“Three years in prison for the one throwing his shoe beyond Dorit Beinisch. ‘Such an incident must not occur ever again. Thus, to make an example (that they would see and fear) the severest possible punishment is applicable…’ – Judge Feinberg about his decision.”Modern legislation took this principle, “that they may see and fear,” from the OT.
“That they may see and know, may consider and understand…” (Isaiah 41:20)Thus, the highest penalties in the Bible are strict so that those barbarians without culture would “see and fear.” Israel’s lifestyle was very much influenced by the cultures and nations around them. And therefore, the laws of the Bible were given in a historical, cultural and social context. God did not create a people for himself out of nothing, on a tabula rasa (blank slate). Rather, he took a group of people whose style of relationships, behavior, and ways of relating to each other were all influenced by foreign, perverse and barbaric cultures that as we will see later on were especially evil and cruel. An example: Today’s rabbinical tradition took on all kinds of habits, ceremonies and pagan traditions, like prostrating on graves, talismans, the Hamsa, the lighting of candles, reincarnation, astrology, fortunes and more. In the exact same way, other pagan traditions were passed on to our nation because of the contact with other people groups. For this reason, when the people of Israel entered the Promised Land they subconsciously brought with them a significant part of those pagan traditions.
The prophets and kings expected him, hoped for and prophesied about him, the one who in all of the OT received different titles and names. Today, we know him under the well known term “the Messiah.” The Messiah will be the greatest of all… … greater than the forefathers, and greater than Moses.By the way, the Sages also acknowledge this saying:
“All the prophets prophesied about nothing else but the Messiah.”We will get back to the Messiah. This was just the introduction.
Gradually, he lifted our people from the inferior morals of idol-worshiping, evil cultures to a stricter, more rigorous and higher morality by starting to restrict customs and methods of punishment. But next to that God also began to teach Israel forgiveness, mercy and compassion.Concepts that were not really known back then. For example, while Egyptian and Hammurabi’s law demanded the amputation of hands, tongue, nose, breasts or ears, in similar cases the laws of the Torah limited the judge. The maximum sentence was no more than 40 beatings in the most severe case. But thankfully enough, we’ve come a long way since then. Step by step God continued to give our people new revelations according to which the moral and ethical standard was raised. It’s important to understand that God’s ideal is not reflected in the law of Moses.
The ultimate standard of God is that we don’t take revenge at all. And that we do not have slaves in the first place.We will get back to God’s ultimate moral standard.
“And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, ‘Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.'” (Matthew 18,3-6)First of all, Jesus explains God’s ultimate ideal: Marriage is a lifelong commitment. As opposed to the rabbinical tradition you can’t just get rid of your wife because you think she’s not as pretty as she once was. Or to leave her when she’s sick. You are committed to her, and she to you until death. But the Pharisees challenged Jesus.
“They said to him, ‘Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce and send her away?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:7-9)In ancient times men divorced their wives for any stupid reason. The law acknowledged that the woman is the weaker vessel and therefore needs to be protected, especially in ancient times. For this reason, the law commands a restriction on the husband and allows divorce only in cases of adultery or fornication. But the initial and perfect standard of God was already mentioned a lot earlier in Genesis 2. This is the same chapter that Jesus quotes to the Rabbis who tested him.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
The ideal in a marriage is that two different people become one. Jesus explained to these rabbis that because of their hard hearts Moses allowed divorce. That means that in the law of Moses God compromised his perfect standard because of the hardness of our hearts.Jesus also rebuked them for not even knowing the law of Moses and for breaking it, since the law allows divorce only in cases of fornication or adultery. But the rabbinical tradition as a matter of fact allows husbands to divorce their wives if their cooking is not good anymore, if the gap between her breasts is too big, or for any other selfish reason. But that is a topic of itself. We dedicated this video to the exclusion and status of women in the rabbinical tradition. Jesus refers to all those who dishonor and ignore the limits of the law when he said:
“Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven…” (Matthew 5:19)That means that if someone decides to break these laws and do whatever he wants like divorcing his wife because she gained weight, stealing when no one is watching, or stabbing someone over a parking space — he is one of “the least” in God’s eyes. Meaning, one who is last. In this verse Jesus presents to us God’s ultimate moral standard. Guys, until today you thought that it’s forbidden to cheat on your wife? Jesus says:
“…everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)Do you remember how revenge was limited?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:38-39)In other words, when you are ready to take revenge for something bad done to you, you better stop and forgive instead. Otherwise it will turn into a never-ending cycle of bloodshed. And the bitterness will eat you up from inside. Darkness cannot be cast out with more darkness. Peace is not established through hate and revenge. But through forgiveness.
But Jesus, the Messiah, fulfilled the mission. He presented the antidote, the answer to the problem of the human heart, and taught us the ultimate morals of God.Grace, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, sensitivity, empathy, thoughtfulness, pardon, generosity, and the most extreme expression of love: self-sacrifice for the sake of others. But God in his love did not just make nice words. He acted. And just like God walking with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, he is walking with us in the character of the Messiah, bringing things to a full circle. He gave us an example of God’s love. He healed lepers, served the sinners, loved his enemies and in the end he even allowed us to humiliate him, degrade him and to reject him. Even unto death on a cross. The blameless Messiah gave himself for us as a sacrifice. That’s perfect love. Like a parent who is willing to give his own life for the life of his children. Let’s sum things up with the following illustration: Think of a dirt road that with the passage of time was turned into a gravel road and eventually became a highway. When it was still a dirt road you could only walk on it. But when it became a gravel road you could travel on it with chariots pulled by horses or donkeys. And in the end, after becoming a highway, people can travel on it in fast vehicles. Now, striving to be under the more primitive laws of Moses’ time is like traveling on a major highway, riding a donkey. So no matter whether you strive to follow the rabbinical tradition or the Muslim Sharia law the time has come to move on. Whoever would like to continue and expand on this topic, follow the link to find more videos and articles referring to the law of Moses and its commandments.