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DEUTERONOMY CHAPTER 19
The rehearsal of the cities of refuge for him that killeth his neighbour ignorantly, Deuteronomy 19:1-10; but he that hateth and killeth his neighbour, though fled into one of these cities, must die, Deuteronomy 19:11-13.
No removing of old land-marks, Deuteronomy 19:14.
The number of witnesses, Deuteronomy 19:15.
The punishment of false witnesses, Deuteronomy 19:16-21.
In the midst of thy land, to wit, beyond Jordan, as there were three already appointed on this side Jordan, Numbers 35:14. He saith, in the midst of the land, either for in the land, as in the midst of the city, Jeremiah 52:25, is the same with that in the city, 2 Kings 25:19, or to design the places, that they should be situated in the midst of the several parts of their land, to which they might conveniently and speedily flee from all the parts of the land.
Thou shalt prepare thee a way; distinguish it by evident marks, and make it plain and convenient, to prevent mistakes and delays.
Into three parts; not into more, because it was fit that these places should, as far as it was possible, be at some considerable distance from the friends of the slain person, lest the sight of the manslayer might have provoked their passion, and occasioned his ruin.
This verse is to be joined with Deuteronomy 19:3, as is evident, the 4th and 5th verses coming in as a parenthesis, which is usual in Scripture and other authors.
And slay him; which is supposed, but not allowed, as appears from the following words. But the avenger of blood is not to be punished with death for killing the manslayer, in case he found him without the borders of the city of refuge after he had been received there, Numbers 35:26,Numbers 35:27, because then he was guilty of a new crime, to wit, a contempt of God’s ordinance, and a gross neglect of the duty of self-preservation, and therefore deserved death from God, who might permit it to be inflicted by the avenger of blood.
Enlarge thy coast, as far as Euphrates. See Genesis 15:18; Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 1:7.
The elders of his city; either of the slain person, who were most likely to prosecute the murderer; or of the murderer, because God would oblige even his own fellow citizens to prosecute him to death, that it might appear how hateful murder and the murderer is to God, and ought to be to all men.
Fetch him thence; demand him of the elders of the city of refuge, who upon the hearing of the cause and the evidence of the murder were obliged to deliver the offender to justice.
Thy neighbour’s land-mark; by which the several portions of land distributed to several families were distinguished one from another. See Job 24:2; Proverbs 22:28; Hosea 5:10.
Shall not rise up, or, not stand, or, not be established, accepted, owned as sufficient: it is the same word which in the end of the verse is rendered be established.
A single witness, though he speak truth, is not to be accepted for the condemnation of another man; but if he be convicted of false witness, this is sufficient for his own condemnation.
See Poole "Deuteronomy 17:9,Deuteronomy 17:12", and observe that the controversies both here and there referred to, and to be determined by the priests and judges, are only between man and man, and not doctrines of faith and manners, as the papists for their own advantage pretend.
Those which remain, i.e. the rest of the people. See Deuteronomy 13:11; Deuteronomy 17:13.
What punishment he intended or the law allotted to the accused, if he had been convicted, the same shall the false accuser bear. Of this law see on Exodus 21:23; Leviticus 24:20
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Deuteronomy 19". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany