Sunday, June 13, 2010

Finders Keepers Losers Weepers

Children in a sing-songy voice..."Finders keepers, losers weepers." We can hear it in our mind; probably because we've said it and sung it.
"The English title of the book of Deuteronomy is based on the LXX's (Septuagent) mistranslation of the phrase, "a copy of this Law" as to deuteronomion touto, "this second Law." [source: Introduction to Deuteronomy, New American Standard translation, Thomas Nelson, Pub., 1979].
Chapter 22 verses 1-4 deals with things "lost and found."
"You shall not see your brother's ox or his sheep going astray, and hide yourself from them; you shall certainly bring them back to your brother. And if your brother is not near you, or if you do not know him, then you shall bring it to your own house, and it shall remain with you until your brother seeks it; then you shall restore it to him." [Deut. 22:1 and 2].
I think this is interesting for these reasons: Honesty and neighborliness are emphasized, as is relationship, by the use of the word, "brother" which is used three times in two verses. Moses is saying that neighbors don't ignore it if they notice something amiss happening next door. This is what he means when he says "...don't hide (yourself)"...don't ignore your neighbor. Christ tells the story of the Good Samaritan [Luke 10: 30-36] and in the last verse asks, "So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?" (If you want to look this up, the spelling, "neighbor" is not used in the KJV; it is "neighbour.")
Christ tells this story in response to a lawyer who stood up and challenged Him with the question, "Who is my neighbor?" The man was seeking to justify himself [Luke 10:29]. Weaving together what Moses wrote in Deuteronomy and the attitude of the lawyer suggests to me that the Jews [read mankind] were/are selfish, dishonest, and that virtually none of us really want to return anything of value we happen to find...even if we know the owner. At the end of all things on this earth, the "finders keepers" will be the real "losers."
Blessings. e.c. 

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