You shall not plow with an ox and an ass together.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Deuteronomy 22:10 was also dictated by humanity. The ox and the donkey being of such different size and strength, it would be cruel to the latter to yoke them together. These two animals are named as being those ordinarily employed in agriculture; compare Isaiah 32:20.
1. 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, 2 Corinthians 6:14. Or,
2. Because of their unequal strength, whereby the weaker, the ass, would be oppressed and overwrought. Or,
3. For mystical reasons, of which see on Deu 22:9 Leviticus 19:19. Leviticus 19:19 but Aben Ezra thinks the reason is, because the strength of an ass is not equal to the strength of an ox; and therefore he supposes this law is made from the mercy and commiseration of God extended to all his creatures; though perhaps the better reason is, because the one was a clean creature, and the other an unclean, and this instance is put for all others; and with which agree the Jewish canons, which run thus,"cattle with cattle, wild beasts with wild beasts, unclean with unclean, clean with clean (i.e. these may be put together); but unclean with clean, and clean with unclean, are forbidden to plough with, to draw with, or to be led together (k).''The mystery of this is, that godly and ungodly persons are not to be yoked together in religious fellowship: see 2 Corinthians 6:14. Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. an ox and an ass together] This is frequently seen in Palestine, as also a camel with one or other of these two. Note that the ox was ‘clean,’ the ass ‘unclean.’ D does not, like H, prohibit cross-breeding. Mules were common in Israel from David’s time, see Jerus. i. 326 f. On cross-breeding at the present day in Palestine see Musil, Ethn. Ber. 291.Exodus 23:5 : except that in this case, instead of a brother generally, an enemy or hater is mentioned).
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