December 3

Deuteronomy 21-25

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

God, thank you for caring for us.  Don’t let us forget that you care for us, far more than we do.  It sounds weird to say it and/or hear it, but it’s true.  Thank you Lord. Amen.

Deuteronomy 21-26 are six chapters filled with various and sundry laws that are the trademark of Judaism and became trademarks of Judeo-Christianity. These are laws that keep a society sane. Any ‘semblance that a civil society has can trace a noticeable portion of their laws back to this book and expressly these chapters.  We just read the first five of these six chapters.

21 – the first deals with unsolved matters regarding murder. The procedure may seem strange to modern culture but it is sure better than the legal tom-foolery that marks present-day court procedures which are incredibly laborious, tedious, and costly processes that bedraggle too much of society as a whole.  The matter of female captives in a war scenario are a refreshing memo. One of the endless tragedies of war throughout history is the treatment of the females on the side of the losers. One example among thousands is how German women were treated across the country in 1945 by the Russians arriving from the east. And the beastly Stalin thought it was wonderful, btw. The rule of the inheritance rights regarding the first-born make perfect sense. As in much of life, critical decisions need to be made with the mind – not the emotions. Deeply diabolical rebellious sons need to be executed – is that one that too rough for ya’? Well, should they be executed after they have done millions in property damage, murdered dozens, and $2/3/4million has been spent on them in court? … or before all this shameful waste? Rebellious gang members shut society down and turn it into a savage jungle. God won’t have it. The dead who are hung, need to be buried by sundown. Don’t be a society who has a thirst for putrid gore.
22 – the laws here are the perfect antidote to the chump phrase, “finders keepers/losers weepers” <–that garbage line leads to a society neurotically guarding their possessions, paranoia about theft because the culture is a hay-day for thieves.  In general, treat all property and the citizens who own it like endeared family.  No cross-gender dressing: it makes a society twisted, pathetic, and crazy. Be kind –> even to birds. Put bannisters on your balcony.   Btw, you would be shocked at how many Muslim homes between Casablanca and Kerachi do not have these.  There are matters of  “no-mixing” mentioned like here as it was in Leviticus. As for the sexual laws, they are for protection and sanity and dignity. No culture succumbs to sexual mayhem and survives; none.
23 – the mutilated, fornicators- nor their children, pagans nor paganism, backstabbers – none of these nor their perpetrators may enter into God’s assembly. The congregation of God is for worshippers; not weirdness. Did you know that the concept of the sewer comes from here in Deut 23? As you travel the world [and my husband and I have been in about 75 countries] you can tell which countries have read Deut. 23 and which are ignorant of it. The odor gives away their oblivion!  The proper treatment of slaves, forbidding prostitution, fairness cc. money and loans, keeping your vows, not abusing others’ kindness to you – these are all good rules.
24 – Here’s a good one: don’t play “musical wives”. -enough said on that. Hey folks – drag out your honeymoons, ‘would ya’!? [another good one].  Be quick to deal with epidemics/plagues. There are good guidelines here about lending, proper payment and treatment of help.  No executing whole families for the behavior of one!  Do not be cruel and greedy. Allow for the poor to survive through gleaning.
25 – Here was another tenant of justice v.s. too much “justice” that becomes cruel punishment.  Feed the animals that feed you. There’s an odd rule here about taking care of extended family.  You can read it again if you wish. Ladies, when your husbands are fighting, just, … uh, just stay out of it, ok?   And sometime down the road, the Amalekites who tried to destroy you –after you are supplied, settled, and up for it!- those Amalekites need to be destroyed.

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