Today’s Torah Commentary from Exodus 21:20 – 22:3
The Second Book of the Torah, “Shemot,” “Names.”
This weeks reading is “Mishpatim,” “Judgments.”
Today we continue reading the “rest of the commandments.”
GOD continues with HIS instructions concerning the mistreatment of others.
HE begins with the subject of slaves, the opportunity of their being hurt or injured to death.
HE then turns to the unborn, any injury to a pregnant woman caused by two men fighting.
HE continues with “Full Compensation” being paid for losses, of eye, tooth, hand, foot, even life. This is the first mention of this law, “an eye for an eye,” which we so love to quote completely out of context. It also covers wounds, burns and bruises for compensation.
If these things are inflicted upon a slave, that slave will be compensated with their freedom.
HE then makes rulings on the Oxen. These rulings concern the culpability of the oxen’s owners in different scenarios of damage being done not only by the oxen but also to the oxen.
HE even makes judgments concerning an ox goring a slave and the renumeration for the injured slave.
If a person digs or uncovers a hole causing an ox or donkey to fall into it, there is a law concerning this from GOD. Even a judgment concerning the harm of one ox to another, with considerations for the oxen as well as the owners.
HE then gives law concerning burglars. If they are caught in the act, if they sell or slaughter stolen animals, if they loose their lives in the act of burglary at night. Burglars must make full restitution for whatever they have stolen, up to double if they are caught with a stolen animal in their possession.
These laws, or judgments that GOD has decreed are very specific, especially to the more agrarian way of life in which the people lived.
However, we can see many similarities and analogies to our own more modern day communities.
It is obvious GOD desired to be involved in every aspect of HIS peoples lives.
HE has inserted HIS judgments into the top concerns in the minds of the people. The very concerns they would have dealt with daily in Egypt.
How comforting would it be for the people to know their GOD was so very concerned for every detail in their life?
To realize HE understood their struggles, their way of life and their current mindset, and HE is willing to address these issues immediately.
HE has set forth judgments and laws giving the people a blue-print by which to live.
How important must we be to HIM that HE would address the very mundane and common issues of HIS people?
We often brag about there being nothing to big for GOD, yet how often do we realize there is nothing to small for HIM either?
What are your thoughts on these scriptures?
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