goddess, or to any picture of a god or goddess.

 

14. What is involved in serving them? Serving other gods and/or goddesses involves doing what priests and/or priestesses of them command to do to benefit these false gods. It also involves working to benefit and promote these false gods (and goddesses).

 

15. Do folks today serve false gods and goddesses? Most religious individuals in this world serve false gods. Some have idols (images) to which they pray and serve. Some don’t have visible idols, but they serve gods that are still idols. Some name these idols with names associated with the True and Living God (like Jesus, Jehovah), but they are still idols since their Jesus and their Jehovah don’t fit the Bible’s description of the True and Living God.

 

       Very few serve the Biblically described God.

 

16. Who is thou in, “Thou shalt not prostrate to them”? This command is to Israel; therefore, this command is to all Israelis (since if one Israeli violates, all Israel has violated!).

 

17. Is this command only to whom you identified in the answer above? This section of text is only to Israel, and therefore is only to every Israeli comprising (making up) Israel.

 

       Now, Yehovah created every human in His own image. All who wear His image are owned by Him. Any person serving other gods is declaring that Yehovah doesn’t own him/her! Therefore, serving other gods is wrong.

 

18. What is the reason Yehovah gives for not prostrating to or serving false gods? He gives the reason next: “For I am Yehovah thy Gods”! Yehovah is also a jealous mighty One!

 

19. Isn’t being jealous very childish? No! While jealousy can be childish and petty, it can also be exactly the right response. This text shows that Yehovah is jealous, and another text indicates that Saints are to be God-like in character. Therefore, being jealous is right if it is for the right reason. (Most jealousies are not for the right reason.)

 

20. In what way is Yehovah jealous? If any Israeli prostrates to and serves a false god, Yehovah is very jealous since Yehovah has a very special relationship with Israel, and thus with all Israelis.

 

21. What is iniquity? It is the guilt that remains after a person or group has sinned. Guilt remains if a person or group sins even if he/it stops sinning. The guilt must be removed; if it isn’t, the person/group will die in sin and with that guilt.

 

22. What does visiting iniquity upon someone mean? This means bringing consequences for the guilt (iniquity) upon someone—that is, making certain that the target person of the consequences suffers some type of loss or pain for the guilt that hasn’t been removed. Visiting indicates keeping an appointment (in this case, the appointment was set when the sin that resulted in guilt was committed). Thus, visiting iniquity is keeping the appointment of the punishment for the guilt,  and keeping that appointment with the person who has the guilt.

 

23. Is Yehovah doing right by visiting the iniquity of fathers upon children? Should children be held responsible for what their fathers did? This text is describing fathers who had children, and those children had children (and thus are grandchildren). The fathers sinned, and they never turned from their sins. Thus, they also kept the guilt of their sins (the guilt being the iniquity). Now, the children of the fathers also sinned. Children normally sin to a greater degree than their fathers if they choose to sin. Thus, the children have even greater iniquity. They in turn have children, and those children commit greater sins, and thus gather even greater iniquity. This is now to the third. Sometimes Yehovah visits the iniquity in this third ‘generation,’ and sometimes He waits until the fourth ‘generation.’ The fathers hated Yehovah (which is why they sinned and made themselves guilty, keeping that guilt and not turning). The children hated Yehovah even more, and their children hated Yehovah even more. (Had any of them turned to Yehovah, refusing to sin, what I am about to describe would have been stopped.) Now, Yehovah sees this third or this fourth group of children—that is, He sees the grandchildren or the great grandchildren; He sees that they hate Yehovah more than their parents, who in turn hated Yehovah more than their parents. Yehovah is now ready to visit the iniquity (guilt) of the fathers upon these children, knowing that the guilt of the fathers is far less than the guilt of the grandchildren or the great grandchildren. Had Yehovah determined to visit the guilt of each upon his/her own sin, that would have been much worse. Instead, Yehovah shows mercy by only bringing the guilt of the first generation of sins.

 

       Look at this drawing to see what I am describing:

 

 

Visiting Iniquity

 

 

       Thus, Yehovah is far less harsh than He would have been by visiting the true amount of iniquity on the ones who deserve a much harsher punishment or chastisement. He does this because His desire is for them to repent from sin and to live. He takes no pleasure in their deaths.

 

       They are not being held responsible for what their fathers did; they are being held responsible for what they did, and Yehovah is bringing only part of that consequence upon them!

 

24. What is Grace? It is a fervent, ardent zeal by which one is actuated. Now, I will define the definition’s terms: It is a fervent (very strong) ardent (‘burning’—that is, with great emotion) zeal (an intense and constant draw for a cause or against a cause) by which one is actuated (that is, motivated to take action).

 

       You will hear other definitions of grace. One that used to be popular is unmerited favor, but this definition has always been wrong. Instead, mercy is unmerited favor, and Biblical grace and mercy are definitely not the same. Another definition that you will hear is unconditional love. This definition is nonsense, since absolutely nothing is unconditional; all things always come with conditions. Besides this, Biblical grace can be demonstrate without any love whatsoever since it can be the motivation for attacking enemies of life and Truth.

 

25. What does doing Grace mean? Grace isn’t some feeling; it always involves action. Doing Grace is taking action for or against anyone or a group based upon that fervent, ardent zeal! Yehovah does Grace—that is, He takes action on behalf of thousands who do what is right toward His lovers—those who love Him and who are guards of His commandments!

 

26. What is a ‘lover’ of Yehovah? This is a person who truly delights in what He has done and what He will do regarding His righteousness, His justice, His Grace, and His many other attributes. Such a person will therefore behave much like Him, given the situation, since folks who love others tend to act like them. A lover of Yehovah also loves what He has said, and therefore loves the contents of the Bible, taking it very literally.

 

       A lover of Yehovah will obey Yehovah should Yehovah command him/her to do something, but this person will first make sure that Yehovah truly commanded it.

 

27. What is a guard of Yehovah’s commandments? This person first hears Yehovah’s commandments. He/She then thinks about them to understand them. After this, He/She hearkens to His commandments, which always includes doing exactly what he/she has been told to do. If the commandments are not directed toward him/her, the person still gets to know them very well, and makes certain to not forget.

 

       There is one other part of guarding Yehovah’s commandments. Every Israeli is personally a commandment of Yehovah. If an innocent Israeli is in danger, and another Israeli or a non-Israeli is capable of helping that Israeli (that Jewish person), that person capable of helping has already been commanded to help. Thus, the Israeli is a commandment already given. Guarding Yehovah’s commandments includes guarding the Jews from enemies! They have the image of God, and the Salvation of God is from them. This action will be the opposite of idolatry!

 

 

 

IV. The Third Statement: Carrying the Name to a Vanity (verse 7)

 

Yehovah commanded, but He spoke of Himself in the third person (as if He were speaking of another being): “Thou shalt not carry Name Yehovah Thy Gods to a vanity!” (A vanity includes a false god; see the questions.)

 

He then gave the threat, but again in the third person, as if He were speaking of another: “For Yehovah will not clear whoever will carry His Name to a vanity!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What is a vanity in the Bible? Since the word vanity means nothingness, anything that is vain is empty. A vain person is an empty person—empty in the head (where it counts)!

 

       Yehovah uses the word vanity to describe idols since they are truly empty of life, empty of the ability to respond or help, and empty of power. Idols do work, but that is because demons (angels who rebelled) power them! The demons give gullible humans (‘suckers’) the impression that the idols work because the demons do things when humans call upon their idols. An idol itself has no power.

 

2.    What does “Thou shalt not carry Name Yehovah Thy Gods to a vanity” mean? Israelis must not place the Name Yehovah (or Yeshua) onto an idol!

 

       Violating this commandment is commonly done in most churches today. They will take the name Jesus, which is a distant form of Yeshua, and they will apply this name to gods whose descriptions differ from Yehovah/Yeshua in the Bible. They don’t know (or believe) that they are doing this, but Yehovah commanded the Israelis to not do this.

 

3.    What does Yehovah say that He will do to anyone who carries this Name to a vanity? He says that He will not clear anyone who carries His Name to a vanity! That means that such a person will not be legally cleared (found innocent) in the Judgment when that person is tried for his/her works! The text doesn’t say what will be done beyond this.

 

4.    Most translations give the impression that using God’s name in vain is what this command about. This gives the impression that this command is against cussing/swearing using His name. Is this also correct? This text has nothing to do with cussing or swearing, but instead with false gods. Cussing and swearing falsely are wrong, and using the names Yehovah/Yeshua (or Jesus) while cussing or swearing is also wrong, but this text doesn’t deal with these issues; other texts do.

 

       Claiming that ‘Jesus’ has desires and attributes that are not true is far more offensive to Yehovah than cussing or swearing. Many folks who go to church refuse to cuss and swear, but many who go to church make lying claims about Jesus without knowing how offensive this is to Him. Now, this text is a command to the Israelis: they must not do this practice. Therefore, it should be obvious that Yehovah/Yeshua is against this practice (even if a non-Jewish person does it).

 

 

 

V. The Fourth Statement: the Day of Ceasing (verses 8-11)

 

The commands continued as if Yehovah were not the speaker, since they are not in the first person (“I,” “my” or “me”), but in the third person (“He,” “His” or “Him”). “Remember-thou Day of the Ceasing to sanctify him!”

 

Yehovah then gives the directions: “Six days thou shalt slave and do all thine errand. And Day the seventh is a ceasing to Yehovah thy Gods. Thou shalt not do any errand—thou and thy son and thy daughter, thy slave and thy female-slave and thy cattle and thy sojourner who is in thy gates.”

 

He gives the reason: “For six days Yehovah did the heavens and the land, the sea and all that is in them. And he ceased in Day the seventh.”

 

“Yehovah therefore blessed Day the seventh, and He sanctified him!”

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What is this Day of Ceasing? This is the Sabbath, in Hebrew called Shabbat. This Day of Ceasing occurs more than once a week (since there are more Sabbaths than just the one at the end of the week). The one that occurs once a week starts on Friday at sundown and ends on Saturday at sundown. There are also special holy days (later called holidays) that occur once a year, including the following:

 

  • Pesach (Passover, better called skip-Over)
  • Yom HaKippureem (Day of the Coverings, wrongly called Day of Atonement)
  • Sukkot (also known as booths, tabernacles)

       Each of these Days of Ceasing (Sabbaths) are times when the Israelis are to do no normal work (except tending their children, relatives, and animals), though priests who tend Sabbath sacrifices must continue their work! (They cease later.)

 

2.    What do the Days of Ceasing picture? They picture life-saving events on earth during which the Israelis won’t be able to do the necessary work, and Yehovah will do what is necessary so that the work will be accomplished. One example of such a work is providing everlasting Salvation for every person. No human can obtain his/her own Salvation by any form of work since a perfect sacrifice that is of equal or greater value than the human must be provided. Yeshua does the necessary work by voluntarily being that perfect sacrifice, and humans must refuse to work for that Salvation (that rescue from sin and to righteousness) in order to obtain it! (Anyone who is working for it won’t be given it.)

 

3.    What does sanctify mean? It means to cause something to be owned. It is exactly the same as to become holy, which means to become owned. (This is all that it ever means; it never means more, and it never means less.)

 

4.    How can one sanctify a Day of Ceasing? This command is to Israel (as if all Israel is one person). Israel must make this Day of Ceasing Israel’s own property. This ownership will show itself by all of Israel doing exactly what Yehovah commanded regarding the Day of Ceasing, and by believing what the Days of Ceasing picture!

 

       Also, the Sabbath is later viewed as a person. The gender of the word Shabbat in Hebrew is feminine; yet the pronouns he and him are applied to the Sabbath as if it refers to a man. Indeed, it does: it refers to Yeshua Who is the very One who will cause all of Israel to cease while He does the works that will save the lives of all Israel. Those same works will be for folks of all races so that all can have Salvation from sin and the resulting everlasting death, instead being granted everlasting life in order to live righteously.

 

       Thus, when all Israel finally claims Yeshua, that act will be sanctifying Yeshua and the Sabbath!

 

       Every Sabbath Day is designed to give Israelis reason to think about these things.

 

5.    How many days of the week is Israel assigned to work? The text states, “Thou shalt slave and do all thine errand six days.” Israel is assigned to slave and do all the errand six days. (Other Sabbaths sometimes make work weeks shorter than six days.)

 

6.    Why must Israel slave? What does this mean? This means that Israel must work hard as owned (by Yehovah)! A slave always has an owner.

 

7.    What is an errand, and how does this differ from work? An errand can be work, but it doesn’t have to be. An errand involves going somewhere in order to do, obtain, give or send something. An errand is like an assignment or a task, but it involves going somewhere.

 

8.    Why is errand singular (“all thine errand”)? Yehovah’s command assumes that Israel has only one errand (even if that errand has many parts). Yehovah has sent Israel to do one errand: to teach Truth to the races. Ceasing on the Sabbath will continue to teach Truth to the races!

 

9.    Why is Day the seventh a ceasing to Yehovah instead of being a ceasing to Israel? It belongs to Yehovah! Israel must make it Israel’s property, but it initially belongs to Yehovah. He is the One Who first ceased from His labour. Because it belongs to Yehovah, Israel must not violate it, and Israel must not violate it while on Yehovah’s land! (Violating it while on His land will be the same as violating the Land of Israel!)

 

10. Why mustn’t Israel do any errand, including even a sojourner who is in Israel’s gates? This points to an event far into the future (and thus, this is a show-and-tell event) when Israel won’t be able to do any errand, and Yehovah will do all the errand!

 

11. What did Yehovah do for the six days mentioned in verse 11? Yehovah did the heavens and the land, the sea and all that is in them. (He created some things, He made other things, He multiplied some things, and He commanded some things.) This is recorded in Genesis 1 and 2.

 

12. What does bless mean, and how did Yehovah bless Day the seventh? To bless is to transfer benefits to another (the benefits coming with responsibilities to use them for the good of others).

 

       Yehovah gave advantages to Day the seventh that include responsibilities for the day to do good for others. This day will provide Salvation to humans who carefully consider what it pictures and Whom it represents.

 

13. How did Yehovah sanctify him, and who is him? Yehovah took this secular day, and He made him (the day) His own property. The other days belong to humans, but the Day the seventh belongs to Yehovah! He therefore commanded the Israelis to treat this day as Yehovah’s property, and to do what Yehovah commanded: to cease in him.

 

 

 

VI. The Fifth Statement: Glorification and a Prolonged Stay (verse 12)

 

Yehovah commanded one being (described by thy) to glorify this being’s father and mother. He gave the reason: “so-that thy days will lengthen upon the soil that Yehovah thy Gods gave to thee.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does glorify mean? It means to demonstrate as very important.

 

2.    Who is thy in, “Glorify thy father and thy mother…”? I above stated that this text is to Israel as if Israel is one person. If this is the case, the command is for Israel to glorify Israel’s father and Israel’s mother.

 

3.    If the answer to the above text is true, identify the father and the mother:

 

       Speaking to the Israelis, Yehovah said,

 

Joshua 24:3 “And I took your father Avraham from the other side of the flood. And I led him throughout all the land of Canaan. And I multiplied his seed. And I gave him Isaac.”

 

       Thus, Avraham is the father of Israel.

 

       Another text identifies the mother of Israel:

 

Galatians 4:26 Jerusalem that is above is free, which is the mother of us all!

 

       Thus, Jerusalem is the mother!

 

4.    How will glorifying Avraham lengthen Israel’s days upon the soil that Yehovah, Israel’s Gods, gave to Israel? Avraham is the example of faith in the Bible. Demonstrating Avraham as important will include demonstrating the faith of Avraham. Since Avraham believed God, and God thought him righteous on account of this, anyone who considers Avraham important will likewise believe God. Therefore, if Israel recognizes Avraham as important, Israel will refuse to sin and will do righteousness upon the soil that Yehovah gave to Israel. Yehovah will then be pleased to keep Israel on the soil of the land and will not permit enemies to drive Israel off. Yehovah will also keep the Palestinians from being active enemies to Israel.

 

5.    How will glorifying Jerusalem lengthen Israel’s days upon the soil that Yehovah, Israel’s Gods, gave to Israel? If Israel will recognize the importance of Jerusalem in a Biblical way, all Israel will refuse to sin in Jerusalem, and will maintain Jerusalem as a place of righteousness, justice, Grace, and of the Teaching (Torah). Thus, races from all over the world will be able to come to Jerusalem to learn righteousness. Yehovah will be pleased to maintain Israel in Jerusalem, and He will stop all enemies who desire Israel’s demise (destruction and death).

 

6.    Has Yehovah given the soil of the Land of Israel to the Israelis? He hasn’t yet. The Israelis don’t yet know how to treat the soil of the Land of Israel. The Israelis continue to sin while on that soil; sin mistreats the soil.

 

 

 

VII. The Sixth Statement: Don’t Murder (verse 13)

 

Again speaking to one being, Yehovah commanded, “Thou shalt not murder.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What is murder? It is intentionally killing a person without the force of proper law behind that killing. It differs from manslaughter (which is accidentally killing a person), and war (in which killing non-surrendering members of an opposing army is right, or killing surrendering members of an opposing army for proper vengeance because of needless slaughter on the part of the enemy is right), and legally proper execution of a criminal who deserves the death penalty.

 

       Do not confuse manslaughter—that is, accidentally killing a person—with murder that might look accidental. If a person has gotten drunk before and gets drunk again, and then drives, and then ‘accidentally’ kills someone, that isn’t manslaughter; that is murder. That was as intentional as if it were planned. The person had warnings and knew better, but took the risk—at the risk of another person. That is murder.

 

2.    Who is being commanded to not murder? The target is the same: Israel (as one person, including all Israelis together as if they form one person). If an individual Israeli murders, all of Israel has murdered.

 

 

 

VIII. The Seventh Statement: Don’t Commit Adultery (verse 13)

 

He then commanded to this one being, “Thou shalt not commit-adultery.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What is adultery? That is participating in sexual activity when one or more persons is married to someone else. (This differs from fornication in which a male and a female participate in sexual activity when neither is married.)

 

2.    Who is being commanded to not commit adultery in this text? Israel as a whole (consisting of all the Israelis together) is being commanded to not commit adultery. If one Israeli commits adultery, all of Israel is committing adultery.

 

3.    With whom might Israel as a whole commit adultery? Israel belongs to Yehovah. When Israel is portrayed in the Bible as a woman, she is Yehovah’s wife. If she goes after any other gods, she is committing adultery. Therefore, adultery and idolatry (putting one’s trust in idols) will often be directly connected in the Bible.

 

4.    Is Israel as a whole committing adultery right now? Israel’s faith is in the United States, in the United Nations, and in human good will and good sense. All three of these defy what the Bible teaches Israel. Thus, Israel is practicing adultery, not looking to the only source of peace: Yehovah, Israel’s husband.

 

 

 

IX. The Eighth Statement: Don’t Steal (verse 13)

 

Yehovah told this one being, “Thou shalt not steal.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Who is being told to not steal? Israel as a whole is being told to not steal. If any Israeli steals, Israel has stolen.

 

2.    From whom could Israel steal?

 

  • Israel could steal from Yehovah (taking what belongs to Him as if it belongs to Israel). For example, Yehovah alone owns the right to teach Truth. If any Israeli claims to teach truth, and that truth isn’t Yehovah’s truth, that Israeli has stolen Yehovah’s right to give and be Truth, and thus Israel has stolen.
  • Israel could steal from the races. Israelis have often stolen the gods of the races, making them their own gods. If an Israeli does this, all Israel has done this. Yehovah becomes very angry over such theft.
  • Israel could steal from Israel (in the form of Israeli stealing from Israeli). When one Israeli steals from another Israeli, that involves Israel as being both the thief and the victim of theft! That doesn’t promote loving one’s neighbour as oneself, but rather violence! Yehovah hates violence.

 

 

X. The Ninth Statement: Don’t Answer as a Witness of a Lie (verse 13)

 

Yehovah commanded against answering a question by means of a neighbour such that the person answering is a witness of a lie.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does “Thou shalt not answer via thy neighbour, a witness of a lie” mean, and how does it differ from “Thou shalt not answer, a witness of a lie”? This command is against an Israeli answering a question by giving a lying testimony—that is, by claiming to have seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or physically felt something that never occurred at the time being discussed. For example, if Johnny says, “I saw Martha throw the glass at Jody,” and Johnny never saw Martha throw the glass, Johnny is a witness of a lie. He isn’t just a lying witness, but he is a witness of a lie—the lie being what Johnny (and perhaps others) planned to say against truth.

 

       Now, Johnny answered via his neighbour—that is, by means of his neighbour, since he is using his innocent neighbour to construct and uphold a lie. That lie is now on the shoulders of his innocent neighbour, and that neighbour must carry that lie until that lie is exposed.

 

       Yehovah has strong fury against a witness of a lie.

 

       Had the text instead said, “Thou shalt not answer, a witness of a lie,” this would not have involved any neighbour. It would also have appeared to be commanding to not answer at all. Other texts show that the Israelis must give testimony if they saw or heard something that is important in cases brought before judges in Israel. There is a major difference between “thou shalt not answer” and “thou shalt not answer via thy neighbour.”

 

2.    Is lying as a witness ever right? Yes! When the only way to save an innocent person from the hands of guilty persons is to lie as a witness, anyone who fears Yehovah must lie. If the person doesn’t lie, and if the innocent person is therefore taken by guilty persons, Yehovah will hold the person who didn’t lie as a coconspirator with the guilty persons! The Bible gives several examples of righteous persons who lied to save the innocent from the hands of the guilty. The midwives did so in the beginning of Exodus, and both Avraham and Isaac lied in order to save many lives. Yehovah blessed the midwives, and Yehovah threatened those to whom Avraham and Isaac lied rather than being angry with Avraham or Isaac!

 

       This command, “Thou shalt not answer via thy neighbour, a witness of a lie,” therefore holds for Israel, as do the commands around it, and for Israelis with Israelis when the Teaching (Torah) is being obeyed by all parties involved. No one will need to witness a lie under these circumstances!

 

3.    How else can Israel answer via Israel’s neighbour, a witness of a lie? Yehovah chose Israel to bring the Truth to the races. Israel’s teachers and rabbis have brought tradition to the races, the occult to the races, many false doctrines to the races, the Truth of Yehovah to the races, Salvation to the races, the Word of God to the races, and many other things. Thus, Israel has brought what will bring Salvation as well as what will bring damnation. At present, Israel, as a whole, is teaching the races that peace will come through dialogue—that is, through enemies sitting down and talking together. This is a witness of a lie. This testimony of Israel violates this commandment.

 

       Just as it is wrong for an Israeli to be a witness of a lie against another Israeli, it is wrong for all of Israel to be a witness of a lie to the races. Both promote death and killing.

 

 

 

XI. The Tenth Statement: Coveting What Can’t Be Obtained (verse 14)

 

Yehovah commanded against coveting particular items: a house of one’s neighbour, a woman of one’s neighbour, a male slave of one’s neighbour, a female slave of one’s neighbour, an ox of one’s neighbour, an ass of one’s neighbour, and any item that is holy to one’s neighbour.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What does covet mean? It means to very strongly desire the very item or position that another person or group has.

 

       In some cases, a person can purchase an item from another person; coveting isn’t wrong if the item is for sale, and if purchasing the item isn’t doing wrong.

 

       In some cases, the item can never be acquired. For example, if a woman desires a man to become her husband, and if that man is already married to another woman, the only way that she can obtain this man is by adultery or by the other woman dying. If the woman covets this man, she is doing wrong.

 

       In one case in the Bible, a king coveted the property of an Israeli. The king could not have that property; it was part of an inheritance to the man who had it. The king’s wife had the man murdered. That is what wrong coveting can do.

 

       Coveting Biblically Spiritual things is not wrong; it is right. Spiritual things come with responsibilities and with dangers, but coveting them is right. (Trying to purchase them with money is wrong!)

 

2.    Who is thou in, “Thou shalt not covet…”? As shown above, it refers to Israel as a singular being.

 

3.    If the answer above is correct, what is wrong with Israel coveting a house of Israel’s neighbour? This easily will lead to war, and war produces deaths. Coveting a house isn’t worth the deaths of humans.

 

       If any Israeli covets the house of a neighbour, all Israel is also coveting that house.

 

4.    What is wrong with coveting a neighbour’s woman? That woman is usually the wife of the neighbour. Coveting in such a case will often lead to adultery or to murder. Yehovah will avenge such a crime.

 

5.    If the neighbour has a slave, can’t the slave be purchased if the one who is coveting can afford the price? Coveting is far stronger than desiring to make a purchase. It is akin to lusting after something—a desire that is strong enough to lead the coveting person to sin in order to obtain the coveted object or person. This is why Yehovah commands against coveting what belongs to Israel’s neighbour.

 

6.    Can Israel go to war with neighbours, and take property (including slaves and women for wives) from the neighbours? Yehovah gave Israel certain conditions under which Israel could go to war. As long as the war was with a neighbour outside of the land of Canaan, and as long as the Biblical conditions for war were met, Israelis could capture slaves and could take women for wives. Taking these persons and their possessions was not considered violating the command against coveting.

 

 

 

XII. Terror of Dying (verses 15-16)

 

All the people of Israel are seeing the voices! They see the torches, and they see the voice of the shofar! The mountain is smoke. Upon seeing these things, the people tottered, and they stood from a distance!

 

The Israelis then said unto Moshe, “Speak thou with us!” They guaranteed, “And we hearkened!” They then requested, “And Elohim will not speak with us lest we will die!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    How can all the people see voices, including the voice of the shofar? The Israelis would have seen the voices if the voices were accompanied by light (as thunder is always accompanied by lightning).

 

       The word see in English has a similar set of definitions in Hebrew. If I say, “I see what you mean,” I am not describing anything visible, but I am describing that I understand. The Israelis understood that they would die if Elohim continued to speak. I cannot tell from the text that this is what Yehovah was communicating via the voices. I propose that the voices were accompanied by light.

 

2.    What torches were there? The text doesn’t describe what the torches were, but rather that there were torches. They were not being held by the Israelis; they were there on the mountain with Elohim.

 

3.    What do torches do, and why were they there with Elohim? Torches give light. The torches were there with Elohim because Elohim was giving light to Israel at this time. Torches are used in darkness when the surrounding area doesn’t have light of its own. Yehovah will give Israelis light during the Tribulation when they have no light; He will send His torches for them.

 

4.    If the above answer is correct regarding the torches, what do the voices do, and why did Elohim send the sounds of the voices? Voices give information. Elohim’s voices give Truth. He will send His voices during the Tribulation so that Israelis and their friends who desire to come to the Salvation of Mount Sinai will know where to go and what to do.

 

5.    What is a shofar? It is a ram’s horn (I showed a picture of it in a previous BCS chapter). Once it is made hollow, it can be blown like a trumpet; its sound will travel for quite a distance. It was (and will be) used militarily to call folks to a gathering point and to become ready for some event.

 

6.    What does “the mountain is smoke” mean? This means that the entirety of Mount Sinai was completely covered with smoke so that the Israelis couldn’t see the mountain; just the smoke.

 

7.    Why did the people totter, and what does that mean? To totter is to rock backward, forward, or sideways, as about to fall. It is like what a person who is very drunk does when trying to walk.

 

       The Israelis tottered because of the terror of what they were seeing (and hearing). This mountain that only moments ago was clear was now all covered with smoke, very loud sounds, and lights.

 

8.    What did the Israelis do as they tottered? The text states that they “stood from a distance,” meaning that they repositioned themselves so that they were farther away from the mountain.

 

9.    What did the Israelis desire Moshe to do, and why? They desired Moshe to speak with them—that is, instead of Elohim speaking with them! They wanted Moshe to be their prophet of Elohim. They claimed that they would hearken if Moshe spoke with them. They didn’t want Elohim to speak with them because they were afraid that they would die if He did.

 

10. Would they have died if Elohim had continued to speak with them? They might have died of fright. Elohim wasn’t there to harm them; He was there to test them and to give them His beneficial fear. The only kind of fear of Elohim that they had was a harmful fear! It drove them away from Elohim.

 

 

 

XIII. The Test and Sin-Preventing Fear (verse 17)

 

Moshe responded by saying unto the people, “Don’t fear-ye.” He explained, “For the Elohim came in order to test you.” That wasn’t the only reason, however; He also came “in order that His fear will be upon your faces;” that fear was intentional. That way, the Israelis won’t sin!

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    What good did Moshe’s telling them to not fear do? Does telling fearful folks to not fear do any good? If those being told to not fear believe in the person telling them to not fear, it will do some good! If a good parent tells a child to not fear something, the child’s level of fear will decrease. In some cases, the child will entirely lose fear!

 

       If the Israelis had believed Moshe, they would have become a little less fearful (or they would have lost their fear of what they were seeing).

 

2.    What is the purpose of a test from Elohim? His test is given in order to show to the person being tested the truth about him or her.

 

       Elohim never tests a person by presenting an option to sin in front of a person. He always tests a person so that the person can do what is right and righteous. Anyone can pass His tests by obtaining His help if necessary. (Some who are tested do not need His help to pass His tests; they already trust Elohim.) His tests are designed to help a person or a group to not sin.

 

3.    What are the two reasons given for Elohim coming (to Mount Sinai)? They are to test the Israelis and so that His fear will be upon their faces so that they won’t sin.

 

4.    What does fear being upon a person’s face have to do with not sinning? When the fear is great enough, and that fear shows up on a person’s faces, the person will not violate the one whom he/she fears. Elohim put His fear into the faces of all the Israelis so that they wouldn’t disobey what He said to do.

 

5.    Does anyone show a fear of Elohim on his/her faces today? Yes! There are some who show that fear on their faces if others are attempting to get them to sin!

 

 

 

XIV. Neck-Falling Darkness (verse 18)

 

The people of Israel still stood from (at) a distance. Moshe neared unto the darkness where Elohim was. It was ‘neck-falling’ darkness.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Why does the text again state, “And the people stood from a distance”? This showed that their fear continued in spite of Moshe’s telling them to not fear. The entire people did not move from the distant position.

 

2.    Why is the darkness described as neck-falling? I propose that this describes a darkness intense enough that a person in it will look down to his/her feet in order to see anything. Looking down to one’s feet can only be done by the neck falling.

 

3.    Why did Moshe approach this? Wasn’t he afraid? Moshe greatly feared Elohim. That fear did not keep him from Elohim; it drew him to Elohim.

 

       Moshe knew that Elohim desired him to come so that he (Moshe) could deliver the Teaching (Torah) to the Israelis.

 

4.    Does Elohim show up in great darkness elsewhere in the Bible? Yes.

 

1 Kings 8:12 Then Solomon spoke, “Yehovah said that He will dwell in the thick darkness!”

 

5.    What is the benefit of Elohim’s appearing in neck-falling darkness? One benefit will be for some during the Tribulation. Since they will know that Elohim will be present in such darkness, they will not be afraid of the darkness. They will know that Elohim is there. That darkness will also be a refuge for them; enemies won’t be able to approach them in that darkness. An event almost like this already occurred just before the Israelis crossed the Red Sea when the cloud was darkness to the Egyptians and provided light for the Israelis. The darkness kept the Egyptians from approaching. The Israelis will willingly approach to Elohim Who will be in such darkness during the Tribulation so that they will be safe from enemies!

 

       Children are sometimes very frightened of the dark. During the Tribulation, the opposite will occur: they will not be afraid of the dark; they will know that there is safety there!

 

 

 

XV. Against Idolatry (verses 19-23)

 

Yehovah now gave Moshe more things to say unto the children of Israel. Yehovah started with what He did: “Ye, ye saw that I spoke with you from the heavens!”

 

Since Yehovah is therefore right there with them, He commanded, “Ye shall not make with me gods of silver!”

 

He also commanded against making gods of gold to (for) themselves.

 

Now, He commanded them to make one item: “Thou shalt make an altar of soil to me.” He gave its purposes: “And thou shalt sacrifice thine ascensions and thy ‘peaces,’ thy flock and thy herd upon him.”

 

How will Yehovah respond? “I will come unto thee in each place that I will remind my Name. And I will bless thee.”

 

He didn’t command against a stone altar, but He gave one restriction: “And if thou wilt make an altar of stones to me, thou shalt not build them a cutting. For thou did swing thy sword upon her, and thou profaned her!”

 

There was one other restriction regarding an altar: “And thou shalt not ascend upon my altar via steps so-that thy nakedness will not-be-exposed upon him!”

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.    Did Moshe now see Elohim (since Moshe just entered into the neck-falling darkness)? This text section doesn’t say. Another does:

 

Exodus 33:11 And Yehovah spoke unto Moshe faces to faces as a man speaks unto his friend.

 

       Also, when Moshe will return to the camp, he will be glowing very brightly. I am therefore convinced that he saw Elohim.

 

2.    Yehovah told Moshe to tell the children of Israel, “Ye, ye saw that I spoke with you from the heavens!” Did Yehovah speak to them from the heavens, or did He speak to them from Mount Sinai? We just read that He spoke to them from Mount Sinai; the mountain was above the Israelis so that they had to look up into the heavens to see the source of the voices. Yet I am convinced that this refers to a future event that won’t have anything to do with Mount Sinai when He will speak with the Israelis from the heavens! Other texts describe examples of such an event:

 

Matthew 3:17 And behold a voice from the heavens saying, “This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased!”

 

Matthew 17:5 While he yet spoke, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them. And behold a voice from the cloud that said, “This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased! Hearken ye to Him!”

 

Mark 9:7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them. And a voice came from the cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son! Hearken to Him!”

 

Luke 9:35 And a voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son! Hearken to Him!”

 

3.    Why did He speak with them from the heavens instead of appearing on the land where they were? The Israelis were not ready for Him to make a land appearance. He will later make such a land appearance and walk among the Israelis for three years in the form of Yeshua! He will call the Israelis to become ready since the Kingdom of God will near. Yet, they won’t become ready at that time; their readiness for Him to remain with them on land will wait many centuries.

 

4.    What does Yehovah’s speaking with them from the heavens have to do with their not making gods of silver with Him and not making gods of gold to them? Had Yehovah come and spoken with them on the land, they would have been in the greatest danger of being slaughtered because of the gods of silver and of gold. Yehovah is very jealous of any competition from false gods when it comes to the Israelis! Thus, He spoke with them from the heavens so that they would be warned. He is keeping His distance from the Israelis because they are not ready for Him to come to them in a personal way.

 

5.    Yehovah said two different things: “Ye shall not make with me gods of silver” and “Ye shall not make gods of gold to you.” What is the difference between the two besides the metal from which the gods are made? The first states, “Ye shall not make with me…” while the second states, “Ye shall not make to you.” The first commands against making idols with Yehovah, implying that they can serve both Yehovah and idols, which will greatly anger Yehovah. The second commands against making idols to them implying that they can serve idols apart from Yehovah, which will also greatly anger Yehovah.

 

       Making idols of any kind will bring the intense anger of Yehovah upon the Israelis.

 

6.    Why did Yehovah specify that the altar must be made of soil? Humans tend to want to make religious items fancy and very valuable; expensive items (they think) show their dedication. Now, Yehovah made humans out of soil, not out of gold and silver. An altar of soil, then, will typify humans rather than showing off a person’s or groups wealth. Those things sacrificed on the altar will also typify (picture) humans. Soil can easily picture humility just as throwing soil on one’s own head can picture being humbled or humiliated.

 

7.    What is an ascension, and how is it sacrificed? An ascension is the sacrifice of an animal (like a sheep or goat) that typifies (pictures) a person or group that will be sacrificed, and that will ascend into the heavens.

 

       Saints who died at the time that Yehovah gave the texts of the Torah did not ascend into the heavens, but went to the paradise side of Sheol in the heart of the earth.

 

       Paradise is the Garden of Eden that was moved from its location on earth into the heart of the earth because of Adam’s sin; it is a most delightful place for humans, and is a miniature of the New Earth that will have Paradise over all its surfaces. Paradise was later transferred to the heavens so that Saints ascended into Paradise, as they do now. Thus, these sacrifices that are ascensions showed a picture of Paradise being in the heavens and not in Sheol.

 

       The person doing the sacrifice of ascension brings a perfect proper animal (usually a sheep or goat). He/She lays hands on the animal’s head, and slits its throat, killing it. The priest is there to oversee and to help, if necessary. The animal is then cut open, and the various parts on the inside are removed, each part also being a type—a picture of very important events. The animal’s skin is removed, and the animal is roasted on the altar. The priest and the one doing this sacrifice then eat the animal, enjoying a meal together that pictures their becoming part of what the animal and its parts picture. It is a show-and-tell of events to come.

 

8.    What are ‘peaces,’ and how are they sacrificed? The word ‘peaces’ is plural for peace—that is, for the condition of not being at war or in debt, but of a good relationship that is potentially beneficial to all concerned.

 

       ‘Peaces’ sacrifices typify (picture) events and persons who will bring various forms of peace to both the Israelis and all Israel during the Tribulation. Because these sacrifices typify humans, those humans will heroically die to bring various forms of peace to the Israelis and Israel.

 

       At the beginning of the Tribulation, Yehovah will have great anger toward Israel and most of the Israelis. Heroic persons (Israelis and even some non-Israelis) will give their own lives to save Israelis from Yehovah’s wrath toward Israel and to show the kind of selflessness that alone can and will bring peace in all areas of life. Many Israelis at first will view these heroes and heroines as evil, some even thinking that they are the ones bringing Yehovah’s wrath on Israel. The Israelis will later learn that they are wrong, and that these heroes and heroines knew the Truth about Yehovah and His plan. These sacrifices are like memorials to those heroes and heroines even before they ever live.

 

9.    Why did Yehovah specify, “thou shalt sacrifice … thy flock and thy herd upon them” when that is obvious? Yehovah is teaching the Israelis that they will be sacrificing Israeli heroes and heroines, slaughtering innocent Israelis in groups!

 

10. Yehovah next stated, “I will come unto thee in each place that I will remind my Name.” What does He mean by “remind my Name,” what places are these, and what will Yehovah do? The places where He will “remind” His Name are places that He will set His Name there. One way of identifying those places is seeing where Yehovah commanded the Levitical priests to place altars there so that the Israelis could do sacrifices. Yehovah identified certain cities for the Israelis to go when they ate and drank the tithes; these were the same cities where the remembrance of His Name was placed. Israelis and others could come to these cities and be taught about Yehovah’s Name (Who is later identified as Salvation—as Yeshua).

 

       Yehovah stated that He will come unto thee—unto Israel—in these places. I propose that these are also cities of refuge where a person who accidentally kills another person could flee in order to be judged and in order to live. The following text identifies these six cities:

 

Joshua 20:7 And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali and Shechem in mount Ephraim and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah. 8And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh. 9These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them so-that whosoever kills any person at unawares will flee to there and not die by the hand of the redeemer of blood unto his standing to the faces of the congregation.

 

11. Yehovah mentioned two types of sacrifices: the ascension and the peaces. Why didn’t He also include the various sin sacrifices? Yehovah desires to bless Israel. If the Israelis sin, that will not bring a blessing from Yehovah, but rather His wrath. Yehovah did not provide the sin sacrifices in order to give the Israelis the impression that they could sin and repent with a sacrifice, and that everything would be fine; He provided the sin sacrifices for them as types—pictures of events to come in which true heroes and heroines will willingly give their own lives to save the lives of Israelis who are not yet in faith. These sin sacrifices are therefore very sad and reminders of future heroism.

 

12. Why will Yehovah bless Israel? He will bless Israel because Israel will do right and will sacrifice his ascensions and his peaces to Yehovah—types of heroes and heroines to come.

 

13. What does “build them a cutting” mean? This means to build them by cutting them into shapes.

 

14. What is wrong with cutting the stones into shapes in order to make a pretty altar to Yehovah? He explained, “For thou did swing thy sword upon her, and thou profaned her!” This sword is a stone-cutting tool. When humans try to make their own faiths look better by using tools, they prove their faiths to be false. A real faith doesn’t need to be made pretty. While cut stones can be very pretty, Yehovah has no pleasure in His altar being made from cut stones. An altar made with cut stones is profaned—that is, it is now secular. (That means that it is not owned by Yehovah, but rather is unowned, and is for anyone’s use.) Natural stones are what Natural stones are what Yehovah made. The altar will typify what Yehovah makes, not what humans make.

 

15. What nakedness will be exposed if Israel ascends upon Yehovah’s altar via steps? The use of undergarments was not universal; the types of garments they wore did not make them necessary. If any part of Israel (like an Israeli) were to ascend an altar of Yehovah, viewing the person from underneath would reveal the person’s nakedness. Yehovah does not want any form of nakedness to approach His altar. If steps were made for the altar, the steps would become part of the altar.

 

16. What is wrong with nakedness? Doesn’t Yehovah have the ability to see through all garments, and didn’t He design the human body in the first place? Nakedness is also a type! It pictures shame and vulnerability (that is, the human body is easily able to be damaged when it is naked) due to sin! When Adam sinned, he realized that he was naked, and he hid from Yehovah!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unconditional Love

From an Email on Unconditional Love

Question: Would you do something for me? Would you find scriptures for me that prove that Jehovah doesn’t love people unconditionally, and that the ones He does love, He doesn’t love equally?

 

Jehovah doesn’t love people unconditionally…

The best proof (to me) that I found were texts that specified conditions! In other words, if Yehovah had loved unconditionally, why would He give conditions for His love? Wouldn’t He have just stated that He loved all under all circumstances? For example,

 

2 Corinthians 9:7 So every man shall give according as he purposes in his heart—not grudgingly or of necessity. For God loves a cheerful giver.

 

Why state this if He equally and unconditionally loves a reluctant giver or a non-giver?

 

Psalm 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in Thy sight! Thou hatest all workers of iniquity. 6Thou shalt destroy them that speak lying! Yehovah will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

 

Now, if He also loves the workers of iniquity and the bloody and deceitful man while hating the one group and abhorring the other, what is the benefit of His love? If He loves folks He is sending to the Lake of Fire and Sulfur, what consolation is the love of God? Telling a person, “God loves you!” while knowing that that is not necessarily a benefit, but could be a one-way ticket to Hell removes the purpose and usefulness of God’s love!

 

Psalm 146:8 Yehovah opens the eyes of the blind. Yehovah raises them who are bowed down! Yehovah loves the righteous! 9Yehovah preserves the sojourners! He relieves the orphan and widow! But He turns the way of the wicked upside down!

 

If He turns the way of the wicked upside down, which often means that He slaughters them in the Bible, is this an act of love toward them (as opposed to turning their hearts to righteousness and salvation)? If Yehovah loves the righteous, does He love everyone? If so, why specify?

 

Proverbs 3:12 For whom Yehovah loves He corrects—the son in whom He delights—even as a father.

 

Does He correct all? Are all saved? I know He doesn’t correct all, for all are not corrected. Yehovah is not so impotent that He is incapable of correcting all! He doesn’t chastise all evildoers. He doesn’t even correct the vast majority of the world’s populations.

 

John 14:23 Yeshua answered. And He said unto him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my words! And my Father will love him! And we will come unto him and make our abode with him!”

 

This text is rather specific, telling whom Yehovah the Father will love. Why specify those whom He will love if He already loves all?

 

John 13:1 Before the feast of the Passover, when Yeshua knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end.

 

Whom did He love? Everyone? Either the Bible is true, or the opinions of folks are true, and the Bible is filled with lies.

 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

The verb loved appears to be in the past tense. It is actually in the Greek aorist tense, as are several other verbs in this verse. The translators had a real challenge with this verse. The last two verbs are in the subjunctive case, which indicates some type of possibility (rather than certainty) or some type of iffy condition in English. I propose that the Greek subjunctive of the Bible is usually not iffy. (If it is iffy, certainly no certainty is present!) Thus, I propose that the flavour of the text is more like the following:

 

John 3:16 For God, so loving the world, that He, giving His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not be perishing, but have everlasting life…

 

The Greek aorist tense indicates an action without reference to its time (that is, without reference to past, present or future tense) considering it only in a single point of unspecified time. That is why I adding the ‘ings’ to the verbs. If this is the case, other texts must be used to see if God’s love for the world still continues to this day.

 

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life—is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passes away, and its lust. But he who does the will of God abides forever.

 

The command to not love the world is blatant.

 

Does Yehovah command Saints to not love what He does love? How would that fit in with having the mind of Christ?

 

Does He Equally Love Those Whom He Loves?   

Some of the above texts appear to demonstrate equality in His love. His loving sons (children) and not loving bastards indicates equality in the two separate groups:

 

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. 7If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons. For what son is he whom the father doesn’t chasten? 8But if ye are without chastisement (of which all are partakers), then are ye bastards and not sons.

 

It is evident to me that Yehovah does not chasten many in this world. All children are partakers of chastisement; all non-children are not. They are classified as bastards instead of sons.

 

The following Psalm shows that Yehovah can love in degrees of less and more:

 

Psalms 87:2 Yehovah loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

 

I can’t find more proof of the degrees of Yehovah’s love beyond logic arguments. He made man in His image, and humans are quite capable of showing degrees of love; I cannot see where Yehovah is less capable than man.

 

Daniel 9:23 “The commandment came forth at the beginning of thy supplications, and I am come to show thee. For thou art greatly beloved. Therefore, understand the matter and consider the vision.”

 

Daniel 10:11 And he said unto me, “Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright. For I am now sent unto thee.”

 

Daniel 10:19 And he said, “Man greatly beloved, fear not. Peace is unto thee. Be strong! Indeed, be strong!”

 

The Hebrew word rendered “greatly beloved” is from khamad, a word indicating great desire and affection. It indicates a very strong love—more akin to cherish.

 

The next text refers to great love. No reader can possibly understand this text (and all like it) without paying very close attention to the pronouns. We, us and our refer to the Israelis; ye, you and your refer to the Saints in Ephesus. The text will make sense if these are ignored—the wrong sense:

 

Ephesians 2:1 And you who were dead in trespasses and sins 2in which ye walked in past time according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air—the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience 3among whom also we all had our lifestyle in the lusts of our flesh in past times, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were the children of wrath by nature, even as others—4but God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in sins, He has made us alive together with Messiah (by grace ye are saved) 6and has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavens in Messiah Yeshua 7so that He will show the exceeding riches of His grace via kindness toward us in the ages to come through Messiah Yeshua.

 

If there are not degrees of love, the use of great is improper.

 

A Statement on Equality of Love

Humans reflect so many aspects of Yehovah. Good parents give to children who need more love. If love is seeking the highest, best interest for another without regard to self, some require more of this seeking than do others. Concepts of equality and fairness are almost never part of the character and behaviour of God in the Bible. Needs differ; depths of sin (and therefore, forgiveness) differ; responses to God differ.