Did you read that title like the 12 days of Christmas? Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive Randommm Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaws! Four calling birds . . .
Anyway, I think Deuteronomy is about to get really fun. And by fun I mean “full of laws that I will have no idea what to do with and if taken at face value will lead us all to do a lot of things we’d rather not do.”
So here is the approach I will take: I will acknowledge that these laws can seem difficult. But I will assume that they are improving upon a current situation or assumption that the people were working with.
Or I will just make a joke about them.
For this post to work well, you should probably go ahead and read Deuteronomy 21 so you have the proper context.
Random Law #1) CSI: Israel
What? A dead body was found in the wilderness and no one knows who did it or how it got there? This is either the start to a riddle or a case for some overly attractive, hip scientist CSI types to figure out!
Random Law #2) Wives Are People, Too
So you have gone out to war and conquered some people. Normally, when an army does this, raping and pillaging happens. Israel is only allowed to do the pillaging part.
If by chance there is a lady in that place they like, they can marry her. But first she gets to mourn for her family for a whole month. She also has to shave her head.
So if you were just a horny soldier looking to get some play, you have to wait a month and she shaved her head. So why don’t you just cool your jets, Turbo.
Also, she is your wife, so you cannot sell her as a slave.
If you were a woman in the ancient world and had to pick another nation to get conquered by, your best bet would probably be Israel. Just sayin’.
Random Law #3) First is First
If a man has two wives . . . stop right there. This is where your problem lies. If you don’t do this first part, the next part of the law will NEVER apply to you. You will NEVER have to deal with it!
If your firstborn son ends up being with the wife you don’t like (monogamous people don’t have to deal with this situation), sorry. The firstborn is the firstborn. Doesn’t matter who the baby-mama is. That kid gets the double portioned inheritance.
Have I mentioned there is a way to avoid this problem altogether?
Random Law #4) Men’s Ministry
Hey guys! Looking for a fun way to bond as men? I knew it! Well, have I got an opportunity for you and the hombres at your church.
The next time one of your kids mouths off or finds his way into your liquor cabinet, grab your bro’s, take that kid out of town, and stone the punk to death!
So fun! Am I right?
Random Law #5) Creation Matters
When you execute someone by hanging them on a tree, don’t let them stay there overnight. Burry them.
Because they are cursed. And God doesn’t want the trees in the land that he gave you to have cursed bodies on them.
The land is good and you shouldn’t defile it. That means, take care of the trees. Treat them well. Creation matters.
Which of these laws seems the strangest to you? Why?