christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 21:10-25:19, parashah ki tetze (when you go)

I study the Torah every year using the teaching tools of Scripture. (Why?)

Today is the 46th Sabbath of the annual Torah cycle. The Torah reading (parashah) is Ki Tetze (when you go), Deu 21:10-25:19.

The Hebrew paragraph divisions given by the Holy Spirit, are (I have combined them with my notes for the divisions of the explanations of the Ten Commandments):

EXPLANATION OF 7th COMMANDMENT: DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY (Deu 21:10- 23:14)
Deu 21:10-14 {s} Treatment of the captive woman (sanctity of marital intimacy)
Deu 21:15-17 {s} Do not reject the legitimate firstborn (do not defile next generation)
Deu 21:18-21 {s} Treatment of the rebellious son (do not defile the next generation)
Deu 21:22-23 {s} Treatment of the executed criminal (do not defile the land)
Deu 22:1-3 {s} Treatment of a neighbor’s lost animals
Deu 22:4 {s} Treatment of a neighbor’s burdened animals
Deu 22:5 {s} Sanctity of gender distinction
Deu 22:6-7 {s} Treatment of a mother bird
Deu 22:8-9 [s} Preventing bloodguilt and defilement
Deu 22:10-11 {s} Prohibition of unlike mixtures
Deu 22:12 {s} You shall wear tzitzit on the four corners of your clothing
Deu 22:13-19 (s) Justice for the pure bride
Deu 22:20-21 {s} Justice for the impure bride
Deu 22:22 {s} Justice for the adulterous wife
Deu 22:23-24 {s} Justice for the betrothed virgin in the city
Deu 22:25-27 {s} Justice for the betrothed virgin in the country
Deu 22:28-29 {s} Justice for the unbetrothed virgin
Deu 22:30 {s} Unlawful union prohibited
Deu 23:1 {s} Assembly membership prohibited (inability to produce seed)
Deu 23:2 {s} Assembly membership prohibited to 10th generation (seed of unlawful unions)
Deu 23:3-6 {s} Assembly membership prohibited to 10th generation (Ammon + Moab)
Deu 23:7-8 {s} Assembly membership allowed in 3rd generation (Edom + Egypt)
Deu 23:9-14 {s} Holiness in the army camp

EXPLANATION OF THE 8th COMMANDMENT: DO NOT STEAL (Deu 23:15-24:7)
Deu 23:15-16 {s} An escaped slave shall not be returned to his master
Deu 23:17-18 {s} Wages of a harlot + price of a dog shall not be offered to YHVH
Deu 23:19-20 {s} Do not steal by means of interest on loans
Deu 23:21-23 {s} Pay vows to YHVH
Deu 23:24 {s} Do not harvest your neighbor’s vineyard
Deu 23:25 {s} Do not harvest your neighbor’s standing grain
Deu 24:1-4 {s} Divorce and remarriage
Deu 24:5-6 {s} Do not steal the happiness of your wife + the life of the family
Deu 24:7 {s} Theft of persons a capital offense punishable by death

EXPLANATION OF THE 9th COMMANDMENT: DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS (Deu 24:8-9)
Deu 24:8-9 {s} Tzaraas, or the evil tongue

EXPLANATION OF THE 10th COMMANDMENT: DO NOT COVET (Deu 24:10-26:15)
Deu 24:10-13 {s} Do not covet the pledge
Deu 24:14-15 {s} Do not covet the wages of your hired men
Deu 24:16 {s} Do not covet revenge so that you put to death the innocent for the guilty
Deu 24:17-18 {s} Do not covet the pledge that belongs to the poor
Deu 24:19 {s} Do not covet the grain that is for the poor
Deu 24:20-22 {s} Do not covet the fruit that is for the poor
Deu 25:1-4 {s} Do not withhold what is justly due the wicked or the ox
Deu 25:5-10 {s} Do not withhold seed that is justly due the dead brother
Deu 25:11-12 {s} Do not withhold just punishment
Deu 25:13-16 {p} Do not covet gain from unjust weights or measures
Deu 25:17-19 {p} Do not withhold what is justly due to Amalek

Now, the amount of smaller and larger, and overlapping chiastic structures in this section is staggering. Even as to how these statutes explain the commandment they are in the section to explain, some of them require greater wisdom than I presently have. How arrogant it is for man, to completely throw out all these statutes, and declare he knows better, when in reality it will take a wise man years upon years of study to unlock all the wisdom that is herein contained!

I have found this interesting chiastic structure within a section explaining what it means to not commit adultery. I am going to record it differently from my norm so all the nuances present in the Hebrew paragraph divisions are retained:

1a) HE HAS HUMBLED HER
Deu 21:10-14 {s} Do not commit adultery with the captive woman (he has humbled her + he shall set her free if he does not delight in her)

1b) DO NOT DEFILE THE NEXT GENERATION
Deu 21:15-17 {s} Do not defile the next generation: you may not reject the legitimate firstborn
Deu 21:18-21 {s} Do not defile the next generation: you must purge the rebellious son
Deu 21:22-23 {s} Do not defile the land: treatment of the hanged criminal

CENTRAL AXIS
Deu 22:1-3 {s} Do not hide yourself from your brother’s lost animals
Deu 22:4 {s} Do not hide yourself from your brother’s burdened animals

2b) DO NOT DEFILE THE NEXT GENERATION
Deu 22:5 {s} Protect gender distinction
Deu 22:6-7 {s} Treatment of the mother bird
Deu 22:8-9 {s} Protection from falling and bloodguiltiness + do not defile the fruit
Deu 22:10-11 {s} Unequal yoke + unlike mixtures prohibited
Deu 22:12 {s} You shall make tassels on the four corners of your garment

2a) HE HAS HUMBLED HER
Deu 22:13-19 {s} Justice for the pure bride (he has humbled her + he may not set her free)
Deu 22:20-21 {s} Justice for the impure bride: punished by death
Deu 22:22 {s} Justice for the adulterous wife: punished by death
Deu 22:23-24 {s} Justice for the betrothed virgin /city: punished by death (he has humbled his neighbor’s wife)
Deu 22:25-27 {s} Justice for the betrothed virgin /country: punished by death of only the man
Deu 22:28-29 {s} Justice for the unbetrothed virgin (he has humbled her + he may not set her free)

Do you notice how many of these statutes are speaking to the men? He is the head of his family, even as a single man. The actions he takes have effects and consequences beyond that day. The central axis, moreover, speaks to the men not to hide himself – that is so significant – but to serve the lost and the burdened. Yes, the Torah is speaking of animals. And yes, the Torah is speaking of greater and more than animals (1 Cor 9:9-10).

What does this have to do with adultery? First of all, notice that adultery is more than just stepping out on your spouse. It is any s-xual intimacy at all, outside of the safe harbor and covenant of marriage. I think it is significant, because pure love and kindness, cultivated from a genuine heart, are the only antidote against the lust and selfishness that leads to adultery.

The pair surrounding the central axis are instruction on not defiling the next generation. We can think about that for a minute. Perhaps the reason God desires us to treat our marriage covenants with honor and respect, has more to do with the next generation coming out of those homes, than anything else. Perhaps He is not just trying to be a giant cosmic killjoy and ruin our happiness, but perhaps He has concern for the innocent children who do not get to choose their parents but must live with the selfish decisions their parents make, often to their own detriment.

An entire book, an encyclopedia, could be written on just the B pairs which place a hedge of protection around the next generation. And let us not forget: central to protecting the next generation, is, MEN, do not hide yourself!

Then the A pairs surrounding the hedge of protection around the next generation, reveals something very interesting. He has humbled her. That phrase appears over and over and over again in these sections. Repetition is a teaching tool of Torah! This section defines how a man humbles a woman in his interpersonal relationships and intimacy with her. He removes choice and her free will from her. He overpowers her objections by his superior strength or authority. He rules over her as his own Master, Almighty God, does not rule over him: he lords it over her. He humbles her instead of honors her. Give us hearts submitted to You and to Your Torah, Father, I pray in Messiah Yeshua’s name!

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