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> My Brother's Keeper?
aldis
post Sep 18 2005, 12:40 PM
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In Deuteronomy 25:4-10 we read:

Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.

And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.

Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house. And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.
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Daria
post Sep 18 2005, 01:14 PM
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"And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed. "

biggrin.gif Sorry... Biblical text always makes me giggle...

/spam/


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PsychWardMike
post Sep 18 2005, 02:31 PM
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Woo. You quote scripture. Are you going to bring up a topic now?


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Mata
post Sep 18 2005, 04:16 PM
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I'm with Mike on this one. What the hey, here's a bit from the Koran for you:

QUOTE
The People
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
[114.1] Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of men,
[114.2] The King of men,
[114.3] The God of men,
[114.4] From the evil of the whisperings of the slinking (Shaitan),
[114.5] Who whispers into the hearts of men,
[114.6] From among the jinn and the men.


Hours of fun, and a cracking ending, I reckon. Now, how about a bit from the Tao Te Ching?

QUOTE
79. Reconciliation
When conflict is reconciled, some hard feelings remain;
This is dangerous.

The sage accepts less than is due
And does not blame or punish;
For harmony seeks agreement
Where justice seeks payment.

The ancients said: "nature is impartial;
Therefore it serves those who serve all."


Frankly these seem a lot more sensible than forcing people to marry their dead-brother's wife.

Aldis, is there a point you're making, because clearly we're missing it at the moment?


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Moosh
post Sep 18 2005, 04:19 PM
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Possibly Aldis is making the point that people shouldn't be made to marry their dead brother's wives, and that the bible quote suggests that they should?


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Astarael
post Sep 18 2005, 06:13 PM
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Perhaps he needs to marry his own brother's wife and is trying to contrast modern-day ethics with the Bible to make his decision. Or maybe he is trying to help his brother decide whether to marry another brother's wife? Honestly, does the original post even have a point? Do make it clear what you're talking about, please.


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believe
post Sep 18 2005, 10:50 PM
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QUOTE
Frankly these seem a lot more sensible than forcing people to marry their dead-brother's wife.


-If- you have no idea about the culture, yes. However, for these laws to make sense, you need to take it in context people. tongue.gif Women were property in most cultures, a woman without a husband or family was often in the worst possible situation. Childlessness was a severe social stigma and blamed on the woman. Widows without a son to take care of her or money often became paupers and struggled to survive. Having your name carried on was also of huge social/cultural importance. The first child of the dead brother's wife and her new husband would carry his name. It also provided the woman with status, a chance at life and a place in society. With those factors in mind, it makes great sense.

There's a story of woman who slept with her father-in-law when he didn't follow this law, just so she would not be left alone and childless. So bah, all of you. >.>


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little_bear
post Sep 18 2005, 11:42 PM
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QUOTE (aldis @ Sep 18 2005, 01:40 PM)
In Deuteronomy 25:4-10 we read:

Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.

And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.

Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her; Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house. And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.

*

*jolts awake*
I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that ...


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Mata
post Sep 18 2005, 11:54 PM
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QUOTE (believe @ Sep 18 2005, 10:50 PM)
-If- you have no idea about the culture, yes. However, for these laws to make sense, you need to take it in context people. tongue.gif
*

*tries to count the number of times he's made that argument to Christians about Biblical teachings on homosexuality*
*runs out of fingers* smile.gif

Aldis has done a good job of pointing out that many things in the Bible aren't very applicable to modern times... But I suspect highlighting the irrelevance of biblical teachings wasn't the intention (it rarely is when people start quoting scripture).


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believe
post Sep 19 2005, 12:02 AM
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QUOTE
*tries to count the number of times he's made that argument to Christians about Biblical teachings on homosexuality*
*runs out of fingers*


Its not quite that simple, as its mentioned more than once and not just in the OT. If it was just mentioned in the OT, yes, that would be a harder to counter argument. As its mentioned in the NT as well, it becomes much harder to just write off as discard Jewish Law.

QUOTE
Aldis has done a good job of pointing out that many things in the Bible aren't very applicable to modern times... But I suspect highlighting the irrelevance of biblical teachings wasn't the intention (it rarely is when people start quoting scripture).


I don't think scripture is meant to be relevant in that sense. 'The times' change in 10, 20 or even 50 years. Relevant and popular philosophies that once preoccupied countries are forgotten or seem absurd. The American cold war is forgotten, women can vote and you aren't considered hysterical if you just feel sexual. The Bible is not meant to be popular, modern or adjusted to our times. Especially as these times will be changing drastically within 20 or 50 years. Its also kind of silly to expect the Bible to be 'modern' as it calls the world corrupt and sometimes quite evil regardless of whether it was Bible times, Babylon, Rome or Ancient Israel. If you believe something is often evil, the last thing you want to do is adjust to the times and match it.


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Mata
post Sep 19 2005, 12:19 AM
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But that's my point really. Why should Jewish law be malleable to cultural interpretation and not Christian law? It's all there in the same Bible.

Jewish law: around 2500 year old middle-eastern ideas about sin.

Christian law: around 1500 year old middle-eastern ideas about sin (most books were rewritten lots of times after Christ before we got the versions that now source our Bibles, even ignoring the gnostic texts).

Neither of these structures is seeming to have a significantly better claim of relevance to modern times that the other. Which leads us to your, very valid, argument that God's law does not change and so it does not need reinterpretation. That's an interesting argument but relies on the human authors of God's law to be infallible. Given their humanity, I find that argument impossible to accept. This is added to the various selection processes that have taken place by the Bible's editors over the years, resulting in a text that seems to reflect the opinions of human's understanding of (what may or may not have been) God's laws. To me, the laws in the Bible were written by people who, assuming that they really did have divine inspiration, filtered the words of God through their own understanding of the world. Is it so wrong that modern readers wish to read those words in a revisionist manner?


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believe
post Sep 19 2005, 12:55 AM
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QUOTE
But that's my point really. Why should Jewish law be malleable to cultural interpretation and not Christian law? It's all there in the same Bible.


I'm not a Jew would be the first reason. Abraham's convenant does not apply to me nor will I be numbered about the twelve tribes. Jewish Law hinges on the convenant to Abraham and such. The whole premise of Christianity is that Jesus fulfilled that convenant. His death and ressurection was the ultimate sacrifice that took away the need for all others. His blood is meant to purify beyond what the priests could do. Parts of it are simply no longer necessary, hence the fact that we do not do them. There are also things like the brother's wife law that no longer exist in context. Homosexuality still exists. But I no longer depend on my brother-in-law's brother to marry me for my survival.

QUOTE
Neither of these structures is seeming to have a significantly better claim of relevance to modern times that the other. Which leads us to your, very valid, argument that God's law does not change and so it does not need reinterpretation.


My belief is that the Bible is meant to be relevant to the human condition. Some things exist in every age. Human nature does not change nor do the bulk of societies problems and what they spring from. Human cruelty and selfishness, which leads to poverty and various evils of whatever age. The human longing for something more or to have hope, ect. These things I believe the Bible speaks to, because these things will always be there. The details might change, but not the essential whole.

QUOTE
Which leads us to your, very valid, argument that God's law does not change and so it does not need reinterpretation. That's an interesting argument but relies on the human authors of God's law to be infallible.


I believe God's law changes and it doesn't. I don't believe the two greatest commandments ever change and those essentially define every other behavior and command. But do I think that I'm still expected to cover my head when it isn't a mark of modesty in my society? No. I could do it, but men wouldn't consider it modest anymore than not flashing my cleavage.

I'm going to go ahead and just say: Men do mess up God's law. This happened with the Pharisee's. They added extra laws, used it to torment the people and abused it. It has happened and it will happen. Its like science, the law and everything else. Men will find a way to abuse it, however perfect the concept might be. This means that at times we might be wrong. That we might make a wrong decision. Its the same risk we take with everything else and we do the best we can. I don't ignore all science because it relies on the scientists to be unbiased, fair and interpret the information accurately and there will be failures at some point. Those failures do not make the original concept untrue or science worthless. I just try to check my sources and do the best I can. I am not responsible if someone mis-led me about the Bible. I am responsible for what I know and do not do. And that is the important point.

QUOTE
This is added to the various selection processes that have taken place by the Bible's editors over the years, resulting in a text that seems to reflect the opinions of human's understanding of (what may or may not have been) God's laws.


I think people like to exaggerate this and hold it up to standards that they don't apply to science, 'historical documents' or a lot of research. But its not really my point. Yes, people will have abused it whether in intrepretation or whatever. If I proved tomorrow that the texts were the same as the originals, would that be enough? Would you still question whether we can trust that?

QUOTE
To me, the laws in the Bible were written by people who, assuming that they really did have divine inspiration, filtered the words of God through their own understanding of the world. Is it so wrong that modern readers wish to read those words in a revisionist manner?


Its not wrong to want something.. usually. My confusion/objections come from the fact that rather than simply seeing it as right or wrong or to be taken in context, people often wish to rewrite it. When the old point is that the Bible reveals God's word to us and is the one truth, rewriting that truth makes it all meaningless. If it was true, it didn't need to be rewritten. If its a lie, why are rewriting it instead of going with things we believe and know to be true? I enjoy Nietzche for example. I take him in context and I while I don't always agree, I don't need to make more palatable to my modern sensibilities. Because I don't believe he is God or the truth. Rewriting him also wouldn't change the reality of the old Nietzche, it would just make him more pc or whatever I was going for.


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believe
post Sep 19 2005, 01:03 AM
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Moop put it well: "as in, if you abstract it out to the moral principle rather than the exact situation then it's indepentant of the times in which you read it."

Which sums up most of what I meant. The modesty thing is a fine example of this. If the command is telling me to dress modestly, the point is that I be modest and not whether I cover my head. I don't think its an excuse to ignore things like 'don't have sex outside of marriage' which still exists, but its my guideline for the obviously cultural bits about oxen, veils and such.


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aldis
post Sep 19 2005, 01:22 AM
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My Points of Discussions are:

1) Is the Christian Believer is a keeper of his/her Jewish (Spiritual) cousin’s doctrine/faith/traditions?? If it is so, then why?? If it is not so, then also why not??

2) How “one book-whole book, whole bible must be followed” zealots would reconcile those discordant teachings??

3) How much of OT teachings are derived from then prevalent culture of that ancient period (Cultural Context)??

4) How NT annulled (If it did) some of OT’s teaching??
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believe
post Sep 19 2005, 02:16 AM
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QUOTE
My Points of Discussions are:

1) Is the Christian Believer is a keeper of his/her Jewish (Spiritual) cousin’s doctrine/faith/traditions?? If it is so, then why?? If it is not so, then also why not??


I sort of talked about this, but more practically.. why would I be? I can respect it certainly or learn things from it, but why would I be the guardian of a faith that already has keepers (ie the Jews)? It would be redundant.

QUOTE
2 (and ) How “one book-whole book, whole bible must be followed” zealots would reconcile those discordant teachings??


Already covered part of this, but there's no quick answer. Basically, Jesus fulfills Old Testament prophecies and the Convenant, which brings up to modern Christianity and God's Law clarified for us by Jesus. I'm not going to re-type all the rest. >.>

QUOTE
3) How much of OT teachings are derived from then prevalent culture of that ancient period (Cultural Context)??


The laws went -against- the prevaling cultures in most cases. Israel's religion followed one God instead of many, forbid common practices of the day including sex, religion and daily life. There was little in common with the religion or cultures of surrounding areas in Jewish Law/religion. This changed at some points, but the Bible always points that out as the beginning of an the end.


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Mata
post Sep 19 2005, 02:22 AM
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Arac: It's lucky then that we ended up on a pretty similar discussion without your prompt! Maybe try mentioning your intentions next time you start a thread?

QUOTE
If I proved tomorrow that the texts were the same as the originals, would that be enough? Would you still question whether we can trust that?

Yes, I would still question them smile.gif For two main reasons:

The Biblical texts that make up what we today refer to as 'the Bible' have been pared down by a political process over two millenia. It may be that the English translation of the words written down by John or Peter is incredibly accurate, but it doesn't help the fact that these are only telling the portion of the story that previous church figures have permitted us to read. To put it another way, we have the version of events as told by authorised figures, but that's like trying to have a debate by covering your ears every time some-one else talks: you can do it, but you only get the side of the story that you want to hear. You/the church might not always like what's in the other stories of Christ, but they are equally important documents as those authorised to go into the Bible.

The people who wrote the books of the Bible usually did so at least forty years after the time of Jesus, and sometimes they were collections of stories passed down orally. Memory is fallible, and the will of individuals to make their interpretations of Christ's life/teachings relevant to the budding church means that they will have put a very human perspective on the way that they told their stories.

This said, I agree with your sentiment that there are basic principles of Christianity that are very reasonable; however, I also think those basics are taught in one way or another by every other major world religion.


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aldis
post Sep 20 2005, 09:01 AM
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Lev. 20:13 says,

"‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."
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aldis
post Sep 20 2005, 09:04 AM
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Or consider the jubilee law (Lev. 25).

All rural land was supposed to be returned to the original families twice each century. Does this law legitimize a system of government-mandated wealth redistribution? Liberation theologians say it does. Does it authorize a government-mandated debt repudiation law in order to head off another Great Depression? A lot of conservative Christians say it does. Are both sides rights? Or neither?
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Mata
post Sep 20 2005, 10:20 AM
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QUOTE (aldis @ Sep 20 2005, 09:01 AM)
Lev. 20:13 says,

"‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

*

I'm pretty sure that around there it also says that a man cannot share a bed with a woman for a week while she's on here period, under punishment of being excluded from the community, or something like that. Perhaps this is suggesting that we should stop police, emergency, and benefits support for any couples that share their beds all month through, the heathen scum! biggrin.gif

I joke, but Leviticus 20:13 has caused many, many deathsacross the world, and still does, from the middle east to Jamaica and lots of other places besides.


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post Sep 20 2005, 10:32 AM
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QUOTE (aldis @ Sep 20 2005, 10:01 AM)
Lev. 20:13 says,

"‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

*


So I can lay with women as I lay with men? *does relieved dance*


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Jonman
post Sep 20 2005, 10:40 AM
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QUOTE (funked)out_frog @ Sep 20 2005, 11:32 AM)
QUOTE (aldis @ Sep 20 2005, 10:01 AM)
Lev. 20:13 says,

"‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

*


So I can lay with women as I lay with men? *does relieved dance*
*



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Mata
post Sep 20 2005, 11:11 AM
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Actually, I'm pretty sure there's another bit of Leviticus about lesianism. It's a real spoil sport of a book.


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froggle-rock
post Sep 20 2005, 11:22 AM
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*starts shaking fist, then stops* Wait a minute, I'm not Christian.


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A society that takes itself too seriously risks bottling up its tensions and treating every example of irreverence as a threat to its existence. Humour is one of the great solvents of democracy. It permits the ambiguities and contradictions of public life to be articulated in non-violent forms. It promotes diversity. It enables a multitude of discontents to be expressed in a myriad of spontaneous ways. It is an elixir of constitutional health. J. Sachs in Laugh It Off Promotions CC v SAB International (Finance) BV t/a SabMark International (Freedom of Expression Institute as Amicus Curiae) 2006 (1) SA 144 (CC)
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Calantyr
post Sep 20 2005, 12:56 PM
Post #24


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QUOTE (believe @ Sep 19 2005, 03:16 AM)
The laws went -against- the prevaling cultures in most cases. Israel's religion followed one God instead of many, forbid common practices of the day including sex, religion and daily life. There was little in common with the religion or cultures of surrounding areas in Jewish Law/religion. This changed at some points, but the Bible always points that out as the beginning of an the end.
*


One name, Zoroastrianism. Precursor to all later monotheistic religions. It has been dated back to 6000 BC, and it may have even older roots.

Read through it. The similarities between it and the later Jewish and Christian faiths are astounding. For example:

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A Saoshyant (savior) will be born of a virgin, but of the lineage of the Prophet Zoroaster who will raise the dead and judge everyone in a final judgment.

That's obvious.

QUOTE
The rituals are conducted before a sacred fire. Some believe that they actually worship fire. This is not true. They regard fire as a symbol of their God.

Burning Bush, anyone?

QUOTE
Zoroastrians do not generally accept converts. One has to be born into the religion. This belief is disputed by some members.

Sounds like certain aspects of Judaism to me.

Not really realted to this, but interesting nonetheless.
QUOTE
Members are dedicated to a three-fold path, as shown in their motto: "Good thoughts, good words, good deeds."

Shorter and more encompassing than the ten commandments I'd say. Makes them sound a bit like hippies but... *shrugs*

Also check out this. It details the great influence Zoroastrianism has had on western and eastern religions. That is to say Judaism and Hinduism to name but two.

Also worthy of note is this. It's basically a quick outline of the faith. Of special note is this, which I found interesting and perhaps pertains more to this conversation.

QUOTE
The last book of the Avestas, the Vendidad, contains Zoroastrian civil and religious law. The Vendidad is complex, and covers subjects as diverse as the way prayers are to be recited to the treatment of pets and livestock. The Jewish book of law, Leviticus, contains many similarities to the Vendidad, and was likely based on it.


To my mind this shows a constant re-thinking of faith through the centuries. Different faiths have absorbed others and rewritten their own as culture and needs dictates. Religion is not a static and unmoving thing as its heads would have you believe. Instead it is an organic flowing thing which WILL adapt as time passes. Huge monumental changes have happened in the past why should today be any different? It's really quite fascinating.

Oh, and Frog? EVERYONE is Christian. It's just that there are good Christians and BAD christians. biggrin.gif

At least that's what I keep having beaten over my head by the evangelicals.


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"Too often Fate,
By all abhorred,
To savage poison,
Adds the sword"
- Boethius, The Concillations of Philosophy
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aldis
post Sep 21 2005, 03:02 AM
Post #25


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Nakednes

: None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.
7: The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
8: The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness.
9: The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.
10: The nakedness of thy son's daughter, or of thy daughter's daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness.
11: The nakedness of thy father's wife's daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
12: Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's sister: she is thy father's near kinswoman.
13: Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother's sister: for she is thy mother's near kinswoman.
14: Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.
15: Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son's wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
16: Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother's wife: it is thy brother's nakedness.
17: Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.
18: Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time.
19: Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.
20: Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her.
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