Awesome Hands – part 71: “The judgments” – Part B

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Awesome Hands – part 71

“The judgments” part B

December 3rd, 2014

We are continuing this week to cover “the judgments” as laid out to us in Exodus 21.

Last study we covered the “intents of the heart” concerning slavery and murder, and in this study we are going to cover the judgments given to us in the Old Testament concerning assaults and injuries that do not result in death, as well as those same types of injuries that happen from masters and their beasts as well as “free men”.

Exo 21:20  And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
Exo 21:21  Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.

Like many things that came before the law of Moses, there were many things that were given more consideration and judgment on how the Lord laid out His laws to His people.

Much like women were not treated very well in marriage before the law of Moses and then were given a bill of divorcement with the law, so, too, did things change a bit with slavery.

Before the law, there were almost no laws that gave slaves any sorts of rights if they were treated brutally by their masters. However, the Lord gave slaves a way to be somewhat protected from outright savagery. The law did a lot to ameliorate the slaves that were slaves under the law of Moses.

As we just read, if a master smote his slaves and they died, they were to be punished. Some translations say the masters were also put to death, but I do not think this was the action that was taken most of the time given what we will read in a few minutes.

The spiritual significance of the lessons of smiting our servants is that we do not intend to cause death but to give life. Even if death occurs, spiritually speaking it would only be the death of the old man, and it is a good thing for the new man to be born.

If you look at verse 19 again, you will notice that any hurt that is NOT a slave was to be repaid for his time loss because of the injury. Likewise, nothing is paid to a slave that is hurt because the owner’s punishment itself is that “his money” is producing nothing while being injuried. So, this is enough under the law for a master to be reprimanded with.

As I mentioned last week, the law really emphasizes intent of the heart. Take for example these next verses:

Exo 21:22  If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
Exo 21:23  And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
Exo 21:24  Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
Exo 21:25  Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

In verses 22 we are clearly being told that if men are fighting and a woman intervenes, is with child, and is then hurt, then there are two courses of action in this matter.

  1. If the baby dies but the woman doesn’t, the husband can determine the compensation that will then be determined to be proper in the sight of the judges.
  2. If they woman dies too, then equal payment would be paid for whatever the loss was that happened.

This is where we clearly see the concept of eye for and eye and tooth for a tooth coming from. There are many commentaries on “eye for and eye, tooth for a tooth”, as you can imagine, but I honestly believe most are rubbish.

Most contend that eye for an eye can’t possible mean what it says. Many of these commentaries give the example of a one-eyed man having to pay the penalty of becoming completely blind if he had to actually follow through with obeying this law if he caused injury to the eye of a two-eyed man. Most contend that this just wouldn’t be fair, and this is not what the law intended.

However, as can be seen when you just read what is said and written, a lot of situations allow the person being wronged to determine the course of action including compensation.

What is not written is that a one-eyed man can determine his own punishment if he broke the law concerning “eye for an eye”. Simply stated, most people do not want to take the Lord at what He says and instead want to interpret what is said to mean something else “more fair”.

If the Lord did not intend “eye for an eye” for example, then He would not have restated it in Leviticus.

Lev 24:17  And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.
Lev 24:18  And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast.
Lev 24:19  And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him;
Lev 24:20  Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.
Lev 24:21  And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death.
Lev 24:22  Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.

Another example and witness of this is when Jesus Himself said that the Pharisees and scribes were hypocrites because they DID NOT follow the law but instead created their own “traditions of men” to make themselves feel better about disobeying the law they were given.

I read this before, but it is an important point to get across.

Mat 15:1  Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
Mat 15:2  Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
Mat 15:3  But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Mat 15:4  For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
Mat 15:5  But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
Mat 15:6  And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Mat 15:7  Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
Mat 15:8  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Mat 15:9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

In other words, the lesson we are take from these judgments given to us in Exodus 21 is that we all are guilty of taking what the Lord tells us to do, twisting it to be our own better version of that law/judgment, and then claim we are serving the Lord by doing so instead of DOING WHAT HE SAYS TO DO.

Jesus calls this VANITY.

If you think I am preaching something that is too harsh on those who have committed these vain actions, then you aren’t realizing that I am speaking about myself when I say we ALL have participated in this VANITY and are GUILTY before the law which is “a law unto ourselves”.

I’ll prove this with Jesus’ own words, which are about this very “eye for an eye” doctrine. Now, which doctrine are you believing whole-heartedly? Is it a doctrine of “the commandments of men” i.e. what you have learned to be “FAIR” and “JUST” in your life and upbringing or is it according to what Jesus told us to do? Are we being DOERS of the Word?

Mat 5:38  Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
Mat 5:39  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Mat 5:40  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
Mat 5:41  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Mat 5:42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

I know and I feel naturally just how UNJUST and UNFAIR these “but I say unto you” Laws of Liberty feel and sound to my heart and mind. Likewise I know this is the same for you naturally.

However, we are now SLAVES buried in baptism with Christ Jesus and BORN into the Life He would have us represent Him in as His ambassadors. After all, what is a coat or cloak that I have on and someone else wants if not the cloak the Lord put on my back to be given to that person who is in the position to ask it of me?

Do we truly believe the Lord works all things after His own counsel, and if so, what is our REACTION to that?

I’ve said many times that Jesus’ walk on this earth was to show us REACTION to what the Father placed in front of Jesus, and those reactions were for OUR BENEFIT to know how to live our lives out.

When considering the law we are discussing in Exodus, we must take the same thought process and apply it to what we are to truly glean spiritually from what we are being told.

When the bar is being raised, we must simply accept that standard and DO IT or we are not obeying our Father, and we are simply just paying lip service to Him.

Look at what we continue to read in Exodus 21 concerning a master and his servant and the concept of “eye for and eye”.

Exo 21:26  And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake.
Exo 21:27  And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.

We just read that an eye was to be repaid for an eye, but that is NOT the case in the relationship of master and slave. Why?

1) We are being given clarification on the different situations, but 2) we are being told that the master realizes the seriousness of what has happened the servant and is being put in check by the law

Likewise and of a “higher” spiritual application, our Master knows the price that is being paid when we actually do what we are commanded to do and He tells us that our freedom lies there. We are prisoners of Christ but we are FREE in His Liberty because we know why it is we serve.

“If an ox gore a man or a woman”

Exo 21:28  If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.
Exo 21:29  But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.
Exo 21:30  If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.
Exo 21:31  Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him.

These laws were put into place to show us just how much the Lord cares about the “life” of a son of man. It may not seem like He does, but He does.

If an ox kills a man or woman, that beast was to be put to death and not even be eaten. In other words, it was a complete loss for the owner of the beast.

However, if the owner of the beast was neglectful Himself of the life of a fellow man by ignoring that His ox was given to goring things, it was the same penalty as murdering that person – death. The only exception to that was that unlike murder, the owner could get out of the death penalty by paying whatever fee was laid upon him.

This was the same penalty regardless if it was done to a man or woman, girl or boy.

However, if it was done to a slave, then the price of a slave must be paid.

Exo 21:32  If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

Thirty shekels of silver is what was paid to betray Jesus, and it is interesting to note that a spiritual type of being an ox stoned for the penalty of murder is that we, as natural beasts with the old man in us, will have the stone fall on us, too.

Mat 21:42  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
Mat 21:43  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
Mat 21:44  And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Luk 20:17  And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?
Luk 20:18  Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

The gospel of Mark actually links the act of murder with the stone falling on us.

Mar 12:6  Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.
Mar 12:7  But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.
Mar 12:8  And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.
Mar 12:9  What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.
Mar 12:10  And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:
Mar 12:11  This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

What is “marvelous in our eyes” is that and eye for an eye applies directly to these verses just read.

The penalty of killing the son of the “Lord of the vineyard” is death for death. The reason given that the husbandmen wanted to kill the son was so that the “inheritance shall be ours”.

Spiritually speaking, the old man represented by the husbandmen DOES NOT gain this inheritance but the DEATH resulting from the old man’s actions, PRODUCES LIFE in the new man represented by “unto others” who gain the vineyard having done NOTHING to gain it.

It is all about the death of the Son which gives INHERITANCE to others. This indeed is a marvelous mystery which is “the Lord’s doing”.

There are always two men being talked about in the entire bible and in each story and this is no different when talking about the kingdom of God being spoken about in the parables Jesus taught.

In the next study, we are going to cover chapter 22 and the judgments contained in it concerning thievery, seduction, bestiality, witchcraft, worshipping of false gods and oppression.

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