Gilbert House Fellowship #281: Exodus 21-22

WE DIG into the Law this week, as we discuss God’s commands to Israel on such things as slaves, restitution, and social justice.

Slavery, in particular, had a far different meaning in the ancient Near East than it does for us in 21st century America. “Indentured servanthood” is perhaps a better term, since Hebrew slaves were to be released after six years of service.

The roles of men and women were also different under the Law. While they appear old-fashioned (or even misogynistic) by today’s standards, they actually offered more rights and protection to women than had existed previously.

We also discuss God’s ban on sorcery and sacrificing to other gods, and the consecration of firstborn sons, and why those things were so radical and relevant to the world in which the Hebrews lived.

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  1. The thief instance was very relevant when a chap called Mr Martin in England shot a young burglar in the back in broad daylight. This according to scripture in not self defence but murder. Martin ‘stole’ the boy’s life.

  2. I asked a Jewish friend about the meaning of foreigner or sojourner, and it has a meaning of the person having become a believer and part of the family. I’ve only recently recognised how seriously the ‘widows and fatherless’ section is. If you are a widow, your children are fatherless. Not just the western idea of no parents at all. In the ME still, if a women is widowed all her protection and income is gone. A year or two back, a girl in Israel was about to get married when her father and brother were killed in a terrorist attack. The wedding was delayed for ‘sitting sheva’ then they were married. Her husband then voluntarily took on the responsibility of her mother and younger siblings.

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