The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Deuteronomy 22

Deu 22:1

Deu 22: "As Yahweh's holy nation, Israel is to be governed by His laws, which will give them a unique character as a people, within the world of Gentiles. This chapter legislates for the following: consideration for the property of others (vv 1-4); the sexes to be clearly distinguished by dress (v 5); care to be given to the natural fauna (vv 6,7); building construction to provide protection for others (v 8); Yahweh's distinction in nature to be respected (vv 9-11); Israelites to be distinguished in dress (v 12); protective care to be afforded the unloved bride (vv 13-19); adultery punishable with death (vv 20-22); rapists to be stoned (vv 23-27); fornicators to be suppressed (vv 28,29); and incest strictly forbidden (v 30).

"The legislation in this chapter relates to failings that are increasingly plaguing the modern world. It is interesting, therefore, to compare its requirements with the attitude of current society; for it relates to areas of deep concern. In an age of ruthless indifference to the wellbeing and consideration of others, it is refreshing to consider the Law's demands requiring the observance of mutual assistance as here laid down (vv 1-4). In an environment that is exploiting natural resources with terrifying thoroughness and flouting long established distinctions, it speaks of the Divine order in nature which can be ignored only at humanity's peril (vv 5-12). In a social order which increasingly condones the exploitation of human beings as pawns in the game of sex, it emphasises the Divine order among men, and requires recognition of the sanctity of marriage (vv 13-20). People are not simply bodies to be played with. In an era of anarchy that is intent upon throwing off all restraint, it sets forth the basis of an orderly world. That basis is not law itself; but respect for law. To defy law, as modern society does, is to court both licence and anarchy. Divine law cannot be broken without hurt to those who do so. Yahweh's purpose will prevail. If the world persists in throwing itself against His principles, it will destroy itself. It is rapidly nearing that state, so that only the return of the Lord will save it (Rev 11:18)" (Expos).

Deu 22:9

Sowing: What to sow: Luke 8:11. What not to sow: Deu 22:9. How to sow: Psa 126:5,6. When to sow: Ecc 11:6. The reward of sowing: 1Co 15:58.

Deu 22:10

Unequal yoking -- the principle: What God has joined, we must not separate. What God has separated, we must not join. Unequal yoking is (a) unfitting -- because of differences in size, temperament, strength. The ox is clean, and the ass unclean. Unequal yoking is (b) unfair -- because both would suffer pain, discomfort. Thus unequal yoking leads to a poor working combination.

Deu 22:23

Vv 23,24: An adulteress is put to death (Lev 20:10). A betrothed (engaged) woman is treated as though already married (called "wife" in v 24: cp Mat 1:20).

Deu 22:28

Cp Exo 22:16,17: one who is "enticed". Remedy: marriage (here), or payment of dowry so she can marry someone else (Exo 22:16,17).

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