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Notes on Exodus 22-24

In the middle of giving laws against stealing, having pre-marital sex, oppressing strangers, and lending money with high interest, Exodus 22: 18 says “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” What an odd placement for such an odd topic.

Verse 17 is about paying a dowry of virgins to someone who sleeps with an unmarried woman and can’t have permission from the father to marry. Verse 19 is about having sex with animals. Verse 18 is about capital punishment for witches.

Verse 28 says “Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.” This is an interesting verse given the political climate we find ourselves in during the last few decades. America has become increasingly divided, and most of the division springs from our Presidents and Congress. Yet, the Bible tells us not to curse these rulers. Why? Because cursing the ruler, we curse ourselves by proxy. I don’t WANT any President to fail, because that means my country will fail.

We should not revile (criticize) the gods, because that is God’s job. He will take care of the gods and rulers of this world. It’s not our job to wish them harm.

Exodus 23: 2 says “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil;” which is exactly what we continually find ourselves doing. We succumb to peer pressure because we have a pressing desire to be well liked and part of a social group. We find ourselves voting for a certain political party because we identify with a label, rather than with our individual beliefs. This verse is a challenge to Marxist Communism.

Verse 8 also has some great wisdom. “And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.” When you take money from someone, you owe them. We feel we must either pay them back with money or favors. We see this not only in politics, where corruption is part of the game, but in our churches.

The Church has become too focused on taking “gifts.” They pervert the Words of God because they seek additional gifts that go beyond the normal tithes and offerings. “Gifts” are how church buildings are paid for; how church plants are paid for. Gifts can also come to mean “tax breaks.” In order to remain tax-exempt, churches refuse to speak against homosexuality, Islam, transgenderism, alcoholism, and putting half-naked pictures up on social media sites.

Appealing to the audience for more gifts often takes the place of the Holy Spirit. Certain topics become taboo from the pulpit.

In Verse 23, God warns the Israelites against making any “covenant” with the wrongful inhabitants of the Holy Land. While our leaders continually seek a peace resolution between Israel and the Palestinians, God told them not to do it. Is it no wonder that such an accord continually proves so difficult?

One final note, is that the ten commandments were written in Exodus 20, yet Moses does not obtain the famous stone tablets until the end of chapter 31. Those would be broken, and new tablets were made.

Thus, the ten commandments that the Hebrew Bible is translated from is a copy (the Masoretic text) of a copy (original book of Exodus) of a copy (remade tablets) of a copy (original tablets) of an “inspired document” (the original commandments in chapter 20).

Anyone who does not believe the Scripture can be doubly inspired has been deceived.

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