A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible
Hunc tu caveto.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Above: An image from www.thebricktestament.com, a young man posts the Law on his gates to keep the Law strong in Israelite society.



After going over the Second Commandment in Chapter 4, Moses reviews all of the Commandments in Chapter 5, and then in Chapter 6 he talks about how to keep the law going. This is basically what Deuteronomy seems to be: a series of sermons from Moses to the Israelites. It's like the pastor's playbook.

In the first three chapters, they reviewed their time in the wilderness. More information was added to it then in Exodus and Numbers. They fought a lot of giants, and conquered off a lot of Canaanite tribes, for example. Now, Moses is reviewing the Commandments with a little more depth, and it's written more like a sermon.

"... when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders ...", sounds like Moses is talking directly to people.

And I think I've already laid out the problems with the Ten Commandments (i.e. women are property, it's okay to own slaves, punishment doesn't fit the crime, etc.).

Chapter 6 is another sermon from Moses, and it is about how to keep the law going strong in Israelite society: which is basically to remind everyone about it and keep talking about it. It sounds like something the Communists were famous for, and what EVERY society does: good ol' fashioned propaganda.

Except, instead of talking about the revolution, or democracy, or freedom; the Israelites were concerned about keeping the Law. What steps did they take? Here's the rundown:

1. Teach it to the children.
2. Talk about it in the privacy of your home or out in public, when sitting, lying down, or standing up.
3. Bind copies of the Law to your hands and on your head.
4. Put it on door posts and to the gates of your house.

Perhaps the last two seem extreme, but we've seen it. The Red Star or the American flag hat; the Che Guevara poster on the wall. The Israelites can be said to have been the first people to record this behavior.

Next time, we discuss bad archaeology in Old Testament.

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