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In the Gates

All the Law, All the People The First Commandment No other gods

Deuteronomy 31.9-13

Then Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel. And Moses commanded them, “At the end of every seven years, at the set time in the year of release, at the Feast of Booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

Deuteronomy 31.9-13

Then Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of Israel. And Moses commanded them, “At the end of every seven years, at the set time in the year of release, at the Feast of Booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

Acts 20.26; 2 Timothy 3.15-17

It was not enough that the people of God should teach the Law in their homes or that the judges of the people should rule by it in the gates of the city. Every seven years, when the people were together, they entirety of the Law – probably Deuteronomy – was to be read in their hearing. This would provide an opportunity for all the people to be renewed in the Law and would ensure that, had any parents or judges been lax in their teaching, the gaps would be filled.

Notice that God intends all His people to hear the Law – even the sojourners living in the midst of the people. This is important to help ensure that the people of God will fear Him and obey His Law. In the Church we must teach the Law again and again, at every stage of human development, so that we might be careful to practice obedience always, and to fear God and enjoy His good promises.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.MyParuchia.com and click on our Book Store.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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