Deuteronomy 22:9
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9-11) These precepts appear also in Leviticus 19:19, more briefly.

(9) Defiled—or sanctified. Different crops become “common” at different times. The year’s corn was freed by the wave-sheaf and wave-loaves. The trees not for five years. The rule about the ox and the ass may rest partly on the ground of humanity, the step and the pull of the two creatures being so very unlike. St. Paul gives a spiritual sense to the precept in 2Corinthians 6:14. “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” The ox was a clean animal and fit for sacrifice. The ass was unclean, and must be redeemed with a lamb. The clean and unclean must not till the holy land of Jehovah together.

All these precepts are part of the laws of holiness in Leviticus—rules of behaviour arising from the fact that Israel is the special people of a holy God.

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.

22:5-12 God's providence extends itself to the smallest affairs, and his precepts do so, that even in them we may be in the fear of the Lord, as we are under his eye and care. Yet the tendency of these laws, which seem little, is such, that being found among the things of God's law, they are to be accounted great things. If we would prove ourselves to be God's people, we must have respect to his will and to his glory, and not to the vain fashions of the world. Even in putting on our garments, as in eating or in drinking, all must be done with a serious regard to preserve our own and others' purity in heart and actions. Our eye should be single, our heart simple, and our behaviour all of a piece.Compare the marginal reference. The prohibition of 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. 9. Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds—(See on [159]Le 19:19). With divers seeds; either,

1. With divers kinds of seed 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,

2. 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 two following precepts, though in themselves small and trivial, are given, according to that time and state of the church, for documents or instructions in greater matters, and particularly to commend to them simplicity and sincerity in all their carriages towards God and men, and to forbid all mixture of their inventions with God’s institutions, in doctrine or worship.

The fruit of thy seed, Heb. the fulness of thy seed, i.e. that seed when it is ripe and full. See Exodus 22:29 Numbers 18:27.

Defiled; either,

1. Naturally corrupted or marred, whilst one seed draws away the fat and nourishment of the earth from the other, and so both are starved and spoiled. Or rather,

2. Legally and morally, as being prohibited by God’s law, and thereby made unclean; as, on the contrary, things are sanctified by God’s word allowing and approving them, 1 Timothy 4:5. Heb. be sanctified, or, be as a sanctified thing, by an ellipsis of the particle as, i.e. unlawful for the owner’s use, as things sanctified were. Or, sanctifying is put for polluting, by a figure called euphemismus, which is frequent in Scripture, as when blessing is put for cursing, as Job 2:9, and in other authors, as when they use sacred for execrable.

Thou shall not sow thy vineyards with divers seeds,.... As wheat and barley between the rows of the vines; and this is to be understood only of divers sorts of corn, and of divers sorts of herbs, but not of trees; hence we read of a fig tree in a vineyard, Luke 13:6, and this only respects what is sown with design, and not what is casual, as the Jews interpret it (e);"if a man passes through a vineyard, and seeds fall from him, or they are carried out along with dung, or with water; or when a man is sowing, and a storm of wind carries it behind him (i.e. to a vineyard behind him), it is lawful;''that is, it may be let grow, and the fruit of it enjoyed; the same here is said of the vineyard as of the field in See Gill on Leviticus 19:19,

lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard; be defiled; that is, lest not only the increase of these divers seeds sown, but also the increase of the vines among which they are sown, become unlawful, and unfit for use, and so a loss of all be sustained: the Targum of Jonathan is,"lest it be condemned to burning;''or thou art obliged to burn it; for, according to the Jewish canons (f), the mixtures of a vineyard, or the divers seeds of it, and the increase thereof, were to be burnt; and the commentators of the Misnah (g) frequently explain this phrase by "lest it be burnt".

(e) Misn. Celaim, c. 5. sect. 7. (f) Misn. Temurah, c. 7. sect. 5. (g) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Terumot, c. 10. sect. 6. Orla, c. 3. sect. 7. Kiddushin, c. 2. sect. 9.

Thou shalt not {f} sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.

(f) The tenor of this law is to walk in simplicity and not to be curious about new fads.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. thy vineyard] which in Palestine is frequently so planted that there is room for the growth of vegetables, etc., between the vines. Leviticus 19:19, thy field. Why D mentions only vineyard is not explicable. The inference that his law is later than that in Lev. (Dillm.) is unjustified. More probably the wider term is the later correcting the narrower.

two kinds] Only here and Leviticus 19:19. The Heb. implies mutually exclusive kinds.

whole fruit] Right; for the Heb., the fulness, means not the overflow (so Ges. as in Exodus 22:29 (28)) but the whole ultimate contents of the vineyard, as the rest of the v. explains.

be forfeited] Lit. as R.V. margin, consecrated, separated unto Jehovah and His sanctuary like things under the ban (Joshua 6:19); proof that the prohibited mixture was regarded as a religious, i.e. a ritual, offence.

9–11. Three Laws against Mixing (1) seeds, (2) animals in ploughing, (3) cloths in a garment. The first and third also in H, Leviticus 19:19 (cp. P, Leviticus 11:37, against defiling seed), along with one against cross-breeding; the second peculiar to D. The religious reason given for the first is to be inferred for the other two. To appreciate it we must keep in mind not only the attention of the mind of that time to the distinctness of species as created by God, Genesis 1:11 f., Genesis 1:21, Genesis 1:24 f. (Driver), but the principle stated by Isaiah (Deuteronomy 28:24 f.) that all the husbandman’s customs and methods including his discrimination and separation of different kinds of seed were taught him by divine revelation (cp. Leviticus 19:19 : ye shall keep my statutes); and the possibility that in a more primitive society different seeds, animals and the stuffs produced from them were regarded as animated by different spirits whom it was unlucky to offend by confusing them (see on Deuteronomy 22:11). But it is remarkable that Ḫammurabi’s Code shows no trace of this. For the later more detailed Jewish law see the Mishnah, ‘Kil’aim.’

Verses 9-11. - (Cf. Leviticus 19:19.) God has made distinctions in nature, and these are not to be confounded by the mixing of things distinct. The ox and the ass were chiefly used in husbandry; but, as they were of different size and strength, it was not only fitting that they should not be yoked to the same plough, but it might be cruel so to yoke them. Deuteronomy 22:9Still less were they to expose human life to danger through carelessness. "If thou build a new house, make a rim (maakeh) - i.e., a balustrade - to thy roof, that thou bring not blood-guiltiness upon thy house, if any one fall from it." The roofs of the Israelitish houses were flat, as they mostly are in the East, so that the inhabitants often lived upon them (Joshua 2:6; 2 Samuel 11:2; Matthew 10:27). - In Deuteronomy 22:9-11, there follow several prohibitions against mixing together the things which are separated in God's creation, consisting partly of a verbal repetition of Leviticus 19:19 (see the explanation of this passage). - To this there is appended in Deuteronomy 22:12 the law concerning the tassels upon the hem of the upper garment (Numbers 15:37.), which were to remind the Israelites of their calling, to walk before the Lord in faithful fulfilment of the commandments of God (see the commentary upon this passage).
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