God’s 613 commands, and how Christians treat them.
Most Christians are familiar with the fact there are 10 commandments.
Some of us have also heard the idea there are 12 commandments. Where’d the extra two come from? Well, someone once asked Jesus his opinion on the greatest command.
Mark 12.28-31 KWL
- 28 One of the scribes
wasstanding there listening to the discussion.
- Recognizing how well
Jesusanswered the Sadducees, he asked him,
- “Which command is first of all?” 29 Jesus gave this answer:
- “First is, ‘Listen Israel: Our god
isthe Lord. The Lord is One.
- 30 You must love your Lord God with all your heart, life, purpose, and might.’
- Second is, ‘Love your neighbor like yourself.’
- No command is higher than these.”
Since these two commands aren’t among the 10, certain Christians tack ’em on at the end.
But there’s far from just 12 commands. There’s 613.
Technically there are even more than 613. But when you combine redundant commands—namely all the commands repeated in Deuteronomy, like the 10 commandments
These commands are mostly for everyone. There are many priest-specific commands, which don’t apply to the general population. (Although Pharisees customarily practiced ’em anyway, figuring all Jews ought to be as ritually clean as priests.) There are also many gender-specific commands, which apply to men and not women, or women and not men.
And let’s be honest: There is a double standard in the Law. Women and men may be equal in Christ,
How Christians see the Law.
Christians are of three minds when it comes to following the Law. And some of us are of multiple minds: Sometimes we follow one of these practices, and sometimes another, depending on when it’s convenient or advantageous.
- Fulfilled. The most common belief you’ll find among Christian theologians is there are three types of commands:
Moral, defining right and wrong. They always apply. Ritual, defining the religious practices of ancient Israel and ritual cleanliness. In his self-sacrifice, Jesus rendered them irrelevant: We don’t need to sacrifice animals and grain anymore, or practice ritual cleanliness. (In fact, doing so indicates we don’t really believe in what Jesus did for us.) Judicial, defining the civic society of ancient Israel. They apply to Israelis, not gentiles. Gentile Christians should study them, since they describe God’s will and justice, and adopt their principles in our cultures. But obedience isn’t mandatory; just recommended.
- Abolished. The most common belief you’ll find among Christian non-theologians (i.e. everybody else) is every command, of every sort, has been abolished altogether. Except maybe the 12 commandments, and the commands against homosexual stuff, and anything else we’d kinda like to apply. But in general Jesus wiped out sin, freed us from the Law, and we’re no longer under it. We’re totally, absolutely free, to do what we want, any old time. (Scholars call these folks
antinomians. Jesus just calls ’em lawless. Mt 23.28)
- Advisory. Certain Christian libertarians agree with the antinomians: Every command was abolished, and we needn’t do them. But same as with the judicial commands, the Law still describes God’s will and justice, and they’re a good guideline, a good set of principles to live by. In that spirit, we should adopt those principles as our lifestyle. (But not enforce them on others. ’Cause grace.)
- Applicable. Jesus, because he’s the L
ORDwho handed down the Law in the first place—it’s his Law—didn’t abolish any of it. He simply affirmed some issues in the Law are more important, and some issues are less important. Use your head, but follow the Law.
- Semi-applicable. Among certain Christian legalists, you’ll find the position that Jesus fulfilled the ritual commands, which no longer apply; but all the others do apply. (They’ll even include some of the cleanliness rules.) Further, these laws ought to become the law of the land.
- Applicable to Jews. If you’re a Jew, the Law still applies, ’cause God’s covenant with Israel is an everlasting one. If you’re gentile (like me), we’re not obligated to follow any commands other than the ones God applies to all humanity, as told to Noah:
Genesis 9.1-7 KWL
- 1 God blessed Noah and his sons.
- He told them, “Bear fruit. Be many. Fill the earth.
- 2 Respect for you, and terror of you, is upon every beast of the earth, bird of the skies;
- upon everything which crawls in the dirt, every fish in the sea. They’re put in your hand.
- 3 Every moving, living thing is for you,
- for food like the plants I gave you. All for you.
- 4 Only don’t eat living meat, nor blood.
- 5 I only demand from your hand your blood, your lives.
- I demand it of every living thing; I demand it of humanity.
- I demand the life of humanity from your and your brother’s hand.
- 6 One who spills human blood: Their blood will be spilled by humanity.
- For God made humanity in God’s image.
- 7 And you: Bear fruit. Be many.
- Swarm the earth. Be many in it.”
- From this, they extrapolate “seven Noahide commands”: Don’t deny God, blaspheme God, murder, have illicit sex, steal, eat live animals; and create a justice system to ensure people follow the above. If gentiles do this, they’re fine with God. This is also called a
dual-covenantsystem, and appears to be what the early Christians endorsed. Ac 15.19-21
My own view? The historic fulfilled view: Moral commands count, judicial commands ought to be taken seriously, and ritual commands are moot.
But the danger of all commands is when we try to follow them without taking God’s character into mind—without his love, grace, patience, and forgiveness. When people sin against you, forgive.
All 613 commands.
- Know there’s a God.
Ex 20.2, Dt 5.6
- Never worship other gods than God.
Ex 20.3, Dt 5.7
- Know God is One.
- Love God.
- Fear God.
Dt 6.13, 10:20, 13.4
- Make God’s name holy.
- Never profane God’s name.
- Never destroy objects associated with God’s name.
- Listen to the prophet who speaks in God’s name.
- Never unduly test God’s prophets.
- Emulate God’s ways.
- Cling to those who know God.
- Love fellow Jews.
- Love people who convert to Judaism.
- Never hate fellow Jews.
- Correct sinners.
- Never embarrass others.
- Never oppress the weak.
- Never speak ill of others.
- Never take revenge.
- Never bear grudges.
- Learn the Law.
- Honor those who teach and know the Law.
- Never look into idolatry.
- Never follow the whims of your heart, or what your eyes see.
- Never slander God.
- Never worship idols.
- Never worship idols like we worship God.
- Never make an idol for yourself.
- Never make an idol for others.
- Never make human forms, even solely for decoration.
- Never turn cities towards idolatry.
- If a city turns to idolatry, burn it.
- If you destroy an idolatrous city, never rebuild it.
- Never benefit from idolatry.
- Never turn individuals towards idolatry.
- Never love idolaters.
- Never stop hating idolaters.
- Never save idolaters.
- Never defend idolaters.
- Never hide that they’re idolaters.
- Never prophesy in an idol’s name.
- Never listen to a fake prophet.
- Never give fake prophecy in God’s name.
- Kill fake prophets.
- Never swear by an idol.
- Never speak on behalf of spirits.
- Never practice magic.
- Never burn your kids for Molekh.
- Never put up a worship-pillar.
- Never bow before a worship-rock.
- Never plant trees in the temple courtyard.
- Destroy idols and their accessories.
- Never benefit from idols and their accessories.
- Never benefit from idolatrous charms.
- Never make deals with idolaters.
- Never show favor to idolaters.
- Never let idolaters live in Israel.
- Never imitate idolaters’ customs or fashions.
- Never be superstitious.
- Never go into a trance seeking visions.
- Never practice astrology.
- Never use magic.
- Never try to contact the dead.
- Never consult people who speak on behalf of spirits.
- Never consult magicians.
- Never perform magic spells.
- Never have mohawks.
- Never have beards without sideburns.
- Men: Don’t cross-dress.
- Women: Don’t cross-dress.
- Never burn marks into your skin.
- Never cut yourself for the dead.
- Never cut off part of your hair for the dead.
- Repent and confess wrongdoings.
- Say the Shema twice a day.
- Serve the Almighty with prayer.
- Priests: Bless Israel daily.
- Wear teffilin on your head.
- Strap teffilin to your hand.
- Put mezuzot on each doorpost.
- Write down the Song of Moses.
- King: Keep a copy of the Law.
- All four-cornered garments must have tassels.
- Bless the Almighty after you eat.
- Circumcise every male when they’re eight days old.
- Never work.
- Courts can’t inflict punishment.
- Never leave the city.
- Keep it holy.
- Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement):
- Never work.
- Deprive yourself.
- Never eat or drink.
- Rest on the first day.
- Never work on the first day.
- Rest on the seventh day.
- Never work on the seventh day.
- Rest on Pentecost.
- Never work on Pentecost.
- Rest on Rosh Hashanah.
- Never work on Rosh Hashanah.
- Sukkot (Tents):
- Rest on the first day.
- Never work on the first day.
- Rest on the last day.
- Never work on the last day.
- Never eat yeast the day before.
- Destroy all yeast the day before.
- Never eat yeast all seven days.
- Never eat anything containing yeast.
- Never see yeast in your home.
- Never find yeast in your home.
- Eat matzoh on the first night.
- Tell the Exodus story on the first night.
- Blow a horn on Rosh Hashanah.
- Live in a tent during the seven days of Sukkot.
- Take up fruit and palm branches all seven days of Sukkot.
- Pay the yearly half-sheqel to temple.
- Figure out when each new month begins.
- Deprive yourself and cry out to God when disaster happens.
- Marriage contracts:
- Marry a wife with a marriage contract, and in holiness.
- Never have sex without a marriage contract.
- Never deprive your wife of food, clothing, or sex.
- Have children with your wife.
- Never get divorced without a divorce contract.
- Never remarry your ex-wife if she’s since married someone else.
- Levirate marriage:
- Marry the widow of your childless brother.
- If a man won’t do so, have her spit in his face.
- After spitting in his face, the widow may remarry.
- Premarital sex:
- The man must pay dowry.
- The couple must marry.
- They can never divorce.
- If a woman is falsely accused of infidelity:
- Her husband must keep her.
- He may never divorce her.
- Have her fidelity properly tested.
- Never put oil on the related offering.
- Never put incense on the related offering.
- Forbidden sex:
- With your mother.
- Son’s daughter.
- Daughter’s daughter.
- Both a woman and her daughter.
- Both a woman and her son’s daughter.
- Both a woman and her daughter’s daughter.
- Father’s sister.
- Mother’s sister.
- Father’s sister-in-law.
- Son’s wife.
- Brother’s wife.
- Wife’s sister.
- Men: With animals.
- Women: With animals.
- Men with men.
- Father’s brother.
- Someone else’s wife.
- A menstruating woman.
- Forbidden marriage:
- Moabites or Ammonites.
- Grandchildren of Egyptian converts are okay.
- Grandchildren of Edomite converts are okay.
- Part-Moabites or part-Ammonites.
- Never give God a castrated animal.
- Forbidden marriage for priests:
- Head Priest: Never marry a widow.
- Head Priest: Never have sex with a widow.
- Head Priest must marry a virgin.
- Priests: Never marry divorcées.
- Priests: Never marry ex-prostitutes.
- Priests: Never marry anyone who has been a party to, or product of, prostitution.
- No having sex with other close relatives.
- Kosher and treyf (clean and unclean food) rules:
- Check animals.
- Check birds.
- Check fish.
- Check bugs.
- No treyf animals.
- No treyf birds.
- No treyf fish.
- No treyf bugs.
- No treyf crawlers.
- No maggots.
- No worms found in fruit on the ground.
- No treyf aquatic creatures.
- Nothing which died without being killed properly.
- No oxen condemned to be stoned to death.
- No wounded animals.
- No live animals.
- No blood.
- No certain fats.
- No thigh sinews.
- No meat and milk cooked together.
- No cooking meat and milk together.
- No bread from new grain before your bread offering.
- No cooked grain before your bread offering.
- No fresh grain before your bread offering.
- Never eat from a tree during its first three years.
- Never plant many different seeds in a vineyard.
- Never eat fruit you’ve not tithed from.
- Never drink wine offered to idols.
- Slaughter animals properly.
- Never slaughter an animal and its offspring the same day.
- Bury blood.
- Shoo away a mother bird before you take its young.
- Free a mother bird if you’re going to take its young.
- Never swear falsely in God’s name.
- Never use God’s name for useless things.
- Never deny you’re in charge of what you’ve been put in charge of.
- Never swear you don’t owe what you owe.
- When a court orders it, swear in God’s name to tell the truth.
- Do what you said or swore you’d do.
- Never break oaths or vows.
- If oaths or vows are annulled, follow the Law’s directions.
- Let your hair grow.
- Never cut your hair.
- No wine nor wine products.
- No fresh grapes.
- No raisins.
- No grape seeds.
- No grape skins.
- Can’t be under the same roof as a corpse.
- Can’t come into any contact with the dead.
- Shave your heads at the end of the oath, after sacrifices.
- Gifts to God:
- If redeeming a human, give the proper amount.
- If an animal, give the proper amount.
- If a house, give the proper amount.
- If a field, give the proper amount.
- Once given to God, it’s holy.
- It can never be sold.
- It can never be bought back.
- Never plant two kinds of seed in a field.
- Never plant grains or greens in a vineyard.
- Never interbreed animals.
- Never yoke different animals together.
- Never wear wool/linen blends.
- Leaving crops for the poor and needy:
- Reserve the corners of your fields for the poor.
- Never reap them.
- Leave gleanings from your fields.
- Never reap them.
- Leave gleanings from your vineyards.
- Never gather them.
- Leave damaged grapes.
- Never pick them.
- Leave forgotten sheaves in the field.
- Never retrieve them.
- Every third year’s tithe is for the poor.
- Give charity.
- Never withhold charity from the poor.
- Firstfruits for priests:
- Set them aside.
- Levites must tithe too.
- Never put off tithing.
- Non-priests can’t eat them.
- Priests’ employees or slaves can’t eat them.
- Uncircumcised priests can’t eat them.
- Impure priests can’t eat them.
- Anyone who’s been a party to, or product of, prostitution can’t eat them.
- Give tithes to the Levites.
- Tithe every year.
- Spend your tithe only on food, drink, or ointment.
- Never eat tithe-food while impure.
- Never eat tithe-food if in mourning, the first day after a death.
- Never eat tithe-food outside Jerusalem.
- Never drink tithe-wine, or eat grape products, outside Jerusalem.
- Never eat tithe-oil outside Jerusalem.
- Fourth-year crops are holy, as if they’re tithe-food.
- Proclaim to God every fourth and seventh tithe year.
- Set aside firstfruits and bring them to temple.
- Tithes for priests:
- Priests can’t eat firstfruits outside Jerusalem.
- Proclaim to God at every firstfruit presentation.
- Set aside dough for the priests.
- Give the shoulder, cheeks, and stomach of a slaughtered animal to the priests.
- Give a sheep’s first shearing to the priests.
- Redeem firstborn sons, and give the money to the priests.
- Redeem firstborn donkeys by giving a lamb to the priests.
- If a person won’t redeem a donkey, break its neck.
- Sabbath year:
- Leave the land fallow.
- Never work the land.
- Never work your fruit trees.
- Never reap wild crops.
- Never gather wild grapes.
- Let the poor take anything that grows wild.
- Cancel all loans.
- Never demand loan payments.
- Never refuse to loan because the sabbath year is coming.
- Jubilee year:
- Count seven groups of seven years.
- Make the fiftieth year holy.
- Blow the shofar on 10 Tishrei to free the slaves.
- Never work the soil.
- Never reap wild crops.
- Never gather wild grapes.
- Return all sold property to its original families.
- Never sell any of Israel’s land permanently.
- Houses in walled cities can only be returned after a year; otherwise the sale is permanent.
- Levite property:
- Levites don’t get land; they get cities.
- Levites don’t get spoils of war.
- Give the Levites cities and their surrounding fields.
- Levites’ fields can never be sold.
- Build a temple.
- Never build the altar with cut stones.
- Never put steps up to the altar.
- Keep the temple holy.
- Guard the temple area.
- Never leave the temple unguarded.
- Make anointing oil.
- Never use the anointing oil’s formula elsewhere.
- Never anoint anything else with anointing oil.
- Never use the temple incense’s formula elsewhere.
- Never burn anything on the incense altar except temple incense.
- The Ark is to be carried on the Levites’ shoulders.
- Leave the poles in the Ark’s rings.
- Levites must work in temple.
- Levites can’t sub for other Levites or priests.
- Dedicate priests for service.
- Priests’ shifts must be equal during holidays.
- Must wear their uniforms during service.
- Can’t tear their uniforms.
- The head priest’s plate can’t be loosened from the ephod.
- Can’t enter temple intoxicated.
- Can’t enter temple with their heads uncovered.
- Can’t enter temple with torn clothes.
- Can’t enter temple whenever they wish.
- Can’t leave temple during service.
- Send impure people out of temple.
- Impure people can’t enter temple.
- Impure people can’t enter the temple mount.
- Impure priests can’t do service in temple.
- Impure priests must be baptized and wait till sundown before returning to service.
- Priests: Wash hands and feet before service.
- Priests with physical blemishes can’t enter the sanctuary or approach the altar.
- Priests with physical blemishes can’t serve.
- Priests with temporary blemishes can’t serve.
- Non-priests can’t serve.
- No blemished animals for sacrifice:
- Only unblemished animals.
- Never dedicate blemished animals for the altar.
- Never slaughter them on the altar.
- Never sprinkle their blood on the altar.
- Never burn their fat on the altar.
- Never offer a temporarily blemished animal.
- Never sacrifice them, even if non-Jews offer them.
- Never wound dedicated animals.
- Pay for dedicated animals which became disqualified.
- Offer only animals that are at least eight days old.
- Never offer animals bought by prostitutes, male or female.
- Never burn honey or yeast on the altar.
- Pour salt on all sacrifices.
- Never offer unsalted sacrifices.
- Follow procedure for a whole burnt offering.
- Never eat its meat.
- Follow procedure for a sin offering.
- Never eat its meat.
- Never behead any bird brought as a sin offering.
- Follow procedure for a guilt offering.
- Priests: Eat a sacrifice’s meat in temple.
- Priests: Never eat a sacrifice’s meat outside the temple courtyard.
- Non-priests can’t eat a sacrifice’s meat.
- Follow procedure for a peace offering.
- Never eat sacrificial meat before the blood has been sprinkled.
- Follow procedure for grain offerings.
- Never put oil on wrongdoers’ grain offerings.
- Never put incense on wrongdoers’ grain offerings.
- Never eat the head priest’s grain offering.
- Never bake a grain offering with leavening.
- Priests: Eat what’s left of grain offerings.
- Bring all offerings to temple at the next festival.
- Never hold back any payment you’ve sworn to pay.
- Offer all sacrifices in temple.
- Bring all sacrifices from outside Israel to temple.
- Never slaughter sacrifices outside the temple courtyard.
- Never offer any sacrifices outside the temple courtyard.
- Offer two lambs every day.
- Light a fire on the altar every day.
- Never put out the altar’s fire.
- Remove the ashes from the altar every day.
- Burn incense every day.
- Light the menorah every day.
- Head priest: Bring a grain offering every day.
- Two additional lambs on Sabbath.
- Make showbread.
- Additional offerings every new month.
- Additional offerings on Passover.
- Offer a wave offering from the flour of new wheat.
- Count off seven weeks after the wave offering.
- Additional offerings on Pentecost.
- Bring two loaves with the additional Pentecost offering.
- Additional offerings on Rosh Hashanah.
- Additional offerings on Yom Kippur.
- Additional offerings on Sukkot.
- Additional offerings on the last day of Sukkot.
- Never eat unfit or blemished sacrifices.
- Never eat sacrifices offered with bad intentions.
- Never eat sacrifices left uneaten too long.
- Never eat leftovers from sacrifices.
- Never eat sacrifices which became impure.
- Impure people can’t eat from sacrifices.
- Burn leftovers from sacrifices.
- Burn impure sacrifices.
- Follow procedure for Yom Kippur.
- If you profane holy objects, pay for them plus 20 percent; plus a sacrifice.
- Never use holy animals for work.
- Never shear holy animals.
- Passover lambs:
- Slaughter them as the proper time.
- Never slaughter them while you still possess leaven.
- Never leave their fat overnight.
- Follow procedure for the second lamb.
- Eat them with matzoh and maror, on the night of 14 Nissan.
- Eat the second lamb on the night of 15 Iyyar.
- Never eat them raw or boiled.
- Never take the meat outside your group.
- Apostates can’t eat the meat.
- Employees, slave or free, can’t eat the meat.
- Uncircumcised males can’t eat the meat.
- Never break any of the lamb’s bones.
- Nor from the second Passover offering.
- Never leave any meat overnight.
- Nor from the second lamb.
- Never leave any meat from the holiday offering past the 16th.
- Be at temple on Passover, Pentecost, and Sukkot.
- Celebrate with peace offerings for Passover, Pentecost, and Sukkot.
- Rejoice with peace offerings for Passover, Pentecost, and Sukkot.
- Never appear at temple without an offering.
- Never keep from rejoicing with, and giving gifts to, Levites.
- Gather everyone on the Sukkot after the seventh year.
- Firstborn animals:
- Set them aside.
- Priests can’t eat unblemished firstborn animals outside Jerusalem.
- Never buy back firstborn animals.
- Animals are to be tithed.
- Never buy back any tithe of animals.
- Everyone must offer a sin offering, in temple, for sins.
- Bring an offering to temple if you’re not sure of guilt.
- Bring an offering to temple if guilt has been established.
- Bring differing offerings to temple depending on the person’s wealth.
- The nation must bring an offering to temple when the whole nation sins.
- Women, after vaginal discharge, must bring an offering to temple after baptism.
- Women, after giving birth, must bring an offering to temple after baptism.
- Men, after ejaculating, must bring an offering to temple after baptism.
- Lepers must bring an offering to temple after baptism.
- Never swap sacrificial animals for another.
- However, if someone tries to swap an animal for sacrifice, both animals become holy.
- Never dedicate an already-dedicated animal.
- Ritual cleansing and unclean things:
- Follow procedure to cleanse things after someone has died.
- Follow procedure for sacrificing a red heifer.
- Follow procedure for sprinkling water.
- Follow procedure for determining leprosy.
- Lepers: Don’t hide leprosy.
- Lepers: Shave your head to indicate leprosy.
- Lepers: Have torn clothes, long hair, and covered lips.
- Follow procedure for purifying lepers.
- Lepers: Before purification, shave off all your hair.
- Follow procedure for unclean clothing.
- Follow procedure for unclean houses.
- Follow procedure for menstrual impurity.
- Follow procedure for childbirth impurity.
- Follow procedure for women’s unclean discharges.
- Follow procedure for men’s unclean discharges.
- Follow procedure for dead animals.
- Follow procedure for unclean insects.
- Follow procedure for semen.
- Follow procedure for unclean food.
- Every unclean person must be baptized.
- Damages and theft:
- Assess damages done by a dangerous ox.
- Assess damages done when an animal eats what it shouldn’t.
- Assess damages done by an open pit.
- Assess damages done by fire.
- Never steal money.
- Assess damages done by thieves.
- Scales and weights should be accurate.
- Never cheat with scales and weights.
- Never own inaccurate scales and weights.
- Never steal land by moving boundary markers.
- Never kidnap.
- Never steal openly.
- Never refuse to repay debt, nor hold back wages.
- Never covet, nor plot to get someone else’s stuff.
- Never want other people’s stuff.
- Give back stolen objects, or equivalent money.
- Never ignore lost items.
- Return lost items.
- Assess damages done by assault.
- Murder and manslaughter:
- Never murder.
- The penalty of murder shouldn’t be a fine.
- Accidental killers must be sent to refuge cities.
- Never pay your way out of being sent to a refuge city.
- Murderers can’t be killed before standing trial.
- Save someone being chased for revenge—even if you have to kill the vigilante.
- Never take pity on vigilantes.
- Never stand by when life is in danger.
- Pick refuge cities and make routes to get there.
- If a murder is unsolved, break the neck of a calf by the site.
- Never work or plant near the site of an unsolved murder.
- Never have booby-traps on your property.
- Put a guardrail around your flat roof.
- Never put booby-traps in front of, or give harmful advice to, the blind.
- Help unload an animal that can’t carry its load.
- Help others load their animals.
- Never leave others stuck with big loads; help them.
- Follow the Law in commerce.
- Never overcharge; never underpay.
- Never insult anyone, or harm anyone with words.
- Never cheat converts out of their money.
- Never insult converts, or harm them with words.
- Follow procedure for purchasing Hebrew slaves.
- Never sell Hebrews like you would other slaves.
- Never work Hebrew slaves oppressively.
- Never allow non-Jews to work Hebrew slaves oppressively.
- Never have Hebrew slaves do manual slave labor.
- Give Hebrew slaves gifts when they’re freed.
- Never send Hebrew slaves away empty-handed.
- Buy back Hebrew women if they displease their masters.
- A master who buys a Hebrew woman should expect to marry her.
- A master who buys a Hebrew woman can’t sell her.
- Non-Jews can be kept forever (and worked unless injured).
- If Hebrew slaves escape to Israel, never give them back.
- If Hebrew slaves escape to Israel, never wrong them.
- Follow procedure for making restitution for kenneled animals.
- Pay wages on the day they were earned.
- Never delay paying wages beyond any agreed tims.
- Employees may eat from the unharvested crops where they work.
- Employees can’t eat on the clock.
- Employees can’t take more food than they can eat.
- Never muzzle an ox while it plows.
- Follow procedure for making restitution for borrowed animals.
- Follow procedure for making restitution for kept items.
- Lend to the poor.
- Never push the poor to pay back loans when you know they can’t.
- Push idolaters to pay back loans.
- Creditors can’t forcibly take collateral.
- Return collateral to debtors when they need them.
- Never delay returning collateral when it’s needed.
- Never demand collateral from a widow.
- Never demand kitchen utensils as collateral.
- Never charge interest on a loan.
- Never borrow money that charges interest.
- Never cosign, guarantee, witness, or intermediate a loan that charges interest.
- When lending to or borrowing from idolaters, there can be interest.
- Anyone whom God declares guilty must pay back double.
- Follow procedures for next of kin.
- Judges, courts, and penalties:
- Appoint judges.
- Never appoint judges who don’t know procedure.
- Never side with the crowd in lawsuits.
- Never condemn to death on only one witness.
- Never have the same attorney represent both sides.
- If stoning is the penalty, carry it out.
- If burning is the penalty, carry it out.
- If beheading is the penalty, carry it out.
- If strangling is the penalty, carry it out.
- Hang up anyone who’s been stoned to death for blasphemy or idolatry. Dt 21.22
- Bury the executed on the day they’re killed.
- Never delay burial till the next day.
- Never let magicians live.
- If whipping is the penalty, carry it out.
- Never whip more than 40 lashes.
- No executions are allowed with only circumstantial evidence.
- Never punish anyone who was forced to commit a crime.
- Never show pity on convicted murderers.
- Judges: No favoritism towards the poor.
- Judges: No favoritism towards the great.
- Judges: Never deny justice to the poor.
- Judges: Never pervert justice.
- Judges: Never pervert cases involving converts or orphans.
- Judge righteously.
- Judges: No favoritism towards violent people.
- Judges: No bribes.
- Judges: No testimony when both parties aren’t present.
- Never curse judges.
- Never curse the leader of your people.
- Never curse any upstanding Hebrew.
- Anybody who knows evidence must testify in court.
- Carefully interrogate the witness.
- Witnesses can’t be judges in the same case.
- Judges: No testimony from only one witness.
- Never be a false witness.
- Relatives of the litigants can’t testify.
- Never testify falsely.
- Punish false witnesses with the penalty the defendant would have received.
- Obey a judge’s ruling.
- Never deviate from a judge’s ruling.
- Never add to the Law’s commands.
- Never subtract from the Law’s commands.
- Never curse them.
- Never strike them.
- Respect them.
- Fear them.
- Never be a rebellious child.
- Mourn for relatives.
- Head priest: Can’t defile yourself in mourning.
- Head priest: Can’t be under the same roof as a corpse.
- Priests: Can’t defile yourselves mourning anyone but relatives.
- Appoint a king from Israel.
- Never appoint a foreigner as king.
- King: No accumulating wives.
- King: No accumulating horses.
- King: No accumulating wealth.
- Enemies and war:
- Destroy the Amorites.
- Let no Amorite remain alive.
- Destroy the Amalekites.
- Remember what Amalek did to the Hebrews.
- Never forget Amalek's atrocities and ambush on our journey in the desert.
- Never dwell permanently in Egypt.
- Offer peace to a besieged city; treat them as neighbors if they accept terms.
- Never offer peace to Ammon or Moab.
- Never destroy fruit trees during a siege.
- Put latrines outside the soldiers’ camps.
- Give each soldier a shovel.
- Have a priest speak with the soldiers during war.
- Anyone with a new wife, a new house, or a new vineyard is exempt for a year from war.
- Anyone exempt from war isn’t to be ordered to war, or to be involved at all.
- Never panic and retreat during battle.
- Follow procedure for captive women.
- Never sell captive women into slavery.
- Never make a captive woman your slave after you’ve had sex with her.