Monday, October 28, 2019

Torah or the Law Essay Example for Free

Torah or the Law Essay Torah or the Law is the substance of Gods covenant and is not merely the moral code delivered by Moses through the Ten Commandments in Mt. Sinai but also the prescriptive elements the Mosaic Law functioned primarily as the constitution of the nation as basis in determining civil and criminal cases. It also serves a guide to worship, good family and social relationships, most of all Israels guide to relationship with God. 1. Discuss the expression of `righteousness` in the Torah, prior to the giving of the righteousness AND ten commandments, with special examples. Exodus 19 suggests that the God of judgment is also the God of the law, his judgments express his concern for righteousness (Deut 6:25) because He is also righteous (Jos 10;1). The righteousness becomes a command to win the favor of God in response to his glorious act of blessings including the possession of land (Deut 9:4). To note, The Ten Commandments is a perfect expression of Gods revealed will of righteousness (Deut 9:5). God in the law established a requirement for his people in the highest possible standard. (Exo.13:8-10, Exo.20:3-17, Deut.4:5,9,10; Deut.5 :6-21, Deut.6:4-9, Deut.11:18-21, Deut.32:46-47). But it is not by the deed that they gain God’s favor. Deut 9:5-6 states that by nature, men are wicked so they offer sacrifices (Deut 33:19) to gain the righteousness that God requires but only by Gods faithfulness and favor that they become righteous. 2. Discuss the definition of `covenant,` and its expression in specific examples in the Torah. Merriam-Websters definition of covenant is a written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action. For the Israelites, covenant happened at Sinai through the Ten Commandments (Ex 19-24,Ex 34:28; Dt 5:2-3; 9:9) where the following were revealed (Zondervan Reference Library Software): 1. Everyones person is to be secure (Ex 20:13; 21:16-21, 26-31; Lev 19:14; Dt 5:17; 24:7; 27:18). 2. Everyone is to be secure against slander and false accusation (Ex 20:16; 23:1-3; Lev 19:16; Dt 5:20; 19:15-21). 3. No woman is to be taken advantage of within her subordinate status in society (Ex 21:7-11, 20, 26-32; 22:16-17; Dt 21:10-14; 22:13-30; 24:1-5). 4. Punishment for wrongdoing shall not be excessive so that the culprit is dehumanized (Dt 25:1-5). 5. Every Israelites dignity and right to be Gods freedman and servant are to be honored and safeguarded (Ex 21:2, 5-6; Lev 25; Dt 15:12-18). 6. Every Israelites inheritance in the promised land is to be secure (Lev 25; Nu 27:5-7; 36:1-9; Dt 25:5-10). 7. Everyones property is to be secure (Ex 20:15; 21:33-36; 22:1-15; 23:4-5; Lev 19:35-36; Dt 5:19; 22:1-4; 25:13-15). 8. Everyone is to receive the fruit of his labors (Lev 19:13; Dt 24:14; 25:4). 9. Everyone is to share the fruit of the ground (Ex 23:10-11; Lev 19:9-10; 23:22; 25:3-55; Dt 14:28-29; 24:19-21). 10. Everyone, down to the humblest servant and the resident alien, is to share in the weekly rest of Gods Sabbath (Ex 20:8-11; 23:12; Dt 5:12-15). 11. The marriage relationship is to be kept inviolate (Ex 20:14; Dt 5:18; see also Lev 18:6-23; 20:10-21; Dt 22:13-30). 12. No one, however disabled, impoverished or powerless, is to be oppressed or exploited (Ex 22:21-27; Lev 19:14, 33-34; 25:35-36; Dt 23:19; 24:6, 12-15, 17; 27:18). 13. Everyone is to have free access to the courts and is to be afforded a fair trial (Ex 23:6, 8; Lev 19:15; Dt 1:17; 10:17-18; 16:18-20; 17:8-13; 19:15-21). 14. Every persons God-given place in the social order is to be honored (Ex 20:12; 21:15, 17; 22:28; Lev 19:3, 32; 20:9; Dt 5:16; 17:8-13; 21:15-21; 27:16). 15. No one shall be above the law, not even the king (Dt 17:18-20). 16. Concern for the welfare of other creatures is to be extended to the animal world (Ex 23:5, 11; Lev 25:7; Dt 22:4, 6-7; 25:4). 3. Discuss the way in which the Torah uses `family` as a narrative perspective. The Israelites in Moses’ time lived in a patriarchal culture and the law expressed an emphasis on the responsibility of the fathers as head of the family. Their families were confronted with immorality so the Law (Torah) gave light and direction to preserve the family relations from corruption. As such, marriage was mentioned several times in the Law (Exod 21-22, 34; Lev 18, 21; Num 5, 25; Deut 7, 21-22, 24-25, 27). Within the family, children were to honor and obey their parents (Exod 20:12; Deut 5:16; 21:18-21; 27:16). And since the family circle might include servants, slaves, and strangers also referred to them as family (Exod 12, 21-22; Lev 19, 22, 24-25; Num 9, 15, 35; Deut 1, 12, 14-16, 23-24, 27). Family purity and respect were strictly guarded against sex (Lev 20:1-21; Deut 22:20:21) The law mentioned a perfect relationship between husband and wife, fathers to daughters, sons to mothers, fathers wife, sibling relationships, mother and fathers son or daughters, to own sons and daughters, father and mothers close relative, in-laws and close relative relationships and even with the neighbors (Lev.18). Deuteronomy 4:40 states a commandment to the Israelites to keep his decrees and commandments to teach and pass to their children and their childrens children with God’s promise of long life in the land. 4. Discuss the examples of readings from Genesis and Exodus that deal with issues of gender, race, ethnicity, or social class. Issues in Genesis and Exodus started in the birth of the Jewish race and the descendants of Abraham, the Patriarchs. The Patriarchal era socially classified the authority of the male and the female and family role. The family is composed of husband, wife, children, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, servants, concubines, friends, and visiting guests and followed some of the marriage practices of the surrounding nations and had more than one wife, a practice known as polygamy. One issue was when Abraham had a son with Hagar, Sarahs slave girl who became a surrogate mother for her mistress. A wife was like a property of his master but she had the highest position in the household. Moreover, birthright and sibling rivalry issue also arose when Isaac, son of Abraham from Sarah inherited everything Abraham owned (Gen 25:5) though Ishmael, son from Hagar was the eldest. Sons of concubines did not normally share equally with the sons of a mans wife (or wives) and the oldest son was entitled to the birthright, normally a double-share of the inheritance (Wolf, Herbert. An Introduction to the Old Testament Pentateuch, Moody Press, 1991). Same thing happened when Esau sold his birthright to Jacob sons of Isaac. Inheritance issue was also involved between Jacobs wives Rachel and Leah against their father Laban who did not give them the portion of the bride payment usually transferred to the daughters as dowry (Gen. 32). From the wives of Jacob and to his twelve sons the rivalry passed on when the other ten sons envied Joseph and sold him to be a slave of Egyptians but later put him in a better social and political status as Egyptian official.

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