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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Deuteronomy 19

Verses 1-21


The Cities of Refuge. Punishment of Deceit and False Witness

1-13. On the Cities of Refuge see Numbers 35:9-34 and notes there.

2. In the midst of thy land] Those on the E. side of the Jordan have already been assigned: see on Deuteronomy 4:41-43.

3. Prepare thee a way] It was the duty of the Sanhedrim, or chief council of the Jews, to maintain the roads to these cities in good repair, and to have finger-posts where necessary with the words ’Refuge, Refuge’ inscribed upon them, so as to afford every facility to the fugitive.

8. Enlarge thy coast] i.e. thy border, to the limits mentioned in Deuteronomy 1:7; Deuteronomy 11:24. The condition of such enlargement is stated in the next v.

9. Three cities more] i.e. besides the three mentioned in Deuteronomy 19:2, Deuteronomy 19:7, and those in Deuteronomy 4:41-43. The additional three would be in the newly added territory beyond the usual limits of the kingdom. There is no evidence to show that they were actually appointed.

14. Cp. Deuteronomy 27:17; Job 24:2; Proverbs 22:28; Proverbs 23:10; Hosea 5:10. The landmark was usually a stone, or heap of stones, which in the absence of hedges or walls defined the boundary of a man’s field. Its removal was equivalent to theft.

15-21. The law of false witness. Cases of suspected false witness are to be investigated and punished by the supreme court: see on 178-13.

21. See on Exodus 21:23 and cp. Leviticus 24:20.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 19". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/deuteronomy-19.html. 1909.