William Barclay said the legal experts: “…laid upon men the thousand and one burdens of the ceremonial law; but they did not keep them themselves, because they were experts in evasion.” They wrote up rules for just about everything.
The limit of a Sabbath day's journey was about half a mile from a person’s home. But if you tied a rope across the end of your street, the experts said the end of the street became your residence and you could go half a mile beyond that. And if on Friday afternoon you left enough food for two meals somewhere — anywhere — that point technically became your residence and you could go half a mile beyond that! You know, just like it says in the Bible.
One of the works forbidden on the Sabbath was tying knots in ropes and cords. But a woman was permitted to tie the knot in her girdle. So, by the transitive law of girdles, if you needed to draw a bucket of water from the well on the Sabbath, you could tie a girdle to the bucket, and then tie a rope to the girdle, and you were golden! You know, just like in the Bible.
The Sabbath code said: "...he who carries anything, whether it be in his right hand, or in his left hand, or in his bosom, or on his shoulder is guilty; but he who carries anything on the back of his hand, with his foot, or with his mouth, or with his elbow, or with his ear, or with his hair, or with his money bag turned upside down, or between his money bag and his shirt, or in the fold of his shirt or in his shoe, or in his sandal is guiltless, because he does not carry it in the usual way of carrying it out."
Healing sick people, however, was forbidden — no exceptions. You know, just like in the Bible.
[For another take on Just Like it Says in the Bible, hear these words coming from the mouth of the Post-Ironic Millennial]
[h/t William Barclay, THE DAILY STUDY BIBLE SERIES REVISED EDITION: THE GOSPEL OF LUKE (Philadelphia, Westminster Press, 1975) Luke 11:45-54]
[Image: William Blake, Moses Receiving the Law [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]