ISSL Reflections January 16 2022 Exodus 23:1–12 Post 1

Let’s begin our reading of this passage paying attention to who is mentioned and the actions that are mentioned.

Exodus 23:1-12 (New Revised Standard Version)

You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with the wicked to act as a malicious witness. You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing; when you bear witness in a lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice; nor shall you be partial to the poor in a lawsuit.

When you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey going astray, you shall bring it back.

When you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden and you would hold back from setting it free, you must help to set it free.

You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in their lawsuits. Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and those in the right, for I will not acquit the guilty. You shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the officials, and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.

You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield; but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the wild animals may eat. You shall do the same with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard.

Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest, so that your ox and your donkey may have relief, and your homeborn slave and the resident alien may be refreshed.

We often hear that the “10 Commandments” (Exodus 20:2-17, and Deuteronomy 5:6-21) form the core of the Torah, the Law of Hebrew Scripture. I have read many times there are 613 commandments in the Torah. Our passage this week would seem to have a number of those.

What do you think- Are the passages in the Torah that list such commandments an expansion on “The 10” or a commentary on “The 10”?

Go back to this week’s Scripture and read it once again. Let’s make a list of all the people (individuals or groups) you find mentioned there. We’ll compare our lists later.

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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