Monday, August 5, 2013


Deuteronomy 16:18 - 21:9 97

reprinted from

Ancient Debate

Wow, Moshe - that's a lot of stuff in this Parsha.

As I read through it I can almost hear Moshe and the people talking and debating - we have the summary. For example, in the part about not learning the ways of the other nations, Moshe warns that the other nations "listened to soothsayers, and to diviners; but as for you, YHVH your God has not given you these ways." Torah doesn't report the debate, except in the "answer" trope used in the next verse where Moshe says "The One will raise up a prophet like me among you". I can here the people asking "So, Moshe, how are we supposed to know what the Holy One wants us to do?"

Can you hear the ongoing exchange?

"Because that's what you asked for."
"So how's the prophet going to know what to say?"
"God will put the words in his or her mouth and force those words to be spoken."
"What if he says something that God didn't make him say?"
"If he does that or claims it is from another god, then he is leading you astray and deserves to be ignored (die of embarrassment)." 

And then there was silence, probably with exchanged glances.... so Moshe says "If you say in your heart, How will we know?, then test the message by seeing of the prophecy comes true." 

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