Stoning the Rebellious Son

James Jordan has a fascinating suggestion on how to read the Torah- the Instruction of Moses. These are not case laws. Instead, these are commandments that are to be meditated on to become wise. One fascinating example:

The rebellious son. According to this, if you have a son who is a drunkard and a glutton, and he refuses to listen to the voice of his mother and father, you are to take him to the elders of the city and stone him to death. Here’s the thing: scroll size was limited in the ancient world, and this is a pretty unlikely situation. You need two incredibly righteous parents to bear one incredibly horrible son, and then you’ve got to get the elders to convict him and stone him to death. A better explanation is a symbolic reading. The phrase “listen to the voice of” is only used of YHWH in Deuteronomy. And YHWH says that Israel is His “beloved son.” The prophets and prophetesses are described as the “fathers and mothers” of Israel. So Israel won’t listen to the voice of YHWH through the prophets, and she is executed in the exile. Then, the Pharisees say that Jesus is a “glutton and a drunkard”, so that He takes Israel’s exile into Himself. 

Interesting suggestion.