The Laws of Moses (Ca. 1450-1400 B.C.)

Introduction to the Laws

“All the laws previously given have been held in abeyance until this section in order to bring the total together in one collection organized by subject matter.

Most of the laws are set forth in the form of statutes.  Others are in the nature of case decisions or ethical duties.  Some of the laws are given to meet only temporary or immediate needs, while others are intended to last for centuries.  The laws are to be read to the people at regular times throughout each year in order that each person can learn them and have no excuse for not obeying them.

Most of the laws are ultimately designed to teach the Israelites to respect and honor God, to make them holy and aware of the separateness as a specially chosen people, and to learn respect for the rights of their neighbors.  All are given by a personal God and Lawgiver to whom the people have sworn allegiance and promised obedience.

The organization of the laws as presented in this section is purely subjective, and therefore should not be taken as an authoritative structuring.  Because of the fact that in a theocratic legal system all laws are basically religious in nature, any categorization necessarily involves a certain amount of overlapping coverage.  Therefore, as often as possible, such overlapping will be indicated.”

I. Religious and Ceremonial Laws

“At the cornerstone of all the laws is the first commandment.”

OTHER GODS PROHIBITED.  Deuteronomy 5:5b-7

The second commandment insures allegiance to the one true and living God.”

IDOLATRY PROHIBITED.  Deuteronomy 5:8-10

A. Laws Against Idolatry and Paganism


REFERRING TO GODS.  Exodus 23:13

MAKING MOLTEN GODS.  Exodus 34:17/Leviticus 19:4

MAKING OTHER IMAGES.  Leviticus 26:1

WOODEN PILLARS.  Deuteronomy 16:21-22

CHILDREN TO MOLEK.  Leviticus 18:21/Leviticus 20:1-5

SEPARATION FROM PAGANS.  Deuteronomy 14:1-2

MOURNING PRACTICES.  Leviticus 19:27-28

AVOIDING ENTICEMENT.  Deuteronomy 12:29-31

SOLICITORS OF IDOLATRY.  Deuteronomy 13:6-11

IDOLATROUS CITIES.  Deuteronomy 13:12-18

PUNISHMENT FOR IDOLATRY.  Deuteronomy 17:2-7

ONLY ONE PLACE OF WORSHIP.  Deuteronomy 12:1-15, 17-22, 26-28

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.