The Word Judgments in Exodus 21:1-32

An unusual number of inquiries searching for the meaning of the subject of Exodus 21 verses 1-32 brought visitors to the main UltimateRiddles.com site recently, and requires a closer look at the Hebrew for the English word “judgments” in Exodus 21:1. The subject is law being given to the children of Israel, and specifically the word judgments translates to English from the Hebrew word “mishpat”.

Exodus 21:1 Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. (KJV)

Properly translated, mishpat (mish-PAWT) means a verdict or formal decree pronounced judicially and particularly relating to divine law. In general the subject of Exodus 21:1-32 is law relating to persons as opposed to property which are given later in Exodus 21:33 through 22:15, and is directed to the children of Israel (“them” in 21:1) through Moses.

Exodus 21:1 has God speaking to Moses with instructions to give to the children of Israel as a continuation from Exodus 20:22 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.”

God spoke often with Moses, including “face to face” which was not meant literally, yet translates properly as “in His presence”. The timeframe of most of the book of Exodus is 1491-1490 B.C., as is Leviticus, so many of the laws and ordinances were given by God through Moses in a relatively short period of time.

For Christians, by type we are “Israel” of the Old Testament, and so many of the promises of God, including Jesus Christ the Messiah, are not just historical ancient references but apply to people today.

Halloween Costume and the Bible

While I get email from readers to clarify points like “How can you date the month, day, and year of the parting of the Red Sea?” or “Where does it gives the age of Moses at the time he was called by God?”, an unusual email request arrived today involving a Halloween costume and the Bible.

A reader wrote:

My daughter’s school is doing a Halloween special tomorrow. They are allowing each child to dress up like a character from a book. At first I was not going to send her to school, because I really don’t care what they call it, I know that is is just a reason to allow all the children to celebrate Halloween in the traditional way.

I do not celebrate Halloween. However I believe this is one of the very few times she will be allowed to speak about anything pertaining to the Bible in school. So, I have decided to let her dress as someone out of the Bible and have explained to her in detail about the entire situation. I have come to a snag. She wishes to dress as Zipporah, Moses’ wife and I have no idea what to dress her in. If you can help me in any way please let me know. Thanks so much for at least taking the time to read this.

My email reply offered this advice:

Thank you for writing. While your request is unusual, and on short notice, clothing at that time period was often robes and though you find the word “shoes” in the Bible it really means sandals. From your email address I suspect you are in Florida, and the weather report is mild so being there would be different than northern states.

In the wilderness during the time of Moses clothing included fringes and a blue ribbon by direction from God given in Numbers 15:38 (see below), so an inexpensive princess or other robe-like costume in white could have blue ribbon glued to the bottom hem and perhaps at the end of each sleeve, and then sandals.

Numbers 15:38 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribbon of blue. (KJV)

The word “borders” in Hebrew means edge or extremity. Good luck with the last minute costume.

The comment “I do not celebrate Halloween” is an understandable concern for Christians. Peer pressure for children to feel connected to the mainstream often poses a dilemma for Christian parents. My personal belief is that parents who teach the difference between pagan holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter and explain their real meaning do little harm allowing children to participate with costumes, gift giving, or candy eggs.

Commercialization of so-called “holidays” takes away the spirit of celebrating being a Christian and the birth, life, death, and salvation knowing Jesus Christ.

God Instructs Moses About Levite Duties

The next Bible study in of the book of Numbers was released earlier entitled Separation of Tribe of Levites. Each article presents my personal view and interpretation of Bible facts based on close study of God’s Word. The latest article makes reference to rules and punishment quoted as follows:

In a previous study of Leviticus 10:2 we learn about Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron, who were struck dead with fire from God for violating rules for priests. Looking ahead in 1 Chronicles 13:9, the tribes are on the move and arriving at Chidon when another person is struck dead. Uzza, a driver of the cart carrying the tabernacle, notices the oxen stumble and reaches out holding on to the ark and immediately dies.

God makes the rules, and for modern mankind the importance of Bible study and knowing God’s expectations is that learning from Scripture allows us to separate the traditions of man to know God’s will.

In the course of following this personal spiritual journey, I have encountered others who write about true purpose as Christians and the dangers of accepting the traditions of mankind instead of God’s Word. As I consider these opinions, I realize that my choice of non-denominational Christianity is shared by many many others.

Our first priority is a personal relationship with God which requires looking outside the traditional views of worship and institutional churches. While each co-exists comfortably and congregations do great work, true meaning still depends on knowing God on a personal level, and the Bible is His guide to knowing expectations as a Christian. More on home church (HC) compared to institutional church (IC) will be blog topics in the future.

Census of 1490 B.C. and Wilderness Miracles

The next Bible lesson begins the study of the book of Numbers and was released earlier entitled Introduction to the Book of Numbers. This is the 4th book of the Pentateuch and merely two years have passed since the Exodus. The study topic is the census of 1490 B.C. and wilderness miracles.

This book commonly known as “Numbers” was entitled as such by translators but would have been more accurately translated from Hebrew as “in the wilderness”. God speaks directly to Moses and names the heads of each tribe by name as the representatives responsible for the numbering, or census.

One of the Bible verses mentioned references the clothing and shoes worn by the Israelis during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. How they managed to clothe more than 1 million people in that time is answered in the lesson including the meaning of the Hebrew word translated to “shoes”. The last line in the article is “Trust God and He will provide”.

Age When Moses Left His Mother

A reader wrote asking about the earliest reference to the age of Moses in Exodus, and the emailed reply is given here for others wondering about this riddle. The Bible does not state the age of Moses when he left his mother to be raised as a son of the daughter of Pharaoh. The timeline of his first 40 years happens very quickly in Exodus 2. Moses was born as documented in Exodus 2:2 and that was in 1571 B.C., and Exodus 2:9 points out that he was being nursed. It could have been months or several years before he was weaned based on customs for nursing in those times, yet we would only be guessing.

The next reference to his age is two verses later in Exodus 2:11, and he was suddenly “grown” and within a few more verses (a matter of days, not months or years) he leaves Egypt at age 40. That was in 1531 B.C. The childhood life of Moses and even his adult life to age 40 presents very little detail. Those periods of time reveal as much (or as little) as the Holy Spirit deemed necessary in God’s overall plan.

Skipping ahead to the very next chapter in Exodus 3 when Moses meets God in the wilderness, he is now 80 and first called by God into service. The year is 1491 B.C. The rest of Exodus, all of Leviticus, and part of the book of Numbers take place between 1491 and 1490 B.C. The next leap in the timeline will be covered later in Numbers where we learn that between two verses suddenly 37-1/2 years pass which may not be obvious to the casual reader based on the context there.

Details will be provided in a later Bible lesson when studying the book of Numbers. The first verse subject is current to the year 1491 B.C. and the very next mentions the death of Miriam, the sister of Moses. Knowing the year Miriam died (within months prior to Israel entering the Promised Land) provides the clue to accurately calculate those “missing” or undocumented 37-1/2 years between those two verses.

Passover and Easter Compared

The next Bible lesson from Leviticus was released today entitled Feasts of the Lord for Christians. Here is an excerpt from the article with passover and easter compared:

The word in Greek translated to “Easter” in the New Testament is pascha (PAS-khah), and occurs only once in Acts chapter 12. The person being put in prison in that verse is Peter, the Apostle.

Pascha in Greek originated from pesach (PEH-sakh) in Chaldee, one of the original languages of the Old Testament manuscripts which were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Chaldee. Passover appears in the Old Testament 45 times and the meaning is literally the “passover feast” in each. Of 27 instances of pascha in the New Testament, it is always translated passover except the one tranlation as Easter in Acts 12:4.

The 45 translations of pesach in the Old Testament, and 26 of 27 instances of pascha in the New Testament, with the one exception being “Easter” in Acts 12:4, is an example of KJV mistranslations covered in this new article.

Hebrew Definitions within Spiritual Laws

The next Bible study from Leviticus entitled Bible on Spirituality and the Occult takes a close look at Bible verses that warn about mediums who purposefully attempt to communicate with the dead. Here is an excerpt from the full article that provides insight into what is really happening with those who pursue the occult.

Occult experiences are more often dealing with purposeful communication with the dead, and there is no shortage of talk shows that feature spiritual experts willing to demonstrate their psychic abilities. In truth, the Bible is very specific that we cannot speak with loved ones that have passed away, yet evil spirits can impersonate any voice, and will communicate to those open to their deception.

Supernatural evil spirits that are 1000′s of years old have witnessed every moment in the life of that loved one they impersonate, so the accuracy of statements and the deception is very persuasive.

The Bible study also reveals Satan’s purpose to deceive, divide, and destroy. Two verses from Proverbs conclude the article with advice for action to take when facing evil.

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God Forgives and Forgets Sin

The next Bible study from Leviticus entitled Understanding the Bible Meaning of Scapegoat was just released, and the translation of Hebrew words clarifies the definition of scapegoat. Repentence means that God forgives and forgets sin, and Christians can enjoy peace and joy knowing when they repent they should not feel guilt or dwell on past transgressions.

The article concludes making points about Judgment Day, and why true Christians should anticipate that day with joy, not fear of condemnation. Repent and God will forget your sins forever never to be mentioned again. Do the same for yourself and fellow mankind. Forgive and forget and then enjoy the inner peace and confidence of salvation and eternal life.

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Two Latest Bible Studies from Leviticus

The two latest Bible studies from Leviticus cover additional laws and ordinances given by God to Moses, and another is about the second irruption of fallen angels to explain their role in the laws of Leviticus prior to crossing into the Promised Land.

The first Bible study from Leviticus entitled Bible Laws for Food and Health released earlier today covers chapter 11. One point made in this new article reviews food items found on some restaurant menus that include various creatures called abominations in the Bible.

The article includes translations of “neighbor” from Hebrew in the Old Testament and Greek in the New Testament with a slight twist comparing the meaning in English.

The second article is about the Nephilim or Fallen Angels in Leviticus. Here’s an excerpt with a hint at future lessons which explains why expulsion or extermination of the occupants of the Promised Land was just as ordered by God to Moses.

In future studies we will cover lands conquered where the Hebrews were to destroy all property and exterminate every living being, human and animal. In others, they spoil the cities of goods and domestic livestock and kill all males or all adult males. To the casual Bible student the brutal treatment of men, women, and children may seem shocking. Knowing the inhabitants of the Promised Land were intermingled offspring of fallen angels helps explain the form of divine justice being meted out.

The half human half supernatural descendants are gone. The article mentions the last descendant of the fallen angels, Og the King of Bashan, and quotes Scripture as evidence of where fallen angels are located today.

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Visitor Questions Christ and Dinosaurs

A recent visitor searched “was jesus christ born first or dinosaurs” and landed on the first lesson in Genesis about the earth ages in the Bible. The information in that Bible study article did not provide a complete answer, so more has been added here, yet first please understand our privacy policy.

By checking statistics of visitors to this site we are able to determine search phrases made and the landing page. The stat tracking does not include any personal identifying information, only very general data, so visitors cannot be identified and remain anonymous.

After dinosaurs were created Jesus Christ was born in the flesh as foretold when the Old Testament documents Immanuel, God with Us, being promised as the Messiah, and that did happen after He created dinosaurs. Yes, Jesus created the dinosaurs. Follow the link in the next paragraph for evidence.

The first earth age article landing page for the search phrase “was jesus christ born first or dinosaurs” explains that period of time without answering the dinosaur question. The existance and presence of Jesus as the Creator of all things including dinosaurs is better explained in another article: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament.

Readers are welcome to email me from any page with specific questions if they do not find an answer here.

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