Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Exodus 16-21

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Exodus 16 - No mention of any women.

Exodus 17 - No mention of any women.

18:2 - Moses had sent away his wife Zipporah back to her father, Jethro, who took her back along with her sons.
18:5-6 - Jethro meets Moses in the wilderness at the mountain of God, bringing along Moses' wife and sons. He sent word ahead to Moses letting him know he was bringing him his wife and sons.

19:15 - Moses consecrates the people and tells them, "Prepare for the third day; do not go near a woman."

20:10 - No one shall work on the sabbath, not you nor your sons or daughters nor your male or female slaves nor livestock or alien residents in your town.
20:12 - Honor your father and mother.
20:17 - You shall not covet your neighbor's house, or your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

21:1-11 - If you have a male slave and he comes in single he shall leave the same. If he was married when he became a slave he shall leave with his wife. If his master gives him a wife then when the male slave leaves his wife and children shall stay with his master since they are his property and the male slave shall go out alone. But if the slave declares, "I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out a free person." Then the master shall pierce the slaves ear and he shall serve his master for life.

When a man sells his daughter as a slave she shall not go out as the men do. If she does not please her master, who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to a foreign people since he has dealt unfairly with her. If the man designated her for a son then he shall deal with her as a daughter. If he takes another wife to him then he shall not diminish the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife. And if the master doesn't do these three things then she shall go out without debt, without payment of money.
21:15 - Whoever strikes father or mother shall be put to death.
21:17 - Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.
21:20-21 - when a slave owner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment for the slave is the owners property.
21:22 - When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman's husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine.
21:26-27 - When a slave owner strikes the eye of a male or female slave and destroys it, or if the owner knocks out a tooth, the slave may go free to compensate for the eye or tooth.
21:28-32 - When an ox gores a man or a woman to death the ox shall be stoned and the owner of the ox is not liable. If the ox has been known to gore in the past and the owner has been warned but done nothing about it, and the ox gores a man or woman to death then both the ox and the owner shall be put to death.If the ox gores a boy or girl the owner shall be dealt with under the same rules. If an ox gores a male or female slave the owner of the ox must pay the slave owner 30 shekels of silver and the ox shall be put to death.

My Comments

Random side note in Exodus 17: God didn't do a good job of blotting out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven, you know, considering he mentioned him and the epic battle right in the Bible. Which everyone reads. So everyone is going to know about Amalek. Blotting out fail.

So Moses wife and sons come to see him (or were brought to him by Jethro), and yet when they get there the only person Moses hangs with his his father-in-law? Zipporah saved him from death and yet Moses seems to want nothing to do with her return. Or his kids. What is that about? There can't just be a verse about him just saying hi and acknowledging their existence.

Exodus 19 gives us our very first taste of women being unclean. And I guess in this case the "people" Moses is talking to do not include women at all. It would be very hard to stay away from yourself to stay clean. So here's the Bible specifically saying, "Stay away from women because they are unclean and dirty." So I guess not everything God created is good and just in his sight. This also leads me to assume that any reference to "the people" or any plural of people doesn't always include women, seeing as the above statement obviously excludes women and yet says "people."

And Exodus 21 is just full of rules where people, in this case slaves and women, are considered property before they are considered persons with feelings and ideas and lives of their own. Even unborn fetuses are the property of men before they are the property of women. It's kind of sad, but very easy to see how slavery was able to continue for so long with people using the Bible to justify owning slaves and the way they treated them. And how it was and still is so easy to use the Bible to justify treating women as less than men. And when a male slave leaves his wife and children with his slave owner after he is free what happens to them? Does the woman become the owner's wife? Does he give her to some other slave? What exactly happens to her and her children?

Also random side note: I like how the ox goring laws are very much like our modern day laws concerning dogs that bite. Very interesting.

Tomorrow: Exodus 22-27

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