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Strict Obedience enjoined.
The False Prophet to be Slain.
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3 Heb. abomina
tion of the.
choose : (27) and thou shalt offer thy burnt |1 Heb., inheritest, come to pass, whereof he spake unto offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon
thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, the altar of the Lord thy God: and the
which thou hast not known, and let us blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured
serve them ; (3) thou shalt not hearken out upon the altar of the LORD thy God,
unto the words of that prophet, or that and thou shalt eat the flesh.
dreamer of dreams : for the LORD your (28) Observe and hear all these words
God proveth you, to know whether ye which I command thee, that it may go 2 Heb., after them.
love the LORD your God with all your well with thee, and with thy children
heart and with all your soul. (4) Ye shall after thee for ever, when thou doest that
walk after the LORD your God, and fear which is good and right in the sight of
him, and keep his commandments, and the LORD thy God.
obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, (29) When the Lord thy God shall cut
and cleave unto him. (5) And that off the nations from before thee, whither
prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, thou goest to possess them, and thou
shall be put to death; because he hath 1succeedest them, and dwellest in their
*spoken to turn you away from the LORD land; (30) take heed to thyself that thou
your God, which brought you out of the be not snared ? by following them, after
land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of that they be destroyed from before thee;
the house of bondage, to thrust thee out and that thou enquire not after their
of the way which the LORD thy God gods, saying, How did these nations
commanded thee to walk in. So shalt serve their gods ? even so will I do like- Rev 30. 6; thou put the evil away from the midst wise. (31) Thou shalt not do so unto the
of thee. LORD thy God : for every 3 abomination
(6) If thy brother, the son of thy mother, to the LORD, which he hateth, have they
or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife done unto their gods; for even their
of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as sons and their daughters they have
thine own soul, entice thee secretly, sayburnt in the fire to their gods. (32) What
ing, Let us go and serve other gods, thing soever I command you, observe to ch. 10. 20. which thou hast not known, thou, nor do it: a thou shalt not add thereto, nor
thy fathers; (7) namely, of the gods of the diminish from it.
people which are round about you, nigh
unto thee, or far off from thee, from CHAPTER XIII.-(1) If there arise
the one end of the earth even unto the among you a prophet, or a dreamer of
other end of the earth; (8) thou shalt dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a
not consent unto him, nor hearken wonder, (2) and the sign or the wonder Lord. unto him; neither shall thine eye pity
a ch. 4. 2: Josh. 1.
4 Heb., spoken re
volt against the
(27) The blood of thy sacrifices - i.e., peace But there are instances in the history of Israel which offerings, the only kind of which the worshipper as well seem to require some such law as this in all its three as the priest might partake.
sections. The case of the false prophet justifies the (30) Take heed to thyself that thou be not action of Elijah, who took the prophets of Baal from snared.-A necessary caution. “The fear” of heathen Carmel when proved to be impostors, and brought deities often attached itself to their seats of worship. them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them It was found necessary to caution Israel against the there." fear of them and the dread of them in much later (6) If thy brother.—The substance of this law is times. (See Jer. x. 2–5.)
that individual idolaters might be executed in Israel. (32) What thing soever I command you. It justifies Jehu and Jehoiada in destroying Baal out No later writer could put these words into the mouth of of Israel and Judah (2 Kings x. 19–27, xi. 18). It Moses, if he had altered the precepts of Moses to any also accounts for the covenant made in the time of appreciable extent.
Asa (2 Chron. xv. 13), that whosoever would not serve
the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether XIII. (1) If there arise.—Three cases of instigation to The law may seem harsh, but its principle is reproidolatry are considered in this chapter :
duced in the Gospel : “He that loveth father or mother 1. The false prophet (verses 1–5).
more than me is not worthy of me (Matt. x. 37). “If 2. A private individual (verses 6–11).
any man come to me, and hate not his father, and 3. A city (verses 12–18).
mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and In every case the penalty is the same
ne-death without sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my dismercy.
ciple” (Luke xiv. 26). Is this law the production of a later age? It may It is impossible to deny or escape the identity of the be said to have been more often broken than observed. Lord Jesus with the Jehovah of the Old Testament.
man or woman.
The Idolater to be Slain
and Idolatrous Cities Destroyed.
1 Heb., bondmen.
b ch, 17. 13.
him, neither shalt thou spare, neither a ch. 17. 7. destroying it utterly, and all that is shalt thou conceal him : (9) but a thou
therein, and the cattle thereof, with the shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall
edge of the sword. (16) And thou shalt be first upon him to put him to death,
gather all the spoil of it into the midst and afterwards the hand of all the
of the street thereof, and shalt burn people. (10) And thou shalt stone him
with fire the city, and all the spoil with stones, that he die; because he
thereof every whit, for the LORD thy hath sought to thrust thee away from
God: and it shall be an heap for ever; the LORD thy God, which brought thee
it shall not be built again. (17) And there out of the land of Egypt, from the house
shall cleave nought of the 3 cursed thing of bondage. (11) And all Israel shall
to thine hand: that the LORD may turn hear, and fear, and shall do no more any
from the fierceness of his anger, and such wickedness as this is among you.
shew thee mercy, and have compassion (12) If thou shalt hear say in one of thy 2 Or, naughty men. upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath cities, which the LORD thy God hath
sworn unto thy fathers; (18) when thou given thee to dwell there, saying,
shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD (13) Certain men, 2 the children of Belial,
thy God, to keep all his commandments are gone out from among you, and have
which I command thee this day, to do withdrawn the inhabitants of their city,
that which is right in the eyes of the saying, Let us go and serve other gods,
LORD thy God. which ye have not known; (14) then shalt thou enquire, and make search,
CHAPTER XIV. - (1) Ye are the and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be « Lev. 19. 28. children of the LORD your God: “ye truth, and the thing certain, that such
shall not cut yourselves, nor make any abomination is wrought among you;
baldness between your eyes for the dead. (15) thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants
(2) d For thou art an holy people unto the of that city with the edge of the sword, a ch. 7.6 & 2. 18. LORD thy God, and the LORD hath
3 Or, devoted.
He does not always put the execution of His judgments (17) We seem to hear an echo of this verse in the into human hands, but He is the same for ever.
close of the story of Achan (Josh. vii. 26): “And all (9) Thine hand shall be first upon him to Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with put him to death.-A law tending to prevent false fire after they had stoned them with stones, and they accusation. Where the witness is obliged to carry out raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. himself, or to aid in carrying out, the sentence he So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger.” demands, secret accusation is impossible; and it is far
XIV. less easy to pervert the law in order to prosecute a private quarrel.
(1) Ye are the children of Jehovah.—This fact (12) If thou shalt hear say in one of thy is made the foundation of all the laws of ceremonial cities. The only case of this kind is the case of and moral holiness in the Pentateuch, more especially Gibeah. We may fairly assume the abominations done in the Book of Leviticus, where these laws are chiefly there to have been connected with idolatry, from the to be found. allusions in Hos. ix. 9, x. 9. But the outrage rather Ye shall not cut yourselves.- The precept is than the idolatry seems to have excited the indig. | repeated with little variation from Lev. xix. 28. nation of Israel (see Judges xx., xxi.). It is notice- Any baldness between your eyes-i.c., appaable that in the remonstrance with the Benjamites at rently, “ on your foreheads.” The word for baldness in Gibeah—(Judges xx. 13): “Now therefore deliver us this place is generally used for baldness on the back of the men, the children of Belial, which are in Gibeah, the head. that we may put them to death, and put away evil (2) For thou art an holy people.-This verse from Israel” —there seems to be an allusion to the is repeated from chap. vii. 6, word for word, except the language of this chapter in verses 5 and 11.
‘ and,” which is added here. In the former passage, (13) Children of Belial.-The very same expres. the principle is made the ground for destroying all sion is used in Judges xx. 13: “Deliver us the men, monuments of idolatry in the land of Israel. Here it the children of Belial, that are among you.". This is is made the basis of outward personal dignity and the first place where the expression " sons of Belial' purity. This recalls the arrangement of the Book of occurs, and Judges xix. 22 is the second. It is gene. Leviticus somewhat forcibly. The laws of ceremonial rally explained by modern scholars as “worthlessness. holiness stand first in that book, before the law of yearly Rashi curiously makes it“ destroyers of the yoke " (of atonement. Then follow the laws of moral holiness. Jehovah).
But the principle and ground of all these laws is the (15) and the cattle thereof.-So in Judges xx.
Ye shall be holy, for I am holy, and ye are 43: " The men of every city, the beast, and all that Mine." were found.”
Nations.-Rather, peoples. The commonwealth of (16) And shalt burn with fire the city.-So Israel and its institutions are contrasted with other states Gibeah was treated (Judges xx 40).
and their institutions.
Beasts, Fish, and Birds
1 Or, bison.
2 Heb., dishon.
chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto a Lev. 11. 2, &c. (11) Of all clean birds ye shall eat. himself, above all the nations that are
(12) But these are they of which ye
shall upon the earth.
not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, (3) Thou shalt not eat any abominable
and the ospray, (13) and the glede, and thing. (4) a These are the beasts which
the kite, and the vulture after his kind, ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the
(14) and every raven after his kind, (15) and goat, (5) the hart, and the roebuck, and
the owl, and the night hawk, and the the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and
cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, the 12 pygarg, and the wild ox, and the
(16) the little owl, and the great owl, and chamois. (6) And every beast that parteth
the swan, (17) and the pelican, and the the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two
gier eagle, and the cormorant, (18) and claws, and cheweth the cud among the
the stork, and the heron after her kind, beasts, that ye shall eat. (7) Nevertheless
and the lapwing, and the bat. (19) And these ye shall not eat of them that chew
every creeping thing that flieth is unthe cud, or of them that divide the
clean unto you : they shall not be eaten. cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare,
(20) But of all clean fowls ye may eat. and the coney: for they chew the cud, 0 Lev. 11. 9.
(21) Ye shall not eat of any thing that but divide not the hoof; therefore they
dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto are unclean unto you. (8) And the swine,
the stranger that is in thy gates, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth
that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye
it unto an alien: for thou art an holy shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch
people unto the LORD thy God. their dead carcase.
Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his (9) 6 These ye shall eat of all that are
mother's milk. in the waters: all that have fins and.
(22) Thou shalt truly tithe all the inscales shall ye eat: (10) and whatsoever
crease of thy seed, that the field bringeth hath not fins and scales
forth year by year. (23) And thou shalt it is unclean unto you.
1 Ex. 23. 19 & 34. 96. eat before the LORD thy God, in the
C Lev. 11. 19.
(3) Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.–That is, anything which Jehovah has pronounced abominable. The distinctions between His creatures were alike established and removed by the Creator. Yet, no doubt, they had also a. sanitary purpose in relation to the chosen people.
(1) These are the beasts which ye shall eat.The following paragraph to the end of verse 8 answers to Lev. xi. 2—8, with this difference. The beasts that are to be eaten are specified in Deuteronomy. The exceptions are given in Leviticus.
The ox, the sheep, and the goat.-These being sacrificial animals, naturally stand first. sheep and the goat” are literally,
a young one of the sheep or of the goats.” This may serve to illustrate Exod. xii. 5, “ Ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats.” According to the letter of the Law in Exodus, the Passover victim might be either lamb or kid. The word séh, used there and in Gen. xxii. 7, 8, is not distinctive of the species. This word is rendered “ lamb” in several places in our English Version.
(5) The wild goat.-In German the “steinbock” is given as the equivalent for this creature. The pygarg (dîshon) is sometimes taken to be the buffalo. “If alí these creatures were then to be found in Palestine, there must have been far more uncleared land than there has been for many centuries past.
(6—8) These directions are the same given in Lev. xi. 3—8.
(9—10) See Lev. xi. 9–12.
(12) These are they of which ye shall not eat.-With one exception, the unclean birds are the same described in Lev. xi. 13–19.
(13) The glede, and the kite, and the vul. ture.-In Lev. xi. 14," the vulture and the kite” alone are named. The Hebrew words are in Leviticus daah and ayyah. In this place they are rââh, ayyah, and dayyah. The close resemblance between the names is noticeable. For a description of the creatures, see list in Variorum Bible. (21)
That he may eat it.-Literally, and he will eat it. The common practice, and not the intention of the writer, may be indicated. It should be remembered that these rules and restrictions were intended to raise the Israelites above the common level; not to degrade the other nations in comparison of them. Strangers were not compelled to eat what Israel refused ; they were left free to please themselves.
Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.—This is the last appearance of a command repeated twice in Exodus (chaps. xxiii. 19, xxxiv. 26). See Notes there.
(22) Thou shalt truly tithe. - The Talmud and Jewish interpreters in general are agreed in the view that the tithe mentioned in this passage, both here and in verse 28, and also the tithe described in chap. xxvi. 12–15, are all one thing—"the second tithe ;” and entirely distinct from the ordinary tithe assigned to the Levites for their subsistence in Num. xvii. 21, and by them tithed again for the priests (Num. xviii. 26).
The tithe described in Numbers was called “the first tithe," and was not considered sacred. The second tithe, on the contrary, was always regarded as a boly thing.
(23) And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God-i.e., thou shalt eat the second tithe. This was to be done two years; but in the third and sixth years The Second Tithe.
The Seven Years' Release.
& ch. 12. 19.
place which he shall choose to place his Heb., aslieth of (28) At the end of three years thou name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy
shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings
increase the same year, and shalt lay it of thy herds and of thy flocks; that
up within thy gates : (29) and the Levite, thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy
(because he hath no part nor inheritance God always.
with thee,) and the stranger, and the (24) And if the way be too long for thee,
fatherless, and the widow, which are so that thou art not able to carry it; or
within thy gates, shall come, and shall if the place be too far from thee, which
eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy the LORD thy God shall choose to set
God may bless thee in all the work of his name there, when the LORD thy God
thine hand which thou doest. hath blessed thee: (25) then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the Lev. 25. 2, 4. CHAPTER XV.-(1) At the end of money in thine hand, and shalt go unto
bevery seven years thou shalt make a the place which the LORD thy God shall
release. (2) And this is the manner of choose: (26) and thou shalt bestow that
the release: Everycreditor that lendeth money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth
ought unto his neighbour shall release after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine,
it; he shall not exact it of his neighor for strong drink, or for whatsoever the lendinyoshis bour, or of his brother; because it is thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat
called the LORD's release. there before the LORD thy God, and thou
foreigner thou mayest exact it again: shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,
but that which is thine with thy brother (27) and a the Levite that is within thy
thine hand shall release; (4) 3 save when gates; thou shalt not forsake him ; for
there shall be no poor among you; for he hath no part nor inheritance with 3 or, to the end the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the thee.
that there he was land which the LORD thy God giveth
2 Heb., master of
(3) Of a
poor among you.
there was a different arrangement (see verse 28). In work of different men ? It is hardly likely that a whole the seventh year, which was Sabbatical, there would nation would consent to pay double tithes, and acknowprobably be no tithe, for there was to be no harvest. ledge the obligation to do so by perpetual enactment, if The profit of the earth was for all, and every one was the laws that commanded the tithe were contradictory. free to eat at pleasure.
And the more closely we look at the subject, the more (26) Thou shalt bestow that money.-The Jews clearly will the distinction between the first and second were very particular in not permitting the second tithe
The first was only an ordinary rate for to be expended upon anything not permitted here. The the support of the Levitical ministry. No sacredness rules as to its disposal form a separate treatise in the attached to it. The second was a tithe taken for Talmud, called Ma'aser Shênî, “ second tithe.”
Jehovah," that thou mayest learn to fear Jehovah thy Or for strong drink.-From this it is clear that God always" (chap. xiv. 23). The tithe was either to the use of strong drink is not sinful in itself. The be a joyful feast for the family, or a special gift to same word appears in its Greek form (Heb., shêcar ;
It furnished a table spread by the Greek, siker) in Luke i. 15.
God of Israel for the entertainment of His guests. (28) At the end of three years thou shalt Why this should be confused with the ordinary rate for bring forth all the tithe. - This is called by the the maintenance of the Levitical ministry, it is not Jews Ma’aser 'Åni, “ the poor's tithe.” They regard it
easy to understand. as identical with the second tithe, which was ordinarily eaten by the owners at Jerusalem; but in every third and sixth year was bestowed upon the poor.
(1) At the end of every seven years thou (29) And the Levite.-Rashi says, “ the Levite shalt make a release.—The Law in this place is shall come and take the first tithe (described in Num. an extension of that which we find in Exod. xxi. 2, &c., xviii.), and the stranger and the fatherless and the and Lev. xxv. 3, &c. There was not only to be a manuwidow the second tithe.” But there is no proof what. mission of Hebrew slaves and a Sabbath for the land in ever that anything except the second tithe is alluded to the seventh year, but also a release of debts, of which in the whole of this passage. The Levite always shared all the Israelites must have the benefit. with the poor (see chap. xvi. 11, 14). Rashi's opinion is (4) Save when there shall be no poor (man) worth notice chiefly for the following reason. Some among you.-This clause is the source of a very in. modern critics insist that the Law of Deuteronomy is teresting passage in the Acts of the Apostles, chap. iv. contradictory to that of Numbers in respect of tithe ; 34, “ Great grace was upon them all, for neither was but if the Jews, who kept the whole Law strictly, not there among them any (one) that lacked.” The words only saw no discrepancy between its several precepts, at the beginning of the verse in Hebrew,“ save when," but actually took the precept in Deuteronomy to imply may also be rendered (as in the Margin) “ to the end the precept in Numbers, why should we go out of our that,” or “to such an extent that there shall be no way to make difficulties now? If the precepts were poor man among you.” Those who can well afford to harmonious and compatible, why should they be the pay need not be excused from their obligations.
Precepts about Lending.
Relieving the Poor.
b Matt. 5. 42: Luke
thee for an inheritance to possess it : sa ch. 28. 12. ware that there be not a ? thought in (5) only if thou carefully hearken unto
thy ? wicked heart, saying, The seventh the voice of the LORD thy God, to
year, the year of release, is at hand; observe to do all these commandments
and thine eye be evil against thy poor which I command thee this day. (6) For
brother, and thou givest him nought; the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he
and he cry unto the Lord against thee, promised thee: and «thou shalt lend
and it be sin unto thee. (10) Thou shalt unto many nations, but thou shalt not
surely give him, and thine heart shall borrow; and thou shalt reign over many
not be grieved when thou givest unto nations, but they shall not reign over
him : because that for this thing the thee.
LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy (7) If there be among you a poor man
works, and in all that thou puttest thine of one of thy brethren within any of thy
hand unto. (11) For the
shall never gates in thy land which the LORD thy
cease out of the land : therefore I comGod giveth thee, thou shalt not harden 2 Heb. Belial. mand thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine heart, nor shut thine hand from
thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor brother: (8) but thou shalt
thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. open thine hand wide unto him, and
(121 And if thy brother, an Hebrew shalt surely lend him sufficient for his
man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold need, in that which he wanteth.
S... 21. 2; Jer. unto thee, and serve thee six years ;
1 Heb., word.
For the Lord thy God shall greatly bless promised to give, thou wilt receive the reward of the thee. So in Acts iv. 33, “ Great grace was upon them promise as well as the reward of the deed ;” and we all.” The blessing need not be equal and universal may compare St. Paul. “If there be first a willing mind, prosperity, if those who have the good things of this it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not acworld will always remember the poor to such an extent cording to that he hath not.” (2 Cor. viii. 12.) that no member of the community shall be left in (11) For the poor shall never cease. — There want.
is no contradiction between this verse and verse 4 above. (5) Only if thou carefully hearken.—“Then There will always be some men falling into poverty; but there will be none among thee in want.” So Rashi ex- it is our business to see that they do not remain in want. pounds, in the very spirit of the passage in Acts iv. The poor will never cease, except by the provision made
(6) As he promised thee.—“1 will bless theo ” for them by their brethren. God will never make all was said to Abram (Gen. xii. 2).
men absolutely equal in this world. Thou shalt lend.-The root of the word in He- Thy brother, thy poor, and thy needy.brew is closely connected with the word for “slave.” According to Rashi, the word translated“ needy.” is “The borrower is servant to the lender" (Prov. xxii. 7). stronger than the word for “poor.” The “poor
(7) A poor man.-" That needeth anything." in humble circumstances ; the needy" are actually in
Within any of thy gates.—“The poor of thine want. In commenting on this verse, Rashi asks a own city come before the poor of another city.”
similar question to that of the lawyer in St. Luke x. 29, Thou shalt not harden.-" There are some men “ Who is this brother ? Thy poor man.” He might who grieve' (grudge) whether they give or not;" have added that “ thy poor” and “thy needy” are extherefore it is said, “Thou shalt not harden thy heart; pressions teaching the truth that we are members one there are some who stretch out the hand (to give), and of another.” We may not pass by our poorer brethren, yet close it; therefore it is said, Thou shalt not shut and say we have nothing to do with them. Jehovah thine hand.”
calls them ours—"thy poor man,” and “thy needy man." (8) Thou shalt open thine hand wide. -“ Even The words are both in the singular number in the He. many times.”
brew. We cannot shake off the relationship or the reAnd shalt surely lend.—“If he does not like to sponsibility in any one case. take it as a gift, grant it to him as a loan.”
(12) If thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Sufficient for his need.—“But it is not thy Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee.-This law duty to make him rich.”
is expressly referred to in Jeremiah xxxiv. 9, 13, 14, In that which he wanteth.-“ Even a horse to as given in the time of the Exodus, and as apride on, and a slave to run before him.”
plicable both to men and women. It first appears in (10) Thou shalt surely give.—“Even a hundred Exod. xxi. 2—11, where it occupies the first section of times.”
the Sinaitic code. There is no need to suppose that Him. -“Between thee and him alone.” (Comp. “Let anything enacted here is contradictory to the Law as not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth” in given there; but there are certain peculiarities about Matt. vi. 3). I have thought it worth while to borrow the case of the female slave which create exceptions. the comments of Rashi on these verses (7—10) almost (See below on verse 17.) Rashi notes two fresh points entire, to show how well the Jews have understood the in the Law as given in Deuteronomy: one concerning true principles of Christian charity from the law of the Hebrew woman (an Hebrew "or an Hebrewess Moses. That people has always been remarkable for -verse 12; Jer. xxxiv. 9) and another concerning the kindness to its own poor.
furnishing” (verse 14). For this thing.–Literally, this word, or this pro- (12) In the seventh year.–This is to be undermise. And Rashi observes, “Even when thou hast stood of the Sabbatical year whenever it came. It would