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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Deuteronomy 22

 

 

Verse 1

Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother.

Thy brother's — Any man's.

Thou shalt not hide thyself — Dissemble or pretend that thou dost not see them; or pass them by as if thou hadst not seen them.


Verse 2

And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him again.

To thine own house — To be used like thine own cattle.


Verse 3

In like manner shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his raiment; and with all lost thing of thy brother's, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest not hide thyself.

Hide thyself — Dissemble that thou hast found it. Or, hide it, that is, conceal the thing lost.


Verse 5

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

Shall not wear — Namely, ordinarily or unnecessarily, for in some cases this may be lawful, as to make an escape for one's life. Now this is forbidden, both for decency sake, that men might not confound those sexes which God hath distinguished, that all appearance of evil might be avoided, such change of garments carrying a manifest sign of effeminacy in the man, of arrogance in the woman, of lightness and petulancy in both; and also to cut off all suspicions and occasions of evil, which this practice opens a wide door to.


Verse 7

But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days.

Let the dam go — Partly for the bird's sake, which suffered enough by the loss of its young; for God would not have cruelty exercised towards the brute creatures: and partly for mens sake, to refrain their greediness, that, they should not monopolize all to themselves, but leave the hopes of a future seed for others.


Verse 8

When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence.

A battlement — A fence or breastwork, because the roofs of their houses were made flat, that men might walk on them.

Blood — The guilt of blood, by a man's fall from the top of thy house, thro' thy neglect of this necessary provision. The Jew's say, that by the equity of this law, they are obliged, and so are we, to fence or remove every thing, whereby life may he endangered, as wells, or bridges, lest if any perish thro' our omission, their blood be required at our hand.


Verse 9

Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.

Divers seeds — Either1. With divers kinds of seed mixed and sowed together between the rows of vines in thy vineyard: which was forbidden to be done in the field, Leviticus 19:19, and here, in the vineyard. Or, 2. With any kind of seed differing from that of the vine, which would produce either herbs, or corn, or fruit-bearing trees, whose fruit might be mingled with the fruit of the vines. Now this and the following precepts, tho' in themselves small and trivial, are given, according to that time and state of the church, for instructions in greater matters, and particularly to commend to them simplicity in all their carriage towards God and man, and to forbid all mixture of their inventions with God's institutions in doctrine or worship.

Defiled — Legally and morally, as being prohibited by God's law, and therefore made unclean; as on the contrary, things are sanctified by God's word, allowing and approving them, 1 Timothy 4:5.


Verse 10

Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.

An ox and an ass — Because the one was a clean beast, the other unclean whereby God would teach men to avoid polluting themselves by the touch of unclean persons or things.


Verse 12

Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.

Fringes — Or laces, or strings, partly to bring the commands of God to their remembrance, as it is expressed, Numbers 15:38, and partly is a public profession of their nation and religion, whereby they might be distinguished from strangers, that so they might be more circumspect to behave as became the people of God, and that they should own their religion before all the world.

Thou coverest thyself — These words seem restrictive to the upper garment wherewith the rest were covered.


Verse 13

If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,

If any man take a wife — And afterward falsely accuse her-What the meaning of that evidence is, by which the accusation was proved false, the learned are not agreed. Nor is it necessary for us to know: they for whom this law was intended, undoubtedly understood it.


Verse 19

And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.

The father — Because this was a reproach to his family, and to himself, as such a miscarriage of his daughter would have been ascribed to his evil education.


Verse 24

Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

She cried not — And therefore is justly presumed to have consented to it.


Verse 26

But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:

Even so — Not an act of choice, but of force and constraint.


Verse 27

For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.

The damsel cried — Which is in that case to be presumed; charity obliging us to believe the best, 'till the contrary be manifest.


Verse 29

Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

Fifty shekels — Besides the dowry, as Philo, the learned Jew notes, which is here omitted, because that was customary, it being sufficient here to mention what was peculiar to this case.

His wife — If her father consented to it.


Verse 30

A man shall not take his father's wife, nor discover his father's skirt.

Take — To wife. So this respects the state, and the next branch speaks of the act only.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 22:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/deuteronomy-22.html. 1765.

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