Deuteronomy 21

1 The expiation of an uncertain murder.

10 The usage of a captive taken to wife.

15 The first-born is not to be disinherited upon private affection.

18 A rebellious son is to be stoned to death.

22 The malefactor must not hang all night on a tree.

Ps 5:6; 9:12; Pr 28:17; Isa 26:21; Ac 28:4

16:18,19; Ro 13:3,4


Nu 19:2; Jer 31:18; Mt 11:28-30; Php 2:8

a rough valley.As the word {nachal} signifies both a torrent, and the valley or glen through which it flows, {nachal aithan} may be rendered a rapid torrent. Many torrents in Judea are dry during a great part of the year; when not only their banks but their beds may be ploughed, and yield a crop. Hence there is no impropriety in specifying that such a place should be one that "is neither cared nor sown;" while the circumstance that the elders were to wash their hands over the heifer, whose head had been struck off into the stream, confirms this interpretation. The spot of ground where this sacrifice was made must be uncultivated, because it was considered as a sacrifice for the atonement of murder, and, consequently, would pollute the land.

shall strike.

1Pe 2:21-24; 3:18

for them.

10:8; 18:5; Nu 6:22-27; 1Ch 23:13

by their word.

17:8-12; Mal 2:7

word. Heb. mouth.

wash their hands.Washing the hands was anciently a symbolical action, denoting that the person was innocent of the crime in question.

Job 9:30; Ps 19:12; 26:6; 51:2,7,14; 73:13; Jer 2:22; Mt 27:24,25

Heb 9:10

Nu 5:19-28; 2Sa 16:8; Job 21:21-23,31-34; Ps 7:3,4

lay not.

Nu 35:33; 2Sa 3:28; 2Ki 24:4; Ps 19:12; Jer 26:15; Eze 23:3,24,25

Jon 1:14; Mt 23:35; 1Th 2:15,16

unto thy people. Heb. in the midst.

shalt thou.


when thou shalt.

13:18; 2Ki 10:30,31

thou goest.



Ge 6:2; 12:14,15; 29:18-20; 34:3,8; Jud 14:2,3; Pr 6:25; 31:10,30


Nu 31:18

and she shall.This was in token of renouncing her religion, and becoming a proselyte to that of the Jews. This is still a custom in the East: when a Christian turns Mohammedan, his head is shaved, and he is carried through the city, crying, {la eelah eela allah wemochammed resoolu 'llahee,} "There is no God but the God, and Mohammed is the prophet of God."

1Co 11:6; Eph 4:22

pare her nails. or, suffer to grow. Heb. make, or dress.{Wëâsethah eth tzipparneyha,} "and she shall make her nails;" i.e., probably neither paring nor letting them grow, but dressing or beautifying them as the Eastern women still do by tinging them with the leaves of an odoriferous plant called {alhenna,} which Hasselquist (p. 246) informs us, "grows in India and in upper and lower Egypt, flowering from May to August. The leaves are pulverized and made into a paste with water: they bind this paste on the nails of their hands and feet, and keep it on all night. This gives them a deep yellow, which is greatly admired by Eastern nations. The colour lasts for three or four weeks before there is occasion to renew it. The custom is so ancient in Egypt, that I have seen the nails of mummies dyed in this manner."

and bewail.

Ps 45:10,11; Lu 14:26,27

thou shalt.

Ex 21:7-11

because thou.

22:19,24,29; Ge 34:2; Jud 19:24

two wives.

Ge 29:18,20,30,31,33; 1Sa 1:4,5

1Ch 5:2; 26:10; 2Ch 11:19-22; 21:3; Ro 8:29; Php 4:8; Heb 12:16,17

by giving.

Ge 25:5,6,32,34; 1Ch 5:1,2

that he hath. Heb. that is found with him. the beginning.

Ge 49:3; Ps 105:36

the right.

Ge 25:31-34

have a stubborn.

Pr 28:24; 30:11,17; Isa 1:2

obey the voice.

27:16; Ex 20:12; 21:15,17; Le 19:3; 21:9; Pr 15:5; 20:20; Eze 22:7

when they.

8:5; 2Sa 7:14; Pr 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13,14; 29:17; Heb 12:9-11

will not.

Isa 1:5; Jer 5:3; 31:18; Eze 24:13; Am 4:11,12

and bring.

2; 16:18; 25:7; Zec 13:3

he will not.

Pr 29:17

he is a glutton.

Pr 19:26; 20:1; 23:19-21,29-35

all the men.

13:10,11; 17:5; Le 24:16

so shalt thou.

13:5,11; 19:19,20; 22:21,24

all Israel.


worthy of death. Heb. of the judgment of death.The Hebrews understand this not of putting to death by hanging, but of hanging a man up after he was stoned to death; which was done more ignominiously of some heinous malefactors. We have the examples of Rechab and Baanah, who, for murdering Ish-bosheth, were slain by David's commandment, their hand and feet cut off, and then hanged up.

2Sa 4:12

See also

Jos 8:29; 10:26So in Nu 25:4, we read, "And the Lord said unto Moses, Take all the heads (chief men) of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel." Among the Romans, in after ages, they hanged, or rather fastened to the tree ALIVE; and such was the cruel death of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

19:6; 22:26; 1Sa 26:16; Mt 26:66; Ac 23:29; 25:11,25; 26:31

thou hang.

2Sa 21:6,9; Lu 23:33; Joh 19:31-38

he that is hanged is accursed of God. Heb. the curse of God.That is, it is the highest degree of reproach that can attach to a man, and proclaims him under the curse of God as much as any external punishment can. They that see him thus hanging between heaven and earth, will conclude him abandoned of both, and unworthy of either. Bp. Patrick observes, that this passage is applied to the death of Christ; not only because he bare our sins and was exposed to shame, as these malefactors were that were accursed of God, but because he was in the evening taken down from the cursed tree and buried, (and that by the particular care of the Jews, with an eye to this law, Joh 19:31,) in token, that now the guilt being removed, the law was satisfied, as it was when the malefactors had hanged till sun-set: it demanded no more. Then he, and those that are his, ceased to be a curse. And as the land of Israel was pure and clean when the body was buried, so the church is washed and cleansed by the complete satisfaction which Christ thus made.

7:26; Nu 25:4; Jos 7:12; 2Sa 21:6; Ro 9:3; Ga 3:13; 1Co 16:22

2Co 5:21

thy land.

Le 18:25; Nu 35:33,34
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