Second narrative

This second narrative centered around the Sermon on the Mount and the famous so-called Beatitudes.  The first beatitude was about poverty, while the second beatitude was about mourning.  The third beatitude was about the meek or the humble.  The fourth beatitude was about righteousness.  The fifth beatitude was on mercy, while the sixth beatitude was about the pure of heart.  The seventh beatitude was on peacemakers, while the eighth beatitude was on persecution.  There was a grand blessing for the persecuted Christians, who were the salt of the earth and the light of the world.  They had to value and become the lighted lamp.

Next came the law and the prophets.  The law with all its commandments remained.  The righteous ones would not murder, nor would they get angry with insults.  They would offer their gifts at the Temple.  They would pay their debts and not commit adultery.  Jesus warned against the sinning eye and the sinning right hand.  He favored the traditional divorce stance, but warned about marrying a divorced woman.  They should not bear false witness, nor swear at all, since they should have a simple speech.  No longer was it an eye for an eye, but rather turn the other cheek with unusual kindness.  They were to love their enemies and their heavenly Father with a perfect love.

The followers of Jesus should fast and pray.  We should have piety with almsgiving.  Our charity and prayer should be secret with short prayers.  Thus, there was the famous “Our Father” prayer.  The first part of the Lord’s prayer was about God the Father.  The second part of the Lord’s prayer was about our human problems.  We should seek forgiveness and fast in secret.  We should not want earthly treasures, but heavenly treasures.  We need to have a healthy eye because we cannot serve two masters.

We should trust in Providence.  We do not need to worry.  Just look at the birds who do not worry.  The lilies of the field have more beauty than Solomon in all his glory.  Seek the kingdom of heaven first and you will not have to worry about tomorrow.

As far as judgment was concerned, do not judge the speck in the eye of your neighbor.  Be careful with your holy treasures.  Be seekers and give to your sons.  Pray to your heavenly Father and follow the golden rule.  The gate was narrow and there were many false prophets.  Know them by their fruits.  The sound tree has good fruits.  Cut down the bad tree.  Seek the kingdom of heaven.  Stay away from evildoers.  Wise men build on a rock foundation, while the foolish ones build on a sand foundation.  The crowds were astonished at the authority of Jesus.

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Fights and injuries (Ex 21:18-21:27)

“When individuals quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or fist so that the injured party, though not dead, is confined to bed, but recovers and walks around outside with the help of a staff, then the assailant shall be free of liability, except to pay for the loss of time, and to arrange for full recovery.”

If you cause injury to another  so that they are  confined to bed, but they recover, you only have to pay for his loss of time. I guess the idea behind this is that you should help someone to recover if you have hit them.

“When a slave owner strikes a male or female slave with a staff and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished.  But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment.  For the slave is the owner’s property.” 

Once again, the slave owner can practically do anything to his slave because he or she is their property.  Property rights trump all other rights.  However, the one exception is death.  There is no indication what the punishment is.

“When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine.  If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

If you hit a pregnant woman so that it causes a miscarriage, you have to pay the fine that the woman’s husband demands as approved by a judge.  If any harm follows, you end up with the famous revenge concept of a life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.  This revenge concept is clear, even though it is limited revenge.

“When a slave owner strikes the eye of a male or female slave, destroying it, the owner shall let the slave go, a free person, to compensate for the eye.  If the owner knocks out a tooth of a male or female slave, the slave shall be let go, a free person, to compensate for the tooth.”

If a slave owner destroys either an eye or a tooth of a male or female slave then the slave shall be let go, a free person, to compensate for the loss.  Property rights outweigh human rights.  You could beat slaves, but if they lost an eye or tooth, they were to be set free.  This is an indication of how important the eye and teeth were in the revenge concept, ‘an eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth.’