Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Strangers In The Land: Ger 019

Leviticus 25:45-55

Moreover you may buy the children of the towshab who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your abad. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor.
‘Now if a ger and towshab close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the ger and towshab close to you, or to a member of the ger's family, after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; or his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself. Thus he shall reckon with him who bought him: The price of his release shall be according to the number of years, from the year that he was sold to him until the Year of Jubilee; it shall be according to the time of a sakiyr for him. If there are still many years remaining, according to them he shall repay the price of his redemption from the money with which he was bought. And if there remain but a few years until the Year of Jubilee, then he shall reckon with him, and according to his years he shall repay him the price of his redemption. He shall be with him as a yearly hired servant, and he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight. And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee—he and his children with him. For the children of Israel are ebed to Me; they are My ebed whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
What Does It Say?

This section of chapter 25 deals with the ownership of human beings. Now, if you recall, towshab are foreigners who have not been circumcised and thus are not subject to the protections of the law to the same extent as ger. Therefore, towshab can be owned as property (abad) and worked hard. They are closer to the modern definition of slaves since they are not freed on the Year of Jubilee.

Israelite can sell themselves as servants, whether to other Israelites or to ger and towshab. However, they cannot be held as property permanently; they must be freed on the Year of Jubilee. Further, they can be freed from their servitude by paying the remainder of the price they were sold for at any time.

The reason given that Israelites cannot be sold as abad is because they are the ebed (servants) of God. In other words, they belong to God. So just as the other parts of chapter 25 deal with the restitution of property, so does this section. In dealing with Israelites, you are dealing with God's property. His claim overrules the claim of the ger and towshab that they are sold to.

We do see some interesting possibilities in this passage. It seems to indicate that it is not just ger, or towshab living as servants that might exist in Israel. It seems that towshab (who are ger in the sense of being ethnically different, hence "ger and towshab") could also live in the land and become wealthy without being circumcised. In that case, one would not have to worship the One True God in order to live in Israel.

Would these towshab also be allowed to practice their foreign religions? That's still somewhat ambiguous in our study. They certainly would not be allowed to sacrifice their children to Moloch, as we have seen in earlier passages. The most we can say so far is that there would be some restrictions on their religious practice.

And with that, we leave the book of Leviticus and move on to Numbers.

Next: Numbers 9


  1. This is a thought I've had in mind for some time now on this issue, and I'm curious to hear your perspective. I'll start with an analogy, though.

    When you take a calculus class, the teacher does not start off the class teaching you that 2+2=4 and 3*7=21. They assume you know arithmetic and algebra just fine already. It would be pointless to waste everyone's time that way.

    Now, the Old Testament spends a fair bit of time teaching respect and fair treatment of the foreigner among you. But my contention is that this is partly because it is assumed that the Israelites already understood the much more basic level of morality of loyalty to your clan and tribe. That was the foundation that this more advanced morality was to be built upon.

    Now, the left today, as far as I can tell (read Haidt's The Righteous Mind for more on this) has basically demolished the idea of in-group loyalty (for whites, at least. Everyone else gets to have it.) Without that foundation, all of this talk about care for the stranger among you can lead to weird and destructive places quickly.

    Does that sound reasonable?

    1. Looking at the law in this level of detail shows that God spends an extended amount of time explaining how the Israelites are supposed to treat each other. Much of the law is ceremonial stuff about the proper way to worship, but there's also a lot about taking care of the poor, not enslaving your people, respecting people's economic rights (property above all), making restitution for theft, prohibitions against sexual immorality, and so on.

      I'd say it's reasonable to say that the West has completely lost its moral compass in pretty much every area God's law talks about. We have no idea about in-group loyalty, as we're ready and willing to fuck each other over in pretty much every area God tried to teach us about. We fuck each other financially. We steal from our employers and our employers steal from us. We defile virgins without any sense of responsibility.

      This most definitely extends to non-whites too. The Black community is eating itself alive. There's group loyalty only when it's pointed against whites, not when it comes to loving your brother. And I'd say that's true in different ways in pretty much every identity movement. The Cartels kill more Mexicans than Whites.

      And the hypocrisy of this system is shown by how the elites isolate themselves from the foreigners they want us to "love." They want to let Hispanics and Muslims into the nation, but not into their gated communities. They want taxes to support the poor, not to support the poor out of their own property as God commands. We have moral signaling because we have no actual morality, because the chain leading from the family up to humanity is fucked on every level.

      Even secular/new age/eastern religions like to portray morality as evolving to include bigger and bigger groups. First you learn to love your family, then your clan, then your nation, then your wider cultural group, then all of humanity. And open borders are often claimed as a way of loving all humanity.

      But by destroying the family, the clan, the nation, and the ethnic group, we have destroyed the capacity for moral thought and moral growth. How are you going to take care of all humanity when you can't even find the moral spine to protect your family?

      The Old Testament law leaves none of this to chance. You start with love and respect for God and His law, which teaches you how to properly love your family, your clan, your nation, strangers living in your nation, and so on.

      That's a bit rambly, so let me rephrase. You're right: the left has fucked up every step in the chain that leads to actually treating foreigners morally. Which is why even when they talk about caring for the stranger, it's a Satanic parody of morality that leads to weird and destructive places. Which, come to think of it, is how they end up praising the destruction of their families and people groups as a blessing. "Professing to be wise, they became fools" indeed.