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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Deuteronomy 21

Overview

Deuteronomy 21:1, The expiation of an uncertain murder; Deuteronomy 21:10, The usage of a captive taken to wife; Deuteronomy 21:15, The first-born is not to be disinherited upon private affection; Deuteronomy 21:18, A rebellious son is to be stoned to death; Deuteronomy 21:22, The malefactor must not hang all night on a tree.

Verse 1

Psalms 5:6, Psalms 9:12, Proverbs 28:17, Isaiah 26:21, Acts 28:4

Reciprocal: Genesis 9:5 - and at Exodus 21:29 - his owner also Numbers 35:33 - it defileth 2 Samuel 3:28 - guiltless 2 Samuel 14:9 - and the king 2 Samuel 21:9 - before the Lord 1 Kings 21:8 - the elders

Verse 2

Deuteronomy 16:18, Deuteronomy 16:19, Romans 13:3, Romans 13:4

Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 21:19 - and bring

Verse 3

an: Numbers 19:2, Jeremiah 31:18, Matthew 11:28-30, Philippians 2:8

Reciprocal: Leviticus 4:15 - the elders

Verse 4

a rough valley: As the word nachal signifies both a torrent, and the valley or glen through which it flows, nachal aithan may be rendered a rapid torrent. Many torrents in Judea are dry during a great part of the year; when not only their banks but their beds may be ploughed, and yield a crop. Hence there is no impropriety in specifying that such a place should be one that "is neither cared nor sown;" while the circumstance that the elders were to wash their hands over the heifer, whose head had been struck off into the stream, confirms this interpretation. The spot of ground where this sacrifice was made must be uncultivated, because it was considered as a sacrifice for the atonement of murder, and, consequently, would pollute the land.

shall strike: 1 Peter 2:21-24, 1 Peter 3:18

Reciprocal: Genesis 45:6 - earing Exodus 34:21 - earing Isaiah 30:24 - ear the ground

Verse 5

for them: Deuteronomy 10:8, Deuteronomy 18:5, Numbers 6:22-27, 1 Chronicles 23:13

by their word: Deuteronomy 17:8-12, Malachi 2:7

word: Heb. mouth

Reciprocal: Leviticus 9:22 - his hand Numbers 3:16 - word Numbers 6:23 - General Deuteronomy 19:17 - General 2 Chronicles 19:8 - the judgment Ezekiel 42:13 - approach

Verse 6

wash their hands: Washing the hands was anciently a symbolical action, denoting that the person was innocent of the crime in question. Job 9:30, Psalms 19:12, Psalms 26:6, Psalms 51:2, Psalms 51:7, Psalms 51:14, Psalms 73:13, Jeremiah 2:22, Matthew 27:24, Matthew 27:25, Hebrews 9:10

Reciprocal: 1 Timothy 1:9 - manslayers

Verse 7

Numbers 5:19-28, 2 Samuel 16:8, Job 21:21-23, Job 21:31-34, Psalms 7:3, Psalms 7:4

Reciprocal: Matthew 5:21 - and Matthew 23:35 - upon Matthew 27:24 - and washed

Verse 8

lay not: Numbers 35:33, 2 Samuel 3:28, 2 Kings 24:4, Psalms 19:12, Jeremiah 26:15, Ezekiel 23:3, Ezekiel 23:24, Ezekiel 23:25, Jonah 1:14, Matthew 23:35, 1 Thessalonians 2:15, 1 Thessalonians 2:16

unto thy people: Heb. in the midst

Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 9:26 - which thou hast brought forth Deuteronomy 19:10 - General 1 Kings 2:31 - that thou 2 Kings 21:16 - Manasseh Psalms 67:1 - God

Verse 9

shalt thou: Deuteronomy 19:12, Deuteronomy 19:13

when thou shalt: Deuteronomy 13:18, 2 Kings 10:30, 2 Kings 10:31

Reciprocal: 1 Kings 2:31 - that thou 2 Kings 21:16 - Manasseh Psalms 106:38 - shed

Verse 10

thou goest: Deuteronomy 20:10-16

Reciprocal: Numbers 31:18 - keep alive for yourselves

Verse 11

desire: Genesis 6:2, Genesis 12:14, Genesis 12:15, Genesis 29:18-20, Genesis 34:3, Genesis 34:8, Judges 14:2, Judges 14:3, Proverbs 6:25, Proverbs 31:10, Proverbs 31:30

that: Numbers 31:18

Reciprocal: Exodus 21:8 - who hath Isaiah 2:6 - and they Daniel 11:37 - the desire

Verse 12

and she shall: This was in token of renouncing her religion, and becoming a proselyte to that of the Jews. This is still a custom in the East: When a Christian turns Mohammedan, his head is shaved, and he is carried through the city, crying, la eelah eela allah wemochammed resoolullahee, "There is no God but the God, and Mohammed is the prophet of God." 1 Corinthians 11:6; Ephesians 4:22

pare her nails: or, suffer to grow, Heb. make, or dress, Weâsethah eth tzipparneyha, "and she shall make her nails;" i.e., probably neither paring nor letting them grow, but dressing or beautifying them as the Eastern women still do by tinging them with the leaves of an odoriferous plant called alhenna, which Hasselquist (p. 246) informs us, "grows in India and in upper and lower Egypt, flowering from May to August. The leaves are pulverized and made into a paste with water: they bind this paste on the nails of their hands and feet, and keep it on all night. This gives them a deep yellow, which is greatly admired by Eastern nations. The colour lasts for three or four weeks before there is occasion to renew it. The custom is so ancient in Egypt, that I have seen the nails of mummies dyed in this manner.

Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 19:24 - dressed his feet 1 Corinthians 11:5 - shaven

Verse 13

and bewail: Psalms 45:10, Psalms 45:11, Luke 14:26, Luke 14:27

Reciprocal: Genesis 50:3 - threescore 2 Samuel 21:10 - from the Hosea 3:3 - Thou shalt abide

Verse 14

thou shalt: Exodus 21:7-11

because thou: Deuteronomy 22:19, Deuteronomy 22:24, Deuteronomy 22:29, Genesis 34:2, Judges 19:24

Reciprocal: Esther 2:14 - delighted

Verse 15

two wives: Genesis 29:18, Genesis 29:20, Genesis 29:30, Genesis 29:31, Genesis 29:33, 1 Samuel 1:4, 1 Samuel 1:5

Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 24:1 - hath taken 2 Chronicles 11:22 - made Abijah 2 Chronicles 21:3 - gave them Malachi 1:3 - hated Luke 14:26 - hate Romans 9:13 - hated

Verse 16

1 Chronicles 5:2, 1 Chronicles 26:10, 2 Chronicles 11:19-22, 2 Chronicles 21:3, Romans 8:29, Philippians 4:8, Hebrews 12:16, Hebrews 12:17

Reciprocal: Proverbs 19:14 - the inheritance Malachi 1:3 - hated Luke 15:12 - give

Verse 17

by giving: Genesis 25:5, Genesis 25:6, Genesis 25:32, Genesis 25:34, 1 Chronicles 5:1, 1 Chronicles 5:2

that he hath: Heb. that is found with him

the beginning: Genesis 49:3, Psalms 105:36

the right: Genesis 25:31-34

Reciprocal: Genesis 48:22 - given Joshua 17:1 - the firstborn 2 Kings 2:9 - a double portion Isaiah 61:7 - your shame Luke 15:12 - give Hebrews 12:23 - the firstborn

Verse 18

have a stubborn: Proverbs 28:24, Proverbs 30:11, Proverbs 30:17, Isaiah 1:2

obey the voice: Deuteronomy 27:16, Exodus 20:12, Exodus 21:15, Exodus 21:17, Leviticus 19:3, Leviticus 21:9, Proverbs 15:5, Proverbs 20:20, Ezekiel 22:7

when they: Deuteronomy 8:5, 2 Samuel 7:14, Proverbs 13:24, Proverbs 19:18, Proverbs 22:15, Proverbs 23:13, Proverbs 23:14, Proverbs 29:17, Hebrews 12:9-11

will not: Isaiah 1:5, Jeremiah 5:3, Jeremiah 31:18, Ezekiel 24:13, Amos 4:11, Amos 4:12

Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 18:5 - Deal gently Proverbs 1:8 - hear Proverbs 6:20 - General Proverbs 15:32 - heareth Proverbs 19:26 - wasteth Proverbs 23:22 - Hearken Matthew 15:4 - He Romans 1:30 - disobedient Ephesians 6:1 - obey Colossians 3:20 - obey

Verse 19

and bring: Deuteronomy 21:2, Deuteronomy 16:18, Deuteronomy 25:7, Zechariah 13:3

Reciprocal: Genesis 22:17 - thy seed Genesis 24:60 - thy seed Deuteronomy 25:6 - that his name Ruth 4:1 - to the gate Job 29:7 - General Proverbs 31:23 - in the Jeremiah 38:7 - the king

Verse 20

he will not: Proverbs 29:17

he is a glutton: Proverbs 19:26, Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 23:19-21, Proverbs 23:29-35

Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 19:19 - so shalt Proverbs 15:32 - heareth Proverbs 23:21 - the drunkard Proverbs 30:11 - that curseth Galatians 5:21 - drunkenness Ephesians 5:18 - be not 2 Peter 2:10 - despise

Verse 21

all the men: Deuteronomy 13:10, Deuteronomy 13:11, Deuteronomy 17:5, Leviticus 24:16

so shalt thou: Deuteronomy 13:5, Deuteronomy 13:11, Deuteronomy 19:19, Deuteronomy 19:20, Deuteronomy 22:21, Deuteronomy 22:24

all Israel: Deuteronomy 13:11

Reciprocal: Leviticus 20:2 - the people Leviticus 24:14 - let all the Joshua 7:25 - all Israel Judges 20:13 - put away 1 Kings 21:13 - they carried him Esther 1:20 - throughout Job 34:26 - in Proverbs 19:25 - Smite Proverbs 21:11 - the scorner Proverbs 24:32 - I looked Proverbs 30:11 - that curseth Ezekiel 31:14 - the end Acts 5:5 - great 1 Corinthians 5:13 - Therefore 1 Timothy 5:20 - that others 2 Peter 2:10 - despise Revelation 2:23 - and all

Verse 22

Joshua 8:29, Joshua 10:26, So in Numbers 25:4, we read, "And the Lord said unto Moses, Take all the heads - chief men of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel." Among the Romans, in after ages, they hanged, or rather fastened to the tree ALIVE; and such was the cruel death of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Deuteronomy 19:6, Deuteronomy 22:26, 1 Samuel 26:16, Matthew 26:66, Acts 23:29, Acts 25:11, Acts 25:25, Acts 26:31

worthy of death: Heb. of the judgment of death, The Hebrews understand this not of putting to death by hanging, but of hanging a man up after he was stoned to death; which was done more ignominiously of some heinous malefactors. We have the examples of Rechab and Baanah, who, for murdering Ish-bosheth, were slain by David's commandment, their hand and feet cut off, and then hanged up. 2 Samuel 4:12

thou hang: 2 Samuel 21:6, 2 Samuel 21:9, Luke 23:33, John 19:31-38

Reciprocal: Genesis 40:19 - hang thee Judges 19:29 - with her bones Esther 2:23 - hanged John 12:32 - if Romans 6:21 - for the 1 Peter 2:24 - the tree

Verse 23

he that is hanged is accursed of God: Heb. the curse of God, That is, it is the highest degree of reproach that can attach to a man, and proclaims him under the curse of God as much as any external punishment can. They that see him thus hanging between heaven and earth, will conclude him abandoned of both, and unworthy of either. Bp. Patrick observes, that this passage is applied to the death of Christ; not only because he bare our sins and was exposed to shame, as these malefactors were that were accursed of God, but because he was in the evening taken down from the cursed tree and buried - and that by the particular care of the Jews, with an eye to this law, John 19:31, in token, that now the guilt being removed, the law was satisfied, as it was when the malefactors had hanged till sun-set: it demanded no more. Then he, and those that are his, ceased to be a curse. And as the land of Israel was pure and clean when the body was buried, so the church is washed and cleansed by the complete satisfaction which Christ thus made. Deuteronomy 7:26, Numbers 25:4, Joshua 7:12, 2 Samuel 21:6, Romans 9:3, Galatians 3:13, 1 Corinthians 16:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21

thy land: Leviticus 18:25, Numbers 35:33, Numbers 35:34

Reciprocal: Genesis 40:19 - hang thee Joshua 8:29 - the king Joshua 10:26 - hanged Joshua 10:27 - they took Judges 19:29 - with her bones 2 Samuel 4:12 - hanged 2 Samuel 18:9 - taken up 2 Kings 10:8 - until the morning Esther 2:23 - hanged Esther 9:13 - let Haman's ten sons be hanged Jeremiah 2:7 - ye defiled Ezekiel 39:12 - cleanse Mark 15:24 - crucified Luke 23:33 - they crucified John 12:32 - if John 18:32 - what Acts 5:6 - General 1 Corinthians 12:3 - accursed Philippians 2:8 - the death 1 Peter 2:24 - the tree

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21". "Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/deuteronomy-21.html.