Deuteronomy 21-23

Let’s just set the scene.  Moses is sitting with the Israelites that are about to enter the Promised Land.   When God gave Moses the 10 commandments and the Book of the Law, the Israelites sat there for almost a year studying it.    Deuteronomy is the “retelling” of their history to the next generation (since they weren’t there in person).  In chapter 5, Moses read the 10 Commandments.  When the Israelites enter the Land they need to APPLY the Law.  In today’s terms: don’t go to church and say “Amen” and then go about your life without APPLYING IT.  Sorry, I had to yell at myself for a moment.

The past few chapters Moses has discussed the Commandments that refer to our relationship with the Lord (1-4).  Now, we are continuing the read about how to apply these laws in relation to others (6-10).  Here is your quick reference:

The Ten Commandments: List of Moral & Ethical principles for Good conduct

Chapter 21:  You will clearly see Commandments 5, 6, 7.   You know I want to break down EACH verse but I will spare you a long post.  If you have already read, stop here.  Go to comments and talk about the Scriptures that you stopped at or made your eyebrows move.  THEN come back and read some of the ones I underlined.

21: Then all the elders of the town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley, and they shall declare: “Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done. Accept this atonement for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, Lord, and do not hold your people guilty of the blood of an innocent person.” Then the bloodshed will be atoned for, and you will have purged from yourselves the guilt of shedding innocent blood, since you have done what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

It’s where we get the phrase “I wash my hands of this”

Image result for pontius pilate washing his hands

(That is Pontius Pilate washing his hands, referencing this scripture.  He saying I am not responsible for Jesus’ death)

Matthew 27: 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”


As you continue to read you have to keep in mind that God’s Law was not the first time a set of Laws was enforced.  In general, the Code of Hammurabi was the law.  God’s laws were written so that EVERYONE could understand them just like the Code of Hammurabi.  The codes were always written in “If this….then this…” Example:  If my kids leave one more dish in the sink, then I am going to lose my mind”.

Chapter 21: Atonement for an unsolved murder, marrying a captive woman, the rights of the firstborn, and rebellious children.  If you were not with us in Genesis, I want you to know the rights of the firstborn (Commandant 5) are huge. BUT remember the firstborn may receive a double portion but that is not the blessing.  If you are confused Genesis 25, (Jacob and Esau) the Bible talks about selling his birthright, but that was small potatoes compared to Jacob stealing the blessing!

As you read chapter 22 we continue the application of these laws: keeping ourselves holy (set apart) from the Canaanites.  Do you look like the world or do you look set apart?  I can break down each one for you if you need, just comment on the one that you did not get.  Each one is significant..proof of virginity, wearing clothes, mixing fabrics, sleeping with your father’s wife.   (Trivia: which one of Jacob’s sons slept with his father’s wife)

Chapter 23:  If you are old like me, the names may be familiar but you cannot remember who they were.  I will recap some of them:

Chart of the Scarlet Thread of Christ in the Book of Genesis from Terah to Judah

  • Ammonites and Moabites- first find them on your genealogy. They were the sons (tribes) that were born after God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.  In Genesis 19, Lot took his daughters to the high land, and his daughter planned to get their father, Lot, drunk and have children.
    • Then in Numbers 22– the Ammonites and Moabites did not allow the Israelites passage through their land.  Balaam was the scorer they hired to curse them.  But we know that would never happen because of God’s Covenant
          • “I will make you into a great nation,
                and I will bless you;
            I will make your name great,
                and you will be a blessing.[
            I will bless those who bless you,
                and whoever curses you I will curse;
            and all peoples on earth
                will be blessed through you.”
  • Edomites: were Esau’s descendants, (Esau was Jacob’s brother on your map).

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3 thoughts on “Deuteronomy 21-23

  1. I didn’t remember how detailed the “how tos” were from my prior studies. This time I seem to be reading with Christ in mind…saying to myself “I would’ve been stoned by now”. For whoever breaks even one part of the Law is guilty of all of it…James 2:10


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