There are customs and traditions throughout the Bible. Some of the customs have made themselves into our own culture after all these years. Look through the customs below that are found in the Book of Deuteronomy and see how many you recognize. They are listed in the order they appear in the scriptures.
God divided the stars unto all nations under the whole heaven, according to Deuteronomy 4:19. Each nation sees its own portion of the stars. Canada does not have the same stars as Central America. The “Southern Cross” cannot be seen in the North. At any given time, we can go outside and claim the stars in our nation that God divided up so long ago.
In the East, water was often available only in one area. Trenches were made throughout these areas and filled with water from the main source. When a particular spot needed to be irrigated, a man would walk along the trench and use his foot to knock down the rills. The water would then spread throughout the dry soil. That’s how we get the expression, “watering the land with thy foot” (Deuteronomy 11:10).
There were no such fast food places as McDonald’s, Burger King, or Kentucky Fried Chicken in biblical times. If a traveler was near a field during lunch time, the law stated that he could eat whatever food was in the field until he was full, and then he must leave. He could pluck corn while travelings (Deuteronomy 23:24-25), but he could not stuff his pockets with anything in the field for an afternoon snack or in the event he might not be near a field around supper time. Farmers had “watchtowers” in their fields to make sure travelers obeyed this law.
God forbade Israel to practice astrology and other forms of divination as were practiced by heathen nations and were of the devil (Deuteronomy 17:1-5; 18:9-14). These practices were “abominations” to God.
Astronomy is the science which deals with the heavenly bodies. Astrology is the study of the influences these heavenly bodies have on humans. It also includes the art of fortune telling (divination), which embraces mediums, familiar spirits, wizardly, witchcraft, charmers, conversing with the dead (necromancy), signs of the zodiac, etc. King Saul’s consulting with the witch at Endor is a good example of this practice in ancient times (I Samuel 28:7).
Not only did God oppose astrology, but He condemned astrologers as well (Deuteronomy 18:9-14). Astrology, or “star worship,” was a part of idol worship. The whole idea of astrology is so commonplace in our society today, and it is still an abomination to the Lord.
God forbade plowing with and ox and an ass together (Deuteronomy 22:10). For eating purposes, the ox was considered clean. The ass was considered to be unclean. The yoking of these two animals together for work was forbidden. Even though the ox is meek, patient, and slow, it is very strong and very willing. The donkey is just the opposite. It is stubborn, unpredictable, obstinate, and stupid. A farmer would get little done in a day with such a team. This principle applies to us as God’s children (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). We are not to be unequally yoked in business deals, work, play, or marriage.
Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of an ox that treadeth out the corn (Deuteronomy 25:4). When God made His covenant with Noah, animals were included as well as humans (Genesis 6:17-22). When the fourth commandment was given, God desired His people to be just as humanitarian to animals as they were to other humans and to themselves (Exodus 20:8-11). God’s people were to show love to and respect for their “beasts of burden.” Even while working — treading out grain — they were not to be muzzled so they could eat when they became hungry.
God forbade a merchant cheating customers by using different weights or stones, but they were to be a perfect and just weight, according to Deuteronomy 25:13, 15. God commanded Israel not to steal by using improper weights.
In biblical days there were no surveyor of land or drawings in city hall to show where a person’s property began and ended. Evidence of a man’s property was the use of a pile of stones at the boundary lines. The stones were balanced one on top of the other, standing about two feet high. They could easily be moved or changed by a jealous or dishonest neighbor. Needless to say, this caused many disputes. According to Deuteronomy 27:17, “Thou shalt not remove they neighbor’s landmark.” Today, there are other ways to divided neighbors’ properties.
According to Deuteronomy 33:12, “He shall dwell between his shoulders.” Since a mother had no one to take care of her baby while she worked, she had to carry her child strapped on her back between her shoulders. This allowed her to work with ease in the field. The baby was so covered that he was protected from the blazing sun and other elements. Our Lord keeps us bound to Himself like that baby on his mother’s back.