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Bible Commentaries

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible
Deuteronomy 24

 

 

Verses 1-4

In this and the next chapter certain particular rights and duties, domestic, social, and civil, are treated. The cases brought forward have often no definite connection, and seem selected in order to illustrate the application of the great principles of the Law in certain important events and circumstances.

These four verses contain only one sentence, and should be rendered thus: If a man hath taken a wife, etc., and given her a bill of divorcement and Deuteronomy 24:2 if she has departed out of his house and become another man‘s wife; and Deuteronomy 24:3 if the latter husband hates her, then Deuteronomy 24:4 her former husband, etc.

Moses neither institutes nor enjoins divorce. The exact spirit of the passage is given in our Lord‘s words to the Jews‘, “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives” Matthew 19:8. Not only does the original institution of marriage as recorded by Moses Genesis 2:24 set forth the perpetuity of the bond, but the verses before us plainly intimate that divorce, while tolerated for the time, contravenes the order of nature and of God. The divorced woman who marries again is “defiled” Deuteronomy 24:4, and is grouped in this particular with the adulteress (compare Leviticus 18:20). Our Lord then was speaking according to the spirit of the law of Moses when he declared, “Whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” Matthew 19:9. He was speaking too not less according to the mind of the prophets (compare Malachi 2:14-16). But Moses could not absolutely put an end to a practice which was traditional, and common to the Jews with other Oriental nations. His aim is therefore to regulate and thus to mitigate an evil which he could not extirpate.


Verse 6

Compare Exodus 22:25-26.


Verse 7

Compare Deuteronomy 21:14; and Exodus 21:16.


Verses 10-13

Compare Exodus 22:25-27.

Deuteronomy 24:13

Righteousness unto thee - Compare Deuteronomy 6:25 note.


Verse 16

A caution addressed to earthly judges. Among other Oriental nations the family of a criminal was commonly involved in his punishment (compare Esther 9:13-14). In Israel it was not to be so; compare marginal references.


Verses 17-22

Compare the marginal references. The motive assigned for these various acts of consideration is one and the same Deuteronomy 24:18, Deuteronomy 24:22.

 


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Bibliography Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/deuteronomy-24.html. 1870.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, December 10th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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