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Bible Commentaries

Trapp's Complete Commentary

Deuteronomy 19

Verse 3

Deu 19:3 Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither.

Ver. 3. Thou shalt prepare thee a way. ] A direct, plain, fair highway: such a way must ministers prepare and pave for their people to Christ, the true asylum, by giving them "the knowledge of salvation by the remission of their sins." Luk 1:76-77

Verse 4

Deu 19:4 And this [is] the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;

Ver. 4. Whom he hated not in time past. ] There is, first, a passion of hatred. This is a kind of averse ness and rising of the heart against a man, when one sees him, so that he cannot away with him, nor speak to him, nor look courteously or peaceably upon him, and by his goodwill he would have nothing to do with him. Secondly, there is a habit of hatred, when the heart is so settled in this alienation and estrangement, that it grows to wish, and desire, and seek his hurt. Both these must be mortified.

Verse 5

Deu 19:5 As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:

Ver. 5. And live. ] So he keep within his city of refuge till the death of the high priest. See Trapp on " Num 35:25 "

Verse 6

Deu 19:6 Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he [was] not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.

Ver. 6. While his heart is hot. ] As Nebuchadnezzar’s oven - viz., with anger and grief, and such like passions; which, like heavy bodies down steep hills, once in motion move themselves, and know no ground but the bottom.

Verse 8

Deu 19:8 And if the LORD thy God enlarge thy coast, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, and give thee all the land which he promised to give unto thy fathers;

Ver. 8. And give thee all the land. ] From Nile to Euphrates; Gen 15:18 which by reason of their sins he never did. Pray we with Jabez, 1Ch 4:10 "Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast (my heart), and that thine hand might be with me," &c. "When thou shalt have enlarged mine heart," saith David, "then will I run the way of thy commandments." Psa 119:32

Verse 11

Deu 19:11 But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities:

Ver. 11. But if any man hate his neighbour. ] As Cain did Abel, as Esau Jacob, as Absalom Amnon; as Dr Story did Queen Elizabeth, whom he cursed daily in his grace at board; a as Tyrone did the English, strangling some of his own men for no other reason but because they fed on English bread; howbeit he never spake of the queen but with honour; yea, the profane wretch styled himself cousin to God, enemy to all the world, and friend to the Queen of England. b

a A.D. 1567. - Ibid.

b Speed.

Verse 12

Deu 19:12 Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.

Ver. 12. And fetch him thence. ] From the altar to the halter, from the palace to the gallows. Pro 28:17

Verse 14

Deu 19:14 Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.

Ver. 14. Thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old, &c.] Erasmus met with an adversary so silly, as to object unto him this text against the new translation of the New Testament: Quasi per terminos, voces intellexisset Spiritus Sanctus atque huius legis violatae illi postulari possent, qui mutant rerum vocabula, a Whereas by terms or "landmarks" hero are clearly meant bounds, borders, limits, whereby every man’s inheritance was severed.

a Erasm., in Apologiis, p. 637.

Verse 15

Deu 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

Ver. 15. One witness shall not rise up. ] Yet, if this one be a faithful witness, Mαρτυς δε πιστος, και εις χρησιμος , saith Aristotle; a one faithful witness in some case may suffice, in private offences howsoever: and that our Saviour speaketh of such, Mat 18:19 Basil and others are of opinion; if thy brother, a Jew, shall trespass against thee, being a Jew, right thyself by degrees. (1.) Deal with him fraternally, "tell him his fault betwixt thee and him alone"; Mat 18:15 (2.) Deal with him legally, "take with thee one or two more"; Deu 19:15 (3.) Deal with him Jewishly; "tell the Church," Deu 19:17 complain to the Sanhedrim; (4.) If he shall neglect to hear them, deal with him heathenishly, i.e., " let him be unto thee as a heathen and a publican"; make benefit of Roman sovereignty, let Caesar’s justice end the difference between you. b

a Arist., Rhetor., lib. ii.

b Mr Lightfoot’s Harmony, p. 143.

Verse 20

Deu 19:20 And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.

Ver. 20. Shall hear and fear. ] Others’ woes should be our warnings, others’ sufferings our sermons, yea, standing sermons. 1Co 10:5-12 God’s house of correction is the school of instruction.

Verse 21

Deu 19:21 And thine eye shall not pity; [but] life [shall go] for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Ver. 21. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth. ] See Trapp on " Mat 5:38 "

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 19". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.