When reading the Old Testament, customs mentioned in the first five books of Moses can grate on our modern sensibilities. What to do with savage practices, strange customs and laws on slavery, polygamy, and those that appear to promote patriarchy? While answering these questions adequately would require considerably more space than can be afforded here, following are a few thoughts to get started.
After the fall into sin, humanity’s degradation accelerated up to the Flood and continued all the way through the patriarchal era. By the time of the Egyptian slavery of Israel, most people, even among God’s chosen nation, had lost sight of the true God. Think of the sexual immorality displayed right after encountering God at Mount Sinai, or their intentions to kill the innocent Joshua and Caleb. Num. 14:10. One obscure regulation in the Torah illustrates the habits of Israelites at that time
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