Mishpatim

 

Parasha for this week:

Parashah: Mishpatim (Rulings)

Sh’mot (Exodus) 21:1-24:18

Haftorah Mishpatim:

Yirmeyahu 34:8-22; 33:25-26

B’rit Hadashah Mishpatim:

Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:38–42; 15:1–20;

Mark 7:1–23;

Acts 23:1–11;

Ivrim (Hebrews) 9:15–22; 10:28–39

 

This Week’s Torah Reading

Mishpatim (Rulings) Sh’mot 21:1-24:18

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

21

“These are the rulings you are to present to them:

“If you purchase a Hebrew slave, he is to work six years; but in the seventh, he is to be given his freedom without having to pay anything. If he came single, he is to leave single; if he was married when he came, his wife is to go with him when he leaves. But if his master gave him a wife, and she bore him sons or daughters, then the wife and her children will belong to her master, and he will leave by himself. Nevertheless, if the slave declares, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children, so I don’t want to go free,’ then his master is to bring him before God; and there at the door or doorpost, his master is to pierce his ear with an awl; and the man will be his slave for life.

“If a man sells his daughter as a slave, she is not to go free like the men-slaves. If her master married her but decides she no longer pleases him, then he is to allow her to be redeemed. He is not allowed to sell her to a foreign people, because he has treated her unfairly. If he has her marry his son, then he is to treat her like a daughter. 10 If he marries another wife, he is not to reduce her food, clothing or marital rights. 11 If he fails to provide her with these three things, she is to be given her freedom without having to pay anything.

12 “Whoever attacks a person and causes his death must be put to death. 13 If it was not premeditated but an act of God, then I will designate for you a place to which he can flee. 14 But if someone willfully kills another after deliberate planning, you are to take him even from my altar and put him to death.

15 “Whoever attacks his father or mother must be put to death.

16 “Whoever kidnaps someone must be put to death, regardless of whether he has already sold him or the person is found still in his possession.

17 “Whoever curses his father or mother must be put to death.

18 “If two people fight, and one hits the other with a stone or with his fist, and the injured party doesn’t die but is confined to his bed; 19 then, if he recovers enough to be able to walk around outside, even if with a cane, the attacker will be free of liability, except to compensate him for his loss of time and take responsibility for his care until his recovery is complete.

(ii) 20 “If a person beats his male or female slave with a stick so severely that he dies, he is to be punished; 21 except that if the slave lives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his property.

22 “If people are fighting with each other and happen to hurt a pregnant woman so badly that her unborn child dies, then, even if no other harm follows, he must be fined. He must pay the amount set by the woman’s husband and confirmed by judges. 23 But if any harm follows, then you are to give life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound and bruise for bruise.

26 “If a person hits his male or female slave’s eye and destroys it, he must let him go free in compensation for his eye. 27 If he knocks out his male or female slave’s tooth, he must let him go free in compensation for his tooth.

28 “If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox is to be stoned and its flesh not eaten, but the owner of the ox will have no further liability. 29 However, if the ox was in the habit of goring in the past, and the owner was warned but did not confine it, so that it ended up killing a man or a woman; then the ox is to be stoned, and its owner too is to be put to death. 30 However, a ransom may be imposed on him; and the death penalty will be commuted if he pays the amount imposed. 31 If the ox gores a son or daughter, the same rule applies. 32 If the ox gores a male or female slave, its owner must give their master twelve ounces of silver; and the ox is to be stoned to death.

33 “If someone removes the cover from a cistern or digs one and fails to cover it, and an ox or donkey falls in, 34 the owner of the cistern must make good the loss by compensating the animal’s owner; but the dead animal will be his.

35 “If one person’s ox hurts another’s, so that it dies, they are to sell the live ox and divide the revenue from the sale; and they are also to divide the dead animal. 36 But if it is known that the ox was in the habit of goring in the past, and the owner did not confine it; he must pay ox for ox, but the dead animal will be his.

37 (22:1) “If someone steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters or sells it, he is to pay five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep.

22

(2) “If a thief caught in the act of breaking in is beaten to death, it is not murder; (3) unless it happens after sunrise, in which case it is murder. A thief must make restitution; so if he has nothing, he himself is to be sold to make good the loss from the theft. (4) If what he stole is found alive in his possession, he is to pay double, no matter whether it is an ox, a donkey or a sheep.

(iii) (5) “If a person causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over or lets his animal loose to graze in someone else’s field, he is to make restitution from the best produce of his own field and vineyard.

(6) “If a fire is started and spreads to thorns, so that stacked grain, standing grain or a field is destroyed, the person who lit it must make restitution.

(7) “If a person entrusts a neighbor with money or goods, and they are stolen from the trustee’s house, then, if the thief is found, he must pay double. (8) But if the thief is not found, then the trustee must state before God that he did not take the person’s goods himself. (9) In every case of dispute over ownership, whether of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, clothing, or any missing property, where one person says, ‘This is mine,’ both parties are to come before God; and the one whom God condemns must pay the other one double.

(10) “If a person trusts a neighbor to look after a donkey, ox, sheep or any animal, and it dies, is injured or is driven away unseen, 10 (11) then the neighbor’s oath before Adonai that he has not taken the goods will settle the matter between them — the owner is to accept it without the neighbor’s making restitution. 11 (12) But if it was stolen from the neighbor, he must make restitution to the owner. 12 (13) If it was torn to pieces by an animal, the neighbor must bring it as evidence, and then he doesn’t need to make good the loss.

13 (14) “If someone borrows something from his neighbor, and it gets injured or dies with the owner not present, he must make restitution. 14 (15) If the owner was present, he need not make good the loss. If the owner hired it out, the loss is covered by the hiring fee.

15 (16) “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price for her to be his wife. 16 (17) But if her father refuses to give her to him, he must pay a sum equivalent to the bride-price for virgins.

17 (18) “You are not to permit a sorceress to live.

18 (19) “Whoever has sexual relations with an animal must be put to death.

19 (20) “Anyone who sacrifices to any god other than Adonai alone is to be completely destroyed.

20 (21) “You must neither wrong nor oppress a foreigner living among you, for you yourselves were foreigners in the land of Egypt.

21 (22) “You are not to abuse any widow or orphan. 22 (23) If you do abuse them in any way, and they cry to me, I will certainly heed their cry. 23 (24) My anger will burn, and I will kill you with the sword — your own wives will be widows and your own children fatherless.

24 (25) “If you loan money to one of my people who is poor, you are not to deal with him as would a creditor; and you are not to charge him interest. 25 (26) If you take your neighbor’s coat as collateral, you are to restore it to him by sundown, 26 (27) because it is his only garment — he needs it to wrap his body; what else does he have in which to sleep? Moreover, if he cries out to me, I will listen; because I am compassionate.

(iv) 27 (28) “You are not to curse God, and you are not to curse a leader of your people.

28 (29) “You are not to delay offering from your harvest of grain, olive oil or wine.

“The firstborn of your sons you are to give to me. 29 (30) You are to do the same with your oxen and your sheep — it is to stay with its mother seven days, and on the eighth day you are to give it to me.

30 (31) “You are to be my specially separated people. Therefore you are not to eat any flesh torn by wild animals in the countryside; rather, throw it out for the dogs.

23

“You are not to repeat false rumors; do not join hands with the wicked by offering perjured testimony. Do not follow the crowd when it does what is wrong; and don’t allow the popular view to sway you into offering testimony for any cause if the effect will be to pervert justice. On the other hand, don’t favor a person’s lawsuit simply because he is poor.

“If you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey straying, you must return it to him. If you see the donkey which belongs to someone who hates you lying down helpless under its load, you are not to pass him by but to go and help him free it.

(v) “Do not deny anyone justice in his lawsuit simply because he is poor. Keep away from fraud, and do not cause the death of the innocent and righteous; for I will not justify the wicked. You are not to receive a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clearsighted and subverts the cause of the righteous.

“You are not to oppress a foreigner, for you know how a foreigner feels, since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.

10 “For six years, you are to sow your land with seed and gather in its harvest. 11 But the seventh year, you are to let it rest and lie fallow, so that the poor among your people can eat; and what they leave, the wild animals in the countryside can eat. Do the same with your vineyard and olive grove.

12 “For six days, you are to work. But on the seventh day, you are to rest, so that your ox and donkey can rest, and your slave-girl’s son and the foreigner be renewed.

13 “Pay attention to everything I have said to you; do not invoke the names of other gods or even let them be heard crossing your lips.

14 “Three times a year, you are to observe a festival for me. 15 Keep the festival of matzah: for seven days, as I ordered you, you are to eat matzah at the time determined in the month of Aviv; for it was in that month that you left Egypt. No one is to appear before me empty-handed. 16 Next, the festival of harvest, the firstfruits of your efforts sowing in the field; and last, the festival of ingathering, at the end of the year, when you gather in from the fields the results of your efforts. 17 Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Lord, Adonai.

18 “You are not to offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread, nor is the fat of my festival to remain all night until morning.

19 “You are to bring the best firstfruits of your land into the house of Adonai your God.

“You are not to boil a young animal in its mother’s milk.

(vi) 20 “I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him, listen to what he says and do not rebel against him; because he will not forgive any wrongdoing of yours, since my name resides in him. 22 But if you listen to what he says and do everything I tell you, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes. 23 When my angel goes ahead of you and brings you to the Emori, Hitti, P’rizi, Kena‘ani, Hivi and Y’vusi, I will make an end of them. 24 You are not to worship their gods, serve them or follow their practices; rather, you are to demolish them completely and smash their standing-stones to pieces.

25 “You are to serve Adonai your God; and he will bless your food and water. I will take sickness away from among you. (vii) 26 In your land your women will not miscarry or be barren, and you will live out the full span of your lives. 27 I will send terror of me ahead of you, throwing into confusion all the people to whom you come; and I will make all your enemies turn their backs on you. 28 I will send hornets ahead of you to drive out the Hivi, Kena‘ani and Hitti from before you. 29 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, which would cause the land to become desolate and the wild animals too many for you. 30 I will drive them out from before you gradually, until you have grown in number and can take possession of the land. 31 I will set your boundaries from the Sea of Suf to the sea of the P’lishtim and from the desert to the [Euphrates] River, for I will hand the inhabitants of the land over to you, and you will drive them out from before you. 32 You are not to make a covenant with them or with their gods. 33 They are not to live in your land; otherwise they will make you sin against me by ensnaring you to serve their gods.”

24

To Moshe [Adonai] said, “Come up to Adonai — you, Aharon, Nadav, Avihu, and seventy of the leaders of Isra’el. Prostrate yourselves at a distance, while Moshe alone approaches Adonai — the others are not to approach, and the people are not to go up with him.” Moshe came and told the people everything Adonai had said, including all the rulings. The people answered with one voice: “We will obey every word Adonai has spoken.”

Moshe wrote down all the words of Adonai. He rose early in the morning, built an altar at the base of the mountain and set upright twelve large stones to represent the twelve tribes of Isra’el. He sent the young men of the people of Isra’el to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice peace offerings of oxen to Adonai. Moshe took half of the blood and put it in basins; the other half of the blood he splashed against the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant and read it aloud, so that the people could hear; and they responded, “Everything that Adonai has spoken, we will do and obey.” Moshe took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which Adonai has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

Moshe, Aharon, Nadav, Avihu and seventy of the leaders went up; 10 and they saw the God of Isra’el. Under his feet was something like a sapphire stone pavement as clear as the sky itself. 11 He did not reach out his hand against these notables of Isra’el; on the contrary, they saw God, even as they were eating and drinking.

12 Adonai said to Moshe, “Come up to me on the mountain, and stay there. I will give you the stone tablets with the Torah and the mitzvot I have written on them, so that you can teach them.” 13 Moshe got up, also Y’hoshua his assistant; and Moshe went up onto the mountain of God. 14 To the leaders he said, “Stay here for us, until we come back to you. See, Aharon and Hur are with you; whoever has a problem should turn to them.” (Maftir) 15 Moshe went up onto the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The glory of Adonai stayed on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day he called to Moshe out of the cloud. 17 To the people of Isra’el the glory of Adonai looked like a raging fire on the top of the mountain. 18 Moshe entered the cloud and went up on the mountain; he was on the mountain forty days and nights.

 

This Week’s Haftorah Reading

Yirmeyahu 34:8-22; 33:25-26

34

This word came to Yirmeyahu from Adonai after King Tzidkiyahu had made a covenant with all the people in Yerushalayim to emancipate them. Everyone who had a male or female slave who was Hebrew was to let him go free; none was to keep as his slave a fellow Jew. 10 All the leaders and all the people listened who had entered into the covenant, wherein everyone was to free his male and female slaves and not keep them in bondage any longer. They listened, and they let them go. 11 But afterwards, they changed their minds; they made the male and female slaves, whom they had freed, return; and they brought them back into subjection as slaves. 12 Therefore this word of Adonai came to Yirmeyahu from Adonai: 13 “Here is what Adonai the God of Isra’el says: ‘When I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, where they lived as slaves, I made this covenant with them: 14 “At the end of seven years every one of you is to set free his brother Hebrew who has been sold to you and has served you six years. You are to let him go free from you.” But your ancestors did not listen to me or pay any attention. 15 Now you repented, you did what is right from my viewpoint when each of you proclaimed freedom to his fellow; and you made a covenant before me in the house bearing my name. 16 But then you changed your minds. You profaned my name when each of you took back his male and female slaves, whom you had set free to live as they wished, and brought them back into subjection as your slaves.’ 17 Therefore here is what Adonai says: ‘You did not heed me and proclaim freedom, each to his brother and each to his neighbor; so now I proclaim for you a freedom,’ says Adonai, ‘for sword, plague and famine. I will make you an object of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. 18 As for the men who violated my covenant by not living up to the conditions of the covenant which they made in my presence when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts — 19 the leaders of Y’hudah, the leaders of Yerushalayim, the officials, the cohanim and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf; 20 I will hand them over to their enemies, hand them over to those who seek their lives; and their corpses will become food for birds in the air and wild animals. 21 Tzidkiyahu king of Y’hudah and his officials I will hand over to their enemies, to those who seek their lives and to the army of the king of Bavel, which has withdrawn. 22 I will give the order,’ says Adonai, ‘and cause them to return to this city. They will attack it, capture it and burn it to the ground; and I will make the cities of Y’hudah desolate and uninhabited.’”

33

25 Here is what Adonai says: ‘If I have not established my covenant with day and night and fixed the laws for sky and earth, 26 then I will also reject the descendants of Ya‘akov and of my servant David, not choosing from his descendants people to rule over the descendants of Avraham, Yis’chak and Ya‘akov. For I will cause their captives to come back, and I will show them compassion.’”

 

This Week’s B’rit Hadashah Reading

Mattityahu 5:38–42; 15:1–20

5

38 “You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’[Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21] 39 But I tell you not to stand up against someone who does you wrong. On the contrary, if someone hits you on the right cheek, let him hit you on the left cheek too! 40 If someone wants to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well! 41 And if a soldier forces you to carry his pack for one mile, carry it for two! 42 When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something from you, lend it to him.

15

Then some P’rushim and Torah-teachers from Yerushalayim came to Yeshua and asked him, “Why is it that your talmidim break the Tradition of the Elders? They don’t do n’tilat-yadayim before they eat!” He answered, “Indeed, why do you break the command of God by your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’[Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16] and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’[Exodus 21:17; Leviticus 20:9] But you say, ‘If anyone says to his father or mother, “I have promised to give to God what I might have used to help you,” then he is rid of his duty to honor his father or mother.’ Thus by your tradition you make null and void the word of God! You hypocrites! Yesha‘yahu was right when he prophesied about you,

‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far away from me.
Their worship of me is useless,
because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.’”[Isaiah 29:13]

10 Then he called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand this! 11 What makes a person unclean is not what goes into his mouth; rather, what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean!”

12 The talmidim came to him and said, “Do you know that the P’rushim were offended by what you said?” 13 He replied, “Every plant that my Father in heaven has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Let them be. They are blind guides. When a blind man guides another blind man, both will fall in a pit.”

15 Kefa said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 So he said, “Don’t you understand even now? 17 Don’t you see that anything that enters the mouth goes into the stomach and passes out into the latrine? 18 But what comes out of your mouth is actually coming from your heart, and that is what makes a person unclean. 19 For out of the heart come forth wicked thoughts, murder, adultery and other kinds of sexual immorality, theft, lies, slanders. . . . 20 These are what really make a person unclean, but eating without doing n’tilat-yadayim does not make a person unclean.”

Mark 7:1–23

7

The P’rushim and some of the Torah-teachers who had come from Yerushalayim gathered together with Yeshua and saw that some of his talmidim ate with ritually unclean hands, that is, without doing n’tilat-yadayim. (For the P’rushim, and indeed all the Judeans, holding fast to the Tradition of the Elders, do not eat unless they have given their hands a ceremonial washing. Also, when they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they have rinsed their hands up to the wrist; and they adhere to many other traditions, such as washing cups, pots and bronze vessels.)

The P’rushim and the Torah-teachers asked him, “Why don’t your talmidim live in accordance with the Tradition of the Elders, but instead eat with ritually unclean hands?” Yeshua answered them, “Yesha‘yahu was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites — as it is written,

‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far away from me.
Their worship of me is useless,
because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.’[Isaiah 29:13]

“You depart from God’s command and hold onto human tradition. Indeed,” he said to them, “you have made a fine art of departing from God’s command in order to keep your tradition! 10 For Moshe said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,[Deuteronomy 5:16] and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.[Leviticus 20:9] 11 But you say, ‘If someone says to his father or mother, “I have promised as a korban” ’ ” (that is, as a gift to God) “ ‘ “what I might have used to help you,” ’ 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. 13 Thus, with your tradition which you had handed down to you, you nullify the Word of God! And you do other things like this.”

14 Then Yeshua called the people to him again and said, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand this! 15 There is nothing outside a person which, by going into him, can make him unclean. Rather, it is the things that come out of a person which make a person unclean!” 16 [Some manuscripts include verse 7:16: “Anyone who has ears that can hear, let him hear!”]

17 When he had left the people and entered the house, his talmidim asked him about the parable. 18 He replied to them, “So you too are without understanding? Don’t you see that nothing going into a person from outside can make him unclean? 19 For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and it passes out into the latrine.” (Thus he declared all foods ritually clean.) 20 “It is what comes out of a person,” he went on, “that makes him unclean. 21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come forth wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, arrogance, foolishness…. 23 All these wicked things come from within, and they make a person unclean.”

Acts 23:1–11

7

Sha’ul looked straight at them and said, “Brothers, I have been discharging my obligations to God with a perfectly clear conscience, right up until today.” But the cohen hagadol, Hananyah, ordered those standing near him to strike him on the mouth. Then Sha’ul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Will you sit there judging me according to the Torah, yet in violation of the Torah order me to be struck?” The men nearby said, “This is the cohen hagadol of God that you’re insulting!” Sha’ul said, “I didn’t know, brothers, that he was the cohen hagadol; for it says in the Torah, ‘You are not to speak disparagingly of a ruler of your people.’”[Exodus 22:27(28)]

But knowing that one part of the Sanhedrin consisted of Tz’dukim and the other of P’rushim, Sha’ul shouted, “Brothers, I myself am a Parush and the son of P’rushim; and it is concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead that I am being tried!” When he said this, an argument arose between the P’rushim and the Tz’dukim, and the crowd was divided. For the Tz’dukim deny the resurrection and the existence of angels and spirits; whereas the P’rushim acknowledge both. So there was a great uproar, with some of the Torah-teachers who were on the side of the P’rushim standing up and joining in — “We don’t find anything wrong with this man; and if a spirit or an angel spoke to him, what of it?” 10 The dispute became so violent that the commander, fearing that Sha’ul would be torn apart by them, ordered the soldiers to go down, take him by force and bring him back into the barracks.

11 The following night, the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage! For just as you have borne a faithful witness to me in Yerushalayim, so now you must bear witness in Rome.”

Hebrews 9:15–22; 10:28–39

9

15 It is because of this death that he is mediator of a new covenant [or will].[Jeremiah 31:30(31)] Because a death has occurred which sets people free from the transgressions committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. 16 For where there is a will, there must necessarily be produced evidence of its maker’s death, 17 since a will goes into effect only upon death; it never has force while its maker is still alive.

18 This is why the first covenant too was inaugurated with blood. 19 After Moshe had proclaimed every command of the Torah to all the people, he took the blood of the calves with some water and used scarlet wool and hyssop to sprinkle both the scroll itself and all the people; 20 and he said, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has ordained for you.”[Exodus 24:8] 21 Likewise, he sprinkled with the blood both the Tent and all the things used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, according to the Torah, almost everything is purified with blood; indeed, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

10

28 Someone who disregards the Torah of Moshe is put to death without mercy on the word of two or three witnesses.[Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15] 29 Think how much worse will be the punishment deserved by someone who has trampled underfoot the Son of God; who has treated as something common the blood of the covenant[Exodus 24:8] which made him holy; and who has insulted the Spirit, giver of God’s grace!

30 For the One we know is the One who said,

“Vengeance is my responsibility;
I will repay,”

and then said,

Adonai will judge his people.”[Deuteronomy 32:35–36]

31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

32 But remember the earlier days, when, after you had received the light, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings. 33 Sometimes you were publicly disgraced and persecuted, while at other times you stood loyally by those who were treated this way. 34 For you shared the sufferings of those who had been put in prison. Also when your possessions were seized, you accepted it gladly; since you knew that what you possessed was better and would last forever.

35 So don’t throw away that courage of yours, which carries with it such a great reward. 36 For you need to hold out; so that, by having done what God wills, you may receive what he has promised. 37 For

“There is so, so little time!
The One coming will indeed come,
he will not delay.
38 But the person who is righteous
will live his life by trusting,
and if he shrinks back,
I will not be pleased with him.”[Habakkuk 2:3-4]

39 However, we are not the kind who shrink back and are destroyed; on the contrary, we keep trusting and thus preserve our lives!

 

 
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