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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Deuteronomy 19

 

 

Introduction
1The cities of refuge.
4The privilege thereof for the manslayer.
14The land-mark is not to be removed.
15Two witnesses at the least are required.
16The punishment of a false witness.

Verse 1
When the LORD thy God hath cut off the nations, whose land the LORD thy God giveth thee, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their cities, and in their houses;
hath cut
6:10; 7:1,2; 12:1,29; 17:14
succeedest
Heb. inheritest, or possessest.
12:29

Verse 2
Thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.
separate three cities
Unquestionably in imitation of these cities, the heathen had their asyla, and the Roman Catholics their privileged altars: and similar traditions seem to obtain in many barbarous nations, for "the North American Indian nations have most of them either a house or town of refuge, which is a sure asylum to protect a manslayer, or the unfortunate captive, if he once enter it. In almost every Indian nation, there are several towns, which are called old beloved, ancient, holy, or white towns, (white being their fixed emblem of peace, friendship, prosperity, happiness, purity, etc.) They seem to have been formerly towns of refuge; for it is not in the memory of the oldest people that human blood was shed in them."
4:41-43; Exodus 21:13; Numbers 35:10-15; Joshua 20:2-7; Hebrews 6:18

Verse 3
Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither.
Isaiah 35:8; 57:14; 62:10; Hebrews 12:13

Verse 4
And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;
the slayer
4:42; Numbers 35:15-24
in time past
Heb. from yesterday the third day.
6; Genesis 31:2; Joshua 3:4; 1 Chronicles 11:2; Isaiah 30:33; *margins

Verse 5
As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:
head
Heb. iron.
2 Kings 6:5-7
helve
Heb. wood. lighteth. Heb. findeth. he shall flee.
Numbers 35:25; Proverbs 27:12; Isaiah 32:2

Verse 6
Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.
the avenger
Numbers 35:12; Joshua 20:5; 2 Samuel 14:7
slay him
Heb. smite him in life. not worthy.
21:22; Jeremiah 26:15,16
in time past
Heb. from yesterday the third day.

Verse 8
And if the LORD thy God enlarge thy coast, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, and give thee all the land which he promised to give unto thy fathers;
11:24,25; 12:20; Genesis 15:18-21; 28:14; Exodus 23:31; 34:24; 1 Kings 4:21; Ezra 4:20

Verse 9
If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three:
If thou shalt
11:22-25; 12:32
then shalt thou
Joshua 20:7,8

Verse 10
That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.
13; 21:8; 1 Kings 2:31; 2 Kings 21:16; 24:4; Psalms 94:21; Proverbs 6:17; Isaiah 59:7; Jeremiah 7:6,7; Joel 3:19; Jonah 1:14; Matthew 27:4,5

Verse 11
But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities:
But if any
27:24; Genesis 9:6; Exodus 21:12-14; Numbers 35:16-21,24; Proverbs 28:17
mortally
Heb. in life.

Verse 12
Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.
1 Kings 2:5,6,28-34

Verse 13
Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.
Thine eye
7:16; 13:8; 25:12; Ezekiel 16:5
but thou
21:9; Genesis 9:6; Leviticus 24:17,21; Numbers 35:33,34; 2 Samuel 21:1,14; 1 Kings 2:31

Verse 14
Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.
shalt not remove
Before the extensive use of fences, landed property was marked out by stones or posts, set up so as to ascertain the divisions of family estates. It was easy to remove one of these landmarks, and set it in a different place; and thus a dishonest man might enlarge his own estate by contracting that of his neighbour. Hence it was a matter of considerable importance to prevent this crime among the Israelites; among whom, removing them would be equivalent to forging, altering, destroying, or concealing the title-deeds of an estate among us. Accordingly, by the Mosaic law, it was not only prohibited in the commandment against covetousness, but we find a particular curse expressly annexed to it in ch. 27:17. Josephus considers this law a general prohibition, intended not only to protect private property, but also to preserve the boundaries of kingdoms and countries inviolable.
27:17; Job 24:2; Proverbs 22:28; 23:10; Hosea 5:10

Verse 15
One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
at the mouth
17:6; Numbers 35:30; 1 Kings 21:10,13; Matthew 18:16; 26:60,61; John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19; Hebrews 10:28; Revelation 11:3-7

Verse 16
If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
a false witness
Exodus 23:1-7; 1 Kings 21:10-13; Psalms 27:12; 35:11; Mark 14:55-59; Acts 6:13
that which is wrong
or, falling away.

Verse 17
Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;
17:9; 21:5; Malachi 2:7; Matthew 23:2,3

Verse 18
And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
diligent
13:14; 17:4; 2 Chronicles 19:6,7; Job 19:16

Verse 19
Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.
Then shall
Proverbs 19:5,9; Jeremiah 14:15; Daniel 6:24
so shalt
13:5; 17:7; 19:20; 21:20,21; 22:21,24; 24:7

Verse 20
And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.
13:11; 17:7,13; 21:21; Proverbs 21:11; Romans 13:3,4; 1 Timothy 5:20

Verse 21
And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
thine eye
life shall
Exodus 21:23-25; Leviticus 24:17-21; Matthew 5:38,39

 


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 19:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/deuteronomy-19.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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