Counsel of Chalcedon
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Thou Shalt Not Destroy the Family

Our God is a God of the family. At the heart of God's plans for man lies the family. It is the oldest and most basic institution God has created among men. In this study we come to a text that has two laws related to the family. According to the outline of Deuteronomy this passage is located in the section which gives an exposition of the Sixth Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill". It follows Moses' expansion of the Sixth Commandment in regards to capital punishment and war laws. These very obviously fit the pattern. But in light of that, the passage before us would seem at first glance to be misplaced. These laws would appear to be more relevant were they in the previous section dealing with the Fifth Commandment, "Honor thy father and mother". After all, this section deals with a matter obviously concerned with family relations. But as is so often the case, the laws of God overlap and intertwine themselves around one another as a seamless garment.