From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [1]

The statutes of the covenant range from apodictic law (thou shalt not under any circumstances), to casuistic law (if this is the case, then do this), to detailed descriptions of ritual regulations to be observed by the priests and the community. For Israel, everything required by the covenant was a matter of life and blessing, if properly observed, or of death and cursing, if ignored or forsaken. There are no circumstances that allow for the antisocial act of one human being killing another human being with no legal sanction: thou shalt not commit murder.

Ignorance of a given statute was no excuse. Any failure to obey a statute, ordinance, or judgment of the law was a sin. The statutes related to sacrifices for the unwitting sin are a good example of case law. If someone was guilty of an unwitting sin, the sinner performed the sacrifice when he learned of his sin ( Leviticus 4 ).

 Leviticus 10 provides a good example of ritual law based on a specific case that results in an apodictic statute: Nadab and Abihu had been drinking before they entered the tabernacle to perform their duties. Because they were unable to distinguish "between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, " they died in a blaze of fire before Yahweh. Thus, the everlasting statute through all generation is given. Priests are to drink no wine or strong drink when performing their duties lest they die (vv. 1-11).

Israel understood that the statutes applied to everyone equally, whether native born or resident alien. Uriah the Hittite is a good example of an alien who had joined himself to Yahweh and Israel. His faithful adherence to the statutes related to holy war resulted in his "murder" by David. This incident also illustrates another important point. When an Israelite sinned against another human being, he also sinned against the community and Yahweh. There was no distinction between public and private morality ( Deuteronomy 29:18-21 ).

A theological problem that continues to haunt us today is taking the promise of God's blessing for observance of all the statutes as an almost magical formula. One tries to evaluate his or her relationship with God in terms of outward circumstances. If everything is fine, one is basking in God's favor. If one is ill or oppressed or poor, one is under God's curse and needs to repent of sin or lack of faith. The Book of Job deals with this issue. The parable of Lazarus and the rich man speaks to it as well. Often our faith in God is in spite of circumstances, not because of them ( Luke 16:19-31; cf.  Jeremiah 44 ).

Mark D. McLean

See also Commandment Command; Law

King James Dictionary [2]

STATUTE, L., to set.

1. An act of the legislature of a state that extends its binding force to all the citizens or subjects of that state, as distinguished from an act which extends only to an individual or company an act of the legislature commanding or prohibiting something a positive law. Statutes are distinguished from common law. The latter owes its binding force to the principles of justice, to long use and the consent of a nation. The former owe their binding force to a positive command or declaration of the supreme power. Statute is commonly applied to the acts of a legislative body consisting of representatives. In monarchies, the laws of the sovereign are called edicts, decrees, ordinances, rescripts, &c. 2. A special act of the supreme power, of a private nature, or intended to operate only on an individual or company. 3. The act of a corporation or of its founder, intended as a permanent rule or law as the statutes of a university.

Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): ( a.) An assemblage of farming servants (held possibly by statute) for the purpose of being hired; - called also statute fair.

(2): ( a.) An act of a corporation or of its founder, intended as a permanent rule or law; as, the statutes of a university.

(3): ( n.) An act of the legislature of a state or country, declaring, commanding, or prohibiting something; a positive law; the written will of the legislature expressed with all the requisite forms of legislation; - used in distinction fraom common law. See Common law, under Common, a.

Holman Bible Dictionary [4]

 Exodus 15:25-26 Genesis 47:26