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Exodus 22:1-23:9

Read Exodus 22:1-23:9

Some random thoughts:

Crimes receive their just recompense (Heb 2:2)

Restitution is a wonderful idea - the word is taken from the root of "shalom"!

Restoring shalom is costly

Some crimes are worse than others

This is contra the popular belief that everything's the same in God's eyes.

It's true that no sin is so slight it doesn't demand the blood of God and no sin is so great it's not covered by the blood of God - but within that range there's quite a lot of difference.

There's restitution or there's death.  There's no prison.

Sins are dealt with in community.  If someone's not fit to be dealt with in community they're not fit to live.  There's no limbo state of prison.  (Implications for the 'naughty step' in disciplining children?)

Protection of the weak is woven very deeply into the fabric of Israelite life. Virgins (v16), Aliens (v21, 23:9), Widows (v22), Orphans (v22), the Needy (v25), the Poor (23:6).

This is not sentimental favouritism - 23:3 - justice and mercy are held together.

Love for enemies is actually legislated!  (23:4-5)

This grace is grounded in the very identity of the people - this is not the law of a dominant super-power.  This is the law of a weak, rescued people. (23:9)

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0 thoughts on “Exodus 22:1-23:9

  1. pgjackson

    I like these thoughts. The 'no prison' is sobering, since our society is pretty much sold out on it as the best way of punishing. I do think a biblical case for it (and other forms of exclusion, such as the naughty step) from the theme of exile, but these chapters maybe suggest we need to re-think its primacy, both in society at large and in parenting, classroom discipline etc.

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