Quotation by Robert Graves

By Jesus's time the Law of Moses, originally established for the government of a semi-barbarous nation of herdsmen and hill-farmers, resembled a petulant great-grandfather who tries to govern a family business from his sick-bed in the chimney-corner, unaware of the changes that have taken place in the world since he was able to get about: his authority must not be questioned, yet his orders, since no longer relevant, must be reinterpreted in another sense, if the business is not to go bankrupt. When the old man says, for instance: "It is time for the women to grind their lapfuls of millet in the querns", this is taken to mean: "It is time to send the sacks of wheat to the water-mill."
Robert Graves (1895–1985), British poet, novelist, critic. King Jesus, Chapter 21, Farrar Straus Giroux (1946).
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