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Exodus 21:1 "Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. 2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. 3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him."

These next few chapters deal with social laws. Many of our laws today are hinged on these judgements.

Verses 1-11 deal with slavery. The Israelites could never make one of their own kinsmen a permanent slave. After serving for 6 years, they were to be set free. If the servant married another slave and had a family and did not want to leave them, his master would bring him before the judges and pierce his ear with an awl. An awl is an instrument used for piercing small holes. After that, the servant belonged to his master forever. The rest of the chapter deals with personal injuries.

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12 He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.

Do you believe in capital punishment? This verse plainly teaches the death penalty. A lot of people believe that the commandment "thou shalt not kill" includes the law passing judgement on murderers. If God had ment for the sixth commandment to include everyone why did He include this verse in the Bible? There are several verses such as this one. Space does not allow me to print all of them but here are a few instances in the scriptures if you would like to look them up. (Gen. 9:6; Deut. 13:1-10; 17:12; 21:18-21; Numbers 15:32-36; Acts 5:1-10)
I personally do not believe these were only written for the people of that age either. I believe in capital punishment if a person has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to have commited premeditated murder! (I'll probably get a lot of e-mail on this one!) Oh, I know we don't stone people today for disrespecting their parents, we are much too civilized for that, but I think if our death penalty laws were enforced more there would probably be a lot less murders.

Verse 13 allowed 6 cities of refuge to be set up for people who had accidentally killed someone. They were able to flee to and remain in one of these cities until the matter could be resolved.

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15 And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

God took the commandment to honor your father and mother very seriously. He even says here anyone who strikes or curses their parents were to be put to death! I'm afraid that if that were inforced today there would be a lot of executions going on!

Verses 18 & 19 state that if you cause someone else to become injured, you are to reimburse them for their lost wages and medical expenses.

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24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Restitution is to be made for any injury or offense and they are all covered here. Whatever is stolen or what ever is injured, the same is to be exacted! The rest of the chapter deals with what to do when an animal injures someone.

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CHAPTER 22

EXODUS 22:1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

Why five oxen instead of just the one that was stolen? I don't know the answer to that but I do know if thieves had to repay 4 or 5 times what they had stolen today many would probably think twice before stealing again! Instead, we put them in jail, feed them and let them watch TV or read all for free. They do not usually even have to reimburse anyone for the theft! Then, in a couple of years (or months) we let them out only to have them commit the same crimes over again. If we followed biblical rules, they would have to get a job and reimburse the victim for the things they stole or destroyed. What a great plan this was!

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EXODUS 22:2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.

This verse gives us the right to protect our property against theft. Did you know that if a thief breaks into your house and you shoot him only wounding him, that he can sue you in a court of law and can actually win? There was one such case where this happened. The judge actually ruled in favor of the thief! The innocent home owner had to sell his property to pay the judgement and the thief went free. Our laws need to give us the right to protect our properties and families against intruders. Maybe it would help if we put a sign on our door saying, "KNOCK OR I'LL SHOOT"! I believe in turning the other cheek when we are being persectued for Christ's sake but I also believe God wants us to fight to protect our families. He helped the nation of Israel fight many battles and wipe out many enemies who tried to defeat them. I do not think He expects us to be passive when an intruder enters our home to do us harm!

Verses 3-15 name some instances in which restitution is to be made for personal loss.

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EXODUS 22:16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. 18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. 19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death. 20 He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed. 21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. 26 If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down:

These 10 verses are laws that just make sense! If a man rapes a girl he is to marry her. If her father refuses him, he is to pay her father the dowry of virgins.

Today you can find books on witchcraft and spells in your local library. But God said anyone practicing witchcraft should be put to death. Don't mess around with any of this stuff for it is of the devil. Devil worshippers are now meeting in Churches of Satan. They are on the internet and easy to find and join. Verse 20 says anyone sacrificing to any god execpt the Lord was to be utterly destroyed.

We are not supposed to oppress starangers, afflict widows or orphans or charge interest on money loaned to the poor.

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EXODUS 22:29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me. 30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me.

We are to offer the first of everything we have to God. His part comes out first. We should always offer Him our best!

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

What do you think about capital punishment?
If someone broke in your house at night and you killed him, should you be guilty of murder in the eyes of the law?
Are all of the laws of the Old Testament carried over to the New Testament, or only some of them? If you said some of them, how do we know which ones?

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