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Monday, February 03, 2003

Edifier du Jour-Exodus 13:12-17(NASB)
12 "He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death. 13 "But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint you a place to which he may flee. 14 "If, however, a man acts presumptuously toward his neighbor, so as to kill him craftily, you are to take him even from My altar, that he may die. 15 "He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. 16 "He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death. 17 "He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
This is a stretch that baffled me for years, especially verse 17; half the teenagers in this country would be toast if we implemented it today. The idea of respecting ones parents comes through here. Dissing your parents is a capital offence here. Remember that at the next holiday gathering. However, it isn't the idea of the string of capital offenses that are listed, but the lack of jail that makes the Mosaic Law unique. There is no imprisonment listed for crimes-only death or restitution. The idea of long prison sentences seems to run counter to what God is up to here. I'm not sure we want to increase the number of capital offences, but prisons are an unhealthy place to be, both physically and emotionally. We might be wise to look to move towards a restitution-based system of punishment and away from having as quite as many people locked up.

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