Question: Why are Old Testament penalties for disobedience so harsh?

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Question: Why are Old Testament penalties for disobedience so harsh?

The Law of Moses was a very strict law that was designed to teach the Children of Israel obedience

The Law of Moses was a very strict law that was designed to teach the Children of Israel obedience. It was indeed quite harsh when compared to our modern standards, although one can still find equally harsh penalties in some parts of the world among certain cultures. When Jesus Christ came to earth, He fulfilled the Law of Moses. The author's point seems to be that a kind and loving God would not ever condone such things. However, God reminds us that his ways are not our ways in Isaiah 55:8-9:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The following were defined as crimes worthy of capital punishment under the Mosaic Law:

  1. Adultery (Leviticus 20:10-21)
  2. Bestiality (Exodus 22:19)
  3. Blasphemy (Leviticus 24:10-16,23)
  4. Cursing your parents (Exodus 21:17)
  5. Divination (Exodus 22:18)
  6. False prophecy (Deuteronomy 13:1-11)
  7. Fornication (Leviticus 21:9)
  8. Homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22)
  9. Human sacrifice (Leviticus 20:2)
  10. Incest (Leviticus 18:6-17)
  11. Kidnapping (Exodus 21:16)
  12. Murder (Exodus 21:12-14)
  13. Rape (Deuteronomy 22:25-27)
  14. Rebelliousness (Deuteronomy 17:12)
  15. Sacrificing to false gods (Exodus 22:20)
  16. Striking your parents (Exodus 21:15)
  17. Violating the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2)

Notes