Monday, May 28, 2018

Strangers In The Land: Ger 010

Exodus 23:10-13

“Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove. Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant (amah) and the ger may be refreshed.
“And in all that I have said to you, be circumspect and make no mention of the name of other gods, nor let it be heard from your mouth."

What Does It Say?

Our next mention of ger is in the same chapter, this time in a list of Sabbath regulations. This Sabbath passage also gives a reason for resting, in this case, to give all of your property and workers a chance to be refreshed. The idea of the Sabbath is also extended to allowing your fields to lie fallow every seventh year, something which the Israelites evidently did not follow and which God brought judgement on them for (2 Chron. 36:20-21).

This passage shows us that there is concern for the ethical treatment of amah and ger in the Law. The Sabbath is not supposed to be about self-denial in the way that a fast is. We're supposed to stress out over a million details on what is and isn't allowed, and we're not supposed to lay motionless in the dark for 24 hours. It's a chance to be refreshed, and to give all those we are responsible for a chance to be refreshed and reinvigotated.

This is nothing groundbreaking in our understanding of ger, but it shows that their existence in Israel is assumed in the law before the children of Israel have even entered the promised land.

Next: Leviticus 16

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