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God's law; Your sons

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posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 05:08 PM
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The social laws of the Pentateuch were not designed for the modern world,
They were clearly designed for a different kind of world, a mainly agricultural society.
But since they were published in the name of the Biblical God, they can still throw light on his nature and intentions.
Which gives us a new reason for reading this collection even if the laws themselves have been superseded.

Let’s take, for example, what his law says about sons.
Sons appear in these laws under two aspects, as the heirs of the family and the black sheep of the family (are we allowed to say “black sheep”?).

The possible ways of giving inheritance to sons has varied between two extremes, in different parts of the world.
At one extreme, the custom of giving equal portions to each child.
This has the appearance of fairness.
But if the population grows, the long-term effect of the policy, as applied to land, is that the plots get smaller until they can’t support a family.
The other extreme is primogeniture, which gives all or most of of the property to the eldest son.
So estates can remain intact for many generations, but younger sons are left unemployed.
“Equal division” has been blamed for more than one peasants’ revolt (by creating a class reduced to destitution), and I’m inclined to think that primogeniture was the ultimate cause of the Viking raids.

The custom in Israel seems to have been a compromise between these two options, giving all the sons a share in the inheritance, but assigning “a double portion” to the eldest.
This avoids the extreme form of both dangers, the danger of dividing estates and the danger of leaving children without means of support.

But this is a society which allows men to have more than one wife, which introduces a complication.
If a man has a preference for one of his wives, his affections might rest more on the children of that wife, and he might be tempted to bend the rules of inheritance in their favour.
The classic example is David, who was determined to pass on his kingdom to Solomon, the son of Bathsheba, at the expense of Adonijah, who was his eldest surviving son (1 Kings ch1).
So the law insists that the ordinary man must not succumb to this temptation.
Even if “one wife is loved and the other disliked”, the “first-born” portion must be assigned strictly on the grounds of the son’s age- Deuteronomy ch21 vv15-17

Sons also come into the laws when they clash with parental authority.
The basic principle is declared in the ten commandments, where “Honour your father and your mother” is the first commandment mentioned after those relating to God himself.
And again, in the curses that were to be delivered from Mount Ebal, the curse on the man who dishonours them is high on the list, second only to the curse on the man who makes graven images- Deuteronomy ch27 v16
We can compare this with “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people”- Exodus ch22 v28
So it seems to me that the purpose of these commands is to affirm the authority of the parents as representatives of social order.

The practical application, found in various laws, points in the same direction.
“Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death”- Exodus ch21 v15
The same thing happens to a man who curses his father or mother- Leviticus ch20 v9

And the following law looks conclusive;
“If a man has a stubborn or rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, though they chastise him…then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city…and they shall say to the elders of his city “This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard” [which tells us where he’s being disobedient]. Then all the men of the city will stone him to death with stones; so you shall purge the evil from your midst”- Deuteronomy ch21 vv18-21

Nevertheless, in the context of the ancient world, the effect of this law is to limit the extent of parental authority.
It is much more restricted than the Roman PATRIA POTESTAS, which gave the father absolute power of life and death over his children.
These parents must go to the community and let the community, through the elders, make the final decision.
And the request must be based on very serious grounds, not just trivial friction.
They have to show that the son is disregarding their authority as teachers of the moral norms of society.
They need to prove, in effect, that their son is an anarchist, who will be disruptive to the community at large if they allow him to remain part of it.

What can these laws tell us about the God who endorses them?
Both kinds of law show a concern that society should be stable.
He wants to limit the possibilities of disruption, either from disputes about inheritance, or from the intransigence of those unwilling to accept social restraints.

To the extent that these laws resemble the laws of other societies of the time, that’s instructive in itself.
It shows us a God who deals with people as he finds them, starting with the customs they’ve got already and allowing time to improve them.

We may think these think these laws are imperfect, and don’t match up to principles found later in the Bible.
In particular, the heavy-handed use of the death-penalty.
It reflects a zeal for thoroughness in “purging this evil from the midst of you”, removing threats to the stability of society.
At the same time, though, it also suggests a very human impatience with more “gradual” ways of dealing with bad practices.
In other laws, we find the principle that life is forfeit only in exchange for another life; that’s the value of human life in God’s eyes.
So the use of the death-penalty for a lesser offence may not match God’s final intentions, and may be as much a compromise with human “hardness of heart” as was the permission to divorce.

God’s willingness to compromise with his people in this way is in keeping with what I’ve already observed.
Instead of making a completely fresh start, he takes the customs they’ve got already and allows time to change them in a gradual way.
He is prepared to deal with people in ways that they can understand, before trying to lead them further.


edit on 7-3-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 06:43 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


Good work. Thank you for sharing your insights.



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 07:33 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


So, with all of your referenced 'livestock' domesticated man-imals you are one and the same; yielding/as sacrifical/the wearing of the YOKE of whatever your belief system hides inside of. Your threads are tiresome/redactive/derivitive and REDUNDANT (as in get to the point) you put me to sleep otherwise.


edit on 7-3-2014 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 11:10 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 



What can these laws tell us about the God who endorses them?

Nothing, of course. What they tell us, as you have admirably demonstrated, is what kind of a society the Hebrew patriarchal authorities wanted, and how they invoked divine sanction to make people accept their designs.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 

I have been taking the premise of the Biblical God endorsing these laws, making that my starting point, and then seeing what conclusions follow.
There is an implied condition- "To the extent that these laws come from the Biblical god, what do they say about him?"
But for those who don't accept the intiial premise. the conclusions won't follow either.

You would place these laws at the door of the patriarchal authorities. What you don't notice (and the point does come out better in the threads on wives and daughters) is how the attitude of the whole spectrum of the law is being modified away from the interests of purely patriarchal authority, and putting their power under restraints. So their preference is obviously not the only factor involved.






edit on 8-3-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 01:00 PM
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vethumanbeing
So, with all of your referenced 'livestock' domesticated man-imals you are one and the same; yielding/as sacrifical/the wearing of the YOKE of whatever your belief system hides inside of.

If you set out to criticise somebody else's writing, you put yourself in a very weak position if your own writing can't be understood. Nobody knows what you're trying to say here. If there is a point which you want to make, I suggest that you try again.


Your threads are tiresome/redactive/derivitive and REDUNDANT (as in get to the point) you put me to sleep otherwise.

They are most certainly NOT derivative. I do all my own writing, and the line of thought being expressed here is not coming from anywhere else.
I defy you to find a source for these pieces; there isn't one. Cheeky git!

I gather from the rest that you think they're too long.
That can't be helped, if the job is going to get done.
This is the same method that I normally follow. I make my case by laying out the evidence, and then presenting the conclusions at the end. That's exactly the way that a case should be made out. I'm not going to drop the evidence just because some people are too impatient to read it. Especially if the whole point of the series is to cover all the (social) laws in the text.

I'm not sure what you mean by "redactive". If you think I'm leaving things out, that seems to be in contradiction with your other complaint, that the pieces are too long. You need to make up your mind which you want.


edit on 8-3-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 03:36 PM
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I like reading what you write, find it very informative and gives a good foundation to understand the balancing act of life for everyone, I guess, including God.

I have a slight issue, you say the laws have been suspended.
What do you base this statement on
Thanks
Enjoy your threads



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 04:10 PM
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reply to post by borntowatch
 

The statement that the laws are suspended, as far as Christians are concerned, is based upon Paul;
"But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit". Romans ch7 v6
So Christians are now guided by the Spirit, not by the written laws of Moses.
If you are a Christian, then you know that we don't, in practice, follow the laws of Moses as laws. That's why I thought we needed to find another way of treating them.



edit on 8-3-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 07:14 PM
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DISRAELI

veteranhumanbeing
So, with all of your referenced 'livestock' domesticated man-imals you are one and the same; yielding/as sacrifical/the wearing of the YOKE of whatever your belief system hides inside of.


DISRAELIIf you set out to criticise somebody else's writing, you put yourself in a very weak position if your own writing can't be understood. Nobody knows what you're trying to say here. If there is a point which you want to make, I suggest that you try again.

No-body? Im not criticising your writing at all, just your ego/idea format and its blasts of unsubstanciated fall-der-all.

VHBYour threads are tiresome/redactive/derivitive and REDUNDANT (as in get to the point) you put me to sleep otherwise.


DISRAELIIThey are most certainly NOT derivative. I do all my own writing, and the line of thought being expressed here is not coming from anywhere else.
I defy you to find a source for these pieces; there isn't one. Cheeky git!
I gather from the rest that you think they're too long.That can't be helped, if the job is going to get done.This is the same method that I normally follow.

Defy 'you' (over the top in egoism displayed exponentially) Im just trying to make sense of them and the redactiveness comes from your replications (same idea different namesakes); anyone reading them would think this: too long and repititious.

DISRAELI make my case by laying out the evidence, and then presenting the conclusions at the end. That's exactly the way that a case should be made out. I'm not going to drop the evidence just because some people are too impatient to read it. Especially if the whole point of the series is to cover all the (social) laws in the text.

What evidence and concluded to what end? Some people will not study the Quabalah because it seems like a hard 'puzzle palace' game board (and you are one of the effecianatos of making this harder than it needs to be. Impatience would be a factor here. Not in your regurgitations.

DISRAELII'm not sure what you mean by "redactive". If you think I'm leaving things out, that seems to be in contradiction with your other complaint, that the pieces are too long. You need to make up your mind which you want.

I NEED to think no thing at all, certainly not the content of your omissions (you have 3 threads going at once that are of the same content or idea) why the cluster thought dropping? Its confusing. Generally, when one is opening a thread congeal one idea not 3 at once under different names. What are you hiding or causing a sideways distraction from? god as wife, god as sibling, god as livestock; if you think you can use this as a chapter rote forum (as in writing a book) good luck (you may gain a constituancy/audience), but you dont have the rights to your words exacted here; read the bylaws and conditions of your contract.
edit on 8-3-2014 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 03:15 PM
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vethumanbeing
you have 3 threads going at once that are of the same content or idea

Firstly, you underestimate the number.
This is the eighth thread in the series which I have been publishing on a weekly basis.
But they certainly don't have the same content.
Once you get past the first paragraph, you will see that each OP is looking at a different set of laws.
The plan is to work through the whole collection of laws, but the conditions of posting on ATS mean that each OP has to be limited to 7500 characters.
That is why the collection has been broken up into different topics.
There were three threads, for example, looking at various aspects of dealing with the property of neighbours.
There will be four threads, including this one, looking at aspects of "family law".
Then there will be the questions of poverty and debt and slavery and fighting and murder.
Each thread looking at a different topic.

The posting of these threads is an end in itself.
As far as I'm concerned, they fulfil their purpose.
A tip for you, though; when you post on ATS, that does NOT mean that you lose the rights to your words, it only means that you lose the exclusive rights.
That is, you can still use your own words, but you can't stop ATS from using them as well.
You see, it does pay to carefully examine the meaning of laws and contracts.



posted on Mar, 9 2014 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


I am glad you understand the conditions of your participation. There is that other thing existing, 'the quoting of scripture (redundancy of to excess). Personally, if you are helping people in your role of prophet; more power to you. I dont have to read your threads, and wont bother you in the future (your agenda is safe).



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 03:21 AM
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reply to post by vethumanbeing
 

When you choose, then, you can write in clear sentences without scrambling the language. That's good; it means that you will be better understood on ATS.
I think of myself as a scribe rather than a prophet; not getting messages direct from God, but "bringing out of the treasure chest things old and new".
I've told you that I'm going through the laws in general, which means quoting all of them. The evidence must be presented, and the conclusions drawn out of it.



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 



I have been taking the premise of the Biblical God endorsing these laws, making that my starting point, and then seeing what conclusions follow.

Right, got it. In that case, I think we can conclude that God is a rather bloody-minded old man who thinks menstruation is icky, doesn't like women but puts up with them because he likes having sons (even though he believes children should be seen and not heard while they make themselves useful to Daddy) and is okay with slavery, even the sexual sort — though he humanely requires slaves to be set free every seven years. He doesn't like homosexuals much. Or his neighbours either.

He also seems to enjoy giving people plagues, boils and haemorrhoids.



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 10:56 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 

You don't get any of that from the laws listed in the OP, which was the scope of the question.
Yes, you can go for the simplistic, reductionist approach, based on casual impressions.
But a more methodical approach, topic by topic, whic is what i'm doing, might produce a more complex picture.



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 11:59 AM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 



You don't get any of that from the laws listed in the OP, which was the scope of the question.

Oh, right! I see now. Not only do we have to assume this God exists, but we also have assume that the legal provisions of the Pentateuch were limited to the matters discussed in the OP.

Then I suppose we'll just have to conclude that God is a rather bloody-minded old man with an obsession about real estate.



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 01:22 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 

No, it's just the standard ATS assumption that the topic of a thread is defined by the OP.
That is the case across the board.
The topic of this thread was defined by the title and further defined by the content of the OP, consisting of the discussion of a specific set of laws, followed by a question about "these laws".
In the context, it's obvious enough that "these" refers to the laws just discussed.
Other laws are covered in other threads, one topic at a time.
There is nothing extraordinary about the suggestion of "keeping on-topic", which is standard procedure on this forum.


As for your specific conclusions;

Then I suppose we'll just have to conclude that God is a rather bloody-minded old man with an obsession about real estate.

1) I have suggested that the bloody-mindedness came from the human element.
2) What exactly, on the quoted laws, identifies God as an old man?
3) Having laws on a particular subject does not show that the lawmaker has an obsession. It shows that the lawmaker is dealing with people who might get agitated by it. Modern states have many laws about the driving of cars- not because the lawmakers are obsessed with cars, but because people in general are obsessed with cars and they might be a source of trouble.
4) Why do you think there is something wrong with being interested in real estate? This is an agricultural society, you must remember. Real estate means the difference between eating and not eating. So this is a God who wants to make sure people can earn a living. Put that way, it sounds vaguely socialist, nothing worse.




edit on 10-3-2014 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 05:29 PM
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Code of Hammurabi
Roman laws

Once again I’ve been looking at the laws from Babylon and ancient Rome.;
The law of inheritance in Babylon;

165. If a man give to one of his sons whom he prefers a field, garden, and house, and a deed therefor: if later the father die, and the brothers divide the estate, then they shall first give him the present of his father, and he shall accept it; and the rest of the paternal property shall they divide.
This looks like equal division modified by an extra portion for a favoured child, as in Israel; except that in Babylon the father decides which child to favour, if any, and makes provision before his death by giving the son early possession of the portion which is to lie outside the division.
Both sets of laws both give severe punishment to violence of a son against a father

[Hammurabi] 195. If a son strike his father, his hands shall be hewn off.
[Servius Tullius] 6. – If a son beats his father but the latter cries aloud the son shall be dedicated as a sacrifice to his ancestral deities.

In the comedies of Aristophanes, “the son who beats his father” is a stock figure, so this protection was obviously necessary.

Babylon had laws about ending the relationship between father and son.

168. If a man wish to put his son out of his house, and declare before the judge: "I want to put my son out," then the judge shall examine into his reasons. If the son be guilty of no great fault, for which he can be rightfully put out, the father shall not put him out.
169. If he be guilty of a grave fault, which should rightfully deprive him of the filial relationship, the father shall forgive him the first time; but if he be guilty of a grave fault a second time the father may deprive his son of all filial relation.

I have seen different descriptions of the Roman PATRIA POTESTAS.
This comes from a Roman statement about Romulus;

8. – The lawgiver of the Romans gave the father absolute ... power over his son throughout his whole lifetime, whether for imprisonment, for flogging, for keeping in bonds for labor in the fields, or for putting to death ... He also allowed the father to sell his son ... and he permitted the father to make profit from his son until the third sale. ... After the third sale the son was released from the father's power.

This from the Encyclopaedia Britannica;

Patria potestas, (Latin: “power of a father”), in Roman family law, power that the male head of a family exercised over his children and his more remote descendants in the male line, whatever their age, as well as over those brought into the family by adoption. This power meant originally not only that he had control over the persons of his children, amounting even to a right to inflict capital punishment, but that he alone had any rights in private law. Thus, acquisitions of a child became the property of the father. The father might allow a child (as he might a slave) certain property to treat as his own, but in the eye of the law it continued to belong to the father.
Patria potestas ceased normally only with the death of the father; but the father might voluntarily free the child by emancipation, and a daughter ceased to be under the father’s potestas if upon her marriage she came under her husband’s manus, a corresponding power of husband over wife.

But Gibbon expresses it best;
“In the forum, the senate, or the camp, the adult son of a Roman citizen enjoyed the public and private rights of a person: in his father’s house he was a mere thing; confounded by the laws with the movables, the cattle and the slaves, whom the capricious master might alienate or destroy, without being responsible to any earthly tribunal. The hand which bestowed the daily sustenance might resume the voluntary gift, and whatever was acquired by the labour or fortune of the son was immediately lost in the property of the father…According to his discretion, a father might chastise the real or imaginary faults of his children, by stripes, by imprisonment, by exile, by sending them to the country to work in chains among the meanest of his servants…Neither age, nor rank, nor the consular office, nor the honours of a triumph, could exempt the most illustrious citizen from the bonds of filial subjection: his own descendants were included in the family of their common ancestor…” [“Decline and Fall”, ch44]



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 07:42 PM
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Astyanax
reply to post by DISRAELI
 


You don't get any of that from the laws listed in the OP, which was the scope of the question.

Oh, right! I see now. Not only do we have to assume this God exists, but we also have assume that the legal provisions of the Pentateuch were limited to the matters discussed in the OP. Then I suppose we'll just have to conclude that God is a rather bloody-minded old man with an obsession about real estate.


Apparenty its 'Gods laws' Astyanax; and we are are subservient to them (I say which of the Demi-Gods are exacting this 'lawfulness'. I ask because God Absolute cares nothing for/about the governing of the human). Its more of a benevolent thing; just trying to express itself (these laws could be hamstringing the Absolutes own essence or "reason to be"). Look at all of the laws in place; and more forthcoming (its neverending and I thought helmet laws for bicyclists in CA ridiculous) helmet laws for car drivers would make a lot of sense as well (potencial scads of new revenue bearing as well).



posted on Mar, 10 2014 @ 07:53 PM
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DISRAELI
reply to post by veteranhumanbeing
 

When you choose, then, you can write in clear sentences without scrambling the language. That's good; it means that you will be better understood on ATS.
I think of myself as a scribe rather than a prophet; not getting messages direct from God, but "bringing out of the treasure chest things old and new".
I've told you that I'm going through the laws in general, which means quoting all of them. The evidence must be presented, and the conclusions drawn out of it.


If you were a scribe you would be living in a Monastery copying/transcribing text in the 12th century somewhere in Europe. You are a reader an interpretor of instead. Im slightly more abstract in my thinking (non-linear); if you dont understand how I put words into sentences useing verbs and nouns to describe ideaforms where is the loss? I pay attention to popular culture, trends; you on the other hand are a scripture wars person; or a Prophet that wants to enterpret and be believed by your underlings. I see equal peer challenging your postulations and you seem to having trouble. This is a debate forum; not a bully pulpit; so goes your audience existing in belief of your sermonizing.
edit on 10-3-2014 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2014 @ 03:15 AM
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reply to post by vethumanbeing
 

I was using the word "scribe" in the New Testament sense. One who studies the text and draws meaning out of it.



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