What About Other Punishments?

There must be two or more witnesses before it would be determined that someone had violated the Law. This is partly why some punishments for actions are steeper for someone known to have violated the Law verses someone accused of violating the Law (for example in the case of rape of a woman where it comes down to his word against hers.) Yet these are judgments and punishments done at the level of government. It was the priests or the judges or the king (depending on what time in history you are talking about) who would determine whether or not someone had violated the Law and what, if any, retribution must be made. Only adults were held accountable for fulfilling the Law!!!!! This bears repeating�only adults were held accountable for fulfilling the Law!

Today we have a system of government that does not rely on the OT Law but was based on it in many parts and has determined punishments for many of the same things. While we also have a juvenile justice system, our primary justice system is one that only adults are held accountable to. Children are not expected to know better, adults are. Children are expected to learn from their mistakes, adults are expected to pay for theirs.

According to Proverbs 17:26 we learn, “Also to punish the just [is] not good, [nor] to strike princes for equity.” This is consistent with the requirement for two or more witnesses before someone could be found guilty of violating the Law. Here the Hebrew word translated “punish” is “�anash” and means “1) to fine, amerce, punish, condemn, mulct ; a) (Qal) to fine, punish ; b) (Niphal) to be fined, be punished, be mulcted”. And “tsaddiyq” is the word for “just” and this is what it means: “1) just, lawful, righteous; a) just, righteous (in government); b) just, right (in one’s cause); c) just, righteous (in conduct and character); d) righteous (as justified and vindicated by God); e) right, correct, lawful”. In other words, do not charge a just man with violating God’s Law and fine him or assign a penalty for something he did not do. The warning is serious because you would be a man imposing a punishment against someone God has justified, vindicated and found righteous. This becomes especially important if your child is a believer who has been justified by the blood of Jesus. If God has called him righteous then you have no right to punish him.

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