So, here comes the first post in regards to exegesis (interpreting the Bible). As I said in the first post, How Do You Interpret the Bible?, we will be looking at this particular list as material for our study.
Today, I want to focus on 7 of the laws that the author of the post quoted from the Old Testament as needing to be followed by Christians.
The references for these verses are:
- Deuteronomy 23:2
- Deuteronomy 23:1
- Leviticus 12:5
- Deuteronomy 22:20-21
- Leviticus 18:19
- Deuteronomy 25:11-12
- Leviticus 21:18-20
1. “No one born of a forbidden union may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD.” – Deuteronomy 23:2
The meaning of this verse is obvious. If you were born as a result of adultery, you weren’t allowed in the Temple. Now, let’s look at the important parts of the verse.
- Who was it written to? The Israelites. Not the modern church, not today’s Christians, the Israelites.
- Who wrote it? Moses, by the command of God. (Some theologians will argue that it was written by God and handed to Moses.)
- When was it written? Appoximately 1406 B.C.
- Why was it written? To show who was not to enter the Temple.
So, let’s look at this verse. All around this verse are laws concerning sexual immorality, uncleanness in the camp and random laws.
As it says, those who are born of a forbidden union, or as the KJV says “a bitched” can not enter the Temple of God. Note what it says here. they can’t enter the assembly, which means they can’t participate in festivals and celebrations at the Temple. This law does not take into account the upcoming redemption in Christ Jesus and it applies only to the people to whom it was written.
Keep in mind what the apostle James says about true religion: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained in the world.” (James 1:27) We are to care for those who have no one to care for them.
2. “No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the LORD.” – Deuteronomy 23:1
I’m not going to go into much detail here, because most of what I wrote about Deuteronomy 23:2 applies here. Written to a specific group of people regarding who can and can not enter the Temple and participate in festivals.
I want to make a HUGE point here: just because they couldn’t enter the Temple or participate in festivals, doesn’t mean they weren’t allowed to worship God.
3. “But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation. And she shall continue in the blood of her purifying for sixty-six days.” Leviticus 12:5
Basically, if a woman gives birth to a girl, she is to be set outside of the camp for a total of 80 days (14+66=80…right?).
Okay, same applies here: specific audience, specific group of people, specific everything. This has nothing to do with today because we don’t travel in camps anymore.
But one has to wonder, why did this law even exist? It was (and still is) commonly understood that a lot of viruses are transferred with contact with bodily fluids, namely, blood. This was a precaution of spreading any viruses that may have been contracted during travel or childbirth. This was not a law that implied, as the author of the post I’m taking these from seems to think, as a way of saying that God hates women. It was a hygienic precaution that is easily remedied today through proper birthing procedures as well as medical care equipment (gloves, masks, medication).
Let’s be clear here: not everything written in the Bible was written to and/or about everyone. Some have specific audiences, such as this one and the next one we’re going to talk about. We still have these laws in our modern Bible so that we can understand how seriously God takes sin and so we understand His desire to make a people set apart from the world around them.
Stick around. These posts are going to be fun.