Tag Archives: Acts

9/12 Reading (Deuteronomy 22-24; Acts 28)

Definitely a lot to say about this reading.

Deuteronomy 22: This chapter covers a wide range of topics. The first part focuses on various moral and religious responsibilities of citizenship (i.e. duties toward a neighbor, cross dressing, eating animals from two generations, what to add to a roof, how to treat your vineyard, don’t plow with two different species, don’t wear clothes made of wool and linen, and what to do with your cloak). Funny side note, this makes me think of the years we had gender bender days during homecoming week in high school. They were hilarious.

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9/11 Reading (Deuteronomy 19-21; Acts 27)

Two interesting sources to read along with this reading (here and here):

These above sources directly relate to Deuteronomy 20. Scientists have found what happened to the Canaanites: they weren’t destroyed. At least not completely. DNA evidence shows that “90 percent of the genetic ancestry of people in Lebanon came from the Canaanites” (Washington Post article). That’s cool. I also think it’s cool that this came out while I’m reading the Bible. I think I would’ve paid attention to this story, but it wouldn’t have meant as much to me as it does now if I weren’t doing this Bible study.

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9/8 Reading (Deuteronomy 13-15; Acts 26)

Deuteronomy 13: Chapter deals with the danger of false prophets and false gods. Three scenarios are given. First, a false prophet. The people are told to kill them. Second, a relative. The people are told to kill any relative that tries to lead them away from God. Third, an entire city. The people are told they have to destroy every person, animal, etc in the city as well as the city itself.

All of these seem to be pretty harsh.

Deuteronomy 14: Reminder of the dietary laws that were introduced in Leviticus 11. Also a reminder of saving a 10th of whatever your fields produce each year for God. The people are told at the end of this chapter that they need to put a 10th of their crops at the city gates every third year so the Levites, immigrants, orphans, and widows will have food.

So, is this all that they have to do for these other groups? Thankfully I read in the notes that these different groups are addressed later in Deuteronomy (24.17-22). That’s a relief.

Deuteronomy 15: Every seven years debts are cancelled and slaves released. The following passage resonated with me:

Now if there are some poor persons among you, say one of your fellow Israelites in one of your cities in the land that the Lord your God is giving you, don’t be hard-hearted or tightfisted toward your poor fellow Israelites. 8 To the contrary! Open your hand wide to them. You must generously lend them whatever they need. 9 But watch yourself! Make sure no wicked thought crosses your mind, such as, The seventh year is coming—the year of debt cancellation—so that you resent your poor fellow Israelites and don’t give them anything. If you do that, they will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin. 10 No, give generously to needy persons. Don’t resent giving to them because it is this very thing that will lead to the Lord your God’s blessing you in all you do and work at. 11 Poor persons will never disappear from the earth. That’s why I’m giving you this command: you must open your hand generously to your fellow Israelites, to the needy among you, and to the poor who live with you in your land. (CEB Study Bible p. 289 OT; Deut. 15.7-11)

I like that there is emphasis on how to treat poor people, but find it interesting that this is just for Israelites. How to treat poor non-Israelites is addressed earlier, but not much details are provided.

We then learn how they are to treat Israelite slaves every 7 years and how to treat them if they want to stay on as slaves.

Notes from the NRSV version say the following about the forgiveness of debt: “On accession to the throne, ancient Near Eastern rulers would sometimes grant one-time cancellation of debts, return land confiscated by the crown, and free indentured slaves” (p. 274). Interesting!!!!

Oldest male animals were set aside for the festivals that are addressed in the next chapter.

Acts 26: Paul’s fifth defense speech, this time in front of King Agrippa 2, his sister Bernice, Roman governor Porcius Festus, and other military and public officials in Caesarea. Paul goes into more detail here about his journey. This retelling of his story reminds me of how incredible his journey has been. Even the King agrees at the end that Paul has done nothing wrong. The King even says that if he had not appealed to Caesar, then he would have already been released.

The one thing that does stand out to me is this following statement: “At this point in Paul’s defense, Festus declared with a loud voice, ‘You’ve lost your mind, Paul! Too much learning is driving you mad!’” (CEB study bible, p. 269 NT; Acts 26.24) Hmmm…too much learning! Say what? Makes me think about experiences I’ve had in the past when some people have said to me that I’ve spent too much time learning throughout my life. Again, say what?

9/6 Reading (Deuteronomy 7-9; Acts 24)

Deuteronomy 7: More on case laws. This time the focus is on the importance of removing any idols related to the canaanite gods and completely destroying the Canaanites. God also warns the people not to intermarry. He promises that if you have faith and not fear, he will be there to protect and defend you. All God asks is for them to NOT worship other gods.

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9/5 Reading (Deuteronomy 4-6; Acts 23)

Deuteronomy 4: Moses uses the history he gave in the first three chapters to explain to the next generation why they must follow the rules and regulations that God set forth in exodus and leviticus. Moses reminds them of what happens when you don’t follow these rules/regulations: the generation that left Egypt are all dead and even he will not enter the promised land. He reminds them that God is the only true God and he is the only true God in heaven and on earth.

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9/4 Reading (Deuteronomy 1-3; Acts 22)

Deuteronomy 1-3: I decided to combine these three here since it is all the same narrative. Moses gives a synopsis of their 40 year journey in these three chapters. This is his first of three speeches in this book. Nice little summary here and it ends with Moses reminding everyone that he too will not be allowed to enter the promised land.

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