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Home > Encyclopedias > Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia > Peculiarities of the Law of Moses

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The WorshipLast Days at Sinai
Peculiarities of the Law of Moses

  1. Its National Aspects. The law of Moses was given to, and for, a single nation (Exodus 19:1-25; Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5:1-33; Malachi 4:4). It developed a national worship. Previous to it, worship was confined to the family (Genesis 12:6,7; Genesis 46:1-3). Under it God recorded His name at the altar (Exodus 20:24-26), and required all Israel to assemble there and worship through the Divinely ordained priesthood (Numbers 18:1-7; Deuteronomy 12:12-16). The law of Moses was given orally (Exodus 20:1-23), and perpetuated,
    1. by being written on tables of stone (Exodus 24:12; Exodus 31:18),
    2. by being written in a book (Exodus 24:4,7,8; Deuteronomy 31:24-26; Hebrews 9:18,19),
    3. and it was made a part of the national life by being taught to each new generation, talked of in their homes, bound upon their hands, written upon the posts of their houses, on their gates (Deuteronomy 27:1-8) and publicly proclaimed in the ears of the nation (Deuteronomy 11:26-32; Deuteronomy 31:9-13).

  2. Its Simplicity. The law of Moses was given to a nation that had been out of bondage only a short time, and was adapted to their necessities just as it found them. God intended that they should understand and obey it, for
    1. the masses were ignorant, and disposed to forsake Him (Exodus 20:1-5; Deuteronomy 27:1-8);
    2. through it they received the knowledge of sin (Exodus 20:1-7; Numbers 25:1-15; Romans 3:19-21);
    3. it was their bond of union (Deuteronomy 7:12-16);
    4. it carried with it a blessing and a curse (Deuteronomy 11:26-32);
    5. it foreshadowed the gospel of Christ (Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 10:1).

  3. Greatness of Its Blessings. The blessings of the law were,
    1. perpetual possession of the land promised to their fathers (Deuteronomy 7:1-13; Deuteronomy 30:16),
    2. long life and good days (Deuteronomy 30:20),
    3. the good things of this world (Deuteronomy 28:1-14),
    4. protection from their enemies (Deuteronomy 20:10-18; Deuteronomy 23:14),
    5. superiority to all other nations (Deuteronomy 15:5,6; Deuteronomy 26:19; Deuteronomy 28:12,13).

  4. Greatness of Its Curses. The curses of the law were numerous and terrible (Deuteronomy 27:11-26; Deuteronomy 28:15-68). In addition to this, many crimes were punishable with death or expulsion from the congregation of Israel:
    1. Murder (Exodus 21:12-14; Numbers 35:30),
    2. unlawfully smiting a servant (Exodus 21:20,21),
    3. death by vicious animals uncontrolled (Exodus 21:28-30),
    4. robbery in the night (Exodus 22:2-4),
    5. idolatry (Exodus 22:20; Leviticus 20:1-5),
    6. witchcraft (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 20:27),
    7. afflicting the widow or fatherless (Exodus 22:22-24),
    8. disobedience to priests or judges (Exodus 22:28; Deuteronomy 17:12),
    9. the neglect of a priest to wash in the laver before entering the tabernacle (Exodus 30:18-21),
    10. Sabbath-breaking (Exodus 31:15,16; Numbers 15:32-36),
    11. adultery (Leviticus 20:10),
    12. incest (Leviticus 20:11,12),
    13. sodomy (Leviticus 20:13),
    14. bestiality (Leviticus 20:15,16),
    15. disrespect to parents (Leviticus 20:9),
    16. blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16),
    17. unlawfully approaching the tabernacle (Numbers 1:51),
    18. false prophecy (Deuteronomy 13:1-5),
    19. enticers to idolatry (Deuteronomy 13:6-11),
    20. gluttony and drunkenness (Deuteronomy 21:18-21),
    21. rape of a married or betrothed woman (Deuteronomy 22:13-27),
    22. kidnapping (Deuteronomy 24:7),
    23. eating leavened bread at the feast of unleavened bread (Exodus 12:15-17),
    24. making or using the sacred oil for anointing (Exodus 30:23-33),
    25. making or using the holy perfume (Exodus 30:34-38),
    26. eating the sacrifices of peace offerings, being unclean (Leviticus 17:10-14),
    27. uncovering the nakedness of near kin (Leviticus 18:6-18,29),
    28. eating the sacrifices of peace offerings on the third day (Leviticus 19:5-8),
    29. uncovering the nakedness of a woman with her sickness upon her (Leviticus 20:18),
    30. refusing to be afflicted and doing work on the day of atonement (Leviticus 23:27-30),
    31. neglecting to keep the passover (Numbers 9:13).

  5. Election. Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3), Isaac (Genesis 26:1-5; Jacob (Genesis 28:10-14) and the nation of Israel were elected in order to the unfolding of the purpose of God (Exodus 19:1-8). The law, however, made provisions for aliens (Exodus 20:10; Leviticus 19:33,34). It provided a home for the Edomites (Deuteronomy 2:1-5), and made provision for the entrance of the Edomites and the Egyptians into the congregation of the Lord in Their third generation (Deuteronomy 23:7,8).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition
that is available from Online-Bible.

Bibliography Information
Johnson, Ashley S. "Entry for 'Peculiarities of the Law of Moses'". "Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia". <>. 1896.


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