If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.
16:18-20 17:8,9 19:17-19 Exodus 23:6,7 2 Samuel 23:3 2 Chronicles 19:6-10 Job 29:7-17 Psalms 58:1,2 82:2-4 Proverbs 17:15 31:8,9 Isaiah 1:17,23 Isaiah 5:23 11:4 32:1,2 Jeremiah 21:12 Ezekiel 44:24 Micah 3:1,2 Habakkuk 1:4,13 Malachi 3:18 Matthew 3:10
And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number.
Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.
vile unto thee
That is, be beaten so cruelly, that, by retaining the marks, he become contemptible in the eyes of his brethren. Amendment, and not this, was the object of the punishment. We should hate and despise the sin, but not the sinner.
Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.
In Judea, as well as in Egypt, Greece, and Italy, they made use of beeves to tread out the corn; and the same mode of threshing still obtains in Arabia, Barbary, and other eastern countries, to the present day. The sheaves lie open and expanded on the threshing floors, and the cattle continually move round them, and thus tread out the grain. The natives of Aleppo still religiously observe the ancient humane practice, inculcated by this law, of permitting the oxen to remain unmuzzled when treading out the corn.
If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
or, next kinsman.
And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
that his name
or, next kinsman's wife. go up.
Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
I like not
Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.
loose his shoe
Pulling off the shoe seems to express his being degraded to the situation of slaves, who generally went barefoot; and spitting in or rather before, (biphney) his face, was a mark of the utmost ignominy.
When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets:
to deliver her husband
Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.
Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small.
in thy bag
Heb. a stone and a stone. Aivenw‰aiven; because weights were anciently made of stone. Hence the expression, a stone weight, which is still in use, though the matter of which it is made be lead or iron, and the name itself shews us that a stone of a certain weight was formerly used.
Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small.
Heb. an ephah and an ephah. Aiphah w‰aiphah; for this was the cost common measure among the Israelites, by which all the others were made and adjusted. They are not only forbidden to use divers weights and measures, one large or heavy to buy with, and another small and light to sell with, but they were not even allowed to keep such in the house. It is observable also, that these too common but dishonest actions are branded as "an abomination to the Lord," equally with idolatry, and other scandalous crimes.
But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
that thy days
For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.
all that do
Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;
How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.
Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.