Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Ex. 20:1-22:15


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Exodus Chapter Twenty

  1. The Mosaic Covenant consists of a Law that Israel was expected to abide under as a constitution for their new nation.
    1. The law contains moral, civil, and ceremonial components.
    2. The principles of the moral law are restated in the New Testament for Church Age applications, not under Law, but under grace.
    3. The pattern for civil government can be emulated by gentile nations for temporal-life blessing.
      1. The principle of nationalism for temporal-life blessings is a feature of the Dispensation of Gentiles: Age of Human Government.  Nowhere in that portion of Scripture do we have a detailed statement of how God expects nations to conduct their business.
      2. National faithfulness to God’s revealed Word results in national blessing (Deut. 28:1-14), and national rebellion against God’s revealed Word results in national cursing (Deut. 28:15-68).
      3. Additionally, gentile nations are blessed or cursed in proportion to their foreign policy for or against Israel (Gen. 12:3; Num. 24:9).
  2. The basis for the Law is the character of YHWH, and His rights as Israel’s Redeemer (Ex. 20:2).
  3. Commandment #1: You shall have no other gods before Me (Ex. 20:3).
    1. Of course, there are no other gods (Isa. 44:6-8).
    2. The fallen angels, however, view themselves as gods, and seduce human beings into their worship (Gal. 4:8; 1st Cor. 8:4-6; 10:20; 1st Chr. 16:25,26).
    3. God is the only God, and in keeping with His name, Jealous, does not tolerate human worship of any other so called ‘god’ (Ex. 34:14).
  4. Commandment #2: You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.  You shall not worship them or serve them (Ex. 20:4-6).
    1. Idolatry is absolutely evil, because it mocks the nature of God, and His creation.
    2. God is the One who made all things, and cannot be represented by any made thing (Deut. 4:15-19; Isa. 40:18-20).
    3. The Creator is expected to be served by His creation, but idolatry turns that around—the idol-maker serves the idol!
    4. A danger of idolatry, is that it becomes a heritage for God-haters (Ex. 20:5,6).
  5. Commandment #3: You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (Ex. 20:7).
    1. This would involve false vows with God as a witness (Lev. 19:12).
    2. This would also involve not giving the appropriate worship that His name is entitled to (1st Chr. 16:29; Ps. 29:2).
    3. This would also involve bearing the name of Christ, but not living that life appropriately (1st Pet. 4:14-16).
  6. Commandment #4: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy (Ex. 20:8-11).
    1. The principle to Israel preceded the formal law (Ex. 16:23-30).
    2. The principle to the human race preceded everything else (Gen. 2:2,3).
    3. The principle of Sabbath rest is a daily principle for Church Age believers (Heb. 3:13; 4:7,9).
  7. Commandment #5: Honor your father and your mother (Ex. 20:12).
    1. This is the first commandment with a promise (Eph. 6:2).
    2. The consequences for faithfully obeying this command are a prolonging of days (Ex. 20:12).
      1. Under normal circumstances, the number of our days is predetermined in the eternal counsel of God’s will (Job 14:5; Ps. 139:16; Matt. 6:27).
      2. However, the Sin Unto Death shortens that span in the permissive will of God (1st Jn. 5:16).
      3. Hezekiah is a Biblical example for a potential Divine lifespan extension (2nd Kgs. 20:6; Isa. 38:5).
  8. Commandment #6: You shall not murder (Ex. 20:13).
    1. רָצַח rātsach #7523: to murder
    2. This command does not prohibit capital punishment, self-defense, or just war in the service of one’s nation—all of which are sanctioned elsewhere in Scripture.
  9. Commandment #7: You shall not commit adultery (Ex. 20:14).
    1. נָאַף na’aph #5003: to commit adultery
    2. This is a separate, more specific, prohibition than זָנָה zānāh #2181: to commit fornication, play the harlot.’
    3. The Law will expand upon this Commandment thoroughly and graphically (i.e. Lev. 18).
  10. Commandment #8: You shall not steal (Ex. 20:15).
    1. Violators of this commandment are in defiance of the Sovereignty of God Who provides all good things.
    2. Violators of this commandment are in defiance of the Sovereignty of God Who commanded mankind to work upon this earth.
  11. Commandment #9: You shall not bear false witness (Ex. 20:16).
    1. Violators of this Commandment are in opposition to the very nature of God’s essence (Eph. 4:15,21,24,25).
    2. Violators of this Commandment are in conformity to the very nature of God’s adversary (Jn. 8:44; 1st Jn. 2:4).
  12. Commandment #10: You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor (Ex. 20:17).  The mental attitude behind many of the above commandments is summarized here.  Thus, coveting serves as a fitting conclusion, even summary of the above commandments.
  13. The Lord Jesus Christ summarized the 10 Commandments into 2 Commandments (Matt. 22:34-40).
    1. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind (Mt. 22:37; Deut. 6:5).  This covers Ten Commandments #1-4
    2. You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Mt. 22:39; Lev. 19:18).  This covers Ten Commandments #5-10.
    3. The Apostle Paul summarizes the entire Law into b. above, since b. inherently includes a. as its foundation (Gal. 5:14).
  14. The children of Israel were terrified at what they observed from a distance (Ex. 20:18-21).
  15. The Lord repeats the prohibition against idolatry, and warns Israel to not become imitators of the Canaanite worship system (Ex. 20:22-26).

Exodus Chapter Twenty-One

  1. Moses receives a body of Laws, called the Book of the Covenant (Ex. 24:3,4), which gives the basic framework for the entire body of Laws (Ex. 21:1-24:8).
  2. These are the ordinances (Ex. 21:1).  מִשְׁפָּט mishpat #4941: judgment, justice, ordinance.  The ordinances are the legislative standards by which executive powers governed, and judicial courts made decisions.
  3. Which you are to set before them (Ex. 21:1). תָּשִׂים לִפְנֵיהֶם.  Set in their face!  Instead of having eyes full of evil (2nd Pet. 2:14), fill their eyes with God’s mishpatiym.
    1. Moses had previously set the charter before them (Ex. 19:7).
    2. Moses will have to repeat the placing of the law before the face of each passing generation (Deut. 4:44).
  4. The first ordinance dealt with the issue of slavery (Ex. 21:2-11).
    1. The purchase of a Hebrew slave was limited to a six year period of service, with automatic freedom in the seventh year (Ex. 21:2).
    2. Such circumstances may come about as a result of debt (Lev. 25:39-43).
    3. The automatic freedom for Hebrew slaves did not apply to pagan slaves (Lev. 25:44-46).
    4. The Hebrew slave had an option for volitional permanent slavery (Ex. 21:5,6).
    5. Female slaves were given additional protection, against being misused because of their condition (Ex. 21:7-11).
  5. The remainder of the chapter is concerned with personal injuries (Ex. 21:12-36).
    1. Murder is punishable by death, with provision of refuge for involuntary manslaughter (Ex. 21:12-14).
    2. Physical or verbal abuse of parents is punishable by death (Ex. 21:15,17).
    3. Kidnapping is punishable by death (Ex. 21:16).
    4. Assault with bodily injury is punishable by full payment of damages for loss (Ex. 21:18,19).
    5. The ordinances of murder and assault have particular application to slaves (Ex. 21:20,21,26,27).
    6. Pregnant women were given protection (Ex. 21:22).
    7. Sentencing standards were established (Ex. 21:23-25).
    8. Crimes of negligence are also dealt with (Ex. 21:26-36).

Exodus Chapter Twenty-Two

  1. The first section of ordinances in chapter twenty-two center on property-rights, and violations of those rights due to theft or negligence (Ex. 22:1-15).
    1. Restitution was the proscribed method of administering justice for the thief (Ex. 22:1,3b,4).
    2. Killing a thief in the process of breaking into one’s home is not punishable by death (Ex. 22:2), but tracking him down and killing him is murder (Ex. 22:3a).
    3. Theft via animals is still theft (Ex. 22:5).
    4. Arson is theft (Ex. 22:6).
    5. Ordinances were also established for cases of borrowed & hired property being stolen, lost, or otherwise harmed (Ex. 22:7-15).

(Chapter Twenty-Two continues tomorrow)