St. Irenaeus Ministries
Scripture Studies brought to you by the St. Irenaeus Center.
St. Irenaeus Ministries - a center of orthodox Catholic mission and renewal in Rochester, NY

"You must love your neighbor as yourself." To the Hebrews this includes people who are not Hebrews. You must help prevent the loss of his animals, garments, or property; or take advantage of his loss. This must be done as a brotherly obligation without payment. This help must not be withheld. This is an obligation of LOVE. The law is bound together with the Lord's will that people love one another.

God reminds us of responsible care of life and to not carelessly let it be wasted.

Finally, several laws, seemingly arbitrarily, prevent mixtures of plowing animals and mingled clothing fibers. These boundaries are set in place to define proper pious witness in the Jewish faith.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture25.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The Laws in these chapters describe particular situations, but seek to impart general principles. Laws regarding inheritance are discussed, and while not every permutation is accounted for, the proper procedure can be derived from what is provided. A particular case where a son with a criminal disregard for authority is discussed.  While it technically opens the possibility for punishing such a child with death, such a decision is practically impossible to reach.  Yet it puts a law on the books that this kind of rebellion is displeasing to the Lord. Finally, a law is laid out to limit the time executed criminals are "hung" on a tree, as this defiles the land.  When applied to Christ, this law highlights the gravity of His taking on our sin and hanging on the cross.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture24.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

These chapters lay out practical law for the Hebrews that are not simply legal codes, but guides to live a moral life obedient to the Lord. Rules for atonement for the spilling of innocent blood are layed out. Women who are captives of war are to be wives, not concubines, sex slaves, or rape victims.  This policy is more humane than even more modern attitudes to powerful men taking advantage of disadvantaged women.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture23.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

War is conducted on the understanding that the Lord, not the Hebrews, will be the cause of victory.  Only a small number of loyal soldiers are required.  Finally, the religious culture of Deuteronomy and the Gospel is discussed.  The culture is different from, and sometimes irreconcilible with, typical modern American sensibilities.  God is to be uncompromisingly trusted and obeyed. Yet He loves and desires to have mercy on us, that we may love Him in return.  This is not a tolerance for sin, but a reminder of the gravity of his forgiveness.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture22.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Deuteronomy foretells of a prophet and mediator between God and the Jewish people.  This is seen as foretelling the ministry of Jesus Christ, through whom God reveals His love of mankind. Some guidance is given for how to distinguish real prophets from false ones. Rules carefully delineating manslaughter and murder are laid out. Despite the fact that we do not live in a theocracy, we should have a mind to purge evil from our midst.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture21.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

When there are accusations of idolatry, it must be ascertained through credible evidence.  The punishment is designed to be decisive and JUST. The witnesses are involved in the execution in order to discourage false accusations.  A judicial system is carefully created to ensure due process, allowing Levitical priests and higher courts to take care of matters too difficult for local courts. Some cases are taken to the tabernacle, before the Lord, if they are judged too difficult for mortal understanding. Some regulations regarding kings are outlined.  Importantly, kings are to be chosen by God and they are not to be above the Law.  Priests are ordered not to engage in human sacrifice and divination.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture20.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Wise, experienced judges are to be appointed by the people, in every town, and are expected to be righteous.  The justice they seek is the justice required by God.  The Israelites are forbidden from setting up pillars and other graven images, because God HATES them. God also detests blemished and imperfect offerings (e.g. sick oxen).  He requires a perfect sacrifice as Jesus was the perfect sacrifice.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode19.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Traditional Jewish feasts are outlined, and their new significance to Christians are discussed. Some guidance on how to read the book of Deuteronomy is provided.  It must be read carefully and its precepts dutifully followed. We are encouraged to catechise and be catechised in order to effectively serve the Lord. Just as the Hebrews lived separately from pagan idolatry, so too are we also called to live separately from the evils of the world by following the Law revealed by the Lord.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode18.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The Hebrews were called to grieve differently and eat differently as a reminder that they were a people set apart for the Lord.  Bacon is not inherently sinful to eat, but it was set aside as something the Lord expected His people not to eat.  Christ did not abolish the ritual kosher laws for the Jews, but clarified that they did not apply to Christians.  However, the moral laws set down in the Old Testament still very much apply to Christians today.  God expects a tithe:  He expects His people to return a gift of a portion of everything that the He has given them. The Lord specifies laws meant to care for the poor.  Parts of the Lord's tithes were to be shared with widows, and lending laws were such that the poor could not be kept as permanent slaves to debt.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode17.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 10:45am EDT

The eating of innocent blood is forbidden.  These temple practices are emphasized for correct worship of God but also a guidance even in our lives to recognize the sacredness of life designed by God.  The Israelites (and we) are warned against apostates who try to lead us away from the Lord and from the Torah, even if they are close family and friends. Hebrew law lays out dire consequences for such people, but only in the context of rigorous judicial review.  In our case we do not have a theocratic system, but are still exhorted to reject such temptation.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode16.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT