Deuteronomy 25:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
When people have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judges will decide the case, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty.

New Living Translation
"Suppose two people take a dispute to court, and the judges declare that one is right and the other is wrong.

English Standard Version
“If there is a dispute between men and they come into court and the judges decide between them, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty,

New American Standard Bible
"If there is a dispute between men and they go to court, and the judges decide their case, and they justify the righteous and condemn the wicked,

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If there is a dispute between men, they are to go to court, and the judges will hear their case. They will clear the innocent and condemn the guilty.

International Standard Version
"When there is a conflict between individuals, let them come to court to judge the case, decide who is innocent, and condemn the guilty person.

NET Bible
If controversy arises between people, they should go to court for judgment. When the judges hear the case, they shall exonerate the innocent but condemn the guilty.

New Heart English Bible
If there is a controversy between men, and they come to judgment, and the judges judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is what you must do whenever [two] people have a disagreement that is brought into court. The judges will hear the case and decide who's right and who's wrong.

JPS Tanakh 1917
If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, and the judges judge them, by justifying the righteous, and condemning the wicked,

New American Standard 1977
“If there is a dispute between men and they go to court, and the judges decide their case, and they justify the righteous and condemn the wicked,

Jubilee Bible 2000
If there is a controversy between persons and they come unto judgment and they are judged, then they shall justify the righteous and condemn the wicked.

King James 2000 Bible
If there is 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.

American King James Version
If there be a controversy between men, and they come to judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.

American Standard Version
If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, and the judges judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked;

Douay-Rheims Bible
If there be a controversy between men, and they call upon the judges: they shall give the prize of justice to him whom they perceive to be just: and him whom they find to be wicked, they shall condemn of wickedness.

Darby Bible Translation
If there be a controversy between men, and they resort to judgment, and they judge [their case]; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.

English Revised Version
If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, and the judges judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked;

Webster's Bible Translation
If there shall be a controversy between men, and they come to judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.

World English Bible
If there be a controversy between men, and they come to judgment, and [the judges] judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked;

Young's Literal Translation
'When there is a strife between men, and they have come nigh unto the judgment, and they have judged, and declared righteous the righteous, and declared wrong the wrong-doer,
Study Bible
Laws of Fairness
1"If there is a dispute between men and they go to court, and the judges decide their case, and they justify the righteous and condemn the wicked, 2then it shall be if the wicked man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall then make him lie down and be beaten in his presence with the number of stripes according to his guilt.…
Cross References
Exodus 22:9
"For every breach of trust, whether it is for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any lost thing about which one says, 'This is it,' the case of both parties shall come before the judges; he whom the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor.

Exodus 23:7
"Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent or the righteous, for I will not acquit the guilty.

Deuteronomy 1:16
"Then I charged your judges at that time, saying, 'Hear the cases between your fellow countrymen, and judge righteously between a man and his fellow countryman, or the alien who is with him.

Deuteronomy 1:17
'You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God's. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.'

Deuteronomy 17:8
"If any case is too difficult for you to decide, between one kind of homicide or another, between one kind of lawsuit or another, and between one kind of assault or another, being cases of dispute in your courts, then you shall arise and go up to the place which the LORD your God chooses.

Deuteronomy 17:11
"According to the terms of the law which they teach you, and according to the verdict which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside from the word which they declare to you, to the right or the left.

Deuteronomy 19:17
then both the men who have the dispute shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days.

Deuteronomy 19:18
"The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely,

Deuteronomy 24:22
"You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing.

1 Kings 8:32
then hear in heaven and act and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing his way on his own head and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.
Treasury of Scripture

If there be a controversy between men, and they come to judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.

Deuteronomy 16:18-20 Judges and officers shall you make you in all your gates, which the …

Deuteronomy 17:8,9 If there arise a matter too hard for you in judgment, between blood …

Deuteronomy 19:17-19 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before …

Exodus 23:6,7 You shall not wrest the judgment of your poor in his cause…

2 Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that rules …

2 Chronicles 19:6-10 And said to the judges, Take heed what you do: for you judge not …

Job 29:7-17 When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my …

Psalm 58:1,2 Do you indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do you judge uprightly, …

Psalm 82:2-4 How long will you judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah…

Proverbs 17:15 He that justifies the wicked, and he that comdemns the just, even …

Proverbs 31:8,9 Open your mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed …

Isaiah 1:17,23 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the …

Isaiah 5:23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness …

Isaiah 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with …

Isaiah 32:1,2 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule …

Jeremiah 21:12 O house of David, thus said the LORD; Execute judgment in the morning, …

Ezekiel 44:24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge …

Micah 3:1,2 And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and you princes of …

Habakkuk 1:4,13 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment does never go forth: for …

Matthew 3:10 And now also the ax is laid to the root of the trees: therefore every …

XXV.

Deuteronomy 25:1-3. HUMANITY IN PUNISHMENTS.

(1) They shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.--"I will not justify the wicked" (Exodus 23:7). "He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord" (Proverbs 17:15). It should be noticed that justify is here used forensically, not meaning to make righteous, but to treat as righteous. Those who object to this sense in St. Paul's Epistles, will find it hard to put any other sense upon the word in the rest of Holy Scripture.

(2) If the wicked man be worthy to be beaten.--Literally, a son of beating, or of Haccth, according to the Hebrew. The treatise called Maccth, in the Talmud, describes the infliction of the punishment in later times, when "of the Jews five times" St. Paul "received forty stripes save one." The details have been described by Canon Farrar in an appendix to his Life of St. Paul.

Shall cause him to lie down.--The Talmud interprets the position as not sitting nor standing, nor exactly lying, but with the body inclined.

Before his face.--This is interpreted as on the front of his body. The thirty-nine stripes were given thirteen on one shoulder, thirteen on the other, and thirteen on the breast.

(3) Forty stripes.--The Talmud says that they considered first what a man could bear, and flogged him according to their estimate. In some cases, if the whole punishment could not be administered at once, it was divided. It is contemplated as possibly fatal, however.

Lest . . . thy brother should seem vile unto thee.--The punishment was not considered to be any degradation, after it had been inflicted. It was inflicted in the synagogue, and the law was read mean while from Deuteronomy 28:58-59, with one or two other passages.

(4) Thou shalt not muzzle the ox.--We have a comment on these words from St. Paul in two places (1Corinthians 9:9, and 1Timothy 5:18). It is not only written for the sake of the oxen, but to prove that the "labourer is worthy of his hire;" "they that preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel."

Verses 1-3. - The first and second verses should be read as one sentence, of which the protasis is in ver. 1 and the apodosis in ver. 2, thus: If there be a strife between men, and they come to judgment, and they (i.e. the judges) give judgment on them, and justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked, then it shall be, if the wicked deserve to be beaten (literally, be the son of blows), that the judge, etc. It is assumed that the judges shall pronounce just judgment, and apportion to the guilty party his due punishment; and then it is prescribed how that is to be inflicted. In the presence of the judge the man was to be cast down, and the adjudged number of blows were to be given him, not, however, exceeding forty, lest the man should be rendered contemptible in the eyes of the people, as if he were a mere slave or brute. This punishment was usually inflicted with a stick (Exodus 21:10; 2 Samuel 7:14, etc.), as is still the case among the Arabs and Egyptians; sometimes also with thorns (Judges 8:7, 16); sometimes with whips and scorpions, i.e. scourges of cord or leather armed with sharp points or hard knots (1 Kings 12:11, 14). Though the culprit was laid on the ground, it does not appear that the bastinado was used among the Jews as it is now among the Arabs; the back and shoulders were the parts of the body on which the blows fell (Proverbs 10:13; Proverbs 19:29; Proverbs 26:3; Isaiah 1:6). According to his fault, by a certain number; literally, according to the requirement of his crime in number; i.e. according as his crime deserved. The number was fixed at forty, probably because of the symbolical significance of that number as a measure of completeness. The rabbins fixed the number at thirty-nine, apparently in order that the danger of exceeding the number prescribed by the Law should be diminished (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:24); but another reason is assigned by Maimonides, viz. that, as the instrument of punishment was a scourge with three tails, each stroke counted for three, and thus they could not give forty, but only thirty-nine, unless they exceeded the forty (Maimon., 'In Sanhedrin,' 17:2). If there be a controversy between men,.... Between two or more:

and they come unto judgment; into a court of judicature, bring their cause thither:

that the judges may judge them; who were never less than three; the great sanhedrim at Jerusalem consisted of seventy one, the lesser court was of twenty three, and the least of all three only:

then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked: acquit the one, whose cause is good, and condemn the other to punishment, who is guilty of a crime, and as that deserves; which is to do righteous judgment; the contrary to this is an abomination to the Lord, Proverbs 17:15. CHAPTER 25

De 25:1-19. Stripes Must Not Exceed Forty.25:1-3 Every punishment should be with solemnity, that those who see it may be filled with dread, and be warned not to offend in like manner. And though the criminals must be shamed as well as put to pain, for their warning and disgrace, yet care should be taken that they do not appear totally vile. Happy those who are chastened of the Lord to humble them, that they should not be condemned with the world to destruction.
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