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Deuteronomy 25-27

Supplemental notes for the Daily Bible Study Bible Reading Plan

by Wayne Blank

Deuteronomy Chapter 25

A modern-day fuel tanker requires fuel to enable it to deliver fuel to those who will make use of it; the fuel tanker does not itself benefit from the fuel that it consumes - it's merely what is needed to make delivery possible. The same principle is found in the Holy Bible, for working animals such as an ox, but also for the work of God, as stated by the apostle Paul who quoted this same verse from Deuteronomy.

Court

"You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain." (Deuteronomy 25:4 RSV)

"Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; for the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages." (1 Timothy 5:17-18 RSV)

The family was the foundation of Israelite life. When a loss occurred, perpetuation of a family was sometimes done according to a specific marriage rule within the family.

"If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead shall not be married outside the family to a stranger; her husband's brother shall go in to her, and take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his brother who is dead, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.

And if the man does not wish to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate to the elders [see also The Senate], and say, 'My husband's brother refuses to perpetuate his brother's name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband's brother to me.' Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak to him: and if he persists, saying, 'I do not wish to take her,' then his brother's wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, and pull his sandal off his foot, and spit in his face; and she shall answer and say, 'So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother's house.' And the name of his house shall be called in Israel, The house of him that had his sandal pulled off." (Deuteronomy 25:5-10 RSV)

Honesty in trade was one of the key obligations of free enterprise.

"You shall not have in your bag two kinds of weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house two kinds of measures, a large and a small. A full and just weight you shall have, a full and just measure you shall have; that your days may be prolonged in the land which The Lord your God gives you. For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to The Lord your God." (Deuteronomy 25:13-16 RSV)

Deuteronomy Chapter 26

The ceremony of the firstfruits when the Israelites entered their physical promised land was a direct portrayal of the firstfruits of salvation entering the spiritual promised land at Christ's return (see Christ's Pentecost and When Will You Be Judged?).

Blessings

"When you come into the land which The Lord your God gives you for an inheritance, and have taken possession of it, and live in it, you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that The Lord your God gives you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you shall go to the place which The Lord your God will choose, to make his name to dwell there. And you shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, 'I declare this day to The Lord your God that I have come into the land which The Lord swore to our fathers to give us.' Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand, and set it down before the altar of The Lord your God." (Deuteronomy 26:1-4 RSV)

Obeying God benefits those who choose to obey God. Salvation is a gift to repentant sinners; unrepentant sinners are going to be cast into the lake of fire.

"This day The Lord your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances; you shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul. You have declared this day concerning The Lord that He is your God, and that you will walk in His ways, and keep His statutes and His commandments and His ordinances, and will obey His voice; and The Lord has declared this day concerning you that you are a people for His own possession, as He has promised you, and that you are to keep all His commandments, that He will set you high above all nations that He has made, in praise and in fame and in honor, and that you shall be a people holy to The Lord your God, as He has spoken." (Deuteronomy 26:16-19 RSV)

Deuteronomy Chapter 27

Mount Ebal, from the Hebrew word pronounced ay-bawl, meaning rocky, is a mountain in Samaria, in central Israel. At a height of 3,077 feet / 937 meters above sea level, and 1,200 feet / 365 feet above the level of the adjacent valley, it was located on the north side of the ancient city of Shechem. Mount Gerizim was to the south of Shechem on the opposite side of the valley. Well within sight of each other, Mount Ebal's rather barren appearance contrasted with the more profusely-covered Mount Gerizim. This difference was used in a ceremony to symbolize the blessings for those who obey God, and the curses for those who disobey - a principle that applies as much now as at any other time during Bible History.

Mount Ebal

"And Moses charged the people the same day, saying, "When you have passed over the Jordan, these shall stand upon Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. And these shall stand upon Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. And the Levites shall declare to all the men of Israel with a loud voice:

"Cursed be the man who makes a graven or molten image, an abomination to The Lord, a thing made by the hands of a craftsman, and sets it up in secret.' And all the people shall answer and say, 'Amen.'

"'Cursed be he who dishonors his father or his mother.' [see "Honour thy father and thy mother"] And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'

"'Cursed be he who removes his neighbor's Landmark.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'

"'Cursed be he who misleads a blind man on the road.' [see also Stumbling Blocks] And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'

"'Cursed be he who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'

"'Cursed be he who lies with his father's wife, because he has uncovered her who is his father's.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'

"'Cursed be he who lies with any kind of beast.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'

"'Cursed be he who lies with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'

"'Cursed be he who lies with his mother-in-law.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'

"'Cursed be he who slays his neighbor in secret.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'

"'Cursed be he who takes a bribe to slay an innocent person.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'

"'Cursed be he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.' (Deuteronomy 27:11-26 RSV)

Fact Finder: What does "amen" mean?
See Amen


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