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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Deuteronomy 21:14

 

 

"It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go wherever she wishes; but you shall certainly not sell her for money, you shall not mistreat her, because you have humbled her.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Thou shalt not make merchandise of her - Rather, thou shalt not constrain her: literally “treat her with constraint,” or “treat her as a slave.”

sa40


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/deuteronomy-21.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her;.... Either some time after marriage:

then thou shalt let her go whither she will; by a bill of divorce, as the Targum of Jonathan, who understands it in this sense, and as the connection of the words seems to require; or else before marriage, at the month's end, or any time before, that if his affections cooled towards her, and all the above methods tended to abate his love of her, then he was obliged to dismiss her, or to grant her her freedom, and let her go wherever she pleased; she was no longer his captive, nor his servant:

but thou shalt not sell her at all for money; as he might have done if he had not made such a proposal to her, and obliged her to the observance of such rites and ceremonies as he did, in order to make her his wife:

thou shalt not make merchandise of her; which seems to express the same thing, and therefore something else is rather intended; as that he should neither make any gain of her by selling her to another, nor retain her in his own service, nor make use of her as a slave; so Jarchi says, that in the Persian language they call service by this word, and which also he says he learnt from an eminent writer of theirs, R. Moses Hadarsan; with which MaimonidesF19Ut supra. (Hilchot Melachim, c. 8. sect. 2.) agrees, who explains it, shall make no use of her service, or serve himself by her; he should have no profit by her, either by sale, or servitude:

because thou hast humbled her; which phrase it must be owned is often, used of unlawful commerce with a woman, of defiling her, or violating her chastity; and so may seem to confirm the notion of those who think that he lay with her before he took her to his house, and therefore, upon a refusal to marry her afterwards, was obliged to this loss; though the word signifies any kind of affliction, as this was a very great one, a great mortification to her, to be taken into his house, to have her head shaved, and her nails pared, or suffered to grow, and her fine clothes changed for sordid ones; and all this with a profession of a design to marry her, and yet after all is deceived and disappointed by him; wherefore for such a conduct toward her he was obliged to give her her freedom.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/deuteronomy-21.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.

If thou have no delight in her — If thou dost not chuse to marry her.

Thou shalt not make merchandise of her — Make gain of her, either by using her to thy own servile works, or by prostituting her to the lusts or to the service of others.


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

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/deuteronomy-21.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

14.And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her. I have been compelled to separate this sentence from the foregoing context which I have explained elsewhere; (161) for Moses there gave instructions how a captive woman was to be taken to wife if her beauty attracted a Jewish husband. That law then had reference to chastity and conjugal fidelity, and especially to the purity of God’s worship; but now Moses prescribes that, if a man have dishonored a captive woman, he should not sell her, but let her go free, and by this satisfaction wipe out, or at any rate diminish, the injury. Hence we infer that this rule of justice depends on the Eighth Commandment, Let none defraud another. This condition was at least tolerable for the captive; for, although chastity is a special treasure, yet liberty, which is justly called an inestimable blessing, was no trifling consolation to her. The penalty, then, of lust, was that the conqueror should lose his booty.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:14". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/deuteronomy-21.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Deuteronomy 21:14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.

Ver. 14. Because thou hast humbled her.] This expression shows, that God approved not of his fact, which yet he tolerated. By "humbling" her is meant the taking away her honour of chastity; her credit was now gone. The body as a vessel should be "possessed in sanctification and honour." [1 Thessalonians 4:4]


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/deuteronomy-21.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 14. Thou shalt let her go—because thou hast humbled her These things were permitted to the Jews for the hardness of their hearts, and the violence of their passions: but the Gospel of Jesus Christ allows no such indulgences: it commands the conquest and abolition of all such unworthy passions. See Matthew 19:8.

REFLECTIONS.—The granting of the liberty above mentioned, seems rather a permission, because of the hardness of their hearts, than a command. They are absolutely forbidden all connection with the Canaanites; but in their other wars, if a man took a captive, and was pleased with her beauty, he must not gratify his lawless lust, but might make her his lawful wife; yet not till after some time, when his thoughts might be more recollected, and the woman had, during a month, gone through the process here enjoined. Note; (1.) Sudden passions must be restrained, till grace is given for reflection. (2.) What we love inordinately, we should seek to wean our affections from. (3.) Before we take a partner for life, it is of infinite moment that we agree in religion. (4.) We are bound to shew indulgence to the sorrows which flow from natural affection.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:14". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/deuteronomy-21.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

If thou have no delight in her; either,

1. After thou hast married her; and so this is a permission of a divorce, which being indulged towards an Israelitish woman, was not likely to be denied towards a stranger. Or rather,

2. Before thy marriage; for it is not probable, that God having given him competent time for the trial of his affections to her before he was permitted to marry her, would suffer him upon so slight an occasion, within a day or two after so solemn a contract, to send her away; nor is there a word spoken here of any divorce.

Thou shalt not make merchandise of her, i.e. make gain of her, either by using her to thy own servile works, or by prostituting her to the lusts or to the service of others.

Humbled her, i.e. lain with her, as this phrase is oft used, as Genesis 34:2 Deuteronomy 22:24,29 Jud 19:24 Ezekiel 23:10,11.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/deuteronomy-21.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

14. Thou shalt not make merchandise of her — Better translated, thou shalt not lay hands upon her — that is, to treat her as a slave.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/deuteronomy-21.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Deuteronomy 21:14. If thou have no delight in her — The sense may either be, 1st, If, after he had afflicted her, by making her shave her head, change her garments, &c., and keeping her a full month in hope of marriage, he should change his mind and refuse to marry her: or, 2d, If, after he had married her, and she had been his wife some time, he should conceive a dislike to her, and resolve to part with her; in either of these cases it was not to be in his power to use her as a prisoner of war, by either selling her for money, or making her a slave, but he was to give her her liberty, and let her dispose or herself as she pleased. “The wisdom and humanity of Moses,” says Philo, “are very remarkable in this law, whereby the soldiers are forbidden to indulge a hasty and brutal passion, are kept a whole month in abstinence, and thereby have an opportunity given them of knowing the temper and disposition of the woman, for whose misfortune in captivity a compassionate provision is made, by allowing her so long a time of separation and mourning.”


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

Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:14". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/deuteronomy-21.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Her. Nothing shews the weakness of the Hebrews more than this liberty, which the law was in a manner forced to allow, to prevent greater evils. The soldier who has married a captive, may abandon her, if he set her free, (Calmet) which was but a slight punishment for his inconstancy.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:14". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/deuteronomy-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

whither she will = according to her soul. Hebrew. nephesh. See App-13.

make merchandise. Hebrew. "amar. In this sense, only here and Deuteronomy 24:7.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/deuteronomy-21.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.
thou shalt
Exodus 21:7-11
because thou
22:19,24,29; Genesis 34:2; Judges 19:24

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/deuteronomy-21.html.

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