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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 25

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-19

Chapter 25

Now in Chapter twenty-five, he continues these interesting kinds of regulations.

If two men have a controversy between themselves, then they come to the judges; and let the judges justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. And if it comes to pass, that the wicked man is worthy to be beaten, then you are to lay upon him not more than forty stripes, [forty stripes is the limit] ( Deuteronomy 25:1-3 ):

Now forty is the number of judgment and they weren't to lay upon them more than forty stripes. Usually they would lay upon them thirty-nine, because you couldn't exceed forty and you wanted to have mercy tempered with your justice so the sentence was so often thirty-nine stripes. That was the sentence that was laid upon Jesus, thirty-nine stripes.

Now, thou shalt not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the corn ( Deuteronomy 25:4 ).

As long as the ox is working treading out the corn then he gets to eat all the corn he wants, don't put a muzzle on him, let him eat.

If your brothers dwell together, and one of them dies, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry outside the family to a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. And the first child which she bears shall be named after the brother that is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel ( Deuteronomy 25:5-6 ).

So it was a neat little provision so your name wouldn't die in Israel. You married a gal and you died, then your brother would have to marry her. And the first son would be named after you so that your name would go on in Israel. Now if your brother didn't want to marry her. Imagine the dog, look at all the problems she gave to my brother, I don't want that woman. Then he should come before the elders of the city. And he could say, "I don't want to marry her." So he would have to take off his shoe and hand it to her. And then she in turn would spit in his face.

Verse nine; I'm not joshing you, it's here.

Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall say to him, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house. And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed ( Deuteronomy 25:9-10 ).

So you became sort of a villain kind of guy in Israel after that. You were the dirty guy, you know, who wouldn't fulfill a thing of raising up your brother's name or keeping alive your brother's name. You would be called "the house from whom the shoe was loosed." Quite a title that you would have to bear.

Now in verse eleven,

If men are striving together and the wives intervene ( Deuteronomy 25:11 ):

Then so forth then it all depends upon how they intervene. They could be in big trouble.

You're not to have in your bag different weights, great and small ( Deuteronomy 25:12 ).

Now this is a common practice. You know they did everything with balances. The only scales they had were balanced scales. But fellows would often have two weights for the balances, one when they were buying and one for when they were selling, diverse weights. And so, here is the national standard of weights and measures that God established in Israel. You're not to have different weights in your bag, but you are to use the standard weights when you're buying or selling, you know, instead of having the heavier ones when you're selling and the lighter ones when you are buying. Diverse weights are an abomination unto the Lord. There is a proverb to that effect and it was something that people were guilty of doing.

Thou shalt not have in thine house different measures, great and small. But thou shalt have a perfect and a just weight, a perfect and a just measure ( Deuteronomy 25:14-15 ):

In other words, God wants you to deal honestly in your dealings with each other. No deceit, no cheating of one another.

For all of those that do such things, are unrighteous, and they're an abomination unto the LORD ( Deuteronomy 25:16 ).

Now in verse seventeen, God goes back and He says,

Now, you remember [that guy] Amalek what he did unto you... And in time to come you're not to forget what Amalek did ( Deuteronomy 25:17 , Deuteronomy 25:19 ).

He was dirty. What he did is he attacked them from the rear and killed off those people who were lame or sick and not able to keep up with the group, the stragglers. And he was attacking from the rear and wiping out the stragglers. It was a dirty tactic that Amalek did. And so you're to remember what Amalek did and one day you're going to get revenge and when you do you, you're going to wipe out Amalek completely.

Now the time came when Amalek was to be wiped out in their history and you remember that Samuel ordered Saul to go down and wipe out Amalek utterly. "Don't leave anything or anyone alive. Don't even leave their cattle or their sheep alive. Destroy them utterly."

Now as we get into Biblical typology it is interesting because Amalek is a type of the flesh. And God's edict for our flesh is, wipe it out utterly, don't leave any remnants. And any place you leave a remnant in the flesh you're going to be in trouble.

So Saul went down and he saw some of the cattle were really healthy and good-looking, you know, stock and all, so he kept those alive. But the sickly ones, man, he really just hacked them to pieces and the same with the sheep. Some of the good, healthy looking sheep they kept alive but the sickly ones, man, they just really cut them to pieces. And they also saved alive Agag, the king.

And so as he was returning from this battle and aged Samuel came out to meet him, he said unto Samuel, "As the Lord lives I have done all that God has commanded me". And Samuel said if you have done all that God has commanded how come I hear the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the cattle? And, he, Saul, said they were such nice stock and all, we decided to bring them back so we could use them as sacrifices. We are going to offer them as sacrifices to God. And Samuel answered, "Thou has done foolishly, it is better to obey than to sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. In that you have done foolishly and not obeyed the voice of God in utterly wiping them out, God has now rejected you from being king over Israel. ( 1 Samuel 15:1-35 )

For now here back under the law God had declared that the Amaleks were to be utterly wiped out. When the time came Saul failed to do it.

Now do you know who the last Amalek is in the Scripture that is recorded? He comes up in the book of Esther, and his name was Hammon. And you remember that he conspired to wipe out all of the Jews. You see that if you don't obey God and utterly get rid of the flesh then one day the flesh will raise up and seek to destroy you. And so here in your typology that is why God ordered the utter destruction of Amalek. Hear unto the law and don't forget what Amalek did.

Therefore it shall be, [verse nineteen] when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; don't forget it ( Deuteronomy 25:19 ).

But Saul failed in that and his failure almost cost the Jews their national existence. Hammon had the day set for the extermination of all the Jews and it was only because God divinely intervened through Esther that the Jews were spared. Interesting story of Amalek if you want to follow it through in a Biblical typology it's very fascinating indeed.

Shall we stand? May God's hand be upon your life in a special way this week. We're entering into the time of frenzy as people are preparing to observe the birthday of our Lord. Or are they? May the Lord keep you from the frenzy of this time of year, from the season. May it be for you a real time of reflection upon the Lord, upon what the coming of Christ has meant to you personally. Upon the gift that God has given unto you, His only begotten Son, eternal life, His Holy Spirit. And thus, may this be a very beautiful, rich time of the year as we remember again how much God cares. For God cares for you and God loves you more than you'll ever know. He just wants you to know that love and experience that. So, may this be a week of experiencing God's overflowing love. Just let it flow, let it happen. In Jesus' name. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 25". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/deuteronomy-25.html. 2014.
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