Sundry moral laws

1 And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I Yahweh your Elohim am holy.

3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am Yahweh your Elohim.

4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am Yahweh your Elohim.

Peace offerings willingly

5 And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto Yahweh, ye shall offer it at your own will.

6 It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire.

7 And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted.

8 Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of Yahweh: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

Provision for the poor

9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.

10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am Yahweh your Elohim.

11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.

12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy Elohim: I am Yahweh.

Fail to perform an oath

13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.

Prompt payment for labour (the same day).

14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy Elohim: I am Yahweh.

15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am Yahweh.

17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am Yahweh. 

"Worthy people but bad citizens."

This is a newspaper description of men who conscientiously refuse to bear arms for king and country. As we (Christadelphians) are among the ones against whom this indictment is laid, what is our answer to it?

The advantages of war, under certain circumstances, must not be ignored. The sword is the terror of the evil doer. Neither must we overlook in our reply that God in time past sanctioned and commanded war.

War is cruel; it is dreadful, but it is not always wrong. Some of the most illustrious of the Bible worthies have been warriors-righteous warriors. Christ has yet to show himself as a man of war. Why then should we, in this age, stand aside from a soldier life?

Our reply can be put in few words. War means avenging-killing-and God has said:

"Avenge not," "Thou shalt not kill" (Lev. 19:18; Rom. 12:19; Exod. 20:13; Rom. 13:9).

To go in opposition to these commandments, without having been authorised by God, is disobedience. In this age, none of His children have been so authorised. This is our stand, and no amount of taunting plausibility of Gentile war patronisers can upset it.

When God wishes us to slay, He will plainly tell us to. Until He does, we will abide by the New Testament precepts, inculcating non-resistance, non-retaliation, non-avenging, and follow the examples of Christ and his apostles, and the example likewise of those early Christians, who, as Gibbon records, steadfastly refused

"to shed the blood of their fellow-Christians, either by the sword of justice or that of war."

Bro AT Jannaway

TC 12/1901

19 Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

20 And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

Grades of sin. She is a bondmaid because she is bound to her future husband...not as serious as adultery therefore not put to death

21 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto Yahweh, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering.

A serious sin (not of ignorance)

22 And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before Yahweh for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.

The Ram - an animal of value to signify the seriousness of the sin.

23 And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.

24 But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise Yahweh withal.

25 And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am Yahweh your Elohim.

"That thou mayest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken" (Deut. 26 : 17-19).

To stress that great fact the Law also arranged that each individual Israelite should come to see an objective representation of himself in the produce of the soil which he cultivated.

"... For seven days after birth the husbandman himself, though lineally descended from Abraham, had stood outside the Covenant. Then on the eighth day he had become one of God's People, his Circumcion bemg witness both of the fact and of its spiritual meaning.

Thereafter he was under the obligation to live only and wholly for God. Each tree he planted was to remind him of these great facts. For three years after planting, none of its fruit was to be picked: it was outside the Covenant ("uncircumcised") and thus not fit to feed a member of the Covenant People.

On the fourth year, however, it was to become God's, the whole of its fruit that year being in token of that fact counted as "holy to praise the Lord". This fourth year's yield (the first of its yield as a "circumcised" tree, that is) stood representatively for that of each succeeding year also, but it sufficed for the allegorical purpose involved that this one year's yield should be the only one made over to God in its entirety.

This arrangement made it abundantly clear to the pious Israelite that the fruit of his spiritual activity before God had all to be "holy" and "to praise the Lord withal". Having ritually assented that God's claims came first and in all things took precedence over his own, he could thereafter in humility and gratitude use the yield of his tree for the sustenance of his mortal life.

"In the fifth year shall ye eat the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am the Lord your God".

In "the fifth year", not before: that is, God first, man next. And why ? Because "I am the Lord thy God". That was the momentous fact which gave such weight and meaning to the ritual; and reinforced its claims upon the People to be as holy as the Land in which they dwelt, and as their God whose habitation it was beside their own.

Law and Grace Ch 11

26 Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.

27 Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am Yahweh.

Tatoos defiling - customs of the nations, marking the flesh to memorialise the dead. 'Be ye separate'.

29 Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.

The Canaanites gave their daughters to pagan temples as prostitutes and were commended in their communities for doing so.

30 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am Yahweh.

31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am Yahweh your Elohim.

32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy Elohim: I am Yahweh.

"The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness" (Prov. 16:31).

33 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.

34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am Yahweh your Elohim.

35 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.

36 Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am Yahweh your Elohim, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.

37 Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am Yahweh.

Integrity should characterize all their doings-

"Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another" (Lev. 19 : I 1)

and all guile should be eschewed by them. So should all desire to abuse any influence or authority which they enjoyed in order to cheat their neighbour of his rights-

"Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with theeall night until the morning" (Lev. 19: 13).

To mock or take mean advantage of the misfortune of the unfortunate would be a direct

insult to Yahweh as the omniscient God-

"Thou shalt not curse the deaf nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shall fear thy God: I am the Lord" (Lev. 19: 14).

Justice was to be administered with absolute impartiality, no favour being shown to either rich or poor (verse I5). Malicious slander for personal profit and all forms of spite were to be abhorred (verse 16). All grudges and secret resentments were to be brought into the open and amicably resolved

"Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. I am the Lord" (verses 17-18).

That term "neighbour" was meant to include even the alien resident in their midst-

"Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt" (Deut. 10: 19)ยท

In every sphere of action absolute honesty and probity were demanded of them.

...One good and all-sufficient reason made that imperative -

"I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the Lord"

(Lev. 19 : 35-37; cf. Deut. 25: 13-16). .