Deuteronomy 22
Benson Commentary
Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother.
Deuteronomy 22:1-2. Thy brother’s — Any man’s, this being a duty of common justice and charity, which the law of nature taught even heathen. Hide thyself from them — Dissemble, or pretend that thou dost not see them, or pass them by as if thou hadst not seen them. If thy brother be not nigh unto thee — Which may make the duty more troublesome or chargeable. Or if thou know him not — Which implies that, if they did know the owner, they should restore it. Bring it unto thy own house — To be used like thy other cattle. Thou shalt restore it again — The owner, as it may be presumed, paying the charges.

And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him again.
In like manner shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his raiment; and with all lost thing of thy brother's, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest not hide thyself.
Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again.
The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
Deuteronomy 22:5. Shall not wear — That is, ordinarily or unnecessarily, for in some cases this may be lawful, as to make an escape for one’s life. Now this is forbidden for decency’s sake, that men might not confound those sexes which God hath distinguished; that all appearance of evil might be avoided, such change of garments carrying a manifest sign of effeminacy in the man, of arrogance in the woman, of lightness and petulancy in both; and also to cut off all suspicions and occasions of evil, for which this practice would open a wide door.

If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young:
Deuteronomy 22:6-7. Thou shalt not take the dam with the young — This and such like merciful precepts of the law of Moses tended to humanize the hearts of the Israelites, to produce in them a sense of the divine providence extending itself to all creatures, and to teach them to exercise dominion over them with gentleness. The command also respected posterity, restrained a selfish and covetous disposition, and taught them not to monopolize all to themselves, but leave the hopes of a future seed for others.

But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days.
When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence.
Deuteronomy 22:8. Thou shalt make a battlement — A fence or breast-work, because the roofs of their houses were made flat, that men might walk on them. Blood — The guilt of blood, by a man’s fall from the top of thy house, through thy neglect of this necessary provision. The Jews say, that by the equity of this law, they are obliged, and so are we, to fence or remove every thing whereby life may be endangered, as wells, or bridges, lest if any perish through the omission, their blood be required at the hands of those who have neglected to perform so plain a duty.

Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.
Deuteronomy 22:9-10. Divers seeds — Either, 1st, With divers kinds of seeds mixed and sowed together between the rows of vines in thy vineyard: which was forbidden to be done in the field, (Leviticus 19:19,) and here in the vineyard. Or, 2d, With any kind of seed differing from that of the vine, which would produce either herbs, or corn, or fruit-bearing trees, whose fruit might be mingled with the fruit of the vines. Now this and the following precepts, though in themselves small and trivial, are given, according to that time and state of the church, for instructions in greater matters, and particularly to commend to them simplicity in all their carriage toward God and men, and to forbid all mixture of their inventions with God’s institutions in doctrine and worship. An ox and an ass — Because the one was a clean beast, the other unclean; whereby God would teach men to avoid polluting themselves by the touch of unclean persons or things.

Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.
Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.
Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.
Deuteronomy 22:12. Fringes — Or laces, or strings, partly to bring the commands of God to their remembrance, as it is expressed Numbers 15:38, and partly as a public profession of their nation and religion, whereby they might be distinguished from strangers, that so they might be more circumspect to behave as became the people of God, and that they should own their religion before all the world. Thou coverest thyself — These words seem to confine the precept to the upper garment wherewith the rest were covered.

If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,
Deuteronomy 22:13. If any man take a wife — And afterward falsely accuse her. What the meaning of that evidence is, by which the accusation was proved false, the learned are not agreed. Nor is it necessary for us to know: they for whom this law was intended, undoubtedly understood it.

And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:
Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate:
And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her;
And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city.
And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him;
And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days.
Deuteronomy 22:19. Give them unto the father of the damsel — Because this was a reproach to his family, and to himself, as such misconduct of his daughter would have been ascribed to his neglect of properly instructing or watching over her. He may not put her away all his days — Thus he was deprived of the common benefit which every Israelite had who did not like his wife, which was to sue out a divorce.

But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel:
Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.
If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.
Deuteronomy 22:24-27. She cried not — And therefore is justly presumed to have consented to it. As when a man riseth against his neighbour, even so is this matter — Not an act of choice, but of force and constraint. The damsel cried — Which is in that case to be presumed; charity obliging us to believe the best, till the contrary be manifest.

But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die:
But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:
For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.
If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.
Deuteronomy 22:29. Shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels — Besides the dowry, as Philo, the learned Jew, notes, which is here omitted, because that was customary, it being sufficient here to mention what was peculiar to this case. She shall be his wife — He was not at liberty to refuse her, if her father consented to his marrying her, and he was deprived of the privilege of ever divorcing her.

A man shall not take his father's wife, nor discover his father's skirt.
Benson Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

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