Deuteronomy - Lesson 27

Guarding the Well - Being of Women

The ideal for the people of Israel was a patricentric society but in often the reality was a patriarchal society. In a patricentric society, the male head of the clan will provide resources and security in a way that gives his family and the community opportunities to flourish. The vision for women in Deuteronomy is different than the world that is described in Israelite narratives.

Daniel Block
Lesson 27
Watching Now
Guarding the Well - Being of Women

Guarding the Well-Being of Women

I. Decalogue Texts

A. Patricentric vs patriarchal

B. Case Study 1

C. Case Study 2

D. Case study 3

II. Concluding Reflections

  • The book of Deuteronomy contains the gospel message. Even though there are some laws mentioned, the essence of the book is prophetic preaching. Your presuppositions and principles for interpretation that you use will make a difference in how you view the meaning and significance of the book of Deuteronomy.

  • Deuteronomy is primarily a collection of sermons but its structure is covenantal. The structure of the covenant was commonly used in other cultures in the Ancient Near East during this time period. God tells the people of Israel that he is their God and the people say that they are God’s treasured possession. (Note: Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb are referring to the same thing. They are used interchangeably)

  • God gave the Decalogue to Moses so they have authority as Scripture. The book of Deuteronomy as whole is also Scripture. It contains the speeches of Moses and narrative passages. It’s the lense through which we view the other books of the Pentateuch.

  • Moses begins by recalling events that happened during their wandering in the wilderness, then recent events as they have gotten closer to entering the promises land from the east. Moses is idealized in the Old and New Testaments and in the writings of historians. You get a different picture when you read his first address. It shows Moses as faithful but flawed.

  • The Law was given to the nation of Israel after they had been freed from Egypt as the way to respond to God’s grace. God gives them the boundaries for right and wrong and a process to restore relationship when it is broken.

  • With the privilege of salvation and covenant relationship comes the call for a righteous response, demonstrated in joyful obedience to the Savior and Lord. A covenant is a formally confirmed agreement between two or more parties that creates, formalizes, governs a relationship that does not exist naturally or a natural relationship that has disintegrated.

  • God’s people are a privileged people; they have been graciously redeemed, and set apart as his special treasure, his holy covenant people. God acts graciously to undeserving people and they respond joyfully with obedience. The is the end of the first speech of Moses, Deuteronomy 4:32-40.

  • The Decalogue is the bill of rights of the people of ancient Israel. It is the ten principles of covenant relationship. It creates a picture of covenant righteousness and provides a foundation for later revelation. The Decalogue contains the features of a typical covenant and conditional and unconditional laws. The addressee is the head of the household because they can be a threat to others.

  • When Moses recites the Decalogue in Deuteronomy 5, there are parts that are similar to the passage in Exodus, and there are some significant differences. He begins with getting the attention of the people of Israel and appealing for covenant fidelity, restates the Decalogue, then ends with a document clause, using covenant language.

  • The Shema is a call for whole-hearted, full-bodied commitment. This passage is a theological exposition and pastoral proclamation to impress on the minds of the people of Israel the special relationship they enjoyed with YHWH. The grace God showed them must be embraced with grateful and unreserved devotion to their redeemer and covenant Lord.

  • God chooses the covenant partner, sets the terms, declares the goal, identifies the sign and determines the consequences of disobedience of the covenant. After Moses explains the purpose of the Law, he explains to the children how the Law was given and that learning it and putting it into practice will bring them life.

  • Moses talks to the people of Israel as they are entering the land, about how they will respond to the external test of confronting and dispossessing the surrounding nations. He reminds them of their special status with God and the covenant that he offers them unconditionally. He challenges them with the theological, ethical and missional significance of the test.

  • How can you worship a God that asks the people of Israel to wipe out the Canaanites? The reason for Israel taking the land is so the people of Israel as a holy people will be preserved so the world will be preserved. God is fundamentally compassionate and gracious, he does what is right and God offers us grace and mercy.

  • When everything goes right, what do you do then? The message of this passage is, “don’t forget.” YHWH provided manna in the wilderness to feed the people of Israel. God was also teaching them in the wilderness that life comes from every word of the mouth of God, not just by eating physical food. Moses challenges the people to respond to prosperity by praising God, not by taking the credit themselves.

  • The enemies in the Promised Land are formidable. God promises to defeat them. Moses warns that people to acknowledge that God is responsible. Even though the Canaanites do not follow God, the reason God chose the people is not because they are morally superior to the Canaanites.

  • Israel’s covenant with YHWH is based entirely on his grace and they don’t deserve it. Moses interceded on behalf the of people of Israel to ask God to not judge them and God is described as, “changing his mind” and renewing his covenant with them.

  • “What does YHWH ask of you?” Moses answers this question, then gives a doxology to confirm it and an application to illustrate it. God wants you to have a soft heart toward him, to live in an attitude of trusting awe and to act in a way that honors the covenant that God has established with you.

  • Moses has given a profound theology of land. He gives the people of Israel instructions for what God wants them to do when they enter the land to confirm their covenant with God. This included using uncut stones and plastering them and writing the Torah on them and then praising God. The land is an integral part of the covenant. The people shout blessings on Mount Gerizim and curses on Mount Ebal.

  • As the people of Israel enter the land, God has instructions for them on how to live in relationship with him and worship him so that it may go well with them and their children. They are to reject the false worship practices of the surrounding nations and accept God’s invitation to come and worship him in the place and in the way he has designed for them.

  • The Levites represent a barometer on where the people of Israel are in their ethical religion. They are not given land as an inheritance so it is the responsibility of people in the other tribes to support them. Moses presents a theology of worship but doesn’t go into detail.

  • This is a warning to the people of Israel to not imitate the materialistic preoccupation and the brutal rituals associated with the worship practices of the surrounding nations when they worship YHWH. There are warnings against following false prophets, someone in your family or people in your community if they are promoting seditious religious practices. The apostle Paul uses similar language in the New Testament when warning people about following people who teach heresies.

  • In contrast to worship with the purpose of satisfying the gods, YHWH delights in fellowship with his people and for them to celebrate in his presence. YHWH encourages his people to eat in his presence and with other people. His guidelines about which foods are acceptable to eat set the people of Israel apart from other nations.

  • A main purpose of the national festivals was to keep alive the memory of God’s grace and maintain their faith in god and their covenant with him.

  • Moses describes the key offices and roles that keep the society going by providing political and spiritual structure. The primary concern is righteousness. The king is to be the embodiment of Torah righteousness. Moses outlines specific steps to achieve this and describes what it will look like.

  • Moses, in his role as prophet, is the commissioned envoy of righteousness to the people of Israel. Moses was a mediator between God and the people of Israel. He warned the people of Israel about false prophets and the danger of adopting the worship practices of the surrounding nations.

  • Moses provides a picture of covenant life and godliness in a way that you can apply it to every situation in life. It’s important to care for the poor and the resident alien and to show justice to them. The resident aliens were invited to participate in the feasts and covenant life.

  • The ideal for the people of Israel was a patricentric society but in often the reality was a patriarchal society. In a patricentric society, the male head of the clan will provide resources and security in a way that gives his family and the community opportunities to flourish. The vision for women in Deuteronomy is different than the world that is described in Israelite narratives.

  • Celebrating God’s goodness and grace in the Land. Bringing an offering from the firsfruits of the harvest is a time to remember how God has provided for the people of Israel in the past, both as individuals and as a community. There are lessons we can learn about worhship and living faithfully. This is the Deuteronomic creed.

  • Some people view the curses in Deuteronomy 28 as a stumbling block to accepting the Old Testament as Christian Scripture because they say it represents God as vengeful. However, this was a common way of writing covenants in the Ancient Near East, they follow a list of extraordinary blessings, they serve a pastoral function and there are similar curses articulated in the New Testament.

  • Deuteronomy 29 begins with Moses recounting how YHWH brought the people out of Egypt and gave them victory in the land east of the Jordan River. Then he describes the curses they will experience when they turn away from the Lord. Chapter 30 describes the eschatological restoration. Deuteronomy 29:29 refers to the mystery of divine grace. (The movie and book series that Dr. Block is referring to is Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien. The prequel to this series is The Hobbit.)

  • This is the final altar call of Moses to the people of Israel to appeal to them to choose life by living in covenant relationship with YHWH. The revelation of YHWH given through Moses is to be memorized, recited and used as a guide for conduct. It is understandable and doable.

  • The Torah that Moses has been preaching was written down. This is the introduction to the song of Moses and contains the commissioning of Joshua, who will take over after Moses dies. Part of the book of Deuteronomy is the death narrative of Moses.

  • This passage is a poetic witness to the people of Israel of the faithfulness of YHWH and the faithlessness of Israel. Moses was told to teach it to the people of Israel so they could pass it on to their descendants. People could sing it throughout the day and it could be presented as a musical drama at national celebrations.

  • At the end of the sermons of Moses, he pronounces a benediction by saying something specific for each tribe. Deuteronomy 33 and Genesis 49 have some similarities and differences in the way the sons of Jacob and their descendants are blessed. The exordium and the coda frame the blessings by describing YHWH’s care and provision for the people of Israel as their king.

  • This is the last narrative story about Moses in the Old Testament. God tells him to go up on Mt. Nebo where he is able to see the land. Joshua takes over as the leader of the people. There is a eulogy for Moses at the end.  

The Gospel according to Moses. This is a collection of sermons of Moses as the people of Israel are poised to enter the promised land after being in the wilderness for 40 years. Deuteronomy is a special book, calling God’s people to celebrate his grace and demonstrate covenant love for him with action that glorifies his name. Until we recognize the gospel in this book, we will not read this book. (Note: Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb are referring to the same mountain. They are used interchangeably)

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Guarding the Well - Being of Women

Lesson Transcript


[00:00:00] After dealing with. Marginalized aliens. We need to deal with marginalized females in the Israelite population. The Tories strategies for guarding the well-being of women and. Of course, we begin with the anchor texts. Exodus 20 Honor your father and your mother that your days may be prolonged in the land that you feel your God gives you. Deuteronomy 516 Honor your father and your mother as you offer your God commanded you that your days may be prolonged. And he adds that it may go well with you in the land that Yahweh et your God gives you. That's the anchor text. On paper, it looks like we are honoring people almost at the same level. Father and mother. Leviticus 19 When it has the same command, only it changes the word honor to fear reverence. I think, again, it's trusting or it reverses the order. Your mother and your father. It's a way of asserting an ideal. Representing those who are at the head of the household. But the problem scholars have long assumed that in a patriarchal society, wives, Israels wives were little more than chattel property owned by men. Anthony Phillips assertion is typical. They women had no legal status being the personal property first of their fathers and then of their husbands. So you move from one to the other when you get married, but it's it's the same awful world to which or into which you are sentenced. But the arguments for this position are not nearly as convincing as they're generally made out to be. In fact, if you read the text without your prejudices in advance your colored lenses, if you read Deuteronomy, you would scarcely get that impression. Many, including evangelical scholars, highlight what they deem to be the contrast between Old and New Testament perspectives.


[00:02:41] And they go to Paul immediately. In Christ, there's neither junior or Greek, male or female. They're all equal. It's it's all the same. It makes no difference to God what gender you are or social status, whatever. But as I read the text, I come to the conclusion that actually. The similarities and continuities are far more greater, far greater than the contrast. The New Testament does not create a different world from what is dreamt of in Deuteronomy. It envisions a different world from what is described in Israelite narratives. It is true that the Hebrew word household is house of a father. By definition, Becky, Joss Berger did her dissertation on that and that biblical narratives are filled with men who treated their wives and daughters badly. Hence, my essay on Crimes Unspeakable. The abuse of women in the Book of Judges is horrific, But more often than not, the narratives tell us how things were, not how they should have been. They talk about how they abused men, abused their positions of responsibility within the household. When I read Deuteronomy, I discover that the problem is our vocabulary. And we talked about this earlier. The word patriarchy, rule of the father may reflect reality. Abraham treats Sarah in a couple of instances as if she's mere property here. You're my sister. I don't go to Ferrol or go to Abimelech. And what does she do? She just gives in. Really. Patriarchy may reflect reality, but it is not. It does not reflect the Torah ideal, which is captured far better by the word Patris centrism. We witnessed the problem in the very shape of the Decalogue, which provides us with three anchor texts. While here the Petra centric ideal of ancient Israel on the left hand, which has the energies of the father going out to all the members of the household.


[00:05:27] And of course, at this point it is the house of the Father that is the family. I don't have the house of the father and no mother. That would be assumed. But it is a Patris centric world. But what happens in the narratives is this It's all about all too often. It's all about maintaining the status to position the honor of the head of the household. So everybody beats to the drumbeat that the head of the household creates to make him look good in a community. What a guy. That's what we want. Well, these anchor techs actually paint different picture. And there's another text within the Decalogue. You shall not commit adultery. We. I hear so often that the the laws of Leviticus and Deuteronomy are so focused on female adultery. Well, how about the Decalogue? We asked the other day, to whom is the Decalogue addressed? Who's the addressee? This is not a female pronoun. You shall not commit adultery in the foundational covenant document. There is the absolute taboo on male adultery. It starts right here. And this is all about the head of household behaving himself, not abusing the people around either within his household or in the neighborhood. You shall not cover your neighbor's wife. You shall not desire your neighbors. And in this case, we talked about this a little bit in the way Deuteronomy rearranges these statements by raising wife to her own budgetary line item. He dignifies her and does not allow us to go to Exodus and treat this as an excuse. As for treating our wives as if they are just property. Like the auction, the donkey or male and female slaves. No, I think Deuteronomy is very deliberately dealing with that issue in this book.


[00:07:59] But the gospel according to Moses, I have a fuller discussion of this topic under the. Under the heading, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife. A study in Deuteronomy. Domestic Ideology. What's the vision for the family? In the book of Deuteronomy, we can find more information there. But I want to go to three case studies in our very brief discussion. It's far too brief, and there are lots more texts that we can go. You can have Becky just for good, come and give you a few lectures on that. Her whole thing was about the role of the head of the household in Deuteronomy and how what ideals drive the picture. Let's go through chapter 21st, 21 versus 10 to 17. That's a very fascinating text. When you go out to war against your enemies and Yahweh, your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive. Notice it's a military context and you see among who's the addressee. It's an ordinary Israelite who, in time of war, is taken from the farm. I'm conscripted and has to go and join the battle. And he goes out and fights and there you win the victory. And you can take captive the citizens. And you see among the captives a beautiful woman. And you desire to take her to be your wife. It's like in that other text, I'd like to eat meat or I'd like to have a king. Hey, I'd like that. That woman for my wife. That happens. It's a very this is not a made up scenario. It's a very common scenario in the ancient and the modern world, too. You'd like. You'd like to have her. He doesn't tell her. You can't do that. What does he say? He he continues.


[00:10:08] And you bring your home to your house. You shall share. She shall shave her head and trim her nails. Well, yeah, that'll work. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and mend. Her father and her mother a full month. After that, you may go into her to consummate the marriage, be her husband. She shall be your wife. But if you no longer delight in her. Oops. Didn't turn out so well. You must let her go wherever she wants. But you may not sell her for money. Nor may you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her. It's a remarkable text. It assumes that this is a part of everyday warfare when the victory victorious army that the soldiers find and counter women they would like to take home notice how he is to treat her first. You may bring her home to your house. But you must give her an opportunity ritually, to mourn the shift in identity. And that's what the changing of the clause involves. This is not easy for her. You may bring her home. She shall shave her head and trim her nails. Put on. Take off her clothes. She is no longer part of that world. She's in a new world. And she shall remain in your house. And lamented her father and mother. What's happened to them? Well, two possibilities. One, we won. We slaughtered all the population, but we spared beautiful women that we married. You must give her a whole month to mourn. That's how long they mourn for Moses when he died. This is a remarkable. Don't treat her like dirt. Let her grieve. This isn't easy for her either. Yeah. Have a heart.


[00:12:50] Let her be. She's just lost her mother and her father. Come on. She's a victim, a casualty of war. Treat her as such. And after that, you've given her a long time to adjust. Then she may be your wife. And you may go into her and consummate marriage. But then he says, but if you no longer he doesn't say this is not for life. He doesn't till death do us part. He's not talking about that. But he talks about a very real scenario when people from radically different cultural context, social context marry on the outside. At the beginning it looks so hunky dory. This is going to be great. I like or come from live with me and it doesn't work out so well. But notice the point of this text is to rein in the abuse of the man. Don't you treat her like dirt? If you no longer delight in you and her, it does not give you license to mistreat her. And don't blame her. You must let her go with full freedom. And she would probably be freer than any of the other captives who were taken and made household slaves. But you brought her in as your wife. You do not degrade her by using that to make a slave of her. You may not sell her for money. Nor may you treat your sins. You are the one who you humiliated her. So this is not about abuse. This law is not bad about further abuse to women. It is to prevent further abuse to women. You must look out for the well-being of the next person. And even if this marriage doesn't work out, that's what you do. Get over self-interest. In the interest of the other. It's a remarkable story.


[00:15:04] I couldn't believe it when I first encountered this. That's an amazing picture. It's nothing like the stereotypes that we hear about. Nothing like it. Case number two. Chapter 22. If a man takes a wife and goes into her and then rejects. Sir. Oh, this is that Hebrew word for hate. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart. And the Lord blesses those who demonstrate love for Him. But to those who hate him. He imposes severe consequences. The word hate here doesn't mean you'd like to beat up, and whatever it means, reject. It's the opposite of covenant commitment to its rejection from covenant commitment. And so this is divorce. That's what happens in divorce. You have said in their marriage vows, till death do us part. And then you notice. Who is the problem here? It's addressed to a man. Or it's about a man. If a man takes a wife, this is the normal. It's a partner centric world. It's never about a woman taking a husband. Never, not once. It's always about the man taking. And don't read violence into that. It's simply a cultural thing where they find security in the women, find security in the male. And here there is a male who is offering that and he takes her. But then notice, if he takes a wife and goes into her, which is consummation of the marriage, and then he rejects her notice, she's not the problem. He's the one who says it's quits, it's over, it's done. And he accuses her of misconduct. This is a certain translation and brings a bad name upon her. And of course, the moment the accusation. It doesn't say and she acts wrongly. It says he accuses her of misconduct. And because you remember that scenario involving the administration of justice, there's always a possibility that the accusation is false.


[00:17:31] And in this case, too, he accuses her of misconduct and brings a bad name on her, saying, look, I took this woman. And when I came near her, I didn't find her there. I didn't find it in her evidence of virginity. The marriage is obviously compromised because she's had sex somewhere before. Then the father of the young woman and her mother shall get and bring out the evidence of her virginity to the elders of the city in the gate. And the father of the young woman shall say to the elders, I gave my daughter to this man to marry and he hates her. And look, he has accused her of misconduct, saying I didn't find in your daughter evidence of virginity. And yet this is the evidence of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloak before the elders of the city. And this crude. Then the elders of that city shall take the man and whip him, and they shall find him all hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman because she has brought a bad name upon a Virgin of Israel and she shall be his wife. He may not divorce her all his days. I mean, the guys looking like dirt. And the point of this text is to protect. I mean, he wants out of the marriage and he's made an excuse. She wasn't a virgin. Spoiled goods. Yeah. That's what we've got here. And of course, if it turns out to be true, her fate in life is desperate. Because nobody else is going to want her either. This is a reversal in that cultural context where the primary function of marriage is to have children. Did you hear that? It's it's so hard for us to imagine this.


[00:19:44] In fact, the primary function of sex is to have children. Even harder for us to imagine that. But that is this world where you live on in your children. And if you just go and if you bring this sort of shame upon a woman who will probably because of the shame, never have children. Uh, it it's an awful. He may not divorce her all his days. She shall be. Well, of course. Then the eldest will take a man with him and find him. 100 shekels of Sir will give them to the father of the woman because he's brought a bad name on the Virgin of his. Why do they give the money to the father of the woman? The answer is actually quite simple, because so long as she was in his household, he was responsible for the integrity of the household. Everybody in the family was accountable to the head of the household, not as a matter of power, but as a matter of honor for everybody. The community's well-being is at stake here, not just the head of the household. It's not just his honor. But if she was, in fact, not a virgin, it's. If one member of the household sins, everybody's implicated in it. And so the households family name is tarnished forever. And so that's a part of it here. So they find him 100 shekels, and this is to give its compensation to the household of origin. That has been besmirched by the accusation, not by the woman. By the accusation he's brought a bad name upon the Virgin of an extensive house, and she shall be his wife. You may not divorce her. But then, of course, these days we are objecting to the exactly that last line.


[00:21:55] Does this sentence her to a life of living with a man who doesn't like her. Forever and ever. And of course, now you need to understand what this means. It may well be that this is not modern Western romance. But in the ancient world, the kinds of romance that we write novels about was rare. It takes a kind of affluent world. To have the luxury of romance as such a dominant matter issue in marriage. In medieval and early modern times at the top levels in the courts of Europe, there was all kinds of romance going on. Hankie panky of every sort. But the people at the at the bottom level, they don't have time nor energy, nor resources for that. They're just trying to survive. So. Ancient. In the ancient world, romance was not the basis of a marriage. It was the covenant commitment that we pledged to each other. I will be your husband and you shall be my wife. And love is then defined as I will look out for your interests. Doesn't mean it was always easy. And in this case, you can just imagine in the end, at the end of this whole procedure, who's the guy with the egg on his face? It's the guy. He is the one who has been dishonored. And they are saying, you cannot me you cannot punish your wife because of your shame. You are bound to be her protector for as long as you live. You must take care of her. This is the commune, and the community stands there as the witnesses and guarantors of his behavior. After this. You will take care of her. That's your obligation. You are the one who shamed her. And now it's your. It's your duty.


[00:24:22] So, you know, legally. She is taken care of for as long as she lives. Does that mean her life is happy? No, life wasn't always happy. It still isn't always happy. But on the other hand. It was secure. It was secure. She had food, she had clothing, she had a house, she had a roof, or he was obligated to care. If she did, he was prevented destitution, which is the lot of widows and of the fatherless. So we need to understand it from their perspective, not from our Western romantic perspectives. So this is a surprising text and it's hard for us to get into that picture. But now there's a whole case. To me, that's case A it the accusation turns out to be false. Now, let's go to one. What if it is true? But if it is true that evidence of virginity was not found in the womb, you can't prove she was a virgin. Then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house. And the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones because she has done an outrageous thing in Israel by hovering. In her father's house. I. But now we have to remember. I should have put up should produce at this point already a slide of. We must remember this text is not about the punishment. This text is about. The crime. Israel is a theocracy. God is preparing our Holy community governed by His principles. In Israel, the boundaries of spiritual Israel and the boundaries of physical Israel are to be coterminous within this world. This is what defines us. But of course, we are no longer there anymore, are we? We don't live in that world. We don't live in that world, and so we don't stone women who do this.


[00:27:05] In the New Testament times they didn't either. Remember the woman caught in adultery. They brought her to Jesus. I know this is, isn't it? Or John, eight words, probably not scripture. But in any case, it certainly fits that world. They bring the woman caught in it in adultery. There are lots of questions about where is the guy if she's caught in adultery? What about her? What about him? What? I mean, why did they bring all? And of course, I think this is the part of the problem. By the time you get to the New Testament, it's much more misogynistic than the First Testament. The the Jewish culture of Jesus stay much more misogynistic than at least the ideals of Deuteronomy, certainly. But in that case, gee, what does Jesus do? I mean, he should be pick up a rock on stone or because that's what the law that says, people caught in adultery, you stones. So Jesus starts throwing. What does he say? Let the person who's without sin be the first. But of course, it's not quite that simple. We're living in a different world. We are living in a world in which we are not a theocracy. We are a community, hopefully a theocracy. But we're living in a Roman world where we Jews do not have the power of life and death over anybody. Which is why when they crucified Jesus. The Jews can't do it themselves. You take them to the Roman officials. The sword has been put into the Romans hands. And so you've got to live within the world in which you live. But that doesn't mean that Jesus condones adultery. So no more. Shape up. Behave yourself. You act like an honorable woman from here on in. This is.


[00:28:58] This is not. It's not about the punishment. It's about the seriousness of the crime. And in another cultural context, it will be that seriousness will be preserved in a different way. So we need to understand it's the same thing with a rebellious son, don't we? We don't stone rebellious children. Sometimes we feel like it, but we don't stone rebellious children. But we don't reject the scriptures because it tells them to stone them. That's a different world. But rebellion, youthful rebellion, is as evil today as it ever was. It's not. The whole thing is thrown out because of the form of the punishment. And then look at it. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. No tolerance for this kind of behavior. It is an outrage. It's abominable to God. But if a thing is true, the evidence very not found. That's case to case. 324 One, two, five. When a man takes a wife and marries her, if she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some defect in her and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house and she departs front of his house. And if she goes and becomes another man's wife and the latter man hates her and writes. And of course, again, hate him doesn't mean. Wants to beat her up and be violent, or that means simply this marriage isn't working. Out of here, he writes your satirical verse and puts it in her hand and sends her out. If or if the latter man dies who took her to be his wife, then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife after she's been defiled for that as an abomination before Yahweh.


[00:30:47] And you shall not bring sin upon the land that you are. Where your God is giving you for this are a part of the theocratic view. That triangle, everything is sacred. And if you defile your person, you defile the land, you defile everything around you, the land that God is giving you for an inheritance. Well, what's the issue here? The the critical question is most of our. And most of our translations, my trans new American translation has and in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her. Well, Watson, this is probably an ethical thing. She hasn't behaved herself, and now he's upset with her. Maybe he fact maybe it's related to the other one. She's not a virgin. She's gone. Mess with somebody else. Who knows? We don't know if that's what. But the interesting thing is that she finds no favor in his eyes. There's a clue. She finds no favor in his eyes. Where's the problem? It's in his eyes. This is a grace less husband. And he doesn't like her for whatever reason. The expression here is air, whatever nakedness of a matter. I have no idea exactly what that means, but I don't think it's immorality. I don't think it's heat. He discovered she's been naughty. Where else do we have this kind of expression? If a man goes and sleeps with his father's wife. He exposes. His nakedness, you know, this this kind of thing, I think. And what's happening in here And here's where my colleague John Walton's essay on this on 20 years ago I think is spot on. This is not about a moral issue. I think it's a flaw physically. He discovers either. I mean, she may have menstrual issues, she may have fertility issues, There may be things or we're never going to have children.


[00:33:17] I think that's what we're after. He's a graceless man, and he looks at the problem only through his own eyes, and he cannot imagine what he feels like and he doesn't actually care. But he divorces her and puts her out and makes the world think she's the problem. Oh, and then somebody else marries her and it doesn't go much better. He rejects her. Is it because he discovered. Yeah. What the other guy said about her? She's she's. She's a naughty woman again. I don't it it leaves far too much open but he rejects you. Could it be again not because she's. Baron. Something. There's a problem here. We cannot continue the family line. In my view, That's what's what that's what's at issue here. We live on in our children, which is why the worst curse you can experience is may your name be forgotten and your seed perish. Eternal life is thought of in terms of living on in the land through your children. So that when I was born as number nine of 15, I wasn't a new life. I was simply an extension of my parents life. They live on in me and not by now, my grandparents. Two sides put together. We are 201st cousins. Yes, you heard that right. 200. 106 on my mother's side and 94 or 97 on my father's side. But that counts us twice because we go we belong on both sides. But we can we can use those numbers, can't we? I tell you, my grandparents had an amazing afterlife. They live audenshaw. People used to tell my dad, You don't have to do it all yourself. Fill the world, that is. But we're not the biggest family in this clan on either side. So it's.


[00:35:33] It is amazing. But in this case, I think it's a matter of. Having children. What is marriage for? Sarah was barren. She had no children. That hurts. And for some of us, I mean, we talked about this at the table there the other day. You know, our oldest son is adopted. And I tell you, the first six years of our marriage, Mother's Day for my wife was the hardest day of the year. It was because when you come from families where children are treasured. My father later on in life, earlier, we were far too poor ever to eat in restaurant. Never did that. But later on in life, after he retired and was on pension government pension, richer than ever in real life. We'd go home and he'd take us to the restaurant. And I'd never forget, as we were walking out of the restaurant, if he'd ever see a young couple there with a child in a highchair, he couldn't resist going over to them and pinching the little child's cheeks and looking straight in the mother's or father's eyes and saying, Do you know you have the most wonderful treasure in all the world? He always did that. I mean, he was all heart. He was all heart because children are important. No wonder Salma says blessed is the man with a full quiver. You live abundant life. Well, here's the worst thing. What's wrong with you? You're under the curse. And so. He can't shame her twice. You don't go back to the woman whom you have humiliated because you've exposed not necessarily a moral crime. But for a woman who wants to have children so badly. Yeah, this is a shame. It's a scandal. You can't go back and set her up for mistreatment again.


[00:37:33] It's to protect the woman. All of these laws. This is not an exhaustive list of texts. We can talk about the rebellious son and the involvement of the mother along with the father in court when they try. She's there, too. We can talk about the Leverett marriage in 25. These are all about protecting the women. The case of a recently engaged man in the context of war for a calling up of troops. The case of the oldest son in a bigger household. The case of the rebellious son. The. The vision of marriage and family life assumes clear boundaries between the roles and functions of husbands and wives and promotes the well-being of women by not forcing them to compete with men. We have no idea what kind of tension this has created in our world, and I think only the future will. Will we know the consequences? The vision of appropriate conduct in the community by men and women is obviously not the view of relations between the genders that we understand, but it assumes and promotes an elevated view of women unheard of in the ancient world. This is so different from Hammurabi's Law code. It's so different from anything you find anywhere. The men are to look out for the women. That's what headship means. It doesn't mean rule your household well. It means carry your household well. The high value of maternity and the bearing of children in this vision does not reduce women to sex objects. But it celebrates their role in the preservation of the human race as the royal image of God. There is no higher honor. Then to have children. God uses us in the creation of images of himself. But we don't understand this. It's such a foreign world.


[00:39:48] But all of this to say that the ideal in Deuteronomy seeking to protect the vulnerable, especially from the ogres. It's such a dominant theme all the way through the book, whether it's mistreating animals or mistreating slaves or mistreating servants. Have a heart. This is ethics with a heart. All right. I think you answered the question, but I just want to confirm it that the laws protecting women in Deuteronomy are unique or relatively unique compared to the ancient world. I mean, is this something that really is is very unique to Israel? The the scenarios that Deuteronomy talks about are common all over the place. But the harsh. That is encouraged for men in particular. I don't know anything like this. There could be some, but I don't know everything. There are the people who know the laws better than I do. But when I read Hammurabi's Law Code, I don't see this compassion for a healthy community like this. I mean, the corporate good depends upon men behaving properly. That's the bottom line. That is the bottom line. Whether it's the king at the top or whether it's the king in the household, it depends on men behaving good or bad. And the onus is always the burden. The responsibility for the health is on the men shoulders. That's Patrick centrism. It's not patriarchy. You see the difference? It's carrying the household, assuming they are your charge, not your kingdom. Your charge. God has given you them to take care of on his behalf. So I think but I find the tone is so different. So different. This is godliness. Fertility. Religion doesn't worry much about this. Big families, big herds, big crops. That's the that's true, but it doesn't matter how you get them. And the gods behave as badly as as human beings do.


[00:42:20] That's the problem. They don't provide happy models of anything.