The History of Bible Law from Israel to America 

Inasmuch as the Bible is the only true source of light shed upon the problems of human conduct, responsibility, and government, and since this eternal Law is the foundation and guiding light of the legal Systems of the Christian Nations of the West, we offer the following compilation of the Laws of the Christian Bible.

In reviewing the history of the Hebrews, one must begin with Abraham, the founder of the Hebrew race, and give consideration first to the Patriarchal Age. During this period of Hebrew history the family was the unit of government, and the father, the head of the family, was the authoritative ruler; in earthly life and relationships he was both lord and priest over his household. Yahweh imparted to the Patriarchs certain principles of righteousness governing the relationship of the people to God and to one another. Based upon these principles, the heads of families formulated rules and regulations for the conduct of the members of the household.

All laws by definition attempt to define morality by which government may rule justly. No law was ever made that could shake itself loose from its religious roots. Government under the Patriarchal Age (pre-Israelite era) was no exception. Yahweh was the invisible but very real and powerful King and ultimate Lawgiver, and the Patriarch was His representative, or earthly vice-regent, responsible to apply God's Law to all areas of life. The members of the household were his subjects, responsible to execute and enforce God's Law under the leadership of the Patriarch.

After Abraham's grandson, Jacob, his sons, and their families migrated to Egypt, the race increased in numbers very rapidly. When the Israelites departed from Egypt under the leadership of Moses, they were a multitude of over 2 million people, bound together by racial and religious ties. As each of the 12 sons of Jacob had multiplied, they had become semi-independent tribes in their own right, ruled by tribal "princes" and religious rulers known as "elders." In the degree that Moses, the princes, elders, and heads of families ruled the people by God's Law, to that degree did God rule Israel as their unseen King.

Moses led Israel out of Egypt to Mount Sinai, where they remained for nearly a year. Here God formally organized them into "one Nation under God" and gave them their first written Constitution, the 10 Commandments. Written by the finger of God upon two stone tablets, they were the standard by which all subsequent civil and religious laws were to be measured. To these 10 Commandments God Almighty added the Statutes, which defined the violation of the Commandments, and the Judgments, which were the punishments that would correct the people if they disobeyed, and maintain righteousness in the land. Yahweh-God said His Law was given for Israel's good, and if obeyed, would set them high above all nations.

However, once the Israelites arrived in Canaan, the people forgot their God-given Law, and "every man did what was right in his own eyes." The people suffered politically, economically, socially, and in every other way under the shifting laws of ambitious kings. God sent them prophets with warnings that it was their disobedience of His Holy Laws which had brought these calamities upon them. Few took heed.

Finally, God drove Israel out of Canaan into the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities several centuries before Christ. From these areas south of the Caucasus Mountains, large numbers of Israelites migrated onto the continent of Europe and were the ancestors of our white, Caucasian race.

Five hundred years later, after the death and resurrection of Christ, His disciples carried the Scriptures to those dispersed Israelite people in Europe. Thus, God again gave His Israelite people opportunity to hear His Word, and to the degree that His Law was observed was the degree to which men lived in liberty, prosperity, and equality of justice.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the printing press and the Protestant Reformation made God's Law available to all the people, causing many to desire a government based upon these moral principles of Bible Law. That opportunity came in the "New World" called America. In 1776, after a period of Christian colonization, a new nation was born, and for the second time in all of history the world watched in awe as Israelites formed "one Nation under God," a nation firmly rooted in Bible Law.

This new nation provided such a favorable climate for Liberty and Prosperity that it rapidly grew into the most wealthy nation in the history of mankind. However, like Israel of old, succeeding generations increasingly violated the Divine Law. In direct proportion to this setting aside of God's Law, our liberties have eroded, and chaos has increased. There is only one solution. It is found in the Scripture. God said, "If you obey Me, I will bless you and give you prosperity; but if you disobey Me, I will bring you into debt and bondage." We can only restore Righteousness in America by studying this Law and reaffirming it as the foundation of our legal system.

The Holy and Just Law of God is America's Heritage and most precious possession. However, it is not enough to have it; it must be obeyed as well. To that end we commend to you this Guide to God's Law, in Jesus Christ.

 

Guide to the Laws of the Bible

 

I. CIVIL AUTHORITY

A. God, the highest Sovereign: Ex. 20:1-3; Daniel 4:25, 32; Acts 5:29

B. Constitutional Law, or the Ten Commandments: Ex. 20:1-17; Deut. 5:1-21

C. Civil Rulers must study and enforce God's Law: Deut. 17:14-20; Joshua 1:6-8; Romans 13:1-4

 

II. CITIZENS AND ALIENS

A. Qualifications for citizenship

1. Must agree to obey Law and Government: Ex. 19:5-8; Romans 13:2-7; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10

2. Disqualifications of those who have worked against the nation in the past: Deut. 23:1-8

B. Changing God's Law forbidden: Deut. 4:2

C. Other gods, their systems of law, and practices forbidden: Ex. 20:1-3; Deut. 18:10-12

D. Foreign Policy

1. No inequality of justice permitted toward aliens: Ex. 12:49; Lev. 25:35-37

2. Restrictions on aliens having citizens as bond servants: Lev. 25:47-55

3. Citizens permitted to charge usury of aliens if outside the nation: Lev. 25:35-37

4. Intermarriage of aliens with citizens forbidden: Deut. 7:1-3, 6

 

III. TAXATION AND WELFARE

A. Firstfruits of all male children and animals given: Ex. 13:2, 12, 13, 22:29, 34:19, 20; Lev. 27:26, 27; Num. 8:17; Deut. 15:19

B. Firstfruits of all increase of the land given: Ex. 22:29, 23:19, 34:26; Deut. 26:2, 10

C. Ministers and their attendants tax exempt: Ezra 7:24

D. Tithe (10%) of all increase from crops or herds given: Lev. 27:30-33; Num. 18:20-32

E. Military census poll tax: Ex. 30:12-16

F. Free will offerings: Lev. 22:17-20; Deut. 16:10, 23:23

G. Welfare, Gleanings, aid to poor, widows, and orphans: Ex. 22:22-24; Lev. 19:9, 10; Deut. 14:28, 29, 15:7-11, 23:24, 25

 

IV. NATIONAL DEFENSE

A. God is ultimate military leader, who gives victory: Ex. 23:22

B. Poll tax to be taken with all military registration: Ex. 30:11-16

C. Duties of chaplains: Deut. 20:2-4

D. All able-bodied males 20 years and older responsible for national defense: Num. 1:1-4

E. Soldiers to choose their own combat leaders: Deut. 20:9

F. No one may be forced into combat: Deut. 20:8

G. Mandatory deferments

1. Those who have built a new house deferred until they dedicate it to God: Deut. 20:5

2. Those who have just planted crops or established a new business deferred until they can leave without endangering their enterprise: Deut. 20:6

3. Those engaged to be married deferred: Deut. 20:7

4. Newly-married men to be deferred for one year: Deut. 24:5

H. Declarations of war, conduct of war, and peace terms: Deut. 20:10-20

 

V. CIVIL JUSTICE PROCEDURES

A. Court is a religious establishment under authority from God, the Supreme Judge: II Chron. 19:5-10

B. Judges and appeals courts: Ex. 18:25, 26; Deut. 1:17; Matt. 18:15-20

C. Contempt of Court: Num. 15:29-31; Deut. 17:8-13

D. Perjury and its punishment: Lev. 6:3-5; Deut. 19:16-21

E. Two or more witnesses are required for any conviction: Deut. 19:15

F. Slander, or false witness: Deut. 22:13-21; Lev. 19:16; Ps. 101:5

G. Bribery of judges: Ex. 23:8

H. Judgments must fit the crime proportionately: Lev. 24:18-21

I. Court decisions, including executions, to be enforced by the witnesses and victims: Deut. 17:2-7

J. Personal revenge forbidden: Lev. 19:18; Deut. 32:35; Heb. 10:30

 

VI. FAMILY LIFE

A. Marriage

1. Marriage is ordained (licensed) by God: Gen. 1:27, 28

2. Intermarriage of races and religion forbidden: Deut. 7:3, 4, 22:9; II Cor. 6:14

3. One-year honeymoons: Deut. 24:5

4. Incest defined and forbidden: Lev. 18:10-15, 20:17-19; Deut. 22:30

5. Childless widow to be married to nearest kinsman to ensure family inheritance: Gen. 38:8; Deut. 25:5-10; Ruth 1:12, 13, 3:9

6. Polygamy wrong: Gen. 16:1-5; Deut. 17:17

7. Marital separations forbidden, unless accompanied by legal divorce papers: Deut. 24:1-4; Jer. 3:1, 8

8. Remarriage permitted only if legally annulled: Matt. 19:7

B. Parental Authority

1. Authority established: Ex. 20:12

2. Parental discipline of children established: Deut. 21:20; Prov. 19:18, 22:15

3. Parental authority and responsibility in the education of their children: Deut. 4:9, 10; Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4

4. Children to honor and obey parents: Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16; Lev. 19:3

5. Incorrigible juvenile delinquency punishable by death: Ex. 21:15; Deut. 21:18-21; Lev. 20:9

 

VII. LIFE AND DEATH

A. Homicide

1. Premeditated murder carries death penalty: Gen. 9:6; Ex. 20:13, 21:12; Lev. 24:17; Num. 35:16-21; Deut. 19:11, 12

2. Anything other than execution for premeditated murder forbidden: Num. 35:30-34

3. Manslaughter (accidental): Num. 35:10-12, 22-32; Deut. 19:4-6

B. Assault and Liability: Ex. 21:15, 18-36; Lev. 24:19, 20

C. Health laws for long life

1. Long life promised for honoring parents: Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16; Prov. 3:1, 2

2. Unclean animals forbidden and scavengers defined: Lev. 11:2-31; Deut. 14:3-20

3. Blood and fat forbidden: Lev. 7:23-26

4. Animals dying of disease or from injuries by beasts forbidden for food: Lev. 22:8, 17:15; Acts 15:20, 29

5. Gluttony: Prov. 23:1-3, 21; Phil. 3:18, 19

6. Fruit of young trees forbidden until fourth year: Lev. 19:23-25

D. Sanitation, cleanliness, and quarantines: Lev. 12 thru 15

 

VIII. SEXUAL IMMORALITY

A. Prostitution and seduction: Ex. 22:16, 17; Lev. 19:29, 21:9

B. Adultery: Ex. 20:14; Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22

C. Sodomy (homosexuality): Lev. 20:13; I Cor. 6:9

D. Incest: Lev. 18:6-18, 20:14

E. Bestiality: Lev. 20:15, 16

F. Rape of married or engaged: Deut. 22:25-29

G. Sexual assault with intent to mutilate: Deut. 25:11, 12

 

IX. PROPERTY AND ECONOMICS

 A. Land inheritance

1. Land not to be sold, but to be allotted to all citizens: Num. 26:52-56 Lev. 25:23

2. Urban land may be sold: Lev. 25:29-34

3. Inheritance to be passed on to the father's sons: Deut. 21:16, 17

4. Firstborn son given the double portion of goods as his birthright: Gen. 25:31-33; Deut. 21:17

5. Daughters given inheritance, if no sons: Num. 27:6-11

6. Land inheritance cannot be moved from one tribe (state) to another: Num. 36:7

7. Jubilee year every 50 years; all inheritances revert back to original owners: Lev. 25:10, 13

8. Removal or marring of landmarks forbidden: Deut. 19:14, 27:17

B. Agricultural and ranching practices

1. Cross breeding, hybridization forbidden: Lev. 19:19

2. Land rest every seventh year (Sabbath year): Ex. 23:10, 11

3. Weekly Sabbath for both man and beast: Gen. 2:3; Deut. 5:12-15

4. Helpless or injured animals must be helped: Ex. 23:4, 5; Deut. 22:4,6,7

5. Working men and beasts must be fed well: Deut. 25:4; 1 Tim. 5:8

6. It is not theft for hungry to eat of growing crops: Deut. 23:24, 25; Matt. 12:1

C. Labor laws

1. Labor ordained by God: Gen. 3:16-19

2. Weekly Sabbath of rest: Gen. 2:3; Deut. 5:12-15

3. Fair payment of wages: Lev. 19:13; Deut. 24:14, 15; 1 Tim. 5:18

4. Bond servants tenure is limited to 6 years, unless he desires to continue: Ex. 21:2

5. Marriage of bond servants: Ex. 21:3-11

6. Treatment of bond servants by employers: Deut. 24:14, 15; Lev. 25:39-55

7. Bond servants must submit to employers: Titus 2:9

8. Escaped bond servants not to be returned, unless they are working to pay restitution: Deut. 23:15, 16

9. Aliens (who have no land inheritance) are servants: Lev. 25:44-46; 1 Kings 9:20, 21

10. Chastisement of bond servants limited: Ex. 21:20

D. Loans and usury

1. Loans to needy mandated: Deut. 15:7-11

2. Usury forbidden: Lev. 25:35-37; Deut. 23:19, 20

3. All debts cancelled every seven years: Deut. 15:1-3

4. Collateral (security) on loans: Ex. 22:26, 27; Deut. 24:6-17

E. Theft

1. Fraud or theft forbidden: Lev. 19:11, 13, 15; Deut. 5:19

2. Theft punishable by restitution in direct proportion to amount stolen: Ex. 22:1-5

3. Weights and measures: Lev. 19:35-37; Deut. 25:13-15

4. Kidnapping (menstealing) punishable by death: Ex. 21:16; Deut. 24:7

5. It is not theft for the hungry to eat of growing crops: Deut. 23:24, 25; Matt. 12:1

F. Liability

1. Lost property must be returned to its owner: Lev. 6:2-5; Deut. 22:1-3

2. Accidental destruction of property: Ex. 22:6

3. Loss of borrowed property: Ex. 22:14, 15

4. Destruction or loss of property by carelessness: Ex. 21:33, 34, 22:6

5. Injuries by animals: Ex. 21:28-32

6. Helpless or injured animals must be helped: Ex. 23:4, 5; Deut. 22:4, 6, 7

 

X. SABBATHS AND FEASTS

A. Weekly Sabbath of rest for man and beast: Gen. 2:3; Deut. 5:12-15

B. Passover: Ex. 12:3-20; Deut. 16:1-7

C. Pentecost: Ex. 23:16; Lev. 23:16; Deut. 16:9-11

D. Trumpets: Lev. 23:24; Num. 29:1

E. Tabernacles: Lev. 23:34, 39; Deut. 16:13-17

F. Day of Atonement: Lev. 23:26-32

G. Sabbatical year of land rest and cancellation of all debts: Ex. 23:10, 11; Deut. 15:1-3

H. Jubilee (land release) every 50 years: Lev. 25:10, 13, 34

  

OUR "LIBERTY" BELLS

  In every State capitol in America is a "Liberty Bell" with words from Leviticus 25, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." This is not a liberty from a foreign army, but liberty from debt bondage.

We pray that this brief index to Bible Law will help many learn the ways of true liberty for God's People Israel, which can be found only in the Christian Bible.

Based on an article by The Lord's Covenant Church, P.O. Box 5334, Phoenix, Arizona 85010.

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