We continue the repetition of things already said. The first generation of redeemed Israel is gone, their children are here in their stead, and Moses is honoring the Shema's command to diligent teach the Law to the children.
The parsha starts out with a protocol of "when you go out" to fight against your enemies. This is not speaking about protocol of when they go in[to the land] of inheritance, but rather when, after they have conquered the land of inheritance, they leave the land to fight enemies outside of their inheritance. There is a difference here -- when they go into the inherited land they are to save none alive (Deuteronomy 20:16), but utterly destroy the inhabitants. The command here is for enemies outside of the inherited land -- it gives them an option to keep women captives alive (even children and livestock in accordance to Deuteronomy 20:14-15). This statement is continued into the beginning of the reading because it is in the event that one of the women captives captivates the desire of the Israeli man and he wishes her as his wife.
Once again, this is different protocol than dealing with the inhabitants of the conquered inherited land. The Israeli man cannot take one of Canaan's inhabitants as a wife, otherwise the land is not getting purged as God so desires. The statement in the beginning of our parsha is about taking a woman captive outside of her land and bringing her into yours. It is the difference between Israel entering Moab (city of Shittim) and the Moabitesses causing them to whore (Numbers 25:1), and Ruth, who was also a Moabitess, taken out of her land and brought into Israel. One is an allowed marriage, and one is not a marriage in the eyes of God, and no man can make God sanctify it.
Certain mixing is divine, because it is redemptive, and certain mixing is not. We must be able to discern the difference, and how do we do this? We have the Torah for such instruction. Let us focus on some more mixing...
Do not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled. Do not plough with an ox and a donkey together. Do not put on a garment of different kinds, of wool and linen together. -- Deuteronomy 22:9-11
I am unsure to what the deeper spiritual meaning of the first two negations refer. However, I have been taught that, for the final, wool was for common use and linen is not. Linen is a holy garment. Therefore, the deeper meaning is that the common and the set-apart are not to be mixed. From thence we can study what 'common' means Biblically and see our limitations in our set-apart walk. Remember, God is out for out good and it is absolutely prideful for us to think that we can be influential to one's good without their bad influencing us. Even when restoring a brother to the faith we are told to take heed lest we fall (I Corinthians 10:12) -- how much more to the heathen who has never been a brother? Remember as well, we have been told to guard two things in the Torah: the Torah and its home (ourselves). We must guard ourselves and beware of hidden pride that thinks we can mix for others' good without compromising ourselves.
God is also out for this type of mixing: the type when our beliefs mix in our whole life. This is called integrity. We cannot say we honor the command to not mix with the unclean, but have no idea how to separate clean and unclean clothes, having them sit all in one big pile to take as we need. I know it is very small in comparison, but the type of mixing God wants is integrity in one's life. Their values mix in all areas of it. The simple "do not mix wool and linen" should tell us this much. Even the world gets this. I have heard people say they will not accept a dinner invitation from someone whose car looks like rats live in it. Integrity.
Make tassels on the four corners on the garment with which you cover yourself. -- Deuteronomy 22:12
There seems to be a universal acceptance of strings ever before us reminding us of something important. Human beings from all sorts of backgrounds tie strings on their fingers as a reminder to not forget this or that. It is helpful because of how often we look at our hands. We will see the string and remember the thing the string represents. These strings of Torah are to remind us to not forget...Torah! The tassels here are to be on our robe. Just as God robed Himself in our flesh as a step to being one with us, so we must robe ourselves in His Torah as our step to being one with Him.
For YHWH your Elohim walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and give your enemies over to you. Therefore your camp shall be set-apart, so that He does not see unclean matter among you, and shall turn away from you. -- Deuteronomy 23:14
This is one of the biggest problems we have in the church today. It is the problem of mixing clean and unclean, the clean allowing unclean into the church. So many excuses exist as to why the clean allow such things. The point is that God says separate yourself or He will separate Himself. Does He accept sinners? Of course! He accepts a humble sinner, not a proud one. God knows a humble heart, and a humble heart does not enter His camp with their sin still actively being practiced for all to see and accept their uncleanness. Remember the story of Pinchas (Phinehas)? God was not happily accepting the Israeli and Midianite woman, but did happily accept Pinchas purging this fornicating and whoring sin from the presence of the camp.
When a man has taken a new wife, let him not go out into the army nor let any matter be imposed upon him. He shall be exempt one year for the sake of his home, to rejoice with his wife whom he has taken. -- Deuteronomy 24:5
Here is another example of divine mixing: it is when two become one. I find it a beautiful thing that God honors the type of marriages He commands. He Himself, along with Israel His bride, took a year off from war after the giving of Torah (His marriage covenant), before the army was set up and they set out to conquer. Again, God honors the marriages He commands. Yehoshua, a Hebrew, is looking for a Hebrew Bride. He is not looking for a Greek philosopher wife nor new ager, because He is not a Greek husband nor Greek god.
You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light. You shall not have in your house differing measure, a large and a small. You shall have a perfect and a right weight, a perfect and right measure, so that they prolong your days on the soil which YHWH your Elohim is giving you. -- Deuteronomy 25:13-15
This passage speaks of two things: balance and integrity. Everything is always working toward a balance, or it is no longer. Imagine one of the jobs of the Creator, in keeping this universe in existence! Now imagine how we are to be living epistles, in our oneness with Him, to His love for balance. Not having differing weights and measures also speaks of integrity. Our actions and reactions should not be based upon what is big and and what is small, but they should be the same for what is big and what is small. There is no such thing as a white lie or a cute tantrum. One child should not get away with something that another would not. It is not okay for Mom and Dad to say certain words and subject their eyes and ears to witness certain sins, but not okay for the children. Integrity and balance -- and by what means can we be integrated and by what measure do we consider a perfect weight and balance? It is the Torah.
The Torah is the foundation of believing the prophets, believing Yehoshua, and the comparison to where we believe ourselves as sanctified and changing to His image.
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