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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Deuteronomy 23:24

 

 

"When you enter your neighbor's vineyard, then you may eat grapes until you are fully satisfied, but you shall not put any in your basket.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thou shalt not put any in thy vessel - Thou shalt carry none away with thee. The old English proverb, Eat thy fill but pocket none, seems to have been founded on this law.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/deuteronomy-23.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard,.... To take a walk in it for recreation, and to see how the vines flourish, and what sort of fruit and what quantity of it they bear; being invited thither by the owner, or occasionally passing that way stepped in, and even it may be on purpose to taste the fruits of the vine and quench thirst and satisfy appetite:

then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill, at thine own pleasure; as many as they would, till nature was satisfied:

but thou shall not put any in thy vessel; to carry away, to be eaten by them or theirs at another time and place; they were to put none into their pockets or into their baskets, as the Targum of Jonathan, or whatsoever vessel they might have with them in the vineyard. Jarchi says, the Scripture speaks of a workman, and only at the time of gathering the grapes, when he was putting into his master's vessels, and might not put any into his own, and carry away; so the Jewish writersF9Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Maaserot, c. 2. sect. 7. generally interpret it of a workman only, and of his eating those things in which he works, and not of such as pass by the way; so the Targums: and there are many traditions in the MisnahF11Misn. Bava Metzia, c. 7. sect. 2,4,5,6. concerning this affair; as that by this law a workman might eat while in his work, as the ox may while it is treading out the corn, and when his work is perfect; and that he may eat of what he is employed about; only if he is at work upon figs, he may not eat of grapes, and if on grapes, he may not eat of figs; nor might he eat more than his hire came to; and that he might make a covenant for his son and daughter, servant and handmaid, adult (that they shall take money and not eat), and for his wife, because they are endowed with knowledge; but not for his son and daughter, servant and maidservant, minors, because they are not: but JosephusF12Antiqu. l. 4. c. 8. sect. 21. , their countryman, better interprets this law, who says, that travellers, of those that passed by the way, were not forbidden tasting ripe fruits, and even were permitted to fill themselves with them as if their own, whether they were of the country or strangers.


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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 23:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/deuteronomy-23.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

When thou comest into n thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put [any] in thy o vessel.

(n) Being hired for labour.

(o) To bring home to your house.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:24". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/deuteronomy-23.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.

At thy pleasure — Which was allowed in those parts, because of the great plenty and fruitfulness of vines there.


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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 23:24". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/deuteronomy-23.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Since God here concedes a great indulgence to the poor, some restrict it to the laborers in the harvest and vintage, (142) as if He permitted them to pluck the ears of corn and grapes with their hands for food alone, and not to carry away. I have no doubt, however, that it refers to all persons, and that no greater license is given than humanity demands. For we must not strain the words too precisely, but look to the intention of the Lawgiver. God forbids men to introduce a sickle into the harvest of another; now, if a man should pluck with his hands as many ears of corn as he could carry on his shoulders, or lay upon a horse, could he excuse himself by the puerile explanation that he had not used a sickle? But, if common sense itself repudiates such gross impudence, it is plain that the Law has another object, viz., that no one should touch even an ear of another man’s harvest, except for present use, which occurred to Christ’s disciples, when they were compelled by hunger to rub the ears of corn in their hands, lest they should faint by the way. (Matthew 12:1.) The same view must be taken as to grapes. If any man deliberately breaks into another’s vineyard and gorges himself there, whatever excuse he may make, he will be accounted a thief. Wherefore, there is no doubt but that this Law permits hungry travelers to refresh themselves by eating grapes, when they have not enough of other food. But although the liberty of eating to their fill is granted, still it was not. allowable oil this pretext to gorge themselves. Besides, vineyards were enclosed with hedges and guarded; whence it appears that the grapes were not exposed to every glutton. This, then, is the sum, that it is not accounted a theft, if a traveler, in order to relieve his hunger, should stretch forth his hand to the hanging fruit, (143) until he should arrive at his resting-place where he may buy bread and wine.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:24". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/deuteronomy-23.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Deuteronomy 23:24 When thou comest into thy neighbour’s vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put [any] in thy vessel.

Ver. 24. When thou comest, &c.] As a passenger; [Matthew 12:1-2] how much more as a labourer; [1 Corinthians 9:7] thou mayest take what thou wilt for necessity, but not for superfluity.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/deuteronomy-23.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Thou mayest eat grapes thy fill; which was allowed in those parts, because of the great plenty and fruitfulness of vines there.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:24". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/deuteronomy-23.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24. Thou mayest eat — It was allowable to eat grain or fruit in the field of a neighbour, but not to carry away grain from the field nor grapes from the vineyard. Compare Matthew 12:1; Luke 6:1, where we read that the disciples of Jesus plucked and ate the grain as they passed through the fields. At the present day in the East the right of a hungry person to eat fruit or grain in the field of another is recognised. See Biblical Researches, vol. ii, p. 192, and Bible Lands, 12 mo, p. 128.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/deuteronomy-23.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

Food May Be Picked From A Neighbour’s Property To Be Eaten By Hand (Deuteronomy 23:24).

Further provision was made here for the poor, but it also applied to any who were feeling hungry and looked for the means at hand to satisfy it, especially when travelling. For the land was Yahweh’s and He may order as He would. He was the Master and Israel His slaves (Deuteronomy 32:36; Leviticus 25:55; Isaiah 1:3). Furthermore this goes along with Deuteronomy 24:20-22 where they must leave gleanings because they had escaped a cruel foreign master in Egypt. Thus the master/slave relationship is very much in mind here.

Deuteronomy 23:24

When you come into your neighbour’s vineyard, then you may eat of grapes your fill at your own pleasure, but you shall not put any in your vessel.’

The principle was simple. If they were in a vineyard belonging to an Israelite (a ‘neighbour’) they could eat as many grapes as they wished. However, they were not to take any away in a vessel or any other similar thing. The idea was not that everyone should raid the vineyards when they were hungry. The point was that no restriction was put on someone passing through as long as they only ate what they then required.

Deuteronomy 23:25

When you come into your neighbour’s standing grain, then you may pluck the ears with your hand, but you shall not move a sickle to your neighbour’s standing grain.’

The same applied to standing grain (not harvested grain). They could pluck ears with their hand and eat their fill. But they must not cut any down with a sharp tool. Thus none need go hungry, but this was not to be an excuse for theft or taking wrong advantage of a neighbour’s generosity. Compare Mark 2:23-28 and parallels.

Both these examples are based on Yahweh’s ownership of the land, and position with regard to Israel. He has the right to make these demands because the land and all it produces is in the end His. He is the master and owns the land and those who ‘rent’ the land are His servants so that He may do as He will. (Leviticus 25:55; Deuteronomy 32:36. This is precisely also the relationship in which Pharaoh stood to the Egyptians, compare Genesis 47:20). And yet they too will benefit for it is Yahweh who makes the land fruitful.

There is a lesson here for us all on neighbourly sharing and being generous, especially to have-nots, as we recognise in a similar way that what we have also fully belongs to Him, and we should use it as he chooses.


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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:24". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/deuteronomy-23.html. 2013.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Deuteronomy 23:24. At thy pleasure — Which was allowed in those parts, because of the great plenty and fruitfulness of vines there.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:24". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/deuteronomy-23.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Thee. Hebrew, "thou shalt not put into thy vessel," or basket. This privilege is restrained by the Chaldean, &c., to vintagers. But Josephus ([Antiquities?] iv. 8) extends it to all; and he says that those who did not even invite travellers to partake of their grapes, and other fruit, were to be punished with 39 lashes.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:24". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/deuteronomy-23.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

at thine own pleasure = as thy soul [desireth], Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:24". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/deuteronomy-23.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.

When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard. Vineyards, like grainfields, mentioned in the next verse, were often unenclosed. In vine-growing countries grapes are amazingly cheap; and we need not wonder, therefore, that all within reach of a passenger's arm was free. The quantity plucked was a loss never felt by the proprietor, and it was a kindly privilege afforded to the poor and wayfaring man.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/deuteronomy-23.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(24) When thou comest into thy neighbour’s vineyard.—Rashi tries to limit both this and the following precept to the labourer engaged in gathering the vintage or the harvest, when vessels are used and sickles employed. But the plain meaning will stand, and is accepted by our Lord in the Gospel. The objection made to His disciples was not that they plucked their neighbour’s corn, but that they did it on the Sabbath (a kind of harvesting, and therefore unlawful according to the scribes).


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/deuteronomy-23.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.
thou mayest
Romans 12:13; 1 Corinthians 10:26; Hebrews 13:5

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/deuteronomy-23.html.

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