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to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put 3 And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel; ye the evil away from among you.
approach this day unto battle against your enemies: 20 And those which remain shall hear, and fear, let not your hearts *faint; fear not, and do not and shall henceforth commit no more any such tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; evil among you.
4 For the LORD your God is he that goeth with 21 And thine eye shall not pity; kbut life shall you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for
you. hand, foot for foot.
5 And the officers shall speak unto the people,
saying, What man is there that hath built a new CHAPTER XX.
house, and hath not dedicated dit? let him go and
return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and This chapter settles the militia, and establishes the laws and ordinances of war, 1.
another man dedicate it. Relating to the soldiers. 1. Those must be encouraged, that were drawn up to battle, s. 1-4. 2. Those must be dismissed and sent back again, whose private 6 And what man is he that hath planted a vineaffairs called for their attendance at home, (v. 5-7,) or whose weakness and timiilits unfittext them for service in the field, v. 8, 9? "11. Relating to the enemics yard, and hath not yet teaten of it? let him also go they made war with. I. The treaties they must make with the cities that were far off, v. 10-15. 2. The destruction they must make of the people into whose land
and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, they were going, v. 16–18. 3. The care they must take, in besieging cities, not and another man eat of it. to destroy the fruit trecs, v. 19, 20.
7 And what man is there that hath betrothed a THEN thou goest out to battle against thine wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and re
I c. 24. 5.
a people more than thou, be not afraid of them : for another 'man take her. the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee 8 And the officers shall speak further unto the up out of the land of Egypt.
people, and they shall say, What man is there that 2 And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto is fearful and faint-hearted ? let him go and return the battle, that the priest shall approach, and speak unto his house, lest "his brethren's heart faints as unto the people,
well as his heart. k Lev. 24. 19, 20. a P. 20. 7. be tender. I make haate. Io. 28. 16. 6 Is. 51. d Neh. 12. 27. Ps. 30. title. made it common. Lev. 19. 23, 25. 7,8. cc. 1. 30. 3. 22. Josh. 23. 10. 2 Chr. 13. 12. 32. 7, 8.
I c. 28. 30. Judg. 7. 3. A Num. 32. 9. $ mell. by the testimony of another. It is a just shame which this law I. They that were disposed to fight must be encouraged, and put upon mankind, as false and not to be trusted; every man animated against their fears. is by it suspected; and it is the honour of God's grace, that the 1. Moses here gives a general encouragement, which the record he has given concerning his Son is confirined both in leaders and commanders in the war must take to themselves, heaven and in carth by three witnesses, 1 John 5. 7. Let God bev. 1, " Be not afraid of them. Though the enemy have never true and every man a liar, Rom. 3. 4.
so much the advantage, (being more than thou,) and though 2. That a false witness should incur the same punishment their armies be made up, in a great measure, of horses and which was to have been inflicted upon the person he accused, chariots, which thou art not allowed to multiply, yet decline not v. 16–21. (1.) The criminal here is a false witness, who is coming to a battle with them, dread not the issue, nor doubt of said to rise up against a man, not only because all witnesses success. Two things they must encourage themselves with stood up when they gave in their evidence, but because a false in their wars, provided they kept close to their God and their wilness did indeed rise up as an enemy and an assailant against religion, otherwise they forfeited these encouragements. (1.) him whom he accused. If two, or three, or many witnesses The presence of God with them. “ The Lord thy God is with concurred in a false testimony, they were all liable to be prose- thee, and therefore thou art not in danger, nor needest thou be cuted upon this law. (2.) The person wronged or brought into afraid." Soe Is. 41. 10. (2.) The experience they and their peril by the false testimony, is supposed to be the appellee, fathers had had of God's power and goodness, in bringing them v. 17. And yet if the person were put to death upon the evi out of the land of Egypi, in defiance of Pharaoh and all his dence, and afterward it appeared to be false, any other person, hosts, which was not only, in general, a proof of the divine or the judges themselves, ex officio-by virtue of their office, omnipotence, but to them in particular, a pledge of what God might call the false witness to account. (3.) Causes of this would do further for them. He that saved them from those kind, having more than ordinary difficulty in them, were to be greater enemies, would not suffer them to be run down by those brought before the supreme court, the priest and judges, who that were every way less considerable, and thus to have all he. are said to be before the Lord, because as other judges sat in had done for them undone again. the gates of their cities, so these at tho gate of the sanctuary, 2. This encouragement must be particularly addressed to ch. 17. 12. (4.) There must be great care in the trial, v. 18. the common soldiers by a priest appointed, and, the Jews say, A diligent inquisition must be made into the characters of the anointed, for that purpose, whom they call the Anointed of the persons, and all the circumstances of the case, which must be
war, a very proper title for our anointed Redeemer, the Captain compared, that the truth might be found out; which, where it is of our salvation. This priest, in God's name, was to animate thus faithfully and impartially inquired into, Providence, it may the people ; and who so fit to do that, as he whose office it was be hoped, will particularly advance the discovery of. (5.) I as priest to pray for them? For the best encouragements arise it appeared that a man had knowingly and maliciously borne from the precious promises made to the prayer of faith. This false witness against his neighbour, though the mischief he priest must, (1.) Charge them not to be afraid, v. 3, for nothing designed him thereby was not effected, he shall undergo the weakens the bands so much as that which makes the heart same penalty which his evidence would have brought his neigh- tremble, v. 3. There is need of precept upon precept to this bour under, v. 19., Nec lex est justior ulla-Nor could any law purport, as there is here. Læl not your hearts be tender, (so the be more just. If the crime he accused his neighbour of was to word is,) to receive all the impressions of f ar, but let a believe be punished with death, the false witness must be put to death; ing confidence in the power and promise of God harden them. if with stripes, he must be beaten; if with a pecuniary mulct, Fear not, and do not make haste, (so the word is,) for he that he was to be fined the same sum. And because to those who believeth doth not make more haste than good speed. “Do considered not the heinousness of the crime, and the necessity not make haste either rashly to anticipate your advantages, of making this provision against it, it might seem hard to punish or basely to fly off upon every disadvantage." (2.) He must a man so severely for a few words, speaking, especially when assure them of the presence of God with them, to own and no mischief did actually follow, it is added, v. 21, Thine eye plead their righteous cause, and not only to save them from shall not pity. No man needs to be more merciful than God. their enemies, but to give them victory over them, v. 4. Note, The benefit that will accrue to the public from this severity, Those have no reason to fear, that have God with them. The will abundantly recompense it, v. 20, They that remain shall giving of this encouragement by a priest, one of the Lord's mihear and fear. Such exemplary punishments will be warnings nisters, intimates, (1.) That it is very fit that armies should to others not to attempt any such mischief, when they see how have chaplains, not only to pray for them, but to preach to them, he that made the pit and digged it, is fallen into the ditch which both to reprove that which would hinder their success, and to he made.
raise their hopes of it. (2.) That it is the work of Christ's minisNOTES TO CHAPTER XX,
ters to encourage his good soldiers in their spiritual conflicts V. 1-9. Israel was at this time to be considered rather as with the world and the flesh, and to assure them of a conquest, a camp, than as a kingdom, entering upon an enemy's country, yea more than a conquest, through Christ that loved us. and not yet settled in a country of their own; and beside the II. They that were indisposed to fight, must be discharged; war they were now entering upon in order to their settlement, whether the indisposition did arise, even after their settlement they could neither protect nor enlarge 1. From the circumstances of a man's outward condition. their coast, without hearing the alarms of war; it was there. As (1.) If he had lately built or purchased a new house, and fore needful that they should have direction given them in had not taken possession of it, had not dedicated it, (v. 5,) that their military affairs: and in these verses they are directed in is, made a solemn festival for the entertainment of his friends, managing, marshalling, and drawing up their own forces. And that came to him to welcome him to his house ; let him go it is observable, that the discipline of war here prescribed is home and take the comfort of that which God has blessed him so far from having any thing in it harsh or severe, as is usual with, till, by enjoying it for some time, he become less fond of in martial law, that the intent of the whole is on the contrary it, and consequently less disturbed in the war by the thoughts to encourage the soldiers, and to make their service easy to of it, and more willing to die and leave it. For that is the them.
nature of all our worldly enjoyments, that they please us best
9 And it shall be, when the officers have made it into thine hands, 'thou shalt smite every male an end of speaking unto the people, that they shall thereof with the edge of the sword: make captains of the armies to lead the people. 14 But the women, and the little ones, and the
10 When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight cattle," and all that is in the city, even all the spoil against it, then proclaim peace unto it.
thereof, shalt thou take tunto thyself; and thou 11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all thy God hath given thee. the people that is found therein shall be tributaries 15 Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which unto thee, and they kshall serve thee.
are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities 12 And if it will make no peace with thee, but of these nations. will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege 16 But of the cities of these people, which the
LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, 13 And when the LORD thy God hath delivered thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: • to be in the head of the people.
o Num. 21.2, 3, 35. c. 7.1-. Josh.
i 2 Sam. 20. 1922.
k Lev. 25. 44-46.
m Josh. 8. 2.
n Josh. 22.8.
I Num. 31.7-9.
at first; after a while we see the vanity of them. Some think the gate that were not circumcised, pay to their new masters a that this dedication of their houses was a religious act, and that yearly tribute, and submit to their government:' on these terms they took possession of them with prayers and praises, with a the process of war should be stayed, and their conquerors, upon solemn devoting of themselves and all their enjoyments to the this submission, were to be their protectors, v, 10, 11. Some service and honour of God; David penned the 30th Psalm on think that even the seven nations of Canaan were to have this such an occasion, as appears by the title. Note, He that has a offer of peace made them; and the offer was no jest or mockery, house of his own should dedicate it to God, by setting up and though it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should keeping up the fear and worship of God in it, that he may have not accept it, Josh. 11. 20. Others think that they are exa church in his house; and nothing should be suffered to divert cluded, v. 16, not only from the benefit of that law, v. 13, which a man from this. Or, (2.) If a man had been at a great ex confines military execution to the males only, but from the pense to plant a vineyard, and longed to eat of the fruit of it, benefit of this also, which allows not to make war till peace which, for the first three years he was forbidden to do by that was refused. And I see not how they could proclaim peace to law, Lev. 19. 23, &c. let him go home, if he has a mind, and those who by the law were to be utterly rooted out, and to gratify his own humour with the fruits of it, v. 6. See how whom they were to show no mercy, ch. 7. 2. But for any indulgent God is to his people in innocent things, and how far other nation which they made war upon, either for the enlargfrom being a hard master. Since we naturally covet to eat the ing of their coast, the avenging of any wrong done, or the relabour of our hands, rather than an Israelite should be crossed covery of any right denied, they must first proclaim peace to therein, his service in war shall be dispensed with. Or, (3.) them. Let this show, 1. God's grace in dealing with sinners; If a man had made up his mind to be married, and the mar- though he might most justly and easily destroy them, yet, riage were not solemnized, he was at liberty to return, v. 7, as having no pleasure in their ruin, he proclaims peace, and bealso to tarry at home for one year after marriage, ch. 24. 5, for sceches them to be reconciled; so that they who lie most obthe terrors of war would be disagreeable to a man who had just noxious to his justice, and ready to fall as sacrifices to it, if welcomed the soft scene of domestic attachment. And God they make him an answer of peace, and open to him, upon would not be served in his wars by pressed men that were condition that they will be tributaries and servants to him, shall forced into the army against their will, but they must all be not only be saved from ruin, but incorporated with his Israel, perfectly volunteers, Ps. 110. 3, Thy people shut be willing. as fellow-citizens with the saints. 2. Let it show us our duty În running the Christian race, and fighting the good fight of in dealing with our brethren: if any quarrel happen, let us not faith, we must lay aside every weight, and all that which would only be ready to hearken to the proposals of peace, but forward clog and divert our minds, and make us unwilling. The Jewish to make such proposals. We should never make use of the writers agree that this liberty to return was allowed only in law, till we have first tried to accommodate matters in variance those wars which they made voluntarily, (as Bishop Patrick amicably, and without expense and vexation. We must be expresses it,) not those which were made by the divine com for peace, whoever are for war. mand against Amalek and the Canaanites, in which every IÍ. If the offers for peace were not accepted, then they must man was bound to fight.
proceed to push on the war. And let those to whom God offers 2. If a man's indisposition to fight arose from the weakness peace, know, that if they reject the offer, and take not the and timidity of his own spirit, he had leave to return from the benefit of it within the time limited, judgment will rejoice war, v. 8.
This proclamation Gideon made to his army, and against mercy in the execution, as much as now mercy rejoices it detached above two-thirds of them, Judg. 7.3. Some make against judgment in the reprieve. In this case here, 1. There the fearfulness and faint-heartedness, here supposed, to arise is a promise implied, that they should be victorious. It is from the terrors of an evil conscience, which would make a taken for granted, v. 13, that the Lord their God would deliver man afraid to look death and danger in the face. It was then it into their hands. Note, Those enterprises which we underthought that men of loose and profligate lives would not be good take by a divine warrant, and prosecute by a divine direction, soldiers, but must needs be both cowards in the army, and curses we may expect to succeed in. If we take God's method, we to it, the shame and trouble of the camp ; and therefore those shall have his blessing. 2. They are ordered, in honour to who were conscious to themselves of notorious guilt, were the public justice, to put all the soldiers to the sword, for them shaken off. But it seems rather to be meant of a natural fear- I understand by every male, v. 13, all that bore arms, (as all fulness. It was partly in kindness to them, that they had their then did, that were able.). But the spoil they are allowed to discharge; (though shamed, they were eased ;) but much more take to themselves, v. 14, in which were reckoned the women in kindness to the rest of the army, who were hereby freed from and children. Note, A justifiable property is acquired in that the encumbrance of such as were useless and unserviceable, which is won in lawful war; God himself owns the title, the while the danger of infection from their cowardice and flight Lord thy God gives it thee, and therefore he must be owned in was prevented; that is the reason here given, Lest his brethren's it, Ps. 14. 3. heart fail as well as his heart. Fear is catching, and in an army III. The nations of Canaan are excepted from the merciful is of most pernicious consequence. We must take heed that provisions made by this law. Remnants might be left of the we fear not the fear of them that are afraid, Is. 8. 12.
cities that were very far off, v. 15, because by them they Lastly, It is here ordered, that when all the cowards were were not in so much danger of being infected with idolatry, nor dismissed, then captains should be nominated, v. 9, for it was was their country so directly and immediately intended in the in a special manner necessary, that the leaders and commanders promise. But of the cities which were given to Israel for an should be men of courage. That reform therefore must be inheritance, no remnants must be left of their inhabitants, v. 16, made, when the army was first mustered and marshalled. The for it put a slight upon the promise to admit Canaanites to soldiers of Christ have need of courage, that they may quit share with them in the peculiar land of promise. And for anthemselves like men, and endure hardness like good soldiers, other reason they must be utterly destroyed, v. 17. Because especially the officers of his army.
since it could not be expected that they should be cured of their V. 10–20. They are here directed what method to take in idolatry, if they were left with that plague-sore upon them, they dealing with the cities, (those only are mentioned, v. 10, but would be in danger of infecting God's Israel, who were too apt doubtless the armies in the field, and the nations they had oc to take the infection, v. 18. They will teach you to do after their casion to deal with, are likewise intended,) upon which they abominations, to introduce their customs into the worship of the made war. They must not make a descent upon any of their God of Israel, and by degrees to forsake him and to worship neighbours, till they had first given them fair notice, by a public false gods ; for those that dare violate the second commandmeni, manifesto, or remonstrance, stating the ground of their
quarrel will not long keep to the first. Strange worships open the with them. In dealing with the worst of enemies, the laws of door to strange dejtjes. justice and honour must be observed; and as the sword must Lastly, Care is here taken, that in the besieging of cities never be taken in hand without cause, so not without cause there should not be any destruction made of fruit trees, v. 19, 20. shown. War is an appeal, in which the merits of the cause In those times, when besiegers forced their way not, as now, must be set forth.
with bombs and cannon-ball, but with battering rams, they had 1. Even to the proclamation of war must be subjoined a ten- occasion for much timber in carrying on their sieges: now der of peace, if they would accept of it upon reasonable terms. because, in the heat of war, men are not apt to consider, as they That is, (say the Jewish writers,) "upon condition that they ought, the public good, it is expressly provided that fruit trees repounce idolatry, worship the God of Israel, as proselytes of should not be used as timber trees. That reason, for the tree
17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, 2 Then thy elders and thy judges shall come the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as are round about him that is slain : the LORD thy God hath commanded thee :
3 And it shall be, that the city which is next 18 That řthey teach you not to do after all their unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall abominations, which they have done unto their gods; take an heifer, which hath not been wrought with, so should ye sin against the LORD your God. and which hath not drawn in the yoke;.
19 When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, 4 And the elders of that city shall bring down in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not the heiter unto a rough valley, which is neither destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer's them: for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt neck there in the valley: not cut them down (for* the tree of the field is man's 5 And the priests the sons of Levi shall come life) fto employ them in the siege:
near; for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to 20 Only the trees which thou knowest that they minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the be not trees for meat, thou shalt destroy and cut Lord: and by their *word shall every "controversy them down;' and thou shalt build bulwarks against and every stroke he tried : the city that maketh war with thee, until it be sub 6 And all the elders of that city that are next dued.
unto the slain man, shall dwash their hands over the
heifer that is beheaded in the valley : CHAPTER XXI.
7 And they shall answer and say, Our hands
have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes In this chapter, provision is made, L. For the putting away of the guilt of blood from the land, when he that shed it was tied from justice, v. 1-9. 11. For the pre- seen it. serving of the honour of a captive maid, v. 10–14. III. For the securing of the
8 Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people Israel, nght of a first-hom son, though he were not a favourite, v. 15—17. IV. For the restraining and punishing of a rebellious son, - 18–21. v. For the monin ta ining whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent of the honbur of human bodies, which must not be banged in chains, but decently blood tunto thy people of Israel's charge. And the buried, even the bodies of the worst malefactors, v. 22, 23.
blood shall be forgiven them. one be found slain in the land which the Lord 9 So shalt thou , the guilt of innocent field, and it be not known who hath slain him ; which is right in the sight of the LORD. p Ex. 23. 33. c. 12. 30, 31. Ps. 106. 34-40. I Cor. 15. 33. or, for, O man, the tree of the field is to be employed in the siege. I to go from before thes. Jer.
I come doren. al Chr. 23. 13. b Num. 6. 22–27.
• mouth. cc. 17. 8-10. 1 in the midst. se. 19.
of the field is man's, (the word life we supply,) all the ancient been made for the murderer, witnesses examined, and circumversions, the Septuagint, Targums, &c. read, For is the tree of stances strictly inquired into, that if possible they might find out the field a man? Or, The tree of the field is not a man, that it the guilty person ; but if, after all, they could not trace it out, should come against thee in the siege, or, retire from thee into the nor fasten the charge upon any, then, bulwark. “Do not brutishly vent thy rage against the trees, 1. The elders of the next city (that had a court of three-andthat can do thee no harın." But our translation seems most twenty in it) were to concern themselves about this matter. If agreeable to the intent of the law; and it teaches us, 1. That it were doubtful which city was next, the great sanhedrim God is a better friend to man than he is to himself; and God's were to send commissioners to determine that matter, by an law, which we are apt to complain of as a heavy yoke, con exact measure, v.2, 3. Note, Public persons must be solicitsults our interest and comfort, while our own appetites and pas-ous about the public good: and those that are in power and resions, which we are so indulgent of, are really enemies to our putation in cities, must lay out themselves to redress grievances, welfare. The intent of many of the divine precepts is, to re- and reform what is amiss in the country and neighbourhood strain us from destroying that which is our life and food. 2. That that lie about them. Those that are next to them, should have armics, and their commanders, are not allowed to make what the largest share of their good influence, as ministers of God for desolation they please in the countries that are the seat of war. good. Military rage must always be checked and ruled with reason. 2. The priests and Levites must assist and preside in this War, though carried on with ever so much caution, is destruc- solemnity, v. 5, that they might direct the management of it in tive enough, and should not be made more so than is absolutely all points according to the law, and particularly might be the necessary. Generous spirits will show themselves tender, not people's mouth to God in the prayer that was to be put up on only of men's lives, but of their livelihoods: for though the life ihis sad occasion, v. 8. God being Israel's king, his ministers is more than meat, yet it will soon be nothing without meat, must be their magistrates, and by their word, as the mouth of 3. The Jews understand this as a prohibition of all wilful waste the court, and learned in the laws, every controversy must be upon any account whatsoever. No fruit tree is to be destroyed, tried. It was their privilege that they had such guides, overunless it be barren and cumber the ground. "Nay," they seers, and rulers, and their duty to make use of them upon all maintain, “whoso wilfully breaks vessels, tears clothes, stops occasions, especially in sacred things, as this was. wells, pulls down buildings, or destroys meat, transgresses this 3. They were to bring a heifer down into a rough and unocculaw, Thou shalt not destroy." Christ took care that the broken pied valley, and to kill it there, v. 3, 4. This was not a sacrimeat should be gathered up, that nothing might be lost. Every fice, (for it was not brought to the altar,) but a protestation, that creature of God is good, and as nothing is to be refused, so no- thus ihey would put the murderer to death, if they had him in thing is to be abused. We may live to want what we carelessly their hands. The heifer must be one that had not drawn in waste,
the yoke, to signify (say some) that the murderer was a son of
Belial; it must be brought into a rough valley, lo signify the NOTES TO CHAPTER XXI.
horror of the fact, and that the defilement which blood brings V.1–9. Care had been taken by some preceding laws for upon a land turns it into barrenness. And the Jews say, that the vigorous and effectual prosecution of a wilful murderer, ch. unless, after this, the murderer was found out, this valley where 19. 11, &c. the putting of whom to death was the putting away the heifer was killed was never to be tilled or sown. of the guilt of blood from the land ; but if that could not be done, 4. The elders were to wash their hands in water over the the murderer not being discovered, they must not think that the heifer that was killed, and to profess not only that they had not land was in no danger of contracting any pollution, because it shed this innocent blood themselves, but that they knew not was not through any neglect of theirs that the murderer was who had, (v. 6, 7,) nor had knowingly concealed the murderer, unpunished; no, a great solemnity is here provided for the helped him to make his escape, or had been any way aiding or putting away of the guilt, as an expression of their dread and abetting. To this custom David alludes, Ps. 26. 6, I will wash detestation of that sin.
my hands in innocency; but if Pilate had an eye to it, Matt. 1. The case supposed is, that one is found slain, and it is not 27. 24, he wretchedly misapplied it, when he condemned Christ, known who slew him, v. 1. The providence of God has some-knowing him to be innocent, and yet acquitted bimself from the times wonderfully brought to light these hidden works of dark- guilt of innocent blood. Protestatio non valet contra factumness, and by strange occurrences the sin of the guilty has found Protestations are of no avail when contradicted by fact. them out : insomuch that it is become a proverb, Murder will 5. The priests were to pray to God for the country and out; but it is not always so; now and then the devil's promises nation, that God would be merciful to them, and not bring upon of secrecy and impunity in this world are made good; yet it is them the judgments which the condivance at the sin of murder but for a while: there is a time coming, when secret murders would deserve, v. 8. It might be presumed that the murderer will be discovered; the earth shall disclose her blood, Is. 26.21, was either one of their city, or was now harboured in their city; upon the inquisition which justice makes for it; and an eternity and therefore they must pray that they might not fare the coming, when they that escaped punishment from men, will lie worse for his being among them, Num. 16. 22, Be merciful, O under the righteous judgment of God. And the impunity with Lord, to thy people Israel. Note, When we hear of the wickedwhich so many murders and other wickednesses are committed ness of the wicked, we have need to cry earnestly to God for
We in this world, makes it necessary that there should be a day of mercy for our land, which groans and trembles under it. judgment, to require that which is past, Ec. 3.15.
must empty the measure by our prayers, which others are filling II. Directions are given concerning what is to be done in by their sins. this case. It is taken for granted that a diligent search has Now this solemnity was appointed, (1.) That it might give
No. 31. 18.
I Cor. 11.6.
; Ps. 45.
n Gen. 29. 31-33,
10 When thou goest forth to war against thine, but thou shalt not sell *her at all for money, thou enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, hast humbled 'her.
11 And seest among the captives a beautiful 15 If a man have two wives, one beloved," and woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou another hated," and they have borne him children, wouldest have her to thy wife;
both the beloved and the hated; and if the first-born 12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine son be hers that was hated : house; and she shall shave "her head, and *pare her 16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to
inherit that which he hath, that he may not make 13'And she shall put the raiment of her cap- the son of the beloved first-born before the son of tivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, the hated, which is indeed the first-born: and bewail her father and her mother a full month: 17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her hated for the first-born, by giving him a double husband, and she shall be thy wile.
portion of all that the hath: for he is the beginning 14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in of his strength; the right sof the first-born is his. her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; 18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, • uke, or dress, or suffer to grow.
o i Chr. 5. 2. 26.10. 2 Chr. 11. 21, 22. 10. Luke 14. 25. ** Ex. 21. 8. Gen. 34. 2. c. 22. 29. Gen. 29. 18, 20.
pi Chr. 5. 1, 2.
t is found with him. Gen. 49. 3. , Gen. 25. 31-34. occasion to common and public discourse concerning the mur- fessors of religion must not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, der, which perhaps might some way or other occasion the dis- 2 Cor. 6. 14. covery of it. (2.) That it might possess people with a dread of II. It is likewise provided that they should not abuse the the guilt of blood, which detiles not only the conscience of him poor captive. 1. She must have time to bewail her father and that sheds it, (this should engage us all to pray with David, mother, from whom she was separated, and without whose conDeliver me from blood-guiltiness,) but the land in which it is sent and blessing she is now likely to be married, and perhaps shed. It cries to the magistrate for justice on the criminal; and to a common soldier of Israel, though in her country never so if that cry be not heard, it cries to heaven for judgment on the nobly born and bred. To force a marriage till these sorrows land. If there must be so much care employed to save the were digested, and in some measure got over, and she was land from guilt, when the murderer was not known, it was better reconciled to the land of her captivity, by being better certainly impossible to secure it from guilt, if the murderer was acquainted with it, would be very unkind. She must not beknown and yet protected. All would be taught by this solem- wail her idols, but be glad to part with them; to her near and nity, to use their utmost care and diligence to prevent, discover, dear relations only her affection must be thus indulged. 2. If, an 1 punish murder. Even the heathen mariners dreaded the upon second thoughts, he that had brought her to his house with guilt of blood, Jon. 1. 14. (3.) That we might all learn to a purpose to marry her, changed his mind and would not marry iake heed of partaking in other men's sins, and making our- her, he might not make merchandise of her, as of his other selves accessary to them ex post facto-after the fact, by coun- prisoners, but must give her liberty to return, if she pleased, to tenancing the sin or sinner, and not witnessing against it in our her own country, because he had humbled her, and afflicted places. We have fellowship with the unfruitful works of dark- her, by raising expectations, and then disappointing them, ness, if we do not reprove them rather, and bear our testimony v. 14, having made a fool of her, he might not make a prey of against them; the repentance of the church of Corinth for the her. This intimates how binding the laws of justice and sin of one of their members, produced such a carefulness, such honour are, particularly in the pretensions of love, the courting a clearing of themselves, such a holy indignation, fear, and re- of affections, and the promises of marriage, which are to be venge, (z Cor. 7. 11,) as were signified by the solemnity here looked upon as solemn things that have something sacred in appointed.
them, and therefore are not to be jested with. V. 10–14. By this law a soldier is allowed to marry his V. 15–17. This law restrains men from disinheriting their captive, if he pleased. For the hardness of their hearts, Moses eldest sons out of mere caprice, and without just provocation. gave them this permission, lest, if they had not liberty given 1. The case here put, v. 15, is very instructive. (1.) It shows them to marry such, they should have taken liberty to defile the great mischief of having more wives than one, which the themselves with them, and by such wickedness the camp would law of Moses did not restrain, probably, in hopes that men's have been troubled. The man is supposed to have a wife own experience of the great inconvenience of it in families, already, and to take this wife for a secondary wife, as the Jews would at last put an end to it, and make them a law to themcalled them. This indulgence of men's inordinate desires, in selves. Observe the supposition here, If a man have two which their hearts walked after their eyes, is by no means agree wives, it is a thousand to one but one of them is beloved and able to the law of Christ, which therefore in this respect, among the other hated, that is, manifestly loved less, as Leah was by others, far exceeds in glory the law of Moses. The Gospel Jacob, and the effect of this cannot but be strises and jealousies, permits not him that has one wife to take another, for from envy, confusion, and every evil work, which could not but create the beginning it was not so: the Gospel forbids looking upon a a constant uneasiness and vexation to the husband, and involve woman, though a beautiful one, to lust after her, and commands him both in sin and trouble. Those do much better consult the mortifying and denying of all irregular desires, though it be their own ease and satisfaction, who adhere to God's law, than as uneasy as the cutting off of a right hand; so much does our those who indulge their own lusts. (2.) It shows how Proviholy religion, more than that of the Jews, advance the honour, dence commonly sides with the weakest, and gives more abunand support the dominion of the soul over the body, the spirit dant honour to that part which lacked; for the first-born son is over the flesh, consonant to the glorious discovery it makes of here supposed to be hers that was hated, it was so in Jacob's life and immortality, and the better hope.
family, because the Lord saw that Leah was hated, Gen. 29. But though military men were allowed this liberty, yet care is 31. The great Householder wisely gives to each his dividend here taken that they should not abuse it, that is,
of comfort; if one had the honour to be the beloved wife, it 1. That they should not abuse themselves by doing it too often proved that the other had the honour to be the mother hastily, though the captive was never so desirable. “If thou of the first-born. wouldest have her to thy wife, v. 10, 11, it is true thou needest 2. The law in this case is still binding to parents; they not ask her parents' consent, for she is thy captive, and is at must give their children their right without partiality. In the thy disposal. But, 1. Thou shalt have no familiar intercourse, case supposed, the eldest son, though the son of the less betill thou hast married her.” This allowance was designed to loved wife, must have his birthright privilege, which was a gratify, not a filthy brutish lust, in the heat and fury of its rebels double portion of the father's estate, because he was the belion against reason and virtue, but an honourable and generous ginning of his strength, that is, in him his family began to be affection to a comely and amiable person, though in distress; strengthened, and his quiver began to be filled with the arrows therefore he may make her his wife if he will, but he must not of a mighty man, Ps. 127. 4, and therefore the right of the firstdeal with her as with a harlot. 2. “ Thou shalt not marry her born is his, v. 16, 17. Jacob had indeed deprived Řeuben of of a sudden, but keep her a full month in thy house,” v. 12, 13. his birthright, and given it to Joseph, but it was because ReuThis he must do, either, (1.) That he may try to take his ben had forfeited the birthright by his incest, not because he affection off from her; for he must know, that, though in mar was the son of the hated ; now lest that which Jacob did justly, rying her, he does not do ill, (so the law then stood,) yet, in should be drawn into a precedent, for others to do the same letting her alone, he does much better. Let her therefore shave thing unjustly, it is here provided that when the father makes her head, that he might not be enamoured with her locks, and his will, or otherwise settles his estate, the child shall not fare lel her nails grow, (so the margin reads it,) to spoil the beauty
of the worse for the mother's unhappiness in having less of her her hand. Quicquid amas, cupias non placuisse nimis-We husband's love, for that was not the child's fault. Note, (1.) should moderate our affection for those things, which we are templ- Parents ought to make no other difference in dispensing their ed to love inordinately. Or rather, (2.) This was done in token affections among their children, than what they see plainly of her renouncing idolatry, and becoming a proselyte to the God makes in dispensing his grace among them. (2.) Since Jewith religion. The shaving of her head, the paring of her it is the providence of God that makes heirs; the disposal of nails, and the changing of her apparel, signified her putting off providence in that matter must be acquiesced in, and not opher former conversation, which was corrupt in her ignorance, posed. No son should be abandoned by his father, till he that she might become a new creature. She must remain in manifestly appear to be abandoned of God, which is hard to say his house to be taught the good knowledge of the Lord, and of any while there is life. worship of him: the Jews say that if she refused, and continued obstinate in idolatry, he must not marry her. Note, The pro
1. A law for the punishing of a rebellious son. Having in
which will not obey "the voice of his father, or the
CHAPTER XXII. Voice of his mother, and that, when they have chas- The laws of this chapter provide, I. For the preservation of charity and good neightened him, will not hearken unto them;
bourship, in the care of strayed or fallen cattle, v. 1-4. 11. For the preservation
of order and distinctions that men and women should not wear one anotber's 19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold
clothes, (v.5,) and that other needless mixtures should be avoided, v. 9-11. ll. on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his For the preservation of birds, v. 6,7. IV. of life, v. 8. V. Of tbe commandinents,
v. 12. VI. Of the reputation of a wife abused, if sbe were innocent, (v. 13-19,) but city, and unto the gate of his place;
for ber punishment il guilty, v. 20, 21. VII. For the preservation of the chastity 20 And they shall say unto the elders of his of wives, v. 22. Virgins betrothed, (v. 23—27) or not betrothed, v. 28, 29. And
lastly, against incest, v. 30. city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey "our voice; he is a glutton," and a drunkard.
go astray, and hide thyself from them : thou 21. And wall the men of his city shall stone him shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother. with stones, that he die : 150 shalt thou put evil 2 And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or away from among you: and all Israel shall hear, if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto and fear.
thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy 22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him Yof death, and he be to be put to death, and thou again. hang him on a tree;
3 In like manner shalt thou do with his ass; 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the and so shalt thou do with his raiment; and with all tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; lost things of thy brother's, which he hath lost, and (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest ihy land be not adefiled, which the LORD thy God | not hide thyself. giveth thee for an inheritance.
4 Thou ishalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox Er. 20. 12. . Prov. 13. 24, 19. 18, I c. 25. 7. u Prov. 29. 17. + Prov. 19. & Josh. 8. 29. 10. 26, 27. John 19. 31. * the curse of God. Num. 25. 4. Gal. 3. 25. 23. 19-21. * Prow, 29.1. c. 13. 5, 11. y c. 19.6. Acts 25. 11, 35.
13. a Num. 35. 33, 81. a Ex. 23. 4. b Is. 58. 7. Ć Ex. 23. 4. the former law provided that parents should not deprive their kingdom, of such condemnations, and the executions upon children of their right, it was fit that it should next be provided them, by the elders themselves, in terrorem-that all may hear that children withdraw not the honour and duty which are owing and fear. to their parents, for there is no partiality in the divine law. II. A law for the burying of the bodies of malefactors that
1. Observe how the criminal is here described. He is a stub were hanged, v. 22. The hanging of them by the neck till the born and rebellious son, v. 18. No child was to fare the worse body was dead, was not used at all among the Jews, as with for the weakness of his capacity, the slowness or dulness of us; but of such as were stoned to death, if it were for blashis understanding, but for his wilfulness and obstinacy. If he phemy, or some other very execrable crime, it was usual, by carry himself proudly and insolently toward his parents, con- order of the judges, to hang up the dead bodies upon a posi, temn their authority, slight their reproofs and admonitions, dis for some time, as a spectacle to the world, to express the ig.. obey the express commands they give him for his own good, nominy of the crime, and to strike the greater terror upon hate to be reformed by the correction they give him, shame others, that they might not only hear and fear, but see and fear. their family, grieve their hearts, waste their substance, and Now it is here provided that whatever time of the day they threaten to ruin their estate by riotous living ; this is a stub were thug hung up, at sunset they should be taken down and born and rebellious son. He is particularly supposed, v. 20, to buried, and not left to hang out all night ; sufficient (says the law) be a glutton or a drunkard. This intimates either, (1.) That to such a man is this punishment; hitherto let it go, but no further. these were sins which his parents did in a particular man Let the malefactor and his crime be hid in the grave. ner warn him against, and therefore that in these instances Now, I. God would thus preserve the honour of human there was a plain evidence, that he did not obey their voice. bodies, and tenderness toward the worst of criminals. The Lemuel had this charge from his mother, Prov. 31. 4. Note, time of exposing dead bodies thus, is limited, for the same reaIn the education of children, great care should be taken to sup- son that the number of stripes was limited by another law, Icst press all inclinations to drunkenness, and to keep them out of thy brother seem vile unto ihee. Punishing beyond death God The way of temptations to it: in order hereunto they should be reserves to himself; as for man, there is no more that he can possessed betimes with a dread and detestation of that beastly do. Whether therefore the hanging of malefactors in chains, sin, and taught betimes to deny themselves. Or, (2.) That and setting up their heads and quarters, be decent among Chrishis being a glutton and a drunkard was the cause of his inso-tians that look for the resurrection of the body, may perhaps lence and obstinacy toward his parents. Note, There is no be worth considering. 2. Yet it is plain there was something thing that draws men into all manner of wickedness, and har. ceremonial in it; by the law of Moses, the touch of a dead dens them in it, more certainly and fatally, than drunkenness body was defiling, and therefore dead bodies must not be left does. When men take to drink, they forget the law, (Prov. 31. hanging up in the country, because, by the same rule, that 5,) even that fundamental law of honouring parents.
would defile the land. But, 3. There is one reason here given 2. How this criminal is to be proceeded against. His own which has reference to Christ, He that is hanged, is accursed father and mother are to be his prosecutors, v. 19, 20. They of God, that is, it is the highest degree of disgrace and remight not put him to death themselves, but they must complain proach that can be done to a man, and proclaims him under the of him to ihe elders of the city, and the complaint must needs curse of God as much as any external punishment can. They be made with a sad heart, This our son is stubborn and rebel- that see him thus hang between heaven and earth, will conliour. Noto, Those that give up themselves to vice and wicked-clude him abandoned of both, and unworthy of either; and ness, and will not be reclaimed, forfeit their interest in the therefore let him not hang all night, for that will carry it too far. natural affections of their nearest relations; the instruments of Now the apostle, showing how Christ has redeemed us from their being justly become the instruments of their destruction. the curse of the law, by being himself made a curse for us, The children that forget their duty, must thank themselves, illustrates it by comparing this brand here put on him that was and not blame their parents, if they are regarded with less and hanged on a tree, with the death of Christ, Gal. 3. 13. Moses, less affection. And how difficult soever tender parents now by the Spirit, uses this phrase of being accursed of God, when find it to reconcile themselves to the just punishment of their he means no more than being treated most ignominiously, that rebellious children, in the day of the revelation of the righteous it might afterward be applied to the death of Christ, and might judgment of God, all natural affection will be so entirely swal-show
that in it be underwent the curse
of the law for us, which lowed up in divine love, that they will acquiesce even in the con- is a great enhancement of his love, and a great encouragement demnation of those children, because God will be therein for to our faith in him. And (as the excellent Bishop Patrick well ever glorified.
observes) this passage is applied to the death of Christ, not only 3. What judgment is to be executed upon him: he must be because he bare our sins and was exposed to shame, as these publicly stoned to death by the men of his city, v. 21. And thus, malefactors were that were accursed of God, but because he (1.) The paternal authority was supported, and God, our com- was in the evening taken down from the cursed tree and buried, mon Father, showed himself jealous for it, it being one of the (and that by the particular care of the Jews, with an eye to first and most ancient streams derived from him that is the this law, John 19. 31,) in token that now, the guilt being reFountain of all power. (2.) This law, if duly executed, would moved, the law was satisfied, as it was when the malefactor early destroy the wicked of the land, Ps. 101.8, and prevent the had hanged till sunset; it demanded no more. Then he ceased spreading of the gangrene, by cutting off the corrupt part be- to be a curse, and those that are his. And as the land of times; for those that were bad members of families, would Israel was pure and clean, when the dead body was buried, so never make good members of the commonwealth. (3.) It would the church is washed and cleansed by the complete satisfaction striko an awe upon children, and frighten them into obedience which thus Christ made. to their parents, if they would not otherwise be brought to their
NOTES TO CHAPTER XXII. duty, and kept in it.. AU Israel shall hear. The Jews say, V.1-4. The kindness that was commanded to be shown “The elders that condemned him, were to send notice of it in in reference to an enemy, Ex. 23. 4, &c. is here required to be writing all the nation over, In such a court, such a day, we stoned much more done for a neighbour, though he were not an such a one, because he was a stubborn and rebellious son." And Israelite, for the law is consonant to natural equity. I have sometimes wished, that as in all our courts there is an 1. That strayed cattle should be brought back, either to the exact record kept of the condemnation of criminals, in per-owner, or to the pasture out of which they had gone astray, petuam rei memoriam--that the memorial may never be lost, so v. 1, 2. This must be done, in pity to the very cattle, which, there might be public and authentic notice given in print to the while they wandered, were exposed; and in civility and respect