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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Deuteronomy

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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 25: Sentencing, Succession, Misc. Laws


v.1-3 Court Sentencing

v.5-10 Law for the Kinsman Redeemer

v.11-16 Misc. Behavioural Laws



v.1-3 Court Sentencing


v.1 When people have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judges will decide the case, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty.

v.2 If the guilty person deserves to be beaten, the judge shall make them lie down and have them flogged in his presence with the number of lashes the crime deserves,

v.3 but the judge must not impose more than forty lashes. If the guilty party is flogged more than that, your fellow Israelite will be degraded in your eyes.


[Notes: Court sentencing limited.]



v.4 Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.



v.5-10 Law for the Kinsman Redeemer


v.5 If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband's brother shall take her and marry her and fulfil the duty of a brother-in-law to her.

v.6 The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.

v.7 However, if a man does not want to marry his brother's wife, she shall go to the elders at the town gate and say, “My husband's brother refuses to carry on his brother's name in Israel. He will not fulfil the duty of a brother-in-law to me.”

v.8 Then the elders of his town shall summon him and talk to him. If he persists in saying, “I do not want to marry her,”

v.9 his brother's widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face and say, “This is what is done to the man who will not build up his brother's family line.”

v.10 That man's line shall be known in Israel as The Family of the Unsandaled.


[Notes: The subject of the ‘kinsman redeemer' is central to the story of Ruth [Ruth 2 & 4] and also the story of Tamar [Gen 38], where a duty to marry a widow and take responsibility for protecting her and providing for her, as well as carry on the family name, falls on subsequent brothers or other relatives.]



v.11-16 Misc. Behavioural Laws


v.11 If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts,

v.12 you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

v.13 Do not have two differing weights in your bag—one heavy, one light.

v.14 Do not have two differing measures in your house—one large, one small.

v.15 You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

v.16 For the Lord your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly.


[Notes: A miscellanea of righteous behaviour.]



v.17-19 Deal with the Amalekites


v.17 Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt.

v.18 When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God.

v.19 When the Lord your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!


[Notes: The Amalekites had attacked vulnerable Israel on the way from Egypt [Ex 17:8]. The Lord had said He would judge Amalek [17:14] but the reality seems to suggest that that was a long-term fulfilment for they were used to repulse the disobedient Israel trying to enter the Land (see Num 14), and to discipline Israel's disobedience again in the land (see Jud 3:13 & 6:3) but were defeated by Gideon (Jud 6:33, 7:12 etc.) yet still obviously held control of a part of the Land (Jud 12:15). Later Samuel was to command Saul to kill them (see 1 Sam 15) but he clearly failed to do that for David was still fighting them later (1 Sam 27:8, 30:1) and ironically it was an Amalekite who claimed he had eventually killed Saul (see 2 Sam 1 esp. v.8). It wasn't until much later that the tribe of Simeon finally dealt with them (1 Chron 4:43) There may have been this call in these verses but wasn't fulfilled.]