Deuteronomy

1611 King James Version (KJV)

 

Deuteronomy
Chapter 21

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1 If one bee found slaine in the lande, which the Lord thy God giueth thee to possesse it, lying in the fielde, and it bee not knowen who hath slaine him:

2 Then thy Elders and thy Iudges shall come forth, and they shall measure vnto the cities which are round about him that is slaine.

3 And it shall be that the citie which is next vnto the slaine man, euen the Elders of that citie shall take an heifer which hath not bene wrought with, and which hath not drawen in the yoke.

4 And the Elders of that citie shall bring downe the heifer vnto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sowen, and shall strike off the heifers necke there in the valley.

5 And the Priests the sonnes of Leui shall come neere (for them the Lord thy God hath chosen to minister vnto him, and to blesse in the Name of the Lord: ) and by their worde shall euery controuersie and euery stroke bee tried.

6 And all the Elders of that city that are next vnto the slaine man, shal wash their hands ouer the heifer that is beheaded in the valley.

7 And they shall answere, and say, Our hands haue not shedde this blood, neither haue our eyes seene it.

8 Be merciful, O Lord, vnto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood vnto thy people of Israels charge, and the blood shall be forgiuen them.

9 So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the Lord.

10 When thou goest forth to warre against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath deliuered them into thine hands, & thou hast taken them captiue,

11 And seest among the captiues a beautifull woman, and hast a desire vnto her, that thou wouldest haue her to thy wife:

12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and shee shall shaue her head, and pare her nailes.

13 And shee shall put the raiment of her captiuitie from off her, and shall remaine in thine house, and bewaile her father and her mother a full moneth: and after that, thou shalt go in vnto her and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

14 And it shall be if thou haue no delight in her, then thou shalt let her goe whither she will, but thou shalt not sell her at al for money, thou shalt not make merchandize of her, because thou hast humbled her.

15 If a man haue two wiues, one beloued and another hated, and they haue borne him children, both the beloned, and the hated: and if the first borne sonne be hers that was hated:

16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sonnes to inherite that which hee hath, that he may not make the sonne of the beloued, first borne, before the sonne of the hated, which is indeed the first borne:

17 But hee shall acknowledge the sonne of the hated for the first borne, by giuing him a double portion of all that hee hath: for hee is the beginning of his strength; the right of the first borne is his.

18 If a man haue a stubborne and rebellious sonne, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that when they haue chastened him, wil not hearken vnto them:

19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out vnto the Elders of his citie, and vnto the gate of his place:

20 And they shall say vnto the Elders of his citie, This our sonne is stubborne, and rebellious, hee will not obey our voice: he is a glutton, & a drunkard.

21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that hee die: so shalt thou put euill away from among you, and all Israel shall heare, & feare.

22 And if a man haue committed a sinne worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:

23 His body shall not remaine all night vpon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day: for he that is hanged, is accursed of God: that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giueth thee for an inheritance.

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Commentary for Deuteronomy 21

The expiation of uncertain murder. (1-9) Respecting a captive taken to wife. (10-14) The first-born not to be disinherited for private affection. (15-17) A stubborn son to be stoned. (18-21) Malefactors not to be left hanging all night. (22,23)1-9 If a murderer could not be found out, great solemnity is provided for putting away the guilt from the land, as an expression of dread and detesting of that sin. The providence of God has often wonderfully brought to light these hidden works of darkness, and the sin of the guilty has often strangely found them out. The dread of murder should be deeply impressed upon every heart, and all should join in detecting and punishing those who are guilty. The elders were to profess that they had not been any way aiding or abetting the sin. The priests were to pray to God for the country and nation, that God would be merciful. We must empty that measure by our prayers, which others are filling by their sins. All would be taught by this solemnity, to use the utmost care and diligence to prevent, discover, and punish murder. We may all learn from hence to take heed of partaking in other men's sins. And we have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, if we do not reprove them.

10-14 By this law a soldier was allowed to marry his captive, if he pleased. This might take place upon some occasions; but the law does not show any approval of it. It also intimates how binding the laws of justice and honour are in marriage; which is a sacred engagement.

15-17 This law restrains men from disinheriting their eldest sons without just cause. The principle in this case as to children, is still binding to parents; they must give children their right without partiality.

18-21 Observe how the criminal is here described. He is a stubborn and rebellious son. No child was to fare the worse for weakness of capacity, slowness, or dulness, but for wilfulness and obstinacy. Nothing draws men into all manner of wickedness, and hardens them in it more certainly and fatally, than drunkenness. When men take to drinking, they forget the law of honouring parents. His own father and mother must complain of him to the elders of the city. Children who forget their duty, must thank themselves, and not blame their parents, if they are regarded with less and less affection. He must be publicly stoned to death by the men of his city. Disobedience to a parent's authority must be very evil, when such a punishment was ordered; nor is it less provoking to God now, though it escapes punishment in this world. But when young people early become slaves to sensual appetites, the heart soon grows hard, and the conscience callous; and we can expect nothing but rebellion and destruction.

22,23 By the law of Moses, the touch of a dead body was defiling, therefore dead bodies must not be left hanging, as that would defile the land. There is one reason here which has reference to Christ; "He that is hanged is accursed of God;" that is, it is the highest degree of disgrace and reproach. Those who see a man thus hanging between heaven and earth, will conclude him abandoned of both, and unworthy of either. Moses, by the Spirit, uses this phrase of being accursed of God, when he means no more than being treated most disgracefully, that it might afterward be applied to the death of Christ, and might show that in it he underwent the curse of the law for us; which proves his love, and encourages to faith in him.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Deuteronomy 21

  • BSP
    Verse 21~A stubborn and unrepentant child brought shame to his parents and if they continually tried to help him, but he refused to change, he was stoned.
  • Ren
    @Taye read Ephesians 5:33 it says wife not wives.
  • Jacquelyne
    16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: Rightfully Ishmael was the first born from mans choice but GOD said Sarah's womb, wife. GOD's word that is true.
  • A disciple
    "This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.." This was written to put us in fear of God's judgment; SO THAT WE NOT TO DO SUCH KINDS OF EVIL! IT IS NOT FOR US TO WIELD A ROD OF CRUELTY, BUT FOR TEACHING THE SERIOUSNESS OF SIN!
  • Irene123
    Taye for v. 15 - No one on here has to let you know about polygamy in this day; the Lord Jesus will let you know.
  • John Grays
    This is for the understanding of siblings and reproduction. If a man has two wives and has children with both wives, the genealogy of the children are all of the same sperm and D.N.A., therefore the children are full brothers sisters although they have different mothers. If a woman has two children and each child has a different father, then you have two different bloodlines which means half.

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