Cook-protecting innocent life

theoutwardquest

The sixth commandment forbids murder.  By Stephen Cook’s reckoning in Reading Deuteronomy,  chapters  19-21 of Deuteronomy all unpack the meaning of that commandment.  They are laws about protecting innocent life.

This works for the laws in ch. 19 about cities of refuge  (1-13) and the need for multiple witnesses(15-21) .  I am not so sure about the section in the middle about boundary markers.  That one seems more about not stealing.  So though Deuteronomy does seem to have the Decalogue in mind, the treatment is not in airtight sections.

In regard to the boundary markers, Cook refers to Hosea 5:10 which connects boundary marker fraud to the government of Judah. Micah blames the princes or rulers for land fraud as well.  This puts these prophets and Deuteronomy together in hostility toward the monarchy and its disrespect for land tenure.

As chapter 19 was mostly about substituting a kind of…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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