Saturday, November 14, 2015

Some "That Time" Old Testament Verses

I always enjoy time with the Indy Benjamin MDIV group on Saturdays. They're in their final course of the MDIV praxis sequence. This morning we went through key passages on marriage, polygamy, adultery, divorce, and homosexual sex.

There are some fascinating OT verses on these subjects. They remind us that the world of the OT was quite different from ours. Most of the OT Law, including its civil law, was for "that time" and the people of Israel rather than "all time" and the "new covenant." As N. T. Wright says, "We are not members of Israel" (124).

Here are some examples:
  • "If a man has two wives, one of them loved and the other disliked, and if both the loved and the disliked have borne him sons, the firstborn being the son of the one who is disliked, then on the day when he wills his possessions to his sons, he is not permitted to treat the son of the loved as the firstborn in preference to the son of the disliked, who is the firstborn." (Deut. 21:15-16)
  • "Suppose a man enters into marriage with a woman, but she does not please him because he finds something objectionable about her, and so he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house; she then leaves his house and goes off to become another man’s wife. Then suppose the second man dislikes her, writes her a bill of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house (or the second man who married her dies); her first husband, who sent her away, is not permitted to take her again to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that would be abhorrent to the Lord." (Deut. 24:1-4)
  • "When brothers reside together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her, taking her in marriage, and performing the duty of a husband’s brother to her, and the firstborn whom she bears shall succeed to the name of the deceased brother, so that his name may not be blotted out of Israel." (Deut. 25:5-6)
  • "When a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to be married, and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife. But if her father refuses to give her to him, he shall pay an amount equal to the bride-price for virgins." (Exod. 22:16-17)

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