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Exodus 22:16-31 Individual & Community Responsibility

Imagine six hundred thousand men, besides women and children, being delivered from slavery under the cruel bondage of Egypt. They were a people born into slavery and bondage without the freedom to think on their own or to make decisions for themselves on how they were to conduct their daily lives. These people who were told what to do from sunrise to sunrise had been freed by YeHoVaH to live together in community as a nation.

To establish cohesion, order, and self-respect for each other and their neighbors, YeHoVaH gave Instructions and Laws to govern this new nation of free people who were no longer slaves. This was done in order for them to maintain their freedom, have the ability to live harmoniously with each other, and to be protected in His presence.

Peaceful coexistence, among former slaves in community living, required all members of the community to be on the same page.

Each person had to be accountable for their actions and responsible for maintaining peace and harmony in the community. In this portion of Exodus, we will examine the Laws YeHoVaH gave that required Individual & Community Responsibility.

Ex 22:16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 


04117 מָהַר mahar {maw-har'} 

Meaning:  1) to obtain or acquire by paying purchase price, give a dowry 1a) (Qal) to obtain in exchange 

Usage:  AV - endow 1, surely 1; 2

This is possibly the origin of the shotgun wedding.

Ex 22:17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. 


Dowry – 04119 מֹהַר mohar {mo'-har} 

Meaning:  1) purchase price for wife, wedding money 

Origin:  from 04117; TWOT - 1153a; n m

Usage:  AV - dowry 3; 3

Dt 22:28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; 

Dt 22:29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

Ex 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. 


Witch – 03784 כָּשַׁף kashaph {kaw-shaf'} 

Meaning:  1) (Piel) to practice witchcraft or sorcery, use witchcraft 1a) sorcerer, sorceress (participle) 

Origin:  a primitive root; TWOT - 1051; v

Usage:  AV - sorcerers 3, witch 2, witchcraft 1; 6

Witches practice witchcraft or sorcery. In the New Testament witchcraft is Pharmakia. 

Witchcraft is mentioned in the list of the works of the flesh.

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 

Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, …

Witchcraft – 5331 φαρμακεία pharmakeia {far-mak-i'-ah} 

Meaning:  1) the use or the administering of drugs 2) poisoning 3) sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it 4) metaph. the deceptions and seductions of idolatry 

Usage:  AV - sorcery 2, witchcraft 1; 3

Modern forms of witchcraft involve magical arts, palm reading, potions, Ouija boards, taro cards, crystals, etc.

It also involves the use of different types of drugs that people put their faith in to cure or heal themselves.

Ex 22:19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death. 

You would think a Commandment like this would not be necessary, but it exposes the depths of fallen man’s depravity: man, not only having sex with animals, but man with man, woman with woman, etc.

Ex 22:20 He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.

The act of Idolatry is a rejection of YeHoVaH, or an indication that He alone is not enough.

Ex 22:21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 

Remember when you were in Egypt. Remember the treatment of those who have wronged you and how it made you feel.

Treat others the way you want to be treated, NOT how they treat you.

The so-called Golden Rule is the Law and the Prophets.

Yeshua taught the Law and the Prophets.

Mt 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.


Ex 22:22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 

YeHoVaH did not take lightly the widows being mistreated.

Ex 22:23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; 

Ex 22:24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. 

The Pharisees ripped off the widows.


Mt 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

The community in Acts neglected the Greek speaking widows until deacons were assigned. 

Ac 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

James wrote 

Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 

The New Testament did not exist when James wrote this.

Jas 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 

Jas 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 

Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 

Jas 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 

Jas 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Ex 22:25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer (creditor), neither shalt thou lay upon him usury (interest). 

Ex 22:26 If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: 

Ex 22:27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious. 

Ex 22:28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

Revile – 07043 קָלַל qalal {kaw-lal'} 

Meaning:  1) to be slight, be swift, be trifling, be of little account, be light 1c2) to curse) to treat with contempt, bring contempt or dishonour 

Usage:  AV - curse 39, swifter 5, light thing 5, vile 4, lighter 4, despise 3, abated 2, ease 2, light 2, lighten 2, slightly 2, misc 12; 82


To revile in this verse is the same word for curseth as used in Exodus 21:17.

Ex 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. 

gods – 0430 אֱלֹהִים 'elohiym {el-o-heem'} 

Meaning:  1) (plural) 1a) rulers, judges 1b) divine ones 1c) angels 1d) gods 2) (plural intensive - singular meaning) 2a) god, goddess 2b) godlike one 2c) works or special possessions of God 2d) the (true) God 2e) God 

Usage:  AV - God 2346, god 244, judge 5, GOD 1, goddess 2, great 2, mighty 2, angels 1, exceeding 1, God-ward + 04136 1, godly 1; 2606

The word gods in this verse is the same word that refers to the judges in Exodus 22:8-9.

Ex 22:8 If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour's goods. Ex 22:9 For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.

And in 1 Samuel 2:25:

1Sa 2:25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall entreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.

Paul acknowledged this in Acts:

Ac 23:5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.

Ex 22:29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me. 

Redeem the firstborn.

Ex 13:13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.


Lk 2:23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)


Ex 22:30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me. 

Ex 22:31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.

1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 

1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Last Updated on October 19, 2021 by

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