Christian Churches of God
Law and the Sixth Commandment
(Edition 3.0 19981009-20050810-20120804)
It is written: You shall not kill. This paper explains the entire structure of the Law of God as applied to its Commandment, and as explained by the prophets and the Testaments in compliance with the reading of the Law in the Sabbath years.
Law and the Sixth Commandment
It is written in Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17: “You shall not kill”.
The preservation of life continues to the preservation of the body. It concerns the injunction to be holy and to sanctify oneself. As we proceed from the fifth commandment, which established the family and the nation, so too is the preservation of the family and the nation enshrined in the sixth commandment
The mourning for the dead as practised among nations is not to be found among the families of Israel (Lev. 19:28). The natural death of the individual is in accordance with the Plan of God, and rectified by the resurrection from the dead; and Israel shall be placed in their own land (cf. Ezek. 37:1-14; Rev. 20:1-15).
Israel is to be without spot and blemish and their skins are not to be marked. Therefore, tattoos and other deliberate marking of the skin are forbidden. A slave permitting the piercing of the ear for the purpose of putting an awl was seen as a sign of weakness.
Origin and organisation of the State
The power of life and death rests in God as we have seen from the paper Law and the Fifth Commandment (No. 258).
God ordains the families as the basis upon which the State is built. He ordains the higher powers and all power comes from God.
Romans 13:1-7 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. (KJV)
God gave His power through the tablets of the law, which He gave to Moses (Deut. 9:11). All kings are thus also required to make their own copy of the law before they become king.
Deuteronomy 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: (KJV)
God set the elders of Israel in the land and they were given wisdom through the power of the Holy Spirit, just as Moses received that power.
Numbers 11:16-17 And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. 17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. (KJV)
According to Numbers 11:26, God also reserved two prophets outside the Tabernacle of Israel. God does nothing except that He speaks through His servants the prophets, who are those He himself chooses from among His people. So too, the judges execute sentence for the Lord (2Chr. 19:5-7).
The king is also selected and given the power of the Spirit in order to rule Israel (cf. 1Sam 10:1-7). The heads or leaders of the spiritual ministry of Israel are to be selected by lot (Acts 1:26). Acts 6:3-6 shows that deacons and elders were to be chosen from amongst the brethren. The physical leaders are selected by anointing as kings or judges, and by the taking of lots as votes (cf. Hos. 1:11; Lk. 14:28 and fn. to Companion Bible also).
Deuteronomy 1:9-14 And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone: 10 The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude. 11 (The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!) 12 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? 13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you. 14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do. (KJV)
In all this there is no uneven burden among people, or judges, or animals, or any beings, or in the basis of the law itself (cf. Deut 22:10).
The Law of God is not to be yoked to the laws of the nations; nor is it to be watered down or diminished by the laws of the nations. The system of God’s Law, His calendar and His system of worship are not to be yoked to that of the unbelievers (2Cor. 6:14). The administration and the judiciary of all covenant-keeping people are to faithfully reflect the Law of God.
All of the creation is to be kept in the created pure state. There is to be no confusion of God’s creation by mingling, such as in the creation of mules, or hybrids (Lev. 19:19); these are forbidden under the laws of God. We are to be a pure and holy people under pure and holy laws. This also is to preserve life.
Neither is a servant of God to be charged with implementing the laws, and of enforcing or administering them without due recompense in their weekly duties. Nor is any animal or person to be prevented from the enjoyment of their labour.
Deuteronomy 25:4 Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. (KJV)
Does God take care of oxen only? (cf. 1Cor. 9:9; 1Tim. 5:18; cf. Job 38:41; Mat. 6:26; 10:29). All things are provided for under the laws of God, if the nations obey them (Lev. 5:5-7). The atonement and the trespass offerings are contained in the sacrifice of Messiah.
Justice extends to the Gentiles and the enemy, as well as a brother (Deut. 22:1-4; Lev. 20:22-24).
Exodus 23:4-5 If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. 5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him. (KJV)
As we are to be holy, so also are those who dwell with us to be holy; we are all yoked under the laws of God in the Holy Spirit.
2Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (KJV)
It is written: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbor, lest you bear sin because of him … or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. … When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Lev 19:17-18,33-34; Ex. 22:21 RSV).
The sixth commandment is not simply an injunction against killing; it is an injunction to preserve life holy to the Lord, within the laws of the Living God. Life is not to be reduced in quality or standard by injustice, or oppression, or in respect of persons. Thus the structure of the commandment embraces the concepts of assault to the person and property.
Provisions for a breach of the sixth commandment
Deuteronomy 19:1-13 [TO BE READ IN FULL]
When Israel is established, it is to allocate three cities as refuges for anyone who has killed another by accident, so that revenge is not taken in the heat of the moment. There is not to be any innocent bloodshed. The commandments are to be kept and a further three cities of refuge are to be added. However, where the killing is deliberate (i.e. murder) then that person is to be delivered up for trial, and the punishment is death.
Thus the inadvertent breach of the law is to be given the protection of the State within the cities of refuge, if that cannot be guaranteed within the normal environs of the tribe. It is the responsibility of each individual and the State to ensure the protection of all citizens.
Judaic perversion of biblical law
Thus, the stranger or alien is also to be afforded the protection of the individual in society, and to be afforded help in misadventure. The perversion of biblical law occurred in the Jewish Talmud so much that it struck at the very basis of the Laws of God. We can see how perverse the rabbinical teachings became by this quote from Maimonides’ Mishneh Thorah Murderer 4,11:
As for Gentiles with whom we are not at war....their death must not be caused, but it is forbidden to save them if they are at the point of death; if, for example, one of them is falling into the sea, he should not be rescued, for it is written 'neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy fellow' [Lev 19:16] - but [a Gentile] is not thy fellow."
The Soncino makes no reference to rabbinical interpretation in its text because this inhuman and unjust distortion of Scripture is the standard explanation. The real quote is seen as follows.
Leviticus 19:16 You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand forth against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD. (RSV)
This text (at v. 16b) is understood as failing to render assistance to save life. Stone’s Chumash acknowledges this understanding and says: “If someone’s life is in danger you must try to save him...” In the traditions, the Jews in the time of Christ interpreted this to mean that neighbour was synonymous with Jew; this entered the later Jewish practice:
Desecrating the sabbath becomes a duty when the need to save a Jew's life demands it. The problem of saving a Gentile's life on a sabbath is not raised in the Talmud as a main issue, since it is in any case forbidden even on a weekday (cf. ibid.).
This interpretation regarding Gentiles is perhaps the most evil reversal of the intent of Scripture. It is the reason that Christ gave the parable of the Good Samaritan, as this attitude had entered Judaism even in the Temple period in the first century of the current era.
The so-called Oral Law tradition, which allegedly interpreted or influenced the Mishnah from which both the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds are derived, was actually a written series of interpretations. They were written to justify introduced traditions coming from as early as 160 BCE. They were certainly never understood in the history of Israel, and certainly not from Moses, as the Bible itself shows. Israel had often forgotten even the written law, let alone any so-called Oral law. These traditions were largely contradictory and many were blatantly erroneous perversions of Scripture.
Luke 10:25-37 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?" 27 And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." 28 And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live." 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 30 Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, 34 and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" 37 He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." (RSV)
Nowhere else did the Jewish traditions pervert the common law more than in this understanding of the obligation to preserve life and the presumption of innocence.
The presumption of innocence
The presumption of innocence is inherent in the Bible, and no man may be put to death or punished except on the testimony of two or three witnesses. It is throughout the Bible in all aspects, yet the Mishnah introduces the exact opposite concept in the Fourth Division: The Order of Damages Sanhedrin 4:1 E(2).
In property cases they begin [argument] with the case either for acquittal or for conviction, while in capital cases they begin only with the case for acquittal and not for conviction.
(cf. Jacob Neusner, The Mishnah A New Translation, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1988, p. 589)
In all cases, the presumption of innocence demands that the charges be given, then heard and established at the mouth of two witnesses. The accused must then be given due time to rebut before a tribunal of appointed justice, which is unbiased in all aspects and not in respect of persons. During the Temple period, property cases were heard by a tribunal of three judges and all capital charges were heard by a minimum of twenty-three of the Sanhedrin, as the Mishnah itself shows (ibid., D (1)). Thus every decision in property matters was appealable to a tribunal, if delegated for preliminary hearings. All capital cases had to be heard by the minimum of twenty-three of the Sanhedrin itself, because it involved the death penalty. Appeal times were allowed in case of witnesses and evidence also from these early times (Mishnah, ibid.).
For this reason the insidious assertions of the so-called Noahide laws, which Judaism is attempting to establish from the Talmud, allowing conviction by one witness, are contrary to justice and the Laws of God. The ideas and practices are insidious, unbiblical and unjust. These same unjust concepts underlie modern European legal systems, where people are guilty until proven innocent. Lists of suspects can be compiled and disseminated without trial, or proof, or any justice. The United Kingdom has adopted this iniquity among its law-enforcement systems without a murmur. The results and reforms of the English Civil War and subsequent times are being lost without a whimper through puerile reasoning. People with access to the files can destroy their enemies, and there is no justice. For this reason, and the murders and injustice it allowed, the Holy Roman Empire was destroyed, and the Revolution changed Europe in 1850 (cf. Malachi Martin, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church, Secker and Warburg, London, 1982, pp. 250-256, et seq.). In its way, Christianity had perverted the law as much or more than had rabbinical Judaism. The Law of God has never been faithfully implemented, except under Moses and David and the occasional short restoration. Christianity has never even been tried, let alone properly tested.
In the same way, when Muhammad tried to re-introduce the Law of God, and the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs tried to implement it, it was undermined and destroyed. Islam was as short-lived as the Davidic kingdom. Islam was destroyed by the Hadith, just as the Councils had destroyed Christianity and the tradition, and Talmud had destroyed the Law and developed Judaism. “Babylon” has reigned for thousands of years: it is the religion of the god of this world, who will reign until the coming restoration.
The responsibility to provide life
With the concept of the legal control of life, we also have the concept to provide life or to make alive.
Deuteronomy 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. (KJV)
God has no god with Him; rather He alone is God and gives life and takes life. His hand takes hold on judgment. Thus the taking of life in the creation from the fall is rectified by the giving of life in the resurrection (see the papers Doctrine of Original Sin Part 1 The Garden of Eden (No. 246) and Doctrine of Original Sin Part 2 The Generations of Adam (No. 248) and The Resurrection if the Dead (No. 143)). God is thus subject to His own laws and makes restitution for any actions He has made, or ordered, in the process of the creation.
1Samuel 2:6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. (KJV)
(cf. Isa. 43:13)
Yahovah-elohim breathed the breath of life into Adam’s nostrils (Gen. 2:7). So also through the same elohim we receive the breath of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 20:22-23).
God sentences people to death for sin and breach of the law. Hence, we see that breach of the sixth commandment carries the death penalty, which is the sanction in every single instance of the commandments of God. The ultimate penalty for breach of the law is death, from the first commandment to the tenth commandment (Ex. 22:22-24; Deut. 24:14-17). The commandments are based on restitution and restoration, but the penalty for repeated violation and refusal to obey is death in every instance.
The nation has an obligation to keep alive the native born, the strangers and the aliens in its lands.
Leviticus 19:9-10 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 the LORD your God. (KJV)
The law provides for the protection of disabled persons from assault and from being improperly taken advantage of.
Leviticus 19:14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD. (KJV)
The preservation of life and the family
Leviticus 25:35-43 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. 36 Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. 37 Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. 38 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God. 39 And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: 40 But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile: 41 And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return. 42 For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen. 43 Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God. (KJV)
Usury is forbidden to all of the faith, for by it we oppress one another. We were all bought with a price, and so we should all glorify God by protecting each other (1Cor. 6:20; cf. Ex. 22:21), for God is elohe of elohim, or God of gods and Lord of lords (adonai of adonim) (Deut. 10:17-19 cf. fn. to Companion Bible).
The nation and the person are to be kept alive in freedom under just laws.
Exodus 21:1-6 These are the laws you are to set before them: If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. 3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. 5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: 6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. (KJV)
This awl hole is a mark of shame. In the seventh year, if a slave wishes go free, the master should free him and his wife also. No master can oppress a bondservant but he has fair recompense for his or her service (Deut. 15:12-15).
How can a man be liberally restored and provided for from the flock, yet have his wife and children withheld? This is the law that demands a fair and just restoration. The point to be made is that servitude from him is conditional; the master is not penalised for the generosity of his original gift, if it was in service. These laws have limitation today, but only in a general sense this century. Serfdom and bond servants were common until the nineteenth century.
The law applies to all of the household and the nation, and the responsibility is on the rulers and property owners to provide for the welfare of those within their area.
Exodus 23:10-11 And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: 11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard. (KJV)
Therefore, we are not to kill by neglect or starvation in all our lands (cf. Lev. 19:9-10).
The responsibility is to make alive to all parts of the community, within the sphere of influence of the individual. To love one’s neighbour as one’s self is a command that extends to all those in our area of influence (cf. the parable of the Good Samaritan; Lk. 10:30-37).
Our support of our neighbour is to extend to the point that our own negligence is to be taken as succour for the poor.
Deuteronomy 24:19-22 When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands. 20 When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. 21 When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. 22 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing. (KJV)
Compare also the paper Ruth (No. 27).
God protected Israel in all of its wanderings to keep it alive as an example for us. Moses recounts Israel’s wanderings in Deuteronomy 1:1-46. God ensures that all are given their abundance in their dwellings, and He blesses in accordance with the obedience of the nation to Him. The cattle and the spoil were taken, except where God gave express orders against that act (Deut. 2:1-37). The people did not need to fear as their enemies would be defeated and utterly destroyed (Deut. 3).
All of Israel is commanded to assist the tribes in all their possession and in taking their inheritance. No tribe shall hold back from assisting another in the just execution of the will of God and the establishment of the nation of Israel. No person shall refuse to assist any within the tribes to remain alive, and no person shall oppress or vex or frustrate another. No person shall diminish the life of another through usury or oppression of any kind.
Right to life and right to kill vested in God
God establishes all power and all authority. The magistrate wields the sword at the will of God (cf. Rom. 13:1-7).
Titus 3:1-3 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. (KJV)
We owe tribute and honour to whom God has raised up and to whom it is due. The nation has, however, a right to preserve life under oppression through unjust laws (cf. Ex. 11:1-10).
Death is symbolic, and blood is used to point to the coming of the Messiah, whose shed blood pointed to the making alive of the entire human estate. The sacrificial system was instituted to point towards the dedication of the entire structure to God in obedience. As the nation of Israel was kept alive and brought out of Egypt through the blood sacrifice of the Passover lamb, so too is the world kept alive by the sacrifice of Messiah. The sacrifice is not some blood lust in the mind of God, but rather a test of the willingness on the part of His sons to lay down their lives for each other.
Exodus 29:11-12 And thou shalt kill the bullock before the LORD, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 12 And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar. (KJV)
Messiah entered the Holy of Holies once and for all with his own blood. He thus made way for us to enter and become sons of God in power from the resurrection from the dead, as co-heirs with Christ (cf. Rom. 1:4; Heb. 9:12ff.). The tabernacle was a replica of the heavenly sanctuary. The Temple pointed towards us as the spiritual Temple, which Temple we are (1Cor. 3:16-17).
Israel walked in the wilderness for forty years, and all who were not willing to partake of the promise died in the wilderness. Only Caleb and Joshua survived. This fact pointed towards those of Israel who would not accept the promise. The tribes ate manna for that entire period, and they drank from that spiritual rock that was Christ. He appeared to them as Captain of the Army of the Lord to establish them in their inheritance at Jericho after their circumcision at Gilgal.
The physical Temple was established to last until Messiah, and then the physical gave way to the spiritual. The entire church in the wilderness over the forty jubilees had no sacrifice other than the elect. The 144,000 were the sacrifices of the Sabbaths, New Moons and Holy Days. The daily sacrifice pointed towards the great multitude; and the night comes before the day, the evening before the morning. That is why there is only one sacrifice in the Temple at Ezekiel, because the greater part of the harvest is already dead, but only the first resurrection has risen. There are more to come (Rev. 20:4-15). The evening sacrifice is already raised as the great multitude in the first resurrection (Rev. 7:9ff.). Thus the morning sacrifice, which is also the day dawning under the Morning Star, is the only one of the two daily sacrifices undertaken in the millennial system (cf. Ezek. 46:13-15). The long night is past. That is also why there is no sacrifice allowed during the long night of the forty jubilees in the wilderness, because the harvest is ongoing and they are all living stones of the Temple during that period.
Ezekiel 46:13-15 Thou shalt daily prepare a burnt offering unto the LORD of a lamb of the first year without blemish: thou shalt prepare it every morning. 14 And thou shalt prepare a meat offering for it every morning, the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of an hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour; a meat offering continually by a perpetual ordinance unto the LORD. 15 Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and the meat offering, and the oil, every morning for a continual burnt offering. (KJV)
The sacrificial system points towards every aspect of the saving grace of God in the redemption of the sacrifice of Messiah. There was never a day when the sacrifice was not undertaken during the entire Temple period. When the Temple was destroyed at Jerusalem there was still one at Elephantine in Egypt during the Babylonian captivity. Elephantine was itself destroyed and the sacrifice limited there later. The Temple was also built by Onias IV at Leontopolis in the ancient area of Goshen, in accordance with the prophecy of Isaiah 19:19 regarding the later desecrations that were to take place up until the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. The Temple at Leontopolis was closed by order of Vespasian in 71 CE (cf. The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13)).
The Temple period lasted from its construction under Solomon for a thousand years, until the establishment of Messiah as High Priest and the Church as a priesthood under the order of Melchisedek. This thousand years was the period of twenty jubilees symbolised by the evening sacrifices. The church then went into the long night in the wilderness, where there was no physical Temple and the sacrifices were the 144,000, consisting of seventy-two per year (matching the number of weekly, monthly and Holy Day sacrifices) drawn out over two thousand years or forty jubilees. The elect were the living sacrifices, and the great multitude that stands with them (from Revelation 7:1-17) were the daily sacrifices that no man can number. They “fell asleep” in the Lord for the first resurrection, hence the symbolism.
The morning sacrifices that are specified in Ezekiel’s Temple represent the last millennial period of the reign of Jesus Christ and the elect. This last period of twenty jubilees or one thousand years, making the four thousand-year period of the Temple, ends with the second resurrection and Judgment and the coming of the One True God in the Glory of the City of God (cf. Lev. 1:1-17 and the papers Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272) and The City of God (No. 180)). Offerings were to be of the herds, (sheep, goats or cattle) or of fowls without blemish, and the offering must be voluntary. The priests were to deal with it as prescribed.
Other than the sacrifices of the elect for each other, no sacrifice has been allowed to be offered for two thousand years. The Temple has been deliberately destroyed by the authority of God, and the sacrifice has been prevented from being offered. All who tried to reintroduce the sacrifice were killed, or sent into captivity. Salvation is of the Gentiles and all Israel. Those who try to oppress any Gentile under the law are destroyed or punished.
The offerings unto the Lord (Lev. 2:1-16) are no longer of the priesthood of Aaron, but are of the priesthood of Melchisedek (cf. Ps. 110:4); they are without genealogy, without determination by mother or father, but are priests forever under their High Priest, who is Messiah (cf. Heb. 7:1-22).
The sacrifices were for the priesthood in the old system (Lev. 3:1-17; 4:1-35). The sacrifices are the priesthood in the new system.
We are made whole through the sacrifice of Messiah. The law is written on our hearts and minds (Heb. 8:8-13), and our offerings are of restoration because our High Priest sits at the right hand of God (Heb. 8:1ff.). All things that are killed are killed under the authority and power of God. All that lives belongs to God, for the cattle are God’s, and the pots in Jerusalem in the restoration will be holy to the Lord, as will all life; it is He that orders it killed. The sacrifice of Messiah and the trespass offering was the requirement for the entire new priesthood. No person can be a priest except by the trespass offering of Messiah. He is the peace offering that sets us at one with God, as shown in Leviticus 7.
The priesthood is thereby sanctified through the offerings, all of which are reflected in Messiah. The priesthood must be washed in the water of baptism, clothed with the spotless garments washed in the blood of the lamb; they are then prepared as priests. The priesthood was sanctified beginning with Moses (Lev. 8:1-36), who said that a prophet would be raised up “like unto him.” Through this later prophet the entire human race was to be made alive. From Messiah, the priesthood was then prepared and put into place. This is what Moses pointed to, and what was fulfilled in the church.
The sanctification of the priesthood is done in a similar way to the sanctification of the Temple (cf. the paper The Sanctification of the Temple (No. 241)). They are unleavened, being freed from the leaven of malice and wickedness, and await the new leaven of the Holy Spirit. From the first of the First month, called Abib or Nisan, to the seventh of the First month, the priesthood and the elect sanctify the Temple, and then the simple and then the erroneous on the last (i.e. seventh) day. The priesthood is the Temple under the order of Melchisedek.
The custom of observing New Year on the first of the Seventh month, called Rosh Hashanah, contrary to the express order of God in the law, did not enter Judaism until the third century of the current era, according to Rabbi Kohn, Chief Rabbi at Budapest (cf. The Sabbatarians in Transylvania,  ed., W. Cox, tr. T. McElwain and B. Rook, 1998, CCG Publishing, pp. v. et seq.). Rosh Hashanah was never observed in the Temple period. The entire symbolism of the Sanctification of the Temple precluded such a concept.
Leviticus 9:1-24 And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel; 2 And he said unto Aaron, Take thee a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the LORD. 3 And unto the children of Israel thou shalt speak, saying, Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, for a burnt offering; 4 Also a bullock and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD; and a meat offering mingled with oil: for to day the LORD will appear unto you. 5 And they brought that which Moses commanded before the tabernacle of the congregation: and all the congregation drew near and stood before the LORD. 6 And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the LORD shall appear unto you. 7 And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offering, and make an atonement for thyself, and for the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as the LORD commanded. 8 Aaron therefore went unto the altar, and slew the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. 9 And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him: and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar: 10 But the fat, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver of the sin offering, he burnt upon the altar; as the LORD commanded Moses. 11 And the flesh and the hide he burnt with fire without the camp. 12 And he slew the burnt offering; and Aaron's sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled round about upon the altar. 13 And they presented the burnt offering unto him, with the pieces thereof, and the head: and he burnt them upon the altar. 14 And he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the burnt offering on the altar. 15 And he brought the people's offering, and took the goat, which was the sin offering for the people, and slew it, and offered it for sin, as the first. 16 And he brought the burnt offering, and offered it according to the manner. 17 And he brought the meat offering, and took an handful thereof, and burnt it upon the altar, beside the burnt sacrifice of the morning. 18 He slew also the bullock and the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings, which was for the people: and Aaron's sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled upon the altar round about, 19 And the fat of the bullock and of the ram, the rump, and that which covereth the inwards, and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver: 20 And they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burnt the fat upon the altar: 21 And the breasts and the right shoulder Aaron waved for a wave offering before the LORD; as Moses commanded. 22 And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings. 23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. 24 And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces. (KJV)
From the sanctification and the setting aside of the elect, the people are blessed again in sequence. The nation and the earth cannot be hurt until the last of the elect are baptised, sealed and set apart, and then the end will come (Rev. 7:3-4).
All killing is unto the Lord, and blood must be paid with blood, unless done as holy to the Lord.
Leviticus 17:1-6 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them; This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, saying, 3 What man soever there be of the house of Israel, that killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or that killeth it out of the camp, 4 And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer an offering unto the LORD before the tabernacle of the LORD; blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people: 5 To the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they offer in the open field, even that they may bring them unto the LORD, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest, and offer them for peace offerings unto the LORD. 6 And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and burn the fat for a sweet savour unto the LORD. (KJV)
Thus all things are done to the greater glory of God. The function of the abattoir must also be under the supervision of the priest. In the restoration all killing of meat will be as sacrifices holy to the Lord, and the pots will be holy to the Lord (Zech. 14:20-21; cf. the paper Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183)).
The taking of all life is done by the authority of God. The blood is the life thereof and it must be poured out on the ground.
Deuteronomy 12:20-28 When the LORD thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. 21 If the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the LORD hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. 22 Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike. 23 Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh. 24 Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water. 25 Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD. 26 Only thy holy things which thou hast, and thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which the LORD shall choose: 27 And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the LORD thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh. 28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God. (KJV)
The State’s right to take life
The right to take life vests in the State but is delegated to the individual in certain circumstances. Under the law there is a Goel appointed as an avenger of blood, or redeemer to Israel, or as a ransomer. The first instance is in Genesis 48:16 where it applies to the Angel of Redemption, who was elohim of Israel. The next occurrence of the term is in Exodus 6:6 and 15:3, where Messiah was the redeemer and man of war to those not of Israel. The term then is applied to the avenger of blood under the law in Numbers 35:12,19 (see Num 35 below). The duty was normally detailed to the next of kin or near kinsman in the tribal context, but it applies in the Messiah and the elohim of justice who appoint a state executioner as required. No manslayer is to die until he stands before the congregation in judgment. In order that this be done, there are to be cities of refuge and places where a person can be protected and brought to trial.
Control of life in peace
All laws of cleanliness are given for the preservation of life. Ignorance is no excuse under the law.
Leviticus 5:2-3 Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping things, and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty. 3 Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever uncleanness it be that a man shall be defiled withal, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty. (KJV)
Some aspects of the sacrifice were given also solely to the Lord. This acts as a punishment and will be restored as a punishment in the millennial system. This aspect is distinct from the cleanliness legislation, which is part of the laws of life – to make whole or make alive.
Leviticus 7:21-27 Moreover the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the LORD, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. 22 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 23 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat. 24 And the fat of the beast that dieth of itself, and the fat of that which is torn with beasts, may be used in any other use: but ye shall in no wise eat of it. 25 For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people. 26 Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. 27 Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. (KJV)
The long-term effects of the consumption of fat and blood are now well known. Such conduct is prohibited under the legislation in prolongation of life.
All killing must be for food, preservation of the balance or of property and it must be done in accordance with just law. The preservation of the environment is as much a responsibility of the individual as is the protection of others from negligence in property or construction.
Deuteronomy 22:6-8 If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: 7 But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days. 8 When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence. (KJV)
The blood of all creatures is upon him who sheds it. There is an obligation to protect people from the loss of life or injury from potentially hazardous objects. In this case, a battlement being erected on a roof, and by the same extension a fence around a swimming pool to protect the very young, is a necessary precaution. In the same way, failing to render assistance to someone in difficulties is a breach of the intent of the law; however, there is no requirement to hazard or to lose one’s own life in this regard. Contrary to rabbinical Judaism, there is an obligation to attempt to save life.
The control of disease is an important part in the preservation of life. The sixth commandment extends to killing by transmission of disease. Individuals have a responsibility to ensure they do not place others at risk by failing to observe simple quarantine procedures. The birth of the child sets them in the nation under the covenant, and in accordance with purification legislation (Lev. 12:1-8).
Leviticus 12:1-8 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. 3 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4 And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled. 5 But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days. 6 And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest: 7 Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female. 8 And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean. (KJV)
The laws of the purification make distinction between male and female children. This aspect has not been investigated by science adequately as yet to establish the precise basis. Like all laws there is a precise basis for this law. The legislation may be to protect the mother or the child from various chemical imbalances, which induce or make vulnerable either party to disease. The whole issue of purification of women is dealt with in the paper Purification and Circumcision (No. 251).
Quarantine is a serious and necessary part of life. It is the responsibility of the society and the individual. The laws of leprosy show the importance and the requirements of strict quarantine. Although we can now cure leprosy, the law stands and quarantine is mandatory.
Leviticus 13:1-59 [TO BE READ IN FULL]
This chapter deals with recognition and methods of handling various skin blemishes and infected clothing. The nomenclature is also simple for simple people. The restrictions apply, and in modern terminology the Torah would be longer, but the principles would be the same.
Leviticus 14:1-57 [TO BE READ IN FULL]
Leviticus 14 deals with leprosy and the sacrifices on being healed; it also deals with infected clothing and housing.
The whole aspect of the infection of areas is covered under these laws. If these laws were kept today, infectious diseases and the hospital resistant infections would be reduced or eliminated. We understand the causes of these infections more (on a scientific basis) now than ever before, but our attitudes to quarantine and isolation are not as thorough. We do not close wards down because of the costs and the availability of beds; hence, the resistant strains are spread. People die in hospital because of the breach of biblical law even today.
Deuteronomy 24:8-9 Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do. 9 Remember what the LORD thy God did unto Miriam by the way, after that ye were come forth out of Egypt. (KJV)
Leprosy is also a punishment for rebellion. Today the aspects of divine intervention are often not taken into account.
Leviticus 15:1-33 [TO BE READ IN FULL]
This chapter deals firstly with illnesses that cause discharges (e.g. sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, colds and other contagious diseases). Then it deals with any infected articles of clothing, utensils, and with sexual intercourse and menstruation.
The laws of cleanliness and quarantine are laws that are there for the containment of infection. We now understand the causes of the diseases in a much more definite way, but the laws of quarantine are still valid.
Numbers 5:1-4 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead: 3 Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell. 4 And the children of Israel did so, and put them out without the camp: as the LORD spake unto Moses, so did the children of Israel. (KJV)
Thus quarantine of infectious diseases is mandatory (Num. 9:6-11).
The second Passover is set aside for those who are unable to partake of it on the first, by reason of a journey, or other quarantine problem. It is not a matter of choice.
The relationship of the sacrifice is to point us to God as the source of life and healing. Healing is a science, and the healers who work within the nation should work according to the laws of God. They ought to operate in due diligence, as they act as instruments of God within His Laws.
Deuteronomy 23:1-8 He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD. 2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD. 3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever: 4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee. 5 Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee. 6 Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever. 7 Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land. 8 The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation.
In this section of the law, we see that the protection of the nation is by protection of the family within marriage. These categories of people are prohibited from entering the congregation of the Lord as an example to Israel. These people die in their sins according to the law.
It was also the custom of the pagans to require their priests to be celibate, or to make them into eunuchs. The law was given here to forbid this practice. The pagans and others, knowing this law, sometimes rendered the elect as eunuchs to contravene these aspects of the law, and render them technically unfit to enter a synagogue and hence the congregation. The New Testament confirms this practice and the later decisions (cf. Apostolic Constitutions, ANF, Vol. VIII, pp. 479 et seq.) allowed such men to become bishops or elders.
Messiah died for the sins of the world. Salvation is now of the Gentiles, and the sins of the fathers are no longer counted against the sons. This is the new covenant: the nature of the law is written in their hearts, and each man is responsible for his own sin. This is the significance of the change in the nature of the covenant (cf. Jer. 31:29-34).
The entire structure of the New Covenant under Messiah was to deal with sin (cf. Mat. 26:28; Heb. 8:8-12; 10:16-17). The rabbinical commentaries fail to deal with the nature of the change correctly (cf. Soncino commentary to v. 30). Israel will indeed remain faithful to God, but the carriage of sin from father to son is eliminated by the new covenant under Messiah; that is the message which eliminates the entire structure of the consequence of original sins of the fathers from the Old Testament. Modern so-called Christianity has exactly the opposite message to that intended under the Messiah.
The consequence of impurity from among the nations during war is also covered in this text. The nation of Israel is not to do as the Gentiles do, nor are they to pollute themselves along with the Gentiles.
Deuteronomy 23:9-14 When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing. 10 If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp: 11 But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again. 12 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: 13 And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: 14 For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee. (KJV)
The Lord our God walks among us and we are to be holy in peace or in war. God dwells among us and we are the Temple of God.
The food laws are to prolong life and to protect the planet; they ensure the food chain and minimise disease. The scientific basis of the food laws is detailed in the paper The Food Laws (No. 15). The aberrations concerning the food laws, the ascetic doctrines of vegetarianism and the aberrations connected to them are covered in the papers Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183); Wine in the Bible (No. 188) and Balance (No. 209). Vegetarianism and celibacy and abstaining from marriage are stated to be doctrines of demons of the last days (1Tim. 4:3; cf. Acts 15:20; Mat. 3:4)
The avoidance of disease by observance of the food laws and proper slaughtering, and refusing to eat animals damaged by wild beasts, is enshrined in the ordinances (e.g. Ex. 22:31). Also, the first of the firstfruits is dedicated to the House of God (Ex 34:26). The Lord led Israel because there was no strange god among them. They ate of the fat of the land, even through all the days of Solomon until he sinned, and iniquity was brought upon the nation (Deut. 32:14; cf. Prov. 27:27; 1Kgs. 4:22-23).
The food laws are written in Leviticus 11
Leviticus 11:1-47 And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. 3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. 4 Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 5 And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. 8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you. 9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. 10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: 11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. 12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you. 13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, 14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; 15 Every raven after his kind; 16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, 17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, 18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, 19 And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. 20 All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. 21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; 22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. 23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you. 24 And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even. 25 And whosoever beareth ought of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even. 26 The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean. 27 And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even. 28 And he that beareth the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you. 29 These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, 30 And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole. 31 These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even. 32 And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed. 33 And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it. 34 Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water cometh shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean. 35 And every thing whereupon any part of their carcase falleth shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean, and shall be unclean unto you. 36 Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean. 37 And if any part of their carcase fall upon any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean. 38 But if any water be put upon the seed, and any part of their carcase fall thereon, it shall be unclean unto you. 39 And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die; he that toucheth the carcase thereof shall be unclean until the even. 40 And he that eateth of the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that beareth the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even. 41 And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. 42 Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination. 43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. 44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. 46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: 47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten. (KJV)
It should be noted that the KJV uses the word swan at verse 18. This word is not in fact swan and does not refer to the family of geese and ducks. The word tinshemes refers to a bat (Rashi; Chizkuni) or an owl (Ralbag; cf. Stone’s Chumash) or a horned owl (cf. Soncino), or tanshemes (SHD 8580) as a water hen.
Deuteronomy 14:1-21 Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. 2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. 3 Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. 4 These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, 5 The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois. 6 And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat. 7 Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you. 8 And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase. 9 These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat: 10 And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you. 11 Of all clean birds ye shall eat. 12 But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, 13 And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind, 14 And every raven after his kind, 15 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, 16 The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan [cf. the note to Lev. 11:18 above. The word is NOT swan and the KJV is wrong], 17 And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant, 18 And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. 19 And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten. 20 But of all clean fowls ye may eat. 21 Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk. (KJV)
So too, there is to be purity of breed; there are to be no mules, or similar animals, nor garments of mixed linen and wool (Lev. 19:19) apart from those of the High Priest.
Leviticus 20:25 Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. (KJV)
These clean and unclean distinctions are there to preserve the people.
Leviticus 22:1-33 deals with the using or eating of the holy things. These were not to be profaned.
The legislation here was to protect the priesthood and point towards the elect. If the legislation was not there to protect the types of animals offered, then Levi would have eaten the refuse of the land, and the table for the Lord would have become polluted. The sacrifice served two purposes in this way: the offerings were holy to the Lord and only the best was offered; also the sin offerings became the penalty they were supposed to be, and will be again in the millennial system. David ate of the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to do, to point towards the Messiah and the new priesthood under David’s lineage and household.
The text in Numbers 19 deals with the sacrifice of the red heifer and the handling of the dead.
Numbers 19:1-22 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 2 This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke: 3 And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and one shall slay her before his face: 4 And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times: 5 And one shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn: 6 And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. 7 Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even. 8 And he that burneth her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even. 9 And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation: it is a purification for sin. 10 And he that gathereth the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: and it shall be unto the children of Israel, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among them, for a statute for ever. 11 He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. 12 He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean. 13 Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him. 14 This is the law, when a man dieth in a tent: all that come into the tent, and all that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days. 15 And every open vessel, which hath no covering bound upon it, is unclean. 16 And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. 17 And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel: 18 And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave: 19 And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even. 20 But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD: the water of separation hath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean. 21 And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them, that he that sprinkleth the water of separation shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of separation shall be unclean until even. 22 And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean; and the soul that toucheth it shall be unclean until even. (KJV)
The purification system served two purposes: it enshrined the regulations for cleanliness in situations that were likely to lead to contamination in the law; it also pointed towards the sanctification system in the Temple of the elect. Because the false church did not understand the legislation of the Old Testament in these aspects, millions died prematurely in breach of these laws through ignorance and disease.
Deuteronomy 22:9-11Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. 10 Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. 11 Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together. (KJV)
These laws regarding purity of seed and type are covered in the paper Law and the Fifth Commandment (No. 258).
The undue hybridisation of plants would have created confusion. The deliberate engineering of these attributes and plants is doing much the same now.
Prohibition against eating blood
The blood is the life thereof and the consumption of blood is a serious health risk.
Leviticus 17:10-16 And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. 12 Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood. 13 And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. 14 For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off. 15 And every soul that eateth that which died of itself, or that which was torn with beasts, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even: then shall he be clean. 16 But if he wash them not, nor bathe his flesh; then he shall bear his iniquity. (KJV)
The failure to abide by God’s Laws incurs a penalty.
The compound aspects of these laws indicate a form of worship that was taking place in the ancient pagan world. We now know that in the Triune system among the Druids, the Celts and Aryans generally, human sacrifice was undertaken and the groves were littered, or dressed with human intestines and blood (cf. the paper The Origin of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)). The zodiacal system, as a religion of the observation of times, was not in accord with the Bible calendar. The system of divination was distinct from that of the Urim and Thummin, and was a form of wizardry or witchcraft.
God desires obedience and not sacrifice. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (1Sam. 15:22-23) because it establishes a will in opposition to the will of God, as seen in Numbers 16:1-50. This text concerns the rebellion of Korah, which is dealt with in the paper Law and the First Commandment (No. 253).
God dealt with this rebellion in two ways. The first step was not heeded, and then the populace was in danger of destruction. The entire priesthood was set apart from this time, until the coming of the Messiah and the priesthood of Melchisedek. Then the elect would be priests forever after the order of Melchisedek, and God said that they would be gods, sons of the Most High, all of them; and Scripture cannot be broken (Ps. 82:6-7; Jn. 10:35).
In Numbers 17 Aaron pointed towards the priesthood of the twelve tribes under Messiah, and Levi then takes his place as part of a larger priesthood over the Gentiles, and the entire world will become as part of the worship of Israel (Rev. 7:4-8).
The system of God’s law-order is established in the nation under a leader as the direct representative of God. The leader has further representatives, and in their hands are the law and the punishment established.
Establishment of the system of crime and punishment
Each commandment is ultimately sanctioned by the death penalty, and this penalty is not an indiscriminate consequence of judgment. God desires mercy and justice. Christ showed how the penalties were to be administered (Jn. 8:7). The penalties were not to be administered by mob violence. Nor was the death penalty to be indiscriminately applied, as we see from Messiah’s comments regarding the adulterous woman (Jn. 8:1-11).
In that example, Messiah disclosed the interpretation of the law. Only by repeated breach of an ordinance is the death penalty applied, or when the sixth commandment is broken under specific circumstances, for the law allows the taking of life by an individual under set circumstance.
Abortion is a breach of the sixth commandment except on one ground. That ground is where another law is breached: when the child threatens the life of the parent, then the child is put to death.
This is a reflection of the fifth commandment, and the sixth follows from the fifth and interprets it. Thus the child cannot be allowed to kill the parent; this would be logically consistent with the Laws of God. The first five commandments relate to the responsibilities of the individual to God and the family in the society, as creator and parents. The last five commandments relate to the interaction with that society. No child can damage or cause the death of its parent with impunity.
Exodus 21:15 And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. (KJV)
Abortion is thus permitted within the Law of God to save the life of the mother.
Damages in Miscarriage
The punishment for miscarriage induced by violence is according to claims in damages, as directed to and by a court of the land.
Exodus 21:22-25 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (KJV)
Refusal to come before the court, and the creation of mischief that follows it, is to be determined according to punitive damage. Thus both parties are to be bound by the court and its decisions, and any mischief caused by either party in retribution is punished in retribution according to the damages inflicted. This is in accordance with the law that states: “you shall not revile the elohim or the ruler of the people.”
Unauthorised taking of life is murder. The law specifies the specific instances and circumstances where a person may be put to death. All unauthorised taking of life is murder; thus the sixth commandment, “You shall not kill,” is properly understood as meaning, “You shall not murder.”
The taking of life is not only sanctioned, it is mandatory under the law in certain instances, as shown above. Moreover, the types of crimes require certain levels of the application of the law. A breach of the sixth commandment requires the death penalty, whereas only repeated and wilful breaches of some other commandments incur the death penalty; however, they do all attract the death penalty in the final instance (cf. Num. 15:32-36).
The nation is numbered for war under the law (Num. 26:2).
The king, who is set over Israel, must be chosen from among his brothers. He is not to multiply horses to himself, nor cause his brethren to return to Egypt to multiply horses to him. He is not to multiply wives to himself, or to depart from the law of God (Deut. 17:14-20; Eccl. 5:9; Isa. 32:17; cf. the paper Law and the Fifth Commandment (No. 258)).
The king shall rule according to the law of God even unto Messiah, and the law shall proceed from Zion.
Isaiah 2:2-5 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. (KJV)
All life is conditional to obedience to the Laws of God (cf. Deut. 7:1-5).
Authority to conduct wars
The conduct of war is vested in the heads of the nation, and the vows of the nation are heeded and are binding. God caused retribution because of the failure to conduct war in a proper manner (see Num.21:1-5).
The failure to obey and the lack of faith of the nation caused the error of the brass seraph called a serpent. The seraph was raised in order to concentrate the faith of Israel when it was lacking, but without a physical focus. The elect have no physical focus and need no such object.
Often the Lord forces decisions so that the enemy will be delivered into the hands of the nation, even though they do not want to go to war; it will be so also in the last days. The nations will be brought down to the valley of decision against Messiah, and there they will be destroyed.
Numbers 31:1-54 [TO BE READ IN FULL]
This chapter deals with further wars and the proper conduct regarding the spoils of war and tributes.
The only people able to enter the congregation of Israel were the thirty-two thousand women who had not known another man. This same example applies in Gideon, when the same number is refined even further to three hundred for the battle among the nations. No pollution was allowed to enter the congregation of Israel: no false Gods and no disease, but only the virgins. These examples pointed towards the nations who made their robes white in the blood of the lamb and are spiritual virgins, knowing only One God, as brides of Christ.
War service and numbering troops
No man can be forced into service within one year of marriage, nor be forced to do battle against his will (cf. Deut. 20).
Deuteronomy 24:5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken. (KJV)
No person can serve in war under the age of twenty years, nor against his will.
Numbers 1:1-46 [TO BE READ IN FULL]
This chapter deals with the numbering of Israel, which took place on the first day of the Second month in the Second year after leaving Egypt.
Those who are numbered and do not desire to go to war as part of the host, and are not within the categories listed above as left out of battle, can be used for hard labour within the categories of the levies, raised by the crown (cf. 1Kgs. 5:13ff.). All Israel must report when summoned for duty under their heads. They have a specific order of march and order of battle.
Numbers 10:1-36 [TO BE READ IN FULL]
Trumpets are made so that the people of Israel can be gathered together for whatever purpose. The text also deals with the order of march by all the tribes. The nation of Israel is under the Angel of the Lord, their Messiah, by day and by night, as seen in Numbers 13; this is dealt with in the paper Law and the First Commandment (No. 253). The men are sent to check out the Promised Land of Canaan. Their report is that the land is good but they were afraid of the inhabitants. The Lord God gave victory, but the heads of tribes forfeited their right to enter the Promised Land through cowardice.
Normal operations of war
It is permitted to kill in the defence of one’s nation and one’s home. God is with the defender. There are a number of categories of people excluded (cf. the paper Deuteronomy 20 (No. 201)).
Deuteronomy 20:1-20 When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 2 And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, 3 And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; 4 For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. 5 And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. 6 And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. 7 And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her. 8 And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart. 9 And it shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking unto the people, that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people. 10 When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. 11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. 12 And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: 13 And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: 14 But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. 15 Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations. 16 But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: 17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee: 18 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God. 19 When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man's life) to employ them in the siege: 20 Only the trees which thou knowest that they be not trees for meat, thou shalt destroy and cut them down; and thou shalt build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it be subdued. (KJV)
The land is to be protected and the environment protected. Only those who worship other gods (other than the Lord the God of Israel) are to be destroyed utterly.
The utter extermination of an idolatrous people is not a crime under the law of God. They must be warned and given the opportunity to repent, and then exterminated if they do not repent. If we have been given no command to occupy their lands, or do not wish to deal with them or exterminate them as a nation, then we must leave them utterly alone.
If we do not destroy them and instead cohabit the land with them, then our nation most certainly will be brought to idolatry and itself destroyed by the wrath of God. Idolatry is expressly prohibited to Israel and to the aliens within its gates, and is a capital offence (Deut. 7:22-26).
When a nation repents it is to be treated as a brother and therefore subject to the laws of God.
Amalek and war among nations
Balaam’s prophecy showed the latter end of the nations that rose against Israel. Amalek was first among nations, yet his latter end was to perish forever, just as the Kenites were to perish forever. The end times were a problem of survival as we see when Balaam also said, “Who shall live (or survive) when God does this?” (cf. Num. 24:20-24). “And the ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Ashur and Eber and he also shall perish forever” (v. 24 KJV). In this text the Assyrians, and the earlier or pre-Israelite or generic Hebrews, are attacked by the Kittim, as sons of Javan, son of Japheth (Gen. 10:4). Kittim/Chittim was formerly Cyprus and the north coastline of the Mediterranean. The people were also associated with the Phoenicians, as part of the ancient Sea Lords also ruling from Cyprus.
These wars of the last days are reminiscent of the battles between Israel and Amalek before they entered the Promised Land (Ex. 17:8-16).
Exodus 17:8-16 Then came Am'alek and fought with Israel at Reph'idim. 9 And Moses said to Joshua, "Choose for us men, and go out, fight with Am'alek; tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand." 10 So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Am'alek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Am'alek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat upon it, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua mowed down Am'alek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 And the LORD said to Moses, "Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Am'alek from under heaven." 15 And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The LORD is my banner, 16 saying, "A hand upon the banner of the LORD! The LORD will have war with Am'alek from generation to generation." (RSV)
Amalek smote the weak and feeble and had no fear of God (Deut. 25:17-19).
The entire alliance stands together in Psalm 83.
All branches of these nations conspire to eliminate Israel. There are ten nations in all, as the union of the ten kings. Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagarenes, Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, the Philistines and the inhabitants of Tyre, and the Assyrians join with them (Ps. 83:5-8). God ordered their utter destruction (cf. 1Sam 15:2,3; 28:18), but it was not done; consequently they almost destroyed Judah (cf. Est. 3:7-9, 10). In all this, wisdom –as the keeping of the commandments of God –is the key to the prolongation of life, and through the power of God is Israel protected (cf. Prov. 4:1-27).
Treatment of captive women
Women taken in war can only be taken to wife as part of the nation of Israel; they cannot be used in harlotry, or for wrong purpose. Once they are taken to wife they are not to be sold as slaves.
Deuteronomy 21:10-14 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, 11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; 12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; 13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. 14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her. (KJV)
Dividing the Land
Numbers 33:1-56 [TO BE READ IN FULL]
The journeys from Egypt are described here.
Numbers 32:1-42 [TO BE READ IN FULL]
In this text Manasseh, Reuben and Gad were given an inheritance outside of Israel, but were still expected to take part in the war of occupation. This is so also in the last days when failure to take part means separation from Israel under Messiah.
Numbers 34:1-29 [TO BE READ IN FULL]
The borders of the land are detailed in this chapter. The areas are divided and lots are drawn for the inheritance of each tribe. Hence the division of the land is according to an official of each tribe, and is done according to the numbers of the tribes. The borders of the nation are extended in the last days to the great River Euphrates and eastward from Palestine. The nations of Jordan are absorbed into the nation of Israel, or become allied to it (Isa. 11:1-16).
Inheritance and landmarks
The matter of inheritance and landmarks is one of preserving the livelihood of families and tribes. It is a curse to remove them, or their contents, or to enter into the fields of the fatherless, “for their redeemer is Mighty and He shall plead their cause” (Deut. 27:17; Job 24:2; Prov. 22:28; 23:10,11; Hos 5:10). These matters are dealt with in the papers Law and the Fourth Commandment (No. 256) and also Law and the Fifth Commandment (No. 258).
Cities of the Levites for their sustenance
The priesthood is to be given cities of sustenance; these provisions will be made again in the restoration. So too will Dan take up its inheritance as judge of Israel (Gen. 49:16), and will also affect the distribution.
Numbers 35:1-8 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, 2 Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give also unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them. 3 And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts. 4 And the suburbs of the cities, which ye shall give unto the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits round about. 5 And ye shall measure from without the city on the east side two thousand cubits, and on the south side two thousand cubits, and on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits; and the city shall be in the midst: this shall be to them the suburbs of the cities. 6 And among the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites there shall be six cities for refuge, which ye shall appoint for the manslayer, that he may flee thither: and to them ye shall add forty and two cities. 7 So all the cities which ye shall give to the Levites shall be forty and eight cities: them shall ye give with their suburbs. 8 And the cities which ye shall give shall be of the possession of the children of Israel: from them that have many ye shall give many; but from them that have few ye shall give few: every one shall give of his cities unto the Levites according to his inheritance which he inheriteth. (KJV) (cf. also Lev. 25:32-34)
Murder and cities of refuge
Numbers 35:9-15 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come over Jordan into the land of Canaan; 11 Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares. 12 And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment. 13 And of these cities which ye shall give six cities shall ye have for refuge. 14 Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge. 15 These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither. (KJV)
Accidental homicide is thus catered for, and people are to be protected from revenge slaying. However, for the crime of premeditated murder, the death of the murderer is the end result and ultimate sanction of the law.
Numbers 35:16-21 And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. 17 And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. 18 Or if he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. 19 The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him. 20 But if he thrust him of hatred, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die; 21 Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth him. (KJV)
Numbers 35:22-34 But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or have cast upon him any thing without laying of wait, 23 Or with any stone, wherewith a man may die, seeing him not, and cast it upon him, that he die, and was not his enemy, neither sought his harm: 24 Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the revenger of blood according to these judgments: 25 And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the revenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall abide in it unto the death of the high priest, which was anointed with the holy oil. 26 But if the slayer shall at any time come without the border of the city of his refuge, whither he was fled; 27 And the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill the slayer; he shall not be guilty of blood: 28 Because he should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest: but after the death of the high priest the slayer shall return into the land of his possession. 29 So these things shall be for a statute of judgment unto you throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die. 31 Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death. 32 And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest. 33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. 34 Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel. (KJV)
Banishment to a city of refuge, for the life of the priest in that city, is the mandatory penalty for accidental homicide. On the death of the priest in judgment, or on the judgment of the city of refuge, the person may then return to his residence. This sentence cannot be redeemed.
We see also that there is another aspect to this in the Exodus.
Exodus 2:11-15 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. 13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? 14 And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. 15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well. (KJV)
Killing by intervention without authority is also a breach of the law. The city of refuge was imposed on Moses as a punishment, in similar fashion to the Law of God in the Torah. He did not remain until the death of the priest (for Jethro was priest of Midian) but God called Moses and sent him back to Egypt. Thus Moses was always subject to the laws of God, even in Egypt; however, he was excused for ignorance in the short term.
Death by misadventure cause unknown
Deuteronomy 21:1-9 If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath slain him: 2 Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain: 3 And it shall be, that the city which is next unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke; 4 And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer's neck there in the valley: 5 And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried: 6 And all the elders of that city, that are next unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley: 7 And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. 8 Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel's charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them. 9 So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.
From this text we see that each locality is especially responsible in the eyes of God for the execution of justice, the preservation of life and the control of law in its own locality. There are thus bounds within the jurisdiction.
Restitution or restoration
Restitution or restoration is not a function of some aspects of the sixth commandment, whereas it forms the underpinning of the law. However, blood pays blood as a rule under this commandment. There will be a time of the restitution of all things, and that will take place under Messiah, whom heaven received until this time. Every soul who does not hear this prophet shall be destroyed from among his people (Deut. 18:15-19; Acts 3:21-23). The Messiah is followed by the twelve apostles, on twelve thrones (Mat. 19:28).
Restitution is made for breaches of the other commandments, and if that is not applied then the thief or convicted felon is sold for the restitution. He then becomes subject to servitude in recompense. Thus the State must provide paid employment to restore property lost in felony. If the felon will not work in servitude, then his life is forfeited under this commandment. The fines of trespass against the Lord also fall under this category (cf. Ex. 22:1-17; Deut. 22:19, 29; Num. 5:6-8: Lev. 5:14-19; 2Kgs. 3:4). The details of the fines are found in the other texts on the law e.g. Law and the Seventh Commandment (No. 260) and Law and the Eighth Commandment (No. 261).
Application of the Law
There is one law for all.
Numbers 15:29-31 Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them. 30 But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him. (KJV)
Contempt of the courts and the Law of God in itself incur the death penalty in the final instance.
Deuteronomy 17:12-13 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel. 13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously. (KJV)
The death penalty
Man was made in the image of God, and whosoever sheds man’s blood by man shall it be shed (Gen. 9:5-6). The death penalty is specified in certain circumstances (cf. Lev. 20:1-27; 24:10-23; Num. 15:29-31; Deut. 17:12-13).
All of these things are done so that we might learn to fear God and His Laws, being under His protection and justice, and His covenant within His Temple (Deut. 8:6; Ex. 12:15-19; Gen. 17:14; Ex. 3:14; Lev. 17:8).
The person who curses his father or mother will die childless, and hence their progeny is cut off, or will die the death (Prov. 20:20; Mat. 15:4; Mark 7:10).
The death penalty is incurred for:
· kidnapping for gain (Deut. 24:7);
· adultery (Deut. 22:22-24);
· forced rape of a betrothed or married woman (Deut. 22:25-27);
· homosexual acts (Lev. 20:13);
· witchcraft or bestiality or sacrificing to false gods (Ex. 22:18-20);
· rebelliousness against one’s parents (Deut. 21:18-21);
· breach of the Sabbath (Ex. 35:2; Num. 15:32-36);
· false prophecy teaching the diminishing of the Laws of God (Deut. 13:1-10);
· contempt of court in failing to carry out sentence (Deut. 17: 8-13);
· a son who is a robber, or a breaker of the covenant, or one who is idolatrous, adulterous, oppresses the poor and needy, spoils by violence, or takes usury or such increase (Ezek. 18:10-13).
Witnesses and Entrapment
No person shall be put to death except at the mouth of two or three witnesses (Deut. 17:6). No person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness, nor shall one witness rise up against any man for any sin (cf. Deut. 19:15). The hands of the witnesses will be first upon him; in other words, the witnesses are to be part of the execution process (Deut. 17:7).
From this concept in the texts of lying in wait to catch others, we see that entrapment is an offence, as is slander. They are merely different aspects of the same sin and attempt to destroy the individual by diverse means.
Types of execution
There are various types of execution specified in the Bible:
· Burning (Lev. 20:14; 21:9).
· Stoning (Lev. 20:1, 27; 24:14; Deut. 21:21).
· Hanging (Deut. 21:22, 23; Josh. 8:29).
· The Sword (Ex. 32:27, 28).
The systems of execution are to be carried out in exemplary fashion and are not mandatory for a first offence, except in relation to the sixth commandment.
Misuse of the laws of evidence and the implementation of the pharisaic traditions are a breach of biblical law. For example, the Bible provides that no person be executed on the word of one witness, whereas the traditions say one is sufficient. Anyone implementing the Talmud in opposition to the express words of the Bible in these matters has committed a capital offence.
Improper application of the death penalty
The order to kill, in the destruction of our own people, is not to be obeyed.
Exodus 1:15-16 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. (KJV)
This policy was advocated by some national religious cults this century, both in Europe and in Asia.
Exodus 1:22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive. (KJV)
Mercy and justice
The implementation of the law is according to the dictums of mercy and justice, and Christ showed exactly how the law was to be implemented. The death penalty – for example in relation to adultery – was not mandatory, but was only so if the sin was to be repeated in unrepentant defiance of the law.
Each commandment carries the death penalty to show the equal force of the law in all aspects. Only in the sixth commandment is the death penalty mandatory in the first instance, but only in some circumstances.
Christ’s words declare this to be the intent of the law (Jn. 8:7). The law must be administered in mercy and justice, with no malice of execution, or by those who lie in wait to catch others.
Idolatry is expressly prohibited to Israel, or the aliens within their gates, and is a capital offence.
Deuteronomy 7:22-26 And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee. 23 But the LORD thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed. 24 And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them. 25 The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. 26 Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing. (KJV)
Punishment for sin and the right to life under the Law
No child shall be put to death for the sins of the father, but each man shall be put to death for his own sin (Deut. 24:16, 17; 2Kgs. 14:6).
No person who escapes from slavery is to be returned to his or her master. Refugees are to be granted a place to live in the gates of the cities, where they choose, and are not to be oppressed. They are to be granted life under the law of God (Deut. 23:15, 16).
Testimony for and mandatory nature of the death penalty
The death penalty is mandatory in the case of premeditated murder, and banishment to a city of refuge is mandatory for accidental homicide, for the life of the priest involved in the city of refuge.
For the crime of murder, the death of the murderer is the end product and end sanction of the law.
Numbers 36:13 These are the commandments and the judgments, which the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses unto the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho. (KJV)
When killing is not a crime
It is not a crime to kill if carried out in accordance with God’s Law, as mentioned earlier.
Exodus 4:24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. (KJV)
God showed His intention here of having Moses destroyed because he had not obeyed the covenant in relation to his son’s circumcision.
God caused the death of people as an example to us over the centuries. There is no sin in the execution of the law according to the death penalty, as the being who executed the Law of God was Messiah, who was and is without sin.
The protection of the Tabernacle and the rights and duties of the service of God are also part of the law.
Numbers 18:22 Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. (KJV)
This legislation pointed towards the new Temple and the separation of the elect in the order of Melchisedek from the society. The modification of the law removed one from the first to the second resurrection. The Temple was removed; and the new Temple is of living stones.
A person can be killed in protection of property, or in the execution of a sentence made by judicial orders pursuant to the law as a consequence of crime and punishment. Execution in neither case is a sin, nor a breach of the intention of the sixth commandment.
The cities of refuge and legislation involving accidental killing, do not save a murderer, even though the individual lays hold of the altar of God. It is not a prohibition for the execution of justice.
Exodus 21:12-14 He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death. 13 And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee. 14 But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die. (KJV)
The prohibition against using an ox for food if it gores anyone is to render its flesh unusable, and hence discourages people from using and keeping dangerous animals. Where the owner knowingly keeps dangerous animals, then the owner is guilty also and is to be tried. This extends to dogs and other domestic animals. Wild animals kept in zoos are another matter, as their purpose is to kill and defend against being killed. Liability in this instance is in the death of the animal and in damages.
Exodus 21:28-36 If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. 29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death. 30 If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him. 31 Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him.
Failure to pay damages as determined is in lieu of life. Damages extend to the extent of property of the individual, that is, “whatever is laid on him.”
32 If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
The damage to employees here is mentioned as the price of a slave: thirty pieces of silver. The money is paid to the owner, who is responsible for the long-term welfare of the servant. Thus the payment does not simply allow for the removal of responsibility. The society in this way is responsible for the welfare of all its charges.
In terms of damages, everyone is responsible for his own actions.
33 And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein; 34 The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his.
The cost is mitigated by the dead animal. The responsibility for its removal thus vests with the guilty party also. Thus the entire negligence of the matter is taken into account.
35 And if one man's ox hurt another's, that he die; then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the money of it; and the dead ox also they shall divide. 36 Or if it be known that the ox hath used to push in time past, and his owner hath not kept him in; he shall surely pay ox for ox; and the dead shall be his own. (KJV)
Here there are two forms of killing. One is by way of normal risk, as animals are known to fight by instinct; thus the loss is equally born. Where a herd is known to be a problem, then the negligence is ascribed to the owner. This is so in modern times where cattle stray on the road and damages occur to others.
Leviticus 24:17-21 And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death. 18 And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast. 19 And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; 20 Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. 21 And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death. (KJV)
This form of retribution at law is to stop wilful and malicious damage: death for death, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Violence is to be removed from among our people. The case of accidental damage is another matter, and here the loss is compensated in damages according to the seriousness of the matter.
The case of secret and malicious damage brings on the perpetrator a curse. The people are to assent to this fact by saying Amen (or truth, or truly, or so be it), in assent to the judgment. The penalty still applies but the curse is added to it.
Deuteronomy 27:24-25 Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen. 25 Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen. (KJV)
The law is clear that there is to be no pity in the case of murder and malice.
Deuteronomy 19:21 And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. (KJV)
The law demands that no person hanged on a tree can remain all night on that tree; he is to be buried that day. This law was often broken by the Greeks and Romans and this activity of leaving men hang overnight penetrated into their form of Christianity.
Deuteronomy 21:22-23 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. (KJV)
The land is not to be cursed because of this barbarity and cruelty. Thus hanging was taken as being the normal way of execution. Burial was to be that day; the purpose being to save the nation from barbarity and violence, at the same time.
God raises up a deliverer in His time.
Numbers 25:7-9 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. (KJV)
Phineas was judged righteous in the execution of these perpetrators, when the nation stood idle and the plague was stayed because of his zeal. The lesson was that “you shall not follow a multitude to do evil” (Ex. 23:2), or wrest judgment.
Idolatry incurs a mandatory death penalty.
Deuteronomy 13:11-18 And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you. 12 If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying, 13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; 14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; 15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. 16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again. 17 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers; 18 When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God. (KJV)
Solomon sinned and died a natural death. His reward however, depends on his repentance.
The death penalty lies with the family, and the parents are responsible for the actions of their children. Thus damages incurred by children are the responsibility of the family until adulthood. A rebellious youth is the parents’ responsibility, and they are to deliver him up to the magistrates for sentence.
Deuteronomy 21:18-21 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: 19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; 20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. 21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. (KJV)
Likewise it is written: “You shall not provoke your children to wrath” (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21). The structure of the fifth commandment is modified by the concept of the sixth commandment. No child is to be provoked to wrath under the fifth commandment, in order that they may be put to death under the fifth and the sixth commandments. The parent is guilty of the sixth commandment in invoking the death penalty under the fifth commandment. Hence we see the interpretation by Paul in Ephesians and Colossians.
The necessity for loyal obedience is taught in the family and reinforced in the nation, as seen in Numbers 14:1-45. This text was dealt with in the section on Law and the First Commandment (No. 253).
Obedience to God’s Will
The Lord wants obedience more than sacrifice.
Deuteronomy 11:1-32 [TO BE READ IN FULL]
Thus the Lord gives life and length of days and protection in the earth according to obedience. In all that the capacity to kill the creation is vested in man (cf. Deut. 12:15).
Obedience to the will of God is necessary to survival. The nation has been restored many times. God has also punished it many times, yet still it does not listen. When Israel was given the opportunity to obtain salvation, they did not do so and God departed from them; they then wished to do it on their terms. For forty years Israel wandered in the wilderness in sin, and died in the wilderness. Only the children survived and went in to the Promised Land. So too, the tribes of Judah and part of Levi and Benjamin died in the wilderness over forty jubilees. Similarly, the multitude of the tribes of Israel who remained unconverted died. They all incurred the death penalty, just as their fathers died (except Caleb of Judah and Joshua of Ephraim) and will face the second resurrection for their disobedience. Many of Ephraim and the tribes accepted Messiah and were part of the 144,000. All of the twelve apostles were of Judah and Levi from the region of Galilee, while Paul was of Benjamin.
The law and the sixth commandment with it have a requirement to give life and protect life. Failure to take action under this commandment results in the destruction of the society. The law must be tempered with mercy and justice; however, justice must not be delayed. Justice must also not be denied through a failure to execute justice in weakness. Mercy and tolerance is not weakness, and justice is not to be confused with negligent administration of the law.