corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Deuteronomy 25

 

 

Verse 1

LAWS WITH REGARD TO CORPORAL PUNISHMENT, Deuteronomy 25:1-3.

1. A controversy — In disputes between two men the court was to give the decision in favour of the one who was in the right. The guilty one was to be punished with stripes, which were to be in proportion to his guilt.


Verse 2

2. The judge shall cause him to lie down — The punishment was inflicted on the back. This was the Egyptian method also, as can be seen from representations on the monuments. The culprit lies flat on the ground, being held fast by his hands and feet, and receiving his punishment in the presence of the judge.


Verse 3

3. Forty stripes he may give — The rabbins fixed the number at forty save one, for fear of the letter of the law being transgressed. According to some authorities, as the scourge was made of three thongs, and each stroke was reckoned as three, in practice only thirteen blows were actually given.


Verse 4

4. Thou shalt not muzzle the ox — The ancient mode of threshing with oxen yoked together and driven over the sheaves of grain is still in use in the East. Those who muzzle the ox are looked upon as niggardly peasants.


Verse 5

OF MARRIAGE WITH THE WIDOW OF A BROTHER WHO HAS DIED CHILDLESS, Deuteronomy 25:5-10.

5. Her husband’s brother shall… take her — That is, if the married one died, leaving no child, the widow was not to be married to a stranger; her brother-in-law was to marry her. The custom was no doubt an old traditional one among the Israelites. Comp. Genesis 38:8. For an illustration see the case of Boaz and Ruth, Ruth 4.


Verse 7

7. If the man like not — If the brother-in-law was unwilling to marry the widow of his deceased brother, then she was to bring the matter before the elders for their adjudication. For an illustration see the case of Boaz and Ruth, Ruth chapters 4 and 5.


Verse 9

9. Loose his shoe from off his foot — Loosing the shoe and handing it to another denoted the transfer of a right. It arose from the custom of a person’s standing upon a piece of land he had bought when he took formal possession of it.


Verse 10

10. The house of him that hath his shoe loosed — That is, the house of the barefooted. The appellation denotes degradation.


Verse 11-12

11, 12. When men strive — According to Van Lennep (Bible Lands, p. 630, note) this is “explained by the fact that wrestlers are habitually on the alert to avail themselves of the chance to disable an antagonist by the means interdicted in this passage. The prohibition implies that the practice was common.”


Verse 13

THE DUTY OF UPRIGHT DEALING ENJOINED, Deuteronomy 25:13-19.

13. Divers weights — The Hebrew reads, a stone and a stone. The use of stones for weights was common. On the subject of honesty in weights and measures see Leviticus 19:35-36.


Verse 14

14. Divers measures — An ephah and an ephah is the Hebrew. The prohibition is to condemn the having one kind of weight and measure for buying and another for selling.


Verse 15

15. That thy days may be lengthened — Comp. Exodus 20:12.


Verses 17-19

17-19. Remember what Amalek did — Moses concludes this part of his discourse by reminding the people of the crafty enmity of the Amalekites. Comp. Exodus 17:8-16.

Thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek — This was partially done under Saul, (1 Samuel 15,) and more fully in Hezekiah’s reign. See 1 Chronicles 4:42-43.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 25:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/deuteronomy-25.html. 1874-1909.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology