Lev. 24-25

Another short observation.  Here we have the eternal flame for the Lord.  And we have the year of jubilee.  We have death penalty for blasphemy and the requirement for fallow fields.  We have the famous code of ancient moderation:

Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injured in the same manner: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury.

Lev. 24:19-20.  In church we have just finished the Sermon on the Mount including the following:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

These passages remind me that the governing structure of the ancient Israelites, even as they remembered in exile, is complex and foreign to me.  They believed it necessary to link Church and State.  Rather than a market place of ideas; they found certain views or words to merit death.  Private property was not permanent.  They are my spiritual ancestors, nonetheless, and I cannot hope to understand the Sermon on the Mount if I don’t know the law that Jesus is completing.

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