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Law and the Legal System in the Old Testament

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by Gordon Wenham




In the first chapter we looked at the relationship of law and grace within the Old Testament, a relationship that can be summed up in the word covenant. We saw that God’s love for Abraham, Israel and David was the basis of the three most important covenants. In each case the human partner had to respond, by loving God in return. They were assured that such loving obedience would lead to a yet fuller experience of divine mercy and blessing.


But how can a man or a nation love God? Without some revelation of God’s will human efforts to please God may well be misdirected. It is for this reason that law occupies such a central position in the Old Testament. It shows what love for God means in daily life: how man is to worship God in a way that is acceptable to his Creator and how he should treat his neighbour. To this end it offers a short but comprehensive statement of religious and moral principles in the Ten Commandments.


Were man unfallen, the Decalogue would no doubt be a sufficient guide to living. But that is not the case. Even members of the covenant nation failed to observe the commandments from time to time. For social and theological reasons it was therefore necessary to have a penal system to punish transgressors. Any society which fails to censure wrongdoers is liable to disintegrate, and in Israel’s case to lose the blessings of the covenants as well. To maintain, or restore when broken, the relationship between God and man is the purpose of the many regulations about worship in the Old Testament; to restore relations between man and man and to bear witness to the moral principles of the Decalogue is the purpose of the penal law. Where worship or morality is neglected, Israel will start to experience the covenant curses, both at a national and at an individual level. This covenant context of Israel’s law gives a special urgency to its penal law and makes its scale of values rather different from that of its neighbours. By surveying the types of punishment enshrined in the Pentateuch light is shed on its scale of values.


Finally, the organization of society has a material influence on the way people behave. Law must be known if it is to be obeyed, and there needs to be a means of enforcing obedience on the recalcitrant. Every society has its own set of devices for this purpose; in ancient Israel judges, law-teachers, prophets, kings and other rulers all played their part in undergirding the covenant law, and they will form the final subject of our enquiry.


The Nature of the Material


Before studying the laws themselves it is wise to ask some preliminary questions about the nature of the collections of law found in the Old Testament. Are they all-embracing codes of law intended to cover every aspect of Israelite life? How far do they conform to the patterns of other ancient legal collections? Can we discern any general principles running through biblical law which mark it off from other systems?


Various collections of law are to be found in the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and records of legal cases are to be found in many parts of the Bible. Comparison of these laws with other collections of Near Eastern law shows that Hebrew law was heavily indebted to the tradition of cuneiform law originating in Mesopotamia.1 It is now generally agreed that these extrabiblical documents are not comprehensive codes of statute law, but collections of traditional case law occasionally introducing certain innovations and reforms. It seems likely that the biblical collections of law are to be interpreted similarly. In many cases the Old Testament introduces changes into the traditional law of the Near East, but in other cases it simply assumes it (e.g. laws about oxen Ex. 21:28ff., divorce Deut. 24:1ff.).


Theory of Law


In Mesopotamia the king was the author of law. He was held to have been divinely endowed with gifts of justice and wisdom which enabled him to devise good law. Law was therefore a basically secular institution. In Israel, however, God himself was the author and giver of law, and this divine authorship of law had several consequences. First it meant that all offences were sins. They did not merely affect relationships between men but also the relationship between God and man. As we have seen, law was a central part of the covenant. Therefore, if the nation rejected the law or connived at its non-observance, curses came into play bringing divine judgment on the whole people.


Secondly, because all life is related to God, and the law came from God, moral and religious obligations are all to be found in a single law book. This is true of the Pentateuch as a whole and of the smaller collections of law within it (e.g. Lev. 21-23). Mesopotamia maintained a sharp distinction between these spheres: their collections of law consist almost entirely of civil legislation.


The third implication of the Old Testament views of law is that not just the king but every Israelite was responsible for its observance. He had to keep it himself and ensure that the community of which he was a member did so too. There was thus both an individual and a national responsibility to keep the law (cf. Deut. 29:18ff.).


Finally, since the law came from God, it was not to be a secret understood only by lawyers, but by everyone. There was therefore an obligation on the national leaders to teach and explain it to the people. The public character of the biblical legislation is reflected in the large number of motive clauses which give reasons why certain laws should be obeyed (e.g. ‘that your days may be long in the land’). Such reminders are more in character in a sermon addressed to the nation than in a piece of literature designed only for the edification of those administering the law. Hammurabi invited all who were oppressed to come and read his laws.2 In this limited sense he was looking for a popular knowledge of the law. The Bible stresses to a much greater degree the importance of everyone knowing the law. It is addressed to ‘all Israel’. Moses was appointed to explain the laws given at Sinai, and the law had to be read out every seven years at a national assembly (Deut. 5:1; Ex. 20:18ff.; Deut. 31:10f.). Thus law in the Old Testament is not simply intended to guide the judges but to create a climate of opinion that knows and respects it.


This fits in with the express purpose of the law: to create ‘a kingdom of priests and a holy nation’ (Ex. 19:6). The prologue and epilogue of the Laws of Hammurabi dwell on the political and economic benefits that law brings — justice, peace, prosperity and good government. But ‘the prime purpose of biblical compilations is sanctification’.3 As has been stressed before, law-giving is integral to the covenant. The law itself is the divine means of creating a holy people. Obedience to it renews the divine image in man and enables him to fulfil the imperative to ‘Be holy, for I am holy’ (Lev. 11:44f.; 19:2; 20:7, 26, etc.).


The Ten Commandments


The distinctive features of Old Testament law find expression in the opening words of the Decalogue: ‘And God spoke all these words saying . . .’ Here the divine authorship of the following laws is simply stated. After a brief historical prologue reminding Israel of what God had done on their behalf, there follows a series of injunctions covering both religious and social matters. God, the author of these laws, unlike earthly kings, is concerned with the whole of life.


Case law or moral principle? The Ten Commandments are rightly regarded as the quintessence of Old Testament law. It has been suggested in the previous chapter that they are to be understood as part of the stipulations of the Sinai covenant. But is it possible to be any more precise? How, for instance, are they related to the other laws in the Pentateuch? Should they be regarded as laws in their own right, or are they rather a set of moral principles, which could be enshrined in case and statute law? These questions have been debated intensively in recent years, and it is not possible to review the problem in depth here. The answers given depend on the view taken of the development of Israel’s law, since the interpretation of the commandments depends to some extent on the historical situation in which they were formulated. In spite of many attempts to disengage the commandments from their present context and recover earlier phraseology and meanings, no consensus of opinion has emerged.4 We can, however, be more certain how the author of Exodus understood the commandments, since he must have known them in the present form and have been responsible for the literary context in which they are found. It is the context and content of the commandments as they now stand that form the basis of the following exposition, not hypothetical reconstructions of the original form of the Decalogue.5


On this basis it becomes clear that we should not regard the commandments as case or statute law. No human penalties are specified for their transgression; rather divine curses are pronounced on those who break certain of the laws, and blessings are promised to those who keep them. These characteristics are more appropriate in a treaty text than in a collection of laws.6 The Decalogue itself does not state what punishment the community will impose on those who break the commandments. It is misleading to describe the Decalogue as Israel’s criminal law, for it is not a list of offences that the state would itself prosecute, let alone for which it would always exact the death penalty.7 Ancient law does not sharply distinguish between criminal and civil offences. Dishonouring parents, murder, adultery and theft were all cases in which the prime responsibility for bringing the offender before the courts was left to the injured party or his family. Since, however, the death penalty could be imposed for some of these offences, they might be called crimes.8 Religious offences could more aptly be described as crimes, since the whole community had to take action to punish the sinner. That the Decalogue cannot be classed as criminal or civil law is most clearly demonstrated by the tenth commandment, for a human court could hardly convict someone of covetousness. The Ten Commandments should therefore be looked on as a statement of basic religious and ethical principles rather than as a code of law.


Commandment and law. The principles of the Decalogue are illustrated and, in the laws which follow, put into a form that human judges can handle (Ex. 20:23ff.; Deut. 6-26). To revert to the treaty analogy, the commandments constitute the basic stipulations which precede the detailed stipulations in a covenant document. In the exposition that follows I shall therefore try to illustrate the meaning of the commandments by reference to the laws in the Pentateuch, though it should always be remembered that the commandment is more fundamental and wide ranging than the corresponding laws.


It should be noted that the special status of the Decalogue in both Jewish and Christian tradition is not a mere fancy of later exegetes; the Old Testament itself regards the Ten Commandments as different and more important than the other laws. They alone were written by the ‘finger of God’. The narrative in Exodus clearly emphasizes the unique significance of the Decalogue in the way it prepares for it and sets it apart from the case law which comes after.9 Similarly Deuteronomy, when harking back to the law-giving at Sinai, focuses exclusive attention on the commandments, though the other laws in Exodus are clearly presupposed in Deuteronomy. The Ten Commandments are thus acknowledged to be the heart of the covenant law, a special revelation of God in the fullest sense of the phrase.


But though every commandment expresses the will of God, and breach of any one of them is a sin calling down on the offender the wrath of God, their order is not haphazard: the most vital demands are placed first. This is confirmed by the penal law. Flagrant disregard of the first six commandments carried a mandatory death penalty. For the seventh death was probably optional, not compulsory. Only in exceptional cases would breach of the eighth and ninth commandments involve capital punishment. And it is most unlikely that the tenth commandment was ever the subject of judicial process. The order of the commandments thus gives some insight into Israel’s hierarchy of values and this should be borne in mind in their exegesis.


First Commandment. The principal concern of every vassal treaty was to secure the sole allegiance of the vassal to his suzerain. This is the thrust of the first commandment: ‘You shall have no other gods before me.’ It is not certain whether this commandment implied absolute monotheism, i.e. the existence of only one God, but it undoubtedly was a demand for practical monotheism, worship of the Lord alone. This terse command is expanded in great detail in the book of Leviticus in particular, which gives instructions about the correct rituals in worship. But perhaps the laws for the instruction of the laity found in Exodus 20-23 and Deuteronomy give a better impression of the primacy of worship. Both collections begin their detailed stipulations section with laws about the place of worship.10 They also require the offering of tithes and the attendance of all Israelite men at the three national festivals, as well as the extermination of all pagan cults and their adherents (Ex. 23:14ff; Deut. 12; 14:22ff.; 16). Apostasy involving the worship of foreign deities was punishable by death (Num. 25; Deut. 13).


It has also been suggested11 that the need for whole-hearted allegiance to the Lord explains the ban on eating certain foodstuffs (Lev. 11; Deut. 14; cf. I Cor. 8). The unclean animals were either worshipped or sacrificed by the Canaanites or Egyptians and therefore Israel must shun them. But this explains too few of the regulations to be convincing. More probably, the reason for the prohibitions was that the unclean animals symbolized the unclean nations, the Gentiles, with whom Israel was forbidden to mix, whereas the clean species represented the chosen people of Israel.12 Thus, every time an Israelite ate meat he was reminded of God’s grace in choosing Israel to be his people, and that as one of God’s elect he had a duty to pursue holiness.


Second Commandment. The second commandment bans all visual representation of God for use in worship. Images of gods in human and animal form are well known in Egyptian and Canaanite religion. Deuteronomy 4:15ff. justifies this prohibition by appeal to Israel’s experience at Sinai, where they heard God but did not see him (cf. Rom. 1:18ff.).


The wording of this commandment shows that it is not a ban on art as such. Characteristically of biblical legislation the decisive condition or prohibition comes towards the end of the sentence, in this case: ‘You shall not bow down to them or worship them’ (verse 5). Had the commandment meant to ban all artwork and sculpture it should have ended with verse 4. This interpretation of the law is confirmed by the following chapters (25f.). The tabernacle itself was richly decorated with the likeness of many things in heaven and earth, and the ark, the earthly throne of God, was surmounted by two winged cherubim. But by making the golden calf and inviting the people to worship it, Aaron broke this commandment and threatened the whole nation with extinction (Ex. 32).


The commandment is followed by a motive clause explaining why it should be observed: ‘For I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments’ (Ex. 20:5f.). Motive clauses like this are a characteristic feature of Israelite legislation, showing that the commandment was supposed to be public law which had to be taught to the people. In this clause there are several reflections of basic covenant ideology, in particular the exclusive nature of the relationship, ‘I the Lord . . . am a jealous God’, and the blessing on those who keep the law and the curse on those who do not. In secular treaties ‘bowing down’, ‘serving’ and ‘loving’ are the appropriate actions of a vassal towards his lord. It is also worth noting that loving God is equated with keeping his commandments (cf. Jn. 14:15). Finally, the long-range effect of obedience and disobedience should be observed. Actions do not just affect the individual but also his descendants, up to the great-grandchildren in the ease of transgression and as far as the thousandth generation in the case of obedience (Deut. 7:9). This disproportion is one of many illustrations in the law of how God’s mercy far exceeds his anger.


Third Commandment. The third commandment forbids any misuse of the name of God, whether in frivolous speech or in such dark deeds as witchcraft and magic (Lev. 24:11f.; Mt. 5:33ff.; Acts 19:13ff.). In biblical thinking the name of God expresses the character of God himself. Again this commandment adds a motive clause reminding any transgressor that he will not escape the covenant curses, even if he escapes human judgment.


Fourth Commandment. The fourth commandment forbids all work on the sabbath day.13 There are few indications of exactly how this was interpreted in early days. Ordinary, everyday work such as trading was forbidden. More lowly tasks such as collecting manna or sticks were also prohibited, on pain of death (Ex. 16:22ff.; Num. 15:32ff.). Positively, it was a day set aside for worship (Is. 1:13). Like the tithe, the setting apart of one day in the week is a token of the consecration of the whole. The reason given in Exodus for the observance of the sabbath is imitation of God, who rested from the work of creation on the seventh day. In Deuteronomy it is remembrance for God’s deliverance from Egypt; under the new covenant Sunday commemorates the resurrection. It is probable that the rules about the sabbath were not so strict in early days as in post-exilic times. For instance, the commandment does not forbid the wife to work, journeys were permitted (2 Kg. 4:23), and the temple guard was changed on the sabbath (2 Kg. 11:5-8).


Therefore Jesus’ more flexible attitude to the sabbath over against the strictness of his Pharisaic opponents may really reflect the original practice in early Israel (Mk. 2:23ff.). Looking to the future, Hebrews 4 views the sabbath as a type of the rest of the saints in heaven.


Fifth Commandment. ‘Honour your father and mother.’ To honour (kibbed) is most often used in the Old Testament with respect to God or his representatives such as prophets and kings.’4 It may be that parents are envisaged as representing God to their children, and this would explain the very severe penalties prescribed for those who dishonour their parents (Ex. 21:15, 17; Deut. 21:18-21). But the motive clause, ‘that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you’, draws attention to the blessings of obedience. ‘The “promise” attached to this first manward command shows the family as the miniature of the nation. If the one is sound, it implies, so will be the other. To put it more accurately, unless God’s order is respected at the first level, his gifts will be forfeited at all others.’15


Sixth Commandment. The sixth commandment forbids murder and other actions that may result in loss of life (Deut. 22:8). It does not rule out the judicial execution of murderers and other heinous criminals, or killing in war. The death penalty is insisted on for murder. Genesis 9:5f. sets out the theological principle involved: ‘For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning; of every beast I will require it and of man; of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.’ The laws in the Pentateuch show how the principle was applied in practice. A man or an animal which causes the death of another man must be put to death (Ex. 21:12, 28ff.). Where a man is responsible for someone’s death, deliberate and accidental homicide are carefully distinguished (Ex. 2:13f.; Num. 35:9ff.). It was common in other legal systems to allow composition in the case of homicide; instead of being executed the homicide could pay appropriate damages to the dead man’s family. Numbers 35 expressly excludes this arrangement in Israel. In the case of murder the murderer must be executed; if the killing was not premeditated the homicide must live in the city of refuge until the death of the high priest.16 The Pentateuch is not only concerned with the punishment of homicides, but with the prevention of accidental death. Owners of dangerous animals are warned to keep them in (Ex. 21:29, 36), and house-builders are told to put a parapet around the roof to stop people falling off (Deut. 22:8).


One law (Ex. 21:22-25) specifically deals with the death of a foetus as the result of a brawl. Close parallels to this rule are known in cuneiform law (LH 209-14; HL 17: MAL A 21, 50-2) but the interpretation of the biblical law is highly complex.17 Three things are clear, however, in the present law. First, the miscarriage and the injury to the woman were caused accidentally, a by-product of a quarrel between two men. Secondly, this suggests that the talion formula ‘life for life . . . stripe for stripe’ which refers to the woman’s injury should be regarded as a formula insisting on a punishment proportionate to the injury, not necessarily literal retribution (cf. verses 26-27). ‘Life for life’ only applies in cases of premeditated killing. Thirdly, the loss of the foetus is compensated for by the payment of damages. Biblical law therefore does not deal with the ease of deliberately induced abortion. On the basis of certain passages in Job and the Psalms18 it seems likely that the child in the womb was regarded as a human being, under the protection of its Creator (Job. 10:8-12; Pss. 51:5f.; 139:13-16; cf. Lk. 1:15, 44), and that Old Testament writers would have shared the abhorrence of the Assyrians at artificially induced abortion.19


The Old Testament discourages wanton destruction and slaughter in war as well as in peace (Deut. 20:10ff.). It regards death in war, however, as one of God’s judgments (Deut. 28:25ff.), and therefore inevitable as long as men go on sinning. In the same way that ‘all Israel’ is summoned to execute judgment on criminals, so nations may be called to punish other nations (cf. Ex. 23:23;ff.; Is. 10:5ff.), though when they undertake this task, they are warned not to exceed their brief.


Seventh Commandment. Immediately following the prohibition of murder comes the prohibition of adultery (na’ap), i.e. sexual relations between a married woman and a man who is not her husband.20 A comparison of this commandment with various laws in the rest of the Pentateuch which deal with sexual offences is very revealing, in showing how the commandment expresses a bare moral principle, whereas the detailed laws apply the principle in various situations.


If the sixth commandment seeks to uphold the sanctity of human life, the seventh seeks to preserve the purity of marriage. Genesis 2:24 states the positive theological principle undergirding matrimony: ‘A man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.’ This poetic couplet expresses rather cryptically one of the fundamentals of Old Testament marriage law, that in marriage a woman becomes, as it were, her husband’s closest relative. A man could therefore call his wife, rather misleadingly in some circumstances, his sister (Gen. 12:13, 19; 20:2; Cant. 4:9; 5:2). Other implications of this verse are not developed in the Old Testament. One group of first-century Jews held that it entailed monogamy. Our Lord added that it meant that marriage should be indissoluble, even though in practice human sinfulness (‘the hardness of men’s hearts’) often led to its breakdown (Mt. 19:5f.).


Similarly the commandment forbids adultery, a sin whose very nature involves breaking the marriage bond. What happens when marriages break up is the concern of the other laws in the Pentateuch. They are concerned with the situations that arise and not with theological utopia. This Old Testament legislation can, I believe, be seen to have a similar goal to the New Testament teaching on marriage, namely the creation and preservation of stable marriages.


As usual the Decalogue prescribes no human penalty for breach of this commandment. Other passages make it clear that the standard penalty for adultery was death. If caught, both parties, the man and the woman, were put to death (Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22). The severity of the sentence is undoubtedly very shocking to modern readers. Certain observations may perhaps mitigate our sense of shock. First, the death penalty for adultery is not unique to the Old Testament; it is common to most of the legal systems of the ancient Near East. Secondly, the death penalty was not mandatory; if a husband wished to spare his wife, he had to spare the other man as well.21 Thirdly, where the circumstances suggest that the woman was coerced, she would be pardoned and only the man ‘would be put to death (Deut. 22:25-27). Nevertheless, in spite of these considerations, the penalties for adultery are still striking, and reflect a much harsher condemnation of those who deliberately break up marriage, home and family than is made in modern Western society.


In contrast the penalties imposed for other sexual misconduct are lighter. After betrothal, effected by the payment of a large present to the bride’s father (often equal to several years’ wages), a girl was legally as good as married and intercourse with her by a third party was regarded as adultery and therefore liable to the death penalty (Deut. 22:23-27). But when an unbetrothed girl was caught lying with a man, both escaped more lightly. The man was made to marry the girl and give the appropriate betrothal gift to the girl’s father, which by his action he had, as it were, by-passed. In addition his right to divorce was forfeit. If the girl’s father did not want her to marry the man concerned, he could still demand the betrothal gift from the man, but that was all (Ex. 22:16f.; Deut. 22:28f.). It can be seen that running through all these laws is a concern to promote stable marriages. The financial payments associated with marriage and divorce were also very effective in stabilizing marriages.22


Marriages did break up in Old Testament times, however, and remarriage was permitted. Nowhere does the Old Testament give any instructions about divorce itself. Contemporary custom is simply presupposed. What it does do, in fact, is regulate remarriage after divorce or widowhood. This is clearest in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 which allows a divorced woman to contract a second marriage, but if her second husband dies or divorces her, she may not return to her first husband. The thinking behind this law has puzzled commentators. A common view is that the law regards the second marriage as adulterous23 and is concerned to discourage such unions. There is no hint of this motive in the law, however, and as there were other powerful legal and financial deterrents to divorce and adultery in the Old Testament, this view seems inadequate. More plausible is Yaron’s suggestion24 that the law is designed to protect the second marriage from interference by the first husband. Perhaps jealous of her second husband, her first partner might try to woo her back without the safeguard of this law. But this idea founders on the fact that the rule also applies after the second husband’s death (verse 3).


A more probable explanation25 of this law emerges from a comparison with the incest rules in Leviticus 18. These forbid sexual intercourse between brother and sister, grandfather and grand-daughter and so on. They also prohibit intercourse between brother-in-law and sister-in-law, or father-in-law and daughter-in-law. The logic of these prohibitions is as follows: in marriage a woman becomes her husband’s closest relative, his sister as it were, and therefore a sister to his brothers, a daughter to his father and so on. Therefore if it is wrong for a man to marry his sister or daughter, it is equally wrong for him to marry his sister-in-law or daughter-in-law. Now these prohibitions on intermarriage with one’s daughter-in-law only become relevant after the end of her first marriage in divorce or the death of her first husband. Up to that point such a union would be adulterous. The same logic applies in Deuteronomy 24 to remarrying one’s former wife. If one cannot marry one’s sister, one cannot marry one who has become sister through a previous marriage, i.e. one’s former wife. Thus while the Old Testament does not affirm the practical indissolubility of marriage, it does maintain its theoretical indissolubility, in the sense that the kinships created between the spouses and their families are not terminated by death or divorce.


In certain respects, then, Old Testament marriage law is less strict than that of the New Testament. Infidelity by the husband does not count as adultery in the Old Testament. It does in the New Testament. ‘Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery’ (Lk. 16: 18 parallels Mt. 19:3-12; Mk. 10:2-12).


These Gospel sayings also explicitly rule out remarriage after divorce and, by implication, polygamy as well, equating them with Adultery. Thus at three points — polygamy, remarriage,26 and a husband’s adultery — the Old Testament laws plainly conflict with the New Testament ideal of life-long monogamous marriage. But in practice the differences were quite slight. The great expense of marriage and divorce meant that few could afford a second marriage, while the legal restrictions placed on the choice of marriage partners for divorcees and widows bore witness, even in Old Testament times, to the permanency of the relationship established by marriage.


Eighth Commandment. Theft is prohibited by the eighth commandment. Theft in this context covers all attempts to deprive a man of his property and livelihood whether by brute force or stealth and cunning. In the Old Testament, land and property are seen as the gift of God and essential for a man’s livelihood (Deut. 11:9ff.; I Kg. 21:3). But again the commandment only represents the negative side of the law. At various other points a positive concern to support the poor and weak members of society comes to expression (e.g. Deut. 24:10-22). For instance, every third year tithes are to be given to the Levite, the immigrant, the orphan and the widow (Deut. 14:28f.). Every harvest-time corn is to be left ungathered round the edges of the fields for the poor to glean (Lev. 19:9f.). Most far-reaching of all are the laws of the sabbatical and jubilee years, under which a man who had become so poor that he had been forced to sell his land to someone else or himself into slavery, recovered his property and his freedom. In this way the tendency for wealth to accumulate in fewer and fewer hands would have been checked (Ex. 21:1ff.; Lev. 25; Deut. 15 :1ff.).27


Ninth Commandment. After dealing with duties toward God and actions against neighbours the last two commandments deal with sins of speech and thought. The ninth commandment forbids false witness, primarily in a court of law, but it covers all other unfounded statements as well (Ex. 23:1ff., 7; Deut. 17:6; 19:15ff.; 22:13ff.). It should be noted that the command is in the negative; the Old Testament does not demand that the full truth has to be disclosed on every occasion I Sa. 16:2).


Tenth Commandment. The tenth commandment forbids all desiring of another’s property.28 Though covetousness cannot have been punished by the courts, feelings are not outside the realm of biblical law in the broader sense. On the one hand the Israelite was commanded to love God; on the other not to hate his neighbour in his heart or covet his goods (e.g. Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:17). This inward aspect of biblical morality is even more prominent in the book of Proverbs, which has much to say about motives, feelings and speech. The whole of a man’s life must be lived Out in the presence of God, who weighs the heart. It may therefore be concluded that the Old Testament contains as comprehensive and demanding an ethic as is to be found anywhere in the ancient world.

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    • All 613 Laws of the Old Testament

      613 Laws: 248 positive   248 Positive Commandments   Believe in Yahweh as the Only Source of Power in the Universe. (Exodus 20:2) Submit to Yahweh as the Supreme Head, to be in unity with Yahweh. (Deuteronomy 6:4) Love Yahweh with all your heart, soul, and might. (Deuteronomy 6:5) Reverence Yahweh by Keeping His Laws. (Deuteronomy 6:12-13, 25) Serve Yahweh. (Exodus 23:25) Hold fast to Yahweh. (Deuteronomy 10:20) Taking an oath by Yahweh's Name. (Deuteronomy 6:13) Walk in Yahweh's ways. (Deuteronomy 28:9) Sanctify Yahweh's Name. (Leviticus 22:32) Read (study and meditate on) the Book of the Law. (Deuteronomy 6:7) Teach the Book of the Law to our children. (Deuteronomy 6:7) Bind the Law upon our hands. (Deuteronomy 6:8) Bind (write) the Law upon our minds. (Deuteronomy 6:8) Make tzitzit on the corners of the tallits. (Numbers 15:38-40) Preach and publish Yahweh's Law. (Deuteronomy 6:9) Gather for the reading of the Law every seventh year. (Deuteronomy 31:10-13) A king must acquire and apply the Book of the Law. (Deuteronomy 17:18-20) Acquire the Book of the Law. (Deuteronomy 31:19) Be thankful to Yahweh in prayer, praise, and deed. (Deuteronomy 8:10)   The Temple and the Priests   Build the Holy sanctuary of Yahweh. (Exodus 25:8-9) We must reverence Yahweh in the sanctuary of Yahweh. (Leviticus 19:30) Guard the sanctuary of Yahweh at all times. (Numbers 18:2, 4) The priests and Levites shall do their appointed work in the sanctuary of Yahweh. (Numbers 18:23,6-7) The priests must wash their hands and feet. (Exodus 30:17-21) The priests must light the seven lamp lampstand. (Exodus 27:20-21) The priests must bless the people with the Name of Yahweh. (Numbers 6:23-27) The priests must set the showbread and frankincense before the ark. (Exodus 25:30) The priests must burn the incense on the golden altar in the morning and between the evenings. (Exodus 30:7-8) The priests must keep the fire burning on the altar continuously. (Leviticus 6:12-13) The priests must remove the ashes from the altar daily. (Leviticus 6:10-11) The priests must keep the ritually unclean out of the inner court of the sanctuary of Yahweh. (Numbers 5:2-3) The priests must be regarded as holy. (Leviticus 21:8) The priests must dress in special priestly garments. (Exodus 28:2-43) The priests must bear the responsibility for the sanctuary of Yahweh. (Numbers 18:1, 5) The priests must prepare the holy anointing oil according to its formula. (Exodus 30:23-33) The priests must perform their services at the sanctuary of Yahweh at the appointed time. (Deuteronomy 18:6-8) The priests may become ritually unclean due to certain close relatives. (Leviticus 21:1-4) The High Priest may marry only a virgin. (Leviticus 21:13-14)   Sacrifices   The continual burnt offering (Tamid sacrifice) must be offered twice daily. (Numbers 28:2-6) The grain and drink offering must be offered twice daily. (Numbers 28:2-8) An additional sacrifice must be offered every Sabbath. (Numbers 28:9-10) An additional sacrifice must be offered on The New Moon. (Numbers 28:11-15) An additional sacrifice must be offered every day of The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover). (Numbers 28:18-24) The Omer offering of the first barley must also be brought on the first day of The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) and must be waved by the priests on the second day of the Feast. (Leviticus 23:10-14) An additional offering must be offered at The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost). (Numbers 28:26-30) Two wave loaves of bread baked with salt must be offered on The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost). (Leviticus 23:17) An additional sacrifice must be offered on The Feast of Trumpets. (Numbers 29:1-6) An additional sacrifice must be offered on the Day of Atonement. (Numbers 29:7-8) The Atonement Service must be performed on the Day of Atonement. (Leviticus 16:2-34) An additional sacrifice must be offered every day of The Feast of Tabernacles. (Numbers 29:12-34) An additional sacrifice must be offered on The Last Great Day. (Numbers 29:35-40) Three times a year keep a Feast to Yahweh: at The Feast of Unleavened Bread, at The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and at The Feast of Tabernacles. (Exodus 23:14-17) The Feasts of Yahweh must be kept only at the Place Yahweh chooses, at the sanctuary of Yahweh. (Deuteronomy 12:5-7, 14) Every household must appear before Yahweh and rejoice at the Feasts. (Deuteronomy 16:14) The Passover Lamb must be killed on the fourteenth day of Abib between the two evenings. (Numbers 28:16) The Passover Lamb must be eaten on the night of the fifteenth of Abib.(Exodus 12:8-11) Those who are unclean from a dead body or away on a journey (stranded, detained, or imprisoned) must kill the Passover Lamb in the Second Moon. (Numbers 9:10-11) The Passover in the Second Moon must be held according to all its ordinances. (Numbers 9:11-12) The silver trumpets must be sounded at Feast times, New Moons, and also in times of tribulation, to call the congregation together. (Numbers 10:2, 9-10) All animals to be sacrificed must be at least eight days old. (Leviticus 22:27) All animals to be sacrificed must be without blemish. (Leviticus 22:21) All offerings must be salted. (Leviticus 2:13) The Law of the burnt offering. (Leviticus 1:2-17) The Law of the sin offering. (Leviticus 6:25-30) The Law of the trespass offering. (Leviticus 7:1-2, 7) The Law of the peace offering. (Leviticus 3:1-17) The Law of the grain offering. (Leviticus 2:1-16) If the congregation sins ignorantly, a sin offering must be brought. (Leviticus 4:13-21) If a person sins ignorantly, a sin offering must be brought when he learns of his sin. (Leviticus 4:27-35) If a person is in doubt as to whether he has sinned in regard to any of the holy things, a suspensive guilt offering must be brought. (Leviticus 5:15-19) A sin offering must be brought for stealing, swearing falsely, and sins of a like nature. (Leviticus 6:1-7) The sin offering must be according to one's means. (Leviticus 5:7-13) We must confess our sins to Yahweh, repent for them, and be converted to the keeping of Yahweh's Laws. (Numbers 5:6-7) A man who has an abnormal discharge (zab) must bring a sacrifice. (Leviticus 15:13-15) A woman who has an abnormal discharge (zabah) must bring a sacrifice. (Leviticus 15:28-30) A woman must bring a sacrifice after childbirth. (Leviticus 12:6-8) A leper must bring a sacrifice after he has been cleansed. (Leviticus 14:1-32) The First Tithe is holy, and belongs to Yahweh. (Leviticus 27:30-33) The firstborn of clean animals are holy and belong to Yahweh. (Exodus 13:2) The firstborn sons belong to Yahweh, but may be redeemed. (Exodus 34:19-20) The firstling of a donkey must be redeemed. (Exodus 34:20) If the firstling of a donkey is not redeemed, its neck must be broken. (Exodus 13:13) All tithes and offerings must be brought to the sanctuary of Yahweh. (Deuteronomy 12:5-6) The sanctuary of Yahweh is the only place Yahweh has chosen to receive tithes, sacrifices, and offerings. (Deuteronomy 12:13-14, 26) The blood of the sacrifices must be poured out on the altar of Yahweh for our atonement. (Deuteronomy 12:27) Sanctified animals which have become blemished must be redeemed. (Deuteronomy 15:19-22) Any animal exchanged for an offering is also holy. (Leviticus 27:10, 33) The priests are to eat the meat of the consecrated offerings. (Exodus 29:33) The priests are to eat the remainder of the grain offering. (Leviticus 10:12-13) Consecrated meat of an offering which becomes ritually unclean must be burned. (Leviticus 7:19) Consecrated meat of an offering not eaten within its appointed time must be burned. (Leviticus 7:17)   Vows   A Nazirite must let his hair grow during the period of separation. (Numbers 6:5) A Nazirite must shave his head and bring the sacrifice when the period of separation is over. (Numbers 6:13-18) Vows and oaths to Yahweh must be kept. (Deuteronomy 23:2123) The Law of binding and loosing a vow. (Numbers 30:2- 16)   Ritual Purity   Anyone who touches or eats the carcass of an unclean animal becomes ritually unclean. (Leviticus 11) Anyone who touches or eats the carcass of a clean animal that dies of itself, or is torn by wild animals, becomes ritually unclean. (Leviticus 11:29-31) Any article that has come in contact with a ritually unclean object becomes ritually unclean. (Leviticus 11:31-38) Menstruous women are ritually unclean. (Leviticus 15:19-24) Women after childbirth are ritually unclean. (Leviticus 12:2) Anyone with a spreading skin disease is ritually unclean. (Leviticus 13:2-46) Any clothing contaminated with a spreading disease is ritually unclean. (Leviticus 13:47-59) A house contaminated by a spreading disease is ritually unclean. (Leviticus 14:34-57) A man having an abnormal discharge (zab) is ritually unclean. (Leviticus 15:2-15) Anyone or anything coming into contact with semen becomes ritually unclean. (Leviticus 15:16-18) A woman with an abnormal discharge (zabah) is ritually unclean. (Leviticus 15:19, 25-28) A human corpse and anyone who comes near it is ritually unclean. (Numbers 19:11-16) The purification water purifies the ritually unclean. (Numbers 19:2-22) Those ritually unclean must purify at the appointed time by laundering their clothes and immersing in water. (Leviticus 15:27) Those ritually unclean of a spreading skin disease must follow the specified purification procedure. (Leviticus 14:2-32) Those unclean of a spreading skin disease must shave off all their hair. (Leviticus 14:9) Those unclean of a spreading skin disease must be easily distinguishable. (Leviticus 13:45) The ashes of the red heifer are to be used in ritual purification. (Numbers 19:2-9)   Tithes and Offerings to the Sanctuary of Yahweh   The priest must set the value of a person dedicated to Yahweh. (Leviticus 27:2-8, 25) The priest must set the value of an animal dedicated to Yahweh. (Leviticus 27:9-13, 27) The priest must set the value of a house dedicated to Yahweh. (Leviticus 27:14-15) The priest must set the value of a field dedicated to Yahweh. (Leviticus 27:16-24) If one sins ignorantly regarding the Holy Offerings, full restitution must be made, adding a fifth of the value to it. (Leviticus 22:14-16) The fruit of the fourth years growth is holy, and must be given to the priest. (Leviticus 19:23-25) The corners of a field that is reaped must be left for the poor. (Leviticus 19:9) The gleanings of a field that is reaped must be left for the poor (Leviticus 19:9) The forgotten sheaves of a field that is reaped must be left for the poor. (Deuteronomy 24:19) Any remaining olives or grapes must be left for the poor. (Deuteronomy 24:20-21) Any fallen grapes must be left for the poor. (Leviticus 19:10) The first fruits of all our labor must be separated and brought to the sanctuary of Yahweh. (Exodus 23:19) All Holy Offerings must be given to the priests at the sanctuary of Yahweh. (Numbers 18:8-14, 21) The First Tithe (the first tenth) of all our increase must be given to the sanctuary of Yahweh for the work of (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:24) The Second Tithe must be set aside for the Feasts of Yahweh. (Deuteronomy 14:23-26) The priests and Levites must also tithe to the Work of Yahweh. (Numbers 18:24-32) The Third Tithe must be set aside for the poor in the third and sixth years of the seven year cycle. (Deuteronomy 14:28-29) Tithes and Offerings must be presented to Yahweh with prayer. (Deuteronomy 26:12-19) Each household is to bring or send their tithes and offerings before Yahweh to the sanctuary of Yahweh (no Christian collection plate). (Deuteronomy 26:2-4, 10) The first portion of the grain offering must be given to the priest at the sanctuary of Yahweh. (Numbers 15:18-21)   The Sabbatical Year   Every seventh year is a Sabbath of Rest for the land and the fields must lie fallow and the ground must not be tilled. (Leviticus 25:2-7, 20-22) In the seventh year everything that grows is to be eaten by all. (Leviticus 25:2-7,20-22) You must consecrate and proclaim the Jubilee year. (Leviticus 25:10-12) On the Day of Atonement in the Jubilee year, the shofar must be sounded and all Hebrew slaves set free. (Leviticus 25:9-10, 13) In the Jubilee year all the land is to be returned to its appointed owners. (Leviticus 25:23-28) In a walled city the seller has a right to buy back a house within a year of the sale. (Leviticus 25:29-30) The years until the Jubilee must be counted. (Leviticus 25:8) The seventh year is the Year of Release. (Deuteronomy 15:3) In the seventh year a foreigner may be pressed for payment of a debt. (Deuteronomy 15:3)   Clean Animals Fit for Consumption and of Offerings   The priests must receive their share of all dean animals that are slaughtered. (Deuteronomy 18:3) The priests must receive the first fleece from the shearing of sheep. (Deuteronomy 18:4) Anything devoted to Yahweh becomes Most Holy to Yahweh and becomes the property of the sanctuary of Yahweh and the priests. (Leviticus 27:28) To be fit for consumption, clean animals must be slaughtered. (Do not eat what dies of itself or is killed by wild beasts.) (Deuteronomy 12:21) The blood of slaughtered clean animals must be poured on the ground and covered with earth. (Leviticus 17:10-16) Set the mother bird free when taking the nest or the young. (Deuteronomy 22:6-7) Examine the meat of animals to make sure it is permitted for consumption. (Leviticus 11:2-8) Examine fowl to make sure they are permitted for consumption. (Deuteronomy 14:11-19) Examine locusts to make sure they are permitted for consumption. (Leviticus 11:20-23) Examine fish to make sure they are permitted for consumption. (Leviticus 11:9-12)   The Feasts and Sabbaths   The New Moons are to be observed to set Yahweh's Feasts. (Exodus 12:2) (Deuteronomy 16:1) The seventh day of every week is Yahweh's Sabbath of rest, and a Holy Convocation. (Exodus 23:12, 16:23) Keep the Sabbath Day holy by making preparation in advance. (Exodus 20:8-11) Remove all leaven from all your property by the fifteenth of Abib. (Exodus 12:15) On the fifteenth day of Abib we must teach our children the story of The Exodus from Egypt. (Exodus 13:8) We must eat unleavened bread from the fifteenth through the twenty-first of Abib. (Exodus 12:18) The first day of The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) is a Sabbath of rest and a Holy Convocation. Cooking may be done on a Feast Day Sabbath, but not on the weekly Sabbath. (Exodus 12:16) The seventh day of The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover) is a Sabbath of rest and a Holy Convocation. (Exodus 12:16) We must count fifty days-from the day after the First Holy Day Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (The Count of Omer) to The Feast of Weeks. (Leviticus 23:15-16) The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) is a Sabbath of rest and a Holy Convocation. (Leviticus 23:21) The Feast of Trumpets is a Sabbath of rest and a Holy Convocation. (Leviticus 23:24) The Day of Atonement is a day of complete fasting. (Leviticus 16:29-31) The Day of Atonement is a Sabbath of rest and a Holy Convocation. (Leviticus 23:27-32) The First Day of the Feast of Tabernacles is a Sabbath of rest and a Holy Convocation. (Leviticus 23:34-35) The Last Great Day is a Sabbath of rest and a Holy Convocation. (Leviticus 23:36) Dwell in booths (succahs-temporary dwellings) during The Feast of Tabernacles. (Leviticus 23:42) A Succah must be built before The Feast of Tabernacles. (Leviticus 23:40) Sound the shofar on The Feast of Trumpets. (Numbers 29:1)   Laws Concerning the Duty of the Community and Observing the Authority of Yahweh's Laws and Yahweh's Annointed   Every male 20 years old and above must give half a shekel to the sanctuary of Yahweh annually. (Exodus 30:12-16) Listen to and obey Yahweh's Anointed Servant, the Overseer of the sanctuary of Yahweh. (Deuteronomy 18:15-19) The king that Yahweh chooses must be appointed. (Deuteronomy 17:15) Listen to and obey Yahweh's anointed priests (The Body of Elders of the sanctuary of Yahweh under the direction of the Overseer of the sanctuary of Yahweh). (Deuteronomy 17:8-13) When we give testimony in a lawsuit, we must speak the truth. (Exodus 23:2) Elders and office holders must be chosen by Yahweh. (Deuteronomy 16:18) The Elders of The sanctuary of Yahweh, chosen by Yahweh, must judge the people impartially according to Yahweh's Laws. (Leviticus 19:15) Whoever is aware of evidence in a case must speak up and testify. (Leviticus 5:1) The testimony of witnesses shall be examined thoroughly by the Elders. (Deuteronomy 13:14) False witnesses shall be judged according to the Law. (Deuteronomy 19:19) When a person is found murdered and the murderer is unknown, the prescribed ritual must be performed. (Deuteronomy 21:19) Six cities of refuge in the land of Israel must be established. (Numbers 35:6-15) The priests and Levites must be given cities to live in. (Numbers 35:2-5) Build a guard rail around a roof (if it is flat and used as living space), and remove potential hazards from the home. (Deuteronomy 22:8)   The Worship of False Gods and Related Practices   The practice of godworship (the worship of false gods) must be destroyed. (Deuteronomy 12:2-4) A city which turns to godworship (the worship of false gods) must be treated according to the Law. (Deuteronomy 13:12-18) The godworshiping nations (nations who worship false gods) will be destroyed. (Deuteronomy 20:17) We must blot out the remembrance of godworshipers (those who worship false gods). (Deuteronomy 25:19) Remember what the godworshipers (those who worship false gods) did to Israel. (Deuteronomy 25:1-18)   Laws Concerning Times of Tribulation and Persecution   Our conduct must be according to Yahweh's Law during times of persecution. (Deuteronomy 20:11-12) The priests must address the congregation in times of tribulation. (Deuteronomy 20:2-4) The camp of Yahweh must be kept in a sanitary condition. (Deuteronomy 23:9) The camp of Yahweh must be equipped with the necessary implements to keep it in a sanitary condition, and each must do his part. (Deuteronomy 23:12-14)   Our Duties to Our Fellow Man   Stolen property must be returned to the owner. (Leviticus 6:2-5) The poor must be taken care of according to Yahweh's Laws. (Deuteronomy 15:8, 11) When a Hebrew slave goes free, the owner must give him gifts. (Deuteronomy 15:12-14, 18) Loans to brothers must be without interest. (Exodus 22:25) Loans to the foreigner may be with interest. (Deuteronomy 23:21) Restore a pledge for a loan to its owner if he needs it. (Deuteronomy 24:12-13) Pay the hired worker his wages on time. (Deuteronomy 24:15) Permit the poor to eat of the produce of the vineyard or the standing grain. (Deuteronomy 23:24-25) Help a stranger who has a fallen animal. (Exodus 23:5) Help your brother who has a fallen animal. (Deuteronomy 22:4) Lost property must be restored to its owner. (Exodus 23:4; Deuteronomy 22:1) Those who sin must be corrected. (Leviticus 19:17) Love your neighbor, whether a brother or an enemy, as yourself. (Leviticus 19:18) Love the stranger and the new convert among you. (Deuteronomy 10:19) Use only honest weights and measures. (Leviticus 19:36)   Family   Show honor and respect for Yahweh's appointed teachers. (Leviticus 19:32) Show honor and respect to parents. (Exodus 20:12) Become Holy as Yahweh is Holy. (Leviticus 19:2) Bring forth the Holy Seed, the 144,000 Holy Priesthood promised to Abraham. (Genesis 1:28) Marriage must be according to Yahweh's laws. (Deuteronomy 24:1) A bridegroom is to rejoice with his bride. (Deuteronomy 24:5) All males must be circumcised, newborn males on the eighth day. (Genesis 17:10-12, 14) Should a man die childless, his brother must either marry the widow. (Deuteronomy 25:5-6) He may release his brother's widow. (Deuteronomy 25:7-10) A man who violates a virgin must pay the bride price, marry her if her father permits, and may never divorce her. (Deuteronomy 22:29) The Elders must judge in a case of premarital promiscuity. (Deuteronomy 22:13-15) A woman's father may utterly refuse to give his daughter to a man even though he pays the bride price. (Exodus 22:16-17) The female captive must be treated in accordance with special regulations concerning repentance and conversion. (Deuteronomy 21:11-14) Divorce can only be for the cause of premarital fornication by the bride. (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) A woman suspected of adultery must submit to the required test. (Numbers 5:12-15)   Judgments   When required by Law, the judges must administer the appropriate punishment. (Deuteronomy 25:2-3) The Law concerning unintentional homicide. (Numbers 35:22-29) The Law concerning murder. (Deuteronomy 19:11-13) There is one Law for all-for the Israelite and for the stranger. (Numbers 15:15-16) One who sins (breaks any of Yahweh's Laws) whether intentionally or unintentionally is guilty. (Leviticus 5:17; Numbers 15:30) The penalty for sin, which is the breaking (transgression) of Yahweh's laws, is death. (Numbers 15:30-31) Atonement can be made through the Righteous High Priest for those who truly repent of sin and turn in complete obedience to Yahweh's Laws. (Leviticus 16:16, 32-34) The body of one who is executed must be buried the same day. (Deuteronomy 21:23)   Laws Concerning Slaves   Hebrew slaves must be treated according to the special Laws for them. (Exodus 21:2-6) The owner or his son may marry his Hebrew maidservant. (Exodus 21:8-9) If the owner or his son does not marry his Hebrew maidservant, he must allow her father to redeem her. (Exodus 21:8) The regulation of the foreign slaves. (Leviticus 25:44-46)   Lawsuits   Judgment must be rendered in the case of injury caused by a person. (Exodus 21:18-25) Judgment must be rendered in the case of injury cause by an animal. (Exodus 21: 28-32) Judgment must be rendered in the case of injury caused to an animal. (Exodus 21:33-36) A thief must make full restitution or else be sold for his theft. (Exodus 22:1-4) Judgment must be rendered in cases of property damage caused by animals. (Exodus 22:5) Judgment must be rendered in cases of fire damage. (Exodus 22:6) Judgment must be rendered in cases involving items held for safe-keeping. (Exodus 22:7-8) Judgment must be rendered in cases involving animals held for safe-keeping. (Exodus 22:10-13) Judgment must be rendered in cases of claims against a borrower. (Exodus 22:14-15) Judgment must be rendered in disputes arising out of sales. (Leviticus 25:14-17) Judgment must be rendered in disputes over possession of property. (Exodus 22:9) Monetary restitution must be paid in cases involving bodily damage. (Deuteronomy 25:11-12) (Exodus 21:18-25) Judgment must be rendered in disputes arising out of inheritance. (Numbers 27:8-11) (Deuteronomy 21:15-17)

      in Morality and Laws

    • Op-Ed: We Can No Longer Tolerate An Economic System Where The Rich Get Richer And The Poor Also Get Richer

      Capitalism has failed us. The post Op-Ed: We Can No Longer Tolerate An Economic System Where The Rich Get Richer And The Poor Also Get Richer appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article

      in Christian Satire

    • Carson: We Need Jesus, So We Need the Old Testament

      If there’s a linchpin connecting the old and new covenant stories, it’s Christmas. Gospel writer Luke begins his birth narrative in the temple with the priest Zechariah, a descendant of Aaron, brother of Moses. At the time of Jesus’s birth, the Jews are living under the old covenant. And then, a baby. The Messiah’s birth fulfills the prophecies of the Old Testament. Jesus’s life fulfills the law. And his death and resurrection save believers from God’s wrath. So what happens to Christmas if we unhitch Christianity from the Old Testament? And what happens to the gospel? TGC president and New Testament scholar Don Carson joins me on this episode of The Gospel Coalition Podcast to answer a few questions about law and gospel, and about the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, particularly in the person and work of Jesus Christ. You can listen to our conversation here. Related: Why We Can’t Unhitch the Old Testament (Michael Kruger) 10 Reasons the Old Testament Is Important for Christians (Jason DeRouchie) 3 Books for Staying ‘Hitched’ to the Old Testament (Jason DeRouchie) View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • Judge Orders Stormy Daniels To Pay Donald Trump Nearly $300K In Legal Fees

      By Chuck Ross - A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Stormy Daniels to pay nearly $300,000 in legal fees to President Trump over a defamation lawsuit dismissed on Oct. 15. James Otero, a judge in the District of Northern California, ordered Daniels to pay $293,052, just shy of the amount that Trump sought as repayment for legal fees from the case. (RELATED: Judge Dismisses Stormy Daniels’ Lawsuit Against Trump) The amount that Daniels will have to repay, barring an appeal, is more than twice what she received in October 2016 as part of a payoff from Trump fixer Michael Cohen. Cohen paid Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Cliffords, $130,000 to keep her from going to the media with claims that she had an affair with Trump in 2006. Cohen has since pleaded guilty to making an illegal campaign contribution to Trump. Cohen has claimed that Trump ordered him to make the payment. Daniels sued Trump over a tweet in which he called one of Daniels’ claims a “total con job.” Otero said that Trump’s tweet was “rhetorical hyperbole” rather than defamation. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] Judge Orders Stormy Daniels To Pay Donald Trump Nearly $300K In Legal Fees is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust. View the original full article

      in Political Conservative News

    • Immigration Attorney Explains How Mother Of Anchor Baby Can Work The System To Gain Citizenship

      By Nick Givas - Immigration attorney Linda Vega appeared on “Fox & Friends” Friday to explain how a 19-year-old illegal immigrant can use her newborn anchor baby to achieve U.S. citizenship. The pregnant mother from Honduras scaled a fence near the southern border to have her child on American soil, to exploit the loophole of birthright citizenship. “What happens now is she will be processed either to determine whether she has a credible fear to remain in the United States for a political asylum claim,” Vega said. “If she’s found not to be credible, she then goes before an immigration judge to determine whether she’s credible to remain in the United States,” she added. “But, even if she is determined credible, that could take months or years until they possibly get to her case.” Vega said if she’s found not to be credible, the baby would also have to leave with his mother. “If the judge finds her not to be credible, she’s deported at that point. Now, even though the baby’s born on U.S. soil, it’s a U.S. citizen, but the baby has to go back with her at that point — unless the baby becomes a ward of the state,” she said. The migrant viewed her son’s child’s citizenship as a “reward” for the long and difficult journey to the U.S. border and expressed a desire to be reunited with her family in Ohio, according to Fox News. “That is not a reason for asylum,” Vega said, adding: Vega said when the child comes of age he will be able to bring more of his family to America through chain migration. “Through chain migration he can apply for his mother, his father, his brothers and sisters,” she continued. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected] Immigration Attorney Explains How Mother Of Anchor Baby Can Work The System To Gain Citizenship is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust. View the original full article

      in Political Conservative News


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