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Friday, January 10 2014
Deuteronomy 17: Courts and Kings
"When he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this Law ... he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God
The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) gave His Law to the Israelites (and to everyone before and after them; see Grace In The Garden, The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq and The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God) as the basis of civilization - the legal rights and responsibilities of everyone (see also Deuteronomy 12: They Aren't Rights If The LORD Says They're Wrongs).
As is very often the case, topical sections of the Holy Bible now seem to extend over more than one chapter. The Holy Scriptures however were originally written without chapters and verse numbers. They were devised by European printers when Bibles began to be published - chapters were made from about 800 years ago and verses from about 500 years ago. Deuteronomy chapter 17, as a matter of its context (i.e. content of the text), actually begins in the previous "chapter."
"16:18 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. 16:19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. 16:20 That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 16:21 Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee. 16:22 Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth." (Deuteronomy 16:18-22 KJV)
The English word court, or courtyard, originated from a Latin word meaning an enclosed, uncovered area. The original intent was for an official area where the public could hear and witness government proceedings. In the case of most-ancient Israel, it was the place where people brought contentious issues for judgment by the Levites - most particularly those who became the scribes, or "experts in the law" i.e. the "lawyers." Their judgments were not merely their personal or political "opinion." They were often the only people who could read what was written; what they read was what was written by the LORD.
"17:8 If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose; 17:9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment: 17:10 And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee: 17:11 According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left. 17:12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel. 17:13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously." (Deuteronomy 17:8-13 KJV)
As would happen by the time of Samuel (see 1 Samuel: From Judges To Kings and 2 Samuel: The Kingdom Of David), Israel elected itself a king - first Saul, then David (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Saul and David).
"King," whether in English or in Hebrew, means the head of a kin, the head of a family; the unadulterated original meaning of the word "patriotism" meant faithful to the father, the head of the kin, the king. The basis for the election of a king was declared by the LORD before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, first to the rebel Exodus generation who refused to enter the Promised Land (see Numbers 13: The Exploration Of The Promised Land and Numbers 14: Why 40 Years In The Sinai?), then reiterated to their children and grandchildren who did enter the Promised Land (see Deuteronomy 1: Why A Book Of Deuteronomy In The Bible?).
"17:14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; 17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. 17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. 17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
Fact Finder: Why is "heaven," the place of Salvation, called the Kingdom of God?
This Day In History, January 10
49 BC: Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River (a political/military boundary), defying the Roman senate, and plunging Rome into civil war (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
1072: Norman adventurer Robert Guiscard conquered Palermo.
1430: Charles V (Hapsburg) founded his knights of the "Order of The Golden Fleece" (see also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1475: Stephen III of Moldavia defeated the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vaslui. The Ottoman Empire ruled much of the Middle East for centuries, until after the First World War (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1538: A statement by Martin Luther regarding the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory: "God has placed two ways before us in His Word: salvation by faith, damnation by unbelief. He does not mention purgatory at all. Nor is purgatory to be admitted, for it obscures the benefits and grace of Christ."
1645: William Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was beheaded for treason.
1810: Napoleon Bonaparte divorced Josephine.
1863: The world's first underground ("subway") railway service opened, in London, England.
1920: After the First World War (1914-1918; listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the Treaty of Versailles took effect. The Treaty had also established the League of Nations.
1920: The League of Nations opened, in Geneva. The organization was replaced by the United Nations after the Second World War.
1922: Arthur Griffith was elected President of the newly formed Irish Free State.
1934: Marinus van der Lubbe was guillotined in Germany for allegedly setting fire to the Reichstag (the German Parliament Building). The fire (which many believe was actually started by the Nazis themselves) was used by Adolf Hitler as his excuse to institute wide-ranging "homeland security" measures, including the creation of the infamous Gestapo - a German abbreviation of "The State Police" (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1940: German aircraft attacked 12 ships off the British coast; 3 ships sunk, 35 crewmen killed.
1942: Japanese forces invaded the Dutch East Indies.
1946: The League of Nations was officially superseded by the United Nations when the first U.N. General Assembly opened in London.
1947: Two years after the Second World War ended, the Greek ship Himara struck a wartime mine in the Saronic Gulf south of Athens; 393 of the 637 people aboard were killed.
1962: 4,000 people were killed by an eruption and avalanche in Peru.
1970: Russian cosmonaut Pavel Belyayev died at age 45. He was the pilot of the Soviet's Unions 8th manned space mission in 1965 when Belyayev's co-pilot, Aleksey Leonov, became the first man to walk in space.
1984: The U.S. and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations (see also The Messiah's Warning About Christian Charlatans).
2003: Illinois Governor George Ryan commuted the death sentences of 167 prisoners on Illinois' death row after Chicago police were convicted of torturing false murder confessions out of over 200 people between 1972 and 1991.
2008: Edmund Hillary died at age 88. In 1953, the New Zealander, along with his Sherpa (a people of Nepal) guide Tenzing Norgay, became the first to climb Mount Everest.