May 6, 2018: Day 22 – Exodus 22

I’ll guess I can encourage you not to apply all that you read in this chapter literally to your life today.  Just think what the people of Israel were going through as they were making their way toward the promised land.  Notice that there is no mention of land law, because no one owned their land at that time.  They do speak about land in the way that produce and crops are mentioned, so it is interesting that these laws are in place as they make their way across the land.  It was all in relationship to those things that you may have as you were making your way across in a caravan.  This is really, in some ways, gypsy law.  I say that having been involved in ministry with gypsies, which we should really use the term Roma.  

Each Roma community has its own set of laws and rules by which each person must abide.  There is a general consistency in all of them when you go from community to community, but it is not perfectly uniform.  Here in chapter 22 we find the emphasis is placed on animals and daughters.  He doesn’t match them up as equal, but there is mention of both here.  I like vs.25-27 which speaks against loaning money on interest.  He specifies specifically that if they are poor you are not to request interest from them.  There is a specific mention of the poor.

There is a sense in this Scripture that we are all in this together and sometimes mistakes happen.  When they do happen, you have to make it right.  It was crucial for the community to know what should be done when certain things happened so that everyone was on the same page.  I also think it is quite horrific that if a young woman is raped then she must marry the man who raped her.  But remember, back then if a woman lost her virginity, by rape or not, then she was no longer considered of value to anyone.  I did not make this up, it is written here.  As a result these laws in reality protected women from being tossed out into the street without anyone to take care of them.  

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