Deuteronomy 21

We entering 6 more chapters of heavy duty lists of laws.

They are no longer directly relevant because they were about a contract with a specific people that had a unique purpose. That’s before you even get to the allowance for a vastly different culture.

They are often revealing of the beauty of God’s compassion, and the inevitability of his plans and absolute nature of his judgment.

The first here is a probably a practical matter in a tribal society, dealing with unsolved murders. It’s deemed attributable to the nearest town, and they have a ritual for atoning for it. The theme, as with kosher rules, is that blood, life, means something. God given life has been shed by someone other than God. Just because there is no one to blame does not mean there is no price.

There are rules for marrying captive foreign women, which treat them as people – it takes a custom of the time and injects a degree of humanity into it.

Then a rule that rebellious, drunkard, gluttonous sons can be stoned to death. There is no record of this being enforced. It should be noted that the problem is to be referred to the elders at a certain point. It’s managed by the community, which in some cases would be a protection to the son. Harsh but!

Ends with rules about bodies of those given capital punishment not being left to hang but quickly buried.


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