Search Engine

Provide a keyword or phrase below to find blog entries relevant to your search:

Results For

No Results


< Return to List


Chapter 13:6-11 (ESV)

Posted on February 25, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 13:6-11(ESV) - “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which neither you nor your fathers have known, some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him. But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. And all Israel shall hear and fear and never again do any such wickedness as this among you.

Question to consider: What biblical account do you think of in regard to the stoning of one’s brother?

It was shocking to think that those from among the Israelites could stand up and profess to have received visions and oracles from pagan gods and try to get the people to worship after them despite all that the LORD had done in freeing them from slavery and destroying fearsome warriors and high-walled cities in order to give Israel the land promised to Abraham. At the time the people heard these words from Moses, they must have been saying to themselves, “Of course we should purge such evil from our midst!”

However, the following commands from Moses which are written in today’s passage made things much more personal. If the very people who were closest to them engaged in this activity, they too must be pummeled to death with stones. In fact, the one to take up the very first stone would be a husband against his own wife or a father against his own son or a man against his own brother. The idea was reminiscent of the way the ancient rabbis thought Cain killed Abel.

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” asked Cain when confronted by God. At that time, the LORD’s reply to Cain was, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground.” (Genesis 4:10) Yet here was Moses saying that the LORD actually called for the spilling of the blood of a brother who blasphemed His holy name. Cain’s jealousy was an abomination, for he envied the faith of his brother because it was credited to him as righteousness by God. The jealousy of God was pure and for the well-being of those who were in danger of being drawn away by demons who only wished them harm.

As difficult as this word was to receive, if the people didn’t love the LORD their God more than their brother or wife or child, they weren’t worthy of Him. I have to wonder if Jesus had this passage in mind when He told the people, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)

Jesus knew that He was making Himself equal with God in saying these things and the reaction it would bring by those who did not believe in Him. I don’t know how I would have reacted to His teaching at that time. I am thankful that I live in the age after Christ rose from the dead, for if Jesus did not speak the truth, He would still be in the grave.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for letting us live in a time where we are not being called to stone an unbelieving family member but to share with them the good news that Christ is our Prince of Peace and has provided the way for us to be reconciled with You. Please open their eyes to that reality. Amen.