Deuteronomy 22 (English Standard Version)
1“You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep going astray and ignore them. You shall take them back to your brother. 2And if he does not live near you and you do not know who he is, you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall stay with you until your brother seeks it. Then you shall restore it to him. 3And you shall do the same with his donkey or with his garment, or with any lost thing of your brother’s, which he loses and you find; you may not ignore it. 4 You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen down by the way and ignore them. You shall help him to lift them up again.
Luke 6:31 (NIV)
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
5“A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.
This command is not to be interpreted so that a man may not wear a kilt!
6“If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. 7You shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long.
“Love the animals:
God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled.”
8“When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring the guilt of blood upon your house, if anyone should fall from it.
Each of these laws (above and below) was meant to separate Israel from her pagan neighbors, who would commonly combine unlike things to achieve what was thought to be a “magical” combination.
9 “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole yield be forfeited, the crop that you have sown and the yield of the vineyard. 10You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.
11″You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen mixed together.
12 “You shall make yourself tassels on the four corners of the garment with which you cover yourself.
Laws Concerning Sexual Immorality
13“If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then hates her 14and accuses her of misconduct and brings a bad name upon her, saying, ‘I took this woman, and when I came near her, I did not find in her evidence of virginity,’ 15then the father of the young woman and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of her virginity to the elders of the city in the gate. 16And the father of the young woman shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man to marry, and he hates her; 17and behold, he has accused her of misconduct, saying, “I did not 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. 18Then the elders of that city shall take the man and whip him, 19and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name upon a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife. He may not divorce her all his days.
One can only imagine how difficult life must have been for a woman with such a man. Even so, a law such as this was protection for her — better this, the preservation of her good name and the provision of a household, than the insecurity of divorce.
It strikes me how many men and women around the world are longing today for someone to love them truly! So many marriages, begun with such high hopes, deteriorate into apathy and even hostility. So many parents are so consumed with their own problems they cannot lovingly raise their children. So many elderly people feel alone and neglected in their old age. Only One can love us perfectly, and this old hymn explains it beautifully. “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” written in 1740 by Charles Wesley, is sung HERE by Ken Medema.
20″But if the thing is true, that evidence of virginity was not found in the young woman, 21then 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 whoring in her father’s house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
22 “If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.
John 8:1-5 (NLT)
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
Too bad the religious leaders didn’t read the verse carefully; they neglected to bring the adulterous man!
23“If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her, 24then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
25“But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. 26But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor, 27because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.
28 “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, 29then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.
30 “A man shall not take his father’s wife, so that he does not uncover his father’s nakedness.”
All these laws about sexual immorality, when it’s so simple, really. Sleep only with the people you are married to!
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.