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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Deuteronomy 22

Introduction

In Deuteronomy 22:1-8 of this chapter Moses gives direction as to the property of a neighbour and the cultivation of a helpful spirit. Comp. Exodus 23:4-5.

Verse 1

1. Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox… go astray The term brother here means any Israelite. The spirit of the injunction is, that no one should allow a loss to his brother which he could prevent.

Verse 5

5. The sexes are to be distinguished by their dress.

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment This prohibition was in the interest of morality. The interchange of dress would give occasion for great license. At festivals of Baal the priests and worshippers appeared in red transparent female garments, and were in other respects attired as women, while the women were dressed as men, and carried swords and lances. In the Annals of Tacitus, 3:53, Tiberius is represented as severely condemning the interchange of dress between men and women.

Verses 6-7

6, 7. A bird’s nest Comp. Leviticus 22:28.

Verse 8

8. Thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof The flat roofs of the eastern houses were used for so many purposes that some provision for protecting life seemed important. Some kind of a parapet was very necessary. According to the Jewish authorities it was to be two cubits in height.

Verses 9-11

9-11. Not sow… divers seeds These prohibitions are similar to those in Leviticus 19:19, and seem founded on an aversion to mingling things unlike.

Verse 12

12. Thou shalt make thee fringes The word which our translators have rendered fringes might better be translated tassels. The outer garment was a rectangular piece of cloth, to the corners of which tassels were to be attached. Comp. Numbers 15:38; also Matthew 23:5.

Verses 13-29

13-29. If any man take a wife, etc. This section relates to purity in reference to marriage. The wellbeing of the family and of the state depends upon strict observance of the laws of purity in the relation of husband and wife. If a husband unjustly accused his newly married wife of unchastity before marriage he was punished with stripes by the elders of the city, and further punished by a fine, to be paid to the father of the traduced wife. And as it was possible the charge might have arisen from the desire of the husband to contract another marriage, he was not allowed to put away his wife. But if the charge against the chastity of the wife was proved she was to be put to death. Adultery was to be punished with death, the death of both guilty parties. The sanctity of the marriage relation was most strictly protected. The woman betrothed was regarded in the same light as the married woman. The violation of the law required the death penalty. Both the man and the woman were to be put to death. In Deuteronomy 22:25-27 violence is supposed on the part of the man. In this case the man suffers the penalty of death. The case supposed in Deuteronomy 22:28-29, is similar to that mentioned in Exodus 22:16.

Verse 30

30. A man shall not take his father’s wife Comp. Leviticus 18:7-8.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 22". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/whe/deuteronomy-22.html. 1874-1909.