Chapter 10: Getting the Slavery Our of the People

Ten Commandments God Provides to Keep His People Free

God has acted in a decisive way to bring the Hebrew people out of slavery.

Who were these people? Some say that “Hebrew” is a name given to the descendants Eber, Noah’s grandson. Others see the name is linked to the word meaning “over the river” because Abram came from “over there.”

A growing number of scholars believe the word “Hebrew” began as a more general term representing a mishmash of placeless, people described in Eerdmans Bible Dictionary, for example, as “an ethnically diverse social class comprised of dissident and disenfranchised peoples who lived on the fringes of Bronze Age society.” (Myers, A. C. (1987). In The Eerdmans Bible dictionary (pp. 473–474). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.)

This understanding of the people who exited Egypt as well as those who may have joined the caravan in the wilderness can be seen as people without social or political affiliation and structure. They are, by definition, a collection of fringe-living, placeless people.

How will this quick-gathered group of freed slaved and other nationless, marginalized Ap-IRU [hebrew] collective be governed?

Slavery comes in different forms. Forced servitude is one type of slavery. Marginalization is another. Addiction, poverty, ignorance, and perfectionism or OCD could also fit the description.

So to invite a kind of community life that leads away from slavery and into “true living” God provides ten commandments or, as the original language says, “words.”

Brian McLaren paraphrases them in this way:

  1. Put the God of liberation first, not the gods of slavery.
  2. Don’t reduce God to the manageable size of an idol — certainly not one made of weed and stone by human hands, and not one made by human minds of rituals and words, either, and certainly not one in whose name people are enslaved, dehumanized, or killed!
  3. Do not use God for your own agendas by throwing around God’s holy name. If you make a vow in God’s name, keep it!
  4. Honor the God of liberation by taking and giving everyone a day off. Don’t keep the old 24/7 slave economy going.
  5. Turn from self-centeredness by honoring your parents. (After all, honor is the basis of freedom.)
  6. Don’t kill people, and don’t do the things that frequently incite violence, including:
  7. Don’t cheat with others’ spouses,
  8. Don’t steal others’ possessions, and
  9. Don’t lie about others’ behaviors or character.
  10. In fact, if you really want to avoid the violence of the old slave economy, deal with its root source — the drama of desire. Don’t let the competitive desire to acquire tempt you off the road of freedom. Kid-Friendly postings


wemaketheroadwithkids-blogfeatureimage-520x245John Stonecypher has a great blog with a variety of resources. Tap into his “We Make the Road With Kids” series.  Families may want to adopt his weekly family study disciple and style.Here are links to the first thirteen chapters.

  1. Awe and Wonder
  2. Being Human
  3. A World of Meaning
  4. The Drama of Desire
  5. In Over Our Heads
  6. Plotting Goodness
  7. It’s Never too Late
  8. Rivalry or Reconciliation?
  9. Freedom!
  10. Getting Slavery Out of the People
  11. From Ugliness, a Beauty Emerges
  12. Stories that Shape Us
  13. The great Conversation


Bible Projects Genesis (Part Two)


Published on May 19, 2014

An animated walk through of Genesis 1 to 11 from Transcript:…

The first part of Genesis, chapters 1-11, traces the story of God and the world from creation to the tower of Babel.


History Channel's Beginning

made-from-dust-history-channelThe first seven minutes of the History Channel’s “The Bible” cast an interesting framework around the creation story. (My inner skeptics notes that the narrator has a Scottish accent while those of the actors seem British.)

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