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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Deuteronomy 21:3

 

 

"It shall be that the city which is nearest to the slain man, that is, the elders of that city, shall take a heifer of the herd, which has not been worked and which has not pulled in a yoke;

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The requirements as regards place and victim are symbolic. The heifer represented the murderer, so far at least as to die in his stead, since he himself could not be found. As hearing his guilt the heifer must therefore be one which was of full growth and strength, and had not yet been ceremonially profaned by human use. The Christian commentators find here a type of Christ and of His sacrifice for man: but the heifer was not strictly a sacrifice or sin-offering. The transaction was rather figurative, and was so ordered as to impress the lesson of Genesis 9:5.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:3". "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, that the city which is next unto the slain man,.... And so suspected, as the Targum of Jonathan, of the murder; or the murderer is in it, or however belonged to it:

even the elders of the city shall take an heifer; of a year old, as the same Targum, and so Jarchi; and in this the Jewish writers agree, that it must be a year old, but not two; though heifers of three years old were sometimes used in sacrifice, Genesis 15:9 a type of Christ, in his strength, laboriousness, and patience; see Numbers 19:2.

which hath not been wrought with; in ploughing land, or treading out corn:

and which hath not drawn in the yoke, which never had any yoke put upon it; or however, if attempted to be put upon it, it would not come under it, and draw with it: no mention is made, as usual, that it should be without blemish: because though in some sense expiatory, yet was not properly a sacrifice, it not being slain and offered where sacrifices were; hence it is said in the MisnahF17Ut supra, (Sotah, c. 9.) sect. 5. , that a blemish in it did not make it rejected, or unlawful for use: nevertheless, this heifer may be a type of Christ, whose sufferings, bloodshed, and death, atone for secret and unknown sins, as well as for open and manifest ones, even for all sin; and its being free from labour, and without a yoke, may signify the freedom of Christ from the yoke of sin, and the service of it, and from human traditions; that he was not obliged to any toil and labour he had been concerned in, or to bear the yoke of the law, had he not voluntarily undertaken it of himself; and that he expiated the sins of such who were sons of Belial, children without a yoke; and for the same reason, this heifer not being required to be without blemish, might be because Christ, though he had no sin of his own, was made sin for his people, and reckoned as if he had been a sinner; though indeed, had this been the design of the type, all the sacrifices which typified Christ would not have required such a qualification, to be without blemish, as they did.


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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 21:3". "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, that the city which is next unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke;

Which hath not drawn in the yoke — A fit representative of the murderer, in whose stead it was killed, who would not bear the yoke of God's laws. A type also of Christ, who was under the yoke, but what he had voluntarily taken upon himself.


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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 21:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/deuteronomy-21.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Deuteronomy 21:3 And it shall be, [that] the city [which is] next unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer, which hath not been wrought with, [and] which hath not drawn in the yoke;

Ver. 3. Shall take a heifer.] Signifying Christ, who is the propitiation for his people’s sins, [1 John 2:2]


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/deuteronomy-21.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 3. Shall take an heifer If two cities happened to be equidistant from the dead body, then they joined together to provide this heifer, which might be of three years old.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:3". 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

A fit vicegerent and representative of the murderer, in whose stead it was killed, who by this act hath shown himself to be a son of Belial, who would not bear the yoke of God’s law. A type also of Christ, who was obliged to no work, and under no yoke, but what he had voluntarily taken upon himself.


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

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:3". 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

3. The city which is next unto the slain man — The nearest city was to expiate the bloodguiltiness.

A heifer, which hath not been wrought with — The victim that was to be immolated must be one that had never been applied to common use. Comp. Exodus 20:25; Numbers 19:2. Among the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans such a victim was deemed more suitable for sacrifice.


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

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/deuteronomy-21.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Heifer, not above three years old, say the Rabbins. The pagans esteemed those victims more agreeable to the gods, which had not been yoked. Chermon observes, that the Egyptians rejected such as had been once "consecrated to labour." (Grotius) --- This circumstance might here indicate, that the murderer was a son of Belial, or "without yoke;" (chap xiii. 13.; Menochius) and the heifer was slain to shew what he deserved, and must expect if he be discovered. (Haydock)


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

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/deuteronomy-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

man. Hebrew. "ish. See App-14.


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

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:3". "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, that the city which is next unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke;
an
Numbers 19:2; Jeremiah 31:18; Matthew 11:28-30; Philippians 2:8

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/deuteronomy-21.html.

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