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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Deuteronomy 21:18

 

 

"If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them,

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son,.... It is observedF23Moses Kotensis Mitzvot Torah, pr. affirm. 122. Kimchi in 2 Sam. 3. 3. that this law quickly follows, and is subjoined to that which relates to the marriage of a woman taken captive, because often from such marriages wicked and refractory children have sprung, and which they exemplify in the case of Absalom, whose mother they say David took in war and married: the character of such a son follows, and by which it may be known that he is stubborn and rebellious; stubborn in his nature, and rebellious in his actions; behaves contrary to the laws of God, and the instructions of his parents; what he should do, that he does not; and what he should not do, that he does; will not do what is commanded him, and will do what is forbidden him, notwithstanding all counsels, admonitions, and corrections given him:

which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother; is disobedient to the commands of either of them; see Proverbs 30:17 and, when they have chastened him, will not hearken to them; when they have reproved him by words, and corrected him with blows; the Jews understand this of scourging or beating by the order of the sanhedrim, after admonition given; it is saidF24Misn. Sandedrin, c. 8. sect. 4. ,"they admonish him before three (a court of judicature consisting of three judges), and they beat him; but it seems rather to respect private corrections of their own by words and stripes, which having no effect, they were to proceed as follows.'


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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.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/deuteronomy-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his k mother, and [that], when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:

(k) For it is the mother's duty also to instruct her children.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:18". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/deuteronomy-21.html. 1599-1645.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

18.If a man have a stubborn. What God had previously adverted to in two clauses, tie now embraces in a general law, for it cannot be doubted but that by rebellious children all are designated who are abusive or insulting to their father and mother. For if it be a capital crime to be disobedient to parents, much more is it to strike, or beat them, and to assail them with reproachful words. In sum, Moses declares that those are deserving of death who are of such a stubborn and intractable disposition as to reject the authority of their father and mother, and to hold them in contempt. Whence also we infer what it is to honor our father and mother, for the punishment is only denounced for the transgression of the Commandment. When, therefore, the law delivers over to death all who contumaciously rebel against the discipline of their parents, it follows that they have refused them their due honor. An admirable means, however, of moderating the severity of the law is introduced, when God requires the case to be decided on the evidence of the father and mother; and commands that it should be publicly heard, so that none may be condemned at the will of private individuals. By the Roman law the power of life and death over his children (11) was given to the father, because it was not probable that fathers would be carried away by such senseless inhumanity as to deal cruelly with their own bowels; but, since sometimes fathers are found who are not unlike wild beasts, and examples show us that many, blinded by hate or avarice, have not spared their own children, this concession of the Roman law is justly to be repudiated. I allow, indeed, that those who desired to inflict punishment on their children called their friends into council; but, whereas, the walls of a private dwelling conceal many disgraceful things, God imposed a much better restraint on parents when He did not suffer them to go further than to lay the information and to give their testimony. For, although he would have credit given to their testimony, still, when the children were brought to the tribunal of the judges, a legal trim undoubtedly ensued; and this form of proceeding is prescribed, viz., that the father and mother should bring their son and make their complaint before the judges of his incorrigible stubbornness. It is true that the sentence is immediately subjoined; yet we must infer, nevertheless, that the judges pronounced it before the criminal was stoned, else it would have been ridiculous that they should sit there like cyphers. The very mention of a trial, therefore, implies that the son was heard in his defense, so as to clear himself of the crime, if he was not guilty of it: for, suppose the moroseness of the father and mother were notorious; or that the father accused the son by the instigation of a stepmother; or that any unworthy spite were discovered; or that the father and mother had conspired to destroy their son in a fit of passion: the defense of the cause is, therefore, implied in the adverb then, (12) for it would have been more than absurd that the son should be condemned without being heard. Especially, when he was to be stoned by the whole people, it was necessary that he should be first convicted; and on this ground he was brought forth publicly, that he might be allowed to plead his cause. But although those were condemned who were addicted to other vices also, yet Moses expressly mentions gluttons and drunkards, to show that, although no capital crime were alleged, still, dissolute profligacy was sufficient, if the son could not be corrected by his parents; for it is plain that those are in a desperate state who have so east away submissiveness and shame as to receive no profit from the admonitions of their parents. From the end of the verse we gather what was the twofold object of the punishment — that the earth should be purged of the sins whereby it was in a manner, polluted, and that the death of him who had transgressed might be an example to all.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:18". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/deuteronomy-21.html. 1840-57.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 18, &c. If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son Ample provision having been made for the security of private rights between neighbour and neighbour, Moses made another law for the regulation of families, by giving to parents a well-tempered power over incorrigible children: which was not to put the lives of their children absolutely into their hands, as the laws of some other countries did; but to direct them,—when all means of admonition and correction were lost upon a son, and when they saw nothing but ruin to the estate and family likely to result from his lewdness and debauchery,—to bring him out unto the gate of his place; i.e. to make complaint to the magistracy in court; joint complaint, ver. 20 both father and mother uniting in the accusation, which could hardly happen but in the case of the most deplorable disobedience; and which union in accusation entirely prevented all passion and prejudice. Upon this accusation of the parents, the magistrates were to condemn him to death, as a terrible example of disobedience to the laws of God and man. The Roman laws gave to parents an exorbitant authority over their children: so did the Persians and the Gauls. But with the Romans, a father could not exercise this right which the laws gave him over a disobedient child, without assembling his relations and friends, and taking their advice. See Puffendorff's Law of Nature and Nations, b. vi. c. ii. sect. 11 with Barbeyrac's note upon the place.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:18". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/deuteronomy-21.html. 1801-1803.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

THE PUNISHMENT OF AN INCORRIGIBLE SON, Deuteronomy 21:18-21.

18. A stubborn and rebellious son — The directions given are intended to assert and also limit the authority of the parents. If the son was refractory — no longer obedient — provision was made for his punishment. From our point of view the law seems severe. But it must be borne in mind that in some ancient nations the power over the life of the child was absolutely in the father’s hand. Moses provides that both parents should consent to the infliction of the penalty, the matter having first been brought before the whole community. In the Gemara, Rabbi Simon is represented as saving that the law concerning a stubborn and rebellious son has never been, and never can be, practically applied.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:18". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/deuteronomy-21.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Son. The Rabbins do not look upon children as bound by the law, till they be 13 years old. Their faults, before that age, are imputed to the father, and he is to be punished for them. When, therefore, a son has attained the competent years, the father makes attestation of it in the presence of ten Jews, declaring that he has instructed his son in the commandments, customs of the nation, and daily prayers; and that he now sets him at liberty to answer, in future, for his own faults, praying that God would enable him to lead a virtuous life. (Calmet)


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:18". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/deuteronomy-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

stubborn = rebellious.

rebellious = refractory.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:18". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/deuteronomy-21.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
have a stubborn
Proverbs 28:24; 30:11,17; Isaiah 1:2
obey the voice
27:16; Exodus 20:12; 21:15,17; Leviticus 19:3; 21:9; Proverbs 15:5; 20:20; Ezekiel 22:7
when they
8:5; 2 Samuel 7:14; Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13,14; 29:17; Hebrews 12:9-11
will not
Isaiah 1:5; Jeremiah 5:3; 31:18; Ezekiel 24:13; Amos 4:11,12

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/deuteronomy-21.html.

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