Chapter 4: The Law. Textbook pages 77-92 Mrs. Kenny Religion 9 January 2013. Exodus. 10 Commandments and Covenant of Sinai. Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy . other laws that spell out how to keep the Covenant
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Chapter 4: The Law Textbook pages 77-92 Mrs. Kenny Religion 9 January 2013
Exodus • 10 Commandments and Covenant of Sinai
Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy • other laws that spell out how to keep the Covenant • deal with relationships, rituals, and matters of daily life (i.e. land ownership, houses, vineyards, and how to perform Temple worship) • have laws that really don’t pertain to life of the Jews during the exile, but after it (written hundreds of years later) • finish the narrative of Moses
All the laws from Exodus through Deuteronomy are called: • Law of Moses • Mosaic Law • The Law
Leviticus: Holiness and Ritual • Priestly writing source • Writer was probably an Israelite priest in the time after the Exile when the Temple was rebuilt in Jerusalem. (The 2nd Temple) • Priests = members of tribe of Levi, lead worship in the Temple
Handbook of instructions for Israel’s worship • Community worship was important, because people could openly express they were God’s chosen people, and one family • Ritual not to be taken lightly – great reverence and care is required • True worship = grateful, reverent, humble attitude toward God • Worship in Temple is very closely related to life in the community • How people live out holiness of worship in relationships through honesty, reverence, respect, tolerance, compassion, and generosity
Atonement • Jews believed that when they sin against God, needed to do something to atone for it, to repair the damaged relationship • Old ritual of atonement in Temple = sacrifice an animal as atonement and pour on altar (to God) – signifying life and expressing sorrow • Yom Kippur = Day of Atonement
Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement • Old Celebration • Once a year, special ritual • High priest entered Temple sanctuary (called the Holy of Holies) where God was believed to dwell • Offered incense, blood of bull/goat (represent the life of the people to reconcile with God) • Celebration Still Held Today • (Usually in September or beginning of school year) • Yom Kippur is the highest holy day of the year – day to atone for sins of past year • Ever since Dispersion (when Jews spread and lived in foreign lands) – no more animal sacrifice
Holiness Code (Leviticus 17-26) • Not just worship, but how worship is expressed in a person’s everyday life. • True worship = loving your neighbor • Remarkable sensitivity to the poor and keen sensitivity of what builds a society, for example: • Leave some harvest for gleaning by the poor (We will see this in the story of Ruth!) • Do not withhold the wages of a laborer until the next day. • Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in the way of the blind. • Do not take vengeance or bear a grudge. • Treat foreigners as your own people. • Do not fashion dishonest weights or measures (a.k.a. cheat people) • Every 50 years there is a jubilee – debts canceled and those who lost property can gain it back.
When you think of the book of Leviticus: • Law • Holiness
Numbers: Priestly Regulations and Inspiring Stories • Priestly writing source • Complex work by many authors and editors • St. Paul summarizes the book of Numbers in 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, to help early Christians understand the roots of their faith. • Current name “Numbers” comes from the census in the first part of the book – has exaggerated numbers of Israelites and lists of priestly regulations • Original Hebrew title = “In the Wilderness” • more accurately describes the second part of the book, where Israelites are wandering around the wilderness on the way to Canaan • stories of jealousy, rebellion and greed
Numbers: People grumble and complain • upset about the food they used to have before they left Egypt • Moses asks God to let him die, God promises to provided overabundance of food to the people. • Wind blows quail in, and some eat themselves to death! • Lesson = God will provide
Jealousy and Rebellion are also problems in the book of Numbers: • Miriam and Aaron claim to have equal authority to Moses. God rebukes them, reminding them that only Moses sees God face-to-face. This is when Miriam’s leprosy/boils turn white and she suffers punishment from God. (Miriam dies in a waterless place, then water springs forth from there.) • Someone challenges Moses & Aaron, that they are on a “wild goose chase” and incites a political rebellion. Rebels and their families are destroyed. God gives a sign: almond blossoms coming out of Aaron’s staff. This signifies that Aaron and his tribe are chosen to be priests, and should not be challenged.
Remember… • Natural disasters and diseases were seen as punishments from God! This is not to be misconstrued that God punishes/destroys people or families. It is seen as an explanation of why bad things happen. • We are very much like the Israelites. We are imperfect, living as humans in a sinning, healing community. There are many parallels between the Israelites of the Exodus and our Church today.
Exploring the Land of Canaan • As they get closer to Canaan, God has Moses send a member of each tribe into the Promised Land (PL). • They report that the land is “flowing with milk and honey” but the people living there are giants! The people become fearful, and wish they would have stayed and died in Egypt. • God declares that for each day spent scouting Canaan, they will spend a year in the wilderness, until every member of the generation brought from Egypt has died.
Exploring the Land of Canaan • Wandering in the wilderness is all about faith and risk. Therefore, they have to wander for 40 years total now, because they did not trust God’s care for them • Only Caleb and Joshua, scouts who truly trusted God, will live to see the PL, along with offspring of the 1st generation. • The Israelites change their tune, storm into Canaan and are defeated by the Amalekites and Canaanites.
Water from a Rock • Wandering in the wilderness, the people settle in Kadesh • Fight with Moses again, complaining about the harshness of the wilderness • God bids Moses to strike a rock with his staff so the rock will produce water for the thirsty Israelites and their livestock. • Moses and Aaron gather the people, but berate them (use angry sarcasm) before striking the rock. • God is angry about this, and punishes them by not allowing them to enter the PL because they did not show holiness in how they treated the people.
Soothsayer Predicts Victory for Israel • The king of Moab wants to protect his people from the Israelites, so he asks the services of Balaam (a soothsayer). Balaam actually blesses the Israelites and says that Israel will overcome and become a great nation over others.
When you think of the book of Numbers: • Grumbling/Complaining • Wandering in the Wilderness
Deuteronomy: The Law & Love • Edited/reworked by Deuteronomist writing source. (Found writings in Temple and reworked them.) • Story is somewhat repeated, but put into three sermons by Moses to the Israelites as they stand on the plains of Moab ready to cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land. • The book closes with Moses blessing the tribes of Israel, dying, and being buried and mourned by the people. • Joshua = next leader, because of his passionate love for God and long apprenticeship with Moses
Deuteronomy: The Law & Love • The sermons are sort of a last will and testament for Moses: • Moses’ passionate/touching messages to the people he has loved and guided. • Tries to inspire them to be faithful people in their new land – as he knows many temptations await them (i.e.idolatry, wealth, trusting their power over God’s) • Sermons retrace the wildnerness journey, reminding them God was with them all along: from slavery in Egypt -- to Covenant at Horeb/Sinai -- to 40 years in the wilderness -- to the Promised Land.
Deuteronomy: The Law & Love • Moses did not actually deliver these sermons, they were just written this way to emphasize Moses as the great leader. We know this, because many later events and customs are referenced.
Deuteronomy: The Law & Love • Moses keeps urging the people to keep the Law/Covenant. • This is another sign of the Deuteronomists that wrote the book – they are traditionalists, and have a passionate love for God. • Somewhat different version of 10 Commandments given than in the Exodus account.
Deuteronomy shows a remarkable sensitivity to the poor and oppressed. For example: • Deuteronomy shows a remarkable sensitivity to the poor and oppressed. For example: • Every 7 years debts must be forgiven • Slaves who have served 6 years must be released the 7th • Interest on a loan may be demanded of a foreigner, but not an Israelite • Israelites may not be sold into slavery. Punishment for doing this may be death. • Millstones cannot be taken in pledge for a loan, because the poor cannot grind their flour. • Parents and children cannot be punished for one another’s crime
Josiah’s Reform Movement • Deuteronomists were a part of a vigorous reform movement in Judah 30 years before the Babylonian Exile (Josiah’s reform) • Josiah • king of Judah (southern territory of Israel) began the reform after the “Book of the Law” was discovered in the Temple during repair work • King Josiah was determined get the people back to the Covenant, and wanted them to follow the laws strictly. • The reform did not work in preventing the Babylonian Exile because they had fallen too far away from the Law.
Shema: Love at the Core of the Law • Shema = the great prayer of the book of Deuteronomy (Deut. 6:4-9) • Essence of Judaism • Profession of faith • Repeated daily by Jews from biblical times up to today
Shema: Love at the Core of the Law • THE SHEMA is the central prayer in the Jewish prayer book (Siddur) and is often the first section of Scripture that a Jewish child learns. During its recitation in the synagogue, Orthodox Jews pronounce each word very carefully and cover their eyes with their right hand. Many Jews recite the Shema at least twice daily: once in the morning and once in the evening. Parts of the Shema are written on a small scroll which is then rolled up and put inside a mezuzah. • Jesus and his parents would have recited the Shema daily. Jesus recited the Shema to the Pharisees, as well as adding “Love shall love your neighbor as yourself” from Leviticus 19:18.
Jesus used the Shema to summarize the Law and the faith of Moses into the 2 Great Commandments: Love God + love your neighbor! 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a]38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
Mezuzah and Phylacteries • Mezuzah = “doorpost” • Phylacteries = 2 sm. Square leather boxes • Orthodox Jews fasten this to their forehead or left arm when praying the Shema • Jews put Shema on scroll inside their mezuzah or phylacteries
When you think of the book of Deuteronomy: • LOVE • Strict, passionate following of the Law
On the Brink of the Promised Land • Moses has died. • Joshua will now lead them to take over the PL. • The Pentateuch, or Torah, is now concluded. These 5 books are considered by many to be the most essential of the Jewish Bible.
Bible References to Take Note of: • Leviticus 11 & Deut 14:1-21 – Kosher Laws • Deut 6:4-9 – The Shema • Deut 34 – The death of Moses