God’s instructions to Israel. The Hebrew word Torah is often translated “law” in English Bibles. The vast majority of the occurrences of the word refer to God’s instructions to Moses at Sinai. These instructions or commandments became Israelite law and the stipulations of the covenant. The Torah had a great democratizing influence on Israelite society—all had to obey, especially kings (Deut 17:18-20). The book of Proverbs uses the word torah in the sense of providing parental guidance for children, and this may provide the reason why the term was used in the religious sphere. The Israelites viewed themselves as God’s children (Exod 4:22; Deut 14:1; Deut 32:10-12; Hos 11:1; Jer 31:9; Jer 31:20; Isa 66:13). Thus, torah in the religious sense may have originally connoted the teachings imparted by God the parent to the child Israel.
18When he has taken the throne of his kingdom, he shall have a copy of this law written for him in the presence of the levitical priests.19It shall remain with ... View more
22Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: Israel is my firstborn son.
Pagan Practices Forbidden
1You are children of the Lord your God. You must not lacerate yourselves or shave your forelocks for the dead.
10He sustained him in a desert land,
in a howling wilderness waste;
he shielded him, cared for him,
guarded him as the apple of his eye.11As an eagle stirs up i ... View more
God's Compassion Despite Israel's Ingratitude
1When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
9With weeping they shall come,
and with consolations I will lead them back,
I will let them walk by brooks of water,
in a straight path in which they shall not ... View more
20Is Ephraim my dear son?
Is he the child I delight in?
As often as I speak against him,
I still remember him.
Therefore I am deeply moved for him;
I will surel ... View more
13As a mother comforts her child,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.