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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Deuteronomy

(Return to Old Testament Contents)



Part 4: Ch.21-25 Moses lays out Relational Laws

Ch. 21 – Misc. Administrative Laws

Ch. 22 – Civil Laws, Marriage Laws & Abuse Laws

Ch. 23 – Holiness & Righteousness in the Nation

Ch. 24 – Relational Laws for a Holy Community

Ch.25 – Sentencing, Succession, Misc. Laws



FRAMEWORKS: Deuteronomy 24: Relational Laws for a Holy Community


v.1-4 Marriage & Divorce Laws

v.5-7 Relational Justice Laws

v.8,9 Cleansing Laws

v.10-15 Property & Money Laws

v.16-22 Relational Responsibilities



v.1-4 Marriage & Divorce Laws


v.1 If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house,

v.2 and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man,

v.3 and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies,

v.4 then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord . Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.


[Notes: Bringing order to divorce. Jesus maintained divorce was for the hard hearted, [Mt 19:8] the implication being they would not receive counsel for reconciliation.]



v.5-7 Relational Justice Laws


v.5 If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.

v.6 Do not take a pair of millstones—not even the upper one—as security for a debt, because that would be taking a person's livelihood as security.

v.7 If someone is caught kidnapping a fellow Israelite and treating or selling them as a slave, the kidnapper must die. You must purge the evil from among you.


[Notes: Three laws protecting marriage, livelihoods, and personal freedom.]



v.8,9 Cleansing Laws


v.8 In cases of defiling skin diseases, be very careful to do exactly as the Levitical priests instruct you. You must follow carefully what I have commanded them.

v.9 Remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam along the way after you came out of Egypt.


[Notes: Lev 13 & 14 cover these subjects in detail. A reminder to follow them.]


v.10-15 Property & Money Laws


v.10 When you make a loan of any kind to your neighbour, do not go into their house to get what is offered to you as a pledge.

v.11 Stay outside and let the neighbour to whom you are making the loan bring the pledge out to you.

v.12 If the neighbour is poor, do not go to sleep with their pledge in your possession.

v.13 Return their cloak by sunset so that your neighbour may sleep in it. Then they will thank you, and it will be regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the Lord your God.

v.14 Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.

v.15 Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin.


[Notes: Simple laws about pledges and treating others rightly in respect of money owed.]



v.16-22 Relational Responsibilities


v.16 Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.

v.17 Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.

v. 18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.

v.19 When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

v.20 When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.

v.21 When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.

v.22 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.


[Notes: About treating others well, especially if not your own people, or those in need. Remember your background, where you came from!]