The Bible in a Year: Day 53 (Deuteronomy 14-17)

Deuteronomy 14:7 — I like that the TNIV adds “ceremonially” to “unclean” here. It helps to make the point that these animals are not unclean and and of themselves. When God was done creating animals he said it was good (i.e., the functioned according to their purposes). He was pleased. So they’re not unclean just for being what they are. But they do, for whatever reasons, defile someone so they can’t render service to God. So what’s the big deal with that? Just don’t eat those animals when it’s service time, right? Right! But it’s always service time!

Deuteronomy 14:21 — I’m still amazed that they were able to extract the kasrhut law about mixing meat and dairy from this passage. It’s one thing to boil a kid in its mother’s milk (most likely some kind of pagan fertility ritual), and quite another to melt some cheese on your burger. But I guess that’s fencing for you. Go to extremes to avoid sin at all costs.

Deuteronomy 14:22-29 — Would you point to this passage on tithing if you wanted to make a point about paying pastors? I think I would, although I think there’s more than enough in the NT that I wouldn’t have to.

Deuteronomy 15:1-11 — If only my creditors would obey this!

Deuteronomy 15:12-18 — I struggle to see how people have a hard time with this form of slavery. I think a lot of it is really reading harsher forms of slavery back into the text. But Israel was to remember their slavery so as to not treat their slaves like they were treated.

Deuteronomy 17:2-7 — I’m tired at the moment but I really want to think about the implications of the witnesses being the first people to carry out sentencing and then the rest of the community joining in. What does this tell us about interconnectivity? Can we understand this to mean that a sin against one is a sin against all?

Deuteronomy 17:10-11 — This passages has been twisted in certain rabbinic interpretations to mean that one should assent to whatever the rabbis (or judges) say even if they know it to be wrong. For example, Rashi said, “Although this judge may not be [of the same stature] as other judges who preceded him, you must listen to him, for you have only the judge [who lives] in your time. Even if this judge tells you that right is left, and that left is right. How much more so, if he tells you that right is right, and left is left!

B”H

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