The first section of this chapter are probably the most sensible laws in this entire book. They talk about meting out justice fairly, not going with the majority or with the poor where it would pervert justice. Return your neighbor’s lost property regardless of your feelings toward them. Don’t kill the innocent, don’t take bribes, don’t oppress foreigners in your land. I feel like there are some people out there that claim to be Christians that could really stand to read this section over again.
The next section is really short and talks about Sabbatical Year and the Sabbath. The seventh year, land owners will let their fields and orchards lie fallow. I guess it doesn’t just mean a professor taking a year off to record podcasts. The sabbath is, of course, taking the seventh day of the week off and giving your livestock and slaves a break. Today, we have a two day sabbath, but it’s usually used to get our work around the house done because we’re working all week.
I said this a while back and I will say it again (somebody else actually said it, though), any god that demands worship is not worthy of it, and god worthy of worship would not demand it. I mention this because God wants three annual festivals dedicated to him and he will tell you exactly how he wants them celebrated. This to me sounds like an annoyingly popular girl in high school organizing her own birthday party. Also, God hates yeast. And don’t boil a baby goat in it’s own mother’s milk.
The final section is all about how God will help his people conquer the land of Canaan. They’re warned not to worship the gods of their enemies. Nobody living in the land inhabited by the Israelites will ever miscarry or be barren or get sick and all will be fulfilled for the rest of their days.
We get a short break from laws and ordinances so that Moses could tell the people all of the laws and ordinances that he’s received so far and then wrote them down. The he woke up early the next morning, he built an altar and set up twelve pillars (I’m sure he did this all by himself). After an animal sacrifice, Moses saved some blood in basins and splashed some on his altar. Then he read the book of the covenant to the people and splashed blood on them. It was like an Alice Cooper concert.
God calls Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel up to the mountain. God was apparently standing on something that looked like sapphire, and the men ate, drank, and beheld God. Moses was then called up the mountain to meet God and he would be given the tablets that contain the laws that God gave him. OK, so Moses was told the law by God, told the people, wrote it down, read it to the people again, and now he’s getting the laws on stone tablets. God appeared on the mountain like a devouring fire. Moses entered the cloud and remained there for forty days and forty nights.