Deuteronomy 13:5
And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he has spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust you out of the way which the LORD your God commanded you to walk in. So shall you put the evil away from the middle of you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Deuteronomy 13:5. Because he hath spoken — Taught, or persuaded you. To turn you away from the Lord — To induce you to forsake God and his worship. This shows that the most certain character of a true prophet is to be taken from his doctrine, rather than from his miracles. To thrust thee out of the way — This phrase denotes the great force and power of seducers to corrupt men’s minds. So shalt thou put the evil away — Thou shalt remove the guilt, by removing the guilty.13:1-5 Moses had cautioned against the peril that might arise from the Canaanites. Here he cautions against the rise of idolatry among themselves. It is needful for us to be well acquainted with the truths and precepts of the Bible; for we may expect to be proved by temptations of evil under the appearance of good, of error in the guise of truth; nor can any thing rightly oppose such temptations, but the plain, express testimony of God's word to the contrary. And it would be a proof of sincere affection for God, that, notwithstanding specious pretences, they should not be wrought upon the forsake God, and follow other gods to serve them.The context and parallel passages (compare Deuteronomy 17:7; Leviticus 20:2) indicate that there was to be a regular judicial procedure, and that the manner of the execution was to be by stoning. In this the community was to take its part in order to show its horror at the crime, and to clear itself of complicity therein. CHAPTER 13

De 13:1-5. Enticers to Idolatry to Be Put to Death.

1. If there arise among you a prophet—The special counsels which follow arose out of the general precept contained in De 12:32; and the purport of them is, that every attempt to seduce others from the course of duty which that divine standard of faith and worship prescribes must not only be strenuously resisted, but the seducer punished by the law of the land. This is exemplified in three cases of enticement to idolatry.

a prophet—that is, some notable person laying claim to the character and authority of the prophetic office (Nu 12:6; 1Sa 10:6), performing feats of dexterity or power in support of his pretensions, or even predicting events which occurred as he foretold; as, for instance, an eclipse which a knowledge of natural science might enable him to anticipate (or, as Caiaphas, Joh 18:14). Should the aim of such a one be to seduce the people from the worship of the true God, he is an impostor and must be put to death. No prodigy, however wonderful, no human authority, however great, should be allowed to shake their belief in the divine character and truth of a religion so solemnly taught and so awfully attested (compare Ga 1:8). The modern Jews appeal to this passage as justifying their rejection of Jesus Christ. But He possessed all the characteristics of a true prophet, and He was so far from alienating the people from God and His worship that the grand object of His ministry was to lead to a purer, more spiritual and perfect observance of the law.

He hath spoken, i.e. taught or persuaded you.

To turn you away from the Lord; to forsake God and his worship. He shows that the chiefest and most certain character of a true prophet, is to be taken from his doctrine rather than from his miracles.

To thrust thee out of the way: this phrase denotes the great force and power of seducers to corrupt men’s minds. Compare Deu 4:19 2 Kings 17:21 Matthew 24:2,14.

The evil; either

1. That evil thing, that wicked doctrine and practice. Or,

2. That wicked and scandalous man, that idolater and seducer. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death,.... Which death, according to the Targum of Jonathan, was to be killed with the sword:

because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God; or "spoken revolt against the Lord" (l), high treason against him, delivering out doctrine that tends to cause his subjects to rebel against him, and revolt from him; and therefore he is justly deserving of death, to draw off a people from him he had been so good and kind unto; so that to apostasy would be added the sin of ingratitude:

which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage; and so was not only their Lord by creation whom they ought to serve, but by redemption, which laid them under double obligation to serve him:

to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in; not by external force, but by the power of persuasion, by enticing words and arguments:

so shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee; the evil man, by putting him to death, and the evil of idolatry, by not listening to the words of the false prophet.

(l) "apostasiam", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "defectionem", Tigurine version.

And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be {d} put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

(d) Being convicted by testimonies, and condemned by the judge.







Deuteronomy 13:4
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