Mosaic Legislation

A body of civil, moral, and religious enactments, found in the last four Books of the Pentateuch and ascribed to Moses by an unbroken Jewish and Christian tradition. The foundation of the whole Law is the Decalogue (Exodus 20), and the nucleus is the "Book of the Covenant" (Exodus 20-23). The Civil Laws are mostly found in Exodus 18-23, and Deuteronomy 16-26. The Moral Laws are found in the texts already mentioned (Exodus 20-23), supplemented by Leviticus, 11-20, and Deuteronomy 5. The Religious and Ceremonial Laws, referring to persons, places, days of worship, to sacrifices and holy things, are found in Exodus, 25-30, and especially in Leviticus, 1-27. The superiority of the Mosaic Legislation comes chiefly from its religious character, as it proclaims God as the sole fount and sanction of all laws, and from its moral prescriptions which are summed up in the love of God and of the neighbor. Since it was destined to pave the way for the coming of the Redeemer and of the New Law, its figurative character is very much in evidence (cf. Galatians 4; Hebrews 10).

New Catholic Dictionary

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