Deuteronomy 19:18
And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and has testified falsely against his brother;
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19:15-21 Sentence should never be passed upon the testimony of one witness alone. A false witness should suffer the same punishment which he sought to have inflicted upon the person he accused. Nor could any law be more just. Let all Christians not only be cautious in bearing witness in public, but be careful not to join in private slanders; and let all whose consciences accuse them of crime, without delay flee for refuge to the hope set before them in Jesus Christ.Both the men, between whom the controversy is - Not the accused and the false witness, but the plaintiff and defendant (compare Exodus 23:1) who were summoned before the supreme court held, as provided in Deuteronomy 17, at the sanctuary. The judges acted as God's representative; to lie to them was to lie to Him. De 19:16-21. Punishment of a False Witness.

16-21. But if convicted of perjury, it will be sufficient for his own condemnation, and his punishment shall be exactly the same as would have overtaken the object of his malignant prosecution. (See on [158]Ex 21:23; see also Le 24:20).

No text from Poole on this verse. And the judges shall make diligent inquisition,.... Into the case before them, into the nature of the evidence and proof that each witness brings for or against; so the Targum of Jonathan,"the judges shall interrogate the witness, by whom these things are said, well;''shall thoroughly examine the testimony given, and look carefully into it:

and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; it appears plainly by full evidence that he has testified a falsehood of him.

And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
18. shall make diligent inquisition] See Deuteronomy 13:14 (15), Deuteronomy 17:4; Deuteronomy 17:9; Sg.

false, falsely] Heb. sheḳer: so in Exodus 20:16, but Deuteronomy 5:20 has shav, vain.

brother] here and next v.: the usual term in Sg. passages for fellow-Israelite.But whatever care was to be taken by means of free cities to prevent the shedding of blood, the cities of refuge were not to be asyla for criminals who were deserving of death, nor to afford protection to those who had slain a neighbour out of hatred. If such murderers should flee to the free city, the elders (magistrates) of his own town were to fetch him out, and deliver him up to the avenger of blood, that he might die. The law laid down in Numbers 35:16-21 is here still more minutely defined; but this does not transfer to the elders the duty of instituting a judicial inquiry, and deciding the matter, as Riehm follows Vater and De Wette in maintaining, for the purpose of proving that there is a discrepancy between Deuteronomy and the previous legislation. They are simply commanded to perform the duty devolving upon them as magistrates and administrators of local affairs. (On Deuteronomy 19:13, see Deuteronomy 8:8 and Deuteronomy 8:5.)
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