Deuteronomy 24

Guarding human relationships, disease, rights
.1 ¶ When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
 2  And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.
 3  And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;
.4  Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

  Wife ... uncleanness "This is that permission which the Pharisees erroneously referred to as a precept, Mt 19:7, Moses commanded to give a writing of divorcement. It was not so; our Saviour told them that he only suffered it because of the hardness of their hearts, lest, if they had not had liberty to divorce their wives, they should have ruled them with rigour, and it may be, have been the death of them.  It is probable that divorces were in use before (they are taken for granted, Le 21:14), and Moses thought it needful here to give some rules concerning them."
  Continued in the right column.
   "1. That a man might not divorce his wife unless he found some uncleanness in her, De 24:1. It was not sufficient to say that he did not like her, or that he liked another better, but he must show cause for his dislike; something that made her disagreeable and unpleasant to him, though it might not make her so to another. This uncleanness must mean something less than adultery; for, for that, she was to die; and less than the suspicion of it, for in that case he might give her the waters of jealousy; but it means either a light carriage, or a cross froward disposition, or some loathsome sore or disease; nay, some of the Jewish writers suppose that an offensive breath might be a just ground for divorce. Whatever is meant by it, doubtless it was something considerable; so that their modern doctors erred who allowed divorce for every cause, though ever so trivial, Mt 19:3.
   "2. De 24:2. That it must be done, not by word of mouth, for that might be spoken hastily, but by writing, and that put in due form, and solemnly declared, before witnesses, to be his own act and deed, which was a work of time, and left room for consideration, that it might not be done rashly. 
   "3. That the husband must give it into the hand of his wife, and send her away, which some think obliged him to endow her and make provision for her, ...
   "4. De 24:4. That being divorced it was lawful for her to marry another husband..." (Matthew Henry's Commentary)
.5 ¶ When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.
.6  No man shall take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge: for he taketh a man's life to pledge.
.7  If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die; and thou shalt put evil away from among you.
  6 - No man shall take See ex2226.
  7 - Stealing ... brethren See "manstealers" 1ti0110
 8  Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do.
 9  Remember what the LORD thy God did unto Miriam by the way, after that ye were come forth out of Egypt.
 10  When thou dost lend thy brother any thing, thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge.
 11  Thou shalt stand abroad, and the man to whom thou dost lend shall bring out the pledge abroad unto thee.
  8 - Leprosy The worst kind of ceremonial defilement. Discussed in le13,14.
  9 - Miriam The disease was not limited to the poorer classes. nu1214, also lu1301.
  10 - Not go in "The course recommended was, in kind and considerate regard, to spare the borrower's feelings. In the case of a poor man who had pledged his cloak, it was to be restored before night, as the poor in Eastern countries have commonly no other covering for wrapping themselves in when they go to sleep than the garment they have worn during the day." (JFB)
  "To prevent both the poor man's reproach by having his wants exposed, and the creditor's greediness which might be occasioned by the sight of something which he desired, and the debtor could not spare." (JW's Notes).
 12  And if the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge:
 13  In any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee: and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the LORD thy God.
 14 ¶ Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates:
 15  At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee.
.16  The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
.17  Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow's raiment to pledge:
 18  But thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing.
  17 - Stranger, fatherless, widow's These are the unfortunate. See jb2403.
  18 - Remember ... wast a bondman This helped them be humble and kind. They would still have been in bondage except for the mighty hand of the Lord. We, too, may remember this, especially when tempted to be proud of our righteousness which is really all Christ's.
.19  When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.
 20  When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.
 21  When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.
 22  And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.

  19 - When thou cuttest Provision for the process of gleaning. See ru0202. le1909.
  22 - Remember ... Egypt We need to be sensitive to the needs of others and less protective of our own wealth or advantages. v18, da1515.
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