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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 25

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-19

Ordinances regarding the Infliction of Stripes, the Baising of Seed to a Brother, Modesty, and Fair Dealing

3. And not exceed] In order to keep within the limit it was usual to inflict thirty-nine stripes: see 2 Corinthians 11:24. The milder beating was with a rod. A severer form of this punishment was scourging, inflicted with a whip of thongs into which pieces of iron were inserted. In the time of our Lord beating was inflicted in the synagogue upon ecclesiastical offenders: see on Matthew 10:17; Acts 26:11.. While the culprit was being beaten the words in Deuteronomy 28:58-59; Psalms 78:38 were read.

4. In threshing, the sheaves were spread out upon a hard beaten piece of ground (the threshing floor), and over them a pair of oxen dragged a wooden sledge or harrow about 5 ft. square, upon which the driver stood to add weight to it. In 1 Corinthians 9:9-14

1 Timothy 5:17-18; St. Paul applies this precept to the duty of supporting those who preach the gospel: see on Exodus 23:4, Exodus 23:5.

5-10. Marriage of a brother’s widow. Among the Jews it was regarded as a great calamity that the family line should become extinct. If a man died childless, his name perished and his property passed to the families of his brothers. To obviate this was the purpose of this law of the levirate marriage (Lat. levir = a husband’s brother). The duty of marrying a brother’s widow was not enforced, but the refusal to do so was regarded as disgraceful. Failing a brother the duty devolved upon the nearest male relative. See on Leviticus 18:16, and see Ruth 2:20; Ruth 3:9-13; Ruth 4.

9. The loosing of the shoe and handing it over signified an act of transfer or renunciation. In this case it was a mark of discredit: cp. Ruth 2:7, Ruth 2:8. A Bedouin formula of divorce is ’She was my slipper and I have cast her off.’

13-16. Ancient weights were pieces of stone or metal which the merchant kept in a bag. An unscrupulous merchant might have two sets of weights in his bag, a heavier for buying and a lighter for selling: see Micah 6:11; Proverbs 16:11, and cp. Leviticus 19:35, Leviticus 19:36.

17-19. See Exodus 17:8-16, and for the fulfilment of the injunction 1 Samuel 14:48; 1 Samuel 15, 1 Samuel 27:8, 1 Samuel 27:9.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 25". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/deuteronomy-25.html. 1909.
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