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"Hear O' Israel, HaShem is our G-d, HaShem alone"

Deuteronomy 21:23


The missionaries will say that Deuteronomy 21:23 'proves' that the Messiah could not be left on cross overnight. They will then show New Testament verses that show that Jesus was not left on the cross overnight.

The Reply is that Deut 21:23 refers to corpses that were killed (by one of the tree methods of Jewish execution, which do not include crucifixion) and then hung up after they were already dead. All life is precious to G-d, it is a desecration of G-d's Name to leave a corpse out like this; even a criminal deserves to be buried. This is not a prophecy, but a law. This is also not an exclusive passage, but applies to any Jew who was executed according to law, and then had his or her dead body hung up as an example. Crucifixtion is strickly forbidden by Jewish law as a form of execution. The Romans, however, adopted crucifixion from the Carthginians, who used it as a form of human sacrifice because they thought the slow, agonizing deaths pleasing to their "gods". The Romans thought it was a great way to deal with rebels.

Whenever you are shown a passage by a missionary, ask yourself "Is this a prophecy or a law? Can this refer to many people, or only one?" Clearly, the passage above is a law, and can refer to many people. Additionally, the law does not include crucifixions, as they are not a Jewish form of punishment.


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© Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999 by G. Shapiro