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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Deuteronomy 24:5

 

 

"When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.

Adam Clarke Commentary

When a man hath taken a new wife - Other people made a similar provision for such circumstances. Alexander ordered those of his soldiers who had married that year to spend the winter with their wives, while the army was in winter quarters. See Arrian, lib. i.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/deuteronomy-24.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Deuteronomy 24:5

Free at home.

Home

Some words contain a history in themselves, and are the monuments of great movements of thought and life. Such a word is “home.” With something like a sacramental sacredness it enshrines a deep and precious meaning and a history. That the English-speaking people and their congeners alone should have this word, indicates that there are certain peculiar domestic and social traits of character belonging to them. When we study their history we find that from the very first they have been distinguished, as Tacitus tells us, by the manly and womanly virtues of fidelity and chastity; by the faithful devotion of wife to husband and husband to wife; by the recognised headship and guardianship of the married man as indicated in the old word “husband,” and the domestic dignity and function of the married woman as indicated in the old word “wife,” betokening the presence of those home-making, home-keeping, home-loving qualities of mind and heart which have always belonged to this sturdy race. And when upon these qualities the vitalising, sanctifying influence of Christianity was brought to bear, the outcome has been the building up of the noblest of all the institutions of the Christian life. No man is poor, no matter what storms of ill-fortune have beaten upon him, who can still find refuge beneath its sacred shelter; and no man is rich, no matter how splendid his fortune or his lot, who cannot claim some spot of earth as his home. My purpose, however, is neither philological nor ethnological; it is rather to speak of the function of Christianity in the home. It is upon God’s special enactment that this great institution rests. Its function is to carry out His purposes in training and ennobling men to do His will. Its perfection is the reflection of His love in the majestic order of His Godhead with fatherhood, sonship, life; its beatitude is the maintenance on earth of the peace and purity of heaven. Taking the Christian home as we know it, then, there are certain broad features of its economy, the mention of which will serve to bring out its character.

I. The first of these is its unity of orderly administration, in the supreme headship of one man, the husband; the supreme dignity of one woman, the wife; the providence of parental love in the nurture of children, and the natural piety of children in their reverence and obedience to their parents.

1. First, with reference to the discipline of the home, it is to be remembered that there is a home discipline to which all the members thereof are subject--the father and mother not less than the children. The husband and father, the wife and mother, while they are the source of authority in the home, are themselves under the authority of the God and Father of all, of whose great economy they are the earthly representatives.

2. The only basis, for instance, on which the headship of the husband can securely rest is in its conformity to the headship of Christ over His Church. From Christ he learns that all his true authority is derived from self-surrender, all his real power from self-sacrifice. Nor is the wife, the husband’s consort, exempt from this discipline of self-sacrificing love. Such service, indeed, the fond mother heart of woman is quick to render, and therein lies the hiding of her power. But this service is due not to children only, but to the husband as well. And this is to be shown not only in those gentle ministries of the home which every good wife is glad to render, and in the rendering of which her true queenship lies, but it is to be shown likewise in the reverence which she ought always to feel towards the husband. Whensoever the wife acts on this principle, she calls out what is noblest in her husband. To such parental authority I need not say that children ought to be altogether obedient in all things. Obedience is the crown and grace of childhood, without which no child can learn to be strong and great; without which no child can be lovable or lovely.

II. In the next place, let me speak of three dangers that beset the Christian home--care, worldliness, and passion.

1. First, care. The lives of all earnest men are full of care. Men have to toil and struggle to keep their place while the busy world is moving. There is one thing that can be done, however, and that is, we can keep care away from the sacred precincts of the home.

2. Even more fatal to the peace and safety of the home is worldliness--the worldliness of the husband which takes him away from his home in the calm evenings. But even worse is the worldliness of the wife. No woman is fit to be the queen she ought to be in her own household who does not, no matter what her station may be, find her chief pleasure and count her chief delight in the employments and endearments of her home.

3. And lastly, passion. Not to speak of its darker aspects--the fretful, peevish, ungovernable temper, the hasty word, the harsh unloving look, the little unkindnesses--oh, how often do these break up the peace, and finally desolate the home! Therefore there is need of prayer in the home. Therefore there is need that the fire of sacrifice should be always kept burning on its altars. But when this is so, then we see the blessedness of a Christian home. Beneath its shelter alone can the care-worn toiler and thinker lay his heavy burden down; in its calm haven alone can the weary or storm-tossed spirit find rest. (Bp. S. S. Harris.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Deuteronomy 24:5". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/deuteronomy-24.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

When a man hath taken a new wife,.... A wife he has lately married, new to him, though a widow, as Jarchi observes; but the Targum of Jonathan says a virgin; however this is opposed to his old wife, and divorced; for this, as Jarchi and Ben Melech say, excepts the return of a divorced wife, who cannot be said to be a new one:

he shall not go out to war; this is to be understood of a man that had not only betrothed, but married a wife; a man that had betrothed a wife, and not married her, who went out to war, might return if he would, Deuteronomy 20:7; but one that had married a wife was not to go out to war:

neither shall be charged with any business; as betrothed ones were; they, though they had a liberty of returning, yet they were to provide food and drink for the army, and to prepare or mend the highways, as Jarchi observes; but these were not obliged to such things, nor even to keep watch on the walls of the city, or to pay taxes, as MaimonidesF2Hilchot Melachim, c. 7. sect. 10, 11. writes:

but he shall be free at home one year; not only from all tributes and taxes, and everything relative to the affairs of war, but from public offices and employments, which might occasion absence from home. Jarchi remarks, that his house or home comprehends his vineyard; and so he thinks that this respects his house and his vineyard, that if he had built a house and dedicated it, or planted a vineyard and made it common, yet was not to remove from his house because of the necessities of war:

and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken; or rejoice with his wife which he hath taken, and solace themselves with love; and thereby not only endear himself to her, but settle his affections on her, and be so confirmed in conjugal love, that hereafter no jealousies may arise, or any cause of divorce, which this law seems to be made to guard against. So it is saidF3Arrian. Expedit Alex. l. 1. , that Alexander after the battle of Granicus sent home to Macedonia his newly married soldiers, to winter with their wives, and return at spring; which his master Aristotle had taught him, and as he was taught by a Jew.


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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 24:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/deuteronomy-24.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, c neither shall he be charged with any business: [but] he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.

(c) That they might learn to know one another's conditions, and so afterward live in godly peace.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/deuteronomy-24.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war — This law of exemption was founded on good policy and was favorable to matrimony, as it afforded a full opportunity for the affections of the newly married pair being more firmly rooted, and it diminished or removed occasions for the divorces just mentioned.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/deuteronomy-24.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

This precept very properly follows the one respecting divorces. Absence from the object we love begets coolness; and it would be well to be considered by the married, whether much of the infidelity we hear of in common life, doth not begin in this. But whether this be so or not; well I know that the absence of my affections, from the LORD my husband, and the earthly concerns, which so much carry away my soul from frequent communion with JESUS, are the sad causes why my unworthy and unfaithful heart, is living so far from him. Oh! for more constant enjoyment of thy presence, dearest Redeemer!


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/deuteronomy-24.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.

Business — Any publick office or employment, which may cause an absence from or neglect of his wife.

One year — That their affections may be firmly settled, so as there may be no occasions for the divorces last mentioned.


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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 24:5". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/deuteronomy-24.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

The immunity here given has for its object the awakening of that mutual love which may preserve the conjugal fidelity of husband and wife; for there is danger lest, if a husband departs from his wife immediately after marriage, the bride, before she has become thoroughly accustomed to him, should be too prone to fall in love with some one else. A similar danger affects the husband; for in war, and other expeditions, many things occur which tempt men to sin. God, therefore, would have the love of husband and wife fostered by their association for a whole year, that thus mutual confidence may be established between them, and they may afterwards continually beware of all incontinency.

But that God should permit a bride to enjoy herself with her husband, affords no trifling proof of His indulgence. Assuredly, it cannot be but that the lust of the flesh must affect the connection of husband and wife with some amount of sin; yet God not only pardons it, but covers it with the veil of holy matrimony, lest that which is sinful in itself should be so imputed; nay, He spontaneously allows them to enjoy themselves. With this injunction corresponds what Paul says,

“Let the husband render unto his wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer.” (1 Corinthians 7:3.)


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/deuteronomy-24.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Deuteronomy 24:5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: [but] he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.

Ver. 5. Shall cheer up his wife.] For the better knitting of their affections; which, if well done at first, will continue the more firm ever after; as a broken bone well set, or as two boards well glued together, will sooner break in a new place than there.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/deuteronomy-24.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Any business, i.e. any public office or employment, which may cause an absence from or neglect of his wife.

He shall be free at home one year, that their affections newly engaged may be firmly settled, so as there may be no occasions for the divorces last mentioned.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/deuteronomy-24.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

Further Commands Related to Relationships (Deuteronomy 24:5-15).

The relationship between the people was to be that of ‘neighbours’, and they must love their neighbour as themselves (Leviticus 19:18). Thus they must ensure that men received immediately the benefit of contracts (Deuteronomy 24:5 and Deuteronomy 24:15), that their necessities should not be retained in pledges (Deuteronomy 24:6 and Deuteronomy 24:13), that their households were protected from violation (Deuteronomy 24:7 and Deuteronomy 24:10-11), and that they were not made unclean by another’s skin disease (Deuteronomy 24:8-9).

Analysis using the words of Moses:

a When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out in the army, nor shall he be charged with any business. He shall be free at home one year, and shall pleasure his wife whom he has taken (Deuteronomy 24:5).

b No man shall take the mill or the upper millstone to pledge, for he takes a man’s life to pledge (Deuteronomy 24:6).

c If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and he deal with him as a slave, or sell him, then that thief shall die. So shall you put away the evil from the midst of you (Deuteronomy 24:7).

d Take heed in the plague of skin disease, that you observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you (Deuteronomy 24:8).

d As I commanded them, so you shall observe to do. Remember what Yahweh your God did to Miriam, by the way as you came forth out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 24:9).

c When you lend your neighbour any manner of loan, you shall not go into his house to fetch his pledge. You shall stand outside, and the man to whom you lend shall bring forth the pledge outside to you (Deuteronomy 24:10-11).

b And if he is a poor man, you shall not sleep holding on to his pledge, you shall surely restore to him the pledge when the sun goes down, that he may sleep in his garment, and bless you, and it shall be righteousness to you before Yahweh your God (Deuteronomy 24:12-13).

a You shall not take advantage of a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he be of your brethren, or of your resident aliens who are in your land within your gates, in the same day you shall give him his hire, nor shall the sun go down on it, for he is poor, and sets his heart on it, lest he cry against you to Yahweh, and it be sin to you (14-15).

Note that in ‘a’ a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out in the army, nor shall he be charged with any business. He shall be free at home one year, and shall pleasure his wife whom he has taken. Advantage must not be taken of him for he has a right to receive immediately the benefits of his marriage. In the parallel advantage must not be taken of a hired servant. He too has a right to receive immediately the benefits of his contract. In ‘b’ no man shall take the mill or the upper millstone to pledge, for he takes a man’s life to pledge, and in the parallel he must not retain a poor man’s pledge overnight but must restore it to him so that he may sleep in it. In ‘c’ if a man is found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and he deal with him as a slave, or sell him, then that thief must die, he has forced himself on and violated another’s household, and in the parallel when a man lends his neighbour any manner of loan, he must not go into his neighbour’s house to fetch his pledge, forcing himself on his household and violating it. He must stand outside, and the man to whom he lends will bring out the pledge to him. In ‘d’ all must take heed in the plague of skin disease, that they observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach them out of concern for their neighbour’s and the cleanliness of the camp, and in the parallel they must observe to do what Moses commanded them in this regard, remembering what Yahweh your God did to Miriam in smiting her with skin disease by the way as you came forth out of Egypt (and then healing her after which she had to observe her seven days - Numbers 12:10-15).

A Newly Married Man Free From Military Service For A Year (Deuteronomy 24:5).

The thought of the previous case caused Moses to want to relieve the gloom about marriage so he now introduced a case which revealed the other side of things. This is absolutely understandable in the context of Moses speaking to Israel. It is not so in the case of someone making up a story to hang on Moses. There are so many of these small indications of a speaker’s concern that no one could have had the consummate artistry to think of them all. They ring true as being what they claim to be.

This is the first in a series where the stress is on fair dealing and consideration towards the individual, with regard to relationships.

Deuteronomy 24:5

When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out in the army, nor shall he be charged with any business. He shall be free at home one year, and shall pleasure his wife whom he has taken.’

Here was a man for whom marriage was a delight. He had taken a new wife and his only desire was to be at home with her. The Law concurred. For a whole year he was to be free from army call-up, or from any pressing business that would take him away from home, so that he could pleasure his wife.

It may well be true that part of the reason for this was in order to produce an heir so that his name would live on if he was killed in war. That no doubt was a reason behind the regulation. But that is not what Moses brought out in his speech. He was stressing the positive side of marriage as well rectifying the sad view of marriage revealed in the previous case. Here advantage must not be taken of the newly wed household. They must be allowed immediately to enjoy the benefits of the marriage.


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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/deuteronomy-24.html. 2013.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Deuteronomy 24:5. Business — Any public office or employment, which may cause an absence from or neglect of his wife. One year — That their affections may be firmly settled, so as there may be no occasion for the divorces last mentioned.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/deuteronomy-24.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Wife. This indulgence was granted to those who had married a widow also. Hebrew, "a new wife," as she was new to him, (Haydock) which right he could not claim, if he only resumed the one whom he had divorced. (R. Salom.; Drusius) See chap. xx. 7.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/deuteronomy-24.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

When, &c. Compare Deuteronomy 20:7.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/deuteronomy-24.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.

When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war. This law of exemption was founded on good policy, and was favourable to matrimony, as it afforded a full opportunity for the affections of the newly-married pair being more firmly engaged, and it diminished or removed occasions for the divorces just mentioned.

It is somewhat remarkable that the same rule was put in practice by Alexander the Great in his expedition against Persia. For, after the battle of the Granicus, and previously to his retiring into winter quarters, he proclaimed to all of his soldiers who had married that year, that liberty was granted them to return home to Macedonia, and pass the winter in the society of their wives, appointing the officers to conduct this homeward-bound party, and to bring them back to the army when their furlough was expired, (Arrian, lib. 1:)


Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/deuteronomy-24.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

Deuteronomy 24:5—end of Deuteronomy 25

VARIOUS PRECEPTS OF HUMANITY.

(5) He shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business.—He shall not go forth in warfare, neither shall warfare pass upon him in any form. In Numbers 4:23; Numbers 4:30 the service of the tabernacle is called its “warfare.”

He shall be free at home.—Literally, he shall be clear for his home; free from all charges, so as to belong to that.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/deuteronomy-24.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.
a man
20:7; Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 7:10-15; Ephesians 5:28,29; Titus 2:4,5
neither, etc
Heb. not any thing shall pass upon him. cheer up.
Proverbs 5:18; Ecclesiastes 9:9; 1 Corinthians 7:29

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 24:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/deuteronomy-24.html.

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