Deuteronomy 21

 

 

One general idea, the sacredness of human life and of personal rights, connects the

laws in this chapter together, as well as connects them withthe laws in the two

preceding chapters.  Expiation of uncertain murder; treatment of a captive taken

to wife, rights of the firstborn, a rebellious refractory son to be judged and

punished; a malefactor who has been hanged to be buried before nightfall.

 

 

EXPIATION OF UNCERTAIN MURDER (vs. 1-9)

 

If a body was found lying dead from a wound, and it was not known by whom

the wound had been inflicted, the whole land would be involved in the guilt of

the murder, unless it was duly expiated as heredirected. First, the elders and

judges (presumably of the neighboring towns; of Josephus, ‘Antiq.’ 4:8, 16)

were to meet, the former as magistrates representing the communities, the latter

as administrators of the law, and were to measure the distance from the body

of the slain man to each of the surrounding towns, in order to ascertain which

was the nearest. This ascertained, upon that town was to be laid the duty of

expiating the crime.

 

1 “If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee

to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath slain him:

2  Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall

measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain:

3 And it shall be, that the city which is next unto the slain man, even

the elders of that city shall take an heifer, which hath not been

wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke;” - a young cow

which had not been rendered unfit for consecration, nor had its vital

force impaired, by being subjected to forced labor (compare Numbers 19:2).

 

4 “And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough

valley,” – literally, a stream of perpetuity, a perennial stream (compare Psalm

74:15, Authorized Version, “mighty rivers;” Amos 5:24); but here rather the

valley or wady through which a stream flowed, as is evident from its being

described as “which is neither eared” – that is, ploughed (literally, wrought,

tilled) - “nor sown,”- a place which had not been profaned by the hand of man,

but was in a state of nature. This regulation as to the locality in which the act of

expiation was to be performed was probably founded on the idea that the water

of the brook-valley would suck in the blood and clean it away, and that the blood

sucked in by the earth would not be brought to light again by the ploughing and

working of the soil - “and shall strike off the heifer’s neck there in the valley:”

rather, break the heifers neck. As this was not an act of sacrifice, for which the

shedding of blood would have been required, but simply a symbolical

representation of the infliction of death on the undiscovered murderer, the animal

was to be killed by breaking its neck (compare Exodus 13:13).

 

5 “And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near;” – The presence of the

priests at this ceremony was due to their position as the servants of Jehovah

the King of Israel, on whom it devolved to see that all was done in any matter

as His Law prescribed. The priests present were probably those from the nearest

Levitical town -  for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto

Him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and by their word shall every

controversy and every stroke be tried:” - literally, And upon their mouth shall

be every strife and every stroke, i.e. by their judgment the character of the act

shall be determined, and as they decide so shall the matter stand (compare ch.

10:8; 17:8-9). In the present case the presence of the priests at the transaction

gave it sanction as valid.

 

6 “And all the elders of that city,” – The elders, by the significant act of

washing their hands, indicated that they threw off from them, utterly

repudiated, the charge of blood-guiltiness on the part of the town which

they represented (compare Psalm 26:6; 73:13; Matthew 27:24) -“that are

next unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is

beheaded in the valley:”

 

7 “And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood,

neither have our eyes seen it.” This act they were to accompany with a solemn

declaration of their innocence of this crime, and of their entire ignorance of the

perpetrator of it; and with an earnest cry to God that the sin which had

been done might be forgiven.  8  Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people

Israel,” – be propitiated towards ((literally, cover, Úm]["l] rPeK"; for the

phrase, l] rpeK",see Leviticus 1:4) - “whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not

innocent blood” - the blood of the innocent man who has been slain -

 unto thy people of Israel’s charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them.”

 

9 “So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you,

when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.”

In this way they were to deliver themselves as a nation from blood-guiltiness.

Expiation was made by the killing of the transgressor when he could be found

(ch.19:13; “the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein,

but by the blood of him that shed” - Numbers 35:33); when he was not known,

by the process here described. Of course, if afterwards he were apprehended,

he would suffer the penalty he had incurred - after the Talmud..

 

 

   The Preciousness of One Human Life in the Sight of God (vs. 1-9)

 

The value of this paragraph can be duly appreciated only as the indifference with

which pagan nations of old regarded human life is studied and understood. As a

piece of civil legislation, it is far superior to anything in the code of the nations around

at that time. Here we have undoubtedly the origin or the germ of modern coroners’

inquests.  The following points in it are worthy of note:

 

o       It is a rule to be observed when they should be settled in the land of

Canaan.

 

o       It indicates that from the first, each human life should be regarded as an

object of common interest to the whole people, and that it was to be

one of their prime points of honor, that no human life could be

tampered with WITHOUT AROUSING NATIONAL

INDIGNATION AND CONCERN!  (Consider the import of

50,000,000 abortions weighing on the shoulders of the United

States of America, much less the world.  It is GHASTLY how

many abortions are performed around the world and each one

of them is associated with the major topic here and that is

BLOOD! – Consider Abortion Rational – 2012 – # 7 - this web site –

 CY – 2012)

 

o       God would teach them, that if it should be found that any one’s life

had been trifled with, it was A SIN AGAINST HEAVEN as well

as A CRIME AGAINST EARTH!  (As you can see from the

previous paragraph, as Jerry Lee Lewis might say, there has been

“A WHOLE LOT OF TRIFLING GOING ON!” – CY – 2012)

 

o       That this sin could be LAID AT THE DOOR OF ALL THE

PEOPLE  if they were indifferent to the fact of its commission,

and if they did not make full inquiry respecting it, and solemnly

 put it away from among them. (I recommend Charles Spurgeon’s

sermon on neglect and the sin of omission:  See Numbers ch. 32 v. 23 –

Spurgeon Sermon – The Great Sin of Doing Nothing – this web site –

CY – 2012)  At the back of this piece of civil legislation, yea, as the

fount from which it sprang, we get this beautiful, sublime, and comforting

truth“EACH HUMAN LIFE IS AN OBJECT OF DIVINE

CONCERN!”

 

  • IN WHAT WAY HAS GOD MANIFESTED HIS CARE FOR THE

INDIVIDUAL?

 

Ø      The fact of man’s ill-treatment of his fellow man is recognized.

 

Ø      This ill-treatment is rebuked and  marked out as a brand of shame

on any community which tolerates it.

 

Ø      When God fences every man round with such a guard against ill

treatment from others, it may well lead us to “honor all men.”

                        (I Peter 2:17)

 

Ø      It should teach us to cultivate the spirit of a universal brotherhood.

“Have we not all one Father?”  (Malachi 2:10)

 

Ø      In demanding an account thereof, God foreshadows His own coming

judgment.  “Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He

will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He

hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men,

in that He hath raised Him from the dead.”  (Acts 17:31)

 

Ø      Consider the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 18; Luke 12 and 15.

Note the stress He lays on “one.”

 

Ø      The death of the Lord Jesus Christ for every man, is a standing

proof of every man’s worth before God; “For God so loved the

world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever

believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life!”

(John 3:16) – “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who

knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of

God.” (II Corinthians 5:21)

 

Ø      The Holy Spirit of God stirreth in every man to move his sluggish

nature that it may rise toward heaven. “It is not the will of your

Father in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

(Matthew 18:14)

 

Ø      It should make us very indignant at any doctrines concerning the

constitution and destiny of man, that would put him, or even seem to

put him, on a level with the brute creation.  (Romans 1:21-25)

 

Ø      If men TRIFLE with the interests and destinies of their brother

man, God  will call them to account at the JUDGMENT!

 The voice of Abel’s blood  cried unto God from the ground. If a

neglected, mutilated, slain body of any one, HOWEVER OBSCURE,

was found in Israel’s fields, they were responsible to the God of

 nations  for inquiry and for expiation. And terrible beyond all

power of expression, will be THE SHAME AND DISMAY, AT

THE BAR OF GOD, OF THOSE WHO HAVE TRIFLED

WITH HUMAN INTERESTS, AND WHO GO INTO

ETERNITY LADEN WITH THE GUILT OF THEIR

BROTHER’S BLOOD!  (I wonder how many newsmen of

the nightly newscasts will regret their exultation of the slant they

presented in  “abortion on demand”, not to mention the authors of the

cases and the legislators and judges, yea, many American

citizens who “love to have it so.” – Jeremiah 5:31 – CY – 2012)

 

 

         TREATMENT OF A CAPTIVE TAKEN TO WIFE (vs. 10-14)

 

If an Israelite saw among captives taken in war a woman, fair of aspect, and loved

her, and took her to be his wife, he was to allow her a full month to mourn her lost

kindred, and become accustomed to her new condition, before he consummated

his union with her. This refers to captives from other nations than those of

Canaan, with whom the Israelites were to form no alliance, and whom they

were not to take captive, but either wholly destroy or render tributary (ch. 7:3;

Numbers 21:1; Joshua 11:19).

 

10 “When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD

thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken

them captive,  11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and

hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;  12 Then

thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head,

and pare her nails;” - The shaving of the head and the paring of the nails,

as well as the putting off of the garments worn when taken captive, were

signs of purification, of separation from former heathenism, preparatory to

reception among the covenant people of Jehovah (compare Leviticus 14:8;

Numbers 8:7).  Pare her nails; literally, make or prepare her nails, i.e. by

cutting them down to a proper size and form (compare II Samuel 19:25, where

the same word is used of dressing the feet and trimming the beard). The

Targum of Onkelos takes this in quite an opposite sense, rendering, as in the

margin of the Authorized Version, “suffer to grow,” and the rabbins who

adopt this meaning suppose that the design of the prescription was that the

woman, being rendered unlovely, the man might be deterred from taking

her to be his wife. But this is altogether alien from the spirit and scope of the

passage.

 

13 “And she shall put the raiment of her captivity” – i.e. the raiment she had

on when taken captive; this she was to lay aside, that she might put on garments

of mourning - “from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her

father and her mother a full month:” – literally, a month of days; the period

of mourning was forty days (compare  Genesis 50:3) - “and after that thou shalt

go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.”

 

14 “And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go

whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not

make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.”  Should the man

afterwards come no longer to have pleasure in her, he was to let her go whither

she would, but he was not to sell her for money or use any violence to her.

Thou shalt not make merchandise of her. The verb in the form here used occurs

only here and in ch. 24:7; derived from a root which signifies to gather or

press, it properly means to press for one’s self, to lay hands on one, to use

violence to one.

 

 

RIGHTS OF THE FIRSTBORN (vs. 15-17)

 

If a man have two wives, one of whom is a favorite and the other disliked, and

if his firstborn son be the child of the latter, he is not to allow his love for the

other to prejudice the right of the son, but must allow him, both in his own

lifetime and in the disposition of his property after death, the full privilege and

right of a firstborn son.

 

15 “If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they

have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the

firstborn son be hers that was hated:  16 Then it shall be, when he maketh

his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make” – literally, is

 not able to make; i.e. is legally incapable of making - “the son of the

beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:”

 

17 “But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by

giving him a double portion” - literally, a mouth of two; i.e. a portion (so

mouth is used in II Kings 2:9; Zechariah 13:8) equal to that of two;

consequently, the firstborn inherited twice as much as any of the other

sons. Amongst all nations and from the earliest times, the right of the eldest

son to pre-eminence among his brethren has been recognized; and in

legislating for Israel, Moses so far simply sanctioned a usage he found

already existing; the assignment, however, of a double share in the

inheritance to the eldest son is a new and special provision, mentioned only

here -  “of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength;” - 

(compare Genesis 49:3) - “the right of the firstborn is his.”

 

 

Monogamy Essential to Domestic Peace (vs. 15-17)

 

Every indication of God’s will is a finger-post to felicity. A wise man will not wait for

peremptory law. The faintest whisper of Jehovah’s will is law to him. Without

doubt, that each man should be the husband of one wife was the ordination

of God.

 

  • THE FIRSTBORN SON IS PLACED IN A POSITION OF SPECIAL

PRIVILEGE AND POWER. All human government is built upon the

model of the family. Within the compass of the family the firstborn was a

sovereign, had sovereign rule and responsibility. In families like Jacob’s,

where there were many children and dependents, this was a position of

eminence and power. In every case, special duties devolve upon the

firstborn. He has often to act as the representative of the family, and to

defend family rights. He becomes the natural arbitrator in family disputes.

His influence, for good or for evil, is great. Therefore, to sustain his

position and power, a double portion of the ancestral estate was his.

 

  • THE PRIVILEGE OF THE FIRSTBORN IS INALIENABLE. For a

time the firstborn son is sole heir to his father’s rank and riches; hence, for

reasons external to him, it would be unjust to depose him. And injustice

always leads to strife, disorder, and mischief. Filial reverence would be

undermined. Seeds of hatred would be sown. The removal of the father’s

authority by death would be the sign for feud, litigation, and waste. What

God has ordained let not man disturb. Our earthly possessions are

entrusted to us temporarily by God, and the entailment has been

determined by the Divine Proprietor. For the just management of our

secular estates and of our family concerns, we are accountable at the great

assize. Favoritism among children is a prolific evil.

 

  • THIS PROSPECTIVE MISCHIEF ISSUES FROM A PLURALITY

OF WIVES. (May I say, it matters not whether bigamy, polygamy, secret,

or public; whether through divorce, common in America in the 21st century;

secret trysts, or open adultery, THERE IS A LOT OF MISCHIEF IN

THIS ONCE GREAT NATION BECAUSE OF OUR SINS OF THIS

SORT FINDING US OUT – CY – 2012)  God has often tolerated among

men what He has not approved. He does this, in some respect, every day.

If he had imposed capital punishment upon the violation of monogamy, the

effect, in many cases, would have been unchastity. Law, in order to be

effectual, can never transcend the highest level of moral sentiment prevalent

in the age.  Otherwise judges themselves would be culprits, and no one

could be found to administer the law. But the family intrigues, quarrels,

and miseries which spring from a plurality of wives are God’s visible

 brands and scourges on disobedience. What works best for society, for

the human race, is (in the absence of other instruction) THE REVEALED

WILL OF GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Wherever there is more than one wife there

must be divided affection, divided interests, divided authority. THE HOUSE

IS DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(I once read, many years ago, of an irate husband who tried to enter a

movie theater, with a gun.  He was claiming that someone was there with

his wife and he was going to kill him.  The movie proprietors called the

police and tried to stall and retain him in the front as long as they could.

Meanwhile, an employee went to the auditorium and announced what

was happening.  He said, to avoid embarrassment, we will turn out the

lights and the guilty party can slip out the exit.  When they turned the

lights back on, half the crowd had left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – CY – 2012)

 

 

A REBELLIOUS, REFRACTORY SON

        TO BE JUDGED AND PUNISHED (vs. 18-21)

 

If a son was refractory and unmanageable by his parents, if, given to sensual

indulgence, he would yield neither to reproof nor to chastisement (incorrigible),

the parents were to lay hold on him, and lead him to the elders of the town,

sitting as magistrates at its gates, and there accuse him of his evil ways and

rebelliousness. The testimony of the parents was apparently held sufficient to

substantiate the charge, and this being received by the elders, the culprit

was to be put to death by stoning.

 

18 “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the

voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have

chastened him, will not hearken unto them: 19 Then shall his father and

his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city,

and unto the gate of his place;  20  And they shall say unto the elders of

his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice;

he is a glutton, and a drunkard.”  Gluttony and drunkenness were regarded

by the Hebrews as highly criminal. The word rendered by “glutton,” however

(ll"wOz, from ll"z;, to shake, to shake out, to squander), includes other kinds

of excess besides eating. It designates one who is prodigal, who wastes his

means or wastes his person by indulgence. In Proverbs 23:30, the whole phrase

(rc;B; ylel]wOz) is given — squanderers of flesh, i.e. wasters of their own body,

debauchees. In Ibid. ch.28:7, the word is translated “riotous men” in

the Authorized Version. DISOBEDIENCE TO PARENTS WAS DEEMED

AN OFFENCE WHICH STRUCK AT THE ROOTS OF THE WHOLE

SOCIAL INSTITUTE.  (One of the signs of the end of time will be is

children will be “disobedient to parents.)  II Timothy 3:2)

 

21 “And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die:

so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear,

and fear.”  The penalty of such crimes was death; but the power of

inflicting this was not among the Hebrews — as among some other ancient

peoples, the Greeks and Romans, for instance — left with the father; the

punishment could be inflicted only by the community, with the sanction of

the magistrate. A Hebrew parent might chastise his child with severity, but

not so as to affect his life (Proverbs 19:18, “Chasten thy son while there is

 hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.” but raise not thy soul [let

not thy passion rise so high as] to slay him”). While parental authority was

sacredly preserved, a check was by the Law imposed on hasty passion.

 

(all Israel shall hear, and fear.” – once again we have God’s Word

directly contradicting the philosophy of modern false prophets who

claim that “fear is not a deterrent to evil!”  

 

 

Bad Sons, a State Peril (vs. 18-21)

This is a very remarkable provision. It is based on the well-known fact that there

are some who need a strong deterrent to keep them from being a plague and peril to

a State, and also on the all-important principle, that whoever is a pest and nuisance

in the home, IS THE BANE OF THE COMMONWEALTH to which he belongs.

Moses had just laid down the duty of the parent to deal justly with his sons, whatever

his personal partialities might be. He now lays down the extent and limits of parental

authority over the son. He does not give the father the absolute power of life and

death in reference to the child, as some ancient codes did, but, without

abolishing that power altogether, he places such checks upon it that while,

on the one hand, if a bad son became so outrageous that his life was

putting others in peril through its poisonous influence, he would have

before him the possibility of capital punishment; yet, on the other hand, this

penalty could only be inflicted with the sanction of the elders of the city;

the consent of both parents was required ere he could be brought before

them; and they (the parents) were expected to be able to say that they had

exhausted every known means of reclaiming him before they brought him

to that tribunal. (IT IS A STRANGE SOCIETY INDEED, WHICH WOULD

BALK AT EVEN THE AGREEMENT OF BOTH PARENTS IN THE

ABOVE SCENARIO, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, CRYING TO

LOWEST HELL [I started to say “high heaven” but that would be sacriligious],

COMPLAINING THAT BOTH PARENTS WOULD BE REQUIRED

TO HAVE AN ABORTION??????????????????????????CY – 2012)

It is evident that the law is enacted with the intention of being so deterrent

 that it may never need to be put into execution. And thus indeed it seems to

have proved. For there is no known instance in Jewish history of its having been

carried out.  (Now Sharia Law of Islam is a different thing – when Googling

this I noticed that the Federal Courts [the ones who have had their fingers all

over abortion] have struck down a law in Oklahoma which banned Sharia

Law in that state – I refer you back to the title of this section A STATE IN

PERIL – and I am not talking about Oklahoma!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – CY – 2012)

Forming part, as it did, of an ancient civil code for the Hebrew nation only, it is

not in force with us now, and we are not called upon to appreciate its real worth

as a guard to the stability of the Hebrew nation. But here, as elsewhere, even in

obsolete statutes, we discover permanent principles, which it behooves teachers to

develop and enforce, if they would not “shun to declare the whole counsel

of God” (Acts 20:27).  The truth here taught is this — A bad son is a State peril.

Five lines of thought may with advantage be followed out here, with the view of

impressing this truth upon the hearts of the people.

 

  • A STATE IS WHAT ITS HOMES MAKE IT. It cannot be otherwise. It

is made up of its own cities, towns, villages, and hamlets. Each one of

these is made up of its homes. If they are all good, little legislation will be

required; if they are all bad, no legislation will avail, even if it could be

secured. And according as the good or bad element preponderates, will a

State be secure and prosperous or otherwise.  (Thus the foolishness of

America separating the state from the influence of the church! – CY  - 2012)

 

INSUBORDINATION TO PARENTS IS A GRAVE OFFENCE

AGAINST SOCIETY. It is treated here, not simply as a private wrong,

but as a crime. Hebrew society rested so largely on the patriarchal basis that

the due maintenance of parental authority was a necessity of its existence.

The theocratic principle, according to which parents were invested with a

peculiar sacredness as representatives of God, likewise called for the

repression of incorrigible disobedience. But, whatever the form of social

order, a spread of the spirit of insubordination to parents is the

invariable prelude to a universal loosening of the ties and obligations

 of corporate existence.  It has been found,” says Dr. William Fleming, in his ‘

Moral Philosophy,’ “in the history of all nations that the best security for the

public welfare is a wise and happy exercise of parental authority; and

one of the surest forerunners of national degradation and public anarchy

and disorder is neglect or contempt of domestic happiness or rule.”

 

  • AN INCORRIGIBLE SON IS THE BANE OF ANY HOME. It is not

within our present province to illustrate or even take up the truth that it is

extremely unlikely any son will become incorrigible, unless there is some

grievous failure in duty on the part of the parents in not correcting him

betimes, and in not keeping the reins in their own hands. It is, unhappily,

too often true, like Eli — “his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained

 them not” (I Samuel 3:13).  But, however it may come about, the truth

is the same, that where a son hearkens not to the voice of his father,

 and despises to obey his mother, there will be in any home in which

such is the case, a source of deep sorrow and indescribable misery;

 

  • SUCH A HOME, SO POISONED, MAY BECOME A CENTER OF

UNSPEAKABLE MISCHIEF. For the sons who act so mischievously in

the house are, as a rule, those who wander far and wide in pursuit of

forbidden pleasure, giving way to the lusts of the flesh, and to sins of the

tongue, polluting others wherever they go. (This in days before the bane

of THE DRUG CULTURE! – CY – 2012)  Thus a moral miasma,

pestilential and even deadly, may be carried from street to street, and from

town to town.  (For any young person going down this road I highly

recommend that you ask God to help you understand the teaching in

Proverbs 1:10-31 – CY – 2012)

 

  • THOSE THUS POLLUTED WILL TAKE THE POISON TO

OTHER HOMES, One home will infect others. Each infected home will

spread the contagion. And so the evil will spread far and wide, not only in

an arithmetical, but in a geometrical progression, till even in the course of

one or two generations, it will assume a proportion which baffle all powers

of calculation to formulate it, and a virulence which may defy the most

powerful legislation to arrest it.  (I would like to say that I believe that

the CONSOLIDATION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS has expedited this

spread of THE CONTAGION in the last forty years.  – CY – 2012)

 

  • HENCE THE VERY EXISTENCE OF SUCH A CENTER OF EVIL

OUT OF WHICH SUCH COMPLICATED AND WIDESPREAD

MISCHIEF MAY ARISE, IS A SOURCE OF GRAVE PERIL TO

ANY COMMONWEALTH IN THE WORLD! It may not be seen nor

Even suspected when in germ. But germs of evil are fraught with all the evil of

which they are the germs.

 

Consider:

 

o       What seems severity to the individual is really mercy to

 the nation. Preventive measures, though severe, may

be most genuinely philanthropic.

 

o       the importance of wisdom and firmness in maintaining

parental authority.

 

o       Think of the amazing issues projecting themselves FROM TIME

INTO ETERNITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Who can adequately

set forth the importance of taking heed to those early steps ON

WHICH DEPEND THE DIRECTION OF THIS EARTHLY

LIFE AND THE JOY OR THE WOE OF THE LIFE

WHICH IS TO COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

o       Parents who neglect these duties have little cause to wonder

at a son turning out ill; the wonder would be if he should

turn out well. It is they, as much as the son, who deserve

blame.

 

o       Compare with the behavior of this rebellious son OUR OWN

TREATMENT OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER!!!!!!

 

 

 

A Slippery Path to Ruin (vs. 18-21)

 

It is of the first importance that a child should begin life well. A twist in the young stem

will develop into a gnarled and crooked tree. A slight divergence at the outset of a

voyage may end in a complete reversal of the ship’s course. Early obedience is the

pathway to a prosperous life; disobedience leads to death. The tongue that curseth

its father shall be scorched with devouring flame.

 

  • SELFISH INDULGENCE DESTROYS FILIAL REVERENCE. The

human body is to be the servant of the mind. If the appetites and lusts of

the body are allowed to rule, the mind becomes a slave, and all the better

principles are manacled and enfeebled. We begin life as dependent children,

and the fresh sense of loving obligation should be an antidote for selfishness.

But if we set out in life with a resolve to please self, we are already on the

way to ruin. Reverence for the parental character, and regard for parental

authority, are the only solid foundations for a noble life. To feed unduly the

body, and for gratification alone, is to starve the soul. Sensuality fosters

SELF-WILL.

 

  • REBELLION IN THE CHILD DESTROYS SONSHIP. Disregard of

authority soon chokes and strangles filial feeling. The tie of sonship is

snapped. The qualities and attributes of a son are wanting. There is a

relationship of body, but no true relationship of soul. Alienation has sprung

up instead of vital union. The lad may dwell under the old roof-tree, but in

reality there is a great gulf between him and his parents: he is a descendant,

but not a son. To be the children of God there must be resemblance of

character.

 

  • UNFRUITFUL CHASTISEMENT IS A TREMENDOUS CURSE.

The medicine that does not do good, does harm. The flame that does not

melt, hardens. Parental chastisement, when needed, is an imperative duty,

but should be administered with wisdom, self-restraint, and pity. (“Like as

a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” –

(Psalm 103:13).  The obstinacy of the son is not infrequently due to the

foolish leniency or unrestrained severity of the parent. Chastisement

is a serious experiment, and always produces some effect, either favorable

or unfavorable. We are not the same men after trial or pain that we were

before.

 

  • THE STATE MUST SUPPORT PARENTAL AUTHORITY. SO

valuable is human life that the State wisely claims the sole power of capital

punishment. If the disciplines and chastisements of home have failed to

produce a virtuous citizen, the whole community must deal with the

incorrigible reprobate. The State cannot afford, for its safety’s sake, to

allow a firebrand to be let loose in its midst. The example and influence of

such a miscreant would be fatally mischievous. The whole State has vital

interests to serve, and it would be sheerest folly to sacrifice them to a

drunken madman.

 

  • PERSISTENT REBELLION LEADS TO AN IGNOMINIOUS END.

It must be a duty, the most painful for human nature to perform, to

surrender a son to public execution. Yet it sometimes is a duty. The hope

of amendment has been quenched. To continue such a one in life has

become a bane to himself and to others. If all remedies have failed,

destruction must ensue. All the men of the city shall put their hand to the

deed. This may be done by personal service or by representation. The mad

career of the culprit ends in pain, loss, and perpetual disgrace. It is

A SYMBOL OF THE GREAT JUDGMENT DOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

A MALEFACTOR WHO HAS BEEN HANGED

TO BE BURIED ERE NIGHTFALL (vs. 22-23)

 

 

When a criminal was put to death and was hanged upon a tree, his body was not to

remain there over-night, but was to be buried the same day on which he was executed.

 

22 “And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death,” -  literally, If there be

on a man a judgment of death; if he lie under sentence of death - “and he be to be

put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:”  This refers not to putting to death by

strangling, but to the impaling of the body after death.  This was an aggravation of

the punishment, as the body so impaled was exposed to insult and assault (compare

Numbers 25:4; Genesis 40:19).

 

23 “His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any

wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) - literally, a

curse of God. Some take this as meaning an insult to God, a contemning of Him,

since in man His image is thus given up to scorn and insult. But the more probable

meaning is “a curse inflicted by God,” which the transgressor is made to endure

(compare Galatians 3:13) - that thy land be not defiled,” -  The land was defiled,

not only by sins committed by its inhabitants, but also by the public exposure of

criminals who had been put to death for their sins (compare Leviticus 18:24-25;

Numbers 35:33-34).  On this law Joshua acted (Joshua 8:29; 10:26-27)  which the

LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”

 

 

 

 

 

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