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Comment: Old Testament law

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GoodSamaritan's picture

Old Testament law

was often interpreted very narrowly in order to prevent its interference in cultural norms. Jesus confronted this practice on many occasions. Matthew records a number of instances in which Jesus interpreted the real meaning of passages in the OT. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the true meaning of God’s prohibition of murder (Matt 5:21-22), adultery (Matt 5:27-30), divorce (Matt 5:31-32), and many other teachings. In Luke 10:25-37, Jesus explained to a Jewish lawyer what God meant when He said in Leviticus to "love your neighbor as yourself." This is where you find the parable of the Good Samaritan. If you understood how unclean and worthless the Israelites considered Samaritans – they looked on them as no better than dogs or swine – you would see that God intended for Israel to treat everyone as neighbors. Being a slave in Israel was to be no harsher than any other type of labor. The master was responsible for taking care of a slave's needs like any other employee, except that the slave was property who could be bought and sold. This was not supposed to be the U.S. variety of slavery.

Israelites were to release indentured slaves in the 7th year, yet there is no evidence they did. Israelites were to release all slaves in the Year of Jubilee, yet there is no evidence they did. Israelites were to treat all people with love, yet they routinely ignored this command from God. As I said before, Israel paid dearly for its ongoing disobedience in this and many other areas. God eventually destroyed them. I don’t know how to make this any clearer. You are mistaken if you think God approved of how OT Israel treated slaves and foreigners.

As for women being silent in church, I told you in my previous response that the passage in question concerns women attempting to take responsibilities that were given to the men. The Corinthian church was in chaos and Paul was addressing problems in that congregation. The context of 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 is talking about interpreting and understanding the gifts of tongues and prophecy (see v. 26-32). Therefore, 1 Corinthians 14:34 is not commanding women to be silent in the church all the time. It is only saying that women should not participate when tongues and/or prophecy is being interpreted and tested (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22; 1 John 4:1). This agrees with 1 Timothy 2:11-12, which says that women should not teach or have authority over men in the church. Therefore, Paul tells women to be silent when tongues and prophecy are being interpreted so that they will not be disobeying God’s Word.

"The unfaithful wife test isn't a ceremony, it's a method. It's not a law. Unfaithful wives were not specific to Israel, that's clear just by reading the Bible."

Numbers 5:11-31 is a ceremonial law that was given to the Israelites for the purpose of exposing the guilty and protecting the innocent with regard to marriage fidelity. In the larger purpose, this is one among many passages that were shadows of aspects to the relationship between Christ and His bride, the Church. Exodus 20:14 warned husbands and wives that they must never be unfaithful to each other. The punishment for this crime was death but there had to be evidence. The husband had to prove that his wife was guilty. If the husband had no evidence, he could follow the instructions in this passage and then God would act as the judge. It is likely that many innocent women carried out this ritual. Because they were innocent, they would not be afraid to follow it. God would protect them. But if a woman was guilty, she would be very afraid of God’s judgment. So probably she would admit guilt to her husband and hope that he would forgive her. Or she might run away.

However, if a woman was not guilty of adultery, this ritual provided proof to her husband and everyone else. Her husband would not be able to punish her. He had to take her back to live with him as his wife again. So, this ceremony (ritual law from God to Moses, v. 11) provided God’s protection for innocent women.

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father