Tag Archive: Exodus 23

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.

The Israelites Covenant with God

“The time to fulfill God’s promise has come, and God approaches the Israelites to covenant with them as his special people.  It soon becomes clear that they have not anticipated the full impact of their part of the covenant.  In agreeing to covenant, the people will be pledging their faith and allegiance to an invisible king, their very Creator and promising to obey the many stringent laws which are part of the covenant.”

Read Exodus 19 and 20

“The Exodus record lists the first of many laws which God will set forth for his people to follow.  The nation of Israel is to be a theocracy, under the direct rule of God himself; the Israelites will be governed by divine laws which they must observe in keeping with the very covenant which they are now making with God. 

The ten commandments form the constitutional framework for all other laws which follow; laws relating to crimes against persons and property to other offenses, punishable by death, such as sorcery, bestiality, and idolatry.

So as to avoid the repetition found in the records of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, all the laws will be presented later in a single collection organized by subject.  Now, however, attention turns back to God’s final instructions and the promises which he makes as his part of the covenant with the people of Israel.”

Read Exodus 23:20-33 and Exodus 24

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.
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