As Lawyers, it is a common pattern to be guided by expansive and elaborate indexes in respect of where to look for information on a given issue that we are dealing with reason being that no one person anywhere irrespective of such person’s standing in legal jurisprudence can know even a fraction of all our federal, state or local Laws. The laws of Nigeria, France, Ghana or the United States of America can fill and constitute a library.

What should be our response to people who feel in their own perspectives that the Old Testament Laws as recorded in Leviticus, (including Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) appear to be dull, lengthy and winding?

“You are to be holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.” (Leviticus 20:26).

These Laws are just about 600 in all and they indeed constitute the entire group of Laws for the Nation of Israel to the best of my knowledge. Any diligent and insightful Lawyer will no doubt meticulously observe an illuminating tendency and element of BREVITY and SIMPLICITY.

You may not necessarily need to go to the Law school to decipher or know them. These Laws in the books listed above may not be listed in a given chronological order. There is a Law that is against witch craft accompanied by improper hairstyles or haircuts. Next to this Law is the Law against tattoos on the hands, arms, legs, stomach or sexual organs domain. This Law is followed next by the Law that makes or turns someone’s daughter into a prostitute.

The mixture hereby noted displays critical but important reflection of the Old Testament Logic. Israel as a Nation was in divine consideration set apart from her neighbouring Nations. Hence life was not seen critically as analyzed in distinct components. Life was seen as a whole to and for the Israelites there was no existing, distinction, or separation of the church from the state. These two were viewed holistically.

This then reminds us that every facet of life, call it politics, marriage or family life, dietary principles, economics etc are God-centered and concerned God. The Ten Commandments as presented in Exodus 20, elucidate this fact limited to the Laws concerning our human relationship to both our neighbours and God.

Our relationship with God and our neighbours cannot be divorced or separated. The most outstanding earliest contribution of Israel as a Nation to the ancient World Civilization was their religious belief in one True God.

CRITICAL ISSUES: It must be noted and admitted that when compared to the Laws existing in other countries then the Old Testament inspired scriptures, the Israelites of old testament really made tremendous impact in advancing human society or mankind. Can any right thinking person deny the fact that to the very largest extent, these Old Testament laws greatly enhanced and influenced the Laws we practice as Lawyers in our clime and other jurisdictions presently?

EXAMPLES: In those Laws stated in these books of the Old Testament

a) Human Beings were more important than earthly properties. Some of the things we as humans hold so tenaciously to are indeed “Toys” given to kids to keep them busy while genuine parents get busy with issues that really mater. Perhaps God gives those “Toys” we grip firmly to just to make us not to think that we are non-starters or irrelevant beings so to say! Doesn’t this suggest a complex – “Inferiority” or superiority and what would we go back to eternity with? “Meaningless!” “Meaningless!” (Vanity of vanities) says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 1.2). There are two tragedies in this world (GNB) according to an Irish author called oscar wilde –

1)        Not getting what one wants,

2)        Getting what one wants.

The above paradoxical proverb from the greatest thinker – King Solomon, has periodically proved to be true. Just think of larger – than – life human characters/personality in the 20th – century called Howard Hughes – who at the prime age of 45 lived as the most very glamorous man in United States of America. He befriended most outstanding actresses, had and piloted most exotic test aircrafts and worked on top-secret CIA contracts. He owned powerful and lucrative Hotels around the world.

He also owned a commercial airline known as TWA which conveyed him on his global trips. At 65 Howard Hughes it was said had a lot of money – a net worth exactly $2.3billion. That world’s richest man later became one of the world’s pathetic man as he then lived in a small dark room on top of his Hotel. Without sun and without joy. He became so haggard, unkempt with beard that had grown waist.-Length, his hair fell well down his back with finger nails that grew about two inches long. His once powerful and intimidating 6ft 4inches height shrunk beyond recognition.

The famous Howard Hughes was forced to spend most of his time watching the same movies repeatedly. He stayed naked on his bed being afraid of deadly germs as life had no more relevance or meaning to him. Eventually he became so emaciated and then turned to drugs and died at the age of 67. Even the medical his own company had helped to device could not save him. Wealth or even life is transient. Reflect and decide for God or end in fiasco and misery.

Back to Leviticus 20.26 – Curiously we can see that there was no death penalty for a crime against someone’s property.

Equally slaves (House helps, domestic servants, office assistants?) were treated as human beings NOT PROPERTY. Can you now see and compare and contrast. Note that was not true of many other legal codes of that time

SEXUALITY WAS IMPORTANT: In Israel Sexual immorality when proved received strict punishment. In most other nations or countries, then the Law did not care much if a person slept or had sexual intercourse with his neighbours wife. What about our era?

ATTITUDES: Any honest fear of God in you? Both attitudes and corresponding actions were of real essence (see Leviticus 19,18 presents the powerful law to “Love your Neighbour as yourself”) It is not enough to live up to the letter of the Law. The Law strictly is focused at developing Loving Relationships that is positive and Godly. It is not exploitative.

THE WEAK AND POOR: The weak and poor in Israel were given specific provisions which protected their human rights from the powerful and corruptly wealthy. The “welfare” offered the weak and poor (vulnerable) a chance or way to be fully alive. An example is the right to “glean the fields”. (See Leviticus 19, 9;13-14, 32-33). Remarkably, God gave different human groups that could not fight or defend themselves wonderful protection and provision(s). This challenges the conscience of our extant leaders (rulers?) on the suggestion of giving “N8000” monthly palliative to the vulnerable and poor in our country. Is this not a mockery on the weak, and vulnerable people who are more in population? Was that a slip of tongue? What in all fairness can N8000 do or buy in this era of skyrocketing inflation?

Is this not like adding insult to a festering injury? Will this not attract God’s wrath or judgment in the face of dolling out N10m-N23m monthly or what to our honourables and distinguished Lawmakers? Let no one push us to change the narratives or titles to dishourable and undistinguished people who are out to make laws for themselves and to protect whatever they grasped in this terrible age of our existence as a nation or a country?

These titles will always lead to entitlements and the entitlements will lead to agitations to unholy wars and quarrels”. If borrowing becomes inevitable, it should strictly be tailored towards productive ventures. How can we explain N70bn and N40bn allocations, to alleviate who, what, why, when, and where? May we not carelessly provoke God who is keenly watching us now? Let the Rule of Law prevail in this issue now.

COMMENSURATE PUNISHMENT FOR CRIME: It must be pointed out that no “cruel and unusual punishment” was permitted “Eye for Eye”; “Tooth for Tooth”.

Leviticus 24.20 demanded that no privileged behaviour or character was compromised or “let off” for a crime while at the same time it did limit revenge. Let the Rule of Law operate and apply in all situations and dealings.

No class system: In many countries of the world, a noble was treated very differently from the commoner. But that was extremely different in Israel. In Israel everybody stood on the same level before the law. That was the Rule of Law at work. Equality before the Law of the country. It even got to the point of the foreigner(s) who also had well defined rights. There is a need for a rethinking on those things that create among us express discrimination. Our constitution should be amended to the effect that you are a Nigerian wherever you stay, reside, work or do your legitimate business. Indigene syndrome and statism have retarded our rapid development.

The most recent elections were used by the Devil to excavate and excalate the tribalism, and indegineship issues that have imprisoned us and dwarfed our desire for rapid development. We have borrowed the presidential system of government from America (though short of true fiscal federalism), yet we have refused to act like Americans as per where we stay contributing to the economic/social development of such a place. In America you are an American irrespective of whether you are a Jewish, British, Indian, Canadian Nigerian American or not. Nigerians in diaspora are more Nigerians than at home.

They bond freely there as Nigerians not ethnic or state jingoists.Our most recent leaders have variously abused the quota system and federal character principle thereby making this a mere empty political slogan. Many Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic or state coloration have aspired and achieved positions of relevance having access and risen to great positions.

Let us come out from our “self-enslaved Indigeneship” and promote Nigerian consciousness after all “oil” may not last forever or any other selfish considerations. Many Nigerians in America, UK, and Canada are making powerful waves and breaking new grounds and records, yet back home here in Nigeria we are being threatened by founded and unfounded fears of being marginalized. Can you really be marginalized without your consent tacitly or otherwise? Cross fertilization of ideas and cross – cultural movements will help us a great deal. Let us be proud of being Nigerians anywhere and engage in positive competitive activities for healthy growth and developments.

Interstate, intertribe inter-everything, movement’s marriages, work, careers, competitions, employments and co-operations will do us greater good for Christ sake. Pointedly, while we do not fully understand the reasons for some of these Laws (obviously quite a number of these Laws may have been designed mainly to preserve the “Israelites different” from their pagan neighbours), their overall effect or impact appears very clear. These rules and Laws were meant and intended to form a worthy Nation with compassionate, consistent fair minded people. There was an insistence that each person should act positively and with love towards his / her neighbours and mainly towards those who are in need.

Why, we may ask? The reason is simple – God has and still lives with them as a just and merciful God who expects his people to demonstrate same. Everyone is bound to have a principle by which he lives but your personal principles must have a space or a concern for the poor, vulnerable, weak, and defenseless and non-indigenes just as the book of Leviticus did. All of us in the continents, countries, states, local settings and communities are pilgrims by God’s standards.

The Jews were tiny in population but they were hated as a minority who had always survived dangerous onslaughts. They had succeeded through all centuries e.g Haman, Adolph Hitler and other vindictive world Leaders, Nigeria not excluded. As at now, no other world group or Leader had shown the Jews the way to overcome hatred and hostility. However, the Jews had endured as a unique ethnic group and great people. God is the secret.


There should be no selective justice, nepotism, wicked and ungodly tenures. God’s anger is presently gathering strong momentum and is about to explode. Who would escape and how? There is the fulfillment of divine Laws only through Jesus Christ in our lives.

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