|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:1-4 If we duly regard the golden rule of doing to others as we would they should do unto us, many particular precepts might be omitted. We can have no property in any thing that we find. Religion teaches us to be neighbourly, and to be ready to do all good offices to all men. We know not how soon we may have occasion for help.
Verse 1. - Go astray; wandering at large. The Hebrew verb means primarily to seduce, draw aside, or entice (cf. Deuteronomy 13:6); and in the passive conveys the idea of wandering through being drawn away by some enticement. Hide thyself from them; i.e. withdraw thyself from them, avoid noticing them or having to do with them. In any case; certainly, without fail.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou shall not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray,.... Or "driven away" (r); frightened and starved away from the herd or from the flock by a wolf or dog; and the ox and sheep are put for every other creature a man has, as camels, asses, &c. which last sort is after mentioned; and a brother means not one in the natural relation of kindred only, for it is supposed, in the next verse, that he might not only be at a distance, but unknown; nor by religion only, or one of the commonwealth or church of the Jews, for what is enjoined is a piece of humanity the law of nature requires and directs unto, and is even to be done to enemies, Exodus 23:4 and hide thyself from them; make as if he did not see them, and so be entirely negligent of them, and takes no care and show no concern about them, but let them go on wandering from the herd and flock from whence they were driven, and to which they cannot find the way of themselves:
thou shalt in any case bring them again to thy brother: to his herd or flock, or to his house, and deliver them into his own hands, or to the care of his servants.
(r) "expulsos", Montanus; "impulsos", Munster; "depulsos", Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
De 22:1-4. Of Humanity toward Brethren.
1. Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them, &c.—"Brother" is a term of extensive application, comprehending persons of every description; not a relative, neighbor, or fellow countryman only, but any human being, known or unknown, a foreigner, and even an enemy (Ex 23:4). The duty inculcated is an act of common justice and charity, which, while it was taught by the law of nature, was more clearly and forcibly enjoined in the law delivered by God to His people. Indifference or dissimulation in the circumstances supposed would not only be cruelty to the dumb animals, but a violation of the common rights of humanity; and therefore the dictates of natural feeling, and still more the authority of the divine law, enjoined that the lost or missing property of another should be taken care of by the finder, till a proper opportunity occurred of restoring it to the owner.
Deuteronomy 22:1 Parallel Commentaries
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