The rules laid out in Exodus 22-23 make perfect sense to me – interpreted in the context of society in that time and place. They reflect the knowledge, thinking, and values of that society. Some still make sense in our society today; others do not. Regardless, I fail to see anything that would make them divine, or a reason that would make them apply to another society in a different time or place. How is it that some people interpret them this way?
And harsh though many of these rules are, they are not surprising. Life was harsh. What strikes me more is the intolerance and hatred toward out-groups. No freedom of religion or speech here. Conquer the other tribes – those people don’t matter. Drive them off their land and take it over. Wow.
V 5-9 We’re starting to get into the blood imagery. There’ll be lots more blood splashing around in the chapters to come. I cannot understand Yahweh’s fascination with blood and gore.