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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 24

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New TestamentsBenson's Commentary


A.M. 2553. B.C. 1451.

Of divorce, Deuteronomy 24:1-4 . New-married men discharged from the war, Deuteronomy 24:5 . Of pledges, Deuteronomy 24:6 , Deuteronomy 24:10-13 . Of man-stealers, Deuteronomy 24:7 . Of the leprosy, Deuteronomy 24:8 , Deuteronomy 24:9 . Of daily wages, Deuteronomy 24:14 , Deuteronomy 24:15 . None to be punished for another’s sin, Deuteronomy 24:16 . Of justice and mercy to the widow, fatherless, and stranger, Deuteronomy 24:17-22 .

Verse 1

Deuteronomy 24:1. Some uncleanness Some hateful thing, some distemper of body, or quality of mind, not observed before marriage: or some light carriage, as this phrase commonly signifies, but not amounting to adultery. Let him write This is not a command, as some of the Jews understood it, nor an allowance and approbation, but merely a permission of that practice for prevention of greater mischiefs, and this only until the time of reformation, till the coming of the Messiah, when things were to return to their first institution and purest condition.

Verse 4

Deuteronomy 24:4. Her former husband may not take her again This is the punishment of his levity and injustice in putting her away without sufficient cause, which, by this offer, he now acknowledgeth. Defiled Not absolutely, as if her second marriage were a sin, but with respect to her first husband, to whom she is as a defiled or unclean woman; that is, forbidden; for things forbidden are accounted and called unclean, (Judges 13:7,) because they may no more be touched or used than an unclean thing. Thou shalt not cause the land to sin Thou shalt not suffer such lightness to be practised, lest the people be polluted, and the land defiled and accursed by that means.

Verse 5

Deuteronomy 24:5. Business Any public office or employment, which may cause an absence from or neglect of his wife. One year That their affections may be firmly settled, so as there may be no occasion for the divorces last mentioned.

Verse 6

Deuteronomy 24:6. Millstone Used in their hand-mills. Under this he understands all other things necessary to get a livelihood, the taking away whereof is against the laws both of charity and prudence, seeing by those things alone he can be enabled both to subsist and to pay his debts. Life His livelihood, the necessary support of his life.

Verse 7

Deuteronomy 24:7. That thief shall die Thus the crime of man-stealing was to be punished with death, though stealing of beasts, or other things, was not.

Verse 9

Deuteronomy 24:9. Remember what the Lord did unto Miriam This seems to have been intended as an admonition, to take care lest they spoke evil of dignities, or disobeyed the commands of the priest, which might bring such a stroke upon them as God inflicted upon Miriam.

Verses 10-13

Deuteronomy 24:10-13. Thou shalt not go in To prevent both the poor man’s reproach, by having his wants exposed, and the creditor’s greediness, which might be occasioned by the sight of something which he desired, and the debtor could not spare. The pledge He shall choose what pledge he pleases, provided it be sufficient for the purpose. Thou shalt not sleep But restore it before night, which intimates that he should take no such thing for pledge without which a man could not sleep. Bless thee Bring down the blessing of God upon thee by his prayers: for though his prayers, if he be not a good man, shall not avail for his own behalf, yet they shall avail for thy benefit. It shall be righteousness unto thee Esteemed and accepted by God as a work of righteousness, or mercy.

Verses 14-15

Deuteronomy 24:14-15. Not oppress a hired servant By detaining his wages from him when due, which is the meaning of oppression here, as appears from the next verse. At his day thou shalt give him his hire That is, at the time appointed, weekly or daily. He speaks of a hireling who was so poor as not to be able to provide himself and family with necessaries without his wages, and who therefore eagerly expected them as the support of their lives.

Verse 16

Deuteronomy 24:16. Not be put to death If the one be free from the guilt of the other’s sin, except in those cases where the sovereign Lord of life and death, before whom none is innocent, hath commanded it, as Deuteronomy 13:15; Joshua 7:24. For though God do visit the father’s sins upon the children, (Exodus 20:0.,) yet he will not suffer men to do so.

Verse 17

Deuteronomy 24:17. Raiment Not such as he hath daily and necessary use of, as being poor. But this concerns not rich persons, nor superfluous raiment.

Verses 19-22

Deuteronomy 24:19-22. It shall be for the stranger Moses here exhorts them to be mindful of those provisions made for the poor by this law, (Leviticus 19:9-10; Leviticus 23:22,) wherein they are ordered not to be over exact in reaping the fruits of their fields and vineyards, but to leave something to be gathered by their poor neighbours. When thou beatest thine olive-tree As they were wont to do, with sticks, to bring down the olives. It shall be for the fatherless, &c. Surely nothing can be more just, humane, or merciful, than all these laws here recited.

Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/deuteronomy-24.html. 1857.
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