Monday, August 12, 2013

Deuteronomy is Different (Part 3)

The first post in this series, presented a ruling by Abaya that treats Deuteronomy differently. The second, shared a quote from Ezra and asked why Ezra refers to a law from Deuteronomy as being merely a decree of the prophets when he should have identified it as a Torah law. In this post, I provide a list taken from Wikipedia (yes, I am that lazy):

Laws unique, within the Torah, to the Deuteronomic Code

Laws of religious observance
  • Ordering idolaters to be stoned to death, at Deuteronomy 17:2-7
Laws concerning officials
  • Ordering judges to be appointed in every city, at Deuteronomy 16:18
  • Ordering there to be a supreme central tribunal, at Deuteronomy 17:8-13
  • Restrictions on the king, at Deuteronomy 17:14-20
  • Concerning the rights, and revenue, of the Levites, at Deuteronomy 18:1-8
  • Concerning the future (unspecified) prophet, at Deuteronomy 18:9-22
  • Restrictions on admittance to the priesthood, at Deuteronomy 23:1-8
Military law
  • Concerning behaviour during war, at Deuteronomy 20, and 21:10-14
Criminal law
  • Ordering a ritual atonement by the people for untraced murder, at Deuteronomy 21:1-9
  • Concerning the corpse of a criminal, at Deuteronomy 21:22-23
Civil laws
  • Ordering undutiful sons to be stoned to death, at Deuteronomy 21:18-21
  • Prohibiting taking a mother bird at the same time as its nest, at Deuteronomy 22:6-7
  • Ordering roofs to be constructed with parapets, at Deuteronomy 22:8
  • Prohibiting newly married women from being slandered, at Deuteronomy 22:13-21
  • Concerning escaped slaves, at Deuteronomy 23:15-16
  • Against religious prostitution, at Deuteronomy 23:17-18
  • Concerning the crops of a neighbour, at Deuteronomy 23:24-25
  • Concerning divorce, at Deuteronomy 24:1-4
  • Against punishing the family of a criminal, at Deuteronomy 24:16
  • Limiting the number of lashes, at Deuteronomy 25:1-3
  • Against muzzling oxen during threshing, at Deuteronomy 25:4
  • Concerning levirate marriage, at Deuteronomy 25:5-10
  • Ordering women to be modest, at Deuteronomy 25:11-12
  • The ritual of the first fruits and of the tithe, including a prayer, at Deuteronomy 26:1-15
Why aren't these law mentioned earlier in the book? Were are they withheld? Several of the laws that appear in Deuteronomy are repetitions, at times with minor variation, but the list above consists of laws that are unique to Deuteronomy.
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