March 12th Deuteronomy 24 Divorce
1: When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. 2: And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. 3: And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 4: Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. 5: When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken. 6: No man shall take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge: for he taketh a man's life to pledge. 7: If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die; and thou shalt put evil away from among you. 8: Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do. 9: Remember what the LORD thy God did unto Miriam by the way, after that ye were come forth out of Egypt. 10: When thou dost lend thy brother any thing, thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge. 11: Thou shalt stand abroad, and the man to whom thou dost lend shall bring out the pledge abroad unto thee. 12: And if the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge: 13: In any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee: and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the LORD thy God. 14: Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates: 15: At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee. 16: The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. 17: Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow's raiment to pledge: 18: But thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing. 19: When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. 20: When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. 21: When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. 22: And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.
Deuteronomy 25 Kindness under the law
1: If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. 2: And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. 3: Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee. 4: Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. 5: If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. 6: And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. 7: And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother. 8: Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; 9: Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house. 10: And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed. 11: When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: 12: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her. 13: Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small. 14: Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. 15: But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 16: For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.
Totally destroy Amalek
17: Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; 18: How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. 19: Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
In todays Bible reading the Lord continues to outline various laws in particular laws relating to marriage. Later the Lord gives instructions concerning the total destruction of the Amalekites. First we see that if a man marries a young wife but later finds that there is nothing about her that pleases him because he has found her to be umpure then he is allowed to write a certificate of divorcement to her put it in her hand and send her out of his house. (If she was actually found to be an adulterer then she would be executed) After she is dismissed she is free to go and marry another man. This is a blow to those who say that divorce is impossible. Clearly divorce was allowed in OT times and in fact when the children of Israel returned from captivity the men were found to have married Gentile wives and so the whole nation divorced them all on the same day and took Jewish wives. What is interesting is that if she is subsequently divorced again then she must never seek to be married to her former husband. This would be an abomination to the LORD and it would defile the land. Next the Lord establishes that a newly married man is excuised from war nor is he required to do business but he is free to enjoy the married life for a year. Then we see that no man is to take the top or bottom millstone as a token for a debt because with it the family is fed. It is taking away a man’s very life by removing his ability to make bread in the home. No man is allowed to steal away any of his brethren to sell them as slaves. The punishment is death. The LORD warns Israel not to be complacent regarding leprosy but to do what the priests command. When a man is borrowing from you you are not to go to his house but to stand at a distance while he brings a pledge. (The pledge might be his only blanket) This is not allowed to be taken from a poor man and not returned before the sun goes down. The hied man that is poor is not to be oppressed even if he is a stranger in the town. Every day his hire is to be paid because he must return home to his family with the means to feed a hungry wife and her children. If the poor man cries to the Lord, the Lord will hear him and record this as a sin against the employer. Fathers will not be executed for their children or children for the father. Every person will die for his own sin. Justice must be true and without bribery, especially for the stranger, orphan and widow. No pledge may be taken from a widow. At harvest time a sheaf must be left for the poor stranger, orphan or widow. When collecting olives the trees may only be beaten once. What was not ripe and didn’t fall is to be left for the poor. The same was true in the vineyard. Next the LORD talks about the settlement of legal cases. If a man comes to law and is found to be guilty them he may be beaten but not more than forty stripes. (In the use of the scurge, a whip was used with three thongs and the prisoner had thirteen beatings. Which meant that he had only 39 stripes. One less than the law demanded) An Ox was not allowed to be muzzeled while treading out the corn. The Ox is to be allowed to eat the fruit of its labour. Next the Lord gives instructions regarding the preservation of the inheritance of the familes of Israel. If a man dies without an heir then his brother is to take her to wife and to have a son to the conservation of the inheritance in the family. The firstborn of her sons will inherit the land and the name of her dead husband will not be lost in Israel. (This is the story of the book of Ruth) However if the brother refuses to marry her then she will go to the elders of the city and relate the case. Then the elders of the city will call him and enquire of him and if he still refuses then he must remove his shoe and give it to her and she will spit in his face and she will say this is what is done to the man that will not build up his brother’s house. That ungodly man will be referred to as the man whose house had hs shoe loosed. Next the Lord says that in a fight a woman must never grab a man by his privates. If she does then her hand is to be cut off, no-one is to pity her. Then the Lord gives instructions regarding deception and trickery. No-one is allwed to have weights that are incorrect weights, either too heavy or too light, because these are a means of stealing. Those who do this are an abomination but those who have just weights are promised a long life. Lastly the LORD reminds Israel of the evil work of the Amalekities and decrees that they are to be destroyed from off the face of the earth and their evil must never be forgotten.