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Deuteronomy 22 commentary

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DEUTERONOMY 22 COMMENTARY
EDITED BY GLENN PEASE
1 If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep
straying, do not ignore i...
which they had gone astray, Deu_22:1, Deu_22:2. This must be done in pity to the
very cattle, which, while they wandered, ...
COFFMAN, "Again, in this chapter, there is a collection of miscellaneous laws,
apparently mentioned at random. "The miscel...
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Deuteronomy 22 commentary

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A verse by verse commentary on DEUTERONOMY 22 dealing with loving your neighbor and loving nature. laws of acceptable dress and use of animals. laws dealing with marriage, rape and divorce.

A verse by verse commentary on DEUTERONOMY 22 dealing with loving your neighbor and loving nature. laws of acceptable dress and use of animals. laws dealing with marriage, rape and divorce.

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Deuteronomy 22 commentary

  1. 1. DEUTERONOMY 22 COMMENTARY EDITED BY GLENN PEASE 1 If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. CLARKE, "Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox or his sheep go astray - The same humane, merciful, and wise regulations which we met with before, Exo_ 23:4, Exo_23:5, well calculated to keep in remembrance the second grand branch of the law of God, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. A humane man cannot bear to see even an ass fall under his burden, and not endeavor to relieve him; and a man who loves his neighbor as himself cannot see his property in danger without endeavoring to preserve it. These comparatively small matters were tests and proofs of matters great in themselves, and in their consequences. See the note on Exo_23:4. GILL, "Thou shall not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray,.... Or "driven away" (r); frightened and starved away from the herd or from the flock by a wolf or dog; and the ox and sheep are put for every other creature a man has, as camels, asses, &c. which last sort is after mentioned; and a brother means not one in the natural relation of kindred only, for it is supposed, in the next verse, that he might not only be at a distance, but unknown; nor by religion only, or one of the commonwealth or church of the Jews, for what is enjoined is a piece of humanity the law of nature requires and directs unto, and is even to be done to enemies, Exo_23:4 and hide thyself from them; make as if he did not see them, and so be entirely negligent of them, and takes no care and show no concern about them, but let them go on wandering from the herd and flock from whence they were driven, and to which they cannot find the way of themselves: thou shalt in any case bring them again to thy brother: to his herd or flock, or to his house, and deliver them into his own hands, or to the care of his servants. HENRY 1-2, "The kindness that was commanded to be shown in reference to an enemy (Exo_23:4, etc.) is here required to be much more done for a neighbour, though he were not an Israelite, for the law is consonant to natural equity. 1. That strayed cattle should be brought back, either to the owner or to the pasture out of 1
  2. 2. which they had gone astray, Deu_22:1, Deu_22:2. This must be done in pity to the very cattle, which, while they wandered, were exposed; and in civility and respect to the owner, nay, and in justice to him, for it was doing as we would be done by, which is one of the fundamental laws of equity. Note, Religion teaches us to be neighbourly, and to be ready to do all good offices, as we have opportunity, to all men. In doing this, (1.) They must not mind trouble, but, if they knew who the owner was, must take it back themselves; for, if they should only send notice to the owner to come and look after it himself, some mischief might befal it ere he could reach it. (2.) They must not mind expense, but, if they knew not who the owner was, must take it home and feed it till the owner was found. If such care must be taken of a neighbour's ox or ass going astray, much more of himself going astray from God and his duty; we should do our utmost to JAMISON, "Deu_22:1-4. Of humanity toward brethren. Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them, etc. — “Brother” is a term of extensive application, comprehending persons of every description; not a relative, neighbor, or fellow countryman only, but any human being, known or unknown, a foreigner, and even an enemy (Exo_23:4). The duty inculcated is an act of common justice and charity, which, while it was taught by the law of nature, was more clearly and forcibly enjoined in the law delivered by God to His people. Indifference or dissimulation in the circumstances supposed would not only be cruelty to the dumb animals, but a violation of the common rights of humanity; and therefore the dictates of natural feeling, and still more the authority of the divine law, enjoined that the lost or missing property of another should be taken care of by the finder, till a proper opportunity occurred of restoring it to the owner. K&D, "Going deeper and deeper into the manifold relations of the national life, Moses first of all explains in Deu_22:1-12 the attitude of an Israelite, on the one hand, towards a neighbour; and, on the other hand, towards the natural classification and arrangement of things, and shows how love should rule in the midst of all these relations. The different relations brought under consideration are selected rather by way of examples, and therefore follow one another without any link of connection, for the purpose of exhibiting the truth in certain concrete cases, and showing how the covenant people were to hold all the arrangement of God sacred, whether in nature or in social life. Deu_22:1-3 In Deu_22:1-4 Moses shows, by a still further expansion of Exo_23:4-5, how the property of a neighbour was to be regarded and preserved. If any man saw an ox or a sheep of his brother's (fellow-countryman) going astray, he was not to draw back from it, but to bring it back to his brother; and if the owner lived at a distance, or was unknown, he was to take it into his own house or farm, till he came to seek it. He was also to do the same with an ass or any other property that another had lost. 2
  3. 3. COFFMAN, "Again, in this chapter, there is a collection of miscellaneous laws, apparently mentioned at random. "The miscellaneous character of the precepts found in Deuteronomy 22:1,12 has perplexed those who regard these chapters as a legal code, but it is natural enough in a spoken discourse."[1] Of course, Deuteronomy is not in the formal sense "a Code of Laws." The Code of Laws is the Decalogue and related legislation of earlier chapters in the Pentateuch. Most of the things mentioned in this chapter have already been commanded by the Lord, and the feature of this chapter is found in the extensions, variations, and explanations found here. We have already commented upon most of the rules given in this chapter, and in a number of instances we have referred to the parallel passages in earlier books of the Pentateuch. (The reader is requested to see other comments on these regulations under those scriptures.) We are indebted to Scott for this list of the regulations presented in this chapter:[2] 1. On Lost Property (Deuteronomy 22:1-3). (Compare Exodus 23:4ff). 2. On Assisting Fallen Beasts (Deuteronomy 22:4). (Compare Exodus 23:5). 3. Against the Interchange of Clothes (Deuteronomy 22:5). In Deuteronomy only. 4. Regard for the Animal Kingdom (Deuteronomy 22:6,7). In Deuteronomy only. 5. A Banister Required on Roof (Deuteronomy 22:8). (Compare Exodus 21:33f). 6. Of Mixtures (Deuteronomy 22:9-11) (1) of seed; (2) of plowing animals; and (3) wearing materials. (Compare Leviticus 19:19). 7. Of Twisted Threads or Knots (Deuteronomy 22:12). (Compare Numbers 15:37-41). 8. Bride's Virginity Falsely Challenged (Deuteronomy 22:13-19). In Deuteronomy only. 9. Bride Found Guilty (Deuteronomy 22:20-21). In Deuteronomy only. 3
  4. 4. 10. Punishment of Adulterers (Deuteronomy 22:22). (Compare Leviticus 20:10). 11. Seduction of a Betrothed Virgin with Consent (Deuteronomy 22:23f). In Deuteronomy only. 12. Seduction of a Betrothed Virgin without Consent (Deuteronomy 22:25-27). In Deuteronomy only. 13. Intercourse with a Virgin Not Betrothed (Deuteronomy 22:28,29). (Compare Exodus 22:16ff). 14. Against Intercourse with a Father's Wife (Deuteronomy 22:30). (Compare Lev. 15:8; 18:8). "Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely bring them again unto thy brother. And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it home to thy house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him. And so shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his garment; and so shalt thou do with every lost thing of thy brother's, which he hath lost, and thou hast found: thou mayest not hide thyself." A comparison with Exodus 23:4f shows that what we have here is an extension of the law there. "Not only the ox or the ass or the sheep that may be lost are covered here, but `every lost thing' that belonged to a brother."[3] Also in the Exodus passage, the primary application is to an "adversary." a legal opponent, but here "brother" actually means an Israelite. Also, there is an archaic expression found a couple of times in this passage: "Thou mayest not hide thyself ... This means, `If you see ... do not ignore it.'"[4] This paragraph means that every man should look not merely to his own advantage but to the good of all people. BENSON, "Deuteronomy 22:1-2. Thy brother’s — Any man’s, this being a duty of common justice and charity, which the law of nature taught even heathen. Hide thyself from them — Dissemble, or pretend that thou dost not see them, or pass them by as if 4
  5. 5. thou hadst not seen them. If thy brother be not nigh unto thee — Which may make the duty more troublesome or chargeable. Or if thou know him not — Which implies that, if they did know the owner, they should restore it. Bring it unto thy own house — To be used like thy other cattle. Thou shalt restore it again — The owner, as it may be presumed, paying the charges. ELLICOTT, "Deuteronomy 22:1-4. LOST PROPERTY. (1) Go astray.—Literally, being driven away, as by wild beasts (Jeremiah 1:17), or by robbers. It is not simply straying. “I will seek that which was lost and bring again that which was driven away” (Ezekiel 34:16), and so in many other passages. Thou shalt not . . . hide thyself from them.—Comp. Proverbs 24:12. “If thou sayest, Behold we knew it not . . . doth not He know it?” And Isaiah 58:7, “that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh.” (3) In like manner . . . with all lost thing of thy brother’s.—This is only a particular case of the second great commandment. “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (4) Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ass or his ox fall down . . . and hide thyself.—In Exodus 23:4-5, this is put even more strongly. “If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden . . . thou shalt surely help with him.” HENRY 1-4, "Introduction The laws of this chapter provide, I. For the preservation of charity and good neighbourship, in the care of strayed or fallen cattle, Deuteronomy 22:1-4. II. For the preservation of order and distinction, that men and women should not wear one another's clothes (Deuteronomy 22:5), and that other needless mixtures should be avoided, Deuteronomy 22:9-11. III. For the preservation of birds, Deuteronomy 22:6,7. IV. Of life, Deuteronomy 22:8. V. Of the commandments, Deuteronomy 22:12. VI. Of the reputation of a wife abused, if she were innocent (Deuteronomy 22:13-19), but for her punishment if guilty, Deuteronomy 22:20,21. VII. For the preservation of the chastity of wives, Deuteronomy 22:22. Virgins betrothed (Deuteronomy 22:23-27), or not betrothed, Deuteronomy 22:28,29. And, lastly, against incest, Deuteronomy 22:30. 5
  6. 6. Verses 1-4 Kindness and Humanity. B. C. 1451. 1Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother. 2And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him again. 3In like manner shalt thou do with his ass and so shalt thou do with his raiment and with all lost thing of thy brother's, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest not hide thyself. 4Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again. The kindness that was commanded to be shown in reference to an enemy (Exodus 23:4,5, &c.) is here required to be much more done for a neighbour, though he were not an Israelite, for the law is consonant to natural equity. 1. That strayed cattle should be brought back, either to the owner or to the pasture out of which they had gone astray, Deuteronomy 22:1,2. This must be done in pity to the very cattle, which, while they wandered, were exposed and in civility and respect to the owner, nay, and in justice to him, for it was doing as we would be done by, which is one of the fundamental laws of equity. Note, Religion teaches us to be neighbourly, and to be ready to do all good offices, as we have opportunity, to all men. In doing this, (1.) They must not mind trouble, but, if they knew who the owner was, must take it back themselves for, if they should only send notice to the owner to come and look after it himself, some mischief might befal it ere he could reach it. (2.) They must not mind expense, but, if they knew not who the owner was, must take it home and feed it till the owner was found. If such care must be taken of a neighbour's ox or ass going astray, much more of himself going astray from God and his duty we should do our utmost to convert him (James 5:19), and restore him, considering ourselves, Galatians 6:1. 2. That lost goods should be brought to the owner, Deuteronomy 22:3. The Jews say, "He that found the lost goods was to give public notice of them by the common 6
  7. 7. crier three or four times," according to the usage with us if the owner could not be found, he that found the goods might convert them to his own use but (say some learned writers in this case) he would do very well to give the value of the goods to the poor. 3. That cattle in distress should be helped, Deuteronomy 22:4. This must be done both in compassion to the brute-creatures (for a merciful man regardeth the life of a beast, though it be not his own) and in love and friendship to our neighbour, not knowing how soon we may have occasion for his help. If one member may say to another, "I have at present no need of thee," it cannot say, "I never shall." LANGE 1-22, "1Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case [rather thou shalt bring them again unto thy brother 2 And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and [then] thou shalt restore it to him again 3 In like manner shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his raiment; and with all lost things of thy brother’s, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest [canst] not hide thyself 4 Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely [much more shalt thou] help him to lift[FN1] them up again 5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man [a man’s utensils, dress], neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do [every one that does] so are abomination unto the Lord thy God 6 If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting [rests, broods] upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with 7 the young: But thou shalt in any wise [Rather shalt thou] let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days 8 When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement [inclosure, railing] for thy roof, that thou bring not blood [blood-guilt] upon thine house, if any man fall from thence 9 Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers [two sorts of] seeds: lest the fruit [marg.: fulness] of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit [ingathering, produce, harvest] of thy vineyard, be defiled 10 Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together 11 Thou shalt not wear [draw, put on] a garment of divers sorts [of mixed textures] as of woolen and linen together 12 Thou shalt make thee fringes [tassels, laces] upon the 7
  8. 8. four quarters of thy vesture [cover, mantle] wherewith thou coverest thyself. EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL 1. [Wordsworth connects the following note with this reference; “that as Christ came to seek and save the one that was lost, and laid down His life first, there seems to be a spiritual connection between this precept and that which has just gone before concerning Him who became a curse for us, and so saves us from the curse.”—A. G.] To take is expressly forbidden, but also to see, not merely in order to take, steal with the eye, but more profoundly: see, and not at once lead back (‫,עלם‬ to hide, shun). In the circumstances referred to in Deuteronomy 22:2, one should even guard it, as if it was his own. No objective distance nor subjective uncertainty (as to whose it Isaiah, or to whom it belongs) can be a ground of excuse. ‫,אסף‬ literally, to separate, thus to separate the separated one from that state, to remove his separation, to remove it in any case as quickly as possible—thus to draw to himself, in love to his neighbor, to join it with thine own in the most secure place in thy house ( Deuteronomy 21:12). The cost of the case should not be counted, although truly the right of use in the mean time was not forbidden, or the final appropriation, if no owner was found. Every thing ( Deuteronomy 22:3) which could be lost by our neighbor belongs in the same category whether living or dead ( Exodus 22:8). As with the preservation and return, so also, Deuteronomy 22:4, a helping hand with the owner concerned ( Exodus 23:5). Riding, draft or farm animal. 2. Deuteronomy 22:5-7. Passing from the property of his neighbor to the peculiar in nature, we come, 1) Deuteronomy 22:5, to the peculiarity of the sexes, and indeed according to the peculiar manner of appearance to that which each has, wears. ‫כלי‬ (‫,)כלה‬ something prepared, made; raiment, weapons, utensils; not barely clothing, which is emphasized immediately afterward. The concrete expression exemplifies the idea that every invasion of the natural peculiarities of the sexes, every mingling of sexual differences, as it may be rated less in reference to our neighbor than an injury 8
  9. 9. of property, is by so much the more to be regarded in reference to God. It is too narrow a view to regard it as a mere precaution against unchastity, and too wide as an opposition to practices at idolatrous festivals. [The distinction between the sexes is natural and established by God in their creation, and any neglect or violation of that distinction, even in externals, not only leads to impurity, but involves the infraction of the laws of God.—A. G.]—2) Deuteronomy 22:6-7, treat with respect to the irrational creation, the peculiar mother-relation, through which the sexual distinction in nature is realized. The casual meeting excludes of course any designed search. The mother with (over) the young. (It speaks in a human way of the young as children.) To take the mother thus, betrays an inhuman feeling in contrast with the sight presented, is in fact a robbery of nature generally, as it is expressed in the relation specified, but specially because it is precisely the bird. Proverbial expression, Genesis 32:11; Hosea 10:14; comp. Deuteronomy 14:21; Leviticus 22:27-28. Deuteronomy 22:7. The significance of the mother in this direction is still more clear from the like promise as Deuteronomy 5:16 ( Deuteronomy 4:40; Deuteronomy 5:26; Deuteronomy 5:30). 3. [Tradition fixes the height of the battlement as at least two feet.—A. G.] In Deuteronomy 22:9 as to the vineyard he robs himself, if he does not respect the nature of things with regard to the seeds sown, since each kind should remain by itself, for in the design of securing a mixed product from the different kinds (Dual from ‫)כלא‬ of seeds, the whole profit of the vineyard for the year in question falls to the priest at the sanctuary.—Lest the fruit (fulness) (i.e. the fully matured, as the application shows) of thy seed be defiled; and thus is to be understood as referring peculiarly to the grain- filled granaries of which the seed was indeed the literal cause. It is not only on account of the two kinds of seed, but also because the vineyard, garden, is treated as a tillable field; a supplement to Leviticus 19:19 ( Matthew 13:25). The sowing leads to the field, Deuteronomy 22:10; also an emphatic supplement to Leviticus 19:19. The unequal strength and step of the two kinds of animals unfit them for use at one plough, and thus it would be only unprofitable to the owner; the ignoring of the distinction between the clean and the unclean animals avenged itself upon him practically, and hence there is nothing further than the mere prohibition. Others regard as the reason “an abhorrence of violence done to the brutes,” or of the mingling used 9
  10. 10. by the Canaanites. The spiritual application, 2 Corinthians 6:14. [Wordsworth is peculiarly rich in the spiritual application of all these directions, finding analogies everywhere, which although sometimes fanciful and forced, are striking and instructive: e.g., in the restoration of the stray, to 1 Peter 2:25, and Christ’s seeking and restoring the lost; in the injunction to help, to 1 Thessalonians 5:14; in the precept as to the clothing of the sexes, a warning against the Church’s usurpation of the place and authority of Christ, Ephesians 5:2; Ephesians 5:24; in the law against cruelty to the dam with the young, to Matthew 23:37, and the conduct of the Jews toward Christ, and to the fact that the mother bird was taken and the brood left; in the direction as to the battlement, to the obligation as to our Christian walk, in the seeds of the vineyard, to the sowing of truth and error; and here as above, to 2 Corinthians 6:14.—A. G.]. Lastly, in Deuteronomy 22:11, the law as to our own in property is closed with a reference to raiment. Here also the mere prohibition is sufficient, as Leviticus 19:19; for the coat makes the Prayer of Manasseh, in this case at least, declares that the Israelite in question does not walk in simplicity, has thus robbed himself of his spiritual character. ‫ֵז‬‫נ‬ ְ‫טּ‬ַ‫ﬠ‬ ַ‫,שׁ‬ according to Leviticus, raiment out of two divers sorts, here more exactly; woolen and linen together; from the plant and animal kingdoms. Sept. κίβδηλον (unclean, ambiguous, adulterated). Ges.: probably a Hebraized Coptic word. Meier: Semitic word: mingling, double texture. ‫שעט‬ compact, make firm. Coptic: shontness, i.e. (byssus fimbriatus). Talmud: hetcheled and smoothed, spun and twisted, woven or hooked (upon hooks), stitched. Others: It designates a more costly Egyptian texture decorated with idol figures. Josephus: which only the priest could wear. The foreign and heterogeneous materials—even the strange expression—agree well with the prohibition. (Comp. Keil, Arch. I, p80 sq.). Deuteronomy 22:12. The direction here joins itself positively to the foregoing prohibition, and at the same time throws light upon its meaning. ‫ים‬ִ‫ל‬ ִ‫ד‬ְ‫ג‬ (‫גדל‬ Hiph, to make great). The Pharisees may have taken occasion from the meaning of the word to introduce their custom. Matthew 23:5.—The ‫ת‬ ִ‫יצ‬ ִ‫,צ‬ Numbers 15:38, from ‫,צוּץ‬ the splendid bloom, with which the deuteronomic designation fundamentally agrees, for the blooming is at the same time the increasing. The mantel, or overcloak, formed out of a four-cornered piece of cloth, should have at its wings, i.e., corners, thus as if growing out from it, tassels, symbolizing the one aim of life, reminding the doer of the commands of God, taking himself out of the world, (number four), with heart and eye to have his conversation, 10
  11. 11. his life in heaven, Numbers 15:39 sq. Comp. the similar ordinances, Deuteronomy 6:8 sq. Schultz regards the direction as promoting decency [and holds also that it is a bed coverlet, and not wearing apparel, which is here referred to. His view, however, is hardly consistent either with the passage in Numbers, or with the actual Jewish usage.—A. G.]. DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL 1. “Because the love of our neighbor, the more unavoidably and universally it must be recognized as a duty, on account of our indolence and ease, must be more vividly and persuasively presented, Moses finds it necessary for the true representation to descend to particular circumstances, and the lesser relations of life.” Baumgarten. 2. Since the mine and thine in the world, as to the right, lie in continual perplexity, are very questionable, not seldom want their moral legitimation on account of sin, love, which seeks not her own, and has the same measure and energy to thy neighbor “as to thyself,” is here also the fulfilling of the law. 3. The idea of “brother” is so prevalent among the people of God, that here in Deuteronomy, the reference to the hater, i.e., enemy, is not so much to a natural adversary, but to one who is such through personal acts of hostility ( Exodus 23:4-5), and indeed is not further regarded here. It is self-evident among the people of God that evil must be overcome with good. 4. Since love to our neighbor is so inculcated, it is clear that from his nature, man would never come to the thought, not to speak of the deed, of love to his neighbor; for this is the natural condition of men through the fall. The inclination in the natural man is to hatred of his neighbor; hence in society the might of the physically strongest is decisive, and through wisdom and will, prudence and activity, this natural enmity 11
  12. 12. becomes potent in hostility, so that the man finds his pleasure and happiness in evil tricks and acts. Schelling, indeed, asserts that the love of an enemy is an irrational love. 5. As a certain angularity, one-sidedness, exaggeration is peculiar to the proverb,which gives it a striking character, so the directions Deuteronomy 22:5 sq. have an externality, nearly symbolical, which will allure beyond the mere letter, to the apprehension of the idea, and one not confined to the immediate case. Thus Baumgarten remarks upon Deuteronomy 22:5, “that it forbids the manifestation of the primitive unnaturalness and anti-godliness;” “that man (the husband) as the original man (human being) should obey the voice of his wife, the derived man;” thus arose “the first sin.” He says further: “In the measure in which man persists in his estrangement from God, this fundamental error will ever make itself felt. Romans 1:26-27. Such unnatural conduct has found its way in the cultus (Creuzer’s Symbol. II, 34sq.). But still the wrath of God reveals itself from heaven against every perversion of the sexes, in the perplexing and disturbing results of that wide-spread and ever- spreading female dominion, and male servitude.” HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL Deuteronomy 22:1. Starke: “Should we not leave the straying animal of our neighbor unrestored, how much less can we leave our neighbor himself to lie in his sins. James 5:19-20; Galatians 6:1; Romans 15:1.” ( 1 Corinthians 9:9-10). “Love of our neighbor must be practiced on the ground of grace, thus with the needed strength and with all sincerity.” Berl. Bib.: “God appoints us, with respect to His great benefits to us, to show the like to our neighbor in return, since God is neither injured nor profited by us.” “There is no such impelling cause of love, as love.” “Did not the Son of Prayer of Manasseh, and therefore even our brother, come to seek and save that which was lost?” Luke 19:10. Deuteronomy 22:5. Luther: “This does not prohibit what may be done to avoid danger, remove pain, or deceive the enemy, but generally requires that a 12
  13. 13. woman should tend to her own concerns, and a man his; in short, that each one should be satisfied with his own.” Berl. Bib.: “But a teacher who does anything which does not become him, is as one who has exchanged his garments. It is also unfit that a man should imitate the ornaments and dress of the woman. 1 Peter 3:3.” Tueb. Bib.: “Masks and the changing of dress give occasion to many sins. Ephesians 5:4.” ( 1 Corinthians 11:4 sq.). Deuteronomy 22:6 sq. Starke: “God cares even for the smallest bird, Matthew 6:25. Although man has the use, he enjoys this right only as a loan, and should not abuse it, Proverbs 12:10.” Deuteronomy 22:8. Baumgarten: “Love has a tender conscience.” Berl. Bib.: “God commands us to exercise carefulness in bodily transactions, as otherwise we tempt Him.” Cramer: “To avoid sin, we must avoid the occasion of sin; whoever does injury provokes injury.” Deuteronomy 22:9-11. Starke: “Simplicity in thought, word, and act.” Berl. Bib.: “The one fitted for the plough, but not for bearing burdens, the other the reverse: two adverse colleagues, whoever puts them together acts unreasonably. The old and new man do not agree.” Deuteronomy 22:11. Osiander: “Not half popish and half evangelical.” Starke: “No unequal marriages.” Berl. Bib.: “The robe of righteousness and the spotted garment of the flesh do not agree with each other.” ( Isaiah 61:10; Judges 13.). [Wordsworth: “We must walk in white, i.e., we must not defile the robe of Christ’s Righteousness, in which we are clothed, by corrupt doctrine or unholy living.”—A. G.]. Footnotes: FN#1 - Deuteronomy 22:4. Lifting, thou shalt lift. Perhaps the idiom in this case may include the idea of repeated helpings, as the Rabbins explain it.—A. G.] PETT 1-3, "Introduction The Covenant Stipulations, Covenant Making at Shechem, Blessings and Cursings (Deuteronomy 12:1 to Deuteronomy 29:1). In this section of Deuteronomy we first have a description of specific requirements that Yahweh laid down for His people. These make up the second part of the covenant 13
  14. 14. stipulations for the covenant expressed in Deuteronomy 4:45 to Deuteronomy 29:1 and also for the covenant which makes up the whole book. They are found in chapters 12-26. As we have seen Deuteronomy 1:1 to Deuteronomy 4:44 provide the preamble and historical prologue for the overall covenant, followed by the general stipulations in chapters 5-11. There now, therefore, in 12-26 follow the detailed stipulations which complete the main body of the covenant. These also continue the second speech of Moses which began in Deuteronomy 5:1. Overall in this speech Moses is concerned to connect with the people. It is to the people that his words are spoken rather than the priests so that much of the priestly legislation is simply assumed. Indeed it is remarkably absent in Deuteronomy except where it directly touches on the people. Anyone who read Deuteronomy on its own would wonder at the lack of cultic material it contained, and at how much the people were involved. It concentrates on their interests, and not those of the priests and Levites, while acknowledging the responsibility that they had towards both priests and Levites. And even where the cultic legislation more specifically connects with the people, necessary detail is not given, simply because he was aware that they already had it in writing elsewhere. Their knowledge of it is assumed. Deuteronomy is building on a foundation already laid. In it Moses was more concerned to get over special aspects of the legislation as it was specifically affected by entry into the land, with the interests of the people especially in mind. The suggestion that it was later written in order to bring home a new law connected with the Temple does not fit in with the facts. Without the remainder of the covenant legislation in Exodus/Leviticus/Numbers to back it up, its presentation often does not make sense from a cultic point of view. This is especially brought home by the fact that when he refers to their approach to God he speaks of it in terms of where they themselves stood or will stand when they do approach Him. They stand not on Sinai but in Horeb. They stand not in the 14
  15. 15. Sanctuary but in ‘the place’, the site of the Sanctuary. That is why he emphasises Horeb, which included the area before the Mount, and not just Sinai itself (which he does not mention). And why he speaks of ‘the place’ which Yahweh chose, which includes where the Tabernacle is sited and where they gather together around the Tabernacle, and not of the Sanctuary itself. He wants them to feel that they have their full part in the whole. These detailed stipulations in chapters 12-26 will then be followed by the details of the covenant ceremony to take place at the place which Yahweh has chosen at Shechem (Deuteronomy 27), followed by blessings and cursings to do with the observance or breach of the covenant (Deuteronomy 28). V. FURTHER REGULATIONS (Chapters 22-25). We have all heard sermons where the experienced preacher suddenly begins to roam far and wide, jumping swiftly from one subject to another in rapid succession, picking out information here and there, in order to present an overall picture. Sometimes there may seem to be no logic to it, but there usually is. And that is partly what Moses was doing here The regulations that follow may not seem to come in any discernible overall pattern, although Moses probably had one in his mind. But items are grouped together, or joined by key words and thoughts. Moses had a wide collection of laws from which he here extracted examples covering a wide range of circumstances so as to turn their thoughts back to Yahweh’s written Instruction. It was not intended to be comprehensive or detailed, but to convey an impression. (In the same way a similar lack of connections was found in many law codes). While in some cases there is, and has been, a connection with the ten commandments, that is not sufficient to explain the miscellany of laws which we must now consider, although for such a connection see, for example, Deuteronomy 19:15-21 - ‘you shall not bear false witness’; Deuteronomy 21:1-9 - ‘you shall not murder’; Deuteronomy 15
  16. 16. 21:18-21 ‘honour your father and your mother’; Deuteronomy 22:22-27 - ‘you shall not commit adultery’; Deuteronomy 23:24-25; Deuteronomy 24:7 (compare Deuteronomy 19:14) - ‘you shall not steal’. But we note that there is no mention anywhere of the Sabbath day, something which is quite remarkable if, as some think, parts of Deuteronomy were written later. It would have been seen as an obvious gap that had to be filled. But Moses may well have classed that as priestly regulation, which he rarely touches on in the speech. But these regulations which have the particular commandments in mind are found other regulations which do not obviously fit into the pattern, although attempts have been made to do it. Such attempts do, however, require a lot from the imagination. From this point on therefore we have a miscellany of regulations which cap what has gone before. While certain connections are unquestionably at times discoverable there seem in some cases to be no particular pattern to them, apart from the important one of consideration for others, and a need to consider covenant regulations. The essence of the message was that they were to love their neighbours, and resident aliens, as themselves (Deuteronomy 10:19 compare Leviticus 19:18; Leviticus 19:34). Chapter 22 Regulations In Respect of Concern for the Members of the Covenant Community and Creatures of the Land Yahweh Has Given Them. In this chapter the regulations cited cover such things as lost livestock, avoiding cross dressing, conservation in nature, keeping buildings safe, avoiding cross connection of what Yahweh has established separately, maintaining a woman’s honour, and so on. The underlining principle behind them all was consideration and thoughtfulness, and respect for what belonged to God and to Israel under the covenant. The very wideness of the range is testimony to the wideness of the area covered by the covenant; concern for their neighbours’ possessions, concern for the relationship between man and woman, concern for the mother birds of the land, concern for the life of one’s guests, concern for natural things, concern for the women of the land, concern for a father’s 16
  17. 17. position. This can be analysed as follows: a A man’s possessions were also seen as Israel’s possessions and Yahweh’s possession and are therefore seen as the responsibility of all, with each having concern for his neighbour (Deuteronomy 22:1-4). b Men and women must respect each other’s differences because they are Yahweh’s, ‘male and female He created them’, and were members of the covenant (Deuteronomy 22:5). c The birds in Yahweh’s land which are doing His will in multiplying are His, and must be conserved, even when a person was partaking of food from what they produced (Deuteronomy 22:6-7). d Concern must be shown to prevent unnecessary accidental death thus depriving Yahweh of one of His people, and the tribe of one of its members (Deuteronomy 22:8 a). d And shedding innocent blood to defile the land contrary to the covenant (Deuteronomy 22:8 b). c Differences in creation must be respected, and respect shown for each individual created thing in the context of the whole, that the land might be wholesome (Deuteronomy 22:9-11). b The right of a woman of the covenant to protection is upheld. Full consideration must be shown to her within the covenant while at the same time her failure to honour the covenant must be punished. Her behaviour brings either credit or disgrace on Israel (Deuteronomy 22:12-29). a A son must not fail in consideration for his father’s position and rights within the covenant (Deuteronomy 22:30). Note that in ‘a’ a man’s possessions must be the concern of all, while in the parallel a 17
  18. 18. father’s position and rights must be the concern of all. In ‘b’ men and women must maintain their differences and in the parallel those differences mean that a woman must receive necessary protection. In ‘c’ concern must be shown for birds and in the parallel concern must be shown for different things in creation. In ‘d’ concern must be shown in order to prevent accidental death, and in the parallel to avoid shedding innocent blood in the land. Note With Regard To Women In Chapters 21-22. Note that in each case where a woman is involved in Deuteronomy 21-22 the woman’s position and what happened to her is emphasised first, and her rights are upheld. A woman captive must be rightly dealt with (Deuteronomy 21:10-14); a despised wife is to be given her rights (Deuteronomy 21:15-17); the woman bird is to be let go (Deuteronomy 22:6-7); a woman slighted is to be defended and vindicated (Deuteronomy 22:13-19). It is not just a question of male rights. There is full concern for the woman. At the same time the right of the father to conserve the rights of his daughters and to ensure that their future is established, is established. He is her protector. But it is not correct to see the woman as just property, even though her rights are protected by her family. She is cherished within the family, and concern is shown for her protection in the context of the family, while the bride compensation payment is an evidence of her genuine worth. Women are not seen as chattels here but have dignity and rights. (End of Note.) This chapter continues the ‘thee, thou’ emphasis apart from in Deuteronomy 22:24, where a group in a locality is in mind. Verses 1-3 18
  19. 19. Looking After Other People’s Lost Belongings (Deuteronomy 22:1-3). The principle behind this regulation was concern for one’s neighbour, as revealed in looking after his lost belongings with a view to restoring them, and concern for covenant property. The latter concern came out more in the original giving of these laws where the reference was to the fact that they should do this even for their ‘enemies’ (Exodus 23:4-5). There the principle of mutual guardianship of covenant property and ‘brotherhood’ was being enforced. But here Moses was seeking to establish unity ready for the days ahead. The idea was of brotherliness and helpfulness, and getting involved on behalf of others. Analysis using the words of Moses: a You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide yourself from them. You shall surely bring them again to your brother (Deuteronomy 22:1). b And if your brother be not near to you, or if you do not know him, then you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall be with you until your brother comes looking for it, and you shall restore it to him (Deuteronomy 22:2). b And so shall you do with his ass; and so shall you do with his garment; and so shall you do with every lost thing of your brother’s, which he has lost, and you have found. You may not hide yourself (Deuteronomy 22:3). a You shall not see your brother’s ass or his ox fallen down by the way, and hide yourself from them. You shall surely help him to lift them up again (Deuteronomy 22:4). Note that in ‘a’ the ox or sheep has gone astray, and in the parallel they have fallen down by the way. In ‘b’ a ‘brother’s’ stray beast must be properly looked after, and in the parallel this is true also of clothing and anything the ‘brother’ has lost. 19
  20. 20. Deuteronomy 22:1 ‘You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide yourself from them. You shall surely bring them again to your brother.’ The straying of livestock would be a regular occurrence. Here stress was laid on a man’s responsibility towards his covenant brothers. Where straying livestock were discovered they must be taken in charge and every effort made to restore them in good health to their owner. In Exodus 23 the ox and the ass are mentioned, being the most valuable. But the idea behind it was simply, of course, any domestic animal. This spirit of helpfulness was absent from the law of Hammurabi which dealt more with legal positions. Indeed to retain someone else’s animal without their permission could there incur the death penalty. There all was suspicion. Here it is covenant love. BI 1-4, "Thy brother’s ox or his sheep. Restoration of stray cattle and lost goods Moses urges right action in manifold relations of national life, and teaches Israel to regard all arrangements of God as sacred. They were never to cherish any bitterness or hostility towards a neighbour, but restore stray animals and lost goods. I. An indication of God’s providence. “Doth God care for oxen?” Yes; and observes them go astray, or fall beneath their heavy burden. He legislates for them, and our treatment of them is reverence or disobedience to His command. “Thou shalt not see,” etc. II. An opportunity of neighbourly kindness. “Thy brother” comprehends relatives, neighbours, strangers, and enemies even (Exo_23:4). The property of any person which is in danger shall be protected and restored. Love should rule in all actions, and daily incidents afford the chance of displaying it. 1. Kindness regardless of trouble. “If thy brother be not nigh unto thee, and if thou know him not,” seek him out and find him if possible. 2. Kindness regardless of expense. If really unable to find the owner, feed and keep it for a time at thine own expense. “Then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it.” If such care must be taken for the ex, what great anxiety should we display for the temporal and spiritual welfare of our neighbour himself! III. An expression of humanity. “Thou shalt not hide thyself.” Indifference or joy in the misfortune would be cruelty to dumb creatures and a violation of the common rights of humanity. 20
  21. 21. 1. In restoring the lost. Cattle easily go astray and wander over the fence and from the fold. If seen they must be brought back and not hidden away. 2. In helping up the fallen. The ass ill-treated and over-laden may fall down through rough or slippery roads. Pity must prompt a helping hand. “Thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again.” Thus common justice and charity are taught by the law of nature and enforced by the law of Moses. Principles which anticipate the Gospel and embody themselves in one of its grandest precepts, “Love your enemies.” (J. Wolfendale.) Fraternal responsibilities The word “brother” is not to be read in a limited sense, as if referring to a relation by blood. That is evident from expression in the second verse, “If thou know him not.” The reference is general—to a brother-man. In Exodus the term used is not brother, but “enemy”—“If thine enemy’s ox, or ass, or sheep . . . ” It is needful to understand this clearly, lest we suppose that the directions given in the Bible are merely of a domestic and limited kind. “Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox or his sheep go astray.” That is not the literal rendering of the term; the literal rendering would be, “Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox or his sheep driven away”—another man behind them, and driving them on as if he were taking them to his own field. We are not to see actions of this kind and be quiet: there is a time to speak; and of all times calling for indignant eloquence and protest there are none like those which are marked by oppression and wrong-doing. Adopting this principle, how does the passage open itself to our inquiry? Thus— 1. If we must not see our brother’s ox being driven away, can we stand back and behold his mind being forced into wrong or evil directions? It were an immoral morality to contend that we must be anxious about the man’s ox but care nothing about the man’s understanding. We do not live in Deuteronomy: we live within the circle of the Cross; we are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; our morality or our philanthropy, therefore, does not end in solicitude regarding ox, or sheep, or ass: we are called to the broader concern, the tenderer interest, which relates to the human mind and the human soul. Take it from another point of view. 2. If careful about the sheep, is there to be no care concerning the man’s good name? We are told that to steal the purse is to steal trash—it is something— nothing; ‘twas mine, ‘twas his—a mere rearrangement of property; “but he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed.” We are the keepers of our brother: his good name is ours. When the reputation of a Christian man goes down or is being driven away, the sum total of Christian influence is diminished; in this sense we are not to live unto ourselves or for ourselves; every soul is part of the common stock of humanity, and when one member is exalted the whole body is raised in a worthy ascension, and when one member is debased or wronged or robbed a felony has been committed upon the consolidated property of the Church. Thus we are led into philanthropic relations, social trusteeships, and are bound one to another; and if we see a man’s reputation driven away by some cruel hand—even though the reputation be that of an enemy—we are to say, “Be just and fear not,”—let us know both sides of the case; there must be no immoral partiality; surely in the worst of cases there must be some redeeming points. Take it from another point. 3. “In like manner shalt thou do with . . . his raiment.” And are we to be careful about the man’s raiment, and care nothing about his aspirations? Is it nothing to us that the man never lifts his head towards the wider spaces, and wonders what 21
  22. 22. the lights are that glitter in the distant arch? Is it nothing to us that the man never sighs after some larger sphere, or ponders concerning some nobler possibility of life? Finding a man driving himself away, we are bound to arouse him in the Creator’s name and to accuse him of the worst species of suicide. 4. Can we see our brother’s ass being driven away and ears nothing what becomes of his child? Save the children, and begin your work as soon as possible. It is sad to see the little children left to themselves; and therefore ineffably beautiful to mark the concern which interests itself in the education and redemption of the young. A poet says he was nearer heaven in his childhood than he ever was in after days, and he sweetly prayed that he might return through his yesterdays and through his childhood back to God. That is chronologically impossible—locally and physically not to be done; and yet that is the very miracle which is to be performed in the soul—in the spirit; we must be “born again.” It is a coward’s trick to close the eyes whilst wrong is being done in order that we may not see it. It is easy to escape distress, perplexity, and to flee away from the burdens of other men; but the whole word is, “Thou shalt not hide thyself,” but “thou shalt surely help him.” Who can undervalue a Bible which speaks in such a tone? The proverb “Every man must take care of himself” has no place in the Book of God. We must take care of one another. Christianity means nothing if it does not mean the unity of the human race, the common rights of humanity: and he who fails to interpose in all cases of injustice and wrong-doing, or suffering which he can relieve, may be a great theologian, but he is not a Christian. (J. Parker, D. D.) A kind heart One day President Lincoln was walking out with his secretary, when suddenly he stopped by a shrub and gazed into it. Stooping down he ran his hands through the twigs and leaves as if to take something. His secretary inquired what he was after. Said Mr. Lincoln, “Here is a little bird fallen from its nest, and I am trying to put it back again.” True kindness ever springs instinctively from lives permeated with goodness. “Kind hearts are more than coronets.” Helping up We have lately been doing a blessed work amongst the cabmen of Manchester, many of whom have signed the pledge. I heard the other night that one of them had broken his pledge and I went to the cab rooms to look after him. I saw him there, but he tried to avoid me. He was ashamed to face me. I followed him up, and at last he presented himself before me, wearing a most dejected look. I said to him, “When you are driving your cab, and your horse falls down, what do you do?” “I jumps off the box and tries to help him up again.” “That is it, my friend, I replied. “I heard you had fallen, and so I got off my box to help you up. Will you get up? There is my hand.” He caught hold of it with a grasp like a vice, and said, “I will, sir; before God, and under His own blue heavens, I promise you that I will not touch a drop of strong drink again; and you will never have to regret the trouble you have taken with me.” Oh, Christian friends, there are many poor drunkards who have fallen down. “Will you not get off the box, and help them up?” (C. Garrett.) 22
  23. 23. 2 If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. GILL, "And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee,.... Does not live in the same neighbourhood, but at some considerable distance; so that he cannot soon and easily be informed of his cattle, or they be sent to him: or if thou know him not; the owner of them, what is his name, or where he lives: then thou shall bring it into thine house; not into his dwelling house, but some out house, barn, or stable: and it shall be with thee; remain in his custody, and be taken care of by him; and, as the Targum of Jonathan says, "be fed and nourished by him"; for, according to the Jewish canon (s), whatsoever could work and eat, that should work and eat, and whatsoever did not work and eat was to be sold; for which there was a set time, as the commentators say (t), for large cattle, as oxen, twelve months; for lesser cattle, as sheep, goats, &c. three months, here it is fixed: until thy brother seek after it; though in the mean while the finder was to make use of means, whereby the owner might be informed of it; for whatsoever was lost, in which were marks and signs by which inquiries might be made, were to be proclaimed (u); (and it is asked) how long a man was obliged to proclaim? until it was known to his neighbours; same say (he must proclaim it) at three feasts, and seven days after the last feast, so that he may go home three days, and return three days, and proclaim one day; if (the owner) tells what is lost, but does not tell the marks or signs, he may not give it him; and a deceiver, though he tells the signs, he may not give it him, as it is said, "until thy brother seek after it"; until thou inquirest of thy brother whether he is a deceiver or not: and elsewhere it is said (w), formerly if a man lost anything, and gave the signs or marks of it, he took it; but after deceivers increased, it was ordered to be said to him, bring witnesses that thou art not a deceiver, and take it; and in the same place it is observed, that there was at Jerusalem a stone, called Eben Toim, "the stone of strays", and whoever had lost or found anything repaired thither, and gave the signs and marks of it, and took it: and thou shalt restore it to him again; he having made it fully to appear to be his, and having defrayed all expenses in advertising and keeping it; but if no owner appear to claim it, or not to satisfaction, the finder was to keep it as his own; but 23
  24. 24. otherwise he was by all means to restore it, or, as in Deu_23:1 "in restoring thou shalt restore them" (x), that is, certainly restore them; and continually wherever it so happens: the Jewish canon is (y),"if he restores it, and afterwards it strays away, and he restores it again and it strays away, even though four or five times, he is bound to restore it; as it is said, "in restoring thou shalt restore them"; Maimonides says (z), that even an hundred times he is bound to restore them.'' K&D, "Going deeper and deeper into the manifold relations of the national life, Moses first of all explains in Deu_22:1-12 the attitude of an Israelite, on the one hand, towards a neighbour; and, on the other hand, towards the natural classification and arrangement of things, and shows how love should rule in the midst of all these relations. The different relations brought under consideration are selected rather by way of examples, and therefore follow one another without any link of connection, for the purpose of exhibiting the truth in certain concrete cases, and showing how the covenant people were to hold all the arrangement of God sacred, whether in nature or in social life. Deu_22:1-3 In Deu_22:1-4 Moses shows, by a still further expansion of Exo_23:4-5, how the property of a neighbour was to be regarded and preserved. If any man saw an ox or a sheep of his brother's (fellow-countryman) going astray, he was not to draw back from it, but to bring it back to his brother; and if the owner lived at a distance, or was unknown, he was to take it into his own house or farm, till he came to seek it. He was also to do the same with an ass or any other property that another had lost. SBC, "And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee,.... Does not live in the same neighbourhood, but at some considerable distance; so that he cannot soon and easily be informed of his cattle, or they be sent to him: or if thou know him not; the owner of them, what is his name, or where he lives: then thou shall bring it into thine house; not into his dwelling house, but some out house, barn, or stable: and it shall be with thee; remain in his custody, and be taken care of by him; and, as the Targum of Jonathan says, "be fed and nourished by him"; for, according to the Jewish canon (s), whatsoever could work and eat, that should work and eat, and whatsoever did not work and eat was to be sold; for which there was a set time, as the commentators say (t), for large cattle, as oxen, twelve months; for lesser cattle, as sheep, goats, &c. three months, here it is fixed: until thy brother seek after it; though in the mean while the finder was to make use of means, whereby the owner might be informed of it; for whatsoever was lost, in which were marks and signs by which inquiries might be made, were to be proclaimed (u); (and it is asked) how long a man was obliged to proclaim? until it was known to his neighbours; same say (he must proclaim it) at three feasts, and seven days after the last feast, so that he may go home three days, and return three days, and proclaim one day; if (the owner) tells what is lost, but does not tell the marks or signs, he may not give it him; and a deceiver, though he tells the signs, he may not give it him, as it is said, "until thy brother seek after it"; until thou inquirest of thy brother whether he is a deceiver or not: and elsewhere it is said (w), formerly if a man lost anything, and gave the signs or marks of it, he took it; but after deceivers 24
  25. 25. increased, it was ordered to be said to him, bring witnesses that thou art not a deceiver, and take it; and in the same place it is observed, that there was at Jerusalem a stone, called Eben Toim, "the stone of strays", and whoever had lost or found anything repaired thither, and gave the signs and marks of it, and took it: and thou shalt restore it to him again; he having made it fully to appear to be his, and having defrayed all expenses in advertising and keeping it; but if no owner appear to claim it, or not to satisfaction, the finder was to keep it as his own; but otherwise he was by all means to restore it, or, as in Deu_23:1 "in restoring thou shalt restore them" (x), that is, certainly restore them; and continually wherever it so happens: the Jewish canon is (y),"if he restores it, and afterwards it strays away, and he restores it again and it strays away, even though four or five times, he is bound to restore it; as it is said, "in restoring thou shalt restore them"; Maimonides says (z), that even an hundred times he is bound to restore them.'' PETT, "If the owner was known to live at a distance, or was for the time being unknown, the straying livestock must be housed and fed, probably separately and not mixed with his own herds and flocks, with the aim of restoring it in good condition to its owner. Where known no doubt a message would be sent to the owner, and in any case, as soon as the owner came seeking it, it was to be restored. But there was no responsibility to travel long distances in order to restore it. That was the owner’s responsibility. After a time, if no one claimed it, it would presumably simply merge in among his own animals. Its continual upkeep and the lack of an obvious owner would justify this action. 3 Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it. CLARKE, "not hide thyself - Thou shalt not keep out of the way of affording help, nor pretend thou didst not see occasion to render thy neighbor any service. The priest and the Levite, when they saw the wounded man, passed by on the other side of the way, Luk_10:31, Luk_10:32. This was a notorious breach of the merciful law mentioned above. GILL, "In like manner shall thou do with his ass,.... As with his ox or sheep when astray, and found, keep it until it is owned, and then restore it; this is expressly mentioned in Exo_23:4. 25
  26. 26. and so shalt thou do with his raiment; if that is lost and found, it must be restored to the owner, he describing it; a garment is particularly mentioned, it is said (a), because in every garment there is a mark or sign by which the owners can inquire about it; for it is made by the hands of men, and does not come from anything common: and with all lost things of thy brother's, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: this comprehends everything that is lost, that is properly so; it is asked (b);"what is a lost thing? if a man finds an ox or a cow feeding in the way, this is not a lost thing; an ass whose instruments are inverted, and a cow running among the vineyards, this is a lost thing:" thou mayest not hide thyself: from seeing it and taking care of it, in order to restore it to the right owner; or dissemble a sight of it, and pretend he never saw it, and so entirely neglect it. In some instances the Jews allow they were not obliged to take any notice or care of it, as,"if a man find a cow in a cow house (which is not shut), he is not obliged (to take care of it); if in a public place, he is obliged; if it is in a burying ground he may not defile himself for it (c).'' HENRY, " That lost goods should be brought to the owner, Deu_22:3. The Jews say, “He that found the lost goods was to give public notice of them by the common crier three or four times,” according to the usage with us; if the owner could not be found, he that found the goods might convert them to his own use; but (say some learned writers in this case) he would do very well to give the value of the goods to the poor. PETT, "The sheep and cattle were mentioned first as being examples, but the same treatment in principle was to be followed with respect to any lost animal or article. They were not to deliberately let it pass unnoticed but do all that was reasonable to ensure its restoration in good condition to its owner. They were not to prevent the recovery of the articles in any way. 4 If you see your fellow Israelite’s donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet. 26
  27. 27. GILL, "Thou shall not see thy brother's ox or his ass fall down by the way,.... And lie under his burden, not being able to rise with it of himself, nor with all the assistance about it, without further help: and hide thyself from them; cover thine eyes, or turn them another way, and make as if thou didst not see them in distress: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again; that is, help the brother and owner of it, the ox and ass; assist him in getting them up again, and lay on their burden, and fasten them aright, which either were rolled off by the fall, or were obliged to be taken off in order to raise them up; and if this was to be done for an enemy, then much more for a brother, as is required; see Gill on Exo_23:5, or "lifting up, thou shall lift them up with him" (d); that is, most certainly do it, and lift with all his strength, and as often as there is occasion; if they fell down again after raised up, help is still to be continued, even, as Maimonides (e) says, though it was an hundred times. HENRY, "That cattle in distress should be helped, Deu_22:4. This must be done both in compassion to the brute-creatures (for a merciful man regardeth the life of a beast, though it be not his own) and in love and friendship to our neighbour, not knowing how soon we may have occasion for his help. If one member may say to another, “I have at present no need of thee,” it cannot say, “I never shall.” COFFMAN, "This admonition, as Cousins stated, "Was applied in Exodus 23:4 to a legal adversary, in a lawsuit, but the law here is broader, since `brother' includes every one of God's people."[5] There is more here, however, than mere helpfulness toward our fellow men, there is concern and mercy for the animal kingdom, composed of those speechless, helpless victims of man's lust, greed, and brutality. "The righteous man regardeth the life of his beast" (Proverbs 12:10). Mercy upon the plight of the 27
  28. 28. fallen animal, it seems to us, is one of the primary motivations behind a law like this. COKE, "Ver. 4. Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass—fall down by the way, &c.— See Exodus 23:5. A famous example to this purpose is mentioned of Alphonsus, king of Naples, who, travelling upon a road, attended by a great retinue of courtiers, saw an ass with a heavy burden fallen into a deep slough: all who went before the king, passed by without any regard; but when he came to the place, he stopped, went himself to the driver, and lent him assistance to help the ass out of the mire. No one can fail remarking upon this law, how attentive Moses is to recommend the duties of justice, charity, and humanity. Note; God would herein teach us, 1. To be ready for every friendly office to our neighbour. 2. To be strictly honest and upright, in retaining nothing of his, that came, however secretly, into our possession. 3. If such care is enjoined towards a lost sheep, how much more should it be shewn towards a lost soul! PETT, 'Where someone was seen to be in need of assistance with regard to his livestock which had had an accident while going along the road, or was overburdened, every assistance must be offered so as to help them. Compare Exodus 23:5. Both these examples are a reminder to us that we should not just ignore the needs of our neighbours, but while not becoming a nuisance, should give a helping hand where we can. K&D, "Deu_22:4 A fallen animal belonging to another he was also to help up (as in Exo_23:5 : except that in this case, instead of a brother generally, an enemy or hater is mentioned). 5 A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your 28
  29. 29. God detests anyone who does this. BARNES, "That which pertaineth unto a man - i. e. not only his dress but all that especially pertains distinctively to his sex; arms, domestic and other utensils, etc. The distinction between the sexes is natural and divinely established, and cannot be neglected without indecorum and consequent danger to purity (compare 1Co_ 11:3-15). CLARKE, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man - ‫גבר‬ ‫כלי‬ keli geber, the instruments or arms of a man. As the word ‫גבר‬ geber is here used, which properly signifies a strong man or man of war, it is very probable that armor is here intended; especially as we know that in the worship of Venus, to which that of Astarte or Ashtaroth among the Canaanites bore a striking resemblance, the women were accustomed to appear in armor before her. It certainly cannot mean a simple change in dress, whereby the men might pass for women, and vice versa. This would have been impossible in those countries where the dress of the sexes had but little to distinguish it, and where every man wore a long beard. It is, however, a very good general precept understood literally, and applies particularly to those countries where the dress alone distinguishes between the male and the female. The close-shaved gentleman may at any time appear like a woman in the female dress, and the woman appear as a man in the male’s attire. Were this to be tolerated in society, it would produce the greatest confusion. Clodius, who dressed himself like a woman that he might mingle with the Roman ladies in the feast of the Bona Dea, was universally execrated. GILL, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man,.... It being very unseemly and impudent, and contrary to the modesty of her sex; or there shall not be upon her any "instrument of a man" (f), any utensil of his which he makes use of in his trade and business; as if she was employed in it, when her business was not to do the work of men, but to take care of her house and family; and so this law may be opposed to the customs of the Egyptians, as is thought, from whom the Israelites were lately come; whose women, as Herodotus (g) relates, used to trade and merchandise abroad, while the men kept at home; and the word also signifies armour (h), as Onkelos renders it; and so here forbids women putting on a military habit and going with men to war, as was usual with the eastern women; and so Maimonides (i) illustrates it, by putting a mitre or an helmet on her head, and clothing herself with a coat of mail; and in like manner Josephus (k) explains it,"take heed, especially in war, that a woman do not make use of the habit of a man, or a man that of a woman;''nor is he to be found fault with so much as he is by a learned writer (l), since he does not restrain it wholly to war, though he thinks it may have a special regard to that; for no doubt the law respects the times of peace as well as war, in neither of which such a practice should obtain: but the Targum of Jonathan very wrongly limits it to the wearing fringed garments, and to phylacteries, which belonged to men: 29
  30. 30. neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; which would betray effeminacy and softness unbecoming men, and would lead the way to many impurities, by giving an opportunity of mixing with women, and so to commit fornication and adultery with them; to prevent which and to preserve chastity this law seems to be made; and since in nature a difference of sexes is made, it is proper and necessary that this should be known by difference of dress, or otherwise many evils might follow; and this precept is agreeably to the law and light of nature: it is observed by an Heathen writer (m), that there is a twofold distribution of the law, the one written, the other not written; what we use in civil things is written, what is from nature and use is unwritten, as to walk naked in the market, or to put on a woman's garment: and change of the clothes of sexes was used among the Heathens by way of punishment, as of the soldiers that deserted, and of adulteresses (n); so abominable was it accounted: indeed it may be lawful in some cases, where life is in danger, to escape that, and provided chastity is preserved: for all that do so are an abomination to the Lord thy God; which is a reason sufficient why such a practice should not be used. Some from this clause have been led to conclude, that respect is had to some customs of this kind used in idolatrous worship, which are always abominable to the Lord. So Maimonides (o) observes, that in a book of the Zabians, called "Tomtom", it is commanded, that a man should wear a woman's garment coloured when he stood before the star of Venus, and likewise that a woman should put on a coat of mail and warlike armour when she stood before the star of Mars; which he takes to be one reason of this law, though besides that he gives another, because hereby concupiscence would be excited, and an occasion for whoredom given: that there was some such customs among the Heathens may be confirmed from Macrobius (p), and Servius (q) as has been observed by Grotius; the former of which relates, that Philochorus affirmed that Venus is the moon, and that men sacrificed to her in women's garments, and women in men's; and for this reason, because she was thought to be both male and female; and the latter says, there was an image of Venus in Cyprus with a woman's body and garment, and with the sceptre and distinction of a man, to whom the men sacrificed in women's garments, and women in men's garments; and, as the above learned commentator observes, there were many colonies of the Phoenicians in Cyprus, from whom this custom might come; and to prevent it obtaining among the Israelites in any degree, who were now coming into their country, it is thought this law was made; for the priests of the Assyrian Venus made use of women's apparel (r), and in the feasts of Bacchus men disguised themselves like women (s). HENRY, "Here are several laws in these verses which seem to stoop very low, and to take cognizance of things mean and minute. Men's laws commonly do not so: De minimis non curat lex - The law takes no cognizance of little things; but because God's providence extends itself to the smallest affairs, his precepts do so, that even in them we may be in the fear of the Lord, as we are under his eye and care. And yet the significancy and tendency of these statutes, which seem little, are such that, notwithstanding their minuteness, being fond among the things of God's law, which he has written to us, they are to be accounted great things. I. The distinction of sexes by the apparel is to be kept up, for the preservation of our own and our neighbour's chastity, Deu_22:5. Nature itself teaches that a difference be made between them in their hair (1Co_11:14), and by the same rule in their 30
  31. 31. clothes, which therefore ought not to be confounded, either in ordinary wear or occasionally. To befriend a lawful escape or concealment it may be done, but whether for sport or in the acting of plays is justly questionable. 1. Some think it refers to the idolatrous custom of the Gentiles: in the worship of Venus, women appeared in armour, and men in women's clothes; this, as other such superstitious usages, is here said to be an abomination to the Lord. 2. It forbids the confounding of the dispositions and affairs of the sexes: men must not be effeminate, nor do the women's work in the house, nor must women be viragos, pretend to teach, or usurp authority, 1Ti_2:11, 1Ti_2:12. Probably this confounding of garments had been used to gain opportunity of committing uncleanness, and is therefore forbidden; for those that would be kept from sin must keep themselves from all occasions of it and approaches to it JAMISON, "Deu_22:5-12. The sex to be distinguished by apparel. The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment — Though disguises were assumed at certain times in heathen temples, it is probable that a reference was made to unbecoming levities practiced in common life. They were properly forbidden; for the adoption of the habiliments of the one sex by the other is an outrage on decency, obliterates the distinctions of nature by fostering softness and effeminacy in the man, impudence and boldness in the woman as well as levity and hypocrisy in both; and, in short, it opens the door to an influx of so many evils that all who wear the dress of another sex are pronounced “an abomination unto the Lord.” CALVIN, "5.This decree also commends modesty in general, and in it God anticipates the danger, lest women should harden themselves into forgetfulness of modesty, or men should degenerate into effeminacy unworthy of their nature. Garments are not in themselves of so much importance; but as it is disgraceful for men to become effeminate, and also for women to affect manliness in their dress and gestures, propriety and modesty are prescribed, not only for decency’s sake, but lest one kind of liberty should at length lead to something worse. The words of the heathen poet are very true: (97) What shame can she, who wears a helmet, show, Her sex deserting?” Wherefore, decency in the fashion of the clothes is an excellent preservative of 31
  32. 32. modesty. “Quem praestare potest mulier galeata pudorem, Quae fugit a sexu.” The Fr. translation is forcible: “qu’une femme, qui contrefait le gendarme, et fuit son sexe, ne gardera nulle honte.” COFFMAN, "That this law is still applicable to God's people appears to be certain, because of Paul's identification of a man's "long hair" as a shame (1 Corinthians 11:12-15). Most of the present-day commentators write this regulation off as applicable to ancient magical or pagan religious rites, supposing that the need for the regulation no longer exists, but there is no evidence whatever to support such views. Keil flatly stated that alleged proofs of such things by Spencer are very far-fetched, and that the real reason for the regulation is: "To maintain the sanctity of that distinction of the sexes which was established by the creation of man and woman, and in relation to which Israel was not to sin. Every violation or wiping out of this distinction is unnatural, and therefore an abomination in the sight of God."[6] We consider such views as the following to be sound on this question: "Whatever tends to eliminate the distinction between the sexes tends to licentiousness; and that one sex should assume the dress of the other has always been regarded as unnatural and indecent.[7] Transvestism has historically almost always been practiced by those who exemplified the characteristics of the opposite sex; and these were often homosexuals. To wear clothes of the opposite sex immediately labels one in his community."[8] COKE, "Ver. 5. The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, &c.— A woman shall not wear man's clothes, neither shall a man put on women's clothes. Vid. Mill. Dissert. 9: p. 258, &c. The last words of the verse clearly shew this to have been an idolatrous custom; and several authors have produced instances of the like practice among the heathens. See Maimonides, More Nev. p. iii. c. 37. But, beside this, if the law had not an immediate respect to idolatrous practices; every one knows, that if the sexes were not distinguished by their habits, it would open a door to all impurity; for 32
  33. 33. which reason, were there no other, this law was very wise and pious. See Macrob. Saturnal. lib. 3: cap. 8 and Spencer, de Leg. Heb. lib. 2: cap. 29. Some have thought that this law had reference to the abominable practice condemned Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 18:30. BENSON, "Deuteronomy 22:5. Shall not wear — That is, ordinarily or unnecessarily, for in some cases this may be lawful, as to make an escape for one’s life. Now this is forbidden for decency’s sake, that men might not confound those sexes which God hath distinguished; that all appearance of evil might be avoided, such change of garments carrying a manifest sign of effeminacy in the man, of arrogance in the woman, of lightness and petulancy in both; and also to cut off all suspicions and occasions of evil, for which this practice would open a wide door. HENRY 5-12,"5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. 6 If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: 7 But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days. 8 When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence. 9 Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. 10 Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. 11Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together. 12Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself. Here are several laws in these verses which seem to stoop very low, and to take cognizance of things mean and minute. Men's laws commonly do not so: De minimis non curat lex--The law takes no cognizance of little things but because God's providence extends itself to the smallest affairs, his precepts do so, that even in them we may be in the fear of the Lord, as we are under his eye and care. And yet the significancy and tendency of these statutes, which seem little, are such that, 33
  34. 34. notwithstanding their minuteness, being fond among the things of God's law, which he has written to us, they are to be accounted great things. I. The distinction of sexes by the apparel is to be kept up, for the preservation of our own and our neighbour's chastity, Deuteronomy 22:5. Nature itself teaches that a difference be made between them in their hair (1 Corinthians 11:14), and by the same rule in their clothes, which therefore ought not to be confounded, either in ordinary wear or occasionally. To befriend a lawful escape or concealment it may be done, but whether for sport or in the acting of plays is justly questionable. 1. Some think it refers to the idolatrous custom of the Gentiles: in the worship of Venus, women appeared in armour, and men in women's clothes this, as other such superstitious usages, is here said to be an abomination to the Lord. 2. It forbids the confounding of the dispositions and affairs of the sexes: men must not be effeminate, nor do the women's work in the house, nor must women be viragos, pretend to teach, or usurp authority, 1 Timothy 2:11,12. Probably this confounding of garments had been used to gain opportunity of committing uncleanness, and is therefore forbidden for those that would be kept from sin must keep themselves from all occasions of it and approaches to it. PETT, "Cross dressing is strictly forbidden. It may well be that such behaviour was a part of certain religious rituals by which attempts were made to stir up, or even deceive the gods, but the principle was also laid down as a general one. Men should be men and women should be women, and they should be clearly distinguishable, and on principle should not wear each other’s clothing. To do so would be an abomination to God. From the beginning mankind was made male and female, the former as God’s representative on earth, the latter to assist him as an equal and bear children. And this distinction must be maintained and be clear to their children, and to the world. This law respected the positions of both men and woman, and honoured their respective responsibilities. To mix them up was to dishonour both, and ignore God’s purpose for each. Both had authority in their own sphere within the covenant, which 34
  35. 35. must not be trespassed on. It may also possibly have in mind what purpose someone might have in such behaviour. By this means they might spy on each other’s behaviour, they might have nefarious reasons for entering into each others sanctums, they might trespass on each others right to privacy. They were blurring distinctions which were intended to be maintained, and providing themselves with a means of trespassing where they ought not to be. It made for suspicion and dishonesty in society. “What pertains to a man.” This would include his weapons. Women were not to ape the man, or behave like men. The modern attempt to blur the difference between the sexes is rebellion against God’s way of things. In His economy each have their differing function. While male and female are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28), stressing equality of status, this does not affect function. Each must act within their sphere. Such behaviour would also affect their children and coarsen society. Verses 5-12 Israel Must Avoid All That Is Unseemly (Deuteronomy 22:5-12) Israel was to avoid all that was unseemly. That had applied with regard to what living things could be eaten (Deuteronomy 14:3-21). Now it applies to dressing transexually (Deuteronomy 22:5), to dealings with nature (Deuteronomy 22:6-7), and to mixing unlike with unlike (Deuteronomy 22:10-12). Analysis using the words of Moses: 35
  36. 36. a A woman shall not wear what pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh your God (5). b If a bird’s nest chance to be before you in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother sitting on the young, or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young, you shall surely let the mother go, but the young you may take to yourself, that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days (Deuteronomy 22:6-7). c When you build a new house, then you shall make a parapet for your roof (Deuteronomy 22:8 a). c So that you do not bring blood on your house, if any man fall from there (Deuteronomy 22:8 b). b You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole fruit be forfeited (literally ‘be made holy’), the seed which you have sown, and the increase of the vineyard, you shall not plough with an ox and an ass together, you shall not wear a mixed fabric, wool and linen together (Deuteronomy 22:9-11). a You shall make yourself tassels on the four borders of your robe with which you cover yourself (Deuteronomy 22:12). Note that in ‘a’ emphasis is laid on the necessity for identification, and the same applies in the parallel. In ‘b’ a mother bird and her young must not be put together for the same treatment, and in the parallel other aspects of creation are not to be put together. In ‘c’ a parapet must be made for a flat roof, and in the parallel this is so that blood is not brought on the house. SUTCLIFFE, "Deuteronomy 22:5. All that do so are abomination to the Lord. The note of Maimonides here is, that men presenting themselves before Venus, appeared partially in female attire; and women presenting themselves before Mars, appeared in armour. Sardanapalus, the last king of Nineveh, was despised by Arbactus for being found in the dress of his queens, and assisting them in spinning. 36
  37. 37. K&D, "Deu_22:5 As the property of a neighbour was to be sacred in the estimation of an Israelite, so also the divine distinction of the sexes, which was kept sacred in civil life by the clothing peculiar to each sex, was to be not less but even more sacredly observed. “There shall not be man's things upon a woman, and a man shall not put on a woman's clothes.” ‫י‬ ִ‫ל‬ ְⅴ does not signify clothing merely, nor arms only, but includes every kind of domestic and other utensils (as in Exo_22:6; Lev_11:32; Lev_13:49). The immediate design of this prohibition was not to prevent licentiousness, or to oppose idolatrous practices (the proofs which Spencer has adduced of the existence of such usages among heathen nations are very far-fetched); but to maintain the sanctity of that distinction of the sexes which was established by the creation of man and woman, and in relation to which Israel was not to sin. Every violation or wiping out of this distinction - such even, for example, as the emancipation of a woman - was unnatural, and therefore an abomination in the sight of God. BI, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man. Dominion of fashion God thought womanly attire of enough importance to have it discussed in the Bible. Just in proportion as the morals of a country or an age are depressed is that law defied. Show me the fashion plates of any century from the time of the Deluge to this, and I will tell you the exact state of public morals. Ever and anon we have imported from France, or perhaps invented on this side the sea, a style that proposes as far as possible to make women dress like men. The costumes of the countries are different, and in the same country may change, but there is a divinely ordered dissimilarity which must be forever observed. Any divergence from this is administrative of vice and runs against the keen thrust of the text. In my text, as by a parable, it is made evident that Moses, the inspired writer, as vehemently as ourselves, reprehends the effeminate man and the masculine woman. 1. My text also sanctions fashion. Indeed, it sets a fashion! There is a great deal of senseless cant on the subject of fashion. A woman or man who does not regard it is unfit for good neighbourhood. The only question is, what is right fashion and what is wrong fashion. Fashion has been one of the most potent of reformers, and one of the vilest of usurpers. Sometimes it has been an angel from heaven, and at others it has been the mother of abomination. As the world grows better there will be as much fashion as now, but it will be a righteous fashion. In the future life white robes always have been and always will be in the fashion. The accomplishments of life are in no wise productive of effeminacy or enervation. Good manners and a respect for the tastes of others are indispensable. The Good Book speaks favourably of those who are a “peculiar” people; but that does not sanction the behaviour of queer people. There is no excuse, under any circumstances, for not being and acting the lady or gentleman. Rudeness is sin. As Christianity advances there will be better apparel, higher styles of architecture, more exquisite adornments, sweeter music, grander pictures, more correct behaviour, and more thorough ladies and gentlemen. But there is another story to be told. 2. Wrong fashion is to be charged with many of the worst evils of society, and its path has often been strewn with the bodies of the slain. It has often set up a false standard by which people are to be judged. Our common sense, as well as all the Divine intimations on the subject, teach us that people ought to be esteemed according to their individual and moral attainments. The man who has the most 37
  38. 38. nobility of soul should be first, and he who has the least of such qualities should stand last. Truth, honour, charity, heroism, self-sacrifice should win highest favour; but inordinate fashion says, “Count not a woman’s virtues; count her adornments.” “Look not at the contour of the head, but see the way she combs her hair.” 3. Wrong fashion is productive of a most ruinous strife. The expenditure of many households is adjusted by what their neighbours have, not by what they themselves can afford to have; and the great anxiety is as to who shall have the finest house and the most costly equipage. 4. Again, wrong fashion makes people unnatural and untrue. It is a factory from which has come forth more hollow pretences and unmeaning flatteries than the Lowell mills ever turned out shawls and garments. Fashion is the greatest of all liars. It has made society insincere. You know not what to believe. When people ask you to come, you do not know whether or not they want you to come. When they send their regards, you do not know whether it is an expression of their heart or an external civility. We have learned to take almost everything at a discount. 5. Again, wrong fashion is incompatible with happiness. Those who depend for their comfort upon the admiration of others are subject to frequent disappointment. Somebody will criticise their appearance or surpass them in brilliancy, or will receive more attention. Oh, the jealousy and detraction and heartburnings of those who move in this bewildered maze! Poor butterflies! Bright wings do not always bring happiness. 6. Again, devotion to wrong fashion is productive of physical disease, mental imbecility, and spiritual withering. Apparel insufficient to keep out the cold and the rain, or so fitted upon the person that the functions of life are restrained; late hours filled with excitement and feasting; free draughts of wine that make one not beastly intoxicated, but only fashionably drunk; and luxurious indolence—are the instruments by which this unreal life pushes its disciples into valetudinarianism and the grave. Wrong fashion is the world’s undertaker, and drives thousands of hearses to churchyards and cemeteries. 7. But, worse than that, this folly is an intellectual depletion. What is the matter with that woman wrought up into the agony of despair? Oh, her muff is out of fashion! 8. Worse than all, this folly is not satisfied until it has extirpated every moral sentiment and blasted the soul. A wardrobe is the rock upon which many a soul has been riven. The excitement of a luxurious life has been the vortex that has swallowed up more souls than the maelstrom off Norway ever destroyed ships. What room for elevating themes in a heart filled with the trivial and unreal? (T. De Witt Talmage.) 6 If you come across a bird’s nest beside the road, either in a tree or on the ground, and the 38
  39. 39. mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young. GILL, "If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in any tree, or on the ground,.... Which are the usual places in which birds build their nests; and this, as Jarchi observes, excepts such nests that are prepared, that is, that are purposely made for fowls kept at home; and with which agrees the Jewish canon, which says (t)"the letting go (the dam out of) the nest is not used but of a fowl, and it is not used but of what is not prepared; what is that which is not prepared? such as geese and hens, whose nest is in an orchard; but if their nest is in the house, and so doves kept at home, a man is free from letting (the dam) go;''that is, he is not obliged to let it go; and this is to be understood of clean birds only; so the Targum of Jonathan,"the nests of clean birds;''agreeably to the same canons and the explanation of them (u),"an unclean bird is free from letting go; so an unclean bird, that sits upon the eggs of a clean bird, also a clean bird that sits upon the eggs of an unclean bird, are free from letting go,''or persons are not obliged to let such go: whether they be young ones or eggs; that are in the nest; and the Jewish canon is (w),"if there is but one young one, or one egg, a man is obliged to let go the dam, as it is said a nest: a nest is a word of a large sense:" and the dam sitting upon the young or upon eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young; according to the above canon,"if she is flying at the time her wings reach the nest, a man is bound to let her go; but if her wings touch not the nest, he is free from letting her go--if the young ones are capable of flying, or the eggs rotten, he is free from letting her go, as it is said, and the dam sitting, &c. as the young are alive, so the eggs must be firm and sound, rotten ones are excepted; and as eggs have need of their dam, so the young have need of their dam; those (therefore) that can fly are excepted:''the dam is not to be taken with her young upon any account; yea, it is said (x), not even to cleanse a leper; and whoever does take her is to be beaten: this law was made partly to preserve the species of birds, and prevent the decrease of them; for a dam let go might breed again, and to this purpose are the verses ascribed to Phocylides (y), which contain the substance of this law, and this reason of it: and partly, as Maimonides observes (z), that the dam might not be afflicted at the sight of the spoil of her young; for this law does not prohibit the taking of her in any other place but in her nest, nor after her young are taken, but not together; and, as the same writer remarks, if the law would have such care taken of beasts and birds, that they might be freed from sorrow and distress, how much more of man? Wherefore the intention of this law is to teach humanity, compassion, and pity in men to one another, and to forbid cruelty, covetousness, and such like vices; as also to instruct in the doctrine of Providence, which has a respect to birds; and our Lord may be thought to have this law in view, Luk_12:6. HENRY 6-7, "II. In taking a bird's-nest, the dam must be let go, Deu_22:6, Deu_ 22:7. The Jews say, “This is the least of all the commandments of the law of Moses,” 39
  40. 40. and yet the same promise is here made to the observance of it that is made to the keeping of the fifth commandment, which is one of the greatest, that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days; for, as disobedience in a small matter shows a very great contempt of the law, so obedience in a small matter shows a very great regard to it. He that let go a bird out of his hand (which was worth two in the bush) purely because God bade him, in that made it to appear that he esteemed all God's precepts concerning all things to be right, and that he could deny himself rather than sin against God. But doth God take care for birds? 1Co_9:9. Yes, certainly; and perhaps to this law our Saviour alludes. Luk_12:6, Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? This law, 1. Forbids us to be cruel to the brute-creatures, or to take a pleasure in destroying them. Though God has made us wiser than the fowls of heaven, and given us dominion over them, yet we must not abuse them nor rule them with rigour. Let go the dam to breed again; destroy it not, for a blessing is in it, Isa_65:8. 2. It teaches us compassion to those of our own kind, and to abhor the thought of every thing that looks barbarous, and cruel, and ill-natured, especially towards those of the weaker and tender sex, which always ought to be treated with the utmost respect, in consideration of the sorrows wherein they bring forth children. It is spoken of as an instance of the most inhuman cruelty that the mother was dashed to pieces upon her children (Hos_10:14), and that the women with child were ripped open, Amo_1:13. 3. It further intimates that we must not take advantage against any, from their natural affection and the tenderness of their disposition, to do them an injury. The dam could not have been taken if her concern for her eggs or young (unlike to the ostrich) had not detained her upon the next when otherwise she could easily have secured herself by flight. Now, since it is a thousand pities that she should fare the worse for that which is her praise, the law takes care that she shall be let go. The remembrance of this may perhaps, some time or other, keep us from doing a hard or unkind thing to those whom we have at our mercy. JAMISON 6-7, "If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee — This is a beautiful instance of the humanizing spirit of the Mosaic law, in checking a tendency to wanton destructiveness and encouraging a spirit of kind and compassionate tenderness to the tiniest creatures. But there was wisdom as well as humanity in the precept; for, as birds are well known to serve important uses in the economy of nature, the extirpation of a species, whether of edible or ravenous birds, must in any country be productive of serious evils. But Palestine, in particular, was situated in a climate which produced poisonous snakes and scorpions; and the deserts and mountains would have been overrun with them as well as immense swarms of flies, locusts, mice, and vermin of various kinds if the birds which fed upon them were extirpated [Michaelis]. Accordingly, the counsel given in this passage was wise as well as humane, to leave the hen undisturbed for the propagation of the species, while the taking of the brood occasionally was permitted as a check to too rapid an increase. CALVIN, "Since by this precept God instructed His people in the, law of kindness, it is a Supplement to the Sixth Commandment. Regard was had, indeed, to the preservation of the breed; but, besides, when birds are sitting, as being very lean, it is certain that they are not wholesome food; still there is no question but that it was 40

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