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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5378 law, OT
5378 law, OT

5378 law, OT

OT laws and legal traditions govern every aspect of the life of the covenant people of God.

Kinds of OT law

Criminal law Ex 21:12-14 Criminal law deals with crimes against persons punishable by a court.

Civil law Dt 16:18-20 Civil law deals with the upholding in court of legally established rights against possible abuse. See also Dt 15:12-18

Social law Ex 22:21-22 Social law deals with behaviour or standards of behaviour which are not strictly enforceable in the courts. See also Dt 24:19-22

Cultic law Cultic law deals explicitly with the ritual or religious life of the people of God. Leviticus chapters 1-7 are totally devoted to this kind of law: Lev 1:10-13; Lev 4:13-21; Lev 7:11-18

Examples of OT law

Conditions for freeing servants Ex 21:2-6 pp Dt 15:12-18 See also Ex 21:3-11; Lev 25:39-55

Dealing with injuries Ex 21:23-25 See also Mt 5:38

Property is to be protected Ex 22:1 See also Lev 6:1-7; Lk 19:8

The rights of aliens must be respected Ex 22:21 See also Lev 19:33; Dt 10:19

Justice must be universally respected Ex 23:2-3 See also Lev 19:15

The Sabbath must be observed by all Ex 23:12 See also Ex 20:8-11

Three annual festivals are to be celebrated Ex 23:15-16 See also Ex 12:17; Dt 16:16

Worship must be in accordance with God’s will and must be kept pure Dt 12:1-7; Dt 13:6-8

Certain foods are declared to be unclean Lev 11:1-23 pp Dt 14:3-20

A tenth of all produce must be given to God Dt 14:22 See also Lev 27:30

Cultic laws are grounded in the holiness of God Lev 11:44; Lev 19:1-2 See also 1Pe 1:16 Full details were given for each type of offering: burnt, grain, fellowship, sin and guilt offerings. Only perfect animals were to be offered: Lev 1:3; Lev 2:1-2; Lev 3:1-2; Lev 4:27-28; Lev 5:17-18

Rules governing infectious or contagious diseases Lev 13:2; Lev 15:13

There must not be unlawful sexual relations Lev 18:6

A Day of Atonement must be held See also Lev 23:26-32 pp Lev 16:2-34 pp Nu 29:7-11

See also

7340clean and unclean
7424ritual law

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