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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Deuteronomy 25

 

 

Introduction

Deuteronomy 12-26, 28. A code of laws (Deuteronomy 1-26) followed by promises to the obedient and threats of punishment for the rest (Deuteronomy 28): see Introd., p. 231. The great Deuteronomic law of one sanctuary is taught or implied in Deuteronomy 12:1 to Deuteronomy 19:13 and hardly in any other part of Dt. This section may, therefore, represent essentially the original Deuteronomic code (see Introd.).


Verses 1-19

Deuteronomy 25:1-3. Another of Dt.'s humanitarian laws. Punishment by the bastinado among the ancient Hebrews and Egyptians was common (see Wilkinson- Birch, Ancient Egyptians, i. pp. 305, 308). The present writer saw it in Egypt in 1888; see Exodus 21:20 (showing that a slave was sometimes beaten to death), Proverbs 10:13; Proverbs 19:29.

Deuteronomy 25:3. The forty stripes became thirty- nine (2 Corinthians 11:24) in later times to prevent the proper number from being exceeded.

Deuteronomy 25:4. God cares even for oxen (1 Corinthians 9:9 f.* misapplies this verse) and other dumb animals (Deuteronomy 15:12-18, cf. Jonah 4:11). Oxen should be allowed to partake of the corn on which in threshing they tread.

Deuteronomy 25:5-10. Levirate (Lat. levir, husband's brother) marriage (p. 109) prevailed widely in ancient times; McLennan traces it to polyandry. Here the motives are to secure succession on the male side and to prevent the family estate from being alienated (Deuteronomy 25:9).

Deuteronomy 25:9. loose his shoe: a sign of transference (Ruth 4:7*), here of the man's honour.—spit: Numbers 12:14, Job 30:10, Isaiah 50:6.

Deuteronomy 25:10. His family shares his disgrace (Deuteronomy 21:1-9*).

Deuteronomy 25:11 f. Cf. CH, 195: "If a man has struck his father his hands shall be cut off" (often wrongly translated and then compared with Deuteronomy 25:11 f.).

Deuteronomy 25:13-16. Leviticus 19:35 f.* (H). That this prohibition was needed is shown by Amos 8:5, Micah 6:10 f.; cf. Ezekiel 45:10. The great weight was used for buying, the small for selling.

Deuteronomy 25:17-19. Repeats Exodus 17:8-13* (H). Since the Amalekites had been exterminated under Saul (1 Samuel 14:48; 1 Samuel 14:15; 1 Samuel 27:8) and by David (1 Samuel 30:17, 2 Samuel 8:12; cf. Numbers 20) how could a command go forth in the seventh century B.C. to destroy them? D writes from the point of view of Moses' time.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 25:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/deuteronomy-25.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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