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Law of the Covenant




An Exposition of Exodus 21-23


ISBN 0-930464-02-8

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Long Description

The present book, I think, is very important.... The Book of the Covenant, Exodus 21-23, is one of the important parts of the Bible. The Pentateuch is the heart of the Old Testament, and the Ten Commandments are the heart of the Pentateuch. Within the Pentateuch, the Book of the Covenant is the most concise, the most fundamental exposition of the Decalogue. Yet most Christians today are entirely ignorant of this part of the Bible. The laws of this passage (like others in the Pentateuch) are rather mysterious to modern readers. Mr. Jordan clears up many of these mysteries for us...

...This book is a tremendous contribution. There are fresh insights on nearly every page. It raises the discussion of biblical law to a new level of precision and cogency, because it deals with the law in such detail. It is the most practical piece of biblical theology I've seen in a long time.

- from the Introduction by John M. Frame
Professor of Ethics and Theology
Westminster Theological Seminary in California

Inside Flap

How relevant are the laws of the Old Testament for today? God said that Israel was to be a light to the nations (Hebrews 42:6). That someday all nations would come to Jerusalem to receive the Law (Micah 4:2). That in His Law, "every transgression and disobedience receives a just recompense" (Hebrews 2:2). That all peoples would marvel at the wisdom and justice of Israel's laws (Deuteronomy 4:6-8). Yet, with the change from the Old to the New Covenant, there are clearly changes in the Law, "for when the priesthood changes, there must also take place a change of law" (Hebrews 7:12). How, then, are we to approach the many laws found in the Old Testament? Some of them are obviously superior to our modern law today (such as restitution instead of imprisonment for theft.) Some of them have obviously been superseded in Christ (such as the sacrificial system). Some of them seem overly harsh (such as the death penalty for "cursing" parents). Some of them seem weird and strange (such as the prohibition on boiling a kid in its mother's milk).
In this book, Mr. Jordan provides four introductory chapters of the nature of Biblical law, on the redemptive historical context in which the law was first written, and on the overall changes in the law system which the New Covenant brings. Then, moving to the concrete, Mr. Jordan provides the first truly in-depth commentary on the case laws of Exodus 21-23, the Book of the Covenant. The laws are taken up one at a time. In each case, the question is asked, "What did this law mean to the people of the Old Testament age?" Then the question is asked, "What relevance might this law have for the Christian faith today?" Finally, the question is asked, "How does this law shed light on the work of Jesus Christ, of whom all Scripture speaks? That is, how can we preach Christ from this law?"
In his preface, Mr. Jordan states that he has not tried to say the last word on these chapters of Scripture, but that he has tried to say a first word, and to challenge the Church to look further into these verses to find the wisdom for today. No preacher and no student of the Word can afford to be without this study.

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Created By: Arnold Jagt on 03/20/96 at 09:24 PM