1 If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.

2 And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number.

3 Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.

4 Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.

5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.

6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.

The law of the land forbids marriage with a deceased wife's sister, and we are commanded to be subject to the law of the land where it is not inconsistent with the law of God.

Consequently, it is a matter of duty for brethren to abstain from alliances of the character in question. But the divine marriage law allowed of such alliances, and some contend that the human law is in this particular against the divine law, and that therefore they are at liberty to disregard it. There seems enough force in this to call for mutual forbearance in the matter, leaving each to his own conscience.

Offenders are punished enough in the legal incapacities entailed. On this, brother Andrew, of London, observes: "Human laws may be divided into the following:-1 Those commanding acts about which the Scriptures say nothing. 2. Those forbidding actions, compliance with which does not involve the infraction of any Scriptural principle. 3. Those commanding or forbidding actions in contravention of Scriptural principles.

Of No. 1, vaccination is an illustration. If the law is put into operation, we must comply; but if dormant I suppose we are free to do or not to do; if we abstain, our attitude is negative: we commit no overt act.

Of No. 3, the law (now obsolete) requiring regular attendance at church is an illustration of the 'commanding section, and if brethren there prohibited meeting together, it would represent the 'forbidding' class. Such laws as these it is our duty to disobey.

No. 2 is represented by marriage with a deceased wife's sister. To comply with it does not bring anyone into antagonism with divine law; it simply constitutes a further restriction not imposed by the Bible. To violate the human law is an overt act which results in penalties. I am not aware that these include fine or imprisonment, but it is certain that any offspring are treated by the law as illegitimate."

The Christadelphian, Nov 1886

7 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.

8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;

9 Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.

10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.

Pejorative - officially shamed. The man becomes contemptible within the nation.

11 When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets:

12 Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.

13 Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small.

14 Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small.

15 But thou shalt have a perfect [shleimah] and just [tzedek] weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days [yamim] may be lengthened in the land [ ha'adamah]which Yahweh thy Elohim giveth thee.

16 For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination [to'evah] unto Yahweh thy Elohim.

17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt [Mitzrayim];

18 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost [rear ranks] of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not Elohim.

19 Therefore it shall be, when Yahweh thy Elohim hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land [ha'aretz] which Yahweh thy Elohim giveth thee for an inheritance [nachalah] to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven [Shomayim]; thou shalt not forget it.

The significance of God's quarrel with Amalek was for all time - "Write this for a memorial in a book"; but its effect would be the obliteration of Amalek as such: - 'Thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven".

It was a poor Israelite who failed to see more than the obvious literal meaning in this contrast and missed the symbolical sense of the term "Amalek". The Law here, if only he could see it, was presenting a challenge to him to wage a relentless war against sin in himself and all about him, a war so relentless that sin would in the process be annihilated.

Moses certainly construed the situation in that way. Ranging himself symbolically on the side of God in the strife against sin, and declaring his faith in its ultimate defeat, he built an altar, "and called the name of it Yahweh-nissi" (i.e. The Lord my banner).

He perceived in the recent repulse of Amalek an earnest of the eventual destruction of sin itself, and added in explanation of the name which he had given to the altar, "Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation".

Our own experience is proof that this is indeed so, for the Spirit is in perpetual conflict with the flesh, these being "contrary the one to the other".

Law and Grace Ch 3