Today’s passage: Deuteronomy 19
- Moses again gives instruction for the cities of refuge. Cities where those who committed manslaughter (Accidental death) could flee for safety and await a proper trial.
- There were six cities of refuge in total. Moses only speaks of the three because there had been three cities set up east of the Jordan in the land already possessed. Israel then had three more cities to set up west of the Jordan.
- The inheritance of land was to be a permanent agreement among the tribes and families of Israel. Even if land changed hands over the years, the Jubilee year would return it to the original inheritors (Leviticus 25:8-34). Therefore, the boundary markers were never to be moved.
- When people were accused of breaking the law, there was a requirement for more than one witness.
- If someone lied in order to see another person suffer unjust consequences, those consequences would be rendered to the false witness! Imagine falsely accusing someone of a capital offense! This would certainly give people reason to pause before taking someone to the judges.
- “Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” is an idiom which represents this principle, “the punishment should fit the crime.”
Questions to consider:
- How would these commands have encouraged justice in Israel? How must a God who is just want His people to live?
- What was God preventing by giving the command, “Your eye shall not pity?” What happens when a government does not enforce the laws it writes? How can this be applied in the workplace, home, schools, etc.? Why is justice a good thing in society?
- Why are we able to freed from the punishment of our sin, and yet God remain just? Did God pity our sin or was in judged? How did God accomplish this? – Isaiah 53:5, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:24