Deuteronomy 22




    (vs. 1-4)


Moses repeats here the law formerly given (Exodus 23:4-5), with additional details.

Not only the ox or the ass that had strayed was to be taken and restored to its owner,

but articles of raiment, and, in short, anything that had been lost was, when found by

another, to be carefully kept until it could be restored to the person to whom it belonged.


1 “Thou shalt not see thy brother’s ox or his sheep go astray,” -  wandering at

large. The Hebrew verb means primarily to seduce, draw aside, or entice (ch. 13:6);

and in the passive conveys the idea of wandering through being drawn away by

some enticement - “and hide thyself from them:” -  i.e. withdraw thyself from

them, avoid noticing them or having to do with them - “thou shalt in any case” –

certainly, without fail -  “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

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 thing of thy brother’s,

which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest

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 help him to lift them

up again.”  An animal that had fallen was also to be lifted up, and the owner

was to be assisted to do this. In Exodus 23:5, it is specially declared that both these

services are to be rendered, even though the parties are at enmity

with each other, and the one is the object of hatred to the other.



The Duty of Cultivating Neighborly Kindness (vs. 1-4)


It will be a valuable study in Divine ethics if we first of all show what it is which is here

required of the Hebrews, and then, with the Mosaic teaching for a starting-point,

advance further and see how far in Christian ethics there is incorporated all that was

valuable in the Mosaic, while there is added thereto that which belongs peculiarly to

the law of the gospel. Moses, in this paragraph, enjoins acts of neighborly kindness.

To whom is this kindness to be shown? To “thy brother.” He may be


o       a brother by kinship,

o       an unknown individual (v. 2), or

o       an enemy (Exodus 23:4).


In either case a like kindness is to be shown. There is contained in Leviticus 19:18

the general precept out of which these details of kindness would come. “Thou shalt

love thy neighbor as thyself.” This was to be the human aspect, the social side of

a godly life. The basis of love to man would be found in LOVING GOD WITH


God had redeemed the people from Egypt, that they might be to Himself a peculiar

people to show forth His praise, they were to regard this redemption as uniting them

in one bond of brotherhood, with interests and aims in common; hence each was to

regard another’s good as being as dear to him as his own. From this point let us now

proceed to develop in outline the Christian law of kindness to others.



ON HIS OWN AUTHORITY. (Matthew 5:43.) He not only reproduces the

old law, but clears it from the ambiguities and disfigurements with which

 rabbinical teaching had obscured it. “Ye have heard that it hath been said,

Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.” Moses had said the first,

the rabbis had added the second. Christ tears off this addition. Again, when

the lawyer said, “And who is my neighbor?” Christ gave him the parable of

the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), in which He virtually said, “That depends

upon yourself; whoever cherishes a kindly spirit to all, he is the neighbor,

however far off in place or nation.” The Christian law is, “As we have

 opportunity, let us do good unto all men.” (Galatians 6:10).  We are to

know no barriers in race, color, or clime; no, nor is even hatred or ill will on

the part of others to prevent our seeking their good.




WITH MAN. Love to God is the first command. This is the second.

Benevolence without religion is incomplete; religion without

 Benevolence is vain. Both must abound in the truly Christian life.



LOVING-KINDNESS TO US. See Matthew 7:12: note the force of

the word, “therefore,” in the latter verse. Because God is so ready to bless

you, be you ready to bless others. This great redeeming love of God for

our race should lead us to see in all men members of one vast brotherhood,

(He “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all

the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before

appointed, and the bounds of their habitation” (Acts 17:26), which

God would encircle in His girdle of love, and draw together by the

thought that, as He cares for all, each should care for the other! “Let no

man seek his own, but every one another’s wealth” (I Corinthians 10:24).



OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Here are we to find the love that

must kindle ours. “When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by

            the death of His Son” (Romans 5:10).  If we owe so much to redeeming love,

ought we not to show a corresponding love for others? What said Paul?

“If we be beside ourselves, it is to God; if we be sober, it is for your cause,


5:14)  If God so loved us, WE OUGHT ALSO TO LOVE ONE

ANOTHER!”  (I John 4:11)



Brotherly Service in Daily Life (vs. 1-4)


In A HEALTHY STATE our souls should so overflow with love, that every

neighbor should be regarded as a brother. If the esteem should not at first

be reciprocated, our kindness would soften his asperity and make him a better man.

In the long run, kindness will produce kindness.



Our earthly possessions have many drawbacks, and are always subject to

injury and loss. Hence it is wisdom to hold them lightly, and to grieve little

over their diminution. This insecurity is an indication of their inferiority.

But the possessions of the soul, viz. wisdom, righteousness, faith, love,

patience, are inalienable. The “things unseen are eternal.” 

(II Corinthians 4:18)  Jesus taught “Lay not up for yourselves

treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and

where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves

treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,

and where thieves do not break through and steal.”  (Matthew




ills and trials which are incident to the present life provide full scope for

active sympathy and help. (In fact, God seems to use you and I where

we will, to be His hands and arms in helping others! – CY – 2012)  We can

scarcely imagine a condition of life in which could be afforded such room for

the culture and discipline of the best affections. Every station in life gives

opportunity for doing service to others. Every day we hear some new

call to duty. We thus train ourselves for higher service. We become more

qualified to do good on a large scale, are qualified to rule (Matthew 24:21,23).




Ø      It is sin, inasmuch as it is a plain violation of God’s command. As

Creator and King, He has a right to make law and to enforce it.

(Christ has given us an example that we should walk in His steps -

I Peter 2:21; God makes “His sun to rise on the evil and on the

Good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.”  (Matthew


Ø      It is sin, inasmuch as it is disloyalty to our best feelings. The instinct to

show kindness is a part of our constitutional nature.


Ø      It is sin, inasmuch as it consciously allows injury to be done. The ox or

ass that has wandered today, will have wandered further (if not recovered)

tomorrow; may be irrecoverable then. The gold that is not occupied rusts.

To hide our light under a bushel is sin. (Matthew 5:15)



SELFISHNESS. Generous and self-forgetful kindness brings returns of

blessing to the soul. (“Cast thy bread upon the waters:  for thou shalt

find it after many days”  (Ecclesiastes 11:1).  The treasury of the heart is

enriched. We gain wealth that is imperishable. We obtain a good name

among men, and live in their affectionate memory. We secure, in some

measure, the favor of our God. We are in truth, by kindly service, laying up

large store of good for coming days. “Blessed is he that considereth the

 poor; the Lord will deliver him in the time of trouble. The Lord will

 preserve him, and keep him alive.” (Psalm 41:1-2)





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.”  The DIVINELY INSTITUTED distinction between the

sexes was to be SACREDLY OBSERVED and, in order to this, the dress and

other things appropriate to the one were not to be used by the other. That which

pertaineth unto a man; literally, the apparatus (כְּלִי) of a man, including,

not dress merely, but implements, tools, weapons, and utensils. This is an

ethical regulation in the interests of morality. There is no reference, as some have

supposed, to the wearing of masks for the purpose of disguise, or to the practice

of the priests at heathen festivals of wearing masks of their gods. Whatever tends

to obliterate the distinction between the sexes tends to LICENTIOUSNESS

and that the one sex should assume the dress of the other has always been

regarded  as UNNATURAL and INDECENT!   Such a change of vesture is

here declared to be an abomination to the Lord, because of its tendency to





the male sex effeminate and the female sex masculine, is an injury to both.

The tendency of the times is in this direction; women are being introduced

to fierce competitions with men: we have had women, forgetful of their

sex, even entering the prize-ring, to afford amusement to brutal onlookers;

we have women persistently knocking at the door of professions fit for

men only; while, on the other hand, we have a number of occupations,

which will readily occur to every one, where men are made effeminate, and

which could be most fitly discharged by women; and those reformers are

not friends of either sex who try to break down the barriers between them.

If Providence has made the one sex different from the other, then it is idle

by any manipulation of ours to obliterate the distinction.


 Man and Woman (v. 5)


Woman has her rightful place and function in society. So has man his. Their places,

while complementary, are distinct. In modern society, a variety of influences —

competition in business, difficulty of finding suitable employment, the leveling tendency

of the age, which is impatient even of distinctions that have their ground in nature-

combine to thrust women into spheres and work not in keeping with womanly character.

The distinction of the sexes is to be preserved:


  • In dress.


  • In manners. Unwomanly boldness and assertiveness in company or

before the public is as unpleasant as foppish effeminacy is in men.




the male sex effeminate and the female sex masculine, is an INJURY TO

BOTH!  If Providence has made the one sex different from the other, then it is idle

by any manipulation of ours to obliterate the distinction.


(This is a hot-button issue in the age of political correctness.  I will say that

women are not men and vice versa – Paul seems to teach that for a woman

to usurp the position of man is analogous to the angels trying to overthrow

God, a very serious and unproductive scenario as the modern world in sin

is finding out! [I Corinthians 11:10] – CY – 2012)




us make man (אָדָם)) in our image, after our likeness,” He used the generic

term, and hence immediately resorts to the plural verb, “and let them have

dominion (יִרְדּוּ),” etc. (Genesis 1:26). The idea is that it takes the female with

the male to complete the Divine image. There is a maternal element as well as a

paternal and a filial in the Divine nature (compare Isaiah 49:15 with Psalm 103:13

and John 8:29).  If then we find the sexual distinctions to be but the reflection of

elements in the Divine nature, then a halo of true glory is thrown around each.

In their respective spheres the sexes are exhibiting traits of divinity, and all

effort at obliterating the distinctions through artificial means, will be found

only to obliterate the Divine. FATHER, SON and HOLY GHOST have their

counterparts in the development of humanity, and it is well clearly to see this. May

the sexes carry on their respective missions so faithfully that earth may soon reflect

in undimmed luster the various qualities of God!



(One of my favorite verses in the Bible is that the husband and the wife are “heirs

Together of the grace of life!” – CY – 2012)



     THE TAKING OF BIRDS (vs. 6-7)


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.”  (ch. 5:16;

Exodus 20:12).  These precepts are designed to foster  humane feeling towards the

lower animals, and not less to preserve regard to that  affectionate relation between

parents and their young which God has established as a  law in the animal world.

(Compare Leviticus 22:28; Exodus 23:19.)





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.”  Still less was human life to be exposed to danger through neglect of proper

precautions. The houses in Palestine, as in other parts of the East, had flat roofs, and,

as these were much frequented by the inhabitants for various purposes (Joshua 2:6;

II Samuel 11:2; 18:24; Nehemiah 8:16; Matthew 10:27; Acts 10:9), it was

necessary that a battlement or balustrade should surround the roof, in order

to prevent persons falling over. Hence the direction here given.





God has made distinctions in nature, and these are not to be confounded by the mixing

of things distinct. The ox and the ass were chiefly used in husbandry; but, as they were

of different size and strength, it was not only fitting that they should not be yoked to the

same plough, but it might be cruel so to yoke them.  (Compare Leviticus 19:19.)


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.  11 Thou shalt not wear a garment of

divers sorts,” - shaatnez, a kind of cloth in which threads of linen and threads of

woollen were interwoven. The meaning of the word is uncertain. The Septuagint renders

by κίβδηλος kibdaelos - spurious, bad; Aquila, by ἀντιδιακείμενον - antidiakeimenon

variously disposed, diverse. No Semitic etymology can be  found for the word, and as

the Hebrews derived the textile art from Egypt, the home of that art, the word is

probably of Egyptian origin - “as of woollen and linen together.




 12 “Thou shalt make thee fringes” -  properly, tassels. The tunic of the Hebrews

appears to have been divided at the bottom in front, and back, so that four corners or

wings (כַּנְפות) were made, to each of which a tassel was appended (Greek,

κράσπεδον kraspedonborder, hem, tassel- Matthew 9:20; 23:5) -“upon the

four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.”  (Compare

Numbers 15:38.)


Attention to the Minutiae of Conduct (vs. 6-12)


The Law descends to very slight points of conduct. It keeps in view that CHARACTER


TRIVIAL DETAILS OF LIFE!  “Trifles,” said Michelangelo, when a friend thus

characterized the slight finishing touches he was giving to a statue — “trifles make

perfection.” Matters which in themselves are of little moment acquire importance

from the associations they awaken, the ideas they suggest, the consequences

 they lead up to. Little traits of humane behavior (vs. 6-7), the habit of considering

the bearings of what we do on others (v. 8), respect for the ordinary and obvious

distinctions of creation (v. 9), etc., have all their influence on character, their effect

in making us what we ultimately become. We may suggest, as lessons from these

verses, that our conduct is to be marked:


  • By humanity.


Ø      To animals.

Ø      To our fellow-men.


In vs. 6-7, the act forbidden is one akin to killing a cow and calf on the

same day, or to seething a kid in its mother’s milk (ch.14:21) — an unfeeling

violation of the sacredness of the relation between parent and offspring. Or

the parent bird may be presumed to be taken only in wantonness, the young

ones being really of service. This would be an act of cruelty. Humanity may

be a motive in the precept of v. 10 — “ox” and “ass” being obviously

unequally yoked together” (compare Paul’s allusion with application to

marriage with unbelievers, in II Corinthians 6:14).


Ø      By caution. This is strikingly inculcated in v. 8. How many accidents

might be avoided if greater conscientiousness and caution prevailed in the

different departments of labor! A shipbuilder puts in the side of a ship one

wormy plank, and years after this costs the whole ship’s crew their lives.


Ø      By simplicity. This is a lesson which may be learned from the precepts

against mixing kinds (vs. 9, 11).


Ø      By mindfulness. The law of fringes in Numbers 15:38 — if this

refers to the same thing — was intended to aid memory In another view of

the precept, it inculcates decency and propriety.






The laws in this section have the design of fostering purity and fidelity in the

relation of the sexes, and also of protecting the female against the malice of

sated lust and the violence of brutal lust. (For the case supposed in v. 13, see

II Samuel 13:15.


13 “If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,  14 And give

occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and

say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:

15 Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring

forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city

in the gate:  16 And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my

daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her;  17 And, lo, he hath given

occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid;

and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall

spread the cloth before the elders of the city.  18 And the elders of that city

shall take that man and chastise him;  19 And they shall amerce him in an

hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel,

because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she

shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.  20 But if this thing

be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:

21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s

house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she

die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in

her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.”


22 “If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then

they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman,

and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.  23 If a damsel

that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city,

and lie with her;  24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that

city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because

she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled

his neighbor’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force

her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.

26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel

no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbor,

and slayeth him, even so is this matter:  27 For he found her in the field,

and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.

28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and

lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;  29 Then the man

that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver,

and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put

her away all his days.”


Four cases are here distinguished (vs. 22-29):


  • That of a married woman who has been unfaithful; in this case both the

woman and her paramour are, when detected, to be put to death (v. 22).


  • That of a virgin betrothed who is assailed in a town, where she might

have cried for protection, but did not; in this case also both were to be

punished with death as adulterers (vs. 23-24).


  • That of a virgin betrothed who has been forcibly violated in the field,

where, if she cried for help, her cry was in vain; in this case only the man

should be liable to be put to death, whilst the woman was to be held

innocent (vs. 25-27).


  • That of a virgin not betrothed with whom a man has had carnal

intercourse; in this case the man should be required to pay a fine of fifty

shekels of silver to the damsel’s father, and to take her to be his wife, from

whom he could not be separated during life (vs. 28-29).


To these is appended a general prohibition of incestuous connections, the first

provision in the earlier law being cited as a sort of index to the whole (Leviticus



30 “A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor discover his father’s skirt.”




      Divine Care for Sexual Honor (vs. 5, 13-21, 22-24, 25-27, 27-29, 30)


In these, as in so many of the precepts of this book, we find civil precepts invested with

religious sanctions. Nothing is more important for the honorable maintenance of

 social life, than that both men and women should honor each other’s sex as

well as their own. Those that do otherwise are an abomination to the Lord their

God. There are five or six different cases supposed in the verses referred to in this




o       clothing (v. 5);

o       impeached or impaired reputation (vs. 13-21);

o       adultery (vs. 22-24);

o       rape or seduction (vs. 25-29) — two cases;

o       unlawful marriages (v. 30).


Such sins would have been thought nothing of among the Canaanites. God

would have His people lifted up above them. Hence it is needful that they

should be specifically named, and that the people should be solemnly told

of the odiousness of these sins in God’s sight, that thus they might become

odious also in their eyes. While all will feel that such subjects need great

wisdom in handling them, yet undue reticence thereon may work direful

harm. Many need to be told with great plainness of speech, “He that

breaketh a hedge, a serpent shall bite him” (Ecclesiastes 10:8).  Our theme is:


the following:


  • God has made our nature, in every part thereof, for Himself.


  • In making man, male and female, God has opened up to each wondrous

possibilities of love, of holiness, of usefulness, by each rendering to the

other due honor in accordance with Divine Law.


  • By as much as the joy and culture are great when God’s sexual laws

are obeyed, by so much are the misery and debasement great when

they are disobeyed.


  • Individuals or nations will find that sins of impurity:


Ø      nip spiritual nature in the bud,

Ø      embitter life beyond all power of expression, and



One sin will drag the whole man after it. Hence our Lord’s solemn warnings in

Matthew 5:29-30; Mark 9:43, 45, 47.


  • Hence, we should look upon God’s order in nature with devout and reverent




Chastity (vs. 13-30)


The Mosaic Law is strict and stern in its requirement of purity in all that pertains to

 the marriage relation. Its strictness, however, is united with a fine sense of justice,

and its shield is, as usual, extended for the PROTECTION OF THE



  • THE DEFAMED WIFE (vs. 13-19.) No act can be conceived more

cruel or dastardly than that of a man who groundlessly assails his wife’s

character, accusing her of ante-nuptial unchastity. As the matter was one

proof of which was not directly possible, and the man’s word was all that

could be adduced on his side, the Law threw the onus of clearing herself

upon the woman through her parents, and indicated the mode of doing so.

The “forty stripes save one” was a punishment not too heavy for this sort

of false accusation.


  • THE UNCHASTE WIFE. (vs. 20-24.) Three cases are distinguished, each

punishable with death.


Ø      A woman found to be unchaste at time of marriage (vs. 20-21).

Ø      Adultery after marriage (v. 22).

Ø      A betrothed woman ravished with her implied consent (vs. 23-24).


In the last two cases, the partner in guilt dies also. In the first, he only

escapes, because he is unknown. Yet that unknown seducer, the cause of

the woman’s fall — a fall which shame subsequently tempted her to

concealwas not lost to the eye of him who sees secret crime, and will

repay it. Little do such seducers think of the life-long shame and sin and

misery to which they may be dooming the unfortunate victims of their

wiles. God knows it, and will bring them to account. The severe penalties

attached to conjugal unfaithfulness place in a startling light the gravity of

the offence in the Divine esteem, and form a striking contrast to the light

tone adopted about such matters in OUR SOCIETY!


  • THE WOMAN RAVISHED. (vs. 25-29.) The cases specified are

those of rape.


Ø      If the woman was betrothed, and could not save herself, she was to be

held innocent, but her violator was to be punished with death.


Ø      If she was not betrothed, the man who had injured her was heavily fined,

and was compelled to take her to wife, with no right of subsequent

divorce. Possibly our own law might fitly imitate that of v. 29.



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