Book of Deuteronomy Foreignness and the Other Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter:Verse)
"As for the Levites resident in your towns, do not neglect them, because they have no allotment or inheritance with you." (NRSV 14:27)
And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. (KJV 14:27)
The Levites might seem like outsiders—they don't have any land, after all—but they probably wrote or edited a good chunk of the Bible.
"Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, 'Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.'" (NRSV 15:11)
For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. (KJV 15:11)
Poverty may be a perpetual problem, but compassion seems to be a perpetual solution. Do people still employ this attitude today?
"And when you send a male slave out from you a free person, you shall not send him out empty-handed. Provide liberally out of your flock, your threshing floor, and your wine press, thus giving to him some of the bounty with which the Lord your God has blessed you. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; for this reason I lay this command upon you today." (NRSV 15:13-15)
Andif thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of thatwherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day. (KJV 15:13-15)
The memory of slavery in Egypt is pretty powerful in Israelite history. But here's a question: if they're so compassionate toward their slaves, why have slaves at all? What was different about ancient culture that made this practice more acceptable? Or was it?