You shall not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of your brothers, or of your strangers that are in your land within your gates:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant.—So Leviticus 19:13. “The wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.” (Comp. also Jeremiah 22:13; Malachi 3:5; James 5:4.)Deuteronomy 24:14-15. Not oppress a hired servant — By detaining his wages from him when due, which is the meaning of oppression here, as appears from the next verse. At his day thou shalt give him his hire — That is, at the time appointed, weekly or daily. He speaks of a hireling who was so poor as not to be able to provide himself and family with necessaries without his wages, and who therefore eagerly expected them as the support of their lives.Deuteronomy 6:25 note. Deuteronomy 24:15; though the law may include such as are hired by the week, or month, or year; neither of whom are to be oppressed by any means, and chiefly by detaining their wages; so the Jerusalem Targum explains the phrase,"ye shall not detain by force the hire of the hired servant;''nor by fraud, as in James 5:4,
that is poor and needy; and so cannot bear the lest oppression of this kind, nor to have his wages detained from him any time, and much less wholly to be defrauded of them:
whether he be of thy brethren; an Israelite, and so a brother both by nation and religion:
or of thy strangers that are in thy land, within thy gates; Jarchi interprets this, both of proselytes of righteousness, and of proselytes of the gate; which latter are plainly described by this clause, and the former must be included; for, if proselytes of the gate are not to be oppressed, much less proselytes of righteousness, who were in all respects as Israelites, the same law was to them both. Jarchi says, the phrase "in thy land" is intended to comprehend the hire of beasts, and of vessels; and these in the Misnah (o) are said to be comprehended in this precept, as well as the hire of man.Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. poor and needy] See on Deuteronomy 15:11.
within thy gates] See on Deuteronomy 12:17. The preceding in thy land, omitted by Sam., LXX, is a gloss.
14, 15. Payment of the Wage-earner. Whether Israelite or gçr, if he be poor, his wage is to be paid the day he earns it; if he has to appeal to God it will be sin to thee.—Sg. with brother (not neighbour) and other deuteronomic phrases. Parallel to H, Leviticus 19:13 : thou shalt not oppress thy neighbour … the wage of a hireling shall not stay overnight with thee till morning. Cp. Malachi 3:5, Tob 4:14, James 5:4. Ḫammurabi fixes the daily money wages of labourers and artisans (273 f.), in other cases wages in kind are paid yearly (257 f., 261).Verses 14, 15. - The wage of the laborer was to be punctually paid, whether he were an Israelite or a foreigner (cf. Leviticus 19:13; the law there is repeated here, with a special reference to the distress which the withholding of the hire from a poor man even for a day might occasion). Exodus 21:16). - Deuteronomy 24:8, Deuteronomy 24:9. The command, "Take heed by the plague of leprosy to observe diligently and to do according to all that the priests teach thee," etc., does not mean, that when they saw signs of leprosy they were to be upon their guard, to observe everything that the priests directed them, as Knobel and many others suppose. For, in the first place, the reference to the punishment of Miriam with leprosy is by no means appropriate to such a thought as this, since Miriam did not act in opposition to the priests after she had been smitten with leprosy, but brought leprosy upon herself as a punishment, by her rebellion against Moses (Numbers 12:10.). And in the second place, this view cannot be reconciled with בּנגע השּׁמר, since השּׁמר with בּ, either to be upon one's guard against (before) anything (2 Samuel 20:10), or when taken in connection with בּנפשׁ, to beware by the soul, i.e., for the sake of the worth of the soul (Jeremiah 17:21). The thought here, therefore, is, "Be on thy guard because of the plague of leprosy," i.e., that thou dost not get it, have to bear it, as the reward for thy rebellion against what the priests teach according to the commandment of the Lord. "Watch diligently, that thou do not incur the plague of leprosy" (Vulgate); or, "that thou do not sin, so as to be punished with leprosy" (J. H. Michaelis).
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