Deuteronomy chapter 22

Lost animals. Miscellaneous laws. Sexual normativity.

 


 

LOST ANIMALS

 

VERSE 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.

sheep go astray. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd:

John 10:11. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

hide yourself from them. The Israelites were required by the LORD God to show concern for a lost animal.

This requirement may have stemmed from viewing animals as property, rather than from actual compassion for the animal.

Nonetheless, animals are important and must be cared for.

 

VERSE 2. If your brother isn’t near to you, or if you don’t 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.

 

VERSE 3. So you shall do with his donkey. So you shall do with his garment. So you shall do with every lost thing of your brother’s, which he has lost and you have found. You may not hide yourself.

every lost thing of your brother’s. They were literally their brother’s keeper.

Genesis 4:9. The LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel, your brother?” He said, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?

 

VERSE 4. You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen down by the way, and hide yourself from them. You shall surely help him to lift them up again.

 

MISCELLANEOUS LAWS

 

VERSE 5. A woman shall not wear men’s clothing, neither shall a man put on women’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.

This verse reinforces the gender binary:

A woman shall not wear men’s clothing. Women were required to present themselves in traditionally female garb.

neither shall a man put on women’s clothing. Men were required to present themselves in traditionally male garb.

 

VERSE 6. If you come across a bird’s nest on the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the hen sitting on the young, or on the eggs, you shall not take the hen with the young.

 

VERSE 7. You shall surely let the hen go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days.

 

VERSE 8. When you build a new house, then you shall make a railing around your roof, so that you don’t bring blood on your house if anyone falls from there.

make a railing around your roof. This the beginning of safety codes for the construction of buildings.

 

VERSE 9. You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest all the fruit be defiled, the seed which you have sown, and the increase of the vineyard.

 

VERSE 10. You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.

 

VERSE 11. You shall not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together.

Few Christians worry about obeying this command.

 

VERSE 12. You shall make yourselves fringes on the four corners of your cloak with which you cover yourself.

fringes. Also known as tzitziot.

 

SEXUAL NORMATIVITY

 

VERSE 13. If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, hates her,

 

VERSE 14. accuses her of shameful things, gives her a bad name, and says, “I took this woman, and when I came near to her, I didn’t find in her the tokens of virginity;”

accuses her of shameful things. That is, “makes monstrous charges.”

 

VERSE 15. then the young lady’s father and mother shall take and bring the tokens of the young lady’s virginity to the elders of the city in the gate.

to the elders of the city in the gate. If a husband accuses his wife that she was not a virgin when they married, she has rights.

There is a due process, by divine mandate.

 

VERSE 16. The young lady’s father shall tell the elders, “I gave my daughter to this man as his wife, and he hates her.

 

VERSE 17. Behold, he has accused her of shameful things, saying, ‘I didn’t find in your daughter the tokens of virginity;’ and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity.” They shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.

 

VERSE 18. The elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him.

take the man and chastise him. By divine mandate, a husband who lies about his wife is to be punished.

 

VERSE 19. They shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver, and give them to the father of the young lady, because he has given a bad name to a virgin of Israel. She shall be his wife. He may not put her away all his days.

one hundred shekels of silver. A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.35 ounces. So 100 shekels is about a kilogram or 2.2 pounds.

 

VERSE 20. But if this thing is true, that the tokens of virginity were not found in the young lady,

if this thing is true. How can this be ascertained?

in the young lady. This section addresses whether the woman had sex prior to marriage.

 

VERSE 21. then they shall bring out the young lady to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done folly in Israel, to play the prostitute in her father’s house. So you shall remove the evil from among you.

stone her to death. The punishment for a woman who had sex prior to marriage is the death penalty.

the evil. A woman who had sex prior to marriage is described as an evil.

 

VERSE 22. If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both die, the man who lay with the woman and the woman. So you shall remove the evil from Israel.

The punishment for adultery is the death penalty.

 

VERSE 23. If there is a young lady who is a virgin pledged to be married to a husband, and a man finds her in the city, and lies with her,

finds her in the city. What is it about the city?

In the next verse we learn the answer.

 

VERSE 24. then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones; the lady, because she didn’t cry, being in the city; and the man, because he has humbled his neighbor’s wife. So you shall remove the evil from among you.

the lady, because she didn’t cry. Apparently this is a case of sexual assault.

In the case of sexual assault, the woman was required to cry out.

And in the city, there are people nearby who will hear her cry out.

 

VERSE 25. But if the man finds the lady who is pledged to be married in the field, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die;

in the field. Out in the field, there are no people nearby to hear a woman cry out.

 

VERSE 26. but to the lady you shall do nothing. There is in the lady no sin worthy of death; for as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter;

 

VERSE 27. for he found her in the field, the pledged to be married lady cried, and there was no one to save her.

 

VERSE 28. If a man finds a lady who is a virgin, who is not pledged to be married, grabs her and lies with her, and they are found,

 

VERSE 29. then the man who lay with her shall give to the lady’s father fifty shekels of silver. She shall be his wife, because he has humbled her. He may not put her away all his days.

shekels. A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.35 ounces.

 

VERSE 30. A man shall not take his father’s wife, and shall not uncover his father’s skirt.

shall not uncover his father’s skirt. This seems to be a prohibition against seeing your father’s genitals.

 


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DEUTERONOMY

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