1/26/2013 Sabbath Broadcast Transcript
"Precepts & Principles of the Torah –Responsibility"
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We are looking forward to our seventh installment of Precepts & Principles of the Torah. If you’re not aware of what we have been doing, we are going through Yahweh’s Law…the first five books.
Actually, we’re specifically going through starting in the book of Exodus. And trying to discover all the various principles that we can seek to apply to our life, which are found in the Law…in Yahweh’s Torah.
The word ‘Torah’ in the Hebrew is the word for ‘law’….Translated ‘law, but actually means ‘teaching’ and ‘instruction’.
And so, we’re going through these scriptures…we’ve gone through Exodus 21 the last 6 weeks…part of 22. And not we’re on our seventh week, and it’s been an exciting ride so far. And seeing there’s a lot covered here in Exodus 21 & 22. A lot of different things covered at once.
I think Yahweh is sort of giving them a quick overview of His expectations. And so we have here, in Exodus 21, 22, 23…a lot of real quick legislation, some judgments for the judges of Israel, and so on.
You know, a lot of times people look at the law as being outdated, antiquated, something that’s not really for today. You know… nothing to really pay much attention to. And it’s kind of been…I don’t know, it’s not really been magnified, its been kind of blasphemed. But there’s a lot of really, really good, sound, biblical instruction here… and so, we want to get back to magnifying the Law.
Anyway, our angle we are going to look at this time…Exodus chapter 22…there’s a lot of scriptures here given about responsibility; what it means to be a responsible person. Responsible with possessions, responsible (as we’re going to see here) young men, and responsible fathers, and things like that we’re going to see as we go through Exodus chapter 22.
And so, what we want to do here is we want to be like Messiah. He lived in an era when the Law of Yahweh was seen as being oppressive. It was oppressive because man had added all kinds of things to the Law that Yahweh never approved of or sanctioned.
And so, we’re going to do what the Messiah did. This is actually a prophecy about the Messiah…
Is 42:21 – Yahweh is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake; He will exalt the law and make it honorable.
And so, that’s what I want to do. The law has not been held in esteem in our generations. And the time that we live in, it’s considered to be old…out dated. There’s a new law now given by Messiah in the New Testament.
And there’s some scriptures that people like to point out here in different areas of the Torah which people would say slavery and different things are evidence that ‘This is old.’ ‘We don’t live this way anymore’. ‘This doesn’t apply anymore’.
And so, I disagree. I think it does apply. But we need to understand it properly first, before we apply it. So, what is a right understanding of these things that we are reading?
And so, we’re going to go into these. And some of these, as we start off with, are very basic, very simple. And for any society could look at these and, for the most part, could find agreement with the things that are being taught here. We see here…
Exo 22:5 – If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed, and lets loose his animal, and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard.
So this simple justice here…if somebody suffers loss, as a result of another person’s neglect… in this case, the irresponsible one would pay restitution from the best of his own vineyard or field,
So, the principle here is that we are responsible for the animals that are in our care. We are responsible for their actions. And we are expected to be in control of what our animals do.
And so if you have, for instance, grazing animals and your fence fails and your animal gets into your neighbor’s garden, you’re supposed to make restitution from the best of your own garden, from the best of your own field…or, if you don’t have anything like that, make restitution in some area.
For instance, goats in particular have the tendency to escape fences. And if you have a fence and it gets into your neighbor’s garden, then Yahweh would want you to make full restitution for what your animal did.
Or, as we read earlier a week or two ago, about the ox gores a man...you know, if your ox was known to be dangerous to human life in the past, you could actually be the one responsible for the death of another person.
And so, we do have a responsibility. When we choose to take on animals, then we have a responsibility for their actions…whether it’s a dog, or a donkey, or a horse, or a goat, or a sheep, or any animal that’s in our care. And that is a biblical principle.
So, moving on to verse 6…
Exo 22:6 – If fire breaks out and catches in thorns, so that stacked grain, standing grain, or the field is consumed, he who kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.
…Once again, simple justice. If you set a fire and it gets out of control and it damages somebody else’s property, obviously you should make proper restitution for the property that you damaged. It all has to do with responsibility.
You know, we can teach these things to our children when they’re young. You know, if one child takes a toy of another child and damages it somehow, or whatever…something along those lines, we should teach our children these are boundaries here. This is somebody else’s belonging and you damaged it. We can teach them these things at a young age.
…Once again, this is very simple justice here.
Exo 22:7-8 – If a man delivers to his neighbor money or articles to keep, and it is stolen out of the man’s house, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. If the thief is not found, then the master of the house shll be brought to the judges to see whether he has put his hand into his neighbor’s goods.
Exo 22:9 – For any kind of trespass, whether it concerns an ox, a donkey, a sheep, or clothing, or for any kind of lost thing which another claims to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whomever the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor.
…Now, once again, this very simple, obvious, fair justice here.
Now, an interesting note about this particular scripture….if you look here at this word ‘judges’, the Hebrew word translated judges is the Hebrew word ‘elohim’. And so it says, the master of the house shall be brought to…in the Hebrew it reads ‘ha elohim’ or ‘the elohim’….
And which, if you are aware of this Hebrew word Elohim… is most commonly translated ‘God’. But in this instance they did not translate it…should be brought to the ‘gods’, or to the ‘god’; they translated it as ‘the judges’.
You see, the Hebrew word ‘elohim’ is actually a much broader term than our English word ‘God’. And another example of this is seen in Jonah.
Jon 3:3 – So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of Yahweh. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent.
The word translated ‘exceedingly’ here is the word Hebrew word ‘elohim’. And so it’s translated judges, it’s translated exceedingly.
And so, Nineveh was an ‘elohim’ great city. Now, take the time, if you’ve got it, to look this up in the concordance; or, if you’ve got e-sword, or something.
And another example:
Pro 3:27 – Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.
So in this case, ‘El’ from which we get ‘elohim’ is translated ‘power’. And so el, or elohim which is the plural version…or plural intensive version, has to do with power, with strength, and with might.
And so when Yahweh is telling them to bring their items to the judges, that would be to the mighty men, to the men who have power. To the men who can execute justice.
And so really, maybe the best translation of the Hebrew word elohim would be mighty, or powerful. But maybe there’s not any one-for-one accurate translation across the board. For that reason I typically use the word elohim instead of translating it,
But we see here pretty clearly that the term ‘elohim’ is much broader than our English word ‘god’ would imply.
And the word ‘elohim’ can refer to men, unlike ‘god’. ‘God’ does not refer to men. It refers to the Supreme Being.
So there is some theological implication of that. If you look in the archives…the video archives, I’ve got a couple of studies on Trinity and Oneness. And take a look at those two studies sometime. And I go into that in more detail.
Continuing on her to verse 10, it says…
Exo 22:10-11 – If a man delivers to his neighbor a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any animal to keep, and it dies, is hurt, or driven away, no one seeing it, then an oath of Yahweh shall be between them both, that he has not put his hand into his neighbor’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept that, and he shall not make it good.
See, this is one of the few places in the bible where Yahweh actually commands that an oath would be made. And the purpose of an oath is to settle the dispute. And we see this actually in…
Heb 6:16 – For men indeed sware by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute.
Now some would say, “Well, didn’t Yahushua say not to swear at all…by heaven, by earth?” Now the context of that was… yeah, in a normal conversation you shouldn’t go around having to uphold your words all the time with various levels of swearing.
But in a court system situation, when you’re appearing before Yahweh and before the judges…and you are appearing before Yahweh because those who stand in that place of judgment are standing in the place of Elohim. As it says in Romans, they don’t bear the sword in vain… the powers that exist are appointed by Elohim.
So, you’re standing in this place and essentially making this oath before Elohim. And so, there is a distinction here.
And we are actually told that one day everyone…every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear and say, ‘In Yahweh I have righteousness and strength’. And so that’s in Isaiah.
So, we do see that there are clear directives given in these instances. So, I don’t necessarily think its wrong that our court systems today might employ the use of oaths. I don’t know that it should be necessary, you know, that every word you speak is an oath in a court of law. That doesn’t seem to be biblical, at all.
But what it does seem to be is, if there are two people and one’s accusing the other, and one person under oath would be willing to deny that this occurred, or say this is what happened, and give their testimony of what happened… then that might be different. It’s not the same context that the Messiah is speaking of.
And again, in the archives I’ve kind of covered that fairly thoroughly recently. I think it was in September of the Roman year, there’s a study entitled "There's Not So Much New Under the SON”…and we go into that sermon that Yahushua gave.
So, returning to Exodus here. He says…
Exo 22:12-13 – But if, in fact, it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to the owner of it. If it is torn to pieces by a beast, then he shall bring it as evidence, and he shall not make good what was torn.
And so, we have a responsibility to restore something that was in our care and yet was stolen by men. But, let’s say a lion comes along and devours the animal. I mean, this is not necessarily within the owner’s ability to stop.
And so he would bring the evidence. You know, maybe the leftover bones…the animal was torn. And he wasn’t required to restore that. And the same thing could have just as easily happened to the owner...same thing can happen.
So, we should be able to keep our items saved from thieves, but we cannot necessarily do anything about keeping lions and bears from coming to attack, or something.
Exo 22:14-15 – And if a man borrows anything from his neighbor, and it becomes injured or dies, the owner of it not being with it, he shall surely make it good. If its owner was with it, he shall not make it good; if it was hired, it came for its hire.
Alright, now this is the case of belongs. We’re not talking animals here.
So it’s common today, wouldn’t you say, that you let someone borrow something, and it belongs to you and you get it back, and it’s all tore up…it wasn’t taken care of.
(Exo 22:14-15)…Yeah, this is the case of animals.
Also, I think we can apply this to other things. You get this…you let somebody borrow your car and it comes back and it’s got damage on it. Or, you let them borrow your lawn mower and the blades are all tore up. Or, you let them borrow a tool and the tool’s all damaged. And so, you know, they tear it up.
And you know, Yahweh says that the one who borrows it is responsible for taking care of it and has to repay the owner if they return it in damaged or ruined condition; and an exception is made if the owner is there, or let’s say, it was rented for hire. There may be some common sense exceptions to that….you know, normal wear and tear on machinery, and so on.
But you know, speaking of specifically here… the principle is, when you borrow something from somebody else…take care of it.
And we can teach our children too, again. We can teach our children this at a young age, and employ these verses in the Torah as righteous judgments. If they borrow their brother’s or sister’s item and it comes back all torn up then they should make proper restitution.
Alright, now moving on to the big one here…
Exo 22:16-17 – If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride-price of virgins.
So first of all, we see a biblical principal that a father has the right of refusal when it comes to his daughter marrying a man. He has the right to refuse that. And Yahweh said here… fornication’s occurring, the woman’s a virgin, the man is required to marry the girl and pay the bride price, but not if the father utterly refuses. And so, Yahweh himself respects the right of refusal that a father would have concerning his daughter.
Now this is there to protect the daughter from…in this case, and irresponsible man who is not going to properly take care of her, and so on. …Or, for any reason. And yet the man would still have to pay money according to the bride price of virgins.
Now, some people would look at this and say, ‘You know, this dowry system, this bride price system…what is this?’ I mean, the man comes and buys his wife? …This sounds like woman are treated as ‘something less than’. As if they’re property that’s like cattle. You know something you come along and you like…you go window shopping and you buy it.
And I sadly, have run across individuals who do treat their wives and women in general, as if they’re property; as if they’re cattle; as if they aren’t created in the image of Elohim, and aren’t valued in His eyes, but instead are just some kind of possession that is owned by a man. And that is the furthest thing from what this is really all about.
What is this bride price thing? What is this really all about?
Number one, is to ensure responsibility on the part of the man, and accountability on the part of the man. And it essentially eliminated womanizers in Israel.
Womanizers treat women like cattle. Men who go around and commit fornication with various women, they are the ones treating women like something cheap, to be used for your own pleasure.
Yahweh chose to go along with, and maybe He even instituted the idea of a dowry being made as part of the marital covenant. And I think, when you really examine it, it makes a lot of sense as to why it would have been established.
Consider the reasons here:
1. Financial Security before marriage.
First of all for a man to just marry somebody, he couldn’t be just some irresponsible person comes along and says, “Oh, I’m going to marry this woman.” First of all, he had to go to the father. And second of all, he had to have some financial security.
I mean, you don’t just go along and have a dowry in your hand unless you have done some kind of work in order to save up for, and have, a dowry. I mean, beside for the fact that you’re going to have to have a home for her to go to, you would have had to prepare a place for your future bride.
You would need to have some kind of financial security already established. And this would help to guarantee that the woman that a man would marry would have some kind of financial integrity. And so right off the bat we see that this was something to protect the young girl.
And so, secondly…
2. Institution of Marriage is valued.
The Institution of marriage was to be something valued. Something that a man would have to take seriously…knowing that he couldn’t just marry her and then divorce her a month later if he didn’t like her. He would actually suffer loss if he were to do something like that.
And so marriage was considered to be a step that required commitment. And if a man thought he could go around and fornicate, and get away with not having a commitment involved, he had another thing coming. And that’s why, I mean, not even maybe a 150 years ago you hear of things like shotgun weddings…you know? Not even 50 years ago, you might say, that wasn’t unheard of.
Where the husband would make sure… there was going to be a marriage there. And the idea of a divorce was so uncommon, even a hundred years ago in our nation, there was such a stigma against it. Once you’re married, you’re married.
And the father of the bride was there to be the protector of his daughter in that marital relationship... And if the man was abusing the daughter, the daughter could just go her father, and the father would have ways of making sure that his daughter was protected… either through the court system or, unfortunately for the man, vigilante justice.
The marriage institution was something considered to be a major step. You had to be sure you were ready for. You don’t just throw money around, because money’s labor...that’s work.
3. Boyfriend/girlfriend relationships with no responsibility are eliminated.
You don’t have young men catting around when you have a dowry that they’re going to have to pay, along with marriage. And if they don’t have the money to pay the dowry, what happens? They become slaves, because they don’t have any money.
And so they would have to sell themselves. In this case they would become a slave, or servant. And I’m not talking about American-like slavery. I’m talking about biblical slavery… 6 years maximum …not to be mistreated… not to be abused. And if you don’t understand what that means, what I said just now about biblical slavery, go back into the archives a couple/three weeks ago, I shared a study completely based on what biblical slavery really is.
But there wouldn’t be this boyfriend gets a daughter knocked… somebody pregnant and then walks away like nothing ever happened. That just wouldn’t happen in Israel.
4. Fornication lifestyle eliminated. You must pay the dowry for fornication or possibly become a slave.
And so, this fornication life style, it wouldn’t be there… the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship thing, with no responsibility attached, would be eliminated. And so, they didn’t have boyfriend/girlfriend games in Israel.
And so, the alternative then is, once again I would ask you again to go into the archives. You go on top to eliyah.com… click ‘Archives’, there is a seven-part video series on ‘Marriage, Divorce & Remarriage’. Watch the first part, and you’ll find that there is an alternative system to the boyfriend/girlfriend game, where neither the man nor the woman comes into the marriage having been damaged by past relationships.
Now the fifth advantage…
5. Biblical love and importance of valuing women is established before the marriage even takes place.
Now you might wonder what that means. Think for a minute about Jacob. I mean, we all know the story of Jacob being willing to work seven years for Rachel. Pretty steep bride price, you know, to work seven years for a young girl to be married to. Now you notice though, to Jacob, it seemed just a few days to him.
Now, to us in our Western, Gentile, Grecianized, Romanized society, we might think, ‘Well, for Jacob…I mean, each day… wouldn’t it have just been this kind of tick along slowly, just another day? Because he would want Rachel so badly to be his wife.’ …But that’s not biblical love.
See, that’s a love based on what self gets. Modern day love is a love based on what the other person gives to you, see. How they serve you. How they make you feel.
And that’s the basis of a lot of boyfriend girlfriend relations. “Oh, he makes me feel so wonderful”. “He makes me feel…this”, and “He makes me feel…that”. Or, “She makes me feel this way, therefore I love her.” But biblical love is not based on what you get. Biblical love is serving the other person. Biblical love is based on what you give….the exact opposite….and how you serve them.
You know, if you really love someone, then you serve them. If you just love yourself, you’re always looking what you can get out of it. And many of our marital relationships are based on what the other person does for you, rather than what you do for the other person.
You know, even go back 50 years, or so… there was a man, name of John F. Kennedy. He said, “Ask not what you country may do for you, but what you may do for your country.” It’s all for the love of country, right?
Well, can’t we apply that in our marriage situations? And I’m not claiming that I’m perfected in this by any stretch of the imagination. But it’s not in what your spouse will do for you. Don’t worry about that. But you ask… what can you do for your spouse? That’s biblical love.
And so, we see here how biblical love would be established before there was ever a marriage, because the man had to work. The man had to work for the wife. He’s already serving her; he’s already working for her.
And Yahweh wanted the man to enter into the marriage with this mindset that, before you even get married, you value the one you’re marrying. It’s not just based on selfishness in what you get, but a true love is based on the man serving her.
And so to Jacob, you know. Seven years… that was like nothing. That’s nothing. ‘…For Rachel? Wow! Just seven years? Hey, I’ll work seven years.’ That’s how valuable Rachel was to him. Do we get this now? Do we understand that? It’s not about what self gets.
And that’s the whole problem with our society and the way it views love. But Yahweh loves us, and He demonstrates that love, by what He has done for us.
Yahushua is our bridegroom. What did He give? He was valued by men for only 30 pieces of silver. Thirty pieces of silver…price of a slave. Yahushua valued us so much, He purchased us with His own blood.
And so, Paul is admonishing the Ephesians here…
Act 20:28 – Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church (assembly) of Elohim which He purchased with His own blood.
Think about this… Your fellow believers in Messiah, Yahushua valued so much, He purchased with His own blood. That’s how valuable your brothers and sisters in the faith are.
And so, if Yahushua was willing to value us so much that He would be willing to lay down His life for us, that’s how much He valued us. How much more…I mean, shouldn’t we also value each other? Shouldn’t we also care when one part of the body is hurting? Shouldn’t we have that same zeal for our brothers and sisters in the faith? Yahweh help us all.
And so, this would especially be true concerning how us men…we’re talking about responsibility today, ought to value our wives.
Eph 5:25-28 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Messiah also loved the church
I don’t like the word church. I’m going to say ‘congregation’ here…
and gave Himself for her,
He gave His life for her. And so, we also ought to be willing…and that’s why brothers, it’s the men who would go out to war. It’s the men who would go out and fight for the homeland. It’s the men who would protect their households with their lives, against intruders, against those who would do harm. And women need to value…value that security, and show the meaning of respect.
So, He gave Himself for her…
…that He might sanctify and cleanse her with washing of water by the word,
So, we are cleansed by Messiah’s words. Our wives are cleansed by our words of affirmation and encouragement.
…that He might present her to Himself a glorious church (assembly), not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
… Because they are one flesh with us.
And so, biblical love has to do with what you do for the other person. Less so, what you get out of it. And that’s the root of so many of our marital problems, is we’re all thinking about what the other person does for us, rather than what we do for the other person.
And so, there are advantages here, brothers, of this dowry system…which I feel is far superior to what we see going on today.
It’s a mess that we see going on today. It’s a disaster what’s going on today; with women being cheapened with pornography and advertisements. And it’s all about the flesh, and what the man gets. It’s not about what the man will give. It’s about what the man gets.
Whereas what Yahweh is doing here, He’s establishing from the outset, the man will give. And of course, the other way we have of doing things is, it provokes weaknesses in the women, when they don’t feel valued, that they in turn seek to take the reins.
But you know the man, the women’s father, has a responsibility to see to it that the person that she marries is someone who is going to be responsible. And he has the right to refuse.
If the father does not believe his daughter is going to be loved, and cherished, and valued by the man, then he has the right to refuse the marriage… even though Yahweh said they should get married. But either way, the man would be required (we see in Exodus there) to pay that bride price. You’re praying the bride price for virgins… whether you marry her, or not.
Now, you notice here that the young girl seems to be absolved of any responsibility. There’s no punishment mentioned for her.
And so what we have here is, Yahweh is holding the men responsible for keeping themselves pure and for not enticing females.
And so, this is all about man, and the man’s side of things, and his responsibility to be ‘men’. I mean… to be people who are not just flippant and treating this step lightly…unlike what we see today.
Now there’s another scripture we do need to examine here. This is an ever popular scripture by atheists and those who think the bible is immoral….
Deu 22:28-29 – If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.
Now, there is some lack of clarity here as to whether or not this is speaking of a rape situation. And some would suggest it’s not actually a rape situation, because the verbiage here is a little different than other cases where rape is clearly intended. For instance, the woman…if she was betrothed…
Deu 22:25-26 – But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her
In this case, we definitely have force. This is a different Hebrew word than the word seize…
…and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter.
And so the verbiage and the context appears to be a little different here. In this case says ‘seizes’ here, (in the NIV says rape). But I’m not 100% sure that’s what this is, because the Hebrew word translated ‘seizes’ is also translated ‘play’.
Gen 4:21 – His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute.
And so, it has to do with utilizing an instrument.
Now, I’m not saying that this Hebrew word never can mean to do it by force, but the word does not necessarily mean to do it in a violent way. Whereas earlier verses, it was very clear that violence was the intent.
Deu 22:28-29 – If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.
Now, the fact that it would say they are found out…’they’ would mean that both of them are found out. As if they were both guilty of doing something secretive here. And so that might be an indication, possibly, where there might be incidences where they are not found out.
And so, Deuteronomy could simply be a revision or an extension of the previous precept in Exodus. You know, many times in Deuteronomy, it’s just repeating former precepts that were already given in Exodus, Numbers, and Leviticus.
For instance, Exodus 20… we had the 10 commandments given. Deuteronomy 5…10 commandments are given again. Only, a little different angle on it, with a little different precept in a way their written, or expansion, or revision upon what the previous 10 commandments had said. There’s some little differences here…very subtle.
And so, it doesn’t mean that the former one was invalid, but that we have an expansion of what the former one would actually originally…what the intent was.
However, I will acknowledge that there are some problems with that understanding, that it wasn’t a rape. And one of the problems with that is, if it’s only speaking of a voluntary act on the part of the virgin, then there wouldn’t be any place in the bible where…what do you do if it was not voluntary on her part?
Now to combat that thought, that line of reasoning… my own experience, being in Israel (in 2009 when we went to Israel), I was totally shocked because there were young women…teen-age girls, early 20’s, late teens…10 o’clock at night with their thumb out hitching a ride.
You know, rape is not common over there. The society that’s been built in both Islam and Judaism is…you just don’t do that. It’s just, they’re raised differently. They don’t have the society like we do.
Now increasingly over there, it’s becoming more and more like ours. But that’s not how it started. You know, they were trying to establish some kind of morality in the land.
And so, I could see where rape would be something pretty much, you know, very rare in ancient times. But we do see Yahweh addressing that…that a rape occurring, in the event of a woman being betrothed. And then He goes on and says, ‘well ok, then if she’s not betrothed…’
And so, contextually it does seem to favor that this is speaking of a man who is forcing himself upon an unbetrothed women. For instance, we look here at the context, it says…
Deu 22:23-24 – If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor’s wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you.
Deu 22:25-27 – But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter. For he found her in the countryside, and the betrothed young woman cried out, but there was not one to save her.
Now, that was actually true in Israel, because in the city…. I mean, their cities were very small.
I’ve got 40 acres here….property at my house. That would have been plenty of room for a good size city in Israel. That would have been plenty of room. No problem at all because the fields were on the outside.
People lived within the walls on the inside of the city. And they were stacked together, you know, there’s four room houses and they’re all stacked up against each other, and sometimes even lived inside the walls.
And so, it was almost like apartments in those days. And I think that’s one reason why people were so accountable. I mean, when you did something. Everybody knew everybody. Everybody knew everybody.
And that’s how it was actually, in the United States, before the invention of cars and stuff…where now, everything is real spread out. But, it used to be they built houses very close together. You didn’t want to have to travel 15 miles on a horse to go get some food for your family. So, it was very different in even our nation not all that long ago.
So when there was, in this case in Israel… the countryside verses the city…if a woman cried out in the city, there would be people around to hear and to know what’s going on.
So continuing along this thread, now he’s addressing this specifically. He says ‘betrothed’ in these cases…which betrothed in Yahweh’s eyes is just as good as marriage. The dowry has been paid, the betrothal has occurred, it takes a divorce to cancel the marriage. It’s an engagement period.
So then, the next question (obvious) would be, well what about unbetrothal members in a similar situation. And here we are. And so, contextually I have to acknowledge that this would appear certainly to be a rape situation. So, how do we look at this?
First of all, we need to understand 50 shekels of silver….50 shekels of silver. Alright, what was a shekel worth in the time that Yahweh gave this? We see here that when Yahweh valued slavery, He said…
Deu 15:18 - It shall not seem hard to your when you send him away free from you; for he has been worth a double hired servant in serving you six years. Then Yahweh your Elohim will bless you in all that you do.
So a slave, according to the scripture here, is worth a double hired servant in the six years that he worked.
Now, a slave was typically worth, as we’ve seen in earlier verses, 30 shekels of silver. And so, going by this, it appears to me that if you were to hire a servant instead of having this slave do the work, then it would have cost the man…it would have cost a person 60 shekels to get the kind of work involved here.
So, if you keep that in mind, for a man to have worked…let’s say he worked 6 years, then he would have gotten say 60 shekels. Well why don’t we just say then, for 5 years would be 50 shekels?
And so, we have five years of hard labor worth of money that this person, who did this forcing himself upon a woman, would have had to pay. I’m just trying to figure out what the shekels worth.
So 30 shekels of silver would be the price of a slave, and it normally would have cost him 60 shekels to have that kind of labor. So, we’re looking at about 10 shekels a year. So, the man is not getting off scot-free. We’re talking her five years of work.
And he probably didn’t have it. I mean, someone who’s willing to do something like that probably didn’t have it. And it’s more likely that he would be sold into slavery. And so, the man’s not exactly getting off scot-free here.
Now, just figure that up. I mean, what is…even our own society…you know, let’s say the bare minimum would be 15,000 a year you’re looking at a fine of about $75,000. So it’s not chicken feed here that he is being fined for.
But why didn’t He have the man put to death like we see in the other cases? Well, we need to remember that, first of all, if we look in other places…like in 2 Sa 13:11 - the case where Tamar was placed in a situation where Amnon her brother forced himself on her.
2 Sa 13:11-13 – Now when she had brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, ‘Come, lie with me, my sister.’ And she answered him, ‘No, my brother, do not force me, for no such thing should be done in Israel. Do not do this disgraceful thing! And I, where could I take my shame? And as for you, you would be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.’
And so, the second thing that would happen to someone who forces himself upon a person is he would be like one of the fools in Israel. They would be ostracized; considered to be a foolish person.
And we see here…
2 Sa 13:14-16 – However, he would not heed her voice; and being stronger than she, he forced her and lay with her. Then Amnon hated her exceedingly, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, ‘Arise, be gone!’ So she said to him, ‘No, indeed! This evil of sending me away is worse than the other that you did to me.’ But he would not listen to her.
Now why did she say this? Why did she say, the evil of sending me away is worse; worse than the rape was sending her away. Treat her like trash, basically.
And so we see here, Tamar his sister said he would be like a fool. Unlike today, there was a lot of accountability for your actions in Israel. Villages were small; people lived…they knew each other, and so he would have been considered to be a foolish person. What a way to live your life…everyone looking at you thinking you were a fool.
Second of all, it would have been basically the equivalent of what we have today is these sex offender lists, and so on. You’re going to have these blinking lights around you all the time everybody knows what a shameful deed that you’ve done.
And so, that would have been automatically…they would have been on the sex offender list in Israel. So, that would have happened already, and people would have known to stay away from him.
But unlike today (and I want to point this out)…why she viewed this as being worse is because unlike today, virginity was a highly prized thing in ancient culture.
And so, for a young girl to have lost her virginity, they would be very unlikely to find a man that who would be willing to marry her, because of the high esteem that was placed on marrying a virgin. And this would especially be true, say, if a child would have been born out of this act that occurred.
And so, when Yahweh allowed for the woman to marry the person who had done this, there would be cases in which this is something that the young women wanted. And that was the case here with Tamar. But this is simply the natural result of a culture where a very high value is placed on the virginity.
Now bear with me here…I’m not finished. But I want to point this out because it is very important that we understand this. Virginity was a very highly prized thing in ancient Israel. And the natural result of a culture in which virginity is such a highly prized thing, is…the woman, if she wasn’t a virgin, would have a very hard time getting married.
What was better? For the women to live the rest of her life never having known the joy of raising children; never having known the joy of having a family, and being married, and all the benefits and the security that comes with that? Or, would it have been better for the two to get married?
And there were cases where this was the preferable thing. Now some might say, ‘Well, if that’s the case, maybe it’s better now that people don’t value virginity so much’.
Well, it’s true. I mean, virginity is not valued that much today. Now instead we have, women being treated like cheap pieces of meat that you throw aside.
Instead we have boyfriend/girlfriend relationships that result in the loss of virginity. Instead we have people today who are practicing marriage, with all the obligations of monogamy expected, as if they were married, but there is no commitment to each other.
Instead we have this lack of value placed on virginity. And we have tons and tons of unwanted pregnancy…millions of abortions, where little babies are killed in their mama’s womb. Instead we have irresponsible, deadbeat dads. Instead we have children who have no father in their lives. That’s the result of the system we have today….where virginity is not valued, and women therefore are not valued.
And so what would this do to a father in Israel?
This would make a father be very, very careful about protecting his young daughter. Not only did he have a vested interest in it, as well…not just his daughter, he had a vested interest in it as well…protecting his daughter.
And so we as father, we need to protect our daughters, especially in today’s obsessive culture…with fornication and all these things. And even…it doesn’t matter what age they are anymore. It used to be you didn’t have to worry about it if they were 8, 9, 10 years old, but forget it, nowadays. You have to always have your eyes open to what is going on.
And so, ancient Israel… they were very protective of their daughters. And even in our own society, there was a time when it was not a good idea for a woman to even go outside and cross the street by herself…simply because the father wanted to see to it that his daughter was always protected and preserved.
And so, I mean, it’s sad…the result (either way) of sin. But what is better? That we don’t value virginity, or that we do value it?
You might say, ‘Yeah, but surely there would be a young man who would overlook what happened and just love the girl anyway’. I agree. And that’s why Yahweh allowed the father a right of refusal.
And so, the father having the right of refusal was not an act to afflict his daughter but it was an act to protect his daughter. …Just the opposite.
And you might say, ‘Well, you know, the right of refusal’s not really mentioned there in Deuteronomy…. nothing mentioned about the right of refusal’. Well, it’s already mentioned in Exodus. And so he didn’t have to repeat Himself. He didn’t have to say over and over again this is what ought to be done.
It was already established that, even though Yahweh Himself expected there to be a marriage in Exodus 22, you know, the father…. there’s already been a precedent set, in previous chapters, that the father is able to refuse the marriage if he chooses. And so, he didn’t have to repeat the same thing about that.
And so, if Yahweh himself respected the father’s decision, in regards to his right of refusal in the event of two young people getting together in fornication, that was agreeable to each other, I mean, how much more so would He respect the right of refusal if the young man forced himself upon her? …Certainly.
And so, there was no need to repeat the principle because the precedent was already set up in the book of Deuteronomy.
And so, rape was punished in Israel. It was. But, the ideal situation would have been…the father would have protected his daughter, and people don’t live in a fornication charged society, to where they even consider doing those things.
So let’s continue on here. As we go along we are reading now from…
Exo 22:18 – You shall not permit a sorceress to live.
…Interesting. Don’t even let them live if they are committing these acts of sorcery. And so, His very, very high standard here…Don’t even let them draw a breath on the earth. And we see….
Lev 19:31 – Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am Yahweh you Elohim.
Lev 20:6 – And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.
He considered that prostitution, when you go after seeking the advice of demons. It’s considered spiritual harlotry.
Lev 20:27 – A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.
He didn’t mince words
Deu 18:10-12 – There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to Yahweh, and because of these abominations Yahweh your Elohim drives them out from before you.
We go on to the New Testament, if you’d like. If you don’t think the standards the same for any reason…
Rev 22:14-15 – Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
So we’ve got the sorcerers right here in the middle of things…in the thick of things.
Now, the reason why I’m bringing these up is because, I think in our society today, we don’t really treat it as being the abomination it really is. Because we see… sorcery, magic, mediums, soothsaying, other occultic practices. They’re glorified in our culture.
I mean, nearly all the Disney movies, especially the animated movies…they have magic and sorcery in them. The terms ‘magic’, ‘wizard’, it’s so carelessly used in our culture today.
If someone’s really good at computers, what do they call them, especially if they’re young people? Oh, a computer wiz, right? …Computer wizard. Wizard….he’s yielded mastery over the computer.
Little computer programs pop up and the wizard will guide you through installing a program. …it has the mastery over installing this program.
And so, these little terms are used so carelessly and flippantly. And our culture is so innovated with magic and wizardry. And even in the TV shows, even the commercials where they have these special effects to create illusions and tricks that would normally require the work of a magician or someone to accomplish.
And these things are so common nowadays; it’s really easy for us to not even think twice about it. And believers will set their children in front of movies that glorify sorcery, that glorify wizardry and magic, without really even thinking about it.
But we need to think about this. I mean, what power are they calling upon to accomplish their supernatural deeds that they are doing? Are they doing these things in Yahushua’s name there on the Disney program? I don’t think so.
I mean, are they humbling themselves before Yahweh and calling upon Him to intervene? …And Yahweh is being glorified there in the answer? No. And so what power are they tapping into here?
It’s the power of Satan the devil that they’re calling upon. When you see them doing magic wands, and casting spells, and all these things, I mean…so why would we set our children, or even ourselves, in front of a movie that would glorify the power of the devil? And give him power he doesn’t even have? I mean, no one can really do those things.
But of course, the devil wants to make himself seem so mighty and powerful, as if he could control all things…and really, he can’t. And so he’s glorified into something he can’t even really do…on these TV shows in the mass media.
I mean, Disney in particular has this song, ‘…when you wish upon a star, your dreams will come true.’ Don’t you see that they’re calling children to tap into some unknown god? I mean, have faith in a star, or an idol, to answer your prayers?
And you’ll notice at the opening of all the Disney movies, they have this little graphic that comes up…Disney graphic that comes up…with an accompanying little few notes of a song, and the few notes that they’re playing is, ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’….and here’s the graphic for Disney! It’s a Disney movie!
And so, what power are they really trying to convey here? I think they’re, more than likely, people who are behind this whole thing are very occultic minded…very pagan and occultic in their mindsets.
And so, I’m saying these things because….(it’s not just Disney, its other things)…because, we need to develop, because a lot of us don’t have it, a sensitivity to the things that Yahweh finds abominable….the things that he hates. And He hates those practicing witchcraft, and soothsaying, interpreting omens, and sorcery, and conjuring spells, and mediums, and spiritists. They’re an abomination.
Something that’s an abomination is at the height of something Yahweh finds absolutely disgusting. And so, when we see this ‘Disney’ thing in front of us, or these magic things in front of us, we need to… if we really are a people after Yahweh’s own heart, then we really need to have His heart here, and find that to be, ‘oh, yuck!...Disgusting!...Abomination!’
And today we…you know…we may not have to many people bowing before an idol, or worshipping the planets, or the sun, or moon.; but when you wish upon a star, you’re giving homage to one of the stars being your god that answers your prayers…some unknown force. Maybe it’s to the unknown god, or something.
And you know, that’s not even to mention the messages that these movies give our children. I mean, Disney princesses are all their age now. But how many more Disney movies there have to be made about how a young, mistreated little girl escapes from her caregiver’s grasp, and marries some handsome prince, and they live happily ever after.
I don’t know how many Disney movies are made with that same exact theme in it. And these movies are teaching girls to rebel against old fashioned things, rebel against parental authority, and go find some guy to hook up with. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing a lot of today.
But you know, at any rate, the magic and sorcery ought to be setting the alarms and the bells off in the hearts of believers. But you know, it’s just that we’re so desensitized to it, because the culture that we line in…it’s just so common place. But we need to seek again to be men and women after Yahweh’s own heart in all of these areas. That’s what we’re called to be.
So, I think I wasn’t going to continue, but… (I think we’ll go ahead and go to the next one. I was going to not continue, stop right there… but), I want to go ahead and move to this next one here cause)…oh, it’s a pretty gross one.
You know, I think I’m going to go ahead and stop there….because there are some other things I want to bring up, besides what’s written there in that verse 19 in Exodus 22.
But you know, what we’re talking about here in this Exodus 22, and we can see this… how it’s become pervasive in the culture we live in. And that is, us as fathers, and us as husbands, we have a responsibility to care about the persons that we are with….the persons that are entrusted to us by Yahweh Himself. …To be a people who protect.
And, are we doing that? Are we protecting our daughters? Are we valuing women the way Yahweh’s called us to value women? Whether the woman happens to be our daughter or the woman happens to be our wife.
Or, if you’re a young man…take a look here. Yahweh values women. He values the virginity of a young girl. And young men have a responsibility before Yahweh, to keep their hearts pure, and to turn away their eyes when being tempted to lust, and not cheapen a woman to some object of visual harlotry but to value the young woman.
And that’s exactly an expression of love to Yahweh. Because, if you thing about it, here was Adam by himself in the Garden of Eden. There he was. And he had no suitable person next to him that could be his partner in his life; that could be his confidant; that could be someone he could rely upon…to live life with. And Yahweh said, ‘Alright, well it’s not good for man to be alone. I will make a comparable…. a suitable helper to him’.
And so, He took out of his side…his side…not his foot, or...she’s under foot, but his side… a suitable helper. And of course you know, he woke up and she didn’t have any clothes on. I’m sure he was pretty happy with what Yahweh had made.
And there’s no doubt that he would have and should have cherished the gift that Yahweh had created for him. And that’s really the biblical principle behind everything else that Yahweh says in regards to how we are to cherish, to care for, and to nourish our wives. And their number one need is to feel valued and to feel loved.
And so, we have that, brothers, sisters (or I should say) brothers… to treat them as something that we value. And our young girls that grew up in our household, our daughters… we need to convey that. And I can say myself; I’m learning this more and more everyday… just how valuable a woman is.
This is a chapter about responsibility. And this is the responsibility that Yahweh has laid out for us. Let’s make sure that we are being responsible with our possessions, we’re being responsible with the plan of marriage, with Yahweh’s institution of marriage which He loves.
And that we express love, that we express words and things and deeds…in things that we do, like Jacob being willing to love in a way that involved serving.
So brothers and sisters, hope you’ve been encouraged by the message today. I’ve been convicted some too, myself, about some of the things I’m talking about here…It blows me away. You know, sometimes I’ll give a message and I think I’m done writing it but Yahweh finishes it for me.
But we have to, Brothers and Sisters, heed His messages; and at the same time I will call upon the sisters to pray for us men. I think we all need that prayer every day, because we have a huge, huge, tall order before us to love as Messiah did…and that’s not an easy task.
In the meantime, we look forward to sharing more next week. And until then, Yahweh guide us all. And may Yahweh bless you, and may Yahweh have mercy on us all.
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