Friday, January 20, 2006

Advocacy: social justice in Leviticus

Tuesday morning we talked a fair bit about advocacy and social justice and stuff, and looked a bit at what the scriptures say about these things.

First we looked at chapter 25 of Leviticus, which was the ancient Israelites' law book. Here's some interesting stuff we noticed:

  • Every seven years there was a complete holiday, not just so the people could have a rest, but also for the land. (1-7)
  • Every fifty years (so, once a generation) the land had to be redistributed to it's traditional owners. Each generation would have gotten a new start, so there wouldn't have been as much opportunity for generational poverty to develop, like it has in Australian society. (8-13) Debts also had to be cleared every fifty years. (25-31)
  • The land isn't understood as being the people's property, but more like a loan from God. (23-24) Reminds me that the indigenous Australians didn't traditionally believe that they owned the land that supported them.
  • Poor people had to be supported by everyone else, and weren't to be charged interest if they got into debt. (35-38)
Tell me if you come up with anything else. Any thoughts on the slavery bits? (39-53)

No comments: