- Human beings can be the personal property of other human beings (1-11, 20-21).
- Children and wives are the personal property of their fathers and husbands (7-10; exception: 4).
- All human beings have certain rights – including those that are the personal property of others (1-2, 8-11, 20 versus 21, 26-27).
- It is unrighteous to neglect your wife in regard to food, clothing or intimacy (10; Eph 5:25-33; 1Co 7:3-5).
- Murder is a capital crime that removes a person from covenant relationship with God (12 w/14).
- People plan murder, God plans manslaughter (12-14) .
- Kidnapping and children attacking their parents are also serious (capital) crimes (15-17).
- We must compensate those who suffer physically and/or financially because of our actions according to what the judges (pastors/elders) determines to be equitable (18-19, 22-27).
- Animals that kill humans are to be viewed as cursed and put to death (28, 32).
- Our animals can make us guilty of a capital crime (28 versus 29-31).
- Damage to non-human personal property by the actions of others – or their non-human personal property, must receive its equitable restitution (33-36; also 22:5-6).
- Those who steal from others must pay the penalty of: 1) 5x the value for precious (rare/more critical or essential) unreturned items (1a; felony), 2) 4x the value for common unreturned items (1b; misdemeanor), 3) 2x for all returned items (4, 7).
- Those caught stealing and unable to pay the penalty must become the personal property of their victims (until restitution can be made) (3; exception: 2).
- If I lose the possessions entrusted to me (for safekeeping), I must pay double (2x the value) to their owners (7-9, 12; exception: discovery of a thief).
- Unless I am sure (under oath or thru the evidence) that I was responsible w/(i.e. did not neglect) what was entrusted to me, I must make restitution for what was damaged or destroyed (10-11, 13)
- If you break what: 1) was borrowed, then you must pay full restitution (14), 2) included the oversight of the owner or was rented, then no restitution is necessary (14-15).
- God views premarital sexual activity w/a covenant un-betrothed/un-married person as a marriage forming act (Gen 29:21-28; Deu 21:10-14, 22:28-29, 25:5; also Gen 34 and 2Sa 13) which means the man must pay the engagement price (e.g. amount equivalent to an engagement ring) to the woman’s father who has the right to: 1) approve them officially becoming husband and wife/getting married (16), 2) deny them officially becoming husband and wife/getting married (17).
- You mess w/magic, commit sexual acts w/animals or show honor to a false god (e.g. participate in the religious activities of a false religion/church), you die (i.e. it’s a capital crime) (18-20).
- We are to be careful to never “mistreat”: 1) those pagans who are our friends (21; e.g. not sharing the gospel w/them or calling them to repentance b/c we don’t want to lose the benefits they afford to us), 2) members who are in need (22-24; e.g. helping them w/ulterior or nefarious motives; e.g. neglecting/refusing to help them or build relationships w/them – Jam 2:1-4).
- We must lend to our poor members: 1) w/o taking interest (25; Lev 25:35-37), 2) w/o taking as collateral what would cause them to unreasonably suffer (26-27).
- We are never to (unrighteously) speak against: 1) God (28a), 2) His appointed “ruler” (lit. chief/leader – Num 2:3) in the covenant community (28b).
- We must “not delay” to: 1) give God the tithe of our revenue (29a, 30), 2) administer the sign of the “firstborn” or redemption (i.e. circumcision/baptism) to our infant children (under the NC this includes all children – both boys and girls) (29b), 3) consecrate (or separate) ourselves from those good things that exist in the context of unholiness/sin (31; e.g. yoga).
- We are perverts of justice versus protectors of justice (i.e. what promotes/preserves love, happiness and fairness for all people) if we act like : 1) wolves: spreading lies/acting as a malicious witnesses against others in the covenant community (1, 7), 2) lemmings: following wherever the majority/money leads – even when it is in the direction of evil (2, 8), 3) donkeys (democrats): showing favor to people based only on their poor economic status (3), 4) buzzards (discount-divas/coupon-queens): oppressing the poor of this world thru taking away the economic helps provided to them (9, 4-6 “your enemy’s ox or donkey going astray…lying down under its burden” = The revenue producing asset of those in the world is suffering and needs assistance; “You shall bring it back to him…you shall refrain from leaving him w/it; you shall rescue it w/him” = Justice requires providing revenue “helps” to the legitimately needy/suffering people of this world – which includes making sure that the limited/finite number of discounts/coupons provided thru our free market system is given to them – rather than taken by those of us who don’t truly need it.)
- The loans we extend to our needy members must not exceed six years (9-11; Deu 15:1-15).
- How we follow God must take no consideration of how foreign or acceptable it is in the culture around us (13).
- How we worship God must always be according to His: 1) appointed time/day (14, 17), 2) membership requirements (17), 3) prescribed way (15-16, 18-19).
- If we want God’s continued pardon, protection and provision then we must: 1) “carefully obey His voice and do all that [He says]” (20-30), 2) “make no covenant w/[pagans] and [the world’s] gods” – i.e. consider as/create family w/those who do not serve true God [e.g. calling those Christians who embrace a false gospel] (32-33; 2Co 6:14-17).
- The prerequisite to entering into covenant relationship w/God and receiving the blood of justification is agreement to obey “all the words of the Lord and all the rules (Fn – just decrees)” (1-8; 1Pe 1:1-2).
- God’s governance and guidance of His people is thru His appointed elders (1-2, 9-14).
- To make the covenant between God and His people official, requires: 1) God’s signed copy of the covenant/law (12-15; Deu 5:22-32), 2) His special dwelling among His people (16-18 w/Exo 25-31). Under the NC, these two things are received internally (versus external tablets of stone) and immediately (versus 40 days) (Jer 31:33-34; the purpose then of this God-signed “law” or book of the covenant is moral – or to establish accountability to God, not intellectual – to educate them in the ways of God. Education was the reason for the written version.).
- The number 40 (as in the 40 days Moses spent w/God on Mt. Sinai) may be connected to the other designations of 40 in Scripture (40 days of Noah’s flood, 40 prescribed lashes for sin, 40 days for purification after birth, 40 years of wilderness wandering, the 40 days of Elijah): it indicates the completion of (covenantal) cleansing and/or consecration (18 w/Exo 22:31). Hence the reason for Jesus’ 40 days on a wilderness mountain (tradition: “the mountain of temptation” close to the Jordan River – Luk 4:1) after taking our sins in His baptism (Mat 3:13-4:11). *This would not apply to excommunication which is removal from the covenant.