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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Deuteronomy 22

 

 

Verses 1-30


Laws regarding Lost Property, Distinction of Sex in Apparel, and Chastity

1-4. Law of Lost Property: see Exodus 23:4 and note.

5. 'God is not the author of confusion,' and the natural distinctions He Himself has appointed ought to be respected. Whatever contravenes the law of nature contravenes the law of God: cp. the principle laid down by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:3-16. Immodesty leads to immorality. There may be an allusion here to the unchaste practices connected with certain idolatrous rites in which the sexes exchanged dress.

6, 7. To take the old bird as well as the young would be wanton cruelty. Kindness to animals is part of the law of God: see on Exodus 23:4-5, Exodus 23:21; Leviticus 22:28. It is to be observed that the same reward is attached to this commandment as to some of what may be considered the 'weightier matters of the law': see e.g. Deuteronomy 5:16, Deuteronomy 5:33. Rabbi Akiba, referring to this promise of long life, supposes the case of a man who climbs a tower and takes the young from a nest, sparing the dam in accordance with the commandment given here. But on his way down he falls and breaks his neck. To the question, 'Where is the going well and prolonging of days in this case?' the Rabbi answers, 'In the world where all goes well, and in that world where all is abiding.' He holds that the truth of the resurrection of the dead is implied in all the promises of reward attached to the keeping of the Law: cp. on Exodus 20:12.

8. The roofs of Eastern houses were flat, and used not only for drying grain (Joshua 2:6), but as an open-air parlour when coolness or privacy was sought: see e.g. 1 Samuel 9:25-26; 2 Samuel 11:2; Daniel 4:29 mg.; Acts 10:9. The injunction here is a corollary of the sixth commandment, and contains a principle capable of wide application.

9-11. Cp. Deuteronomy 22:5 and see on Leviticus 19:19.

12. See on Numbers 15:37-41. The law is applied spiritually by St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14.

13-30. On the Law of Chastity see on Leviticus 18, 19.

23. Betrothal consisted in the settlement and payment of a dowry by the bridegroom to the father or brothers of the bride, and in presenting the bride with certain gifts: see on Exodus 22:16. It was regarded as sacredly as marriage itself. After betrothal, the bride was under the same restrictions as a wife, and if unfaithful was punished as an adulteress.

24. Here the betrothed damsel is called a wife: cp. Matthew 1:20.

28. See on Exodus 22:16. The even-handed justice of the Mosaic Law is worthy of note. It deals with equal strictness with both the sinning persons.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 22:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/deuteronomy-22.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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